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Pagan Sphinx is doing some interesting writing on the Peace Tree. She found an NPR story on the "Quiverful Movement" that merits concern. The article takes a features approach to this nuttiness, missing out on most of the hard news angles. What is the "Quiverful Movement"?

Among some conservative Christians, a movement is giving new meaning to the biblical mandate to "be fruitful and multiply."

The movement, called Quiverfull, is based on Psalm 127, which says, "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."

Those in the Quiverfull movement shun birth control, believing that God will give them the right number of children. It turns out, that's a lot of kids.

How much breeding is going on here?
Their friends do, too. The average family at their evangelical church has 8.5 kids. They are children who the Swansons hope will spread the message of Christ.

The thing about this figure is that most of those fundamentalist families haven't stopped having kids. You can expect that many of these women have had over ten kids or will eventually.

Women dying in childbirth has been a tragically common thing through most of human history. Medical advances have played a major role in cutting way back on this cause of death, but so has limiting family sizes. If women keep having babies until menopause, you have to wonder how many of them won't make it to menopause.

Then, the whole issue of Global Warming comes into play. Having kids, especially large numbers of kids, is bad for the planet. At what point does society have to place limits on reproduction when excessive reproduction has terrible consequences for all the humans, and for our planet's ecology. That's why I laugh when Rick Warren pretends that he is concerned about climate change while opposing birth control and abortion. In the real world, you cannot have it both ways.

The motives behind this fundamentalist irresponsibility are both disturbing and encouraging. Nancy Campbell, a leader of this fundie movement and the religious extremist who wrote Be Fruitful and Multiply explains the mindset.
"The womb is such a powerful weapon; it's a weapon against the enemy," Campbell says.

Campbell has 35 grandchildren. She and her husband stopped at six kids, and it is her great regret.

"I think, help! Imagine if we had had more of these children!" Campbell says, adding, "My greatest impact is through my children. The more children I have, the more ability I have to impact the world for God."

She goes on to express her fears about the way that Muslims are outbreeding Christians.

This is a sicko mentality, but it does have an interesting aspect to it. The militant, Christian fundamentalists wouldn't be so concerned about breeding like rabbits instead of humans if they thought that their faith was persuading the world or even the US of its veracity. In many ways, the "Quiverful Movement" is an admission by the Christian Taliban that they are losing the battle to make American a fundie country via evangelism.

It also reflects disappointment on the Christian Right that the imperial conquest of Iraq did not lead to mass conversions to Christianity. The latter was highly unrealistic, but many in the Christian Taliban firmly believed this would happen, and it was one of their reasons for supporting the Iraq War.

The only way they ever have even the slightest hope of being a majority even here in the United States is to breed like crazy and hope their kids don't realize how crazy their parents are. The "Quiverful Movement" is a tacit admission that the Christian Right is losing the war, though they are hurting plenty of people needlessly as they continue to battle on.

There also is an interesting aspect of this. A woman writer is pushing efforts to objectify women and their reproductive systems. This should illustrate something that is true of other prejudices and systems of oppression. Male supremacy is not a genetic trait passes along with the Y chromosome. It is an ideology that far too many women buy into.



  1. S. Saugus Says:
  2. My family did its part in combating the irrationality of religion. We were raised in no religion, and will pass that enlightenment on to our children, and they, in turn, onto theirs.

    There are a lot of us out here. A lot.

  3. two crows Says:
  4. hi, Libhom--
    way back, about 40 years ago, my boyfriend asked me, 'What will our kids be like? They'll have nothing to rebel against."

    I laughed and said, "Are you kidding? They'll become ultraconservatives!"

    oh, lordy, how I wish I had been wrong.

    the upside, tho, is this: a majority of the kids all these fundies are having are likely to rebel against the rigidity that's being forced on them -- as well as their parents' motives for bringing them into the world in the first place -- and go the ultra-liberal route.
    so, there may be hope for this country yet -- and it'll be brought about by the very people who want to destroy it.
    and won't THAT be a kick in the arse for their parents? ;)

  5. Ceara Says:
  6. Ugh, that post sounded like my partner's sister. She's pregnant with her seventh kid. Still plans on having more. They are far right fundies and are doing their duty for God.


  7. Karlo Says:
  8. I quiver at the thought of more poor edjumicated fundies trying to outproduced the brown masses. These people are like the brother-in-law who always shows up at the family reunion drunk and obnoxious.

  9. Random parenthood. Ugh.



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