Why Does the World Hate the Duggars?

We don’t watch a lot of TV, but when we do, we tend to go for the less-gossipy, more fun kinds of reality show like Storage Wars or 17 18 19 Oh, I Give UP! Kids and Counting. We haven’t seen very many of the Duggars’ shows, just because Netflix hasn’t made very many of them available, but what we’ve seen is just wonderful. Word on the internet is that they have announced that baby number 20 is on the way! Word on the internet, of course, is a sketchy and frustrating thing, sometimes. A quick Swagbucks search told me everything I need to know about the world’s reaction to the newest blessing. It ain’t pretty.

The Deranged Housewife asked why people hate the Duggars so much. To which I replied:

You won’t hear me say anything negative about the Duggars! Except that maybe I think the bus would look better in bright red. I think the reason the Duggars really tick people off, aside from the joyful and wholesome Christian lifestyle, which is really foreign to most Americans, is that they put the lie to our culture’s myth that children are too expensive, too much trouble, impossible to deal with, etc. People just don’t know how to react to it when their whole narrative goes KABOOM like that. ;-)

Like most hatred, Duggar Derangement Syndrome (henceforth dubbed DDS)  is a completely irrational reaction to something our culture simply doesn’t know how to parse. When a worldview is challenged, the natural reaction, for those who haven’t had much practice in defending their worldview, is anger. How DARE you try to yank the rug from under me that way! I’m enjoying the world the way I see it! It’s the most understandable thing in the world. Wrong. But understandable.

The Duggers expose many lies that our society is literally built on—lies that are really so much sinking sand, and our sinking society is starting to panic.

Lie 1: Kids are a financial liability. I’ve addressed this lie briefly, and Connie, my hero at Smockity Frocks, is taking it on in detail. Check those links for the truth about money and children.

Lie 2: It takes a village. We have been trained by our own experiences with socialized education to believe that children are impossible to handle without the help of professionals. No one family can do it all or pay for it all. In fact, having children in the care of their own parents twenty-four hours a day is the weirdest thing imaginable in our brave new world. And yet, here are the Duggars daring to leave that system we’ve so carefully arranged “for the children” to fend for themselves. Worse, it’s working!

Lie 3: Childhood should be a time of complete carelessness and selfishness. The stupidest objection I hear to the number of children that the Duggars have is that the kids have to help one another because there aren’t enough parents to go around. Usually, the complaint is that the older kids are actually raising the younger ones. In a dysfunctional family, this would be true. I’ve seen it. In a loving family where the parents are in charge, this is really just something that our culture hasn’t witnessed, and thus can’t understand. It’s brothers and sisters loving one another. When I tell my son to hold his sister’s hand in the parking lot, to tie his brother’s shoes, or to fold his father’s laundry, he is not raising anybody. He is helping his fellow man, and learning that he is his brother’s keeper. We’ve been taught in our culture that helping the helpless is the government’s job, so I can see how that might be confusing.

Lie 4: Having babies is too dangerous for the average woman. Having babies is certainly a risk. I don’t  deny that. So is walking on a busy city street or eating pretzels. But the Duggars prove that most of the medical rationale for an otherwise healthy woman not having “too many” children is a convenient excuse for encouraging women to drop out of procreation after the standard two-maybe-three babies. Pregnancy and childbirth are natural processes, but our culture treats them as disease.

Lie 5: It is impossible to raise children morally and in a way that they won’t rebel. I don’t want to tell on my social worker friend too much (about whom I commented more at Our Peaceful Homeschool Zoo), but it is very telling to me that she is now extremely annoyed, not only with the Duggars, but with their oldest son, who has the temerity to agree with them and live his life as they’ve taught him to. In fact, there are whole websites devoted to hoping that one of the daughters in particular will rebel. No one likes to see their own worldview fall apart, but masses of angry people on the internet are certainly hoping that the worldview of the Duggars won’t survive through their progeny!

Lie 6: Christianity is creepy. This is a lie for which we can thank Hollyweird. The only contact most Americans—even many nominal Christians–have with real Christianity anymore is through the media, in which every preacher is a hypocrite or a baby torturer. There are a lot of people who find the Duggars creepy when they start to sing hymns together. But it’s the dissonance of seeing how much they love Christ and how harmless they are that sets people off, not anything actually creepy that is happening. We are pre-programmed to distrust religious sincerity.

Lie 7: Sex and childbearing have nothing to do with one another. There’s just something so uncouth about allowing sex to produce anything but a nice feeling, and maybe a bond between couples, if both of them would like to continue the relationship. What the Duggars, and all reproducing couples do, is allow their love to mean something beyond the use of each other’s bodies. They remind people that the consequences of Godly sexual behavior are blessed, and that fruitless, promiscuous sex is an abomination.

Lie 8: Motherhood is a dead-end job. Another one I’ve covered elsewhere. Suffice it to say that  Michelle Duggar is a paragon of contented motherhood, and it makes “feminists” crazy.

Lie 9: The Big Lie. At the bottom of Duggar-hatred is Christ-hatred. I’m convinced that if the Duggars were raising twenty kids because they think evolutionary processes demand that the fit reproduce, and they deem themselves to be more fit than most (and I’d say they are rather more fit than I am, at least!), there wouldn’t be much outcry, because in all other respects, it’s obvious that they’re doing a fantastic job. It’s the Jesus thing that really kills the world. It has ever been so:

If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.—John 15:18

 

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Stephanie@Bowmania December 7, 2011, 10:59 am

    Great Post! I love the fact that God is blessing them again! :) at times I wish I could have that many! I love that we have a large family of 5 kids!:) Even with just 5 I get questions and you know.. those LOOKS! Sigh! I could go on…. lol.. but I will stop (for now)

    • Heather Coplin December 7, 2011, 6:33 pm

      She should not be having another child because of what happened with the last pregnancy. Her child experienced a life and death situation because the mother had health issues that will most likely repeat with further pregnancies. She is putting the life of the next child in SERIOUS jeopardy and that should not be done and their love for their children should preclude putting future children in such a situation. I had triplets and they were born a few weeks prior to their 19th child being born and mine were 15 weeks early, the experience was terrifying and horrible and I had a tubal ligation and made sure that I will never take a chance of having multiples again (mine were naturally conceived with no drugs or IVF involved and once you have multiples the chance of it happening again goes up). My husband and I are dealing with these special needs children on a daily basis, one of us is always home. We have 7 children total (no we are not christian and ours has nothing to do with religious beliefs) and we care for our children in all ways. So do not take this post as a hatred for anyone or large families or any other reason except I have been where they were two years ago and out of love for my children would NEVER take their life into such a serious risk again. Her decision to take this chance with an innocent life enrages me.

      • Cindy December 7, 2011, 8:01 pm

        So you’re saying that this child shouldn’t allowed to exist because it might die. Stunning logic. Last time I checked, the death rate is 100%, give or take a chariot of fire or two. We’re all definitely going to die. The Duggars choose to give life a chance. You think it’s not worth bothering. That’s sad.

        • sinmantyx December 7, 2011, 8:37 pm

          Cindy. I think she is saying that becoming pregnant when there is a high risk of serious problems with the pregnancy is not a good choice. Calling the poster “sad” for stating this is really horrible. I got to spend several weeks in the NICU. I think what you just said was completely heartless because you’re basically being flippant about real and sustained human suffering. I mean, they don’t always die right away.

          • Cindy December 7, 2011, 8:44 pm

            And they don’t always die! And God has a plan for each of us, even in our suffering. I’m not being flippant. I don’t want to see suffering. Every life has the potential for suffering, and the nihilism of saying “Don’t even try.” is sad. It’s very sad.

          • Nameless Nobody December 7, 2011, 8:53 pm

            .. Her decision to take this chance with an innocent life enrages me.
            .. I mean, they don’t always die right away.

            The options are to either bring a child into the world, or not to bring a child into the world. If you choose to bring a child into the world in a riskier situation, and if the child dies, now or later, that’s still a better shot at life than what they had if she’d chosen not to have another baby.

            It’s her decision. I’m sorry for what happened to Heather, but I don’t think Cindy’s being heartless. I think she’s saying that it’s Michelle’s choice. We don’t have to like it if we disagree, but we don’t have any right to state what she _can’t_ do with her reproductive choices.

            • Cindy December 7, 2011, 9:05 pm

              Thanks, nameless.

      • Cheryl@SomewhatCrunchy
        Twitter: SomewhatCrunchy
        December 7, 2011, 10:18 pm

        I find that point of view very interesting. There are plenty of women who have had horrible experiences, miscarriages, stillborns, NICU babies, tragic injuries, genetic problems and diseases with their first pregnancies and gone on to have healthy children. Being that she has only had one high risk pregnancy I think the odds are in her favor. I think living in fear of what could happen is a prison all its own.

      • Erin December 7, 2011, 11:59 pm

        Pre-eclampsia happens to first time moms and young moms too. Having it once does not increase your risk of having it again. Anyway, the Duggars didn’t create this baby, God did.

        • Rebecca Young December 8, 2011, 2:29 am

          I just have to say a big “AMEN” to that, Erin! God absolutely created this and very baby.

      • Jessica December 8, 2011, 9:00 am

        Did you know that the same health problem she had, and that you say will repeat, she had with her 2nd pregnancy and didn’t have it again until 19?

      • ccjohn146 December 8, 2011, 9:40 am

        I think making a judgement on someone else’s lifestyle of decisions to have children is ridiculous, based upon your own personal experiences. Every woman’s body is different. Each pregnancy is different. If I had headed your warnings based upon your fear, I would have one child. My first pregnancy became very complicated after the 4th month. I was on bedrest for months and my child was born prematurely with some congenital defects and we were told he might not make it thru the night. However, it was a chance thing that happened to him and if I lived in fear, I would have stopped at having just him. But instead, the Lord has blessed us with 5 other children. All pregnancies were textbook perfect, and all are healthy. Shame on you for trying to instill fear on those with problem pregnancies or “less than perfect” children.

  • Smockity Frocks
    Twitter: SmockityFrocks
    December 7, 2011, 11:01 am

    LOVE this post! I too am flummoxed when I see the rabid hatred for the Duggars. I always think, “If you don’t think having 20 children is a good idea, then BY ALL MEANS don’t do it!!!”

    I think you are right about a contempt for Christianity.

    (By the way, I have a whole thread on the Duggar hate site you mentioned. I KNOW. It’s like I’m famous!)

    • Cindy December 7, 2011, 11:08 am

      You’re a rock star! I will know I’ve arrived when I have, not only trolls, but off-site trolls!

  • Gail @ The Imperfect Housewife December 7, 2011, 11:06 am

    I love this! We have just recently borrowed the first 2 seasons from a friend. I find them fascinating! I love how the older children ENJOY helping the younger ones. They enjoy the buddy system. What better way to help raise up daughters to be wives and mothers than in your own home? We also have 5 children, and all the time get “Are they all yours?” It is said that in our society it would be more acceptable to hear “These are his, these are mine, and this one is ours” than the real answer of “Yes!” Thank you for dispelling the lies of the world about children!

  • Ashley Cozzens
    Twitter: oliveonandon
    December 7, 2011, 11:07 am

    You took the words right out of my mouth. Actually, your words are probably much better.
    It always amazes me that people can be so hateful towards a family that is probably as un-offensive as you could find, and then will fall all over themselves to support the “cultural” or “traditional” choices made by families with some other type of religion or worldview.

  • Sheila Wray Gregoire
    Twitter: sheilagregoire
    December 7, 2011, 11:12 am

    Great post, Cindy! One particular thing that really stood out to me (it all was good, but this hit home) was the idea that children are a financial liability. That is so true. I remember how CHEAP my babies were. But then, I shopped at thrift stores, bought everything second hand, gladly accepted hand me downs, used cloth diapers, and cooked baby food from scratch. The babies weren’t much money at all.

    If you expect to buy all new clothes, have each child in his or her own room, have each child in hockey and/or skating, then, yes, they’re expensive. But no one HAS to live that way. It’s all choices, isn’t it?

    And I do find it sad that people are rooting for one to rebel….

    Sheila from To Love, Honor and Vacuum!

    • Lori Falce December 7, 2011, 7:37 pm

      Yes…tragic for a parent to want to nurture a child’s interests instead of making them indentured servants subject to the whims of their parents’ sex life.

      • Cindy December 7, 2011, 7:50 pm

        Sex life? So older children are harmed by having younger siblings. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. And you don’t mean “nurture a child’s interests”. The Duggars do that. What you mean is “raise self-interested brats” which is what our culture excels at. It’s telling that you think parents’ sex lives affect their children negatively by merely producing them.

        • Lori Falce December 7, 2011, 8:23 pm

          You’re ridiculously hostile.

          I don’t think there is anything wrong with encouraging a kid’s interests in hockey or skating or any other classes they might take. My niece takes eleven different dance classes, and she is the least selfish child I know. And no, older children aren’t harmed by having younger siblings, per se. But they also aren’t automatically the better for it.

          And exactly what is “telling” and what is it telling you? I think it’s responsible as a parent to budget your time as well as your money, and not to demand that your children pick up the tab for your decisions.

          • Cindy December 7, 2011, 8:47 pm

            I’ve never seen any evidence that the Duggars do anything but raise their children well! I don’t see any harm in dance classes. I also don’t see any harm in doing each other’s laundry or participating in the family’s daily chores, which is all those children are doing. It’s not “picking up my tab” when I ask my older kids to take care of their younger ones. Or my younger ones to serve the rest of the family. We all work together to make this family run. That’s not “picking up the tab”. It’s living. You don’t like it, don’t choose it, but the Duggars serve their children and teach them well. BTW, that was hostile, and I’m sorry. I’m very tired tonight. Not that that’s an excuse.

          • republican mother December 8, 2011, 9:07 am

            In the 6,000 years of recorded history, only in the last few decades have such luxuries been in the reach of average people. George Washington did not play little league, instead he started his surveying career at 14. John Quincy Adams was an assistant envoy to Russia at the same age. The point is all these lessons and “extras” don’t do as much to develop character than being part of a family. When you’re family is larger, there is a place for everyone to help, and the ties that bind become closer. This is God’s plan for the family, not for kids to sit on their butts and be waited upon and catered to their fancy or interest.
            In my observation, the classes these kids get put into are usually the parents ideas and are doing some vicarious living themselves. This is not always the case as some kids have a real talent that needs nurturing. But you know what? GOD will make the way for them to develop that talent that HE gave them.
            Benjamin Franklin was the baby in a family of 16, and he got his start with his older siblings help.

          • Hannah December 8, 2011, 10:34 am

            I grew up with four siblings (my parents wanted more, but God said 5 was enough) and I was devastated when my mom got rid of the baby stuff. I would’ve loved to have more siblings. Being the second oldest, I helped with my younger siblings a lot and I think I am a much better person for it. No, we didn’t have money to take a lot of dance classes or whatever, but we had four wonderful siblings who we loved. I loved being able to help care for my younger siblings and it taught me to be a more caring, loving, nurturing person.

    • SleeplessinSummerville December 8, 2011, 9:47 am

      Actually, children CAN cost quite a bit of money without their parents making that choice. My son has acid reflux and is intolerant to dairy and soy (and all of this still, at age two). Believe me, I didn’t choose to have an expensive kid! My only point is that sometimes children are very costly, both in money and to their parents’ emotional health. I wish I thought I could afford (in both senses) to have a bunch of kids, but I doubt I’ll risk having more than two.
      I’m glad you found your children didn’t cost that much and I agree with the overall point you are making here, it just bothers me that there is this idea that if my child is costly it must somehow be my fault.

  • Heather @ Planner for Moms
    Twitter: hbixler03
    December 7, 2011, 11:14 am

    There is SO much truth to this post. We don’t have cable but I have watched the Duggars on Netflix too and I just love them! I jus love how Michelle has totally submitted her life to the Lord and truly delights in HIM!

    It makes me angry to see so many people turn around and criticize them. Thank you for your post it really does expose the lies we are believing. :)

  • Mary December 7, 2011, 11:14 am

    I love this post! I hear people raging about their carbon footprint and saying “shame on them for having so many children.” Duggar hatred perplexes me. Your list is awesome!

  • KellyH December 7, 2011, 11:16 am

    I have never watched the Duggar’s, so can’t really comment about that. If they are following what they prayerfully believe to be the Lord’s direction, then who am I to argue? I think you hit the nail on the head in Lie #8

    Lie 8: The Big Lie. At the bottom of Duggar-hatred is Christ-hatred.

    I think this is true of the Duggar’s, but also of Tim Tebow, the quarterback of the Denver Broncos. He is currently the most hated man in football I think. I think most of it boils down to his vocal Christianity.

    KellyH

    • Cindy December 7, 2011, 11:30 am

      Definitely true of Tebow, too! I don’t know a thing about football, but I know anti-Christ when I see him, and he is in the hearts of everyone who mocks that young man.

  • The Husband December 7, 2011, 11:16 am

    HOW DARE those weirdos so perfectly illustrate the difference between my hedonistic self oriented culture and theirs, thus forcing me to spend even a microsecond questioning the shaky foundations of my own beliefs?

    No, unless their show depicts them as over-controlling hypocritical monsters, change the station to some low comedy sitcom that belittles the family by depicting it as stupid, dysfunctional, and oversexed. Thanks.

  • Michelle December 7, 2011, 11:24 am

    I love this article and totally agree with you. It is such a travesty that people are actually cheering for the children to rebel. Rebel against what? Morals? Chastity? Hard Work? Love? Community? Being nice to your siblings?

    I just finished reading their new book and was so amazed by how they raised their children. If more people raised their children to not only respect God, but to respect each other what would our world look like?

  • Mary Jo December 7, 2011, 11:34 am

    Great post, as usual!

    The main reason I watch the Duggar is because I keep hoping that Michelle’s sweetness will magically jump out of the TV and cling to me. I guess it doesn’t work like that, but you can’t blame me for trying!!!

    *For the record, my physician would agree that I totally and completely test NEGATIVE for DDS. =D

  • A C December 7, 2011, 12:10 pm

    Great points!

    To me, the Duggars represent a normal – and very fruitful – family, in a world that has forgotten and rejected what normal looks like.

    We just can’t accept anything other than a self-gratifying, politically-correct, dumbed-down, look-like-your-neighbors kind of life.

  • Nicole Kirksey
    Twitter: CoachNicole
    December 7, 2011, 12:17 pm

    What a great post! I never thought of DDS that way.

    I don’t watch the Duggars a lot at all, and when I do, I’m amazed at how extremely organized they are. With one husband and one child, my environs are largely chaotic–or at least a bit, uh, off-center. :-) It’s inspiring to see what can be accomplished when one puts her mind to it.

    I’m off to clean!

  • Kathryn Lang December 7, 2011, 12:18 pm

    I LOVE this post! And I think you nailed it with Lie #8. I have also see it with the rise of Tim Tebow. When people are saying what they believe and following up those words with actions, the world does not have a clue what to do.

  • Lorrie McD. December 7, 2011, 12:35 pm

    I don’t hate the Duggars. They are to be commended and are an example to model ourselves after.
    I just have a general dislike for all shows trailing around after people!

    • Gidget
      Twitter: HSingunscripted
      December 7, 2011, 12:54 pm

      I agree with you most of the time, Lorrie – but, in the case of the Duggar’s, I’m actually grateful because they are such an encouragement to me :)

    • Cindy December 7, 2011, 1:13 pm

      I don’t usually like “reality” shows, but the Duggars have kept it real, without letting it become really invasive. They know the world is going to edit it the way they see fit, and they seem to have taken steps to keep the children’s privacy intact. I’m glad they’re out there showing the world what a blessing children are!

  • Katie December 7, 2011, 12:50 pm

    Love, love, LOVE this post! So many valid points! There is so much nasty directed at the Duggars, and other families who call themselves “Quiverfulls.” So, my quiver was full at 2, lol. Doesn’t mean that I have to spew meanness and rage at families like the Duggars. I think if society has to have indignant rage, direct it at the teenage girl who gave birth in a bathroom stall and left the baby there. At the mom who “forgot” her child was in the backseat of the car in the 100+ degree heat. At the boyfriend that slammed an infant into a wall because they wouldn’t stop crying and interrupting his VIDEO GAME. Don’t spew at the family who seems to be raising intelligent, moral, and more importantly HAPPY children, and are doing so debt free and without the assistance of the society that’s spewing at them. :)

    Okey dokey. Stepping down from my soapbox now. :D

    I will say that I agree with a previous comment about a dislike for shows like that in general…it *is* weird to me to imagine a TV crew trailing around our every move. But I have seen interaction between the family and that crew on occasion, and it seems like both groups (the family and the crew) treat one another as friends…almost like part of the family. I would suppose that might make it easier, lol.

    Again, really enjoyed this post, and all of the comments!

    Katie
    Homeschooling mom of two boys that’s ecstatic to have found my budding writer an online writing tutor! that’s not ME! :)

  • Gidget
    Twitter: HSingunscripted
    December 7, 2011, 12:57 pm

    Great post, Cindy! And, you may have a first here: a story about the Duggars that doesn’t have the comments section full of vile comments :)

    • Cindy December 7, 2011, 1:11 pm

      Give ‘em time. They’ll be around. My spam filter is set to catch all the dirty words like ‘fundie’ and ‘breeder’, so it’s possible they’ve already tried. ;-)

  • Kimberly@APeacefulNookInOurHomeschoolZoo
    Twitter: Homeschool_zoo
    December 7, 2011, 12:59 pm

    Well said, Cindy! The rabid hatred in the anti- Duggar camp has always rather perplexed me. Those whose idealogical leanings include banging the drumbeat for tolerance of differing beliefs and cultures, sure appear to be mighty intolerant if those beliefs and cultures happen to be originating from a conservative Christian point of view! The hypocrisy and the blind mean spiritedness might be amusing, if it weren’t so very sad.

    I’d throw my lot in with the Duggars…any day of the week.

  • Katrina December 7, 2011, 1:06 pm

    Great post! And so true. I am just so confused when people show such a hatred for them. They are such a great family, and a great example of what a family was meant to be like. They are an inspiration for me! (Though I would never have 20 kids!)

    I love them, and am happy for them that God has obviously blessed them so much.

  • Veronica @ A Quiet Heart
    Twitter: AQuietHeart
    December 7, 2011, 2:45 pm

    Loved (and agree with!) the whole post…but this line had to be my favorite: “Having babies is certainly a risk. I don’t deny that. So is walking on a busy city street or eating pretzels.” Classic! :)

  • Erin L. December 7, 2011, 2:48 pm

    I loved what you had to say and wished that people would just quit being so judgmental.

  • Sonita Lewis
    Twitter: therubynotebook
    December 7, 2011, 3:09 pm

    Like :) Very Much.

  • Donetta
    Twitter: donettadalman
    December 7, 2011, 3:24 pm

    Brilliant!! Love every word of this!! The thing is – just because “I” don’t necessarily want to have 20 children of my own doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with it or that they’re freaks for doing so! They are doing a great job with their family and I think it’s fantastic!! I agree with you that it’s more about the values they have than anything as far as the naysayers are concerned. Homeschoolers and Jesus freaks don’t make do many people happy. ;) I know I’m proud to be both though!! (Just with a smaller family. lol.)

  • Kimberly @ Adventures in Mothering
    Twitter: KimberlyEddy
    December 7, 2011, 3:26 pm

    I love this post. LOVE IT. I can’t agree more. I think the only one that I am a little concerned with is how much work the older kids do but I agree children should work and not just lall around…and the Duggars do seem to have that in good balance. I think what makes things work well for the Duggars too is how involved dad is, which I think is awesome.

    • Erika December 8, 2011, 10:47 am

      Heaven forbid that the kids should actually do a little work. It’s so foreign in this day when kids are raised to be selfish, self-centered lazy brats who grow up to be selfish, self-centered lazy adults who think the world owes them something. I enjoy watching how the Duggar kids get along with each other and are truly friends. It all starts with two parents who are committed to each other and to the Lord who gave them these children. I only hope that I can be as dedicated a mother to my one blessing as Michelle is to her 20.

  • KML
    Twitter: lessonsfromivy
    December 7, 2011, 4:05 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post, and it is so true.

  • Hannah December 7, 2011, 4:10 pm

    I am the second oldest (oldest girl) in a family of ten children. I have 8 children of my own, plus I have miscarried 5 since the 8 I have. I want another baby so badly, but for some reason I keep miscarrying now. Big families are great, I believe they are how Yahweh intended it to be. I do as much myself as I can, cloth diapers to making my own baby food. My youngest is 6 and my oldest is 25. If the gov’t would stay out of my business I’d be homeschooling right now too, but someone called and lied about us so they made us put them in pagan, oops I mean public school. I admire the Duggars and think everyone that puts them down is either jealous or immersed in the world and it’s Babylonian ways that they can’t comprehend any other way than the pagan way to raise a child. I agree with ALL the points you raised in your article. We are teaching our children hebrew, so they will be able to read the old testament for themselves, after that we will teach them greek so they can read the new testament also. Kudo’s to the Duggars and you too Cindy!!

  • Mary
    Twitter: marymakesmusic
    December 7, 2011, 4:48 pm

    Thank you for having the courage to write this post. I shared it on my Facebook wall. Why is it so easy for people to pick apart the Duggar’s lifestyle? I don’t know. Great article!

  • ELuzader December 7, 2011, 5:19 pm

    I have watched the Duggars show a few times, and the only way they can manage their children is the oldest ones do not have a life. The oldest girls watch the younger ones, and the baby sometimes. They do the cooking, laundry and grocery shopping. I’ve seen them home school the younger ones. There is nothing wrong with the older girls helping out around the house, but from the show I watched they did everything, and it was in every show. So I quit watching. Michelle can’t be in the best of health during her pregnancy since she was so sick with little Josie, and almost died.

    • The Husband December 7, 2011, 6:48 pm

      .. the only way they can manage their children is the oldest ones do not have a life.

      Really? If I have to help take care of my siblings, I have no life? Or do you mean, “I have a life which is not completely and totally centered around myself”?

      Their oldest kids have lives. They have friends, and they go out and see them; maybe you quit watching and missed that.

      To misquote The Princess Bride, “Life is work. Anyone who tells you differently is trying to sell you something.”

      Bravo to Michell Duggar for teaching that to her kids.

    • Sonita Lewis
      Twitter: therubynotebook
      December 7, 2011, 10:08 pm

      I only have 2 children, both boys, and they both have to help with cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. It’s called teaching them responsibility. Sad it’s such a foreign concept to so many that they take offense to it when they see it!

  • Kristi Gallant December 7, 2011, 6:14 pm

    I am so thankful that the Duggars have put themselves out there for the world to see that YES Jesus is still in the world and that He hasn’t gone anywhere!!!!! What a blessing they are to my life and my children’s lives. I am a home school Mom of seven, with my eight due in January 2012. We love to read about the Duggars on the web ( we don’t have t.v.) and how they encourage my children to be steadfast in all situations that our Lord God puts in front of us. Thank You Duggars for your unfailing Love shown through your family :) May God bless you and Keep You! May his light shine upon you!!! Well said Ms. Cindy :)

  • Angie December 7, 2011, 7:11 pm

    As a non-christian feminist… I must say that I love the Duggars. So don’t judge us all :)

    • Rebecca December 8, 2011, 12:36 pm

      :D

  • Ashley December 7, 2011, 11:26 pm

    I love the Duggars! I hope that someday I can meet them and learn all I can from Michelle. There’s not much else to say that hasn’t already been said, except for one thing…

    It bugs me that people are giving Michelle such a hard time about being pregnant again. They say that her problems with the previous pregnancy should have made her not try for anymore. I can’t remember if it was the Duggar’s website, or an interview, but I read in more than one place that Michelle has had preeclampsia with something like four or five of the pregnancies, and they were all spaced out. She had a few without, then one with, then a couple more without, then one with. Just imagine, if she had stopped after the first pregnancy with preeclampsia. How sad would that be??? Also, it’s not like she “chose” to have another one. It’s not like they planned it. She said recently that she thought she might have reached the end of her child brearing years because it was a “long” time between Josie’s birth and this pregnancy (I put long in quotes because it was long for them, but most people would say that they’re insanely close). Michelle and Jim Bob made the decision to trust God with their family, to leave the number of children up to Him. They are doing God’s will by having all these children and raising them up. He won’t give them more than they can handle. Wow, they sure can handle a lot!!

  • Mrs P December 8, 2011, 12:35 am

    Mrs Duggar has only had Pre-eclampsia two times. Once with her first set of twins (2nd and 3rd children) and then with Josie(#19).

    Her pre-e with Josie was caused b/c of her gall stones. She has since had her gall bladder removed, lost quite a bit of weight, changed her diet and begun exercising an hour a day 6 days a week. Her high risk pregnancy doctor told her she was healthy enough to have another baby.

    And above ALL THAT, the Author of Life deemed her young enough, and fit enough, apparently, b/c He blessed her with another precious baby. Praise GOD!

    Mrs P

  • Thomas Kuhns December 8, 2011, 12:39 am

    99.9% of the people here on Earth take more then they leave. Why should I embrace a family who has increased their earthly burden 10 fold to my children’s generation?

    • Amy Riley December 8, 2011, 2:57 am

      Because they’re going to be the ones who pay your social security!

      • jeanine feldkamp December 8, 2011, 9:21 am

        amen to that amy!!

  • Elisabeth December 8, 2011, 9:08 am

    Love the Duggars; love the post; #9 The Big Lie is spot-on; that Daily Mugshot thing is distracting, cute, and real.

  • Ruth Adams December 8, 2011, 9:18 am

    I loved your points in this post. I also wanted to add that Michelle did have a surgery after the last baby. The doctor told her if she ever was to consider another pregnancy she must have surgery. I think that was a very responsible decision on her part, and I admire her strong faith in the Lord. The Duggars have been a HUGE inspiration and encouragement to me and to my children. Not just in having many children but also in the way they honor the Lord in so many areas of life. They are some of the most gracious people I have ever seen. I am constantly awed at how kindly they speak to those who oppose them. Thanks for standing up for them. :)

  • Tina December 8, 2011, 9:19 am

    I absolutely LOVE the Duggars. They are a godly family. They are unashamed. God has given them a powerful platform to share their faith. The world doesn’t like it. I think that is to be expected. What’s sad is when believers criticize them. I think their way of living is a threat to Christians who’ve not taken the time to know their stand on some nonessentials of a Christian lifestyle such as birth control, modesty, homeschooling, courtship, etc. Ya know, it’s ok to disagree with them on some of these things. They aren’t salvific! However, to “hate” the Duggars because they have strong convictions is just wrong and immature. I am not a Gothardite. My girls love to dance. We don’t homechurch. I don’t want to be like them in every way. However, I so appreciate their witness, their love for one another and their love for Jesus. Do I disagree with them about some of their choices? Yes, but they are awesome. Their show is wholesome and edifying. I love it. Oh, and I know of that website you are referring to. It is pathetic.

  • Mother Hen December 8, 2011, 9:26 am

    Great post!

    I am not Christian… but I am certainly no Duggar-hater either. I am well educated, raised upper-middle class, have lived on three continents, and love the idea of large families. I find myself Googling their family time and time again for encouragement and ideas. The only thing, I have to say, that I’ve heard (and this might very well be rumor) that bothers me is that Michelle stops breastfeeding the children at what I consider too young at of an age so she can get pregnant again. I have no problem with having children close together and my oldest two are only 14 months apart, but I hate to see a woman stop nursing just to do so. In this age of advanced nutrition, some women get their fertility back early while breastfeeding and some don’t… What’s your opinion on this?

    • Cindy December 8, 2011, 10:25 am

      Honestly, if it were me, I wouldn’t stop breastfeeding early on purpose. I don’t know everything about the Duggars, though the comments here are giving me a good education quickly!

      If Michelle is like me, her fertility returns within a few months regardless of breastfeeding. My last 3 self-weaned because there was no milk left after I got pregnant. I’ve nursed as long as they wanted to, though, and don’t introduce solids until at least 6 months. My oldest nursed for 26 months, then they went 12 months, 11 months, and 14 months, respectively. I think extended breastfeeding makes for good, healthy child spacing, since your body gets to send the signals for how much life it can support. That’s probably the one criticism I would have of the Duggars, but it is their choice.

  • Lisa in TX December 8, 2011, 9:28 am

    Great post. Duggars aside, this is an accurate commentary on society’s lack of common sense. I was especially struck by #7. To the world, sex is just about the physical pleasure. We are having to discuss this with our oldest son, who has been exposed to pornography. When we don’t bring God into the bedroom, we allow Satan to dumb us down to our baser instincts.

    Also, there is life after a preemie/special needs child. I have 6 children. Two normal births, two miscarriages, my precious preemie who is now 6, and a perfectly normal two year old. People tell me what a blessing I am for taking care of a special needs child, but I am the one who is blessed to have him in my life. It breaks my heart that people think it is a curse to have to care for someone, especially a child, with disabilities. Second to Christ dying for my sins, my children are the greatest of gifts.

    • Cindy December 8, 2011, 10:20 am

      God bless you! I’ve often wondered how I’d respond to people if I had a special needs child this late in the game. They seem to think that subsequent children are somehow less necessary than the first and second ones, and not worthy of the same amount of love and material attention. Every one of my children has a purpose in God’s plan and a precious, irreplaceable role in our family. What a shame that people would lament their very existence, just because they deem some lives too hard to be worth the effort. How far our society has fallen, to view people that way.

  • Sew Determined December 8, 2011, 9:30 am

    Excellent post and very well said. Thanks for sharing! I have 4 kids and I get the looks and even people coming up to me in the store and asking me if they are “all” mine. These are the same people who espouse how it’s mean to have more than 1 or 2 self centered children, but will come up to me or others with large families and say hurtful things in front of my children! My oldest once asked me when he was 5 if he was a burden! Why? Because he heard cruel people asking me that in front of him. I admire the Duggars and I pray for the sweet, gentle spirit Michelle has. She’s a a wonderful example of God’s grace. Again, thanks for the brave and thought provoking post.

    • Cindy December 8, 2011, 10:14 am

      I’m not sure I’d have written the post if I’d known I was being brave! LOL. Thanks for your comment. I hope my kids never get the idea that they’re a burden. They’re certainly not!

  • Mindy December 8, 2011, 9:31 am

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
    For your blog, that is.
    Christ-hatred is, in fact, at the center of the whole thing no matter what anyone may say.
    From a 100% happy, content, God-fearing, Christ-loving mother of 10.

  • Abiga/Karen December 8, 2011, 9:33 am

    I had 5 children,1 in heaven because of ectopic pregnancy. This made it difficult to get pregnant but I did 4 times anyway. Praise God. My son has 3, my daughter has 7 , and youngest daughter 1, younger son none yet. Eleven grandies and counting, wonderful. And I choose to help out instead of having a career too and love it. My daughter and her hubby with seven are leaving it up to God for more also. We watch the Duggars and love the show.

  • Debbie December 8, 2011, 9:39 am

    Cindy,
    First of all – thanks for this post! Second – I love the way you actually comment within the comments. As a blogger, I always respond to my comments too.
    You have made so many great points here. I think the bottom line is – selfishness. To have 20 kids is NOT selfish. It does NOT fit in to the way our society likes to put themselves first.
    It creates a household where everyone has to help out and maybe give up of themselves for the younger. This is something that the average person cannot fathom! It also has to do with actually letting GOD be in control, which Christians have a hard time with, as much as non-Christians. When we allow God to be in control of our families, that might mean we sacrifice toys, vacations, hobbies, etc. to raise one more child.
    I think what also irks people is that they really can’t find any major flaws with this family. They’re not crazy, they don’t beat their kids or make them sleep in the basement. Their kids act better than some 2-child households! The Duggars are successful parents and the inept can’t handle it!
    Thanks for writing this and keep the comments coming:)

    • Cindy December 8, 2011, 10:05 am

      What’s the use of comments if you don’t converse, right? Thanks for hanging out with me!

      It is funny to me that people think it’s “indentured servitude” to have children work to care for themselves and others. As if doing their own laundry was a reasonable task, but doing a load for a younger sibling is somehow breaking child labor laws. That’s insane, but it’s what you get when you raise two generations of children isolated from any real responsibility before the age of 18 (or worse).

      No wonder no one thinks it’s their responsibility to care for his neighbor anymore. We don’t even think we should have to work for our families! Instead of filling needs around us, Americans call the government, as I’ve told here in a post I’m fond of: http://getalonghome.com/2010/01/three-stories-and-a-rant-part-1/

  • ApeMan1976 December 8, 2011, 9:48 am

    You know, you don’t actually have to read people’s negativity about your favorite shows. You can just watch the shows and enjoy them and not really worry about whether other people like them.

    Sometimes you’ll meet bullies who will intentionally make fun of your favorite shows to try to hurt your feelings or goad you into retaliating. Of course, if you’re arguing with those people you’re giving them what they want.

    The Duggars are a family many people enjoy watching on a television reality program. Other people don’t enjoy watching them and will give any number of reasons for this preference. This has nothing whatsoever to do with any of those people’s relationship with God. God doesn’t have a Nielsen box. He is unconcerned with such things.

    • Cindy December 8, 2011, 10:16 am

      God is certainly unconcerned with the Nielsen ratings! LOL. He isn’t unconcerned with the hatred people show for the Duggars, though, and it’s not just about a television show. The Duggars are front-and-center with a deeply Christian message. That kinda *makes* it about God!

      • ApeMan1976 December 8, 2011, 11:47 pm

        “The Duggars are front-and-center with a deeply Christian message. That kinda *makes* it about God!”

        How so?

  • Cheri December 8, 2011, 9:54 am

    In all honesty, I don’t dislike the Duggars because of any of those things. I dislike them, first and foremost, because they use the Pearl’s “training” (abuse) techniques. It isn’t advertised on the show, but some quick Googling will bring you plenty of information that the Duggars themselves used to be very proud to share, before their fame, of course.

  • Mary December 8, 2011, 9:59 am

    This attitude that the Duggars attract is so much like the Tim Tebow hatred. Good people, making their own way, not asking anything from anyone, taking responsibility for themselves, showing joy while they do it and thanking God for the opportunity…how dare they!

    The fence has very little room on it anymore. We are either Christ followers or we detest those who are. I cringe at the audible crushing of our values from those who deem it invaluable, but I rejoice at the distinction of light against the darkness.

    Thank you for this well worded post, I love your spunk! :)

  • SleeplessinSummerville December 8, 2011, 10:04 am

    I can’t claim to know that much about the Duggars or the Duggar-hate because I’ve never watched the show (it’s not animated or translated from Japanese after all). But I think you made a wonderful point about how so many people are not able to accept that someone else may do it differently from the way that they do and that that might actually be OK. And don’t get me started on all the ways that people seem to think that problem teenagers are caused by anything other than problem parents…
    I am a Christian and I don’t believe that they are telling me I’m wrong for living my life the way that I do. Why should I criticize them for putting their faith into action in a way that looks different from how I do the same thing?

  • Busy mom of 7 December 8, 2011, 10:05 am

    Here is my two cents worth. First, as christians, we either trust God fully or we don’t trust Him enough. Who created these 20 beautiful children? GOD! And He is in control and He knows exactly how this will all work out and it WILL be for their good. I have 7 kids and I pray daily that God will give me a ” Michelle Duggar” type peace and grace when raising my children. I have never met a mom of even 1, who can so graciously discipline, love, and educate her children, and keep on smiling. Secondly, I believe the negativity comes from a critical and judgemental spirit that refuses to acknowledge that the Duggars are doing better at raising 20 kids than most folks can manage to do with the average 1.5 kids. Their children are polite,happy, kind hearted, giving children, who clearly love being part of a family that is about more than just themselves. If more people could raise kids with this type attitude, the juvenile court system might not be overwhelmed and we might have responsible young adults who take pride in their ability to be a productive member of society and less who feel the right to “occupy” Wall Street.
    Just my opinion. I sure pray that God helps my husband and I raise 7 as wonderfully as the Duggars have raised 19.We should be applauding this family for their contribution to a more moral America. They have 20 kids who will positively impact this world. How many of us can say that?

  • Sharla Orren December 8, 2011, 10:09 am

    Lie #3 is my favorite!!!! Even though I only have 2 children I have them help each other out and care for each other all the time!!!

  • Heather December 8, 2011, 10:23 am

    I’m not Christian but I love every.single.thing. about the Duggars. I love the way they are completely in love with each other, their family, and their God. I am inspired by the way they live their lives, peacefully, debt-free, and productive. I don’t care how many children they have, what their religion is, or how they make their money. They are good people.

  • Aislynn Holt
    Twitter: acholt21
    December 8, 2011, 10:24 am

    THANK YOU!!!! I love this post my personal favorite: “The stupidest objection I hear to the number of children that the Duggars have is that the kids have to help one another because there aren’t enough parents to go around. Usually, the complaint is that the older kids are actually raising the younger ones…” Your response to that is so spot on. My older son loves helping his brother. I also think that people that complain about this don’t really watch the show. If you watch it the producers ask the kids questions like why they dress in skirts, are they forced, do they HAVE to help with the youngers, etc. I think it blows peoples’ minds that they actually CHOOSE to do it! They want to wear skirts, they aren’t forced to. They want to help their mother, they want to help their siblings. It’s really a beautiful family!