Monday, January 31, 2011

What's So Bad About Poverty?

According to the Jeubs, what this child needs is more brothers and sisters.

The Jeubs are a Quiverfull family that appears to survive by producing books and such encouraging us all to pop out as many babies as is possible until our uteri give up or we die. And boy are they cheerful about it! Think Flanders levels of wholesome good cheer.

They have been asked, repeatedly, "what about poverty"? What about people who simply cannot afford the children they have, let alone another 10? Like all good fundys, the Jeubs just can't answer the question, or even entertain it, really. Which leads us to today's post that ponders the question What's So Bad About Poverty*?

I dunno. Let's see.

Approximately 20% of Americans live in poverty. How does it affect them?

The effects of poverty are serious. Children who grow up in poverty suffer more persistent, frequent, and severe health problems than do children who grow up under better financial circumstances.

  • Many infants born into poverty have a low birth weight, which is associated with many preventable mental and physical disabilities. Not only are these poor infants more likely to be irritable or sickly, they are also more likely to die before their first birthday.

  • Children raised in poverty tend to miss school more often because of illness. These children also have a much higher rate of accidents than do other children, and they are twice as likely to have impaired vision and hearing, iron deficiency anemia, and higher than normal levels of lead in the blood, which can impair brain function.

So, the Jeubs advocate that low birth weight babies likely to grow into children with serious health problems, born into families without the resources to deal with those health problems are a good thing. We should have millions more. Right now.

Levels of stress in the family have also been shown to correlate with economic circumstances. Studies during economic recessions indicate that job loss and subsequent poverty are associated with violence in families, including child and elder abuse.

Seems like something else we'd want to avoid. Unless you're a Jeub, apparently.

It wasn't difficult for me to find this information, and what I quoted was just a drop in the bucket. I do agree with the Jeubs that not having the money for expensive toys or summer camps is hardly child abuse, but consistently not having money for food and clothing and heat is a problem. A problem that will not be solved by adding more children and smiling a lot. Although I suppose buying their book would help them with poverty at least.

Seriously, look at that picture above, borrowed from a great post on Bright Nepenthe. Really look at it. That's unrestrained breeding. That's having babies despite poverty, the sort of extreme poverty we don't really have in the US. Do you really think that, if given the option of controlling fertility, the mother of that child wouldn't have trampled your ass to get some birth control? Do you really think that, if confronted by the Jeubs' cheerful declaration that poverty is no big deal, she wouldn't smack them six times, and then a seventh for good measure? The Jeubs challenge us to "love another child". Look at that child and tell me that love alone is enough.

*They seem determined to prove their poor creds, but in this same article, they cite not being able to buy a van they want as evidence of their own poverty. Cry me a river, asshats.


  1. I would really like to hear from "Chris and Wendy" after they have lived the terrible life of that poor child in the photograph for, say, a week or 10 days.

  2. Why, thanks for the hat tip, my Empress!

    I can't really find much to say that is civil about the entire Quiverfull movement. Evangelicalism and its ilk are frightening to me, especially since they seem to be making inroads into our political scene. I mean, what's next, presidential candidates who believe in witches?

    Oh... um... uh oh. :(

  3. Marzie: If you can get that picture up on the screen and then make me think about what you wrote, that's damn good writing. (Do you suppose the photographers give the kids food after taking the shot? Because I really want to think so.)

    Jennifer: I'm not sure how pathological they are. I'm also not entirely sure that when they say "children are a blessing from god" if they really mean everyone's children. An awful lot of Quiverfull people mean "white Anglo-Saxon Protestant children are a gift, not those muslim and/or brown children."

  4. Oh, I think I could put together a quiverful for them *snarl*

  5. Ummm. That particular picture, the photographer, Kevin Carter, left without doing anything. It bothered him so much he committed suicide three months later.

  6. Uzza...
    that's... ok. not gonna say everything [bcuz i'm all alone in feeling that sometimes suicide *IS* a valid option, so... but only SOMETIMES. like - you're dying in great agony and don't want your family to have those burdens. etc.] and i don't know anything at ALL about the guy - my gut instinct is "if it bothered you THAT much, go back and help!" but - if he was there with fundy people, chances are they wouldn't LET him and i'm gonna move on, now.

    one of the things i REALLY dislike about the Quiverfull people is their ABSOLUTE HATRED of adoption. they take the "Sins of the Fathers" BS and apply it to adoption - they say one SHOULDN'T adopt, because then you'll get a HORRIBLE kid who's being punished for the sins of their father, and it's apparantly UnChristian to adopt them and try to alieviate their suffering and punishment.
    and i can't FIND profanity horrible enough to describe that. just FUCKING EVIL SELFISH SANCTIMONIOUS SELF-CENTERED SNOBBISH STUCK UP SNAKES!
    not to insult actual snakes.

    i hate them. go to No Longer Quivering - it's eye-opening.


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