NewsThu Nov 16, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST
Protestant Group Advocates Leaving Fertility in God’s Hands - No Birth Control Artificial or Natural
By Meg Jalsevac
SAN ANTONIO, TX, November 16, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A pro-life trend among conservative Protestants is picking up steam in the US, Newsweek reports.Â In 1995, David and Suzanne Bortel of San Antonio, Texas developed a website called Quiverfull.com to lend support and encouragement to couples who are totally open to as many children as God gives them.Â Under the name of Quiverfull, the group encourages its members to reject all forms of birth control and welcome children as “a gift and blessing from our gracious heavenly father.”
The name of the group is taken from Psalm 127 of the Bible which says:
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them.”
Members of Quiverfull reject not only birth control but also Natural Family Planning, a natural method and one condoned by the Catholic Church as a moral way, under serious circumstances, to avoid conception by abstaining from sexual intercourse during the fertile periods of a woman’s monthly cycle.Â
Quiverfull’s beliefs also do not condone any form of artificial conception, such as in-vitro fertilization.Â Mary Pride, a Quiverfull believer and author of the book, ‘The Way Home’, says, “You shouldn’t be unnatural in going to a fertility clinic or in trying to avoid having children by regulating when to have sex with your husband.”Â
The Quiverfull website is careful to emphasize that family size is not what makes one a Quiverfull believer.Â It says, “Whether your quiver is large or small, you are welcome.”Â Regarding all children as blessings and leaving fertility in the hands of God is the Quiverfull mission.Â
Rejection of birth control is a growing trend among many denominations of Protestants.Â Many Protestants who previously espoused birth control methods, are becoming more and more alarmed by the contraceptive mentality that has overtaken the country.Â In today’s society, sex and procreation of children are commonly viewed as two separate components of marriage.Â Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is very convicted and outspoken on the subject.Â He says, “If a couple sees children as an imposition, as something to be vaccinated against, like an illness, that betrays a deeply erroneous understanding of marriage and children.”
Brad Wilcox, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Virginia thinks that a possible reason for the trend is that evangelical Protestants are uniting with Catholic leaders on other moral issues in today’s society.Â He says, “The increasing cooperation of Catholic and evangelical leaders on abortion and same-sex marriage has allowed some cross-pollination where evangelical leaders are starting to become familiar with Catholic thinking on the family.”
Stephanie Coontz, director of research for the Council on Contemporary Families says that anti-birth control mindsets are becoming more common but she does not think the trend will last.Â“It’s a backlash that I don’t feel will triumph. In the past, large families were helpful economically, but today, they become a disadvantage, especially to younger kids who don’t get as many resources.”
As they willingly leave their lives and fertility open to God, members of Quiverfull would disagree.Â The Bortels, and many like them, have worked to instill their beliefs in their children.Â They hope and pray that, when the time is appropriate, God will give each of their children a ‘quiverfull’ of blessings as well.