This week’s National Enquirer features an article about the supposed dark side of the super prolific Duggar family, the stars of the TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting. The Duggars say they started having as many children as God would bless them with after Michelle suffered a miscarriage when she was on birth control early in their marriage. Others claim that the Duggars, who homeschool their children and follow a conservative evangelical Christian Baptist teaching, are members of the Quiverfull movement, which seems superficially positive in that they don’t practice birth control and regard children as gifts from God. The Quiverfull movement has some lofty and kind of creepy aims, however, including creating “God’s Army” full of the progeny its members are producing and taking over the US Government. It’s also advocates a very submissive role of wives and mothers, who are relegated to baby-making and housekeeping. The Duggars say they’re not practicing Quiverfull but it’s hard to believe otherwise given their lifestyle.
The Duggars, the hugely popular 21-member reality family on TLC’s 19 Kids & Counting, are accused of hiding a dark secret – critics say they’re part of a fringe religious group that is plotting to take over the U.S. government!
On TV, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar seem to live a perfect, faith-based life in an immaculate Arkansas home with their 19 well-behaved children.
But some people say their TV show downplays their connection to a sect known as the QuiverFull movement and a religious leader who forbids watching TV and listening to rock music. QuiverFull’s opponents call the group a cult.
Aurthor Kathryn Joyce, author of QuiverFull: Inside The Christian Patriarchy Movement, told The ENQUIRER.
“The idea is that if Christian couples breed and indoctrinate enough children, they can take over both houses of Congress, ‘reclaim’ sinful cities like San Francisco and launch massive boycotts against companies that do not support conservative Christian beliefs.”
The QuiverFull sect’s ultimate goal is to take over the American government, according to another former member.
In a statement to The ENQUIRER, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar denied being affiliated with QuiverFull. However, the Duggars’ book and show DVDs are sold on the QuiverFull Web site.
AND Newsweek magazine has alleged the family is following the QuiverFull belief system.
[From The National Enquirer]
I read the print edition of the Enquirer, and it’s very similar to these two articles, in Newsweek and on Babble.com, exposing the kind of delusional belief system of Quiverfull and the way that it is particularly oppressive to women and young girls. This quote from a former Quiverfull wife in Newsweek is telling, and helps explain why many people are uncomfortable with the Duggar family:
Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff, a former Quiverfull writer who left the movement, says that the lifestyle is frequently one of unrelenting duty and labor that leaves women little recourse if the demands of their lives prove too much to bear. “The Quiverfull movement holds up as examples men like the Duggars … all men of means. But for every family like this, there are ten or fifty or one hundred Quiverfull families living in what most would consider to be poverty … Mothers are in a constant cycle, often, of pregnancy, breastfeeding, and the care of toddlers.” Women are expected to feed and care for a large family on what are frequently limited resources, and the strain leads some to suffer clinical levels of exhaustion and self-neglect. The work that mothers can’t manage usually falls to their eldest daughters, who learn early that their role in life is domestic, as helpmeets to their parents and later their husbands, and as mothers to many children.
I definitely see the point. Even if the Duggars aren’t affiliated with Quiverfull (and they’ve stated they aren’t), they make it look deceptively easy to raise a dozen plus kids and have a happy, contented lifestyle. I would be hard pressed to raise three kids, honestly, and my hat is off to all of you who have more than one and manage to make it work.
Photos of the Duggars courtesy of Google Images.