Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Yesterday we were running early for swimming lessons and I considered the purchase of a good drive thru latte on the way--but thought in the name of frugality and thrift I'd drink the crappy free coffee provided for parents at the swim school.
No more crappy free coffee. I spent an hour regretting that decision.
Then after feeling all that because I helped Mr. T understand algebra, he brought back his homework. Apparently 4th grade algebra? Is something I am earning a "C" in.
I went to bed feeling humbled and woke up to Mr. G running a fever of 102 and complaining of all sundry of ailments from aching knees to aching ear to "I wanna watch PBS KIDS!" I could only do so much for him at 2:00 a.m.

I switched on the radio this morning to NPR's report on the Quiverfull movement. My mind is still reeling. I'd heard a bit about this months ago while skipping through radio stations, but hadn't given it much thought. Apparently this ummm...sect? Cult? Movement? is 10,000 members strong and (ahem) growing. I love it when people take obscure ideas out of the Bible and make up entire doctrines on them. Quiverfull totally discredits the fact that their key verse was written by a king with a palace full of wives and concubines filling his quiver. It ignores the fact that "be fruitful and multiply" was a command given to a barren world to an agrarian society prone to man-to-man combat in order to defend their land holdings. The Quiverfull folks believe they'll take over Congress someday and overrun "sinful cities like San Francisco." Their logic astounds me--because based on sheer numbers, people? We'd see more women, Hispanics and African-Americans in public office. Methinks world domination's best weapon might NOT be the womb. Just sayin'.
And the sexism of this doctrine! The Old Testament is filled with wombs open and shut by will--a woman with NO kids was shunned, a woman with no sons was pitied and despised--is this also part of the Quiverfull doctrine? What is their response to infertility? Daughters? The woman who should stop having babies or it'll endanger her life?
I do ponder the power of God to will or not will children's into one's life--I grant it's a HUGE leap of faith to trust Him with the numbers. But plenty of Christians undergo fertility treatments--is that any more against His will than using birth control? Is it wrong to employ our modern day knowledge in family planning? I find myself both facinated and deeply offended while contemplating this report. And just how many are in a quiverful anyway? Is the size of the quiver or the size of the arrow that we're counting?
All this pregnancy chatter is making me hungry. I'm going to go fry an egg on Mr. G's forehead for breakfast.


  1. We have our share of direct Bible interpreters out here in the buckle of the Bible Belt, and I have to say, it seems like the Almighty in his infinite wisdom wasn't joshing around when he gave us a use.

  2. I am simultaneously repelled and amused by Nancy Campbell's assertion that "the womb is such a powerful weapon; it's a weapon against the enemy." The womb is a nurturing place that creates life - and a weapon?? I have a mental image of fending off bullets and/or lightning bolts by using my abdomen as a shield, a la Wonder Woman's wrist guards. That's gonna make me giggle all day!

    My church tries not to interpret the Bible because we are fallible humans but I think we have to interpret it - somewhat - for our times. I believe that everything in the Bible is relevant today (although I'm still trying to understand why I need to know all the stuff in Leviticus and Numbers) but IMO taking the Bible literally today is foolish and lazy.

  3. There are plenty of nut jobs out there and I'm not going to try to understand them.

    I hope Mr. G. feels better soon!

  4. I quiver at the thought. (Someone had to say it.) I find it fascinating, but then I file it away with other odd ideas like the assertion that Jesus turned the water into "grape juice".

  5. Oh man... bummer 'bout that C in 4th grade Algebra :)

    Methinks world domination's best weapon might NOT be the womb.

    ROFL I know it's a serious subject, but that's hilarious.

    Hope the lil one feels better AND that no one else gets it!

  6. Salon did an article on this. I'll have to check out NPR for the podcast. Fascinating and scary.

  7. I was a child from a large family -- and when I say large, I mean one of six kids.

    My mother wanted twelve.

    Personally, the thought alone of that many little ones running around makes me feel overwhelmed.

    But the difference between my mother's choices and my own is irrelevant when you take into account that our paths as mothers have been our own choice. No obscure passages of age-old text shaped our decision-making; we made the best choices we could with our partners.

    For me, being a mother to my children -- giving them the time an attention they need to be grow into good, honest, caring human beings trumps any concept of bearing children for the sake of numbers. When I discern God's will in my life, loving my children and raising them is the mission that speaks truth to my heart.

    - Julia

  8. I just love you. You just said everything that was jumbled up in my head and only came out as a rage-filled, exasperated GAH! this morning as I listened to that story. Thank you for putting it all down in writing for me! I'm going to go read it again.

    And I hope Mr. G gets well soon!

  9. Ooh boy. Kind of scary.
    What about God's desire for us to take care of this planet? It doesn't seem to fit. But then lots of folks don't mind ignoring that one.

  10. I'll have to go listen to this. I always wonder what inspires people to live so narrowly--mostly I think it's the comfort of controlling and being controlled. I hope Seattle isn't on their. We have a lot of liberals here.

  11. Hmmm...I'm thinking that these people are a fringe element of those of us who believe in leaving the family planning up to God. That is, if the NPR report represented them accurately. I missed it, I'll have to replay it.

    Those of us who welcome however many children into our family as are sent do not, for example, purposely wean early so as to get pregnant sooner (like the Duggars, say). We do not use IVF or other means of artificial conception. And we do not evaluate our sense of self-worth according to how many kids we have!

    We have a lot of kids because we realize that each baby is a gift from Heaven, and who would turn down such a gift? We have faith that the Lord will help us care for them (though there are days I have my doubts!) and we believe that childrearing (if done correctly) strengthens marital bonds rather than weakening them. We also believe that the greatest gift we can give our children is a number of siblings. There is no better training ground for learning patience, kindness, generosity, etc., than in a large family.

    I think it is so easy to demonize those who live differently from us and to use a broadcast like this to point fingers and criticize. Most people with large families love babies, love raising kids, and cannot imagine a better way to live their lives. We no more deserve criticism than those of you who choose to stop at 2 or 3.

    Choice is so important in these matters. I choose to welcome any and all children we manage to conceive into our family's life. Others may feel unable to do that. So what? I'm not hurting anyone, and neither are those who have one or two children only.

    Can't we all just get along?

  12. There will be a huge increase in the number of Sam's Clubs and Costcos!!! I see lots of buying in bulk happening.

  13. Wow, even my southern pals here would find it difficult to get past this one~

    Doesn't a "C" mean "Cheers?"

    Hope all the Team feels better soon.
    And next time, GG, get yourself that latte! You only go around once!

  14. I heard it too. That's why today's Facebook status was: Abby will not be filling her quiver nor anyone else's. It WAS freaky.

    The other one I considered was: Abby will not be using the L&D wing to gather troops.

    Of course one of the parts that most disgusted me (aside from the war on Muslims) was that it is my DUTY as a woman to get pregnant and deliver babies. Getting pregnant and raising my children is my CHOICE. If it wasn't, I might not be as likely to stick around when things get tough.

    Why is it that some people can take ONE bible verse so very literally and run it into the ground while ignoring the 1000's of others that speak of peace, forgiveness, and goodwill toward mankind?

    Glad I'm not the only one who freaked over that.


  15. Get well soon Mr G!

    On the religion front - In this country we have a census every 10 years - on the form you have to fill in what faith you are...there are the standard suspects in tick format...and then a space for 'other'.
    If the census receives enough forms with the same 'other' (I think it's about 10'000) then at the next census the new religion gets on the official list.

    Last time loads of people were encouraged to put their faith as Jedi Knight...they did - in droves - and now it will appear on the 2011 census!!!!

    I think it's a great wheeze - and says alot about freedom of speech!

    Read about it here -

  16. Snicker. I'd be simmering in anger enough to fry my own egg.

  17. When Hubby and I were shacking up, his aunts (on his mum's side) decided I was OBVIOUSLY a sinful girl and totally unsuitable. Then we got married and I had three boys in four years. So now OBVIOUSLY I am blessed by Allah, and highly favoured!

  18. I have a friend whose husband got his vasectomy reversed because of this type of ideology.

    I don't know much about it, but when I got my tubal, I felt blessed that God had given me that option. It's a decision I have never regretted.

    Kids, Yes! Pregnancy, not ever again, thankyouverymuch.

  19. Another crazy Christian cult makes the headlines.
    Bad for the rest of us I say... since the lives of average parishioners will never make enough news to change faulty religious perceptions.
    I'm with auntie m, "C" is for Cheers or Cool, "D" is Dandy and "F" is for Fine.
    C,D,&F is how I hope Mr. G feels very soon!

  20. We're doing swim lessons right now too.

    In regards to the "Quiverful" movement, we've joked about Christians converting the world through over-population. As part of an infertile couple, I find these ideas offensive and hurtful. Apparently, my husband and I are "less than"? and as a worker in a low income public school, I can assure that many adults should NOT be having any kids, let alone more kids. No, no, no, no, no.

    did I mention no?

    God also wants us to protect our earth, care for the poor and widows and orphans, the hungry, and oppressed. How the heck are we going to do that if we have 15 kids running around the house?

  21. It reminds me of the line in Animal Farm when they say, "Some animals are more equal than others" only a little different, "Some have more brains than others."

    Mom had 9 kids - and I still think THAT'S crazy. And Mom was the best. I have 3 kids and sometimes I think THAT'S crazy - actually more than some times.

    From now on, when I talk about a quiver - it will be in my knees-when I'm scared ;)

  22. About ten years ago, a similar "movement" popped up here in the border states. It was a racist plan to balance the Anglo population and prevent the "hostile Latino takeover".

    Meh. My biggest beef with these so-called movements is the training they give their followers on scamming gov't subsidies. The idea is that it's ok to cheat the gov't since you are building a better (read whiter) nation for the future. Barf, barf, barf.

  23. I once had a debate about where exactly the difference lies between birth control and chemotherapy with a Catholic couple. They couldn't tell me. But didn't stop me from becoming Catholic ten years later.

    And why do I just laugh out loud everytime I think of men using the word "quiver". Or men leading quivers. Maybe because I think men lead with their "quivers" rather than lead quivers?

    Ha. Made me laugh again.


Spill it, reader.