Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » BREED TO SUCCEED

    Filed at 6:48 am under by dcobranchi

    AlterNet has an interesting piece on the Quiverfull movement in which families have as many kids as possible in preparation for some kind of spiritual (and actual) warfare. Homeschooling plays an important role in the movement. Interestingly, racism also appears to be a significant factor:

    Population is a preoccupation for many Quiverfull believers, who trade statistics on the falling white birthrate in European countries like Germany and France. Every ethnic conflict becomes evidence for their worldview: Muslim riots in France, Latino immigration in California, Sharia law in Canada. The motivations aren’t always racist, but the subtext of “race suicide” is often there.


    Carlson is fond of recalling early opponents of birth control such as Teddy Roosevelt and the New Deal-era “maternalists” who pushed through the traditionalist strictures written into the first Social Security Act, which defined beneficiary families as breadwinning fathers and homemaking mothers. Roosevelt, according to Carlson, associated birth control with “race suicide” and selfish white women who “import our babies from abroad” rather than honor their duty to bear children for the nation. Like Roosevelt and the maternalists, Carlson wants to construct a secular, social-policy case for natalism based on the importance of large families to sustaining a Social Security system crippled by childless “free riders.”

    BTW, Mary Pride’s books are part of the canon for the movement.

    And, finally, Spunky had this one several days ago but I forgot to read the article until it popped up in GoogleNews this morning. She’s received quite a few comments on it.

    4 Responses to “BREED TO SUCCEED”

    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    November 14th, 2006
    at 9:46 am

    Maybe all homeschoolers ARE a bunch of kooks!


    Comment by
    November 14th, 2006
    at 12:10 pm

    That’s odd… I’m a Christian (though not a fundamentalist or evangelical or charismatic one), I want a big family, and I believe that scriptures provide support for such (children are a blessing, like arrows in the hands of a warrior, blessed is he whose quiver is full of them, seek God’s kingdom and He will provide for you), etc. And I’ve enjoyed reading some of the websites I’ve found for quiverfull families. Not once has it crossed my mind that it’s about raising up more Christians to do battle or whatever. It’s just simply been about children being a blessing from God, and not wanting to limit my blessings. So, it’s a little disconcerting for me to find that suddenly the entire “quiverfull” movement is being declared to be militant, raising up a big army for God, etc. It’s sort of like someone watching Jesus Camp and declaring that the entire homeschool movement is just like that. I don’t get it, and think it’s crappy journalism, to be honest.

    Comment by
    November 14th, 2006
    at 5:10 pm

    I think, based on what I’ve read both in regular media and in the blogs of self professed quiver fillers, that the entire movement is extremely frightening in their desire to overturn secular government by out breeding liberal people. I think that, considering the number of children needing to be adopted throughout the world, it would be a better show of faith and christianity to stop selfishly producing children and do as the bible says, help those who are unable to help themselves. Which would god do, make more baby blessings or help those babies that will never be a blessing or even just loved and cared for?

    Comment by
    November 14th, 2006
    at 7:42 pm

    Well, just for the record, I am having #10 because I am too stupid not to get pregnant because I don’t know yet what causes it.

    I guess the more natural and normal thing might be to sterilize myself, sheath my husband in latex, or take a little pill everyday that could cause me to have a blod clot or heart attack.

    On second thought, I think I’ll continue to have babies as long as I am able and love, protect, and educate them the best I can.