Duggar daughter Jessa’s chaste courtship & wedding to be featured on their show

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The few times I’ve watched the Duggar family reality show, “19 Kids and Counting,” I’ve found it rather boring. Once you get past how remarkable it is that they have so many kids, homeschool them all and yet still seem preternaturally happy and calm all the time, it’s a bit one-note. So, like other reality shows, they need plots to keep it interesting. One of the upcoming plot points will be their daughter, Jessa, 21, “dating” for the first time. I put dating in quotes, because Jessa is only “dating” one guy, the rules imposed on her for doing so are stricter than most modern parents place on 15 year-olds, and she’s expected to marry this guy after she “dates” him. The Duggars call it “courting,” not “dating,” because it doesn’t really resemble dating and its all heavily monitored . Jessa can’t even kiss this guy until/unless she marries him and up until recently she wasn’t even allowed to hug him normally. They were only permitted to “side hug,” whatever that is. Jessa and her intended are now allowed to full on hug, because they’re on the fast track to marriage.

TLC reps have revealed that the new season, which returns on April 1, will focus on Jessa’s incredibly chaste “courtship” with her boyfriend of several months.

Jessa, 21, and her boyfriend Ben, 18, ”refrain from kissing or holding hands and always have a chaperone on dates, phone calls and even text messages,” a new TLC press release explains.

“They want to wait on the physical stuff until later,” mom Michelle Duggar has said, and they won’t even kiss until they are wed.

In the meantime, they’re allowed a brief hug to say hello or goodbye, which is an improvement from the “side hug” they were permitted when initially dating.

Now that they’re officially “dating with the intent to marry,” however, things are getting serious. This season, according to the press release, “the Duggar boys put Ben to the test, making sure he’s ready to take care of their sister. Later, the tables are turned when Jessa visits Ben’s hometown and gets hit with some serious questions during a double date with Ben’s parents.”

[From Radar Online]

This was in a press release, so it must be the big plot point this season. We saw Jessa’s older brother, Josh, get married and have three kids in succession and I guess this is the plan for her, too. I would just like to hear a story about one of the Duggar kids going away to college. There are plenty of strict Christian colleges where they could meet other like-minded people and get an education. It’s hard to think of any school that would allow the Duggar parents the control they expect to have over their young adult children. Isn’t that what this is about, control? A 21 year-old is not a child. Oh and we can’t forget what Jessa’s mom, Michele, recently said about always having sex whenever your husband wants it and submitting to him as your leader. This is what she’s teaching her daughters about relationships. Submit to your parents until it’s time for you to submit to your husband.

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Photo credit: TMZ via Daily Mail, Facebook

 

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161 Responses to “Duggar daughter Jessa’s chaste courtship & wedding to be featured on their show”

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  1. Rachel says:

    Uhmmmmm… is it wrong to write that he’s kinda hot for a fundamentalist??? She’s a beautiful girl too – I hope she’s using her own mind about this relationship…

    • Erinn says:

      I remember a post about these two way back. And I cling to a tiny little hope that they’re going to break free a bit once they’re out of their parents homes. They’re a gorgeous couple though. He doesn’t have the kind of dorky vanilla look all the Duggar men have.

    • Miss Bennet says:

      She’s not using her own mind, sorry. I used to watch this show and had high hopes that Jessa would go on to college. She’s the smartest of the older kids, multiple times she has had to tell Jim Bob or other family members how to do things like take down a tree or use a subway ticket machine. Most of the time, they don’t listen to her.
      There was one episode where Jim Bob and Michelle were trying to prove they actually knew their children as individuals by telling us about their personalities. The only thing Michelle could think of to say about Jessa was that she is stubborn. That’s all. Later an episode was done showing Michelle and Jim Bob taking her to a restaurant and being nice to her. I wasn’t the only one who noticed the negativity!!
      Multiple times Michelle has made passive aggressive remarks about Jessa, you know, the ones that sound like a compliment but are actually criticism?
      Jessa is obviously Michelle’s least favorite child, it doesn’t surprise me a bit that she’s the first daughter who is actively being encouraged to marry.

    • Decloo says:

      You are so right! They are hot fundamentalists. I guess she’s allowed to wear makeup which I think the Fundies are usually against. I bet he’s an actor that auditioned for this part.

    • carol says:

      boo, I’m prettier than her – where’s my cute guy? :(

  2. Lori says:

    I 2 older girls seem to have no interest in getting married, and are studying to be mid wives. I don’t know if these kids could get into college with the homeschooling education they have?

    • HappyMom says:

      Lots of homeschooled kids go to college. I would think the Christian colleges would also be easy for these kids to go to.

      • Rockymtnprincess says:

        I don’t think the Christian colleges are conservative enough for this group.

      • Deanne says:

        Not all homeschool programs are created equal. They vary wildly. The one that the Duggars use, is not educationally progressive at all and would greatly limit their ability to go on to any real post secondary institution, Christian or not. Just listening to how poorly Josh speaks and his absolute inability to use even basic grammar, is very telling. The Duggars are proponents of CollegPlus, a home based pretend college, with courses that can’t even be used for credit anywhere else. They’ll do anything to keep the kids under their watchful eye and prevent them from being exposed to new ideas or critical thinking.

      • Drusilla says:

        Patrick Henry College is actually aimed SPECIFICALLY at fundamentalist Christian homeschooled kids. It’s extremely conservative, with as strict behavioural rules as the Duggars impose on their girls.

        Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar just don’t want their daughters to be educated. Full stop. They don’t feel education is important, and in fact, their religious beliefs (Bill Gothard) explicitly say that girls should not pursue careers or education outside the home. It’s a bizarre perversion of Jesus’s teachings.

        Moreover, what sort of life can an under-educated 18 year old and 21 year old expect? This is sad, sad, sad, and it shouldn’t be a ratings-grabber.

      • Sacred And Profane says:

        Drusilla, I was going to ask the exact same thing. He’s 18 and under-educated. What type of job could he have that would bring in enough income to support the two of them? I may be jumping to conclusions and assuming she’ll be a stay-at-home wife, and later, mother. I’ve never seen the show, and don’t know too much about these specific people. Perhaps they’ll live with one or the other’s parents after they marry? That would appropriately continue Jessa’s role of subservient female. Horrible.

      • Delorb says:

        @Drusilla, you said, “Moreover, what sort of life can an under-educated 18 year old and 21 year old expect? ”

        But I bet that won’t stop them from pushing out a baby, ASAP.

    • FLORC says:

      Lori
      There are many people that go on to colleges having been 100% homeschooled.
      With this family it’s a fine line. They opt out of teaching a few topics on religious grounds. Jessa won’t be going on to be a scientist. She’d have to accept much of her education and beliefs as false to do so.

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        I read somewhere that they are studying “under professionals” to be midwives and that they won’t be traditionally educated midwives. From what I understand, they live in one of the few states where you can hang your shingle as a midwife without studying a particular curriculum and becoming licensed in the traditional sense.

      • Isa says:

        I’ve read that their form of homeschooling is terrible. That it leaves a lot out and just doesn’t teach well. There’s homeschooling done right-like the 10 year old I went to college with, but that isn’t the case for these kids. I wonder about the training they are receiving to become a midwife…

      • FLORC says:

        Isa
        Ugh. I’ve seen 1st hand what a poor midwife can do for damage. It’s terrible if you don’t try to be the best in regard to the sciene of it and instead focus on your religous belief sttructure.
        And Jessa is so smart!
        Miss Bennet is correct too. Michelle seems passive aggressive towards Jecca. IMO because she’s pretty and smart.

    • L says:

      They’ve said before they don’t “believe” in algebra and other higher mathematics because of religious reasons. Whatever that means-so I feel like college even a conservative one is out for them.

      In order to be a certified nurse midwife in most states, you have to have a college and nursing degree a CNM. You also have to be a registered nurse (RN) in the state that you practice. All A certified nurse midwife is associated with a hospital and can prescribe meds etc if needed. They work with the OB’s but also have a more advanced training in midwifery.

      A lay midwife (which is what these girls are training to be), you just have random training with any other lay midwife and then you can call yourself a midwife. You don’t even need training-you can just sit in a call yourself a lay midwife. No degree or true specialized training required. Most of them are doing home births etc and can’t deliver in a hospital and don’t have specialized medical training. (we used to live in Amish country-so there was alot of discussion about this)

      One would think with as many hospital deliveries their mother has had and with the number of doctors/nurses that have saved her that they would want the advanced training. But I think everyone is a realist about any of those kids going to college/medical school.

      • SonjaMarmeladova says:

        What on Earth does religion have to do with algebra?

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        @L, thank you. That’s what I was getting at. I couldn’t articulate the specifics, because I didn’t know exactly what they were. I just remembered that they weren’t going to be CNMs or CMs. In a few states you can be a certified midwife (CM) without being an RN, but it’s much more difficult to compete with CNMs (who are more qualified and, therefore, much more in demand). I actually looked into the CM program in Pennsylvania and discovered that PA is one of the few states that doesn’t require you to be a nurse to be a midwife. However, you must still complete a Masters level program for the CM title.

      • Izzy says:

        Huh? *scratching my head* Look, when I was in college I thought algebra was a pain, but I don’t see how it’s a sin…

      • Aquarius says:

        @Sonja and Izzy, re: algebra, I wonder if it has to do with the connection to the Arabic language and the Persian scholars who first theorized it? I have no idea how tolerant the Duggars are of other religions/cultures, but that was the first thought that popped into my head. Being vague about not believing in algebra or other branches of mathematics for “religious reasons” might be a way to avoid being outwardly bigoted.

      • L says:

        It has something to do with objecting to the ‘new math’ and the theory itself. The math is supposed to come from god. Some Christian fundamentalists are not into set theory or other kinds of math. They also object to the idea of infinity in mathematical terms. It was in a interview I read from them about 15 years ago, and I have never forgotten it because it is that astounding to me. There are quotes from the home school texts they use. “Unlike the “modern math” theorists, who believe that mathematics is a creation of man and thus arbitrary and relative, A Beka Book teaches that the laws of mathematics are a creation of God and thus absolute….A Beka Book provides attractive, legible, and workable traditional mathematics texts that are not burdened with modern theories such as set theory…. Besides training students in the basic skills needed for life, A Beka Book traditional mathematics books teach students to believe in absolutes, to work diligently for right answers, and to see mathematical facts as part of the truth and order built into the real universe. ”

        PA doesn’t require you to be a nurse to be a lay midwife, but to be a certified nurse midwife they require the MA. The other rule PA has that’s different from other states is that if you are a CNM you can’t assist with any home births at all. It’s either the hospital or nothing. So alot of the local CNM’s opted to go one way or the other.

      • ToodySezHey says:

        My brain seized up and started fighting the air as soon as I read “They’ve said before they don’t “believe” in algebra and other higher mathematics because of religious reasons. ”

        I cant with religious fundies of any stripe, I just CANT.

        these mofos need to all be shipped off to antartica so the rest of the world can progress and evolve in peace.

    • mayamae says:

      It’s not that the two oldest daughters, Jana and Jill, don’t want to get married. They are far too important to running that family for the parents to give them up. Those two girls do most of the heavy lifting and have done the primary raising of the last ten children or so.

      Jessa is a bit of a diva. She considers herself the beauty of the family and she’s not as valuable to the running of the household. The last “buddy” she had was often found wondering outside barefoot and coatless from the age of 2 or so. She would also be left trapped in the highchairs that clamp onto tables. The camera crew would show scenes of poor little Jordyn forgotten. Jessa seems the type of girl who will really relish getting married before her two older sisters.

  3. SonjaMarmeladova says:

    Those poor kids. Teaching your daughters that they are worth less than men and preventing them from getting an education is child abuse. Authorites should interfere.

    • FLORC says:

      You should read up on them more. Your statement is just wrong. She’s been homeschooled and is on par with a HS grad or GED standards.
      They haven’t chained her in the basement because she’s planning on running away to a college. What they are doing doesn’t seem right to many of us, but it’s not child abuse.

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        She was homeschooled by her mother who would teach all of the kids (of varying ages) about the same subject (ie bankruptcy). Then, when Jessa was old enough, Michelle had her children in the same manner. I think it’s ludicrous to instruct children from 4-18 years on the same subject. They should be schooled separately or grouped by age and taught age appropriate subjects. Education clearly isn’t a priority in their household.

      • Jedi says:

        This may just be because i am unfamiliar with home schooling (I went to public school and home schooling is not really a thing where I’m from) but how can someone who doesnt actually learn approved science curriculum be as qualified as a high school grad? especially if they are cutting out more than just science because of ‘religious beliefs’ (i’m assuming they probably dont read shakespear either…)

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        @ Florc and Ann below, this IS child abuse, make no mistake.

        There is more than one form of child abuse. A family can clothe, feed, and shelter children, and still be irretrievably scarring and hideously abusive. In Maslow’s Hierarchy, you can visually see the Duggars scarcely provide even the barest of bare minimums and deliberately withhold from their own children.

        Here’s an easy visual in the form of a Maslow Pyramid, with #1 being the [Basist] of human requirements for bodily survival and working up to the ‘peak’ or epitome of human needs that are satisfied with good parenting and lucky accidents of birth. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

        MASLOW’S HIERACHY OF NEEDS

        1. Biological and Physiological needs- air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep, etc.

        2. Safety needs -- protection from elements, security, order, law, limits, stability, etc.

        3. Belongingness and Love needs -- work group, family, affection, relationships, etc.

        4. Esteem needs -- self-esteem, achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, managerial responsibility, etc.

        5. Self-Actualization needs- – realising personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

        IMHO, Michelle and Jim Bob score so high on the Narcissism Scale, the couple’s photo should be next to the freakin’ term in the dictionary. These people make me sick to my stomach and don’t deserve to raise a puppy let alone children.

        These crazy ‘religious’ fanatics are only one step above ‘religious’ families that refuse their children medical treatment and pray over them until they die.

      • Drusilla says:

        Actually, yes, they ARE teaching her that she is not worth as much as a man. Their religious leader, Bill Gothard, explicitly teaches that girls are not to work outside the home (lest they have to answer to a boss who is not their husband), nor should they study at college (he runs non-accredited, non-degree “educational programs” for female ATI students). He also has a short list of “acceptable” careers for women who MUST work. (examples – midwife, hairstylist).
        Do you actually know much about homeschooling standards in Arkansas? They’re not exactly the most stringent standards in the USA… you don’t have to even pass their yearly testing standards at grade level to meet the state standard…

      • mayamae says:

        Drusilla, to add to your point – Gothard also dictates that a woman cannot have hobbies, other than a few he allows. These hobbies are distractions that pull a wife’s attention from her husband and children, who are her priorities. Certain hobbies that glorify your family are acceptable, ex. scrapbooking.

        Always remember JOY ladies! (Jesus, Others, Yourself)

      • FLORC says:

        Hmm.. Got a lot to think about here. Thanks for the info.
        If it doesn’t meet requirements than it is Child abuse. Saadly, bare minimum is still within regulations.

    • SonjaMarmeladova says:

      I’m not that familiar with them, I mostly know the things I read here I’m also not familiar with homeschooling ( In my country, it’s illegal not to send your kid to school, unless he’s physically not capable of attending, then he can be homeschooled), so maybe I expressed myself wrong, but wasn’t their a post a while back about how in their family women are inferior to men? And people commented how their education is severely lacking. They are also teaching them creationism which is strange.

    • Ann says:

      Those kids are not abused. If one of them turns out to be gay we’ll see, but for now they all seem to be happy and content with the side-hugging and homeschooling.

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        @ann, ignorance is bliss!

      • Lisa says:

        Ann, if you don’t think these kids are abused look up the Bill Gothard system, which the parents use. Not to mention the fact that the older girls are made to parent the younger children. The “buddy system” is just a form of free labor and emotional manipulation.

      • mayamae says:

        Read up on blanket training. Here’s the basics – Babies are easily cared for if they stay on their blankets and never attempt to crawl off. Therefore, when a baby attempts to crawl of their blanket, they are to be terrorized by a wooden spoon that either hits them, or hits the ground hard near enough to frighten them. Gothard uses this method. It is profoundly evil and opposite of what any loving parent wants for their child. It’s believed the Duggars used this method before the TV shows started. Obviously they can no longer do that to be caught on film.

        The Duggars used to advertise and recommend a book called Training up a Child on their website. Once it became controversial, the book disappeared but they have never repudiated it. This is a book that teaches parents just what sized object to beat their children with to ensure fewer marks to be left for authorities, beating your child for crying, breaking their spirits, etc. This book has been linked to many child abuse cases that ended in death.

        I’m not sure how you describe abuse, but maybe you’re not aware of these things.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        @Ann, You seem like a good person. Perhaps you were lucky and haven’t been exposed to how evil with a Capitol “E” the Duggars truly are to their defenseless babies and adult children. Please see #4.

        Normal parents encourage their fledglings to not only leave the nest, but to soar bright and true. Normal parents want the World to be their child’s Oyster. Fully loving parents want the World On a String for their offspring.

        The Duggars are twisted in every sense of the word. They irretrievably stunt their children, warping them, constricting them, harming them, and ‘educating’ them for The Greater Glory. They are the pasteurized version of the curdled Westboro Church. The Duggars are only one step up from the polygamy cults’ Child Bride contracts practiced here in U.S. and around the world.

      • portlandjan says:

        As another poster downthread said, try reading up on blanket training, as advocated by “To Train Up A Child” written by Michael and Debi Pearl. These two advocate whipping children as young as 4-months-old. You should also know that 3 children-Sean Paddock, Lydia Schatz and Hana Williams-were murdered by the excrescenses (I refuse to call them parents) that adopted them and who had all read this book. As if the practices recommended in this book aren’t repellent enough, those who use them tend to believe that they’re right in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Of the five people convicted of murdering these 3 children, only Elizabeth Schatz has ever expressed any remorse. Larry and Carri Williams had the nerve to be pissed off at Hana for having the temerity to die in public.

    • PL says:

      This is just opinion, and it’s no different than anyone else’s opinion. What you consider “child abuse” is just a different raising that you had. I have often thought that letting kids eat crappy food like Lunchables and see violent shows and movies is a form of child abuse, but it isn’t necessarily. Not legally, anyway. It’s just a different way to raise kids. I have a friend who lets her 11yo play GTA and he eats whatever the heck he wants, and I think that kind of situation is extremely abusive. But I’m not going to call DCF or anything. We all have to watch people being raised in ways we don’t like.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        “We all have to watch people being raised in ways we don’t like.” – PL. No, we don’t.

        What you describe is normal Good Enough Parenting. – http://www.ivillage.com/what-good-enough-parenting/6-a-127880 What the Duggars do to all their children from infancy to today is not minor. They are in the same camp as all the religious folks who abuse their children in the name of religion. The only hope these children in abusive cults have is being saved by people like you and me.

        Plenty of people “devoutly” believe in God, and twist the Bible’s words just to justify their actions, like hitting kids with plumbing lines or starving them. Or, like the Duggars, they enact religious child maltreatment through more subtle means, like psychological, verbal, and spiritual abuse. Religious child maltreatment manifests itself in many ways, including:

        RELIGIOUS CHILD MALTREATMENT

        • justifying abusive physical punishment with religious texts or doctrine;
        • having children engage in dangerous religious rituals;
        • taking advantage of religious authority to abuse children and procure their silence;
        • failing to provide children needed medical care due to a belief in divine intervention;
        • terrifying children with religious concepts, such as an angry and punitive god, eternal damnation, or possession by the devil or by demons;
        • making children feel guilty and shameful by telling them they are sinful;
        • neglecting children’s safety by allowing them to spend time with religious authorities without scrutinizing the authorities’ backgrounds;
        • inculcating children with religious ideas;
        • and failing to acknowledge or report child abuse or neglect to protect the image of a religion or a religious group.

        Religious child maltreatment happens for the same reasons as all child abuse. For example, perpetrators may be responding to a desire to dominate and overpower victims. Mental illness can also be a factor.

        Breaking heir Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment focuses on cases involving adults who are convinced that their acts are righteous expressions of piety. – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2011/06/18/shedding-light-on-religious-child-maltreatment/

        The public outcry must resound so loudly that elected officials are forced to intervene, because this is the only reason our elected government ever interferes in an abusive Cult like Quiverfull.

      • portlandjan says:

        PL, if your sensibilities are too delicate to call it child abuse, then how about “educational malpractice”? Ma and Pa Duggar, by subjecting their kids to substandard educations have ensured that their boys will never be able to earn livings at any meaningful trades, crafts or occupations. As for the girls, Jill may be able to work as a licensed midwife eventually, and MAYBE Jana can be a doula. But I don’t see any of the other daughters being trained or educated for paying occupations. All of them will be at the mercy of their father or eventual husbands as they have neither the skills nor the money to escape from their situations even if they want to.
        Speaking of money, I suspect that either Ma and Pa have persuaded TLC to pay them a lump sum, or the legal adults in the family are indeed getting checks, but have been coerced to turn it all over to Pa.
        Tell me again how none of this is abusive?

  4. Dorothy#1 says:

    Ugh, I find this so sad!!

  5. Patricia says:

    Jessa lights up a room, I admire her for her positivity and hard working personality. It makes me sad that she sees no options in life but to get married (to a kid, btw. I was over dating 18 year old boys by the time I was 17!) and start popping out babies.
    She’s so smart and full of life. I wish she had the opportunity to go and live, make choices and make mistakes and learn and gain insight into herself and the world.
    I used to like this show because the family seems honestly loving and bonded. But the fate of these girls and they way they accept the control over them makes me sad.
    I truly wish her happiness, but she’s just so full of life and intelligence that I doubt she will be happy long term with this kind of life.

  6. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I remember my first kiss. And the first time I went further, and the first time I made love to a young man with whom I was deeply in love, but not married to. I made mistakes, and I got my heart broken. I learned what did and did not work for me sexually and in a relationship. I learned who I was as a whole person. And I am so grateful that, even though they were fairly strict and protective, my parents loved and trusted me enough to let me grow up, make my own mistakes and learn from them. I feel so sorry for the Duggar children.

    • Stef Leppard says:

      +1!
      I don’t understand why it has to be SO chaste, so all-or-nothing. I have no shade for people who wait until they’re married to have sex, but I don’t get why these two can’t even kiss! Or full-on hug, because god forbid his dick might brush up against her hip or something. It’s such an unnatural existence.

      • Erinn says:

        THIS. I hate that even basic forms of affection are so criminalized in this situation. I can’t imagine marrying someone I’d never even kissed. It’s just weird. I’m not saying you have to go far at all, but hell, full on hugs and relatively chaste kissing really shouldn’t be too bad. It’s a shame that they’re essentially saying “hey kids, we know you won’t ever be able to show any restraint; if you hug, the next thing you know you’re unwed and pregnant”. That’s what upsets me the most. The complete lack of trust.

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        These are good points. I’ve chased after guys, then landed them, only to kiss them and be completely turned off! How do they know if they’re a good match sexually if they don’t kiss, at the very least?

      • mayamae says:

        Their side hugging rule is even more stupid than that. Two sisters can’t do a real hug, because feeling each other’s breasts pressed in a hug inspires sexual feelings. I kid you not.

      • Sacred And Profane says:

        To her parents, it doesn’t matter if she and Ben turn out to be sexually (or even emotionally) incompatible. For now, they’re young, and I guess the anticipation of marriage, and all it entails, is exciting. But if, in time, love goes out the window, they get bored with each other, abuse occurs, or whatever…remember, SHE must submit to him, according to her upbringing. No doubt her mum will give good counselling should anything like this happen – “Jessa, he is your husband! Do your wifely duty! Just get on with it!” Ugh.

      • Suzy from Ontario says:

        Not to mention that they have to wear long dresses and bathing suits that had to be specially ordered because they were so old fashioned (in terms of how much they covered). Jim Bob goes on about how the women need to dress modestly at all times so that they don’t encourage temptation in the males. What about teaching the males to learn to control themselves and live in *this* century! Why is it all made into the women tempting/Original Sin type of thing! Where is the trust?

        I’ve never seen parents maintain control over their adult children to the degree that these two do. Those kids cannot do a single thing within parental supervision and it seems nothing they see or read can be anything except evangelical and supporting of their belief system. They aren’t allowed to read literature except special Christian literature that encourages their beliefs. I remember one episode I happened to see in which the girls visited a local public school and during a Q&A one of the Duggar girls was asked what her favourite book was. They responded that her favourite book was some book about waiting for your prince to come. Clearly some special ultra-religious book that fit the male and female roles they insist on imposing on their kids. They seem terrified to ever allow their kids to read or hear about another point of view other than their own. To deprive your children of a good and complete education in the name of religion is very poor parenting.

        People praise them and say how wonderful they are raising such polite and lovely children but refuse to really scratch the surface and see how evil what they are doing truly is. A parent’s job is to help raise children that are healthy, happy and independant; to prepare them for the world and help them make the most of their potential and find their passions. These kids don’t have that opportunity. They are isolated from the real world and the opportunities out there. They are denied a real education, not because of being homeschooled which can often be a wonderful learning experience, but because of all they leave out deeming it against their religion. They may seem happy but without knowing anything else or even what is really out there, how can be really make choices for themselves?

        They two are so young. I read somewhere he is going to be a preacher or something in the church. I guess that makes him perfect in the Duggars’ eyes because everything is about their religion but what about money to live on. Everything seems great with them because TLC is paying them good money and giving them a lot of stuff. Go to forum like http://nolongerquivering.proboards.com/ and read about others living this lifestyle who don’t have TLC giving them thousands of dollars and were living in poverty or putting up with husbands who felt free to be abusive to their wives and children because they had no accountability and the wife was basically property. What the Duggars are promoting is a very dangerous and crippling lifestyle for women in particular. I feel sorry for their children.

    • IzzyB says:

      I agree. My first long term relationship was so different from my daydreams and ideas.

      Last year I went to the wedding of 2 friends who’d never kissed before being married. Their whole relationship has changed and they’re struggling with it. I’m rooting for them, but this incredibly strict doctrine throws people in the deep end.

    • L says:

      Alot of their ‘rules’ is because their parents couldn’t deal with their own heartbreak. Both Michelle and Bob had been in other relationships. Kissed other people. Apparently Michelle slept with one other guy before Bob. They’ve said in interviews that they want to keep their kids from that kind of pain-not seeming to understanding that pain is part of LIFE. It makes you a complete person who has seen the ups and down of life.

      They are putting their own baggage on the kids. I to feel sorry for them.

      • Stef Leppard says:

        L, that is disgusting. I understand wanting to protect your children but jeez! Not to the extent that you deny them their first kiss, first heartbreak, fumbling through teen and YA relationships and all the lust and awkwardness that entails. That’s no longer “protecting” them; it’s denying them basic rites. If Michele regrets sleeping with a man who wasn’t her husband, she should articulate that to her children and explain why and even bring them up thinking that sex before marriage is not a good idea — fine, whatever! But then allow them (at age 21!) to make their own life choices. Awful awful.

      • Katija says:

        Oh, YIKES.

        I have to wonder if “telekinesis” is the only thing separating this mother-daughter relationship from the one in the movie “Carrie.”

  7. Kristen says:

    She’s seriously gorgeous. I was holding out hope she’d escape the cult. I mean family.

  8. aims says:

    It’s so ridiculous. The reason for dating is life learning lesson. You have to go out into the world and learn about yourself and others. Another thing that bothers me here is that women are treated as property. This whole thing really freaks me out.

    I hope at least one of the kids comes out of the closet. It would warm my heart to no end.

    • Yvette says:

      Even if one of their many children are homosexual, I don’t think they would ever even consider acting on those feelings. The child abuse they have suffered has emotionally beat them down to have no faith in themselves, and to comply with their parent’s and their religious beliefs for survival and for support. We are all bound by our attachment bonds, formed in early childhood, and to go against their teachings would be to sever this bond. Psychologically I doubt they would be able to do so. It would be buried in shame and self loathing to the extent they would never outwardly admit their feelings.

  9. Amanda_M87 says:

    He’s really cute and she’s such a pretty girl. It’s so sad that they’ll end up just like Jim-Bob and Michelle in 20 years :(

  10. Renee28 says:

    I’m waiting for the one child who rebels against this lifestyle. I’ve known a couple people who grew up uber-religious families and there’s always one child that breaks away and lives the life they want.

  11. Dawn says:

    They really make a striking couple. I don’t agree with their religion beliefs but that’s okay, I don’t have to live it! Congrats to them.

  12. blue marie says:

    If this is what makes her happy then I don’t have a problem with it. However I’m waiting for the day when one of the Duggar girls ends up on “Girls Gone Wild” you know it’s coming.

  13. Latisse says:

    She is such a pretty woman and seems really sweet on the show and she’s going to throw all that away on this child? What 18 year old boy is ready to be married?? He’s just a kid. Usually I’m not of this line that EVERYONE needs to go to college but in this case it would really be nice if this girl was able to broaden her worldview for a few years before tying herself to a toddler. Sad.

  14. Dani says:

    I want one of them to rebel. Preferably Jessa, on the day of her wedding. She has so much potential to just BE. I want her to escape her ‘family’ and move to NYC and go to college and a normal teenage girl.

  15. Krista says:

    She’s 21 and he’s 18!? Get it gurl!

  16. AG says:

    I’ve never seen the show, I think it would give me serious agita, but was their relationship pre-arranged? Or did she at least have a choice in the guy she’s going to marry after “dating” him?

  17. Bridget says:

    I get that there’s a desire to see ‘family first’ on television and to have programming you can watch as a family and not be embarrassed, and I get that many want to see wholesome family values espoused on television. But does it have to be about a family that views its women as secondary, as basically just vessels for having babies? That espouse a rather controversial conservative religious movement?

    Why can’t we show a nice family that espouses its religious values while also encouraging girls to think for themselves, make good choices, and get the education they want, not what their parents view as acceptable?

  18. Sixer says:

    So, let me get this right. She side hugs only until wedding and then she miraculously transforms overnight into a ravening-but-never-initiating shagbag?

    Ok then.

    It’s all Area 51 stuff to me.

  19. mj says:

    The US is crazy. More people endorse this type of thinking than most people realize.

    • Katija says:

      Oh hush. I don’t know what country you’re from, but I wouldn’t make sweeping generalizations about another country based on one sensationalized television program. I dare you to walk down the streets of Chicago or NYC and ask a hundred people if they agree with the Duggars’ lifestyle. You won’t find more than one or two crazies, e.g., the same as every frigging country on earth.

      • Sixer says:

        According to Gallup, 46% of Americans believe in strict creationism, 32% in evolution guided by God and just 15% in purely scientific evolution. Also, it says something that a hit TV show, however sensationalised, on this topic even exists. Abortion clinics aren’t subject to terrorist attacks in other western democracies. Etc etc.

        I would never be one of those to offer a sweeping generalisation about Americans (gosh “some of my best friends”, etc) – but I think it’s entirely fair to say that these types of view and people are much more prevalent in the US than they are in other developed economies of the western caucus.

    • ScoobieDooo says:

      Why is abstinence before marriage considered “crazy”?

  20. Deanne says:

    He’s created a Facebook fan page for himself. He’s cut from the same cloth as Jim Bob and probably has the same delusions of grandeur. These are not two, free thinking young adults. They have been spoon fed their identities by their zealot parents and Jessa, especially, has zero opportunity to choose any path, other than marry and have kid after kid under her husband’s headship, or remain at home as a stay at home daughter, under her Father’s. There’s no moving out of the house for any purpose other than marriage to a man of your Father’s choosing. It’s really very sad. When you deem even the strictest of Christian colleges too risky for your adult children, you are obviously more concerned with exerting total control over them, than their actual well being. Jim Bob making all the decisions regarding the life choices of his adult children is sickening, it’s an incredibly selfish way to parent.

  21. Talie says:

    It would’ve awesome to see one of these kids rebel and god forbid, go to university that wasn’t sanctioned by their parents and church. I vaguely remember Radar posting a story about one of the daughters wanting to go to school in New York and the parents had a fit about it. Ugh…

  22. Mandy says:

    Ugh, I just CAN’T with these people.

  23. daisyfly says:

    She’s not the oldest daughter, just the one fans like the most, hence the attention her father pays to the one thing that they knew would attract attention. That he acted like a total pimp completely escapes him, no matter how chaste the “courtship” may be.

    The entire family is warped and TLC enabled their oppression and intellectual abuse. Damaged people smile all the time. Empty people smile all the time. A family of nineteen children who’ve been forced to raise their siblings and be under their father’s thumb even after becoming an adult don’t have genuine smiles because there’s nothing behind them.

  24. cro-girl says:

    Ok I don’t get their religion and I haven’t watched the show but I don’t know why there is so much shaming involved with these people. I wasn’t raised in a family even remotely like their own, my faith isn’t the same, I have a Master’s degree in forensic osteology, and guess what? I got married and had two kids and right now I stay at home with them. Why is this so abhorred? Do mindless people make this choice? Was my mother mindless and controlled and passive to have made the same choice? I know plenty of educated people who could use a lesson in how to keep a home or how to raise their kids. Should she go to college and get a generic degree just like the vast majority of people and then get some desk job and drop her kids off at a sitter’s until they’re 18? I don’t really understand how she is selling herself short by making the choice to be a mother and to be one in accordance to her faith and how she wants to live her life.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I don’t think anyone is saying that at all. There is absolutely nothing wrong with your choosing to be a stay at home mother. That’s what I would have chosen if I had been able to have children. But you and I and your mother had a choice. We were given the opportunity to be whatever we wanted to be, and the freedom to explore those options. These girls are basically held prisoner by their parents, schooled by them, have their friends chosen for them by them and their husbands chosen for them. They are told that their options are to marry and have children and be submissive to their husbands. Maybe if they had an opportunity to find out who they were they would end up exactly where their parents wanted them to, and there’s no more important job than being a good mother if that’s what you want to be. But what if one of them doesn’t want children? Or wants to be a dancer or a writer or an astronaut? They aren’t given the choice or the freedom to make mistakes and grow from them, or to determine what they really believe. That’s the problem. They aren’t treated like human beings.

    • Deanne says:

      The reason people are negative, is because she has no choice in the matter. It’s one size fits all with their family. You had a choice to stay at home with your kids and it can be extremely rewarding to do so. I stayed home for a decade and didn’t feel I wasted my education or that I was lowering myself, but I didn’t have it drilled into me from birth, that getting married and having as many children as possible was my ONLY option.. Even a generic degree helps round you out as a person, whether you go on to have a career or not. They don’t have the option of education,

    • Flora Kitty says:

      You were lucky enough to make that choice for yourself. Jessa Duggar will not get due to her religious indoctrination. She will be going from the “umbrella of protection” of her father to the “umbrella of protection” of her husband. As to the Duggar family’s religious views google Bill Gothard.

    • missyblissy says:

      I think the issue people has is that, she didn’t make that choice. She wasn’t given the choice to go to college and get a generic degree. I think most of us would be less offended if she was given the choice and she decided she wants to get married and have kids over going to college.

    • Addison says:

      I agree with you cro-girl.

      For the rest of you. I have only seen some of the shows, so I probably missed it. Can you elaborate on how it is that you know she had no choice.

      Thanks!

      • Darcy says:

        These girls do not have a high school diploma or GED. Often times, they do not have driver’s licenses or access to their birth certificates. In other quiver full families, the children may not even have birth certificates. This lack of identification and credentials makes it impossible for them to get an official job and this very difficult for them to leave their father’s house under their own terms.

      • Anname says:

        They also have such limited exposure to the outside world – only approved TV/movies, very limited and controlled Internet access, only interact with people who have the same beliefs. There is no way to make any sort of informed decisions when you have no awareness of the greater world around you.
        I think most parents believe that you work hard to instill good values in your kids, educate them as much as possible, and then you have to let them figure out who they are separate from you (accepting that they may make different decisions than you did). If you did your job teaching them right from wrong, and were good examples for them, they will find their way. But limiting their ability to experience the world is a terrible thing, imo.

  25. Annabelle says:

    Jessa isn’t the oldest daughter. Jana & Jill are older than her. I’m sad that I know this.

  26. jwoolman says:

    Well, getting married is the only escape from endless babysitting of her younger siblings….

  27. Abby says:

    She’s beautiful and they make a handsome couple–even though he’s way young.

    I was homeschooled all the way through high school, and I grew up around people like the Duggars. I will admit I’ve never seen this show, so I can’t say anything in particular about this family. My parents sold homeschooling curriculum so we went to book fairs around the country growing up. I wasn’t raised with the Duggars mindset, though my parents liked many aspects of this worldview. My mom wanted me to “court” and I didn’t date until I told my mom hey, here’s my boyfriend (I was in high school and he went to my church. Incidentally he was two years younger). That relationship didn’t last, but my parents didn’t push the courting thing after that. My parents thought a Christian university like the ones many homeschoolers go to was a great idea, but I wanted a degree and career in agriculture–something those schools didn’t offer. I went to a public university, dated some boys, got a degree, and a good job. I made my faith my own, dated a great guy (who I actually met at a homeschooling book fair because his parents sold curriculum, but he was only homeschooled for a year) and we got married when I was 25.

    I know lots of homeschooled people that went on to good universities, married people of their own choosing and have good lives. I also know homeschoolers that had terrible educations and are disabled from having a chance at life. I know homeschoolers that rebelled–did their own thing and never looked back. And I know homeschoolers that courted, married and had babies and homeschool their own children and seem happy.

    Long post, sorry. I hope Jessa and her sisters can have a chance to make their own choices. It doesn’t mean they have to abandon their beliefs. I’m grateful my parents allowed me to show them that I can be wise with my own life and I won’t forget how I was raised.

  28. RobN says:

    Their religion is none of my business, but I’d wait for him, too. He’s a hotty.

  29. dizzylucy says:

    I keep hoping one of these girls will say screw this, move out on her own, and make a life with her own decisions.
    I’d be very curious to find out if that ever happens in their particular religion.

  30. Sarah says:

    With all the chaos in the world today, I can respect this courtship process and how their community views these things. Could certainly be worse….this is an old fashioned proven approach that works for them and has worked for some time. Not something I personally would be able to do, but if it works for them, more power to them.

    Their daughter is stunning and I’m sure she is going to end up with a man who will be very very happy.

  31. Addison says:

    Cute Couple. Wish them well.

    Just because we don’t live in their world and therefore can’t understand it does not mean that we should think this is the most horrible thing. Because they don’t know anything else their way of life seems just fine. They probably look at our world (way of life) and feel sorry for us as well.

    Also it is stated that “a 21 year old is not a child” but in regards to the stupid things people like Milley Cyrus and Kristen Stewart have done so many say, “oh but they are so young, they are just kids”. So which is it? Yes I know it’s two different cases but really either 21 is old or it’s not.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Is that how you want your decisions made for you? Do you want your parents to keep you in ignorance of the world and say well, she doesn’t know any better so it won’t hurt her? Please don’t have children and treat them that way. It’s sick.

    • Leila in wunderland says:

      I can tell you that 21 is old enough for a person to make their own decisions about their body and be held legally accountable for their own actions, but it’s not old enough to be expected to always be mature and have everything figured out. I’m pretty sure I can’t even rent a car from enterprise yet. (I think you have to be 23).

  32. Lucky Charm says:

    If he’s only 18, how and where is he going to get a job that will support them? Or will be they be living with Ma & Pa Dugger for the first few years of married life?

  33. Lilacflowers says:

    Why is HE doing this? Where is the input from HIS parents?

  34. DailyNightly says:

    Maybe this is a cunning plan by Jessa to escape from her family. She is a little older than him and may be able to sway him in certain areas in order to discreetly get her own way.

  35. Anners says:

    Totally off-topic, but I love the striped shirt she’s wearing in the bottom picture….anyone have an idea where it’s from or something similar?

    (Also, she has great hair and that situation is frightening)

  36. DIANE says:

    So, are they going to time this whole shebang so that the deflowering takes place during sweeps week or what?

  37. PL says:

    I am kind of weirded out that the writer didn’t know what courting was or thought that it was only a Duggar thing. Courting has been around since the 1800s. It experienced a major resurgence in the 80s and became kind of a fad for a while in the Midwest. It’s still a thing in both the South and the Midwest, though I don’t know whether it goes outside of that. I have a friend in the Pacific Northwest who had never heard of anyone doing it up there. It’s really no biggie. Among very religious families, it works for them. No shade. It wouldn’t be my thing, but it seems to work out just fine.

  38. jj says:

    Oh my gawd I can see her knees! Shes the beauty of the family (must not be related to Jim Bob and the frankensteins he creates) and I’m glad to see uncrunchy hair, semi normal clothing and a happy smile. Make a break for it! Run Jessa run!

  39. Amy says:

    I have a friend who ended up living a similar lifestyle to the Duggars and was very chaste with her fiance before getting married. She was not raised this way at all but she did not have a very happy childhood and was not very close with her parents. Her father was very authoritarian and I don’t know the full story of what went on behind closed doors, but when she went to college she became a born-again Christian and became friends with a group of people who were very traditional and conservative.

    All of her friends started dating in college and after about a year or so would get engaged. By the time she got married just a few months ago, all her close friends had gotten married (I was the only unwed single bridesmaid, all the others were married. One was pregnant and one already had a baby). When she started dating her fiance (who she met through mutual friends at church) they did the whole Duggar chaste thing. I’m pretty sure they barely even held hands and hugged only briefly. This was their personal choice and NOT enforced on them by their families. They kissed for the very first time at their wedding ceremony. It was fairly obvious it was their first kiss and at the reception each time people shook their breathmint boxes (there was no alcohol at the reception so no champagne glasses) they kept having to figure out the mechanics of the kiss. It was a little awkward but they both seemed very happy.

    This type of strict chaste courtship is not for everyone. But through religion, my friend was able to break away from her family, create her own supportive community, and eventually found a husband. It’s not something I would do, but I won’t begrudge her happiness. This was something she willingly chose.

    The Duggars? Not so much. All brainwashed since bith.

  40. 4resh_AIR says:

    How will Jessa and this young man support themselves? Has there been talk of employment, income, anything? He in particular is still a child. I don’t know how they could make a good start with so little at their feet (i.e. lack of education and resources)

    • Sloane Wyatt says:

      @4resh_AIR, I’ve tried to reply to this question upthread too, but some of my remarks have been massaged out, so I’ll try a different tack.

      (Quiverfull Kids – Money of Their Own) ÷ No Power to Escape = Lifelong Parental Control

    • mayamae says:

      Gothard dictates that a woman cannot work. Gothard dictates that a man can only work for likeminded men with the same religious beliefs. Therefore, the religion heavily stresses being self-employed. Apparently this boy has a windshield repair business. It’s said his business cannot accept credit cards, so is likely not very lucrative.

  41. KelT says:

    Why such a negative spin on two young people leading a lifestyle that works for them? Why is being morally upright so upsetting to some? If Jessa wanted to rebel, she could have run off with cousin Amy and had some unchaperoned experiences a long time ago. This is the life of her choosing. I admire anyone who can remain chaste until marriage. This is the way God intended, and it saves from bringing a lot of baggage into a relationship. I know I wish at times I could have a do-over when it comes to this. So happy for them.

    • Drusilla says:

      Tell me ONE comment that suggests “moral uprightness” is the problem here.

      Being Christian, being moral, is not wrong. Telling your daughter she will go to hell if she doesn’t follow your commands to the letter – to the point where she has no education or job skills, where her only choice in life is to marry, submit to her husband’s commands in all things including demands for sex, and produce as many children as possible – is a problem. The Duggars espouse a gross perversion of Christianity.

      • BestJess says:

        Equally NOT being Christian does not equal morally wrong. Religion does not confer morals. Sleeping with a whle bunch of people does not make one immoral either. It drives me crazy that many religious people seem to think they corner the market of moral and ethical behaviour.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        @BestJess, “It drives me crazy that many religious people seem to think they corner the market of moral and ethical behaviour.” IKR!

        Try living in the Buckle of The Bible Belt in a Fly Over State. You are proselytized whenever you go to the grocery store or the gym. As soon as I chirp I ‘don’t believe The Bible is the inerrant word of God’, I get a look of horror and ‘well then you’re no Christian!’

        Although I enjoy a good debate *ahem*, it makes me sad that I’m practically surrounded by so many religious extremists. It gets old being outnumbered by Fundie Wingnuts who use religion as a cudgel to judge me as being immoral, unethical, and less than themselves in every way, not to mention going to hell in a handbasket!

      • hanna says:

        I totally agree! God is NOT a god of force. But ONE that allows every man/women freedom of choice. I at one time enjoyed watching the Duggars but as time went on, the extreme control was painful to watch and felt uncomfortable watching this show. Also am amazed over the girls fashion.One can be modest and stylish and not go to such extremes as the duggar girls/mom. In a way isn’t the dress code rather prideful..like saying..’look at me and how spiritual I am’? I see the duggars ‘religion’ as one of oppression and works rather than God’s grace and love through Jesus Christ who sets us free from laws and works. And I am shocked that the book ‘to train up a child’ was on the duggars approved book list. Can you imagine pre-emptive ‘switching’ a baby/toddler such as the pearls did with their 15th month in that to keep her from going up the stairs, they ‘switched’ her for just looking at the stairs and then put the switch on the bottom of the stairs as a reminder? For those interested in the guru bill gothard the duggars follow..take a look at RG(Recovering grace) be prepared t be shocked.

    • Leila in wunderland says:

      The problem isn’t the fact that she’s waiting until marriage to have sex, (by the way, just because a bunch of ancient men who died thousands of years ago arbitrarily decided that premarital sex and a whole bunch of other things- like homosexuality, having pagan beliefs, women having power, and getting tattoos- were wrong, doesn’t make them right). People are just bothered by the emotional and mental abuse that went on in this family and the bigotry that they teach.

      Most of us would probably support a woman or anyone else choosing to wait until marriage, as long as it’s fully her choice (and not her family’s or the government’s) and there’s no threatening, abuse, or blackmail going along with it. There are many people- Christian and non-Christian- who actively choose abstinence and it’s a healthy situation. But if from the time someone is a little kid to the time they’re an adult, they have little to no privacy, limited education, little control over their own spirituality, choice in friends, choice in reading material, clothing, or entertainment, practically no control when it comes to sexuality and dating, are limited in the emotions they can openly express without there being some kind of punishment, are raised with the belief that females are to have a submissive role in more ways than one, are raised with the belief that most sexual decisions make them ‘bad’ or less than, their economic stability is largely dependent on their family, and they need to maintain their family’s approval, love, support, and togetherness by following those rules, then how healthy is that and how much of a choice is it?

  42. NewWester says:

    So what would happen if Michelle Duggar became a widow? Would her eldest son then be the head of the family?

    • portlandjan says:

      Very possibly. Whether Josh Duggar, with a wife and 3 kids of his own, would WANT the responsibility is another question. I could see him relinquishing the reeins of headship to the next oldest brother, John David. I think, though, that Michelle Duggar would probably twist the rules around by declaring that as matriarch of the family, and since her father is dead, she’s no longer subject to the headship rules.

  43. Meg says:

    very flattering pictures of her and her boyfriend though

  44. Jamie says:

    All I can say is “religious cult “! Let the girl live her life she is 21 ! All she has to look forward to is 500 kids!

  45. Suzy from Ontario says:

    Here’s a really interesting perspective on the Duggars from someone who grew up in a family with the same belief system: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2012/02/carefully-scripted-lives-the-real-reality-of-the-duggar-family-blessings/

  46. minx says:

    Poor dear will be a mom within a year of marriage.

  47. ScotiaNov says:

    13 is a lot, but who knows. I’d gladly have 4 or 5 kids if I could.