I’d have 20 babies if I could…

… though I’d dress them more fashionably and wouldn’t be caught dead with that perm. I jest. I think they are a lovely family.

Photographed before TLC took them shopping

Michelle Duggar announced recently that she and her family are expecting their 20th child. Now the poor woman has to defend herself against some of the nastiest comments I ever read. For heaven’s sake, this is someone’s wife and mother… not the Octomom. She and her husband are a loving couple devoted to their family; why shouldn’t she want to add another addition?

And really, who’s business is it anyway? Her twenty children are not going to deplete the earth’s resources. They will grow up to get jobs and pay taxes, and those taxes will be used to pay for someone else who doesn’t want to work but complain on message boards about over-population and suggest women sew their reproductive organs closed. And that was the most charitable thing I read.

A lot of pro-choicers weighed in to suggest sterilization. Yikes! Forced sterilization is the antithesis of allowing a woman the power to chose her family planning methods. In fact, everything the pro-choicers suggested was sick and perverted and clearly the very opposite of choice.

Sigh. Pro-choicers can be so violent and unstable sometimes. I think liberalism should be classified as a mental illness in the DSM-IV, bless their precious little souls.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • NMH

    Well…I wouldn’t have 20 babies, five were plenty, and grandbabies are way more fun anyway, but the Duggars are free to do what the Duggars do.

    I think the issue is the television show. One begins to wonder if she’s just pumping them out on schedule because the show must go on, and all that. Once profit enters the equation, it’s fair to question the motivation, IMO, and when you take money to make it everyone’s business, you can’t really complain when people express an opinion regardless of how nasty the opinion is. I suspect the Duggars don’t care what you say as long as you’re saying something, otherwise the money dries up along with the ratings.

    I don’t buy that “depleting the earth’s resources” nonsense, either, but given that she has 19 children (with a 20th on the way), we don’t know that all 20(+) will grow up to be self-sufficient, productive citizens. Neither argument is correct. It is fair to question the whole reality TV angle and the parents’ priorities, though. It’s also fair to question our fascination with them (and with reality TV in general).

    Personally, I think they’re a little Twilight Zone-y, with the mullets and the matching initials and all, but, yeah, they’re free to do as they like as long as I don’t have to pick up the tab for any of them.

    • Amylpav22

      If the 20 Duggar children had 20 children each, Michelle & Jim Bob Duggar would have 400 grandchildren.

      • NMH

        Yes, but 400 is too many. The joy of grandchildren would be missed completely, and too many of those granchildren would miss out on what grandparents have to offer — time, patience, unconditional love. How could she possibly be there as a real grandparent for 400 grandchilren — and 20 daughters/daughters-in-law? What a loss — because grandchildren truly are the ultimate icing on the cake.

        • Amylpav22

          I don’t disagree. But the sheer enormity of the numbers fascinates me.

  • http://uniconoclast.com/ Kimvandapool

    Actually I remember, when she was pregnant with #19, reading some similar types of comments in regards to her being so “selfish” as to overpopulate the world like that (good god, what if all her kids have 20 kids?!). Interestingly, some of the most vitriolic comments were from self-identified infertile women, who were no doubt jealous that one woman should have so many babies while others can have none. They were saying things like, “look at her, just having kids to show off at this point!” Yeah, I’m sure Michelle is just in it to win uterus of the year.

    As for this idea that the family grows for ratings (therefore $$), I doubt that’s the case. I know the dad is pretty successful at what he does. They’re hardly a model of greedy materialism – those clothes look homemade. IDK, whatever… people are gonna hate.

  • Hillridge

    What a horribly UNChristian thing to say.Liberals are mentally ill? Youre a thoroughly nasty Conservative, geez what a surprise!

    • Katrina Fernandez

      Thank you for proving my point.

    • Tim

      Are you saying mental illness is shameful?

  • http://theholyfaceofjesus.wordpress.com/ Patricia

    I can’t believe how hateful people are about this very kind and loving family. Unless those kids are giving Oscar worthy performances, they are happy, healthy and well-adjusted, adorable kids.

    St. Catherine of Siena was something like the 25th kid in her family Thank God her parents didn’t stop at 24 or we wouldn’t have this extraordinary doctor of the Church.

    Back to the Duggar’s. They own lots of commercial properties which they worked hard to acquire during the early years of their marriage. I’m sure they are making big bucks off the TV show, but so what? Look at all the kooky families whose names I won’t mention, who are giving horrible examples and raking in the bucks as well.

    Why does everyone worry about what the girls wear? I wouldn’t dress that way, but it’s nice to see some modesty for a change, instead of young girls sporting cleavage, super short tight skirts and plumped up lips.

    I think the Duggar’s do want to share their values and faith and that is part of their motivation for doing the show — not just the money.

    I think they are refreshing in a crazy world where you get stared at if you have more than two kids. How sad! Our culture’s values are so messed up.

    Few couples would even be able to conceive 20 children, but it’s their business, and they are wise and decent parents who also provide an atomosphere of joy and fun in their home.

    I enjoy watching them because I know I won’t get hit by string of curse words or an unexpected sex scene, etc. And I love cute kids…..

    • Katrina Fernandez

      I agree. I don’t believe they are in it for the money.

  • Ink

    All I can say is that mom must be a saint… dealing with 20 three-year-olds. (Not all at once, but still.)

  • Anonymous

    I’m from a big family, there are 9 of us, and I know how much fun (and hard work) it can be. We all have the best times at Thanksgiving and Christmas and I wouldn’t trade it for the best address in Manhattan.

    The Duggars seem to be a happy well-adjusted family (although I think the J business for the names is silly). They work, they don’t commit crimes and they contribute to society.

    • Susan Lee

      They kind of run toward boys, huh? And look sort of Amish… well, the girls dresses are… I work with a woman who is the middle kid of 15(“RC, you know!”) Her family is as fine as one could imagine. More power to ‘em!!
      Susan Lee (oldest of only 5)

      • Ink

        I actually know a good priest who’s the baby (by ten minutes) of 14. The way he painted his family, he LOVED it.
        ~Ink, oldest of a mere 4 (but I think the oldest is most inclined towards thinking his/her family is huge because s/he is usually helping a lot. These are broad generalizations, don’t shoot me down for specifics and semantics.)

  • Manny

    I had an aunt and uncle who had ten children, and I thought that was a lot. It must be exhausting just to cook an evening dinner.

    • Katrina Fernandez

      Or either really entertaining to throw candy bars on the floor and let them cage-match it out.

      • Amylpav22

        You are awesome.

  • daisy

    I think Liberals are either mentally ill or just miserable people. You can’t be pissed off all the darn time about everything and be healthy.

  • byzcat

    May God bless Michelle Duggar with a safe pregnancy & a healthy baby! Regardless of one’s opinion on their motives or the size of their family…I appreciate their pro-life witness in expressing that each & every child is a precious gift from God.
    It is ironic how opposed some people are to Michelle Duggar exercising her “reproductive rights” & the “choice” she has made with what to do with “her own body”…

  • Queencoffeebean

    I think as a traditionally-minded, prolife Catholic girl from a family of ten, and who will be open to a large family herself someday, I am not out of bounds when I say that the Duggars drive me insane.

    I think it’s one thing to be open to a large family and quite another to stop nursing early with the specific purpose of trying to get pregnant again with your 20th child, after you and your last child almost died because of pregnancy complications. It IS selfish for a mother of 19 to knowingly risk her life and potentially leave those kids motherless.

    Of course it’s her choice, but that doesn’t mean it’s one she should make.

    I do believe that this is a publicity thing. And I know many, many mothers with large families (8-12 kids) who think that the Duggars are giving large families a bad name. They are making us all look bad.

    Also, Katrina, I don’t think Hillridge was wrong in saying it was UnChristian to call someone with incorrect political ideologies “mentally ill.” Sure, there are some liberals out there who will be violent and act and speak without critical thinking, but I see that on the conservative side as well.

    • Katrina Fernandez

      there’s nothing un-Christian about stating that violent liberals may suffer from mental illness. Anyone who proposes harm to another individual just because they don’t agree with them is clearly a sick individual in need of help. I never said I hate liberals and want them all to burn in hell. That would have been un-Christian. I merely want them to get the help & the pills they so desperately need.

      • Queencoffeebean

        But you didn’t say “violent liberalism should be classified as a mental illness in the DSM-IV.” You just said “liberalism.”

        Anyway, my point is that there are plenty of crazies on the Right side of the fence as well, lest we forget.

        I fail to see how you’re going to win anyone over to reason by speaking so condescendingly and patronizingly about them. Just because they are wrong doesn’t mean they’re crazy. Let’s lead by example and keep things charitable.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DBUXGGPCT6K5B6LDHHK6OUFWAM Derek

      Many Christians as well as Catholics can learn something from the Duggar’s! The Duggar’s are a beautiful example of what Trust in Jesus really is.

      In response to, Queencoffeebean:

      ~Michelle did not stop nursing Josie in hopes to become pregnant again,
      Josie could no longer tolerate Michelle’s milk.

      ~and to the comment, “It IS selfish for a mother of 19 to knowingly risk her life…”

      NO, it is not! Is it hard? YES!

      No one would want to leave their spouse or children but, in 1 John 3:16,
      “This is the proof of love, that he laid down his life for us, and we too ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”
      We are all called as Christians & Catholics to lay down our lives for each other. To truly be Catholic & Pro-life we must be willing to do this.

      Take for example Gianna Beretta Molla (1922-1962) a modern day Wife, Mother, & a Physician. A canonized SAINT who sacrificed her own life in order to save that of her child:
      “If you must decided between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child – I insist on it. Save him”.
      During her pregnancy with her fourth child, she was diagnosed with a large ovarian cyst. Her surgeon recommended an abortion in order to save Gianna’s life; she refused and died a week after childbirth, caring more for doing right by her unborn child than for her own life.
      Today that child is a physician herself, and involved in the pro-life movement.
      This was a total act of unselfishness. She did it with conscious immolation, knowing it meant leaving her husband & 3 other children!
      We do not always understand God’s ways but, He always has a greater purpose.

      Society tells us it is a selfish act. God tells us it is a selfless act.
      Being open to life means that when those “unplanned pregnancies” come along, we are fully willing to participate responsibly and reverently with the utmost respect for the gift of new Life that God has given. Remember, that God often DOES ask more than we can handle.

      As Catholics we are taught that suffering has a purpose and some pious souls even pray to suffer – if it is the Will of God – in order that they might better conform their lives to Jesus Christ Who suffered so much on Earth.

      As Thomas A Kempis puts it, “Many love Christ’s heavenly kingdom, but few are they who will take up His cross”. “The servant is not above the master,” and so many Catholics have a holy acceptance toward suffering, not only because it is a fact of life, but because it is the way to heaven.

      I doubt the Duggar’s have this many children for publicity. All 20 of their children are well taken care of & it is not for us to judge how many or how few children one may have.
      The Duggar’s truly live out their faith which many people do not!
      They don’t care what others think, only what God thinks.

      We will all answer to only Him one day. God doesn’t care what kind of house we live in, the car we drive, or the clothes we wear. You can’t take it with you when you die!
      He cares that we help others, feed them, clothe them, love them.
      That we help others get to heaven.

      We are not called to a life of comfort, but a life of service.
      If a person holds his life so dear to himself that he wants to use it to please himself, do his own will, and accomplish his own purposes, rather than denying self and serving God, that person will in the end lose his life eternally. But anyone who loses his life for Jesus’ sake – gives it in service and sacrifice to God by denying himself, such a man will save his life by gaining eternal life.
      In the end we all hope to hear, “Well done my good & faithful servant, enter into my Father’s house.”

      • Anonymous

        Look, Derek, I know more mothers with 8, 10, 12 kids than I can count who are Mrs. Duggar’s age. Having 20 kids, some only a few years apart does not just “happen,” because you are open to God’s will and do not use birth control or more women I know would have more kids. There is surely a reason God designed women’s bodies to be in a state of infertility for a period after a pregnancy.

        I also get the feeling that she must not appreciate her children very much as individuals if right after she births one, she is immediately talking about having another one.

        In interviews I have seen with them, she has said she weens them off breast milk at 6 months. At 6 months, a child’s mother’s milk is the best source of nutrition and infant can get. There’s no reason to stop nursing so early unless you want to be fertile again.

        As far as laying down one’s life for your child, we’re talking about totally different issues. In one instance, you are presented with a choice between saving two lives that are already in existence. The Bible says nothing about going out of your way to put yourself in a life-threatening position, especially when you have other lives *already in your care* to worry about.

        And actually, when you put your life on cable, you’re opening you and your family up to whatever criticism you get. I have no qualms about “judging” their choices.

        Speaking of being on TV, I wonder what those 20 kids will have to suffer at the hands of society because their parents decided to put their entire lives on cable. Reality TV is not real life. I’ve been at tapings before when some friends of mine had their house on Extreme Home Makeover. The scene where the family enters the house and has to look “surprised?” They shot that scene four times. Reality? No way.

        What bothers me most of all about the Duggars is that this circus is the only example of what large families are like. When people hear that I am from a religious background and have seven siblings, or when my mom was pregnant with her ninth (she unfortunately had a miscarriage), they ask if we’re like the Duggars. Or they ask if that’s who we’re trying to be like, or if we feel like we’re in competition.

        The Duggar’s life is not an accurate picture of what life is like in a large family, and I truly resent the misrepresentation.

        • NMH

          I agree about the reality tv thing — we had two episodes of one of the Real Housewives franchises shot on our street, and they’re totally scripted and choreographed. Scenes where grown women are supposedly at each other’s throats were shot several times, with everyone looking totally bored in between takes. It was hilarious. Half the time, the women couldn’t keep a straight face.

          • The Crescat

            you just ruined the show for me. Now I cry.

      • Anonymous

        Oh, and just in case you were implying that I would suggest an abortion, then I would just say absolutely not. What I do suggest is responsible parenting to the children you already have.

        I would think that when you are at an age where pregnancy may be bad for your health, the use of Natural Family Planning would be perfectly advisable. It’s sanctioned by the Church and very easy to use.

      • NMH

        Thing is, we’re called to a life of service to each other, not to a televsion show — a television show, I might add, that belongs to a category of television that makes money by dehumanizing and disrespecting the human person.

        The Duggars may have the best of intentions from their perspective, but TLC is counting on people watching because they view the Duggars as a freak show, a modern-day circus side show. The Duggars are inadvertently feeding society’s appetite for this sort of programming. Is that a useful service to one’s fellowman?

        Sooner or later, the younger Duggars are going to become aware of what people really think (regardless of whether or not it’s right or wrong for people to judge or snark or whatever). That’s got to have a negative effect. I suspect we’ll be reading about some of those Duggar kids as they get older and start to rebel, and it’s not going to be pretty.

        It’s also dangerous to mix up the quiver-full mindset of the Duggars’ denomination with Catholic teaching. They may be a wonderful example to those who share the quiver-full doctrine, but they are not an example of Catholic teaching on marriage and family.

  • Paul Dunn

    you know, for evil weird strange religious demons, the Duggars are the nicest, most giving and gracious people this old pagan has ever met, I have met them or their family on several occasions – ON every encounter they accepted me, and even asked me if they could pray for me – I would like to say that i have NEVER been treated with such love and respect from the liberals i know
    Bless them

  • Amylpav22

    Forced sterilization is the antithesis of allowing a woman the power to chose her family planning methods. In fact, everything the pro-choicers suggested was sick and perverted and clearly the very opposite of choice.

    This was going on back when they had a child in 2005. It was right before my wedding because I was on a wedding-related message board where in the “tolerant” pro-choice women all immediately decided the solution to Mrs. Duggar’s “problem” was to be sterilized like a dog. When I — then a liberal myself — defended her (naively believing being liberal meant not judging others) I was attacked and told I should be sterilized, too. Oh, also, those women were BIG advocates of parental qualification testing and Chinese-style 1-child policies.

    The Duggars have no debt. They have a beautiful home. Their children are articulate, bright, and learn the violin. With 20 children they are far more organized and together than I am with two boys.

    I have respect for the Duggars. I may never have 20 children myself, but merely disagreeing with the number of children people have is not grounds for the hatred — the unbridled, genuine hatred — hurled at this family. Anyone who says they are liberal, pro-choice, or similar but then deems Michelle Duggar’s uterus fair game is a hypocrite. End of story.

  • Nerinab

    Having a large family is not for everyone. And having a family with 20 children is, most likely, for a very few people. The Duggars seem happy and are responsible. I say “may God continue to bless them.” While five kids keep me very busy and I don’t think I could manage any more, the Duggars appear to have a calling from God and they are giving their assent to His plan.

  • Guenevere Eckert

    This liberal merely worries for the health and safety of mum and baby. It seems that with every pregnancy she gives birth earlier and earlier, putting both of them at risk, especially the underdeveloped baby. :-/