Those Poor, Heartbroken Duggars

TLC officially canceled 19 Kids and Counting, which showcased the bizarre, patriarchal and misogynist Duggar family last week and People magazine reports that the family is just heartbroken over it because they’re just sure it was turning people into their warped brand of Christian.

The cancellation came two months after a 2006 police report surfaced revealing that Josh Duggar had been accused at age 14 of molesting five underage girls – including two of his sisters, Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald. (He apologized and said he had “acted inexcusably” after the report became public.)

The source says the evangelical Christian family, who often discussed their religious faith on their TLC show, is “heartbroken that they’ve now lost that platform.”

“The Duggars want to return to TV because they truly believe it was part of God’s plan for them to spread the word about their faith,” the source says.

Apparently not, right? It would be a pretty small and irrelevant God whose plans can be foiled by a shitty cable TV channel, don’t you think? Or maybe you’re misreading God. Maybe he wanted your show canceled.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Jared James

    I’m still mystified what was so interesting about their warped little clan that it needed a second season, much less enough time to roll over and display its seedy underbelly. At least Dancing With the Stars has an interesting gimmick.

  • dmcclean

    There are about 27 all-Jesus-all-the-time channels, surprised they don’t have competing offers already.

  • raven

    I’m still mystified what was so interesting about their warped little clan that it needed a second season…

    Yeah, me too. I never watched one second, not having a TV or any interest.

    1. I suspect it was of the genre, Dumb white people doing dumb things.

    No matter how dismal your life is, you know it is better than theirs.

  • John Pieret

    The Duggars want to return to TV because they truly believe it was part of God’s plan for them to spread the word about their faith

    Whut? God doesn’t have his own TV station? Heck, even Pat Robertson has one of those!

  • raven

    The Duggars want to return to TV because they truly believe it was part of God’s plan for them to spread the word about their faith.

    Not to mention, because they need the money.

    How do you support 19 kids with a high school education? And without a reality TV contract which must pay a lot.

    The average adult adjusts their reproductive output to their wants and resources. And most people struggle to support one or two kids these days. The average cost of a middle class kid to age 18 is $250,000.

    Having more kids than money just gets you a poverty level existence.

  • Artor

    I’m bewildered why a bunch of demented fucks needed a first season, let alone a second.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Jared James @ # 1 & Artor @ # 6: … a second season… & … a second.

    According to imdb.com, the Duggars went on the air in 2008 (as “17 Kids & Counting”), so they’ve had at least seven soul-saving seasons of fame so far.

    The pathology in this country runs deep.

  • Synfandel

    “Children, I know you’re trying to help, but, believe me, my mind’s made up. I’ve given this long and careful thought…and it has to be medical experiments for the lot of you.”

    “Aaaawwww!”

  • http://piccamo.com mkoormtbaalt

    Who made their deity the almighty? I didn’t vote for him.

  • Sastra

    Their reasoning behind their disappointment prompts the question of whether or not anyone ever converted to Christianity because they watched the Duggars. I’ll assume conservative Christians enjoyed the show because it was so “moral.” I can also imagine some people who weren’t Christian watching because they like the idea of large families, feel nostalgic for “The Waltons,” and/or just enjoy getting caught up in the ups and downs of real people regardless of the religious beliefs or nonbeliefs of the characters. But conversion?

    If the show provoked any movement at all, my guess is that it’s unlikely to have been from nonchristian to Christian. Most likely scenario: some conservative Christians may have become more rigid or authoritarian with their own families, adopting ideas like “courting.” Or trying to, at any rate.

    Or — and this is intriguing — maybe viewers became more relaxed and liberal within their own families in a kind of boomerang effect.

    I don’t know. And I bet the Duggars haven’t consulted any legitimate statistical studies either. Once you’re deeply embedded in a story where God is “using” you, you don’t need any stinkin’ statistics.

  • Synfandel

    Sastra @10 wrote:

    I can also imagine some people who weren’t Christian watching because they like the idea of large families…

    My wife watched a few episodes. She said it was like passing a car wreck on the highway: it’s horrifying, but you just can’t look away.

  • whheydt

    Re: Synfandel @ #11…

    Actually…since I’d be the one driving, I look away except for brief checks. I’m mostly concerned about the other drivers who “can’t look away” and I want to avoid being part of the mess.

    The old rule in my family–going back to when I was a kid–is”You look, I’ll drive.”

  • busterggi

    So who is this Jesus person I’ve dimly heard about? w/o the Duggars I may never know.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    I used to work with a “quiverfull” asshole whose doctor finally told him (_him_, I might add) that his wife couldn’t handle another C-section; she’d had several by then. Apparently he quipped “can you put a zipper in?” Since I wasn’t there, how do I know this? Simple: he told everyone he worked with, over and over, and laughed like a great sucking bag of shit every time.

  • Synfandel

    Marcus Ranum, Mrs. Duggar was also advised by her doctor to shut the clown car door.

  • sugarfrosted

    @3 Basically it’s the freak show revival. These are just the acceptable targets for derision. (See: Oancitizen’s episode on Honey Boo boo, it’s a good summary of the situation and probably the most intelligent thing related to that show.)

  • tbp1

    The fact that they were ever on TV at all, let alone seven seasons and only derailed by criminal behavior, makes me despair for the human race. And that’s only a slight exaggeration.

  • raven

    Honey Boo boo

    IIRC, another TLC show derailed by some sort of pedophile scandal.

    What was Honey Boo Boo about anyway? I could Google it but it probably wouldn’t be very succinct.

  • raven

    I used to work with a “quiverfull” asshole whose doctor finally told him (_him_, I might add) that his wife couldn’t handle another C-section; ..

    Saw that with a Mormon jerk. Mormonism is another weird breeder cult.

    His wife almost died after her 8th kid or some such. The docs said one more pregnancy might kill her. She showed up pregnant again a few months later.

    Religion isn’t a source of morality. Sometimes it’s a source of evil.

  • caseloweraz

    “The Duggars want to return to TV because they truly believe it was part of God’s plan for them to spread the word about their faith,” the source says.

    Apparently not. However, according to that “mysterious ways” concept that Christians always fall back on in the face of reversals, they might want to consider another way of spreading the word. Assuming, you know, that this is really their goal. Just sayin’.

  • Synfandel

    raven:

    Religion isn’t a source of morality.

    Right. Religion is a type of pathology.

  • skinnercitycyclist

    caseloweraz :

    “…they might want to consider another way of spreading the word.”

    I suggest sandwich boards and street-corners. Just not in my town.

  • http://timgueguen.blogspot.com timgueguen

    It would be interesting to know how many people think the Duggars are Catholic. After all an old stereotype of Catholics was that they had large families.

    Here Comes Honey Boo Boo was a spinoff of Toddlers and Tiaras, TLC’s show about child beauty pageant contestants. Honey Boo Boo, aka Alana Thompson, and her mother had appeared in that series. Her series was basically the camera crew following the Thompson family around as they did stuff, with the hook being that they’re overweight working class southerners with a cute little kid, who do things differently than a middle class urban family would. So the producers were presumably going both for the “Ha ha, look at those weird rednecks!” and “What a cute little girl! And her family are so down to earth!” demographics.

  • Trebuchet

    @23:

    So the producers were presumably going both for the “Ha ha, look at those weird rednecks!”

    Which also explains both the Duggars and Duck Dynasty.

  • Trebuchet

    As usual, blockquote fail.

  • http://timgueguen.blogspot.com timgueguen

    One thing about the Robertsons and Duck Dynasty is that there are some hints that they’re every bit as cynical about the whole thing as the producers are. Specifically the photos that have turned up of the pre-Duck Commander/Duck Dynasty Robertsons looking a lot more yuppie, indicating the beards and hair are nothing but a put on.

  • richardt

    It’s hard to avoid pointing out that if the Duggars genuinely believe what they so loudly profess to believe then first what has happened is their Lord’s will and second he will provide. Failing that then perhaps Mr Duggar might get a job and do an honest day’s work to support his quiverful family.

  • http://timgueguen.blogspot.com timgueguen

    Jim Bob Duggar is a realtor and owns several commercial properties. I would imagine he’ll still be getting money from 19 Kids related merchandise and books for a while yet.

  • pacal

    When Kent Hovind was released earlier this year Jim Duggar was there along with other Creationists to greet him. The Duggars are part of a constellation of conservative Christian groups that seek to spread the Christian / Creationist faith. Or at least their version of it. That Jim Duggar would lend such public support to a charlatan like Kent Hovind, whose greed and utterly despicable behavior says a lot about his morality, (Kent has made it abundantly clear he feels he did absolutely nothing wrong and that he is being persecuted.), basically that it is defective. That Jim Duggar and his wife worked to cover up the sexual abuse committed by one of their sons very likely in order for the gravy train to continue to flow indicates quite clearly their priorities and morals.