Would the Duggar Parents Be Open to the Children Learning About Other Religions?

From the moment I was born to now I was raised Catholic. My father came from a family that could be considered very religious to some people. I was expected to attend church with them every Sunday, go to Sunday school, receive my first communion, and confirmation. Not unlike make Catholics today.

When I was sixteen and in highschool I became slightly rebellious and wanted to change my religion or at least see what was out there. My parents, although they weren't very happy, were supportive of my decision. My mother even went so far as to buy me literature and videos about Judaism and Buddhism. She even took me to a local synagogue. For nearly a year they allowed me to do my research and never once did they try to persuade me away from it.

Although I never changed religions I was still very happy that my parents gave me the opportunity to at least learn what was out there with the possibility that I might go against the path that they paved for me.

My question is: Do you think that the Duggar parents would be as supportive of their children's curiosity?I have a hard time believing that JimBob or Michelle would be okay with any of their children visiting a place or worship for another religious denomination without some kind of repurcussions or open dissapointment.

Thanks to Whitney.

34 comments:

Alli Byers said...

IMO, I can't see them actually allowing their children to attend a synagogue, mosque, or any other type of "church" that doesn't match up with their beliefs. Especially without one of the parents being there with them. I DO however think they probably do study other religions at home. But I don't know this for sure.

This is a little off-topic but, I actually attended a Baptist university and took a world religions course there and learned a ton. But honestly, I didn't have a desire to actually attend a worship service at another type of church after taking it.

Mandy said...

I have a feeling that, because of the way they've been raised and the all-encompassing nature of their family and homeschooling, the Dugger kids won't try - as children - to explore other religions. Especially the older ones whose current thoughts on religion we've seen.

If they want to /actively pursue learning about other religions as adults, I can completely imagine their mom especially talking to them very calmly and quietly about it. I think she'd try to convince them to stay in the Christian faith by never being overtly critical or 'telling them what to do'. Do you know what I mean?

mamawama said...

My guess is that they teach them what other religions believe and then tell them why that is wrong. From the creation museum show we learned how they show their children both sides, but teach them why their beliefs are the truth. Some of the kids interviewed during that show said that they didn't believe in evolution and that creation was the obvious choice.

I think if one of the Duggar children went away from Christianity, they would pray for that rebellious child to come back into the fold. I highly doubt any Duggar will choose something else though.

undergrad RN said...

I doubt the robo-children realize that there are different religions.

mamawama said...

Undergrad,
Why do you say Robo-children? If a child is not rebellious does that make them a robot? Or do you believe in letting children choose their own paths? If they aren't dressing goth does that make them a robot? I just don't understand your comment. Please clarify.

Angie and Heather said...

I don't have much against the Duggars, but it does make me sad to think that other religious experiences are probably discouraged. I have a feeling that they are willing to discuss other religions, but in such a way that the children don't even think to question their own. And people who never question their beliefs can never learn.

~ Angie

Not Going To Happen said...

The Duggar parents don't even let their children attend a house of worship of their "own" religion, instead, they worship from their own living room.

I highly doubt that visiting another church/synagogue/temple is in the future. Heavens no ! That might give the children an original thought of their own ! Lions & tigers & bears, OH MY !

Alli Byers said...

The Duggar parents don't even let their children attend a house of worship of their "own" religion, instead, they worship from their own living room.

Where did you hear this? I remember seeing them in a regular church on a you tube video one time. I am pretty sure they attend a church outside of their home regularly. Can anyone confirm this for sure?

Harriet said...

Josh got married in a church to a church attending woman and their Arkansas reception was held at a church. They must have at least some connection to an organized church congregation.

fostersmom said...

mamawama said...
My guess is that they teach them what other religions believe and then tell them why that is wrong. From the creation museum show we learned how they show their children both sides, but teach them why their beliefs are the truth. Some of the kids interviewed during that show said that they didn't believe in evolution and that creation was the obvious choice.


That's what I think too. If any other religions are talked about, they are taught why these are wrong in their beliefs. But that's not really exclusive to just the Duggars, a lot of churches teach that kind of thinking.

I do get the impression that most of their religion is taught at home, including Sunday services. It was only briefly mentioned in their book, but I think that they do hold regular services there on Sundays, with other families attending. I'm not necessarily sure that Jim Bob is the one doing the preaching, though. It's possible that there is a pastor coming in and leading the services. I know in my area, more and more mini churches are popping up holding services in schools on Sunday or even rented store fronts.

fostersmom said...

Harriet said...
Josh got married in a church to a church attending woman and their Arkansas reception was held at a church. They must have at least some connection to an organized church congregation.


I've already passed the book on to another mod, but if I'm remembering right, Josh and Anna's wedding was held in the church that her father's home ministry is connected with. I got the impression that Anna's father was running some kind of ministry and the church the wedding was in just served as support to him. It sounded like the women of the church were more than happy to help Anna plan and execute the wedding and reception though, even more than Anna expected, so at the very least she and her family are very well liked by the congregation ladies.

Not Going To Happen said...

Watch the re-run where they are in the old house and getting ready to move.

Jim Bob clearly states that they have home worship services and "sometimes" they have other families there to "encourage each other".

I have watched every single episode, more than once. Never has it been mentioned they attend church outside their living room, except for Josh's wedding in Florida.

Cee said...

They don't even let their kids watch tv..why would they let them explore other religions?

Anonymous said...

My kids attend a publicly funded
Catholic school in Ontario. When
they are in High school they have
to take a religion course every
year. In grade 11 they take religions of the world and visit
a synogogue, a mosque,a buddhist
temple etc. I don't think it
takes away from their religion.
I hope the Duggars would not feel
threatened by this exploration.
I certainly wasn't. When they
are adults they can choose how
they want to live.
I have a feeling though that
the Duggars like their kids
to stay in the little bubble
that is their lives....

Some people.... said...

Why should they go to other religious services? How many people do that? If you truly have faith and believe why would you want to encourage your children to believe something else?

This isn't a social club or culture for them, it is faith. My children know about other religions from school as well as friends and family of other beliefs. However, we only take them to other places of worship for weddings, funerals et al. Why would we worship something we believe is false?

Anonymous said...

Jim Bob did say that worship is in their own living room and that on occasion, will have another family over for worship. I dont think they leave the family compound to attend a cult, I mean church.

Midwest Mom said...

Posted by: Some People Said "If you truly have faith and believe why would you want to encourage your children to believe something else? "

You're missing the point of the blog entry.

Letting your children LEARN about other religions is NOT the same as "encouraging them to believe something else".

I'm Catholic, and attended Catholic school, but as part of our curriculum we were taught a little bit about numerous other religions so we can respect our fellow citizens of this earth. The Catholic Church was in NO WAY trying to "encourage us to believe in something else".

It's a big world out there. Having a healthy respect for all people, regardless of religious persuasion, is a good thing.

Some People..... said...

Midwest Mom...you are missing my point entirely.

My children do learn about other religions. Most conservative christians I know are aware of other religions and the differences in beliefs. Learning about other religions and practicing them are two totally different things.

WhitneySmith said...

Midwest Mom...you are missing my point entirely.

My children do learn about other religions. Most conservative christians I know are aware of other religions and the differences in beliefs. Learning about other religions and practicing them are two totally different things.


I didn't practice another religion. I investigated it for my own purposes. I had a thought that that might be more for me -fell in with my own personal beliefs more.

My mother, although she wasn't happy, allowed me to do so without so much as a complaint. When she talked to me it wasn't in a condescending 'Well, that's wrong' or 'I don't know why you're doing that because it's not what I believe.' She, and my father, talked to me about it openly.

With that said and done: I didn't end up changing religions. My parents were open with letting me out of the 'nest' so to speak. I was allowed to do this with their trust that I would do the right thing (Not necessarily their religion.) In the end I made my own decision and I think I'm a better catholic than before.

dawn9476 said...

Yeah right. They wouldn't let Josh attend college. Not even a religious college. Why would they let their children explore other religions?

Midwest Mom said...

Some People Said:

Again, you are missing the point.

Your original comment stated that "why should they go to other religious services?"

The blog entry was a discussion
about whether the Duggar parents will let their children LEARN about other religions.
This learning could take place around their kitchen table/classroom, it doesn't have to involve setting foot in, or "worshiping" at another place.

I have never seen a Duggar episode where worldview religions were discussed. To the contrary, the Duggars took their children to a creationism museum.

Jim S said...

Using my own extended family as an example, I seriously doubt the Duggars would allow their kids to investigate, study or attend services of another faith.

My ex-wife found Jesus through her second husband, a Southern Baptist who turned out be a complete fraud, and for a long time, it turned her into a holy roller who at one point even said to me "Catholics aren't real Christians because they believe in the Pope." She's mellowed some over time, but there's still an element of "mine is the only true faith" in her's and other relatives' beliefs.

Given the fact that I'm agnostic, my kids have seen or at least had the chance to discuss both sides of the fence.

I really don't think the Duggar kids have that luxury and I'd use the Creation Museum episode as Exhibit A.

mamawama said...

If you believed that one path would get your children to paradise, and all other paths would lead to hell, you would certainly teach the path of paradise. The Bible teaches that it is the only true faith. So, for the Duggars to teach "universalism" and all paths lead to God, would go against what their Bible teaches.

How can you fault them for following their faith? And for teaching their children about that when they believe it is the best thing for them? Don't we all do what WE believe is best for our children?

Ex Mormon said...

I was raised in a very large family of 26 children. My parents were mormons. When I was fifteen the church had assigned me a husband who was 47 years old and had 4 wives. I ran away from Colorado City, AZ and moved to Salt Lake City, UT.

All my brothers and sisters have been told to not talk to me. My parents said that because of church doctrine I'm dead to them. I think the Duggars are like my parents. I think they put God first in their lives and the children second. I believe they would shun any child who turned their back on the families religion. This is just my opinion.
Thank you for listening

Amber said...

Firstly there is nothing wrong with home churches, usually they are started by people of a denomination of Christianity because there arent't an churches of their denomination around. Example. I was raised Southern Baptist, the only churches in an area we moved to we Catholic, Lutheran and Pentecostal. Now my family believes all of these people are Christian, however they have some key pieces of theology that we disagree on, therfore we found a small home church which was more in line with our way of thinking.

The Duggars practice a fundamental Christianity, if there are no churches around that they agree with why shouldn't they hold services in their own home?

Secondly, Christianity is not the only religion in which the parents teach their kids that, their religion is the ONLY way to go, there are MANY other religions that do this. Islam is one example.

I would certainly hope that the Duggars allowed their children to study other religions in an academic sense, and I'm sure if one of them decided that Christianity wasn't for them that the Duggars would still love them, they may not be as tightly entwined into the family unit anymore but that often happens when people choose a completely different way to go than the rest of the family.

Why do I keep hearing that Josh wasn't allowed to go to college. Who said that and where was it said. I used to say I wanted to be a teacher, I still do in fact I just haven't gone to school for it. People say a lot of things that they don't follow through on. Maybe he thinks that being in Law would be cool but feels having a family and stuff is more important.

It just seems to me that there are a lot of people who really really want to find reasons not to like the Duggars.

Are they a little odd? Yup. So are the Amish. There are a lot of fundies out there that are a whole hell of a lot scarier than the Duggars, you know the rabid ones who are constantly saying that anyone who doesn't believe what they believe is going to hell. All I've heard from the Duggars is "This is what we believe and we hope we can help someone by sharing."

Emma said...

I agree with you Amber...People are just trying to find reasons not to like this family. I think it's because it scares some people to know that there are people out there that truly and honestly don't care what society thinks. People bash them all the time for being "radical christians"....well let me tell you, I have seen radical and they are not it. These people are how the rest of us secretly wish we could be. No one cares when Islams or Buddist share their beliefs, hell, people think Pagans and Wiccans are cool for some reason. I think people are so determined on being "open minded" and liberal now days, they attack Christianity because it's what this country has always known. It is what's known as the average american religion, so they want to be different, and attack anyone who still follows it. It's almost like being a proud Christian is "uncool" now days. Well i'm not buying into the fad, and neither are the Duggars.

Emma said...

Ex Mormon said
I believe they would shun any child who turned their back on the families religion. This is just my opinion.


If this were truly the case do you think they would allow cousin Amy over? Would they allow Michelle's father over? Would they have any friends at all in their lives that aren't extemely conservative and religious?

AJ said...

I understand some of the concerns about other religions not being able to be explored, however, couldn't this be said about many people of other more conventional faiths? I grew up Greek Orthodox and I know of many families who felt that it was the only religion and all others were wrong. Same could be said about some LDS members and Catholics I know. Right or wrong, I don't think this is something limited to the Duggars and their beliefs. Religion tends to bring out strong emotions in people and strong beliefs in general. I don't know. Say what you will but I just don't hate them.

Jim S said...

That's part of the reason I avoid organized religion in general. Everyone thinks they've cornered the market on what's right and good even though many faiths and subdivisions of faith don't agree on basic tenets.

my4luvs said...

I also agree with you Amber. I have been reading many different sites about this family and I actually find this one refreshing because most people here seem to be a little bit more open minded to the Duggars and the life they have chosen. I can't believe how many people jump to conclusions based on what they see on tv (or don't see for that matter!!) I believe that the Duggars probably let their children learn about all the different religions of the world but make sure the children are well versed in what they believe to be true. I think alot of people probably do the same with their own families. I know I do.

Ragemanchoo said...

"Would the Duggar Parents Be Open to the Children Learning About Other Religions?"

Of course not.

Anonymous said...

when children are exposed to other diciplines, but their parents continue to live as they do, by definition, they are showing "the path". the duggars do seem to be of a mould and though the children and mother have some sweet characteristics and i dont know why jim bob is creepy, but having seen him with book in hand...ugh. i'm one of eleven= catholic parents! my mother believed the kids were her only lifes work (uh uh- she found out).
it is our job as parents to teach our children, the best of what we know, and to encourage to seek out meaning for themselves.
"i'll be happy with whatever the lord gives us"- i do not think encompasses disability or mental illness. they dont realize, as my mother didnt, that 43 is quite young, and not reliable to base assumptions for the future on. they are fascinating for this happy exterior, and we all want to know whats behind it- that's it!

msrylee said...

I think that as a parent, it is my responsibility to teach my children about my beliefs. However, I also think children should be able to learn about other religions, and decide for themselves what they choose to believe. This decision should be made when they have reached a mature age where they can understand and compare other beliefs. Ultimately, they should decide for themselves.

As a Christian mom, my children have made these decisions for themselves. Although I had great difficulty with one's choice, I love her unconditionally, and respect her beliefs. SHE made the decision, not me, and it's definitely not an issue with us.

freethinker said...

"Some people.... said...

If you truly have faith and believe why would you want to encourage your children to believe something else? "
If they had *true* faith in whatever religion, then wouldn't they feel that their beliefs would stand up to scrutiny?

So, the kids would believe because it made sense to them and they were educated about other faiths... Not because it was the only thing they've ever known.

If they're 100% confident that they're beliefs are true, then why be afraid to expose their children to other faiths?