Quoting Quiverfull: Commenting on Large Families Rude?

Quoting Quiverfull: Commenting on Large Families Rude? July 31, 2014
T-Shirts the Anderson parents wear in public
T-Shirts the Anderson parents wear in public

by Zsuzsanna Anderson from her blog Are They All Yours!?!?! – If I Had a Nickel Everytime Someone Said

Is it really rude to comment when you see families much larger than the norm? It seems to me if you have made up the t-shirts in that photo, you name your blog ‘Are They All Yours’ and you go out in numbered matching t-shirts you’re openly seeking attention. What do you think?

If I had a nickel everytime someone said…

“Wow, you sure have your hands full!”

I typically just ignore whoever says it, because I HATE that comment! If it’s a nice old lady, I might give her a big friendly smile. If it’s a rude jerk, I might say, “Wow, I’ve never heard that before!” But most of the time, I just pretend I didn’t hear them.

Yes, I have my hands full. Is that wrong? And is that the most creative thing you can think of? And could you kindly stop communicating the message to my kids that they are a burden, whether that’s what you are trying to say or not? Just because you are stating an obvious fact does not make it okay to say (again and again and again and again). Do you really think you are the first person to say that?

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders or their followers/enforcers 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.

Comments open below

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Nea

    Stating the obvious to total strangers is rude, be it about their children or their appearance.

    That said, it’s equally rude to evangelize to strangers. And communicating to other people’s kids that they’re hellhound or need beatings is a rotten message to give them. Or in other words; remove the log from your own eye first…

  • Is this the time to rant about how, in my customer service job, I’m often asked if everything’s free today? Because that’s rude, unfunny, and stated too often. And yet I don’t wear T-shirts that say “Before you comment: No, you’re not special enough to get stuff for free and YES, I work in retail. Please do not treat me like I’m stupid.”
    My point? People are jerks sometimes. But if I were to wear that T-shirt at work, I’d be fired. Whereas they can wear those out, and be martyrs to their cause.

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    …and even if you think that you’re speaking quietly enough so that people around you can’t hear, it’s kind of going to make the guys start looking if they weren’t before if they hear comments about a woman with large breasts, wearing high heels, etc…Not to mention the fact that said woman could also hear you! (Yes, it’s happened to me and I would *love* to confront the people who start talking about my attributes or what I wear but it’s not likely to stop them from doing the same thing in the future to me or someone else so I’d rather use the time for more productive endeavors.) Honestly, if you’ve got a bus-load of kids as long as they’re not screaming, acting like wild animals, or telling me I’m going to hell because I’m not dressed “modestly” and wearing makeup – I’ll leave you alone and expect you to do the same with me.

  • Trollface McGee

    I could think of many more creative things to say to her…
    I would be annoyed too, but she and her husband(at least online) are among the meanest, most hateful people I’ve ever seen. I hope they are more polite to people in person than they are online but I really cannot muster any sympathy at people who are proud of calling women “whores” and praying for people’s deaths.

  • persephone

    Customerssuck.com
    notalwaysright.com

  • Anonyme

    I admit, “are they all yours?” is rude–but, as was pointed out, wearing those stupid shirts looks like they’re begging for attention anyway. “Poor us, there are rude people who think we have too many children! We’d better blow up the situation so we can act like martyrs!” Guess what, there are rude people EVERYWHERE, including women who judge other women and call them whores. (ahem).
    Let’s make a deal, Zsuzsanna (??!!) don’t judge women and men for their choice of dress, lifestyle, or how many kids–if any–they choose to have, and we won’t judge you, okay?

    And what does “we don’t own a TV” have to do with “are they all yours?”?

  • Nightshade

    ‘Don’t judge me, even though I judge your every action.’

  • JeanPing

    “Don’t you have a TV?” implies that if they were normal, they’d be watching TV instead of making another baby. Like “don’t you know what causes that?”

    Yes, it’s rude to comment on large families. It is also rude to ask people whether they’re going to have another one soon, are they pregnant, whether the kids are adopted or ‘really’ yours, why the kids are different colors, and all sorts of other intrusive things that are none of anyone’s business.

    It is not my problem if this lady is also rude. That’s no reason to be rude to her. Even if she is begging for attention. The best way to deal with that is to ignore her, right?

  • B.E. Miller
  • JeanPing

    It’s not only QF large families that get tired of being constantly questioned. Here’s an article from a mom of 6 who has no religious reasons for having kids–she just likes kids. She’s tired of it too. http://www.scarymommy.com/questions-not-to-ask-a-large-family/

  • Joy

    My dad comes from a family of fifteen and they were constantly teased for having such a big family. It’s pretty painful for the kids to hear. (I have my own opinions on the relationship that my grandparents had – they aren’t opinions I discuss much with that side of the family…).

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    lolwut? “Wow, you have your hands full” is one the most innocuous comments I can possibly think of. It’s right up there with comments about the weather or the punctuality of the bus–just a way for a stranger to say something mildly friendly to another stranger in public. She’s right, it’s not that creative. That’s because it’s an off-the-cuff comment, not the end result of several minutes of plotting to say something nasty and wordly to further remind Zsuzsanna Anderson how set apart and holy she is. Much as it may disappoint you, hon, most of us aren’t setting out to find ways to persecute you and ridicule you for your Christian lifestyle choices or imply that your children are burdensome when we see you at the supermarket or something. (Maybe we’re thinking “Wow, you really like kids!”) We’re far more focused on whether or not it’s worth it to go for this buy-one-get-one-half-off sale on cookies than we are on your family. Sorry.

    Although if I saw them out in their t-shirts, I probably wouldn’t say anything at all. I’d probably think “Jeez, what’s up with them?,” shrug and take myself over to the dairy case where I hopefully would not get yelled at by a t-shirt just for being there. lol

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I’d forgotten all about customers suck.com since I quit working for the floral middleman company I worked. I used to post there a lot. We had crazy things happening all the time, like the time we got a guy call in with a tickle fetish that was obviously self-molesting while talking to the reps, or the time someone tried to order seven floral deliveries and putting all seven cards together the messages spelled out “I am coming to kill you soon” and death threats. Yes, death threats over floral deliveries. People are crazy.

  • Nightshade

    Yeah, it’s not always (probably most not) intended as an insult. Just an excuse for some martyrbating.

  • Independent Thinker

    I wanted to comment on the T-shirts. How inappropriate. You are teaching your children to approach the world like their feelings are more important than anyone else’s feelings. You are upset over a simple comment and instead of handling the situation with grace you feel the need to be rude and sarcastic in front of your kids. Parents model behavior. My child is taught when someone says something that you don’t like A) Let it go B) Think about their intention C) Think about their feelings or D) Walk away. If it is still bothering you later in the day talk to the person about the situation. If you are never going to see them again who cares move on with life.

  • Nightshade

    I went and took a closer look on their website, and I see that not only do the parents wear those shirts, they have matching bright yellow shirts for each child with name and birth order number on the back, including a onesie for the eighth, currently youngest. AND stickers and license plate on the car to draw even more attention to their family size. I kind of think when you’re going that far out of your way to attract attention you make yourself fair game. Think about it: Why bright yellow, if the whole point isn’t to draw undue notice? Why not a pretty blue, or green?

  • Allison the Great

    Exactly. They can’t be rude to those around them by preaching and protesting and what not and then expect us to treat them with utmost respect. It doesn’t work that way.

  • Allison the Great

    Ever since I started working in retail children have ceased to be adorable. I see them at their worst, when they want something and they’re not getting it.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    It blows my mind that she thinks people saying that she has her hands full is a negative judgement. It’s like commenting on the weather or smiling and saying ‘howdy’, it’ an attempt at polite interaction. Whenever I’ve seen someone struggling with a pile of kids and the door and the grocery cart at the store I’ve been known to say, “Hey, it looks like you have your hands full, here let me get that door for you.”

    Zsuzsanna is purely martyrbating…

  • Independent Thinker

    That definitely reinforces what my family calls the me mentality.

  • gimpi1

    I wouldn’t comment on family-size, but I might comment on the in-your-face T-shirts. If you literally wear your attitude on your chest, people can be excused for commenting on it. If you don’t want to be the topic of conversation, don’t wear clothing covered with confrontation.

  • Nea

    Eek! Did you call the cops?

  • Nea

    She prays people will die? I missed that!

  • Trollface McGee

    Her husband got “famous” for praying for Obama’s death, he regularly prays for LGBT people to be killed. She thinks that the death penalty is appropriate for gay people and extols the virtue of hate. I’m sure there’s more but that would require me to stay on that site much longer than I care for.
    http://stevenandersonfamily.blogspot.com/2009/01/on-judging-hating-and-name-calling_15.html

  • Allison the Great

    Seconded. The Andersons are the most spiteful horrors of human beings that I’ve ever had the displeasure of being exposed to. I wonder how they’d feel if people treated them as they treat others? Who am I kidding? They’d claim it’s persecution and then continue to be… well I probably shouldn’t say that word, but you get my drifts. This word begins with a C one rhymes with “front”. And Bronne from Game of Thrones was right when he told Tyrion that there is no cure for being one. That most certainly applies to this couple.

  • Allison the Great

    Yeah really. It’s not an issue until they make it an issue with their own behavior.

  • Nightshade

    And here I thought he was (in)famous for bullying his wife by carrying her around whether she likes it or not and telling men how to urinate.

  • Allison the Great

    I see this as martyrbating and attention seeking. The people who say this are just making polite conversation in a very awkward situation which I’m guessing happens quite frequently when they’re in a crowded supermarket and they keep tripping over a bunch of kids in matching t-shirts. Those t-shirts in the photograph above and the numbered ones that she mentioned in the post are just way to get attention. I do work in retail and I see families with numerous kids all the time. Am I judging them? Nope. I don’t disapprove of their lifestyle either, unless of course the kids look abused or neglected. Other than that, nobody cares and nobody is judging. Everyone else that doesn’t have the 8 or 9 kids just shrugs and says “meh, glad they’re happy” and they move on with their day. The fact that she had T-shirts made and the fact that she wrote a blog about is just cry for attention, and yeah, they like the idea of being holier than the heathens they see in public places.

  • Allison the Great

    Exactly. They’re doing it solely for attention. I also think that they do this to bait people. As I’ve said in another comment, this family is not exactly pleasant, actually they’re downright insufferable. It would not surprise me one bit if they do this just to start some sort of conflict when, if they were not wearing the shirts, nobody would give two fucks about their family size. They advertise it for sole purpose of drawing attention to themselves so they can complain about criticism from the heathens.

  • Trollface McGee

    That too…yeesh the pissing thing was both horrible and hilarious – who gets that angry about the direction of one’s urethra?
    But there’s so much more… and it’s all so bad, like the greatest hits of vile stupidity all rolled into one person.

  • Trollface McGee

    Yeah, while it gets annoying, it’s the kind of thing that one says when trying to make small-talk with a stranger. Nor is it particularly mean or inaccurate – kids are a lot of work, lots of kids are a lot more work. Acknowledging that something is hard or time consuming doesn’t equate to condemnation.
    Martyrbating indeed.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Wait, what? He tells guys how to pee? How did I miss that?

  • Nea

    Okay, so it’s rude for people to judge the size of their family (despite all of the attention they deliberately draw to it) but it’s totes okay for them to judge people worthy of death.

    Wow.

  • Nea

    Oh, I’ve heard of the carrying around. He sounds even more insecure than Michael Pearl, and that’s saying a LOT.

  • Trollface McGee
  • Anonyme

    I wonder if the Andersons are affiliated with Westboro Baptist.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Wow, he is even more twisted that I thought. Just posted this as a new QQ. I lived in Germany for some years and never once saw signs ordering men to pee sitting down. Asked my husband and he said he saw no signs saying that either. We both speak and read German. I wonder if Anderson was just failing in his German translations and misunderstood what the sign actually says.

    And about this King James Version all the most fundamentalist squee over? Do they have any comprehension who this “King James” was that ordered the translation? He was someone they would consider an awful sinner, right down to the fact that he had gay lovers he promoted to high office. He did things that would turn Anderson and his ilk off. Buuahahah.. I love the universe’s sense of humor.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Okay, he starts citing a Bible verse saying that God is going to destroy “him that pisseth against the wall”… and somehow come to the conclusion that it’s immoral for men to pee sitting down?!?

    This guy has serious issues.

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    This is why I think it would be a great idea to start marketing “emergency tranquilizer gun”-vending machines to retailers worldwide. They’d quiet children who are acting like wild things, bring a peaceful end to hostile conversations with family or the in-laws…heck, having one of these machines on a plane will for sure transform a flight with a seat-back-kicker and other awfulness into a peaceful and serene experience of the miracle that is flight!

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    ***If they can’t keep track of the one or twelve kids enough to keep them from racing around paying no attention to anything or anyone, would it be horrible to suggest that they keep their kids on leashes?

  • Nightshade

    Twisted indeed.

  • Astrin Ymris

    If you read Zsuzsanna’s replies to the Comments, it’s clear that she’s really not loving having another child every 1-2 years.

    “…at the store, I’m not the most positive person about having a large family… We don’t have a large family, homeschool, etc. because it’s all sweetness and light, easy as pie, and pretty to every onlooker. We do those things because they are the right things to do…”

    I think there may be some projection involved in her perceiving innocuous conversation-making as negative judgement on her chosen lifestyle. I wonder how close she is to saying “Screw this for a game of soldiers” and leaving Mr. Pisses Against the Wall?

  • Randomosity

    Her deity has failed to kill me. Guess I’m stronger than her deity. We all are.

  • My fav reply to, “Don’t you know what causes that?” was “Yes, and I happen to enjoy it!” My reply to, “You have your hands full” was “Yes, and my heart is full, too.” I don’t get the comments much anymore, because I am rarely out and about with more than three of my ten kids since most are teens or adults. It is a crazy life, for sure.