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Quiverfull Religions?


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Evangelical Baptists, IFB or Catholics are are most notably quiverfull but are there other religions that are usually quiverfull that are less known? I'm thinking Seventh Day Aventists? Apostolic Pentecostals?

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Guest Anonymous

"Quiverfull" is a fairly specific (and relatively recent?) term coined by evangelical Christians, I think, and is related to dominionist thinking. There may be pockets of 'quiverfull" thinking emerging in other denominations of Christianity, as individual families pick up on the term, but it is not widely used by Catholics (on a world-wide scale), although Catholics have much longer-standing beliefs against birth control. Pentecostals and Seventh Day Adventists have no church-driven mandate against birth control within marriage as far as I know.

Out of interest, why do you ask, and why pick out those faith groups in particular?

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Would Catholics count? As a whole I mean. I'm sure there are some quiverfull Catholics but there are plenty that use NFP etc (and obviously many use even artificial bc). I thought those who are quiverfull don't even allow NFP?

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We go to a fairly standard mainstream Evangelical Church in the UK and even there, most people have three kids. If you have less then that is absolutely fine, but people stop asking if you are having any more when your third pops out. I have four so do get nods and smiles on top on that. My quiver is full enough so number 5 won't be making an appearance.... ;)

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"Quiverfull" is a fairly specific (and relatively recent?) term coined by evangelical Christians, I think, and is related to dominionist thinking. There may be pockets of 'quiverfull" thinking emerging in other denominations of Christianity, as individual families pick up on the term, but it is not widely used by Catholics (on a world-wide scale), although Catholics have much longer-standing beliefs against birth control. Pentecostals and Seventh Day Adventists have no church-driven mandate against birth control within marriage as far as I know.

Out of interest, why do you ask, and why pick out those faith groups in particular?

Ditto on Baptists. The only Baptist pastor I ever heard mention "trusting God" on family size had gotten in to Gothardism big time (most Baptists are not into Gothardism - really) - coincidentally AFTER he and his wife were past fertile ages themselves.

BTW There are mainstream Baptists (for example, the American Baptist denomination). They are not all nuts.

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Most Baptist churches are not Quiverful, I think that might be why Gothard suggests home churching, because their isn't any one denomination that preaches it, as a group mandate.

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Would Catholics count? As a whole I mean. I'm sure there are some quiverfull Catholics but there are plenty that use NFP etc (and obviously many use even artificial bc). I thought those who are quiverfull don't even allow NFP?

The only catholics that i know that are really quiverfull or similar are the ones in the new movements in the church, like opus dei, specially the people in the neocatechumenal way, because all the very big families that appeared in tv here are from this movement and they say quiverfull things like: childs are gifts of God, i will have all the children God wants me to have...

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Seventh Day Adventists have no moral qualms in regards to birth control. At least, not on an official level. You get your fundie Adventists occasionally, but for the most part, actually their literature promotes birth control as a way to be responsible, because it's a sin to bring children into this world that you can not afford to care for. (Most Adventists actually don't know this, though, because most Adventists don't read their own literature...)

But no, they're not even remotely close to quiverfull.

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The thing with quiverfull, too, is that they seem to be leaving things LESS to G-d than some others. I mean, just not using birth control is one thing. But don't they intentionally try to conceive every month? Aren't they specifically supposed to have sex regularly during the woman's most fertile time? That's not leaving it to G-d. That's TTC for 30 years.

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Orthodox and esp. ultira-Orthodox Jews can have mega-size families, but the ideology is different from the Christian quiverfull groups. The emphasis tends to be on the positive "Be fruitful and multiply" commandment, and not on a mindset that all birth control or interference with fertility is bad. Birth control use is approved for the physical or mental health of the mother, and even abortion is permitted if the pregnancy threatens the mother. On the other hand, these groups tend to be enthusiastic supports of fertility treatments if there is any problem, and even have some community funds to help pay for it. As for demographic motivation - it's not so much "let's breed to take over the world", but there is a feeling that (1) there is a need to bring more souls into the world after so many were lost in the Holocaust (I took a parenting class from a mom of 13 who told me that her father was a Holocaust survivor and that all of her children were named in memory of lost relatives), and (2) that higher birthrates ultimately makes these movements more vibrant, viable and influential than their more liberal counterparts in the Jewish community. I've seen this chart passed around a fair bit:

http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/ ... -graph.htm

Now, I have some quibbles with the chart. For starters, it basically takes current stats, pops them into an equation and projects 4 generations into the future. That's fine if all the current variables stay the same - but that's a HUGE assumption, esp. in the Jewish community. If you look BACK 4 generations, none of the demographic predictions that were made came true. In fact, the prediction back then was that Orthodoxy would simply die out. If you go back 60 years, the factors that shaped family size for Jews were pretty much the same across the religious spectrum: population decreased dramatically during the Holocaust, then there was a major baby boom immediately after. Nobody would have predicted those events, and nobody would have predicted the factors that came after: better birth control including the Pill, the fact that the Pill would be used differently by different groups, the women's movement and changes in marriage patterns, multiculturalism and protection for religious minorities including requirements for reasonable accommodation of religious needs, the 5 day work week (so that religious Jews no longer got fired each Saturday), a growth in spirituality and ethnic pride in the late 1960s which helped fuel the Baal Teshuva (born-again Jew) movement, the increase in Orthodox outreach movements, the growth of Orthodox enclaves in North America, government benefits that made it possible to have large families without starving, etc. Who knows how factors will change over the next 4 generations?

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Catholics are not quiverfull in the way we discuss it here. The Catholic Church teaches that sex was designed by God to have both unitive and procreative aspects and removing one of those aspects from the sexual act renders the act "illicit". That doesn't mean a Catholic cannot try to prevent pregnancy. Natural Family Planning (NFP) is taught through several different methods. In NFP, a woman charts her cycles and refrains from sex on her fertile days. Effectively, abstinence (within a marriage) is the only acceptable form of birth control. This is directly opposed to the Quiverfull movement, wherein there is NO abstinence in marriage and families are mandated to have as many children as humanly possible.

The problem with NFP is that many women have irregular cycles or do not produce the same signs of fertility (like cervical mucus). So even though a couple is refraining from sex on the woman's known fertile days, she might be fertile on a day, not realize it, the couple has sex, and bam, now she is pregnant.

Some Catholics are now using more Quiverfull-type language or adopting more Quiverfull beliefs about never trying to prevent pregnancy, but this is not the official position of the Church.

How do I know all this? Is it because I was raised Catholic? Well, yes I was raised Catholic and went to a huge church, but most families had between 2-4 children, and most of the people with 4 had a second marriage in there (two kids from the first marriage, two from the second). I do remember one family with 5, but that is it. Natural Family Planning was never even presented to me, but I do remember my mom and all her Catholic girlfriends sitting around the table and discussing the merits of various birth control methods. I learned all this from reading blogs by women that practice NFP. I started with the "birth control is for sissies" blogger we discussed here, and her blog led me to many others. One in particular cracks me up about parenting and fashion. The writer is pretty funny, her husband is training to be an NFP-supporting OB and they just had number 3 in under 3 years. If they keep going on this way I don't think he is going to have many patients! And a couple of other blogs with 5 kids under 6. These are all college-educated women.

I got sucked into the whole thing because the "sissy birth control" blogger went to the University of Dallas, a school that offered me a scholarship back in the day. This was before the internet, so I had no idea how conservative it was; all I had to go on was the brochure they sent me. I seriously considered it, but ended up at a super-liberal public university. The OB's wife went to the Franciscan University of Steubenville, another school that sent me information and I actually had some of its students conduct a high school retreat I attended. So reading these blogs is like going down the rabbit hole of where my life could have gone if I had made a different college choice when I was 17.

*A lot of these NFP bloggers also went to public universities too.

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The only catholics that i know that are really quiverfull or similar are the ones in the new movements in the church, like opus dei, specially the people in the neocatechumenal way, because all the very big families that appeared in tv here are from this movement and they say quiverfull things like: childs are gifts of God, i will have all the children God wants me to have...

Maybe that's why the Duggars supported Rick Santorum... Opus Dei's philosophy from how you describe it sounds like Quiverfull but for Roman Catholics.

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Orthodox and esp. ultira-Orthodox Jews can have mega-size families, but the ideology is different from the Christian quiverfull groups. The emphasis tends to be on the positive "Be fruitful and multiply" commandment, and not on a mindset that all birth control or interference with fertility is bad. Birth control use is approved for the physical or mental health of the mother, and even abortion is permitted if the pregnancy threatens the mother. On the other hand, these groups tend to be enthusiastic supports of fertility treatments if there is any problem, and even have some community funds to help pay for it. As for demographic motivation - it's not so much "let's breed to take over the world", but there is a feeling that (1) there is a need to bring more souls into the world after so many were lost in the Holocaust (I took a parenting class from a mom of 13 who told me that her father was a Holocaust survivor and that all of her children were named in memory of lost relatives), and (2) that higher birthrates ultimately makes these movements more vibrant, viable and influential than their more liberal counterparts in the Jewish community. I've seen this chart passed around a fair bit:

http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/ ... -graph.htm

Now, I have some quibbles with the chart. For starters, it basically takes current stats, pops them into an equation and projects 4 generations into the future. That's fine if all the current variables stay the same - but that's a HUGE assumption, esp. in the Jewish community. If you look BACK 4 generations, none of the demographic predictions that were made came true. In fact, the prediction back then was that Orthodoxy would simply die out. If you go back 60 years, the factors that shaped family size for Jews were pretty much the same across the religious spectrum: population decreased dramatically during the Holocaust, then there was a major baby boom immediately after. Nobody would have predicted those events, and nobody would have predicted the factors that came after: better birth control including the Pill, the fact that the Pill would be used differently by different groups, the women's movement and changes in marriage patterns, multiculturalism and protection for religious minorities including requirements for reasonable accommodation of religious needs, the 5 day work week (so that religious Jews no longer got fired each Saturday), a growth in spirituality and ethnic pride in the late 1960s which helped fuel the Baal Teshuva (born-again Jew) movement, the increase in Orthodox outreach movements, the growth of Orthodox enclaves in North America, government benefits that made it possible to have large families without starving, etc. Who knows how factors will change over the next 4 generations?

This, at least, is not limited to the Orthodox. My pork-eating, working-on-Saturday, never-fasted-on-Yom-Kippur father considers it a huge tragedy that I am not married to a Jewish man and that I'm not all that interested in producing a bunch of Jewish children. He's not alone. I went to a conservative Hebrew school (for those unfamiliar, "conservative" is a level of observancy between reform and orthodox) and there was a huge focus on STAY JEWISH MARRY JEWISH JEWISH BABIES11!!1 My local Jewish community funded a totally free, month-long trip to Israel for all 16-17 year-olds with at least one Jewish parent, where the priorities for all lectures, workshops, and other activities were: 1. LOVE ISRAEL 2. MARRY JEWISH/HAVE JEWISH BABIES. There's definitely the sense of having to replenish the numbers, so to speak.

This attitude is not really about having as many kids as you can a la Quiverfull, but you definitely "should" have at least a few and send them to Hebrew school. There is a saying: "Who is called a Jew? He whose grandchildren are Jewish." You get the picture.

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The only catholics that i know that are really quiverfull or similar are the ones in the new movements in the church, like opus dei, specially the people in the neocatechumenal way, because all the very big families that appeared in tv here are from this movement and they say quiverfull things like: childs are gifts of God, i will have all the children God wants me to have...

That is my impression as well. I went to a school run by the Opus Dei and we were taught NFP but it was no difficult to see that the system had a quite high failure rate with teachers getting pregnant all the time. So, we were also taught about children being the gift of God, God will provide, etc.

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Yep, I know few Catholics who actually use NFP and generally they tend to be the most conservative ones. (Not always though. ETA: But usually then it seems like they are using it for non-religious reasons. It is something you tend to pick up on when certain families are more prominent and volunteer to like, teach classes on NFP or something like that. haha) I have a friend who, after she got married, confessed to me that she was using birth control and she didn't feel that bad about it but don't tell anyone. I was surprised she even thought she would be judged for that if anyone else in our church found out. I honestly know few Catholics who even wait to have sex until they are married.

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How in-depth is NFP? Like does it include temping and OPKs? I'm guessing not, if the failure rate is so high. Are they just assuming that every woman has a 28 day cycle and ovulates right in the middle?

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That is my impression as well. I went to a school run by the Opus Dei and we were taught NFP but it was no difficult to see that the system had a quite high failure rate with teachers getting pregnant all the time. So, we were also taught about children being the gift of God, God will provide, etc.

Yes, but im not sure if calling they quiverfull is right since they can do NFP, and never see a family as bigger as duggars (but maybe this is because they go to university and marry latter, so less time to conceive), they usually have about 4-5 kids, the most bigger family that i know personally are 11.

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How in-depth is NFP? Like does it include temping and OPKs? I'm guessing not, if the failure rate is so high. Are they just assuming that every woman has a 28 day cycle and ovulates right in the middle?

Yes, they do include temping, checking cervical mucus, not sure what else. There is the Creighton Method, the Sympto-Thermal Method and the Marquette Method. The Marquette Method involves using a Clear Blue Easy fertility monitor. I saw it discussed on some blogs that moms with 4 or 5 kids wanted to switch to this method but found it expensive because you have to basically buy the test strips for 10-20 years.

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Catholics are not quiverfull in the way we discuss it here. The Catholic Church teaches that sex was designed by God to have both unitive and procreative aspects and removing one of those aspects from the sexual act renders the act "illicit". That doesn't mean a Catholic cannot try to prevent pregnancy. Natural Family Planning (NFP) is taught through several different methods. In NFP, a woman charts her cycles and refrains from sex on her fertile days. Effectively, abstinence (within a marriage) is the only acceptable form of birth control. This is directly opposed to the Quiverfull movement, wherein there is NO abstinence in marriage and families are mandated to have as many children as humanly possible.

The problem with NFP is that many women have irregular cycles or do not produce the same signs of fertility (like cervical mucus). So even though a couple is refraining from sex on the woman's known fertile days, she might be fertile on a day, not realize it, the couple has sex, and bam, now she is pregnant.

Some Catholics are now using more Quiverfull-type language or adopting more Quiverfull beliefs about never trying to prevent pregnancy, but this is not the official position of the Church.

To add to this, most of the Catholics I've encountered - online and in my real life - who use Quiverfull language are adult converts from fundamental Christian denominations.

The Church teaches that large families as a sign of "God's blessing and parents' generosity." At the same time, it teaches that it's up to each couple to prayerfully discern if there are just reasons to space births and asks that avoiding pregnancy not be motivated by selfishness. The Church does not define what just reasons are specifically, but most interpret them to include emotional, psychological, medical, and monetary reasons. Importantly, it speaks directly of the "generosity of responsible parenthood," which seems to be in direct opposition to much in the Quiverfull movement.

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Yes, they do include temping, checking cervical mucus, not sure what else. There is the Creighton Method, the Sympto-Thermal Method and the Marquette Method. The Marquette Method involves using a Clear Blue Easy fertility monitor. I saw it discussed on some blogs that moms with 4 or 5 kids wanted to switch to this method but found it expensive because you have to basically buy the test strips for 10-20 years.

CBEFM isn't cheap, but 1. you don't really need the monitor, if you just Google how to read the test strips; 2. most people don't need to test for 10 whole days the monitor tells you to (unless you're pretty irregular), though you need to do it that way for enough cycles to figure out what's normal for you); 3. buy the strips on Amazon, where they're cheaper. :) Cheaper than having an unplanned pregnancy.

I don't understand how people have unplanned pregnancies if they are careful enough, but of course I'm coming from the perspective of someone who was doing all of those things in order to try to get pregnant and still not succeeding without medical help. I always knew when I was potentially fertile, almost certainly fertile, and definitely not fertile.

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Mormons. The church pushes people to get married young and have tons of kids. 6 months is a long time to date before popping the question here in Utah.

There is a mormon movie called Saturday's Warrior that is all about how god wants you to have a ton of children. If you don't the spirit babies from the pre-existence never get to come to earth. This is available on Netflix if anyone here wants a peek into the weird world of mormonism (be warned: it is a musical and it is horrible).

The official party line for women is that you will screw up your kids if you work. Every conference week the high ups in the church tell women either how to protect their virtue or how to be a better helpmeet. Bare shoulders are considered obscene. I could go on and on.

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I don't understand how people have unplanned pregnancies if they are careful enough, but of course I'm coming from the perspective of someone who was doing all of those things in order to try to get pregnant and still not succeeding without medical help. I always knew when I was potentially fertile, almost certainly fertile, and definitely not fertile.

I have to admit, this attitude really bothers me. I know several women who have had unplannned pregnancies when using birth control correctly. One friend with the mini-pill (prescribed because she was breastfeeding), one when a condom broke, and a women I sort of know got pregnant with an IUD in place. Its a fallacy to think that birth control is always effective and anyone who finds herself pregnant must have been using it incorrectly. ALL birth control has a failure rate, even when used correctly. SOMEONE has to be that .01%. And as far as women using NFP to try to prevent pregnancy, they are doing what you are doing, but for whatever reason it didn't work for them.

And this is coming from someone who also experienced infertility and needed medical interventions in order to conceive.

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I have to admit, this attitude really bothers me. I know several women who have had unplannned pregnancies when using birth control correctly. One friend with the mini-pill (prescribed because she was breastfeeding), one when a condom broke, and a women I sort of know got pregnant with an IUD in place. Its a fallacy to think that birth control is always effective and anyone who finds herself pregnant must have been using it incorrectly. ALL birth control has a failure rate, even when used correctly. SOMEONE has to be that .01%. And as far as women using NFP to try to prevent pregnancy, they are doing what you are doing, but for whatever reason it didn't work for them.

And this is coming from someone who also experienced infertility and needed medical interventions in order to conceive.

I wasn't saying they were doing natural family planning wrong -- I was saying it's hard for me understand getting pregnant while temping and using OPKs to try to avoid because it's so foreign to my own experience.

I certainly didn't say anything remotely close to asserting that other types of birth control failing always mean user error.

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