Quiverfull is Dangerous

Quiverfull is a fringe procreation movement with its name coming from Psalm 127:3-5 which states “Certainly, sons are a gift.from the LORD, the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man who has filled his quiver with them.” 

Adherents believe that families should have as many children as possible.  There is no concern for a mother’s health, for a family’s finances or needs, and is seen as a reaction to secular culture.  Children born into this movement are seen as soldiers fighting against a corrupt United States (it is a very American centric movement as are many of the other movements/beliefs tied with it) that can be brought back to Christianity (usually a very narrow, fundamentalist Protestant version) through high numbers of births and raising these children in this belief system.

It is a movement that is touted as pro-life when in reality it very antithetical to life.  Babies are seen as commodities instead of people, as individuals.  Women are to have children at all costs, even at the cost of their own life.  Women are expected to have a baby just about every year.  The parents act selfishly in having babies to fulfill what is considered godly belief and behavior.

These women are also expected to homeschool these children.  Girls are raised to follow in their mothers footsteps by getting married and having large families.  This all justified as being godly and biblical.

Many children are born into families that are headed by parents where at least one parent has a college education which is surprising considering that children born into this belief system are forbidden from going to college. Though there are also families headed by parents that only have a high school education, if that.  Many of the children in this movement barely receive a high school education, if that. Most of the children in this movement are homeschooled, usually by parents who lack the ability to teach academically.

The father is the only employed member of the family since it is considered sinful and against God’s will for women to work and/or work outside the home.  Women are only allowed to be wives and mothers.  Education for girls (beyond the minimum, usually high school) is discouraged and early marriage after “courtship” is encouraged. 

Most of these families have little income so will at times suffer from a lack of necessities such as food, proper clothing, housing, education (even with homeschooling), health care, and dental hygiene.  Many suffer all these things almost constantly during childhood. 

Corporal punishment is also heavily pushed so many also suffer from abuse.  Not just physical but emotional, mental, financial, spiritual, and even sexual abuse.  Verses from Proverbs and books by the likes of Michael Pearl, Reb Bradley, Bill Gothard are used to support spanking and child abuse and prove that this “Biblical.”

Anything that may be seen as government interference or intrusion is considered evil and refused or looked at with suspicion.    Such groups such as Child Protective Services are warned against and followers are told that they will take away your children because you homeschool (which is patently wrong and illegal).  Fear is a common tool to coerce and force compliance of behavior of children and even adults.

Quiverfull is also dangerous to men.  They are expected to get married at a young age so that they can father many children, typically are the ones to carry our corporal punishment, expected to rule the home as a leader which ends up being a dictator or tyrant, and determine who their daughter(s) may marry.  They also discouraged from going to college (too worldly) and so have to find work with a high school diploma. 

More information just Google “Quiverfull Movement.”  The Wikipedia entry is especially helpful. 

The blog No Longer Quivering (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering) has stories from those who were in the movement. It also provides useful information and support.

Homeschoolers Anonymous (http://homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com) also has stories from the children raised in this movement because homeschooling is tied up with Quiverfull.

I also suggest Recovering Grace (http://www.recoveringgrace.org) which deals with Bill Gothard and his promotion of Quiverfull, plus his homeschooling curriculum, spiritual and sexual abuse.


2 Responses to “Quiverfull is Dangerous”

  1. 1 geoffhorswood 20 February 2015 at 4:25 AM

    Good post. I’m familiar with Recovering Grace (my wife came out of Gothard’s heretical teachings), though less so with this dangerous Quiverfull nonsense. Forewarned is forearmed, though I hope that even without a warning I’d be able to see the movement for what it is.
    Thanks for writing this.

    • 2 pacbox 20 February 2015 at 7:13 AM

      You are welcome. This actually came out of a comment discussion on my about page last week. And then last night I had to explain it to a Wal-mart cashier after a previous customer in front of me remarked on the Suffer story that was on the cover of some magazine. The cashier had never heard of Quiverfull so I gave her a brief explanation. I realized that unless you’ve been involved in it or read blogs by people who have been in it, people have no idea. Mostly because it’s so fringe but also it gets dressed up in prolife rhetoric so nobody sees the real danger. The Duggars are a huge reason that it’s at least being talked about in some circles. But they are also the reason that it has become more popular but coached in prolife language.

      The Duggars are (though I’m not sure how accurate it is now) followers of Gothard. They advocated a lot of his teachings. I heard that he was big on large families.

      The thing is Quiverfull, homeschooling, purity culture, courtship, Christian reconstructionism (I think that’s the name), Gothardism, Vision Forum, spanking, fundamentalism, etc. are all tied up together. They overlap and feed off each other.

      The problem I have and what promoted me, was that a lot of these ideas were seeping to Catholicism and getting painted with a Catholic veneer. I have read many Catholics praise Michele Duggar for having that many children. They ignore the fact that she only cares for the baby for the first six months of life before handing it off to a daughter to raise. So a teenage daughter becomes a mother to her own sibling. Michele likes being pregnant because of the status it gives her rather than understanding the fact that she has to truly care and minute these children she gives birth to. To her, these babies are toys to be played with and when she gets bored she throws them away to a daughter to raise.

      That’s actually something I didn’t put in my post. Older children, especially girls, are expected to help raise younger children. In many cases, the eldest daughter becomes a mother to her younger siblings, especially if the mother is constantly pregnant.

      Well, I’m getting wordy. Hope you learned some more and I didn’t overload your brain. I think I need to write another post about this.

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