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In Quiverfull Movement, Birth Control Is Shunned
National Public Radio ^ | March 25, 2009 | Barbara Bradley Hagerty

Posted on 04/28/2009 12:58:36 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Among some conservative Christians, a movement is giving new meaning to the biblical mandate to "be fruitful and multiply."

The movement, called Quiverfull, is based on Psalm 127, which says, "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."

Those in the Quiverfull movement shun birth control, believing that God will give them the right number of children. It turns out, that's a lot of kids.

'We Actually Didn't Want Children'

While cooking a typical predawn breakfast in the Swanson household in Shelby, Mich., 10-year-old Lydia Swanson cracks a dozen eggs laid by the family chickens. Her mother, Kelly, fries 3 pounds of sausage from the family's own pig and toasts a 12-inch loaf of homemade bread.

If they didn't raise their own food, Kelly Swanson says, they'd spend $1,000 a month on groceries for her gaggle of growing children, including 15-year-old Josiah and 13-year-old Elisha. But in listing their ages, Kelly gets Elisha's age wrong.

"At least I remembered your name," she says.

Kelly can perhaps be forgiven the lapse. The 40-year-old mom has seven children; the youngest is 6 months. And she'd like to have more.

The Swansons subscribe to the Quiverfull movement.

"When we first got married, we actually didn't want children," Kelly's husband, Jeff Swanson, says.

But then the Swansons began to notice that the Bible was very high on big families. And Kelly says that she and Jeff decided that God knew how many children they could handle.

"We just started thinking, 'God is sovereign over life and death. God opens and closes the womb,' " Kelly says. "That's what his word says, so why we're trying to fiddle around and controlling ourselves, we need to stop doing that."

Eighteen years and seven children later, the Swansons live on Jeff's dairy farm salary of less than $50,000 a year. And they've gotten used to the comments from outsiders, such as, "Do you know what causes this?"

"That's always my favorite one when I'm pregnant," Kelly says. "And my husband has a lovely response. Of course we know what causes it — we practice all the time."

Their friends do, too. The average family at their evangelical church has 8.5 kids. They are children who the Swansons hope will spread the message of Christ.

'Womb Is A Powerful Weapon'

That's also the hope of Nancy Campbell, a leader of the Quiverfull movement and author of Be Fruitful and Multiply.

"The womb is such a powerful weapon; it's a weapon against the enemy," Campbell says.

Campbell has 35 grandchildren. She and her husband stopped at six kids, and it is her great regret.

"I think, help! Imagine if we had had more of these children!" Campbell says, adding, "My greatest impact is through my children. The more children I have, the more ability I have to impact the world for God."

A Christian God, that is. Campbell says if believers don't starting reproducing in large numbers, biblical Christianity will lose its voice.

"We look across the Islamic world and we see that they are outnumbering us in their family size, and they are in many places and many countries taking over those nations, without a jihad, just by multiplication," Campbell says.

Still, Quiverfull is a small group, probably 10,000 fast-growing families, mainly in the Midwest and South. But they have large ambitions, says Kathryn Joyce, who has written about the movement in her book Quiverfull: Inside The Christian Patriarchy Movement.

"They speak about, 'If everyone starts having eight children or 12 children, imagine in three generations what we'll be able to do,' " Joyce says. " 'We'll be able to take over both halls of Congress, we'll be able to reclaim sinful cities like San Francisco for the faithful, and we'll be able to wage very effective massive boycotts against companies that are going against God's will.' "

No Regrets

In a suburb of Grand Rapids, Mich., Misty and Seth Huckstead, both 31, are straightening up the living room for a birthday party. No small task with six kids and one on the way. With such a large family, they get by with one car. They shop at thrift stores and occasionally rely on the local seminary's food bank.

Seth says it's difficult having so many kids, but he and Misty have no regrets.

They didn't always have this attitude, Seth says. When they were 23, already with four children, he had a vasectomy. But they searched the Bible and concluded that sterilization was an affront to God.

"He presents children as a blessing," Seth says. "And so we started to evaluate whether our decision was ethically right. And we came to regret our decision."

They turned to a ministry that raises money and finds doctors to reverse vasectomies at a bargain price. And their family grew. Misty says she'll have as many children as possible. She loves having babies and believes it's the proper role for women.

"It's not individual, it's not 'I'm a woman, hear me roar, I'm going to go take on the world,' " Misty says. "Family has always been the foundation of church and society. It's God's design; it's beautiful."

Moments later, another Quiverfull family drops by, and for a few moments, they entertain themselves as would a large family 100 years ago.

They sing Psalm 127 — a song that seems written just for them.


TOPICS: Charismatic Christian; Evangelical Christian; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: bible; birthcontrol; christians; demographics; moralabsolutes; procreation; prolife; quiverfull
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1 posted on 04/28/2009 12:58:36 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

AS long as they do not hit me up for the Welfare, they can have all the kids they want.


2 posted on 04/28/2009 1:01:01 PM PDT by trumandogz (The Democrats are driving us to Socialism at I00 MPH -The GOP is driving us to Socialism at 97.5 MPH)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

They are correct and therefore the World will come against them and their movement like wolves.


3 posted on 04/28/2009 1:01:27 PM PDT by lonestar67 ("I love my country a lot more than I love politics," President George W. Bush)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Reminds me of an old joke:

A pastor and his wife said it was against their “theology” to use birth control, and they would trust God to limit their family. Sure enough for the first 5 years of their marriage they had no children.

But in the 6th year of their marriage, they had a child.
In the 7th year of their marriage, they had a child.
In the 8th year of their marriage, they had a child.
In the 9th year of their marriage, they had a child.
In the 10th year of their marriage, they had a child.

In the 11th year of their marriage, their “theology” changed.


4 posted on 04/28/2009 1:03:33 PM PDT by dawn53
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To: lonestar67

There are over 900 comments at the link ... I’m sure you can imagine what the average one looks like.


5 posted on 04/28/2009 1:04:17 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet ("The unarmed man is not just defenseless - he is also contemptible." Machiavelli)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I think I will spare my mind the further rot of those comments but I can imagine that they are pretty vicious.

I understand public hesitation about their approach but I cannot say I think they are wrong.


6 posted on 04/28/2009 1:06:23 PM PDT by lonestar67 ("I love my country a lot more than I love politics," President George W. Bush)
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To: trumandogz

Inner city and trailer park families have been having kids for profit since FDR, and there’s been no outcry. These people are doing it based on their beliefs.


7 posted on 04/28/2009 1:06:36 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet ("The unarmed man is not just defenseless - he is also contemptible." Machiavelli)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Good old Trollope! I wonder how many people get the Biblical and Barchester Chronicles allusions in the name “Quiverfull”.


8 posted on 04/28/2009 1:07:02 PM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
"They speak about, 'If everyone starts having eight children or 12 children, imagine in three generations what we'll be able to do,' " Joyce says. " 'We'll be able to take over both halls of Congress, we'll be able to reclaim sinful cities like San Francisco for the faithful, and we'll be able to wage very effective massive boycotts against companies that are going against God's will.'"

Although I don't entirely agree with the Quiverfull theology (I think Natural Family Planning is appropriate if one has serious reasons to want to space children further apart), I certainly agree with most of what they believe.

But I think they'd be wise to pipe down about taking over Congress etc. and be realistic about what is going to happen to them and to the rest of us who share their basic life-affirming outlook: at some point, when homeschooling large families become common enough to threaten the Culture of Death that now is entrenched in power the Culture Warriors of Death will outlaw large families, outlaw homeschooling and take children away from such families to be "reeducated." They will not simply let themselves be overwhelmed by demography. As they realize they are losing demographically, they will fight back and it will be horrible.

Can it be resisted, perhaps prevented? Yes, by God's grace. But people like those interviewed here should be hardheaded about what they are up against and begin planning for how they will defend themselves when their entire way of life is declared anti-social, violence-engendering, misanthropic, eeeeeeeevvviiiiiillll and outlawed.

9 posted on 04/28/2009 1:08:01 PM PDT by Houghton M.
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

As a child raised in foster care and an adoptive parent, I wonder why these folks give no thought to enlarging their families via adoption, given the millions of waiting children in this world.

The Bible ALSO says this:

Pure religion in the sight of God our father is this...to care for orphans in their distress....

(from the book of James)


10 posted on 04/28/2009 1:09:29 PM PDT by mom4melody
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Of course, brave NPR wouldn't have the nerve to write an article on the be fruitful and populate the earth Muslim mentality whose goal is to convert everyone at swordpoint.

They are simply throwing red meat to their anti-Christian constituency.

11 posted on 04/28/2009 1:10:32 PM PDT by Lizavetta (Politicians: When they're not lying, they're stealing.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I don’t care what their procreation is based on, just do not ask the taxpayer to fund the endeavor.

Simply, have as many kids as you can afford.


12 posted on 04/28/2009 1:12:02 PM PDT by trumandogz (The Democrats are driving us to Socialism at I00 MPH -The GOP is driving us to Socialism at 97.5 MPH)
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To: trumandogz

These sound like the kinds of people that would use Church resources in a pinch, not Food Stamps or welfare.


13 posted on 04/28/2009 1:14:22 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet ("The unarmed man is not just defenseless - he is also contemptible." Machiavelli)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I would hope so, but if not, you and I are on the hook for their being on the dole.


14 posted on 04/28/2009 1:16:13 PM PDT by trumandogz (The Democrats are driving us to Socialism at I00 MPH -The GOP is driving us to Socialism at 97.5 MPH)
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Before modern manufacturing, making an arrow was a very difficult and time consuming process. Yes, it required a great deal of attention; but the reward for that effort was a tool far superior to any other for hunting and defense, etc.

That’s the meaning of the description. It implies that parents who have many good arrows [well loved, cared for, educated children] are blessed.


15 posted on 04/28/2009 1:16:49 PM PDT by Stat-boy
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To: mom4melody

I think a lot of folks have considered adoption but they have run into all sorts of road blocks. Even folks who would adopt minority children are being told they can’t because the prospective parents are of the wrong ethnicity.


16 posted on 04/28/2009 1:20:12 PM PDT by mdmathis6
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This is an issue near and dear to my heart. I didn’t know there was an actual movement. I do know that my husband and I have been struggling with the issue of whether or not we should be fooling around with our bodies to limit the number of children we have. On the other hand, although we are excited to welcome our 5th Rush Baby later this year (5 kids 7 and under) we are thinking that more than 5 might be too much for our sanity. I do know that my liberal friends have fallen way behind in the race - so maybe that’s a good thing....


17 posted on 04/28/2009 1:28:50 PM PDT by jacjmm
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I did my share. We had five kids, and now that I’ve seen what wonderful hard-working, bright, Conservative, patriotic Americans they have grown up to be, I wish we had had a dozen. And no, we never took a penny from welfare or anyone else. Just the opposite, we have paid more than our share of taxes, and have helped just about everyone we ever met who was truly in need.


18 posted on 04/28/2009 1:29:07 PM PDT by holyscroller ( Without God, America is one nation under)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
These folks are right: God's law makes society flourish as well.

One of the most thought-provoking articles in the past year is the following from First Things, from which I have excerpted 2 paragraphs:

http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=6564

The baby boomers evidently concluded that one day they all would sell their houses to each other at exorbitant prices and retire on the proceeds. The national household savings rate fell to zero by 2007, as Americans came to believe that capital gains on residential real estate would substitute for savings.

After a $15 trillion reduction in asset values, Americans are now saving as much as they can. Of course, if everyone saves and no one spends, the economy shuts down, which is precisely what is happening. The trouble is not that aging baby boomers need to save. The problem is that the families with children who need to spend never were formed in sufficient numbers to sustain growth.

19 posted on 04/28/2009 1:33:45 PM PDT by jobim
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

the FIRST Commandment of God is to be fruitful and multiply. It is right there in Gen 1.

Quiverfull sounds pretty cool. Having lots of kids is the only way to preserve western christian culture in the long run. But kids are a blessing in themselves.

Lots of children is cool!!


20 posted on 04/28/2009 1:33:49 PM PDT by rogernz
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; 185JHP; 230FMJ; 50mm; 69ConvertibleFirebird; Aleighanne; Alexander Rubin; ...
Moral Absolutes Ping!

Freepmail wagglebee or DirtyHarryY2K to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.

FreeRepublic moral absolutes keyword search
[ Add keyword moral absolutes to flag FR articles to this ping list ]


21 posted on 04/28/2009 1:35:24 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

People can have as many kids as they want, as long as they don’t ask me to pay for them.

As for me, I’ll do my part by first making sure my children have a good daddy who will stick by them and support them.

Yes, that means I’m single and childless :p


22 posted on 04/28/2009 1:35:39 PM PDT by Ellendra (Can't starve us out, and you can't make us run...Country folks CAN survive!!! -Hank Jr.)
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To: Ellendra

Absolutely necessary to have a good Daddy - I am eternally blessed to have a wonderful man as a husband and father - (they are so hard to find, I know.)


23 posted on 04/28/2009 1:39:38 PM PDT by jacjmm
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Personally I think the women are nuts. But it’s THEIR choice to wear themselves out. Three children were quite enough for me.


24 posted on 04/28/2009 1:39:51 PM PDT by swmobuffalo ("We didn't seek the approval of Code Pink and MoveOn.org before deciding what to do")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I am unable to find a flaw in their reasoning. All I would point out is that if they have a TV in their house that the kids can watch whenever they want, it will undo all their hard work.


25 posted on 04/28/2009 1:40:07 PM PDT by ikka (Brother, you asked for it!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Our goal should be to swamp the left with Christian, homeschooled, conservative children. They find NOTHING more horrifying.


26 posted on 04/28/2009 1:48:13 PM PDT by Antoninus (Now accepting apologies from repentant Mittens.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
A Christian God, that is

Another Delicious Dish moment.


27 posted on 04/28/2009 1:49:12 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: mom4melody

One possible reason could be the cost of adoption.

Currently, my husband and I are looking into adoption and have learned if we go through a private adoption agency we will be spending 20k to 35k or more depending on the agency. That may or may not include costs for the bio-mother’s expenses, travel, and other items that could come up.

Two years ago we attempted to adopt from two different agencies but could not come up with monies they wanted on their schedule. It was heartbreaking.

I don’t know if that is the reason adoption isn’t mentioned but I personally know two families who follow the quiverfull way and both are very supportive of our adoption quest and have never said adoption was against their beliefs.


28 posted on 04/28/2009 1:51:44 PM PDT by Brytani (No Taxation Without Birth Certification)
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To: mom4melody

Setting aside the moral and Christian reasons to do it, imagine the political ramifications if every decent Christian family in America adopted a child (domesticly or from abroad.)


29 posted on 04/28/2009 1:56:28 PM PDT by azcap (Who is John Galt ? www.conservativeshirts.com)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Here is a great video on demographics http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK1pnCldKZI
The fate of Western Civiliation depends more on birth rates than on Rush Limbaugh or James Dobson. The numbers are very bad for us.

30 posted on 04/28/2009 2:00:49 PM PDT by azcap (Who is John Galt ? www.conservativeshirts.com)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
. . . fries 3 pounds of sausage from the family's own pig

I wonder what happened to Porky?

31 posted on 04/28/2009 2:01:06 PM PDT by sportutegrl (If liberals could do math, they would be conservatives.)
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To: mom4melody
As a child raised in foster care and an adoptive parent, I wonder why these folks give no thought to enlarging their families via adoption, given the millions of waiting children in this world.

Many do.

32 posted on 04/28/2009 2:01:10 PM PDT by Terabitten (Vets wrote a blank check, payable to the Constitution, for an amount up to and including their life.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
And they've gotten used to the comments from outsiders, such as, "Do you know what causes this?"

I got that when I was on my third pregnancy. Some people are so ignorant and rude that they should not be let outside unattended.

33 posted on 04/28/2009 2:03:55 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Inner city and trailer park families have been having kids for profit since FDR, and there’s been no outcry. These people are doing it based on their beliefs.

It's only a problem when Christians do it.

34 posted on 04/28/2009 2:05:13 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Tax-chick

ping


35 posted on 04/28/2009 2:09:05 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: mom4melody

My cousin wants to adopt his stepchildren. Their mother— natural mother— shares this desire. The natural father is long deceased.

My cousin is already “Dad” to them. As far as anyone looking from the outside, he IS their father. He does everything a natural father would, and then additionally helps his wife keep the memory of their natural father alive.

The state did not interfere with the marriage, and does not oversee his step-parenting; however, to “make it all official”, he will have to undergo a background investigation (if they had any idea he might fail that, they ought to come rescue the kids NOW) and pay IIRC $5000 each (and if he tried to “buy” kids for that much on the “open market”, he’d be arrested)!

My wife and I married late in life, and for the sake of sparing a child a genetic abnormality, have decided not to reproduce. Adoption would be our first choice, and passing an investigation would be no problem. The $5000 per unit purchase price is, however, too steep.

So it likely is for most. It’s much less costly to reproduce, if you’ve a mind to do it.


36 posted on 04/28/2009 2:16:27 PM PDT by ExGeeEye (Keep your powder dry, and your iron hidden.)
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To: metmom

As I grow older and lose my refinement, I’m more inclined to answer, “Don’t you know what causes that?” with “Sure! Don’t you and your husband ever do it?” (I’m going to be a positive embarassment by the time I’m 50, especially with more sons!)


37 posted on 04/28/2009 3:07:16 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Stay out of Mexico. Wash your hands. Keep your pigs outdoors.)
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To: swmobuffalo

That’s so liberal. “Oh, it’s awful when other people decide to do things that I think are too hard for me! They’re nuts and I hope they’ve ruined their health!”


38 posted on 04/28/2009 3:52:02 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Stay out of Mexico. Wash your hands. Keep your pigs outdoors.)
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To: Tax-chick

And you’re a twit. I personally have no desire to have more kids. That is MY DECISION, not yours and not some “movement”.

And whether or not you’ve had kids, having one child after another taxes a woman’s body. Even with the high standard of healthcare we have now, it STILL taxes the body.

I PERSONALLY look forward to the last chick leaving the nest while I’m still young enough to enjoy it!


39 posted on 04/28/2009 5:25:38 PM PDT by swmobuffalo ("We didn't seek the approval of Code Pink and MoveOn.org before deciding what to do")
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To: swmobuffalo
I personally have no desire to have more kids.

Fine. Don't. Who said you should?

40 posted on 04/28/2009 5:26:41 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Stay out of Mexico. Wash your hands. Keep your pigs outdoors.)
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To: swmobuffalo; Tax-chick
And you’re a twit. I personally have no desire to have more kids. That is MY DECISION, not yours and not some “movement”.

Nobody is claiming otherwise, but this is no reason to call Tax-chick a "twit".

41 posted on 04/28/2009 5:29:22 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

Oh, you should have heard what Bill called me when I changed his computer password while he was asleep ;-).


42 posted on 04/28/2009 5:39:47 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Stay out of Mexico. Wash your hands. Keep your pigs outdoors.)
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To: Tax-chick

Well, don’t be mean like that and he won’t respond in kind! :-)


43 posted on 04/28/2009 5:48:04 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Tax-chick
That’s so liberal.

Reason # 683,527 why I love FR. Only here would that be considered the ultimate insult.

44 posted on 04/28/2009 5:50:37 PM PDT by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: wagglebee

Crisis measure. He can have his free-access back when he finishes the 9th grade.

(Since his comments demonstrated that he’s been paying attention to his vocabulary lessons and reading the classic novels assigned, I praised his verbiage and didn’t assign extra chores.)


45 posted on 04/28/2009 5:50:42 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Stay out of Mexico. Wash your hands. Keep your pigs outdoors.)
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To: markomalley

And even my 3-year-old knows it. “James hit me!” “Vlad called me a liberal!”


46 posted on 04/28/2009 5:51:51 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Stay out of Mexico. Wash your hands. Keep your pigs outdoors.)
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To: Tax-chick

Sounds a little harsh, almost everyone finishes 9th grade the second time around! :-)


47 posted on 04/28/2009 5:57:22 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

LOL!


48 posted on 04/28/2009 5:59:57 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Stay out of Mexico. Wash your hands. Keep your pigs outdoors.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Never heard of “quiverfull” until I watched the Duggar tv show.

I think it’s great to have as many children as one wants and can support. I have 4, wanted 10 or as many as I could have, but after 4 high risk births and 4 c-sections, that was enough for my body. If I ever happen to get pregnant again, fine, but certainly not trying to.


49 posted on 04/28/2009 6:10:25 PM PDT by Twink
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Yep. That’s the way I see it, too.


50 posted on 04/28/2009 6:11:27 PM PDT by Twink
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