You might have heard of the Duggar family, pictured above, who are part of the Quiverfull fundamentalist movement (boldface mine):
You’ll find Quiverfull families in nearly all types of churches in every community. Quiverfull is simply the “pro-life” idea that truly godly families will “trust the Lord” with their family planning. Children are viewed as unmitigated blessings (“As arrows in the hand of the mighty man, so are the children of ones youth, happy is the man who hath his quiver full of them:” Psalm 123), so couples are willing to have as many children as the Lord chooses. All methods of conception control are considered a lack of trust in God to provide for the “children of the righteous.”
At the heart of Quiverfull is patriarchy: the ideal of biblical headship and submission. This is the belief that by God’s perfect design, the father is the head of the home. The father serves as protector, provider and shepherd for his wife and children. He is primarily responsible for the wife’s and children’s physical, emotional and spiritual well-being and with such responsibility comes the (divinely granted) commensurate authority over the members of his household. According to this view, God works through the father and he serves as an intermediary for his wife and children. Honor, obedience and submission are highly valued qualities because they are necessary to maintain order and work together to accomplish the Lord’s vision for a godly family.
This emphasis on patriarchy guarantees that, to the degree in which a Christian family puts Quiverfull ideals into practice, the family is living a dysfunctional relationship dynamic which necessarily involves mental, emotional and spiritual abuse.
The link lays out several reasons why women might go along with this idiocy, but this one stood out (boldface mine):
But there’s another factor at work that most Christian women haven’t thought much about, though it has a tremendous influence on the way they choose to live out their Christian faith.
I know you probably won’t be surprised when I tell you it’s money.
The Quiverfull worldview and lifestyle which I felt that I had carefully considered and thoughtfully adopted is, in actuality, a product called “Biblical Family Values” which is being aggressively marketed as an investment to safeguard our loved ones from becoming collateral damage in today’s “War Against the Family.”
That’s right. “Traditional Family Values” is a product and we bought it big-time.
The picture above is from a Christian homeschooling convention and curriculum fair in Texas which I found on the website of a Quiverfull family that sells creation-science materials for Christian homeschoolers. The caption beneath the photo of the vendor hall reads: “Needless to say, we spent a good amount of money at that hall. But this is the price of tuition for a homeschool family. It is an investment in our sons’ education and character.”
Among Christian books, the “Christian living” subcategory, which includes relationships and parenting, is one of the most popular and profitable. A 2008 Packaged Facts report, titled “The Religious Product Market in the U.S.,” cites ‘the culture wars’ as one reason for this overall growth. Paranoia fueled by biblical predictions of the end times is another. Contemporary evangelicals are convinced that we are living in the last days and are terrified for the spiritual safety of their children.
When we recognize just how lucrative the Biblical Family Values movement is, it is easy to predict a phenomenal increase in Christian fundamentalism. I would often remark that “this family vision is spreading like wildfire,” all the while oblivious to the fact that there’s big money to be made in selling family stability and security. These desperate moms and dads, many of whom have come to Christianity as refugees from dysfunctional homes, are scared for the future and looking for answers as they scramble to raise their children in an environment healthier than the ones they experienced as kids.
It’s certainly puts perpetual presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s email list grift in perspective (boldface mine):
Huckabee is partnering with another con artist, whose con is to use people’s religious faith as a way to sell them bullshit “miracle” cancer cures and nutritional supplements…
Now let’s think about this on an individual level. Right now there’s a devout couple in their 80s who just found out that their 55-year-old daughter has cervical cancer. They’re terrified. They’d do anything to help her. And then they get an email from that nice Mike Huckabee, pointing them toward a miracle cure for cancer hidden right there in the Bible. It must be legit, because Mike Huckabee wouldn’t rope them into a scam. So they head right over to the web site, watch the video about the “Matthew 4 protocol” and the “frankincense extract,” then they send away for the free bonus gift of “The Bible’s Healing Code Revealed” which comes with a one-year subscription to Dr. Mark Stengler’s Health Revelations—half price if you’re a senior citizen!—and they whip out that credit card and start ordering all the supplements they can. They tell their daughter, with pain and fear in their voices, that this is what can cure her if only she’ll believe and they keep buying.
These are the people—gullible, afraid, at the most desperate point of their lives—that Mike Huckabee sees as marks just waiting to be scammed.
Elmer Gantry lives….