by Chelsey Clammer
May we be fruitful and multiply
He’s not the TV character Jim Bob on The Waltons.
He’s not the musician Jim Bob Morrison.
He’s not Jim Bob Cooter—the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos.
No, this Jim Bob is a family man—a (good) husband, father, servant of God. This Jim Bob’s specialty is not in entertainment or professional sports, though he is a coordinator. He has to be. Jim Bob’s the father of nineteen children. Nineteen. As of October 2013, he’s aiming for twenty. That’s a lot of coordinating. CEO of the family. Nineteen names to remember.
Pattern: a discernible regularity in the world or in a man-made design.
Quiverfull: a conservative Evangelical Protestant movement that promotes procreation by leaving the number of children to be born up to God’s judgment. Members believe He is creating His own hand-picked army of disciples. Yes, the hand of God is making population decisions.
Following the laws of patterning one could assume that if Jim Bob, the paragon of a patriarch in a Quiverfull family, successfully shoots and scores for the twentieth time, then he will continue to produce his man-made design and begin that child’s name with a J. One has to wonder about the mother. She’s a woman with no J anywhere in her name, a woman who has popped out nineteen Js, and so, yes, one must wonder how she feels about the fact of Js. The epitome of left out. Michelle. Indeed. Octo-octo-thrice mother Michelle was bypassed by that one element of family connection. Family tradition. J.
Enter: grandkid saviors.
In 2008, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s first son, Joshua, and his wife have enlisted three children in God’s army.
Score three for Granny Michelle.
May We Live Long and Die Out
In 1991, Les U. Knight had a thought.
Ok. That’s enough. This is getting out of control.
Les U. Knight is not Les U. Knight’s real name, but he did make up this name in the spirit of starting a movement, of getting people to unite. He wanted to save the planet. Along with that, he wanted to see women’s social status increase, to give them the opportunity to be more than wife, more than mother. Yes, freedom.
In 1991, Les U. Knight wrote a letter to men in his self-published newsletter called “These Exit Times” encouraging them to be participants in birth control. “When your lover knows you’re safe, she loses that uptight feeling of dread … she can make love with carefree abandon … your sexual experiences will become less inhibited and more spontaneous.”
Take away the worry over children, and it’s better sex for women, which means better sex for men.
Score two for gender equality.
Les U. Knight’s ultimate mission since 1991: to unite people in saving the planet from destruction with the added bonus of raising the status of women. How to do this? Stop having children. Get rid of humans and the earth will prosper. He is so very vehement about more birth control and more sexual freedom that he named his anti-breeding movement VHEMT (Voluntary Human Extinction Movement), which is pronounced, as expected, vehement. Whether it’s vasectomies or diaphragms or pulling out or pills or layers of condoms or tied tubes—whatever the technique may be, just please, stop breeding.
What People Are Saying
Quote. Saying there are too many children is like saying
there are too many flowers.
Quote. The more children there are
the more flowers will die.
Quote. Trust the Lord with your family planning.
Quote. Humans are not the only aspect of god’s plan.
Think about the Earth. Think about the animals.
Humans aren’t the only horse in town.
Quote. God considers children a gift, a blessing.
Quote. It’s far better to mistakenly not have children
Than to find out that having children was a mistake.
Quote. A woman’s purpose in life is to serve the man
whom God has placed in authority over her.
The father is protector, provider.
A shepherd for his wife and children.
Quote. Don’t follow the herd off the cliff.
Quote. “Natural Family Planning” is not natural.
There should not be abstinence at the time of the month
when women are most desirous of physical intimacy.
Quote. When the fear of pregnancy is banished
from sexual activity, a new and exciting world
full of enjoyment opens its legs.
Michelle has no reason to worry. God will decide how many blessings to give her. As where blessings are children, and the act of sex is a powerful prayer. Michelle and Jim Bob pray every day, sometimes more.
1984. The new wife prays she will be able to fulfill her womanly duty, that she’ll give birth to a future generation, create more and more humans who will believe in the glory of God. Because this is God’s wish. And Michelle loves Him.
“God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the Earth.” (Genesis 1:28).
Pro-child. As in: populate the world with God’s future warriors, true believers, people who will live for Him and serve Him and devote their lives to Him. They crave to carry a Godly seed.
It is this Godly seed Michelle prays for every day. To strengthen her faith in a God who will bless her with children throughout her life, and who will decide when it is time to permanently close her womb. It is a womb devoted to God.
God made this Earth with a specific plan in mind. The dimensions and circumference of the globe were carefully calculated. He knew what He was doing.
Michelle trusts this, and so she gives her body to God.
Michelle has no reason to worry.
Les thought he was the only one.
He was a small child, about eight years old, when he looked at his parents’ lives, how hectic and chaotic they were with all of the responsibility and stress of not just being adults, but adults trying to bring another person into the world, and he realized how much more fun it was to be a kid.
Equating grown-up with parent, Les declared at the age of eight he was never going to have kids.
Of course his parents laughed at him.
Of course his parents said, “Sure. Sure.”
Of course they said, “One day you’ll grow up, meet the right girl, have a family.”
“No. I will not.” At eight years old, this no to children is what he felt, what Les knew, what he stayed adamant about.
No. I will not.
It is years later. Les is an adult and still doesn’t want children. He thinks he’s being selfish.
He thinks he is the only one.
He finds more. He finds other people who understand how humans are destroying the earth, how taking humans out of the equation will save the dying planet problem.
Yes, fellow anti-conception-ists.
Decades later, a VHEMT member will explain how “having children is forcing a massive responsibility (life) on someone without their consent.” This will describe Les’s views perfectly.
Because in 1991, Les gets it. He’s not being selfish, but selfless.
Plus, he’s not a sheep.
What he does is lead a movement. It’s not an organization. It’s not a cult. It’s a movement for a human-less future. He names this movement, as you know, VHEMT.
VHEMT’s beliefs are about not sticking with the crowd, about not being a part of the procreating mob, about extracting oneself from the parenting gang mentality.
Because the earth will reach a catastrophic collapse if humans continue.
Les will not be a part of it.
It will be no fault of my own.
The chain of destruction stops here.
The virus of humans stops spreading with me.
He conceived of anti-conception when he was eight.
Les is not the only one.
Question: what kind of name is Quiverfull?
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord:
And the fruit of the womb is His reward.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.
Question: what kind of name is VHEMT?
And it came to pass, when the sun did arise,
that God prepared a vehement east wind;
and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted,
and wished in himself to die, and said,
It is better for me to die than to live.
Question: when you die, who is going to care for all these children?
If we live, we live to the Lord;
and if we die, we die to the Lord.
So, whether we live or die,
we belong to the Lord.
Question: aren’t you wasting life by not giving it to others?
Blessed are the barren,
And the wombs that never bore,
And the breasts which never gave suck.
Question: how do you know what God wants?
Dear friends, now we are children of God,
and what we will be has not yet been made known.
But we know that when He appears,
we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
Question: won’t the idea of human voluntary extinction
die when all of its members die?
We who are still alive and are left
will be caught up together with them in the clouds.
Question: what if God no longer wants to be the birth controller?
For this God is our God for ever and ever;
He will be our guide even to the end.
Question: doesn’t God disapprove of anti-conception?
I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception;
In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children.
This Is Not a Game
Children are supposed to get along with each other.
Kid versions of Michelle and Les try to get along with each other.
Michelle and Les play Go Fish!
Michelle gets all the cards.
Michelle says she won. God blessed her with many cards.
Les says he won. He leaves the table as he found it. Empty. Clean.
Michelle and Les play Monopoly.
Michelle buys all the properties and fills them with bright red hotels.
But Les buys all four railroads.
Les can just go.
Michelle and Les play Hungry Hungry Hippos.
More vs Less.
Deciding who won is, again, a mess.
Michelle and Les play Twister.
They both follow the commands of the spinner.
Hands touch. Legs touch.
A tangle of Michelle and Les.
Fourth spin: his body slams into hers.
Gross. He learns his lesson.
Never gamble the fact of your body with a spinner.
They stop the game right then, never to play it again.
Michelle and Les try to get along one last time.
They decide to play Hide-and-Go-Seek.
Michelle lets God direct her, show her where to go.
Les goes off on his own, discovering it’s his decision of where to go.
Les never returns.
Michelle now plays alone. Just her and her baby doll.
The Reader Should Know:
Jim Bob Duggar = a real person
Michelle Duggar = a real person
19 kids with Duggar for a last name and a first name that begins with a “J” = totally true
The Duggars are even on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/duggarsblog
Quiverfull, too, is totally real = http://www.quiverfull.com/
Les U Knight = fake name, real person
The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement = VHEMT
VHEMT = http://www.vhemt.org/
VHEMT even exists on Facebook.
ALL OF THAT SAID
“Our Father” is a creative nonfiction essay that speculates and wonders at these facets of the world (religion, babies, Earth’s decay) through the author’s made-up thoughts of the real people portrayed in this essay. In other words, the characters in this essay are real people, but the thoughts, sentiments, phrases, actions, and lyric wit about each of them is of the author’s own outstanding creativity.