Why the Petition to Remove TLC’s Duggar Family From Television is Only Partially Right

Why the Petition to Remove TLC’s Duggar Family From Television is Only Partially Right November 23, 2014

From the Washington Post - The Duggars out campaigning for Ken Cuccinelli and EW Jackson in 2013. Both candidates lost their elections. So much for Duggar star power.
From the Washington Post – The Duggars out campaigning for Ken Cuccinelli and EW Jackson in 2013. Both candidates lost their elections. So much for Duggar star power.

by Suzanne Titkemeyer NLQ Admin

Earlier in the week we posted here at NLQ about a petition circulating to remove “19 Kids and Counting” from TLC’s on air line up because of the homophobic nature of some of the recent doings of the Duggar’s: Michelle’s transphobic robo calls to the voters of Fayettesville, Arkansas, the Duggar’s funding of anti-gay politicians and most recently, that whole sorry thing with the Duggar parents asking for people to post their marriage kissing photos that ended up with either a Duggar or one of TLC’s social media lackeys removing the photos of gay couples kissing on their Facebook wall.

Clearly homophobia is never right and the Duggar family should not be rewarded for holding such views. I just don’t understand the sudden outrage over it since it has been pretty much a given for a long time, since even before Duggar son Josh took a job with the Family Research Council, a group that holds such incredibly hateful and homophobic views that it’s classified as a ‘hate group’ by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Plus the Duggars live in a state not exactly known for its citizens progressive views and they themselves identify as ‘conservative’.  Their opposition to gay marriage and any rights for the homosexual community has been ongoing for a long time now. This isn’t new so I’m not sure why it’s suddenly popped up as a ‘problem’.

If you’re going to sign the petition to remove the Duggars from television do it for the piles of other reasons too. They have proven time and again that they aren’t the people they pretend to be on television. It might be not their fault considering The Learning Channel might be editing out all the not so great things about the Duggars to keep their Christian cash cow producing maximum milk for the network.

Here’s why I think you should sign the petition to get the Duggar show cancelled.

  • They support and follow the child discipline teachings of one Michael Pearl. Mr. Pearl has written a child discipline manual titled “To Train Up A Child” that advocates among other things starting to beat a child with a switch as young as six months old. His heavily thumbed through book has been found front and center in the deaths of children: Lydia Shatz and Hana Grace Williams  just to name a few. In the early specials the Duggar family did they talked of using Pearl’s methods to teach babies to stay put, calling it ‘blanket training’. When they received criticism for using Pearl’s methods the Duggar family furiously back pedaled away and no further mention was make of ‘blanket training’, i.e. hitting a baby with a wooden spoon to keep them from crawling off that blanket.
  • They were heavily involved in the Vision Forum ministry right up until the moment when Doug Phillips was charged by his former babysitter of inappropriate sexual advances starting in her teens. Vision Forum was one of the more restrictive Christian Patriarchal ministries out there, hell bent on making sure women and children had no rights or voice, teaching submission to the father regardless of if the father was an unworthy guy.
  • They have also been singing the praises of Bill Gothard and his Basic Life Principles. Many of the Duggar children have been at IBLP functions and Ma Duggar uses the IBLP wisdom booklets to educate her children. Bill Gothard had to step down as head of his ministry this year when it became overwhelmingly apparent that he had been sexually inappropriate with the female interns at IBLP for many years. Over 40 women have come forward with allegations of him taking sexual advantage of them. Bill, like Vision Forum’s Doug Phillips, teaches complete joyful obedience by the children in the movement to any male authority figure in their life. This type of theology seems to lead right to sexual abuse. Do you think the Duggars condemned either Bill or Doug’s actions and moved away from the ministries? No, they doubled down with their support of these child molesters.
  • The picture that the Duggars paint via their unreal reality show is the most dangerous thing about them, they show the Quiverfull Movement as something it is most decidedly not, easy and pleasant.They don’t show the hard realities that living with a mega family produces, such as limited one on one time between parent and child, the huge heavy lifting of chores that have to be done to run the household, the problems of children raising their younger siblings, teaching children not to have any personal agency, under education of the kids by relying on unaccredited materials and curriculums, the lack of the children to actually financially support themselves away from the parental nest, the claiming of the home as a ‘church’ to avoid paying taxes (yes, they are listed with the state of Arkansas as a 501c charity), the never allowing any real emotions in their selves and their children and this list could go on and on. If it were not for TLC featureing this family on their channel the Duggars would still be living in a tiny rental home piled up on top of each other, like they were before ’19 Kids & Counting’ It’s all television smoke and mirrors covering up the real cost of living like this.

My personal objections:

  • Not allowing the children access to any higher education except through approved online Christian resources, insuring that those children could not be financially self supporting without the parents. With what the reality show pays them the Duggars could well afford genuine higher education very easily.
  • Not allowing any personal agency, such as making adult daughters who are courting copy the parents on any text messages between them and their intended. I don’t understand how the parents could possibly ever expect that the children will develop any effective life skills or decision making if they have to run every single thing past Jim Bob and Michelle.
  • Only changing the things they do that are obviously wrong when the public reacts negatively to something shown on the show. Example – early on in the Duggar shows the kids were shown eating only unhealthy processed foods. After some crowd reaction the next special showed the kids getting oranges with their white bread bologna sandwiches and some mention of the kids getting fresh fruits and veggies was made. If it takes a television viewing audience to point out your parenting deficients you have serious issues.
  • Keeping the children so sheltered that their visit to something like, say, the Holocaust Museum makes them think not about tyranny, war and the murder of people, but instead about some political point you keep hammering in, like abortion.
  • Supporting some of the most hateful political candidates on the planet. Remember E.W. Jackson in Virginia? They appeared with him more than once.  He has said derogatory things about blacks, gays and democrats as well as saying that a parent’s sin causes birth defects. He’s a one issue kind of a guy who’s big issue is ending women’s reproductive rights.
  • Refusing to parent by handing off six month old babies to older siblings to raise. My blood boils whenever I think of Jana Duggar and the enormous amount of house hold management that falls on her thin shoulders.
  • The constant flouting of their sex lives Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar do in front of their children. The same children they insist not think dirty thoughts, date, hold hands or anything that might even slightly be construed as ‘sexual’. The kissing, pawing and ‘wink-wink’ sexuality portrayed on the show by the parents makes me want to hurl things at the television. Keep those PDAs to yourself where they belong.

There are more but for me these are the highlights of why the Duggars should leave television. Please consider signing the petition

NLQ Founder Vyckie Garrison has this to say about the dangers of Quiverfull in Raw Story

“Growing up in a Quiverfull home means being raised by a narcissistic father and having a mother with a huge martyr complex,” wrote former Quiverfull mother Vyckie Garrison. “The kids are treated as property to be hoarded. They are isolated, coerced and manipulated, abused and deprived socially and educationally. As surrogate moms, the older daughters bear the brunt of the work: cleaning, cooking … even homeschooling and disciplining their younger siblings when the Quiverfull mothers become too worn down and burned out from perpetual pregnancy and trying to keep up with this unsustainable lifestyle.”

In the direct aftermath of the petition making it into the notice of the mainstream media the Duggars have unsuccessfully tried to distract the public with the release of Jill Duggar Dillard’s sonogram photos and the news of John David Duggar possibly courting. The family has been posting links to a counter petition to keep the show on the air. But you would have to expect that, why kill the goose that lays golden eggs when there’s still more gold to be harvested and hoarded.


Suzanne Titkemeyer is a cranky old broad that escaped from an extremely suppressive Christian belief system and church. Only thing still quivering about her is her flabby upper arms. Her super power is sarcasm and cats. Fundamentalists are her kryptonite.

Since this is a Duggar posting, it means that Duggar fans coming here will see this six months to 2 years out of date to rant and flounce about angrily in the comments. Before all that flouncing commences please read our Duggar Fan Comment Policy first!

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon

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