Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wadda Ya Think?

I was listening to Morning Edition on KQED-FM this morning (hey, I'm a Bay Area guy, born in Oakland. Waddaya think I'm gonna listen to, WNYC-FM? Well, okay, sometimes I do), and there was a story on the Quiverfill Movement. Have you heard of this? These are people who believe that God will give one the proper amount of children. Apparently they also believe that they have to produce lotsa kids for God's Army against the Heathen Muslims and Everyone Else. Kinda interesting discussion for the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lord. Then, to top things off, later today I made one of my little forays into the territory of the Not Really Anglican But So They Claim territory, at a site to which I shant link, but their initials are Titus 1:9, where our Christian Brothers and Sisters were discussing the same program. The general belief there was that Of Course All True Christians™ believe that God will decide how many children one should have; just trust in him!

Okay, I'm a missionary. I depend on God for lotsa stuff. I depend on God to keep me outta the Poorhouse and I haven't been disappointed. I've got lots of stories about trusting in God to supply my needs. But I have never, NEVER depended on God for birth control. While our dear friend and brother Fred Preuss may think that I am a total nut-case mystic, I believe he is wrong. The Lovely Mona and I decided that two children would be enough, and I had a little visit to the Vet (Only $25.00 with a coupon from the Santa Clara County SPCA, and I had to spend the night in a cage and eat kibble, but it was worth it) after our darling Anne was born. I've never regretted this decision. We have several "adopted" kids, and I love them just as much as I love my biological issue. I trust God for a lot, but, as far as I can tell, God is not very much interested in Human Birth Control, so if ya keep poking yer wife without pills or balloons or anything, ya has a good chance a makin' more babies. I really don't understand this kind of thinking.

It seems to me that there are plenty of babies without parents, children available for adoption, for those who believe that God wants families to be huge. But we are no longer living in an agricultural society. We no longer need twelve kids to run the friggin' farm. I'm the eldest of four, which was just under the Official Count for a large family (anything over six was considered "farm family" back in the sixties). My paternal grandmother was the eldest of nine (my dad's Uncle Jack was two years younger than he; you know that was fun!), and she was not a fan of Big Families.

What do you think? Is this Quiverfull thing just another crazy wingnut insane white-fundy thang, or do you think that God will regulate the correct number of children for your family? Tell me all about it in the comments, and, I will respect your opinion, as long as you make sense.


David |Dah • veed| said...

Dear friend and brother Fred Preuss

Obviously not the atheist, racist I have encountered. Must be someone else.

As far as kids. Some of us are from bigger families. I myself am a later marriage accident, but I never knew it growing up. And yes I have a couple of uncles my age. But normally our family does not leave things like that to God or Mother Nature or chance.

We operate out of the logic of praying as if everything depends on God and work as if everything depends on you. You know, use your head!

it's margaret said...

Well, to follow that logic.... God must also be responsible for the loss of pregnancies too... so God's gots lotsa 'splainin' to do. I lost nine....

Honestly, I don't think God is a micro-manager. And I don't think would choose to give an abuser lots of children, and me none.

Just saying Quiverfull thinking is beyond screwy, and shot full of holes.

something bodyish going on here --my word thingy is "femor"

Caminante said...

Bless you for being responsible!

I heard the piece this morning and groaned. It is totally wingnut.

Ann said...

Whacko --- that is what I think. Our neighbors had 13 living children when I was a child --- they were RC and used some RC method of keeping the numbers down -- did not work obviously. God may have set up the procreation system but does not stop if from working. There is something wrong with the quiverfull men - they seem to have to prove their manliness by getting women pregnant -- gotta wonder what that proves.

Reverend Ref + said...

It's not so much that Quiver Full depends on God for birth control, as much as I think they feel that society is going to hell in a handbasket and they need to populate the earth with Really True Good Christians (tm) in order to combat the problem.

It's Christian Victory through numbers. Or something like that. And yes, it's whacked.

Apparently all you need to do to be Really True Good Christians (tm) is to keep our wimmin pregnant and pray to Jabez for wealth and victory.

PeachMcD in Durham NC said...

I read about the QF movement last year in Newsweek, and was so horrified I found the online article and mailed it to every priest I knew.

I didn't know yr email then or you woulda got a copy.

The general premise is that God Will Provide for all those who do His (sic) will. The Amerikan Kristian Church (cf German Christian Church, c.1939) is urging their wimmin to breed them an army of righteousness. The families contributing baby soldiers will find Providence ready to feed the mouths of His (sic) elect.

I would say they're insane, but having seen Jesus Camp, I know they're deadly serious - and so are their poor children.

Kyrie elieson!

Tara Mobley said...

The Quiverfull Movement is terrifying. I believe they don't accept things like Postpartum Depression, disposition towards eclampsia, or other such things as possibly God's way of saying "Quit it with the kids and get some birth control!" Women are incubators for God's army, and the only way to defeat the heathens is to outbreed them.


I'd rather have fewer children and know I can take care of them.

Lindy said...

I think this Quiverfull thing just another crazy wingnut insane white-fundy thang.

Al Mohler of the Southern Baptists even claims that global population is dangerously declining... I mean, it's just lies, damn lies, and statistics. Mainly lies.

Rowan The Dog, Bishop of Playing said...

Dear Padre,

I wanted to be a responsible and manly dog so I had the same procedure as you. Why? Because there are already too many puppies without nice homes. I feel that this was the right thing to do and that I am a better man-type dog for it.

Your buddy,


+Maya Pavlova said...

Dear Padre Mickey,
Like my brother bishop +Rowan, I too had a little procedure. I was a very girly girl cat before and I still am. You can ask all those humans I flirt with. I did have a litter when I was very, very young, right after the nice people at the shelter found me, "a baby having babies" they called me. They also said my kittens were "cuties" and I think they found them a home; I don't remember them very well. I know that I like where I am now with my Jane and that it wasn't God who gave me those kittens, let me tell you. It was some tomcat I met in my extreme youth.
+Maya Pavlova, FBE

P.S. The Canon to the Extraordinary says that oddly, she did not hear the NPR story but that she just wrote a mutual friend of ours about Quiverfull this week because of an interesting article on it she saw in The Nation. I think she also saw that item in Newsweek. Everyone not in this movement seems to have discovered them at the same time. Here are some links from her, cut and pasted from that letter she wrote our friend. Myself, I think she does too much research. I'd rather nap.

This week's article in The Nation by the woman who wrote a book about Quiverfull.

And see this and this for an inside look. (Websites from the movement.)

And for a different view. (Blog by a former member with some info on some of the casualties of this movement but with respect for the women in it.)

Billcat said...

God may not be terribly interested in birth control but, when one counts how many sons he had.....

If God did not find it necessary to raise an army, it might be wise for Christians to do likewise.

Kirkepiscatoid said...

I think the other thing we tend to forget is "back in the day" infant/child mortality and maternal mortality was much higher. There was a very real chance that a woman might birth nine children and see four live to adulthood. That, I believe are the roots of the polygamy thing, too, if you want to get right down to it.

God bless anyone who chooses to have a large family; my friends from large families often find it a blessing; but I also notice most of them seem to have no more than three children themselves. But God's commandment? Uh, in the days the Jews were wandering nomads, sure, I get the reasoning; but not now....

Mary Clara said...

Barking mad.

+clumber said...

I'm with Mary Clara, but with different punctuation:

Barking. Mad.

Metella said...

I was talking to a seriously RC friend of mine about something like this just yesterday (lovely woman, but a bit off the rails about this lately--I hope she gets better soon!) and I wondered where in the world she could possibly be getting the idea that there aren't enough people populating the earth these days. I'll have to educate myself about this Al Mohler person (thanks Lindy)

Fred Preuss said...


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