Quoting Quiverfull: The Selfish Use Birth Control?

Quoting Quiverfull: The Selfish Use Birth Control? November 24, 2012

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and aks 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.

William Branham – April 12, 1954

Here not long ago, I met a woman that had committed some of those cases, practicing birth control. That’s the disgrace in America. This may kindly singe you a little bit, but watch it….. These American people will practice birth control, and give a hundred dollars for a little old dog, and pack it around, and give it the love of a baby. It’s a disgrace. But that’s right. Yes, it is. You know that’s the truth. Will lead him (the dog) down the street with a little jacket on him, when he is nothing but a dog. That’s right. But you wouldn’t have the baby. Because you’re afraid you would deprive yourself of something. God commissioned women to bring forth children. That’s exactly right. It used to be it was a wonderful thing. Nowadays, it’s a disgrace. Too much time. That’s right. You have to have time for your social life, you’ve got to go out to gatherings. You’ve got to do this, got to go at the card party.


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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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  • Damn those high-society women who can afford card-games and $100 dogs. We all know those working women are pumping out babies like good little Christian soldiers…oh…wait…there are no working women in his world…

  • thalwen

    Nothing but a dog? As a cat lady I find this to be incredibly offensive. I love my cat, I didn’t have him instead of having a kid, I wanted a cat, not a kid and God made me much more a cat mama than a baby mama. This attitude, that “it’s just an animal” I think contributes to the high rates of animal abuse (just like I think the patriarchal idea that children are property contributes to child abuse). The Bible also says that we are to be stewards of the earth and the animals. Stewardship, to me, means a great deal more responsibility and respect than the attitude that “it’s just an animal.”

    Also, the idea that having a kid isn’t something you should want – but a duty of yours because you’re a woman isn’t very loving to children. This attitude – that animals are worthless, that children aren’t people that should be wanted and loved, but duties and consequences – is pretty damn selfish and borderline sociopathic to me.

  • Maggy

    I agree. My 17 year old dog passed away last month after we had 14 great years together. She was a member of the family and anyone who’d dare to call her “just a dog” has no idea how much we enriched each others’ lives.

  • Phatchick

    While, I don’t pretend to understand treating pets like babies, I have real issues with anyone who doesn’t like animals. Sooner or later the way s/he treats them is going to spill over to how they treat other humans. And William Branham has always struck me as being a total douche.

  • I know exactly what you mean Thalwen. I had to put my beloved oldster kitty down this summer and it made me remember the way animals were viewed and treated in Fundieland – http://calulu.blogspot.com/2012/06/rest-in-peace-my-lil-bit.html

  • thalwen

    That was a beautiful story. I’m glad you got to spend those years with your cat and I’m sorry for your loss. Thank you for that description of the fundamentalist mindset as well. My family is a spectrum of the very religious to the ardently atheist but what we all agree on is love for animals. I’ve been in several arguments with fundamentalists recently, where the idea of treating an animal as a member of the family is seen as something bad and it just strikes me as bizarre.

  • My grandma had 7 children because “that’s what a wife does.” I can assure you she wasn’t very loving towards them.

  • Saraquill

    Branham really needed to edit his statement. The sentences when put together, make a barely understandable whole.

    What’s so bad about not conceiving children you don’t want? If (general) you don’t want to care for others, can’t afford dependents or don’t want to risk your health, that is not deprivation, that is sensible.

    I took a college class on sexuality and family in the United States. Though the 1950s was a time of a baby boom, during the 1930s, birth control was popular, and from roughly the 1890s to the baby boom, one child families were common.

  • I got dogs when I realized I was never going to have children. My arms felt empty. They *ached.* When I had a little dog to carry around I could stop fretting about my empty arms and be a much more productive member of society.

    My dogs aren’t my children, they’re dogs. But for me they certainly serve as prosthetic infants and they do a very good job of it. We – me, my partner, my employer, my fellow-citizens, my dogs – are all better off for it. The children I never conceived do not exist and are irrelevant.

  • I didn’t know that about 1-child families from the 1980’s. Those were very prosperous years.

  • Rae

    Dogs are cheaper than children, even if you buy them jackets. And not as long-term of a commitment. And you can leave them home alone when they’re only a few months old without getting arrested. And house-training takes less time than potty-training. And you can feed them the same thing for every single meal.

  • Karen

    Children are excellent to have if you A) want them, B) and can mentally/emotionally/financially afford them. A pox on the quiverfull attitude toward children — they should each be wanted, cherished, and respected as individual human beings that deserve to be attended to by parents, not siblings press-ganged into the role.

    Those of us who didn’t meet the A or B criteria may well lavish more love on our pets than others, but does anybody care that I would listen to? No.

  • I was the first of the 10 children my parents had because they believed it was their duty to God not to use birth control and give birth to us all according to God’s will. My Mom was overwhelmed and underresourced. We didn’t get proper care after the next baby was born, so us kids started caring for each other and both sets of angry and appalled grandparents stepped in to do damage control. They spent time and money on us kids, begged my parents to stop having additional babies, but for obvious reasons their requests fall on deaf ears. Reality couldn’t trump ideology. I could tell my Mom resented us kids back then by her actions and constant frustration, although she adhered to the lines about us being “blessings.” She obviously liked her little dog more. Why? Well the dog appeared to understand and unfailingly care about her emotions, and he was loyal and obedient. Us kids did not and were not. We had our own wants and needs. We were demanding. Also she chose to get the dog initially. She didn’t choose any of us. We just happened to her. Choice is a powerful thing and reproductive choice is related to good parenting.

    Also, anybody who thinks its their role to make pronouncements about the other half of the population somehow being commissioned to bring forth anything, can, well, go put on a sweater and take themselves on a long walk because they’re obviously not fit company for man nor beast…

  • madame

    “Choice is a powerful thing and reproductive choice is related to good parenting.”
    I couldn’t agree more!!

  • BBJ

    1954? This man was writing in the middle of a major American baby boom. Women were having lots of children, after the several drop in the birth rate of the 1930s.

    I guess it’s true that this time when things were better, and everyone did what they were supposed to really never existed. Here I thought the 1950s were full of women being good housewives and mothers and staying home like God intended, and in reality they were putting little jackets on dogs and running off to the card game.


  • Andrew

    If you really study the bible you will find no reference to woman must stay at home barefoot and pregnant. If you really read what Christ had to say, he gave an imperative to his followers not to marry. And no where does it say sex must be within marriage (Yes I am a Christian). No where does it say thou shalt never use contraception (excluding morning after pill, thou shalt not murder). And Paul wrote marriage is a concession from the Lord, not an ordinance.

  • Am I the only person thinking $100 for a dog is cheap? Our cats from the shelter during Cat Month (discounted prices) were the better part of that EACH, plus a few shots and registration–and the shelter had already fixed, chipped and gotten some of their shots out of the way for us.

    I’m thinking these people are too busy with their kids to have pets.

  • e

    If I understand what you’re saying about the morning after pill, I think you may be confusing it with an abortifacient drug such as mifepristone (RU-486). The “morning after pill” is NOT the same. The “morning after pill” is basically a high dose of hormonal birth control and prevents ovulation the same way as the kind you spread out over a month. It works when it is taken after sex but before ovulation (and thus before fertilization). When the timing is right, no egg is released for the loitering sperm to encounter, so no pregnancy occurs.

  • Persephone

    The quote’s from 1954, so adjust for inflation and your basic purebred dog is probably about the same price.

  • Persephone

    Branham was a nutjob with issues that could fill several psychology textbooks.

  • Persephone

    Also, the miscarriage of a fetus due to outside forces was not considered murder in the OT, and never mentioned in the NT, so if you consider it murder, that’s your personal belief.

    The Jewish tradition recognizes the existing person and their life as above the life of a fetus, and allows for abortion as necessary.

  • Persephone

    My grandmother is probably from a previous generation to yours, and she practiced birth control, such as it was, after she had two children, twins, my uncle and mother. She had no belief that there was anything wrong with it, and she’s from the Ozarks.

    I know my mother would have been a happier person without children, but she bought into the 1950s propaganda and had three before she realized she couldn’t handle it. Three was too many for her. She’s a miserably unhappy woman, and she regularly visits her unhappiness on my sisters (we have no contact, except for the occasional religious tract she mails to me, which I promptly toss). If she had popped them out on demand I can’t even imagine how bad it would have been.