Hating the Duggars - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Hating the Duggars

Every day seems to bring another example of intolerance by a shocking number of people on the American left. Whether progressives/liberals are picketing, denouncing, demonizing, boycotting, and seeking to shut down florists and bakers and photographers who—pleading their First Amendment rights of religious freedom—beg not to be forced to service a same-sex marriage ceremony, or whether they’re suing Hobby Lobby or the Little Sisters of the Poor for not funding other people’s abortions, the examples keep piling up. And yet, amazingly, these progressives/liberals never seem to detect a conflict between their constant professions of “tolerance” and “diversity” and the undeniably obvious fact that they only tolerate things they agree with. That, of course, is not tolerance. In so many areas, they will not tolerate you disagreeing with them; when you do, they want to shut you down.

Well, I’d like to remark on yet another example. It concerns the Duggar family.

If you’re not familiar with the Duggars, there are, well, 19 of them. The Duggars are devout evangelicals following what they believe is God’s plan for their family and fertility. They have their own reality TV show. Actually, it’s now 19 Duggars and counting, as some of the older children are having little Duggars of their own.

That mere reproductive fact infuriates a large number of very angry people on the left. But to make liberals’ nightmares worse, the Duggars display their lifestyle on a popular TV show broadcast by The Learning Channel (TLC). That the Duggars have a platform, even as a mere bizarre curiosity to the 99.9% of people who have no desire to produce 19 children, is driving many liberals into fits of rage. Once again jettisoning their professed sacred cows—tolerance, diversity, open-mindedness, and let’s add freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and opposition to censorship—they’re insisting the Duggars’ show be canceled. For many of them, this has become an obsession turned into a crusade, as they are hellbent in driving the Duggars off the air.

While 19 Duggars seems like a lot, they pale compared to the 150,000 furious signers of the petition to have them removed. The petition is spearheaded by a leftist gay-rights group called Change.org, which, of course, favors only change it agrees with. Naturally, the group accuses the Duggars of “ignorance and fear mongering.” TLC must “separate themselves from this bigotry and put an end to the Duggars’ show,” says one of the petition organizers.

“Because 19 kids is irresponsible,” declares one authoritative signer of the petition, eager to control the womb of Mrs. Duggar. “The big ones [older Duggar children] raising the little ones. They are having way too many.… More importantly, there are other valued things a young woman can do besides get married and be pregnant a month later.” This petitioner judges: “I personally think they [the Duggars] are sending a terrible message. There is more to life than being a human baby machine.”

Never mind that this is Mrs. Duggar’s reproductive choice, something else that liberals have long claimed to champion.

All of this is sad on many fronts. For one, the Duggars are so obviously, palpably happy. They are clearly a joyous family. They and their kids are among the most contented people you’ll find amid the wretched squalor, rancid sorrow, moral obtuseness, and parade of depressing misery that pollutes and pervades TV’s litany of awful offerings. The sheer bliss of the Duggars seems to enrage the perpetually angry petitioners even more.

Liberals are doing to the Duggars what they always accuse their opponents of doing—hating. When you disagree with these disciples of diversity on issue A, B, or C, brace yourself to be told that you hate. If you’re against paying for other people’s contraception and abortion, then you hate women. If you’re against redefining marriage, regardless of your religious beliefs, then you hate gay people. On and on it goes.

And indeed, the Change.org petitioners have accused the Duggars of “hate and fear-mongering.” Of course.

If you want to see hate, look at the hate channeled at the Duggars. It drips off the page. Where’s the tolerance? Where’s the love of diversity? Where’s the open-mindedness and opposition to censorship?

Above all, why can’t the left just leave the Duggars alone? Liberals tell us all the time: If you don’t like a certain TV show, change the channel. Not when it comes to the Duggars. Liberals don’t like them, they don’t want to see them, and thus they will not tolerate your right to like them and see them. They cannot allow for the existence of the Duggars in their “diverse” and “tolerant” universe.

The Duggar haters are merely the latest exhibit of intolerance by the American left.

Paul Kengor
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Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College in Grove City, Pa., and senior academic fellow at the Center for Vision & Values. Dr. Kengor is author of over a dozen books, including A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism, and Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.
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