Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ponderings About The Quiverfull Movement

Many Americans are riveted by the story of the Duggars and their nineteen children. Even with the serious difficulties involved in the birth of their 19th child they are praying to have another child. The Duggars are part of a fundamentalist religious movement called Quiverfull, or QF for short. Quiverfull is a movement to have as many children as possible so they can be raised up in the religion to serve as soldiers for the Lord.

I think it's a pretty kooky thing to do - to have as many children as you can until the mother either dies or can have no more. I think that each child ought to be treated as a gift - for real. It doesn't make a gift more valuable to bury it amidst a dozen newer gifts. I think each child deserves to be cherished as an individual, not raised in rigid conformity to be part of a movement without preparation for any other life.

What I find odd is that many mainstream Christians support people who are QF activists. They claim that as long as the children are not filthy or starving or being beaten a person has the right to have as many children as they can make their body produce before dying. They praise the Duggars and those like the Duggars and comment on how wonderful the children are and how clean and well mannered. In the same breath they condemn people with children who are on Welfare. It seems only certain people should have a lot of children.

They'll argue that while millions suffer and die due to overpopulation the Quiverfull people aren't a problem because their children aren't starving, brown children in poor nations are. You get the idea that there could never be too many Duggars in their eyes, that even if the whole world were suffering from starvation and choking on human waste the Duggars and other Quiverfull families still ought to have even more children.

There's this idea that the poorly educated broods being birthed and homeschooled by these folks are superior to the rest of humanity. Yes, the kids are polite but what will happen to any of the young ladies in the family if they choose to do something else with their lives? What if one of them wants to be a doctor? She's not allowed to go to college, even if she ran away her schooling wouldn't qualify her to get into college. The poorest of the poor in our country get a better education. So the girls' only choice in life is to continue in the fundamentalist religious group, to bear children unto her death or to escape from that fate and try to claw her way up in life without any tools.

But I also get this feeling, that if the world were overcrowded so badly that the Quiverfull Movement folks could see it, so that they were actively rather than passively competing for resources - I have the feeling that they'd keep having kids and make their children literal soldiers to make room for more of them. What do you think?

Currently in the news - 12 out of 19 Duggar kids have chicken pox. If they are all precious gifts from God then why the heck aren't they current on their vaccinations?

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