The “Real Men” of Evangelical Christianity


I've run across a number of memes about what "real men" do. The most frequent seems to be that real men "protect" women rather than abusing them. This meme has bugged me because I'd rather have a man's respect than his protection. On a whim, I went to google, typed in "real men," and started scrolling through images. I found quite a number of these "real men" memes that were Christian-themed (most were probably created by evangelicals), and found myself cringing on a variety of levels.If … [Read more...]

A Case for Calling the Duggars ATI Rather Than Quiverfull


I wrote recently about some of the many definitional issues surrounding the term "quiverfull." If you have not already read that post, you can do so here. But in this post I want to go farther and argue that we need to be calling the Duggars ATI, not quiverfull, because their primary identification is with Bill Gothard's Advanced Training Institute and their quiverfull beliefs stem from that organization. More generally, I would argue that accuracy demands that we be clear about what leaders and … [Read more...]

Not Every Courtship Looks Like the Duggars’


So, courtships. In a post I wrote recently on the Duggars, I mentioned that I "went through a controlling and manipulative courtship process and then lived in fear that my mother would find out I was having sex during my engagement." A reader objected, and this exchange followed:So, I think it's time for a public service announcement: Not all courtships look the same. It seems that the high-profile Duggar courtships have so shaped public perception of what a courtship within this … [Read more...]

Is Child Marriage Wrong if the Parents Consent?


I was struck by a recent facebook post by Michael Farris, in which he discussed whether the government should be allowed to set a minimum age for marriage.Text is as follows: A recent discussion on a friend's FB thread highlighted a very serious problem that I see surfacing in Christian and conservative circles.The issue under discussion was setting the proper minimum age for marriage. The question quickly led to the recitation of the emerging mantra "it should be no business of the … [Read more...]

How Being an Older Sibling in a Big Duggar-Like Family Is Like Being a Polygamous Sister Wife


I was talking recently to a friend about inter-sibling relations in a large Duggar-like family. After listening, she said this: It sounds almost like sister wives or something. Wow. I had never thought of it that way before, but, yes.I grew up in a family very like the Duggars, except that we had half a dozen fewer children. We older children were expected to help raise the younger children. My parents followed the same parenting manuals as the Duggars, and those manuals advised placing … [Read more...]

It Took This for People to Listen?


Last fall a petition was created calling on TLC to cancel 19 Kids and Counting after the Duggars deleted photos of gay and lesbian couples from their facebook page (they had called for happily married couples to post pictures of themselves, but apparently only meant heterosexual couples). At the time, I wrote a post I titled On the Duggars and the Locus of Outrage. My words then are still relevant today, in the wake of revelations that Josh Duggar sexually abused five girls in two families as a t … [Read more...]

Anna Duggar and the Silencing Power of Forgiveness

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I have been coming upon more and more truly excellent commentary in the aftermath of the revelation that Josh Duggar sexually molested five girls in two families as a teenager---and that his parents, their elders, and local law enforcement covered this up. There is Samantha's How Josh Duggar Is Getting Away with It, for example, and Kathryn Elizabeth's Josh Duggar Says He's Sorry. So What? I've seen defenders argue that we shouldn't be airing the family's private affairs publicly, and that this … [Read more...]