How Many Christians Does it Take to Conquer the World?

Living in liberal western Massachusetts often feels quite like existing in a vacuum of liberalism and humanistic ideals. It's always a wake-up call when reality strikes through the news. backyard.

This morning it struck like a thunderbolt. I was driving to work and heard an NPR piece entitled
In Quiverful Movement, Birth Control is Shunned. The headline itself is not particularly drastic news from Christian fundamentalists but the news story that unfolded was, to me, one of the more offensive and disturbing I've heard in a long time.

It's nothing new that many fundamentalist Christians like to procreate as many Christian babies as they can. What was shocking to me were the words of some of the people interviewed for the piece.

Nancy Campbell, a leader of the Quiverfull movement and author of Be Fruitful and Multiply had this to say: "The womb is such a powerful weapon; it's a weapon against the enemy."

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The "enemy", it turns out, is the gay community and Muslims (read the article) and doubtless anyone, including Christians who don't interpret the bible in the same way as they do.

In an article from The Nation, which I discovered at, I quote this passage about the Quiverfull movement:

They refuse any attempt to regulate pregnancy. Quiverfull began with the publication of Rick and Jan Hess's 1989 book, A Full Quiver: Family Planning and the Lordship of Christ, which argues that God, as the "Great Physician" and sole "Birth Controller," opens and closes the womb on a case-by-case basis. Women's attempts to control their own bodies--the Lord's temple--are a seizure of divine power.

Another Quiverfull warrior by the name of Mary Pride is quoted in The Nation article as writing: "My body is not my own." This rebuttal of the feminist health text Our Bodies, Ourselves is deliberate. Quiverfull women are more than mothers. They're domestic warriors in the battle against what they see as forty years of destruction wrought by women's liberation: contraception, women's careers, abortion, divorce, homosexuality and child abuse, in that order.

A evangelical pastor:

"Some people think that what I'm doing--having eleven children--is wrong. I don't really get into that much. The Bible says 'be fruitful and multiply.' That's my belief system. They don't believe in God, so they think we have to conserve what we have. But in my belief system, He's going to give us a new earth." Overpopulation isn't a problem in a universe where God promises a clean global slate."

It's doubtful they'll have the large-scale impact they think they may have. But joined with other fundamentalist Christian churches, these people are going to be a constant thorn in the side of those of us who are pro-choice and support marriage equality. Look at the extent to which the Mormon community has grown, flourished financially and taken up the battle against marriage equality in the state of California.


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