what bothers me is that there is well established research showing that the larger a family is the less well socially adjusted a child will be, the less educated it will be, the more likely it will be to be abused, to drop out of school, to end up in jail, etc. the more kids to a family the less time the parents have with each individual child. it's a recipe for neglect and stunted emotional and social growth.
There are many questions over larger families, but I think the problem here is the reason for the larger family. I think if a mother is having many children because her imaginary friend told her to than she is a martyr. I imagine as a mother myself more than happy with two that it must be a hardship to be pregnant and give birth to many children and to take care of them. If a woman wants to have children for the pleasure of nurturing them then that is her choice, but if she is doing it for religion it seems to me that she is being oppressed.
I know a couple of larger than normal families (around 6) and the mothers genuinely enjoy their children and organise their lives to care for them well and encourage their older children to cooperate and help care for younger children. But the key is that they are not doing it for outside reasons they are simply mothers who like to nurture. I do not strictly have a problem with larger families although there are many sensible arguments against them I think they can be argued against in individual cases.
However if a whole community is raising large families for God how can all of those mothers genuinely want so many children. Surely with so many mothers doing it for God, some of those children will ultimately be neglected by their tired, resentful and oppressed mothers.
When I read about people, popes, and religions that reject birth control, I always think of Kurt Vonnegut’s short story, “2BR02B”.
"Would you like to go back to the good old days, when the population of the Earth was twenty billion--about to become forty billion, then eighty billion, then one hundred and sixty billion? Do you know what a drupelet is, Mr. Wehling?" said Hitz.
"Nope," said Wehling sulkily.
"A drupelet, Mr. Wehling, is one of the little knobs, one of the little pulpy grains of a blackberry," said Dr. Hitz. "Without population control, human beings would now be packed on this surface of this old planet like drupelets on a blackberry! Think of it!"
Wehling continued to stare at the same spot on the wall.
"In the year 2000," said Dr. Hitz, "before scientists stepped in and laid down the law, there wasn't even enough drinking water to go around, and nothing to eat but sea-weed--and still people insisted on their right to reproduce like jackrabbits. And their right, if possible, to live forever."