Monday, November 21, 2011

Quiver Me Timbers

I was involved in an exchange regarding QF a couple of days ago on a friend's FB page. Some things that were said there, things on which QFers hang their religious hats, were and are bewildering. All the more reason for me to view the P/QF movement (just like the Christian homeschooling movement that undergirds it) as a full blown cult. QF isn't really something you can "dabble" in. The mind has to be given over completely to some terribly irrational concepts, and in my opinion, a lack of personal responsibility comes to the forefront as the goal for a group of people stuck in perpetual immaturity, spiritual and otherwise.

As is usually the case, I'll lack the grace of others in addressing this stuff. I may use the verbage of a brute, but so be it. I'm not really looking at QF from a "biblical" perspective. It has no biblical perspective, no biblical basis, no "biblical". I'm often asked, "Why don't you argue your points biblically?" The answer being for the same reason I won't pour an alcoholic a drink. They've already proven they don't know how to handle it. Same for Imbiblers. Their imbibling is the primary symptom of their religious addiction, and until the addiction itself is addressed, no sense in me pouring them another glass of bible to misuse and mishandle. They'll only take from it that which feeds the addiction, and they'll reject the rest. Until logic and critical thought become a part of their process, it's a waste of time.

[Kristen addresses the lack of biblical support for the belief system, and does so well, here]

Some of the arguments made by a proponent of the QF practice in the recent exchange were as follows (some slightly paraphrased)...

"We can trust God for how many children He will send. We trust him for everything else."
"Being Quiverfull is not a falsehood at all, so could you clarify what is false about trusting God."
"If someone wants to trust God for the size of their family that is admirable."
"If they wanna talk about abuse, that is universal, from families with no kids to many. Abuse comes in many forms, but is metered out by humans...mere mortals in need of a Savior." 
"Who makes babies?...So you know more than God?"
"To label a group of people as abusers when you and I both know God is Sovereign should really bother every poster reading this thread."
And my personal favorite..."Are children the only blessing we refuse more of? It's not a large family issue. It's a trust issue."

Total P/QF cult robot-speak. Ironically, to be coming from a person who has personal issues with Stacy McDonald, this person sounds just like her. Also ironic is that a person who supposedly loves to debate is so poor at it, devoid of logic and critical thought while totally committed to the movement's talking points. If I wanted to hear her arguments I'd just read Stacy's blog, or Kelly Crawford's, or any number of other blogs that I have no interest in reading. There's really no difference, and I only have a limited amount of willingness to shut down my brain.

To address the comments individually...

"We can trust God for how many children He will send. We trust him for everything else."

In context, that's a blatant lie. Blatant. Do you trust God for transportation? Then why do you have a car? Do you trust God for food? Then why do you have a pantry and a fridge? There's MORE biblical basis for the idea you should "trust God" to supernaturally transport and feed you than for the idea that you should "trust God" for how many children He'll send. "Trusting God" and willingly being irresponsible and stupid don't go hand in hand. Maybe you should "trust God" for a little common sense and personal responsibility.

"Being Quiverfull is not a falsehood at all, so could you clarify what is false about trusting God."

That could be labeled as one of several disingenuous forms of argument - appeal to prejudice, straw man, redefinition, among others. No one in the exchange expressed anything resembling the idea that "trusting God" was a falsehood. "Being Quiverfull" and "trusting God" aren't the same thing. It was very manipulative, and very cultic, for this person to choose that route. If you believe that "being Quiverfull" is taught within the books of the bible, THAT's a falsehood. If you believe "being QF" is "trusting God" rather than passing the responsibility and consequence of personal actions off to God, THAT's a fallacy.

"If someone wants to trust God for the size of their family that is admirable."

When God gives us common sense (hopefully) and knowledge of what happens when two fertile people have sex at certain times, QF isn't admirable at all, but reckless and irresponsible in many/most cases.

"If they wanna talk about abuse, that is universal, from families with no kids to many. Abuse comes in many forms, but is metered out by humans...mere mortals in need of a Savior."

Nice Stacy McDonald and "Abigail" impersonation and deflection there. P/QF beliefs are the abuse. Yes, different types of abuse happen in ALL kinds of families, but not P/QF abuse. Not all families are P/QF, Christian homeschooling cults.

"Who makes babies?...So you know more than God?"

What I know is that God gave me the common sense and knowledge to know that if me and a women decide to go at it regularly like a couple of drunk monkeys, and we're both fertile, babies will happen. The same way I know that if I put my hand in a fire it'll burn. The same way I know that if I eat high-cholesterol fatty foods 8 times a day I'll be making regular doctor visits. The same way I know that if I plant grass seed I'll probably be mowing regularly. The same way I know that if I jump in front of a bus doing 60mph, I'll be a greasy spot. It really isn't that hard to figure out.

I'd offer THIS question to QFers in response...If an unmarried woman becomes pregnant, did God make a baby? Or did two people have sinful, lustful, sweaty, hellbound sex? Funny what a little perspective can do - provided we don't worship the "institution of marriage" to the point where perspective is moot.

"To label a group of people as abusers when you and I both know God is Sovereign should really bother every poster reading this thread."

In the discussion where this statement was offered, no one had called anyone an abuser - at least not to my knowledge. But, for the record, I'll once again state my personal view that the P/QF belief system itself is abusive. A few other things, too, like "dumb", but abusive will suffice for the point in question. Also, my view  and this person's view of God's "sovereignty" are entirely different things. For starters, I don't use an "S", but feel more than comfortable with an "s" - and I have no interest in worshiping a God who renders me nothing more than a pawn in a controlled environment.

"Are children the only blessing we refuse more of? It's not a large family issue. It's a trust issue."

When it's taken out of context over and over and over and over and over again by QFers, the idea of children being a "blessing" loses its meaning and significance. And a freaking "trust issue"? Seriously? That tripe again? If you want some "bible", every time I hear that QF is a "trust issue", it reminds me of this...

Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say,

   ‘He will order his angels to protect you.
   And they will hold you up with their hands
   so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’”

Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”

And that's pretty much how I feel about QFers "trusting God" with something he gave them the resources, knowledge, and power to do for themselves. Lazy spirituality cloaked in Christianese with a "faith" facade.

And to those of you who practice QF who "mean well", you've been duped. Your belief is nothing but a stool pigeon of the dominionist movement. It has nothing to do with God. It has everything to do with numbers. Like I wrote here...

"Hmmm. So how do we get the numbers we need? I've got it! Breeding! But if we tell our people to just start outbreeding everyone, that'll never really sell. Sounds kinda kooky and cultic. Hmmm. So how do we do this? Hmmm. I've got it! We'll make it biblical! We'll tie it into their faith and godliness and stuff! We'll give 'em the Kool-aid under the guise of homeschooling and "family values" and stuff! They'll never even notice! Someone get Mary Pride in here ASAP!"

{CLA}If you want to have a large family, and you can provide for the physical, material, and emotional needs of a large family, knock yourself out. I fully support you. Just don't make it a religious thing, or try to sell me on the idea that it's a "faith" thing. You'll just have a quiver as full of shit as the people who sold you the Kool-aid.


  1. There is also the issue of many children giving a woman no way out if things go bad. I have personally experienced and seen patriarchal men get very comfortable and confident with the fact that they can do whatever they want and act however they want because their wife would not be able to support the children or have anywhere to go if she left with 6, 7, 8 etc children. It can be unwittingly or purposefully used as a form of bondage.

  2. There's a definite flouting of logic in this system of thinking.

    Basically, if you believe God is sovereign over the womb, it really shouldn't matter what you do because either way you'll end up with exactly the number of children He wants you to have. By definition, there is no way to take power (more specifically, the power over the womb) away from someone who is omnipotent. Either God is NOT sovereign and He wants you to have a thousand kids-- and it is therefore solely your own responsibility to accomplish that--, or He IS sovereign and you just follow the rules of reality and it'll all work out from there.

    It looks like QF is less "trusting" than it seems.

    Also, when you whipped out the Jesus' temptation story (and, for that matter, the unwed mother question), I was like, "Oh, SNAP! What now, QF?"

  3. Wait. Drunk monkeys have sex? Interesting. I knew I come here for knowledge and insight.

  4. An un-lauded consequence of the movement are the families that buy into the trust thing and end up broke. What's worse is that the whole trust thing is slammed on the broke families heads when it comes to finances as well.

    "Oh, you're broke? God more! We do and now we're super rich!"

    Will the rich in this movement give to the poor? Hell no!

  5. I REALLY like Andrea Grace's comment up there. That was always a question of mine.

    It's almost like QF folks think kids cease to be a blessing once they are born. You know, "Well, we just squeezed the last drop of blessing out of that one... better get to work on the next one!"

    There is another issue I have with the whole children-as-multitudinous-blessings thing. I have an autistic four year old daughter. When she's good she's amazing, but when she's bad she's horrid. I know I sound like an awful parent but some days don't seem like much of a blessing. In fact, I wonder some days what in the world I did as a kid that was so awful--my parents did always say that our kids give us payback for the trouble we gave our parents. Don't get me wrong--that child is my heart and the very air I breathe. I wouldn't change her for anything. But would a QF family feel so blessed if they suddenly found themselves to be the humbled parents of a child like her? Probably not. I'm saddened to think that if my daughter had landed in the hands of a QF family they might have Pearled her to death by now. Instead of just handling her with the patience and love she requires they would have tried to beat her into submission and break the little spirit that both amazes and confounds me.

    Yes, they might truly believe that children are a blessing, but only when the child conforms nicely to the neat and tidy little boxes QF allows.

  6. This argument that claims that we don't refuse more of other blessings is rubbish. Food is a blessing, but there is definitely a point where we should refuse to have any more. The scriptures also tell us that wine is a blessing -- certainly it is only a blessing if we know when to say to say we've had enough. God's glorious sunshine is a blessing -- but I happen to live in the country with the highest skin cancer rates in the world.Wealth is a blessing, but pursuing it mindlessly is very destructive.Sex is a blessing, but these people would be the first to put boundaries on when and with whom. Rain is a blessing, but we all know what a flood is. Fire is a blessing -- but definitely only within certain confines. Why in the world is there this special pleading for the blessing of children?

  7. On the issue of Sovereignty- what in the HELL does that have to do with people being abusers? It seems as the the person you were arguing with Lewis, seems to think that a Sovereign God would prevent the abuses of people?? Unfortunately we live in a system of free will, and the fact that God DOES allow people to sin and abuse others wrongfully is well documented - by the awful abuses in the juvenile sex trade in places such as Thailand, for instance. Incidentally, many of those young children are sold into prostitution because their parents cannot afford to feed the rest of their children... Hmm. Is God any less sovereign?

  8. The issue is how a person views God. Is He in total control or does He allow people to make choices? I would bet that 99% of the people in the QF movement are reformed in their thinking.

    I used to be in the QF mindset, and I got there through reading a book that distorted Scripture in order to prove that this was what God wanted for families and that He is in utter control of the womb. If you get pregnant, then God did it. Essentially, it was my introduction to Calvinism, though I didn't hear that actual word until a few years later. Calvinists believe that God controls every minute detail of our lives, including pregnancy. The way verses are taken out of context (and not just verses about procreation and children) is insidious.

    While in this mindset, my reasoning was that I wanted to do what it took to please God. If God wanted me to have many children, then that's what I should do. If I tried to prevent pregnancy, then I was sinning against God because I wasn't trusting Him. Yes, I was overwhelmed, and many days I still am. I am thankful that God rescued me from this lie (btw, He used Michael Pearl to do this), but at the same time I am thankful for my children and can't imagine life without them.

    Please understand, I do not blame anyone but myself for being deceived. But Satan is at work through reformed theology and he is very good at deceiving people. And even now, as I read through this note trying to explain my thinking through that period of my life, it doesn't make sense because Calvinism doesn't make sense. It is not rational, and I for sure wasn't rational or logical in my thinking back then. Thank God for His mercy.

  9. Lewis, -- yes! I have pointed out that passage about Jesus being tempted to throw himself off the Temple before as well. Also, there's a passage in Genesis about how Abraham and Lot had to split up because it got to where they had more livestock than the land could support. There is such a thing as too much blessing!

  10. I am staggered, confounded, and just generally want to eat my hat at the comment about God being sovereign and that somehow meaning that people aren't capable of being abusive. See, I don't even know how to paraphrase it without sounding like a moron!

    There are LOTS of people in this world who abuse other people. MANY of them are Christians who say they believe in God's sovereignty. You can believe in it all you want, but the Bible says we all still sin. How does this argument make any, any sense?

    To Anonymous two posts up: Thanks for chiming in with your two cents! I am still a little confused though, and wondering if you could clarify: When P/QF people say they believe God is sovereign over the womb, what exactly does that mean? Obviously QFers must realize that there ARE indeed physical means to control the womb, that's the whole point of telling people NOT to use the pill. Because they recognize that birth control WILL stop a pregnancy and they don't want that. Right?

    So is the emphasis on sovereignty over the womb more of a call on people to GIVE UP the control they have over their wombs, and give it back to God? (In that case God hasn't chosen to be very sovereign over the womb now has he?)

    Just needing that point cleared up.

    Lewis, I can't even imagine trying to have a conversation like the one you have described in this post. I want to weep for everyone who is heavily involved in this movement. I went on the Vision Forum web site yesterday and left it without really seeing anything that talked about Jesus Christ, or evangelism....just a bunch of things that worship the human institution of the family.

    Clearly, this is idolatry at its height. I feel ill when I think of it.

  11. Here's a question to toss into Lake Quiverfull. I've wondered about this for a long time and never really have gotten a satisfactory answer. If we're supposed to "give God control of the womb" (as if a sovereign God didn't have control already), why stop there? If we follow the logic to its reasonably conclusion, shouldn't we be letting Him regulate our bladder and bowel functions too?

    Just sayin' ....

    Jim K.

  12. Ideally I'd like to have more kids. In a perfect world, five sounds right. I love kids. I have two kids, and they are enough, and I love them dearly. I'd still like to have more kids. If I don't, that's ok, and I'm thrilled to have the wonderful family that I do.

    But I haven't been able to have more, for various reasons.

    I guess God doesn't want to bless me. It hasn't been from lack of trying that I don't have more kids. Maybe I don't have enough faith. Maybe I'm an unfit parent, or my husband is, or we both are. Maybe we're not God's favorite.

    I could never understand the QF movement for this painful CRUEL it is to those who cannot conceive, whether they can't have children at all or desire more children. Because if you reverse all that logic up there, where does it leave ME? Where does it leave the barren?

    It's cruel, and not only to the exhausted, resentful, bound mother and her wanted-but-unwanted's cruel to all of us.

    The two I do have, I struggled to conceive. Particularly my second daughter. There's a four year gap in between their ages, and that definitely wasn't on purpose.

    It has been a very painful experience to watch the trainwreck of a family who is fertile like rabbits but unable to cope with it, and all the resentment it breeds. I'd gladly trade you problems, or at least, I'll take a few of your kids off your hands. They'll be loved and well cared-for.

    It is so painful to hear them go on and on about how children are blessings, and the mark of a good family is that there are many of them...while month after month the second pink line shies away.

    I don't even know if I want to post this, because it's so raw and painful.

    The ideology of the movement leads to a very schizo version of God...on the side of the plentiful family, He is meting out blessing and honor. What does that make Him to me? It leads to things like, maybe I'm being punished because I don't want 10 hundred kids and just a few more? Maybe it's all my fault. Maybe He hates me.

    It is cruel, and it is divisive, and it is destructive and not just to the immediate family it has its grips in.

  13. @ Anonymous, to answer your question, I can't speak for every person that is/was QF, but as for my thinking, I felt that it was my responsibility to let God do what He wanted to do with the size of our family and not try to stop pregnancy from happening. I totally agree with your comment about people deciding to "give up" control of the womb. That's more of what it is. They say they believe God is "sovereign", but deep down, they really don't believe it because they know it is possible to prevent pregnancy. They are not logical, and I think maybe somewhere in my head I knew that, but I was duped into believing verses taken out of context. :(

    Just to differentiate the different beliefs:
    Calvinists - sovereign means God controls every tiny thing in the universe - every pregnancy, all child abuse, rape, murder, abortion, etc. It's sick, really sick.
    Normal-thinking people ;) - sovereign means that God reigns over the universe. He has given man free will and willingly limits His power.

    I hope that helps.

  14. Like every other oppressive movement in history (or so it seems) they way to control folks is to keep them dumb and keep the women pregnant. Otherwise they'll develop the ability to think and analyze for themselves and will LEAVE the movement.

  15. Yup, you said it. Even before I knew as much as I do now about QF/P, QF just struck me as WRONG. The analogy that always came to mind for me was this- do you get in your car, step on the gas, and say, "well, if God wants me to stop, then he'll stop me, but I'm not using the brakes!" I also really liked what Lynne said & helps to put the craziness in perspective. Indeed they are not trusting God, THEY are making the choice to reproduce... and I've had a similar thought to yours about the unmarried woman who gets pregnant- do they think, "oh, God wanted you to have children now- after all he is in charge of the womb!" or do they say, "you made the choice to do this!" Um, yeah.

  16. Lewis

    Is being quiverful really a "trusting God issue" or as I believe, "dominion theology in action"?! Remember Geoff B. and Dougie boy are doing great things to impact a nation, their "vision" or 200 year plan, they believe that for Christ to redeem His bride "Christian dominion" of the nation and possibly the world must happen. They have to breed as much as they possibly can, so their spawn will out number the "heathens" and they will have complete dominion and their idea of Christianity will rule. Right wing Marxism with Geoff B and Dougie being the "patriarchs"! Know wonder the Botkin girls aren't married, what man could be of the "bluest blood line" to breed with the royalist Botkin daughters?! Remember both Geoff's sons married physician's daughters. Patriarchy and QF breed narcissism!

  17. @Lisa, when I was in that mindset, when I thought about unmarried pregnant women,I reasoned that God wanted that child in the world for a reason. God is the only one who can create a soul, so He must have a reason for the child to come into existence.

  18. Lisa- your analogy of car brakes is the best comparison I've heard yet to this.

    Miss Taft - I know what it is like to want children and not have them. I also love the Lord, love children, and wish I had a husband and children. But although God blesses me in many ways, He did not bless me with a husband. I don't plan on raising my children alone on purpose, or with a man who is unsuitable to be a father/husband. By QF standards, God must not like me or find me blessable at all...

  19. Lisa:

    My daughter says almost the some thing! =D

    But why even invent brakes? If God wants you to stop, can't He just stop you of His own sovereign will? And why have seat belts? If people die because it was the sovereign will of God that they die (just like when they are born) why have any safety measures of any kind? Isn't that interfering with the natural order of things?

    To people in their right mind, this extension of their argument to other areas of life shows how foolish the argument is in the first place. Though for Imbiblers, it's possible that the next step to holiness might indeed be a return to walking only as God's natural sovereign will.

    After all, we only need brakes and seat belts because we have defied the natural order of things and artificially created the means to go faster than God intended when he created us as bipedal beings...

    (It scares me how good I am at this.)

  20. Sorry for a major spelling error in my previous post: It should have said Mrs. Taft but say Miss Taft.

    Back to topic: This "trust God" thing. They evidently spin it to fit what they want to achieve (raising a dominionist army, I believe but can't prove.) Otherwise, they could as well have "trusted God" with their children these ways:

    1) Don't look for a spouse, don't marry. Or follow a career and marry at 40, if you so want. Trust God that He can give you the amount of children He wish you to have. (He gave Mary a child while a virgin, after all.)
    2) Don't discipline your children at all. Trust God that He could teach them values.
    3) Don't bother to home school. Trust God that he could let your offspring come unscathed through whatever bad influences public schools may have up its sleeve.
    4) Don't control your children's dating, and let them move out of the house at whatever age they want. Trust God to help them stay on track.

    But they got a strange mix of
    * don't trust God to help you find a marriage partner but trust your parents (if a parent, don't trust God to help your adult child find a marriage partner but trust your yourself to judge who the adult child could marry)
    * trust God with the womb and don't use birth control/
    * don't trust God to teach values but force them in with plumbing supply line
    * trust God to provide materially for your growing family. If female, don’t go to work to provide.
    * don't trust God to educate your children, by way of the schooling opportunities already available in America, but do it yourself
    * if your husband gets abusive towards you or the kids, submit more and trust God to make the abuse go away
    * don't trust God to show your adult children the right way, but coerce them into your ways instead.

  21. I think Retha wins.

  22. Unfortunately, the prevalent brainwashing in the Quiverfull movement (and many other cults) leaves the members intellectually helpless to think for themselves outside their cushioned sphere. Their paradigm is their god - no questions asked.

  23. Yes, those are excellent points, Retha.

    Mrs. Taft, I'm so sorry you have not been able to have more children that you really want. What QF teaches is what Job's friends believed: that if things are going well it's because you're righteous, and if they aren't it's because you sinned. God had quite a bit to say to Job's friends about that mentality and how the back-handed friendship it caused, added to Job's suffering instead of comforting him.

  24. I wonder how many of these people who feel pride in their "faith" opt out of having homeowners or health insurance? If you have insurance, aren't you really saying that to be responsible, you need to plan for possible calamity? Do they believe in saving money for retirement? Do they believe in looking both ways at a stop sign?

    Having once dabbled in the early stages of this cultish way of thinking at one time, I can now see the huge inconsistencies they cling to.

    This is controversial, but another litmus teat used by these people is home birth. I don't want to debate the issue. I know that some people who are quite well informed believe strongly in this for medical reasons. BUT, there is a smug arrogance about some proponents of home birth that really is offensive. Its another one of these external things that is built up into a matter of "godliness'. For some, just having unlimited children is not enough, but you must have them at home with a midwife. I have even read articles that suggest husbands might consider home birth for their wives even in the face of serious medical concerns. Just a thought,but I notice that these two pillars of crazy cultish Christianity put put women- and children- in the most vulnerable position.

    There was a book out years ago that I think really highlighted some of this...I think it was called something like "Born in Zion". As I recall, the suggestion was that if you have your baby in a hospital, you are basically giving him/her to Caesar or something like that? Does anyone else remember this book? I would have to re-read it to be sure.

    How tiresome we are that we are always seeking to enslave ourselves!

  25. Uh, more than you would guess.

    Ever heard of Good Samaritan Christian health plan?

    I think the only people who get out of home owner's insurance are people who own their homes free and clear, but that it is a stated goal for a lot of the financial fundamentalists. I don't know if they specifically take a stand against the insurance, though.

    And yup yup about the home birth. My family cult in-laws up in the far Western mountains of North Carolina all home birth and refuse birth control- even for the bi-polar mom. Very scary situation for everyone except the patriarch. His son is now unable to ever leave the family compound, with no degree, no experience except working for Daddy on the evangelical campground, and already five kids to support and he's not even thirty. His hearty wife gives birth in a kiddie pool in the living room.

    That's a lot of pressure on his bi-polar little sister to live up to! Thankfully her husband got off the compound and moved to the big city of 30,000 a year ago, but two years into the marriage and they are already expecting their second child. Maybe she'll get to have this one at a hospital? Or at least be under a doctor's care? I don't know. It's a very scary situation.

  26. Uh-oh-typo! Read litmus "test", not litmus "teat"...I've never heard of one of far, at any rate.

  27. Hey now there's nothing wrong with giving birth in a pool in your living room...except...that it needs to be the woman's choice. I have had three births like that and they were wonderful. My hospital birth with the epidural was also wonderful (see, when my birth turned a little more high risk than I wanted it to I decided on a hospital birth right away). Both home (for low risk) and hospital are a good choice but it needs to be the woman's choice. I believe the woman ought to be allowed to give birth at home if SHE wants to though. However I do know two women that didn't really have a choice. Their husbands wanted a home birth so that's what they had to have. They were miserable about it.

  28. Nothing wrong with an informed home birth, as long as it's legal (illegal in some states, including South Dakota), but here's the problem:

    The reason behind home births for patriarchal peeps is that doctors are evil. So, not only are doctors evil, but anything that goes along with doctors, i.e. ultrasounds, measuring the baby, heart beat checkups, etc, are also taboo. This means that, unlike you, Katy-Anne, the average patriarchal mother will have no idea that her pregnancy is high risk.

    Not good. And THAT is the type of home birth that I have an issue with. And, in states like SD, that is exactly the reason they legislate against them. By the time a high risk pregnancy is discovered (at time of birth), more than the fetus' life is in danger.

    Have your home birth everyone, but do it with some common sense.

    Me? I'd rather the hospital food and nurses doing the cleanup. Finally, with all six of ours, I never looked down there and never regretted it once. That's the docs job. I was perfectly fine up by my bride's head. Home births = the husband being tricked into doing work. Heck no!!!!

  29. Well yes, that is my point! I never desired a home birth with any of my 8 bio kids and with the exception of my first (which was back in prehistoric times) I had very positive experiences. In 3 of those instances, situations arose that made us extremely glad to be in the hospital, though thankfully, everything ended up o.k. I am talking about both the women I know who imply that by having homebirth, they are achieving a more godly level of Christianity than the rest of us, and men I have known who basically bully their wives into it. I think it should be an informed choice based on common sense and not entertained with the goal of appearing more "biblical" or faithful. Having a baby requires a leap of faith in any setting, don't you think?!

  30. I agree, but the peer pressure to home birth in that branch of the QF woods in phenomenal. Like I said, my nephew's wife seems to have no problem with birth.

    But my niece? Did she ever have a choice? She and her sister in law were pregnant at the same time and gave birth within days of each other. It was my niece's first child, and while she would claim it was her choice, how could we know? She was isolated and living next door to the home birth advocate. Her husband was a former army medic, so he had minimal childbirth training.

    What bothers me the most is that my niece is bi-polar, and the high pressure of the QF lifestyle is the only lifestyle she's exposed to or is approved for her life by any of her close relatives and friends. I worry very much for her.

  31. Katy-Ann,

    I agree with you. I don't think anyone here is saying that home birth is a bad way to go. What they're saying is, it's bad if you're doing it ONLY BECAUSE you believe that doing so will make you more Godly or "prove" your faith. Or, if you feel obligated even in the face of serious medical reasons. It's nice to see someone like you who has experienced both types of birth and saw the good in each situation, by the by.

    My view is that the husband gets to throw in an opinion regarding home vs. hospital, but has to step back and accept whatever the wife decides. To do otherwise is to fly in the face of what Ephesians 5 is talking about for husbands.

    Not that QFers are concerned with what the Bible ACTUALLY says, though.

  32. Unbelievable, Katy-Ann. If there's any area where even a complementarian husband should defer to his wife's wishes, it's in childbirth. Until he's ready, willing and able to have that baby, he has no business telling her how she has to do it! Grrr.

  33. my first experience with P/QF came in the form of being told i was going to Hell because i won't have children.

    i tried to explain to the "nice" doctor that, as he should know, i have porphyria. and porphyria has a LOT of issue, the relevant one being that there is over a 99% chance that i will DIE within the first 3 months of pregnancy.

    and "nice" doctor brushed that off, saying "that may be true, but you are compelled BY GOD to 'be fruitful and multiply' - better to die trying to have a child than live without one"

    at which point i lost my jaw to gravity for a while, then asked what the HELL he was doing, trying to give me religious orders as opposed to medical care? i got treated a list of his children [13 at the time, the youngest still in the premie-ward, all but the latest home-birthed by him, a gross negligence of his Oath and duty as a medical doctor...] and their names, a discussion on why he "won't allow" his wife to breastfeed for more than 6 months, and statements such as "it's ruined her health, sure, but she doesn't NEED to be in the best of health - all she has to do is take care of the house and the kids." as if cleaning up after 12-13 children wasn't ALREADY a 100+hour/week job! and much more physically strenuous than being a general practicioner who only works 30 hours a week. not to mention the 50 hours a week his wife homeschooled. or the fact that he allowed NO work to be done on Sundays, so on Mondays his wife had to work even harder to clean up from Sunday.

    that man was a terrible doctor. he gave every female patient advice to get married and have kids RIGHT NOW. he'd refuse to see female patients if he discovered they were on birth control for any reason. he was *forever* telling sick women that they were ONLY sick because they had jobs, and "as your doctor, i really need to stress that you shouldn't be working outside the home at all. you're just not capable of it".

    but his male patients - THEY were always sick because either they didn't have wives, or their wives worked. disabled men he always, always told to "give your pain to God", and then essentially said "now man up and get over it and go back to work!". also, he'd "fire" women patients for using BC and refused to prescribe BC - but he'd give ANY man [of 18 years or more] Viagra on demand, and would ALSO give men vasectomies ["you wouldn't be getting this unless God spoke to you. so i'll go ahead and do it. what, give your wife birth control? that's meddling in God's affairs!"]

    anyway, that was my intro to P/QF, and is the direct cause of me haunting your blog :) worst doctor i've ever had, which is saying a LOT...

  34. (BTW I thought I commented on this yesterday but I must have goofed up)I couldn't agree more, though I would really urge women to research both sides of the homebirth issue before making their decision. I have read ridiculous and false information on the pro side, I think maybe more so than on the con side. That's probably subjective as I myself am not an advocate of homebirth. I have 8 bio kids and had them all in the hospital. Other than the first, who was born in the dark ages before "family centered childbirth", I had wonderful doctors and very positive experiences.I also ended up having three deliveries that would have required emergency hospitalization had I been at home. However, I know that some women choose homebirth based on sound and thorough research and that's fine. My point again- and the point that you agree with, Katy Anne, is that it should be a choice that everyone is informed upon and comfortable with.I do know of cases where I believe the woman was bullied by her husband and /or friends into having homebirth. And above all, the thing is that homebirth, just like homeschooling, courtship, denim jumpers, no immunizations, and on and on,is being used as a means of getting bonus points on your report card from God. Its so idolatrous and destructive especially to young Christians. I thank God that we were just "rebellious" enough as new believers that we avoided some-though not all-of these snares.

  35. I had two home births that I was pleased with. But we researched it carefully and our decision had nothing to do with being Christians. I would be very wary of a family that had them not out of informed choice, but because they were QF followers and couldn't afford medical care. If you can't afford a birth center or a hospital with a cash discount, how are you going to afford dental care, braces, or college/vocational training/money to start a business?

  36. LOL anonymous the easy answer to that question is that kids don't need college or training in the QF movement, because the women will never work and the men will work for their dads. ;)

  37. It's all about removing that pesky free will thing. Everything must be either forbidden or commanded. Everything must show how good you are or betray your sin. Perform, perform, perform!

    I'm from one of those lukewarm, ear-tickling denominations that believes that God making us individuals was a feature, not a bug. I homeschool and homebirthed for reasons that are good and sufficient to me. I like to talk about the good that has come from my decisions and correct misconceptions about my choices. But when it comes to other people's decisions it's hands off, mouth shut, and eyes to the side. Because they are not subunits of me.

    Jenny Islander

  38. Denelian, that's . . . unbelievable. Do you know what happened to that doctor in the end? Did he ever lose his license? He shouldn't have become a doctor if his horrible religious beliefs were in direct contradiction to his Hippocratic oath (doctors do still take that oath, don't they?)

  39. Wait, what the....I just reread this. He won't condone any form of birth control EXCEPT vasectomies?? WTF dude! Hate to tell you, but a vasectomy is a method of controlling birth.

    I didn't know that QFers ever made exceptions, even supposedly for men who had "heard from God" about getting the snippy snip done!

    Thanks for sharing this nutty story with us, ma'am!

  40. No, they take a different (better more modern) oath. The Hippocratic Oath was outdated, after all, it's hardly socially relevant to pledge not to seduce your client's slave, male or female, in 2011 USA. >_<

  41. Kristen;
    he retired. he was in his late 50's when i saw him [in 2000]. to my knowledge, no form of punishment was ever leveled, but it's possible i was the only person who reported him to the AMA. as for the Hippocrits - i mean Hippocratic - oath, yes, they still take it. and still break it.

    last Anon. - this was the train of thought i was given. the womb [uterus] is to be controlled by God, period. the only injunction against men is to "not spill seed" [which is a mis-reading of the story, but is neither here nor there] and a vasectomy prevents the "spilling of seed". also, women? can NEVER "know" *ANYTHING* directly from God - God will ONLY speak to the man who is her "head" - wheras men CAN be "told by God". if a man is "told by God" to stop having children, the ONLY "way" to do so is thru a vasectomy - any form of controlling fertility in a woman is interfering in "God's control of the womb"; barrier methods are "spilled seed" [as are things like withdrawl and NFP, the first being obviously the LITERAL "spilling of seed", the second being avoiding intercourse EXCEPT when the woman isn't fertile, so is again just "spilling seed"], which leaves ONLY a vascectomy as an option - and i know that one of his secondary reasons is that vascectomies have a higher rate of "repairing themselves" than tubal ligations [and even then, it's not very high] but it was this doctor's firm believe that vascectomies [and ONLY vascectomies] were the correct way, because of all the above AND his belief that if God decided he wanted the man to have more children, *GOD* would reverse the vascectomy. [the fact that this same argument applied to pretty much EVERY form of BC - if God really wants a pregnancy, it WILL happen - was totally lost on this doctor]

    he was... not nice. at all. also, he was a BAD doctor [bad as in "not good at"]

  42. shadowspring;

    touche :) yeah, it's an updated one. some places still CALL it the Hypocratic Oath, but i was going with the spirit [they swear an oath is that is today's equivelent of, and still sometimes called, the Hypocratic Oath. though *I* call it the Hypocrits Oath, but doctors just never like young women who have chronic medical disorders, so it's really hard for me to find doctor with whom i can work]

  43. Ok, it's an updated Hippocratic Oath. . . but I'm amazed that no one except you ever called this doctor on his horrible attitude towards medicine. His wife was in bad health but it didn't matter? WTH!!?

    And this guy could have taught the Pharisees something about reading the letter of the law to find loopholes so they could do whatever however they wanted, while restricting everyone else! He had it down even better than they did!

    On another note: Jenny, this:

    "God making us individuals was a feature, not a bug"

    -- is one of the best things I've ever read. Can I quote it on my blog?

  44. ah - when i edited the original comment to fit, an important part of the story got dropped. this was in rural Georgia - there were like TWO doctors within 50 or 60 miles of where i lived. and the OTHER doctor was "foreign" [4th-generation Chinese. how is that "foreign? oh, you mean "he's not WHITE" morons. he was a MUCH better doctor, but eventually had to relocate because most of the people in that area wouldn't see him unless it was literally life-or-death. sigh]

    people didn't like his wife because she couldn't control ALL of her children ALL of the time. they'd whisper about how there wasn't anything *really* wrong with her, that she was just "lazy" or "uncaring" and how "sad" it was that her husband worked SO HARD only to have to go home to HER. she'd gained like 60 pounds because of all the pregnancy, went prematurly gray, didn't wear makeup or wear her hair in anything but a bun, so she'd "let herself go" - despite the fact that the makeup and hair, at least, were at her husband's orders.

    sigh. i try so very, very hard to not hate people, but the ONLY way i can accomplish this is to just avoid large swaths of the population.

  45. I guess my question ALL QFers believe that vasectomies are a legitimate option? I realize they think only men can hear from God....but would the average QF person even BELIEVE a man if that man came home one night and said that God had told him to directly disobey the command to be fruitful around which the entire Christian life is supposedly based?

    Maybe so. It just sounded weird/surprising to me.

  46. And by the way how on EARTH could that man justify saying "Well my wife doesn't need bodily health" when Ephesians 5 talks directly about a man considering his wife's BODY to be as valuable as his? Is there no end to their idolatrous sick hypocrisy which blatantly shoves aside huge portions of SCRIPTURE?? Seriously! Is there no end???????

    Okay I'm done now.

  47. @Kristen: Sure!

    (Hope this posts. Blogspot keeps not letting my posts go through.)

    Aaaand it won't recognize my Eljay handle again. Trying again, anonymously.

    Jenny Islander

  48. Thanks, Jenny!

    As for this:

    "...people didn't like his wife because she couldn't control ALL of her children ALL of the time. they'd whisper about how there wasn't anything *really* wrong with her, that she was just "lazy" or "uncaring" and how "sad" it was that her husband worked SO HARD only to have to go home to HER. she'd gained like 60 pounds because of all the pregnancy, went prematurly gray, didn't wear makeup or wear her hair in anything but a bun, so she'd "let herself go" - despite the fact that the makeup and hair, at least, were at her husband's orders."

    This is one of the saddest things I ever heard in my life. Having a few friends could have eased this woman's burden-- but everyone who could have offered her any help, pulled back their holy skirts from her, and turned away.

  49. I am shocked to hear of a QF person that believed in vasectomies. They especially hate sterilization.

  50. Wow, denelian, that doctor couldn't practice anywhere BUT way out in the sticks. A city lawyer would love to get his mitts on a malpractice breach of ethics suit on that guy. I am so sorry for what you went through. :(

  51. I wonder how these people would explain the blessing in drug addicted, non-functional, abusive people having one child after the other?Recently I read in the newspaper that a woman who had been sent home with a new baby (after having been involved with drugs DURING the pregnancy) threw the baby into a washing machine with a wadded up blanket(the baby died). I believe that the woman claimed to not be aware of what she was doing at the time. Now, I know that God is sovereign, and that you can cite examples of amazing fulfilled people that come out of horrible backgrounds. But, just as I think drug addicted ,out of control or violent people should not be having children, I don't have any right to tell ANYBODY whether they should have 0 or 15 kids. You see, once you step over the line of saying "well, God sends babies as a blessing, but not to those kinds of situations", you are basically saying that there is room for common sense and wisdom in the equation.Last I heard, all babies are made the same way. I remember asking a Sunday School teacher once about this and she said that the children of a Christian family were children of promise, and non- Christian children were just natural consequence.

    I am rambling but this whole subject is such a lot of rubbish. I believe God is sovereign and I think He is capable of overiding anything He wants to. I remember reading once in the full-quiver propaganda that if we don't have unlimited children, we might prevent the next Beethoven or Einstein. Really?? I don't think He need our smug legalism to accomplish anything!! Those who talk the most about "letting God be in control " seem to be the least convinced of His ability to do just that!

    P.S. I should add that there are in fact those who are so extreme in the "God is in control" camp that they believe that even children in abusive homes are put there for their own good.(This ties in with the whole women should stay in abusive relationships if at all possible mindset). This is scary stuff. Whatever happened to the instructions

  52. Kristen;
    i felt soooooo bad for her. but i wasn't a member of her church, so she wouldn't talk to me at all - i possibly could have tried harder, but i was afraid of what that assinine doctor would do if he found out she was talking to me at ALL. did not like him.

    Shadowspring - i just suffered another bad doctor. honestly, it's so incredibly common, the only thing that bother me was the attempt to force me to follow HIS religious laws. i think i saw him 3 or 4 times, total, before i transfered to Dr Harry [i don't remember his last name. i suck, i know - but if it isn't a "common" East Asian name, i forget. if it isn't common in general, i forget.] he was MUCH cooler.

    Anon - i'm pretty sure he wasn't QF, just P. one can follow the Patriarchial stuff without the QuiverFull stuff [though not vice-verse, so far as i know]. and it wasn't like he was following someone else's teachings - i'm pretty sure it was stuff that he decided on his own, or maybe his family did - it wasn't what we "know" as Patriarchial, if that makes sense. he was just a micro-managing misogynistis control freak who used religion as justification.

    also: does anyone know what's going on with Blogger? half the time i go to post, i get a message that reads "you're current account does not have permission to view this page" - which, um, i was ALREADY "viewing the page". it's driving me insane. it only happens when i'm "already" logged into blogger, except that sometimes i've logged out and it STILL does it, and sometimes i'm logged out, i hit "post", it takes me to the sign-in page, and then it works.

  53. oops! somehow the end of that sentence got lost! I was concluding by saying "Whatever happened to the instructions in the Bible to help those that are poor and oppressed? Is that disrupting God's plan? After all, He let them be poor and oppressed, didn't He? Or maybe the good Samaritan story is off base? Wouldn't the ATI folks wonder if the guy was beaten up and left for dead because he had "stepped out from under God's protection?" Better to let him lie there and suffer through his consequences maybe? Well, children are a blessing. I know mine are to me and I have a large family. But that doesn't mean that my intellect and reason should not be involved in the decision to have them. Nor will I live my life skulking around in fear that some mistake on my part will re-write Gods plan for mankind ! Picking and choosing areas to allow God to be God in, and guarding other areas for US to be God in, leads to bad theology.

  54. Got my can opener here, and a GIANT can of worms, so Lewis, don't approve this post if you don't want it discussed here. I'm not sure I would if it were my blog. =)

    Reading Laura's post, and then thinking of many of the QF people I know, I am wondering: Is QF the logical conclusion of much of the "pro-life" rhetoric of the "right-to-life" people?

    It was that sentence, about preventing the next Einstein or Beethoven that switched my brain over to "avid anti-abortion, pro-life" tracks. I know I have heard and read similar as a reason to be against all abortion.

    Any measure to keep a fertilized egg from growing to a functioning human and being born, even Plan B, is touted as a gross moral injustice against the whole world- depriving humanity of great genius and beauty. (No mention of the possibility that any of these children could grow up to be the next Hitler or Stalin, which is just as, if not more, likely. After all, neglect, deprivation and abuse warps all minds, the gifted as well as the low-end-of-the scale. Genius is genetic, but let that genius be born into adversity and you wind up with an evil genius-like Bill Gothard.)

    The next logical extension then, is that any kind of preventing pregnancy is infanticide and a crime against humanity. I know an amazing person whom I love and respect in many, many ways who unfortunately believes this. His poor wife. :(

    They have no money and five kids already and he's not even thirty. His living "by faith" is keeping them all fed and clothed (with Uncle Sam's help and lots of charity from people who don't want to have freezing, hungry, homeless children in our world)minimally, but the future does not look good for his wife or his children.

    And that pretty much sums up the entire foundation of the current pro-life, QF stance. Pregnancy and childbirth is mandatory; children clothed, warm, fed, educated, etc. is no one's business but that particular family's business. The promise is the "God will provide" or in other words, "you're on your own with that large family to feed, mister".

    I think the anti-birth control, anti-family planning stance is completely immoral, because they care nothing for the living, post-birth humans (that would include mothers and fathers but also the rest of the lives of those fetuses they congratulate themselves for saving); they are only concerned for the pre-born, as they like to call them these days.

    Wiggly, wiggly worms.

  55. This is really off-topic but I just needed to put it up here. I have posted on this blog several times about a family I know who are not full-out spiritually abusive, but whose belief in some of these patriarchal attitudes have led to sad things. Specifically, one daughter was guided away from a very nice and Godly suitor, and several years later, guided towards an emotionally unstable man who was better able to speak Christianese.

    I recently found out that her husband is beginning to show some early signs of being an abuser. My family is aching for this girl, because her parents prevented what could have been a bright future and instead helped her get saddled with someone who cannot treat her well, or provide for her very well (she has been raised to be very dependent, so this is a scary thing for her). It is especially heartbreaking because one of her sisters knew this guy was no good, but no one (including the girl herself) would listen.

    If you happen across this comment, please join me in praying for this family, and especially this girl. I do not believe her husband is an evil person, but he has problems and is at risk to become an abuser. God is big enough to get ahold of his heart and help them towards a happier life, and I want that for both of them! He is in the business of redeeming and I know he loves them.

  56. Shadowspring;

    i'm not sure what all i could/should say in response - i'm pro-choice, after all.

    but avoiding the BASIC argument [is, or is not, a bundle of cells with at least a 25% chance of spontaneous abortion - known to the non-medical as "miscarriage" - more important than the life of the person whose body is supporting it. that's the BASIC argument - abortions done at later times are almost always - like 99%+ - performed because either the mother's life is at *serious* risk, or the fetus has a problem that is incompatable with life, and are NOT part of that basic argument] i'll say this:

    once you get to the mind set that POSSIBLE children are more important than the already born, you have an ethical dilemma of monsterous proportions. if the mother isn't capable of caring for the child - and in today's world, here in the "West", that includes ALL the various prenatal necessities - how cruel is it to bring the child into the world?
    because despite all the shouting the P/QF and the anti-choice people do, there are NOT a billion families just WANTING BABIES. there are ALREADY waaaaaaaaaaay too many babies born that are up for adoption that AREN'T.
    because the people adopting generally want healthy, "attractive", "white" babies. any baby born who doesn't meet this requirements is probably not ever going to be adopted, and is doomed to a life of foster care and/or orpanges.

    i don't need to tell you about the Hell that is the foster care system, right?

    there are SOME people who will take black or latin@ or "asian" or Native babies [and trust me - even a GRANDPARENT fitting one of those descriptions means that new baby is also of that description, no matter WHAT said baby LOOKS like]. likewise, there are SOME who will take a disabled baby, or one born with addiction, etc.

    not many. no where NEAR enough.
    then again - notice how FEW non-"white" P/QF people there are...

    not to mention all the OTHER fallacies presented in those arguments - say what you want, in this world, if you're born poor, you're likely to STAY poor. it's a rare person who actually achieves upward social movement. doesn't matter if a child *IS* as smart as X [or as talent, whatever] if said child is never able to access the education to take advantage of it. to say nothing of the BASIC NUTRITION AND NURISHING AND NUTURING to allow the genetic component of intelligence or talent to actually develope - children who don't get adequete nutrition AND nurturing tend to be incapable of "living up to" whatever genetic promise there might be. for a LOT of reasons.
    and then there's the fact that something like 70% of women who get 1st trimester abortions cite existing children, and hardship caring for them already - as a main reason to get an abortion. women who already HAVE more mouths than they can feed, who canNOT take time off work for pregnancy [an abortion generally takes you off work for 2 days - pregnancy? gods alone know, depending on all the circumstances, but it WILL be more than 2 days]

    it is my FIRM belief that for the leaders, at least, it isn't about "babies" at all - it's about WOMEN. women WORKING, women making THEIR OWN CHOICES, women VOTING, women HAVING RIGHTS. these things are anathema to that crowd, they admit it openly. the WHOLE REASON they want a woman to have 80 babies is so that she CAN'T work, she can't THINK, she can't ACT, except inside her home, as much as she's "allowed" by her husband [or father...] it isn't, and never was, about "babies". except possible as "proof of virility" on the parts of some men.

  57. I changed my position from so-called pro-life to pro-choice based on knowing families with disabled children. You know what the number one concern of parents of disabled children is? It is not about the quality of their children's young lives; it's worries about what will happen to them after their parents are gone.

    I agree with much of what you say, but it's not true that the QF man I know just wants to keep his wife down. He truly wants to please God, a God of love. He has just been brainwashed by the QF movement to fear that anything he and his wife do to prevent another pregnancy is infanticide. No loving person would commit infanticide!
    I actually believe that pro-choice is more pro-life than the anti-abortion crowd, because they give a mother enough credit to want what's best for her child, and all of her other children, and for all of their lives, not just the early years.

  58. It seems to me that the P/QV movement is probably made up of BOTH. Men who truly want to keep women down AND men/women who have simply been scared into thinking that God demands they be QF.

    However! I do believe that the roots of the movement (and probably a lot of the momentum of the leaders at the top) is fueled behind the scenes by a desire to keep men on top and women on bottom. I think it has a lot to do with the EXISTENCE and MOMENTUM of the movement, but I'm not convinced that it's the motivation of all the poor average Joes who just happen to be caught up in it.

    In fact, there are probably a lot of leaders who are operating out of that fear of women semi-subconsciously. I have come a long way in my understanding of Christianity and gender, and I think that most Christians don't fully realize how fearful they've been trained to be of "upsetting the gender order." Most would say that's not a big worry for them, but they can't even see how strongly they react to it when something challenges their gender paradigm.

    For some in the P/QF camp, it may be a motivating factor without them even realizing how strong of a motive it is.

  59. Shadowspring and Anon;

    that's why i specified *the leaders*. i agree that the rank-and-file of the QF movement really do believe that they're "doing right by God". i don't think they are - but i'm not God, have no special line to God, etc - i can only base my belief on the ethics of their choices on what i know to be true of God [and the two LAWS given by Jesus.] i wish i had a direct line to God so that i could hand these people the phone and they could be freed of this... i was going to say "insanity", but Lewis is right, it's a cult. i also agree, Anon, that fear of upsetting the "gender order" is probably a subconsious motivator - women as much as men. the "trap" of this sort of gender order is that women are told "submit and you WILL be CARED FOR". and it *IS* a trap, lined with sweet, sweet honey. we're STILL getting "scientific papers" that "prove" "men want fertility, women want security" - and those of us who want to take care of OURSELVES are somehow "unnatural". because when God gives a MAN an IQ if 180, that means he wants that man to do something important - but when he gives a WOMAN an IQ of 180, that means he's *testing* her, and wants her to have lots of high-IQ BOYS. sigh.

    for the record, we pro-choice people agree with your assessment of our position, vis a vis the mother, giving her credit [and personhood, and the ability to make informed choices, and etc]


    THIS is the big fear? snark snark

  61. I remember reading Mary Pride's book when it first came out in the '90s. And I remember what the telling point was, that spoke to me and other women. The message was, "the trouble with our modern culture is, our culture hates children. Don't you, as a Christian, want to love children instead? Well, what Christian doesn't want to love children and not follow the world?

    Then the book defines the use of birth control as one way our culture demonstrates this "hatred of children." To love children, according to Mary Price, was to want to have lots of them and not to do anything to prevent their conception. If you didn't want to have lots of children, this meant you had been indoctrinated with the anti-child spirit of the modern West. Well, no one wanted to be anti-child, right? The subtle bait-and-switch, where hatred of children got turned into use of birth control, was hard to catch unless you were using critical thinking skills which-- let's face it-- we were taught Christians should use when reading "secular" texts, but which it was ok to suspend when reading something by a sister in Christ, right? Right?

    I was fortunate in this one thing with the coercive group I was in-- they had other goals. They wanted couples going out as missionaries, and large numbers of children would hinder that. So the official word came down from the leaders that Pride was wrong about birth control. Still, most of the couples in my group favored large families anyway-- but it was ok to have less too.

  62. I'm posting this on this thread as a beginning. If you want me to take my comments to another part of your site, let me know.

    Personally, I have no problem with your "attitude." I view it as a positive. At least I don't have to guess where you stand on an issue.

    I say that because I, too, was raised in a fundamentalist background. I know and understand the mindset intimately.

    What I perceive many to be doing in addressing their own extreme view(s) is to be swinging to an equally extreme view in the opposite direction. This is usually viewed as balance. I believe extremes need to be identified for what they are in reality, and nothing else.

    While I have read numerous posts on your site before I commented and could probably address various topics, I want to start with a very basic one by asking a question.

    In choosing to serve Jesus Christ, the Creator and Savior, what is your ultimate standard for conducting such service? What standard do you resort to to determine whether or not your words and actions are right and pleasing to this same God?

    As I stated, if you want to address this issue elsewhere, please direct me. Thanks!

  63. @Benjamin...As to my standard, here's a paragraph from a recent post...

    Personally, I prefer the two Greatest Commandments - Love God, love my neighbor, and the two things my parents instilled in me as a child (and lived in front of me) - tell the truth in ALL things, and do the right thing by other people, even when it costs you (both of which are supported by biblical text). A person who focuses on those things until those things become a part of them, well, that person doesn't leave a heck of a lot of room for deviance. I think genuine character and integrity is found in those things.

    That's probably the best answer I can give you.

  64. Mrs. Taft, I could have written your post. My heart breaks for you. In so many ways, secondary infertility is worse even than primary infertility...because the patriarchy folks assume that you aren't having more because of selfishness, and the mainstream-ers assume that you don't value the children you HAVE because you dare to want more.

    One of the main reasons that I have never been completely seduced by the Quiverfull movement is their attitude toward the infertile. I have had multiple miscarriages, and at one point Nancy Campbell (founder of Above Rubies) prayed that the "curse on my womb" would be broken. Well, I'll take any prayer I can get, but I don't believe that my womb is cursed. I believe that all curses were BROKEN as a result of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross...and that infertility, painful as it is, is simply a byproduct of a sin-infected world. It sucks, but it's not my fault. It's also not my husband's fault, or the fault of our parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc.

    At any rate, that was the moment when my flirtation with patriarchy ended.

    As for the subject of homebirth and midwives, I do have three living children. The first one was a typical hospital birth, and the last two were born with midwives. Actually, the last one (who will be one month old tomorrow) was born in my CAR on the way to the midwife. :-) Ahem.

    Anyway, any midwife worth her salt KNOWS when to transfer a client to the hospital. My midwife doesn't mess around or hesitate to call 911 if necessary. Unfortunately, many of the "midwives" employed by QF/Patriarchy believing families are NOT appropriately trained and babies die as a result. Which, here in Oregon, can land you in jail.

  65. Lewis,

    In saying that Loving God and your neighbor is your standard, how do you know that you are actually loving God and your neighbor? How are you to determine that your actions toward God and man are actions of love and not something else? What lets you know this? What can you refer to in order to know with certainty?

    If there's not a lot of room for deviance, what standard is there that tells us the boundaries; that confirms to us that our actions are actions of love or informs us when we have deviated from love.

    What standard tells us the practical responsibilities and practical duties of love toward man and God?

    What standard tells us the practical aspects of character and integrity. How do we know what God expects from us?

  66. @Benjamin...Same answer as before...

    Personally, I prefer the two Greatest Commandments - Love God, love my neighbor, and the two things my parents instilled in me as a child (and lived in front of me) - tell the truth in ALL things, and do the right thing by other people, even when it costs you (both of which are supported by biblical text). A person who focuses on those things until those things become a part of them, well, that person doesn't leave a heck of a lot of room for deviance. I think genuine character and integrity is found in those things.

  67. @Kristen: Demonstrating love of children by having a lot of children is like demonstrating love of cats by having a lot of cats. If you're not in a position to take care of the cats, you're doing them no favors.

    And once again this teaching ignores the fact that God made us who we are: different. I stopped at three because I love my children and I know how much need I can handle before I start to shut down. My sister-in-law went back to paycheck work because she loves her children and knows that she is a much more patient and gentle mother if she gets to talk to adults for part of the day. If we were different people, our decisions would have been different. Not better, not worse. Different.

    Jenny Islander