The Duggars Exhibit Perfect Marriages and Submission?

The Duggars Exhibit Perfect Marriages and Submission? March 4, 2018


Hey Paul Pettit of the Dallas Theological Seminary I am quoting Lori Alexander AGAIN today. Mostly because its easier than chasing down the Nancy Campbell posting from Above Rubies that Lori, umm, err, ‘imitated/possibly copied or rewrote’. I’m reaching for the low hanging fruit today because I’m busy picking the mangos and starfruit at my new house.

I have internet today and today only during my adventure moving and I just had to share this recent Lori Alexander post. No, not the one where she repeated misspells Michael Pearl’s name while claiming that Michael’s children turned out perfect so she implies you should beat yours to make sure they do not ride the bus to hell. Recent reveals of one of the Pearl childrens marriage exploding ending up in court with the ex daughter in law using the grandparents words against her husband show that’s not quite true. Nope.

Lori is busy telling everyone how evil reality television is, except for the Duggars, of course. Apparently she watches “Counting On” and thinks it is real! That just tickles me.

Reality tv is about as real as Starburst fruit chew candy is to the strawberries, limes, lemons and grapes in the produce section. Yes, at first sniff and glance you might think they have a lot in common, but the candy is manufactured with chemicals to fool the taste buds into thinking it’s real instead of a square of sugary goop that will rot your teeth way before a pile of strawberries.

Even the shows like ‘American Idol’ and ‘The Bachelor’ are highly manipulated by the production staff. Sometimes that manipulation is as slight as stocking the house with copious amounts of alcohol and filming the ensuing high-jinks of the drunken, like on the failed reality shows ‘Mr. Personality’ (ended after only five episodes) and ‘Joe Millionaire’.

I wish I could blame some of the awfulness of the Duggars various reality shows on alcohol consumption, but quite frankly the only person tempted to imbibe when the Duggars are on the old boob tube is me.

EVEN the Duggars are fake, actually the Duggars are very fake. Does anyone recall the episode where the Duggar family gave away groceries at a thrift shop, and it came out that after the cameras stopped rolling the groceries were taken back and loaded into the family van? How about the many things removed from the Duggar’s shows that were in the first very specials like Blanket Training? The Duggar refined what they showed and explored based upon viewer outrage very early on. Likely at the hands of family patriarch Jim Bob Duggar.

In Touch Weekly did a recent post about how much about their true beliefs the Duggar family hides on their television shows. Lately we’ve seen some queer actions on the part of Jim Bob likely, such as Amy Duggar King posting a photo of Joy Duggar’s huge newborn baby in the hospital and the photo disappearing a few hours later. When Samuel Dillard, son of Jill and Derick Dillard was born this last year the family was suspiciously silent and released very few photos. Contrast this with other photo ops and information they released after other births.

But some of what Lori is seeing and thinks is real on the Duggar show could be the edit. That’s the interesting thing to me, how much the editing process colors what’s shown in the final product. You may not know this, but I was approached after taking over as admin here to be on one of those wife swapping television shows. They wanted to swap me with a Quiverfull momma. After reading through the contract I declined. The contract spelled out that you forfeited your rights to how you appeared on the show and were edited. No way. NLQ founder Vyckie Garrison was approached by Dr. Phil to do his show and turned him down for much the same reason I did the swap show. You ultimately have no control over how you appear.

It’s likely that Jim Bob Duggar does have final control over some of the content, but not entirely. Who knows what percentage is TLC and what is Jim Bob. But Lori naively believes it all, and believes that the happy-happy-joy-joy facade that the Duggars exhibit on the show is real.

Wow, I’ve ranted about the Duggars way too much here. But they were the first thing I focused upon and spewed about their fakeness and toxicity when leaving Quiverfull Evangelicalism myself. Here’s what Lori Alexander said that inspired this long post.

Your fake happiness is not happiness at all. We have all seen repeated how unhappy and miserable with a smile pasted on women in this subculture are.

I’ll be back once Cable Tica finds their manana and gets to my house. Will try to post some from an internet cafe in the meantime just like today.

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  • Tawreos

    Of course she believes it is real, but then most christians think that the family life depicted in Leave It To Beaver was real as well. I am not really surprised since, as usual, it agrees with the way she thinks it should be so it must be real. One good thing about people like Lori is that one always has a fresh example of confirmation bias as long as she keeps writing.

  • SAO

    Frankly, most of the life displayed on the Duggars’ shows looks like hell to me. It’s rare to see a genuine smile on Michelle’s or Anna’s faces. The key to happiness is being able to resolve conflict respectfully and mutually. The submission concept eliminates any mutuality by demanding that the wife give up her opinions and preferences.

    The more people like Lori prate about submission and the need to smile, smile, smile. The more the ‘joyous’ wives look like they are grinning through gritted teeth, the more people they are driving away from Christianity.

  • Mel

    Jill, for one, seems to be learning the art of subterfuge pretty well – but the problem is that social media carries more information than people often want it to.

    Something went badly wrong with Samuel’s birth. A well monitored VBAC doesn’t end with a baby wearing a nasal cannula, an IV, heart/respiration monitors, a blood pressure cuff and an blood oxygen monitor after birth; that’s the uniform of a NICU baby.

    Likewise, the photos Jill and Derick released looked strangely familiar to me; those are all poses preferred by parents who don’t want photos of a baby to include medical equipment on the baby’s face. Here’s the quick overview of the photos from Samuel’s first photo album:
    #1: Nasal cannula tubes can be secured between Jill and Samuel without compromising his air flow – or he’s on a trial period without O2.
    #2: Reddened patch just below his eye matches a nasal cannula tape placement. His fingernail beds are quite blue.
    #3, 5-7: Cute pic of an infant; nothing unusual about that, really.
    #4: The white cord visible in front of the chair is attached to the oxygen monitor on Samuel’s toe; the grey blob just off Derick’s hip is the connector for the chest leads – white wire on Samuel’s left; black wire on the right; green wire is a respiration lead on the lower belly. Mr. Spawn had that set-up for months.

    Oh, and someone finally posted a picture of newborn Samuel at home being held by Jana while wearing a nasal cannula and monitor get-up (posted in January). So….yeah…..her term baby came home with half the medical equipment my 26 week preemie did. That’s f***ing terrifying.

    I get that people want privacy; but Jill, Jessa and Joy have been whipping up the hype around home-birthing with minimally educated attendants who I refuse to call midwives. The viewers at least deserve to know that of the 5 home births attempted by these women, four have ended in a hospital birth with major medical interventions needed for Jessa’s first birth (blood transfusion for postpartum bleeding) and Samuel’s birth. I count Israel’s survival as damn near miraculous because 70 hours of labor on a breech, postdates baby who showed meconium when his water broke is a recipe for a stillbirth – and we have no idea why Joy transferred to the hospital yet.

  • Jenna

    If Lori watches this show and thinks these people are joyful (wives OR husbands), then she is even more deluded than I thought. Aside from their elementary vocabulary and stunning lack of personality or connection to each other, any smile that does peek through is so obviously a forced, conditioned response. Ugh, she is truly an imbecile.

  • SAO

    You should do a post on this. It’s a really important point. The fact is that if many women didn’t have successful births without medical attention, the human race would have died out millenia ago. But, if enough women have 10 kids, then plenty of other mothers and babies can die while the human population continues to expand.

  • AFo

    I attempted to watch Counting On out of curiosity one time. I barely made it ten minutes. Seriously, it was them talking about decorating and going shopping at a thrift store. Apparently almost every episode is like this. No wonder Jim Bob is marrying them off as fast as he can, he needs the interest that weddings and babies provide for the show.

  • paganheart

    My sister’s second delivery was a VBAC attempt that went horribly wrong. She ended up having an emergency cesarean section which turned into a hysterectomy, she needed two blood transfusions, and she spent the next four days in ICU. Meanwhile, her daughter was so limp and blue she was intitially thought to be stillborn. She was resuscitated, but would spend 13 days in NICU before being released…with much the same setup Samuel Dillard had. (She had fluid in her lungs, among other complications.) Had my sister not been at a major teaching hospital with state-of-the-art care, she and her daughter most likely wouldn’t be here. I wonder if something similar happened to Jill…doctors also told my sister and her then-husband that their daughter was most likely brain-damaged and could be blind, deaf, or both; or might end up with cerebral palsy or developmental disabilities. Fortunately, none of that happened; my niece does have dyslexia, but other than that, she’s grown into a pretty normal 16-year-old. Will Samuel be so lucky? I hope so. I would despair for any child with disabilities growing up in the Duggar clan. I seriously doubt he would get the care he needed…and I doubt his parents will be honest about any problems he might have, at least as long as they’re living in “Reality” TV Land.

  • Mel

    Ironically, I’m wrapping up a “letter” blog post to Jill that discusses her outcomes so far. She’s has two near-misses; a HBA2C is blatantly suicidal when the mother has no successful vaginal births.

    Nature is brutal. The Duggar daughters can all die in childbirth as long as their brothers’ wives produce enough babies. Heck, as long as Spurgeon survived to reproductive age, the fact that Jessa bled out delivering him would be ok. Back in the good ol’ days, Jill and Joy would have either died or delivered Israel and Gideon as stillbirths. If the moms survived, Jill may have even had a blessed vaginal birth with Samuel – but Israel would be dead.

  • Mel

    “Duggar Family News: Life isn’t all pickles and hairspray” writes a quick live-blog of the “Counting On” episodes on FB. You get all of the interesting points with none of agony of watching 5 Duggars try to put in recessed lighting…

  • Mel

    The other issue is that I don’t know how willing the Duggars are to let educational professionals like Early Intervention do the follow-up monitoring and care for Samuel – or Josie for that matter; Josie certainly qualified automatically for Early On based on her very-low-birthweight. Samuel almost certainly qualifies as well since he went home on oxygen; pretty much all of the diagnoses that send a kid home on oxygen route a kid into Early On.

    My type of C-section precludes me from trying a VBAC but I never wanted to try one even if I could. Hospitals are good doing damage control when VBACs have serious complications – but I don’t trust my luck. I’d be a nervous wreck the entire time.

  • Saraquill

    The Duggars adhere to Pearls declaration that not smiling is a crime worthy of a beating. Of course they appear happy.

  • katiehippie

    Lori knows what is going on in other reality TV shows? I thought she was ‘keeping a home’. Why does she have time to watch that? What an idiot. She should be like me and not even have TV in the house. Who is holier-than-thou now Lori?

  • SAO

    Nature is brutal, but Jill believes God will protect her from its brutality.

    I have wondered if the next generation will be as prolific. Most people stop at 2 kids. So, having 2 kids is normal. A third isn’t uncommon, particularly for people with two of the same gender. But after that? Especially if the tv show ends?

    We’ll see.

  • Nea

    “Seem to” Lori uses “seem to” a lot when she’s describing what she wants everyone to see in the Duggars… and then manages to not quote any of the multiple verses the Bible has warning against falling for “seeming to.” Whited sepulchurs, Lori? Cups washed on the outside, Lori? Do you even know that your Bible contains verses like that, and what God’s stated opinion on the subject is?

  • Anonyme

    Ugh! Do these people never stop to think that smiling and being calm is NOT always an indicator of being happy*? People can smile and act kind but still have a living hell inside their heads–Robin Williams (God rest his soul) is just one example. I was also the same way when I was depressed. I only showed my true emotions in the privacy of my own home, but these women don’t even get THAT liberty.

    * I think we all know the answer, but any other comments I could think of were incoherent and ragey. I’m also a little stabby because I just had a long FB conversation with my sister, who thinks I’m being unreasonable when I say men telling women (including me) to smile is disrespectful and intrusive. It’s rude to tell anyone to smile or how they should feel, but it’s usually men telling WOMEN to smile which is very telling of how society thinks women should feel and act.

  • Anonyme

    I think the Duggars might be being overly cautious about what happens on-screen now, attempting to salvage whatever little respect they had left after Josh was outed as a child-molesting, wife-cheating ass.

  • texassa

    Her hot take on the Duggars brings to mind the teachings of the FLDS – the mormon fundamentalist polygamist sect. Women and girls are indoctrinated from birth to understand that their very salvation is dependent on their ability to constantly “keep sweet” – meaning no frowning, complaining, questioning, or being difficult, even when your uncles, father, brothers and others are sexually abusing you and trading you off into marriage with a decades-older man who already has several wives. When these women and girls are questioned by “outsiders,” they profess to be the happiest, most content women and girls on the planet. They’ve been taught that these outsiders are of the devil. Truly, the Duggars and their smiley performances do not strike me all that different.

  • Mel

    Time will tell – but I doubt it. Michelle really was something of a reproductive power-house. Most women just can’t produce baby after baby after baby across three decades. In 19 kids, some won’t marry, some will have infertility issues and most will have normal fertility.

    My dad was one of eight; the average number of kids in his siblings families is 3.5 – but the raw data set has some interesting information, too. In descending age order, the family sizes are 3, 4, 0, 2, 9, 5, 3, 4. My aunt who has nine kids has 7 kids who are older than college age. Those seven kids have had 3, 1, 2, 0, 2, 5, 0. In both groups, there were families – including mine – where the parents wanted more kids but either couldn’t conceive or needed to limit their family size to care for the needs of their current kids.

  • bekabot

    Prediction: in another 25 to 30 years a series of articles* will appear about the many ways in which the current news** is being doctored, manipulated, doled out, directed, and constructed, and the people who consume them will marvel at what pushovers readers were back in the Olden Days…the way we marvel today at how easy it was for the news organs back in the 50’s to Stepfordize an entire generation of really gnarly*** women. (I’m not looking forward to living to see it.)

    * Assuming that such things as articles still exist and/or that, if they don’t, that some kind of equivalent(s) is-or-are still in use.
    ** Or “news”.
    *** Rosie-the-Riveter gnarly; the women who helped win the Second World War. One would not expect such a battalion to be easily put down, yet put down they were, and it doesn’t even seem in retrospect that it was all that hard to do.

  • Almost a chimp

    In other Duggar news, Josiah Duggar (21) and Lauren Swanson (18) have announced their engagement.
    The article doesn’t say, but I wonder if Lauren is the daughter of that self-righteous, child sexual-abuse promoter, Kevin “It’s normal for red-blooded men to find pre-pubescent girls sexually attractive if they show a bit of flesh” Swanson?

  • Almost a chimp

    I agree entirely with the first part of your comment, but you made that last paragraph sound like it’s a bad thing.

  • Almost a chimp

    SAO Mel
    15 hours ago
    Nature is brutal, but Jill believes God will protect her from its brutality.

    Up until he doesn’t, when all of a sudden qualified medical staff and hospitals are the new Saviour – even if she neglects to mention that part to her adoring fans.

  • SAO

    That was a response to Lori’s comment that “if you are not a joy to be around, you will not attract others to your savior,” given as a reason why women need to smile.

  • Almost a chimp

    That’s a relief. For a minute there I thought I was going to have to encourage more Duggar-type shows.

  • SAO

    There are plenty of women who have produced 10-12 kids. It’s sort of a sad commentary on the QF movement that people who have 10 kids can’t compete. They have all the costs and the enormous demands on the parents’ attention, but don’t get the TV show or the cash that comes with it.

  • SAO

    VBACs are more likely to be successful if the mother has already had one successful vaginal birth. First labors are longer than second and subsequent labors. My first labor was 30 hours and ended with a forcep delivery after 2 hours of pushing. It would have proceeded to C-section if they hadn’t managed to extract my daughter fast enough. My second labor was a couple hours and I barely made it to the hospital in time. I think I pushed for 15 minutes. That makes a big difference on the stress on the uterus.

    There is a concept called “Trial of Labor after Caesarian” which basically is a wait-and-see approach, not a commitment to a VBAC.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Oh holy shit! If she is Kevin ‘Bestiality’ Swanson’s daughter then it actually might be End Times. Evil walks among ud

  • Quinsha

    I very rarely smile, and if I suddenly started going around the house with a fake smile on my face, my poor spouse would worry.

    On the other hand, when I am happy I tend to sing. My spouse is used to that and will join in at times.

  • Mel

    Nothing says really getting to know your future spouse well like having a 6 week courtship before getting engaged.

  • Almost a chimp

    Be interesting to have an update on them in….oh, I don’t know…..eight and a-half months or so.
    In unrelated (sic) news, the newest baby, Gideon, was born a couple of weeks early at ten pounds plus. Can’t imagine how big he’d have been had he gone full-term. 😉

  • Mimc

    The smile thing is awful. Are you my photographer? No. Then STFU.

  • Mimc

    I had an emergency C-section last Friday and my baby is still in the NICU. It’s too bad they can’t just be honest about how hard this is. And about how even if everything looks perfect a few days before delivery you can still end up in a scary situation. That’s what happened to me. Went in for an induction at 41 weeks exactly and two hours later I’m waking up in recovery whole my baby gets a tube put in to reinflate his lung.

  • bubbles24601

    It bugs the crap out me that these folks can’t conceive of a husband and wife who deeply love each other and respect each other without the obligatory man-in-charge set up. My husband loves me fiercely and have deep respect for him. Real respect, not fake respect because I’ll get in trouble if I pretend. We manage this with me having equal input on our lives. Imagine that!

  • bubbles24601

    Same here. The life of a Duggar woman is my worst nightmare. I think some of the younger Duggars who are married and finally out from under JB and Michelle might be actually happy (excepting Anna of course), but I don’t think that’ll last long once they go from a couple kids to many more that need attention and care with crummy job prospects. As for the kids still at home and JB and Michelle, I don’t theyre really happy and probably have t been in a long time.

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    My SIL has had 4 Caesarian births and when she had the last one the doctor tied her tubes while they were “already in there working” – her uterine walls were too thin for any more pregnancies, but she really wanted a girl which she has. All the babies were born on the bigger end, my oldest nephew was a month early and weighed 8lbs12oz, next nephew was 10lbs, third was 10lbs 2oz and niece was 9lbs 6oz.

    The mister and I are foster parents. 🙂

    The Duggars shouldn’t feel like they need to hide the difficulties of giving birth, if they were open and honest about these problems they might be more relatable to viewers. But then, that would mean everyone knowing the truth most already suspect – they’re just not perfect at having perfect healthy children and not perfect parents either like they want to claim sooo…

  • SAO

    The hard core Evangelical movement has moved from claiming that if you do the right things, you’ll go to heaven and have eternal bliss after whatever kind of life you have to claiming that if you do the right things — many of them burdens or restrictions on girls and women — God will reward you in this life.

    Michelle’s 19 kids are blessings from God and proof that she and JB are favored by God for their faithful following of His will. If the Duggar girls struggle to be ‘blessed’ then something went wrong. For the people who believe this crap, that means the Duggars are no longer a good example, thus there is no reason to pay for them to speak, to buy their books or watch their show. For the people who don’t believe it, it proves that the whole thing was just a weird cult and maybe we’re tired of watching it.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Congratulations on the new baby! But I’m sorry you’re having to deal with a less than optimal outcome. Best wishes for a quick recovery for you both.

  • Nea

    I will always, always wonder why Jim Bob and Michelle claim that her first miscarriage was a sign God was angry at their secular life, but her last miscarriage was just God’s mysterious will. They’re both miscarriages.

  • heleninedinburgh

    Hear hear. Hope everything goes well for you both, Mimc.

  • SAO

    One fit their narrative and the other didn’t. If the Duggars or people like them were flipping coins, they’d claim God blessed them every time they got heads. They toss the coin 100 times and God blesses them 50 times. That means God truly loves them. 50 blessings! That’s a miracle!

  • paganheart

    Well now isn’t this interesting… Jill’s husband is apparently now admitting that Samuel had to spend two weeks in the NICU…and whining that TLC didn’t offer to help them with their medical bills…*headdesk*

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I find it horrible that apparently according to Derick the only one getting paid from TLC is Jim Bob. Every one else is a volunteer

  • paganheart

    Yeah that does go a long way toward explaining why some of the adult siblings are always begging for money and donations, Derrick in particular…the “patriarch” isn’t sharing his wealth, apparently (or uses it to control his adult children and in-laws and keep them in line…or both.) I know that Jim Bob still has a horde of minor children to raise, and all the kids were still minors when they signed their first TLC contract, but that is pretty unfair. I would advise the adult kids to band together and demand a better contract from TLC, one that pays them directly now that they’re adults, or else they walk…even better, they should walk away from Jim Bob and his cult forever and get real education, real jobs and real lives, but that’s not likely to happen. When the “Reality” TV cameras finally turn away from the Duggars…and they will…I suspect we’ll hear some pretty tragic and dire things coming out of that family, as has happened with other “Reality” stars…

  • B.E. Miller

    Sorry to hear that your baby is in the NICU. Hope baby gets better soon. And hope your recovery goes smooth.

  • B.E. Miller

    I think that’s what really annoys me about some Christians today, this idea of God rewarding or punishing people *in this life*. It’s certainly not the Christianity I was brought up in, it’s like modern Christians have become like Job’s old friends. OTOH, I can see why it’s alluring to people. You can now blame people for their misfortune, because if they would just ‘make right with God’, God would bless them with money or gold, or good health. You don’t actually have to contribute to charity, or go volunteer, or care about poor families.

  • SAO

    The most toxic thing about this ideology is that the rich deserve their wealth and are blessed by God and the poor are not worthy and Godless, therefore, we can all feel sure that God loves cheating, lying, racist Trump and we can cut welfare and other programs because the people on them aren’t worth caring about.

  • Mimc

    He came home last Friday. Perfect health now. He gave us quiet a scare there and he’s still pretty small but growing fast.

  • B.E. Miller

    Glad to hear that!