Thursday, September 6, 2012

Why the Duggars give me the willies משפחת דאגר: למה היא מפחידה אותי

Five Things That Bother Me About the Duggars:

[For those readers unfamiliar with them, hover your mouse over Michelle Duggar's name in the box to the left of this post]

1. The parents don't own up to setting rules or forbidding things. They couch their rules in language that calls them "personal commitments / beliefs [of ours]". I believe that this is a deliberate attempt to make their lifestyle palatable to The Rest Of Us: We recoil at rules forbidding what for us is acceptable; but we can't argue against personal beliefs or commitments.

2. The bumper sticker allegedly on their car: "Evolution is a lie / Save America please" [By the way, I looked for these online and couldn’t find a single one, not even in the nuttiest of wing-nut merch sites]. Why just America? Evolution is (or is not, in their belief system) a global concept. Ergo, why should rebutting it save only America? What's holy about America, that only it deserves saving from heathen beliefs? What about the rest of the world?

3. Christian mail - It’s hard for me to willingly find links for this post, because in my naivete, I actually wrote the Duggars a letter and ever since have been deluged with Christian spam. After months of spam cleanup efforts, and getting it down to just a few mails a week, I visited the Duggar blog and when I checked my mail afterwards, there they were, smiling out at me from my Inbox: mails from half a dozen “different” fundy Christian groups that all come from the same source. Here I go again…Help! I’m drowning in Jesus!

4. The children’s education - Firstly, I want to say that I’m not anti-homeschooling, and there are definite advantages thereto, a big one being that the family is not tied to the schoolday or school calendar. Kid wakes up with an earache or tummyache? No missed work or attendance to worry about, just take care of your kid. Out-of-town mid-week event you want to attend? No problem. Feel like visiting a destination when it’s cheapest? Go right ahead and make your reservation. It must actually be quite liberating. Looked at from this angle, it’s not hard for me to believe that a homeschooling parent of 19 could indeed spend individual time with each kid daily, a fact that I couldn’t even take for granted when my “mere” three were living at home.

But the older children study law? And medicine? Huh? Wouldn’t studying medicine ultimately lead to discussions of, uh, human biology and cells and, uh…evolution? Unless what’s being referred to is folk medicine…? Or folk law? Is there such a thing as folk law?

5. The graduates are “studying under professionals”? What professionals? What licensed nurse or nurse midwife would or could ethically give them instruction? Just because one is a practitioner of the healing arts does not authorize them to teach them, and certainly not to non-enrollees of an accredited program. What’s going on here? Well Michelle explains [why cannot Jana speak for herself?] that Jana’s been assisting a doula, who by definition is herself an assistant. So the way I read it, Jana is apprenticing-to-an-assistant-to-a-midwife. That’s one crowded delivery room, at least three of the occupants of which are non-medical practitioners. What birthing mom would agree to that?

OK, five’s all I’ve got; I’ll gladly add more if anyone has contributions, but this is enough to give me the creeps for now.


  1. There are many who share you feelings regarding the Duggars and their ilk.

    Fall 2012 Open Letter to the Duggars, Bates & TLC:

  2. The Duggars give me the creeps too, and I have never seen a full episode. Well, one, maybe. It was one episode at the beginning of their run when they were building the new house. I think they only had 14 kids then. I was never sure how they supported the herd; you would have to sell a whole lot of real estate in NW Arkansas to feed, clothe, educate, nurture, and shelter 16 people. In the pre-TLC era, I understand they received lots of assistance from neighbors and close friends. The word "schnorring" comes to mind.

    As the copulation explosion continued, the show became even more troubling. Who in the world uses national TV to announce a pregnancy and then another pregnancy, surrounded by their ever-wholesome children with fixed smiles. I'll bet the kids were all calculating which one of them won the lottery. What lucky winner would be responsible for the care and well-being of the newest offspring?

    I've always wondered that when they ran out of J's, would they name the last child Jesus and retire?

    By the way, studying with a doula does not beget medical training. A doula, by definition, is a non-medical assistant.