Why Public Speculation about the Duggar Children’s Sexuality Should Be Off Limits

When Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar signed on with TLC, they put their family before the public as a form of entertainment, and that is how many Americans seem to view the Duggars---as entertainment. I'm not surprised, then, to see people publicly speculating about the Duggar children's sexuality, but I am concerned. To be clear, I'm not talking about noting that the odds are one of the Duggar kids is going to be gay. I'm talking about public speculation about the sexual orientation of in … [Read more...]


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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...]


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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...]


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Josh was “Just Curious about Girls” and the Rank Hypocrisy of the Duggar Excuse Machine

This past Friday, Jill and Jessa repeated their parents' minimization of their brother's actions, complete with their insistence that Josh was "just curious about girls." And what really hit me, hearing that, was the hypocrisy of all of this.First, they're treating what Josh did as something normal for boys his age when molesting prepubescent girls as a teen is not normal sexual behavior for adolescents. But more than that, this is the family that only allows "side hugs" before marriage, and … [Read more...]


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Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s Interview with Megyn Kelly: Minimize, Deny, Obfuscate

This evening I listened to Megyn Kelly's interview with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. I've written a number of posts about the Duggar situation over the past two weeks, including What You Need to Know about the Josh Duggar Police Report, What Did Josh's Counseling Look Like?, and Why Josh Duggar's "Teenage Mistakes" Matter. As longtime critic of the Duggars and as someone who had a similar upbringing, and this entire situation has weighed heavily on me. Today Jim Bob and Michelle spoke publicly ab … [Read more...]


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Why Josh Duggar’s “Teenage Mistakes” Matter

Last week it was revealed that Josh Duggar sexually assaulted five girls in two families, some as young as five, when he was a teenager. This took place over the course of a year. Josh's father, Jim Bob, did not report the incidents to law enforcement until 16 months after the initial incident, and even then only did so to a family friend who then failed to file a report. The incidents came to the attention of the authorities in 2006, but by then the statute of limitations had passed. Any c … [Read more...]


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Anna Duggar and the Silencing Power of Forgiveness

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...]


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