Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Leaving the (quiverfull) fold and losing her faith

HT: Ed Babinski. This quiverfull movement strikes me as a cult.


Jonathan Bartlett said...

Yes, I've always thought of motherhood as a cult. And anyone who thinks that children are a blessing rather than a curse should be put in an asylum or sent for re-education.

unkle e said...

Food too is a blessing, but an excess (i.e. more than you can handle) is not. Perhaps the same is true for children?

Anonymous said...

I'm no fan of fundamentalist, literalist movements either. And the quiverfull concept strikes me as a typical example of excess. Rather like the warping of sex as "just for pleasure", except in the opposite direction where sex/marriage is "just for kids", etc.

But that article doesn't help things at all. It sounds less like problems with having a lot of kids or even Christianity, and more like very naive views of God. She thought that living her lifestyle would mean her children would be "better" than any others, and also they would never experience tragedy or difficulties? What?

Sorry. I have a feeling someone could find a story or article that really exposes some horrible flaws/experiences with Quiverfull, or any other extreme literalist group. But this article, and this attestation, is not it. It comes across more as a typical story of "I thought being a rabid Christian meant neither me nor anyone I loved would have problems, much less that I could make mistakes, then something very bad happened. And if very bad things can happen, what's the point?"

Victor Reppert said...

The question is the extent to which the movement might have fostered such an immature (and highly unbiblical) conception of our relationship to God, and might have failed to provide good counsel in the face of suffering.

Gordon Knight said...

VR: that is generally true, in my opinion. Its a familiar point that both fundamentalists and hard core anti-christians (not philosophically sophisticated atheists) have a naive view of God.

As a child growing up I had a bad view of Christianity primarily driven by the television preachers. I think this sort of reaction is common.

Anonymous said...

Victor: But that question isn't answered by this article. It isn't even raised. And sometimes, the problem is with the person, not the "movement" or religion.

Like I said, for all I know the Quiverfull movement is terrible. I can see some surface problems with it right away. But whatever is the case, this is neither the article nor interview to expose it. It's just a bad piece.

Jonathan Bartlett said...

I don't know - I'm a homeschool Dad, and most quiverfull families I am familiar with are extremely well-grounded. Pointing out a few people who have problems just means that *surprise* people have problems.

I'm sure there are some people who take it too far, but most of the people I know of don't.

Of course, you would probably think that my religious beliefs are immature, and that my counsel would be poor. So, it may depend on the side of the fence that you sit on.

Nonetheless, the core values of quiverfull are that (a) motherhood is a gift, and should be treated like one, (b) that children are a gift, and should be treated like one, and (c) that family cohesiveness is fundamental to family life.

Contrast that with popular culture, who treats children as a necessary-evil-drain-on-their-wallets, and treats motherhood as something to do if a "real job" doesn't work out, and looks at family as an arbitrary forcing together of people.

I'll take the quiverfulls any day of the week.

Steven said...

I think the problem is not that they have lots of kids, but that they are assuming that something they do, some work, wins them favor with God--and that if things don't go the way they like, it must be because God is not actually pleased with their works.

Those people don't need asylum, but the gospel.

Jonathan Bartlett said...

Steven -

I don't think that's quite right. Maybe for some, but not the ones I've met. The quiverfull ideology is not "if I have a lot of kids then I will get favor from God" but rather "having a kid _is_ favor from God". So, on more down-to-earth terms, it is not "do X so I get a gift", but rather "doing X IS THE GIFT".

Edward T. Babinski said...


If the quiverful movement strikes you as a cult, then what about the Biblical command to be fruitful and multiply, not to spill one's seed, for brothers to mate with dead brother's wives, for men only to mate with women including concubines, slaves, and as many women as he can afford to marry or keep as slaves? The blessings of being "fruitful" and of having a quiverful of children, as well as being "blessed with many slaves" as the patriarchs were (they gave male slaves wives to make more slaves, the women were never freed, nor the children of such unions). THE POINT APPARENTLY WAS TO REPRODUCE THE HELL OUT OF YOUR TRIBE AND NATION. Ah, that's "eternal truth" for ya, but I rather see the bible as sectarian and parochial, a book of its day and age.

roddma said...

I hardly see children as treated evil in society with all the child centered reality TV . IMO, the childless are treated as evil heathens who hate babies with no repsect to the ones who cant reproduce or choose not to. CHildren aretn gifts because gifts are material things someone gives you. Motherhod needs to be seperste from womanhood. I'll take feminism any time over something that sets women back 100 years. Vycki is brave fo leaving this cult movement and i hope she educates others.