Quoting Quiverfull: The Death of the Family?

posted by Jennie Chancey at Ladies Against Feminism “The Family Economy in Crisis”. Originally written by Kevin Swanson for Vision Forum Ministries

The family is dying a slow and miserable death in the West. Ultimately, it is a failure of the Christian faith and life that brought about our present predicament, though all of our institutions have contributed to it. There are several institutional forces that have worked hard to dismantle the family over about the last six generations. Our colleges, universities, K-12 schools, churches, corporations, and governments have marginalized the family unit because they do not see the family as integral to the socio-economic system.

Comments open below


QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • I think they’re using an idyllic definition of “family” which never actually existed in real life, in order to compare real, existing families with this impossible standard and find them wanting. When I was growing up, most of the kids I knew lived in families where, yes, there were a mom and a dad– but there was also rampant abuse and neglect. The family next door to my own was well known for the overheard screams of the children being beaten– which no one did anything about because it was considered normal and in accordance with the parents’ rights, to beat their children. That same family lost the mother in a car accident when the oldest boys were 10 years old, after which they became a single-parent home. Though this was a very hard thing, it actually was probably better in the long run for those kids, because it was the mom who was abusive.

    My own family was codependent with frequent alcohol abuse. In short, there have always been problems with family life, and “the family” as a concept is not in more danger now than it was then.

  • madame

    “the family” as a concept is not in more danger now than it was then.

    I agree.

  • texcee

    The ideal American family is based solely on 1950’s TV programs such as “Father Knows Best”, “Leave It to Beaver”, “The Donna Reed Show” and “Ozzie and Harriet.” I would posit that any actual families as perfect as these was extremely few and far between. I certainly didn’t know any families like those, including my own. But evangelicals (who tend to live in a fantasy world in any case) have taken these mythical shows and believe them to be real. Thus they long for the “good old days” when the idyllic American dream life was lived out each week in black and white. I will laugh loudly and heartily the next time I get the urge to vacuum in my high heels and pearls.

  • madame

    Or Little House on The Prairie!

  • saraquill

    Is she aware that families existed well before the birth of Jes*s? I highly doubt it’s a Christianity exclusive concept.

  • Kimberly

    so many things wrong with her “argument”–where to begin?

  • madame

    This is from the same article:
    “Today, most twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings see no need for the nuclear family. We all know these people. They are our neighbors, our extended family members, and people who attend church with us.”

    Germany might not be the US, so take my comment for what it’s worth.
    My children go to preschool and school, so they are around children from various backgrounds and beliefs. All my children’s friends have a father and a mother in their lives. I only know one divorced mother, and she has remarried (so marriage and family appear to be important to her) and her children spend time with their father. My daughter’s best friends all have 2-3 siblings (making familes of 3-4 children). There are plenty of stay-at-home mothers or families that have organized work so that one parent or grandparent is with the children or there for them at all times. Guess what? The government supports stay-at-home parents (usually the mother) for a full 12 months after the birth of the baby, and (I believe) all jobs with a permanent contract give women a full 3 years off after giving birth, keeping her job for her.
    It’s not perfect, but to say that the family and family values are crumbling in the west is ridiculous.

  • Jenny Islander

    What most people who talk about the end of the family seem to mean is, “There used to be more comfortable middle-class geographically stable families in which only one parent got a paycheck.”

    This guy is sort of sideways right. This type of family depends on a robust economy. The people who screwed up our economy are responsible for the erosion of this social group. They’re also, by and large, the people who campaign for fundamentalist votes on the grounds that they are “pro-family.” Pretending that this social group was produced by correct doctrine and/or Christian hegemony in the public sphere is an excellent way to distract from the wholesale asset stripping of our “socio-economic system.” Aim the message at people who are primed to feel instead of think and you get a whole voter bloc of patsies.

  • meg

    Good point. The ” ideal nuclear family” idea is all about economics.