Children of God … Bred to Take Over the World
She had planned to give birth at home, unassisted, but her uterus partially ruptured during labour, almost killing her. For a month, she was confined to bed, barely able to move, let alone look after her family.
The doctor said it would be reckless for her to conceive any more children. But when she turned to her friends, they offered bleak counsel, backed with the force of the Bible. “I was told that a woman shouldn’t shrink back from supposed dangers and that we should honour God with our bodies,” she says. “Jesus died for us, we should be willing to die for him.” She became pregnant twice more, suffering two miscarriages.
Garrison and her husband, Warren Bennett, had originally decided to stop at three kids. He had a vasectomy, to make sure. But after reading The Way Home, by Mary Pride, they decided to reverse the procedure - calling one of the doctors helpfully listed inside the back cover. In the next six years, they had four more children.
Pride’s book is one of the founding texts of the Quiverfull movement, which encourages Christians to refrain from using all forms of birth control, including abstinence. It believes child-bearing women are like missionaries, to be commended for their courage and sacrifice.
“I had it all calculated out,” Garrison says. “I had seven kids and they were each gonna have 12. They were all going to continue in the faith, to be warriors for Christ.”
Calvinist pastor Doug Phillips, whose Vision Forum Ministry provides spiritual guidance, educational materials and an online catalogue of approved activities and clothes, has eight children. He preaches that Christianity can only triumph over secular liberalism if believers practise “multi-generational faithfulness” by raising an army of devout soldiers. His 200 Year Plan envisages a godly United States, six generations from now, with fundamentalist evangelicals in the majority and a theocratic government in charge.
The key to the concept comes from the Bible, in Psalm 127: “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They shall not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.” In his presentation, Phillips shows how the exponential multiplication of eight children each begetting eight children of their own would change what he sees as a godless country, where having perhaps two or three children has become the norm.