Quoting Quiverfull: The Curse of Small Families?

From Ladies Against Feminism reposted from MacCleansThe Curse of Small Families

Baby Boomers may soon find they have no one to look after them. Brian Bethune reports on the next generational crisis.

We all know what’s coming. Everywhere in the developed world, populations are greying. The media are full of stories about the surge in the numbers of the elderly within the next 20 years, while governments have been pushing the age of retirement entitlements upward. Most of the spotlight has been on the new greybeards themselves—the Baby Boomers in North America and Australia, the somewhat smaller postwar “boomlets” elsewhere—and not on the other side of the approaching demographic flip. The elderly will almost double their current share of national populations—not just because they are so many, but because their descendants are so few

Read the rest here.

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


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  • Saraquill

    Yes, caring for an aging population is an issue. So is having more children than there is food, jobs and infrastructure to support. The elderly are not left to wither in dusty corners, their societies search to find ways to look after them. How kind of the writer not to mention that.(end sarcasm)

  • AlisonCummins

    My father’s parents had eleven children. That worked out just about right for my grandfather, who will be 100 next month and is living with one of his childless sons while his children who are parents help contribute to his care.

    My mother’s parents had three children. That’s not quite enough. My grandmother will be 94 next month and is living on her own but lonely, since the child she relied on most died before she did.

    I have no children. I know for certain that I have to make other provisions, so that’s what I’m doing. It’s not the end of the world.

    If you need to have at least ten children to have a good shot at having at least one be available to care for you in your old age, that doesn’t seem like a really good plan to me. And if the children most available to care for you are childless, how is old age supposed to work for them?

  • http://yllommormon.blogspot.com/ aletha

    I’m trying to figure out how an average Quiverfull wife with 8 kids can add the responsibility of full-time health care for Mom or Dad without going stark ravers, or dropping from exhaustion.

  • Nightshade

    Ahhh, but they’re supposed to be on duty 24/7 with no thought for themselves. Sleep? Pfffft, that’s a luxury, their god can work miracles and give them all the energy they need, no matter if the baby was up all night because of an earache, half a dozen of the children are being homeschooled, and dear old Dad’s Alzheimer’s keeps him from remembering how to put on his own socks in the morning. If a woman is exhausted it’s her own fault for not praying and believing enough…right?

  • Kristen Rosser

    Oh, but the politics that usually go along with this mindset hold that taking care of the elderly is not society’s (i.e., the government’s) job– that it needs to be left entirely to individuals and charities. So according to this mindset, people who don’t have kids to take care of them in their old age have to rely on the church, and if the church can’t do it or they don’t go to church, they’d be better off just dying.

  • Trollface McGee

    Most of the elderly people in my community have had one or two children and most of them that have had good relationships have had no problem having their kids there for them. Of course, there are some kids who have problems and some parents who were lousy parents and their kids want nothing to do with them.

    Most of them also live in assisted living or go to daycare – and they like it – my grandmother likes having her independence and peers her age with her interests to interact with much more than being with one of us all day.

  • Suraiya Ahmed

    in australia we see it as both personal and society that must bear these costs – some age pension and superannuation. The pension is means tested but some not eligible for money receive a card that allows for discounts on services such as no rego costs and cheaper medicine on the pbs (pharmacutical benefit scheme) and electricity and council rates. This does not mean that it isn’t tough for some and there are charities that also help – not sure how things work in the US but you don’t have belong or identify as christian to receive help from the big religious based charities here in Australia. There are no food stamps here

  • persephone

    Of course, if they went to school and developed a career, then they could.save enough money to pay for their care. But then they’d get exposed to.the horrible, dangerous world. Hmmm. Better to suffer in misery now and score an awesome afterlife.

  • Hannah

    I wish I could remember where I read it… but someone once said something to the effect of, “If you’re only having children so they can take care of you in old age, you’re not likely to have the kind of relationship where they’ll want to care for you”.

  • Madame

    This makes perfect sense.
    Yes, as one father said while waving at his daughter on the schoolbus “there goes our pension”.

    But I think it’s irresponsible to see one’s children as one’s provision for the future. I think every adult should do what they can to provide for themselves for as long as they can, and see to it that they have the means to pay for proper care when they need it. How that care is arranged depends on what the aging parent and children decide.

    My MIL is now caring for her MIL after having raised 8 children pretty much on her own. FIL will not put her in a nursing home, and won’t do any paperwork to arrange for assistance with her care. That’s just the bitter frosting on the bitter cupcake he served his wife for as long as they’ve been married. Disgusting patriarchy.

  • Baby_Raptor

    The fact that families are (smartly) having fewer kids means that, when they get older, they’re going to magically clone themselves and cause a population boom?

    Oh, by the way? The elderly man that I live with had no kids. He raised exactly one grandson. And now he mooches off that grandson and I for everything from the bills to getting him water. Seems to disprove this man’s point about small families being a curse…Pop’s set.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Lots and lots of denial, until her body/mind finally gives out and she can’t hide from it anymore.

  • http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/ Retha Faurie

    “The elderly man that I live with had no kids. He raised exactly one grandson.”
    How do a man without children have a grandchild?

  • Madame

    Add to it that you can have aging parents living with you for several years, even after you finished raising children.
    Caring for human beings is usually a thankless job. Women in patriarchy get the thankless job from the moment they change the first diaper until they change the last (adult) one. It’s work with no pay, no holidays, no retirement. Nada.

  • Catherine Miller

    Yes, the pension. My mother has only recently gotten a break after caring first for her grandmother-in-law for several years (combined with caring for her own four children), shortly followed by caring for her MIL for ten years. This was all on her own, while my father worked from out of town. All because of the pension attitude and because she was supposed to submit to my father. The insult to injury: both had dementia, one had Parkinson’s, neither of them liked my mom. Of course, none of their own kids or grandkids wanted anything to do with either of them, so the work fell to my mom. Disgusting patriarchy, indeed.

  • http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/ Retha Faurie

    Fear mongering: “If you have no children, nobody will look after you when you are old!” (Bible characters like Paul were so irresponsible, to not have children…! And what happened to trusting God to look after you?)

    As I see it, a decent society looks after it’s members.

    A decent, growing society where people have lots of children looks after those too young and weak to look after themselves.

    A decent, shrinking society with more aged people than children looks after those too old and weak to look after themselves.
    Why should we regard the one as heavenly and the other as horrible?