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Gimme That Old Time Religion

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I don't know what Gothard would say about fertility testing, but it's clear Michelle Duggar has not left reproduction totally up to God. She tried to get pregnant as often as possible by using natural family planning. And boy did she succeed! This seems to me to be theologically inconsistent.

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I have some general questions that have probably been answered other places but I feel like every answer I see is all over the place. I was hoping someone here has maybe looked into it more than I have.

 

- Quiverfull - does that mean 20 kids?

 

- 19 Kids and Counting - I'm super confused on this one. So they had a memorial for Jubilee who was apparently Duggar kid #20 (or maybe earlier, but she'd make it 20), right?  Since she was stillborn?  Which is hearbreaking!  But by their definition isn't she one of their kids? And I know that's not counting their one miscarriage that was publicized. I totally understand but, at what age do the kids count or not count anymore? If one of the older or adult kids dies (and please know I hope this would never ever happen but when you've got 19 there are odds of accidents etc.) - does it back up to 18 kids and counting again?  That really bothers me.

 

- Courtships - I get that the guy asks the girl's Dad and then the girl about courtship and I get the feeling that she has to say Yes to the courtship, but I'm confused on the other rules.  How formal is it? Who can break the courtship?  Is it just the girl? Just the boy or girl?  Can their parents? (if so Jill better watch it with her "full frontal hugs"!)

 

Maybe I don't even want to know, but this show's got me curious about something I'm so totally unfamiliar with.

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I suspect that Michelle and Jim-Bob only "count" a child if the child can be lined up with everyone else for publicity pictures and appearances.  I also think that's why everyone had to go on the oldest girls' book tour, and why Josh is always coming back to Arkansas and elsewhere for appearances: so they can all be together in the picture.  I suspect if an older child died that they would still be "19", but there would be a picture or some memorial carried around as a placeholder.  Which creeps me out, but since the only reason these people are famous is the number of kids they have, they have to keep that going and keep reinforcing it by gather all the kids together.

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I was under the impression that many Christian churches were not in agreement with the Quiverfull philosophy of having as many kids as possible without regards to your individual financial status. I believe I read somewhere that even some Baptist denominations questioned the Quiverfull idealogy.

So it would make sense that the Gothard Crusaders like the Duggars, Bates, Nelsons, Paines, Arndt's, Heppners, Jeubs of the world created their own home church because a mainstream Christian denomination like United Methodist, Presbyterian or Roman Catholic doesn't support their beliefs.

 

I could go into the R.C. church's anti-contraception beliefs which is very similar to the Quiverfull philosophy,  but I'm not here to start a forum war.

 

A note to the person who mentioned the 7th Day Adventists: my sister's mother in law was involved in that church and left a few years later. She, too, said they were cultish.

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I think that they only count actual children not miscarriages.  Jubilee was actually a miscarriage not a stillbirth albeit a very late miscarriage.  They tend to say x children on earth and y in heaven if they follow standard fundie speak. 

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Concerning the whole courting couples not being allowed to hig or hold hands things, so say, a couple were out and their car broke down and it is cold out... Are they not allowed to hug to stay warm? To comfort each other if one is greiving? A side hug wouldn't cit it for me if we got into an accident and were waiting for help to arrive!

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I was under the impression that many Christian churches were not in agreement with the Quiverfull philosophy of having as many kids as possible without regards to your individual financial status. I believe I read somewhere that even some Baptist denominations questioned the Quiverfull idealogy.

So it would make sense that the Gothard Crusaders like the Duggars, Bates, Nelsons, Paines, Arndt's, Heppners, Jeubs of the world created their own home church because a mainstream Christian denomination like United Methodist, Presbyterian or Roman Catholic doesn't support their beliefs.

 

I could go into the R.C. church's anti-contraception beliefs which is very similar to the Quiverfull philosophy,  but I'm not here to start a forum war.

 

A note to the person who mentioned the 7th Day Adventists: my sister's mother in law was involved in that church and left a few years later. She, too, said they were cultish.

I have the impression that Quiverfull isn't even very popular in conservative evangelical anti-birth control groups who do endorse abstinence under many conditions. 

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I know a ton of conservative evangelical sorts and I don't think I know a single one in real life, and only maybe 3 online, who straight up don't use any form of limiting their family size (natural family planning or artificial birth control). I suspect, though she has never mentioned it, that one tries to get pregnant, and the other 2 just let it happen as it does and one has 12 kids (1 set of twins) and done, and the other has 4 (she's in her mid-30s so could still have more but has had those 4 in about 8 years so not Michelle-rate, at least). The last one has said she doesn't consider herself to be Quiverfull, so I think that some take it to mean that you *try* to have as many as possible like Michelle. I know a handful of people who practice natural family planning rather than artificial birth control, one of whom has had 4 kids in something like 15 years of marriage so clearly it's working for them. And I know a whole horde of conservative evangelicals who either do something preventative or are just not very fertile.  I think the general belief among most mainstream evangelical denominations is that while children are a blessing from the Lord, it is nowhere stated in the Bible that people should pursue blessings of any kind to excess, and thus are within their right to choose how many blessings they pursue, knowing that "surprises" happen.

 

This is a little more for the thread about things about Duggars that drive us nuts, but it drives me NUTS how whenever asked about family size, JB & M just say "We believe children are a blessing from the Lord". Well, I do too, but I haven't felt the need to overburden my household with them, thank you. Say the truth, which is that you WANT to have as many kids as you can for whatever wacky reasons you have.

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Quiverfull is a religious movement.

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Quiverfull

 

Ah interesting, thank you. I found it especially interesting that this link anyway says no planning at all - whether that results in no kids or many kids. It seems Michelle's been tracking things and trying for kids for a long time, not just letting it happen (or not). And now that it's not just happening anymore she's seeing a fertility doctor?  Okayyy... not that this family seems real consistent on rules or beliefs at any given point in time, but that really surprised me. I feel for any of the girls who may end up being unable to have children for whatever reason. It seems like they may be really ostracized by the family even though they technically shouldn't be if it's all up to God. God might just decide a different fate for one or more of them.

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According to the Duggar Family Blog: http://duggarsblog.blogspot.com/p/faqs.html

 

Q: Are the Duggars part of the QuiverFull movement?
A: The Duggars write in their second book, A Love That Multiplies: "Even though Wikipedia and some Internet blogs report that we are part of a QuiverFull movement, we are not. We are simply Bible-believing Christians who desire to follow God's Word and apply it to our lives" (page 92).

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Jubilee was actually their 21st child. They had a loss between Smuggar and the twins. J'Caleb was the name. They didn't even mention him/her in the letter to Jubilee. J'Chelle will always have 19 kids. Because that's how many can make money for her. 

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Thanks Ljohnson, that's what I thought but didn't even realize they had named the previous child who miscarried (how sad is it that I'd forgotten this? although I didn't watch the show back then).  I don't really care either way how many kids they have or how they choose to count them, but I just find it... weird, I guess.

Edited by NikSac

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It's been said a few times but to clarify - JB & M did not visit a fertility specialist, they went to a high-risk pregnancies OB-GYN. TLC spun it in the promos as if it were a fertility specialist, and I think AT&T put that in their little synopsis on my TV Guide.  A person who doesn't use any artificial birth control, even a normal person who doesn't view babies as trophies, would logically be seeing a high-risk OB at the age Michelle is, in the sense of "If I get pregnant, what are my risks, what can I do to keep the pregnancy, etc".

 

 

We are simply Bible-believing Christians who desire to follow God's Word and apply it to our lives

 

I know I already said this, but COME ON.... MILLIONS of people out there are Bible-believing Christians who desire to follow God's word and apply it to their lives and don't consider having a million kids to be the practical application of that concept.

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Oh thanks JessDVD, I didn't realize that. I probably read it and missed it. I still personally think they should be worried more about avoiding more babies at this point than another pregnancy, but not my decision obviously.  You're right it makes sense if they're going to risk it, at least they're seeing a doctor about it.

Edited by NikSac

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Jubilee was actually their 21st child. They had a loss between Smuggar and the twins. J'Caleb was the name. They didn't even mention him/her in the letter to Jubilee. J'Chelle will always have 19 kids. Because that's how many can make money for her.

I thought J'Caleb was before Smuggar, the miscarriage that was "due to Michelle having been on the pill".

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Ah interesting, thank you. I found it especially interesting that this link anyway says no planning at all - whether that results in no kids or many kids. It seems Michelle's been tracking things and trying for kids for a long time, not just letting it happen (or not). And now that it's not just happening anymore she's seeing a fertility doctor? Okayyy... not that this family seems real consistent on rules or beliefs at any given point in time, but that really surprised me. I feel for any of the girls who may end up being unable to have children for whatever reason. It seems like they may be really ostracized by the family even though they technically shouldn't be if it's all up to God. God might just decide a different fate for one or more of them.

And surely there will be at least one gay child within the 19 kids?

Oh thanks JessDVD, I didn't realize that. I probably read it and missed it. I still personally think they should be worried more about avoiding more babies at this point than another pregnancy, but not my decision obviously.  You're right it makes sense if they're going to risk it, at least they're seeing a doctor about it.

Unfortunately, the risks due to Michelle's age, the risks are simply there. I don't think the doctor gave them any advice on how to mitigate risks in this situation.

Edited by DangerousMinds
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And surely there will be at least one gay child within the 19 kids?

Unfortunately, the risks due to Michelle's age, the risks are simply there. I don't think the doctor gave them any advice on how to mitigate risks in this situation.

He basically said there was nothing they could do differently (I assumed that to mean in order to catch another living baby -- nothing about long-term health risks for that baby who might survive).

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It's possible they really AREN'T part of the Quiverful movement, if the quiverful movement truly preaches accepting God's will, and not trying to edge it either way. It seems that the Duggars definitely do whatever they can to have a baby. Which to me, is about the same as doing what you can to not have a baby.

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They used to promote Quiverful on their old website.  About the time they got the show such references began disappearing.

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Quiverfull is such a lose group anyway. It's mostly just people who believe the philosophy exposed in the book. But it's not a denomination or a group per se, or a church. 

 

Back in the mid to late 90's when people really started latching on it, most people heard about it through homeschool conventions. So you had people across the religious spectrum starting to adopt the philosophy or the mind set, if you will.

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Exactly- there is no Quiverful leader.  So if the tide of what Quiverful meant changed, it's possible the Duggars say they aren't that.

 

I know multiple people with a tattoo (don't question that the bible kinda says not to do that...) of a quiver of arrows, with the Bible verse or it's number tattooed on them.  They say they aren't "Quiverful" because it is too general a phrase. They  will only say they are Christian, and this is in the Bible. One has 6 kids, the other 8.  One went many years without having kids, and she told me that if 3 was all she was meant to have, her quiver was as full as God wanted it to be.  They didn't track anything- God would do what he wanted.

Edited by Skittl1321

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Changing the subject a little, many on the Dugger forums wonder why, if the children are so well-raised, that the parents need to set courting standards and the courting couple needs to be chaperoned. I think the answer, in part, is that the Gothard system will blame the parents if the children do not turn out well, and the whole family can lose favor with the group if a child "fails". So everything must be structured as much as possible to make sure that doesn't happen. Michelle especially would be crushed if she were dethroned from Gothardism. Some people people like Michelle thrive under the system, but others are beaten down by it. Make no mistake, the parents are under a great deal of pressure, too, to keep up with ever-increasing standards. 

 

So why get into such a system in the first place? I read this quote at the Under Much Grace blog, and it pretty well sums it up:  "Rather than educating children, the option [high demand homeschooling] becomes a means of raising the fantasy family when kids turn out to be the adults that their parents desire." 

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They used to promote Quiverful on their old website.  About the time they got the show such references began disappearing.

I saw a clip of the girls on TBN discussing their book and the interviewer mentioned Quiverfull, and they didn't say they were not a part of that movement (I guess you would call it a movement). 

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Exactly- there is no Quiverful leader.  So if the tide of what Quiverful meant changed, it's possible the Duggars say they aren't that.

 

I know multiple people with a tattoo (don't question that the bible kinda says not to do that...) of a quiver of arrows, with the Bible verse or it's number tattooed on them.  They say they aren't "Quiverful" because it is too general a phrase. They  will only say they are Christian, and this is in the Bible. One has 6 kids, the other 8.  One went many years without having kids, and she told me that if 3 was all she was meant to have, her quiver was as full as God wanted it to be.  They didn't track anything- God would do what he wanted.

But is it acceptable for them to accept government public assistance or be in debt? Because it can get very expensive to keep having kid after kid if you're not very wealthy.

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But is it acceptable for them to accept government public assistance or be in debt? Because it can get very expensive to keep having kid after kid if you're not very wealthy.

 

I'd say that's up to the individuals to decide for themselves.  Most conservative Christians though "purpose" to live debt free.

 

 

I've known about 10 families over the years that live by the "Quiverful" mantra (i.e., not Mormon or Catholic, I've known a few of those too), whether or not they call themselves that (the two I described above were just the ones with tattoos) ranging from 6-14 kids.  All of them had plenty of money for the kids. They live in big houses (though they do share rooms) and some go to expensive private schools (others homeschool, of course), none of them are isolated like the Duggars (or I probably wouldn't know them.) Actually, the Mormons and Catholics I knew tended to have enough money as well.

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The IBLP/ATI board has issued a public statement regarding Bill Gothard. It's wishy-washy and extremely disappointing, but considering that they utilized David Gibbs, Jr. as the "outside counsel", it's about what you could expect. It's believed that NONE of the victims of sexual harassment/molestation were interviewed at all. The door is left open for Gothard to step back into leadership after a time of "reconciliation". Not much different than the whitewashing that happened during the scandal of 1980. Here's the link:  http://iblp.org/news/time-transition

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I watched a made for TV movie last night about Warren Jeffs of the FLDS. It was really creepy because he kept admonishing the women to "keep sweet." More than that, though, the ideology of the two cults (FLDS and Gothard) seems to be identical (minus the multiple wives). I was really stunned as I watched it as I saw not just the same concepts, but the same terminology, being used.

 

The women aren't educated and are married off young, so that they will have children and become emotionally as well as financially dependent on their spouses. Women are seen as weak vessels who must be cared for an protected by constant monitoring and correction. 

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Indeed it was.  I think they are showing it again in the early hours tonight/tomorrow morning. 

Edited by Absolom

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OMG, I saw the Jeffs movie followed by the documentary as well and I was freaked out by the parallels between FLDS and ATI/IBLP.

When that one girl told of how all the women were expected to "keep sweet, block out emotions and plaster a smile on your face at all times," I was like wow, sound familiar?

Between that, women being required to keep their hair long, pictures of girls posing with violins and women being encouraged to birth as many babies as possible it was like another version of Gothard.

Not surprising that both leaders are sexual perverts who took advantage of young girls.

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Does anyone know if Gothard was at Jill's wedding? It boggles the mind how the Duggars keep such sweet fellowship with a guy who had been dismissed from the ministry he founded for admittedly being sexually improper with young girls! 

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It turns out that Hobby Lobby has given quite a bit to ATI including selling the Big Sandy property for 10 dollars.

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I started watching (14 Kids and Counting) because I thought the show was about how such a large family deals with day to day issues (cooking for so many, laundry, etc.). I found it mildly interesting and watched additional specials as they appeared. I heard some noise in the background about the Duggars being members of the Quiverfull movement, but I wasn't that interested in the family or the movement.

 

In fact, my initial reservations about the family were that they were SO UNINTERESTING. How could there be so many children in one family, and none of them be interesting at all? They all seemed to be reasonably good looking and pleasant, but just really uninteresting people. My objections to the family were simply that there is really no reason for that particular gene pool to be so over-represented in the general population.

 

Recently, though, they seem to have become much more open about the extreme beliefs underlying their decisions. In the early specials, their religious beliefs were very vague (Christian!), but now they seem more than happy to let America in on their strange "courting" beliefs, and their ultra-conservative politics. I wonder if they are doing so to keep the cameras rolling, or if they are confident enough in their popularity that they believe that the cameras will keep rolling once their beliefs are public?

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There is a not insignificant portion of the viewing audience of this show who loves the Duggars and supports how they live.  Not all are Gothardists or Quiverfulls (although some surely are) but many are just conservative Christians, usually homeschoolers, who enjoy seeing a family on TV who lives according to similar values since they feel those are underrepresented on television.  I know this because I live in Oklahoma.  So . . . . need I say more?

 

If anything I'm willing to bet the ratings went UP when they started being more open about their beliefs.

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There is a not insignificant portion of the viewing audience of this show who loves the Duggars and supports how they live.  Not all are Gothardists or Quiverfulls (although some surely are) but many are just conservative Christians, usually homeschoolers, who enjoy seeing a family on TV who lives according to similar values since they feel those are underrepresented on television.  I know this because I live in Oklahoma.  So . . . . need I say more?

 

If anything I'm willing to bet the ratings went UP when they started being more open about their beliefs.

 

Have to agree with you there Rhondinella. Even those who disagree probably became more interested because it became more controversial (<ahem> who me?).  I originally thought "Wow these people are obsessed with kids" but more recently have become pretty interested in their (IMO) extremist beliefs and behaviors. Not that I agree, but that's one more viewer who never would've watched the Duggars before they got so ' out there' or anyway so open about being so 'out there.' 

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Yeah, I have only started to watch now as I've become more aware of their creepiness. Just want to see the crazy play out!

 

I know... me too. It's kinda embarrassing and yet I can't look away. I like learning about other cultures but sometimes it's hard to play this off as cultural learning as opposed to just "can't look away from the train wreck."

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I agree that a great deal of the Duggar viewing audience encompasses Christians who are not as conservative as the Duggars, but still think everything they do is awesome. Some of my own extended family has said "well, if you look at how nice and polite those kids turned out, you really can't argue with what they are doing." This is from people who wear pants, have only a couple kids, and believe in higher education ... even for the girls. As a Christian myself, there are things the Duggars believe that I believe too. But I can't turn off the critical thinking part of my brain that says that the belief that all girls should be wives and mothers, all girls should eschew higher education, all wives should make as many babies as they can is just plain wrong. And making up a bunch of extra rules that aren't in scripture is exactly what Jesus Himself condemned in the Pharisees. I keep my mouth shut with my family though. Thus, I suppose, the need to vent here.

Edited by Libby96
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I definitely think the majority of the Duggar viewing audience neither knows nor cares who Gothard is, or what ATI is, and just enjoy watching family-friendly wholesome TV. As the girls age and stay at home and don't seem to be pursuing much of a career, some of the people I know who previously were in the first category, have begun questioning their approach.

 

I mean, how many people watch the show each week? It's in the millions, isn't it? How many people post on PTV and FJ and the like? Maybe a thousand? (I don't know, but that would be my guess)

 

The whole rules that aren't in Scripture thing - probably all Christian families have, at one time or another, specific rules that aren't explicitly stated in Scripture. You can't date until you're 16. You have an 11pm curfew. You can't drive with friends in the car until you're 17. You must be in public places or at home with parents around with your boyfriend. Etc. And many of these rules might be results of bad decisions made by the parents. Like let's say there's a (this isn't based on anyone specific but I'm sure they exist) married couple who had sex before marriage and wish they hadn't (which many completely legitimately normal people might be), and they feel that a big part of what led to that happening, was being allowed to be at each other's houses without parents there. So, they have a rule that their kids have to have an adult present in the home (not creepily staring over their shoulder) when a boyfriend or girlfriend is over. Obviously, the dedicated kid is going to work around any and all rules, but this sort of rule would probably prevent many if not most cases of "one thing leading to another". I think most people can get behind this school of thought here. JB & M just seem to have to take it all up a notch, like they do practically everything. The principle is good, the execution is way, way off.

Edited by JessDVD
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"well, if you look at how nice and polite those kids turned out, you really can't argue with what they are doing."

Every time I hear this, I wonder if they're watching the same show I am.  The kids are hellions who are rude and dismissive towards anyone even slightly different than themselves. 

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I think the ratings are a little over one million? The ratings were up last season because of Jessa and Jill courting.

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