NPR has a new story about the Quiverfull Movement – a sect of Christianity that believes they should have as many children as they can. (Come to think of it, that’s a bit like Mormon teachings – which says families should have as many children as they can handle.)
It’s originally based on Psalms 127:3-5
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
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.
They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.
Ignoring the obvious gender preference here, the verse is essentially saying that having sons will enable you to beat-back your enemies with superior numbers.
From the article:
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… 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.
I have to admit that it’s irritating when people believe God will intervene to bring about the right situation – and then use that to avoid any planning. This kind of action could easily lead to overpopulation. I don’t know how many people the earth could support, but if everyone did this, the global population would skyrocket.
“We just started thinking, ‘God is sovereign over life and death. God opens and closes the womb,’ ” Kelly says. “That’s what his word says, so why we’re trying to fiddle around and controlling ourselves, we need to stop doing that.”
This lack of foresight and personal responsibility is galling.
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.
That’s also the hope of Nancy Campbell, a leader of the Quiverfull movement and author of Be Fruitful and Multiply.
“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.”
A Christian God, that is. Campbell says if believers don’t starting reproducing in large numbers, biblical Christianity will lose its voice.
How about actually coming up with some decent evidence to convert people? I guess indoctrinating children is a whole lot easier when it comes to dominating the world with your religious views.
“We look across the Islamic world and we see that they are outnumbering us in their family size, and they are in many places and many countries taking over those nations, without a jihad, just by multiplication,” Campbell says.”
Admittedly, I think it is scary how fast some parts of the Muslim world is reproducing. However, fertility rates actually vary from one Islamic nation to the next, and the fertility rates have been dropping – Iran, for example, is down to about 1.71 children born/woman. Thirty years ago, that was much higher. The right-wing media likes to play up the high reproduction rates of some Middle Eastern nations though – because they’re very big on promoting fear.
“They speak about, ‘If everyone starts having eight children or 12 children, imagine in three generations what we’ll be able to do,’ ” Joyce says. ” ‘We’ll be able to take over both halls of Congress, we’ll be able to reclaim sinful cities like San Francisco for the faithful, and we’ll be able to wage very effective massive boycotts against companies that are going against God’s will.’ “
Yikes. These people and their legion of indoctrinated children are hoping to take over. It’s like some bad Christian Dominionist fantasy.
When [Misty and Seth Huckstead] were 23, already with four children, he had a vasectomy. But they searched the Bible and concluded that sterilization was an affront to God.
An affront to God? Well, I guess all the logical arguments in the world can’t make them change their minds – they’re doing what god wants.
Misty says she’ll have as many children as possible. She loves having babies and believes it’s the proper role for women.
The proper place for women: barefoot and pregnant.
By the way, I just noticed The Friendly Atheist has a short post about the Quivefull Movement.