in Kulturkampf

Hostile Birthing: the Quiverfull Movement

I’ve written before about the largely-Protestant Quiverfull Movement, which has some ideas about family size that would make the Pope happy. NPR’s Morning Edition ran a radio article about them this morning laying out the hostile theology at the heart of this movement — for “Power of the Will,” substitute ‘power of the womb.’ Here’s Nancy Campbell, a leader of the Quiverfulls:

The womb is such a powerful weapon; it’s a weapon against the enemy,” Campbell says…”My greatest impact is through my children. The more children I have, the more ability I have to impact the world for God.”

A Christian God, that is. Campbell says if believers don’t starting reproducing in large numbers, biblical Christianity will lose its voice.

“We look across the Islamic world and we see that they are outnumbering us in their family size, and they are in many places and many countries taking over those nations, without a jihad, just by multiplication,” Campbell says.

Still, Quiverfull is a small group, probably 10,000 fast-growing families, mainly in the Midwest and South. But they have large ambitions, says Kathryn Joyce, who has written about the movement in her book Quiverfull: Inside The Christian Patriarchy Movement.

“They speak about, ‘If everyone starts having eight children or 12 children, imagine in three generations what we’ll be able to do,’ ” Joyce says. ” ‘We’ll be able to take over both halls of Congress, we’ll be able to reclaim sinful cities like San Francisco for the faithful, and we’ll be able to wage very effective massive boycotts against companies that are going against God’s will.’ ” (Emphasis mine)

This is pure apocalyptic thinking. This is Kulturkampf. The “enemy” Nancy Campbell mentions is actually a long list of the Usual Suspects: liberals, atheists, commies, Mohammedans, Buddhists, ad infinitum. “The enemy” is Satan and one need not make distinctions between his Earthly minions. The Clash of Civilizations and the Culture Wars are made one monolithic whole. Give birth for the Lord! Every baby is another soldier for the apocalypse!

The movement is Taliban-esque in its regard for women. Girls are discouraged from seeking higher education because marriage and constant childbirth are their ordained roles in life. The Warriors for Christ can only outnumber the infidels through the Power of the Womb if women submit to their husbands until their uteruses fall out. I may be risking accusations of reductio ad Hitlerum for pointing this out, but the Quiverfull Movement’s rhetoric echoes the 1936 Nuremberg Rally. After Gertrud Scholtz-Klink, the head of the Nazi Women’s League, spent half an hour railing against the Soviet system of gender equality and abortion access, Hitler said:

What you see as a yoke others see as a blessing…For us the woman has always been the loyal companion of the man in work and life. People often tell me: ‘You want to drive women out of the professions.’ No, I only want to make it possible for her to found her own family and to have children, for that is how she can best serve our people!

If a woman jurist does the best possible work, but next to her lives a woman who has given birth to five, six or seven healthy children who are well educated, I would say the following: From the standpoint of the eternal values of our people, the woman who has borne and raised children has done more, given more, accomplished more for the future of our people! (Emphasis mine)

Nazi Germany went so far as to offer special loans (“Ehestanddarlehen“) to newly-married couples. Repayment terms decreased 25% with the birth of each child until the fourth, at which point the loan repayment was canceled altogether. Abortion was outlawed, and young unmarried women were actually encouraged to have babies with SS soldiers (the Lebensborn Project) so that Aryans could outnumber Jews, Russians, Poles, and other lesser races.

Of course, I’m not branding Nancy Campbell and her ilk as racists. The Quiverfull Movement merely sets out to create a ‘master sect’ and turn America into a theocracy, which is really a whole lot different from a ‘master race’ dictatorship. Really. Which brings us to the media darlings known as the Duggar family, arch-priests of the Quiverfull Movement:

Why do these people invited to The View? Why does no interviewer ever question this outrageous lifestyle, in which Mr. Duggar calls his enormous home a “church” to escape property taxes? These twenty children (and counting!) are supported by a vast contributor network because Jim Bob doesn’t have a real job and Michelle’s job is gestation. Why will no one call them out on it?

And someone needs to. They are the fullest manifestation of the Cult of Life that gave us Nadya Suleman, that compels sixteen year-olds to get pregnant on purpose, that rebels against modernity and the rights of free women, and says this is God’s plan when God has nothing to do with it.

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