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The Sounds of Fundamentalism: IFB Preacher Steven Anderson Explains Why Fundamentalists Shouldn’t Use Birth Control

steven anderson

This is the one hundred and sixty-fifth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section.  Let’s have some fun!

Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a video clip of Steven Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona, telling congregants why they should eschew birth control and have lots and lots of Fundamentalist babies.

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Series Navigation<< The Sounds of Fundamentalism: Bible Scares the Gay Right Out of a WomanThe Sounds of Fundamentalism: God is Pro-Gun >>


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    Snark alert

    Geez forget birth control, his whiny voice and bad attitude should have been enough to prevent him from ever having having kids in the first place.

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    I think he’s onto something. Lots of children are a good thing. I sometimes attend a Spanish service at a Catholic Church. There are children everywhere! It’s a beautiful thing! It seems so alive and vibrant and focused on the future and reinforcing of the value of family. I love it.

    I also sometimes attend an early service at a different Catholic church with my fellow elderly. lol Quite a contrast and somewhat depressing actually.

    Now, filling the IFB children’s heads full of harmful stuff is a different matter. But some percentage come thru fairly unharmed. Even I, being serious and sensitive, survived and turned out to be the great human being I am-it was just more painful. lol

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      It is definitely not a beautiful thing if people are having more children than they can reasonably care for emotionally, practically and financially. Look at Pastor Anderson’s own family: his wife is currently pregnant with their tenth child. Pastor Anderson is on record as saying that the childcare is entirely HER job and HER responsibility, not something to be shared. (The fact that she herself seems okay with this arrangement is neither here nor there; most families, even when there is only one child, need imput from both/all the adults in the household.

      I was brought up in the Catholic Church. It is easy for a Catholic priest or nun, someone who has chosen celibacy for themselves, to romanticise Family; if they had taken that route themselves, they would realise the challenges and strains involved. As it is, too many of them hand out simplistic advice while having to deal with exactly none of the consequences.

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        Hi Rachel,
        Well, I obviously have no idea if all the Spanish people in that service are having more children than they can care for emotionally, practically and financially. I had no idea Pastor Anderson and his wife were expecting their tenth child. That does seem rather drastic these days, but I think it used to be pretty common. My grandparents and even my father came from very large families, and I never heard of that being a negative for them-on the contrary, it seemed to be a blessing. I certainly loved having all those entertaining aunts to visit as a child.

        I guess Pastor Anderson’s wife will likely never be bored or feel un-needed. lol I had to put that in because of a book I read once by a home-schooling father where the guy said that people said his wife just wanted all these children so she would feel needed; he didn’t know if that was true, but he suspected that her plan worked. lol

        If the Andersons have nine children running around their house, I suspect he’s involved regardless of what he says-how could he avoid all those people?

        I do understand when you say that people romanticize large families. I myself did that-I always loved the idea-like the Waltons. Of course in reality my husband and I are not like the Waltons, but in spite of our faults, we had seven children (plus I had one daughter from my first marriage.) One of our children died as an infant. Other than that, they all survived us and our faults, grew up to be good and decent people which I consider my gift to the world. So, I don’t regret having a large family-I recommend it-and no, we’re not rich, and I certainly had my moments during those years of “what the heck was I thinking-maybe I should just start walking down the road and never look back!” What mother has not had these thots now and then?

        I’m not sure what you mean by “consequences.”

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          My husband and I are a blended family. Altogether, we have six children. I also think large families are a blessing, and I really enjoyed being mostly home when my kids were young. I also home schooled for a number of years.

          I practiced NFP, not the old calendar type method, though. I did this more for health reasons, and because it felt right to me, not from spiritual convictions against artificial birth control. Also, was a huge proponent of the benefits of breast feeding.

          I think where these fundamentalist Baptists go wrong, is that they seem to prescribe to this one size fits all philosophy. Every family situation is different. Not everyone can afford or is emotionally cut out for large families. I think it’s fine for a couple to have no children or ten children depending on their situation and wishes.

          It seems to me particularly hurtful when Christian people judge others as being somehow less committed or less spiritual because their choices are different.

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          You have had a large family and were happy to do so and it sounds like it worked out well. This is hugely different from what Pastor Anderson advocates which is that NO couples should use birth control, whatever the circumstances.

          By “consequences” I mean: some families having children they cannot support financially, some families (not always the same ones) having more children than they can manage to care for and nurture. And also, families where the woman’s health has been undermined physically or mentally or both by having too many pregnancies.. . .My parents had 3 children; you might think that isn’t a lot but my father was mentally unstable, he wouldn’t accept or seek out any treatment and 3 children was way more than HE could reasonably manage. The result was abuse, and the consequences of THAT lasts a lifetime for the children on the receiving end.

          Another consequence is that the state often ends up carrying the tab. In the Catholic church I grew up in, there were (if I remember rightly) three families that had 8/9 children. All of the fathers (and mothers) were able-bodied; none of them worked because there was no way with their skills and aptitudes that they could financially support that many children. I find nothing admirable about that: it is irresponsible in the extreme. I am very much in favour of a decent welfare system that acts as a safety net for people who fall on difficult circumstances but those particular ones were totally avoidable.

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    The only way these IFB churches can grow is to populate themselves because they sure aren’t attracting or even keeping Millennials and whatever the new generation will be called. Heck, they can’t even retain many of the kids they have reproduced in their religion.

    I cringed at the part where he says girls can’t go out into the world looking for a husband because they are looking for a spiritual leader.

    I guess this is why the Duggar family and their ilk arrange marriages, huh?

    I am certainly glad not to be a brood mare for religion. People should be able to plan their family size based on what they want, not what their religion dictates.

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      I think you’re right that these old-fashioned -type IFB churches can’t attract new people. You have to be born into them as I was. But if they’ve become modern, young, hip, lost the Baptist name, they can get new people like the True North Church does.

      I too cringe at looking for a spiritual leader-it sounds more like an over-bearing, dictatorial type husband to me.

      I looked up broodmare in the urban dictionary-it’s women who have lots of children-all with different fathers. That’s not what Steve Anderson’s wife is doing or what he’s advocating.

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        True North does seem “cooler” than old, musty IFB churches…..

        Ah, well, where I grew up “brood mare” just meant a woman (or an animal as it was originally intended) whose purpose was to give birth to a lot of offspring.

        But yes, “spiritual leader” conjures up the typical complementarian structure in which women are helpmeets subordinate to their husbands. I suppose Rev. Anderson wouldn’t want his young female congregants to miss out on the opportunity to fulfill their God-given role as helpmeet. 🙂

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      Steve Anderson is a good, Christian bible believer. He hits his kids for Jesus and like all good Christian men, orders his wife around as his helpmeet, just as sweet Jesus ordered. It’s all in the good book.
      Now, you can nudge around him all you like and suggest he has some good ideas and so on but I say directly that he is a sick fellow who makes a living harming people. He wants more children to harm, of course! Like Donald Trump, his crude abusive ways attract a certain worshipper to his ‘church’, like other men who want women to properly obey their masters and who need to beat children. His is a wonderful, God-fearing congregation following the one true word of God, the King James Version!
      Then man is a whack-job and if he ever goes to the store to by a case of Kool-aid, his congregation better skedaddle pretty fast!

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    Yulya. Sevelova

    I read about this Anderson person on some other sites. He’s bad news all around, and I feel so bad for these kids. Of course, one can have a big family and enjoy the journey, but that would happen only if it’s voluntary. Not under cultural/religious pressure. By the way, with regards to the “Spanish people ” for most of them who are traditional–controlling the number of children born,or no kids at all is called a mortal sin, by priests and nuns. They are told that they’re violating God and Mary’s(La Virgen)wills, by preventing conception and births. St. Peter’s Day is when every family sends a dollar for all kids born annually. It’s lucrative to trick people to have giant families they can’t afford! I grew up in Southetn California, went to school with kids from such backgrounds. Lots of machismo, abuse of all kinds committed against the kids, who are driven out of the house by that and crowded conditions into gang life. Gang members start young, to begin that cycle over again. Many will tell you that they are good Catholics, soldiers for El Papa(the pope)and Mary. If you say the kids shouldn’t be beaten, they will counter with, it’s our culture, we make ’em tough, prison is a rite of passage. They are trapped by superstition, fad, and guilted into all that. Going to church, seeing all the kids, is far different that living among them in the ‘barrio’as I did. It was dismal, chaotic, unsolvable. Mexico and the countries below it are only poor because they have Catholic economies. Just as things seemed to get better, now there is this huge step backward politically. It’s details are in the media, so you get the idea. If Latin nations took on the Scandinavian models for civic life and economics, those places would be close to heaven on earth.

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