Recently I came across the latest issue of Bitch magazine, which I love, but which scared the bejeezus out of me, at least Kate Dixon's article "Multiply & Conquer: How to have 17 children and still believe in Jesus."
Yes, it's true. The Fundies are very different from you and me. While my partner and I are just starting to plan a family (looking into pregnancy and adoption options, trying to figure out how to legally protect any offspring we have), there are fundies out there having as many kids as possible in order to populate God's Army.
From the article:
The Quiverfull movement... takes its name and its justification for existence from the Bible's Psalm 127: "As arrows in the hand of a mighty man, so are the children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath a quiver full. They shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."
In other words, don't have kids because you have love to share--have kids because God needs an arsenal. As if the name alone wasn't creepy enough, the idea of babies as weapons ought to repulse anyone interested in parenting. But these moms are living the mission, having 10, 12, yes, even 17 kids. As many as God is sending them, no abstinence and certainly no birth control.
...the push for full quivers is in direct contradiction to much of the legal and societal equality that has (at least purportedly) become the norm. It is a movement deeply antagonistic to women's very autonomy; it exacts a high price from them--no less than an entire life of submission and devotion to "Him," in both senses of the word--in exchange for God's good will and benevolence.
Dixon goes on to outline the threats to women's rights, the racist overtones (apparently, only white babies make good projectiles), the hazards to the mother's own physical and mental health, and they're all true and scary in their own right--but like I said, we're planning a family, too, so this is hitting me much more on a personal, gut level--as in, my partner and I will take great pains to have a family, and do our best to raise a child with all the love, support, and guidance she'll need to grow and learn and succeed--and someday, she'll be shamed or shackled by the 17 siblings down the block as an affront to God.
I mean, 17 kids! How could you possibly feed & clothe them all, let alone make sure they've done their homework and brushed their teeth and not tried drugs? Yet these Quiverfull moms would condemn us as unfit mothers.
This war seeks no place for women except in the home, and ultimately, it seeks to foist that vision upon all of society--and thus the levers and mechanisms of power--through an eventual numerical stranglehold on the population. We--feminists, environmentalists, gay rights advocates, liberals, progressives--are the enemy at the gate. If the Quiverfull movement gets its wish and good Christian breeding continues apace, we will be easy enough to contend with in the future.
Yeah, like motherhood doesn't scare me enough already.