So this evangelical Protestant group called Quiverfull feels it necessary to have armies of children so they may act as arrows to sling at their enemies. Nice, use your child as a weapon. That happened here in Erie last year and it didn’t turn out too good for anyone involved, especially the kid.

Anyhoo-this woman (from the Duggar Family, I’ll get to them in a minute) over the summer had her 17th child and excitedly claims that she’s “ready for another!”. I cringed and let it slide at the time, until I saw another family of these kid mongers (12 by the way) up close and personal as they took over a cafe I was in this past weekend.

This just goes against all laws of human nature. First, women are not meant to pop out that many kids. In antiquity, yes, women had many children but this was spread out over many, many years and due to the fact that most children did not live past early childhood. Also, back a little further, women nursed their children until five or six years of age and, hence, did not have that many.

But getting back to the Duggars. I’m not sure what it is that bothers me so much about this family. What is it to me if they have 17 kids? They’re not public assistance. The kids (as they are portrayed in the media) seem clean, well-fed, well-mannered, and mature. I’m not at all crazy about their conservative, religious leanings, but I’m proof that a parent’s beliefs do not necessarily pass on to the next generation.

So I guess it comes down to these few things:

1. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. My good friend is a teacher with three small children at home and she constantly tells me what a struggle it is to provide individual attention to 3 kids let alone the 16 kids in her first grade class. Can you imagine being a parent who home-schools (part of the Quiverfull practice) all 17 of their kids? According to the Duggars, each child receives a scheduled one half-hour a month with a parent for individual attention. Uh, yeah, score one for spontaneity.

2. It’s environmentally unfriendly. We’re already an overpopulated planet. Enough said.

3. These are children, not a dog and pony act. I think it’s disgusting that every time Michelle Duggars proves her uterus miraculously still works, she hauls out her brood in front of the media and shows them off like a prized pet, or in this case, a working farm. Way to make a kid feel special.

And for the record, naming 17 of your progeny with monikers starting with the same first letter isn’t clever or cute, it’s weird and it’s lazy.

So I’m in this cafe with the Super Breeding Quiverfull Family of 14 and while some people giggled at the father trying to remember one his daughters’ first name, I focused instead on the incredibly sad look on the girl’s face and she corrected him no less than three times. But who is this kid to expect to feel special when she exists soley as a fullfillment of a mission?

I’m one of 5 siblings. Sailor Man is an only child. I couldn’t imagine growing up in a smaller family. I certainly wouldn’t want to grow up in a household like that.