When the Second Child is Only the Beginning… February 1, 2012

When the Second Child is Only the Beginning…

Suppose you’re pregnant.

Suppose it’s your second child.

Suppose you tell a friend about it.

It’s going to be a boy. You already have a girl.

What’s the appropriate reaction from your friend?

Perhaps, “Congratulations! You have one of each now!”

Libby Anne comes from a Quiverfull family, though, and that reaction is far from normal in her world:

The assumption, of course, is that I’m done. I can’t tell you how often I get this. People find out I’m expecting, find out it’s a boy and that I already have a girl in preschool, and they assume I’m done. Two kids, one of each, the perfect American family. It’s not that I’m necessarily not done, it’s just that having been raised in a family influenced by the ideals of the Quiverfull movement, it’s hard to imagine actually thinking that way.

In a Quiverfull family, the second child is simply the second of many. The idea that it might be the last is laughable. That second child will be the second in a stair step line of children lined up to show off, the second in command when you leave the kids to run an errand, the second helper when new children arrive, and the second to use each homeschool textbook.


At least Libby Anne is now out of the lifestyle. After the child is born, she can take all the maternity clothes and give them away, knowing this child will likely be her last. She’s broken the chain. It’s a happy ending.

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  • I hope the gay kids in that picture leave the family influence before coming out.

  • FSq


    And the thing is, that family will be sucking from the public teat vis-a-vis food assistance and other subsidies. It is foul how they shit out crotch-turds like human Pez dispensers with no real thought as to where the money to feed that brood is going to come from. 

    Not to mention that those kids are going to get home-schooled/programmed as well as be neglected – albeit not directly – indirectly as a result of having so goddamn many of the little bible-swingers. 

    Gross. Foul. And wrong.

    Makes “Octomom” seem sane….

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, but no.  The right to reproduce is a fundamental right.  We can argue back and forth about costs to society or whether it’s more beneficial to have a large family, or so forth.  But the choice to have a family, large or not, is an individual choice that — whether motivated by religion or not —  should not be subject to this kind of opprobrium.

    Y’know what, that picture that Hemant posts is of a large family.  Certainly larger than any family I’d like to have.  But they look pretty damn happy in that photo, and I’m not going to condemn them for finding happiness there.

    Criticize the Quiverfull movement all you like.  Criticize their sexist doctrines.  But don’t shit on somebody else’s domestic bliss because it’s not your cup of tea.

  • Slip’n’Slide Vagina. Available everywhere Quiverfulls are born.

  • Jools

    Your vagina is not a clown car.

  • Gus Snarp

    Sucking on the public teat? Crotch-turds? human Pez dispensers? 

    Yes, you and the language you use to refer to human beings are indeed “Gross. Foul. And wrong.” And yes, you make a lot of people seem sane.

    At what number does my child become a crotch-turd? Was it the first one? The second? Would I have to have 3?

  • Gus Snarp

    The biggest problem with the quiverfull movement is when it reduces women to breeding cows, and values them as such, rather than as equal partners in a marriage, or in the fact that they generally plan to brainwash their children. But not in some specific appropriate number of kids.

  • Anonymous

    I think it is more to the point to stop asking rude questions of people. “Are you done,” and “Do you know what causes that,” are some of the ruder questions you can ask a mother of multiple children. What makes us think it is okay to be rude just because we don’t agree with someone’s ideal?

  • Andrew Morgan

    Yeah, it’s totally awful how Hemant talked about how they don’t have the right to have those kids, and how it’s not an individual choice.

    Wait what?

  • Emily Stewart

    JWH – I don’t see the fundamental nature of the right to reproduce, but I’d like to understand where you’re coming from.  I believe in the right to birth control, but I see families like this as socially irresponsible because we don’t live on a planet with infinite resources. 

    What’s the difference between driving a Humvee for recreation during how ever many wars are going on now, and deliberately contributing to overpopulation?  Keeping in mind that Americans consume a lot more than other people in the world – does this family have a responsibility to limit the number of people who will be a drain on limited resources? 

  • women are more than uteri

    I support every women’s right to have as many children as she wants, preferably those she is afford to support.  The Quiverfull movement terrifies me because it poses severe health risks to the mother and, in my opinion, brainwashes females as to their “proper” role.  Reproduction is a choice, and one I am gladly opting out of!

  • Anonymous

    He seems overly condemnatory of the decision to have multiple children.  

  • women are more than uteri

    *able to support

  • Anonymous

    Take a look at some of the sterilization cases from the 20th century.  

  • Lauren

    You people defending the breeders; sure its a RIGHT, but that does not make it moral.  Its my RIGHT to have abortion after abortion after abortion because I don’t like b/c.  However, is that the MORAL choice?  No, of course not (and I am very staunchly pro-choice).  The women with vaginas as clown cars yes have the right, but its morally reprehensible on so many levels; the HORRIBLE contribution to an already overcrowded planet, the neglect involved in having so many children, and how little time must be available to each, and how the older ones have to parent the younger ones.  These people disgust me!!!  Their delusions and ignorance are impacting the health of the entire planet.

  • As much as I disagree with the religious dogma of this family (the Duggars) and much of the way they bring up their children, I will give them credit where credit is due. They have no debit. They are not on welfare. The father is actually a pretty slick businessman and leases his land out for cell phone towers. Honestly, their kids don’t affect my bottom line – they aren’t even in public school so I can’t complain about the tax burden. It’s just as much their right to drink the Jesus Juice as it is mine to utterly reject it.

    As for the women in the quiverfull movement, I value their reproductive freedoms as much as I value my own. I how could I possibly call myself pro-choice if that choice didn’t include the decision to have twenty kids? I only wish they respected my rights as much.

  • Eric Greenwood

    But its not just those kids.. its the Kids of those kids, and the kids of those kids..  If  they have 18 kids, who each have 10 kids each.  thats 180 in 2 generations, and if each of those 180 have 10 kids,  3rd generation 1,800.   and 4th, 18,000,  5th, 180,000,  6th 1.8 million. 7th generation 18 million,  and so on..

  • bengie

    With no “call to action” for restriction… so its not a big deal.

  • Anonymous

    They are an exception though. Not every Quiverfull family makes ton of money from reality television. In fact their main income apart from the father seems to be the entire family slaving away in some kind of home business

  • Anonymous

    It’s not about the fact that they have so many children, but the ideology behind it and the reprehensible way they are raised – especially the daughters

  • Anonymous

    In the grand scheme of things that’s they whole point of the movement. Taking over society by out-breeding the competition:


  • Anonymous

    Sadly, that’s the whole point of this Quiverfull thing, I’d say: fill the planet with more people indoctrinated into the cult. Am I wrong about that?

  • Liz Heywood

    I worry about those kids suffering because no one notices a fever or an earache… I don’t know offhand what the Quiverfull policy is about prayer vs. medicine–but either way, in such a huge family it must be easy for a child’s health issues to be overlooked.   I’m concerned that families isolated and indoctrinated into such beliefs sometimes also withhold medical care from their children–which is LEGAL in many states. The Followers of Christ allowed the deaths of a lot of kids before Oregon law was changed (last year) thanks to the work of Rita Swan and CHILD Inc (Children’s Healthcare Is A Legal Duty, Inc.) in educating the voters & representatives.

  • Gus Snarp

    Fortunately they’ll never get there. You just can’t keep all those kids on board with that nonsense for that many generations in the face of modern technological society.

  • Yeah, they have no debt, but a lot of their stuff was paid for/donated by TLC and fans of theirs.  They’re not on welfare, but do you know how much of your income becomes tax-free when you have 20 dependents?  $76,000, right off the top.

  • Lauren

    Theer decision to breed ad nauseum is contributing to the rampant overpopulation our species already has on the planet…

  • Kat Basken

    “Breeders”, huh? I’m assuming you’re one of those people who supports voluntary human extinction. If true, that’s quite the reasonable position. *cough*

    And overcrowding, really? There are vast parts of the Earth that are unpopulated. People like the Duggars are having children in low-populated areas, so they’re not contributing to overcrowding. Maybe you mean overpopulation? If that’s the case… no, I wont go there.

  • Anonymous

    They aren’t that backwards. Quiverfull is about patriarchy, gender roles and obedience, not faith healing.

    As far as child rearing goes, the older children are taught to take care of the younger ones. After all that’s just preparation for their future life

  • Gus Snarp

    It seems reasonable to me to ask if there should be a limit to the total value of dependents and child tax credits one can claim. While I do believe the government shouldn’t be telling any woman what to do with her uterus, it need not subsidize that use to an absurd degree.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly…this isn’t just about having a large family, it’s also about an ideology (a disgusting and reprehensible one too).  An ideology that defines women only as daughters, wives and breeders.  Some of these families see no need to educate their daughters since they want to keep them from venturing out into the world.

  • MariaO

    My grandmother was one of ten surviving children in a poor farm-hand family. Only the two oldest brothers had more than two children. All of the sisters had one or none – that is how much they wanted a big family like the one they grow up in. If you decide to have children – fine. But don’t force your older children (read daughters) to take care of them for you – it may not be their choice to become fostermoms.

  • OverlappingMagisteria

    I’ve wondered about that with the Duggars. With so many kids, at least one of them is likely to be either gay, doubt their parents beliefs, or do something else that they would disapprove of (maybe kissing before marriage! gasp!) Being in the public eye will make things very interesting for them.

  • FSq

    Prove the right to reproduce is a fundamental right. Seriously, your argument hinges on something that has not been established. Make your case, but make the case that having multitudes of off-spring that the parents have no way of taking care of is a fundamental right.

    Until you do, this just begs the question.

    I don’t know where you are, but in the US, there are now daily occurrences when people have their children taken away from them because they simply cannot care for them. So I ask you, do they still have the fundamental right to go out and squeeze out more that they cannot care for?

    As for the argument that the family looks pretty happy based on ONE photo, well, do I really have to point out the flaws in that argument?

  • Oh geez, I forgot about the child tax credit.  That’s a $1,000 CREDIT, not deduction, for each child under 17.  However, that is income dependent.  It starts to phase out at an income of $110,000 (married filing jointly). 

  • FSq

    Have you been drinking the kool-aid and eating lobotomy sandwiches, because you have made some incredibly spurious and idiotic assumptions. 

  • FSq

    How is that an argument? How in the word is that an argument in any shape or form?

  • FSq

    Oh that’s right, every child is a blessing. Get over it. Children are not finite resources, and heaven forbid anyone use a term other than child. When some women turns her uterus into a human nerf-gun, yes, there is cause for derision and mocking.

  • Mickey

    As an only child who married an only child, I look at that family and feel envy at the extended family their next generation will enjoy. I know that’s naive. I know that’s simplistic. Yes, their religious beliefs are nutzilla. But I read Cheaper By The Dozen as a kid and it sounded pretty good then and they were not religious at all!

  • FSq

    So the children and bred to be mindless kitchen help and wt-nurses. Yes, how wonderfully humane.

  • Lauren

    Oy, where to start….I will type slow so you get it.  First, ever taken a biology class?  That would help you comprehension this problem I think.

    “Breeders”, huh? I’m assuming you’re one of those people who supports
    voluntary human extinction. If true, that’s quite the reasonable
    position. *cough*”

    Nooooooooooo, I would rather humans NOT go extinct.  If I cared not for the fate of the species, I would say breed away.  However, biological populations WILL have their numbers controlled one way or another.  We as a species either need to control ourselves by responsible reproduction choices, or good ol mother nature will do it for us in a much less pleasant way, involving famine, disease, or other good times!

    “And overcrowding, really? There are vast parts
    of the Earth that are unpopulated. People like the Duggars are having
    children in low-populated areas, so they’re not contributing to
    overcrowding. Maybe you mean overpopulation? If that’s the case… no, I
    wont go there.”

    I said the planet was overcrowded, and YES by overpopulation.  See above.  Each new person put onto the earth not only required mere physical space (which you seem to be hinting at in all of its simplicity), but also a certain amount of productive land in which to make food for the new arrival.  Even if they live in the sticks, they still require food, and it tends to come from the same areas for all of the country, regardless of where the breeder lives.

    And yes, I advice you NOT to go there, you clearly have no understanding of the problems involving logarithmic growth.

  • Kat Basken

    Breeders is a very common term used by people who support the voluntary human extinction movement. Throw in basically everything else in that comment and it pretty much sounds exactly like any of the discussions I’ve seen surrounding the movement. I obviously pointed out the assumption I was making in order to determine if it was accurate or not.

    But sure, you can be a dick and call me names. It makes you sound so smart!

  • Actually no you don’t have some magical fundamental to reproduce like rodents. It doesn’t benefit an already overpopulated planet.  I’m guessing you must be religious and figure we’re going to be saved and taken to some magical place and don’t have to be stewards to this planet that we inhabit

  • Kat Basken

    “Oy, where to start….I will type slow so you get it.  First, ever taken a biology class?  That would help you comprehension this problem I think.”

    Lol, yet another person who wants to be a dick and call anyone else who doesn’t immediately act like they’re an all-knowing god stupid. 

    Yes, I’ve taken biology. I graduated with a BS in Earth and Space Sciences, Biology from the University of Washington and have worked in a mammal research lab with a biology professor at the same university. I don’t know nearly as much as someone who has taken their education further with a Masters or PhD, but I’m not ignorant to biology.

    “Nooooooooooo, I would rather humans NOT go extinct.  If I cared not for the fate of the species, I would say breed away.  However, biological populations WILL have their numbers controlled one way or another.  We as a species either need to control ourselves by responsible reproduction choices, or good ol mother nature will do it for us in a much less pleasant way, involving famine, disease, or other good times!”

    Ok, my assumption was incorrect and I apologize. I agree 100%.

    “I said the planet was overcrowded, and YES by overpopulation.  See above.  Each new person put onto the earth not only required mere physical space (which you seem to be hinting at in all of its simplicity), but also a certain amount of productive land in which to make food for the new arrival.  Even if they live in the sticks, they still require food, and it tends to come from the same areas for all of the country, regardless of where the breeder lives.And yes, I advice you NOT to go there, you clearly have no understanding of the problems involving logarithmic growth.”

    So I guess you haven’t seen the data that projects the population to continue to increase by 2050 but then start to wane (in some cases dropping dramatically). Could the projections be wrong? Absolutely. But to call  anyone idiotic without even having any understanding of how that person is reaching their conclusions is absurd. 

    If you have some data/projections you’d like to show me to prove my current position wrong, I would absolutely love to see it. I’m not religious about my beliefs and I change my opinions and ideas based on evidence.

  • Anonymous

    As a matter of fact, I do sit here in the United States.  And unlike you, I have some awareness of government intrusion into reproductive freedoms.

    Or have you forgotten that US states in the early to mid twentieth century enacted mandatory sterilization programs?  Of course you haven’t.  

    Perhaps I should direct your attention to Skinner v. Oklahoma, where the US Supreme Court applied strict scrutiny to a program of mandatory sterilization for certain classes of felons.  Justice Douglas wrote:

    We are dealing here with legislation which involves one of the basic civil rights of man. Marriage and procreation are fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race. The power to sterilize, if exercised, may have subtle, farreaching and devastating effects. In evil or reckless hands it can cause races or types which are inimical to the dominant group to wither and disappear. 

    Or do you prefer the world of Buck v. Bell, where Justice Holmes wrote:

     It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. 

    Does that sound like a desirable world to you?   Hmmm?

    If the right to procreate (and, by extension, the right not to procreate) is  treated as fundamental, then the state must overcome significant hurdles to impede that right.  If the right to procreate, on the other hand, is treated as a non-fundamental right, then you open the floodgates to all manner of nastiness.  

    So treat carefully.

    I don’t know where you are, but in the US, there are now daily occurrences when people have their children taken away from them because they simply cannot care for them. So I ask you, do they still have the fundamental right to go out and squeeze out more that they cannot care for? 

    Indeed, under the law they have that right … and if they prove to be unfit parents (again), the state may remove their issue.   In your world, on the other hand, the state would have the right to sterilize this couple to prevent them from reproducing again.

    As for the argument that the family looks pretty happy based on ONE photo, well, do I really have to point out the flaws in that argument?

    It’s something of a rhetorical flourish … but at the same time, there are any number of large families that exist just as any other family does … with ups, downs, good times, and bad.  But if they function well and are happy overall, again, who are you to shit on them?

  • “Breeders” is a very common term used by a LOT of groups. And sometimes it is used to mean it’s literal definition of “people who breed”. “Breed” is does not just mean to have children, but to have one’s purpose tied to creating offspring. In this sense, use of the word “breeder” makes a lot of sense, perhaps the most fitting word for the occasion.
    To automatically tie it to VHEM is like saying anyone who says the word “gun” must be in the NRA just because the people in that group use that word a lot. VHEM doesn’t have any kind of exclusive hold on the word breeder. It’s quite the long jump of an assumption. And to use this assumption as the basis for discounting someone’s argument, one must expect *their* argument to be challenged.

  • I agree! It’s like saying that because some people rape that all sex must be bad. Forced sterilization is SO not what the discussion is about.

  • Kat Basken

    See my additional reply to Lauren. It wasn’t just the term breeder, but it was a wrong assumption. I didn’t use that as a basis to discount her argument at all. 

    I also have no problem with my argument being challenged.

  • This stuff always scares me.

    My best friend growing up was the oldest of 8 kids, who discovered significantly later in life that mom and dad apparently subscribed to the delightful dogma that “you can’t rape your wife”. So, without having any form of BC at her disposal (bearing in mind that these kind of relationships just pile on the guilt and shame, burying you in it – it would take a very special sort of women to somehow purchase and administer BC on her own in this kind of environment) she had 8 child. Two with autism, one diagnosed, the other undiagnosed.

    All of the children were homeschooled by my friend growing up, since both parents had to work FT jobs to even come close to financially supporting such a large family, and when she left for college (because she was a “stubborn” girl who thought that college would be a good idea), her next-youngest sister took over (she was 15 at the time).

    For her, this was a household occupied and run by individuals who’d been drinking nothing BUT kool-aid their entire lives. They didn’t know how to cook or clean or organize or even bathe properly. My friend made an absolutely courageous effort, at the risk of permanently being ostracized from her family and restricted access to her siblings, one summer to attempt to re-educate themselves or face the threat of CPS. She was prepared, at the ripe old age of 22, to take in her FOUR YOUNGEST SIBLINGS and raise them.

    CPS never got involved (negligence in insanely hard to prove, especially in cases with committed, hetero, Christian marriages), but at the very least the kids stopped using the microwave like a refrigerator and the girls learned how to wash their long hair and use deodorant and all of the mouse droppings got cleaned out of kitchen cabinets.

  • Anonymous

    “Breeder” is also used by some gay people to refer to straight people. You’re just applying your own biases here. I guess most people have never heard of VHEM

  • chicago dyke, evolved outlaw

    your ignorance is amusing. “breeder” is a term best known from its use in the gay community, in which it is a derogatory term to refer to people who don’t live Fabulous lives because they’re too busy shopping at Wal Mart buying diapers for their 1345 kids. and you miss the most important point, which is not about the total number of human beings on the planet, but the amount of resources we consume. do some reading. people who live in first or second world countries consume so much their mere existence results in the slaughter or starvation of people in third world countries, who often also lack access to reliable birth control. women also benefit from ZPG, and are (proven by many studies and statistics) more able to have independence, education and financial success when they aren’t burdened with a clown car of kids. 

    and you are the first person i have ever read to use the term “voluntary human extinction movement.” what nutbag newsletters are you subscribing to? the red capes from the catholic church? get real. 

  • Anonymous

    Actually, Al, my position doesn’t require any sort of religious contortions.  I simply believe in individual autonomy and not looking down my nose at people’s reproductive choices.  

  • How about every child is a FUCKING HUMAN BEING and it’s wrong to dehumanize people.

  • Kat Basken

    “your ignorance is amusing. “breeder” is a term best known from its use in the gay community, in which it is a derogatory term to refer to people who don’t live Fabulous lives because they’re too busy shopping at Wal Mart buying diapers for their 1345 kids.”

    But that term in the gay community is not related to overpopulation but more so related to their ability to have children without aid.

    “and you miss the most important point, which is not about the total number of human beings on the planet, but the amount of resources we consume.”

    Overconsumption is definitely an issue and is not necessarily tied to overpopulation.

    “and you are the first person i have ever read to use the term “voluntary human extinction movement.” what nutbag newsletters are you subscribing to? the red capes from the catholic church? get real.”

    Actually there’s a pretty large group on atheist nexus of people who are all for it, sadly enough! That’s how I even found out about it.

  • Anonymous

    Emily asked from whence I draw my view of reproductive freedom as a fundamental right.  If you go back and actually read the cases and commentary, you’ll find some choice language about reproduction as a fundamental freedom.  

  • Anonymous

    Wow.  Is it so hard to accept that a person believes both in ready access to birth control AND the right to have children — many children, if one so chooses — as necessary adjuncts to reproductive freedom?

  • SeniorSkeptik

    I wonder if the fact that all the girls are wearing something similiar to prairie dresses (no ankles showing except on the eight year old).

    Are they also teaching creationism and  young earth b.s.? If so, the country is suffering for the ignorance of their offspring.

    On the other hand, there has got to be an atheist or two coming out of that litter dontcha think?

  • Anonymous

     You are the only arguing about that. This about Quiverfull and their sick ideology. The ideology is the problem (and maybe the Duggar’s whoring themselves out for television), not that they have such a large brood

  • Anonymous

    Aha!  Wikipedia to the rescue.   For those wondering why I hold the right to procreate as a fundamental right, take a look at this:

    While having power to neither grant nor remove an individual right, the Supreme Court has legally recognized some fundamental rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution, including:
    The right to interstate travelThe right to intrastate travelThe right to voteThe right to privacy (which includes within it a set of rights) including:
    a. The right to marriageb. The right to procreationc. The right to an abortiond. The right to private education (homeschooling one’s children)e. The right to contraception (the right to use contraceptive devices)f. The right of family relations (the right of related persons to live together)
    The Right of individual citizens to keep and bear arms for protection (Heller vs DC see also: McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025)

  • Erik Cameron

    The idea the people should have the right to procreate as they wish is practical, but absurd. In the future, when we have the necessary resources and technology, I hope that we put the rights of the children ahead of the rights of the adults by setting standards about who can procreate.

  • In your world, on the other hand, the state would have the right to sterilize this couple to prevent them from reproducing again.

    That is one GIGANTIC straw-man you’re building right there. Stop arguing against claims that you made up in your head.

  • BekahDekah

    @JWH – The key word here is “choice.” If a woman (Michelle Duggar, for example) is taught from infancy
    that God’s purpose for her is to marry and have as many children as God
    gives her, and she does that, is it a CHOICE that she made? Nobody here is saying women shouldn’t be allowed to choose to bear dozens of children, but some women (Quiverfull mothers, for example) aren’t allowed a choice.

  • Revyloution

    Personally, I can’t wait for the first gay or atheist Drugar.  The odds are stacked pretty heavily in favor of at least one of each.

  • FSq

    Whatever you say there Cap’N Cut and Paste. Nothing like an education from the University of Google to become a self-proclaimed expert and intellectual.

    I am now going to stop talking with you because you make me sad.

  • FSq

    Settle down Bono.

  • FSq

    Oh yes, because Wikipedia is such a reliable resource. Try cracking open some law books, or visit a library.

  • Lauren

    Wow, leave for a bit, and a lot of replies!  With your data, WHY is the population decreasing?  Is it because people…..start taking charge of their breeding?  Like I am suggesting??? 

    Surely you must see that breeder families (and yes, Rosalarian hit the nail on the head with my use of the term, and YES it is as contemptous as I can make it….to have ones’ sole purpose on earth to be a brood sow is worthy of as much contempt as I can throw upon it), reproducing as the Quiverfull movement instructs them too, this will not be the case.  Even after a couple of generations (as was pointed out by another poster), one original QF family can spawn an ENORMOUS amount of progeny, infecting the children with their dangerous meme of ignorance.  This requires no studies to prove, its simple math and common sense! 

  • chicago dyke, evolved outlaw

    there is something deeply pathological about a couple that wants to make the female in it experience the horror of childbirth that many times. sure, it can be a joy. but it’s also pain. talk about gross. 

  • When the human race has to resort to canibalism to survive, we will have these people to thank.

  • Lauren

    Fsq…omg, that was funny!!!

  • Lauren

    They don’t act like humans, they act like brood animals….de-humanize away.

  • Anonymous

    Try cracking open some law books, or visit a library

    Did that for law school, sport.  But Wikipedia is easier to quote from than my law books.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s my stance on the quiverfull:

    – if you can afford them, don’t expect any of the children you have to follow in your footsteps and don’t use public of government assistance, then besides how odd I find it, it’s your decision.

    – if it’s religious in nature, I tend to slant towards the brainwashing side of the argument. It’s rare that these large families are not created without some serious religious beliefs embedded.

    – the cost to feed a family of this size, the father must be pulling down some serious ass money.  There’s no way the Duggars are bringing in anything less than $120k a year.

    – the built-in babysitter/older raise the younger scenario is not a healthy upbringing for any of these kids, with all of the increased expectations being lumped onto them while they are still growing up themselves. 

  • The Captain

    Ahh there is nothing immoral about having an abortion! 

    You claim to be “pro-choice” but it’s pro-choice  people like you who spread this “not moral” narrative about abortion that is slowly eroding the right of women to have them. 

  • Forrest Cahoon

    An analysis of your language is interesting.  You complain about “breeders” being a pejorative, but it’s being used to describe people who value reproducing as much as they possibly can. I suspect it’s problematic because it makes humans seem like animals, but it’s an accurate shorthand designation for their value system.

    Then you proceed to refer to people who support “voluntary human extinction”.  This is, of course, totally inaccurate.

    Do you not care about the accuracy of what you’re saying? Do you think complaining about (accurate, supposed) pejoratives and throwing out your own (totally inaccurate, obvious) pejoratives does something to further discussion?

    Doesn’t it just make you feel like a fraud?

  • Lauren

    Oh brother….way to spin off topic.  I have absolutely NO PROBLEM with a woman having an abortion.  What I said was “multiple abortions used for b/c”.  Yep, that happens to be against my particular brand of morality, as there are better, more humane methods of b/c- and this includes the woman involved; for the woman as well, so go beat your drum elsewhere, I am as pro-choice as it comes  :P.

  • Daniel

    To each their own so long as I’m not subsidizing this idiocy.

    My wife and I are firm believers in “Start at 30; stop at 2”

    Working well for us.

    Individual case studies do not mean much, but the one and only Quiverful kid I have known was a fellow airman when I was in the service, and he was about as big a train wreck as I have ever known.  Unable to function without people giving him express direction at all times.  Acting out when he went home to get some hint of attention (ie made a pass at his brother’s girlfriend).  

    Ending up getting busted down in rank and then kicked out of the service.

  • Kat Basken

    I definitely dislike the quiverfull movement, but NOT people deciding to have large families. Few couples will decide to have even 3 children in developed countries, let alone 4 or more. Many will choose to have none or one. 

    As more countries become developed and women are able to take charge of their fertility, the global population growth will slow or reverse course, and the global community will become better as a whole. A couple here or there having large numbers of children is unlikely to negatively effect global population growth. 

    In regards to other problems resulting from large families (less time with individual children, older children having to “parent” younger ones), it absolutely sounds problematic. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can speak for children growing up in an environment like that seeing as how I’m an only child.

    As a quick aside, I can’t help but grimace at this statement: 

    “This requires no studies to prove, its simple math and common sense!”

    Human population growth is not simply logarithmic growth, and any argument that can be used to support invisible unicorns or omnipotent beings isn’t really an argument.

  • What a can of worms!

    I used to view all procreation as contributing to over-population and environmental deterioration.  I guess I can’t argue against those points, but after having a surprise of my own, those views softened.

    I now think that loving, thoughtful parents have a lot to contribute to this world.  Parents who raise children who are skeptical and question the world around them will add value to society in the decades to come.  Parents like these will raise the next generation of scientists!   If only Creationists procreated, our future would be pretty pathetic.

    Of course, there is the option of adoption.  For some people, though, that route is scary or too costly.  

  • The Captain

    How can one abortion be morally fine, but five not? Is there a cumulative effect of individual abortions that build to make a moral action immoral? What amount of abortions do you think is too many and why? You say that there is a “more humane” method, but how can one abortion be humane but the fourth abortion 10 years latter not? Is that forth abortion somehow less humane than the first, and frankly who do you think it’s inhumane for? Sure women can have problems from multiple abortions, but that is not a moral issue, but a medical one.

    Also there are no moderators on these comments so there is no “official” on topic. I am free to discuss anything I want and you brought up the idea of abortion morality first!

  • Kat Basken

    Doesn’t it make you sound silly to respond to this post of mine without reading all of the discussion that has been going on from myself and others involving this original post? I guess it does further discussion after all!

    *rolls eyes*

  • Lauren

    IMO, legal and safe abortions should be readily available to all women.  As a last resort.  I say this because its all about the best-worst choices.  Morality is not black and white.  I can not definitively state when humanity begins…I am pretty damned sure its not conception, but yet, I am certainly NOT comfortable with the idea of the abortion of a 9 month old fetus for non-health related reasons.  What should the cut-off be?  Honestly, I don’t know, so that to me, makes abortion less ethical then preventing conception in the first place, since there is no black and white line.  I realize how necessary abortion is as a fall back measure, but I hardly think they are something to actively pursue, as one would be doing if you were using abortion as a bitch control.  My sympathies will always lie with the woman, but I do have a bit of sympathy for the unformed life-form, and if abortion can be avoided by using preventive b/c, that just sounds like a moral no brainer.  You see no moral differences between condom use and repetitive abortion!?!?!?!?  Abortion is better then bringing an unwanted child into the world, but the most moral choice would be preventing conception/implantation to begin with.

  • Lauren

    Lol, not BITCH control…uhhh…birth control!  What a typo!!

  • FSq

    Well played sir, well played.

  • FSq

    Oh yeah, where? When? What was your LSAT score? What is your bar number? What state? 

  • Anonymous

    I choose not to share my state of licensure or my bar number; I enjoy the Internet’s semi-autonomy, and I choose not to compromise it. As for my LSAT score, it’s been a decade or more since I took the thing, and I’ve forgotten it. Take my non-disclosure for what you will.

    You asked for the basis for my contention that the right of procreation is a fundamental right. I provided that basis using publicly available sources and some illustrative quotes. You challenged my contention, and it has been answered.

    Your attempt at impeachment aside, I am confident in conclusions I’ve formed from reading the relevant case law including Griswold v. Connecticut, Roe v. Wade, and, yes, the eugenics decisions … not to mention the settlements of the last 20 years that states have paid out as reparations for their own sterilization programs.

    Regardless of your opinion of my qualifications, that case law and the near-universal recognition of wrongs inflicted on certain persons testifies to the strength of my position.

    I recognize that few people here are arguing in favor of sterilization programs, eugenics, and so forth. But I find myself aghast at the attitudes some people have evinced here … that automatic revulsion at the thought of a large family … when another family’s size really isn’t the
    business of other people, or of the government.

    And I think people need to know the consequences if they favor some sort of
    restraint on reproductive freedom.

  • It’s more that they are FORCED to have all those children.

  • Well, if you want a ginormous family, you can always ADOPT…

  • Anonymous

    Nothing like the application of hollow rhetoric and obtuse dimwittery to become a self-professed douchebag and fuckwit.

    Ironically, if you were to stop talking permanently I would not be sad.

  • Anonymous

    The Followers of Christ 

    Is that the name of a particular sect?

  • Forrest Cahoon

    Hmm, perhaps you are correct, but if so, that would be because of the new-posts-at-the top format of this comments section. Makes things hard to follow …

  • Uly

    Parents like these will raise the next generation of scientists!   If
    only Creationists procreated, our future would be pretty pathetic.

    That’s THEIR attitude as well. However, children aren’t clones (fascinating though it is to stare at the Duggars and their 20 variations on the same face). As Libby Anne herself proves, it is entirely possible for some of those creationist-raised children to grow up and leave.

  • Uly

    Assuming that they come out about it. I don’t *know*, but I imagine there’s a lot of pressure to keep a happy face and fit in. And who wants to be the first one to break with their parents and siblings like that?

  • Uly

    Are you arguing that because Wikipedia is not a reliable source, that means that JWH is not a lawyer and that, consequently, everything he asserts must be wrong?

    That doesn’t seem to hold up logically. Not at all. If you have evidence that the case law does NOT say what JWH claims it says – post it!

    But by arguing like this, you pretty much make it seem like there is no such evidence and you’re wrong.

  • Uly

    Have you heard about the spate of deaths relating to parents who follow Pearl’s methods on child-rearing? (His “method” is largely “beat your kid until morale improves, and a few more times for good measure”.) If I recall correctly, a very disproportionate number of those deaths were adopted children.

    Adopted children often react even more badly than non-adopted children to that sort of “discipline”, due to previous trauma and attachment issues.

    There is a huge overlap between Quiverfull families and those who follow Pearl’s teachings with regard to punishment. Frankly, I don’t want to encourage them to adopt.

  • Uly

    Exactly which states allow abortion in the third trimester???

  • Lauren,
    Since the children are suffering obvious trauma from such a crowded family on a crowded planet, can you tell me a little bit of the symptons the children are suffering? You’ve already given me the diagnosis, but what about the symptons! You oddly skip over that part. Why? Because you would have to make them up. The Duggards seem like a completely functional and happy family. You got no dirt on them, so buzz off.

  • Kat Basken

    Yeah, this is a terrible format to have conversations like this in.

  • FSq

    This door swings both ways, kind of like some of the people you wish to discriminate against – this is fun isn’t it!

    Prove the kids are well adjusted or aware that they are NOT brainwashed or that they have chosen this life without coercion from the parents or other entities. You opened this door, now you must deal with the fact that it swings both ways.

  • FSq

    Nice. Not original at all, but good try.

  • Anonymous

    Yes. They are based in Oregon and have killed dozens of their children. And of course they’re also patriarchal

    Fortunately, the laws were changed in recent years and several of the parents have been punished for neglecting their kids

  • Yeah, I know about those. That’s why we need to push harder for adoption in the secular community, and more support — monetary AND mental-health-wise — for adoptive parents.

    (Full disclosure: I’m adopted.)

  • You are actually asking me to expand on the children’s introspectional thoughts, if any at all? You’re joking, right?

  • Warren B.

    Dear Friendly Atheist,

    Please, stop reminding me of the existence of different religious sects, ideals, and events. I am alone in this room for what could be an eternity, with nothing beyond these walls, and this blanket is oh so cozy….


  • That’s an interesting report, but it doesn’t address the conflict between you and Lauren. The report projects up to 2050, and offers extremely tentative projections beyond that. This is a report that focuses on demographics, asking others to find answers about social/environmental consequences.

    For example, the explanation given to explain chances in population growth is “fertility.” This isn’t the same as what we casually use it to mean, “fecundity.” This is demographics jargon for the net number of children born per woman in a given area. So it is not really a “cause” of population grown changes, just one part of the equation used in projections like these. It’s a way to gloss over all the real influences on the number of children born, and lump that into one big statistic.

    We can’t just say “it’s all good, let’s have as many babies as we want” and wave our hands because the fertility fairy will fix everything in the future. These reports are extrapolated from past trends, and don’t tell us anything about specific causes. They can’t do so because past trends provide many equivalent causes for the reduction in population growth. What the report is providing a foundation for, and what we need to do, is to consider the specific problems involved in these changes.

    The real influences behind drops in “fertility” are what Lauren is referring to earlier. Limited resources, social activities, etc. What I’d specifically like to point out is that resources like food and water are much more scarce than land. It’s easy to point to an empty mountain and say “Room for thousands over there!” You might as well be pointing at the moon.

  • I agree with you. I wonder about how we decide how many children someone can support, though. Everyone has to make this judgement for themselves, but how do you do it? It’s such a long-term commitment, I don’t know how anyone can confidently commit to something like this Quiverfull situation unless they’re filthy rich to begin with.

    It also seems like there’s a lot of misinformation about this kind of choice. A Church’s blanket directive to go and multiply is like telling a class of high school graduates to each apply for a mortgage or two.

  • FSq

    Not at all. You made assumptions to the other side with just as little evidence as what you attacked the other poster on. You opened this door. You are operating on the assumption that the family nis well adjusted and in halcyonic delirium, so prove it. You used this as argumentation, now it bites you on the xian buttocks. Prove your case.

  • Annie

    I agree with Lauren here.  I doubt many women wake up and yell, “Woohoo!  Today I’m going to have an abortion!”  I think it is a difficult  decision for most women, and this, coupled with the potential risks to a woman’s body (any surgical procedure carries potential risks), makes it a no brainer to me that an abortion should be  a last resort form of birth control.   Besides, there are many less expensive and rather reliable forms of birth control out there, that when used properly, are quite effective.  Although I think it is difficult to “rank” the number of abortions on a morality scale, I do think a women who has had numerous abortions would benefit from a discussion that presents less invasive forms of birth control.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry but I’m just creeped out by women who have conveyor belts coming out of their vaginas… and that includes being creeped out by the religious brainwashing that makes them that way and totally degrades them as human beings.

    The right to have control of your fertility is a fundamental right. All rights must be used responsibly.

  • It’s wrong to dehumanize people i.e. “a people.” It isn’t possible to dehumanize all people, like “every child.”

  • It’s called “Vertical propogation.” The last resort for ideologies that can’t stand the trials of open discussion.

  • Annie

    Perhaps it was Libby Anne who brought us the video a few months back about Quiverful?  I just remember them saying that they do not “raise” children, but rather “train” them.  I wonder how many of those seven girls have the mental ability to become engineers, doctors, or scientists?  Although I can’t possibly know the answer to that, I do know that if they follow the quiverful tradition, 100% of them will be mothers who produce as many children as their husbands (and god, of course) want them to.  That saddens me.  Anything that stifles human potential is more damaging to the planet than the amount of children one chooses to have.

  •  My compliments to the chef.

  •  Have you heard of the film Idiocracy? I think you’d find at least the opening sequence entertaining. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXRjmyJFzrU

    The rest of the movie is more about making fun of stupid people.

  • Don’t set such an easy goal for JWH. Even laws should require periodic review. Don’t let anyone justify something because “It’s the LAW.” or “It’s a right!” Justify why it’s a law or a right.

  • THIS. And it’s something any lawyer worth hiring SHOULD KNOW.

  • Rmurray118

    Regarding welfare and the quivering movement. I don’t know these people in any way, but this friendly atheist website  lead me into the No Longering Quivering blog, http://nolongerquivering.com/,  and the author and guest authors do seem to have seen nothing but these people rejecting all forms of government aid – sometimes even when they are in desperate need of it. 

  • Which is worse?

  • Anonymous

    The word “Quiverfull” gives me the creeps. 

  • MariaO

    A modest proposal indeed…
    (and shame on your education if you miss the literary ref.)

  • MariaO

    “any surgical procedure carries potential risks”

    Yes, but remember – carrying a fetus to term and giving birth is a LOT riskier for the woman’s health than an early abortion in a medical clinic .

  • Eivind Kjorstad

    It’s not about the amount, but the *reason*.

    There are ways of birth-control that are cheaper and safer than abortions. Thus one should normally use one of these if one doesn’t want kids, but do want sex.

    However, sometimes they fail, sometimes you forget, sometimes for one reason or another, you still get pregnant. That’s distinct from deliberately choosing abortion instead of other birth-control.

    If nothing else, I’d object to that choice based on it being an order of magnitude (or more) more expensive, and being paid for by my tax-money. Here in Norway, birth-control is paid for by the couple themselves, but abortions are covered by the government – i.e. by the taxpayers.

  • I see what you did there.

  • FSq….. I have known three families who have had large numbers of children. 1) Was a student a taught once. She was the youngest of 18 kiddos. Great children, great family. Not on any kind of subsidies whatsoever. 2) My brothers best friend married a gal who is in the middle of 16 kids. They own a farm and are doing quite well. Their wedding was a blast getting to meet all of their family. 3) My best friend in college. He is the oldest of 11, soon to be 13. The first seven were naturally the last 4 soon to be 6 are all by adoption. His dad is a college professor at a good sized state university.

    None of these people are on t.v. so I don’t think their income level is waaaay out there. I say “think” because 2 I know of are not, but I’m not sure about the farming family.” It’s hard to judge farming income based off of volatility of variables. But I do know that none of them are on any sort of financial assistance. In fact, none of them have debt at all.

    Each person that I’ve talked to, the youngest, the middle and the oldest have had great experiences and loved being in a big family.

    What’s gross is that without even knowing them you have judged these wonderful people and have said some vile things in general about children.

    I’m a Christian, and the most common thing that I hear atheists complain about is that non-atheists, aka theists, judge atheists to be immoral. 

    I for one try REALLY hard not to do this as I realize no one is perfect. Rather instead I let the person prove their immorality by their own accords. I think you just did that.

    If you don’t think it is responsible, please logically list out why you don’t think it is. That could lead to some kind of constructive discussion. Attacking families based off of ignorance alone doesn’t help anyone, AT ALL!

    You and Lauren have made this entire board look silly and have affirmed some of my old assumptions about atheists that I had hope of getting rid of. Great job!

  • Uly

    That’s the default, but you can change it for yourself. There’s a little drop-d0wn menu at the top.

  • Didn’t they have their house declared a church so that they don’t pay property tax for the improvements on the land, or sales tax for items purchased for the home?

  • Kat Basken

    I understand the limitations of projections like these. I also am extremely supportive of women being allowed to take charge of their own fertility. This includes countries where women are not allowed to have an abortion and/or have no access to birth control. That is completely independent of some families deciding to have many children. Most women would NOT choose to have a lot of kids, and many do around the world because they have not or cannot take charge of their own fertility. About 3 million pregnancies each year in America ALONE are unplanned. That’s an entirely different issue and one I am very much in favor of correcting.

    Also, when I made the reference to vast amounts of the Earth being unpopulated, I was trying to understand if the issue we were discussing was overcrowding or overpopulation. They can (and often do) coincide, but that is not necessarily the case. Many cities suffer from overcrowding, which causes all kinds of issues, but does not mean that the Earth cannot hold more people.

  • Nordog

    Or look at China’s one child only policy and that government’s use of state power to prevent childbirth through forced sterilization and abortion.  If one does not have a right to have children then either the state does have the right to prevent childbirth, or the lack of reproduction as a fundamental right has no practical implications.  If the former, then one will see sterilizations and abortions foisted upon individuals by the state; if the latter then the conversation is simply an intellectual exercise. The fact is history shows that when reproduction is not considered a right the state steps in forcibly to prevent it.  That has been seen in many countries including the United States. As far as fundamental right goes one can refer to the U.N. Charter on Human Rights, Article 16, or for Americans there’s always the Declaration of Independence and 10th Amendment’s acknowledgment that all rights reside in the people.  Then of course there are the court cases you have already mentioned. The idea that some parents lose their right to custody has no necessarily restrictive consequence on the right to reproduce in the first place.  One can argue that it should (id est, if you can’t raise a child why should you be allowed to have one).  But the fact remains, at least here in the U.S., that one doesn’t lose the right to reproduce just because one loses the right to custody of children already born. I find it interesting that some seem to think it absurd that not having the right to reproduce would lead to forced sterilizations/abortions, but that it is obvious that losing custody demonstrates that one can licitly be denied the right to reproduction. In any event it seems that the demand to prove that a fundamental right exists is folly.  It is that nature of a fundamental right to be self-evident, and the self-evident is that upon which logical arguments are based.  Fundamental rights either have an objective external source (Nature’s God of the Declaration) or they are subjective but are what the people as a whole recognize as such.  In either case one may give reasons why one thinks such is the case, but if the right is fundamental then by the nature of being a fundamental thing it does not depend on anything prior for its justification.
    What I would find fascinating would be the arguments of those who hold with Roe v. Wade that the right to abortion is a fundamental right of privacy, but that that fundamental right to privacy in the womb does not extend to creating a new human being, but only to preventing one from being born.
    That’s like trying to square the circle.

  • Nordog

    That “Modest Proposal” has been made before.

  • Nordog

    Sorry about the long block of text.  Not sure what happened to all the paragraph breaks.  ???

  • FSq


    I mean, I have seen smaller straw-men at Burning Man….

  • FSq

    My pleasure. Anything I can do to help.

    And thank you for your anecdotal evidence. We all know how wonderful anecdotal evidence does when placed under the microscope of logic and rationality. So I thank you, from the bottom of my cold, black heart. Kudos.

  • FSq

    Christ must have placed an embargo on them. So bad for you. Pray that they come back and let’s all see what happens.

  • These people are vulgar and immoral and their “movement” is just yet another way to control women through compulsory reproduction.  What a jacked up philosophy to have in a world of finite resources and orphaned children. 

    And it’s nothing short of child abuse to force the older children to raise the younger ones; outright theft of childhood.  And why do all the women and girls have to be dressed like Laura Ingalls?

  • Nordog

    He must have hid them with your innate sense of graciousness.

  • FSq

    I agree with Cap’N. If one is okay, why then is there a principle of diminishing return on more.

    Why do we have this arbitrary line drawn with a set number of abortions where on one side it seems to be just “okay”, yet on the other it becomes repugnant or irresponsible. 

    There is a very valid argument in this. And it seems that to disagree with it is to yiled a bit to the forces behind the so-called “pro-life” faction – although the better term for them is anti-choice…..or retards.

  • FSq

    That has some compelling aspects to the argument. The notion rests not in the abortions themselves, but the intent?

  • Don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

  • No problem. My anecdotal evidence (3 for 3) is better than anything you’ve presented. All you have provided is opinionated garbage with nothing to back it up with. Logic would say that if you have zero evidence to prove something then you can’t come to a rational conclusion. You somehow missed that or else just haven’t shared your evidence for some reason. Hmmm….

  • FSq

    That may be, but that does not take away from the weakness of anecdotal evidence. All you have done here is the classic “I know you are but what am I” routine.

    Regardless of what I may or may not present, the fact remains you are arguing from a weak leg. Anecdotal evidence isn’t. Nothing can change that.

    And you are the one who said I had done a great job, so again, thank you. Not that I lay awake at night longing for your thanks or gratitude, but it is a nice warm fuzzy at the end of a long day.

    And no, logic would not say I I have zero evidence. Your opinion would say that. Your idea may suggest that, but it doers not, in fact, prove I have zero facts. 

    And I tell you, honestly, that your admission of being a christian makes you untrustworthy based on my experiences with christians. Christians are full of shit. And based on my experience, they are among the biggest liars and manipulators of data and statistics to prove what they cherry pick from a musty old book of myths.

  • FSq

    Well, I am sure you believe that your god works in mysterious ways. And hell, you are a christian, so forgive me.

  • lol @ kid’s face in bottom left. Photoshopping…

  • Anonymous

    I have a 12″ penis. And that would be a real 12″, not a man’s measurement.

    By your own admission, then, you’re just a big dick.

  • Anonymous

    If I get banned for that one, it was totally worth it.

  • Nordog

    Well, if He finds the graciousness of which I spoke, that would be mysterious indeed.

    Forgiveness without repentance is meaningless, even in a purely material cosmos of the atheist’s convicitons.

  • Nordog

    I didn’t miss the reference, but did miss your post.  You beat me to it by a good four hours.  Drat.

  • Nordog

    That’s been tried.  Not pretty and doesn’t work too well.

  • Brian Macker

    I don’t have a problem if the can afford them. I do have a problem with a couple having just one child if they are going to force others to pay to raise it.

  • Nordog

    Except that he was responding to a demand to prove that having children was a right.  Now you demand that he justify why it’s a law or a right.
    I find it chilling that somone demand justification for a fundamental right that has only been denied by barbaric and despotic means.
    Do you think the state should be able to prevent people from having children?  What limits, if any, would you put on the methods to ensure that prevention?
    Certainly there are people that should not have children.  But I trust no government with the power to prevent people creating their own children.
    To borrow from C.S. Lewis:
    Aristotle held that some men were fit only to be slaves, and I don’t contradict him.  But I reject slavery because I find no men fit to be masters.

  • Anonymous

    In that “lifestyle” (Cult?) part one is to have a lot of kids, part 2 is to brainwash them.

  • Anonymous

     I find it interesting that abortions are paid for by taxpayers. Wouldn’t abortions be cheaper than say educating a human being for 18 (or more years), providing health care for that person, etc.

  • Nordog

    Well, yes, of course.  Killing a child is always cheaper than raising it.

  • Eivind Kjorstad

    It rests on which choice you made.

    Most of the time, the choice made was between having a child under circumstances that make that a bad idea, or having an abortion. I have no objections to having an abortion to (for example) avoid having to break off an education. To ensure that a child has two parents in a comitted relationship. To ensure that your financial foundation is solid enough etc.

    In the case of abortion as BC (which I believe to be exceedingly rare, by the way) a *different* choice is made.

    Here the choice is: will I eat a contraceptive pill at $20/month, or use condoms at $1/each, (or any number of other bc-methods) or will I just skip all of that, and instead have an abortion when I get pregnant.

    I think abortion rather-than pregnancy-and-child is a morally different from abortion rather-than condom.

    I consider the debate fairly academic though, because I think a tiny fraction of abortions are “by choice” in this sense.

  • Yukimi

    In that movement they usually teach young earth creationism, that god is republican and other incredibly wrong stuff.

  • Yukimi

    Just read the complete blog of LovejoyFeminism.blogspot.com or nolongerquivering.com and then you can decide if there aren’t any bad side effects. There are tons of bad side effects for the children adn the people who have escaped that mentality are scarred. Even the Duggard family kids who are just a tiny bit different are probably going to be scarred (also the brain washing, the little time their parents can spend with them, the outsourcing of discipline, the “training” of toddlers, …). I could spend all day talking about bad side effects of the quiverufl movement.

  • FSq

    But you idiots only care about the kid in the womb, then once it pops out it can go fuck itself. Need proof? Go listen to Santorum’s policies.

    H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E, thy name is christian.

  • FSq

    I agree with almost everything you say here.

    And if I may, I would like to send my props and sympathies to you guys in Norway. I express grief for the horrid occurrence (the shootings) that took place, but I give Norway nothing but praise for the dignity which they handled the collective grief and outrage.

    You showed decorum and grace under pressure. My country (USA) could take a lesson from Norway.

  • FSq

    Oh, so any forgiveness from a christian must be done only if the proper prerequisites are shown from the [one to be] forgiven?

    Once again, we have christian cherry-picking and hypocrisy. I must have missed that part of forgiving when I read the bible numerous times….

    Just so very christian – H-Y-P-C-R-I-T-E….

  • Alex

    Aphex Twin? LOL

  • Alex

    Like Uly said, creationism is not a genetic disease. Fundies’ kids don’t always grow up to be fundies. We still have hope.

  • First of all, my point above had nothing to do with what JWH was arguing for, only the way he was doing it. Thank you for making the case here that JWH has danced around so much.

    Yes, I’m aware of examples of eugenic atrocities. I’m not calling for the state to take any action.

    We already have a default scenario for restricting fertility. It involves overpopulation, overcrowding, lack of physical resources, and their impact on population health. Kat Basken was discussing this elsewhere in the comments.

    This scenario doesn’t affect everyone equally. When resources are more restricted, health care is more expensive and living conditions deteriorate. This has a very obvious effect on both the fertility rate and standard of living in the area involved.

    Compare demographic regions in local fertility projections: http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/longrange2/WorldPop2300final.

    We have options other than government programs. My current favorite is the brood-shaming we see displayed a bit here. I think we need new ideas, though. This is a health care issue more important than political-social policies. We should do better than continue the current laissez-faire free market approach to who will live comfortably and who will struggle just to survive.

  • Nordog

    So you’re okay with killing kids because you hate Santorum.

    Like I said, before, you are delusional.

  • Nordog

    Apparently your reading comprehension is as poor as your deliberate-upper- case-spelling-each-letter-out-to-be-dramatic texting.

    I didn’t say there were prerequisites before Christians can forgive, I said it was meaningless without repentance.  (Also, I made the important point that this was about human nature, not faith or dogma.)

    Having said that, forgiveness is not entirely meaningless of course.  It does prevent the one doing the forgiving from developing a type of toxic bile in the heart (you may want to pay particular attention to that point).

    But it is meaningless regarding the state of the relationship with the one being forgiven.

    Exempli gratia, I forgive you for being such a hate filled obscene tool, but I would be suprised if such forgiveness is accepted, or even appreciated.

    Put another way, forgiveness without repentance is like making a phone call but getting a busy signal.  As far as being a real phone call is concerned the exercise was meaningless beyond the caller doing his part.

    You line is always busy.

  • Nordog

    Yeah, but it’s hell on the baby.

  • I’m sorry that you have had negative experiences with Christians. I have had negative experiences with atheists, but having not met you or not knowing your tendencies I give you the benefit of the doubt until you give me a reason to not believe you or prove that you are not credible. 

    I simply am looking for a reason for your opinion on large families and how you formed them. My experiences have been overall positive. 

    Also, I NEVER said that logic said that you didn’t have evidence. I said that without evidence, one cannot come to a rational conclusion. Are you telling me that your “opinions” are without reason? That’s fine if that is true. Most atheists on this board speak highly of “reason” and “morality” and right now I haven’t seen either one out of you. I’m not saying that you have to fit the mold. I just had a stereotype I guess and it has been broken. This I do thank you for, this time without the sarcasm.

  • Women and girls have to wear long skirts because pants will “defraud” men.

  • Not to mention, it’s the unpopular groups that would be restricted from childbearing. If the current Republican regime had its way, my own conception wouldn’t have been allowed to happen.

  • Nordog

    That’s just delusional in a Bizzaro World type of way.

    Republican Regime?  You mean the House of Representatives?

    Name one GOPer out to use birth control, sterilization, or abortion to prevent the birth of undesirables?

    As a party it is the GOP that is against that type of thing, and they take no small amount of heat in places like this for the stance they take on contraception and abortion.  Have you been following the news lately?

    The Democratic party on the other hand has a great history of employing such methods to curb birth.

    In fact, commenters on here (who I’m sure aren’t part of the “Republican Regime” have argued that stopping the potential birth of babies is the way to go, because we all know that condoms and abortions (so the argument goes) are so much cheaper than actually raising a child.

    In that mind set, it is every new child that is, in your words, members of “the unpopular group”, that group being children requiring money to raise.

    That’s from the liberal side of the aisle, not the GOP.

  • I was referring to those who oppose same-sex parenting. Many of them would like to stop gay and lesbian people from having children. They already seek to stop gay adoption. Do you really believe that right-wing Christian dominionists would, if left to their own devices, not use their power to enact laws that prevent lesbians and gay men from conceiving children?

    Luckily, they don’t have that power, and unless we devolve into a theocracy, they’ll never have it. But I don’t underestimate them. They already try to make life as difficult as possible for LGBT families. If they were truly in charge, I have no doubt we’d see a push for laws against same-sex conception much as we see laws against same-sex adoption.

    I was raised by two lesbian mothers. I look at the current right-wing of the GOP and see many people who would have had no problem trying to stop my conception, or trying to stop my parents from raising me. They don’t go that far because they can’t, legally, but if they could, I believe they would. I say that based on what I’ve heard them say about families like mine.

    By the way, I was agreeing with you that the government (whether conservative or liberal) should not get to decide whether people are allowed to have children. I was pointing out that when that happens, it is always the unpopular groups that are targeted. And I could easily see atheists and sexual minorities being on the losing end of that equation.

  • Nordog

    Anna, you have brought some new issues to this little subthread, and I agree with some of what you wrote, but disagree elsewhere.

    The issue of homosexual couples bearing children is a rather complicated one to discuss given that there are many distinctions to be made.  So while I grant your point generally speaking, my comments we’re in regard to what one must do to prevent a man and woman producing what comes naturally when they do what comes naturally.

    For example, technology has yet to reach a point at which a child is conceived without both a man and woman being involved.  For a lesbian couple to have children a father is still required.  That can happen the natural way so to speak, or with IVF.

    While you are correct that there are those who would oppose the conception of babies to gay couples due to opposition to, well, gay couples, there are others who would oppose the same goal for other reasons.

    Specifically, there are those who oppose IVF for reasons that have nothing at all to do with the individuals seeking to employ those methods.  These people opposes IVF in principle.

    So, regarding IVF vs. reproduction the old school way, it is a different animal altogether when one seeks to prevent people creating babies through heterosexual sexual activities as opposed to opposing the application of high technology for any reason.

    Right or wrong, the restricting of IVF technology is a question of access.

    Forcing fertile people into a sterile life requires far more invasive means, to put it mildly.

    Yet you are correct that there are others who oppose it simply because of the individuals and who they are.  (Let me just say that I’m no fan of the dominionists and disagree on just about anything they want to do.)

    Also, as a socially, financially, politically, and theologically conservative Catholic I oppose any type of theocratic government regime.*  Also, FTR, I’m not a Republican even though I won’t vote for any democrat.  Let’s just say that I often find myself holding my nose while voting.

    *The one exception to this is the Vatican.  One can hardly expect that particular city-state to not be a theocracy, and besides, it’s not like sharia in Saudi Arabia, or Pat Robertson in the White House.

  • I wasn’t actually thinking of IVF, although you make a fair point that some conservatives are against it. However, given how many married heterosexual Republicans have surely conceived through IVF, it’s hardly prudent for them to go after it the same way that they do same-sex families.

    It’s much easier for lesbians to do simple donor insemination, which doesn’t require advanced technology or even a trip to the doctor. I could see (in a hypothetical future theocracy) a right-wing government taking steps to prevent single women or lesbian couples from accessing sperm. They could do that by restricting sperm banks to married heterosexuals. They couldn’t do much about “underground” insemination, but they could certainly take away children once they were born. 

    While the circumstances may be slightly different for same-sex couples, my general point was it doesn’t end well when the government gets in the business of policing reproduction, whether it’s preventing access to technology, forcing sterilization or abortions, or taking children away from their parents because they belong to an unpopular minority group.

    I don’t think conservative Catholics such as yourself are generally on board with that type of thing. But I do see a great deal of intolerance in the GOP. I don’t think the average conservative Republican would take things to that extreme, but as the party swings further and further to the right, any pretense of moderation seems to be flying out the window. If the Republican frontrunners feel comfortable rejecting evolution and opposing birth control, then how much worse could it get if a serious dominionist got into power?

  • Nordog

    Anna, seems we are in a great deal of agreement here, specifically this…

    “my general point was it doesn’t end well when the government gets in the business of policing reproduction, whether it’s preventing access to technology, forcing sterilization or abortions, or taking children away from their parents because they belong to an unpopular minority group.”

    I am unaware of any GOP frontrunner that rejects evolution or opposes birth control beyond personal objections (that is, they may personally reject birth control but don’t seek to prevent people from accessing it).

    The frontrunners seems to be Romney and Santorum, but I don’t think the other two match your description either.  If I missed something here please let me know.

  • Nordog

    Oops, having said that, there are some technologies I do oppose and think can be limited licitly by government.  Not that that will ever happen.

  • I was thinking more along the lines of expressing public disapproval.  To much of the rest of the world, it’s shocking that a presidential candidate in 2012 would publicly deny evolution or state that they oppose birth control. 

    Much as I dislike several of the Republican candidates, those guys aren’t serious dominionists. They will pay lip service to the ideals of the ultra right-wing, but they won’t follow through. Well, maybe Santorum would. He’s certainly got the opposition to birth control down. I think he would be almost as bad as having Pat Robertson in the White House.

  • IVF? Doubt it will ever happen. Conservatives have too much invested in it. They won’t win any elections by denying their infertile friends and family members the only chance they might ever have to conceive a biological child.

  • Nordog

    “To much of the rest of the world, it’s shocking that a presidential candidate in 2012 would deny evolution or state that they oppose birth control.”

    I’m still unaware of any of the candidates denying evolution or seeking to deny others access to birth control.

  • Are you not aware that several of the Republican candidates have denied evolution?

    Rick Perry, Ron Paul, and Michele Bachmann certainly have. Rick Santorum has made conflicting statements, and Newt Gingrich says that “intelligent design” should be taught as well.

    In their own words:


    As far as I know, Jon Huntsman was the only candidate willing to unequivocally support evolution.

    But my point was not that the Republican candidates wish to prevent evolution from being taught in public schools or allowing people access to birth control (although I’m sure some do). My point was that it is indicative of the loss of moderation within the Republican party. That’s what’s shocking to the rest of the world, that these prominent men and women would stand up in public and say such things and that they had a good chance of becoming the leader of one of the most powerful countries on earth.

    The political atmosphere is what worries me. No, Romney and Gingrich aren’t dominionists. We’re lucky that they’re not. But when Republican candidates have to swing that far right just to be considered in the running, it sets the stage for even more extreme politicians to rise in the future. Santorum already loathes the idea of gay parenting. If he gets into the White House, perhaps he couldn’t do much harm by himself, but if more and more Republicans adopt his views, there’s no telling what could happen 20 years down the road.

  •  What about the 18 year old who is forced by her parents or lover to abort? Where is the choice?  (PS Most of these are Christians.)

  •  What about the 18 year old who is forced by her parents or lover to abort? Where is the choice?  (PS Most of these are Christians.)

  • I have no problem with anyone practicing their beliefs as they see fit.  when they try to make those beliefs a cup of tea for everyone, I have a problem. The intentions of Quiverful is to out populate the enemy and take over the s o they government so they can enforce their way on everyone. The Duggars supporting Santorum shows they don’t care about freedom for anyone else.

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