August 4, 2007

Duggar Derangement Syndrome Round-Up

Posted by Adam Graham in : Family Matters

We’re told that anything goes these days. We as people have never been so free to have choice with tolerance. The line goes that whatever you do is fine and you have the right to do it without anyone judging you.

You can be childless by choice. Premarital sex is in, way in. Cohabitation (i.e. living together, shacking up (archaic) Homosexuality and even gay marriage are okay. Individuals have the right to do whatever they want. If you don’t want an abortion, don’t have one as my pal Radical Russ opines, “don’t have one.”

In addition, adults have the right to enjoy their lives and to adopt kids. Single parents, same sex couples, really whose business is it anyway? Not only does everything go, but no one can say another’s “lifestyle choice” is wrong. That’s hate, equal to racism.

Yet, are there limits to this tolerance? Yes. And we found out today. For there’s a couple in Arkansas that can expose the true nature of the left more than all my blog posts and podcasts combined. You see Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar had their 17th child:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – It’s a girl – again – for the Duggars. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar welcomed their 17th child, and seventh daughter, into the world Thursday.

Jennifer Danielle was born at 10:01 a.m. at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Rogers, Ark., the Duggars said in an interview. Jennifer weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces and arrived five days after Michelle’s due date.

Less than 30 minutes after giving birth, the Duggars already were talking of having more.

“We’d love to have more,” Michelle said, adding that the girls are outnumbered seven to 10 in the family. “We love the ruffles and lace.”

Jennifer joins the fast-growing Duggar brood, who live in Tontitown in a 7,000-square-foot home. All the children – whose names start with the letter J – are home-schooled.

The oldest is 19 and the youngest, before Jennifer, is almost 2 years old.

“We are just so grateful to God for another gift from him,” said Jim Bob Duggar, 42, a former state representative. “We are just so thankful to him that everything went just very well.”

Jennifer joins siblings Joshua, 19; John David, 17; Janna, 17; Jill, 16; Jessa, 14; Jinger, 13; Joseph, 12; Josiah, 11; Joy-Anna, 9; Jedidiah, 8; Jeremiah, 8; Jason 7; James 6; Justin, 4; Jackson, 3; Johannah, almost 2.

The family includes two sets of twins.

Hat Tip: Right Mind

I knew there would be fireworks from across the blogosphere and MySpace. Several people have decided that having this many children is a sign of insanity:

There’s this blog , this blog, this blog, this blog, and this MySpacer, This MySpacer, and another MySpacer that just say that. Psychic Donut suggests they’re stupid (we’re at the real high level of discussion here) and curses that stupid supportive community:

What makes this even more annoying is that the community supports this madness with clothing and donations.

Dang! Supportive community. Why can’t all of us have neighbors who couldn’t care less about us:

Because after all, how can the “mother” have a career when she has been pregnant for more than 10 years of her life, and is ready to pop out another?

Apparently, women are free to do anything they’d like except not have a career.

Others get a tad more violent with their feelings. Says one MySpacer (language advisory)

The only thing worse than white trash…is Christian Fundamentalist white trash. I personally volunteer to castrate Jim Bob, remove the (expletive deleted) womb, and de-program the offspring and force them to turn against their own kind. Any of you are welcome to help.

Of course one might say this MySpacer’s a fringe nut, but this has drawn a denouncement from a columnist for a major newspaper. Yes, with all the utter depravity and corruption going on in his home town, Columnist Mark Moford (whose paper apparently considers freaken’ professional language for a newspaper column) ripped into the Duggars when they were last in the news: (Hat Tip: Constitutionally Correct)

Who are you to judge? Who are you to say that the more than slightly creepy 39-year-old woman from Arkansas who just gave birth to her 16th child yes that’s right 16 kids and try not to cringe in phantom vaginal pain when you say it, who are you to say Michelle Duggar is not more than a little unhinged and sad and lost?

And furthermore, who are you to suggest that her equally troubling husband — whose name is, of course, Jim Bob and he’s hankerin’ to be a Republican senator and try not to wince in sociopolitical pain when you say that — isn’t more than a little numb to the real world, and that bringing 16 hungry mewling attention-deprived kids (and she wants more! Yay!) into this exhausted world zips right by “touching” and races right past “disturbing” and lurches its way, heaving and gasping and sweating from the karmic armpits, straight into “Oh my God, what the hell is wrong with you people?”

It’s wrong to be this judgmental. Wrong to suggest that it is exactly this kind of weird pathological protofamily breeding-happy gluttony that’s making the world groan and cry and recoil, contributing to vicious overpopulation rates and unrepentant economic strain and a bitter moral warpage resulting from a massive viral outbreak of homophobic neo-Christians across our troubled and Bush-ravaged land. Or is it?

Wow, of course, this is some of his more dispassionate analysis. He goes on:

I have a friend who used to co-babysit (yes, it required two sitters) for a family of 10 kids, and she reports that they were, almost without fail, manic and hyper and bewildered and attention deprived in the worst way, half of them addicted to prescription meds to calm their neglected nerves and the other half bound for years of therapy due to complete loss of having the slightest clue as to who they actually were, lost in the family crowd, just another blank, needy face at the table. Is this the guaranteed affliction for every child of very large families? Of course not. But I’m guessing it’s more common than you imagine.

Well, I don’t have proof that the Duggar family has this problem, but let’s raise the specter of it. It’s interesting, because Moford isn’t the only one who raises the point.

I have a hard time believing that a kid that grows up with 16 brothers and sisters is happy about never having a childhood (as they jump in to help raise the younger ones), never get a new item but always hand me downs, and probably doesn’t have the faintest clue of what “normal” family means. -Psychic Donut

The parents are so proud of how the older ones take care of the younger ones and raise them, but why should the older children be penalized. ? Of course they (the children) all love it because they don’t know any different, but I did have a childhood and goodness knows I didn’t want or need the responsibility of taking care of anyone but myself at that age. I just think they need to be kids. If the parents want to have all 17 and raise all of them and parent all of them , that’s great! I don’t expect my 9 year old to bathe my 13 month old or dress him, change his diapers, or get him to sleep at night. (I believe the mother has full charge of the child until age 2 and then she passes it on to another)-Army Blogger Wife

Still to me there is a bigger question than these, how can the parents find time to spend with the kids. There are only so many hours in the day and many of those are taken by work/school responsibilities.-Random Thoughts, Do They Have Meaning

Interesting, many people are sympathetic to their argument, but would those same people say that gay adoption is wrong. How do we justify refusing kids an upbringing by a father and mother? What about the case against no fault divorce for married couples with kids? What about keeping taxes so high to pay for well-meaning social programs that women have to work to keep family afloat, shovin’ kids into daycare.

In multiple living situations, the kids are not considered, but now everyone’s worrying about the kids as to whether they’re getting parental love and attention, because everybody (particularly those who have been raised in small families) can’t figure out how they manage it, so therefore they’re not.

Others echo concerns about the environment:

Okay, who the hell has 17 babies and wishes God to bless them with more? Answer: Freaks, that’s who. Helloooo–if everyone had more than a dozen kids, can you honestly see the world being a better place? It would be a damn hell hole! In about 2 weeks, all of the world’s resources would be depleated and we’d be sweating our (expletives) off due to global warming on steroids. –Swanky Beast

They think children are a gift from God. That may be, but they also contribute to pollution, overpopulation, and consumption of our resources. –Run. Light

I didn’t know Arkansas was the nexis of world overpopulation problems. Of course some folks were a tad more drastic in their solutions:

The Hartford Advocate describes Mrs. Duggar in terms I won’t reprint and then goes on:

As my friend Parke says, “Instead of being celebrated, their profligate procreation should be decried and mandatory sterilization imposed immediately upon these crazy people. I propose: a progressive federal tax on children beyond the second one per couple. Or at least eliminating tax deductions for them.”

Jeremy Slater praises China’s one-child policy:

Say what you want about the tenants of Communism, Dude, but you’ve got to hand it to the Chinese when it comes to their strict pro-baby-killin’ stance. One child per family may seem monstrous and cruel until you consider these Arkansas (expletive deleted) crapping out new mouths faster than last night’s taco dinner.

I mean, I certainly can’t think of a compelling argument for NOT blasting Jim Bob (OF COURSE his name is Jim Bob) and his Amazing Vag-O-Matic wife into the cold comfort of deep space. As for his sad gaggle of emotionally-neglected Children of the Corn, the kindest thing would be to send them to 17 separate foster homes. Let them experience for the first time what it’s like to have parents who actually give a (expletive deleted) about you.

Wow, way to show your true colors. Population Control=controlling our lives.

Of course some bloggers have a problem with all these kids belonging to the Duggars. Why don’t they adopt demands one blogger:

After all, it isn’t your fault that millions of unwanted children are suckling at the teat of the government system while your considerable resources are devoted to extending the branches of your divine family tree!…If half those kids were adopted, I’d be a hell of a lot more impressed.

You want to adopt? Go for it. When we have the savings in place, Andrea and I will probably be going that route.  But why harsh someone else for not adopting when they have 17 natural children of their own? Haven’t you been reading all the posts about how this is so bad for their children to have so many siblings and you want to throw in some adopted ones?

Of course, for some the fear runs deeper, more political:

Perhaps the point is this: Why does this sort of bizarre hyperbreeding only seem to afflict antiseptic megareligious families from the Midwest? In other words — assuming Michelle and Jim Bob and their massive brood of cookie-cutter Christian kidbots will all be, as the charming photo suggests, never allowed near a decent pair of designer jeans or a tolerable haircut from a recent decade, and assuming that they will all be tragically encoded with the values of the homophobic asexual Christian right — where are the forces that shall help neutralize their effect on the culture? Where is the counterbalance, to offset the damage?

Where is, in other words, the funky tattooed intellectual poetess who, along with her genius anarchist husband, is popping out 16 funky progressive intellectually curious fashion-forward pagan offspring to answer the Duggar’s squad of über-white future Wal-Mart shoppers? Where is the liberal, spiritualized, pro-sex flip side? Verily I say unto thee, it ain’t lookin’ good.-Mark Moford

And I don’t know, maybe I am the only one who notices but generally all the idiots, non-educated people, losers and low-lives have tons of kids, while the ones who really should be having them have either none, or one to two. So maybe I am off the rocker yet again, but at times it feels as if we are literally out-bred by people who definitely shouldn’t run the country.  -Psychic Donut

There’s some truth to this. The Fertility Gap has been covered in numerous places. The education of the heart and mind being done by homeschoolers is a positive thing and with the state of our world, many of the current generation of homeschoolers will be the leaders of tomorrow. Not all posts leapt to the visceral level, we’ve seen. Writes Joy:

And, while my first reaction was to make a snarky remark about this family, I thought of Sam, and realized, who the hell am I to judge this family? And, well, my aunt recently sent me my Victory family tree, which is far more horizontal than vertical — both of my paternal grandparents were born into huge families.

An Agnostic delivered the wisest thoughts of the day on this matter, writing on the Discovery Forums and later on her blog:

Those on this board who wish to attach their personal morality upon this ‘odd’ family are absolutely NO different from what they claim to abhore. Because we are Americans we can CHOOSE our own path. Freedom is our greatest blessing.

As far as choosing for their children, EVERY parent does that. Some parents choose to raise children as neo-nazis, or model behaviors of alcohol and drug addiction, some create homes of such abnormalty – the children will grow up to write best-selling memoirs.

My POINT is that who are you to cast such stones? These kids don’t look to be deprived. So they’re homeschooled, big deal (and I’m a public school teacher), about 3% of the US is now homeschooling. And if you look at the homeschool statisics … you’ll have no ground on which to stand. Period.

When I see media concerning people different from myself, whether they’ve made different choices or live in a different culture, I like to learn about them. I’m interested to know their ideals and their motivations. But it’d be wrong for me to exert my own morality on them. I’d be no different than those ‘Green Terrorists’ blowing up Hummer dealerships (I drive a Nissan car). These Duggar people seem to be making their own way in the world.

It’s always jealousy that causes anger. I’ve watched it eat people alive. Some folks on here keep talking about not having enough money, or the big house, or the gifts from friends …. When I judge, because lets face it – we all have that vice, I gauge my judgements upon what a person/group is doing to hurt others.

And don’t give me that ‘control the population’ bull … not far from oppression/dictatorship that! Each of us must make our OWN choices, hopefully without hurting another. I don’t see how this family is hurting anyone.”

Read the whole thing, oveall, a very thoughtful end to this insanity.

Linked by Clayton Cramer, MD ViewsWe Should Live, and The Fourth Check Raise

15 Comments

  1. Pingback by The Duggars: A Family of Hope | Adam's Blog

    […] the last post I gave a round up of all the various and sundry liberals that arrayed themselves against the […]

  2. Comment by Jack

    Adam,

    Being a parent is both the hardest and most rewarding job there is. My idealized version of a family includes a mother and father and an income that is large enough to do more than just support the family.

    More specifically, it gives the parents the time and opportunity to spend quality time with their children. I don’t care how good a parent you are, there comes a point where you will be spread thin and then you really see how good a parent you are.

    Children need guidance. They need structure and they need time with mom and dad. I find it hard to believe that 17 kids can get as much as they need and deserve.

    I never said a word about religious or political beliefs. I never accused them of being mentally disturbed. In fact I could almost see myself having ten children.

    But it still comes back to time. I have decades of experience in working with children. During that time I have noticed that many of the more troubled kids were the ones who didn’t get time with mom and dad. It is not so much socio-economic as a time factor.

    And to address a different point of yours, I don’t have a problem with gay marriage or gay people adopting children. It is better to be raised by loving parents than to live in an orphanage or get sent from foster home to foster home.

  3. Comment by Adam Graham

    A couple points. First, you have two parents. One stays at home, the other has a job that’s fairly flexible in hours. Both parents are active in the education of their kids, while the vast majority of kids are away from home all day being taught by strangers.

    I’ve seen a lot of kids with two parents who both work and then the parents entain themselves a bit. Why aren’t you in the house of the majority of parents in America telling them to shape up? Of course, the eldest child is 19 and not being raised.

    As for gay adoption, you’d be willing to have kids not have a father or mother (both of which are essential for kids’ development? After being so judgmental of

  4. Comment by Jack

    Both parents are active in the education of their kids, while the vast majority of kids are away from home all day being taught by strangers.

    Take it a step further. The strangers you refer to are not really strangers. They are educated professionals. Are there bad teachers out there? Sure and that bad teacher could be the child’s father or mother.

    As for gay adoption, you’d be willing to have kids not have a father or mother (both of which are essential for kids’ development?

    A loving mother and father is optimal and what I would prefer but that is not always available. There are a lot of children who are terribly abused in homes that have the typical nuclear family.

    There are a lot of children who could be adopted but are not. Given the option of a loving gay family versus being raised in a system I’ll pick the gay couple every time.

    Being gay does not mean that someone is degenerate, ill or deranged any more than being heterosexual does.

  5. Comment by Adam Graham

    Take it a step further. The strangers you refer to are not really strangers. They are educated professionals. Are there bad teachers out there? Sure and that bad teacher could be the child’s father or mother.

    No, they’re strangers. Being educated doesn’t matter. You said it matters that kids get time with their parents. Well, these kids are getting loads compared to the daycare generation.

  6. Comment by Jack

    No, they’re strangers. Being educated doesn’t matter. You said it matters that kids get time with their parents. Well, these kids are getting loads compared to the daycare generation.

    Being educated does matter. It matters a great deal. Homeschooling is not code for better education.

  7. Comment by Adam Graham

    Perhaps not, but homeschoolers do on average end up better education as measured by tests. But your original point was the problem was that the parents couldn’t spend enough time with their kids not that the kids weren’t educated. You really nave no proof of either point.

  8. Comment by Jack

    You really nave no proof of either point.

    Perhaps not, but as a father and an experienced educator I can say that it is very difficult to spend quality time with children when you have that many.

    Perhaps not, but homeschoolers do on average end up better education as measured by tests.

    Some tests show that. Some tests show that homeschooled children have a harder time getting along with other people because of a lack of exposure.

    Are you a parent?

  9. Comment by Adam Graham

    Do you have experience as a parent of 17 children who works a non-traditional job and stays at home? We both have as much experience at that as the other.

    The Majority of studies are clear that homeschoolers do far better.

  10. Pingback by We Should Live - Ben Bateman » Duggan Family Welcomes 17th Child

    […] honest principled liberals who say that they don’t like it, but it’s a free country. Adam Graham has a roundup of similar reactions from liberal […]

  11. Comment by Jack

    Do you have experience as a parent of 17 children who works a non-traditional job and stays at home? We both have as much experience at that as the other.

    In other words you are not a parent. This is not the same as saying that you do not have to visit the sun to know that it is hot. If you are not a parent you really do not understand just how much time children require.

    They are a tremendous blessing. It wouldn’t matter if the parents were independently wealthy and didn’t have to work, there is not enough time in the day to give a whole lot of individual attention to 17 children.

    And that is the assumption that they are all healthy and that none of them are special needs.

    The Majority of studies are clear that homeschoolers do far better.

    Better on tests. It doesn’t cover the more important things like how they get along with others.

  12. Comment by Disgruntled

    My favorite nutbag is Mark Morford who demonstrates his PC hatred for whites(some don’t even have tattoos – what nerve!) and is fatuous enough to suggest the Duggars are asexual! I think someone needs a remedial sex ed class.

    Oh, I see he writes for the SF Chronicle and is a homosexual. That explains a lot.

  13. Comment by Adam Graham

    <i> Better on tests. It doesn’t cover the more important things like how they get along with others.</i>

    More likely to vote, more likely to understand politics, more likely to be involved in their communities. Quite frankly, you’re trying to perpetuate old stereotypes. And I’ve also known quite a few homeschoolers who are exceptionally polite, bright, and talkative. Liberals only hope homeschoolers will grow up to be silent wallflowers, but you’re going to see more and more in positions of leadership in years to come.

    Quite frankly, homeschooling is far more common in history than you think. Public schools are far more disposable than you think. People became President with little formal schooling. Believe it or not, as most of these kids go to churches, they learn these things in other arenas. See here for more on home schooled social skills.

    And while you try and declare that you as a parent are an expert in all things regarding raising other people’s children, I’d point out that parents disagree with your stance.

  14. Comment by Adam Graham

    Yeah, disgruntledm Moford is the worst of them if only because he’s a “Professional.”

  15. Pingback by Getting Noticed Midweek Open Trackbacks | Adam's Blog

    […] and read. One blog post lead to a newspaper article by Kevin Richert of the Idaho Statesman. My post on the liberal reaction to the Duggars generated hundreds of hits after being linked by Clayton […]

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.