Saturday, December 20, 2014

Dunderheads and Duggars

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar are an Arkansas (Tonitown) family too long on the farm.  They've got 19 kids at the moment and no one would be surprised if more aren't on the way.

Talk about a massive environmental footprint!  The kids are growing up, and doubtless most will get married and have their own massive families and oh dear god when will it end?

You have maybe heard about the Duggars before.  They've got their own reality show on TeeVee called - you guessed it - "19 Kids and Counting."  It's on the Learning Channel.  Boy is that an oxymoronic kind of situation.  Obviously, the Duggars haven't learned a damn thing.

Why would any couple in this day and age bring so many kids into the world?  What possible reason, other than transcendent insanity or sexual addiction would prompt such behavior?  Oh, maybe religion!

Back in April, Amanda Marcotte, in an article at The Daily Beast, "Sex Scandal Rocks the Duggars' Christian Patriarchy Movement," noted that the Duggars are part of "a fringe strain of fundamentalist Christianity dubbed the 'Christian patriarchy' or sometimes the 'Quiverfull' movement, and while there is a lot of internal diversity to the movement, they generally preach a combination of beliefs that run counter to mainstream America: absolute female submission, a ban on dating, homeschooling, a rejection of higher education for women, and shunning of contraception in favor of trying to have as many children as humanly possible."

Like many fundy Christians, they often hide their rabid ideology behind sweet smiles and pious blather.  That means, says Ms. Marcotte, that Michelle Duggar is "able to act like she's just like any other reality TV star, giving sex tips and sharing recipes.  Jim Bob has also been able to turn their fame into an opportunity to get political power, chumming around with presidential candidates and speaking at more mainstream conservative events."

All of this is a planned "charm offensive," claims Marcotte, that has "softened up resistance. ... The fact that Republicans have started to step up the anti-contraception rhetoric lately appears, in part, to be the result of this tiny group of extremists [sic] Christians putting a smiley face on absolutist anti-contraception sentiments."

Actually, these fundy goofballs are not following Jesus at all.  They may call themselves "Christians" but they have taken bits and pieces of the bible, and then twisted those to serve their own purposes to create a monstrous whirlpool of religious goofiness.  And because for so many people the word, Christian, denotes godliness and goodness, they're able to get away with promoting their nonsense as if it came from the Lord himself.

The Duggars come out of the same mold as the rest of the right wing fanatics - strip them of their "Christian" facade, and you'll find self-righteous bigots who are antigay, anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-gay marriage, anti-women, anti-public schools - basically just run-of-the-mill FAUX News followers.

It's their religion, though, that gets them into trouble.  In their belief system. women exist for the male leaders of the movement.  The job of women is to have as many children as possible.  Men, especially those in leadership positions, are patriarchs of the world and women must be subservient to them and obey them.

The Patriarchy movement also promotes the idea that personhood begins at the moment of conception, and opposes abortion for any reason.  One Duggar daughter, Jessa, has gone so far as to compare abortion to the Holocaust.

As far as religious affiliation goes, they claim to be “independent Baptists,” which means very little for religious kooks set up shop everyday in some corner of the universe and call themselves "Baptists," even though they disagree on every issue except baptism by immersion.

All the children are homeschooled, which, unfortunately means a ton of people are growing up ignorant and bigoted.  The Duggar children are also subject to very strict rules as to clothing and the people with whom they can associate.  Ms. Marcotte said dating is banned, but I think not.  I think after a certain age, one is allowed to date so long as their is a chaperone present.

The Patriarchy movement has received some bad publicity of late due to allegations of child abuse and adultery.  One of the "leaders," Doug Phillips, president of Vision Forum Ministries, admitted to "a lengthy, inappropriate relationship with a woman" [not his wife] and resigned his presidency.  Eventually, Vision Forum Ministries went under.

Bill Gothard, the other main leader of the movement, who headed up an outfit called the "Institute in Basic Life Principles," also resigned his position not long ago after a number of allegations of sexual abuse by women working in the organization.

The Duggars are friends and close to both of these people.  Vision Forum "has used Michelle Duggar in their efforts to demonize contraception" ... and gave "her an award for 'Mother of the Year' because she had so many children.

Gothard's outfit has also been connected to the Duggars and the Duggars have attended many patriarchy events held by the Institute in Basic Life Principles. 

The Duggar story is indicative of the fact that people who are ignorant of Biblical scholarship can use the Bible to come up with a whole host of weird religious beliefs and claim that they are of God, when, in fact, they are merely are dangerous and stupid!

Or as one Swedish bishop once put it:  The Bible is the most dangerous book in the world.   Every evil cause on the face of the earth has been justified by the Bible!

And finally, the Duggars are not a nice, Christian family worth emulating.  They are smarmy religious freaks.  They teach nonsense.  Their beliefs border on insanity.  What they proclaim has nothing whatsoever to do with the Jesus of the Gospels! 

If you should accidentally tune in to their show on the Learning Channel, change the channel asap!

Click here to read the entirety of Ms. Marcotte's article at The Daily Beast.

1 comment:

William Kendall said...

Once upon a time, long ago in the Before Time, The Learning Channel was actually about learning.

Those days are well behind us.

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