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November 15, 2006

Blessed Arrows

Archer

Shown here is an animated gif from Blessed Arrows a "sterilization reversal ministry." BA runs a website that allows people who can't afford to reverse their sterilizations to band together and share medical bills--so that they can go on to have as many children as the Lord thinks they ought to have.

Blessed Arrows is one organization mentioned in Kathryn Joyce's remarkable essay in the nation about the Quiverfull movement. Quiverfulls are radical Protestants who reject all forms of birth control, including the rhythm method. Their leaders teach that women must make their bodies "living sacrifices" to their own fertility so that God (the "Ultimate Birth Controller") can live inside them.

According to Blessed Arrows testimonial, one testimonial, a near-fatal ectopic pregnancy is God's way of telling you to get knocked up more often:

Deni had a tubal ligation when she gave birth to Sera. When Sera as about 9 yo Deni had an ectopic pregnancy... she almost died from this. Needless to say this was very upsetting to Rick... so much so that he (out of fear) had a vasectomy (to make sure it would never happen again!).
The ectopic was actually what the Lord used to reach Deni's heart... the desire for more children had been there but had been stifled.

Jessica has more on the Quiverfull movement. Amanda discusses the movement's barely submerged eugenic/racist streak.

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Comments

I love that poster over Feministing.

Does the "Quiverfull" movement suggest that women paint targets on their vaginas? While this might be helpful to some god-fearing Christians, others may find it to be in bad taste.

I'm also having trouble thinking of my cock as a weapon. I don't want to scare anyone with it, though the spam mail I get that sell 'male enhancement' products suggest that it's best to "TERRIFYY Her WITh yor EEnORmUS JOHNsONN!" I am so confused.

I have heard it said that: “a population under threat will seek to reproduce itself.”

Perhaps this protestant sect is loosing membership and needs to revive itself?

I'd never heard anything about them before I got this week's Nation. I really wish religious nuts would stop giving me cause to be afraid of them.

"Perhaps this protestant sect is loosing membership and needs to revive itself?"

No dude, you see the "real" Chiristians are not keeping up with the cults of Catholicism and Mormonism. There is some distress amongst the fundie establishment over this. Fortunately, it fits right in the with distress exhibited by Pat Buchanan, fearing he will die a minority in his own country. So it is the duty of all "real" Christians white folks to screw like rabbits to keep the baby race a close heat.

Let's just hope that many of these Quiverfull babies escape their families and refuse to be drafted into a religious war.

Seriously: on top of all the sexism and dominionism, what a horrible way to think of your children.

Yeah, babies as theological stop-loss. How Christlike.

I live in Quebec where the Catholic Church tried something like this in the past. It was called the revenge of the cradle. It didn't work the way it was advertised. The change in demographics forced the government to put in massive support programs and as the population ages is forcing more changes to the social structure. Think babyboom X3. The next generation has little interest is replicating the experiment.

I find the deliberate(?) misspelling of "quiverful" almost as creepy as the movement itself.

Did anyone else notice that Deni and Rick's grandchildren are named "Thor, Gareth, Kheldar, & Elektra Dawn"?


Bah, it's just a scam to get around the law and sell dildos in Texas. Only they'll call them "Jesus Arrows".

What bothers me is that some liberals and semi-liberals (I am looking at you, Phillip Longman) actually buy into the theory and complain that left-of-center people aren't reproducing fast enough to avoid being overrun by the Marching Morons.

The error here is to focus on groups of people rather than on the ideas in their heads: in an imagined race to avoid demographic defeat, they give up the real contest without a fight. A few generations back, I am descended pretty much entirely from religious conservatives with large families. If demography were destiny, I'd be one, and there would be almost no liberals in America today.

This "movement" will never catch on in a sufficiently advanced industrialized society for a simple reason: big families are poorer than small families. The fertility freaks are essentially asking their followers to voluntarily accept poverty and no future for their offspring (how are they going to send them all to college?). Some fanatics may accept voluntary family impoverishment in order to please God, but most people won't.

So let these freaks have their inane beliefs--acting on them simly makes them all the more irrelevant.

RWB, I hope you're right, but the threads of fanaticism run deep in this country. See Jeff Sharlet's great piece in this month's Harper's, for example. And as for relevancy, Sharlet's "Jesus Plus Nothing" (available online, if you google it), about the Christian right's political aspirations (and successes), still scares the hell out of me.

Janet:

Yeah, babies as theological stop-loss. How Christlike.

Almost lost my coffee over that one.

Best comment of the day, hands down.

Did anyone else notice that Deni and Rick's grandchildren are named "Thor, Gareth, Kheldar, & Elektra Dawn"?

Maybe they're trying to breed adventurers. Thor the mighty warrior, Gareth the cunning thief, Kheldar the mysterious wizard and Elektra Dawn, priestess of Lathander.

I am going to be a radical on this one. No children now and not planning or wanting children. Actually take it one step further and am trying to raise money to do aerial spraying of birth control. Hah, take that!

I find it truly fascinating that someone else's choice to have as many children as God gives them stirs up such hatred. Hmmm....

If you're really "pro-choice," why are you trying to force YOUR particular choice on another person? When you claim that you are "pro-choice," please remember what the definition of choice is: "The power, right, or liberty to choose; option" Remember to live up to the literal definition of what you claim to be!

Don't be so offended when other people choose something different than you would. If you are offended at another's personal choice, as the commenters have clearly stated, then you are not truly "pro-choice."

Oh, and another thing.....the people I know in this so-called "movement" are actually very "well-off" by US poverty standards. We make $200,000+ a year, own 10 homes and are debt free. The infamous Dugger family makes quite a lot and are debt free. Every one I know who is "quiverfull" (about 20 or so families) are either completely debt-free or nearly debt-free and NONE are dependent upon governmental hand-outs.

How many of you can claim that? :)

FYI...a lot of quiverfull families have adopted children (our family included) and are MULTI-racial. So, the whole racial aspect doesn't hold water either. Yes, it can be found. BUT prejudice can be found in any people group.

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