Religion Should Be Off-Limits

I was thinking about this as I was washing tonight's dishes (dishwasher broken, no money for a new one) and it occurs to me that some folks have an axe to grind with everything.... they bitch when the Gosselins don't act like Christians, then they bitch that the Duggars act too Christian. They whine about J&K's kids wearing the latest Gymboree, then groan because the Duggars wear second-hand clothes. Kate has a silly haircut; Michelle has no haircut at all and that bothers some folks. I could go on..... however, the religion thing bothers me because no matter what religion they choose, isn't it every American's right to believe the way they want? SO why do others feel they should criticize?? Pick on their clothes or their "courting" or their accents, but I think religion should be off-limits. As long as bashing of a religion is allowed, it leaves an opening for nasty arguments and a whole lotta hate on the blog.

This post was submitted by Dotsicle

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's not that people have an issue w/ the religion. It's that the religion is used as the reason why the children are home schooled, cut off from the mainstream, etc. I think they are a very nice family, and am happy to see that the children have been exposed to more of the world the last few years. I would like to see the older kids be able to sit in on a few high school and college classes, take music/art/photography lessons with other kids, etc. It's admirable that the older kids are so firm about wanting to wait until marriage for their first kiss, etc. However, I'd love to hear what Josh has to say 10 or 15 years from now, when he understands more about being an adult, being married, etc. If, at that time, he says he wouldn't have done anything differently, then great. It will be interesting to see how the (currently) baby girls go about their engagements when the time comes, and if the family will have modified their courtship tradition based on the experiences of the older siblings.

For what it's worth, I thought the whole engagement episode was charming (and awkward). They both look like great kids but I do think they were sheltered from many aspects of adult life before they made this lifelong decision, and that concerns me. I hope that certain things (like telling Anna, moments after they were engaged, that they would only be holding hands until their wedding day) were discussed beforehand, and Josh’s telling that to Anna on camera was solely for the benefit of the cameras. I hate to think that their conversations were so limited that they didn’t discuss these things before becoming engaged.

I’m also troubled by their having constant chaperones. As others have mentioned, if you have self-control, you don’t need a chaperone. Josh has been quoted as saying something to the effect that he didn’t want there to be doubt as to how far their physical relationship went. Well, part of being an adult is realizing that your word is good, and you don’t need to prove that to your parents. If you choose to share this information w/ your parents, you don’t need physical proof (i.e., a chaperone), you only need to tell them that you didn’t cross those lines. If you need to physically prove this to your parents, then either they don’t believe you at your word, they are the ones controlling that aspect of your life, or maybe you don’t believe yourself at your word.

The bottom line is it’s not the religion per se that makes us question the Duggars, it’s how their practice of their religion limits the decisions their children make. It’s great to see each of the older children saying they have made a particular choice for themselves, but you have to wonder to what extent would they be able to make any other choice. Seriously, what would Papa Duggar say if one of the girls said they’d prefer to date and get to know several boys before committing to one boy? Most likely, he’d try to convince her otherwise by telling her about all the (awful) baggage that Momma Michele had because, as a teenager, she dated several boys. We never hear Papa Duggar suggesting that Momma Michele knew Jim Bob was the right boy for her because she had dated those wrong boys beforehand.

Anonymous said...

Amen!!! Girl you hit the nail on the head.us

dizzy_squishling_and_bean said...

So because the Duggar's live their religion (as one is supposed to) and follow through with their beliefs (as one is supposed to) then having those beliefs is okay? I dont think that this blog entry was saying that we should all believe what the Duggar's belive or that we should all act like we think everything they do is allright.

Their beliefs call for extreme conservativism, their beliefs call for them to be chaste, for them to homeschool their kids and teach them as they see fit. Get over it, it doesn't affect you.

These sites are supposed to be sites fighting the exploitation of these kids. At least thats what I always thought. I guess they are hate sites. If that's the case I'll probably stop coming. I'm pretty disappointed with the way this site is going.

dotsicle said...

The chaperones seem quite old-timey, but that is what the tradition calls for and I don't think anyone is being hurt by it.

My paternal grandmother had a BROTHER chaperone her "dates" with granddad. (That must have been a lotta fun, LOL! And she had lots of brothers!) This is what the average country family in NC did at that time, so it wasn't considered odd. Granddad did have to ask grandma's parents for permission to "court" her, too. I thnk it's kinda neat.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for putting into words what I've been thinking all along!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If the Duggars allowed their children to be in mainstream schools, they would not be as sweet. Peer influence would turn them into your average rebellious teenagers. Many kids today are turning away from their religion, and the Duggars seem grounded in theirs. I think they are doing something right.

Chaperoning is a GOOD idea! Look at how far down our morals have gone since we stopped chaperoning. The pregnancy rate is crazy for teenagers who have been trusted to have "self control". We now have immunizations for 6th graders for STD's! IMO, there needs to be MORE chaperones. I hope the Duggars ideas catch on!

I think the teens are allowed to get to know several people before deciding on which one to court. But it is not in the realm of lust, as in, "I think you are hot, lets go out", and then they see a movie, make out, have sex by the 3rd date and break up a month later. No, the Duggars get to know others by talking to them, seeing how their family behaves toward each other, finding out about their character, and then making a good informed decision if this person is actually marriage material. I believe Josh talked to Anna through emails and on the computer for 2 years and he got to know the real person, and her beliefs. When you go out on dates, it can quickly become physical, without really knowing the person very well. I think the Duggars are smart cookies!

Am I the only one who has had dreams about " what if" I had married old so and so from high school? And dreaming that my life would be better, especially when I am super pissed at my dh. You remember what a great kisser they were, and how sweet, and none of the bad stuff. I think that is what the Duggars are trying to avoid. With the divorce rate at 50%, lets face it folks, we aren't doing something right. Maybe the Duggars have figured something out. I'm excited to watch and see!

Anonymous said...

Dotsicle, I was refering to your post when I said you hit the nail on the head. I was not agreeing with the first comment! I guess people are ______if they do and _____if they dont. For the life of me I will never understand why people will take issue with the Duggars religeon and beliefs and then feel they have the right to bash them. We have the FREEDOM of religeon in this country- thats why there is a different church on every corner in every town! I dont necessarily agree with them all, but Im not on line making fun of people either. I really do admire the Duggars and their simple lifestyle. ( Can I say simple when 18 kids are involved?!! ) I have yet to see ANY episode of the Duggars, past or present that I feel I need to be concerned for the kids. Watching the other night I realised some of the kids are not really even involved in the program. I do not get the impression at all that this show is forced on them. The Big Apple and the trip to the Peabody look like the only travels we will see. Otherwise all I remember on the episode line up is some simple things like bargain shopping and a family coming to visit. So they are hardly having to 'write' or 'make-up' shows, we really are seeing a glimpse into their life.
I have enjoyed the Duggars since their very first special. I enjoy their new show. There are many awful things written about the Duggars on line - And I was surprised at the hate people spew towards them. I guess Im naive.

AmandaT said...

And yet the courting, the conservative dress, everything the Duggar's are so harshly criticized for is due to their religion. The two cannot be teased apart.
Not that I believe it's ok to make fun of them for their religion. I also do think it's pretty ridiculous that people are so harsh about the homeschooling, the dating, etc.

dotsicle said...

Well, true, the modest clothing and courting and so on are indeed part of their religion. The Amish have similar customs, yet I have seen people defend the Amish over the Duggars because "hey, the Amish let their kids go away for a year and CHOOSE the life they want, but the Duggars don't get to CHOOSE! And that's WRONG!"
I say no, that's not "wrong", it's just the way the Duggars do things. I really agree with a lot of what the family does. I like the courting, and the modest clothing (well, maybe not the t-shirts worn under the blouses), I see nothing wrong with home-schooling, can't find any "exploitation" to moan about, and fail to see what is so important about having all these so-called "choices". I enjoy this family.

Elisa said...

There seems to be an abundance of moaning about the state of "kids these days" all over this site. I really think it's unfair to keep making blanket statements about the perceived actions of teenagers. The Duggars are an example of how to raise children in one extremely conservative way. There is, of course, the other end of the spectrum, but there is also middle ground, which is probably where most teenagers fall. Teens have had premarital sex and STDs and dropped out of school and sasses their parents before the Duggars started popping them out - hell, I'll venture a guess that they've been doing all those things (and more) before JimBob and Michelle were teens. However, the idea that teens are so completely out of control is insulting to parents and teens alike.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with this blog. I think much of the criticism of the Duggars comes from the fact that their religious beliefs are diferent from the mainstream. I think the kids seem happy and pretty well-adjusted from what I have seem. They could be so worse off; neglected, allowed to do whatever they want(in misbehavior) and living in poverty. This family seems like it is none of those things. As long as it works for them, I say who are we to judge anyone.

Strife said...

Why call this blog "Duggars Without Pity" if it is not fine to criticize them? Religion is a big part of their life and it seems like it influences everything else. Just make it a Duggar fanclub blog then, nothing wrong with that.

Besides, I'm from a Scandinavian country. I was never taught that teenage sex was wrong in high school, just about protection. Abstinence only was considered a joke. We have a much lower rate of STDs and teenage pregnancy anyway.

Anonymous said...

The Duggars put themselves on TV. They do this to earn money to raise the flock of kids they are producing. I don't care about their religious beliefs. I care that the think that they should be on TV. They're just one more reality show TV family in a groups of reality show misfits.

MomOfThree said...

Religion is a huge part of the Duggars life; I don't think that it CAN be separated from the show. Their religious beliefs make them who they are. Their pro-life views, number of children, schooling choices, dating rituals, hair styles, clothing...their entire LIFESTYLE is based upon their religious beliefs. Just as J & K would not be on TV if not for their multiple multiples, the Duggars would not have our interest without being the unique family that they are. None the the older children seem repressed in any way to me and I really doubt that they are being forced to do anything against their will. They have just been brought up in a certain way and it seems normal to them to behave modestly. It is what they have been shown growing up. Childen learn what they live; if they grow up in a home where they are respected and are made to show respect, that's what they learn; if they are exposed to abuse, they learn to abuse, etc. And anyway, what is so wrong with the way the Duggars are raising their kids? In my parents generation, many people married young (without pre-marital sex), had families, raised those families to work hard, manage finances, run households and be independent, productive people. Many young people today enter "real life" very unprepared, having learned little from their family life. Just because the Duggar's choose to do things differently from the mainstream, does not make them wrong in their decision. As my father used to say, "Just because everyone else is jumping off the bridge, does that mean you should, too?".

Anonymous said...

Someone mentioned above that the Duggars have a simple life. Hardly. They just don't have TV, internet or much choice in clothing. They still go to theme parks, grocery stores, learn, drive and everything else. Tonight we have skydiving....

Anonymous said...

A simple life does not mean that your not out living life!

Anonymous said...

I think it's wonderful that the Duggar's do have morals. Morals is what is lacking in the standard family. Chaperones are a wonderful thing. If parents would have kept this up over the years maybe we wouldn't have so many teen pregnancies or abortions. Teenagers today do what they want to do and don't care of the consquences. Bring back chaperones!!! Bring back religion and morals!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree that this should just be called "The Duggar Fan Club". I thought the reason for these "without pity" sites was to discuss different opinions about the Duggars & Gosselins? Its ok to bash the Gosselins (and their "christian" ways) but not these people because they are religious? Im just confused.
And for all of the comments on here about how great and nice these kids are and they have morals and kids these days are bad blah, blah, blah...let me just say: when I was younger I had religion shoved down my throat. I couldnt stand it! And guess what, today Im not religious at all, I have a kid, and Im fine with it and as my son grows up, he can make his own choice about his spirituality, and Im fine with that! I like to think I turned out pretty good! Just because these kids are "religious" now (as they are all still living under their parents roof, the have to be I assume) doesnt mean that they are all going to turn out as perfect adults & have perfect lives.
If their parents really respected them, they would let them make their own decisions about dating, marriage, "courting", school, etc. and trust that they are making the right decisions for themselves. My parents dont agree with everything that I do, just as their way of doing things may not be mine, but we still love, respect, and accept eachother. My parents tell me they are proud of my everyday for choices I have made. Do you think the Duggars would do that to their kids if things didnt turn out the way they expected??
So, how can we NOT talk about their religion? They are on TV talking about it every Monday nite but we arent allowed to air out or disagreements?
Im not hating on this family at all, just my observation of the matter...

dotsicle said...

I know there are differing opinions about the Duggars. I'm just hoping that religion doesn't play too big of a part in our snark.
One of the things that cracks me up about this family is that all the kids seem to be pretty mellow except Johannah. What is up with that little firecracker? Her mom tries to talk to her patiently, but the kid has a mind of her own! I wonder who her buddy is?

Anonymous said...

I understand that the Duggars are taking us to a creationism museum in an upcoming episode. If they want to promote/discuss their religious views on a reality TV show, that's fine, but they open themselves up to my comments. If I made money by bringing my lifestyle and beliefs into people's living rooms, I would expect the same.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous suggested that if the Duggars really respected their children they would let them make their own decisions about school, dating, courtship etc.

I wanted to address this as the mother of a 19yo son. Scientifically, it has been proven that the frontal lobe of the brain is not developed until 23 yrs old. So, why would I let my child make decisions at 5, 10, 16 etc? The parents are older and wiser and guide their children in the way they decide they should go. 16 yos don't make wise decisions on their own. Do we really want a family out there having 20+ kids who just lets them run wild? Does dating really work? Judging by the 1 in 4 TEENAGERS has a std, I don't think so.

I don't think the Duggar children will all have perfect lives because no one does, but I do think the way they are raised will cause them to have less pain, distress, and regrets.

Jim S said...

The fact that they have opened their lives to a TV camera and put their faith front and center makes them fair game. Religious beliefs can cause divisions in families and friendships and not everyone shares the same set of beliefs. It's one thing to say this is what we believe, but if they take the extra step of pushing their beliefs as the only good, correct and appropriate ones, they'd deserve whatever crap they'd get.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous poster with a 19yo son, I am 19yo myself and feel I am capable of making my own decisions. My parents do guide me and offer advise, but they know I am my own person and trust me implicitly in almost every situation. Believe it or not, I can and do make wise choices. Do all teenagers run wild? Absolutely not. I believe dating's fine, but am not going crazy with multiple partners, and guess what? I made that decision on my own...my parents never even broached the subject. But anyway, does dating one or more people mean that you will wind up with an STD? No, not everyone is a statistic. I am not judging you or anyone else, but I think adults need to have more faith in the younger generation. Overall, I feel that parents should let their children make at least some of their own choices, but guidance and advising is the key. When your child is an adult, is he/she going to be ready to live his/her own life without the constant presence of mom and dad? I think that's what it all comes down to.

dotsicle said...

I didn't mean that their religion shouldn't be discussed at all.... I just think their beliefs shouldn't be "bashed". I am a Christian but I don't believe God intended for everyone to have as many kids as they possibly can. However, the Duggars do believe that, so who am I to say they are wrong and I am right?