Nonprocreative Sex

The American Evangelical Response to Griswold vs. Connecticut

The United States’ Supreme Court 1965 ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut stands in ever bolder relief as a profound break in American and Western history.  True, a quiet revolution in American behavior had begun during the war years, 1917-1918, as the old moral older was deeply shaken and contraceptive use spread widely.  Over the next several decades, Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control League of America also won reform of many of the state “mini-Comstock” laws[1], usually allowing doctors to give birth control advice and to provide the necessary devices to patients.  Relative to contraceptives, the Federal Comstock law fell through a Federal Appeals Court decision in 1936.

However, the strict Connecticut law—criminalizing even the use of contraceptives—still stood into the 1960s.  And while not rigorously enforced, it continued to have some effect.  A recent investigation found that use of the birth control pill in 1965 was significantly (about 25 percent) lower in those states banning the sale of contraceptives, when compared to the nation as a whole.[2]

Importantly, when overturning the Connecticut measure, the U.S. Supreme Court moved far beyond normal legal reasoning.  Instead, it claimed to discover for the first time “penumbras” around and “emanations” emerging from the Bill of Rights, legal spirits which created “zones of privacy” hitherto undetected by Federal judges.  Cynically, given what would soon follow, the Court appealed to “the sacred precincts of marital bedrooms,” to “the notions of privacy surrounding the marriage relationships,” and to this bond’s “sacred” nature to justify its decision.[3]

In truth, Griswold can be read in retrospect as a fundamental challenge to Western Civilization’s unwritten Sexual Constitution.  As “same-sex marriage” advocate Evan Wolfson has correctly stated, “The Court Recognized [in Griswold] the right not to procreate in marriage.”[4]Only six years later, in the case Eisenstadt v. Baird, the Supreme Court appealed to the very same “penumbras” and “emanations” from the Bill of Rights, to the same “right of privacy,” in order to declare marriage largely empty of meaning:

It is true that in Griswold that right of privacy in question inhered in the marital relationship.  Yet the marital couple is not an independent entity with a mind and heart of its own, but an association of two individuals each with a separate intellectual and emotional makeup.  If the right of privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child.[5]

With this decision, the Constitution’s spirits now denied both the substance of publicly sanctioned marriage and its grounding in the natural law.  A year later, in 1973, the same curious logic led the Supreme Court to sweep away the abortion laws of all 50 states, creating in their place a new “right to abortion.”[6] In 1992, the Court appealed to “the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life” in its reaffirmation of abortion rights.[7]And in 2003, the Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas summoned the same “penumbras” and “emanations” of the Bill of Rights to find a right to uninhibited sexual expression, in this case a right to sodomy.[8]  These legal changes were nothing less than a codification of sexual revolution, meaning destruction of the informal Sexual Constitution that had framed American life for over 450 years, and Western Civilization for an additional 1,500 years.

An Awakening

Evangelicals at first joined the “value revolution” that swept through America, starting precisely in the year 1965.[9]  The Griswold decision, which finished off the last remnant of the Comstock regime, attracted at most a friendly yawn,[10] for it was fully in line with developing elite Evangelical opinion.  When the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Roe v. Wade eight years later, many leading Evangelicals actually welcomed its appearance.  Indeed, while the logic of its argument was different, the legal consequences of Roe were entirely in line with the “Affirmation on the Control of Human Reproduction” published in Christianity Today in 1968.[11]  Most notably, Roe freed the individual conscience regarding sexuality from the “prescriptions of the legal code” so frowned upon in the “Affirmation.”  W.A. Criswell, former President of the Southern Baptist Convention and Pastor of Dallas’ mammoth First Baptist Church, was clearly delighted by the decision: “I have always felt that it was only after a child was born and had life separate from its mother that it became an individual person, and it has always, therefore, seemed to me that what is best for the mother and the future should be allowed.”  W. Barry Garrett, chief of the Washington Bureau of The Baptist Press, was still more effusive: “Religious liberty, human equality, and justice are advanced by the Supreme Court abortion decision.”  And Howard Moody, pastor of New York’s Judson Memorial Church, praised the decision for its religious effect: “The Supreme Court may have saved the ecumenical movement, avoiding an all-out conflict between Catholics and Protestants on abortion.”[12]

Unexpectedly, forceful Evangelical dissent came only from one source: Christianity Today.  This remarkable turn by the magazine built, in part, on the legacy of John Warwick Montgomery’s original 1966 “compromise” on sexuality: contraception acceptable; abortion to be opposed.[13]  More important, though, was the influence of another man, Assistant Editor Harold O.J. Brown.  Who was he?

Born in 1933, Brown was raised as a Roman Catholic, including attendance at a Jesuit high school.  He won a scholarship to Harvard University.  While an undergraduate, as he later reported to Carl Henry, “I was converted to evangelical Christianity from Romanism . . . through reading Luther’s works, and to a certain extent making his spiritual pilgrimage after him.”  Brown called himself  “a firm Nicene and Chalcedonian Christian . . . far more interested in finding and promoting witness to the Gospel in all Protestant denominations, rather than in advancing the cause of a single one.”[14]

Brown also reported “that I am rather heavily indebted to Francis Schaeffer for some of my own development.”[15]  An American-born Presbyterian Minister, Schaeffer and his family had moved to Switzerland in 1948, where he attempted to evangelize the young and to combat theological liberalism on the continent.  He and his wife, Edith, established a community, L’Abri (“the shelter” in French), in the Swiss Alps near Lausaunne, which attracted youthful Evangelical pilgrims from North America and Europe.  Among them was Harold Brown.  In his writing and teaching, Schaeffer emphasized the distinctive nature of the Christian worldview, and how the Bible provided truths regarding philosophy, the culture, the arts, and the sciences.  He also drew a vivid contrast between Christian humanism rooted in Scriptural truth and the distorted, even “evil” humanism of sexual culture.[16]  Referring to Schaeffer, Brown wrote:  “ . . . I have been rather impressed by his emphasis on the need to stress over and over again that what we are speaking is not merely ‘religious’ truth, but actually ‘true’ truth.”[17]

Brown had gone on to earn BD, Th.M., and Th.D. degrees at Harvard Divinity School, and to hold assistant minister positions at Boston’s Park Street Church and Second Congregational Church in North Beverly, Massachusetts.  During the early 1960s, he several times submitted articles for publication to Christianity Today.  Most were turned down, with internal editorial evaluations ranging from the dismissive (“He has a point but it is a small one”) to the nasty (“this man does not even glimpse from afar the meaning of baptism in what he calls the historical Reformed faith”; “not to publish” the essay would be “a kindness to the author.”)[18]  Nonetheless, he remained—in one editor’s words—a “persistent beggar” and in late 1965, Carl Henry tried to recruit Brown as an Assistant Editor of the magazine.  However, the young scholar had already been offered the post of Theological Secretary of The International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, based in Switzerland, and he turned down Henry’s invitation.[19]  Four years later, however, Harold Lindsell renewed the offer to Brown, and he joined the editorial team in 1970.

Notably, Harold O.J. Brown drafted the key Christianity Today editorial responding to the Roe v. Wade decision.  Not only did it repudiate the Court’s action and logic, it also implicitly rejected the abortion-related provisions of the magazine’s 1968 “Affirmation.”  Brown’s early exposure to Catholic natural law theology and his vivid sense of the deep divide between the Christian and the Modernist worldviews—derived from Schaeffer—both shine through.  So does a keen awareness of who—or what—was the real enemy here.

Underscoring the revolutionary aspect of Roe, the editorial argued that the Court “has clearly decided for paganism, and against Christianity.”  In explaining this point, Brown indirectly jettisoned still another portion of the “Affirmation,” this time regarding the position of the early church: “The Court notes that ‘ancient religion’ did not ban abortion . . . ; by ‘ancient religion,’ it clearly means paganism, since Judaism and Christianity did ban abortion. . . . [T]he High Court unambiguously prefers . . . the common paganism of the pre-Christian Roman Empire.”  The editorial also asserted that the Roe decision “runs counter not merely to the moral teachings of Christianity through the ages but also to the moral sense of the American people.”  The Court had “rejected the almost universal consensus of Christian moral teachers through the centuries on abortion.”  In addition, its appeal to “the right to privacy” was “without empirical or logical justification.”  Underscoring its antihuman implications, the argument in Roe could actually “be used with like—in some cases with greater—force to justify infanticide for unwanted or undesirable infants.”  In sum, the editorial warned that antilife paganism had awakened and that “Christians should accommodate themselves to the thought that the American state no longer supports, in any meaningful sense, the laws of God.”[20]

In related editorial comments, also probably crafted by Brown, Christianity Today rejected the argument of some Evangelicals that the Roe decision advanced religious liberty: “The fact that minority religious groups (e.g., Roman Catholics, Mormons) oppose abortion is not analysis but sophistry.”[21]  Regarding the claim by Howard Moody and others that the Court’s action had restored ecumenical prospects by “avoiding an all-out conflict between Catholics and Protestants,” the magazine turned the argument around, in prescient fashion: “Moody may be right in a sense: the ruling may promote cooperation to fight abortion.”[22]

In all this, though, there was no mention of birth control.  Over the balance of the decade, Brown and other Evangelicals more fully developed the position articulated by John Warwick Montgomery in the 1960s: birth control acceptable (although not often discussed); abortion, a sinful crime.  Regarding the latter, for example, Brown emphasized in a 1976 article for The Moody Monthly how legalized abortion was contributing to a demographic disaster for America, not the “population explosion” of recent emphasis, but depopulation: “Births in America have already dropped below the replacement rate. . . . We are headed toward a society of middle-aged and elderly people, with a dwindling supply of children and young adults.”  (The same point could have been made regarding birth control, but was not.)  Brown labored as well to restore a correct reading of Christian history regarding abortion, stating that “Biblical Christians from the earliest days have considered abortion—widely tolerated in the pagan Roman Empire—to be a grievous crime.”  (Left unnoted was the similar treatment shown by early Christians toward contraception.)  This was also the view of the early Reformers “such as John Calvin,” the article continued, and of contemporary Protestant theologians, both “neo-orthodox” figures such as Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, and Helmut Thielicke and “American evangelicals such as Billy Graham, Harold Lindsell, and Francis Schaeffer.”  Brown offered special praise for the film-strip, Abortion is Killing, prepared by the Reformed Presbyterian Church—Evangelical Synod, and physician C. Everett Koop’s book, The Right to Live/The Right to Die.[23]

Koop, in fact, was emerging as another prominent anti-abortion Evangelical, who also said little about birth control.  In 1977, he joined with Francis Schaeffer to author a book and produce a film series, Whatever Happened to the Human Race?  It sought “to rouse evangelicals to the abortion issue.”  In addition, Koop collaborated with Brown to create the Christian Action Council, an Evangelical parachurch that focused on founding local crisis pregnancy centers.  Part of the project was to rescue Biblical interpretation from the “cutting edge” exegetes of the late 1960s.  For example, Koop rejected the argument that Exodus 21 did not regard the fetus as fully human: “Francis Schaeffer checked the exegesis of these verses with five Hebrew scholars and was convinced that . . . in no way does [God] mean to downgrade the worth of the unborn child.”  Moreover, the “story of the incarnation leaves no room for doubt. . . . He—the Lord—was a very tiny baby. . . . He certainly was a Person.”  Koop concluded: “We evangelicals have already lost too much by being indecisive on these issues.”[24]

Harold O.J. Brown, Francis Schaeffer, and C. Everett Koop successfully called Evangelical leaders back from their flirtation with abortion.  These three men made opposition to abortion a defining characteristic of late twentieth-century Evangelicalism.  As Christian Smith would note in his 1998 book, American Evangelicalism: Embattled and Thriving, “the vast majority of evangelicals oppose both abortion and gay rights.”[25]At the same time, though, contraception or birth control was rarely—if ever—discussed.  The implication was quiet approval.  In short, following a delay of several decades, Evangelicals had followed the Protestant mainline in this accommodation to the new sexual order.

Demographic Consequences?

All the same, were there any measurable consequences to this delay in the acceptance of birth control?  Did the fact that most Evangelicals continued to oppose birth control until the late 1960s, while the mainline Protestants had begun to accept the practice four decades earlier, have any effects?  The answer appears to be “yes.”

The analyst must first disentangle the general relationship between religion and fertility.  Dean Hoge and David Roozen, in their Understanding Church Growth and Decline: 1950-1978, broadly concluded that “persons with stronger church commitment tended to desire larger families” and that “the birthrate in the United States has matched trends in traditional religious commitment for at least a half century.”  Put another way, “[w]hatever causes births to rise or fall somehow causes church participation to rise or fall.”  Yet, they were unsure of the causation.[26]  Dennison Nash—examining the “Religious Revival” associated with the 1950s—also traced the growth in church membership to the presence of children: he calculated a correlation coefficient of .74 between church membership and the number of families with children under 18, “an extremely high value.”[27]  Working with Peter Berger and examining in depth three Congregational churches near Hartford, Connecticut, Nash sought to explain how their membership rolls had doubled between 1940 and 1960.  He concluded: “ . . . it was the prospect or presence of children which wholly or partly occasioned the act of joining by their parents.”  This commitment to the perceived needs of children demonstrated “the strength of the ethic of child-centered familism” found in the suburbs of that era.  In short, “the direction in which ‘the little child shall lead them’ may be into further commitment to the ‘O.K. World’ which is the psychological environment which suburbanites have created.”[28]

From a still broader perspective, Kevin McQuillan has noted that the only world religions where rules seem to have a measurable effect on fertility are those “of the book”: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  Even in these cases, though, religious beliefs have demographic consequences only when three criteria are met: (1) “the religion in question must articulate behavioral norms that have linkages to fertility outcomes,” such as rules regarding contraception and gender roles; (2) the group “must possess the means to communicate its teachings to its members and enforce compliance”; and (3) members need to “feel a strong sense of attachment to the religious community.”  Examples that he provides include pre-1950 Quebec, where Roman Catholic strictures on contraception were widely followed.  A 1971 survey, for instance, found that only 19 percent of Quebecois women born between 1906 and 1910 had ever practiced contraception.  The subsequent “Quiet Revolution” in Quebec, involving among other developments a sharp fall in average family size, also showed that a religion’s influence on fertility could “crumble quickly.”[29]

One of the most striking developments on the American religious landscape during the twentieth century was the “decline of the mainline” denominations (the Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and liberal Lutherans).  Between 1900 and 1975, the mainline’s share of the Protestant population fell from 60 percent to 40 percent, while the market share claimed by “conservative” denominations (Southern Baptist, Assemblies of God, Pentecostal and holiness churches) rose conversely from 40 to 60 percent.[30]  Controversy ensued over how to explain this shift.  Some sociologists of religion, such as Roger Finke and Rodney Stark, simply concluded that nothing was new: “Since at least 1776 the upstart sects have grown as the mainline American denominations have declined.”  This “sect-church” process was basically a constant in American history: “the decline of the Protestant mainline is a long, steady trend,” making it “pointless to search the 1960s for the causes of a phenomenon that was far along by the War of 1812.”[31]  Attracting greater attention, though, were the arguments of National Council of Churches official Dean Kelley.  In his book Why the Conservative Churches are Growing, Kelley asserted that the dynamic behind mainline decline was adult conversion.  People were leaving the mainline and joining the conservative churches because the latter offered strict expectations that the former had abandoned.  Growing conservative churches “ . . . are not ‘reasonable,’ they are not ‘tolerant,’ they are not ecumenical, they are not ‘relevant.’  Quite the contrary!”  He added, “Strong [religious] organizations are strict . . . the stricter the stronger.”[32]

However, both explanations seemed to have missed the real dynamic: namely, differential fertility.  In 1966, a team of researchers reported that, when Protestant women were divided into “liberal,” “intermediate,” and “fundamentalistic” groups, the latter proved to be the most fertile, after controlling for education, income, occupation, and community size.[33]  More recently, using data from the General Social Survey of 1974-1998, sociologists Michael Hout, Andrew Greeley, and Melissa Wilde have shown that “a combination of higher birth rates and earlier childbearing among conservative women” accounts for “over three-quarters of the observed change in Protestant denominational affiliations for cohorts born between 1900 and 1970.”  Specifically, among Protestant women born between 1900 and 1915, those religiously “conservative” bore an average of 3.1 children; women affiliated with “mainline” churches bore an average of 2.1: the former figure was 47 percent higher.  For women born between 1915 and 1935—the mothers of the mid-century “Baby Boom”—the gap narrowed.  “Mainline” women saw their average family size climb sharply from 2.1 to 3.1; for conservative women, the increase was less, from 3.1 to 3.3: the “conservative” advantage—while still present—had fallen to only 7 percent.  For “mainline” women born between 1935 and 1951, fertility fell sharply, reaching 1.85 for those born in 1951.  However, among “conservative” women born those same years, fertility remained high for another five to six years, but then fell as well, reaching 1.95 for those born in 1951.  If the year of a mother’s birth is translated into “Total Fertility Rate,” the sharp fall in “mainline” fertility began in 1958/59; among “conservative” Protestants, in 1965/66.[34]

Explaining these results, the researchers noted that “[w]omen and clergy from mainline Protestant denominations were prominent in the movements to promote family planning and repeal bans on birth control devices in the United States; conservative Protestants and Catholics opposed these actions.”  This implied that “mainline Protestant women adopted birth control . . . sooner than other Protestant women did.”  Accordingly, “[t]here are more conservatives today because their parents had larger families than did Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, and Congregationalist parents.”[35]  Put another way, “the so-called decline of the mainline may ultimately be attributable to its earlier approval of contraception.”[36]

Hout and colleagues have also argued that measures of belief regarding abortion and sexual liberalism strongly converged among Protestants born after 1960: “the gap between the people who are still in conservative denominations and those who have switched to the mainline is shrinking, not growing.”  This suggested, in turn, “that the trends underlying mainline decline may be nearing their end.”  With the acceptance of birth control by “mainline” and “conservative” Protestants alike, “the demographic momentum is spent.”[37]  This conclusion has dovetailed with arguments by Christian Smith, among others, that American Evangelicals are more egalitarian on gender issues and more liberal on social issues other than abortion and gay rights—such as pre-marital cohabitation and divorce—than generally recognized.[38]

Evangelical Exceptionalism?

Other research, however, has suggested that an Evangelical fertility advantage remains.  Writing in Population and Development Review, for example, demographers Ron Lesthaeghe and Lisa Neidert use data from 2000 to 2004 to test whether the United States fits into the model of the Second Demographic Transition.  The latter term involves the new moral order found most notably in post-1965 Europe, characterized by “secular and anti-authoritarian sentiments,” gender egalitarianism, “self-actualization,” and individualism.  Relative to fertility, it is “a matter of postponing or eschewing parenthood altogether because of more pressing competing goals such as prolonging education, achieving more stable income positions, increased consumerism associated with self-expression orientations, . . . realizing a more fulfilled partnership, [and] keeping an open future.”

Compared then to Europe and Canada, did the USA stand outside the Second Demographic Transition?  Was there an American exceptionalism?  Lesthaeghe and Neidert answered, in part, “No.”  When they examined data for the northern Atlantic Coast, the Pacific Coast, the Great Lakes states, and parts of the West (Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado), the “post-family” values of the Second Transition dominated and fertility was “lower and later.”  On the other hand, part of the answer was:

Yes, there is an “American exceptionalism” among a non-negligible section of the population.  That sector is mainly located in the Midwest, the Plains, and the South.  It is on average much more rural than metropolitan, less well-educated, [and] adheres more to Evangelical Christianity or Mormonism. . . . [39]

Mobilizing fertility data from 1998 to 2002 compiled by the Reproductive Health Information Source of the U.S. Center for Disease Control, geographer Lisa Jordan of the University of Colorado has reported even more striking results.  Using the religious categories of Protestant-Mainline, Protestant-Evangelical, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Eastern Orthodox, Mormon, and Utopian, she found that “Mainline” Protestant, Jewish, and “Non-Hispanic Catholic” adherence had no positive effect on fertility.  However:

Everywhere in the U.S., there appears to be significant and positive relationship between Evangelicalism and fertility.  In some areas, such as West Virginia, Virginia, Nevada, and Oregon, the coefficient is twice as high as other parts of the country.  A ten percent increase in Protestant Evangelical adherence [within a given county] is associated with a 0.6 to 1.4 percent increase in the general fertility rate.

Mormon and Utopian [e.g., the Hutterites] affiliations also showed positive effects, while the presence of family planning clinics in any county proved “insignificant.”[40]

These results are illuminating.  The failure of Non-Hispanic Cathol-icism to have a positive effect on fertility (indeed, in a majority of states, the correlation was negative) underscores McQuillan’s point that pro-natalist doctrine is not sufficient; it must be reinforced by some method of forceful compliance.  The finding that the presence—or absence—of birth control clinics in a given county has no effect on fertility suggests as well that “worldview,” or ideology, on the question of birth control continues to trump material factors.  And consistent, nationwide positive correlation between “Protestant-Evangelical” and fertility implies that Evangelicalism still holds to a distinctive pro-natalism, despite the tacit acceptance of birth control since the early 1970s.

And yet, something more may be stirring.  One of the most striking developments in the American Evangelical subculture over the last 20 years has been the “Quiverfull” movement.  Solid numbers are sparse, since this phenomenon is even more anarchic than the standard Evangelical ministry.  Still, it is safe to conclude that thousands of  Evangelical young adults have renounced the use of birth control—even the rhythm or natural family planning method—and have placed decisions regarding family size back “in the hands of God.”  For them, children remain as “an heritage from the Lord” and “happy is the man who has a full quiver of them.”[41]

Dr. Carlson is Editor of The Family in America and President of The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society.  This article is adapted from a chapter from his book, Godly Seed: American Evangelicals Confront Birth Control, 1873-1973 (Transaction, 2013).  It may be purchased by calling 732-445-1245 or visiting

[1] The federal Comstock Act was passed on March 3, 1873, and made it illegal to send “obscene” materials (pornography, contraceptives, abortion information, etc.) through the U.S. mail.  Various states followed suit with their own, similar prohibitions, and these are collectively called the “Comstock Laws.”

[2] Martha J. Bailey, “Momma’s Got the Pill: How Anthony Comstock and Griswold v. Connecticut shaped U.S. Childbearing,” Economic Review 100 (March 2010): 98-129.

[3] Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965).

[4] Evan Wolfson, Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People’s Right to Marry (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004), 79

[5] Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972), emphasis added.

[6] Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).

[7] Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992).

[8] Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003).

[9] Religious sociologists Dean Hoge and David Roozen, examining this rapid change in Christian values toward marriage and sexuality, conclude that “virtually all the attitude change came after 1965.”  See “National Contextual Factors Influencing Church Trends,” in Dean R. Hoge and David A. Roozen, eds., Understanding Church Growth and Decline: 1950-1978 (New York: The Pilgrim Press, 1979), 107.

[10] The decision is not noted during 1965 in either Christianity Today or Moody Monthly.

[11] “A Protestant Affirmation on the Control of Human Reproduction,” Christianity Today 13 (November 18, 1968): 18-19.

[12] Comments from “Abortion Decision: A Death Blow?”  Christianity Today 17 (February 16, 1973); “What Price Abortion?”  Christianity Today 17 (March 2, 1973): 39.

[13] John Warwick Montgomery, “How to Decide the Birth-Control Question,” Christianity Today 10 (March 10, 1966): 8-9.

[14] Letter, Harold O.J. Brown to Carl F.H. Henry, November 14, 1960, 1; in CTI-BGC, Box 17, Folder 23 (“Correspondence: Author’s File—Brown, Harold O., Nov. 1960-May 1968”).

[15] Letter, Harold O.J. Brown to Carl F.H. Henry, January 10, 1967, 1; in CTI-BGC, Box 17, Folder 23.

[16] On Schaeffer’s place in American Evangelical history, see D.G. Hart, That Old-Time Religion in Modern America: Evangelical Protestantism in the Twentieth Century (Chicago, IL: Ivan R. Dee, 2002), 134-40.

[17] Letter, Harold O.J. Brown to Carl F.H. Henry, January 10, 1967, 1; in CTI-BGC, Box 17, File 23 

[18] “Evaluation[s] of Manuscripts,” received October 29, 1964 and November 24, 1964; Letter, James Daane to Harold O.J. Brown, November 3, 1964, 1-2; in CTI-BGC, Box 17, File 23.

[19] Letters, Carl F.H. Henry to Harold O.J. Brown, October 25, 1965, 1; and November 17, 1965, 1; in CTI-BGC, Box 17, File 23.

[20] “Abortion and the Court,” Christianity Today 17 (February 16, 1973): 32-3.

[21] “What Price Abortion?” 39.

[22] “Abortion Decision: A Death Blow?”

[23] Harold O.J. Brown, “The American Way of Death,” Moody Monthly 77 (December 1976):32-5.

[24] C. Everett Koop as told to Dick Bohrer, “Deception on Demand,” Moody Monthly 80 (May 1980): 24-9; Dick Bohrer, “Abortion’s Incredible History (and Where the Evangelical Fits),” Moody Monthly 80 (May 1980): 30-2.

[25] Christian Smith, American Evangelicalism: Embattled and Thriving (Chicago, IL and London: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 199-201. 

[26] Hoge and Roozen, Understanding Church Growth and Decline, 117, 322. 

[27] Dennison Nash, “A Little Child Shall Lead Them: A Statistical Test of an Hypothesis That Children Were the Source of the American ‘Religious Revival,’” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 7 (Fall 1968): 238-9.

[28] Dennison Nash and Peter Berger, “The Child, the Family and the ‘Religious Revival’ in Suburbia,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 2 (Fall 1962): 85-93.

[29] Kevin McQuillan, “When Does Religion Influence Fertility?”  Population and Development Review 30 (March 2004): 25-56.

[30] The definition of “conservative” churches usually involves measuring attachment to criteria such as “Biblical literalism” and the necessity of a “born again” conversion experience.  See Tom W. Smith, “Classifying Protestant Denominations,” Review of Religious Research 31 (March 1990): 1-5.

[31] Roger Finke and Rodney Stark, The Churching of America 1776-1990: Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1992), 237-49.

[32] Dean M. Kelley, Why the Conservative Churches are Growing (New York: Harper and Row, 1972), 25-6, 95.

[33] Pascal K. Whelpton, Arthur A. Campbell, and John Patterson, Fertility and Family Planning in the United States (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1966).

[34] Michael Hout, Andrew Greeley, and Melissa Wilde, “The Demographic Imperative in Religious Change in the United States,” American Journal of Sociology 107 (September 2001): 468-500.

[35] Hout, Greeley and Wilde, “The Demographic Imperative in Religious Change in the United States,” 471, 497.

[36] Michael Hout, Andrew Greeley, and Melissa Wilde, “Birth Dearth: Demographics of Mainline Decline,” Christian Century (October 25, 2005): 26.

[37] Hout, Greeley, and Wilde, “The Demographic Imperative in Religious Change in the United States,” 498.

[38] Christian Smith, Christian America? What Evangelicals Really Want (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000); Smith, American Evangelicalism, 199-201.

[39] Ron Lesthaeghe and Lisa Neidert, “The Second Demographic Transition in the United States: Exception or Textbook Example?”  Population and Development Review 32 (December 2006): 669-98, emphasis added. 

[40] Lisa Jordan, “Religion and Fertility in the United States: A Geographic Analysis,” Department of Geography, University of Colorado, 2005, emphasis added.

[41] For a somewhat hysterical, yet still useful, feminist “expose” of this phenomenon, see Kathryn Joyce, Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement (New York: Beacon Press, 2009).  Books giving a positive defense of the Quiverfull life include: Rich and Jan Hess, A Full Quiver: Family Planning and the Lordship of Christ (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth R. Hyatt, 1990); Samuel A. Owen, Jr., Letting God Plan Your Family (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1990); Nancy Campbell, Be Fruitful and Multiply (San Antonio, TX: Vision Forum, 2003); Craig Houghton, Family UNPlanning: A Guide for Christian Couples Seeking God’s Truth on Having Children (Longwood, FL: Xulon Press, 2007).