Duggar kids, free indeed

Over at Big Journalism, Charlie Richards, creator of the Christian video series, Life at the Pond, writes an insightful post on his experience meeting the 19 Duggar kids, particularly the 3 oldest girls:

In prepping a children’s program where I’d be recording all the Duggars from TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, I read a lot about this family on the Internet.

Boy was that unhelpful.

I wanted to make sure I got their characters right while scripting the dialogue for an episode of Life at the Pond….

But there was one common theme… The Duggar children are captives in their own home….

[Dad] Jim Bob [Duggar] was kind enough to invite my entire family into his home.  We ended up spending parts of 3 days there, and I can tell you first hand, this is no ordinary family.

You won’t find a television in their giant living room.  The Internet is greatly restricted. The girls’ room (9 of 10 sleep in 1 room – the only exception is temporary, newborn Josie) didn’t have Hanna Montana or boy band or vampire posters or anything like it.

Lady Gaga did not make the cut.

The most prevalent thing on the walls of the Duggar house are family pictures and scripture. So, yes, you could say quite accurately popular culture was shielded by the walls literally built by the Duggar family.

Funny thing is, people tend to assume a child not immersed in popular culture is a child missing from reality.  In some cases, that is true. Not the Duggars.

photo of duggar kids

My wife and I spent considerable time talking to the 3 teenage girls, Jill, Jessa and Jinger.  They are sharp, fun and informed.  They know what’s going on out there.  But it isn’t at all a part of their every day life. And, to the shock and dismay of so many, they’re okay with that.

While, admittedly, I admire the Duggars for much of what they do, I didn’t expect what I saw in these 3 girls.  The world has yet to beat them into submission.  They don’t watch the Disney Channel, so they’ve yet to learn that adults are buffoons and parents are embarrassing.  They don’t listen to the local rock station, so they’ve yet do discover life is supposed to be one promiscuous event followed by another.  They don’t attend public school, so they’ve yet to learn teenage girls are required to be filled with angst and riddled with insecurities.

As we spoke to the 3 of them, one word kept jumping out at me:  Freedom.  These girls were experiencing freedom teenagers rarely taste.  Completely free to be themselves.  The exact opposite of the words so often used by media folk to describe the 19 kids.

While many times teenagers can’t wait to get away from adults, these 3 were anxious to engage in conversation.  And they were delightful. All of the Duggars were.

And here’s another thing that springs from the Duggar house throughout the day:  Humor.  The TLC show captures some of that, but I was surprised by the amount of laughter and joking in that home.

Again, it goes back to freedom.  While the left reflexively assumes it’s a world of “don’t do that” leading to a house of misery, reality is quite the opposite.

As the Duggar family proves.

268 thoughts on “Duggar kids, free indeed”


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    Alexandra says:

     These girls were experiencing freedom teenagers rarely taste.  Completely free to be themselves.  The exact opposite of the words so often used by media folk to describe the 19 kids.

    This paragraph really resonated with me. My parents are not religious at all, but because of a variety of life circumstances – I had a childhood career with a professional ballet company, which rendered me horribly unpopular at school; I had about 40 people’s worth of hand-me-downs to clothe me until I got my first job; my parents were active participants in pop culture consumption with us and frequently shared their views on why a certain type of behavior or thought process was incorrect; etc – I grew up feeling relatively aware of, but acutely unaffected by, pop culture. I hated seeing other kids act like vegetables are disgusting or parents are stupid or gossip is expected or learning is boring. It is so, so strange to me that so many people accept these as ‘natural’ beliefs that children somehow develop, in a vacuum, on their own. Kids and teenagers are complex people who will do amazing things, physically and intellectually and emotionally and morally, if you don’t teach them that they “aren’t supposed to” or “shouldn’t want to.”


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    Ex-GOP Voter says:

    I like the Dugger family – they all seem very respectful and loving.


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    Elisabeth says:

    Awesome post! We get a lot of the same sort of comments about our kids… there’s just something about the joyfulness of kids who aren’t forced to fit into the world’s mold!


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    yor bro ken says:

    Been there. Seen that. Done it. [but there were only 13 Duggars at the time.]

    Most homeschool kids display the maturity and confidence that Mr Richards observed in the Duggar daughters.

    [sacasm, tongue in cheek, smart*ss comment will follow]

    Just think how excellent the Duggar daughters would have been if they would have had the benfit of all the ‘socialization’ that the government schools provide.

    [All homeshool parents and children have been confronted with the ‘socialization’ objection to homeschooling from mostly well meaning people many times family, who are ignorant of the whole homeschool concept.]


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    Ed says:

    What a great family the Duggars are!


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    LB says:

    My daughter and I first watched and mocked the kids and family.  The funny long skirts and second-hand lifestyle seems silly on first appraisal. But it didn’t take long for us to really appreciate all the love in that house and see a really great marriage.  
    It’s a life unlike my own, but they whole heartedly believe in the blessing of children and warmly raise them.   They don’t judge others and seem very focused on doing right as a family.  That’s something, I as a single-parent can appreciate.   Embracing the blessing of children opens your worldview beyond chasing trends and fads or the approval of others.
    Ashley, I think you need to watch a couple of episodes instead of cherry-picking quotes.  Also, viewing having children as having some sort of political weapon is weird. 


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    Praxedes says:

    What exactly is a liberal Catholic?

    Maybe it is a person who is prolife one week and proabortion the next.
    Who is using birth control one month and is off it the next.
    Is it an adult who is feels forced to attend Mass to please their parents?
    Someone who wants to get pregnant now but next week will think it’s best to wait for marriage?
    Is it a person who has a member of religious order in their family who wrote a book?
    Is it a person who believes Catholicism is cultural thing?
    Is it someone who hides behind a religion to further their own agenda?

    I think a liberal Catholic is another name for a cafeteria Catholics or a CINO.  But then again maybe liberal Catholic is another name for Fundie.

    I once heard a bishop talk on this issue of liberal or conservative Catholics.  This bishop said there is no such thing as a liberal or a conservative Catholic.  You are either Catholic or you are not. 

    Ashley, write your bishop a letter, list all your views that run opposed to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and ask him what he thinks.  Maybe calling yourself Catholic is no problem if you add Liberal or Cafeteria in front of it or For Choice after it.  But then again, bishops are probably another part of Catholicism that you reject. 


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    Kel says:

    Ashley, feel free to repost, if you can do so without inflammatory name calling.  Thanks.


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    Ashley says:

    They don’t listen to the local rock station, so they’ve yet do discover life is supposed to be one promiscuous event followed by another.  They don’t attend public school, so they’ve yet to learn teenage girls are required to be filled with angst and riddled with insecurities.
     
    Right, like there’s no in-between. I’m sick of these arguments about how locking women in the house and forbidding them to date, listen to music, or go to school is being a “real feminist,” because at least they don’t have to face the big, scary world. Training women from birth to wait on their husbands and be his walking vagina (for sex when he says so) and uterus (for kids, but you have to do all the work)…is so empowering!
     
    As I tried to point out in my comment that was deemed “offensive,” the Duggars are fundamentalist Christian royalty and probably more liberal than most. Most people who follow these hard-core ideologies would never appear on TV, let alone show their true colors on TV. A lot of women who used to follow radical religions describe them as “mini-cults” that brainwash and beat the women into submission. (If you read the quotes I posted, men pretty much have a pass to beat their wives and kids, as long as they pray about it after. Not to mention those freaky Pearl people, who write guides for radical Christians on how to properly beat your kids, including infants: http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/comments/fundies_and_child_abuse/
     
    Even if they were unhappy, it’s not like you would know about it. Women are forbidden to complain or question, as that’s not being properly submissive.
     
    You can’t claim the Duggars are representative of most people who follow these radical “Christian patriarchy” ideologies. Go read the literature of the people who lead this movement. They’re an American version of militant Islamists–right down to the third-class status of women. (For the most part, they don’t think women should vote, play sports, or leave the house without permission.) And the sanctioning of wife and child abuse to keep them in line. That Pearl guy–a “Quiverfull” leader who writes child-rearing guides for fundamentalist parents–wrote about how he got pleasure out of viciously beating a baby in order to “train” him not to crawl off his blanket.

    Then people write articles about how these people are so happy and free and more empowered than everyone else? BARF.
     


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    Ashley says:

    I guess what annoys me about the Duggars is that they put a shiny, happy face on a hate-filled ideology. They make people think radical Christians are all like them. Like I said, the mere fact that they’re willing to go on TV is proof they’re not as radical and self-isolating as a lot of people who subscribe to “Christian patriarchy.”

    Go read nolongerquivering.com for the real story. These people are scary. And, of course, they’re having hordes of kids. (There’s a racist element too, since they seem obsessed with breeding more whites.) I just hope there’s not enough of them to cause demographic shifts. And we’re worried about creeping Sharia and radical Islam? They only wish they could get away with treating women and children the way the Taliban or the Iranian government does.


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    Carla says:

    What color children do you think two white parents would have??

    I must be racist too. I have bred four white kids of my own.
     
    You sound like you are going off the deep end, Ashley. Please stop and think before you post.

    Also,
    please remember the mantra My Body, My Choice when it comes to Michelle Duggar. Or does that only apply to having abortions? Nobody would bat an eye if she were on her 19th abortion.


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    Ed says:

    Ashley,

    Your heart is like a troubled sea.  I pray that one day you will meet the Lord Jesus Christ who can give you true and lasting peace.  He’s ready when you are. And He is only a prayer away.

    Extremists can be found in every religion, those who are a little off (or way off) in some way or another.

    None of us is perfect.

    The first thing that you should know is that God loves you more than you realize, just the way you are; that you are beautiful and precious to Him; and that if you would invite Him into your heart, He would fill you with His Love, Joy and Peace, His Abundant Life.

    You were made for Love.


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    Ed says:

    And by the way Ashley, God absolutely loves women…absolutely loves ’em.  Why do you think He made you so beautiful and gorgeous?

    Women are the crown jewel of His creation.

    You gals are the bomb.

    (Oops, probably not a good metaphor to use in the context of religious extremists.)

    Just think how boring, dull, bland and void of beauty this world would be without women?

    Yuck!

    God knew what He was doing…

  14. The Duggars are a great family.  I believe those who have firsthand experience with them over those who are speculating on the internet.
    Yes, there’s a spectrum among Christians of how “liberal” they are.  Why is it that the Duggars can’t be representative if they don’t fall at the extreme end?
    I’m with Carla in asking what the **** color kids do you think Jim Bob and Michelle would have?  You should see the comments people who do have large families and adopt get; when one of them shows up on a thread about Quiverfull families they are automatically accused of giving those children no connection to their cultural background.  Nope, can’t win.
    My husband and I don’t use birth control, including NFP, and he is perfectly capable of child care and changes diapers when it’s most reasonable for him to do it.  He usually gives our 2-year-old her bath because when our son was younger he would nurse all evening (sometimes he still does).  He encourages me to get out to a Bible study, and he watches the kids, and often has both in bed when I get home.  About all he can’t do is lactate and go without sleep.
    He rarely asks anything of me–but I love him so much, I try to give him all his heart desires.
    Ashley, I don’t know what your relationship is like, but it’s hard to imagine it’s better than a good Christian marriage.


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    Marauder says:

    I’ve never watched the Duggars on TV, so this is a genuine question – do the Duggars claim to be representing an average Quiverful family?


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    Kelsey says:

    I echo Marauder’s question.  It seems to me that this article wasn’t about the religious and patriarchal aspects of the Quiverfull movement, but about specific criticisms of the Duggar family (kids aren’t socialized in public school, kids aren’t exposed to pop culture, etc.)  These are two separate issues.


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    Kristen says:

    No offense Ashley but it seems like you might be going off the deep end and in need of some counseling.  Truly, I mean that without any sarcasm.
     
    You are obviously very young but many parents feel that their kids are learning things in school that have nothing to do with education.  Many parents feel that they cannot instill their values in their children because of what goes on at school, both conservative and liberal.  School is no place for political brainwashing, by either side.  This family is doing what every family wants to do, raise their children as they see fit.  They are lucky they have the ability to do it and do it successfully.  Their children feel no depravation so why does it make a difference to you?


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    Mary says:

    Ashley,

    What is your REAL issue with the Duggars?  Do they ask anybody for anything?  Do they not take responsibility for their lives and needs?  Have these people inflicted any harm on you or anybody?

    Obsessed with breeding more whites?  Are we discussing farm animals or humans? Who’s the racist here Ashley?  What if I said a black couple is “obsessed” with breeding more blacks?  Your reaction?

    Ashley stop and take a deep breath.  YOU are the one having an issue here.  The Duggars are not forcing anything on you.  They are not asking you for anything.
    Any number of religious people have strict rules on dating, socializing, etc. including the Amish, Orthodox Jews, and Muslims to name a few. 


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    Carla says:

    The point of this post was that someone was actually surprised and delighted to find that the Duggar children are in reality HAPPY, HEALTHY, WELL ADJUSTED and LOVING in spite of the fact they do not spend hours on the internet, watching TV, playing the Wii or paging through teen magazines!!! They are free to be who they are!!

     

    The horror.


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    mama3 says:

    My mother is the eldest of 13, her parents were joyfully married for over 60 years before they seperated momentarily by death. The 13 children and their extended families are all very very close and have several re-unions each year. These are well adjusted, hardworking, loving, responsible people who grew up all together in one home and in church and CHOSE Christianity as my grandparents quietly prayed they would. I am thouroghly thankful that I have been witness to the love these people show one another. There are no squables, no grudges, that the “world” commonly associates with siblings.
     Our family is rock solid proof that happiness comes with freedom and freedom comes from submission of both sexes, not to man, but to Gods will for their lives. 

    We are one of many tangible proofs that you are wrong about large hard rock Christian families and are generalizing based on the absolute extreme.

    I do NOT EXPECT you to believe me.
    I do pray that God works to open your hardened and hateful heart.
    Ultimately, that is your biggest choice.


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    Carla says:

    Try staying on topic.

    Try answering Mary’s questions.

    Try to stop the blasphemy and deliberate inflammatory comments.

     

    Thank you.

     


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    Ashley says:

    What is your REAL issue with the Duggars? 

     
    I already answered that; the mods just chose to delete it. My problem is that they put a happy face on Christian fundamentalism and make people think it’s not so bad. But they’re “celebrity Christians,” and they don’t follow the rules imposed by other Quiverfull sects. Plenty of women have opened up about their experience being “enslaved” (their word, not mine) by Quiverfull radicalism, to the point where some considered suicide. They were indoctrinated with hate. And we’re supposed to pretend these people are less dangerous than the radical Muslims who attacked us? The radical quiverfull/Christian patriarchy/whatever you want to call it–is just as bad. They sanction child abuse, wife-beating, and treating women like property. They’re even teaching parents to beat their newborn babies with glue sticks to stop them from crying, and working their way up to more pain-inflicting devices. There’s been several child-abuse deaths linked to followers of the Pearls, a couple that writes popular child-training (ie, child-abusing) manuals for Quiverfull parents.
     
    I have a job on a campaign now. If I ever get into state government in Ohio, I’ll make sure we’re raiding Christian radicals’ homes at the first sign of child abuse or forced marriage for underage girls, both of which are popular. The “Quiverfull movement”/radical fundamentalism is growing in Southwest Ohio, and I’m going to do whatever I can to stop it.


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    Jill Stanek says:

    Ashley, I warned you on a Quote of the Day comment a couple weeks ago that you needed to refrain from Christian bashing. “Christo-Taliban” is 180 degrees off the mark, totally offensive, and uncalled for. This is a pro-life Christian site. We let people on the other side say a lot, but there is a line, and I’ve warned you that you are nearing it. I also don’t allow posting links to anti-Christian/anti-life propaganda. You can do that on your own site.

    I appreciate that you are suffering, Ashley, and I appreciate that you sometimes try to work through your post-abortive issues here. This is a good place for that, full of understanding, compassionate people. That you turn on us so easily is not only disconcerting, it is disloyal. People here are trying to befriend you.


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    phillymiss says:

    (There’s a racist element too, since they seem obsessed with breeding more whites.)

    I have to agree with Ashley here, I’ve read Christian fundamentalist articles and even prolife literature that decries the low birth rate among white women and the growing population in the U.S. of Latinos (which is stupid, because Hispanics can be any color, ranging from blue-eyed blondes to very dark-skinned black people) and dark-skinned Muslims in Europe.  Of course, not all Quiverful people are like this, but it’s something to think about.

    On the other hand, I am also suspicious of zero population types, since 97 percent of the growth in the world’s population is coming from from the developing world.  The specter of forced abortions, sterilizations, etc., still rears its ugly head.

    (If I ever get into state government in Ohio, I’ll make sure we’re raiding Christian radicals’ homes at the first sign of child abuse or forced marriage for underage girls, both of which are popular).

    Fundamentalism in any form frequently has a negative effect on women. I have a friend who works with Orthodox Jewish families and these women often have behavioral health issues — eating disorders, etc., but I don’t know if it’s higher than in the general population.


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    Mary says:

    Really Ashley,

    So do you assume that Amish, Orthodox Jews, and Muslims all put on “happy faces” too?  They adhere to strict fundamentalism where their faiths are concerned.  Is this just an issue with “Christian Fundamentalists”.

    Also Ashely, I have heard the Duggars describe themselves as Evangelicals, not Fundamentalists.  Check out the differences in these religious beliefs. 

    Also, people can be found in any situation, religious or otherwise, who are miserably unhappy.  It can be the childless woman who considers herself enslaved and trapped in a miserable marriage and life as much as it can be a member of some religious sect.

    We’re supposed to pretend these people are “less dangerous”?  OK Ashley, tell me all the crimes they commit, all the planes they’re blown up, and all the acts of terrorism.  If anything, such a sect, the Branch Davidians, was incinerated by government ATF agents in Waco, TX for doing….what?  I would be more concerned about an overzealous gov’t.

    While I certainly don’t advocate the abuse of children and domestic violence, it is certainly not unique to these groups and it should be punished the same way it is in the rest of society.  We may not be aware of all the abuse going on in these groups, if indeed it is, but are we aware of what goes on behind our neighbors’ closed doors?  For the most part no.  Tragically abuse is very much a part of our society as a whole.

    Raiding Christian homes at the first sign of abuse?  What about Orthodox Jewish, Hindu, Amish, and Muslim homes?  Will your and my home be subject to raids at what someone considers a “sign” of abuse?  Who will determine what is abuse?  What about the homes of the general public, will they all be subjected to such raids?  If not why not? Abuse is abuse, wouldn’t you agree?   


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    Mary says:

    Hi phillymiss,

    I don’t go for the racism bit.  Certainly ethnic and racial groups may be concerned about their numbers and this is by no means exclusive to whites.  Jewish Americans have had concerns.  People of any race, religion, and culture may well be concerned about keeping their numbers growing and maintaining their heritage.  Racial tension and resentment certainly exists betweeen non white racial groups in this country as well.


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    mama3 says:

    breeding?

    He’s happy, She’s happy, they are married and have sex, they have children, they are still happy, they are still having sex, they have another child, and so it goes.
    These are not wards of the state children…. They are not the unwanted, but at least I did’nt abort children… these are loved, cherished children.
    Breeding? 
    the word is offensive to me.
     If I was an animal, it would be breeding, and if all a person thinks they are are animals, then I guess it makes sense… But I am no animal. I am a human being, and IMO created in God’s image.


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    Marauder says:

    My problem is that they put a happy face on Christian fundamentalism and make people think it’s not so bad.

    But are they actually saying that other Quiverfull families are like theirs, or are they just allowing cameras into their lives and letting people draw their own conclusions?


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    Keli Hu says:

    Also, can we take whatever anecdotal stories Ashley can dish up as a representative sample of the Quiverfull movement in general?  (SPOILER ALERT: No, we can’t.)
     
    I’m not a fan of the Quiverfulls.  I’m also not a fan of the courtship movement, which is often linked up to it, although the two aren’t exactly the same.  But I don’t think that anecdotal stories, however bad those stories may be, constitute an argument of any sort for or against either.


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    Jacqueline says:

    I try to understand you, Ashley, I really do, but this quote just floors me:

    —-Training women from birth to wait on their husbands and be his walking vagina (for sex when he says so) and uterus (for kids, but you have to do all the work)…is so empowering!—-

    Explain to me why waiting to have sex (and have ensuing children) with a man who loves you and commits completely to you alone is degrading and having sex with men who have no care and concern for you and won’t extend you a title greater than “girlfriend” is somehow empowering? Men merely interested in using women for sex can find many, many women with your ideology that will more than happily let themselves be used (and somehow think they are powerful because they are using him right back)- and those men using single women get to throw her away whenever they please and have no obligation to them whatsoever. So women like me who only want to have sex with someone who loves me enough to commit solely to me is reducing myself to a “walking vagina” and women that walk around giving their vagina to men who care nothing of them, they are empowered? I would think it’s those women like me who see myself as MORE than a walking vagina who demand someone that values my mind, soul, in addition to my body are those who have the power and those that will have sex with men who aren’t married to them are the “walking vaginas.”

    Also, if a man had a uterus and could carry my children, I wouldn’t want him to. That’s a privilege and a gift- not something to complain about. There are 10 million infertile women right now that would love to be someone’s uterus.


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    mama3 says:

    I find it so odd that the same people who rail about all those crazy mean abusive Christians thereby generalizing all by one, have no problem differentiating nut-job Muslims from “normal” ones????

    Lets see: stoning, honor killings, child brides, maltreatment of women in general, policing every movement, clothing laws….. etc.  Those are ok?

    So isolated Cult nut-job incidents trump those listed above as the most radical and most dangerous?

    Please…

    But you are going to advance in government until you can target Christian families?

    Wow… what a prejudiced and elitist goal that is!      Watch out Ohio!


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    Sioko says:

    Ashley,

    Part of my journey to Christ (just 3 1/2 years ago!) included ALOT of what I see in your posts :) I blogged the most impressive anti-christian rants evar during that time ;)) And my “Jesus-freak” friend could see it clearly for what it was and never turned from me what ever I said. I believe you are fighting His calling tooth and nail, as I did, but you won’t be able to resist true Love forever. You are His beloved, and we as Christians intend to reach out in His Love to you! I encourage you to read the New Testament for yourself and find a “Jesus-freak” or two to ask questions concerning passages and scripture. You will learn so much! Perhaps the True God is better and more Loving than any misguided or “extremist” “christian” has ever shown you! Give Him a chance! When in doubt, defer to His word! My email, in case you would like to “talk” to a “Jesus-freak” you don’t know: rachelelane (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

    JILL: Moderate as necessary, but Please don’t ban her during this time! She needs us!

    Ashley, I am so sorry about your losses! Both the miscarriage and the abortion. I struggled with secondary infertility for 2 yrs. People blew off my suffering because I “already have 2 kids” and acted as though I wasn’t allowed to miss my unborn. You may feel like you aren’t allowed to miss your unborn because it would be like regretting your abortion (because it would be like betraying the “choice” agenda?) or feel like others won’t understand BECAUSE of your previous “choice” (“Aren’t you relieved? You don’t want kids anyway right”??). There are safe places to go for help. Find a counselor in your area,  a church leader, or find a forum online…. Here is one where I spent alot of time during those two years. There is no judgment, only understanding, support, and an “ear” for rants :) It’s not a “Christian” site if your afraid of that (though there are Christians there as anywhere). Registration is free.

    It’s;
    http://www.mothering.com/discussions/forumdisplay.php?f=455

    Please find help. My email is available for you in this purpose too. We Love you! Because we recognize your pain, because you are His wonderful creation, and because He loves you.


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    ninek says:

    I agree it’s not ok in this culture for underage girls to marry, however – it’s also just as bad to indoctrinate young girls to become sexually active to please the boys they like.   You can’t call it bad if it involves marriage but good if it’s a single young teen.  That’s not logical.  If you think a Christian teenage girl should not marry, then you should also think an atheist teenage girl should not sleep around to please boys.   You can’t just decide, oh as long as the teenage girl doesn’t believe in god, it’s ok to let herself be used.   It’s hypocritical to hate one but not the other.  Suicide is a leading cause of death of young people – do you think it’s coincidence that it rose with sexual promiscuity and abortion?  It’s not a coincidence.  Teens need to be taught how to survive and thrive in the world, not how to imitate porn actresses or minimally talented singers who act like porn actresses.  


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    Lauren says:

    Ashley, your conflating the Pearls with everyone who happens to believe that God is in charge of family size. The two do not go hand in hand! There are many, many people who subscribe to the latter view, while rejecting theabusive teachings of the the former.

    The Duggers are representative of only themselves, a family that has opened itself to all the blessings God should pour on them. If anything their example of a healthy marriage could be GOOD for the people who are in an abusive situation.


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    phillymiss says:

    I find it so odd that the same people who rail about all those crazy mean abusive Christians thereby generalizing all by one, have no problem differentiating nut-job Muslims from “normal” ones????

    I agree — there are many human rights violations in Muslim countries, things that would not happen here, but yet many liberals and their allies in the media continue to talk about how awful Christians, particularly conservative Christians are.

    The story I’ve linked to is so sad and horrible. Two young people just wanted to be together, and they died for it. Remember that with a stoning, the victims don’t always die right away, they could linger in agony for hours, even days, and no one is allowed to assist them. I once read about a case in Saudi Arabia where a young women who had been RAPED and conceived a child was “allowed” to have the baby, then was taken out and stoned. Things like this make me wanna holler! I don’t know how someone could treat another human being this way.

    Yet, I know that many Muslims, especially the more educated ones, don’t condone this behavior. The MSM is usually quick to point out that the majority of Muslims are not fanatics; why can’t they extend the same courtesy to pro-life Christians?

    http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/22/world/la-fg-afghanistan-stonings-20100822


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    mama3 says:

    It is also important to show that large family situations do not always end in Kate+8 type divorce court. Daddy Duggar is in the home.  He and Momma Duggar are loving, warm and respectful to each other AND to their children. This is the EXACT image todays young men and women need.


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    jen says:

    “The MSM is usually quick to point out that the majority of Muslims are not fanatics; why can’t they extend the same courtesy to pro-life Christians?”

    Because, phillymiss, to an America-hating liberal, the intolerant religion of Islam is not nearly as evil as a pro-life Christian. 


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    army_wife says:

    First, about the Pearls:  they are absolutely NOT representative of conservative Christians!  The Pearls disgust me (and every other thinking Christian) and their teachings run directly contrary to the Bible. 

    I am not of the Quiverfull persuasion, so take my comments for what they’re worth: I think *most* QF folks are not as oppressive and “cultish” as some people seem to think they are.  Just honest people trying to do what they believe is right – to raise their kids to be well-adjusted, honest, hardworking people who aren’t afraid to be “real” – to be themselves and stick up for their beliefs.

    I wish I could be as good a parent as Michele Duggar.  To parent with patience, love, humor, and yes, discipline (note that I said “discipline”, not “punishment” – there’s a difference) is a huge goal of mine.  I hope I get there someday.  How lucky their children are!  I would have given anything to be raised like them – to be comfortable with who I am instead of having to force myself into unsuitable “molds”/roles just to please everyone else – parents, peers, teachers, others.  I wish I had been raised with the sort of freedom the Duggar children enjoy.  I’m still dealing with the fallout of being raised in a mostly secular home.  The fact that I was not raised “according to my own natural bent”, as the Good Book advises, has stunted my personality (and life) greatly. 


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    Bobby Bambino says:

    Wait, what is “the Pearls” armywife?


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    army_wife says:

    The Pearls are a couple (their last name is Pearl).  They advocate beating children (including very young children) with objects such as plumbing supply line (plastic hoses).  If a nursing infant bites, they reccommend pulling the child’s hair.  If you want to Google the “Debi and Michael Pearl controversy” you’ll find a plethora of information, I have no doubt.  A couple of years ago I did that and I was disgusted at the beliefs of these people.  They claim to be Christians.  I don’t have a problem with a reasonably administered swat on the behind for a child who is old enough to understand (not an infant for Pete’s sake!), and who is being purposely defiant but the advice of Mr. and Mrs. Pearl crosses the line into abuse.  They’re good at making what they say look all good and holy but if you really sit and read this stuff and think about it, it isn’t right.  It just doesn’t “feel right”, and it doesn’t square with Scripture IMO.  Children have died horrible deaths as a result of their parents taking the Pearls’ “advice”.

    They wrote the book “To Train Up a Child” and the first few reviews for it on Amazon.com will tell you something of what they are about.

    See also here, here, and here.


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    Bobby Bambino says:

    Wow… wow, thanks for the info, armywife. I’ll check that out more.


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    Robert Berger says:

     I don’t have anything against the Duggar family per se. They have the right to live their lives as they choose. But what angers me is the disingenuous and self-serving way that the anti-choice movement uses this family as an excuse to advocate making abortion illegal, as if all pregnant women were in as favorable position to bring children into the world as the Duggars.
      The fact is that many are not.  Anti-choicers like to say that the Duggars “weren’t punished with children”. Well Duh.  The parents are a married ocuople with the means to take care of a large family. But many other women are not as fortunate,and that’s why abortions happen.
      And while home schooling may be a good thing for some kids, many fundamentalist parents who home school unfortunately brainwash their children to be appallingly narrow-minded,intolerant and self-righteous ,just like themselves.  Of course,this is not true of all homeschooling parents,but it is of too many of them.
      And going to public schools is not necessarily a bad thing either. Not all are awful,rundown,ill-equipped inner citiy schools, and many do an excelent job at educating young people.
       And the notion that”government schools”(what a loaded term) are “brainwashing” kids to be wicked,immoral,”morally relativistic” ,promiscuous,”baby-killing” atheist , homosexual-loving monsters is just plain ludicrous.  It’s better to have kids taught that its wrong to be homophobic than to have findamentalist parents who teach them intolerance and hostility toward gay people.
     


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    ninek says:

    If two gay men walked down the street, one wearing a leash, one holding the leash, the libertines would just applaud them.  But if a woman is deemed in any way shape or form to be in the least bit submissive to her husband, oh no, we must put a stop to that!   Hypocrisy: it’s a disease that afflicts the libertines as much as anyone else.


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    John says:

    I’ve seen a few comments here that blow my mind, so I’ll throw in my two cents.  It’s a little tough to gauge for sure on many things–I don’t actually watch the show myself–but I think there are a few assumptions that’re reasonably safe:
    1.  Are the Duggars a racist family?  Well, there are church groups–white, black, and Hispanic–which proclaim themselves Christian, but seem intensely racistic to me.  I think though, that if the Duggars are on TLC, most likely they aren’t actively fomenting hate for others.  I don’t think TLC quite that stupid, frankly.
    2.  Are they teaching sexim, mysogyny, whatever?  Well, because I don’t believe in women’s ordination and/or “safe sex”, many insist that I am mysogynistic, whatever.  I’ve never understood how “safe sex” made anyone “safe”, nor do I see any “advance in equality” from women’s ordination.  Or other ideas, for that matter.  Does that make me a bigot?  Well, to a secularist, it does, but a secularist loathes many of my ideals, while I frequently consider the secularist to be willfully ignorant…partly because of their “education”.  For what this article and comments reflect, the Duggars appear quite virtuous from my view.
    3.  Are the Duggars more fortunate than others?  Especially with regard to children and economics?  That is VERY subjective!  Some believe that children bar one from having a successful career;  others declare a career to be worthless beyond one’s own lifetime.  I think I fall somewhere in between.  I remember once, while stationed overseas, I thought myself quite accustomed to be separated from siblings et al.  Then, because of something I heard on the radio, I wound up half bawling half the way home:  it’d struck me that I’d not seen my niece in 18 months and it’d be another 6 before I’d have a chance.   Point is, we don’t always realize what we truly value in life until we’re struck between the eyes with what we don’t have in our lives at present.
    4.  Are the Duggars homophobic or whatever?  I don’t know, but I doubt it.  Problem is, “homophobic” can be used to chastise someone who doesn’t believe homosexual behavior to be a moral choice.  Oddly, the whole concept of the First Amendment never seems to have any play here.
    5.  Are public schools acceptable?  Or should we promote home-schooling?
    Um, both.  Simply put, I have yet to meet any group who doesn’t “brainwash” people to some degree.  I think actually, that Mr. Berger’s view of fundamentalist parents is every bit as unconscionable as those he would likely oppose.  I’ve met many religiously intolerant people; I’ve met just as many who’re desperately intolerant of faith and insist that any opposition to their ideas is bigotry.
     
    In brief summary then, I have more confidence in the Duggar’s intentions than I do in those who would chastise them.


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    Marauder says:

    If a nursing infant bites, they reccommend pulling the child’s hair.

    Wow, that is so warped. I bit my mom once when I was nursing and the involuntary “Ahhhh!” was enough to make me never do it again, according to her.

    Here’s my question about the Quiverfull movement. I don’t know exactly what they believe, but let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Ashley’s right and they believe women should never refuse to have sex with their husbands. How does it follow that these women are definitely being abused or coerced? Obviously the potential is there, but how do we know that some of them didn’t think the whole thing through before getting married and decide that was how they wanted to live their lives?


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    mama3 says:

    I love my sweet g-mother with all my heart, but let me tell you, this saintly mother of 13 wouldn’t have put up with ONE MINUTE of abuse from her husband NOR would she have allowed abuse of her children by him or anyone else. Thankfully, he was a loving christian man who knew how to treat a lady and lovingly guided and parented his children.
    Many women feel that God knows the correct number of children for them and their situation. To automatically assume these women are somehow ignorant or passive pushovers  would be a ridiculous, offensive and in some cases a truly dangerous assumption to make.

  47. First, about the Pearls:  they are absolutely NOT representative of conservative Christians!  The Pearls disgust me (and every other thinking Christian) and their teachings run directly contrary to the Bible. 

    Well, I guess it all depends on how you define “thinking.”  The Duggars heavily follow the teachings of Bill Gothard, and Bill Gothard has recommended Pearl style discipline, if not directly endorsing Pearl.
    I know a Christian family that feels they have successfully blended the teaching of the Pearls with the teachings of Bill & Martha Sears…to which I responded “HUH????”  My husband and I ended up leaving a North American Baptist church because most of the young parents there were adopting similar teachings, some blatantly advocating Pearl.  Even multiple discussions with the elders of the church prior to our decision to leave did not sway the leadership.
    Also, as to the distinction between “fundamentalist” and “evangelical” Christians and the Duggars defining themselves as evangelical…I think the problem with that argument being proof that the Duggars are not fundamentalist is that MOST fundamentalists define themselves as evangelical, and do not want to define themselves as fundamentalist because of the “baggage” that comes with that definition.


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    army_wife says:

    Well, I guess it all depends on how you define “thinking.”  The Duggars heavily follow the teachings of Bill Gothard, and Bill Gothard has recommended Pearl style discipline, if not directly endorsing Pearl.
    I know a Christian family that feels they have successfully blended the teaching of the Pearls with the teachings of Bill & Martha Sears…to which I responded “HUH????”
     

    Yeah, “Huh??” is right.  O_o  I don’t see how you can blend an attachment-parenting style with a “whack the kids at any and every opportunity” parenting style!

    I don’t get cable and can’t watch the show, but I can’t imagine Michelle Duggar whacking her kids for “every infraction” and calling them a bunch of “dirty sinners” the way the Pearls are given to reccommend.  All the (admittedly few) times I’ve seen her interacting with her kids she has been the most patient, loving, gentle person.  What I’ve seen of their practices reminds me more of Love and Logic parenting styles or Dr. Kevin Leman’s “Authoritative” (not “authoritarian”, big difference!) style.  I’m shocked that the Duggars listen to anyone that even remotely condones the Pearls’ methods, but I’m guessing that the Duggars are strong enough spiritually to reject anything in the Pearls’ philosophy (or any other philosophy) that is not Godly.  The Pearls are all about breaking the spirit of a child and I certainly cannot see the Duggars doing so.  I saw a video once of Michele talking about child discipline (maybe on YouTube, can’t remember) and she was talking about using words to “build up” (not tear down), finding opportunities to compliment good behavior instead of having 100% of her interaction with the children to be negative, during times of ill behavior, and if poor behavior needs adressed they do so in private to avoid shaming the child in front of others.  I’ve never even heard of Bill Gothard, so I can’t comment on his methods – I’ll have to look him up when I have a few minutes to do so.

    To me as a parent of young children, I think the Duggars are good role models.  I’d love to exhibit that kind of patience, understanding, and loving, positive discipline with my children.  Does that mean I want to have 19-20+ kids?  Hardly.  I love babies but I don’t think I would be personally able to raise that many children (and certainly, we wouldn’t be financially able).  I don’t have a problem with her doing it if that’s what her and her husband want to do, and if they are financially and emotionally able to support all these children (which they do) but it’s just not for me.  I think the Duggar children are lucky to be born to such a family and to be raised in such a home.  I think the Duggars would be great parents whether they had 25 children or just 2.     


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    Jacqueline says:

    The fact is that many are not.  Anti-choicers like to say that the Duggars “weren’t punished with children”. Well Duh.  The parents are a married ocuople with the means to take care of a large family. But many other women are not as fortunate,and that’s why abortions happen.
    How sweet of you, Robert! Rather than helping women who are less fortunate, you think only giving them the option to kill their kids is somehow compassionate? Imagine if someone hungry walked into a food bank with a child in tow saying that they’ve fallen on hard times and she can’t feed the both of them. Would you give her groceries, or a a knife and tell her you can fix this problem once and for all?
     
    Robert, people less fortunate aren’t “helped” by abortion. You are exploiting their poverty!


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    Robert Berger says:

      I didn’t say that I want poor pregnant women to have abortions or that they shouldn’t receive help. The problem is that not enough help is available to them. That’s why aboprtions is common. I very much want more help to be availale to pregnant women so that they would no thave abortions. If this were the case, there would be far fewer abortions in this country.
       And poor children who ARE born into abject poverty aren’t “helped” by being born,either.


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    Bobby Bambino says:

    “And poor children who ARE born into abject poverty aren’t “helped” by being born,either.”

    Robert how many times do we have to tell you that poor does not imply bad life and rich does not imply good life? Why don’t you tell us what it is that makes life worth living? What is a good life and what is a life that is so bad that we choose for someone who we think will have said bad life the death penalty?


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    John says:

    “And poor children who ARE born into abject poverty aren’t “helped” by being born,either.”
    Um, with an attitude like that….well, to be honest, I don’t know what to say to something like that.
    Robert, not too many years ago, someone did a study that demonstrated how we could reduce abortions by about 1/3 if we spent some hundreds of millions of dollars on “aid” for women and children.  An illuminating study, in more ways than one.  This implies that, to halt abortion, we need merely spend some hundreds of millions or a few billion dollars on aid to women and children.  One immediate problem there:  If we try, we’ll spend ourselves into bankruptcy.
    So if we can’t spend our way out of a social problem, then we kill those who can’t pay for their own upkeep?  Hasn’t that been tried?  With genocidal results?
    How can we expect our society to survive if we can’t expect anyone to struggle with life in any way, shape, or form?  Don’t some of our greatest success stories come from those who embrace life’s struggles and spend their lives overcoming them?
    Honestly, I don’t have the energy to try overriding the severe pessimism that seems to reign over the pro-choice crowd.  All I can offer is prayer, truth, and love.
    If that’s not enough, I can’t help you.


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    yor bro ken says:

    Ashley  September 1st, 2010 at 3:21 am

    ==============================================================

    Ashley,

    Several years ago when I was passing through Little Rock, Arkansas when the state Legislature was in session, Jim Bob Duggar who as a state legislator at the time took my olderst daughter on a tour of the capitol building.

    Then he invited us to his home for dinner where we met Michelle and their 12, or was it, 13 children. There was a lot of activity. Like two hockey games going on a one time, but it was NOT disorderly.

    All the older children had younger sibling or two with whom they were partnered to assist them in completing their age appropriate responsiblities.

    After Dinner Jim and Michelle invited us to spend the night in their home.

    We had never met prior to that night. Jim and I had only exchanged a few emails when he extended the invitation to show us the capitol.

    The Duggars are real people who love children. I suspect if they were not able to biologically reproduce they would have adopted. I would not be at all surprised if one day they announce they are adopting.

    This was all about ten years before the television show.

    Is there anything wrong with showcasing your family when it is worthy of show casing and your family is not harmed by the experience and is willing to endure the exposure.

    Ashley,

    I hope you have the opportunity to meet the Duggars or someone like them and you are ablel to accept and enjoy their hospitality and spend enough time with them to disabuse you of all the false knowledge you have absorbed over the short years of your life.

    I know two other families who after the husband and wife had birthed several children of their own adopted an equal or greater number of other children from other nations and other ethnicities.

    It is called ‘love’ and all of these families would tell you, if you asked, they were only able to ‘love’ this much because GOD first loved them.

    If you ask GOD for HIS love, I am confident based on my own experience, that HE will give you that for which/whom you ask.


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    Robert Berger says:

     You can’t xpect poor pregnant women not to have abortions if they don’t have the means to take decent care of their children. My point is that if we really want to do something about the problem of abortion, we must greatly decrease poverty in America.There’s no other way to do this.Just making abortion illegal will only make things far worse.
      Abortion will still be very common. It won’t be non-existent,just much more dangerous.
      The lives of many women will be at risk,and it will only increase poverty,unemployment and crime. 


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    yor bro ken says:

    Robert,

    We expected all women not to kill their pre-natal children for almost a century.

    And guess what almost all women did not ‘choice’ their children.

    When SCOTUS effectively de-criminalized human feticide and infanticide and the federal government endorsed the barbarism by funding it for almost any pregnant female, then this ‘expectation’ evaporated.

    In Texas we have the suggested speed limit. It is somewhere in the neighborhood of not more than 7 miles above the posted speed limit. Guess what?

    Most people perform to the level of expectation and they drive faster than the posted speed limit.

    “There’s no other way to do this.Just making abortion illegal will only make things far worse.”

    Robert,

    Compare all the categories you have enumerated from the pre Roe v Wade years with the subsequent years and show us where things are NOT far worse than they were then, when today publicly funded ‘choicing’ of pre-natal children is available to virtually any pregnant female who wants it.

    ‘Poverty, unemployment, crime’ for starts.

    The conclusion is a no brainer, even for people who have no brain. [cranium vacuous]


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    Courtney says:

    I just thought I’d add in that Michelle has said in an interview on the show that they are not “quiverfull” or directly associated with it. I can’t remember which episode since I’ve seen them all, but I remember her saying that they don’t call themselves that and just let God decide the number of their children.

    It’s a misnomer to call everybody who leaves the number of children they have up to the Lord “quiverfull”, especially since many do not agree with the quiverfull movement.


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    Mary says:

    Robert Berger,

    Your arguments are getting tedious.  Abortion has been legal 36 years.  Please show us all the poverty that has been eliminated.

    Its likely that illegal abortion, mostly performed in doctors’ offices, may well have been safer.  Any mistake could mean a prison sentence. There was certainly not assembly line abortion as we see now with the “clinics”. “Back alley” was in reference to women entering the doctor’s office after hours through the alley way entrance so as not to be seen.  The illegal abortion death rate had been steadily declining for years and was at an all time low the year before Roe.

    Looks like the abortion establishment pulled a real con job on you as well as the rest of the public.


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    Laura says:

    I’m one of those “freaky” homeschool moms who is now pregnant with her 9th. My kids do watch tv, play video games, wear “normal” clothing but the underlying thing is they are treated with FREEDOM like the Duggars. My kids don’t think I am stupid because I am an adult, they don’t complain they are “bored” and both my teens are in local college CHOOSING to remain home.
    I have had a stillborn little girl and a miscarriage and I know the true blessing of children. If you don’t want lots of kids, DO NOT HAVE THEM! But do not judge me because I choose to make my husband and children the center of my life instead of some stupid job. And…just to let you know…my husband only wanted two! I was the one that wanted tons of kids and he loves me enough to know that it makes me happy and I LOVE IT!! So he goes to work every day to support our 6 living kids and this new little one if he/she should be born alive.
     


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    Lovinmalamutes says:

    @Laura, I am pleased to know you are staying home with your children and teaching them right from wrong. KUDOS to you!!! So many parents work and rarely spend time
    with their kids, let alone know where they are most times. More mothers and/or fathers need to stay at home and make sure they are keeping their kids out of trouble. Society isn’t able to raise the kids and teach them morals, and our kids today are proof of that!!!
      THANK YOU Laura for being the mother you should be!!!!


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    Lovinmalamutes says:

    THE DUGGARS are a REMARKABLE family!!!


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    len says:

    I have had a stillborn little girl and a miscarriage and I know the true blessing of children. If you don’t want lots of kids, DO NOT HAVE THEM! But do not judge me because I choose to make my husband and children the center of my life instead of some stupid job. And…just to let you know…my husband only wanted two! I was the one that wanted tons of kids and he loves me enough to know that it makes me happy and I LOVE IT!! So he goes to work every day to support our 6 living kids and this new little one if he/she should be born alive

    I would never judge someone for having as many children as they want and can support. Ever. I’m very happy for you. You sound like you have a life that is happy and fulfilling to you. So why do you feel it’s okay for you to judge a mother who finds a life with only one or two children and a satisfying job fulfilling? My job isn’t stupid. I love it, and every day I feel that I am contributing something good to society and providing a good life for my child. I know myself well enough to know that I don’t want a lot of kids. I’m happy choosing to make my little family and my great job the center of my life instead of some “stupid” gaggle of children. ;)

  62. Laura, congrats on your ninth–prayers will be born well and whole and have a long and productive life.  

    Len, I don’t think she was criticizing anyone else’s decision.  I think she made it pretty clear that you shouldn’t have “a gaggle” of chidlren if you don’t want to.
     
    I think even those of us who are quiverfull would at most say that Christians should be having more kids, not that all forms of birth control should be illegal and no one should practice NFP.


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    Paladin says:

    Laura,
     
    At the risk of going off on a real tangent: if you ever need (free) online/e-mail math tutoring for any of your kids, let me know!  (Click my name, and follow my profile to my e-mail.)  It’s random, and it’s not much, but I want to do whatever I can to support homeschooling families; may your tribe(s) increase!  :)

  64. Hooray!!!  3 cheers for the Duggars!  I adore them and we never miss a show!  I use them as role models for my 2 grade school children. 

    I am a homeschooling mom who was featured on the Rachael Ray Show as a “50’s” mom back in November.  I am passionate about seeing families restored to traditional morals and values and I have blogged about the Duggars many times on my blog – here’s a post with a picture of Michelle and I together:

    http://womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com/2009/06/i-met-michelle-duggar.html

    Thank you for writing an accurate story about them.  Beautiful!
    Courtney


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    mama8 says:

    I have a couple of questions…How many of you actually know a homeschooling, patriarchal family with many children PERSONALLY?  How many of them have miserable brainwashed children?  I know hundreds including myself and 99% of them are happy, well adjusted families!   Their children are well mannered, playful, respectful, and joyful.  The mamas know peace in a way that few women find and the fathers are loving, caring, and considerate.  They consider very carefully before they lay down any type of structures in their home.  They are very concerned about what is going on in their households and actually have input.  I think the fact that children lovingly obey their parents is considered by many to be brainwashing.  The fact that my teenagers are not sullen and hate me does not mean I have brainwashed them and if people really thought about it they would realize that what they really want to know is..How do you accomplish that?! 
    Yes, there are fanatical, abusive, people who claim to be Christians just as in any religion or non-religion or any other walk of life.


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    Jo says:

    I had to put two cents in about racism, because I think there may have been a misunderstanding about the issues when people in this community talk about Muslims and Hispanics multiplying.
    There is a phenomenon in Europe in which the Muslim population is growing, while the populations of the traditional cultures in those countries are shrinking. Is this a problem because Muslims are brown? Well, for starters, Islam is a religion, not a skin color. Many Muslims are brown of various sorts, certainly not all Arab – and some Muslims are downright white. Conversely, many counted among the historical cultures of Europe are rather brownish.
    Point being, the issue is not skin color. One video I’ve seen on the subject draws instead the conclusion that Christians need to think about how to communicate their faith to Muslims, since the world is starting to look very Muslim. And Christians want to evangelize because we want the people around us to have what we have in a relationship with God through Christ. Skin tone doesn’t enter into it at all.
    Where there is concern about Muslims taking over Europe, an important issue is freedom of religion – because where they have the power to do so, Muslims tend to institute sharia law. Anybody reading up on sharia law, who is not himself an extremely strict Muslim, ought to be pretty sober about it. Because many in the world already suffer economic oppression, rape and death for no reason but that they are not extremely strict Muslims.
    Where I’ve heard anything said about the fertility rate of Hispanic-descent people in the U.S., it has also had nothing to do with skin color. Or even culture. What I’ve heard mentioned about it is that immigration and a higher fertility rate just barely keep the U.S. able to replace its population, a military and economic necessity for our nation’s survival.
    What’s wrong with this picture is not a matter of melanin – it’s the senselessness of developing a mindset as a country that having many children is bad.
    P.S. Although I am white, my husband is black, and as the Lord adds children to us, we are contributing to the population of the brown of skin.


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    Marita says:

    This was a great article! My daughter and I LOVE the Duggars! their a beautiful family with morals that seem to don’t exist anymore. I’m a homeschool mother and I have learned alot from watching them…there are homeschool days when I get stressed. BUT I only have one child to homeschool…and if they can do it with 19! I know I can do it with one. I thank God for families like the Duggars and we need more of them!


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    Mary says:

    I like the Duggars, think people should be able to have as many children as they want, no problem with that, but have often wondered why it is ok for them to be ON tv, but think it is not good to HAVE a tv (I assume they are paid to be on tv)?  Well, still, the Duggars encourage family values, and I think that is good, good to teach the value of children.
    I’m sure the children help homeschool each other, as well as care for each other in other ways.
     


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    Paige says:

    Oh,please the freedom you talk about is superficial they are not aloud to think what they want to, read what they want to or become whet they want.

    They have both the information they receive about the world and control of their futures out of their hands. How is that freedom!

    Many corrupt governments use the same resoning to keep information and choices
    away from their people by saying it’s true freedom or makes you better than the rest of the world.


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    Ralph says:

    The Duggar girls are taught to submit to their husbands “in everything”, as as the Bible says.
    Even in cases of abuse, they are taught to submit.
    They, not their brothers, care for the many babies and toddlers in the family, 24/7.
    The Duggars have said (though they now try to hide) that they believe in corporal punishment, in the way prescribed by the Bible (presumably that means with a rod)
    They teach their children blind, instant obedience.
    Their education is controlled by their mother, who has no college or teaching degrees
    Young adults in their movement are not permitted to go to college, as then they are taken away from their father’s authority (ie, they might date)

    For these reasons, they are not free
     
     


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    madge says:

    I don’t think that the dugger kids are any more “free” than any other adolescent.  They’ve been socialized to relate to adults in pleasant ways and to avoid popular culture–lots of liberal and moderate kids are too.  That’s just good parenting.  They style their hair just like their mother and dress like her too.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having your parents as your primary “go to”; I think it is a good thing.  In Attachment Parenting circles it is a very common goal. 

    Unlike a lot of rigid fundamentalist families the duggars seem very sweet to each other and seem to genuinely enjoy one another’s company.  when these girls in particular become adults, lack a college degree, and are married to someone they may or may not still love, with no real financial freedom of their own and a “quiverfull” of their own, then I guess we will see how “free” they actually are. . . .


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    martha says:

    HI,  THANK YOU DUGGAR FAMILY FOR BEING WHO YOU ARE AND NOT (PUT-ON) I ENJOY WATCHING THE CHILDREN GROW AND THEIR LOVE FOR GOD.  HE’S THE REAL THING. HE IS THE ONE WHO MAKES US REAL, AND OUR LOVE FOR HIM.  AGAIN THANK YOU AND YOUR FAMILY FOR SHOWING GOD’S LOVE.    MARTHA


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    Paladin says:

    Madge,
     
    I’m trying to find out if you’re serious.  (Honestly, what’s in the water, this weekend?)  You wrote:
     
    when these girls in particular become adults, lack a college degree,
     
    Why do you assume that they’re going to lack a college degree?  Can you supply links/quotes from the Duggars, to that effect?  Or are you simply guessing?
     
    and are married to someone they may or may not still love,
     
    Mm-hmm.  Care to flesh out that cryptic statement?  Are you implying that their background makes them less likely to have happy marriages?  You certainly misunderstand the meaning of “love” (which is a choice, not a feeling–you don’t “catch” it and “lose” it, like the measles, or a hairline)… and, quite frankly, I’d bet on the happiness of their marriages far more than I would bet on the marriage of anyone who embraces the culture of death.
     
    with no real financial freedom of their own
     
    How horrifying!  (Or not.)  Perhaps you could unpack that comment, as well; you seem fond of throwing out baleful-sounding phrases which, without further explanation, mean very nearly nothing.
     
    and a “quiverfull” of their own
     
    Horribilis dictu!  What a terrible fate!  (Or not.)  I realize that you find such a lifestyle repugnant; but that says far more about you than it does about the lifestyle.
     
    then I guess we will see how “free” they actually are. . . .
     
    That’s true enough.  I realize you may have meant this in a spirit of baleful sarcasm (despite your complimentary comments at first, your other comments certainly didn’t seem optimistic, at any rate), but I think the freedom of the Duggars will trump the so-called “freedom” of secularism and the culture of death, any day.

    At any rate: care to clarify what you wrote?


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    Michelle says:

    Anyone who comes away from the nogreaterjoy website or from reading “To Train Up a Child” with the notion that Michael and Debi Pearl advocate child abuse has totally missed the point.

    The Pearls whole philosophy is that if you train a child to obey early on, there won’t be a need for spanking, or even much scolding, when they are older. They don’t advocate “beating” for any and every reason. That is an outright lie. Only someone who is totally unfamiliar with their teachings or is purposefully libelling them would say such a thing. In fact, the vast majority of what they DO say is how to inspire, encourage, equip, and truly love your children. They say to do everything in love, with a joyful spirit, and to pass that spirit of joy on to your children. This is a lot more than can be said of the average american family with parents and children being perpetually disgruntled with each other.  


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    Bmused says:

    I am not a regular viewer of the Duggars, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with them. I appreciate the values that they teach their children. Although I myself would not want that many children, but their children are well taken care of that and I applaud that. It would be a completely different story if they were continously having children and had no way to take care of them like this woman
    http://www2.tbo.com/content/2010/apr/21/211620/homeless-mother-15-says-she-needs-help-justice/

    If they have the means and the love to take care of the children, I am all for it and we should not bash them for no reason.


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    Melissa says:

    Marauder (and anyone else),
    Though I skimmed down through the latter half of the comments thus far, I don’t think anyone truly answered your question.
    To be quiverfull means only trusting God to give us the number of children He has planned, in His timing.  There is diversity even in this definition-some accept NFP, some, like my husband and me, use no form of BC whatsoever.  For the families I know, being quiverfull is NOT trying to have as many babies as possible; it’s being intimate without keeping track of your fertility or dreading the possibility of a pregnancy.  Some will actively “try” for a pregnancy, while some do nothing out of the ordinary.  Some folks will avoid BC even in cases of severe illness or tight economic situations, others will use it.
    Beyond this very basic definition, which is the only belief to which the term “quiverfull” refers, some marriages fall under the heading of complementarian (headship and submission); some fall under the category of egalitarian.  Some families homeschool; some use virtual schools; some use private or Christian schools; some use public schools.  Some wives/mothers work outside the home; some work from home; some are strictly home-makers and stay-at-home-mothers. Some families dress very conservatively (or differently in any term), some look no different than any average family.  Some women wear a covering; some do not.  Many families adopt children.  Some husbands may be violent and abusive (I know of none who are quiverfull, but many who are not). In many of the quiverfull families with which we fellowship and in our family, the wives have been convicted of being quiverfull AND submissive to their husbands leadership BEFORE their husbands.  While this has nothing to do with the quiverfull movement, it flies in the face of most outside perspectives.
     
    Bottom line, to be quiverfull is to believe the words of the Old Testament in Psalm 117 which describe children as blessings- “blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them,” and live accordingly.  There are people who give all systems and beliefs bad names (those who are violent, self-serving, etc), but to believe that their actions in other areas of life define every quiverfull family is like saying, because the news showed a plane crashing, then all plane trips must end that way.  If we look at a family in poverty, having child after child, because they can’t stop it, but they do not view those children as blessings- they are NOT quiverfull.  From the outside of some questionable families, that judgement may be a hard one to make, but the term quiverfull does not mean we think we live a perfect life.  It only means we trust God with our fertility (some quiverfull families have close to 20, like the Duggars, some have around 10, some have a few, and some never have biological children, but adopt, some never have any).  And, that makes us buffoons to much of the secular world.  Can’t say I didn’t expect it, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
     
    Blessings!


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    Claudia says:

    It’s really hard to believe that a house full of humor is a house where oppression takes place.
     
    Additionally, all the negative comments about the Duggars come from (surprise, surprise) people that don’t even know them personally and have only caught a glimpse into their lives on television. Who are you going to believe: someone’s first-hand observation or someone who has made presumptions according to what they’ve read online? Folks, I believe much discernment is in order here.


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    Shannon says:

    I loved the ariticle. I don’t personally know the Duggars, but from what I have watched and read of them what you have written in the ariticle seems acurate. My husband and I are quiverfull in ideology, we just don’t like aligning ourselves with any movement, so we gernally don’t run around town screaming quiverfull and wearing matching t-shirts. We have 6 children and one on the way. We are very different from the duggars, I work part time teaching voice and piano out of my home, we don’t attend a house church but rather a normal church where some of the families are large and some are average and we love everybody the same. My kids participate in martial arts and other activites outside our home and my daughters and I wear jeans without even blinking. We do homeschool and shop at Aldi, though.

    I have personally read only one of Pearls’ books, and I think they are nuts! I don’t think the Duggars would condone this type of parenting either. I use to work with abused inner city children, those children act scared and defensive all the time, they would never play some of the practical jokes I’ve seen the Duggar children pull off. I believe as a Christian that their will be a special place in eternal punishment for people who abuse children, not normal loving parental disipline, but people who truly abuse children. No one who loves children could do such a thing, and the true heart of the quiverfull movement is that we belive children are a blessing from Almighty God to be welcomed and cherished.

    You have the Duggars on T.V., the radicals get attention, but their are many of us driving around in our passenger vans living lives that would not garner hatred or fear if people weren’t so ignorant on the subject. True quiverfull families are based in love, love for God, love between a husband and a wife, love for their precious children. It’s not about dominance and abuse, and it is very liberating.

    Shannon


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    Elisabeth says:

    You know, post after post of this type comes up.

    I raise my hand (metaphorically speaking) and say, “Hey, I’M Quiverfull! My husband and I are Quiverfull! You can ask ME about it!” and every time…. silence. Crickets can be heard chirpingin the background…

    Why? I think because we don’t fit Ashley’s preconceived notions. My husband is a SAHD. I have a successful career. Yes, we homeschooled for a long time. Now that we live in a teensy little community with excellent schools and small class sizes (and I mean small… 12 to 15 at MOST) the kids go to public school.

    Alison has a job. She will graduate from high school this year and go to COLLEGE.

    Joseph is on the high school football team.

    The other children have fit right in to their classrooms, are doing well both academically AND socially.

    And… we are QUIVERFULL. I am on mailing lists with literally hundreds of Quiverfull families nationwide. There is no one type of Quiverfull family!

    The families listed on quiveringnomore are sad. But they were dysfunctional families who would have found some way to be dysfunctional… quiverfull was just the way they chose to do so. Abusive men are abusive men and they seek out justification for their abuse in any way they can.


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    madge says:

    You are right, the lack of college for the girls was an assumption based on:
    1.  the oldest duggar (a boy) did not go to college
    2.  many homeschooling quiverfull families eschew college particularly for girls (of course this is a stereotype but one based in fact)
    3.  their “education” for their daughters, at least the part that is shown on TV, is mostly about tater tot casserole, baby care, use of curling irons, rolling down hills, playing musical instruments, and laundry.
    None of these things typically make a person ready to, if needed, financially support oneself or ready for college.
    they seem to arrange marriages for their kids; at least they did for the one who is married.  granted, in religiously authoritative, punitive societies (fundamentalist Christianity and Islam, some sects of Hinduism) there is a decreased divorce rate there is higher rates of domestic violence (from what we can tell–these societies are pretty secretive).  So, to me, the combination of an early, arranged marriage, childbearing early and often, and no way to support oneself financially cannot really be called “freedom”.  Lots of people in arranged marriages do fall in love with their spouse, this can hardly be assumed.
     
    I don’t find them repugnant–they, as I said, appear on TV to be actually sweet to each other.  We live in a free country and I’m glad that they can live the life of their choosing (I do wonder if they have health insurance to pay for all that time in the NICU for their littlest baby who is thankfully now home but will require intensive care for at least several years).   I do think that the girls in particular are set up to have hard lives if one piece of the puzzle falls out (say, they get matched to a bad, abusive, or mentally ill husband, they have a child with special needs, they themselves or their husbands fall ill).


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    Claire says:

    Madge, you (and others) have made unsupported-by-fact assumptions.

    For one thing, Josh and Anna Duggar’s marriage was not arranged; they chose each other.

    For another, Bible-believing (the actual meaning of “fundamentalist” when it comes to Christians) Christianity is not a “punitive” lifestyle.  The “fundamentals” of Christian faith are simply the basic beliefs of Christian faith, just as the fundamentals of tennis are the basics of tennis.  The word “fundamentals” as applying to Christian faith was coined in the mid-20th century when some people/churches began to call themselves Christians even though they did not believe the Bible.

    The fundamentals of Christian faith are vastly different from the fundamentals of Islam, fundamentals of Hinduism, etc, because the basis of each faith is vastly different. I hope you can grasp this so you can stop falsely “comparing” Christian faith to other faiths with which it does not compare at all.

    Your statements only reveal your biases; they are not based on fact.

    Christ Jesus said He came to set the captives free.  He said those whom He has set free are free indeed.  He said He is the way, the truth, and the life, that the only way to the Father is through Him.  I’m not saying you have to believe that; I’m just saying, that is the foundation of Christian faith.

    What has become acceptable in our society over the last few decades are these things:

    ~ delaying marriage (or never marrying at all) while living a promiscuous lifestyle — both males and females
    ~ exalting money and career over all else in life, including relationships and family
    ~ aborting babies who have the misfortune of being conceived by the above-mentioned promiscuity
    ~ demeaning anyone who does not buy into this lifestyle, who actually thinks outside the box of modern culture

    The Duggars CHOOSE to have children; why are their detractors truly not PRO-CHOICE?  That is the real question here. 

    The Duggars are responsible parents; they love each other and their children; they don’t take government handouts; they have taken the responsibility of their children’s education upon themselves.  AREN’T THEY AMERICANS?  Don’t they have the freedom to make their own choices? 

    What gives anyone the right to judge them, to make heinous, demeaning statements about them?

    To assign guilt by association by linking them with other people with whom they themselves have not identified — a common modus operandi throughout these comments — is not only inane and completely unwarranted, it borders on slander/libel when they have given no reason for such comments! 

    The only way anyone could disagree with the above statement is if they are simply unwilling to acknowledge fact and want to invent problems where there is no evidence they even exist.


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    Paladin says:

    Madge,  was really trying to give you the benefit of the doubt… but with this new comment, you really show your baseline mentality of anti-Christian bigotry (to say nothing of being anti-Islam, anti-Hindu, etc.–about which you seem to know very little)

    You are right, the lack of college for the girls was an assumption based on:
    1.  the oldest duggar (a boy) did not go to college

    Hm.  All right… that’s one out of 20.  The mathematician in me isn’t especially impressed by that, yet.

    2.  many homeschooling quiverfull families eschew college particularly for girls (of course this is a stereotype but one based in fact)

    I’ll defer to Elisabeth’s (my hero!  :) ) excellent refutation of this (forgive me) silly comment.

    3.  their “education” for their daughters, at least the part that is shown on TV, is mostly about tater tot casserole, baby care, use of curling irons, rolling down hills, playing musical instruments, and laundry.

    You really might try looking at their website, and seeing what THEY say/do, rather than making guesses about them based on TV sound-bytes.  Just as a taste, I noticed this as a small part of a curriculum which they describe on their website:

    http://www.aceministries.com/curriculum/fourthEd/

    None of these things typically make a person ready to, if needed, financially support oneself or ready for college.

    Hm.  Given what I’ve seen of the kids on MTV’s “Real World” (is that still on TV, BTW?), the only things they’d been trained to do were to fight, have sex, make crude jokes, work mostly dead-end jobs, and the like.  Unless, perhaps, the TV didn’t give the whole story…?

    they seem to arrange marriages for their kids; at least they did for the one who is married.

    See Claire’s comments.  Seeming “seems” to be in the eye of the beholder, in this case…

    granted, in religiously authoritative, punitive societies (fundamentalist Christianity and Islam, some sects of Hinduism) there is a decreased divorce rate there is higher rates of domestic violence (from what we can tell–these societies are pretty secretive).

    (*sigh*)  Spoken like a true agnostic elitist.  Can we add some more diabolical-sounding allusions to nefarious goings-on, in that sentence?  It wasn’t quite full of them, yet.  You speak as someone who looks at religion from the outside, and who is woefully ignorant of all of them.

    Perhaps you might try again, and restrict yourself to actual facts (rather than wild guesses, tainted by anti-religious bias)?


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    Jonathan says:

    Amazing how many people there are that are critical of the Dugger family and others that are like them.  If they were a “worldly” family, and their children did the same thing that others do, and they were in public school, then no one would bat an eye at them.

    But rather, they are a “Christian” family, living by a different set of rules, and doing what they Believe to be right.  Who are we to fault them? 

    I am a Pastor of a Baptist Church.  My family has much of the same qualities of the Duggers.  My boys would tell you that they are happy, they are free to be themselves, and many other things.  But the one thing that would stand out is that they are Loved.

    The Duggers are Admirable people.  I wish that there were more people in this world like them.


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    madge says:

    You do have a knack for hyperbole, Paladin et al.  Sorry you made this so much about me but not about the question at hand, whether one could call the duggar children “free”. 

    I have looked at their website, along with many of the quiverfull homeschooling websites, and freedom would not be a characteristic virtue.  It has nothing to do with “agnosticism” nor does it have to do with Christian freedom in a scriptural sense.  children do what their primary role models do.  These girls take care of the babies, curl their hair, do laundry, and make tater tot casserole.  They are very sweet to each other, play music together, and memorize scripture.  That’s all well and good,  and I applaud many of their virtues.  My goodness. . . .


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    madge says:

    one more thing: had they not wanted to be somehow representative of other families who share their value system (which has much to applaud it but is not particularly representative of first century Christianity) they would not be on cable television every day.  I have a hard time taking seriously all this defense of a family who chooses to be on television through their more private moments.  I think they can take a bit of challenge. . . .They seem to smile through it, and good for them. 

    All people who challenge their lifestyle are not agnostic, anti Christian, or any of the other names you have hurled at me.  But i guess name calling is easier than actually having conversation with people who may disagree in good faith with you. 


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    Britney says:

    I have always enjoyed watching the Duggar’s shows.:)
    I am a homeschool graduate, and I have been blessed to have been raised in a house much like the Duggars. I wouldn’t trade my up bringing for anything!
    The world will never agree with conservative Christian beliefs, and that is a fact we need to resign to. I guess I will have to continue to be a “beaten”, “walking vagina for my husband”, “ignorant”, “restricted”, woman. I love caring for my family and loving my Messiah. The world can go on thinking what they will. Who’s opinion matters anyway? Theirs? Or God’s? I think the answer is obvious– God’s.
    I’m sorry I wasn’t a promiscuous, angst filled teen, or a depressed woman. Oops! I missed out! ;)


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    Claire says:

    Madge, what is it you think the Duggar children should be “free” to do, that they are not already doing?  And, with all due respect, why does that mean anything at all?

    Do you have children of your own?  If so, you, as their parent, have every right to determine what they do and don’t do.  The same is true of the Duggars.  Why should they spend a nanosecond thinking about what anyone else thinks their children should do? 

    You said, “…had they not wanted to be somehow representative of other families who share their value system (which has much to applaud it but is not particularly representative of first century Christianity) they would not be on cable television every day.”

    ~ The Duggars were approached by TPTB at Discover/TLC to film the show. 

    ~ They do not claim to represent anyone but themselves.

    ~ They are not on cable TV every day.  (Would it matter if they were?)

    ~ IMO, they do represent the spirit of 1st century Christianity.  At the same time, they live in the 21st century.   Do you, a non-Christian, presume to know what they should or should not do, in this regard? 

    You are also mistaken when you assert the girls take care of the babies [though Jim-Bob, all the older children, and Mrs. Duggar (Jim-Bob’s mother) did take care of them when Michelle had to be alone with Josie].   If you know anything about the family at all, you know that Jim-Bob is a very hands-on dad — much more so than the average dad.  He is able to be at home every day.  When Michelle is home, she is a very hands-on mom.

    It’s almost amusing to me that libertines fill the airwaves, on many shows on many TV channels, and this one family is so criticized — usually in error, as so many criticisms here have been.  I say almost because it’s actually sad. 

    The actual time spent filming the show is brief — cameramen have commented on that.  The Duggars have established parameters to protect their family time.

    It would be refreshing if you (and others who’ve also posted errant statements about the Duggars) would own up to your dishonest statements about them. 

    BTW — this is actually off-topic, but since you and other detractors have mentioned it, I’ll comment on it:  I have been to the anti-Quiverfull website called nolongerquivering, and its owner/moderator is clear that she has rejected Christ Jesus Himself.  Based on her unbelief, she has rejected everything regarding Christianity in any way.  Also based on what I’ve read there, she comes across as being very bitter.  And she projects her bitterness onto other Quiverfull families who are not unhappy at all but are very content, as are the Duggars.  

    One more point:  The “quiverfull” mindset simply means a couple has decided to trust God to plan the size of their family.  Some of these couples have just one or two children.  Some have ten or more.  The great majority of the QF families I know have medium-sized families, somewhere in between. 

    But what is it to you, other detractors, me, or anyone else, what they decide to do, concerning this issue or any other issue? 

    Again:  AREN’T THEY AMERICANS?  Why is it that PRO-CHOICE people are so unwilling for them to CHOOSE to have children?

    What gives anyone the right to judge them — let alone make heinous, demeaning statements about them?


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    KayLee says:

    Since I am an Agnostic, ProChoice, Liberal Democrat, let me begin my saying that I very much enjoy watching ’19 Kids and Counting’ along with the other reality based family shows. Meeting the Duggars and the Bates families would be my idea of a fun day. To argue politics and religion? Hardly…they just seem like people I would enjoy spending time with. Liberal, to me, means to live and let live. ProChoice? Having very large families are their choices. What does set my teeth on edge is the fundamentalist’s view on Liberalism. Am I a Socialist? Well…both of my health insurances are government sponsored…Medicare and Tricare for Life. The combination has seen me through several medical crisises so I sure wouldn’t want to give them up. What I do believe in is Kharma which, to me, means what a person gives in life is what they get. This has proven true many times in my life, both for good and bad. No, I don’t believe in reincarnation, I believe my children, grandchildren, and now…can it be true?…great grandchildren, along with the deeds I have done are my legacy. While I cannot imagine how any of my beliefs hurt anyone, I suppose I will have to wait and see what any comments show.


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    Claire says:

    I ran out of time to edit my last post: 

    I wanted to point out the fact that the owner/moderator of No Longer Quiverful equates the Quiverful mindset with spiritual abuse.

    This is yet another fallacy.  I have experienced spiritual abuse in situations where there was NO Quiverful mindset, there were NO Quiverful families, at all.  And the Quiverful families I know do not participate in spiritual abuse in any way, shape, or form.

    Again, this is OT for this thread.  But since it had been brought up by Duggar detractors, I did think false statements and assumptions should be answered with fact.


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    Sue says:

    I enjoy watching the Duger family on TV yet I, too, have reservations about how their lifestyle limits their children’s choices for their own future.
    I see these beautiful young girls (and boys, too) and wonder what lies ahead for them except more of the same?
    I am a wife & mother who was blessed to be able to be a ‘stay at home’ mom while raising my children. I love homemaking and a pursuing simple pleasures that don’t require power adapters!
    These beautiful children do not appear to think outside the box. What if one of the girls wants to further her education? Would she even feel comfortable approaching her parents about it?  Would she be supported in her choice or encouraged to simply wait for the right man, marry & begin popping babies?
     


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    Elisabeth says:

    Sue… so what if their life consisted of “more of the same”…. if they repeat their parents’ pattern they will have happy marriages, no debt, no financial worries, and happy families. What precisely is there to worry about there?

    As to the girls not thinking outside of the box… on what do you base that? Interviews with the girls and their parents show them to each have very, very different personalities and interests. On what do you base the idea that they are not comfortable talking to their parents about things that matter deeply to them?

    Because, as a person who has lived much of their life (haven’t got the debt free part down yet. Working on it… have no credit card debt, just have to finish off the student loans) with the same beliefs as the Duggars, as someone who has actually read their book and followed their story long before they ended up on TLC… as someone who happens to have many friends with 15 or more children… your statement about appearances (as everyone elses’) are based on nothing more than your own prejudices and thought processes.

    I have dear friends with 15 and 17 children whose children have attended public and parochial schools before heading off to college (those old enough, they both still have young ones at home).

    In addition, is it not normal for children to emulate their parents (especially if they have a positive relationship with them)? My oldest is preparing to go into nursing. My younger three daughters claim to want to do the same. This is despite my constant urging that they do what makes THEM happy…. that they don’t have to do just what Mommy does!


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    Elisabeth says:

    Oh, and Paladin… you know I love you, too, my friend, right? HUGS!


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    Paladin says:

    ;)  The feeling is mutual, dear lady!  (*hug!*)  My love to you and your wonderful family!
     
    I still say that reading one of your posts is the rhetorical equivalent of enjoying a seven-course meal prepared by experts… very nice!


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    Paladin says:

    Madge wrote:

    You do have a knack for hyperbole, Paladin et al.  Sorry you made this so much about me but not about the question at hand, whether one could call the duggar children “free”.

    Ah, ah, ah….!  Not so fast, ma’am.  You have responsibility for *all* your comments… not just the ones that gave a polite nod to the Duggars’ virtues.

    I have looked at their website, along with many of the quiverfull homeschooling websites, and freedom would not be a characteristic virtue.

    And I really must ask you to define, quite clearly, what you mean by “freedom”, and how it’s supposedly being abridged by “quiverfull families”.  Many others have already asked you, with greater skill (and brevity) than I: what, exactly, do you think is being denied the Duggar children, that you lament their supposed “lack of freedom”?

    It has nothing to do with “agnosticism” nor does it have to do with Christian freedom in a scriptural sense.

    My comment about agnosticism was directed at your negative references to “religiously authoritative, punitive societies (fundamentalist Christianity and Islam, some sects of Hinduism)”, in which you blend them all together as groups in which “there is a decreased divorce rate there is higher rates of domestic violence (from what we can tell–these societies are pretty secretive).”  You could easily have made your point about “admiring the Duggars’ good points” without such anti-religious pot-shots.  Sorry, lady: you’ can’t get away with a “drive-by” like that, without being called out for it.  In one arrogant-sounding drive-by, you dismiss all “fundamentalist Christianity” (care to define what you think that means?  You clearly distance yourself from it, and you certainly seem to find it non-good… unless your comments about “domestic violence” and “secrecy” (which could cloud accurate tallies of incidents of domestic violence) were not accusations or criticisms, but rather COMPLIMENTS?) along with two other religions whose worldviews are radically different from Christianity (for crying out loud, Hinduism isn’t even monotheistic!).

    Your comments revealed a great deal about your own worldview, whether you realized it or not. Let’s at least be honest, here, and not disingenuous.

    children do what their primary role models do.  These girls take care of the babies, curl their hair, do laundry, and make tater tot casserole.

    Right.  And you seem to think that this is ALL they do.  Remember what you wrote?

    — quote —
    their “education” for their daughters, at least the part that is shown on TV, is mostly about tater tot casserole, baby care, use of curling irons, rolling down hills, playing musical instruments, and laundry.  None of these things typically make a person ready to, if needed, financially support oneself or ready for college.
    — end quote —
     
    Now, unless you were assuming that their education was mostly LIMITED TO such “idle tasks”, your subsequent comment about being unprepared for financial self-support or college would be nonsensical.  At the risk of making a long comment longer (this always seems to happen when commenters try to back-pedal from the plain meaning of their comments!), try this:

    My own education involved drawing space-ships on paper, making mice out of bread-dough, and the like; I’ll also admit that such education did little to prepare me for my current career and fiscal sense.  But don’t you see that my education might have incorporated OTHER THINGS?  This seems so obvious that it’s almost painful to point this out!  And yet, you doubt that the Duggar children can do much more than make tater-tot casserole and curl their hair?  Have some sense!

    To finish this tedious point: don’t you remember “worrying out loud” that they’d be unprepared for “special needs children” (and how, if I may ask, is YOUR preparation any better than theirs?) or difficult marriages (honestly: I’ve known Ivy-League Ph.D’s whose marriages were abusive and horrid; how on earth do you figure that the Duggars’ background of self-sacrifice, forgiveness and generosity–in addition to the excellent schooling they get from their parents–would leave them “ill-prepared” in that regard, by any sane standard?

    They are very sweet to each other, play music together, and memorize scripture.  That’s all well and good,  and I applaud many of their virtues.  My goodness. . . .

    You’ll note that I didn’t take issue with any of these compliments… yes?  They’re all fine sentiments; had you said only that, and not meandered into the condescending and elitist-sounding “worries-out-loud” about their supposed “lack of freedom (whatever that means… care to elucidate?)” and “lack of preparation”, I doubt you would have received any complaints.  You certainly wouldn’t have received any from me!

    My apologies for the length… but honestly: one of my pet peeves is watching otherwise intelligent people do “drive-by criticisms”, and then try to obfuscate the issue when they’re challenged.


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    madge says:

    I hope you weren’t making “mice out of bread dough” as an adolescent.  These girls should be doing science experiments and reading classics, but that is emphatically not what we see on the TV show.  (And I’ll admit I’ve not read the book–I’m too busy doing science experiments and reading classics ;))
    The show is very much on my cable system every day, and if you add advertisements and People Magazine articles it is much more prevalent.
    since I’ve attempted to clarify a couple of times I think your descriptions of my “drive by” comments is yet another example of your verbose hyperbole.
    Obviously, parents can and should shelter their children; no child is truly free.  That is the crux of my argument.  Whether a child is hostage to culture, or under the grasp of his or her parents, she or he is not free.  The point of this piece is to laud the Duggars (and they are indeed laudable) and to give some individuals a chance to villify anyone who sees their “countercultural” approach as far from some Christian ideal.
    Read up on your church history if you can’t see the parallels between Christian Fundamentalism and Islamic Fundamentalism.  As a person who very much lives to serve Christ, I see Fundamentalism and many manifestations of modern Christianity is idols, pure and simple.
     
    That’s really all I have to add to this conversation.
     


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    Sue says:

    Having spent 22 years in a fundamentalist cult (from the age of 11 until I was 33) I cannot imagine how the Duggar children are ‘free’.

    Webster defines free as ‘Not controlled by obligation or the will of another’.  Speaking from experience, when one is totally immersed in a sub-culture that controls every aspect of one’s life, one is free only within the confines of said culture.  I had a happy life & was spared, I believe, from many of the heartaches & temptations that our young people experience in today’s culture.

    However, I wasn’t ‘free’ to share the longings of my heart b/c I would be labeled as ‘having a wrong spirit’ or worse yet, come under close scrutiny to ensure that I wasn’t becoming rebellious or back sliding.  I didn’t feel that I could approach my parents with questions about how the ‘world’ lived without censure & knowing I would worry them/displease them. And please believe me when I say that I had (have) very good & loving parents.
    I am not Duggar bashing! Just saying that there is another side to every coin.
     
     


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    Elisabeth says:

    Sue…. while I can see where you are coming from, you would need to show that the Duggars actually belong to a fundamentalist cult before your observations can be accurate to THEM. I can see where your projections come from now… but they are still a reflection of your life story… not theirs.


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    Praxedes says:

    “is mostly about tater tot casserole, baby care, use of curling irons, rolling down hills, playing musical instruments, and laundry.  None of these things typically make a person ready to, if needed, financially support oneself or ready for college.”

    Sounds like my teen years. 

    I’ve been supporting myself since I was 18 and have supported 3 others in addition for most of those years.  The ability to cook and clean as well as take care of others have paid my bills many of the past 25 years.  

    Although I tried, I never had much talent at music and hairstyling.  I tried my hand at making mice with bread dough and later tried clay but alas I am not very artistic either. Therefore, I have paid a few for their musical talents and pottery making.  I have also paid more than a few people over the years for their talents with a scissors and curling iron. 

    Now if I could only get someone to pay me for rolling down hills. . . . .


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    Elisabeth says:

    Music teachers who teach private lessons make a decent income. I started teaching piano when I was 14 and taught violin through college.

    It is a major goal for me that each and every one of my children know how to cook and clean and do laundry, etc… how is that not important to learn?


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    madge says:

    It isn’t unimportant to learn these things–doing so doesn’t replace actual school however.


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    Praxedes says:

    These things are a big part of some schools. (Other than hill rolling which could be a fun addition to a PE program). 

    Are the Duggar children not being taught how to read, write and do math?


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    Paladin says:

    Madge wrote:

    I hope you weren’t making “mice out of bread dough” as an adolescent.

    (??)  Whyever not?  Unless you’re under the impression that this was *all* I did, or that it was somehow the apex of my abilities?  (Are all arts and crafts forbidden, once one reaches puberty?)

    That was my point, actually: you have no way of knowing what the Duggar children have been taught, simply on the basis of some video-byte scenes of tater-tot casserole-making.  How *could* you know, based on that?

    These girls should be doing science experiments and reading classics, but that is emphatically not what we see on the TV show.

    (*sigh*)  And you think the TV show is all-inclusive, and you think any other of their abilities must be negligible or nonexistent because you didn’t see them on TV?  Rubbish…

    (And I’ll admit I’ve not read the book–I’m too busy doing science experiments and reading classics ;) )

    May I suggest G.K. Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy”, if you’re into classics?  It’s a good antidote for much of the nonsense of our age…

    I’ll also try not to be mortally offended that you neglect math proofs in your recommended regimen…  :)

    The show is very much on my cable system every day, and if you add advertisements and People Magazine articles it is much more prevalent.

    I see.  And what’s your point, in this?

    since I’ve attempted to clarify a couple of times I think your descriptions of my “drive by” comments is yet another example of your verbose hyperbole.

    You’ve been more than clear, madam; I merely say that you’re clearly wrong, and that you’ve jumped to a great many wrong conclusions, based on inadequate evidence.  Does that clarify, without being overly hyperbolic?

    Obviously, parents can and should shelter their children; no child is truly free.  That is the crux of my argument.  Whether a child is hostage to culture, or under the grasp of his or her parents, she or he is not free.

    So you assert that the “lack of freedom” of the Duggar children is not qualitatively different than anyone else’s “lack of freedom”?  Then why bring in your criticisms of their supposed “lack of science and classics”, “lack of preparation for financial self-sufficiency”, “lack of ability to handle challenging marriages”, “lack of preparation for special-needs children”, and their Christian background at ALL?  Just for a lark?  If you seriously believe that you offered no (cover your ears, Mary!  :)  ) insinuations that you thought them unprepared *specifically because* of their specific lifestyle, then I really don’t know what to tell you.  Ask anyone else on this board (whomever you like), and see if they thought you were critical of the Duggar childrens’ ability to handle later life challenges…

    The point of this piece is to laud the Duggars (and they are indeed laudable) and to give some individuals a chance to villify anyone who sees their “countercultural” approach as far from some Christian ideal.

    That’s hardly a fair portrayal of the thread.  If you offer criticisms of the Duggars, all we ask is that you defend your argument sensibly (and not simply go on personal bias).  Your reasoning had several holes in it, and that’s what’s being pointed out.

    Read up on your church history if you can’t see the parallels between Christian Fundamentalism and Islamic Fundamentalism.

    My knowledge of Church history aside: don’t you see that your statement is meaningless, unless you give me your definition of “Christian Fundamentalist”?  You seem to be using the term pejoratively (which is not at all necessary–there’s nothing essentially bad about following the Gospel of Christ as the fundamental guide to your life, is there?), and I’ve no idea whom you’d include in it.  If you restrict the term merely to “nut-cases who blow up people or property with high explosives”, that’s one thing; but if you use it as a broad brush to (pardon me) “vilify” those who sincerely try to follow Jesus as Lord and Saviour, then you’ve gone very far wrong.

    As a person who very much lives to serve Christ, I see Fundamentalism and many manifestations of modern Christianity is idols, pure and simple.

    I understand.  (I also see idols in modern Christianity–especially the “modernist” variants, which are often a variation on “worship of self”.)  But unless you can tell me what you mean by these terms, we’ll be talking past each other, and you’ll look suspiciously like (forgive me) one who’s speaking from some sort of anti-evangelical prejudice.


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    Bobby Bambino says:

    “I’ll also try not to be mortally offended that you neglect math proofs in your recommended regimen”

    I’m offended!


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    Elisabeth says:

    Don’t worry, Bobby… I included math proofs when I homeschooled the kids! That’s why Joseph (14) tested completely out of high school math when we moved up here! (Luckily his school has a great program with one of the universities so he will spend his high school years taking college mathematics and physics.)


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    Paladin says:

    :)  Elisabeth, can I quit my job and follow you…?

    (Alternately: you wouldn’t mind if Bobby and I moved into your basement and just worked math profs for the next 10-20 years, would you?)


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    Elisabeth says:

    ROFLOL… you and Bobby are welcome here anytime, families included. Just be prepared for some tight quarters! Goal is to move out of this rental onto a five acre farm within the next 2-3 years as finances allow.

    We can do math proofs between wrestling matches…

    Just be warned, I tend to try to use as much “normal” language as possible with the littler ones when we do math proofs or logic puzzles. Even Steven will look at me sometimes and say, “You did NOT just say that….” (I think math proofs are more fun with phrases like, “So, that won’t work, it’s totally WHACKED!”)


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    Bobby Bambino says:

    “think math proofs are more fun with phrases like, “So, that won’t work, it’s totally WHACKED!””

    Nothing wrong with that, Elisabeth. That’s how we roll in the math world.


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    Elisabeth says:

    Um… yeah… kind of like that orange tie??? (running and ducking)


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    Bobby Bambino says:

    Ah, lol… someone has viewed my facebook photos…


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    Paladin says:

    :)  …and I didn’t even get into my “shooting cows” metaphor for teaching the solving of equations with variables on both sides…
     
    (But I digress…)


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    Elisabeth says:

    And now the entire site has seen what happens when 3 uber-geeks hang out! LOL (Hey, anyone seen Gerard?)


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    Madge says:

    Dear Paladin,

    with the exception of one commenter no one here has first hand knowledge of what goes on in the Duggar home.  I know a bit of what they choose to show on cable television.  Should I choose to publicly chronicle my family’s daily life on national TV, the public would be free to extrapolate from that broadcast at will. 

    The definition of Fundamentalism, as you point out, does vary.  Sometimes it refers primarily to scriptural interpretation and sometimes it is indicates a fairly modern, early 20th century American Protestant movement which aspires to return to the “fundamentals” (which look a lot more like frontier America than first century Christianity).  The definition I like best is this one my Karen Armstrong:  embattled forms of spirituality, which have emerged as a response to a perceived crisis.  Both fundamentalist Christianity and Fundamentalist Islam were formed out of a fear of modernity, both subjugate women, and both at times use violence and fear to achieve their desired ends. 

    Clearly, you have a need to “win” this discussion.  Like a lot of evangelicals trained in Apologetics, you are quite skilled in wearing down the opponent with words and details.  The larger question about how any of this helps make Christ’s love for the world known to those who need it will have to be saved for another time. 

    The bottom line for me is that you have no more evidence than I do about the relative “freedom” of the Duggar children.  None of us observers can know their hearts and motives or what happens when the TV cameras go off.  This whole conversation is spectulative, and clearly a fine opportunity for projection.  You have a clear bias in favor of all things evangelical and Duggarish; I come from a more progressive perspective (but a fairly orthodox one; I like Chesterton quite a bit and I don’t have to cross my fingers when I say the Nicene Creed).  I love Jesus and I’m going to give you the same benefit of the doubt.  People of good faith can and should disagree about how the culturally specific details get worked out.  That to me is true “Christian Freedom” in the Pauline sense

    I don’t need to demean you in order to express my opinions about this article, and it would be great if you could find a way to do the same.  I’m thinking it would free up a lot of emotional and intellectual energy for you, if you could express your own beliefs and opinions without denegrating those of others. 

    And no, I don’t think that the Duggar girls are free to go to law school or medical school or to choose to wait and have kids until they are 30 or to only have two kids.  I don’t think they are free to think differently than their parents about a whole host of things.  I don’t think that they will be prepared to financially support themselves if they find themselves married to an abusive man.   Not that anyone is, but having a college degree or a trade in ones’ back pocket doesn’t hurt. In these ways I think that their example is a bit problematic, because for a lot of Christian fundamentalists these details of lifestyle get in the way of actually knowing and serving Christ.   


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    Elisabeth says:

    And no, I don’t think that the Duggar girls are free to go to law school or medical school or to choose to wait and have kids until they are 30 or to only have two kids.  I don’t think they are free to think differently than their parents about a whole host of things.

    Here’s the point everyone keeps making: on WHAT do you base those thoughts? Because as far as any of us can tell, they are based on your own perception of what the Duggar family believes without having any first-hand knowledge of what they believe.

  114. I have a degree from a four-year college and some grad school and I’m not sure I could support myself, and I’m glad I don’t have to.  I’ve always found it odd that SAHMs are asked what they would do if something happened, but never families where both parents work and need both incomes.  Isn’t it even more likely something would happen to one of them?  But working moms don’t get asked, “But what if your husband dies?  What if he divorces you?  What will happen then?”
    Once a person is eighteen, he or she is free to do whatever he or she wants.  I know people who made it through school without their parents’ support, and people who had their parents’ support.  Why does it matter whether a person’s parents support their college decisions?  Plenty of 2-child families have expectations for their children, and not all will pay for their education or support it wherever they go.  Some might think a degree in English or art is worth paying for; some may not pay if their kids get good grades; some require their children to pay some of the money themselves.  Some want to live vicariously through their children and have only a specific career path they support….  How many atheist parents are willing to send their kids to seminary?  Some families won’t pay for college at all even if they could, believing the education will mean more if the kids have to pay for it.  My parents were willing to contribute until I married, and then stopped (I knew that ahead of time).  My father-in-law paid off my student loans.  Is one of them right and one wrong?  No, they just had different goals and parenting styles and desires for their kids.  Whether and how a family supports their child’s higher education is their own decision.
    I may not be an ubergeek, but I’ve spent the better part of the past 11 years around them, so I’ve picked up some and am pretty good at smiling and nodding at the rest ;)


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    madge says:

    I base my opinions on the same things everyone who is commenting on this article is basing their opinions on: what I see on television and read about this family.  The people who have commented on their (numerous apparent virtues are using the same evidence.  I watched tonight and saw that Jill got her GED.  Most college bound people don’t go that route. There was mention of college and that made me very happy.  These kids seem kind and bright and their parents seem, frankly, quite wise and nurturing.  They did mention wanting to “persue their training” at home; personally I think a bit of differentiation is is more appropriate developmentally this is clearly congruent with their value system and clearly within their perogative.  I HOPE these girls get to go to school if they so choose, and I wish them well. 

    It seems that anyone who challenges the groupthink gets stoned with personally directed words.  Interesting. . . .Faith in Christ does not require groupthink, nor does disagreeing with aspects of the dear Duggars mean that they are somehow personally being attacked.  In tonight’s episode Mrs Duggar addressed those who might criticise her if she were to have another baby pretty directly, saying something like “they can have their opinions but I’m the mom”.  She’s right.  I can express my concern for the example they set, I can express ethical concerns about her becoming pregnant again given her history of two episodes of preeclampsia, “advanced maternal age”, and the horrific loss her living children would feel were she not to survive another pregnancy.  Others can focus on the many laudable qualities expressed in their show.  Ultimately it is all opinion, shaped by our own biases and experiences.  Lucky us, living in the good ole USA and getting to have opinions. 

    The only way this would effect faith in Christ in an ultimate way is if any one of us were to judge them, and I’m not doing that.  I’m disagreeing, but I feel quite confident that they are acting in good faith and with good intentions.  I’m left wondering if the two of you feel that way about me, whom you do not know.  Jesus didn’t say a word about homeschooling, having as many children as you can biologically have, denim skirts, or tater tot casserole.  He said quite a bit, however, about judging others.  (He also said that uncomfortable bit about hating family but that is SO not on topic here). 


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    LC says:

    Ashley – I agree with you!  Many people abuse and manipulate christianity in order to uphold their own patriarchy and justify their actions.  I also think it is very insightful for you to point out that many (though not all) of these quiverfull folks are racist.  Again, I agree with you on all points except one… they are not fundamentalist christian.  This is a little tricky.  Yes, they identify with the American movement of fundamentalist christians, but they DO NOT adhere to the fundamentals of christianity.  Promoting the subservience of women and shielding your kids from the world is quite the opposite of Jesus’ teachings.  Many christians have let their beliefs get muddled up by culture and personal biases.  I encourage you, if you are interested in chrisianity (or even if you are already a follower of Christ) to look into Quakers (aka Society of Friends).  You can find information here:  http://quaker.org/ Or you can respond to my comment and we can get in contact.
    Everyone else,
    I am a Quaker (society of friends), I am pro-life, and I was homeschooled.
    I am offended with your responses to Ashley.  I am deeply offended that you assumed she is not a christian.  I am also offended with your approach….Calling her crazy and lost is inapprpriate.  I think you all should open your minds and hearts to criticism of the church and christians.  We have had our egos stroked for far too long while judging people outside the church.  It wouldn’t hurt us to consider that there is room for improvement in regards to gender roles, race relations, class relations, humanitarian work, and a whole bunch of other issues.


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    Madge says:

    It does appear to me that Ashley was judged quite harshly with little or no evidence. Not that having evidence would make tha behavior acceptable.


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    KayLee says:

    Tonight’s episode of ’19 Kids and Counting’ was kind of spoiled for me after listening to one of the older girls say, ‘Perhaps with no TV in the home, our family has had more time for creativity.’ Give me a break. Most families limit the time their kids watch TV. My own kids might have watched an hour or two, at most, a day. Sure there might be kids out there somewhere who watch TV or play video games during every waking moment. There are all sorts of people out there, but are they the ‘norm?’ When my kids were small nothing made them happier than playing train with the kitchen chairs while I mopped the kitchen unless it was a cardboard box, a pair of scissors, a catalog and some glue to name but two activities. I fail to see how Kaptain Kangaroo, and Sesame Street retarded their creativity. I’m really sorry that the Duggar kids are coming off as smug. People live successful lives going to public schools and enjoying appropriate TV. Could we have a little more of ‘live and let live?’ Thanks


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    LC says:

    I agree with Robert.  All of you have a fundamental misunderstanding of his argument.  You want to know what people did before abortion was legal?  POVERTY STRICKEN WOMEN HAD THEIR BABIES AND THOSE BABIES DIED!!!!  The impoverished have a high infant mortality rate.  Abortion won’t stop until people are given assistance.  Please think outside your middle class bubble and gain some empathy for people in a different situation than you.
    Or why not do something radical: instead of protesting at the clinic and shame girls, why not offer to adopt their child?
    It is not only a logical fallacy, but also offensive to compare abortion to speeding… those are to COMPLETELY different situations!

  120. To those newcomers talking about how we respond to Ashley:

    We have known Ashley for sometime.  She’s not a one-time commenter.  We have history with Ashley.  We KNOW she is not a Christian, that she is lost, that she is struggling, that she has been through hard things… and our knowledge of her may make our judgment of where her heart is more accurate than hers.
    Jesus told us to protect our children and make sure they were taught correctly.  Some people feel the best way to do that is home school.  You might have a different opinion, but those who home school are doing so to fulfill the commands of Christ.  We feel it is hard to teach His commands all the time (“talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up”) when we send our children away for 6 hours a day.
    We are told to welcome children in His name, to feed and clothe and care for Him.  Christ said let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them… I say that in my life as I welcome any child He might send me.  God’s very first command to the human race was that they be fruitful and multiply, and He has yet to rescind it.
    I identify as quiverfull–meaning that I believe it is God’s job to decide how many children are in my family, as only He can open or close my womb.  I do believe that married woman are called to be mothers and wives rather than to jobs outside the home, usually, and at very least they should put their duty to their family first.  I believe that men and women have different roles.  If I am “subservient” though it is by CHOICE.  What greater honor is there for the Christian than to serve?  Am I not to consider others more important than myself?  Did not our Lord say that the one who will be greatest will be the servant of all?  I am not a slave but a willing servant, and I try to serve my family by being like Christ–putting their needs before my own, considering them more important than myself, loving them by keeping them clothed and fed.  Yes, these are the teachings of Christ!  My husband also serves the living God by looking after my welfare and helping me.  I love him by treating him as I would treat God; he loves me by treating me as Christ treats the church.  It’s in the Bible.
    No, we are not called to isolation.  It is something some people struggle with more than others; some struggle to be in the world, and others struggle to not be of it.  What that looks like is different for each family.  I would think that the service projects the Duggars are involved in are their way of answering that call.
    I see no evidence that most quiverfull folk are racist.  Many adopt children from other people groups.  Those that don’t have children who are the same color as their parents (or in between, in the case of marriages between people of different melanin concentrations).  Most people do.
    And speaking of adoption–I would adopt any child rather than that child be aborted!  No matter what that child’s challenges or coloring.  Adoption can be intrusive and expensive.  But I would never condemn a child to death rather than adopting him or her.  But it’s not about adoption.  People here have offered to adopt children rather than see them aborted, only to be rebuffed.  Women don’t just want to not raise their children; they want the children dead.  This is why there are third-trimester abortions.  I guarantee you that if every child whose mother was thinking of abortion needed to attempt to find a family first, there would be no abortions.  But these women would rather kill their children than see them adopted.  I do not know why but it is plainly true.


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    Madge says:

    Our predominantly Roman Catholic, very “pro-life” county has 600 foster children currently in the system.  There are signs everywhere soliciting foster homes for these children.  I’m wondering where the quiverfull people are here. . . .I see families of four, five six children all the time yet these children languish in the system.  What I see is talk, talk, talk, and very little truly “pro life” action. 
    It is so much easier to sit around defending the Duggars and trashing those who disagree and protesting stuff and creating a tidy little sheltered reality than actually nurturing lives of those who need it most.   


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    Bobby Bambino says:

    Hi LC.

    “Or why not do something radical: instead of protesting at the clinic and shame girls, why not offer to adopt their child?
    It is not only a logical fallacy…”

    Indeed, you did just commit a logic fallacy. Suppose I nor any other pro lifer ever adopts a single child. What follows concerning the morality of abortion? Because I don’t adopt a child, does that imply that abortion is somehow a moral choice? Or suppose I told you I have adopted 5 children. Does it then follow that abortion is intrinsically evil? The problem with the old “you’re a hypocrite” argument is that it does not address the main issue. That is, our claim is that abortion is the unjust taking of an innocent human life. How does the number of children we adopt or how many children we adopt affect the validity of that claim or refute it? It simply does not. My compassion for the less fortunate and what I am doing to help have no bearing on the argument at hand, which is that abortion is evil. if your and Robert’s only point is that the poor need help, there is no argumentation here. Of course we agree. But if you are trying to say that the poor need help and if you don’t help them they therefore should be allowed to abort is indeed a logical fallacy.

  123. There is a big difference between adopting an infant and adopting an older child.  Older children are often emotionally damaged and have been abused.  Are they precious?  Absolutely!  However, the ones that most need help are often most difficult to adopt.  I have friends who was in the process of adopting two kids from foster care.  The elder, a boy, had been abused.  After about 6 months, he accused his adopted father of hitting him.  They took away both kids (and the little girl had bonded strongly with them) without a proper investigation.  The couple sought recourse through the legal system, but even though it was admitted the procedure was poor, they couldn’t get the children back.  Because of one false accusation from a troubled little boy with a history of abuse and lying, my two friends–who work with children frequently for their jobs–will never be able to adopt, and lost a little girl who loved them and a little boy for whom they may have been the last best hope.  The boy demonstrated inappropriate sexual behavior.  Now he’s been placed with a family that runs a day care.  My friend says he’ll end up assaulting someone someday, and his only consolation is that since they’ve been separated it won’t be his little sister now.
    I’m scared of adopting older children with troubled pasts after my friend’s experience.  I would be risking that an older child might abuse my children I already have, or that if a false accusation is made my children I already have could be taken away.  You don’t have the same dangers of destruction of property, assault of other children, or false accusations when you adopt an infant.  I would still like to adopt an older child someday, but unless my family and I could be protected, I couldn’t adopt a child with a history of sexual abuse–and these are children whose only chance is to be adopted into a permanent family who will accept them and work for their full healing.
    Keep in mind that all the children in the foster care system are “wanted” children whose parents “chose” not to have them dismembered.  They are not the children who should have or would have been aborted in whatever circumstance, unless you believe some people should be compelled to abort their unborn children.


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    Sue says:

    Having escaped a legalistic, fundamental cult, this conversation is mesmerizing.
    However, what Young Christian woman wrote regarding Ashley disturbs me and perhaps she can explain better her comment which comes across as smug and all knowing:
    ‘We KNOW she is not a Christian, that she is lost, that she is struggling, that she has been through hard things… and our knowledge of her may make our judgment of where her heart is more accurate than hers.’
     


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    madge says:

    It is indeed a whole lot easier to love a fetus than to love an actual child, particularly a wounded one.  Just like it is easier to mouth off about the misdeeds of others than to actually live out a faith based on sacrificial love.  The easiest thing of all is to judge a woman for considering abortion, then judge the child unworthy of your home.
    Clearly you’ve not spent much time with kids with a reactive attachment disorder if you think what happens to kids who are unable to attach to a loving caregiver within the first years of life is anything other than a sort of psychic dismembement, a tearing apart of the soul that cannot be mended.  That is what happens when people who aren’t ready to be parents have children. “they shouldn’t have sex” you may say, “they should. . . They shouldn’t. . .” The sanguine viewpoints of the self-righteous pro life community, sitting on high, crying “logical fallacy” (which in this conversation seems to be code for “reality check”) all the while not doing a dang thing to help actual living children in their own communities like the ones who languish in foster care, are really repulsive.  Perhaps if I saw the “pro life” community acting in “pro life” ways, I’d be more persuaded.


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    Elisabeth says:

    If there were fewer barriers to adopting, more people would adopt. My husband and I had to start the process all over again to become certified to adopt medically needy children out of the foster care system when we moved from one state to another. We have approximately 3 years worth of classes, home studies, background checks, etc., before they will even consider placing a child with us…. this despite the fact that we have not only the love to want to adopt children and the medical skills necessary to care for special needs children (I am a registered nurse with specialty certification in pediatrics, my husband is an EMT).

    Two of my best friends who happen to be Quiverfull HAVE adopted children.

    But Bobby is right… none of this changes the fact that abortion kills a living human being.


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    Elisabeth says:

    Ashley has stated her own conflict clearly many times. The truly hateful comments that she has spewed forth between bouts of considering being Christian and pro-life speak to her confusion and her anguish of soul.

    I, and many others here, pray for her daily. She truly does labor under many hurtful and painful self-delusions, which I think is the point that YCW was trying to make.

    If you would care to go back over the past many, many months and read her comments and hear her anguish, I think you would see the same injured, confused person that most of us here see.


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    madge says:

    I hear a lot of excuses about why people don’t open their homes to children who need homes, and a lot of dismissal of people who have abortions or who are different.  That’s all I hear, frankly, in a lot of this verbage.


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    Claire says:

    Madge, you have thus far completely ignored my pertinent questions and comments to you.  You have refused to acknowledge the wrong statements/assumptions you’ve made about the Duggars.

    I realize you may also choose not to acknowledge my comments about this post.  Nevertheless, comments you’ve made are loaded statements and are clearly inaccurate.  Do you actually believe this stuff?  Or do you assume no one will take you to task for posting these inaccurate and heavily-biased statements?

    You said, Both fundamentalist Christianity and Fundamentalist Islam were formed out of a fear of modernity, both subjugate women, and both at times use violence and fear to achieve their desired ends. 

    On what are you basing this statement?  You have given no supporting evidence.

    You have a clear misunderstanding of what fundamentalist Christianity is.  You really need to educate yourself on the “Five Fundamentals” of Christianity which were asserted in the mid-1900s as a clear call against apostasy (departing from the faith). 

    Define “fear of modernity”.  What does that mean to you?  What is it supposed to mean to us? 

    Your next accusation — “subjugating women” — is nothing but libel.  It is absolutely untrue. 

    Surely you realize there are zillions of people who know that Christian women are not forced to be circumcised, they are not stoned to death if they are raped (or for any other reason), they are not forced to wear garments which hide every inch of their bodies, etc, etc, etc.

    It is a basic tenet of Islam to use violence against those who will not bow the knee to Allah.
    Muslims who do so are obeying the teachings of Mohammed, whom they believe to be the greatest prophet of all (they believe Christ Jesus was a lower prophet than he, that the Lord Jesus did not did on the cross for our sin, and that He was not resurrected from the dead).

    All of the above is completely contradictory to the teachings of the Bible!  All of it is completely contradictory to the teachings of Christ Jesus!

    Truly, you need to stop, take a deep breath, and own up to your hyperbole.

    Otherwise, I cannot possibly take anything else you say seriously.

    If you want to be taken seriously, you need to:

    1)  Quit making such false and inflammatory statements, and

    2)  Own up to the false accusations you’ve made thus far. 

    This also applies to others who’ve similarly slandered the Duggars (and, by assocation, all Christians who believe the Bible is true). 

    You said, Clearly, you have a need to “win” this discussion.  Like a lot of evangelicals trained in Apologetics, you are quite skilled in wearing down the opponent with words and details.  The larger question about how any of this helps make Christ’s love for the world known to those who need it will have to be saved for another time.

    It’s not a matter of “winning” or “losing”.  It’s a matter of speaking truth.

    Words and details are important here, because of the very nature of this forum.  Words and details are how thoughts are conveyed here.

    If you’ve watched the Duggars lately, you know that JohnDavid and Jana went on a mission trip to Indonesia, where they did make Christ’s love for the world known.

    The Duggars radiate the love of Christ Jesus on their show.  Are they perfect?  Of course not.  Neither is anyone else.  But they do live out what they believe.  They do seek to honor and obey the Lord. 

    In light of the sad fact that it is a horribly common thing that families and homes are falling apart all over the place and children are always the ones who suffer most, the Duggars should be commended for their faith, for their obvious love for the Lord and each other, for their steadfastness in a world where steadfastness is so often misunderstood and ridiculed.  Many people would love to have grown up in a home with such loving parents.

    As for adoption:  1) The Duggars have not felt led to do that.  Are you their judge?  Can you say they are wrong not to adopt?

    2)  I don’t know who said this, but it is a commonly-believed myth that pro-life people do not adopt and/or take care of babies after they’ve been spared abortion.  This is not true.  I am aware of a large number of Crisis Pregnancy Centers in many cities who are actively working every day in helping expecting moms get all the things they need, including a) housing, b) education, c) maternity supplies, d) baby supplies.  And they do not stop there.  When the babies are born, they are actively working every day in providing those same needs for the babies, including helping to find adoptive families for them if their own parents do not want them or cannot take care of them. 

    3)  One big problem re: adoption is that black people often take umbrage when a non-black family adopts a black baby.  The main argument is that they do not want the black child to lose his identity.  This has been an issue for some time, and was evidenced after the movie The Blind Side was released.  

    To me,  the bottom line is this:  NONE of this pertains to the article above these comments!  I don’t remember seeing a post by Duggar detractors which actually alluded to the article itself and commented on it. 

    And yet again:  AREN’T THE DUGGARS AMERICANS? 

    DO THEY NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO REAR THEIR CHILDREN IN THE WAY THEY BELIEVE IS RIGHT? 

    WHY IS IT THAT “PRO-CHOICE” PEOPLE ARE SO UNWILLING FOR THEM TO CHOOSE TO HAVE CHILDREN?

  130. “and our knowledge of her may make our judgment of where her heart is more accurate than hers.”
     
    Sorry–you are right, that would not be appropriate to say and is not what I intended to say.  I meant to say that our judgment of where Ashley was coming from was more accurate than “yours” or “others'” (not hers).  I was intending to say that we have a knowledge of Ashley that those commenting on this thread who do not have that history do not have, so they are making judgments based on this thread only whereas we have had many conversations with her.  I do not presume to know Ashley’s heart better than she does.


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    Claire says:

    Elisabeth said:

    “If there were fewer barriers to adopting, more people would adopt. My husband and I had to start the process all over again to become certified to adopt medically needy children out of the foster care system when we moved from one state to another. We have approximately 3 years worth of classes, home studies, background checks, etc., before they will even consider placing a child with us…. this despite the fact that we have not only the love to want to adopt children and the medical skills necessary to care for special needs children (I am a registered nurse with specialty certification in pediatrics, my husband is an EMT).

    Two of my best friends who happen to be Quiverfull HAVE adopted children.

    But Bobby is right… none of this changes the fact that abortion kills a living human being.”

    Elisabeth, I hope you don’t mind that I have copied your post here.  It sheds much-needed light on this issue and, IMHO, deserves to be repeated.

    Also — it is very EXPENSIVE to adopt. I have friends who dearly love children, cannot have any of their own, would LOVE to adopt, but they are not able to pay the exorbitant fees.


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    Elisabeth says:

    All you hear in my verbiage about spending THREE YEARS going through a process so that we can adopt is people being unwilling to open their homes? All you hear when I mention that I have two Quiverfull friends who have adopted within the past six months is people being unwilling to open their homes?
    Wow…


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    madge says:

    This conversation is just plain silly.  I disagree with the Duggars choices, but repeatedly i’ve articulated that they are well within their rights to do what they are doing.  By choosing to be on television they have opened themselves up to scrutiny and unless someone defames their character–which I’ve explicitly not done–libel does not apply.

    You are defining Fundamentalism like some fundamentalists define fundamentalism.  I’m defining it as a overarching religious concept.  Both are valid in their respective contexts.  All your scolding won’t make those two things reconcile however, and you saying how wrong I am means you just haven’t been, perhaps, exposed to the notion of fundamentalism as an overaching way of approaching religion that is truly interfaith.
    Fundamentalism all over the world is incredibly harmful to women.  a cursory search came up with a lot of articles that would be summarily rejected by most of you but here is an overview that while from a “liberal” source provides some backstory (and a citation for the Karen Armstrong definition which I’m happy to find):
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/reac_ter9.htm
    This has long ceased being about the Duggars, and all the capital letters and bold type sound like screeching.  I is that what you intend, to scream at a stranger who calmly and without malice expresses a divergent opinion?


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    madge says:

    Adoption takes a long time for everyone.  Most people who are pro life don’t try.  Good for you for starting the process.


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    Claire says:

    Madge, you continue to completely ignore my pertinent questions and comments to you.  You also continue to refuse to acknowledge the wrong statements/assumptions you’ve made about the Duggars.

    Comments you’ve made are loaded statements and are clearly inaccurate.  This has continued in your most recent post, to wit:

    Adoption takes a long time for everyone.  Most people who are pro life don’t try. 

    Your first statement here is true, though it’s a huge understatement regarding the difficulties of adopting — even the fact that adoption is not always possible for many people who WANT to adopt. 

    Your second statement is yet another sweeping generalization — another accusation of pro-life people en masse — millions of people you don’t even know!  And yet again, you offered not a shred of proof for your statement.

    All of which begs the question: How many children have you adopted?

    I had asked you earlier if you had any children at all, and you still haven’t answered that question.

    I have not screamed at you or anyone else.  I did post three questions — which I have posted several times, in hopes of real answers — in bold caps hoping someone would answer them. 

    At the same time, the great majority of my words, in all my posts, have been written with no emphasis at all.

    You say my posts are silly?  I have taken the time to post facts (such as those which contrast Biblical Christian faith with Islam), but you continue to make sweeping generalizations which offer NO facts at all. 

    You still have not posted ONE fact to support your accuastions.

    I have not “scolded” you — I have asked you to provide factual supporting evidence for your accusations. 

    The Religious Tolerance website’s standard of truth is not consistent with the Holy Bible.  Its statements regarding fundamentalist Christian faith are not Scriptural. 

    If anyone seeks to compare true fundamentalist Christian faith with the tenets of Islam, they are only revealing their ignorance of both, because there is no comparison — only contrast.

    I realize a myth of what is called “fundamentalist Christianity” has developed over the last decade or so, and has been greatly fueled by the prevalence of the internet, but it is just that — a myth.  It is false

    Have you looked up the Five Fundamentals I mentioned earlier?  If so, please post them here.  That would be most enlighteninng.

    I sincerely hope you will cease to post more unsupported-by-fact accusations, and answer these questions which pertain to your earlier accusations:

    You said, Both fundamentalist Christianity and Fundamentalist Islam were formed out of a fear of modernity, both subjugate women, and both at times use violence and fear to achieve their desired ends. 

    On what are you basing this statement?  You have given no supporting evidence.

    Define “fear of modernity”.  What does that mean to you?  What is it supposed to mean to us? 

    Your next accusation — “subjugating women” — is nothing but libel.  It is absolutely untrue. 

    Surely you realize there are zillions of people who know that Christian women are not forced to be circumcised, they are not stoned to death if they are raped (or for any other reason), they are not forced to wear garments which hide every inch of their bodies, etc, etc, etc.

    It is a basic tenet of Islam to use violence against those who will not bow the knee to Allah.
    Muslims who do so are obeying the teachings of Mohammed, whom they believe to be the greatest prophet of all (they believe Christ Jesus was a lower prophet than he, that the Lord Jesus did not did on the cross for our sin, and that He was not resurrected from the dead).

    All of the above is completely contradictory to the teachings of the Bible!  All of it is completely contradictory to the teachings of Christ Jesus!

    Truly, you need to stop, take a deep breath, and own up to your hyperbole.

    Otherwise, I cannot possibly take anything else you say seriously.

    If you want to be taken seriously, you need to:

    1)  Quit making such false and inflammatory statements, and
     
    2)  Own up to the false accusations you’ve made thus far. 

    This also applies to others who’ve similarly slandered the Duggars (and, by assocation, all Christians who believe the Bible is true). 

    You said, Clearly, you have a need to “win” this discussion.  Like a lot of evangelicals trained in Apologetics, you are quite skilled in wearing down the opponent with words and details.  The larger question about how any of this helps make Christ’s love for the world known to those who need it will have to be saved for another time.

    It’s not a matter of “winning” or “losing”.  It’s a matter of speaking truth.

    Words and details are important here, because of the very nature of this forum.  Words and details are how thoughts are conveyed here.
     
    If you’ve watched the Duggars lately, you know that JohnDavid and Jana went on a mission trip to Indonesia, where they did make Christ’s love for the world known.

    The Duggars radiate the love of Christ Jesus on their show.  Are they perfect?  Of course not.  Neither is anyone else.  But they do live out what they believe.  They do seek to honor and obey the Lord. 

    In light of the sad fact that it is a horribly common thing that families and homes are falling apart all over the place and children are always the ones who suffer most, the Duggars should be commended for their faith, for their obvious love for the Lord and each other, for their steadfastness in a world where steadfastness is so often misunderstood and ridiculed.  Many people would love to have grown up in a home with such loving parents.

    As for adoption:  1) The Duggars have not felt led to do that.  Are you their judge?  Can you say they are wrong not to adopt?

    2)  I don’t know who said this, but it is a commonly-believed myth that pro-life people do not adopt and/or take care of babies after they’ve been spared abortion.  This is not true. 

    I am aware of a large number of Crisis Pregnancy Centers in many cities who are actively working every day in helping expecting moms get all the things they need, including a) housing, b) education, c) maternity supplies, d) baby supplies.  And they do not stop there.  When the babies are born, they are actively working every day in providing those same needs for the babies, including helping to find adoptive families for them if their own parents do not want them or cannot take care of them. 

    3)  One big problem re: adoption is that black people often take umbrage when a non-black family adopts a black baby.  The main argument is that they do not want the black child to lose his identity.  This has been an issue for some time, and was evidenced after the movie The Blind Side was released.  

    And yet again:  AREN’T THE DUGGARS AMERICANS?
     
    DO THEY NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO REAR THEIR CHILDREN IN THE WAY THEY BELIEVE IS RIGHT? 

    (I ask that second question because so many people seem to think their ideas of child-rearing are superior to the Duggars’.) 

    WHY IS IT THAT “PRO-CHOICE” PEOPLE ARE SO UNWILLING FOR THEM TO CHOOSE TO HAVE CHILDREN?

     


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    Sue says:

    Thank you, YCW, for clarifying your statement.
     
     

  137. Seeing as Madge regards my fear for my own children and our family’s integrity as an excuse not to adopt, and doesn’t seem to take that seriously, and she thinks that poverty and abuse are always the results when someone who is “not ready” is “forced” to have a child, I highly doubt she has kids.


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    madge says:

    Projection, fear, judgment; more projection, more fear, more judgment.


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    Elisabeth says:

    Care to actually address the points raised, Madge, or do you just like muttering about your own actions?


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    madge says:

    What points, exactly, have been raised?
    The examples of two “pro life” families who have adopted children have been set forth and your story of working toward adoption has been told.  Like I said, that’s great.  My county still has 600 kids in foster care and a pro life bumper sticker on nearly every minivan.  The difficulties of being parent to a damaged child have been elaborated upon.
    I still think Fundamentalism harms women, and I’m by no means alone in that.  I’m not sure what else you want in that regard.  Since at least a few of you are fundamentalists, you won’t accept the supporting evidence I give nor will you on a basic level admit that people of good faith can disagree about the cultural expression of Christianity.  In that way, continuing this conversation is just silly, and i think we all have better things to do.
    Whenever someone presents a divergent point (like me) they are picked to pieces, judged heretical, or projected upon.  Fear of difference is a hallmark of fundamentalism so that at least is congruent.


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    Elisabeth says:

    Except that we aren’t afraid of you… while you are clearly afraid of “fundamentalism” however you define it. There is a big difference between telling someone that they are talking about something without having anything to base their comments upon and being afraid of them.

    You see the thing is, when you make a blanket statement about an entire group, it only has to be untrue of one member of the group to make it questionable in terms of applicability to the ENTIRE group.

    I’d love to know how you think that “fundamentalism” has harmed me. I’m female… I have four female children… how precisely have we been harmed by our Quiverfull beliefs?


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    madge says:

    I am very much afraid of Fundamentalism; it is a source of extremism, hatred, and violence in our world.
    I don’t know how it has affected you–I hope you are OK.


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    Elisabeth says:

    Well, aside from currently having the flu, yes, I’m quite fine.

    My oldest five children are at school today. The preschooler also has the flu and has been tucked into bed by Daddy (who also has the flu, but is setting that aside to take care of the littles and me.) The baby has a runny nose but seems to be over the worst of it.

    I have a wonderful career as a registered nurse in a rural hospital. My husband stays home with the kids except for the occasional ambulance run as an EMT for the same hospital. My oldest has a great job as a waitress after school and intends to also be a nurse. My oldest son is a wide-receiver/defensive back on the high school JV football team. Little brother (11) and sister (9) play Pee Wee Football. Jon is there more just to hang out with the guys, Amber is known as one of the toughest, meanest linebackers in the league. Oh, and all of the six older children have taken years of martial arts instruction. My oldest is only one belt away from her black belt.

    My husband is a sweet, funny, lovable WWE fan with a mischievous grin. If asked, “Are you Catholic or Mormon?” in response to why we have so many children, he will always respond, “Nah, we just like sex.” He encouraged me to try out a short a-line bob a few months ago. He loves it, I don’t, so I’m growing my hair out again.

    So, let’s see… I’m a pants wearing, short-haired, career woman married to a SAHD with seven children (more coming, God willing) AND we are fundamentalist Christians (fundamentalist in terms of “returning to the fundamentals of”) who are Quiverfull.

    Kind of puts the lie to the notion that every family with fundamentalist, Quiverfull beliefs is some sort of extremist, hateful, violent clan. Oh, gee, yeah, like the Duggars do, as well. Do we have nineteen? Nope… God hasn’t seen fit to bless us with that many yet. Hope he does, whether by birth or adoption. More, even. We may not be rich in material goods, but our home is full of love.

    What are the fundamentals of Christianity? Pretty simple… We are all sinners. Jesus Christ died for our sins. None can reach heaven without accepting that sacrifice on their behalf and accepting Jesus as his or her personal saviour. (Oh, just to really mess with your head? I’m JEWISH. And Christian.) That’s it! Those are the fundamentals of Christianity, and I accept them. I’m as fundamentalist as you get.


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    Praxedes says:

    Madge, On September 7th, you told Palidan, “Clearly, you have a need to “win” this discussion.”

    However, the day before you said, “”That’s really all I have to add to this conversation.”

    My personal opinion after re-reading all posts is that it is you who understand this need to “win” a bit too well. 
     
    You also stated, “Our predominantly Roman Catholic, very “pro-life” county has 600 foster children currently in the system.”  If you go back and re-read through all of Ashley’s past posts (although some of the “best” were deleated because of inappropriate language), you may be able to come to the conclusion that a large chunk of those who refer to themselves as Catholic are a far cry from those who actually believe AND follow what is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  A true sentence would be, “Our predominatly Cafeteria Catholic (or Liberal Catholics or Catholics for Choice), very “pro-life” country has . . . . ”

    You state, “It is indeed a whole lot easier to love a fetus than to love an actual child, particularly a wounded one.” Maybe there is a direct correlation between the number of unborn we kill and the number of wounded “actual” children. 

    After all, if we can’t love those who are in your words easier to love without killing 1/3 of them, how in the heck can we be expected to love wounded humans?


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    Claire says:

    Madge said:

    Projection, fear, judgment; more projection, more fear, more judgment.

    This is what I see directed at the Duggars.

    Feel free to elaborate on your POV.

  146. The only ones who have questioned anyone else’s expression of Christianity have been those criticizing the Duggars’ choices (and those who have similar convictions).  You claim that these beliefs harm women.  I say that in being a “servant” to my husband and family, I am fulfilling what Jesus commanded all of His followers–to be a servant to all and to put others before oneself.  It is not a position that has been forced on me, but one I have freely chosen, to the glory of God.  Even if I could be forced to serve–and I am not forced–I could not be forced to serve joyfully.  Once a person becomes a parent, they can’t always put themselves first.  Most actually want to give up some things for their children.  I can no longer eat, sleep, or go to the bathroom exactly when I want, because there are two little people in my house who need me and want my attention.  That’s just what being a parent is.
    Let me reiterate that every child in foster care is a wanted child whose parents chose not to abort him or her.  Since the pro-choice-on-dismembering-babies people said there would be no more child abuse once abortion was legal, why do they have no responsibility to adopt older children in foster care?
    I’ve been partway through the process for infant adoption, but the agency we were working with would not allow us to adopt when I was pregnant or for a year after a child joined my family.  I would love to still adopt someday.  But I won’t adopt an older child with some sorts of background because I cannot in good conscience endanger the children God has already given me.


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    Claire says:

    Responding to Madge (and hoping she will do the same):

    What points, exactly, have been raised?

    Madge, I have asked you many questions and commented on many of your statements; I consider all of those “points which have been raised”.  They’ve all been right before your eyes.

    For example (and this is only one), you falsely said Josh and Anna Duggar’s marriage was arranged. When I pointed out to you the fact that they chose each other, the silence on your end was deafening. Ditto the many other issues I’ve raised re: your posts.

    I still think Fundamentalism harms women, and I’m by no means alone in that. 

    I agree that fundamentalist ISLAM harms women.  The problem here is that you falsely lump ALL fundamentalists together, including fundamentalist Christians who simply believe what Christ Jesus taught and seek to live by it.

    Since at least a few of you are fundamentalists, you won’t accept the supporting evidence I give

    I haven’t seen any fundamentalist Islamists posting here — have you?  Several of us who’ve posted here do believe the fundamental truths of the Christian faith — we’ve made that clear.  Is that a problem to you?  Do you fear us?  If so, why

    Of what
    supporting evidence do you speak?  I haven’t seen any at all.

    …nor will you on a basic level admit that people of good faith can disagree about the cultural expression of Christianity. 

    Perhaps we can — but only if you explain what this means to you so we can know if we agree or disagree.

    In that way, continuing this conversation is just silly, and i think we all have better things to do.

    I agree it would be silly to continue the same old same old — for you (and there have been a few others) to continue making false generalizations with no supporting evidence. 

    However, I believe it would be time well spent for you to specify what you object to so we can have a rational discussion.

    Whenever someone presents a divergent point (like me) they are picked to pieces, judged heretical, or projected upon. 

    No one has picked you to pieces, no one has declared you a heretic, and I haven’t seen anyone projecting upon you.

    If you disagree, please cite the posts.

    Fear of difference is a hallmark of fundamentalism so that at least is congruent.

    Do you realize how oxymoronic this is?  You just recently mentioned being fearful of — what?  What is it you specifically fear?  I could understand if you feared Islam Shar’ia law becoming the law of the land, but NO ONE here has defended fundamentalist Islam.


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    Claire says:

    Praxedes said:

    A true sentence would be, “Our predominantly Cafeteria Catholic (or Liberal Catholics or Catholics for Choice), very “pro-life” country has … ”

    Excellent point!  Not long ago, I read an article written by a journalist for a major newspaper who is a devout Catholic and, earlier in her life, considered becoming a nun. 

    She revealed the fact that the moral issue failure in the RCC (including the molestation of children by priests) actually began in the 1960s, when there was a radical shift in RCC beliefs and teachings away from the truth of the Bible.  That was five decades ago.


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    madge says:

    One study; the link to the actual study is in the article so don’t discard it simply because it has the word “secular”. I quoted a Christian scholar and her definition of Fundamentalism and was shot down for that so I’m expecting the same again:
    http://www.secularnewsdaily.com/2010/07/19/study-fundamentalist-christians-more-inclined-toward-domestic-violence/
    People who bomb clinics and burn books and spread hate in the name of God scare me, and that’s what extreme “Christian” fundamentalists do.  No one is suggesting that the duggars fall into that category as has been stated numerous times.
    Not to belabor the point but Josh and Anna came pretty dang close to an arranged marriage.  Didn’t their parents meet at a homeschooling conference?  Didn’t they follow a courtship model where the parents agreed before they spent time together?  I actually think that works better than dating but it is awfully close to an arranged marriage and would be really scary if your father wasn’t really looking out for your best interest (like in the FLDS cults of a couple of years ago when the young teenagers were married off to their cousins and to much older men.)


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    LC says:

    Hi Bobby,
    1. I am not saying that abortion is moral.  I am avidly pro-life.  Taking your argument about letting people know it is wrong… Let us say, that one day, everyone in the US agrees that abortion is horribly immoral.  Will abortion stop?  I say no!  Because, it is much more complex then that.  Though I do not agree with abortion, I can empathize with people who are in very tough situations.  Does my empathy mean I am ok with them having an abortion? ABSOLUTELY NOT!  But. we need to give these girls other option like adoption.  Yes, adoption is difficult, but if you are worried about that child’s life then you will do the difficult thing.  It is much easier to hold signs of aborted fetuses in front of Planned Parenthood than it is to actually attempt to make systematic changes to decrease abortion, isn’t it? The question is… do you want tell people that abortion is immoral or DO YOU WANT TO STOP ABORTION?
    What about christian teens who have pre-marital sex?  I would bet that they no it is wrong and still do it.  The church seems to work their butts off to not just tell them it is wrong but also give them options to keep it from happening!
    2. People want their children dead?  You are treading on some very dehumanizing ground!  “THOSE PEOPLE ARE NOT LIKE US, THEY HATE THEIR BABIES AND THEY WANT TO KILL THEM!”  Are you serious?  While there might be a group of radical women who think like this, most would love some help in both preventing pregnancy and help after accidental pregnancy.
    3.  Stop creating an us and them dichotomy.  You need to look at these women and girls as a fellow human being who lost their way.  Look at them the way Jesus did with the prostitute, woman at the well, and adulterous woman… with love!  Stop loving just the baby and start loving both the mom and the baby.  You will be surprised at how a new approach and new results will come forward.  Again, I concede that there are some women who really just want to get rid of the baby, and sadly there is not much we can do about them.  However, they are a very small percent.  Let us focus on those that we can really do something about!


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    Claire says:

    Madge, to answer the majority of your post:

    People who bomb clinics and burn books and spread hate in the name of God scare me, and that’s what extreme “Christian” fundamentalists do. 

    A couple of points here:

    1) Anyone who bombs clinics and spreads hate is doing those things in direct disobedience to Christ Jesus.  You can truthfully call them “extreme”, but you cannot factually label them “Christians”. 

    2) I don’t know what book burnings you are referring to.   

    No, Josh and Anna Duggar didn’t have an arranged marriage.  

    1)  Didn’t their parents meet at a homeschooling conference? 

    No, JimBob and Michelle Duggar did not meet at a homeschooling conference (neither did Anna Duggar’s parents).  They didn’t meet at a conference of any kind.  Their website tells how they met.

    Didn’t they follow a courtship model where the parents agreed before they spent time together? 

    JimBob and Michelle Duggar did not.

    Josh and Anna Duggar said they met at an ATI Conference and began to correspond by mail and talk on the telephone after that, as the Duggars live in Arkansas and her family lives in Florida.  There were also times the families visited each other throughout their courtship. The parents were not opposed to their relationship, but they did not arrange it.

    The FLDS group are not Christians; their standard of truth is not the Bible. 

    I read a book by a former FLDS woman who was able to escape (IIRC, Escape is the title of her book), and her life was nothing like the Duggars’ or any of the many Quiverful families I know personally. 

    I will read the article whose URL you posted.  Keep in mind, it is not unusual for secular people to imagine things about Bible-believing (assuming that’s what is meant by “fundamentalist” in the article’s title) Christians which are not accurate. This is also unfortunately true of people who say they are Christians but also say they do not believe the Bible.


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    LC says:

    Claire,
    “This also applies to others who’ve similarly slandered the Duggars (and, by assocation, all Christians who believe the Bible is true). ”  So if you criticize one christian it is criticizing them all?!?!  WHAT?!?!  That is complete group think.  I am a Bible believing follower of Christ, but I do not agree that women are not equal to men in the church… and that is ok.
    Here is the point that both Madge and I are making: the only thing that matters in christianity is that jesus is our salvation and to love God and love others.  EVERYTHING else is details!  Part of my reading of the Bible has inspired me to be a vegetarian, but I don’t think my salvation is dependent upon what I eat.  You believe that women are subject to their husbands… but you do not base your salvation on your obedience to your husband, right?  Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?  I don’t know… again it doesn’t matter.
    Here is the main point: THESE DETAILS ONLY MATTER WHEN THEY ARE USED TO EXPLOIT OTHERS!!! Many groups have stepped over the line from following certain doctrine to ENFORCING these doctrines.
    2.  Your stereotypes about nonchristians are ASTOUNDING!  Or should I say, nonwhites?  Because that is what you seem to have a problem with!
    “One big problem re: adoption is that black people often take umbrage when a non-black family adopts a black baby.  The main argument is that they do not want the black child to lose his identity. “
    Whoa, whoa, whoa!  This is a notorious stereotype that is just not true.  While a small minority of people of color think this way, most do not!  Keep in mind that the media you are reference is also the same media that is notorious for portraying christians as weird and crazy.  If they portray us like that how do you think they portray other groups?  Finally, this seems like your personal excuse for not being open to interracial adoption.
    “Surely you realize there are zillions of people who know that Christian women are not forced to be circumcised, they are not stoned to death if they are raped (or for any other reason), they are not forced to wear garments which hide every inch of their bodies, etc, etc, etc.”
    This is just not true!  Does Islam do this?  Absolutely!  Do some christians do it?  Yes!
    FGM: It is widely known that christian, mulsim, jewish, and pagan people do this in africa.  See: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/2707101.html
    Stoning: No women aren’t stoned for being raped, but they sure are treated poorly if they were dressed ‘slutty’ and ‘asking for it’.  Gays and interracial couples have been lynched, beaten, and tortured by radical christians.
    Clothing: some christian groups have VERY strict modesty rules.  Even in the US, we are strict about covering our breasts and other cultures do not see the breasts as sexual at all.
    Oh yeah, I’m white by the way.
    The point is, not all christians do the same things.  Some of them do really really really bad things and you are a fool to blindly put your faith in humans because they wear a certain label. Why is it so bad for us to examine ourselves with a critical eye?
     


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    madge says:

    I was referring to Josh and Anna’s parents, not Mr and Mrs Duggar.
    Book burnings have happened a lot in history; the one I was thinking about is the well publicized burning of the Koran that is scheduled for next week in a FL church.


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    Claire says:

    Madge, I went to that link.  I couldn’t help but notice how strongly anti-Christian the website in general is.

    Quoting from the article:

    Christian fundamentalism is a system of beliefs and practices rooted in a literal interpretation of the Bible, the experience of being “born-again,” and the belief that adherence to strict behavioral and social norms through a Christian fellowship are precursors to eternal life (Ammerman, 1987.

    You said a “Christian scholar” wrote this article? 

    If s/he is a Christian, s/he knows that the Christian faith is not a “system” at all — rather, it is a dynamic relationship with the God who created all that is and sent His only begotten Son to reveal His great love for us and make the way for us to have daily fellowship with Him in this life AND eternal life with Him from now on.

    The first thing this “Christian scholar” does is to call into question the veracity of the Bible.  I would like to know what his/her standard of truth really is.

    Does s/he not believe the words of Christ Jesus, who said, “You must be born again”?

    If a person does not believe the teachings of Christ Jesus, can s/he be called a Christian?

    This statement — the belief that adherence to strict behavioral and social norms through a Christian fellowship are precursors to eternal life — is not Scripturally accurate.

    There is a shortage of direct empirical evidence linking support for and use of corporal punishment with the increased likelihood of child abuse or domestic violence, even among fundamentalists (Ellison, 1996).

    Unfortunately, this statement of fact is buried among much speculation which suggests otherwise. 


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    Claire says:

    Madge, what did you write which was about Anna Duggar’s parents?  I didn’t see where you mentioned them at all.

    Does the pastor in Florida (a teeny-tiny minority of one) scare you? If so, why?

    Yes, book burnings have happened throughout history, and many (maybe most) were not done by Christians.


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    Claire says:

    young christian woman said:

    The only ones who have questioned anyone else’s expression of Christianity have been those criticizing the Duggars’ choices (and those who have similar convictions).  

    This is what I’ve seen, too — criticism of the Duggars and Quiverful families.

    Since the pro-choice-on-dismembering-babies people said there would be no more child abuse once abortion was legal, why do they have no responsibility to adopt older children in foster care?

    THAT is an excellent question.


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    Claire says:

    LC, your comments are (hopefully) italicized below, with my replies under them:

    I had said:  “This also applies to others who’ve similarly slandered the Duggars (and, by assocation, all Christians who believe the Bible is true). “ 

    You replied, So if you criticize one christian it is criticizing them all?!?!  WHAT?!?!  That is complete group think. 

    That wasn’t what I said.  My comment above was about those who equate Bible-believing Christians with those who do things which are in direct disobedience to the teachings of Christ Jesus.

    I am a Bible believing follower of Christ, but I do not agree that women are not equal to men in the church… and that is ok.

    Christ Jesus made it plain that women are equal to men, and so do the apostles’ letters.  ITA that women are equal to men in the sight of God. 

    Here is the point that both Madge and I are making: the only thing that matters in christianity is that jesus is our salvation and to love God and love others. 

    Taking your statement at face value, ITA.  At the same time, there are a number of people who say they are Christians, but they also disagree with some of the teachings of Christ Jesus, they disagree with God’s moral law, etc.  The Scripture says that God hates evil, and that His children are to do the same.  This does not mean Christians are to hate people — just the opposite.  The Lord Jesus died on the cross because He loves people.  He hates what sin does to people’s lives and made the way for all to be delivered from it.

    You believe that women are subject to their husbands… but you do not base your salvation on your obedience to your husband, right? 

    First, I should clarify — I haven’t made any statements about this at all.  You have made assumptions about what I believe.

    To answer the last part of your comment:  No, I do not — I am not a Mormon.  I believe what the Scriptures say about husbands and wives — ALL of it.  There is MUCH more written to husbands than to wives, yet you never anyone condemning what God commands husbands to do, only wives.  Scripture says husbands and wives are to submit to one another in the fear of God.  Do you hear people carrying on about that?  I don’t.

    THESE DETAILS ONLY MATTER WHEN THEY ARE USED TO EXPLOIT OTHERS!!! Many groups have stepped over the line from following certain doctrine to ENFORCING these doctrines.

    Since you don’t specify who the “many groups” are, I don’t know who you’re referring to.  I do know this whole issue has been discussed ad nauseum in posts about the Duggars — which, after all, is who the title article is about. 

    From there, people went to condemning Quiverful adherents. 

    From there, people went to lumping Bible-believing Christians in with violent people who do not obey the Lord at all AND adherents of fundamentalist religions who do not believe the Bible at all, but have completely different beliefs!

    Your stereotypes about nonchristians are ASTOUNDING!  Or should I say, nonwhites?  Because that is what you seem to have a problem with!

    You quoted this statement I made:
    “One big problem re: adoption is that black people often take umbrage when a non-black family adopts a black baby.  The main argument is that they do not want the black child to lose his identity.“

    WHOA, indeed! 

    #1 — I have NO problem with non-whites of any skin color.  You made that assumption. 

    #2 — If you do not know the truth of what I said above, you didn’t see the message boards online where black people said the very thing I quoted above after the movie The Blind Side was released.  (You left that part out.) 

    #3 — I have also seen this very truth brought out on a number of news programs and newsmagazines, long before that movie was released.

     Finally, this seems like your personal excuse for not being open to interracial adoption.

    WOW — you have made a huge leap here.  I am not the least bit opposed to interracial adoption!  WHY do you persist in making false assumptions/accusations about me?

    I had said, “Surely you realize there are zillions of people who know that Christian women are not forced to be circumcised, they are not stoned to death if they are raped (or for any other reason), they are not forced to wear garments which hide every inch of their bodies, etc, etc, etc.”

    IF “Christians” are doing these things in Africa, why are they doing them?  None of this is compatible with the fundamentals of the Christian faith. 

    Gays and interracial couples have been lynched, beaten, and tortured by radical christians.

    Do you expect me to take your word for this, or do you have evidence?  I have heard of cases where people assumed such killers were Christians by default because they didn’t identify themselves with another faith.  BUT — is this what Christ Jesus taught?  Did He say people are automatically Christians if they haven’t identified with another faith? 

    Or, did He say, “By their fruits you will know them” and, “If you love me, keep my commandments” ?

    The Scripture says, “Those who are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God.”

    Some of them do really really really bad things and you are a fool to blindly put your faith in humans because they wear a certain label. Why is it so bad for us to examine ourselves with a critical eye?

    Again you have made false assumptions and accusations.

    #1 — Why do you disobey the words of the Lord Jesus, who told us to call no man a fool?

    #2 — I do not put my faith in any human beings — only the Lord.  Man is only a man, none of which is worthy of my faith.  Only the Lord is worthy of my faith and trust.

    #3 — Who do you refer to when you say “us” in your last question?  Christ Jesus said that many would falsely claim to be His.  He said that wolves would come in sheep’s clothing — that doesn’t mean they are sheep!  He said He would separate the wheat (believers) from the chaff (unbelievers) at the Judgment.  The Scripture says, “Not all who are in the church are of the church.”

    #4 — Therefore, I do not identify with those who claim to be Christians but disobey the Lord at every turn.  Do you?
     


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    Claire says:

    LC, you said:

    While there might be a group of radical women who [hate their babies and want to kill them], most would love some help in both preventing pregnancy and help after accidental pregnancy.

    Are you serious?  “Help in preventing pregnancy” is everywhere! 

    What kind of “help after accidental pregnancy” are you referring to? 

    If you’re referring to abortion, I cannot in good conscience support it or advise anyone to do it. 

    If you’re referring to help for the pregant mother and both her and the baby afterward, I addressed this at length in an earlier post above. 

    Also — expectant fathers have been left out of this conversation.  There really are men who want the babies and don’t want them to be aborted, who are willing to rear them and take care of them.  Yet the media doesn’t tend to talk about this; it’s not politically correct.


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    Elisabeth says:

    LC, where exactly did you get the idea that ANY of us think that women and men are not equal in the eyes of God?

    We are called to serve our husbands… and they are called to serve us.

    I think some of you are simply so entrenched in your definition of fundamental Christian=fringe lunatic bearing no resemblance to the teachings of Christ that you refuse to see the incorrect generalizations that you are applying.

    (And I note, yet again, that when I point out that I am a Jewish Christian, fundamentalist and Quiverfull in my beliefs, and that my life bears NO resemblance to the stereotypes put forth here continuously about what fundamentalist Christians are or believe, I simply get ignored.)

    Here’s a thought…. there are people in this world who are mentally ill. There are people in this world who are evil. These people will latch on to anything around them that they can use to (a) make sense of a world that makes no sense (the mentally ill) or (b) excuse their evil. In some cases, these people “latch on to” and bastardize the teachings of the Bible to the point that they no longer bear resemblance to the Word of God. Sometimes they latch on to secularism… or witchcraft… or Satan worship… or New Age-ism…. or environmental extremism…. or any number of things.

    Here is the big difference between wackos who pervert the Holy Bible and those who follow fundamental extremist Islam… nowhere does the Bible provide for the teachings or the actions of those who pervert it to the types of extremes that you guys are describing. You have to completely leave aside whole sections of the Bible and twist and pervert beyond recognition other sections in order to “make a case” for their bizarre and sick behavior.

    The Qur’an, however, DOES legitimize the actions of the most extreme factions. In fact, it is the peaceful Muslims who are ignoring the direct teachings of the Qur’an!


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    madge says:

    How did this get to be about Islam?  totally does not follow except that there exists Fundamentalist islam and fundamentalist Christianity.
    the Bible has been corrupted by people who used it to promote slavery, to encourage Christians to own slaves, to promote segregation, to promote domestic violence, to encourage Christian women to stay in abusive marriages, to promote all sorts of crazy, dangerous things.  Fundamentalism is one such culturally bound corruption.  Some of those folk are mentally ill; some are just misguided. Some have never been taught another way that is more like Jesus showed us.


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    Claire says:

    Madge said:

    How did this get to be about Islam?

    I cannot believe you said this.  You yourself have falsely “compared” all “fundamentalists” without making any distinction at all in what they actually believe. 

    You yourself falsely compared “fundamentalist Christians” to “fundamentalist Muslims and some sects of Hinduism” — even though there is no comparison at all, only contrast. 

    Have you forgotten this already?  The discussion never was “about Islam” until those comments were made.


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    Praxedes says:

    “the Bible has been corrupted by people who used it to promote slavery, to encourage Christians to own slaves, to promote segregation, to promote domestic violence, to encourage Christian women to stay in abusive marriages, to promote all sorts of crazy, dangerous things.”

    Oops.  The Bible has also been corrupted by people who use it to promote the crazy and dangerous act of abortion. You must have forgotten abortion.

    “How did this get to be about Islam?”

    I can believe you said this.


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    Claire says:

    Madge said:

    the Bible has been corrupted by people who used it to promote slavery, to encourage Christians to own slaves, to promote segregation, to promote domestic violence, to encourage Christian women to stay in abusive marriages, to promote all sorts of crazy, dangerous things. 

    First of all, your opening words are completely inaccurate:  The Bible has NOT been corrupted.  Christ Jesus said that heaven and earth would pass away, but the Word of God will stand forever.  The Lord told Jeremiah He would watch over His Word to perform it. 

    Secondly, you continue to avoid the elephant in this thread:

    NONE OF THE THINGS YOU MENTIONED ABOVE HAVE BEEN DONE IN OBEDIENCE TO THE LORD!

    Thirdly, you continue to ignore the teachings of Christ Jesus which show your assumptions and accusations to be in error.

    Christ Jesus said, “By their fruits you shall know them.”

    He said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

    He said wolves would come “in sheep’s clothing”.  He made it clear they are NOT sheep, but wolves! 

    He said, “Many will come in my name”, but would not be His at all.

    He said the great majority of people would go the broad way which leads to destruction.  He said the way which leads to life is narrow, and few would find it.

    He said the wheat (believers) would exist alongside the chaff (unbelievers) and that He would separate them at the Judgment.

    Scripture says, “Those who are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God.”

    Scripture says, “Not all who are in the church are of the church.”

    WHY is this so difficult for you to grasp? 

    Christ Jesus made it clear that those who live lives of disobedience to His Word are not His.  To insist that they are, to call them Christians, is to insult Him!


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    madge says:

    yet again, the screaming.
    You aren’t familiar with that use of the word “corrupt”, clearly.  The text can be “corrupted”, misinterpreted, but people.  Doesn’t do anything to the core truth of scripture.
    I don’t know of any Christian groups promoting abortion.  That’s a tangent. I’m not sure what you mean there.
    It remains unclear how a discussion of Fundamentalism became a conversation re the evils of islam.
    Hate and judgement are not done in obedience to the lord, either.


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    Elisabeth says:

    Madge you said: the Bible has been corrupted by people who used it to promote slavery, to encourage Christians to own slaves, to promote segregation, to promote domestic violence, to encourage Christian women to stay in abusive marriages, to promote all sorts of crazy, dangerous things.  Fundamentalism is one such culturally bound corruption.
     
    Thank you for making my point. The teachings of the Bible have to be CORRUPTED in order to “justify” any of those things. Fundamentalism is not a corruption because fundamentalism means to return to the fundamentals of.

    The fundamentals of Christianity are, as I have pointed out above, we are all sinners, Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, salvation and eternal life come only through acceptance of that salvation as a gift and the Lord Jesus Christ as personal saviour.

    Where in any of those fundamentals is there justification of ANY of the above corruptions of the scriptures? Nowhere.

    It is, however, a part of the fundamentals of Islam that the only way to have peace on earth is to have the entire earth under Sharia law and that it is acceptable to lie to non-Muslims about the intentions of Islam and to murder them if they will not convert, and to murder those who leave the faith (among many other things).

    You have lumped all fundamentalism into one group. However, it is important to discern between the fundamental principles in question.


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    Bobby Bambino says:

    Hi Madge.

    “I don’t know of any Christian groups promoting abortion”

    Here is a “Catholic” group which promotes abortion

    http://www.catholicsforchoice.org/

    I can honestly feel the presence of demons when I open up that web page.


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    Claire says:

    Madge, I didn’t say abortion should be on your list of “crazy and dangerous things” — but I wish I had, because it’s true. 

    yet again, the screaming.

    LOL!  I capitalized ONE sentence out of a whole post!  LC capitalized MANY sentences and put MANY !!! after them in a recent post (along with wildly inaccurate accusations).  I haven’t seen you chastise her for screaming.  When you do, I’ll know you really mean it.

    It remains unclear how a discussion of Fundamentalism became a conversation re the evils of islam.

    I’m sorry, but I simply cannot believe this.  YOU were the one who inaccurately “compared” fundamentalist Christians to “fundamentalist Muslims and sects of Hinduism” (though the beliefs cannot be compared, only contrasted) — and I’d already reminded you of this, just a few minutes ago.

    Hate and judgement are not done in obedience to the lord, either.

    HOW MANY times have I said this very thing throughout this thread???  Are you reading the posts???


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    Elisabeth says:

    Yeah, I have a lot of friends who are Hindus. They should NOT be classed in the same breath as fundamentalist Muslims.


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    LC says:

    Claire….
    You said:
    What kind of “help after accidental pregnancy” are you referring to?  If you’re referring to abortion, I cannot in good conscience support it or advise anyone to do it. 

    I think you need to work on reading my WHOLE POST.  I CLEARLY SAID I AM PROLIFE!!!!!!!!!  I CLEARLY SAID I DO NOT SUPPORT ABORTION!!!!  What part of that do you not understand?


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    Claire says:

    LC, I did not recall see anything in that post about your own views.  I am glad to know you are prolife.  It’s nice to know we agree on something.  :)


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    Claire says:

    The fundamentals of Christianity are, as I have pointed out above, we are all sinners, Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, salvation and eternal life come only through acceptance of that salvation as a gift and the Lord Jesus Christ as personal saviour.

    Where in any of those fundamentals is there justification of ANY of the above corruptions of the scriptures? Nowhere.

    It is, however, a part of the fundamentals of Islam that the only way to have peace on earth is to have the entire earth under Sharia law and that it is acceptable to lie to non-Muslims about the intentions of Islam and to murder them if they will not convert, and to murder those who leave the faith (among many other things).

    You have lumped all fundamentalism into one group. However, it is important to discern between the fundamental principles in question.

    VERY well said, Elisabeth.  THIS is the crux of what I’ve been trying to say. 

    You also said:

    The teachings of the Bible have to be CORRUPTED in order to “justify” any of those things. Fundamentalism is not a corruption because fundamentalism means to return to the fundamentals of.

    Again, I totally agree. You addressed this in a different way than I did, but we both meant the same thing. :)


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    Claire says:

    I just noticed this, Madge.  You said:

    I was referring to Josh and Anna’s parents, not Mr and Mrs Duggar.

    Huh?  Josh is a Duggar — JimBob and Michelle Duggar are his parents.

    His wife, Anna, was not a Duggar before they married — of course.  Her parents live in Florida.  Their last name is Keller.

    Can you explain the statement you made above?

    Based on all your comments about the Duggars, it doesn’t sound like you know much about them at all.


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    LC says:

    This is my last post because here is what I have received from all of you….
    1. The media portrays christians as crazy and weird.  However, their portrayal of all other groups (muslims, african americans,etc) is completely accurate and to be believed.
    2.  Quiverfulls have never abused or neglected their families or enforced patriarchy.  All women in the quiverfull movement are there by choice. Even though there is one clear case: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiverfull (if you all can use youtube as evidence, I can use wikipedia!)
    3. I need evidence to say anything.  Sufficient evidence can be ‘a friend of mine, a friend of a friend, what I saw on Fox news, etc’
    4. Any source I put forward is part of the liberal media (see #1) and not to be trusted.
    5.  Even if I say I am extremely prolife, Claire can imply that my empathy for those in a tough situation makes me pro-choice.  I am against abortion, I am against abortion, what part of that don’t you all understand?!?!
    6. Everyone has equal access to birth control, sex education, and adoptive services.  There are no structural issues that could impact a woman/man in these areas.  If she is pregnant, it is her fault and she better not add to her immorality by getting an abortion.  It is not our job to help with the other alternatives.
    7.  No quiverfulls or christians are racist/prejudice, but it is ok to make general statements about minorities and other religions.  Do any of you more than one friend who is not white, not christian, or not gay?
    8.  Abortion is awful enough to picket clinics and talk about.  It murders babies! But not awful enough to offer to adopt those babies. (except for Elizabeth!  Bravo to you I say!  I also think it is awesome you are messianic jewish).
    9. If you question christians who do awful things, you must love Islam.  This is by far the most offensive to me because my christian husband was raised muslim – he grew up in Saudi Arabia, the women only show their face and hands, marriages are arranged, he was disowned for being a christian and marrying a christian, etc.
    10.  There is no proof that christians have abused other groups aka Let’s all ignore the crusades!  If they did do something wrong, they must not really be christian.  I hope you all hold yourselves to this standard… if you have premarital sex, lie, steal anything, judge, backslide, hate, or mess up then you are out of the club.  Hmmm that actually sounds like Islam to me… maybe Madge is right?!?! :-)  Am I out of the club because I disagree with you all?
    Yes, we need to protect babies AND adults.  We need to work for the oppressed.  But that does not mean condemning non-christians.  How can you expect a non-christian to act like a christian? What happened to coming to the cross as you are?!?  Don’t be a stumbling block The Bible actually makes it clear that we are only to flee from BAD CHRISTIANS (yes, they do exist!) not from nonchristians: 1 Corinthians 5: 9-13
    9I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.  12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”
    I beg you all to consider the things I have talked about in all of my comments. Open your hearts to a fellow follower of Christ who has a difference of open when it comes to being critical about the church. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy your white, middle class, anti-minority, finger pointing… let me know how many people are brought to Jesus with those methods.  I pray that God lets you know what it is like to be on the other side of this issue.

    All I know is that Jesus saved me. I also know is that I am supposed to love others (this includes protecting the unborn). I also know that I do not want to be a stumbling block to other christians by holding them to a standard that Jesus doesn’t hold them to.


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    Claire says:

    LC, you seem to be very angry in general.

    MANY of the things you say you have gathered here have not been said here at all — #2 in particular.

    You have twisted statements which have been made here to mean something completely different.

    Fox News has not been mentioned here at all, AFAIK.

    Your reference to me (#5) seems to be clear evidence of unwarranted anger.  I have ALREADY posted a very nice message to you, saying I had missed your earlier assertion and am glad you are prolife.  And then you come back with this???  Good grief.

    You have made a LOT of assumptions, none of which apply to me.  Yet every time I correct them, you come back with more.  What gives? 

    If I react to you as you’ve reacted to me, I will have to assume you are prejudiced against
    white, middle-class Christians! 

    Can you see that?  (BTW, I am of mixed heritage, and I am actually a minority in this country.  Does that surprise you?)

    You posted this Scripture passage:

    1 Corinthians 5: 9-13

    9  I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people —

    10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.

    11  But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.  

    12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

    13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”

    Note this phrase in v. 11: 

    “…you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.” 

    My earlier comments have been in agreement with this Scripture.  Does this Scripture say this person IS a brother, or calls himself a brother?

    Paul is not assuming this person IS a brother.  He only knows that he calls himself a brother.

    Christ Jesus said, “By their fruits you shall know them.”

    He said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

    He said wolves would come “in sheep’s clothing”.  He made it clear they are NOT sheep, but wolves! 

    He said, “Many will come in my name”, but would not be His at all.

    He said the great majority of people would go the broad way which leads to destruction.  He said the way which leads to life is narrow, and few would find it.

    He said the wheat (believers) would exist alongside the chaff (unbelievers) and that He would separate them at the Judgment.

    Scripture says, “Those who are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God.”

    Scripture says, “Not all who are in the church are of the church.”

    Christ Jesus made it clear that those who live lives of disobedience to Him  (NOT speaking of Christians who fail, confess their sin, then get back on track with Him) are not His, even if they say they are.  To insist that they are is to insult Him!

    My last statement here was in complete agreement with what Paul said in the Scripture passage you posted.


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    Elisabeth says:

    LC…. where are on earth did you get all of that?

    We were getting tired of a lot of really rude comments being made about one family in particular and Quiverfull families in general. I don’t recall saying or seeing anyone else say that there was never a case of a Quiverfull family happening to also be an abusive family…. just that the abuse cannot be blamed on the Quiverfull mindset (which is that children are a blessing from the Lord and that it is up to God to determine how many and when we have them.)

    That is the entire Quiverfull philosophy right there… God determines who gets babies and when. It is based on many different passages in the Bible that state that God opens and closes the womb.

    Everything we said was in response to allegations that Christians, devout Christians of the fundamentalist bent, are hateful, racist people.

    I’m not sure, if your husband had the experiences described, how you can disagree with what we have stated about the Muslim faith and how it treats those who disagree with it….

    But 99% of what you posted just now has no basis in the thread above. At what point have we said anyone is out of the “club”? What club? What on earth are you talking about?


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    Elisabeth says:

    Again…. Madge…. how have I been harmed by being an adherent to the Quiverfull philosophy or a fundamentalist Christian?

    You, like most people who make assumptions about what Quiverfull, fundamentalist Christian families are like, completely ignore anything I have to say after I point out that, you know, we aren’t all like that!

    I don’t think anyone says it better than one of the FAQs from my QuiverFull mailing list…

    Q: ARE ALL QUIVER-FULL! SUBSCRIBERS ALIKE? BAREFOOT MOMS IN DENIM JUMPERS?

    A: No. While some subscribers ARE barefoot moms in denim jumpers, we are quite a diverse group. Some are women that only wear dresses, some wear pants. Some are men (who look funny in denim jumpers). Some of the women bear children at home, some at a hospital (and some in the car in between). Some homeschool, some don’t. Some are Calvinists, some are Arminian, some don’t know, some just don’t say; most are Protestant Christians in keeping with our doctrinal standards, although there are a few Roman Catholics. Some eat whole-earth foods, some eat chocolate and Big Macs. Most are from the USA, but many are elsewhere. For some couples, both spouses are QF minded. For others, only one is. And still others are seeking and want to learn more. Some have adopted, some have only children they’ve borne. Some have more than a dozen children, some have only a few, yet others have none. Some are country mice, some are city mice. Some use the real Internet, some use AOL ;)

    Yes…. there are thousands of us… and we talk to each other! GASP!


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    KayLee says:

    Silly me…I thought this blog was about the Duggars. My mistake! It’s hard for me to believe that a group of women…perhaps some men, as well, can’t just agree to disagree. Arguing about religion, the Bible, ProLife, ProChoice will only esculate to, and end up with, increased anger, and defensiveness. This is something we all should have learned before now. The only Quiverfull families I can name are those whom I see on TV and/or those who have websites. This information has made me aware of something I knew nothing about, not a way of life I have been called upon to judge. As long as no one else is being harmed, I fail to see why people can’t live as they choose to. Wasn’t freedom of religion a tenant upon which this country was founded?  


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    Sue says:

    Kaylee:
     
    Thanks for infusing some sense into this thread. I was feeling the effects of whiplash from trying to keep up with the bickering coming from on all sides!
     
    I had to leave the legalistic cult I was involved in. Although ‘it’ didn’t work for me, I cannot discount that many of my friends find meaning & purpose living in that system/subculture. It’s not for me to judge what works for them.
     
    Each of us who have posted here have found a way of life that works for us – the Duggars included. So be it.
     
     


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    Claire says:

    We were getting tired of a lot of really rude comments being made about one family in particular and Quiverfull families in general.

    I don’t recall saying or seeing anyone else say that there was never a case of a Quiverfull family happening to also be an abusive family…. just that the abuse cannot be blamed on the Quiverfull mindset (which is that children are a blessing from the Lord and that it is up to God to determine how many and when we have them.)

    That is the entire Quiverfull philosophy right there… God determines who gets babies and when. It is based on many different passages in the Bible that state that God opens and closes the womb.

    Everything we said was in response to allegations that Christians, devout Christians of the fundamentalist bent, are hateful, racist people.

    I’m not sure, if your husband had the experiences described, how you can disagree with what we have stated about the Muslim faith and how it treats those who disagree with it….

    But 99% of what you posted just now has no basis in the thread above. At what point have we said anyone is out of the “club”? What club? What on earth are you talking about?

    Well said, Elisabeth — VERY well said. This is exactly what has happened throughout this thread.


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    madge says:

    The thing I really don’t understand is the vitriol about divergent opinions about non essential things.  That sort of division in the Christian community is a manifestation of evil.  What could have been a lively discussion that could have been illuminating has become quite toxic.  That’s really too bad.


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    Bobby Bambino says:

    HI Madge.

    “The thing I really don’t understand is the vitriol about divergent opinions about non essential things.”

    How do you determine the essentials from the non-essentials?


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    madge says:

    This has been debated throughout the history of Christianity.  Of course, some cast a wider net around “essentials” than others.  Fundamentalists tend to believe that a whole host of things are fundamentals, while most Christians can agree that belief in Christ as savior, a set of beliefs summed up by many in the Nicene Creed which flesh out Christ’s salvific work, and Baptism as initiation and communion as participation.  Of course, the details of all this vary widely.
    Now for extreme factions and cults, there are a whole host of “lifestyle issues” that are held up as essential.  Specific parenting practices, the way one dresses (aside from basic modesty) and how one lives.  All Christian groups have cultures–some cultures may be more prone to homeschooling, some oriented toward a specific religiously oriented private school, some embedded in a community and who feel that the community schools are appropriate–that is all culture.  Not that people don’t feel strongly about these sorts of things, and not that they are unimportant, but they are not essential to the salvific work of Christ on earth.
    In fact, when Christianity becomes hypenated–as in “Christian-homeschooler” or Christian-quiverfull” or “Christian-Fundamentalist” (or “christian-name your liberal lifestyle issue”, the same thing applies on that pole) the Gospel is dilluted.  For the individual involved in such a group, the experience is magnified, but as far as the effect on the outsider, Christianity becomes about the second part of the hyphen and not about the first part, the essentially Christian part.
    That is ultimately my concern with the Duggars (which this all is supposed to be about anyway).  They seem to be people of integrity who are living their life in faithful obedience and raising their kids in the way that they see best.  My problem does not lie there.  My problem lies in that because they are so prevalent, and because so many Christians look up to them, Christianity becomes ABOUT homeschooling, or having a huge family, or a specific style of dress or hairstyle, or whatever.  One can totally look the look, and even articulate the same set of beliefs, but have a heart full of venom and judgement toward everyone else and that is so not what Jesus came here to do.
    As someone who is pretty orthodox theologically but more open or progressive on the social side, I have been villified and attacked on this board.  I’m quite sure that my attackers have done so out of a sense of righteous indignation, out of a need to “set me right” and show me for the lilly-livered humanist I’m sure to be.  Picking apart every comment, seeing judgement and ill will toward the lived experience of people when there honestly was none.
    Of course, the same can be true on the other side of the spectrum; someone can look like a stereotypical religious liberal and be full of hate and judgement toward everyone else, of course.
    Fundamentalism makes me scared because I was raised a fundamentalist, in a pretty mainstream, non cult like enviroment, and I saw what it did to people.  I see what it does to people today.  Good people who start out wanting to do good in the world in the name of Jesus and end up debating the fine points of, well, nothing.  Just like we’ve spent the last couple of days doing.  That, truly, is the work of Satan, to divide and wall off Christians from each other.
    That truly is all I have to add to this conversation, and I wish you all well.

  183. Madge, it sounds like perhaps your background has led you to state things in a way that caused offense.  If you did not mean it, good.
     
    However, it seems that many of us took your words as an attack on the Duggars’ lifestyle and choices and how they live out their Christianity.  We didn’t attack how you live out your Christianity (other than that you seemed to have criticized others who believed they were acting in good faith); we merely defended our beliefs and practices as a valid way of living out our Christianity.  We don’t even know much about how you do practice other than that you are pro-life and not quiverfull.  Absolutely the divinity of Christ and His sacrifice for us is more important than these other issues–but we all make choices.  My choice is not to use birth control; your choice (I assume) is to use birth control that is not abortifacient or NFP.  I may believe that choice is incorrect, but that issue is between you and God.  (As opposed to those who use birth control which may kill children; then it is my duty to inform them and exhort them to choose something which is not destructive.)  But I cannot convict someone else or force them to believe as I do; that is the work of the Holy Spirit.  You have made choices; clearly you believe they are the right choices, or you would not have made them.  I trust that you make your choices in good faith and with prayer and that you are trying your best to follow our Lord Jesus Christ.  I trust that if your choices are wrong the Holy Spirit will show you that through wisdom granted by God.  I don’t need to say “I am right and you are wrong.”  I say what I believe and why, and others may take from that what they wish.
    I love my life and my family and I believe this is what God wants from me.  Doubtless you love your life and your family and believe you are living as He has called you to live.  Extend me the courtesy of believing that I pray to God for wisdom and guidance, search the Scriptures to know how God desires me to live, and am in the possession of a well-formed conscience.  I believe that you are not purposely doing this, but it seems you assume that anyone who makes more conservative choices is a hypocrite in some other way, and anyone who does not adopt does not have any love for children waiting for adoption–when to my knowledge you have not adopted either.  Why is that?  What makes your reason for not adopting–which I’m sure you have made in good conscience–more valid than those of others who have not adopted?  (And at least two on this board have adopted.)


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    Claire says:

    What could have been a lively discussion that could have been illuminating has become quite toxic. 

    I agree.  I thought it very sad that there was so much discussion trying to link the faith of Bible-believing Chrisitians to that of Quran-believing Muslims — not only because there is no room for comparison, only contrast, but also because this is such a huge departure from the title article.


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    Claire says:

    Madge and Bobby,

    It seems to me the “essentials” of the faith are the “fundamentals”, or “basics” of the faith.

    These are the Five Fundamentals which were delineated in the mid-1900s, when churches which had formerly been aligned with Christian faith had begun to depart from that faith.

    Five Fundamentals of the Christian Faith

    *The Virgin Birth of Jesus

    *The Physical Resurrection of Jesus

    *The Absolute inerrancy of the Bible, in every detail

    *The Substitutionary Atonement (which means that Jesus accepted what rightfully was man’s punishment.  Man deserves death for his sin.  Jesus voluntarily paid the price by acting as man’s substitute). 

    *The Physical Second Coming of Christ 

    ____________________________________

    I believe these are the Duggars’ basic beliefs.


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    Claire says:

    RE:  the title article

    This just struck me:  I think perhaps one thing the author of the article — the guy who visited the Duggar family — was saying was that the Duggar girls he mentioned have not had to deal with the (often extreme) peer pressure throughout their growing-up years that the great majority of their counterparts have.  There is indeed great freedom in this.

    I am a good bit older than the Duggar girls, yet I still have vivid memories of the peer pressure I had to endure while growing up.  Looking back now, I can see the Lord gave me grace to get through it.  Though I was not a Christian then, I had a wonderful praying grandmother who lived with my unbelieving family, and she made a real difference in my life, though I did not always understand and appreciate that then.

    The Duggar girls have not had this major distraction; they’ve been able to grow up more naturally, being able to focus on the things in life which are really important without peers mocking them and trying to pull them down.  Peer pressure today is far worse than it was when I was a teen.  Many things which were not widely accepted then are totally acceptable today.


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    Elisabeth says:

    madge
    September 8th, 2010 at 10:06 am
    Adoption takes a long time for everyone.  Most people who are pro life don’t try.  Good for you for starting the process.
    ———————————-
    I just saw this one. How do you know this? Where’s the statistical database you found this “fact” in?


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    Elisabeth says:

    Madge, please answer the question I have asked many, many times….

    How has my life as a fundamentalist Christian who happens to agree with the Quiverfull philosophy harmed me or my daughters?


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    KayLee says:

    Personally I hope Madge went on a long, much needed vacation. Do either of you think this nit picking is part of a Christian way of life? Madge has no idea whether or not your life as a fundamentalist Christian who agrees with the Quiverfull philosopy harms you or your daughters. Both of you have the right to live your life as you see fit. Could we PLEASE (begging, not shouting) get back to the Duggars? Josie has turned into an adorable baby with those smiles and dimples of hers. Let’s hope she is developmentally OK as she grows up. I’m curious as to the next Duggar engagement. Do you think a double wedding is possible with the twins, Jana and John David now of age? Meanwhile there are plenty of Duggars at home to keep us guessing and entertained, as well. The Duggars live differently than I do, therefore their lives interest me.  


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    Oatmeal says:

    I am new here and wondering how you all define pro-life?
    I thought pro-life meant being against abortion.  Do you all extend the definition to include not using birth control?


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    Claire says:

    KayLee, it seems to me the nit-picking has come from those who’ve attempted to link the faith and practices of fundamentalist Christians (like the Duggars) with those of fundamentalist Muslims.

    Do you see any rationale in that? 

    To me, it’s far worse than nit-picking.  Many of those posts were filled with hateful, unfounded accusations.

    We agree on one thing, though:  the vacation is much-needed.

    And we also agree on another thing:  Josie is absolutely precious.  I love to see her dimples when she smiles.  She seems to be thriving beyond what doctors thought she would.


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    Claire says:

    Oatmeal, pro-life does mean being opposed to abortion. 

    Quiverfull is a term often used for people who do not believe in using birth control, but in receiving all the children the Lord wants to give them (though not all families of this mindset identify with the QF movement, or even know about it).

    The Christian Quiverfull movement derives its name from Psalm 127:3-5, where children are metaphorically referred to as the arrows in a full quiver.

    Many people, Quiverfull or not, are opposed to BC which acts as an abortifacient.


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    KayLee says:

    Since you are secure in your beliefs and your choice of lifestyle, just ignore the attacker(s). You are free to rise above the fray. More power to you! That is to be admired. Life is hard enough and there is more than enough polarization in the world. I thought this blog was about the Duggars, not how I choose to live, or how you do.

    Remember when it was said that Josie needed surgery when she weighed 10 (or was it 12) pounds because some of her organs were not secured? There has been no mention of this recently. Hopefully it has been resolved.   


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    Claire says:

    I thought this blog was about the Duggars, not how I choose to live, or how you do.

    That is how it started out.  As you may know, wherever the Duggars are mentioned online (except at their website, of course), there seems to also be great controversy.  Many people seem to be very offended by their beliefs and lifestyle. 

    Remember when it was said that Josie needed surgery when she weighed 10 (or was it 12) pounds because some of her organs were not secured? There has been no mention of this recently. Hopefully it has been resolved.   

    Did you see the program this past Tuesday?  They said that, yes, they had thought at one time that Josie would have to have surgery to repair her perforated (intestine? colon?), but that it had closed up on its own!  I was so thrilled to hear that, to know that precious little one did not have to endure surgery.  There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord healed her.


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    KayLee says:

    I thought they were talking about the perforated bowel Josie had when she was 8 days old that healed without intervention.

    As for the Duggar controversy…I haven’t the slightest idea why anyone who finds the Duggar’s lifestyle threatening to them would watch it. Time Warner has many channel choices. Shows I don’t care for, I don’t watch. Simple, but it works for me :-) I know everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I wish they would find another blog to write them on.


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    Claire says:

    I know everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I wish they would find another blog to write them on.

    Though my family doesn’t live like the Duggars do, I do respect them.  I cannot understand why anyone — particularly a self-identified Christian — would make hateful accusations about them.  Virtually all the accusations made here (I can’t remember an exception) proved to be untrue. 

    There are many reality shows on TV that I don’t care for.  Some of them would be offensive to me.  I do not watch them and I do not post about them online.  I can’t see a point in doing that — life is too short. 


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    Claire says:

    I thought they were talking about the perforated bowel Josie had when she was 8 days old that healed without intervention.

    That does sound like what they were talking about.  I haven’t heard of anything else, but I also haven’t seen every single episode.  If you find out something, please post it here.


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    KayLee says:

    please post it here.

    Will do! I seldom miss an episode and tape most of them just in case I forget, or am not at home.


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    Elisabeth says:

    I thought this blog was about the Duggars, not how I choose to live, or how you do.

    I wasn’t going to say anything, but you’ve repeated this a few times. This blog is about the pro-life movement. This particular post is about the Duggars, but we have posts on many different topics.
    And I’m sorry you feel that it is nit-picking. However, if you feel up to it, you may scroll all the way up and see that fundamentalist Christians and those who are of the Quiverfull mindset have been linked to extremist cults who oppress and abuse and the Duggar family has been questioned and accused of things that anyone who knows more than the sound-bites about them would know is not true.

    The point I was trying to get Madge to realize is that she cannot stereotype and generalize in the way she has in this thread. Rising above the fray is one thing… in a public forum such as this many people come in and go without ever posting. If all they see is the detractors sitting here agreeing amongst themselves that all fundamentalist Christians are abusive and coercive and breed hate…. and no one is correcting them…. those readers will come away with a very wrong impression.


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    KayLee says:

    Good luck with getting through to Madge. The Duggar children don’t exhibt the classic signs of abuse and seem quite happy, although sometimes rather smug. I suppose it is nice to be sure enough of one’s belief that smugness comes through. Sorry, I didn’t realize that this blog was about ProLife, and the Duggars are a thread. As I was checking out sites about the Duggars I ran across this thread…quite honestly I was trying to find out about future Duggar courtships and marriages. Call me either interested or nosy. Both would be true :-)  

  201. Not a problem, KayLee, and we’re glad to have you here, no matter how your browser brought you! I hope you come back and browse through some of the other threads.

    When you said it once I thought you might have just not been thinking about your choice of words. When you said it again I thought you might have stumbled across this site inadvertently.

    I hope that clears up for you why we sometimes get a bit more…. ahem, intense… than your typical Duggar fansite!


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    Claire says:

    This blog is about the pro-life movement. This particular post is about the Duggars, but we have posts on many different topics.

    Thanks for making that distinction, Elisabeth. I am new here — just found this site about a week ago — so I didn’t think of that in my initial reply to the original comment.

    The Duggar children don’t come off as “smug” to me, but I suppose that’s in the eye of the beholder.  They do seem to be very happy and satisfied with their life.  No family is perfect, including theirs, but they do have the advantage of having parents who are totally dedicated to each other and to them. 


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    KayLee says:

    Unlike some others, I don’t plan to defend my choice of words, ie ‘smug’ ad infinitum. One of the older Duggar girls said, ‘Perhaps because we have no television in the home, we became more creative.’ Do people who don’t choose to have television think people who do allow their children 24/7 access to programming to the exclusion of all else and discourage creativity? Everyone I know limits TV and uses parental controls when children are in the home. None of the Duggar boys or men are ‘stong enough’ to be allowed total access to the Internet because men and boys view things differently than women? That was from Michelle! Really? Repression doesn’t necessarily lead to self control, in fact, it is sometimes just the opposite. Years and years ago, my ex husband received a subscription to ‘Cavalier’ magazine as a joke birthday gift. Compared to other such magazines, like Playboy, it was quite mild but did feature a nude centerfold, hands and arms covering breasts and pubis. While glancing through it, my ex tucked it under the sofa when our then 4 year old son came into the room, and forgot about it. A couple of days later, our son was looking under the sofa for a toy and found the magazine. He was looking at the centerfold when I came into the living room. Can you guess what that 4 year old boy said? ‘Boy, I’ll bet she’s cold!!’ How differently might that have stuck in his little boy mind had I yelled NIKE and yanked it away, rather than saying, ‘I think you’re right, she probably is cold’ and taken it away a few seconds later when he was distracted by playing? Since this is a ProLife blog, I’ll also state I have never had an abortion, nor have I advised anyone to have one, nor have I participated in one. That said, I do think what other women do with their bodies is between them and God, not them and me. I enjoy the Duggars and watch every episode. I don’t have to agree with every single thing they say and do. Their own parent’s disagreed with them!!    


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    Sue says:

    Kaylee:
     
    I appreciate your level headed posts!
     
    While in the cult, we were not allowed to have a TV/go to movies, etc.  I remember a particular incidence when my husband & I walked by the video dept. in a grocery store & I said, ‘How sad – these people are so empty & lonely that they try to fill their hearts with garbage from Hollywood.’  I was quite smug about my own perceived righteousness.
     
    Of course, now that I have a TV & go to movies, I know that participating in this type of entertainment has little to do with a starved or lonely heart.  (perhaps boredom enters in from time to time!)
     
    Fellow members of the cult who do not have a TV in their home will book a motel room for the weekend simply to watch TV.  What’s wrong with that picture?!  A prime example of how repression only makes the itch more intense.


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    Claire says:

    One of the older Duggar girls said, ‘Perhaps because we have no television in the home, we became more creative.’

    Note the word “perhaps”.  She wasn’t stating this as absolute fact — nor was she saying other people shouldn’t watch TV.

    We have TV in our home.  There are certain things, though, that we will not watch or allow our dc to watch, because we cannot do so in good conscience.

    Several years ago our TV quit working.  We got up one morning and there was a diagonal break in the screen which went all the way through the TV.  We had no idea what had caused that. 

    We were low on funds right then, didn’t watch much TV anyway (still don’t), and we waited about a year to replace it.  I can honestly say that our home was definitely more peaceful during that time, and that our children did indeed play more creatively than before. 

    One does not have to be in a cult to not watch TV.  Michelle Duggar tells at their website why they don’t watch TV, and it has nothing to do with any cultish belief.  Free free to read that for yourselves. 

    Sue, I hope you’re not implying the Duggars are in a cult or cult-ish because they do not have TV in their home. 

    I once knew a mainline (Methodist) pastor who refused to have TV in his home.  At some point, he began taking his children elsewhere to watch TV.  I didn’t understand that.

    If people in the cult you named (I have no idea what they believe/don’t believe, since you haven’t named the cult) rent a motel room simply to watch TV, that tells me they do not truly have a conviction that watching TV is wrong.  It sounds like they conform to the cult in their home, but not when they are not at home. 


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    Praxedes says:

    “How differently might that have stuck in his little boy mind had I yelled NIKE and yanked it away, rather than saying, ‘I think you’re right, she probably is cold’ and taken it away a few seconds later when he was distracted by playing?”

    Kaylee,
    I agree yelling and yanking would not have been the correct way to deal with the situation you described. 

    However, what if your little boy was 8 or 10 or 12 when he first found a pornographic magazine?  I am curious how you would have dealt with it then?

    I’m only asking because I am interested in learning more about how one’s view of pornography compares to their view on abortion.


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    Claire says:

    Everyone I know limits TV and uses parental controls when children are in the home.

    Schoolteachers will tell you that is not true in MANY homes.  Children come to school talking about the (R and worse) -rated movies they saw the night before, etc.  Same goes for the internet.

    None of the Duggar boys or men are ‘stong enough’ to be allowed total access to the Internet because men and boys view things differently than women?

    I’m a bit confused by this. Are you saying you understand why there are parental controls re: TV, but not re: internet?

    It is true that guys are aroused by what they see, not so much for women. 

    Studies have shown that early exposure to pornography creates real problems for children.  It’s wonderful that your 4yo didn’t seem to be affected by what he saw; but that is not true for all 4yo children.  And when you consider the fact that some of the Duggar sons are pre-teens and teens, it’s all the more understandable (to me, anyway) why they don’t want porn coming into the home. 

    I know adults who have controls on their computers because they don’t want to be tempted by porn.  Do you consider that wrong, or that they are weak, etc?  It seems to me they know their limitations (no one is perfect) and they realize that could be a problem for them.

    The Bible does say, “Make no provision for the flesh.”  (speaking of sinful desires)

    Scripture also says, “I will set no wicked thing before my eyes.”

    Christ Jesus said that if a man lusts in his heart, he has committed adultery already.  Pornography is completely contrary to God’s Word.

    As a parent of children, I’d much rather be safe than sorry — my children have sufficient, not unlimited, access to the internet.  Even secular sources say that pornography is not healthy for anyone.


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    Claire says:

    As for “yelling and yanking”, I haven’t seen any evidence of that with the Duggars.  It is my impression they take time to talk to their children, to teach them what things are right, wrong, and why.


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    Sue says:

    Claire:
     
    I am not linking having no TV in one’s home to cult involvement. I was referencing the smugness that was perceived by a poster here about a comment made by an older Duggar daughter.
     
     


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    Claire says:

    Thanks for clarifying that, Sue.  I wasn’t sure. 

    If the Duggar daughter hadn’t said “Perhaps”, her comment may have seemed smug to the eye of this beholder.  ;)


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    Elisabeth says:

    Well, one of the topics I rarely discuss on this blog, simply because I don’t really think it is anyone’s business, is my first husband. Yup…. first husband. He was an abusive non-Christian pornography addict. (Wow. You mean there are non-Christian abusers? Couldn’t be…. only fundamentalist Quiverfull men are abusive, right? Um… NOPE).

    In an attempt to be the adult in the situation, I never once attempted to deny him access to the oldest children. There were many times when he wasn’t in their lives for years at a stretch, but that was due to his own choices to simply drop off the map. (He’s over $100K behind in child support payments).

    He deliberately exposed our now 14 year old son to pornography 2 years ago. (He stated later that he would do ANYTHING to destroy the relationship between the older children and my husband and myself.) My response to this was to sit down with my son and discuss what he had seen. I pointed out to him that the women he had seen naked were someone’s daughter. They were likely someone’s sister. I asked him if he would be comfortable with someone looking at pictures of his older sister that looked like that…. his eyes got HUGE. Then I went down the line until I had asked him if he would be okay with his then 2 year old sister growing up and posing for pictures like that… men treating her as an object, instead of a person. He was most definitely NOT okay with that.

    I didn’t yell. I didn’t even scold. I very gently asked questions to get him thinking about women as people, people with feelings and families and lives. I have since heard of him standing up to boys who are even older than he is about the derogatory ways in which they refer to females… including some of the stars of the football team he is on. (I’ve gotten these reports from the coaches and other older boys on the team who are impressed with his quiet but firm manner.)

    Oh, and the ex no longer has any access to the children. It’s one of the reasons we moved. (Sooooo glad I got the right to move without his permission written into the divorce contract. Granted, since he was abusive, even though the laws wouldn’t give him any more than a misdemeanor for THAT, the judge was happy to grant me that privilege.) He had been pressuring our not quite 18 year old daughter to go get drunk and have sex so he could watch.

    That was the last straw. When I informed him that his behavior was beyond unacceptable he said, “You parent the way you want to, I’ll parent the way I think is best. She needs to start getting drunk and having sex before she turns 18 and it really counts.”

    Oh, and the concept of Michelle Duggar “yelling and yanking” is absurd. That is one of the most soft-spoken women around. I’m always amazed at how she manages to keep her calm during moments of total chaos. I work hard to emulate that aspect of her parenting.


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    KayLee says:

    Who said Michelle Duggar ‘yells and yanks??’? Apparently you have not watched episodes of the Duggars when the older girls yell out ‘NIKE’ which means the boys should look at their shoes to eliminate the possibily of being ‘defrauded.’ Perhaps you can tell me what ‘defrauded’ means in that context. Many times the Duggars have stated their views of TV. Apparently I am damned for all time because I really enjoy all of the Discovery Channels, both History Channels and both National Geographic Channels. Yes, I am well aware they tell us that man has been around for NINE million years. I’m 67, so I think I can tell the truthfulness of carbon dating and fossil finding. If my son would have been 10 or 12, I would have handled the situation differently, naturally. IF there had been such a magazine in our home and IF our son had found it, I would have explained that there was a pajama shortage and she was waiting for her turn to get some :-) Try and be serious. Do you really, honestly think that there is a link between pornography and abortion? I watch the Duggars, I enjoy them, I especially enjoy the episodes when they are with the Bates.
    How Michelle stays calm during total chaos IS remarkable. I told my kids to use their ‘inside voices’ and to play with outdoor toys outside. Did you know that a CD of Erin Bates music is in the works? Or that Zack is the youngest County Commissioner ever elected in Anderson County, TN, or that Zack and Nathan have gotten awards for being first responders in their local fire department? I love Kelly Bates, as well as Michelle Duggar. Neither has EVER told me that I need to believe or act as they do…It works for THEM. It’s OK, or even more than OK to like people who are different from you. Think about it!       

      


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    KayLee says:

    and run outside.


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    Praxedes says:

    Elisabeth,
    Thanks for telling your story.   I can relate and it sounds like our first husbands are quite similiar.  I have actually heard the same wording of “you parent the way you want. . . ”  I have fought through the courts about what he has allowed our kids to be exposed to.  My ex also uses porn and is a proabort. I have found many proaborts to also be propornography. 

    On some level, I’m guessing that Kaylee is OK with porn since she admits her husband was “glancing through it” and then stuck it under the sofa. (my wording would be more to the tune of “he was oggling naked women in spite of my making him very aware of my feelings about his ever looking at porn or bringing anything remotely pornographic into our home”).

    Even at 4, most kids are pretty aware of their surroundings.  The child probably wasn’t looking for a lost toy at all but remembered dad acting guilty and wanted to see what was under there.  Even to a four year old, I would have told the truth, “This type of magazine disrespects men and women and mom and dad were wrong to have it in the house. I am sorry you found it and won’t happen again.”  Then I would have read him one of his favorite pictures books. 
     


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    Elisabeth says:

    Try and be serious. Do you really, honestly think that there is a link between pornography and abortion?

     
    Do I think there is a link between dehumanizing people so that we can justify using them for our own personal gratification and dehumanizing people so that we can justify destroying them for our own personal gratification? Yeah, oddly, I do.


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    KayLee says:

    My, my aren’t we the judgemental bunch. Now you decided I am OK with porn, next will you decide I’ll be doing abortions in my kitchen? Well, actually my breakfast room, since I have a galley type kitchen. Thank God that the Duggars, the Bates and the rest of their friends believe that it is up to God to judge, not man…or in this case woman. 


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    Elisabeth says:

    Oh, and KayLee…. “yelling and yanking” refers to a specific parenting practice of yelling at a nursing baby and yanking their hair if they bite during nursing. That is very different from having a family “code word” that stands for something that has been discussed in detail many times and is designed to instantly gain the attention of a much older child without having to repeat the entire discussion.


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    KayLee says:

    Well, Elizabeth you are pretty quick to dehumanize any one who doesn’t agree with you exactly. Sorry about the bold writing, I accidently clicked on it and couldn’t figure out how to get rid of it.


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    Elisabeth says:

    KayLee, the use of the words “I’m guessing” usually means that someone is putting out a theory based upon specific phrases from a previous poster’s post… and providing you the opportunity to clarify.


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    KayLee says:

    Aha..no bold letters!! Did you say yelling at and yanking the hair of a nursing BABY for biting a nipple? Hope that isn’t a common practice.


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    Elisabeth says:

    Please show me a single instance of where I “dehumanized” someone who disagrees with me.


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    Elisabeth says:

    No, KayLee, it is NOT a common practice, but it was one that was being ascribed to Michelle Duggar. Hence the my clarification of Michelle’s parenting methods and how they in no way line up with the concept of using “yanking and yelling”.


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    Paladin says:

    Good grief!  Take a few days off to tend to business, and this thread goes to Mars, and back!
     
    I’ll try to write a bit, when I have a free moment.  Elisabeth, you’re awesome!  :)


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    KayLee says:

    If I said my GUESS is that you are a homosexual who covers your sexual persuasion with fundamental Christianity would you be offended or just think I was giving you the opportunity to explain yourself?

    The good news is that I am now going to find a real site about the Duggars. I just happened upon this one thinking it was about the Duggars. The bad news is I will likely be back just to see how y’all are doing. God Bless!


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    Elisabeth says:

    Well, if I had made some sort of comment that gave rise to that, rather than it coming out of thin air, then maybe.

    And I didn’t make the comment, someone else did. You did, however, accuse ME of dehumanizing posters who disagree with me. I ask again, precisely where did I do that?


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    Claire says:

    Do you really, honestly think that there is a link between pornography and abortion?

    I see a definite link between pornography and immorality.

    I see a definite link between immorality and abortion.

    So my answer is yes.

    Ted Bundy, a serial rapist/killer of young women who was executed a couple of decades ago, said pornography was what started him down that road. 

    He didn’t say, and I’m not saying, that every person who views pornography will end up a serial rapist/killer.  But I’m sure the parents of those young women who were his victims think one was too many.

    I cannot think of any good thing that has ever resulted from people viewing porn.


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    KayLee says:

    Ted Bundy said a whole lot of things. Looking at a naked woman led him to becoming a serial killer and a rapist? Oh, I think that was one of his excuses. In reality he was a sociopath and had no conscience. Not that I am defending pornography here, but I am really tired of things taken out of context. My 4 year old son didn’t find that magazine IMMEDIATELY, he found it days later. Now if you want to accuse me of being a negligent homemaker who doesn’t move her sofa and vacuum under it all that often…well, that’s certainly true…but as for all the rest, I’m not a liar, nor do I condone pornography, especially for and about children, and I have already told you my opinion of abortion. Using ‘guessing’ and ‘probably’ doesn’t change a thing about your answers to my posts. Also nice to know how much better you would have handled things than I did. My son is now 50 and doesn’t seem brain scarred by my lack of making a big deal out of a stupid magazine, but perhaps some naked lady scarred serial killers start later. If this happens, I’ll be sure to let you know, so you can say, ‘I told you so.’ That will make you feels so much better.   


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    Elisabeth says:

    KayLee, you are lumping several posters all together, getting offended, and then hammering ME. I don’t recall stating “I handled it better than you.” I recall sharing a story of how I handled it in regards to someone else asking about how it should be handled with an OLDER child. As I had a story about it happening with an older child, I felt it was a relevant addition to the thread. You can go look at the post above. It was at 7:37. It doesn’t even MENTION your post.

    I have no clue what is causing your extreme reaction and why, in particular, you are lashing out at ME when I haven’t been anything but polite to you, and tried to explain where other posters are coming from and why things are done in specific ways on this forum…. but it’s getting very frustrating and it is totally unnecessary.


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    KayLee says:

    Sorry, Elisabeth I just rechecked your comments and it was Praxades (?) who said those things and I just remembered seeing your name on it. Turns out it was written TO you, not BY you and I apologize profusely. Once again I hit the bold type and still don’t know how to change it since I don’t want to either use italics or underline words. I have a problem with a slight tremour in my hands and I often hit the wrong key.


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    Oatmeal says:

    Claire-
    So you are telling me that if the lining sheds while an egg is in the tube, it is considered abortion?  A woman’s uterine lining can shed from many things: malnutrition, stress, alcohol consumption.  Does that mean anytime you shed your lining, you are committing abortion? Yes, the pill sheds your lining, but so do other things.  What about when the uterus reabsorbs the egg in your system?  Is that cannibalism?  I guess we have to be accountable for ever fertilized eye in our bodies.  Further, I have PCOS which makes my uterus quite unreceptive to eggs… does that mean I am aborting my baby?
    I am really surprised that since this is a pro-life blog, only one of you replied to my question.
    Now I get why a lot of people have a problem with the pro-life movement… if you all are the norm then it is very extreme to include a natural process as abortion.
     


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    Janet says:

    KayLee,
    To negate the Bold key, tap the B key again while your text is still highlighted. I think that should take care of it.


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    Praxedes says:

    KayLee,
    I was trying to make the connection between what I perceive to be your lackadaisical comments regarding porn (“glancing through it”) and your views on abortion. My comments seem to have hit a nerve.

    You restated your child found the magazine days after your husband put it there.  I noticed you mentioned that the first time and my comment to Elisabeth reflected that, “The child probably wasn’t looking for a lost toy at all but remembered dad acting guilty and wanted to see what was under there.” 

    I went on to state how most 4 year olds are quite perceptive.  It’s adults, myself included, who have knocked or attempted to knock perceptive abilities out of children with our words and actions.  Many times, these perceptive abilities have been knocked out of ourselves as well. 

    As far as seriel killers/rapists, there have been studies about the upbringings and choices of these monsters.  Almost all of them are exposed and addicted to porn from an early age.  Of course, not everyone exposed early or addicted to porn becomes a seriel killer/rapist but it something to think about as our society becomes more and more accepting of porn.

    The one thing that unites seriel killers, porn addicts and abortion proponents is their disrespect of humans, especially women and children.  They also do not have a firm relationship with that One Important Person.

    As to your question of whether or not I really and seriously think there is a connection between abortion and porn:  Yes I do.  Really and seriously.  

    I am very concerned about abortion and porn in our country and their relationship to each other.  If you see this as my being part of a judgemental bunch, so be it.  They are the bunch that really see and are willing to stick their necks out about and educate others about these devastating issues.  Many of this bunch also have a firm relationship with that One Important Person. 
    Peace.


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    Praxedes says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention my scenerio of how I would deal with my 4 year old finding porn is only if the child had found porn in the home that I didn’t know about.

    If my husband were oggling naked women in a magazine in front of me, I would have yelled and yanked it away from him before any child came in the room.  Then I would have had a serious discussion about my feeling on the subject and my future expectations.  If he were not willing to work at changing, I would divorce him. 

    And I did.


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    Claire says:

    KayLee, did you hear Ted Bundy’s final interview?  I did.  He expressed deep regret and remorse.  He definitely had a conscience. He was reared in a very stable home, had a wonderful family, by his own account.  He said he found some porn on the side of the road when he was young/impressionable, and he said that led to worse and worse until he ended up as he did. He did not make excuses for his crimes. He took full responsibility.

    Whether viewers of porn end up like that or not, I cannot think of any good thing porn has ever done.

    Even if “all” it does is to dehumanize women, men, and children, causing them to be perceived as objects for someone else’s lust instead of real people deserving of respect, that is plenty of damage — far too much, IMO.


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    Claire says:

    if you all are the norm then it is very extreme to include a natural process as abortion.

    Oatmeal, I didn’t deem any natural processes as abortion. I said, “Many people, Quiverfull or not, are opposed to BC which acts as an abortifacient.”
     


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    Claire says:

    Did you know that a CD of Erin Bates music is in the works? Or that Zack is the youngest County Commissioner ever elected in Anderson County, TN, or that Zack and Nathan have gotten awards for being first responders in their local fire department? I love Kelly Bates, as well as Michelle Duggar.

    KayLee, I did not know any of this.  THANKS for posting this info!  I have really enjoyed seeing the Bates family on the Duggars’ program.


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    KayLee says:

    I thought I stated that the offending magazine was a joke birthday gift for my husband’s birthday, not something we either purchased or subscribed to. In any case I am soooo over that entire discussion. Obviously this group is more conservative than I am, which is fine. Many of my friends are more conservative than I am, but still respect that, to me, liberalism is not about abortions, pornography, or the making of serial killers. What I would like to see is more money spent on projects such as Head Start, Fresh Air Children, better vetting of foster care parents, and nursing home employees. More funds for nursing homes and schools so that more time can be spent with individuals. You see I am a retired nursing home Activity Director. When I began working in nursing homes the staffing was 1 to 4-5 residents. When I retired, that staffing had fallen to 1 to 10+. Because nursing home owners are greedy? Perhaps some are, but I worked for a non-profit organization. No, it is because of ever declining funding. I fail and failed to see how it was humanly possible to care for that many helpless people given those odds. My mother taught preK. You would be amazed at how many children of 4 did not know how to use scissors, hold crayons, or recognize their printed name. But who cares about early childhood learning…no more funding for Head Start. Yes, it would be nice if such children could be home schooled, but by whom? Crack addicted mothers, and only God knows who the father is? What I personally hear from Conservative politicians is what we can’t afford to do. But we can afford wars that have accomplished very little, if anything, and have turned a small minority of our soldiers into monsters? Not to mention have caused great loss of life on both sides. Not everyone has the tools to bring themselves up by their boot straps, some aren’t intelligent enough, some have no idea how given their circumstances, some aren’t good looking enough, some have fallen through the cracks of the economic climate. It’s been proven time and again how much good looks count for special treatment. OK I am finished here, this is much too long and I have grocery shopping to do. My husband is a Vietnam Vet who suffers from ptsd and has very little short term memory. Nevertheless we have adopted 3 rescue dogs. Between us we have 10 children, 15 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren, so although I never heard of Quiverfull until recently, it seems we sure did our part in adding to the Christian population of this country.


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    Praxedes says:

    KayLee, Yeah you did state the porn was a gift.  You also stated it was looked at and kept.  Then you got over-the-top defensive and talked about kitchen abortions.
     
    Now you say, “It’s been proven time and again how much good looks count for special treatment.”

    Absolutely. We were discussing how pornography adds to the problem of objectifying humans.  Abortion and pornography only add to the probems that you state you are concerned about.


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    Elisabeth says:

    KayLee…. what does ANYTHING you are talking about have to do with whether pornography objectifies women? One of the largest fallacies we deal with on this site is the idea that because this site is about abortion and because we are passionately pro-life, that we do not worry about any of these other social concerns.

    You have stumbled across this site inadvertently. We get that. However, we have explained to you what the site is about and that the Duggar post is not the main focus of the site. You have come here, scolded us about not focusing on “what this blog is about” without knowing what this blog is about. You have scolded us about all of the things that we “don’t care about”…. without knowing the first thing about any of us or the things we do.

    You see, when I go to a cooking site, I don’t sit and talk about my interests in crochet. Does this mean I’m not interested in crochet? Of course not…. it just means on a cooking site, the vast majority of the topics will be about… cooking. Just as on a pro-life site, the vast majority of the topics will be about… being pro-life.
    To come here and scold us about something we are passionate about and condemn us without knowing anything about us is not something that reflects at all on what we believe or what we do…. it is merely a reflection of whatever processes are going on inside of you.

    Now, you are more than welcome here and I hope you stick around and actually explore the rest of the site and the information presented here. However, I think the treatment that you have given me, including some very offensive attacks (the whole “if I said I guess you were a homosexual trying to cover that up” thing) with no basis whatsoever… shows that you’re lashing out without necessarily thinking through who you are lashing out at and why (and I don’t just mean me).

    I’m not sure why, and I hope you come to some sort of peace, as you seem very full of anger at a group of strangers for no real reason. But I don’t think it’s really appropriate to scold us for focusing on abortion, pro-life causes, and the societal issues that may tend to lead to abortion and so on…. on a pro-life site.


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    oatmeal says:

    You all are full of it!

    Again, I put a question out there to find out your opinion on the pro-life movement and I only received ONE response.  What a joke!  If this site is about pro-life then I would think you would all engage a new coming by talking about what its means (to you) to be pro-life.

    You all just like to hear the sound of your own voice.  No wonder people reject christianity today.  You are more focused on being right than talking to someone who is truly interested.


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    Elisabeth says:

    Oatmeal, I had to do a ctrl-f search to even find your original question… (sometimes the threads on here move pretty quickly and we don’t always all see every post).

    If you don’t get a response, try reposting the question along with your repeat for a request for an answer. It gets answers a lot faster…. not everyone will take the time to go find the original question.

    What does it mean to be pro-life? To me, it means believing in the inherent dignity of all people from conception to natural death. This means that for me, personally, I will not use birth control due to its potentially abortifacient properties. However, as a registered nurse, I also won’t use birth control due to the side effects and the risks in terms of blood clots, hormonal imbalances, and increased risk of certain cancers. (It isn’t a high risk, but it is enough of a risk for me given my family history.)

    A natural miscarriage is not an abortion. It is a sad thing, but not an abortion. The removal of an ectopic pregnancy is not an abortion. Inducing labor early due to medical complications, such as eclampsia or HELLLP syndrome is not an abortion even if the baby doesn’t survive the process. The goal there is not to kill the baby…. if at all possible the baby will also be saved. At the very least it will be given appropriate medical care or, if aggressive measures are not medically indicated, appropriate comfort care.

    There are no medical situations where an abortion is an appropriate and necessary medical response. As noted above, there are times when a pregnancy must be ended too soon, but care is taken to balance the needs of both patients insofar as that is possible. The death of the child is an unfortunate side effect, not the intent of true medical assistance to a difficult pregnancy.

    At the opposite end of the spectrum, that means that I am concerned with appropriate pain medication in end of life situations… that when someone comes into my emergency room bay, we provide all appropriate interventions even if, in our heart, we know the patient is probably already gone. Doesn’t stop us from fighting for you! (Just had that happen this week.) It means that for my elderly patients who are in end of life, I really wish the families would be more open to DNR/DNI orders… I hate putting someone through a full code who truly doesn’t want that to happen! I also don’t believe in withholding food or water as an appropriate measure for end of life… that’s torture.

    As a note, people who are truly “truly interested” don’t usually just throw out one question and then start in on describing an entire group of strangers as the reason “people reject christianity today”. That is usually behavior displayed by people who don’t truly care what the answer is, they are just here to stir up trouble and insult people.


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    Paladin says:

    At the risk of awakening a sleeping topic by being a Johnny-come-lately (of the “Gee, d’you young’uns remember way back when, in the days when Madge was still grousin’ and complainin’ on this here thread?” type):

    Some of the posts (especially the personal stories of Elisabeth, Praxedes, and others) were enlightening and touching… and they actually “goosed” me into giving a tiny snapshot of my own, especially regarding the “fundamentalist vs. non-fundamentalist” boondoggle.

    To make an extremely long story a bit less long: when I was still a teenager, my family had some encounters with a particular fundamentalist Christian which–to put it briefly–put the family through purgatory on earth and shattered our immediate family for years (and we’re still picking up the debris).  In raw reaction to this, I went on my own (forgive the expression) “anti-fundamentalist crusade”; I devoured every book on Catholic apologetics that I could grab, and I essentially declared war against anyone whose beliefs were even *close* to those of the person who helped cause the original mess.  (This is why I was just shaking my head in disbelief, when Madge was describing me as being “like a lot of Evangelicals trained in Apologetics” and having “a clear bias in favor of all things evangelical and Duggarish”; if she could only have seen me, back in those days!)

    Ultimately, though (and this is where I’m editing out years of jam-packed stories relating to my gradual change of mind and heart), I grew to realize that it wasn’t fundamentalism that was the original problem: it was a particular PERSON who HAPPENED to be a fundamentalist, and who gave it a bad name (at least, for me).  As the years went on, I also found that (and I really don’t want to offend anyone, here) I was far more sympathetic to even the most Catholic-hating fundamentalists (of which I know very few–most fundamentalists I know are people whose Christian walk I admire deeply, and try to emulate) than I ever could be with many “pew-potato cultural Catholics” (I sometimes call various specimens of them “faux Catholics”, since their knowledge of, and obedience to, Church teaching is nothing short of abysmal).  Seriously: ask me whether I’d rather stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a “fervent Catholic” like Nancy Pelosi, or with Dr. James Dobson, and I’ll tell you of my preference (for Dr. Dobson) while I try to stop laughing (or weeping, or getting sick–depending on my situation); was there ever more of a “no-brainer” question?

    Make no mistake: I’m as Roman Catholic as they come.  I love the traditional Latin Mass (though I can rarely get to one), I’m a member of the Militia of the Immaculata (and I love my Mother Mary), I have a whole passel of patron Saints, I go to Confession every week (I don’t want to know what I’d be like, without it), and on, and on.  But I’d be the prince of fools not to recognize the fact that… at least in my experience… many of the most trustworthy, devoted, self-sacrificing, clear-headed, common-sense-filled, culture-of-death-hating people I know are non-Catholic fundamentalists.  God love them!  You all help to encourage me when I look around and see a cultural wasteland.  You show that not every last person in this culture has lost his mind and sold his soul.

    (I could also add, sadly, that some of the most reliable “culture-of-death voters” I know are “cultural Catholics”–but that’s another story.)

    It’s my Christian fundamentalist friends who see the corrupt works of the National Education Association (for example) and choose to home-school (or send their children to private Christian schools) instead of letting them be indoctrinated into the culture of death.  It’s they who led the charge in getting rid of their TV’s (either largely, or totally), rather than have spiritual sewage pumped into their houses.  It’s they who stood up and demanded modest clothing, while many “cultural Catholics” did little more than shrug (or shake their head with a slight wry look, and say, “well… that’s just the way things are going, nowadays!”).  It’s they who led the way in (and still largely dominate) Christian music which is actually *skillfully done*–and which (wonder of wonders) actually glorified God (explicitly, even!), while many cafeteria Catholics (from the 1960’s until the present day) were/are being treated to such “spiritually edifying” gems as “Leaving on a Jet Plane”, “Music of the Night” (from Phantom of the Opera), “Blowing in the Wind”, “Sing a New Church”, and the like, during what might loosely be described as a Mass.  It’s they who led the charge in restoring the phenomenon of LARGE FAMILIES (and welcoming life/children), while many cultural Catholics join the rest of the culture in sneering at the very idea.  I could literally go one for hours, in this vein… but I think you get the idea.

    Praise be to God for Christian Fundamentalists!  (And should I say, for Madge’s sake, “Praise be to God for all things ‘Duggarish’?”  :)  )
     
    Okay… rant over.

  243. Oatmeal:
    I also have PCOS, so my womb is also not always hospitable.  I have two living children, ages 2 years 3 months and 9 months.  In addition, I have at least one child–and I believe quite a few more–who died, probably in part due to the condition I have.  These were all very early miscarriages; the longest of the pregnancies where I miscarried was only 3 weeks.
    Since I figured out how to control my disorder by eating very low carb, I hold myself responsible to do that.  I could not force anyone else to do so, though I certainly would encourage them to do so.  Even with the help of God, even though the life of my child could be in the balance, it’s the hardest thing I have ever done.  I feel terrible that I might have caused the deaths of my children by the way I chose to eat.  I also feel terrible that I might have caused the deaths of some of my children by using birth control before I knew it could have that effect.  But God has forgiven me and loves me, and I take comfort in that.  It has been a slow process, but I have even learned to love myself.
    I wouldn’t require that anyone take drastic actions to save the life of an unborn child who might or might not exist.  (I believe that a child exists from the moment of conception, but the mother might not know he or she exists for many weeks.)  I would argue that it is the responsible, correct, grown-up thing to do, but I don’t think it could or should be legislated.  But there is a big difference between eating the wrong kind of food, and therefore not preventing a miscarriage, and deliberately taking a pill or undergoing a surgical procedure to kill the child.  That’s not merely allowing the child to die due to negligence, ignorance, or an inability to practice self-control; it’s a purposeful act undertaken knowingly with the intent of killing the child.
    The shedding of the uterine lining is a natural process.  It is not always an abortion; it cannot be an abortion when a child is not involved.  Medically, a miscarriage is considered a “spontaneous abortion” and a surgical procedure or drug which cause an abortion cause a “forced abortion”.  A drug which has or can have the effect of causing a very early abortion is called an abortifacient.  If a person who knows she is pregnant takes a drug with the intent of killing her unborn child, that’s an abortion, and I believe she is morally culpable.  If a person takes a drug that can abort a pregnancy, but she does not know she is pregnant and does not know it has that effect, she is not morally culpable.  If she knows that could be an effect, but takes the drug for another reason, and it causes an early abortion–well, it may depend on the circumstances.  Did she know she was pregnant?  How important was the other effect?  I do not think that a woman is morally culpable for a miscarriage unless she attempted to cause it.
    I love all of my children–both my living children and those who have died.  I find it reprehensible that people choose to kill their own children.  I find it unacceptable that my children who died never had rights.


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    madge says:

    Clearly, Paladin, you can grouse and complain with the best of ’em :)
    I could tell you had been studying amongst Fundamentalists, and I agree that some are quite admirable.  That’s why the ones who are so toxic bug me so much.
    The core problem is a dialectic between “Us” and “Them”.  So long as one’s brain works with that construct primarily (in other words, so long as one sees the world in terms of “good people like me” or bad people unlike me”, or I guess the converse “bad people like me and good people unlike me”) one does not share the heart of Christ, purely and simply.
    I see a lot of “Us and Them” thinking on this board.


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    Paladin says:

    Madge wrote:
     
    The core problem is a dialectic between “Us” and “Them”.  So long as one’s brain works with that construct primarily (in other words, so long as one sees the world in terms of “good people like me” or bad people unlike me”, or I guess the converse “bad people like me and good people unlike me”) one does not share the heart of Christ, purely and simply.

    Wow.

    Forgive me, Madge, but–since I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt, here–I seriously doubt that you know how arrogant and presumptuous that sounded.  Not *once* did I suggest that you, or anyone else with whom I disagreed profoundly, “didn’t share the heart of Christ (whatever that means, in your mind).”  (Even the atheist trolls are happy to categorize themselves thusly, without my help.)

    I see a lot of “Us and Them” thinking on this board.

    Please tell me you see the irony, here.  Here are a few hints:

    “Us = those who share in the heart of Christ”
    “Them = those who don’t share in the mind of Christ.”

    “Us = level-headed, progressive-yet-Orthodox Christians”
    “Them = dangerous, toxic Fundamentalists”

    If you’re going to lament the sad state of things on this board (and/or in Christianity, in general), would it be asking too much for you to hold yourself to your own standard, or else modify that standard?


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    Paladin says:

    Sorry… I meant also to reply to this:

    I could tell you had been studying amongst Fundamentalists,

    (??) Whatever that means…

    and I agree that some are quite admirable.  That’s why the ones who are so toxic bug me so much.

    Er… are you back-pedalling in your stance, now?  Compare that (i.e. “only *toxic* fundamentalists bug me, not the admirable ones”), to your previous comments:

    Fundamentalism all over the world is incredibly harmful to women

    granted, in religiously authoritative, punitive societies (fundamentalist Christianity and Islam, some sects of Hinduism) there is a decreased divorce rate there is higher rates of domestic violence (from what we can tell–these societies are pretty secretive)

    Read up on your church history if you can’t see the parallels between Christian Fundamentalism and Islamic Fundamentalism.  As a person who very much lives to serve Christ, I see Fundamentalism and many manifestations of modern Christianity is idols, pure and simple

    Both fundamentalist Christianity and Fundamentalist Islam were formed out of a fear of modernity, both subjugate women;, and both at times use violence and fear to achieve their desired ends.

    So… it’s not the “incredibly harmful, authoritative, punitive, wife-beating, secrecy-enforcing, Islam-like, idolatrous, modernity-fearing, woman-subjugating, violent” Fundamentalists that bug you; it’s just the “toxic” ones of the above that bug you?

    You may need to clarify, I think.


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    Claire says:

    A sincere question: 

    Who is able to determine who shares the heart and mind of Christ Jesus?

  248. Paladin, I am not a Roman Catholic, yet I feel about Roman Catholics like you do about “fundamentalists”.  The Catholic Church is practically the only one teaching that there’s a problem with birth control.  The Catholic Church has led the charge to preserve the right to life of the vulnerable where it is threatened and restore their proctections where they are taken away.  Your Church has never compromised its position defending the defenseless and caring for the poor, and you have the organization to make your protests felt.  Of course, I’ve only ever met Catholics who believe the teaching of their church online.  So there seems to me to be a dichotomy–on the social issues most threatened today, the Catholic doctrine is right, but even Catholics don’t seem to follow it…  Maybe if there were more Catholic paladins and less Nancy Pelosis, the Church would have an easier time defending its teachings.


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    Madge says:

    I did not mean to imply that I don’t do this, nor did I mean to suggest that I am the arbitrator who who does. I’m as guilty as everyone else on here of this. It is one of the most common avenues of sin. Sorry if it read as arrogant


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    Paladin says:

    Madge,
     
    Well… I appreciate your candour, and I also appreciate your attempt to root out what you take to be a source of sin.  (Would that more people *cared* about rooting out sin and its sources!)  But, as plaintively as I can, I need to say again: there’s a serious danger (especially in pluralistic societies such as this one) in seeing quarrels, getting scared/wary of them, and overreacting in the opposite direction… by embracing an artificially inflamed definition of “tolerance” (e.g. “live and let live”).  Tolerance is a good thing, when it’s kept within its proper bounds (e.g. when speaking of things for which there can be a legitimate difference of opinion); but it can become a tyrant and a great evil if it’s allowed to rampage through a society and destroy its awareness of objective moral truth.  The slogan, “my truth for me, your truth for you, let’s not squabble!” is one of the most insidious poisons; and many are deceived into drinking it… solely because the slow and unspectacular damage done by the poison is far less noticeable than is the damage done by spectacular fights/wars.
     
    In short: especially when life or death issues are at stake, it can actually be a sin NOT to be angry, and NOT to fight!  “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”  (Edmund Burke)  No, we’re not to seek opportunities to fight; but it’s sometimes necessary… and this (e.g. culture of life vs. culture of death) is one of those cases.


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    madge says:

    Agreed, so long as those who count themselves among the “culture of life” don’t objectify those they classify as following the “culture of death”.  Because, we can’t know the heart of another person, we can’t judge the other person; we can condemn acts, surely, and better yet work toward constructive alternatives.  If, however, the bottom line is “us” vs “them”, whatever is done is ultimately an ego trip and isn’t done in the name of Christ.
    I Corinthians speaks primarily to this issue, and the well know chapter 13 gets to the heart of it; unless we can see others as bearers of the image of God, unless we can love them, we cannot serve Christ in them:
    If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9 For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.


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    Paladin says:

    Madge wrote:

    Agreed, so long as those who count themselves among the “culture of life” don’t objectify those they classify as following the “culture of death”.

    That’s been one of my key points: I can’t think of a single regular pro-life contributor on this board who does this.  We can get exasperated (and even furious) at the stupidity, errors, and even the raw evil positions that are taken… but no regular pro-life contributor (so far as I’ve ever seen) objectifies, or hates, those who take them.  We want them converted, not destroyed; we want the sin (and their death-dealing) wiped out, not them!  Do you see the distinction?  Please be very careful about calling “objectification” on someone, especially when such weighty issues are at stake.  One who looks at an anguished pro-lifer who even screams and yells at an abortion-supporting demagogue, and says, “Ah… look at the objectification, pigeon-holing, and intolerance here!  Such a lack of love!”, is mistaking things in a way that’s almost horrifyingly obtuse.  One who is NOT capable of outrage and anguish when babies are ripped to shreds has something seriously wrong with their emotions.

    Because, we can’t know the heart of another person, we can’t judge the other person; we can condemn acts, surely, and better yet work toward constructive alternatives.  If, however, the bottom line is “us” vs “them”, whatever is done is ultimately an ego trip and isn’t done in the name of Christ.

    I might even agree with you (if I fully understood what you meant, specifically; I’ve seen those words used and misused in dozens of ways, so I can’t assume you mean them as I mean them), if I thought that was the case.  But I really don’t think it is.  The mere fact that you were rebutted (and quite sternly) says nothing about our beliefs about your dignity as a child of God; it says everything about our objections to the positions (implied and explicit) that you put forth.  It’s quite possible to attack the sin, while loving the sinner; it’s quite possible to thrash a person’s pet ideas, while preserving their dignity.

    I Corinthians speaks primarily to this issue, and the well know chapter 13 gets to the heart of it; unless we can see others as bearers of the image of God, unless we can love them, we cannot serve Christ in them:

    Yes… but I cannot caution strongly or frequently enough: LOVE IS NOT A FEELING.  Love is the free CHOICE to SACRIFICE of oneself for the BEST good of another; and while it’s nice and pleasant to be able to manifest love while being “nice”, love can also take up a sword and cleave hearts, if it must.  “I came not to bring peace, but the sword”, says Our Blessed Lord (cf. Matthew 10:34); and if He, Who is Love Personified, can do so, then we may be called to do the same.  No one is asked to enjoy that; but sometimes we’re called to do it.

    Make no mistake: you’re quite right to say that our intentions must be pure, and that we must never lose sight of the love for persons which drives our hatred of the sin which destroys them; but we must also never mistake necessary combat for “lack of love”.


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    madge says:

    All these words can be misunderstood a million ways; such is why virtual communication is so limited and problematic.  We have to work with what we have.
    Just as love (and I wasn’t making the mistake of considering the emotional or sentimental definition of love instead of what Paul was really meaning here) can be misunderstood, so can words like “combat”.  He was able to really hate the sin, really love the sinner.  I don’t see that actually done in the lived experience of people very often.  Not that it isn’t possible, because it is, but it is very easy for us–all of us–to lump our feelings about abortion, or whatever the issue, into our feelings about the people who participate in these things we consider evil.
    Of course, our doing so serves well the motives of those who pursue these causes for political or religious-political gain.  it is far easier to motivate people to be against something than it is to be for them to work for constructive change.  It is easier, to name one example among many, to protest abortion clinics than it is to adopt the challenging children that result from being unwanted at home or to support an unmarried teenage girl when she finds herself pregnant and her parents throw her out and her boyfriend does too.  Jesus was fierce in his championing of the poor, the vulnerable, and the outcast, but he did not primarily define himself by what he was AGAINST.
    One aside:  I don’t really feel like I’ve been rebutted here: challenged, surely, picked at, absolutely, engaged in an “us’ ” them sort of tug of war, for sure.  I do not think, however, that some of the people who responded to me has their primary image of me, as a child of God.  I’ve seen an “attack first, ask questions later” approach to diverse opinions on this board that frankly makes me eager to end this conversation and move on to more productive work.


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    Paladin says:

    Madge wrote:
     
    One aside:  I don’t really feel like I’ve been rebutted here: challenged, surely, picked at, absolutely, engaged in an “us’ ” them sort of tug of war, for sure.
     
    Well… at the risk of sounding indelicate: that’s one of the disadvantages of using insinuation, rather than flat-out statements of opinion.  One of your very first comments (to which I first replied, in fact) loaded a paragraph with (what you seemingly thought to be) dour observations about the Duggar children (e.g. predicting that the girls would be at higher-than-normal risk of being trapped in abusive marriages, predicting that none of them would attend college [though I’ll admit, I’m not quite sure why that’d be a kiss of death, anyway–but nevermind], etc.), and then wry suggested that we’ll “wait and see if they’re truly ‘free’ (complete with “scare quotes”) or not”.  The insinuations were certainly refuted, and rather soundly.
     
    I do not think, however, that some of the people who responded to me has their primary image of me, as a child of God.
     
    And one of my very points, in this late phase of the conversation, is that you don’t have nearly enough information to make that determination.  If someone tosses out what seems to be an outrageous, prejudicial or dangerous idea, of course it’ll be torn apart!  That doesn’t translate into “they must hate me” or “they must not honour me as a child of God”!  I feel confident in saying that, if (hypothetically) you were to abandon the idea in question completely, even those who attacked your idea most strongly would be delighted, and would probably be quite amenable to discussing pleasantries with you over tea (or whatever beverage suits).
     
    I’ve seen an “attack first, ask questions later” approach to diverse opinions on this board that frankly makes me eager to end this conversation and move on to more productive work.
     
    You and I (and everyone else) always need to make a prudential judgment about when and how much to write on any given board, of course; but this *is* a discussion board, you know… not a cocktail party or wedding reception.  Debate is par for the course; it’s nothing personal.  I’ve had people attack my own ideas viciously, while still not assuming that they hate or scorn me, personally. If there are any exceptions, we all reserve the right to take the supposed “offenders” to task (or ignore them, if they’re down-and-out trolls) for a breach of manners (without being hypersensitive about it), and then move on to more tactical points.


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    madge says:

    Actually the culture of this discussion didn’t hit me until some other people were attacked for contributing in ways that betrayed the groupthink.  I wasn’t so much taking anything personally as i was commenting on that attribute.  The lesson for me is to read some other posts before responding, because I do not feel it is worth my time to contribute to conversations with that sort of ethos.  There are plenty of other avenues for genuine conversation among people of good faith.


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    Paladin says:

    Hm.  Well… you’re certainly free to go where you wish, but: might it not be possible that the supposed “group-think” is actually and objectively right?  “Dog in the manger” isn’t the only possible reason for a group of people defending an idea with unanimity; it might also be because it’s true.  I don’t know of many math boards which are very “tolerant” of anyone saying that division by zero might be a valid option among many, y’know…  :)


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    madge says:

    “Truth” is an awfully high minded principle to bring to a selection of topics like whether the Duggar girls spend too much time curling their hair on national television, the “one” appropriate way to address children’s exposure to pornography, and the exact meaning of “yelling and yanking”.  This is much more like a cat fight than an exposition of truth.


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    Paladin says:

    You’re welcome to whatever impression you choose to carry away, of course… but even in these examples, there’s the possibility of applying objective truth, at least to some extent:
     
    1) To anyone who suggested that the Duggar girls “spend too much time curling their hair on TV”, an objective answer might be, “by what standard do you presume to say it’s ‘too much’, at all?”  Questioning one’s starting assumptions is not only a valid way to debate, but it’s always wise.
     
    2) Even in the comments I’ve seen, there wasn’t “one appropriate way” to handle pornography around children, in every possible way.  Even if all were agreed that it should never happen, there are thousands of ways to negotiate HOW to prevent such.  Now, if you’re trying to argue that such exposure is allowable, you can certainly expect some static… not only because the idea will seem outrageous to many, but because the implications of such a choice are extremely grave… and any casual reader of this blog who sees such an idea go unchallenged might think, “Hm.  Nobody objects, and most of them are Christians… I guess it’s okay!”
     
    I’ll leave off of any comments about “yelling and yanking”, in the interests of delicacy and lack of personal experience…  :P


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    Claire says:

    RE:  the topic of this blog AND the topic of “judgmentalism”

    I didn’t know much about Norma McCorvey (‘Jane Roe’ of Roe v. Wade) until just a couple years ago, and I knew absolutely nothing of Sandra Cano (‘Mary Doe’ of Doe v. Bolton — the case which extended abortion rights to the ninth month of pregnancy) until I read McCorvey’s book Won by Love.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who desires to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about abortion in this country — how we could go from the Hippocratic Oath to willfully taking the lives of 40+ million (more than 50 million now) innocent babies.

    There are facts and insights which this book revealed which will forever be written on my heart — life-changing and mind-changing information.

    I am thankful that Norma McCorvey was willing to tell the good, the bad, and the ugly — that she was willing to be honest and transparent. She is to be commended for not pulling any punches, but simply telling it like it was and is.

    This passage from her book stood out to me:

    “In the abortion movement, we always assumed that Christians were mean-spirited, judgmental, pleasure-hating radicals. If they opened their mouths at all, we thought, it was only to condemn sinners and deliver a sermon about the wages of wickedness.

    In fact, I found out we [the abortion movement] were the ones who were mean-spirited, self-righteous, and judgmental. It was those in the abortion movement who were ruled by hatred and spite. My entire frame of reference had changed.”

    page 168 – Won by Love, by Norma McCorvey


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    Claire says:

    madge, what does groupthink mean to you?

    How many people comprise a “group”? 

    If, say, five people see no problem with the Duggars choosing to live as they do, is that “groupthink”? 

    If, say, five people agree with you, is that “groupthink”? 

    I’m curious what you mean by that term.


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    A.Roddy says:

    The ashley poster is right on many things. If you read up on their beleifs, the girls never would disagree on anything in public about heir lifestyle. to the Elisabeth poster the joyfullness of kids isnt meaning you need 15 biological ones. You can enjoy kids in many ways. Some dont even care for being around kids or dont want their own. Are they evil people? no. And I would never pull a babies hair that way. How awful The whole idea of Quiverfull raises a red flag. The kid centric world we live in cant wrap their heads around some that arent kid crazy.


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    Claire says:

    The ashley poster is wrong on many things.  And those who assume the Duggar kids are unhappy are doing just that — assuming.  The author of the piece at this thread commented on the humor which is the norm in their home. 

    Also — AFAIK, Michelle Duggar has never mentioned “pulling a baby’s hair”.  False assumptions and accusationa have been a common problem throughout this thread. 

    Most families I know are not kid centric at all.  Many parents are career-centric and are not at home nearly as much as the Duggars. 

    “Quiverful” doesn’t equal “kid centric”.  It is simply a philosophy of receiving all the children the Lord wants to give a family.  Some Quiverful have only one or two families; very few (If any) have as many children as the Duggars.

    One thing is certain:  If people don’t want children, they should not conceive them.


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    Claire says:

    Oops.  I ran out of time to edit my most recent post, so I’ll have to make the correction here:

    “Quiverful” doesn’t equal “kid centric”.  It is simply a philosophy of receiving all the children the Lord wants to give a family.  Some Quiverful have only one or two children (not families); very few (If any) have as many children as the Duggars.


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    jess says:

    The duggar girls aren’t free. Their lives are full of obligation. They are the ones keeping the household running, their brothers and sisters fed, in clean clothing, and educated because their mother is too busy caring for Josie. When 10 kids got sick with chicken pox Jess and Jinger praised Jim Bob for caring for his kids even though it wasn’t his jurisdiction. It amazes me that he can father 19 kids and caring for them somehow isn’t his responsibility when they are not sick.
    None of these girls have any kind of freedom to chose what kind of life they want for themselves. If they have goals or dreams beyond living in their parent’s house caring for their siblings we never get to see it. Jana got to do her mission trip as long as she took her twin brother along to chaperone her. Josh at least got to have a business and get married but there’s no way Jim Bob or Michelle is marrying off their daugthers when Josie requires so much of Michelle’s attention.


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    Claire says:

    jess, have you been watching the program?  If so, you know the older girls are helping to take care of Josie; Michelle is busy with all of the children.  JimBob is able to be at home, and he stays busy with them as well.

    In actuality, no one anywhere is absolutely free; everyone’s lives are full of obligations, at least from the time they enter school.   

    The Duggar girls do experience a freedom which is unique in our culture, and their lives seem to be very joyful.  I grew up in the typical American teen experience, and their lives are much more stable and joyful than my family’s was. 

    Whatever lifestyle one chooses, there will be pluses and minuses.  The women’s liberation movement made many false promises; now leaders admit no woman can be SuperWoman and do it all.   Whatever one chooses, there will be trade-offs.

    Your phrase “there’s no way Jim Bob or Michelle is marrying off their daugthers” is unnecessarily negative.  They didn’t “marry off” Josh; he chose his wife.  There really is no need for such harsh judgments.  None of us knows what their younger children will do in the future.

    To me this is the bottom line:  They do not judge others who do not choose to live as they do, and I do not see why anyone should judge them for living as they do.

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