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Irony about the quiverful movement that is pissing me off


nataraja

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We know that the Duggars are pretty involved in pro life campaigns. But what is pissing me off so much about this is that it is actually patriarchy and everything that belongs to it that is causing abortions.

 

200 years ago when our ancestors were living in the society the Quiverful folks deem perfect there were women that killed their babies after birth because they were unmarried. And some of these unwed mothers were raped, some of them had a sexual partner who promised them that he will marry them even though he never did, some were just so horny that they lost control.

 

The less extreme patriarchal society is in my oppinion also a society where less women can fit a baby into the lives they want to live because they for example have a harder time to be a mom and to work at the same time. So more women decide against the baby they are pregnant with.

 

The Duggars and their likes are living in their own little world where everything that is wrong (to them) can be easily solved by speaking out against it or by simply forbiding it when in fact the causes of a lot of social phenomenas are far more complex.

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I agree so much. I mean, the Bible (especially the OT) is full of pro-abortion stuff. Everything from aborting a child conceived in adultery to when life begins (for boys, after a month postpartum according to the book of numbers). There are also tons of references to murdering infants, and not just by bad guys (king Herod, the Pharaoh). See psalm 137 ("By the rivers of Babylon"), which ends with the line "Happy shall he be that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones". This is the KJV, meaning that this is the text the Duggars (most fundies) read. So much for taking the Bible literally, eh.

(DISCLAIMER: I'm not advocating that they should take the Bible literally, or that life begins after 1 month, or that infant-slaying is a-ok. I'm pointing out the hypocrisy inherent to the Duggars being "pro-life".

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Yes, one of the maaaany problems I have with Christian fundies is that they'll take the meaning of certain verses as ridiculously literal, while they conveniently skip others altogether.

*Edited to add: The real problem, in my view, is trying to make sense of the Old and the New Testament, in particular the Gospels, as if they were one single, seemless textual unit. The God of the Old Testament sounds nothing like the God Jesus protrays in the Gospels. There is no way you can be doing what you're supposed to do according to the one and still do what you should according to the other. Of course, this is my opinion and I'm certainly no theologian.

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Agreed. I find that conservatives have an oddly utopian way of looking at the world - every woman is happy to be popping out babies and staying at home and every man is L. Ron Cupboard being manly and being a patriarch.

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Early Christians as a whole tended to be against childbearing because they thought that all it was doing was creating more souls that were tainted with original sin and would probably just end up in Hell anyway (they also thought the end of the world was going to happen in their lifetime, which was another reason not to have children). For most of Christianity's history, the ideal was the celibate monk or nun, not the married householder. In Catholicism, the general opinion was that the best Christians became priests, monks, or nuns, while marriage was for the "spiritual B-team." With less people entering the religious and priestly life these days, the Catholic church seems to be toning down that kind of rhetoric, but the idea of priests as ontologically different that everyone else is still taught. In any case, The quiverfull obsession with having lots of babies is very ahistorical, and is more a symptom of modern concerns that come from a specific kind of American conservatism. I would recommend FJers who want to learn about the history of Christian attitudes towards sex to read Peter Brown's "The Body and Society: Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity." It's an academic book, so it may be difficult unless you already know a bit about late antique society and early Christianity, but it's the best place to understand where Christian sexual ethics came from and why the quiverfull movement is such an aberration in terms of Christian thought and practice.

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Agreed. I find that conservatives have an oddly utopian way of looking at the world - every woman is happy to be popping out babies and staying at home and every man is L. Ron Cupboard being manly and being a patriarch.

Exactly. And if you're a man who thinks women are his equals or a woman who isn't happy popping out babies and cooking, then you're either "an exception" or "not really saved/godly." Heaven forbid we develop our own sense of identity rather than being told what we are and conforming to it.

And if you think that men really ought to take responsibility for their own sexual urges and that women don't have to take care of men's fwagile wittle egos, then you're going to hell faster than you can say "Gloria Steinem" and should go attend a church where the pastor will verbally and spiritually abuse and manipulate you because he loves you.

edited because once again I really should've used the preview button. sorry.

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Hold it. What's this about life beginning after one month?

There's a concept in Jewish Law about formal laws of mourning being unnecessary for a child that dies before 30 days, but that's just because he wasn't considered viable to begin with. That certainly is NOT the same thing as advocating infanticide.

And the reason the "New Testament" sounds so different from the "Old Testament" is because it was written in a different time, for different people, by different authors. I agree they make no sense, and that's why I'm no longer a Christian.

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Hold it. What's this about life beginning after one month?

There's a concept in Jewish Law about formal laws of mourning being unnecessary for a child that dies before 30 days, but that's just because he wasn't considered viable to begin with. That certainly is NOT the same thing as advocating infanticide.

And the reason the "New Testament" sounds so different from the "Old Testament" is because it was written in a different time, for different people, by different authors. I agree they make no sense, and that's why I'm no longer a Christian.

That concept in Jewish law about mourning being unnecessary also means that in cases of miscarriage, there's no need for an ammo box "funeral." Also, in the case of a micropreemie, their death simply meant they weren't viable. In fact, it wasn't until the last 30 or so years that micropreemies have been able to survive their birth.

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That concept in Jewish law about mourning being unnecessary also means that in cases of miscarriage, there's no need for an ammo box "funeral." Also, in the case of a micropreemie, their death simply meant they weren't viable. In fact, it wasn't until the last 30 or so years that micropreemies have been able to survive their birth.

What's an ammo box funeral? And, yes, I'm aware of the advances in medical technology for micropreemies. What does this have to do with the (false, as far as I can tell) idea that life begins only after a month?

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What's an ammo box funeral? And, yes, I'm aware of the advances in medical technology for micropreemies. What does this have to do with the (false, as far as I can tell) idea that life begins only after a month?

After Michelle Duggar miscarried Jubilee at 18 weeks, they had a full funeral complete with burial in what appeared to be an ammo box.

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Hold it. What's this about life beginning after one month?

There's a concept in Jewish Law about formal laws of mourning being unnecessary for a child that dies before 30 days, but that's just because he wasn't considered viable to begin with. That certainly is NOT the same thing as advocating infanticide.

And the reason the "New Testament" sounds so different from the "Old Testament" is because it was written in a different time, for different people, by different authors. I agree they make no sense, and that's why I'm no longer a Christian.

Sorry if I wasn't clear. I meant to contrast their "Biblical" view that life begins at conception with the actual OT, which states that after 30 months a boy will be considered viable and it is at that point where he becomes a person and can be counted in the census.

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I do agree with your examples. But we don't need to attribute all abortion to patriarchy. There is selfishness of the mother in many cases. Late-term abortion (the intentional kind where mom didn't make up her mind in time) and IVF embryo tosses are pretty macabre and unnecessary in my book. I don't think patriarchy is the main factor.

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I do agree with your examples. But we don't need to attribute all abortion to patriarchy. There is selfishness of the mother in many cases. Late-term abortion (the intentional kind where mom didn't make up her mind in time) and IVF embryo tosses are pretty macabre and unnecessary in my book. I don't think patriarchy is the main factor.

I also have the unpopular oppinion that a lot of decisions for abortions are made out of selfishness but I am absulutely certain that the current number of abortion would go down anyway if society and politics changed in certain aspects/areas/regards (I am no english native speaker and I can't come up with a perfect fitting word). Because I personaly think that only a minority of abortions are made because the pregnant women made her decision out of selfishness.

I was also in that moment reminded that a high number of abortions does not only have to occur out of patriarchy it can also have something to do with poverty etc.

But my intuition tells me that in a society there men would bear the children or a society which had been matriarchal for thousands of years pregnant persons and mothers would have it a lot easier in most ways. In our society a baby usually only fits with a low number of certain lifestyles: For example when a woman is married and willing to stay at home or has access to good childcare a pregnancy might make her very happy (Except if she simple doesn't want children. There are a lot of women who don't want children and that's fine.) But when a teenager is pregnant, when the pregnant women is still going to college when the pregnant women is poor and has to raise the baby by herself because the father isn't in the picture for some reason, in those cases the expectant mother knows that she will be struggling if she decides to keep the baby.

BTW concerning the women that seam to have abortions out of selfish reasons: My mother always tells me that she once she had the oppion that abortion wasn't right but she not only developed a slightly new way of thinking about it when she was pregnant herself but also came to the conviction that some women just shouldn't have kids. Because the women that want to terminate their pregnancies for so called selfish reasons very likely wouldn't be good mothers anyway. And I personaly assume that the child would also sense that it was unwanted.

On the other hand I am, like you, also opposed to late term abortions and of course there always is the option of adoption.

But nonetheless I am absolutely convinced that the number of abortions could be more than halved if society and politics changed. And then I write change I am not talking about the change the Duggar's demand to see.

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I do agree with your examples. But we don't need to attribute all abortion to patriarchy. There is selfishness of the mother in many cases. Late-term abortion (the intentional kind where mom didn't make up her mind in time) and IVF embryo tosses are pretty macabre and unnecessary in my book. I don't think patriarchy is the main factor.

Late-term abortion is really rare, but when it does happen it is usually because of logistical delays I.e the woman had trouble finding money for the procedure or securing travel plans. I would absolutely say that patriarchal policies that close down nearby clinics or require long waiting periods are responsible for that. https://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/4521013.html

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Comprehensive sex ed and easy access to reliable birth control would slice the number of abortions very far down.

Not to mention that if the religious culture didn't make it such a sin to become pregnant out of wedlock... how many women secretly get abortions because they come from a religious family that would disapprove or disown them if they knew they had become pregnant outside of marriage? How many women are shamed into abortion?

It's funny, my husband and I were watching Game of Thrones Season 4 (the DVD) last week and one of the characters is from a culture that is very different (he arrives to attend a wedding). The subject of bastard children come up and he says he can't understand why they all treat bastards so poorly. He says in his culture they are not treated any differently than children within the marriage and are loved the same...they are family. He says: They are born out of passion... I liked that.

Maybe if a lot of these strict religious families were more loving and accepting and had compassion and empathy for their children and things that sometimes happen, those children would not feel like they have to hide a pregnancy or get an abortion so they don't find out about the pregnancy. For a religion that proclaims to love children so much, their own children often fear their wrath if they deviate from the approved path in any way, and they often refuse to accept and love children born outside of marriage.

You think about the 1950's and earlier...how many women had back alley abortions because of fear of being shamed and disapproval and being disowned by their families. I'm willing to bet that if the family had been loving and supportive many of the women would have kept their babies. And for the ones whose families did take them in, they often never let the girl forget her "mistake" and that she was damaged goods. No wonder so many would go to extreme lengths to avoid that!

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Late-term abortion is really rare, but when it does happen it is usually because of logistical delays I.e the woman had trouble finding money for the procedure or securing travel plans. I would absolutely say that patriarchal policies that close down nearby clinics or require long waiting periods are responsible for that. https://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/4521013.html

There is at least one FJer who has written about terminating a late-term pregnancy that was very much wanted, because the fetus had conditions that were incompatible with life outside the womb. Some problems in fetal development can't be diagnosed early on. States that are criminalizing abortions conducted after 20 weeks are ignoring the fact that some diagnostic tests can't be performed earlier than that.

I assume that people who terminate a pregnancy has probably thought pretty hard about their options and their capacity to deal with each of those options. And even if they haven't, I don't think there is anyone better equipped to decide for them, nor do I think there is anything good that comes of my judging their decision.

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Late-term abortion is really rare, but when it does happen it is usually because of logistical delays I.e the woman had trouble finding money for the procedure or securing travel plans. I would absolutely say that patriarchal policies that close down nearby clinics or require long waiting periods are responsible for that. https://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/4521013.html

Oh yes. I didn't mention that! The super late term abortion thing is a myth and I hate when people lie about it for their pro-life agendas. But there is something about a 4-month along abortion that makes me sad--I know they are (were?) easily accessible because a close friend of mine had one at 15 years old. I'm from WI and this was in the mid 2000s, for what that is worth.

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I do agree with your examples. But we don't need to attribute all abortion to patriarchy. There is selfishness of the mother in many cases. Late-term abortion (the intentional kind where mom didn't make up her mind in time) and IVF embryo tosses are pretty macabre and unnecessary in my book. I don't think patriarchy is the main factor.

Just out of interest what do you mean by the 'selfishness' of the Mother? :think:

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Comprehensive sex ed and easy access to reliable birth control would slice the number of abortions very far down.

I agree. i honestly believe that teaching about the body and its functions should start at 4 or 5th grade. Then sex ed should gradually be covered in the next couple of grades. By 8th grade, kids should have the necessary information to hopefully truly understand sex and consequences. STDS, preventions etc.

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As others have said about the 1 month thing, a child under 1 month has no value (Lev 27:6), is not considered a person until 1 month (Numbers 3:15-16). Moses commanded unborn babies to be killed (Numbers 31:15-17), outlined a horror movie against babies in Hosea 13:16, ordered death of babies for blasphemy (2 Samuel 12:14), and even commanded unborn babies be killed due to the wife being unfaithful (5:21, 27-28). Oddly, it even has a recipe for abortion. Numbers 5:15-22.

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Abortion could be reduced by many different things - better access to birth control, reliable sex ed (as I think DGayle said). Universal health care (the last thing you want when you're having an unexpected baby or a really sick one is a huge hospital bill!), a better system for social assistance. Hell, better education in general - a woman who is highly educated is more likely to have a smaller family, delay childbearing, etc. Addressing patriarchy, domestic abuse and rape culture much more decisively (this wouldn't stop all rape, but could certainly help prevent at least a few) and LESS STIGMA. Stigma about becoming pregnant out of wedlock/in tough circumstances/whatever, stigma about receiving help from the government, stigma about being a single mom. Shame is a powerful deterrent, and if women felt less of it from those around them, I think many more would be comfortable bringing up a child. The reasons for abortion are so varied that a truly multifaceted approach is needed to reduce it.

So basically, we need to fix all of society, and even then women would still want abortions, for many reasons, including "because I want to". And that is why it should always be there for them.

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Abortion could be reduced by many different things - better access to birth control, reliable sex ed (as I think DGayle said). Universal health care (the last thing you want when you're having an unexpected baby or a really sick one is a huge hospital bill!), a better system for social assistance. Hell, better education in general - a woman who is highly educated is more likely to have a smaller family, delay childbearing, etc. Addressing patriarchy, domestic abuse and rape culture much more decisively (this wouldn't stop all rape, but could certainly help prevent at least a few) and LESS STIGMA. Stigma about becoming pregnant out of wedlock/in tough circumstances/whatever, stigma about receiving help from the government, stigma about being a single mom. Shame is a powerful deterrent, and if women felt less of it from those around them, I think many more would be comfortable bringing up a child. The reasons for abortion are so varied that a truly multifaceted approach is needed to reduce it.

So basically, we need to fix all of society, and even then women would still want abortions, for many reasons, including "because I want to". And that is why it should always be there for them.

Religious conservatives assume that making single motherhood shameful again would reduce the number of out of wedlock pregnancies. However,one reason why many women got abortion in the pre-Roe v Wade period was precisely because having a baby out of wedlock was so shameful. The shame attached to being a "fallen woman" was more important than terminating a pregnancy. Religious conservatives can't have it both ways; either being a single mother is so shameful that it's better to abort the pregnancy than run the risk of ruining your reputation and that of your family or abortion is so bad that it's better to be a single mother than kill unborn life.

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