Reproducing Southern Baptists
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Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 10:08:45 AM EST

Today's Ethics Daily has posted a couple stories about the new imperative among Southern Baptists to reproduce. Bob Allen has a story about how "Under-Population Worries Southern Baptist Leader" Al Mohler. Miguel De La Torre has an article about how this "'Full-Quiver' Theology Appeals to Race".
Jesus commanded Christians to "make disciples," not "make babies." The kingdom of God does not grow by biological reproduction, it grows by spiritual reproduction.

The Genesis command for mankind to "be fruitful and multiply" has been amply fulfilled. Cities the world over are teaming with evidence of that. In a world that is struggling to find, produce, equitably distribute, and preserve the resources necessary to sustain life, the responsible thing for Christians to do -- and for people of all faiths to do -- is to have fewer children than they had before modern forms of birth control became available.

This entry is cross-posted from the Mainstream Baptist weblog.




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I'm glad, at least, to see this topic up front, because I have always thought it to be the behind-the-scenes agenda of the Religious Right.  The Catholic Church seems clear on this point.  

Around the world, however, we know the consequences of this: women are burdened, pushed back and die.  Whenever they are given educational and societal opportunities, women seek to limit childbearing.  And it is also necessary to living healthy adult lives themselves.

But I'm sure the Southern Baptists hold up the Shakers as an example of what can happen to the unfruitful.

by cyncooper on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 12:54:37 PM EST


Not only is it apparently a sin not to breed in the SBC (I, for one, am not breeding because of both dominionists in my family and my own personal issues which are in large part the direct result of a dominionist upbringing) but part of the purpose of the SBC's "breeding program" is, quite literally, to raise little God Warriors:

(from a Dark Christianity post)
http://www.ethicsdaily.com/article_detail.cfm?AID=6020
http://www.henryinstitute.org/commentary/read.php?article=20050601b (from the horse's mouth himself)

The senior VP for academic administration at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (which has been quite thoroughly turned dominionist by Al Mohler and his cronies) states flat out he's training his kids to be little sociopathic monsters:

Moore said a reader objected to an earlier column mentioning he took his two young sons to see "Stars War Episode III: Revenge of the Sith," because the film is "way too violent for children."

Moore went on to say it is only the second movie the boys had ever seen.

"One was a tender, touching Christmas movie about a little boy who discovers that Christmas is all about believing in the miracles within," he said. "The second was a cartoonishly violent movie in which men go face-to-face with evil aliens; often chopping off limbs in the heat of battle."

Moore went on to quip that he repents of "taking them to the Christmas film."

"This is because of my overall philosophy of childrearing," he explained. "I am aiming to raise up violent sons."

"I am not seeking to raise sons who are violent in the amoral, pagan sense of contemporary teenagers playing `Grand Theft Auto' video games or carjacking motorists," he explained. "I want them to be more violent than that."

"I want them to understand that the Christian life is not a Hallmark Channel version of baptized sentimentality," he continued. "Instead, it is a cosmic battle between an evil dragon and the child of the woman, an ancient warfare that now includes all who belong to the Child of the Promise (Rev 12)."

Sadly, this is not uncommon in dominionist households.  They quite literally are instructing kids to be violent because in their mind they're breeding "Christian Soldiers".

And these are also the folks largely responsible for "Justice Sunday" and "Justice Sunday II" (Highview Baptist in Louisville is Al Mohler's church, and essentially the "home church" for the seminary)...

And yes, this style of childrearing is increasingly common--that's why there is a huge push for dominionist "homeschooling"correspondence-schooling programs, including Patrick Henry College (whose entire purpose is to literally train dominionist youth--insulated from birth--in either legal or political fields for dominionist causes).  They are seeing their kids, quite literally, as /cannon fodder for God.

And that's just in the SBC, folks--it's even worse in the pente and charismatic dominionist groups.  (I've written on the Pearls and their promotion of beating kids as young as seven months old because they believe all kids are possessed by "spirits of rebellion".)

by dogemperor on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 01:06:18 PM EST

I've been devoloping a post on that.

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 02:04:45 PM EST
Parent

On the subject of this article in particular, I'm reminded of Lucien Bouchard (the head of Parti Quebecois in Canada) blaming the failure of the last separation referendum on Quebecois women not having enough "pure laine" (white, Quebecois French speaking) babies. :P

I'll also note that the Southern Baptist Convention actually started over--of all things--race.  The original split between the SBC and other Baptist groups occured in 1845 when a ruling came down from the Home Mission Society (at that time the major ruling body over Baptist groups in the US) that the holding of slaves was incompatible with Christianity and missionaries could not be slaveholders as a result.  The pro-slavery groups split and formed the Southern Baptist Convention.

Per at least one website on Baptist history the beginnings of the split may have been documentable as early as 1832.

The Southern Baptist Convention did not formally renounce racism and slavery until 1995.  It was only through influence of persons on missions work in Africa that the denomination opened up to people of other races, largely in the 50's and 60's and largely via the social work school of the Southern Baptist Seminary--an institution that was literally purged out of existence by Al Mohler (who tried to force the entire  faculty to sign a dominionist statement of faith that, among other things, included a blanket ban on women being involved with the ministry including as missionaries and which started with the firing of a professor who happened to be female

Mohler, for those unaware, is also one of the main architects of the hijacking of the SBC by dominionists as documented by a moderate Baptist group.


by dogemperor on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 02:06:58 PM EST
Parent


Where you hear that someone is raising their kids to be violent, that is a huge red flag for child abuse.  

Beyond which, it is a setup for raising violent criminals.  

Someone should report that guy to Child Protective Services, and I'm quite serious.  No one has a right to do that to children.  Substitute the word "sex" and "sexual" and it becomes obvious.  What would we do with a parent who was exposing his kids to sexually explicit materials, rather than violently explicit materials?  

by gg on Thu Dec 15, 2005 at 12:27:22 AM EST
Parent

Agreed, it is abusive.  The trick is to get them away from the abuse, which is harder than it looks:

a) in Louisville, KY (which is where the seminary is located) there are three megachurches--including one which held Justice Sunday I (Highview Baptist), the very dominionist pit I walked away from (which has the state AFA head as their head deacon) and a third called Southeast Christian (which is also hardline dominionist and has had their tax exempt status yanked by the state before) whom are all guaranteed to not only scream bloody murder but (as far as the group I walked away from) will actively harass the complainants, including New Life Church-esque "prayer gangs" directly stalking people

b) one of the major children's homes in the state happens to be run by the Southern Baptists, and even with documented abuse occuring there and a discriminatory policy the state has STILL not been able to get it shut down

c) social workers and the like still have limited knowledge of religiously motivated child abuse (a fact I found out distressingly growing up) and in this case you also have the real risk of social workers who are Southern Baptists being unwilling to take action against the parents due to possible reprisal

In other words, yeah, you could.  It would be an unholy bastard to actually press charges and make them stick, however, and in the meantime you would have the entirely of Kentucky's dominionist movement (which, as I've noted, can be extremely nasty, up to and including frank libel and harassment) against one.  You may even have national dominionist groups after you (as I've noted, the guy is affiliated with the seminary, and the seminary's "home church" is none other than Highview Baptist, as in the same one they held Justice Sunday I in).

by dogemperor on Thu Dec 15, 2005 at 08:29:24 AM EST
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Perhaps a dose of reality will help these Southern Baptist limit their rabbit reproductive behavior. We currently have a little over 6 billion people on mother earth, and the number is projected to double over the next 60 years. Based on current human behavior patterns, consumption levels, and destruction activities we would need at least five more planets just like earth to sustain us into the future. And with global warming threatening to flood many coastal areas and turn many greenbelts into deserts we are going to have real problems providing fresh water, food, and jobs to all these new people.

Also, Japan is currently developing some very helpful little robots that can move like humans, respond to voice commands, and perform a number of human task. It won't take long for this technology to develop to the point that these robots will be able to replace many blue collar jobs, and eventually many white collar workers as well. Since capitalist always seek greater efficiencies regardless of the human factors they will seek to replace as many of their human workforce as possible with these new smart robots (androids). What are the wealthy capitalist going to do with 12 billion unemployed people who's value is zero and who are using up limited resources?

President Bush has one possible cure to our population problems that he has made evident through his "help the rich and screw everyone else" policies. The Southern Baptist are spreading the wrong message; nothing new there. And the media doesn't want to scare us into not consuming as much of the products they are trying to sell us.

The real solutions include education, family planning services, pro-choice laws, tax incentives, limits on C02 emissions, green energy alternatives, rationing, tougher regulations, and government leaders who have some morals, common sense, and international respect.  

 

by Chris Fick on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 10:36:02 PM EST

And many would not. THe Malthusian - or Erhlichian - perspective you lay out is valid according to your perspective and mine, sure. But, there are other explanatory schemes out there which - though not especially grounded in science - have wide influence. One such scheme is "Cornucopianism" which - I can guarantee - has many adherents among natalists of the SBC.

Now, there's a lot to be praised in Cornucopianism - its bootstrap sensibility and optimism. But the idea isn't especially well grounded in the current human predicament, especially in the sense that we are busily, and mostly unwittingly, changing the complex dynamical system of interlocked life and weather which comprises the "biosphere" of the earth, and if we should trigger some nonlinear shift, a cascade to new weather patterns ( or whatever ) there probably will be no clear quick fixes with predictably benefical results. Complex nonlinear systems can be very hard to predict in terms of their reaction to changes in key variables. "Solutions" would just as likely backfire.

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 11:35:16 PM EST
Parent

As people of faith we should understand that it is morally irresponsible to call for exacerbating a problem on the grounds that it can be fixed at some indefinite point in the future.  

The morally responsible position is to fix the problem first.

The morally responsible form of cornucopianism would be to push for the development of various technologies now, to enable meeting the needs of existing humans without crashing the planet, and then and only then to increase population commensurate with the "expanded" carrying capacity.  (Personally I happen to agree with the position that the sustainable human population is about two billion even with "miraculous" technological advances.  So even technological optimism does not justify reckless reproduction.)

Beyond that, the more fundamental moral question is simply, "When is enough enough?"

by gg on Thu Dec 15, 2005 at 12:24:06 AM EST
Parent


I followed your "Cornucopianism" link and I agree with that idea, but I also see a flaw in that idea based on current political realities. Your reply about weather is one problem, but another one involves greed. What if the visionary innovator already came up with the solutions to our population, energy, food, water, and weather problems forty years ago but was murdered by a conspiracy of wealthy Texas oil men who saw the solution costing them billions of dollars. What if the greed of a few already in power is preventing solutions from becoming policy. Perhaps the conspirators believe anarchy and chaos are inevitable and their wealth will buy them the technology that will help them make sure they will survive the looming Malthusian catastrophe. If that's true me must make sure chaos theory swings around and hits them in the back of their collective heads.

by Chris Fick on Thu Dec 15, 2005 at 02:04:17 AM EST
Parent

A lot of folks in the SBC actually have the opinion that "God will provide" and tend to think all that stuff about limited resources is a liberal plot.

(At least it's not as bad as in, say, the Assemblies of God where the party line is essentially "Well, Jesus is coming back Real Soon Now and at the end of the Tribulation we're going to get a new heaven and new earth, so we likely only have about eight more years on this planet--and besides, the Bible flat out told us to subdue and take dominion over the earth, so if we don't strip it bare and rape the planet we're disobeying God".  Though some Southern Baptists also take the "dominion mandate" in regards to the planet's resources, too.)

by dogemperor on Thu Dec 15, 2005 at 08:21:58 AM EST
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I find this combination very interesting:  rigid sexual morality on one hand, including rejection of contraception; and advocacy of unrestrained breeding on the other hand.  

It is obvious that the rationalization of unrestrained breeding is nothing more than an excuse to justify unrestrained sexual appetites.  I'm quite serious about this.  

Think of it: the sin of lust is magically transformed into a virtue by way of serving a purportedly "higher goal."  Suddenly guilt is absolved and the advocates of this position are free to do what they've secretly wanted to do forever but couldn't admit.  What a perfect way of resolving cognitive dissonance, and how perfectly self-serving.  

The rest of it is pure Darwin: out-breed everyone else.  That would be a grand irony if it weren't so clearly linked with the twisted historic agenda of racial superiority.  

by gg on Thu Dec 15, 2005 at 12:41:57 AM EST

I think you hit the nail on the head with that reply, and that gives me an idea. A new book called "How To Get Laid At The Southern Baptist Convention".

by Chris Fick on Thu Dec 15, 2005 at 01:33:19 AM EST
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