Motivation by Deanna

What I really do wonder, is whether Jim Bob knowingly signed on to be a reality TV star, and whether he realizes now how far they have strayed from their original intentions to "motivate" others? Can we really blame TLC completely for this family's complete betrayal of their supposedly original values? Even if they did sign an iron-clad contract, would they not have seen that filming births, premature infants, etc. would not be in line with the very message the family purports to want to send?

Or is Jim Bob just a very savvy business man who looked at his giant family as a personal cash cow, one that could make them very rich? In other words, when they staged all the scenes discussed above, did he do so willingly, because it was ALWAYS all about the money?
What do people think? Were they sellouts from the get-go, or did Jim Bob just get lured in by the money after awhile?

Thanks to Deanna

61 comments:

Jane in California said...

You ask a good question, and it's one I don't really even have a guess as to an answer. However, what I do realize is that for JB and Michelle, being known and recognized as super Christians, exemplars, somehow super parents because they have soooooo many kids -- is vitally important to them and their self esteem.

Numerous posters have commented that JB is always telling people that he is the father of 18 (now 19) kids -- people that often don't even know how to politely respond. It makes him special -- he just has to brag on himself at every opportunity. As if fathering lots of kids takes some super special powers. No, it merely takes lack of restraint JB.

I've heard him say to Michelle, "how does it feel, being the First Mom of Arkansas?" or similar words. He is proud of his wife, but it's because her over abundance of fertility has brought him fame and in his mind, respect as some great example of fatherhood.

To me, this shows unseemly pride, something that I believed Christians were supposed to beware of.

We have also seen that if other film crews or magazines want to come film the Duggar clan, JB will allow it, even if it's tiring and lasts all day. Those children have been raised to put up with a lot of interference in their daily lives, and to be paraded around and put on a show for others.

All in all, I would say that JB's motivations for jumping at the TLC contract involve more than making money. That would of course be a big motivation -- it allows him to continue not to work outside the home, and to actually have a home big enough to hold all the children he's fathered.

However, I think an equal allure was the fame, the glory. He seeks that glorification of he and Michelle like a moth to a flame.

Michelle, though she isn't as brazen about it, is very similar. She loves having that Madonna personality -- she is one of the most accomplished ever-soft spoken, obedient, never so much as irritated, my husband is the most wonderful of men at all times, Stepford wife personas I've ever seen. She has become very adroit at tuning out much of her real feelings and covering everything with a blanket of cotton candy "we are so blessed, it would be wrong to ever complain" saccharine sweetness.

I think I can see through Michelle a little easier because I was raised by a mom who rarely raised her voice either, who was soft spoken, kind, generous and loving. My mom had a large brood too -- although not by Duggar standards. She had 8 kids that survived, 3 who did not. But she had her faults, her moments of aggravation. She got irritated with my dad from time to time.

But she is the best person I know and I'm grateful she took the time to mother and raise all of us, instead of passing the younger ones off to the older daughters to raise, while she went to snuggle with our dad, in public, all the dang time.

Ollie said...

Jane, I think you hit the nail on the head, what a wonderful post!
I feel sorry for Jim Bob and Michelle because it seems like they define themselves only as the breeders of a large brood. My husband and I also have a larger than average family (8 living children, one deceased) but we don't go around announcing our family size to random strangers! Jim Bob comes off to me as that kid who was always picked last for kick ball desperately trying to prove he's made something of himself. It's sad really that a grown man needs so much outside admiration for his self esteem, and even sadder that he really hasn't done anything worth admiring. I'm sorry to have to burst his bubble, but almost any man who isn't infertile is more than capable of impregnating a woman or women nineteen times or more. The fact that Michelle's body has held up so well is more a testament to her good genetics and modern medicine than to anything she herself has done, so I don't see that as something to be unduly proud of either.
If one thinks about it Michelle and Jim Bob really can't even have the justifiable pride in raising up good children because the older girls do most of the work. Even worse, that doesn't seem to bother them. I would just die inside if one of my little ones was hurt or scared and was calling for someone besides mama or daddy, but in one episode a scared Johanna called for her sister and Michelle didn't seem to care. Children Johanna's age tend to develop a very strong bond with the person they see as their primary care giver and have a certain level of shyness with most other people. The fact that she wanted her sister and not her mom is very telling, since most children will call for their mothers even if they know the mother is not present simply because that's their first instinct.
Creating children and then passing them off to someone else to raise once they lose their baby cuteness is not what a real mother does. Parading his children around so that strangers can admire how virile Jim Bob thinks he is and then selling your family so that the world can watch you make money off your children is not the mark of a mature, well adjusted man.

Marybeth said...

I may be very naive, which I've been told that I am, but I just don't seem them as being that greedy. Maybe I'm just altruistic and think that they are perfect, but I honestly think that everything they "put out there" is for "their" common good...to show the world how their life really is.

I firmly believe that they have no problem showing home births because they believe they are being an example. Their whole lives are about being an example. I really don't see them with dollar signs in their eyes, otherwise why are they still shopping at thrift stores and used clothing stores and the discount grocery store? Why are they still buying all their cars on the cheap and still haunting auctions?

Again, I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

I personally don't agree with you. You may disagree if you like but I believe they do EVERYTHING to glorify God. I would personally give my right arm to be raised by Michelle (or her older children). This whole family including the TV show and photo shoots is portrayed as faithful Christians. God is in heaven wishing that, instead of judging them for things we don't agree with or understand) that we could live our lives that way too. I don't think the older siblings "raise" the younger ones. They only help with their day to day care. There is nothing wrong with this as I only have 2 children but my oldest is a lot older and he assists with the day to day care of the younger. This bonds them and makes him see that life is not all about sitting around all day playing playstation or watching tv. Many years ago when larger families were common the older ones had chores from sun up to sun down. This taught them the value of hard work and didn't give them time to get into trouble. I salute the Duggars and their
Values and tune in each time they are on so that I may pick up any pointers I can get to implement in my own family. Just look at their household rules....if everyone lived this way the world would be a much better place and God would be smiling.

I am from Arkansas too and the lifestyle is different here. Their dress code, while more modest, is consistent with the style. I pick up on the positive sides of their show as I have been to the Wilderness Safari and a few other places they have visited and they leave a legacy...not about having a ton of children or JB wearing a lot of hair spray but that they are genuine caring people and say that their kids are the most well behaved children they have ever seen. I'm sorry but if they were being "raised" by teenagers then this wouldn't be true. I've adopted a ton of their money saving techniques. They are very useful. There's absolutely nothing wrong with used shoes for a 9 year old boy that goes outside and destroys them playing. In Arkansas kids play in the dirt and we like it. The girls wear a lot of sandals and flip flops which are cheap and also widely adapted in Arkansas. Now if they were training for a marathon then yes they would need a new pair of running shoes. But these children are not

In summary I guess I'm saying that there are people that are inspired to live a better life because of them. And as a church would say about a gospel meeting...if this meeting is heard by thousands but only changes one heart, it is still a success. This is what the Duggars are trying to accomplish and with each life experience God gives them they reach more and more people. God never gives us more than we can handle and the Duggars trust God on that promise. THAT is why they won't use birth control now. Because they trust God.

Samantha

JMO, FWIW said...

I think that JB has been this way since day one, because he definitely paraded his family around way before the TLC days, in order to get elected as an Arkansas state legislator in the late 90's, early 2000's. He was working it then and he is working now, imo. Michelle is just gleefully along for the ride. The exploitation of the Duggar family is disturbing and this 'business' with Josie is really pushing the envelope. I won't be watching TLC or buying People again.

JMO, FWIW said...

PS: Speaking of unseemly pride, I was confounded by the tone of the first public statement that the Duggar's released about being grateful that God gave THEM to Josie. Not Josie to them. Yes, I know - they figure it's great that they have so much money, support & resources to care for her - I get it. But to me a child is the ultimate gift to the parents, regardless of the child's 'super-awesome' parents. It was such an odd statement that rubbed me the wrong way and seems to speak volumes about their mind-set.

Kat said...

Have to go along with what's already been said, especially because I've said it before. JB is a classic example of the kid who desperately wanted to be in the "in" crowd, but always found himself on the outside. He tried sports, but by his own admission, "sat on the bench" most of the time. He certainly isn't academically oriented. His only "talent" is as a hustler/salesman/negotiator, although I suspect that's more because he wears people out.

I always get the impression that, as an adult, he is trying to show up everyone that ever dissed him as a kid. Look at me! I married the cheerleader! I have 19 kids! My whole family follows my every word!

He may not be as mean-hearted as Kate Gosselin, but they share that same narcissistic personality that just has to be in the spotlight. All the attention has to be on him, no matter what else is going on. I would say it was that trait, more than the money, that first lured him in to the show, but now, between his "fame" AND the money, he is hopelessly addicted.

I think Michelle followed dutifully along at first, but as time went by, the money and the freebies really sucked her in. After years of living on the margin, she is loving every new outfit, every luxury hotel, every piece of high-end furniture. She was practically drooling over that new baby layette they bought for Jordyn - she had to have EVERYTHING.

I think it's going to be really hard for them to go back to an "ordinary" life. At least their mansion is paid for, unlike the Gosselins'.

Enough with the Multiples said...

Jane and Ollie--you have pretty much covered it and are right on. While I'm sure money played some part given their large family and the amount of money it requires to raise them, it does seem like ego and self worth are a strong factor in why they continue the show. They seem to strive on the attention they receive from announcing these pregnancies and births. It's sad really---they have more kids than they can possibly give one on one attention to in a given day and yet they are not satisfied and still want more. At this point, J/M need counceling more than they need a TLC show. Although I admit I'd be very interested in having updates on the older children, who very much need to move out and get their own lives instead of raising their parent's babies.

Midwest Mom said...

I think that after the first hour-long special ("14 Children and Pregnant Again"), JimBob realized his money-making ability to procreate was a secure financial future.

What better way to continue your pregnancy addiction than to have it funded by TLC ?

Ever notice that when the Today Show interviewed JB/Michelle via satellite about Josh & Anna's pregnancy, Michelle kept stating that she and JB were excited about having "grandBABIES"....she doesn't refer to them as "grandchildren", just "grandBABIES".

JB/M are addicted and TLC is funding that addiction. Trips, new piano, birthday outings (laser tag, rock wall) never shown in the early specials. Yep, the money machine just keeps on churning.

In the promo for the upcoming Sunday special, JB is tearful and says "it's fixin' to change our lives forever". Translation: I'm going to have to consider that righteously fulfilling my urges might eventually kill my wife via yet another pregnancy.

Ohio Buckeye said...

Jane & Ollie, Thanks for such insightful posts! Not usually a cynical person, I, too, question the values and sincerety of JB&M.

IMO,it's something less than humble to expect a divine being to constantly whisper in a personal ear, directing every decision.

Also IMO it's being less than ethical to refuse to take responsibility for life's decisions, acting instead like a rather dimwitted child, whose parent always has to guide every step - through adulthood even until death. Why would an almighty god create such pathetic beings intended to remain helpless and dependent? Even human parents want their kids to develop and mature - in what way does it make sense that an almighty being would create beings incapable of achieving any real potential without constant divine intervention?

Besides, who of us can say with any certainty WHAT any divine being needs? (Why would a god have any needs in the first place?)

If humans truly are as helpless and dependent as the Duggar mindset seems to believe, it seems presumptuous, then, for humans to believe they have a handle on what a god may want/need. (All due respect to the bible and those who believe it's god's word)

I think you've hit the nail on the head with the "madonna" image, Jane. I would add that JB gets off on the whole I am The Patriarch thing. (And one has to wonder if he doesn't consider all these kids and the show's constant references to JB&M's sex life as proof that he is one big stud muffin.) Again, seems prideful to me.

From what I've seen of them, their belief system is fully of pretzel logic.

I know: heresy.

Deanna said...

To me, the idea that this family cannot see how they have strayed from their original values is troubling. Or can they see it, and they just don't care?

I don't even know why *I* care, except that remaining true to oneself is really important. I was fascinated by this family at the beginning, back in the days of the prairie dresses when they lived in the tiny house and schooled at the kitchen table. They were so contrary to everything I knew, and I really respected the Duggars, if only for the seeming strength of their convictions and beliefs.

Now, I am disgusted by them. Not only the narcissism of both Jim Bob and Michelle, but the patriarchy (which was evident before, but less so with fewer children and the older girls not being quite in the real mothering role). Mostly I am disgusted by their total sell out to TLC, and the fact that this family shows their actual ultrasounds and births and their premature infant on TV, but still purports to care so much about modesty that they wear ridiculous "bathing costumes" and won't allow the kids out without a chaperone. That's not the half of it!

FOr me, I wish they would go off the air. Go back to living your life however they wish, but no more being described as "reality TV stars" or "stars of the reality TV show, 18 kids....". They've just lost all their integrity, IMO, and that's depressing.

I also wonder what other conservative Christians think. I know there are some who used to post more regularly on this blog, who were typically in favor of most everything the Duggars did. Some of them have disappeared. Have the Duggars lost legitimacy in the eyes of these people too? Do they still seem as Christian and moral as they once did?

doggie said...

We see so many people say they are following gods will or doing what god wants. but they can't seem to agree with each other.Even Christians can't agree with the meaning of the bible or what god wants them to do. how can that be if they are following gods will?
using god to do what you want is a problem with man as old as time and I can't see it changing anytime soon.
the duggers found A way to justify their lifestyle and they will not change till something really destroys their lives.
having a preemie baby just got them going more.

Judy said...

In the promo for the upcoming Sunday special, JB is tearful and says "it's fixin' to change our lives forever". Translation: I'm going to have to consider that righteously fulfilling my urges might eventually kill my wife via yet another pregnancy.


I don't agree with that translation. I seriously think he never, ever expected that they would ever have anything less than a full term, healthy child, each and every time and that's what I think he meant -- Oh no! This child is going to mean we may have to adjust the life we've been enjoying, and I'm not prepared to take on a sick/less than perfect child.

gettingbored said...

The Duggars see each child as a blessing, which they are. However, I think the Duggars suffer from the misconception that the more babies "God wills" them to have, then the more blessed they must be. They believe God opens and closes the womb, and might regard the amount of children they have as a sign that God highly favors them, as erroneous as that might be.
But the Duggars are also the puppets so to speak of the viewing public. Sean the producer reads the blogs and if viewers clamour loud enough to see/not see something, then Sean makes it happen. Viewers on many forums wanted to see Michelle homeschool, and *poof* an episode appeared. Viewers complained about Josiah's attitude as the spokesperson after Josh married, and *poof* we no longer hear from him. Viewers want to see the Duggars get some culture and *poof* they're sent to eat Ethiopian food. And so on and so forth.

I also see JB as a man who was once very insecure and not one of the cool kids in school. Now he is overcompensating, and IMO has become very prideful with his ad nauseum referrences to how big his family is. The entire train wreck that is this family is beginning to become more apparent to viewers. There's been alot of backlash since Michelle announced #19. Even PETA is using them as fodder for their latest billboard campaign.

Anon 3:14 said...

Dr. Phil did a show on "Attention-Seekers" yesterday.

He interviewed a family with a stunt-man dad and a stunt-woman mom who are in contract negotiations for a reality show about their family. The show would also include the couple's minor-aged children doing dangerous stunts.

Bottom line: Dr. Phil told them in no uncertain terms that having cameras in your home, filming your life, is a path to disaster. Ironically, he showed a photo of J&K G in the background.

While I'm no fan of Dr. Phil, he certainly did forcefully tell this couple that a reality show will destroy their family life and NOT "bring them closer together".

The Duggars are no exception, not even if they want to portray themselves as "nice" and "religious". JB & Michelle sold out themselves and their children. Period.

And I agree with the other posters comments about JB being the Nerd or Unpopular Kid in school and trying to make up for it now. He didn't seem to mind telling the whole world on camera that his wife had boyfriends prior to him and had "baggage" from that. This is a man who honors his wife? Made me sick to watch it.

Irene said...

Well, Dr. Phil is just a shovenist no other word for him. He will say whatever, whenever for his benefit.

As far as the Duggars. I think it is appalling that a preemie baby is being exploited. She is fighting for her life and does not need filthy, germie cameras and production crew near her right now.

TLC is nothing but Pimps & the Duggars are no exception. Their 19 children have no contract, no one protecting their rights, no financial compensation.

SuzanneDeAZ said...

I do not think the family has changed that much since they started TLC. Yes, they have changed some just like any other family who changes with the time. However, their moral values remain the same.

me, just me said...

Their moral values could stand to change some.

Dancing isn't sinful unless it's outright lascivious like grinding. Even a "sexy" cha-cha or tango is more artful and beautiful to watch than sexually arousing. It makes me sick to think Boob and Walking Womb keep the kids from learning about different arts and expressions from a less fire-and-brimstone place.

Dating wouldn't kill them. It would give them a chance to find out what exactly they want in a mate, if nothing else, based on elimination of traits. Kissing doesn't have to happen, nor does inappropriate behavior. Heck, I'm all in favor of anyone under 15 going on group dates after the age of 13.

Pants aren't going to end the world! I wear perfectly modest pants and you can only see the shape of my waist before my pants fall into something more like a riding skirt in the first place. I would think not wearing weather appropriate articles of clothing while still remaining modest would be something the child protective services would be out to fix since heat exhaustion and dehydration are a factor in the Southern states. Wearing jeans to run a marathon was just stupid and dangerous.

And lastly, would it cause the world to tilt off its axis if they could at least ACKNOWLEDGE that the several hundred "single serving" bulk foods they buy, the cans and cans of hairspray Boob uses, among other things - definitely show that if they're to be having THAT MANY children, they could at least do more to drastically reduce their carbon footprint? Just burning wood off your property and shopping used isn't enough. They've probably put more trash out in the past 3 weeks than a family of 26 in my hometown put out in a month!

Cyn said...

I agree with Samantha... no surprise there though.

Anonymous said...

I don't see JB as having been a nerd in school.He attended a private Christian school and appears to have had a charmed life,IMO.(although as he said in their book,they were not wealthy).
And it appears he wants the same thing for his kids,(as far as that goes),only they go a step further and homeschool,protecting them from the real world.
It seems to me like he got a lot of attention in school and growing up,and so he continues the trend with which he was raised upon,but taking it all a step (if you could call it that,more like a mile!) further.

Midwest Mom said...

I googled the new PETA ad/Duggars.

I haven't had that good a laugh in a long long time.

I'm sure JimBob knows all about it, but since the ad just gives him more publicity, he doesn't care that he's being made fun of. A savvy businessman knows that publicity is good, even bad publicity.

The PETA ad just feeds his over-inflated ego even more.

JimBob Duggar is the definition of the classic "Attention Seeker".

Amanda said...

To the poster who lives in Arkansas-

I don't mean to argue with you but...

Not all people in Arkansas play in the dirt, wear flip flop and wear dresses all the time.

I live in a small town (about 4500 people) and I don't see kids playing in the dirt barefoot. These images play up to the stereotype people have of Arkansas..that we are backwood uneducated hillbillys.

We are smart, intelligent. We wear shoes (although I kick mine off as soon as I get inside) and pants. We have electricity and running water.

There are several large worldwide companies that are based in Arkansas..Wal-Mart and Tyson Foods are the first to come to mind.

Yes sandals and flip flops are cheap but so are the off brand shoes at Wal-Mart. Can you imagine being 10 and never having a pair of new shoes? Personally to me it sounds like someone who should be on an Angel tree at Christmas.

This is not an attack on you but I would like people to see that all people from Arkansas are not like the Duggars.

Cyn said...

Re playing in the dirt barefoot...

Ummmm when did it become wrong to let kids just be kids and play in the dirt barefoot cause you aren't going to let them ruin ANOTHER pair of shoes?....

What happened to spending as much of summer barefoot as you could?

When did this become a "bad" thing?

My children would scream bloody murder if I made them wear anything but clogs, and flip flops in the summer when we leave the house to go out in public... (BOTH of which the Duggars are probably buying new as you can find them for 1.00 a pair)

Buying new shoes completely I agree would be a very very good idea.

But barefoot playing in the dirt doesn't = backwood uneducated hillbillys...

jlp said...

I am from a rather large family of 8 children, all of us adopted, including a set of twins. We got attention where ever we went as a family, so I did not seek that as an adult, I wanted to blend in, instead of stand out all the time. I also grew up in a conservative christian home and I love my parents and appreciate what they did for all of us. But I think the Duggars have gone too far. I have two children by choice, knowing any more would push me over the edge :). But I love the two I have. I also did not grow up dancing but I allowed my children to attend public schools and to attend school dances in high school. My daughter and son both attend different christian colleges. They like the small size and intimacy better than a large class like they experienced in high school. I struggle to understand the Duggars. My husband attended Gothar Institute classes in his home church and his parents wanted me to attend them once we were married. I said no way. I don't agree with every Gothard says and I don't agree that the woman should always be 'barefoot and pregnant' I think God gave us a brain and common sense for a reason and we are to use both.

Anonymous said...

Ohio Buckeye, I found your post on God's needs and humans needing to be guided by Him interresting.

First, humans do have the ability to make their own decisions. What the Duggars believe about God does not refuse this fact. They just believe that being obident and faithful means seeking God's guidance with life's issues. Humans still have free will. Even Christians have the ability to seek God's guidence or not. I don't see seeking God's will as not accepting reasponsibility for yor actions.

Can't See Sheep said...

doggie said...
for anyone interested in the craziness that is quiverfull check this site out. this stuff can be addicting.
http://nolongerquivering.com/
-----------

Thanks very much for posting that doggie, it's an enlightening place, very interesting to hear from those who've experienced all this first hand.

Ohio Buckeye said...

@Anonymous, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I find your perspective interesting as well, so thanks for sharing it.

I know this flies in the face of the whole concept of God sending his only son to die on the cross, but here's just a what if to ponder:

What if planet earth is the ant farm of the cosmos? What if humans, in the grandest scheme of things, are NOT the pinnacle of creation, but, instead, a relatively (though not incredibly) intelligent species, who serve a purpose in being, but are NOT god's best creation?

Is this even possible? And, if it were to be possible, would that be such a terrible thing?

As far as we know, the creatures on earth we consider to be lesser, dogs, cats, ants, for example, do not consider themselves to be god's favorites, and, therefore, as far as we know, do not expect god's constant intervention in their lives.

What if same is true for humans? That's really my point. Perhaps (and this is really more of an unanswerable query than a statement) humans considering themselves to be 'all that and a bucket of chicken' in the eyes of an almighty being, is, in and of itself, a silly pride?

Just a thought and not meant to offend anyone's belief.

Personally, I don't think it matters a whole lot one way or another. What humans choose to do with their lives is up to them - use their time on the planet to try to help others or, sadly, not.

To me, it's just interesting to ponder the possibilities. I've been spoon fed the Catholic-think, and, at least in my childhood, bought it hook, line, and sinker.

But as an adult, I enjoy reading about other religions, other philosophies and pondering the endless possibilities.

Thank you for not being offended - not at all my intent.

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is Jennifer in New Brunswick:

Oops, I just went to the main page and realized my first comment probably does not fit the guidelines, so I am re-posting.

I do not feel the Duggars are doing this for fame and fortune and it's a shame people think they are. Way back when they had their first interviews, I'm sure they never imagined this is where they would end up someday. Everyone has their own "religion" and belief system and I believe the Duggars themselves have stated (and this is abviously not word for word) that they are doing this to be a testimony of God's love and to be a witness to others through their God-centred lifestlye.

When further opportunities opened up for them, they saw these as even more of an opportunity to share their faith. To Christians this is a normal part of life, to be a witness for God at every opportunity. They have stated that the Bible holds all the instruction that man needs to live a kind and loving lifestyle, and it is obvious that they believe this by their actions. Of course, they are not perfect, but nobody is. But they dress modestly (maybe we don't all like their style, but it is modest, which is a refreshing change from seeing teenage girls with their breasts hanging out and their skirts so short you can see the bottom of their, ahem, bottoms), they don't use foul language and they show love to others.

I agree with Samantha, who said that God is probably up in Heaven wishing that, instead of judging them for what we don't understand or agree with, we would live our lives more like the Duggars.

lara said...

They sold their Christian Soul's after "on the road with ?? Kids"
Perhaps rather than continuing to keep "factory" going, they should STOP & take care of the children they already don't have time for.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who has noticed that the last 6 or so, receive little to no attention from the Mother-Ship. (BTW, TLC- those children need BATHES-maybe if the parents weren't under ur spell to keep reproducing, SOMEONE,ie.the parents would see that! Social services have been called on better families for less!)
I was horrified tonite to see the selfishness of these 2 adults. (Yes, I said SELFISHNESS, not selfLESSness)I see 6 younger children that desperately need attention, love & discipline from the parents- not the older siblings or from their "sister-in-law" (I almost said AUNT, but then I remembered...). Anna has her own baby that needs attention.
I felt terrible for little Johanna when they asked her where her "mommy" was! The poor little girl looked like she was ready to cry! She heard all this talk about "her mommy being in the hospital". Young children don't need this added stress. She barely gets enuf attention the way it is & now we're going to have a Premie Baby & all that goes along with it! Please Selfish parents, put ur children ahead of ur need to reproduce!
Yes, God said "go forth & multiply, but IMO, he didn't mean like rabbits-
I sincerely hope that ur family doesn't suffer any more than it already has for the selfish need for publicity! I'm sure TODAY already has a crew on stand-by! (J-B/M, u should be ashamed of how u parade those children around like a circus side-show! Children are a gift, not a means for income!)

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with the previous posts that describe JB & J'M as selfish. Most parents believe that they should never take from their children. Loving selfless parents do not deprieve their daughters of the experiences of childhood in order to care for baby after baby after...

doggie said...

I agree with Samantha, who said that God is probably up in Heaven wishing that, instead of judging them for what we don't understand or agree with, we would live our lives more like the Duggars.
______________________________________

God if there is one would not want us all breeding like rabbits in his name. yes people need to be closer and more loving as a family. that's a no brainer. but not at the expense of education and freedom and health.
If there is a god I am sure he is more concerned with how we treat others and ourselves how well we treat the world over what we believe in a certain religion or a certain movement of that religion.

Ohio Buckeye said...

@Anonymous: "When further opportunities opened up for them, they saw these as even more of an opportunity to share their faith. To Christians this is a normal part of life, to be a witness for God at every opportunity."

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

What I wish 'christians' like the Duggars understood that it is this constant 'sharing their faith' and 'witnessing for god' that turns many people AWAY from religion.

In this age of communication, most people who have a genuine interest in religion of any kind can easily find the desired information on their own.

To those of us who are no longer seeking our own answers because we feel comfortable in our own individually-developed belief systems, this constant 'spreading the faith' and 'witnessing' is insulting and offputting.

Even giving the Duggars and their ilk the benefit of the doubt, that their intentions are noble, it is less than noble to refuse to listen to the rest of us when we explain we do not wish to be confronted with THEIR 'faith', THEIR 'witnessing'. Continuing to 'spread' and 'witness' their faith comes across as judgemental & self righteous, and repels more people than it attracts.

If they really want to practice 'christian' kindness, they need to cease and desist with all the evangelizing - it's insulting.

I wish 'christians' like the Duggars would be more sensitive and respectful to those of us who do not want to be preached to('spread their faith' and 'witnessesing for god) to.

Kat said...

To Ohio Buckeye - they won't stop, because one of the core tenets of Christianity is evangelism. It goes all the way back to the disciples being told to be "fishers of men," meaning go and gather the non-believers in and convert them. It's annoying to those of us who are not Christian, but to them, that only means they should work harder at it, not stop.

Christianity is the only religion I know of that commands evangelism. All other major faiths (Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.) believe you must "come to" an acceptance of faith on your own. They will happily explain their faith to anyone who asks, but do not actively proselytize.

reality bites said...

I agree with Ohio Buckeye. When I adopted a child from another country, one with very few Christians, the woman helping us made a comment that it was a shame all those people were "not saved." I had a lot of respect for that woman until that comment. She tried to keep in contact with me, but I let our relationship lapse after I knew her feelings for every one of those people in that lovely country. I am so opposite the Duggars, I am infertile, I believe all gain heaven and forgiveness in the end, I wear pants and send my kids to public schools with all races and religions respresented. But mostly, I still consider myself a good Christian.

Ohio Buckeye said...

Doggie said, "God if there is one would not want us all breeding like rabbits in his name. yes people need to be closer and more loving as a family. that's a no brainer. but not at the expense of education and freedom and health.
If there is a god I am sure he is more concerned with how we treat others and ourselves how well we treat the world over what we believe in a certain religion or a certain movement of that religion."


&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Here's an AMEN and HALLELUIAH for Doggie! Well said.

Where's the humility in assuming the rest of the world requires YOUR example to be 'encouraged' or shown the way to lead a moral lifestyle?

Jane in California said...

I have been reading a bit more about the Quiverful movement, and it's a bit frightening really. To think that Quiverful believers think women are good for one thing only -- to bear as many children as possible, even if that puts them in harm's way. In fact, they are told that if they die in childbirth, it will be all right, because they died doing what God wanted of them. So basically, don't listen to medical professionals, common sense, or your own heart if you are having doubts about pumping out baby after baby, or are overwhelmed with the children already in the home: just keep on going until you finally hit menopause or you die.

There is nothing else that is encouraged for females in this belief system. Their one and only goal is to get married and have as many children as possible, until you can't have any more, one way or another.

Oh and be obedient to your husband, no matter what.

So now when I think of Mr. Bates explaining that his wife made the decision to "let God decide" how many children they have - it sounds so phony. Same with JB.

We are to believe that in every other respect, the men are the head of the household and make the decisions, but when it comes down to how many children they will have as a couple -- it's all up to the wife?

I was also saddened but not a bit surprised to learn how hard it can be for a woman to leave such a life, when she's been raised with very little education or given training in any skills that will help her earn an income outside the home (like the Duggar girls), her social and emotional network is comprised almost 100% of fellow believers (Duggar girls), and she's been taught all her life that it is God's will she have a servant's heart and that bearing many children is what she is called to do (Duggar girls).

To leave a Quiverful marriage means a woman will face ostracism, probably poverty, and also likely the loss of her children in a court dispute she can't afford to fight.

It's a disgrace when any family raises their children purposely uneducated in order to keep them from having the ability to take care of themselves. More and more, that's what I see the Duggars as doing.

another RN said...

Ohio Buckeye, I agree with you-as usual. I love that they seem to be a tight knit family, but there seems to be a fundamental lack of tolerance for any other belief system. What I wish so many "evangelizers" would realize is that people have different backgrounds and experiences that shape them. That MUST be considered at all times. Surely someone who was in an abusive home but whose parents claimed piety, regardless of the faith; would have a very different perspective on religion. Someone whose prayers have gone unanswered and who has suffered horrific loss may never want to hear anything about faith again. Some people just can't bite the hook of religion no matter how hard they try or how much they pray. It's just who they are, and that's OK.

Ollie said...

@ Ohio Buckeye

I understand that no one likes to have his/her religious beliefs challenged by others, however I feel you are missing some important points. Most importantly, no body (I would assume and hope) is forcing you to watch the Duggars television show. If you are offended by their sharing of their Christian faith I would urge you (or anyone else who feels the same way) to exercise your right to turn off their program.
In my opinion sharing your faith through the television is a less intrusive way than say going door to door. At least this way I'm not forced to try and politely get rid of the missionaries while dinner burns on the stove, I can just switch off the TV and be done.

Ohio Buckeye said...

Another RN: Once again, we seem to find ourselves on the same page. Perhaps this is due, at least in part, to our experiences in providing nursing care?

I so agree with you: Not only is it 'ok' for some to have found their own (non'christian') way, but there is absolutely no reason to assume non-'christian' ways are morally inferior to the lifestyle chosen by the Duggars.

Unstylish hairdos and long skirts, not using birth control, abstaining from dancing and alcohol as well as premarital kissing, reading the bible - none of these things carry much weight on the morality scale IMO.

What matters is treating others with sensitivity and respect and with an absence of the belief that those outside a 'christian' circle are, by definition, 'sinners' and to be avoided.

Ohio Buckeye said...

@ Ollie, I appreciate your thoughts and sentiments. You are correct that no one is forcing me to watch the Duggars.

But whether I choose to watch them or (most often) choose not to watch them, it still falls within the realm of approrpriate that I have and voice my opinion about them.

The Duggars' choice to put their beliefs and lifestyle on public display brings to others the right to critique those beliefs and lifestyle.

Ohio Buckeye said...

@Reality Bites: I have had similar experiences, one in particular stands out in my mind.

An otherwise very nice person who often spoke highly of all the kindness her mother had done throughout her life explained to me that despite her mother's exemplary life, her mom was doomed to hell because she had not 'taken Jesus as her savior' and, therefore, was not 'saved'.

I knew this woman years ago, and those conversations have stayed with me all this time. I am STILL wondering what kind of god do these people pray to?

I remain hopeful that any almighty being would be wiser and more loving than this woman's god, who would banish a person to hell despite having spent a lifetime doing good in the world.

Anonymous said...

Jane in California- the Duggars have repeatedly stated that they are not quiverful. They may have once been but maybe they distanced themselves because they didn't agree with some of the practices. Not every couple that let's God decide how many children they have is part of the quiverfull movement. Hubby and I made this choice and we had never heard of quiverful, nor do we agree with their practices. And hubby does leave it up to me weather we have another child or not. Until the Duggars can be proven to be quiverful we should take them at their word. IMO they would be a lot better off if they would just throw out some of Gothard's idiotic teachings also.

J Henry

Ohio Buckeye said...

Kat said, "To Ohio Buckeye - they won't stop, because one of the core tenets of Christianity is evangelism. It goes all the way back to the disciples being told to be "fishers of men," meaning go and gather the non-believers in and convert them. It's annoying to those of us who are not Christian, but to them, that only means they should work harder at it, not stop.

Christianity is the only religion I know of that commands evangelism. All other major faiths (Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.) believe you must "come to" an acceptance of faith on your own. They will happily explain their faith to anyone who asks, but do not actively proselytize."

*******************************

Wow, that's amazing, Kat. Thanks for the insight into that mindset.

The 'must evangelize' mindset rales against humility, IMO.

Being 'fishers of men' can be accomplished more efficaciously by replacing evangelism with acceptance and respect for those who have opted for a decidedly non-christian life approach.

Seems the 'christians' could learn much from their Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, and Buddhist counterparts.

Continued insistence on catching those fish who have made a decision they do not want to be caught is as nonsensical as it is
insensitive and judgmental.

These 'fishers of men' need to learn to use better bait or, better yet, let the fish swim in peace.

Anonymous said...

Not all Christian groups believe in proselytizing the world. I attend a church that says evangelization begins at the church door. No one ever goes out into neighborhoods presuming to ask about anyone else's religion. The doors are open to all and if you ask, someone is quick to answer. We do not go around handing out tracts or Bibles. We believe in websites, ads in the yellow pages, events at church to which the community is invited, feeding the homeless, and visiting prisons. All done because we should not with the intent of shoving our brand of religion on people.

Ohio Buckeye said...

Anonymous said, "Not all Christian groups believe in proselytizing the world. I attend a church that says evangelization begins at the church door. No one ever goes out into neighborhoods presuming to ask about anyone else's religion. The doors are open to all and if you ask, someone is quick to answer. We do not go around handing out tracts or Bibles. We believe in websites, ads in the yellow pages, events at church to which the community is invited, feeding the homeless, and visiting prisons. All done because we should not with the intent of shoving our brand of religion on people."

********************************

Anon, now THERE's a church I can respect. Thanks for giving me hope that not all christian churches are so out of touch and judgemental. You truly gave me some of that 'good news' - thanks for that.

Jane in California said...

Anonymous said...

Jane in California- the Duggars have repeatedly stated that they are not quiverful. They may have once been but maybe they distanced themselves because they didn't agree with some of the practices.
* * *

They may say they are not Quiverful, but from what others have said on this blog, they apparently provide links on their own website to Quiverful sites and books. (I tried to verify this right now, but their web page must be done - I can't connect to it.)

I notice that Josh and Anna's site does the same. In the listing of resources, a bit down the list, is one of Bill Gothard's books.

If they didn't believe in it, why would they advocate it? By listing it as a helpful resource, that says, "Here is something we think is a good thing, something helpful. We recommend this."

I think it's smart PR on their part to say they are NOT Quiverful, but I have to say their actions would seem to indicate otherwise.

Can't See Sheep said...

Kat said...
Christianity is the only religion I know of that commands evangelism. All other major faiths (Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.) believe you must "come to" an acceptance of faith on your own. They will happily explain their faith to anyone who asks, but do not actively proselytize."
-----------------------------

Actually this used to be much less common, it has picked up in the last 20 years or so. When I was a child I very rarely heard of anyone behaving in this way & I was raised in an area that was very Christian, there were two churches across the road from us, a third about a 3 minute walk, a 4th a 5 minute walk & two more about a mile. All were different sects/ branches of Christianity.

None of them promoted evangelism outside the church doors & in fact frowned heavily on it & cautioned against it. To say that these people who "spread the word" vexed them is putting it mildly. They saw it as disrespectful to others & as some pointed out when you have 2 full churches next door to each other you're bound to realize not everyone is going to believe exactly the same thing & you need to respect it.

What used to amaze me further is that it was not uncommon for the congregation of one of these churches to attend the Christmas pagents of the other's. They'd also do things like potluck suppers, sometimes to raise money for different things. Everything these churches did was open to the community & they always made everyone feel welcome.

I myself have noticed an increase in this whole spread the word thing. The branches/ sects I spoke of above still do not practice it, still frown on it, these groups that do spread it are different ones that have grown in popularity in the last couple of decades.

Ohio Buckeye said...

Jane in California said, "Anonymous said...I think it's smart PR on their part to say they are NOT Quiverful, but I have to say their actions would seem to indicate otherwise."

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
Exactly. It's just this kind of hypocricy that is such an absolute turn off to people.

Witness J&K+8: once you put yourself out there and hold yourself up as the absolute model of a happy, religious family' but then fail to walk the talk you've been talking, people who may have invested something emotional in what you claimed to be, can become very disillusioned and angry at being manipulated and duped.

We've all seen how this played out for J&K. It seems the backlash against the Duggars is heading toward full swing already - sometimes that saying, 'familiarity breeds contempt' is absolutely accurate.

Now would be a wise time for Duggars to disappear.

Ohio Buckeye said...

Jane in California, I find your description of Quiverful absolutely frightening!

In this day and age, for one gender to need to completely disempower the other is an absolute outrage.

I put these people in the same category as other zealots and cults - not exactly emotionally well balanced.

The whole concept of birthing babies to be god's 'warriors' - yegods, who of us wants our precious children to go spend their lives 'warring' with others? To birth children specifically to be 'at war' with the infidels makes absolutely no parental sense whatsoever IMO.

Neither does a god who desires this kind of 'war' and defeat of others.

These people scare me.

Nancy said...

Ohio Buckeye - as is the norm I agree with your sentiments. I have actually now reached the point where it is not even fun to watch the Duggars and discuss. The evangelizing by Christians (or any religion really) seems incredibly arrogant, self-centered, and opposed to everything I believe in as a humanist. Wearing ridiculous clothes and hair styles, having more babies than I can emotionally or financially care for, enslaving daughters, and drippy women's voices are not things that seem admirable to me.
Personally, I feel badly now that I thought the Gosselins were so awful.

Kat said...

Someone here stated that her husband "leaves it up to her" to decide whether or not to have another child, just as JB has often stated. I've been curious about this statement since I heard JB and Gil Bates use it. What, exactly, does this mean? Does it mean that you say you no longer wish to have sexual relations? Because abstinence and menopause are the only two sure methods of not having children if you don't use any form of birth control.

And if that is what it means, then 1) isn't that taking away God's "decision" as to whether you have more children or not, and 2) isn't that a horrible choice to have to make (assuming you see sex as a blessing, and not a burden)?

doggie said...

I think the meaning is that is is left up to Michelle in that if god has not stopped her it is her that chooses pregnancy.
I can't really say it like I need too. but he is saying is is really god choosing and up to Michelle's body to have a baby or not.

Anonymous said...

Kat...my beliefs are somewhat different than the Duggars and Bates in regaurd to the use of birth control. We have choosen to not use bc because after 12 years of unexplained infertility, we are suddenly having children. We currently have 2 and are hoping for more. We decided that God answered our prayer for a family and we are going to let him determine the size of our family. I know that if my health were in question, we would choose to use some form or sterilization. Longterm abstinence is not healthy for any marriage.

The Duggars and the Bates believe in Gothard's patriarchy teachings which we do not subscribe too. I just see with them, two men who I think truly love their wives. I would hope that if either lady said 'no more' for whatever reason, then they would reconsider their stance on having children.

If the Duggars and Bates are truly not quiverful in their mindset, then they would use some form of sterilization to quit having children. I worry that a pregnancy may end (some time in the future for one of these families) with an emergency hystorectomy to stop bleeding and save the mother's life after delivery. But then again, my great grandmother had 14 at home, never saw a "female doctor," and lived to be 92, so who knows?

J Henry

Kat said...

Doggie and J Henry - thanks, but I'm still unclear on the whole "leave it to my wife" concept in actual practice. As I understand it, Gothard thinks sterilization is "bad," so that is out of the question. And if "leaving it to my wife" really means "leaving up to my wife's body," what's the difference between that and "leaving it up to God?" If you're still engaging in sexual intimacy without protection, what has changed?

J Henry - I agree that longterm abstinence is generally not the best option for a happy marriage, but I just can't imagine what else "leaving it up to my wife" means without being willing to use some form of birth control. Waiting until the wife is 12 months into full menopause? In the Duggars' case, that might actually be a good thing, because Michelle would be able to spend the next 8-12 years actually raising her younger children, and allow the older children to develop their own lives.

JimBob Doesn't Need HairSpray said...

Anon 2:46 "Longterm abstinence is not healthy for any marriage".

-------

Well, actor Christopher Reeve and his wife seemed pretty happy after his accident.

Medications, prostate cancer, and a host of other medical problems can lead to some couples having longterm abstinence. Does that mean those marriages aren't healthy?

If JimBob Duggar was told by a doctor that Michelle's life is in danger if she has another pregnancy, you mean he wouldn't be able to stop having sex? (since they don't believe in birth control). You mean that he would love Michelle less and their marriage would no longer be "healthy?.

I doubt it.

reality bites said...

If JimBob Duggar was told by a doctor that Michelle's life is in danger if she has another pregnancy, you mean he wouldn't be able to stop having sex?
***********
No, but by his actions, I bet if he were told he could die if they had another baby, the sex would stop in an instant. JMO.

Jane in California said...

reality bites said:
No, but by his actions, I bet if he were told he could die if they had another baby, the sex would stop in an instant. JMO.
* * *

*snort!*

It's all in the perspective ;)

Marybeth said...

Having been a fan since the first 1 hour specials began and having rewatched them many times over, I do not see how their morals and Christian values have changed.

1)Their home has changed, but that was changing regardless and TLC helped with some of the interior design (some not all.)

2) Their clothing has become a bit updated, however their daughters are also growing up. They repeatedly use the phrase "modest modern." I also am part of a sect (if you want to use that word) that dresses modestly--we're Orthodox Jews--but we also dress in modern styles--just long sleeves, long skirts, and married women cover their hair with scarves or wear wigs. Just because we dress modestly doesn't mean we have to dress like Laura Ingalls.

3) They take more trips. They get invited more places. Being a family of 18--now 19 that has a TV show will garner invitations. They accept the ones they see as being acceptable to their family (Dollywood, Today show, etc.) They are raising their family in a homeschool environment and that means field trips. What we see in 30 minutes does not mean what they teach as homeschooling parents.

What has not changed:

1) they still shop for used clothing and used items for the home

2) they still shop for discount groceries and household supplies and make their own soap and baby wipes

3) they still bargain and haggle for the best deal, attend auctions and get used cars and as many things second hand as possible

4) they still homeschool using their Christian plan and on-line school curriculum

5) they still take regular mission trips to El Salvador

6) they still gather together every night for Bible study and worship together on Sunday with friends

Everything about their life and what they understand about their faith is to be an example of Christ and to have a servant's heart. That is who they are and what they strive to be and achieve. This TV show gives them an opportunity to show the world just how they go about being an example of that. It may sound naive of me and it may sound trite, but that's really what the Duggars are all about.

Deanna said...

The littlest girls are in THIS season's Gymboree wear, so there is no way that any of it is used. SImilarly, the older girl/boys are wearing current Aeropostle and Abercrombie, not last season's, or anything that would be in a consignment shop.

The little girls dress much more fashionably than the older girls did even five years ago. So, it isn't just that the older kids have grown up, it's that the fashion bug, or TLC, has changed the whole family.

The views we have seen lately of Jim Bob trying to lead bible study shows about five minutes of him paraphrasing some bible story, while all the little kids squirm and fuss and make noise. This is a stark contrast to the old days in "14 kids" when everyone sat totally still and listened to Daddy intently.

I doubt the old Duggars would have thought a trip to Dollyworld, with all those NIKE moments (yikes, how NIKE that was!) would have been appropriate.

Marybeth said...

Just a clarification...they are wearing "our apostle" ...it's a Christian clothing line. This was cleared up in a discussion a few months ago. Apparently the shirts run about $15 each.
When my daughter was Jordyn/Jennifer's age she wore Burberry and Ralph Lauren all bought off of ebay that looked as if it had been worn once or twice by the previous owner. At that age by families who afford those brands, the child may have never worn it at all before growing out of it. So for the benefit of the doubt, it IS possible to buy those name brands used when the children are that small while they are still in new to good condition since they outgrow them so fast. Also with the Duggars being that well known, they might have friends, family, who go right to them with used items to sell.
Also remember at this stage of the game they are receiving product placements--swiffer, campbells, sara lee, etc. So it's not so unlikely that The Gap could have donated some clothing as well.
I think it's only fair to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Anonymous said...

Hi, it's Jennifer in New Brunswick again. Just in response to Buckeye, I guess I didn't really clarify what I meant about the Duggars sharing their faith when they get the opportunity....that's just the thing I like about them....they don't share their faith in a "preachy" sort of way. They don't try to force their faith on anyone or say "You need to believe such-and-such."

If they are asked about their faith, they gladly share. Otherwise, they only speak of God, faith and prayer in their daily lives. And why not. When a person believes in something, it's only normal to talk about it. For example, if someone loves nascar, they talk about it a lot. I see the Duggars like that. They believe in their faith and so they talk about it as a normal part of their daily conversation. And that's probably what I like best about their faith. They AREN'T pushy about it.

And that's the way Christianity is supposed to be (I come from a Christian background myself). Unfortunately, some Christians have made a bad name for their faith by trying to force their beliefs on people. In the Bible God never commands us to try to shove the Bible down someone's throat or shout fire and brimstone and scream that people will burn in hell if they don't believe. The Duggars speak of their faith in their daily lives and if someone asks questions, then they feel free to share more. This is what true Christianity should be, and the Duggars encompass this. At least they have values and stick by them. And their children are so well behaved and polite (yes, they have their moments, too, but they are children, after all).

Also, I have read the real story (from them) of why they gladly accept any child they conceive - it has nothing to do with the Quiver-ful theory. It's because early on, after having Josh, she went on the pill, got pregnant and had a miscarriage. After reading the fine print, they found out (probably more-so back then, when technology wasn't as good) that the pil didn't always prevent pregnancy. Rather, you can still get pregnant on the pill, but then miscarry. Being Christians, they knew this kind of abortion was wrong, which is why they decided to just let God give them as many children as He chose to.

Yes, I know some people will say that there are other methods of contraception besides the pill, but we all have our own convictions :-)