Beliefnet
Flunking Sainthood

A 2009 book ventures inside the movement.

Ever heard of the Quiverfull movement? Chances are you have and just didn’t know it. If you’ve ever watched 17 18 19 Kids and Counting with the Duggar family, you’ll be familiar with the basic premise: don’t use birth control, have as many kids as the Lord will send you, and be grateful for every child as a blessing.

The biblical source for the Quiverfull approach is found in Psalm 127: 3-5:

3Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.4As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

And here’s the Twible version:

#Twible Ps 127: Blessed is the man who has a quiverful of sons. His ginormous family shall have joy and their very own reality show on TLC.

A couple of years ago an interesting book appeared about Quiverfull and the apparently retrogressive role the movement assigns to women. According to author Kathryn Joyce, it’s not so much the rejection of birth control that is of concern, but a general return to the nineteenth century. Young women are encouraged not to pursue higher education, but to marry early and bear children right away. The movement denounces legislation that would grant equal rights to women under the law, and upholds the patriarchal principle that a man is the king of his castle. The queen is there to follow his lead and do the mountains of laundry that pile up from having a supersized family.

It’s enough to make a feminist quiver, especially when you consider that one of the justifications the movement provides for having so many children is that it’s the only way to raise up a righteous generation large enough to overturn progressive legislation on civil rights and the economy.

So while I’m as fascinated with the Duggars as everyone else, I don’t want to be them. They seem like lovely people and great parents, but the politics of the movement with which they are loosely affiliated give me the wiggins.

#Twible Ps 127: Blessed is the man who has a quiverful of sons. His ginormous family shall have joy and their very own reality show on TLC.

#Twible Ps 128: The man who fears G’ll have an über-fertile wife who stays in the back room pushin’ out more kids. Yep, sign me up for that.

#Twible Ps 129: May all who hate Zion be put to shame. Make them like thatch that withers on the rooftop. (Hey, good one. That’ll show em.)

#Twible Ps 130: If you, G, should keep track of sin, who could stand? We’d be flunking out for sure. I already got a D in religion class.

#Twible Ps 131: My heart is not proud, G. I am never haughty. Except maybe now, when I’m letting you know how very humble I am.

#Twible Ps 132: A gentle reminder, G: you promised to keep David’s line on the throne. REMEMBER? We’re all getting a bit worried down here.

#Twible Ps 133: How pleasant it is when people dwell together in unity! We’ll enjoy peace for the 5.3 seconds it lasts. And…cue fight scene.

#Twible Ps 134: 3-verse, all-purpose Psalm: 1) Praise G. 2) Lift up your hands. 3) Be blessed. Why can’t religion always be this simple?

#Twible Ps 135: Other nations’ idols are silver & gold, made by human hands. Idols=BAD. But gold=GOOD, so let’s use it for a nice chalice!

#Twible Ps 136: This Psalm informs us 26 different times that G’s love endures forever. And we thought today’s pop songs were repetitive.

 

 

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