NPR: In Quiverfull Movement, Birth Control Is Shunned

Among some conservative Christians, a movement is giving new meaning to the biblical mandate to “be fruitful and multiply.”

The movement, called Quiverfull, is based on Psalm 127, which says, “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.”

Those in the Quiverfull movement shun birth control, believing that God will give them the right number of children. It turns out, that’s a lot of kids.

Read or listen to it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

36 comments on “NPR: In Quiverfull Movement, Birth Control Is Shunned

  1. Hippo_Regius says:

    Although the bishop of my namesake would turn in his grave for me saying it, this sort of mindset drives me slightly batty. I understand trusting in God, but this complete lack of prudence is the procreational equivalent of Russian roulette or running naked through Central Park. If it’s my time to go, it’s my time to go! And if it’s my time to have another child, so be it!

    We can argue the merits of whether or not birth control is licit. But making babies is a fine blend of physics and biology for 99.9% of the population (a generous estimate) and a matter of direct divine intervention .1% of the time. God has, as it were, made the rules and their various consequences. Just as slipping in a mud puddle risks a fall and muddy trousers, engaging in the sort of thing that causes pregnancy risks exactly that. I don’t see the vast majority people thanking or blaming God for special intervention in gravity. Why do we do that here?

    I’m not at all uncharitable for folks who “accidentally” get pregnant, but surely we can [i]not[/i] blissfully ignore prudence, the laws of physics, and biological observation in favor of a “God won’t let the bad people punish me for acting foolishly” attitude? Just this once?

  2. mannainthewilderness says:

    #1 Really, so God is Lord over all your life except those parts where physics, prudence, and biological observation should reign?

    I had to laugh that it is a good thing that these families are not in TEC, where the PB has declared on some occasions that TEC families are not big because they are too well-educated, too in tune with environmental stewardship, and not interested in growing the church that way.

  3. Catholic Mom says:

    I think it’s one thing to say that you oppose birth control because it creates a mind-set of disconnecting sex from reproduction. It’s another thing to say that you have a divine mandate to make as many kids as possible to out-reproduce the Muslims and to be able to take control of Congress. To me, this is ideology, not theology. And I can’t think of any place in the Bible where God says “Go therefore and out-reproduce all nations.” I do think large families are great and I hope these people get tremendous joy from them. But their thinking seems a little out of whack.

  4. DonGander says:

    Farm prices are way too low – we need more children – millions of them. Farmers are suffering.

    It would seem to me that the choice between birthing kids into a christian home or importing pagan ones would be a slam-dunk, but modern education does not produce logical thinking. It produces fear and bigotry.


  5. John316 says:

    “If God had intended us to fly, he’d have given us wings.”

  6. The_Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    I remember stumbling upon the Quiverfull website back in seminary when I was researching some ethics class problem, and I couldn’t ever tell if the site was legitimate or a spoof. I guess it was legit.

  7. Katherine says:

    If people want to have large families I have no objection. The churches in the USA in general (including the Catholics, although official teaching has not changed) have done a poor job in recent decades at teaching that children are a blessing to be desired and a normal and good result of marriage, not a burden to be avoided at all costs, including the cost of killing conceived infants. The only dissent I would have with this thinking is to point out that there are women who develop medical problems which make pregnancy a great risk and other psychological and financial issues which might make a larger family unwise in specific cases.

  8. Hippo_Regius says:


    God is absolutely Lord over my life and everyone else’s life. And God has established Natural Law — things like gravity, biology, and physics — to govern the physical realm. God has also given me the mind, with its intellect, memory, and will to deduce that if I’m earning $22,500 a year, I might, just might! want to consider holding off on the sorts of things that could result in a third, fourth, fifth, sixth child. My point is very simple: it is good and true to say God is our Kingly Governor. It is good and true to say God is actively involved in our lives. I’m groovy with either of these propositions.

    The conception of God portrayed in this article, however, basically reduces Him to a cosmic score keeper or referee. He’s standing there at the one yard line ready to say “Touch down!” at any given moment. He’s in the bedroom deciding, “Well, they’ve had five kids already,” He would seem to say, “and I’m feeling extra charitable today. So, we’ll say they can fool around all that they like for the rest of their days and merrily, merrily avoid pregnancy.”

    By the same logic, in any given time someone pulls out into traffic, there’s our cosmic score keeper God deciding whether it should cause a 20 car pile up. “Well,” this God seems to say, “We were due for one anyway.” By the same logic, when a soldier steps onto a mine field, it’s God, our cosmic umpire, and not the consequences of poor judgment, prior planning, and the laws of physics which God hath made that directly decides whether he’ll lose a foot on the trip through. The article imagines a God that doesn’t trust in the natural laws He made and the consequences those laws bear out.

    It allows people to engage in behavior without a realistic assessment of those consequences – positive or otherwise, which, I think, is dangerous to both faith and happy living. If God is actively, directly, temporally keeping score, He can will a couple to have their sixth child, just as He can will them to have their sixth miscarriage. And, for all I know, maybe He does. But that isn’t for us to know. The system doesn’t hold because it negates absolutely [i]our[/i] entire responsibility for behavior.

    An important point: Children are a blessing and deserve our love and support. Life is sacred. Abortion is wrong. Children are never “a mistake,” as it were. You will [i]not[/i] pin me down as believing anything otherwise.

    But. (But!) we have a responsibility to rely on the tools which God gave us — our intellect, our will, our memory — and make assessments of risk and consequences. If a couple is to say, “We are always welcome to the possibility of another child. In fact, we keep funds and materials stored away so that we’re prepared for such a blessing,” bravo, I say. They’re prepared. They’re prudent. They know the rules of the game.

    If parents, however, say, “We’ll eschew contraception, we’ll eschew foresight, responsibility, and preparation. Throw caution to the wind! Ignore biology! Eat, drink, be merry, to the bedroom after! Let God sort it out,” they’re (foolishly and unnecessarily) setting themselves up for a lot of hardship later on down the road. The child will be a blessing, I have no doubt, but just a [i]smidgeon[/i] of prudence and foresight would reduce the pain involved to the increase of the joy.

  9. DonGander says:

    8. Hippo_Regius:

    Your analogies somewhat bias the mind. I think it would be wise not to encourage your reader to compare having a child to a twenty car pileup or to a sodier carelessly crossing a minefield.

    I was born in abject poverty with a very sick father. We literally had nothing. I am very glad that my parents did not ascribe to the kind of logical caution as you propose it.


  10. DonGander says:

    An addendum:

    Of course I do not echew responsibility, but, within marriage, I think that much of what we have called “responsibility” is actually a closer relative of abject selfishness.


  11. Hippo_Regius says:

    Don Gander,

    It occurs to me that you’re right–my examples were restricted to rather morbid, jarring things. I maintain that the logic of the comparison holds, however, as we say that God has control over life and death.

    If you prefer, I can provide more positive analogies. The consequences of a risky surgical procedure, for example, should be researched entirely. Do they improve quality of life, or merely its quantity? What are the risks? Saying to oneself, “Ah, well. Let us go under the knife and let God sort it out” seems to me irresponsible.

    Likewise, we can think of other big choices. Think of a marriage, for example. Do two souls make certain they are “right” for each other, or do they rush headlong into marriage after one date and let God sort it out? Think of applying to college. Do you analyze costs and benefits, or do you let God sort it out? Think of pursuit of a vocation. Do you weigh the costs, or do you wander blindly and let God sort it out? The vocation of parenthood is a prime example. Do these parents think to themselves, “Selves, does God want us to have another child?” Or do they simply go through the motions and hope for the best?

    Clearly, one shouldn’t be selfish. I wouldn’t dare call for such an approach. One [i]should[/i], however, make every reasonable effort to consider and prepare for the consequences of a given action, and I don’t see enough of that notion of prudence or caution conveyed at all in these sorts of movements.

  12. fatherlee says:

    Hippo, the problem with your line of thinking is that procreation is already assumed in marriage. Thus, the idea that procreation is “planned for” just like marriage is to compartmentalize the process too much.

    Aside from that, there is the problem that most birth control methods are abortifacient and provide serious consequences to married life. If people are convinced that having another child would not only be difficult for them, but bad – they should abstain from marital relations. And if that is difficult, only abstain during the fertile periods. This is the natural means which God has given.

    I would say however that sin is messy, and repentance requires discipline. I have not heard anyone say that contraception increases discipline in marriage – only gratification. And marriage is not about being gratified – it’s about becoming holy.

    If you are so inclined, please listen to Janet Smith’s Contraception Why Not? If you can’t find it, I will send it to you.

  13. Sarha7nj says:

    It’s all fun and games until someone loses and eye. Likewise, it’s all fun and spiritually rewarding until someone has a kid with autism. My son is 5 and a half and was diagnosed with high functioning autism 3 years ago. I think my husband had his vasectomy less than a month later. Statistically, it’s about 1 in 140 kids in the US currently (here in NJ it’s 1 in 70 boys, I think) but for a family with one child already on the spectrum it’s about 1 in 10 chance of having another. And for all of the families we have met with other children on the spectrum, none of them have given their autistic child a younger sibling intentionally. Our son has a sister as she was already on the way when he was diagnosed and while she doesn’t have autism, she’s not neurotypical either. So I tend to see people in the quiver-full club as just a little bit crazy and only one autism diagnosis away from a permanent form of birth control.

  14. fatherlee says:

    Wait – I’m trying to understand. Are you saying that if given the choice, you [i]wouldn’t[/i] have conceived your daughter? Or are you saying that the risk of having another autistic blessing was just too high?

  15. St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse says:

    Aye, our trust in the Lord only spreads so far, right? After all, if we are blessed with another child, I have every hope in the Lord that we’ll be able to feed him or her. If we have a child with special needs, I trust the Lord that He’ll give us every grace and resource to love and care for that child. If I start contracepting after that, aren’t I saying that I do not trust Him to care for us?

    It takes trust in the Lord. Trust Him.

  16. Sarha7nj says:

    No, we wouldn’t have had her, so we consider her to be a blessing and the child that God wanted to exist. But my son is 5 and can’t be left unsupervised, ever. And there is grace and trust in God, but there’s also wisdom and knowing that with these 2 we are barely surviving, with a good marriage, amazing services from the public schools, a supportive family and church, doctors and therapists we can rely on, and the prayers of dozens. And we are barely surviving. More children would be an act of insanity. Come spend a week at my house. It is that hard to live with autism.

  17. ember says:

    I ask this as a serious question, in light of some of the reasonings posted above:
    Should couples diagnosed as permanently infertile never have sex, since it cannot lead to procreation? Or does God actually not have a problem with non-procreative sex?

  18. Catholic Mom says:

    You might remember the rabbi and his wife who were killed in the terrorist attacks on Mumbai a few months ago. They had a two-year old child who was saved by his nanny. Turns out they had had two other children — one of whom died of Tay Sachs disease and the other of whom was hospitalized with it back in Israel. Infantile Tay Sachs is an invariably fatal genetic condition in which the child is normal for the first six months, then slowly becomes blind, deaf, unable to swallow and finally, paralyzed. Death comes around age 4 or 5. Both parents must have one gene for it to be inherited, and the probably of two carrier parents having an affected child is 50%. The rabbi and his wife had two children in a row with Tay Sachs and went on to have a third (unaffected) child.

    I would never judge them or tell them what they should have done — whether they chose to continue having children or whether they chose a permanent form of birth contro. I only thank God that I was never put in their position.

  19. mannainthewilderness says:

    Amen #10.

    Hippo’s God likely would have altered Song of Songs to say wait, “have you taken the pill” or “do you have a condom” when the beloveds speak to one another. But then he seems to think that God does not provide for needs or acts in a way other than the perfect Father.

    Sex, in marriage, seems to serve two purposes. When married couples conceive, it is not an accident. It is one of the purposes of the act–that’s likely why God restricted it to marriage between one man and one woman and why He made it feel so good ; )

    Married couples that try to control their reproduction and wait until
    everything is sufficient (money, house, car, career, etc), can find themselves never really ready or unready until later in life, when biology begins to work harder against them.

    Do a bit of research (since you value science so) before you dismiss God’s hand at play in fertility. Even under the best of conditions, women can conceive on only some 52 days of any year. Add in variables such as stress, age, diet, disease, exercise, weight, motility of the partner’s sperm, levels of hormones and the like, and one can begin to wonder how it is that we ever reproduce. If God knows us and loves us even before he formed us in the womb, then I think He can and will take care of providing for the daily needs of His children. None of the families in this article (and for heaven’s sake it is NPR) seem to be at all unhappy with the size of their family. None are on welfare. Why should we not rejoice?

    Scorekeeper? Don’t see it. Lord of life? you bet.


  20. DJH says:

    I am a Roman Catholic medical doctor, bioethicist, catechist, and mother. I have studied, written about, taught, and lived this issue for many years. May I suggest that if you truly want to understand the Catholic prohibition about birth control, first read [url=]Humanae Vitae[/url]. To answer Ember’s question, the marital act is both unitive and procreative and these aspects cannot be separated. An infertile couple is free to engage in the marital act because they are not trying to separate the two aspects of sexual relations.

    The modern contraceptive mentality considers the default position to be closed to life. On rare occasions the couple decides all is well and they are open to conception. Once they have a baby they revert to their closed to life position. The Church’s teaching is that the default position is to be open to life. On rare occasions the couple may discern through prayer and reflection that conception would not be a good thing. They can avoid this through the use of Natural Family Planning methods. (This is not the rhythm method. It is very effective for both intentionally avoiding conception and intentionally achieving pregnancy.) Please note the “Natural” in Natural Family Planning refers to “Natural Law” not non-artificial. I wrote about that [url=]here[/url].

    Why NFP is different than artificial birth control is beyond the scope of this com box so I refer you to one of the Theology of the Body publications by Christopher West (Based on work by John Paul II) or to Catholic Bioethics and the Gift of Human Life by William E. May

  21. teatime says:

    I agree with Catholic Mom. And while I would fully support the right of these folks to do exactly as they wish, the “movement” makes me nudgy, for a number of reasons.

    First are the “political” underpinnings that CM pointed out. Reproducing to counter Muslim reproduction and to change a political landscape sounds eerily like other political movements or even despotic regimes that focus on reproduction (or lack thereof) to propel their agendas.

    Secondly, I find the husband’s comments disrespectful. Yes, children come through the marital union but a loving husband also practices restraint and self-control out of respect for his wife’s health and well-being. This guy clearly “goes for it” as often as possible, or so he brags. Which leads to my third reason for unease…

    These folks have seized on a few lines of a Psalm but apparently have discarded much of the other Jewish/OT teachings. Abstinence in marriage was often required as part of Jewish law and ritual. Sexual relations were forbidden during high holy days, during certain times of the female cycle, etc. and women had to undergo ritual cleansings before their husbands could touch them without being rendered impure. Does the Quiverfull movement follow those commands of God, as well?

    I fear these folks are simply picking and choosing Scriptures to justify a pseudo-political movement and they’re ignoring the God of the Scriptures and Tradition Who also asks for self-restraint, marital chastity and mutual respect.

  22. libraryjim says:

    Just from a practical standpoint:

    I would hope that ‘Quiverfull’ would also provide some sort of support, either financial, food, clothing, furniture, etc. for the families they are encouraging. Otherwise, I think they are being terribly irresponsible in counseling in this fashion, especially if there are some who are of lower income levels who cannot afford large families.

    Or are they being sent to the government for W.I.C. and food stamps?

  23. Hippo_Regius says:

    Maninthewilderness writes:

    [blockquote] Hippo’s God likely would have altered Song of Songs to say wait, “have you taken the pill” or “do you have a condom” when the beloveds speak to one another. But then he seems to think that God does not provide for needs or acts in a way other than the perfect Father. [/blockquote]

    Point of fact, Hippo never once stated what his opinion of contraception was one way or another. Point of fact, Hippo strongly implied that [b]abstinence[/b] rather than contraception was the appropriate response when a couple discerns that they have reached the maximum capacity for children when he wrote:

    [blockquote] God has also given me the mind, with its intellect, memory, and will to deduce that if I’m earning $22,500 a year, I might, just might! want to consider holding off on the sorts of things that could result in a third, fourth, fifth, sixth child. [/blockquote]

    Point of fact, you have uncharitably put words in Hippo’s mouth that he never once suggested, implied, or condoned.

    I would appreciate it [i]profoundly[/i] if you would be disinclined from such behavior in the future. Thank you. :>

  24. Hippo_Regius says:

    #12 (And apologies for the double posting)

    As I noted above, I haven’t tipped my hand one way or the other with regard to contraception (nor do I particularly care to do so). But if you have a link handy for Janet Smith’s lecture, send away, by all means!

  25. justinmartyr says:

    fatherlee, you have NO idea what sarah is dealing with. Your comment is not only out of line, it is unchristian.

  26. CharlesB says:

    I hope this makes sense. I am an “accidental” child. It is obvious that my parents had five children, like “stair-steps” 33 months apart. Then 10 years later I came along, exactly 9 months after my father’s 40th birthday. Do the math. So, let’s face the facts. I was not an “intentional” child. They had now a second “only child” family. I was loved, yes. But planned, no.

    Later on I buy into the small family thing and have two kids and get a vasectomy at 29. I am now 63. Did I do the right thing? In retrospect: No, I don’t think so. I think that if I had trusted God instead of worldly advice, (i.e., worrying about my career) I might have fathered more children and have had a larger but happy family. Instead I just thought of making more money. BTW, money comes and goes, but what about those children I could have known? Very sad.

  27. justinmartyr says:

    God bless you sarah. You and so many other parents of autistic children are a shining example of forbearance to us all.

    fatherlee, ever thought about volunteering with an autism charity? Oh, wait, you’re too busy doing the LORD’S work.

  28. Padre Mickey says:

    So, a woman who is raped by her father, or her step-father, or her uncle, or some stranger, and ends up pregnant is all part of God’s plan, but and a woman who has been married to the same man for several years yet has experienced several miscarriages is possibly being punished by this same God?

    I have a lot of problems with the idea of depending on God for birth control. I trust God for a lot, but I’ve never seen God work in this particular area.

  29. mannainthewilderness says:

    Again, hippo, I am simply having a tough time finding the place in the Bible where God tells married couples to abstain or otherwise prevent sex so as not to have children. St. Paul discusses abstinence within marriage as a type of fast bathed in prayer but realizes that the season must come to an end, lest they be tempted into sin. Sex in marriage between one man and one woman is the way it was intended from creation, as so many on this site wish to remind reappraisers. None of the people cited in the article (and for heaven’s sake it is NPR–not exactly the group to promote such behavior) make $22,500 a year or live on welfare. They seem to believe that God is Lord over everything in their lives, and I would have to say the Bible seems to agree with them.

    It is a pity, #28 Padre, that you have never seen a woman’s womb opened against all medical expectation and after repeated failures. Maybe your experience is the norm and that is why God gives us the stories of Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth, Mary and others in the Bible, so that we can take it on faith that He is every bit as at work in this area of our lives as He is in all others. I do not think, however, that anyone in this article or in this thread has claimed that children are rewards or punishments of God.


  30. fatherlee says:

    Not trying to be snarky – just trying to understand. I know that it’s difficult, but come at this whole thing from the perspective that if God gives someone a child with autism – it is an opportunity to love more than it is a burden.

  31. Hippo_Regius says:

    [blockquote] St. Paul discusses abstinence within marriage as a type of fast bathed in prayer but realizes that the season must come to an end, lest they be tempted into sin. Sex in marriage between one man and one woman is the way it was intended from creation, as so many on this site wish to remind reappraisers. [/blockquote]

    You and I agree 100% on the words of St. Paul. But dear Lord, you can’t help yourself, can you? You inferred that I was some pro-contraception, “It’s my body, and I’ll do what I want to!” fellow before, and just now, you’re lumping me in with a reappraiser, whatever [b]that[/b] is.

    I have news for you. I would worship with the 1549 Book of Common prayer if I could get away with it. (Heck, I would worship in the Liturgy of St. James in the original Greek, if I could get away with it). I believe that divorce is wrong in the overwhelming majority of cases (just as our Lord did, with His one exception). I believe that abortion is wrong. I believe that children are a blessing.


    Whatever one’s views of contraception, I [i]still[/i] believe people should develop an awareness of the very real consequences of copulating. If one is to be [i]open[/i] to the possibility of children, one ought to be [i]prepared[/i] for the possibility of children. Natural Family Planning is to be lauded precisely because it attempts to do exactly that: prepare, account for consequences. Where I come from, we are exhorted to look inward before receiving the Eucharist, even as we are exhorted to participate in the sacrament. Why? Because there are very [i]real[/i] consequences for doing so in the wrong state of mind. In confirmation (and adult Baptism), we are asked multiple questions of, well, [i]confirmation[/i] before the Holy Spirit is invoked in prayer. Why? Because God values the status of our will. In Holy Matrimony, we are exhorted to be open to the gift of children. Each of these is an exercise of the will. Each of these requires careful consideration of the consequences. Would you [i]really[/i] encourage someone who has not considered what he or she is doing to go ahead and take the Eucharist, letting God sort it out? God forbid. Why on earth do you deny the same restraint and caution to child rearing? Why is it pious to consider the consequences before engaging in a sacrament, but somehow “not trusting in God” to exercise the same caution and restraint where the begetting of children is involved?

    We encourage people to think before they eat and drink at the altar. We encourage people to think before they marry. We encourage people to think before participating in most any sacrament, or to think on behalf of those who cannot do so, in the case of infant baptism. Our whole Tradition (with a big old T) is rife with decisions of the will, of caution, of care, where the sacraments are concerned and where charity is concerned. Why was Onan struck dead? Because he did not think to have the proper love and charity for his wife, Tamar, who rightfully wanted a child when he wrongfully did not. Wouldn’t you agree that it is equally manipulative and uncharitable for a spouse (or, more likely, a girlfriend) to purposefully get pregnant so as to induce guilt in the other partner toward a certain behavior? The child is a blessing, to be sure, even if begotten for uncharitable reasons.

    And yet, bafflingly, throughout all this, you insinuate that only a reappraiser, whatever that is, could possibly suggest that people should proceed with caution and a little foresight when they engage in procreative sex. Automatically, if a couple should say to themselves, “Possibly, just possibly, we should weigh the option of having children now, or possibly later, or possibly we have our hands full at the moment,” certain persons here condemn them as not trusting God. It is perhaps (though I seriously doubt it) always wrong to decide, “Mm. No, we’ll wait a bit before having children.” It is perhaps (though I seriously doubt it) always wrong to conclude, “I think for the time being, our three, four, five, six children have our full love and attention, and we as parents fear we might not be able to provide the adequate love and attention if there are more children.” It is certainly wrong to assume that anyone who chooses to put a hold on children engages in “abject selfishness,” as someone (quite uncharitably) said earlier. It isn’t for me, for you, or for anyone to guess at the motivations of another person in order to condemn them. Finally, it is [i]never[/i] wrong or unfaithful to discern the consequences of an act and to prepare adequately for those consequences. I have no doubt that God will provide. I have no doubt also that I’ll save myself a great deal of trouble in the future if I sit back and think a moment about the consequences of my actions now, regardless of the decision I ultimately reach.

    Shall I drag out the Wisdom literature? Shall I pull out Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Richard Hooker, the Caroline Divines, Newman, C.S. Lewis? Must we doubt our tradition’s insistance that we exercise our will responsibly? I use my will precisely because I trust in the God who [i]made[/i] the will, and I encourage others to exercise [i]their[/i] wills because it will save them from unnecessary grief and hardship–even (and especially) those who [i]do[/i] continue to have children.

  32. mannainthewilderness says:


    Perhaps we are talking past each other, but I was simply arguing that your claim that married people should not have sex because it might lead to pregnancy was unbiblical and that these peoples’ chosen lifestyle was in accord with Scriptures. In order for married couples to have intercourse and not get pregnant, either contraception or abstinence would be required. I do not care which you promote, I do not think that either is particularly biblical between married couples. Given all the discussion in the Bible about the subject of sex, I think it simplistic to think that God is not the Lord of procreation as well as everything else He created. The people in the article were simply trying to honor Him in the bedroom, and none seemed to be at all trying to live their lives (let alone their sex lives) in any way other than complete trust that if He gave them more children, He would also provide for them. Seeing as how it was couples doing this, and not one dictating to another, I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that they considered these issues you cite when they chose to live this way. Maybe they are NFP; maybe not. The article does not give us enough detail to know what their practices are.

    As to calling you a reappraiser, I did no such thing. I did remind those reading the thread that are in opposition to GLBT non-celibacy in the Church that we argue all the time that sex was intended to be between one man and one woman in the covenant of marriage. Now we have a group trying to honor that, and people want to make snarky comments about them rather than edify them or consider whether they have something to teach us about faithfulness and about God. It is not something that I would choose or recommend for everyone, but I do think there is a powerful message being claimed by these people. It simply should not be dismissed out of hand as the ravings of lunatics, the orgiastic behavior of the poor (none made as little as $22,500 and none seem to be on welfare; nor were any eating, drinking, and heading to the bedroom), or the assumed unconsidered uniformed actions of imbeciles (these people seem to have given it a lot of thought and prayer– I mean, come on, the one guy had a vasectomy reversed).

    None of the authors you cited would claim that the exercise of our wills will necessarily save us from unnecessary grief and hardship. Indeed, all would likely inform us that it is not our wills which save and only His grace. But even if they did (it’s hard to know every sentence in the summa’s and the EP ; ) ), all of those thinkers you cite would tell us to test their words and their thoughts against God’s Word.

    You seemed to be making the claim that these people are ignorant, foolhardy, sociologically unfit, or somehow immature when NPR pointed out that it was their considered faith which was leading them to this decision (we can argue whether it was well-considered, I suppose–lol). If you were not, then I do apologize. If you were asserting that, as I think your posts read, then I do not apologize for reminding you that we need to test our thoughts against God’s. As I said, we may simply be speaking past each other and causing a hubbub where none is necessary, something that often happens over the internet.


  33. Hippo_Regius says:


    My friend, that seems to be the case, on further reflection. Truce? :>

  34. wordwarrior says:

    I know this is an old post, but couldn’t pass up a comment…

    Evidence of an ingrained way of thinking is quite obvious here, even among some of the “intelligent” remarks…
    Hippo Regius, for example, equated conception with “muddy trousers”–the natural result of intimacy versus gravity.

    Are you willing to equate, HR, an accidental fall with what the Bible calls a “heritage from the Lord”?

    To make such a comparison is ludicrous; the laws of nature are put in motion, yes; which is precisely why those who should be giving an answer are those who artificially interfere with a normal, natural process.

    Can you think of any other normally-functioning body part that our culture gives permission to alter its use?

    Our mode of reproduction within marriage is not broken. God created us to multiply (not add 😉 He could have greatly reduced the normal number of pregnancies within marriage–he didn’t.

    Who are we to question those who would refuse to alter their bodies, most often with harmful products (which are proven to increase rates of cancer, etc)? In my opinion, we should be questioning such absurd reasoning.

  35. wordwarrior says:

    One more thing…Malachi specifically speaks of “why God made man and woman one flesh”…the answer:

    “Because He desires godly offspring.”

    So is it in my authority now, though the Bible speaks NOTHING of allowing us to control the womb (except for the one time Onan did and was instantly put to death–by the way, that was not because he refused his brother a son–that punishment involved the woman taking off his sandal and humiliating him in public)…

    Am I now wise enough to decide if/when a life should be born? Even though the Bible speaks of life before conception?

    Ponder, ponder.