BBC Looks at Quiverfull Movement

A warning from Alice Gurr, a UK coordinator of “Above Rubies”:

Well, [the problem] for society is the birth rate is dropping, it’s dropping to the point where we’re almost in decline as a people, as a race. Well, we are in decline as a race, most European races, most ethnic groups within Europe, are now in decline… but there are other societies and other ethnic groups that are having a lot of children, that are increasing. And so our way of life will change, our society will change, purely because we will be outnumbered, purely because our, you know, I’m talking about, for myself, and my family, you know, white British – is it alright to say this? – ethnic group, that it will disappear in time because the birth rate is fallen so much.

Gurr’s analysis can be heard in a fascinating BBC radio documentary (by Cat McShane for the Heart and Soul strand) about the “Quiverfull” movement. The name relates to the idea that Christians should be producing “quiverfulls” of children as spiritual warriors to shore up or re-establish Christian hegemony in culture and society; contraception is shunned, and male headship stressed. The programme first aired in May, but was rebroadcast a couple of days ago (which was when I became aware of it) and is permanently available on the BBC website. A tie-in article can be seen here; an ex-member who is now crticial of the movment maintains a website called “No Longer Quivering” here.

Above Rubies” is the particular ministry of Nancy Campbell and her pastor husband Colin; she’s based in Tennessee (although from New Zealand), and was in the UK as the programme was being made. Interestingly, a British family that features in the programme sounded somewhat embarrassed by the Campbells’ “overt” rhetoric, despite being influenced by their gender teachings; they were keen to make clear that they were not particularly political, and that they do not believe that God’s way for them is necessarily what everyone else should be doing.

Anyone interested in the Quiverfull movement in general needs to read Kathryn Joyce’s excellent 2009 investigation Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Partiarchy Movement.