May 09, 2008

The Duggar Family Revisited

She is pregnant with her 18th child. Yes ladies and gentlemen, the Duggars are back.
We first encountered The Duggar Family in the following Posts:
Mom delivers 16th child, thinking of more

Should Childbirth Be Legislated
Here is a little bit of information from the MSNBC story I linked to in the lead.
"With two sets of twins, Michelle has gone through 15 pregnancies that ended in 13 natural deliveries and two Caesarean sections.

Both Michelle and Jim Bob — a former state legislator who served in the Arkansas House of Representatives — are real estate agents. They claim their family is debt-free, with the entire bunch helping to build their 7,000-square-foot home in Tontitown. And they are enriched by a devout faith in their religion.

The Duggars are followers of the evangelical Christian movement called Quiverful, which teaches that children are God’s blessing and that husbands and wives should happily welcome every child they are given. In fact, the Duggars' Web site, duggarfamily.com, quotes “Children are a heritage of the Lord” from verse 3 of the 123rd Psalm.

“We just let the Lord decide,” Jim Bob told Vieira.

“They are such a gift and we’re enjoying them so much,” Michelle added. “We would love more, and the power of the Lord took our faith to give us another one.”

The Duggars married in 1984, when Michelle was 17 and Jim Bob was 19. They held off on having kids for four years before Michelle ceased taking birth control pills to have their first child. After Joshua was born in 1988, Michelle returned to birth control but wound up getting pregnant anyway. Unfortunately, she suffered a miscarriage, which the couple attributed to use of the pill.

Michelle and Jim Bob decided to pray for as many children as God would give them. Within a year, Michelle was pregnant with the first of their two sets of twins.

Their large number of offspring has meant other large numbers for the Duggars. Michelle has been pregnant for 135 months of her life, with an average of 18 months between births. The family estimates it has used 90,000 diapers and launders 200 loads of clothes each month in a row of industrial-size washers and dryers.

Even though they go through three loaves of bread per day, they claim to feed their family for less than $2,000 a month. Transportation is facilitated by nine vehicles, led by a 21-passenger bus. They estimate that all members of the family have combined to work approximately 39,000 hours on their home.Each child learns to play both violin and piano. And for what it’s worth, when child No. 18 arrives, they’ll have enough kids to field two baseball teams.

Most importantly, there is a unique dedication to serve the greater good of the home and family. An older child will take on the responsibility of a younger sibling throughout the day. The children help prepare meals and keep to a steady home-schooling schedule. Group studies include materials from Advanced Training Institute International, a Bible-based education program for families.

I don't really want to see childbirth legislated, there are distinct limits to government involvement, but there are commonsense issues as well.

To me the most important question of all is what kind of attention the children receive from their parents. I find it difficult to believe that these children receive the time they deserve from their parents. There is such a thing as being spread too thin.

Having the ability to do something is not license nor inspiration to do it.

I wonder about the finances. Maybe they're very lucky and able to afford this many kids, but it still makes me wonder about how many things they have to sacrifice to do so. Some of those are personal choices, but still..

And I wonder about the burden placed upon the older siblings. I believe that all family members should help out. It makes perfect sense, but I am guessing that the older kids have taken on more child rearing roles here than they should have to.

We're only children for a short time of our lives. Kids should have the opportunity to be kids.

What do you think?

85 comments:

Bill Arends said...

Jack this may come as a surprise but this story is no great surprise to a number of us. I come from a church (no longer a memeber) where there were at least two families of this size and a couple others catcing up. That said I think the largest Family had 15 children. Though I would never have this many children the families from the church function very well no financial or behavioral problems at all. My sister and Brother-in-law have a combined family of eight children and I know one family that had 20 plus children (including many adopted children)

Abbadon said...


What do you think?


I think she must have a kangaroo pouch for a hoohah by now...

Anonymous said...

The only thing that really bothers me about this family is the older kids are all "assigned" a younger kid to be in charge of. I would never "assign" one kid to the other and make them responsible for taking care of them all day, dressing them, bathing them...the way I figure is if my husband and I had the babies were the one's that are to take care of them ,and if we ever thought our kids needed to do it for us, then we would stop having kids.

Liz said...

I'll tell you what I think. I think I deserve a frikkin' tax break for CHOOSING to abstain from breeding. They're loaded because Jim Bob pimps his family out to Discovery and runs a Duggar Family website complete with multiple advertisements on every page. Two thumbs down Duggar family! My life is holy enough with 18 gold stars to stroke my ego with.

Kol Ra'ash Gadol said...

I think that in most families older children take on some responsibility for younger. That said, how much do you want to bet the girls of the fmaily aren't being trained for much other than child care duties? And how much do you want to bet that the boys are being encouraged to get slightly more int he earning a living field?

But let's even suppose everyone is doing the same thing: is it really right to make the kids do THAT MUCH child care? Is it really fair to make the kids pitch in to work jobs, rather than just chores, to support siblings?
And then, of course, there's the environmental matters...

Jack said...

Bill,

To be fair, I know of Jewish families who have this many children and I have the same issues.

My biggest concern lies in the challenge of making sure that the children receive the attention they deserve from their parents.

Abbadon,

Wouldn't surprise me.

Anon,

Absolutely.

Liz,

It does make you wonder.

KRG,

Something about this just doesn't feel right.

V-Grrrl said...

My big issue? It's that she has a freakin press conference every time she gets pregnant!!! She's SIX weeks pregnant--many people don't confide in family at this point.

This all about HER (and his?) desire for attention. Attention. It's sure not about what's best for the kids or their religion or any of the "faces" they put on this story.

What I want is for the media to ignore here. That's what I want.

Jack said...

Makes sense to me.

Anonymous said...

using a infinite amount of resources bothers me. I dont see any self sufficency in terms of veg. gardening, raising chickens for eggs ect....

Jack said...

I don't know if I agree with that.

Matthew said...

Anybody who thinks the Duggars aren't giving their children the time, care and attention they need has obviously never met their family. I have, and can tell you there is nothing wrong with these kids. They're some of the most charming, well-mannered, and comfortable kids I've ever met. I've rarely seen brothers and sisters who get along so well, with such evident love and friendship for one another and their parents.

Also, having spoken with the Duggar parents for quite awhile recently, I can tell you that they really do know each of their children's individual personalities, emotional needs, and so forth.

I wish every family could raise their kids like the Duggars. The world would be a better place for it.

Finally, v-grrrl has apparently never met Michelle Duggar, because both she and her husband absolutely exude humility and "genuineness." Disagree with them if you like, but you can't question their motives after getting to know them a bit.

Jack said...

Anybody who thinks the Duggars aren't giving their children the time, care and attention they need has obviously never met their family.

You don't have to visit the sun to know that it is hot. I am not questioning whether they love their children.

But as a father I know from personal experience what it takes and there is only so much time in the day.

Someone, somewhere is getting less.

Anonymous said...

For liz and similar negative people!

I want to say that I love the Duggar family and the values they have: children are blessings, gifts.

To see these people on TV is a breath of fresh air! If they get financial benefits of any kind, I am more than happy because they deserve it, they are hits!!

For all the crap that is on TV, to see them is really a special, great TV time.

I cannot think of one reason to not like the Duggars! Not ONE!!

We LOVE YOU, THE DUGGAR FAMILY :-) and I mean it

Anonymous said...

ok first ladies get a hair cut. second if you want to be on national television get a hair cut. your not amish you are christian. there is no reason to dress like an amish person. a little bit of indiviuality is healthy for your family and when children reach a certain age they should have the right to choose wether or not UBER RELIGION practices are right for them. you should never force religion on your family. especially at such a young age. you dont want to end up breeding the next uni bomber or david koresh!!! how woud you feel if that happened to one of your children? responible for fanatic shenanagens and the like.

Anonymous said...

and if i catch you taking any form of welfare from my country the american people WILL come looking for you both. you made your bed. the choices you made form a responsibility for you and your wife. as far as i am concerned you will work and pay for every dime you give them. having that many kids the government should give you very little in the way of tax breaks. you chose to have that many kids some families have no foresight of what is going to happen and end up suffering.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with the way they dress, or their hair? It is beautiful....Amish or whatever you want to call it. It certainly looks better than a lot of the freakish hair "styles" some wear. It's about choices and I would much rather see this than some of the choices that are out there. And their dresses are not nearly as weird as as some of the choices I see some wear. It looks like a beautifully orchestrated family portraying a very functional family life. Many small families can't operate this functionally and can still neglect their children....It also appears that they are blessed financially and won't need welfare. Look at all the people who have children and don't even attempt to take care of them or provide for them. I think this family is a blessing to all of us to see how God can bless familys that purpose to live a Christian life. We glorify the trash and evils in society, but look down on people who are trying to uphold Christian standards.

Hannah said...

I see from watching the show that the children seem to be like robots. When they were helping build the family home, they kept saying what a great expeirence it was. Like they are in denial. Not too long after that Josh said he was looking forward to the house being done, so that he could sleep in for the first time since he was 14, and at that time he was 17? That is not fair at all! I don't think they can all be getting the propper education either. It shows them all being home schooled at a table, and all children are reading the same material. How can 16 year olds be relating to 1st grader material? And do you ever notice the mom is never caring for the little ones, it's always the older girls. They're not the ones having all those babies, she should be doing everything. I think this is a cleaned up version of poligomy.

2kidgal said...

They are so loving and clean cut on the show & I don't doubt their sincerity. Perhaps the pioneer dress of the females avoids keeping up with fashion trends and styles, but the long hair? It seems biblical at best and reminds one of the mormon cult hairstyles. They seem to have no vent for individualism at all.
Their choice of course, but for such an efficient family you would think it would be a lot easier if each girl and the mom, lost twelve inches of locks!

Anonymous said...

My personal opinion is.. their just twisted. I mean.. ASSIGNING a child to one of the older ones?? WHAT THE HELL!!! What about the PARENTS in all this, where in hell are they? Oh yeah their too busy screwing to take care of their own children. Its just.. SICKENING!! I agree w/ the person who posted about how the father pimps out his family, too. Oh yeah sure on their website they pimp a damn dvd about financial "freedom".. for $125.00 a pop!!! Thats supposedly where he made their money, from attending what he refers to as a "life changing seminar".
Its a uterus not a clown car & those kids... damn i hope they get out some day & can be normal & actually live.

Ra said...

Matthew, I believe you have had the wool pulled over your eyes. I was raised in a family of 10 children and we had a perfect reputation among those who knew us. A professional father, stay-at-home mom, and devout church-goers. We were all perfectly well behaved around visitors. And yet, we all have deep emotional scars as a result of being raised in such a large family. I can tell you from experience, the Duggar's image of 'one big happy family' was most likely just a show put on for you. I do not believe for a minute that the Duggar parents 'know the individual emotional needs of each of their children.' They are only capable of providing for basic human needs.... food, clothing, housing. That is why the children all look the same. To the parents, they ARE all the same, and can only express a difference in gender. Girls wear dresses and long hair, boys wear pants and short hair.

I watched the Discovery channel show with disgust, and at times horror. What does it say about the children they already have, when the mother ignores her doctor's warnings that she now has a very real chance of dying in childbirth? I believe these parents are addicted to having children. I feel badly for every one of them and the loss of their individual identities.

I have crossed paths with many people from large families over the years. I have yet to find one that has had the experience portrayed by the Duggars.

jen said...

God isn't giving them these children, they are having sex to get pregnant! And biology is taking over. Duh. The girls look like they are being oppressed with their styles of clothing and responsibilities. The PARENTS chose to have this many kids. THEY should be responsible. I bet the oldest son is glad he is married now. I can imagine most of those children will rebel. Oh well, what does that matter to the parents? They can breed more robots. There is NO WAY those kids understand the real world. A woman's you-know-what is not a clown car.

Anonymous said...

I know several families like the Duggars -- yes, we are a homeschool family. I've even met Michelle at a seminar 12 years ago. They have made a choice and it is no one elses business. I'm sure one of their kids will go through a period of rebellion saying you ruined my life. I had a child do that. Then they will grow up a bit more and see how blessed they were. Hang in there Michelle. The first 18 years are the easy ones!!

Colleen said...

I watched this show during the day once when I was home sick, and, to be honest, I think I wanted to throw up from the show instead of being sick. I have a very large issues with how the girls are being raised, as if they are to be nothing but opressed breeding machines. I also caught some clips on another show where they were basically making fun of their "17 and Counting" program, and I agree with the commentator. Hand holding is apparently a privilige, and that first kiss is supposed to be saved for your wedding day. WHAT THE HELL?! Save your first kiss for your wedding day, who the hell teaches their children that! That's insane! These media whore "parents" are doing nothing but turning their children into mindless, over-religious robots,and popping out more by the second. God bless the first one to rebel and break out of that hell house.

AMC said...

If she wants to have a million kids, then whatever, I guess. My thought is this: she is 41 (or so), which means she has hit that magical mark where the chances of having a child with down syndrome starts to increase exponentially. Which means she will have to take care of that child pretty much for the rest of her life - there's no growing up. It's one thing to have one child with down syndrome, whats going to happen when she has three or four (or more!)

Tara said...

i was just watching this show tonight and it makes me sad. While I do not judge others for their family choices or religion, etc. I just feel like it is disingenuous that ALL the children apparently choose dress the same and have the same hair cuts. While it saves them money, is that really fair to the kids? I also do not see how they can each get adequate attention from their parents. There just isn't enough time in the day. Also, why didn't the older kid go to college? Is that really a wise choice? Not everyone needs to go to traditional college, but at least some post-high school education? Instead, he has focused on gettin' married so that he can get laid and start his own enormous robotic family. ugh.

Anonymous said...

I think it is sadly misguided to think of yourselves as not being just as influenced by your surroundings as the Duggar children. Just as most of the bloggers believe children "should" have different haircuts and clothes and have minimal household responsibilities... Have any of you ever considered why you believe the things you believe? Some of the most depressed people are the ones who don't have a place, who don't contribute and feel accomplishment. These children have a sense of well-being from having resposibility and a sense of belonging that comes from a warm, team-spirit family. Who would disagree that children are a blessing? Are you so callused?

Anonymous said...

I've been watching the show for about a year ... since it was 16 kids and moving in!!!

I think that the issue about the choldren taking care of children and the issue about the parents not paying enough attention are valid points but there are much deeper issues!!!

if you go on youtube and watch the episode of the family moving into the gigantic house... you will notice that there are only two rooms for the children, a boys room and a girls room. that means that Jossh the oldest (about 20) and Jackson the youngest son (about 4) are in the same room while sleeping that seems icky to me ... and its the same for the girls

my other concern is that the youngest child sleeps in the parents room and the 17th isn't even 2 and the 18th is on the way ... i don't know about you but that would scar me for life!!!

what do you think?

Anonymous said...

Why don't all you naysayers just get over it. Everyone likes to impose their will on everyone else because they are right and anyone who disagrees is wrong. The Duggars aren't asking or taking anything of you or from you. Don't like it? Turn the channel.

Anonymous said...

They are all so "flat"-brainwashed or depressed and it's even more evident when cousin Amy shows up and is the only one who is laughing, kidding around and acting like a normal teenager. Who are Amy's parents? I mean, which one is a sibling to which of the Duggar parents?

Anonymous said...

I'm very concerned about several aspects of this family, mostly the socialization of the kids. Doesn't seem that they get to play with other kids, join groups, do anything individual. They don't get to make any choices, i.e. dad likes long hair, so the girls have long hair.
I know they say they seem to live off rent from properties they own, but where did they get the money to buy those properties? What about health insurance and dental? As long as they can pay for it that's fine, but I agree with the person who wrote that while they don't let the kids watch much tv, they have no qualms taking money from a tv network for furniture, vacations, etc.
If the kids have no opportunity to try new things, and fail, when young, how will they handle being away from home, by themselves?
What is wrong with dating? How do you decide on a life long partner without opportunities to meet and date people? I just think they're too isolated from reality.

Anonymous said...

For all you haters, leave the poor family alone! The strange thing about people these days is that they do not want to see others who are succeeding or doing the right thing. The amount of children that Michelle & Jim Bob decide to have is their decision as a married couple. They do not ask for handouts and they provide for family. They are raising loving, Christian children who put others before themselves. What is the problem with that? You are directing your anger at the wrong people. Why don't you go after the real problem, the unmarried women who are actually having many children with many different men, taking welfare and neglecting their kids! BTW, the Duggars do not use "infinite resources". They make their own laundry soap, they buy used shoes and clothes. I don't know many people who do that. Most people buy new things and trash the old things. Everyone needs to get off their high horse and start looking at yourselves. Anytime you point a finger at someone, you have 10 pointing back at you. When your life is perfect then start judging others. I have a feeling you'll be dead before that happens.

Angie said...

It really blows my mind that this God-figure that people worship cannot make up his mind (I say "him" because, apparently, this God apparition has male genetalia). He seems to tell each person to live their lives in different ways. Each person assumes they are right, and wants to spread their word. People read into this "bible" which is merely a nice fictional story written by humans for humans as a way of governing them. The story of Jesus was a blatent rip-off of several other previous dieties. The Duggars seem to assume that their God whispers in their ear and tells them to get knocked up as many times as they can. How in the heck can this be good for mankind? Doesn't their God care for nature? There are only enough resources to maintain our population... if all were to act in their belief we would most certainly cross that threshold of sustainable society. Plus, even with two kids, my husband and I have to work to survive... two well-educated people. I am wondering where in this schedule I am supposed to home-school my children? Hmm...?

Anonymous said...

I've been reading alot of comments about the Duggars and just have to add my 2 cents. I neither whole-heartedly agree or disagree w/ the family but...
I do (sort of) understand where they're coming from. Michelle suffered a miscarriage early on and having as many children as God would "allow" was their way of "coping." I struggled to conceive for 3 years and when I was finally able to conceive I gave birth to a 1-pound baby 16 weeks before her due date. My way of "coping" isn't to see how many children I can have but to make the most of every minute I have w/ my daughter. I feel that quality over quantity is the best route for me whereas they prefer quantity over quality. This reiterates a point that several people make; how do they manage to spend quality time w/ each of their children? Yes, they appear to be happy and healthy but are the parents really the ones who should be getting the credit? My micro-preemie daughter is a happy and healthy 7 month old and is very advanced for her adjusted age. I take credit for that because I'm w/ her 24/7 and I'm the one who talks to her, encourages her development and motor skills and so on. I've never seen this kind of interaction w/ the young Duggar children and their parents. I also have a 5 year old stepson that we sometimes ask to "help" w/ things such as giving the baby her pacifier or getting a diaper but these children are truly raising their younger siblings; not "helping."
As someone mentioned, Michelle's age will soon become a factor in her reproduction. By age 40, most women's fertility begins to decline so the likelihood of them having many more children isn't very... well, likely! She does have an increased chance of having a child w/ a chromosomal defect such as Down's Syndrome but the odds increase after the age of 30 and she's had several children through her 30's so statistically, I would venture to say that they're safe there. I would like someone to explain to me how she looks so good despite having that much strain put on her body? My cousin had 3 children in 4 years and she looks 10 years older than she really is! I want to know what Michelle's secret to youth is!
As for the hairstyles and dress, to each their own. I wouldn't dress like they do but I also wouldn't dress like alot of celebrities or in goth or many other ways.
And while I'm sure the parents' beliefs do have a major impact on the children, I've managed to find information stating what some of the children would like to be when they get older. I must admit that I was surprised to read that one of the girls wanted to be a nurse, one a beautician, the oldest son wants to be an attorney, one wants to be a fireman, a police officer and a carpenter. They all sound like pretty good jobs to me and apparently some of the children have plans to attend college. (I'd also like to note that Josh, the oldest son's, new wife does have a college degree) It is possible for these children to have their own goals in life. My mom was a career-woman; I'm now a stay-at-home mom w/ a college degree who plans to homeschool my daughter. I'm not going to do it for religious reasons but simply because I feel like I can give her a better education being one-on-one and working at her pace rather than in a crowded classroom and potentially falling behind or being ahead and waiting for the others to catch up. (A side note, to encourage her socilization, we plan to let her get involved in as many activities as she'd like whether it's softball, piano, dance, gymnastics, volleyball, art classes or whatever as well as church activities and relationships she's already unknowingly developed w/ her NICU buddies.) I'm not sure that's the case w/ the Duggars, however, because it does appear that all the children are taught the same coursework regardless of age. I did read that the oldest "graduated" from high school at age 16 so Michelle must've taught him something to be able to pass the equivilancy test 2 years ahead of most of his peers.
While I'm sure they do receive money from their show and various advertisements, even w/out that their rental properties probably are enough to support their lifestyle. Their largest bill is their grocery bill. They have no mortgage, no credit card payments, no auto payments... They never buy anything new, they never buy anything flashy... I'm sure their income covers their frugal lifestyle. As long as they're living w/in their means who am I to criticize? My husband owns his own business and we choose to spend lavishly. We have a nice home w/ a decent payment, a Mercedes payment, name brand clothes, the ability to do as we want when we want (vacation, shop, etc) and lots of material things that if we couldn't afford, we would most definitely do w/out. If the Duggars were up to their eyeballs in debt and still popping out more kids then I'd consider that to be irresponsible.
And in the intro to their new series, Michelle says they "limit" their childrens' television viewing. I've never heard that they don't let the children watch any tv at all. And there's also a clip of the children playing on the computer. I think more parents should monitor what their children watch on tv and what they view on the internet!
I know this has been very long-winded but I wanted to touch on the several subjects that either irritated or concerned me. My final comment is this: I, personally, don't care to know how often or when the Duggar parents have sex or how stretched out Michelle Duggars "hoohah" is!

Anonymous said...

I think that 18 kids is way to many, this world is over populated and they are just making it worse. There is no way that these kids can be individuals, they all dress the same, and always do everything together. It is not fair to the older kids to have to take care of their brothers and sisters, I had to do that and I hated it, I ended up rebeling and making bad choices because of that.

Anonymous said...

Off the thread subject just a bit, but Angie, could you give a rundown of the "previous deities" that the story of Jesus "ripped off"?

AMC said...

In response to what anonymous said: I think the saying is "when you point a finger at someone, you have 4 pointing back at you". Because humans have 5 fingers per hand and most people curl the extra fingers back when they point at something. So, if you have 10 fingers pointing back at yourself....

Anonymous said...

I fail to see how the number of children a family has is any of my business, I watch their show because it makes me feel good. Not many tv shows do that any more.

Anonymous said...

I stopped watching the Duggar only because I find it irresponsable for a parent to have that much children and not being the one in charge of the small ones. Michelle and Jim, how nice they can be, should stop and enjoy what they have. They have great kids but those kids are only surrugate parents. They should give back their childhood to their children. Also, I do understand that each their own, but I am afraid those kids won't know how to socialized in the real world...

Anonymous said...

why is no one else saying it...its a cult..they are all brain washed from birth..they dont know any better

Anonymous said...

The best thing that we can do for this family is to quit watching them, writting about and caring about them. All this attention is just reinforcing their bad behavior. I met this family when they did their first special-"On the Road with 16 Children." During the part I was involved with all Jim Bob kept saying to kids was remember we need to be sweet and look cute so they will pick us up for more $$$$$. The one thing that just struck me was that they did not have anything of their own, except their underwear and maybe shoes everything else was shared.
I did not know they were still on. I compare them to Paris Hilton quit giving them atttention they will go away.
I feel sorry for the kids they do not have an idenity of their own.

Anonymous said...

You and I are paying for this freak show. Using their kids to get freebies the rest of us pay for with after tax dollars. They are registered as a non-profit church making all the money they make off their TV programs including finishing their home, home furnishing, decorator services, travel expenses and donations (even including their commercial kitchen and appliances, TV/sound recording studio and %of expenses for their house/land) is not considered income. It is a donation and does not get included as their income. As long as they present that they are "spreading the gospel" in anyway they want they get to do it. Also we are paying because of their overuse of health care dollars from insurance it drives up health care costs. How would you like it if everyone had this many children. The first thing I learned in my economics career was there is no such thing as a free lunch -- someone is paying for it, it just doesn't happen to be the Duggars.

Anonymous said...

I think the duggers are doing an amazing job. The kids seem well adjusted and none of them seem to resent any of their responsiblities. I have six kids and all of my kids where always thrilled to have a new sibling. If you hated growing up in a large family your parents did something wrong. Many of the negative bloggers probably wish they could do a job half as well as the duggers with your 2,3, or 4 kids.

milanie said...

Years ago I went to school with a boy that came from a family of 21 kids. Mom and Dad certainly didn't have the financial resources the Duggars have though. But all the kids in this family grew up to be decent adults--and luckily both mom and dad lived long enough to raise all the kids.
That is what concerns me with mega-large families. What happens if one parent passes away? Finances would be scary to say the least and there would be no second adult in the family to help with the children, home repairs, errands, grocery shopping, car maintenance, soccer practice, choir, band, football, well you get my drift.
I just hope the good Lord gives both the parents a long, long life/

Anonymous said...

Freaks in a freak show as evidenced by the fact we line up in front of the TV to watch the freaks multiply.

Anonymous said...

Its a vagina, not a clown car! Just stop! And the mother really needs to lose the mullet!

Anonymous said...

Just another bunch of wackos shrouding their irresponsibility in the cloak of religion.

But I'm confident I'll be written off as a heretic, and any hint of responsible family planning will go lacking.

Keep them ignorant and indoctrinated and this is the kind of mindless logic that will prevail.

Anonymous said...

I think there is something weird about this family. AND I have heard that the dad has declared the family a church and registered it as such so they pay no taxes. they are tax exempt in everything they purchase.

Anonymous said...

It is funny but the show never shows the kids doing things like little league or soccer. Do they play with anyone besides thier siblings? That is warped!
The church services in their house. dadf is weird. Does he work?
As the older kids marry will they bring their wives into a compound?
Do they contribute anything to society or only their own family?

jeanie mceachern said...

it is these irresponsible pullulations, regnant in the gonads of philoprogenitive couples like the duggars, who are bankrupting the ever-decrescent resources of our struggling planet. w/ 6 and a half billion of our species now disporting themselves around the globe, self-perpetuating couples like the duggars are ensuring that our hyper-feracious species will soon be extinct. the tragedy is that they will suffocate our ultimate caretaker mother earth enroute, as we plunge into the abyss of desuetude. the duggars are not stewards of what exiguous usufruct remains for us to husband; they are exploiters, despoliators, and pullulators [breeders] of the lowest common denominator, both phenotypically and genotypically.

Anonymous said...

No more than irresponsible religious prostitutes for a men made puerile god.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad the Duggars have well behaved children, we do need more well behaved children in the world. There are a lot of kids messed up watching too much TV, etc. But like someone said, how do they not watch TV and they are on a TV show. There are some good programs for children when the TV is monitored. And I don't care how many children they have, but it's like you just had one kid... don't you want to love on that kid first. It's like the 17th kid can barely talk and you are just pushing her off... like your not the baby anymore. To me, it's like a game to them. There is no way, no way a woman wants to put her body through that. You don't even give your body a rest. Why do you always want a new baby, when you have kids in the house that you can already run and play with. Everyone is raised in different ways, so I guess what the kids don't know won't hurt em of what they are missing. I have mixed feeling. They seem like a loving family. But the older girls raising the kids is not the way to be. It's like they have no choice to raise the other kids. You can raise your kids the Christian way and still give them other options and allow them to explore.

dolcinea22 said...

I must say, I agree with most everyone here. I don't have a problem with their beliefs. However, I do have a problem with what Josh said about "giving away his heart." He says that with every person you date, you give away a piece of your heart, so when you meet "the one", you don't have a "full" heart to give. This is ridiculous, because he is implying that love does not grow. Apply that same theory to each of their children, and none of the children have a full portion of love from their parents heart, only a piece of love. Love is not divided. It grows. That is the most fantastic thing about it. No matter how much you have, you will always get more. Here is a better analogy. The heart is a "muscle". How do muscles get stronger? They tear when you work them. But the "muscle" rebuilds, and you get stronger. By loving and losing, you strengthen your capacity to love, and appreciate it with greater joy when you have it. Do meet someone and then ask for their hand in marriage without ever knowing anyone else because you wouldn't be giving them your "whole heart" is just absurd, and really just plain stupid, and I think he is cheapening the whole dating experience. I also have a problem with the fact that they really aren't parents. There is no way they give any individual attention to any child beyond the "18 months" or so inbetween each pregnancy. It is like the mom wants to have a baby forever. I can understand. I just had a baby that I love more than anything. As he gets older, I miss how tiny he used to be. He is my first, and I will have two more. But I know I can't keep having a baby forever because I have to raise my children...again IIIII have to raise my children. And they need to be kids for as long as hey can. They will be adults forever, but young children for only a few short years. Why not let them be just kids? You can't just be a parent to your child for 18 months then pass them along. I know they love their kids, but you can't REALLY parent that many kids. That is why it is a family of a million parents.

Kinderlach7 said...

I am not Christian (the Duggars would want me "saved"), my husband earns a six-figure income (in a field that isn't going bye-bye anytime soon), and I'm pretty much a "live, and let live" kind of individual. And, for some reason, I feel the need to defend these people.
We human beings are quite voyeuristic whether we will readily admit it or not. TLC has risen to new heights in exploitation of this tendency of ours.
Having said that, the Duggar hive continues to intrigue me.
What alot of Duggar critics may not realize is that Arkansas is one the least expensive states to reside in, as are most Southern states, with rural living costs being minimal. (This is firsthand knowledge, having relocated South in the mid-nineties. We reside in a 3600-sq-ft home with a monthly mortgage payment of $1100 right outside the limits of the "upscale" side of a Southern city. TLC didn't pay for their home or its contents, or it would've been built alot more quickly than it was, and would've spared them alot of the inconveniences they lived with because they were do-it-yourselvers.) Water doesn't come with a bill and is free of chemicals from a municipal treatment plant when a family's running water is from their own well or spring (something city people buy over-priced in bottles). Sewage isn't dumped into rivers, lakes, and streams in rural life, but goes into an underground septic tank, where it breaks down biologically. And, cutting one's own firewood for heat isn't what is upsetting ecology, but rather the ever-expanding urban sprawl and the gauche materialism feeding its parasitic growth devouring prime farmland and forests to erect neighborhoods (more aptly "strangerhoods" as most are mere collectives of barely-acquainted, over-scheduled, credit-maxed strangers trying to outdo people they neither know or even like) of designed-to-impress mansionesce domiciles is what truly endangers the food supply of this planet (not to mention the economy, as of late). The Duggars buy nearly-new at thrift stores, wholesale vehicles, and food shop at a no-frills store where prices aren't inflated due to national-brand advertising (do Duggar critics really go to the grocery store thinking "ambiance"? On some subconscious level they must or they'd try Aldi, too.)
The obesity epidemic that is rampant in this society's children escapes the Duggar children because they engage in a novel concept called physical activity of both recreational and productive varieties. Recreationally, these children differ from the millions of kids who come home from school and veg for hours mindlessly in front of a tv/Nintendo/computer, with minimal interaction other family members, unless it is to argue over who has had a longer turn or to tell someone to quiet down because they cannot hear a program. Productively, the Duggar kids physically engage daily in work activites that benefit all. They learn shared responsibility, and to be part of a whole. This society is full of over-indulged, spoiled-rotten, egocentric children who burn out educators at alarming rates because they have been raised to believe they are the center of the universe and wind up in therapy for low-self-esteem because they cannot cope with life dealing them the cards that reveal to them aren't the center of it after all. If there is a God, may the divine entity bless the Duggars for sparing their children that reality check!
Whether we'll admit it or not, we are all programmed to think and to believe in certain ways. It's why Starbucks continues to prosper, why hairstyles and clothing trends go in and out of fashion, why we drive certain vehicles, wear certain watches/jewelry and clothing. It's why we shoot Botox in our faces and why cosmetic surgery is a million dollar business: we are programmed to believe that these things make us more worthy in the eyes of others than we are when standing simply on our own merit. The Duggars have opted-out of the entrapment of illusion and facade that this society is caught up in...kinda like the sixties, but without the drugs and rock-n-roll. As for the sex...

Anonymous said...

I'm really intrigued at the fact that they seem to have nothing to do with... the year 2009. Or the 2000s at all, really. They're in their own little Duggar world, and they get a ton of publicity for it. I think it is wrong- not horrifyingly wrong, because at least the kids seem relatively happy on screen- but still very wrong. These poor kids- the older ones especially- don't even have a chance to have a childhood. They're brought up in this Jesus-centered house, with no opportunity to be a kid because they're too busy raising the other ones that come along a few years later. I wonder what the parents would do if one of the kids renounced their Christianity or something... that would be a good episode. Oh, and plus the fact that they're homeschooled and completely isolated from the real world will just make it worse when these kids go out to college or something and discover that there's a world out there, with video games, and malls, and the opposite sex... and they're going to discover it all much too late, because their childhoods will have already passed them by. And the parents say that they are 100 percent debt free, which I believe, but they can't be buying a lot of luxuries, surely not for each kid. Everything is shared, communal. Their clothes, their rooms- 8 to a room! really?!- the food, their friends (each other). And I'm not saying this is all because the family were big. I come from a relatively large family, and I'm not saying it's a bad thing to help out one's younger siblings, because I do it all the time. It's just that I hate that these kids just all sort of blend into one united figure. They dress alike, talk alike, learn the same things, play the same instruments and games... Individuality is the most important thing in my mind, and these parents made a mistake having this many kids. Don't get me wrong, kids are a blessing and everything, but making them live all amish and homeschooled, shoved in front of a camera and forced to take care of babies... I think it's wrong.

Anonymous said...

I've heard a lot of people comment on how the mother probably does not know each child or cannot possibly spend time with each of them. There are two kids in my family, both of my parents worked full time, I'm 21 and my mom still doesn't know my favorite color. They spend all day together and pray and talk, I'm sure they are more spiritually and emotionally connected than most families. A lot of kids these days are raised practically with no parental guidance. They look like a very close and happy family to me!

Anonymous said...

WOW I'm stunned at how mean people can be. If the Duggars haven't shown up at your house asking you to feed, clothe & educate their kids, then it really is nobody's business but their's is it? Last time I checked, this is still America.... home of the free and not a communist country where the government makes those kinds of decisions for their citizens. I never ceased to be amazed at the hypocrisy of the liberal & open minded free thinkers. Seems they're all for open mindedness until someone happens not to agree with their position. Leave them alone for crying out loud. If you can't say something nice, then keep your mouth shut. There's an old saying that goes "if one has not authority or responsibility in a matter, then one really has no business having an opinion"

Justme said...

Wow, this comment log is approaching it's year mark. With impassioned stances on each side. Why are there sides here? Why do people waste so much time thinking of what others are doing "wrong"? Agree or disagree... Fine, but why waste precious time and energy on NEGATIVITY? This goes to show you that people have GOT to have something to talk/gripe about.

For those spouting off big words like they are near perfect demigods who do no wrong, are elite above the masses, and bash for the "carbon footprint".... what are you using to type on? Is a computer REALLY earth-friendly?.... and the power used... are you solely using wind or solar power or another source NOT taking up precious resources to "speak" your mind on this or such other sites? How "true" to your "religion" are you, oh lofty tree hugger?

Sorry, that was a bit rude of me. It irks me though.
I adore this earth. In fact, I wrote a poem about her as a teenager. Do I treat her well... not so much as I should. But people are ridiculous to attack someone's penchant for having children by saying they are more responsible than others for harming the planet. If you are so concerned.... stop taking showers using hot water from a water heater. In fact, stop taking showers! Don't watch TV! Don't spend your time being a "crusader" online! And think of any other luxury you indulge in... where did it come from? A factory that emits carbon? How did it get to you? Did someone bring it to you by foot or horse? Most likely not.

As far as the kids responsibilities. Anyone with more than one kid has the other share in the rearing. A sibling has so much influence on the others, even if they do nothing and interact in no way. That sets an example. And if your kids go off and play outside together, entertaining themselves, that is taking some of the interaction load off of the parent. Ask parents of an only child how demanding they are to be entertained.

And most kids just don't even know what a work ethic is. What it means to be all for one and one for all. These kids are not put upon. No one child is doing ALL of the rearing and housework single-handedly. They all have a place, a piece. They all see their worth as a contributor to their family, then later on, in society.

And one person said they had to take care of their siblings and ended up rebelling because of it. Come on! This is a nation of blame everyone else but me! Let's go to a shrink so he can validate me and ask about my childhood where I will be told it is my parents fault I am the way I am. I grew up in a dysfunctional, yet Christian family. I no longer am religious, just spiritual. I made bad choices. I've suffered much. My parents' mistakes affected me, yes. But ultimately I made my own choices.

It seems to me these kids overall will end up making BETTER choices than the average. Most kids now have TOO much freedom. Today's kids who get to choose how they wear their hair and dress are mostly (not all, but majority I have come across) spoiled rotten brats. They feel a sense of entitlement first at home, then in the world. I have 2 teenage stepsons and 3 younger ones with my husband. I only wish I could say I've done half as well as the Duggers have in raising children. Until a child is, by law, considered mature enough to make decisions, parents have EVERY right to make them for them. A child can then choose to listen or rebel. And then they own their consequences. I don't have to agree with what these people teach their kids to defend their right to teach it.

I, personally, have reached my limit # wise, but how can any individual tell another how many to conceive? Ludicrous! I may not agree w/, say, gay marriage or union, but who am I to tell someone their feelings for a person are wrong? I am not living their life. I don't have to understand to be tolerant and accepting.

As far as time spent w/ each kid.... I have a 20 month old who makes it nearly impossible for me to play games or enjoy the others, my husband, or my own personal time, let alone get any housework done in a timely and orderly fashion. I don't know how people w/ more kids do it. BUT, if it is working for them, if the kids grow up and are happy and tell all that they felt loved, then why is it so bad? You can't say each kid doesn't get what they need. Only each individual child can decide that for themselves. I have 4 sis and 3 bro's (his mine and ours). I was the oldest of 3 after my parents married, w/ older half siblings. I didn't get much individual time only b/c my parents marriage was rocky and they were consumed w/ issues, much like I have been in my own marriage. That and they worked crazy shifts.
Today, I have a great relationship w/ my parents, despite the chaos that once was.

These kids seem genuinely GOOD! I ENVY that! Of all things parents in this world collectively do "wrong".... these parents are so far down the list!!! Why fault them for your misunderstanding? No one, (me included) has all the facts. Until you do, and until you have achieved God-like perfection, judge not.

I realize, as much as I try not to be, I am being judgmental just by posting. I never claimed I don't have a LOOOONG way to go in the sane, together and normal department. I just cannot understand why this, or any subject, can cause people to be so riled up and mean and so far from understanding and supportive.

Oh, and for those so worried about potential government dollars being wasted..... our own politicians that WE vote in office do MUCH more of that, even if these people ever DID need assistance or get tax breaks. AND, TV IS terrible! But that wouldn't stop me from advertising my husband's business on there, potentially making us money.

There is too much nit-picking going on. It's the same bully mentality in school.... you feel bad about yourself so you find fault in others. It's almost like..... The Duggers look so together... so let's all find their problems! And if we can't find any, we'll invent some reason to be offended and complain!!! Because we are better! We make all the correct decisions for our life and our families! We never discipline or teach our kids one thing, then a few years later reassess and see it might not have been the best approach. That's b/c we are saints!

Yeah, yeah. Okay.

Some kids have more choices, more potential time w/ parents, more freedoms, more outside activities.... and they still grow up resenting their parents, or being lazy, miserable and selfish.

If they make money for their family size... more power to 'em! If they coach their kids to be sweeter on camera.... awesome! I wish I could coach my kids on how to behave and they'd listen! My kids don't always listen for two reasons... my parenting inconsistencies/mistakes/disorganization and their individual temperaments. Dugger kids listen for the same two reasons, except take out the in/mistakes/dis. They are raising fantastic kids! You don't have to agree with them to see bright, thoughtful, well-adjusted kids. That's rare anymore.

I may not have the same initiative and belief system, but I admire and respect them.

There are much worse people in this world who do horrific things, evil things. If you want to complain, go rant about that. Child traffickers should top that list. Nothing taints an innocent child like sexual exploitation and abuse. Release the hounds in the right location.

Do YOU do everything right? Would some people have strong words to say about some of the choices you make? Most likely. Do you desire tolerance of your right to choose? It's simple. Golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Live your life the way you deem appropriate and allow others to live theirs and do the same without your contempt. Of course, as long as one's choices don't infringe DIRECTLY upon another's rights, i.e. stealing, murder, obvious stuff like that. Sorry so long. You gotta pick your battles.

micki said...

I think we should see less of these people and the Gosselin family. Society has sunk to a new low watching shows like this for entertainment. These kids are meal tickets. If you want to do that, do it privately. And as far as being pregnant my whole adult life, forget it.

Anonymous said...

yep we've sunk to an all time low when we resort to watching wholesome families on tv... because there are so many other worthwhile things that we are offered. shows that have all kinds of violence, murder, child abductions, filthy language, immorality, promiscuity, cartoons where the characters mock & disrespect everything and everybody & our kids learn to think this is amusing and cool. Shame on TLC for offering us some wholesome choices to view. Heaven save and rescue us from being so foolish as to enjoy seeing how happy people live their lives. OMG!!!! seriously? If it is truly so distasteful to you- DON'T WATCH! You have plenty of other things to choose from for your viewing pleasure.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused at why people get so riled up and upset over other people's choices that don't effect them at all. We are free people in America! We have the right to have our beliefs, have as many children as we want and raise them how we see fit. As long as they aren't being abused and being provided for, they can raise their kids however they like. The have their values and they also seem very accepting of other peoples differences of opinion. We should return that curtacy to them seriously. With all the people out their having kids, not raising them or teaching them and values and not providing for them you choose to ridicule the complete opposite? Just relax and let them live. My older sister helped my mother to take care of me so she could work and keep a roof over our heads. It wasn't the most fun situation at times Im sure but we pitched in and helped eachother because that's what family is for. So what if they have long hair or wear modest clothes that don't show all of their bodies. Really, what is so horrifying about raising your children with beliefs and faith and self-control?

elissssabeth said...

The only thing I am concerned with is that they seem to use disposable diapers. And I am guessing they are not landfilling them on their property...ew.

The girls all sew. They could sew their own cloth diapers. We use cloth diapers in our house...they use modern fabrics, they WORK, and have come a LONG WAY from the tri-fold diaper-pin era.

Anonymous said...

In response to what
Hannah said...
I see from watching the show that the children seem to be like robots. When they were helping build the family home, they kept saying what a great expeirence it was. Like they are in denial.

That's funny. It seemed to me like they had been taught a good bit of self-control and work-ethic.


Not too long after that Josh said he was looking forward to the house being done, so that he could sleep in for the first time since he was 14, and at that time he was 17? That is not fair at all!

Oh, whah, he doesn't get to sleep IN! How ridiculous! Getting up and getting busy is the secret to the Duggar's success!


I don't think they can all be getting the propper education either. It shows them all being home schooled at a table, and all children are reading the same material. How can 16 year olds be relating to 1st grader material? And do you ever notice the mom is never caring for the little ones, it's always the older girls. They're not the ones having all those babies, she should be doing everything. I think this is a cleaned up version of poligomy.

Looks like they may be getting a better education than you did. You misspelled three words and had five grammatical errors.

These kids are getting plenty of attention. Just think, they are the size of the average classroom (if you're lucky) and they get to have their PARENTS for teachers. Can you say you spend as much time with your kids?

Anonymous said...

How weird, I start reading this and "Yours, Mind, and Ours" comes on with Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda. She has a bunch of kids; he has a bunch of kids. They get married and end up with 18. She gets pregnant and have 19. Based on a real family. It's a great movie.

Everyone makes great points: They are loving, they are well-behaved, self-sustaining; they are robots, the kids aren't getting enough individual attention.

My take, they are all these wonderful things and yet something is not "right". I'm bothered by the fact that I cannot embrace these people. When I describe them, they seem wonderful and have the qualities that I find so lacking in this society.

They are like a little "gang". When you have a bunch of siblings, you can block everyone else out. Recall the scene during the wedding series, when they were all eating and shut out (and made fun of), the waiter? He said something to the effect of, "I would like to get on the bus, but looks like I don't fit on the bus." They were not pleasant to him, an outsider, at all. They are insular. They are not inclusive. Perhaps that's what bothers me.

Josh's wedding plans were completely centered around sex. For someone in control there was non-stop talking about hand-holding, kissing, and frankly "doing it". I thought he was going rub the skin of her hand. Married, then straight to the hotel room. Maybe because I'm female, I felt sorry for the girl. He's had no life experience. He's philosophy about giving away his heart, makes no sense. His comments make it seem that he was afraid of his own ability to have self-control. Giving a girl a peck on the lips is a sin? What a load of crap. Are out natural urges (G-d given?) that nasty and disgusting??? The boy, Josh, sounds just like his dad - a fast-talking used car salesman or politician. Scary as all get out.
I've met military people that were bright, and shining, and smiling, and polite. Yes ma'aming me all over the place. Polite as hell. And scary as sh*t.

Anyway, just random thoughts. The bottom-line is, if you believe it, then it's real and true for you. So if they are their beliefs so be it. But when you put yourself in the public eye ('cause they have no reason to other than to pimp their family to make some cash), they are are subject to public criticism; and, no, I won't mind my business. I'll comment all I want, hypocritical or not about public figures. My neighbors? I mind my own business - 'cause they are not pimping themselves on national television.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why celebrities who are on regular television series on all kinds of networks and movie stars who are on the big screen and are splashed all over television for promotional purposes (so that hopefully America will watch their shows and spend their money to see them at the movie theatre) aren't thought to be "pimping" themselves out? Seems like quite a double standard to me. The wonderful thing about living in this country is the freedom to be different. So what. The Duggar's "brand" isn't doesn't appeal to some. What I see are very kind & non-critical people. They seem to be extremely accepting of people who are not like them. I have yet to hear them make a derrogatory remark about others. Maybe we could all learn something from them :-)

Anonymous said...

I've read most of the posted comments in this forum, and I have to agree these are a bunch of wackos.

In the premises of most christian religions, why do you think God gave mankind free will, and won't interfere? So any final decision in any matter is up to man, and man means all humans not just men (the wife also has to say no sometimes).

Bad decisions abound in all human ventures. Don't blame the children for any of the mess as they didn't have a choice, and it is great to see them all well behaved.

But since there are so many, and many are assigned to tend others, the parents can't be addressing emotional needs on a consistent basis. One of two future outcomes will probably become evident;

1. The children will continue to operate as mindless automatons with no critical thinking skill development, and this insanely large religio-family thing will repropogate, or

2. Once the children begin to break away from this nuclear group, will begin to experience what "real life" consists of and obtain some critical life experiences, and hopefully see that large families like this are no longer feasible.

Susan said...

We've already met the Duggar family. We're intimately familiar with Jon and Kate and their brood of eight. Will Nadya Suleman and her 14 kids be the next super-sized family to get a TLC Show?

http://www.google.com/reader/view/feed%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Ffeeds2.feedburner.com%2Fgoogle%2FJGYV?source=email

Anonymous said...

The Duggar parents are glorified (on TLC) for having an exorbitant number of children.

Why should people look up to them for having so many children and why are they being rewarded for it???

All that they’re doing is overpopulating an already overcrowded world with limited resources. By the year 2050, the earth’s population is estimated to reach 9 billion people. That’s almost maximum capacity for this planet and its resources.

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar are so selfish and irresponsible. If they want a lot of children, why don’t they adopt some of the million or so orphans in this country and around the world???? The reason is because Michelle and Jim Bob think that by having so many of their own children, that they’ll get the attention and adoration that they so want.

They call themselves good “Christians”. Shouldn’t good and kind hearted Christians be trying to help others living in this world rather than making carbon copies of themselves???

Desdemona said...

A few things really bother me about the Duggar family aside from the fact that they are an environmental disaster, intent on contributing to the world's burgeoning overpopulation.
Mainly I have a problem with Jim-Bob or whatever his name is. Something about him just doesn't sit right with me. I suspect he is a severely domineering, insecure man with a frail ego who enjoys constantly impregnating his wife & having all those kids because it makes him feel like the Big Man. Michelle seems extremely passive & at times semi-moronic. I don't think she has much say in what goes on with this family or even with her own uterus which is probably about to fall out from having so many VBACS (vaginal birth after c-section).
There was one episode of the show where Jim-Bob mentions the fact that Michelle had (gasp!) "other boyfriends" before he met her.
He seemed genuinely disturbed by this aspect of her life, taking on this somber tone as if she had lived some luridly checkered past with her (gasp!) "boyfriends".
I just read several blogs/discussions about the Duggar family & people always seem to wonder how Jim-Bob will send these kids to college. My question is: why would anyone even assume those kids will even be going to college?? Obviously neither of the parents is open to the idea of taking a job outside the home & the ideal seems to be to arrange/encourage marriage for each kid as soon as he/she reaches legal age. These people exist in a sheltered little microcosm of an existence where 98% of the real world is blocked out, except, I suspect, to Jim-Bob who probably has some kind of covert secret life. I have a gut feeling about that guy, something is not quite right there.

Anonymous said...

If this family had less than 5 kids, we wouldn't be even talking about this. Discovery and TLC wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole, there would be no show.

Family values or not, they got where they were due to their baby making skills, plain and simple. I for one will never watch. If my value as a woman is going to be measured by how many babies I can pop out in the shortest amount of time, then I would rather fade into obscurity, thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

Now that Josh and Anna Dugger have married and shared that first kiss, chances are that the first
dugger grandchild (for Jim Bob and Michelle) will arrive pretty quickly. Let's assume that Josh and Anna show a bit more restraint than his parents, and have only ten children. And let's assume that each of the other 17 siblings (assuming that Michelle closes down the assembly line) also has ten children (after marriage, of course), then that would give Jim Bob and Michelle a total of 180 grandchildren. Then if each of these grandchildren has ten children, Jim Bob and Michelle would have 1800 great-grandchildren, probably during their own lifetimes. Is this a good thing? Are all these children and grandchildren going to show such restraint, or be as frugal as Jim Bob and Michelle? Or will there be a need for reliance on government resources?

Desdemona said...

After doing a bit of research, I now understand why I find these people so disagreeable. Their agenda, even more disturbing than I imagined, is apparently to literally breed as many conservative, right wing, white people as humanly possible.
The Duggars belong to a Christian sect called "the Quiverfull" or the "QF", named for the large quiver-full of children that is the hallmark of the sect's followers. Apparently, one of the QF's main concerns is the falling white birthrate & their master plan is to re-popluate the earth with appropriately white, conservative, right-wing Christians through extreme child-bearing. They believe they are soldiers in a "culture war".

This is how one QF mother describes their agaenda:

"Raising a large family, she replied, was itself her "battle station," as deliberately political an act as canvassing for conservative candidates, not to mention part of a long-term plan to win the culture war 'demographically.' "

I recall Jim-Bob Duggar eluded to having an epiphany on one of the shows. QF followers like to justify their beliefs with claims of angels having appeared before them with clear instructions.

"..when the prospect of tuition for four consumed husband Christopher and their pastor was urging vasectomy, Christopher saw a warrior angel in his dream.
A "large, worrying warrior angel" with a flaming sword that he pointed at Christopher's genitals, telling him, "Do not change God's plan."

Above information taken from this article:
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20061127/joyce

Laurel said...

This is quite an amazing set of comments. I don't quite know where to begin.

I just found this post, because I myself wrote a blog post about the Duggar's yesterday. I am the mother of an extra-large family, so people would assume that we are similar to the Duggars, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

I have never actually watched the show, but have perused their website. So, it was quite interesting to hear the concerns about the older children raising the younger children. This would concern me, also.

I am a Christian.
I am a mother of 13 children.
(3 adopted from Africa)
I am a homeschooling mother.

But ... that is about where our similarities stop.

Our children are all very much individuals ... they each have their own unique style (hair and clothing). I have a son with long hair, tattoos, piercings. Those would not be my choice ... but I love him none the less. All us girls wear jeans. Some have short hair, some have long hair.

My older children are not at home raising the younger children. They have all gotten their AA degrees when they were 18 or 19 and then they have headed out to explore the world. I have a 23 year old daughter living in another state, a 22 year old son living in Amman, Jordan, a 20 year old daughter living in India, and a 20 year old daughter living in Argentina.

Now, you may think that they headed out as fast as they could and as far as they could ... but nothing could be further from the truth. We are a very close family, but we encourage our children to follow their dreams and passions.

We had our first 6 kids in 6 years ... so there weren't any "older kids" to raise them. Now, our eldest 5 are out and about, around the world, and we are raising our next "set" of kids. Our youngest 6 are also in 6 years (3 were adopted), and we are thoroughly enjoying their younger years with them.

I homeschool my children, but each and every one of them is doing completely different curriculums, depending on age and ability. And, my husband is a public school teacher.

Our kids have always been involved outside our house in church, sports, music, drama. Again, we have always encouraged them to pursue their dreams and passions.

Sorry this has gotten long ... but I wanted to share (as I did in my own blog post yesterday) that not all extra-large families are like the Duggars.

We live in a plain old house on a plain old city lot. We have 1 washer and dryer, 2 showers, a regular kitchen.

Oh ... one commenter said that they feed their family for under $2,000 per month. That's crazy! We feed our family (currently we have 10 at home) for under $500 per month. So, the Duggar's really shouldn't be spending more than $1,000 per month, if they were really frugal.

Pop on over to my blog, if you are interested in some real "reality" programming ... a down-to-earth large family that IS living in the year 2009.

Laurel

jeanie mceachern said...

a caveat: that tiresome sesquipedalian gaberlunzie, whom JUST ME's subauditum pejoratives hispidly eschewed, is on-line again.... altho' it is not w/in the bounds of standard blog-protocol, because these remarks and concomitant desultory perpendings have been prompted by the particular blogger whose moniker is 'JUST ME' , my annotative comments are arrowed in her direction.

'JUST ME' is a condign sobriquet for someone who has the sapience, self-prepossession, and humility to acknowledge that her opinings and oppugnings are entirely her own... w/ certitude, my biases are equally tendentious. neither of us is acquainted w/ the other, yet assumptions were made that have inspired this rejoinder, in order to clarify some erroneous pre- and misconceptions..... first, i am 67 years old, a marine invertebrate zoologist, and the mother of 7 children [2 girls, 5 boys] whom my husband, a 69-year old resource economist, and i have raised on a single income, entirely overseas, in the most depauperate and devastated countries on this planet, from west africa, to the caribbean, to the himalayas, to southeast asia, to the middle east, to inuit communities in the arctic, to the far east, to north africa, and the south pacific. in nepal, our children spent hours at their desks completing their homework by candle light because there was no electricity and went days w/out bathing because there was no water. presently, we live in madang, on the north coast of papua new guinea, where we have been employed by WWF WESTERN MELANESIA for a year and a half.

our 7 children range in age from 41 to 19, w/ approximately 1 child erupting from our loins every 3 and a half to 4 years, until caducity shut down our feracity as we approached 50. our only birth-control mechanism was vigorous breast feeding; i breast fed each bantling vegetely, on demand, until s/he was at least 5 years old. we were determined to raise our own children, so when my husband worked on one sector of our environmental contracts, i cared for the bairns; when i was on assignment, my husband and the older children were their caretakers. in order to maintain sufficient lactation levels and preclude child night-fears and cauchemars, we had a family bed wherein we all slept together on floor mats. neither were our children dumped into that heinous gotterdammerung of day care, nor that deleterious diathesis of the TV-ambit [unless they happened to be visiting friends], as there was no television in our house... in fact, i stumbled onto this blog-site via an internet alert on the huffington post... we did supply them w/ an avoirdupois of books, however, which they devoured w/ perfervidity. every time we moved [41 times since 1962; we were in a state of perpetual peripateticism], we defenestrated most of what we had accumulated over the course of our contract to the impecunious locals.... w/ the exception of 4 changes of clothing for each child [primarily hand-me-downs], sleeping bags, the family tent, books, maps, professional reports, dive gear, underwater camera gear, research equipment, zodiac inflatable, essential cooking utensils, toothbrushes, photos, and of course, our kids. they had never been exposed to a shopping mall until they returned to canada or the US to attend university. the mall was ignescently apperceived as a perverse aberration whose encrapulations they repudiated w/ perfuntory dispatch.

after 4+ decades of marriage, my husband and i still own no property, no furniture, no appliances, no assets save our progeny... they, and the local people w/ whom we shared our lives over the years [no, we are NOT missionaries; if labels are needed, we might be defined as atheistic nullifidians endeavouring to be stewards of gaia, the 'living earth'], constitute the only 'home' we have known throughout our 45-year professional purlieux. our children either walked to school, or when we had sufficient income to purchase 2nd-hand bikes, they cycled to the local school. often we have not had a car, but borrowed the project vehicle when we needed to travel further afield. we are vegetarians and as such feel guilty we bring to an abrupt end the lives of such a multifarious plenitude of wondrous, photosynthesizing life forms who are far more deserving of the planet's resources than we 'Homo sapien sapiens' are [yes, taxonomists, using the most neoteric DNA analysis, now classify us as a subspecies of 'Homo sapien']. admittedly, we must board an aircraft to reach our assignment destinations, which amplifies our carbon footprint by several orders of magnitude. and w/ 7 kids, we have been far too philoprogenitive. but we struggle to compensate by minimizing energy consumption, such as diving into the sea to cool off [contrary to your impugnings, 'JUST ME', we do not use AC; it is categorically an eco-unfriendly alternative for achieving algidity]. you will be delighted to know that our energy source here in madang, located at 5-degrees south latitude, is solar-power.

i also console myself that, w/ the exception of our 2 who pursued astronomy and astrophysics, the other denidified altricials labour in environmental research and conservation professions. altho' i struggle to justify having pullulated 7 'issue' [and now 7 grandchildren from the first 3 who are married] and don't deserve exculpation, at least they embrace a minimalist modus vivendi, took care of each other while growing up, honour and respect each other, and persevere as each other's best friends in their adult years. as well, they would put their lives on the line for anyone perceived to be victimized, dispossessed, disenfranchised, dispiteously bullied, or in despair. they have far more humanitarian sensibilities than their father and i ever had, despite the fact that both of us were marinated in christian dogma from infancy: videlicet, they spent summer uni breaks volunteering in palestinian refugee camps in lebanon and jordan; doing rescue work for the red cross and consciousness/awarness raising for the sierra club; instaurating and chairing harvard univ.'s darfur action coalition; delivering clothes, food, blankets and medical supplies to the 84,000 nepali-speaking bhutanese refugees trapped on the border between nepal and sikkim; building bus shelters and digging wells for penurious figians on the island of vanua levu; and growing crops for impoverished villagers in the cloud forests of oaxaca.

and yes, we own a computer, in fact a mac, but you are perhaps not aware that, according to such pre-eminent polymathic scientists as drs. james lovelock [british] and lynn margulis [american], modern laptop computers, along w/ mobile phones [a device i decline to use] are the 'greenest', most efficient, most low-energy devices ever invented... "each exploits the universal tendency of humans to chatter and obliges us to consume hours of the day at minimal energy costs.... small computers of great efficiency are now stealing into our lives to make us spend more time, at minimal energy cost, playing games or surfing the net" [pg. 171, THE REVENGE OF GAIA, by james lovelock, 2006]. these devices are far more energy-efficient and cost-effective than hopping into one's car and popping over to the mall or a chum's house for a tête à tête. and while we are on the subject of energy generation, carbon footprints and carbon sequestration, allow me to edify and elaborate w/ some cratonic nuggets from the wind power section of lovelock's magnum opus; his elucidations should be of interest to you:

"it is sometimes claimed by wind enthusiasts that all our electricity could come from wind; i doubt that many of them have calculated the number of 100-meter, one-megawatt turbines needed. to supply the UK's present electricity needs would require 276,000 wind generators, about 3 per square mile, if national parks, urban, suburban and industrial areas are excluded; also needed would be an efficient way of storing the electricity they produced. but in no way is it efficient and economic; the intermittency of the wind means that, at best, energy is available from wind turbines only 25% of the time. during the remaining 75%, electricity has to be made in standby fossil-fuel power stations; worse still, the power stations have to be kept idling when wind energy is available, an inefficient way for them to operate. the most recent report from germany put wind energy as available only 16% of the time, and in denmark, which has pioneered their development, niels gram of the danish federation of industries said, 'in green terms windmills are a mistake and economically make no sense.... many of us thought wind was the 100% solution for the future, but we were wrong. in fact, taking all energy needs into account it is only a 3% solution.' according to the royal society of engineers 2004 report, onshore european wind energy is 2 and a half times, and offshore wind energy over 3 times, more expensive per kiolwatt hour than gas or nuclear energy. no sensible community would ever support so outrageously expensive and unreliable an energy source were it not that the true costs have been hidden from the public by subsidies and the distortion of market forces through legislation. enthusiasm for renewable energy coupled w/ a politics in which each nation tries to gain brownie points for its diligence in meeting kyoto limits is an unhappy mixture. it will fail and bring discredit both to the greens and to the politicians foolish enough to adopt renewables as a major source of energy before they have been properly developed. wind energy, through crude and unsustainable industrial development, is already devastating some unusually beautiful countryside. that countryside, although already damaged by agribusiness, still has a few areas that are an example of how to live in a decent and seemly way w/ the natural world.... the responsibility for the wrong advice given to the government came from well-meaning city dwellers w/ a romantic, impractical dream of clean renewable energy but no real empathy w/ gaia or the natural world. we might be wiser to seek to use the energy of the ocean in the form of waves and tides." [THE REVENGE OF GAIA, james lovelock, 2006, pgs.106~107].

if you aren't oscitant w/ fatigue and boredom by now, JUST ME, you are more heroic than i imagined. nevertheless, i felt compelled to offer a defence for my position. there is an egregious inequity in the consumption of resources by the US, given americans who constitute 6% of the global population, consume 46% of the planet's natural resources, in order to support a lifestyle and a brobdingnagian military machine that is nothing less than an obscenity relative to how most of the world's populace subsists. i risk a frisson of patronization, but may i suggest you refrain from both presumption and pre-judgement quondam to blogging, unless you've gathered at least minimal evidence from the scientific literature to support your critical declaratives? i sense the duggars do not intuit that if our species does not put a brake on its philoprogenitive predilections, gaia, the living earth, will do it for us in a manner that will be less than edulcorating, perhaps even catastrophic.

PS: since others have personalized the subject of progeny, i'll supply details of ours: the eldest is adjunct professor of chemical limnology and environmental engineering at the univ. of alberta, and technical director of the alberta ministry of environment's northern division. he is married to a québecoise femme [french canadian] he met as an undergrad at the univ. of toronto. they have 3 children... 2 boys and 1 girl; #2 ismarried to a japanese girl whom he met in grad school where, apropos of this hortative, he completed a PhD in alternative energy resources research and development [his dissertation was on solar radiation development in sri lanka, where there has been a brutal, relentless, intractable civil war for more than 2 decades]. he is director of human impact assessment for the alberta ministry of environment and has a 2 and a half-yr old w/ another on the way; #3 is a geographer specializing in sustainable forestry. she and her quebecois partner have 2 children, a girl and a boy. our youngest 4 children are not married to date. as an aside, the language of primary communication for the grandbairns is not english, tho' they do speak it; rather, it is french, japanese and spanish. our #4 'issue' is in law school studying internatl. environ. law. #5 is a soils geologist who works for environment canada. she spends half the year at HQ in ottawa and the other half in the high arctic... each field season at a different in-situ research site at in-extremis latitudes... collecting and analyzing contaminated soils, the provenance of which are lethiferous pollutants that have drifted on polar winds from siberian russia and northern european source-points and have been deposited across the entire extent of the canadian arctic's tundra-scape, from north to south and east to west, to the depredation of arctic wildlife, as well as having deleterious impacts on canada's indigenous inuit population. no. 6 is a teaching fellow at harvard in astronomy & astrophysics and earth and planetary science. no. 7 is completing a GAP year as a student intern at NASA's jet propulsion lab in pasadena at CIT and will matriculate @ uni in sept.

you will be recumbent w/ relief, JUST ME, to know that my ignominious badinage has finally reached its terminus.

Anonymous said...

I have a large family as well (12 children and intend to have more), so I obviously don't have an objection to the actual number of kids, but I don't like the way they're raising them. It bothers me that the children get so much media exposure from such a young age. I would never put my family on TV like that because I know that we are unusual and I wouldn't want people to watch us like we're some kind of freak show. Also, she homeschools her kids which I am against on all fronts. First of all, I think its wrong because the children have such limited interaction with peer groups outside of their own family, and second of all, I think its wrong to homeschool children simply because the public schools don't agree with your religious teachings. I think kids should be exposed to a diverse range of opinions and world views and this doesn't happen in a homeschooling environment. I also think the way their kids date is weird. Their dates all have to be chaparoned and they don't even kiss until they're married. That's freaky. I'd never try to control my children like that. There comes a point where they have to be free to make their own decisions, even if they make bad ones. I've never met the Duggars but I've met other large families and I think a lot of them tend to sort of lump all of the children together without realizing that they are all individuals who have their own interests and personalities and should be free to live their own lives. As far as attention, I don't have trouble finding time to spend with all of my kids one-on-one or in smaller groups. It's totally possible if you just organize your time and plan ahead for everything. That said, even though I think the Duggar family is weird for making documentaries about their kids and all that, I don't think that the government should legislate birthrates under any circumstances. It simply isn't their place. While I am not aware of any direct constitutional protections, there is absolutely nothing in the framework of our government that gives any branch the right to intervene in family planning.
I'd like to add, simply because people tend to assume that we are conservative "quiverfull" Christians, that my husband and I are both atheists and politically we are moderates with a tendency to lean to the left. We are also educated people. I'm a registered nurse (though I no longer work outside the home) and my husband is a philosophy professor. Our decision to have a large family was because we love children, because of a philosophical view we hold on procreation, and simply because we can and we wanted to.

Anonymous said...

Why do people have to judge those different from themselves so harshly? Clearly, they are doing something right. The kids seem very well-adjusted socially, contrary to anti-homeschool assumptions. They are very well-behaved as they have been taught self-control and obey with a joyful heart, not just to avoid consequences. I for one cannot claim to have done anywhere near as well with my two children. I could glean wisdom from this family.

While I don't think God called me to have a large family, I believe He did call this family to do so. They have allowed themselves to be on TV, and that is their decision to make for their family. They seem to doing fine with it. They are touching people's lives in a positive way. Why is that a bad thing?

I for one am truly amazed at their humility, godliness and selflessness. I have nothing but admiration for them. May God continue to bless them and strengthen them.

Anonymous said...

I can't find a decent area to write this comment so will do it here. Why do the Duggars have to go to El Salvador to help the poor and homeless when all they have to do is drive their multi cars/vans/RV to Eastern Kentucky and help those poor people right here at home. They spout how great America is but they do nado to help those at home before going abroad. Charity begins at home.

Ann

Anonymous said...

I come from a large Irish Catholic
family. My parents sent all of us
to catholic grade, and high school
and some of went on to catholic
colleges. All of my siblings are
productive members of society,
2 of us are nurses, 2 school teachers
1 engineer, 1 para legal, 1 telephone
operator, and 1 superintendent, not
bad,my dad was a steel wrker and so
is my brother

younger

Anonymous said...

Just remember, folks, the Duggar family is not responsible to you but to God. At the end, Mr. Duggar will give an account to God how he lead his family. If you ask me,he is doing a great job. By the way, there is nothing wrong with looking and being wholesome.

Anonymous said...

These children are with there mother all day seven days a week. They are home schooled and I feel the love their parents have for them is not spread thin but has been increased many times over.
I do not believe in government regulating how many children we have. I do not care what the naysayers scream. I am not a Christian but I have a profound respect for the Dugger family.

hayley0518@yahoo.com said...

Who are we to Judge them or anyone for that matter? It is they're life and if you dont like it dont watch it simple as that.

Anonymous said...

I think that the Duggar's are a rather interesting family to watch. Especially how there chidren live there lives like frickin robots. Children do not have there own senses of style. I don't even think free thinking is allowed in there household. They suck!

Anonymous said...

Well...I like the Duggars...then I read part of their book. How come their kids are not allowed to "explore" life by attending school, being independent from the family? The book said that Michelle was a cheerleader, she dated around, and she even stole money from a lady's purse while at a public swimming pool...Do they really think that the "bubble" that their kids are in will really make them "Holier than thou??"

Anonymous said...

they're like bunnies!

Anonymous said...

Well, here's my take on this. They do belong to a cult who does believe in populating the country with White people because us nasty non white people might become the majority rather than stay the minority. Personally I think we're all human beings and no one race needs to have more members than the next. However these people are phobic about this and I hear White people constantly worrying about this. I myself am Native American. I bet if we started propagating an ass load of kids these people would probably freak.
Women are not brood mares. We are not baby making machines. We've come a long way from that point and quite frankly these QF people want to put us all back into that situation.
They are indeed having mass amounts of children for this eventual war of "good versus evil". The "good" being people who share this QF mindset and the "evil" being those of us who want nothing to do with their bullshit. Basically they plan on within two generations to have an army of their own to force us into their ways or kill us. So should I mind my own business? Nah, I don't think so.
Of course what a lot of people also don't realize is that Jim Bob wanted to pass a piece of legislation outlawing all contraception because Michelle supposedly miscarried due to using contraception. Now I've never heard of women miscarrying due to using a condom. Have you? Didn't think so.
Why are these people on TV? Especially on a channel that is supposed to be educational? Probably because they want to enforce the idea that what they're doing is perfectly all right and once they have all their little soldiers in place, we'll just have to come around to their point of view?
No, I damn sure will not mind my own business. These people are dangerous.

Anonymous said...

the duggars are a self-aggrandizing, self-serving, self-absorbed, self-perpetuating cult of 'selfish genes' [richard dawkins' patois] whose philoprogenitive copulations have redounded to a pullulating plenitude of uneducated, brain-dead grunt-fodder for their govt's inexorable, unrelenting wars of opportunistic resource extraction from vulnerable, defenceless, depauperate countries across the planet. commensurately, the duggar's selfish genes will be buried in the ignominious sands of US hegemony.