We, liberals, feminists, torch-bearers of the freedom of choice and the sanctity of an individual's bodily autonomy, are under a sustained, long-range attack from a movement literally growing within the bellies of our neighbors.
They call themselves Quiverfulls, taking their name from Psalm 127: "As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them."
Adherents to the Quiverfull way of life reject all forms of birth control, even the Papal-approved, menstrual-cycle-based rhythm method that has helped so many Catholics keep their families to a manageable eight or nine kids. In these fundamentalist families, men are considered best suited to lead, while women are expected to submit and bear children. Mary Pride, author of a defining Quiverfull text, writes, "My body is not my own." Quiverfulls believe a woman's body is a sacred temple, and, therefore, a woman has no right to control it: Only the Lord can rightfully dictate what happens there.
This means some Quiverfull couples are having gaggles of children, not necessarily because they want a brood of a baker's dozen, but because they sincerely believe it is their duty. And the arrows they produce are being sharpened into good little patriarchal players: The sons who will go on to command their own troops, the daughters who will birth an army for their husbands and their movement. Because these arrows are home-schooled, and activities are often built around the home and family, there is less of a chance for our diverse, heathen culture to corrupt these young weapons of God, or, as iBirthing God's Mighty Warriors/i author Rachel Scott refers to them, "ammunition in the spiritual realm to whip the enemy!"
Frighteningly, what this movement comes down to is nothing more than G-rated eugenics. Rather than physically destroy those who are undesirable in their greater scheme for a more Godly world, Quiverfulls hope to overwhelm the non-white, non-Christian population by outnumbering them, beating them back politically and culturally. Right now, Quiverfull families are estimated to number in only the tens of thousands in the US, far from the millions iQuiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement/i author Kathryn Joyce estimates they need in order to fulfill their goals of both political and cultural domination.
Right now, we may be thankfully beaming at our hip, cool-headed president, at all the gay marriages being performed legally in four states (and counting), at the fact that we ladies can have willy-nilly abortions whenever the desire strikes our fancy. But if we do not consider Quiverfulls a threat now, we certainly will in a generation, when TLC's entire programming lineup consists of following the Quiverfulling Duggar clan's 18 children and each Duggar child's softball-team-sized family. By then, it may be too late, and all the social leaps we have made will have been reversed.
For too long, we've only been having as many babies as we "want" or can "afford." Well, that kind of thinking won't carve out any progress with our progressive agenda. What we need to do is follow the fundamentalists' path: start indoctrinating at birth.
It's time for a good ol'-fashioned arms race, and like the women of yore who would push up their sleeves and get down and dirty on an assembly line, today's liberated women need to seriously consider pushing up their skirts and getting down and dirty on a mattress, or in the back of a Prius.
Don't have much money? Don't worry-just as Quiverfull families, many of them low-income, have faith that their God will provide for them, so should we have faith that our savior, Barack, will provide for us. There's no reason to believe spiritual welfare is, in the end, much better than what the government offers.
Gay? Single? Otherwise undesirable as a parent, at least in some states? Ask your heterosexual couple friends for help-ask them to have a baby, or adopt one, for you. Raise the little tyke with two daddies, or just one mommy, or a handful of co-parenting adults.
Now, Quiverfulls don't worry about nonsense like overpopulation or global warming-God will always have a place for them on His earth. But if you're worried about the environmental impact of so many little carbon footprints pitter-pattering around the globe, follow the lead of our patron saints, Brad and Angelina. Rather than just bringing new lives into the world, adopt, adopt, adopt, from every race, every culture. Collect an array of children to imbue with your liberal ideology.
And thus we arrive at our countermovement: Boxfull. As in:
As crayons are in the hand of a curious artist, so are children of the progressives. Happy is the person that hath his box full of them.
Sounds more fun than arrows, no?
iRebecca Anne Flanagan is a graduate student studying MFA creative writing and is a contributor to/i The Beacon.