The Spectacle Blog

Leave the Duggars Alone

By on 4.18.14 | 12:43PM

Amanda Marcotte just couldn’t resist a dirty jab at the Duggars.

In her scathing article at the Daily Beast yesterday, the feminist blogger predicted the end of the Duggar Dynasty.

The popular TLC show “19 Kids and Counting” follows the semi-chaotic, but strangely normal and splendidly wholesome lives of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their nineteen children. Their oldest son is married and has three children of his own; one daughter is engaged and another has a serious boyfriend.

Sure, the Duggars are extreme even for many conservative Christians. They don’t watch TV, the girls all wear skirts and dresses, and for goodness sake, there are nineteen of them. However, they aren’t the women-hating, female-abusing psychos Marcotte presents them as.

Her accusations stem from the shameful fall from grace of Doug Phillips, the leader of Vision Forum ministries. Phillips admitted to an affair and his mistress now alleges abuse. His actions are indefensible. If the claims of sexual abuse are accurate, Phillips has sinned against God and this woman, and I will not, in any way, condone his actions. Christians are not perfect people, but even if they are forgiven by God, a crime is a crime.

However, Marcotte’s accusations that somehow this means the end of the Duggars is simply ridiculous. Yes, the Duggars were part of the ministry and have ties to the homeschooling movement Phillips led, but that doesn’t mean the Duggars themselves abused women or had affairs.

In fact, Jim Bob's and Michelle’s marriage appears tender and loving. Marcotte’s attempt to stamp Phillip’s indiscretions on nineteen other people has no merit.

She also discusses reports of sexual abuse by women in Bill Gothard’s ministry and on Bob Jones’s and Patrick Henry’s campuses. Again, if the accusations are true this is unacceptable, but Marcotte should focus on the people at hand. If she wants to take down those ministries or universities, go ahead, but unless there is specific proof that the Duggars have taken part in the alleged abuse, she has no basis by which to defame them.

“Biblical patriarchy” to the full extent that the Duggars live it out is followed by few Christians. However, the Duggar girls are beautiful and they are getting married, finding love, and enjoying careers as midwives. This isn’t a get-rich dirty capitalist trick – these are their sincere beliefs which they live out without hurting anybody else. They don’t have debt, they provide services to their communities, and their kids aren’t in jail or running the streets.

Can’t we please tolerate a little diversity?

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