Quiver Full is one form of the birth control debate, it has other components, but at its core the issue is birth control. Its context is reactionary to the prevailing culture. Reactionary is not always bad, but I think we will see how much it handicaps people as we go further into the controversies.
The cultural points that are protested are the ideas of over population as the family planning organizations such as Planned Parenthood promote them. The birth control and family size propaganda and politics and the attendant attitudes towards various decisions to have a traditional family are factors.
Within this large view is an overlap of Feminist philosophy, and a residual problem in the denial of facts, or their obscuring, that took place in the large societal debates over abortion, population, and birth control of past decades.
Layered upon all this is the conflict and controversies that arise from liberal versus traditional, or fundamental Christian doctrine.
And further complicated by that universal complicating factor: our humanity. As women we have a huge interest in how we deal with our reproductive part of our lives. It affects almost everything for us. The fathers in families also have a greater than traditional pressure in the outcome of this subject as we apply our philosophies and follow our convictions. That makes for strong needs to rationalize our view, and to borrow authority to push it. Although in the case of authority, borrow actually means to usurp.
Quiver Full is basically, also, a Christian debate. It bases all its arguments on the interpretations of the Bible, but it has much of the philosophical overtones of “getting back to nature”. An equation of God and His Will and Nature’s Evidence, or perhaps an interpretive look at God’s Will through the perspective of nature.
This has an echo in popular culture, as many lose faith in technologies and the ideal of an unsullied and objective science. In the reproduction area, we see science hijacked for political agenda and for economic gain of vested interests. Women have had to fight for basic rights in their birthing choices, and they’ve been at war over abortion. They’ve struggled with their desires for motherhood and their desires for respect, and much of all this struggle ends up in questions of their reproductive choices.
The Church has not been immune from this struggle at the foundations of peoples lives, it has…. because God has…. been in the midst of where people live in the decisions of how to structure ones family and ones life.
But there has been much miscommunication.
The Cultural Protest
Women in the Church divide along cultural lines, liberal and worldly and traditional and fundamental. When we look at the theology in the next part of this conversation we will look at the traditional and fundamental women’s opinions and convictions.
Looking at both:
The Feminism of time recently past denigrated the whole picture of a mother at home. This no longer is the majority view of women, even strongly feminist women, from where I sit. There is still debate over the place one gives ones career and ones family, but the desire for women to raise children and make a home has more respect now- then twenty years ago or so. There still is struggle, though. There is still pressure which undermines the ability of women to create a homelife and have meaningful influence in raising her children. That will probably get stronger.
And this is part of why women are questioning many of the givens of the feminist liberal view of women and their choices. The simplicity of the propaganda has dropped away in the real life outcomes. And science has done its part to correct some of the misconceptions. Men and women are different, sometimes in fundamental ways, and humans are much more holistic in being than was realized. You can’t compartmentalize and rework one part of the life without it having outcomes in ways not previously guessed.
That’s life. And women tend to gravitate towards wanting things to work. Thus a return to some of the more natural methods of dealing with our reproduction. And no wonder, when you look at the way we have been guinea pigs and had to deal with an often arrogant and disinterested monolith of institutionalized health care. Most any woman could tell you their stories… and not all are birth stories.
So along with doctrinal factors, more are looking at the whole concept of reproducing and the consequent family size in a whole new way. But it runs into cultural barricades, and I think this is some of the problem. You start searching for overriding rationalizations when you hit those barricades. That is when theology is most likely to step onto the stage.
One of the great problems that this discussion faces is the fact that we have moved so far away from nature that we really don’t get the lessons. We have trouble applying the illustrations that we see in the scriptures when we don’t get the analogy and principles. This is where some intuit the problems with the push to imbue the QF arguments with an array of theological and natural suppositions.
Intuiting is inexact, and some of those who know their doctrines, I suspect, don’t know alot about the natural references. Or don’t think in those directions.
One thing I will say about what we as women want: we want what is best, most healthy and promoting life for our bodies, for our children and for our society. we want to stop the interventionist policies that are based upon what is economically chosen by the medical establishment when that is contraindicative to our wellbeing. We want to make our place in our society without being molested about our convictions. We want to raise our families without undue state interventions. And in all this we are trying to come to consensus among ourselves what this all means. It is further complicated by an overarching secular push to institute an elitest control in every area mentioned. This is not much discussed in these lower echelon levels of the controversies, but I think it affects the atmosphere from behind the curtain.
Since the base is laid here for the context, it seems in readiness to try to address the theology in the next post.