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The Quiverfull movement: growing families for God

Our world is overpopulated enough, yet these folks in the Quiverfull movement are on a mission to procreate like bunnies if at all possible — because that’s how God wants it. (ABC):

If there is a grandmother to this movement, it’s Nancy Campbell. Her magazine has been advocating this lifestyle for decades. Campbell explained why followers even have a problem with natural family planning or the “rhythm method.”

“When we really stop and think about it, it’s not natural,” she said. “We have to go against the way that God designed our bodies. He designed them to be fruitful, so if a couple [doesn’t] want to have children?they’ve got to do something to their body so it doesn’t work the way God planned it.”

What about simply not having sex?

“What married couple is not going to do that?” Campbell asked.

So, what happens if the wife has  potentially deadly complications with each pregnancy? What if a doctor tells her it’s not safe to have more children? Is potential danger a sign to stop having sex, since contraception is out of the question, or is there an out for having a hysterectomy, saying it’s “God’s plan” to shut the baby factory down?

Ken and Devon Carpenter have eight kids and there are no plans to stop having sex, so we should expect them to fill that quiver and accept their biblically-determined roles.

The role of the father as the head of the household is at the center of the Quiverfull movement.

“I know that notion is going to rile a number of people,” Ken Carpenter said. “[But] I do consider myself the loving head of this family, responsible to lead them. That’s the biblical model of fatherhood.”

Devon Carpenter concurred, saying that her role is to be “nurturing and loving and submissive to my husband and shepherding to the children.”

I wonder if Campbell advocates for poor families to adhere to this practice. Will God provide for the adequate care of all of them?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding