Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ryan T. Anderson on The Quiverfull Movement

This First Things piece is a more nuanced, certainly more sympathetic take on the Quiverfull Movement than my earlier post.

...though the media has just recently given them special attention, they’re only one of the many groups of people, and notably young people, rethinking and recapturing the moral and human logic of sexuality.

They take their inspiration, and their name, from the Psalmist: “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them” (Psalm 127:3–5).

And they describe themselves in this way: “We exalt Jesus Christ as Lord, and acknowledge His headship in all areas of our lives, including fertility. We exist to serve those believers who trust the Lord for family size, and to answer the questions of those seeking truth in this critical area of marriage.” “Dedicated to providing encouragement and practical help to those who are striving to raise a large and growing, godly family in today’s world!”

Some Christians will undoubtedly take issue with their understanding of trust in God’s providence (describing their attitude as presumptuous) and wish they would place emphasis on discerning God’s will for family size and come to see Natural Family Planning as a responsible way to avoid conceiving when spouses have good reasons to postpone pregnancy. Be that as it may, the Quiverfull movement does embody a powerful reaction against a contraceptive mentality that views children and childbearing as inconveniences in adult life, to be planned around adult desires, using whatever means necessary.

In the light of opinions such as these over birth control I am glad to be in the population for which such questions are academic. I cannot imagine how my wife and I would have been able to rear a larger family. The one we had was enough, thanks. One thing is certain -- being foster parents would definitely have not been an option.

First Things is, of course, the preeminent Catholic voice for Catholics that could be called "left leaning." That doesn't mean they are about to embrace heresy and this commentary is a case in point. The writer makes no reference to how the Quiverfull Movement puzzles together with home schooling in general and the propogation of the teaching of Creationism. He never put the two together in this piece, but I wish he had. Retrograde thinking is okay by me as long as it doesn't look dangerous. And the mixture of Quiverfull and Creationism via home schooling strikes me as pretty dangerous.

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