Thursday, April 16, 2009

Evangelism Through Child Bearing

I first heard about these people on an NPR interview and one of the proponents seemed to think that Christian women having more babies than Muslim women was the way "take over". My reaction at the time was mostly amusement. Oh here's another crazy group. But these people are not harmless. In this Salon article, "All God's Children", author Karen Joyce who wrote a book about these nuts, Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement, shows how "the Quiverfull movement saddles women with a life of submission and near-constant pregnancies."

Now I know there are Christian traditions --including the "official" teaching of Roman Catholicism that forbids birth control...but these people - Quiverfull-- are just wack. My Roman Catholic college room mate is my age and has ten children. But even she, when she had health problems and her husband got a new job and they moved, was smart enough to use natural methods to avoid #11 The Quiverfull folk tell women whose lives might be endangered by pregnancy and childbirth to look to the early Christian martyrs for examples of sacrificing your life for Jesus. You know, because dying needlessly in childbirth is so the same thing as refusing to acknowledge Caesar as God.

I wonder if in all their home schooling they ever get to the part of the early church where Christianity offered women an alternative to marrying at 13 and having babies until they died?

This is an evil movement. The effect on women who become almost suicidal under the pressure of being perfectly submissive, having baby after baby regardless of their health is devastating. And it absolutely killed any faith of the women interviewed who got out.

It breaks my heart to see that these women have been so traumatized they cannot see the freedom of the Kingdom Christ proclaimed. This is all one former member can take away from the bible:
"I don't think you can get equality out of the Bible. You can't get away from hierarchy, strictly defined roles for gender, authoritarianism, submission, dominating." That is so not what Christ was about Somebody is going to after to answer to God for this preversion of the message of freedom and equality in Christ!


  1. Agreed, it is very evil. At first, I thought ok, is an odd cultural thing... but after reading the salon article, and then the followup blog, there is no question.

    Of course to base a whole lifestyle off of one verse ought to have set up warning signs, but sadly far too many fell for it.

    It is encouraging to see the growing following on the blog, as well as their forum. Hopefully such can prevent others from going astray. The thing is, when they add up all of their messed up theology, thats so interdependent, they feel if they throw out one part, the whole thing collapses, and their faith along with it.

    Any idea how to reach out to folks in this situation? Obviously as a guy, its likely not to be very practical. Yet, there has to be something that can be done to help them come back to Christ, minus all the garbage.

  2. That's a good question. I think this is why it's so important that we get the word out that all Christians are not like the nuts that the media loves to pick up on. One of my questions was "Why was that movement attractive to begin with?" because most women I know would be like "Eighteen children? Are you out of your freakin mind??" What is the need that movement meets and how can we show that real Christianity meets it better (or if it is an unhealthy need - challenge it in a safe way?"

  3. I think I said on your Facebook page that I'm always horrified when people have more than two, or at the absolute maximum three children (I do hope I don't show it, whatever I may say in private, when it's people like my husband's nephew, who has four!); our planet doesn't need any more people and we should aim for ZPG if we possibly can.

    And "It is for freedom Christ has set us free"! I wish I had known the truth of that and not wasted nearly 20 years trying to be something I wasn't - especially as I could have been preaching for many of those 20 years!