Over the weekend, Mr. Romney proved that we dodged a crazy bullet when he was roundly defeated in the 2012 presidential campaign. Southern Virginia University put up a video of Mr. Romney speaking at a commencement this past weekend, during which he referenced Psalm 127. This Psalm is embraced by the Quiverfull movement, “Children are a heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is His reward. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them.”
Mr. Romney urged graduates to have a “quiver full” of kids if they can.
Romney addresses graduates, faculty, staff, students and friends of Southern Virginia University at the 2013 commencement exercises on Saturday, April 27. Watch here:
Southern Virginia University is a “wholesome Latter-day Saint environment”, so Mr. Romney’s speech there gives us a peek into the beliefs that he refused to discuss during the campaign.
Romney claimed that didn’t need to know what he believed, because that’s “personal”, even if it was going to impact your freedoms. Yes, his religious beliefs are personal, but when his stated policy goals as would-be President aligned with an extremist religious agenda, his beliefs became relevant. Mr. Romney referenced Quiverfull beliefs several times in his speech.
I did an interview with PoliticusUSA contributor Vyckie Garrison, a walkaway from the Quiverfull movement, in June of 2011, in which she explained the Quiverfull movement and the relevance of the Psalm Mr. Romney quoted.
The Quiverfull movement believes women are born to breed:
I like to define Quiverfull as a very powerful head trip. It’s an all-encompassing vision of a big, happy family which infects the mind and affects every aspect of a Believer’s life. The term “Quiverfull” comes from a reference in Psalm 127 which likens children to “arrows” in the hands of a mighty man, “blessed is the man who has his quiver full of them.”
Quiverfull Believers eschew all forms of birth control in favor of “trusting the Lord” with their family planning. The Quiverfull ideal embraces a “biblical” model (read, fundamentalist) of the traditional family which insists that the husband is the head of the household and the wife is the submissive “helpmeet.”
In practice, the Quiverfull ideals often result in larger-than-average families (think, Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar of TLCs “19 & Counting” fame) in which the woman stays at home having babies, homeschooling, homesteading, dressing “modestly,” and most importantly, serving and submitting to her “lord,” i.e., her patriarchal husband.
Those aren’t exactly mainstream beliefs.
Vyckie, who owns the blog “No Longer Quivering“, went on to explain that “‘pro-life’ groups such as National Right to Life, Concerned Women for America, etc., were much too wishy-washy for me”, and how “we packed all our friends and associates into our living room to hear Flip speak about what it really means to storm the gates of Hell (Planned Parenthood) and take back America for God.”
Mitt Romney pledged to defund Planned Parenthood and then ran that back during one of his many etch-a-sketch moments.
Mr. Romney did not support the the Lilly Ledbetter Act, and his reasons for not supporting it are much clearer now than they were during the campaign. One of his female advisers told us during the campaign that equal pay for women was the “agenda” of the “left”. That’s how Romney saw the need for women to be paid equally for the work they do – as an agenda of the radical left.
Remember, “binders full of women” came out as Romney was avoiding answering whether or not he supported equal pay for women. During the campaign, Lilly Ledbetter issued a statement after Romney’s binder full of women stumble, “If Romney was truly concerned about women in this economy, he’d take a stand against paycheck discrimination. Instead, he has remained silent and refused to speak out for equal pay for women and their families. Simply put, Romney doesn’t get it.”
Romney assured women that he “got it”, even though his words suggested otherwise, by announcing that he just “asks Ann”. From her, then, apparently came the notion that stay at home moms of the upper crust are doing a “job”, while poor women lack dignity if they stay at home.
Romney thinks that parents who stay home lack “”dignity” — mothers on welfare need to go to work, because staying at home to care for children is not work. Just this January at a town hall in Manchester, New Hampshire, he said, “Even if you have a child two years of age, you need to go to work…I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.”
Dignity apparently involves working for less than a man, but only if you are not rich. If you are rich, then working for “free” is fine, because your leader/husband and the Lord will reward you later.
Mitt Romney’s binders full of women and embrace of the Republican Party’s anti-women platform helped out him to female voters.
By quoting a Psalm embraced by the extremely patriarchal Quiverfull movement, Mitt Romney revealed the source of his beliefs about women. Jim Bob Duggar for president? Thanks, but no thanks.
h/t Mother Jones
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.