Praise the Lord, Pass the Condoms

This morning I heard the story of the Duggar family from Arkansas (where else) that had their 17th child. Devout Christians (of course), the Duggars believe that children are a blessing (no argument there) and not a burden (uh, depends on the day) and are still hoping to have more, “if it’s the Lord’s will”.

Trust me, I really, really want to make fun of these people… but after reading their website and some of the articles there, it’s just hard too. Seriously, they are completely debt-free (how many can say that), run the whole operation on a budget of about $5,000 a month (not bad) and seemingly manage to be pretty decent people.

Certainly I could argue with their beliefs (they are Bill Gothard fans), their politics, and their choices in life, but it is after all their choices… not mine. So I say live and let live on this one.

Of course, the dad’s name is Jim Bob (pick one dude), the boys all tuck their shirts in way too tight and wear their pants too high and the girls could use a bit of a makeover… but besides that I will be nice.

31 thoughts on “Praise the Lord, Pass the Condoms”

  1. anyone else think that they just have lots of kids for free slave labor and an excuse to have a MEGA-kickYourAss-house? i mean.. i’m just sayin…

  2. There you go again lowend with your “do something” pleas… talk about needing to give it a rest… heheh… you know how I feel about that – but that’s my opinion.<>Sometimes “doing” means trying to make people think about how their lifestyle affects others.<>Amen Dean…. sadly some people don’t see it that way. And those that so often call for others to “DO” are often so busy “doing” that they don’t sit around and think enough as to what they are really “doing” and more importantly “why they are doing it”. They just “do, do, do” regardless.That being said… I found your original correlation between the Duggars and “world hunger” a stretch. So are you proposing a limit on people and the number of children they should have, and if so, is it my responsibility to care for the rest of the world’s children just b/c they exist and if so how many… I am just trying to investigate your point of view.

  3. LOL! You managed to find a much nicer pic of them than what I posted on my blog < HREF="http://jthughes.blogspot.com/2007/03/be-fruitful-and.html" REL="nofollow">here.<>And while I didn’t bust on them personally <>(much),<> I overall think you were much nicer to them than I was…Good post.

  4. Steve, first, I agree that my original argument is a bit of hyperbole and I think I even mentioned that the correlation was tenuous at best. Secondly, I don’t believe the Duggar family represents some growing trend that we should worry about. It’s not like you or I are thinking about having a family of 17+. What I, however, found offensive was the idea that they felt it was ordained by God to have a huge family. It brings up that theological maelstrom of theodicy. What is offensive to me is that the American lifestyle depends upon a huge disparity of economic conditions. We (Americans that is) exploit the world resources whether it is for food, clothing, or energy. The American family uses a tremendous amount of resources to maintain itself. Something like 10x the rest of the world.As a simple, isolated example: Beef, its what’s for dinner. Now, don’t get me wrong here. I love a medium rare steak like no one else. BUT, cattle are a real poor use of resources. That cow requires energy in the form of water, feed, and land at a rate much higher than other more efficient crops or other domesticated animals. And once that cow is slaughtered it needs to be refrigerated and delivered to your local grocer using even more energy. So what does that have to do with starving children in Africa? Well, the excessive amounts of energy to obtain my steak dinner cause the cost of energy to increase (supply and demand, free market stuff). So now Johnny third world see prices increase for staple items such as drinking water, rice, etc.So, assuming the Duggar family enjoys a beef dinner this evening, every one of those children is consuming energy at much higher rate than the rest of the world. Now, as Shieldsy so aptly pointed out, the Duggars do represent some level of efficiency by living under the same roof, home schooling, and other aspects of communal living. So they may indeed function under the curve per person, but there are still 17 of them.So now you can make the Sam Kinison argument in response to the third world. “Get outta the F&@*ing desert.” Or maybe you think, “They should just stop having children.” I find those arguments a little hard to swallow, but that’s just the bleeding heart liberal in me.I hope this helps you understand my point of view. I think the greatest weakness of the radical individualism that drives the American psyche is that it assumes absolute isolation, which is almost never the truth.

  5. I’ve been guilty of mocking this family, even if relatively gently (one daughter’s name: Joanne. Another daughter’s name: Joy-Hannah. Are you kidding me?). Thanks for setting a good example of being charitable.

  6. <>“Of course, the dad’s name is Jim Bob (pick one dude), the boys all tuck their shirts in way too tight and wear their pants too high and the girls could use a bit of a makeover… but besides that I will be nice.”<>LOL. Nice post Steve.Poor Mrs Jim Bob. A good argument for good Old fashioned, Old Testament concubines I would say.

  7. lowedinaction said:Does she even know when she’s pregnant anymore? Or does she just wake up one morning, and… “Tada”… a surprise under the covers? Says wife, “And I thought I just had some bad gas from last nights meatloaf! What a blessing.”Talk about a surprise under the covers! I’ll bet hubby has a supply of GHB.

  8. we live very near to these wonderful people.as a family of four, we have a difficult time making it on that amount of money each month – i want to know their secret!guess there’s something to say about “hand-me-downs”.

  9. This may sound like liberal, bleeding heart stuff, but I can’t help it, I am one. They may not be in debt, but the debt is being paid by the third world. While they feed and provide housing for all those mouths, other children around the world go hungry and live in UN camps. I know the correlation may not be direct, but it certainly is conspicuous.

  10. …somewhere, out in the wilderness, a tree is begging to be hugged.I know that doesn’t sound very “Christian”…but seriously!!! I am getting so sick and tired of people sitting around in their Hemp garments and unwashed nappy dreads, pointing their stinky fingers at the un-enlightened world around them. DO SOMETHING if you’re really that concerned. But for the love of all that is holey and green…give it a rest.*yawn* I’ve got an episode of “Hey Paula” waiting for me on my DVR!

  11. Adoption came to my mind, too. But still, you really think this couple had seventeen kids to get attention? I think there are easier ways.

  12. well dean…then I guess you and I aren’t so different after all. Except with me it’s my lava lamp and my addiction is GHII…I melt faces off baby!!!Does anyone have a first aid kit? It seems I’ve been virtually shot…it hurts alot more than I had expected…I mean it really stings!

  13. No doubt the situation you are referring to is systemic… both on a personal consumption level and on a global political level… and probably many other levels as well.For me what you wrote can be summed up as “Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should”. Know what I mean??

  14. <>…the Duggar family from Arkansas (where else)…<>hey, wait a minute, i’m from R-can-saw too, and i got snipped after 2. well, maybe that’s because my name ain’t jim bob.peace,cooter (aka sean)

  15. Well, shieldsy, I would have to do a lot of research to determine the carbon footprint of the Duggar’s vs. the average 5 member family, so I will admit I am talking out my ass on that account. However, this will be 17+ consumers that will move out of this highly efficient commune into the “American” lifestyle. Perhaps they will all move into 400sq ft efficiencies, not own cars, shop local markets, and wear justice oriented clothing. But I doubt it.

  16. Well said! I will now enjoy my Kobe beef dinner, Italian truffles, with a fine French wine. Dinner will be followed by a exquisite Cuban cigar. It’s the American way.

  17. I went to their website and discovered that “children are a heritage from the Lord” Ps 127v3This family claims that it is their spiritual duty to have children. Why not adopt children? There are so many children who have lost parents through HIV/Aids that adding more children to the world’s population is just plain irresponsible and thoughtless. This has nothing to do with Christ’s love and everything to do with the need for personal recognition.

  18. I wonder if women get a break on pain after number 15. I mean, there’s gotta be some kind of group discount deal or something. You know God’s got a special blue ribbon picked out for that trooper!Does she even know when she’s pregnant anymore? Or does she just wake up one morning, and… “Tada”… a surprise under the covers? Says wife, “And I thought I just had some bad gas from last nights meatloaf! What a blessing.”wow…take that Steve Martin!

  19. Sorry to offend and bore you. For the record, I am neither dread locked, nor a hemp wearer, and my fingers a relatively stink free. Sometimes “doing” means trying to make people think about how their lifestyle affects others. I saw the Duggar family, who thinks of themselves as ordained by god to populate a small town, as a prime example of not fully considering the consequences of their actions.The Duggars DO shop resale for clothing and seem to be socially aware and in their attempts to DO more, perhaps they are vindicated. And perhaps, my stinky fingers are pointing at the wrong people and should in fact be pointing at myself. So, in honor of that I will now turn off my computer and go DO something.

  20. Wow, Steve, I’m actually really impressed by most of what I see from the Duggar family. My first roommate in college came from a very large family (ten children at the time, with more on the way) and she and her family were about the sweetest and most loving people I’ve ever had the pleasure of keeping company with. Probably the only issues I have with the Duggars would be the following:1)<>Probably<> expecting/teaching their kids that they should get married and have as many kids of their own as possible (ignoring that single people are vital to ministry and the world–you know, like Jesus). I’m just guessing this is what they’re doing, based on the literature they recommend.2. Poor Michelle Duggar–not only has she been pregnant for 135 months of her life (that’s over 11 years), but she’s the only person in the family who doesn’t have a name that starts with “J.” 3. If everyone was as prolific at poppin’ out babies as they are, there would be no one to help them with the laundry. Or teach them to play piano. Or violin. Or develop the computers and other technologies that allows them all to maintain a life of relative leisure. It is the people who have chosen not to have kids (or not very many) that allows the Duggars to have four dishwashers, four washer/dryers, etc., buy food that someone else grew/cultivated/processed, have an indoor rock-climbing wall, sound and video editing equipment, several musical instruments, etc. I’m just sayin’, if we all lived the super-sized family lifestyle that they advocate, life would look a lot different for the Duggars, and for everyone else. We can’t all be real estate agents, after all.But as I said at the beginning, there’s lots of stuff they are doing that is marvelous.

  21. I thought dean was going to turn off his computer. What happened?Look, I know I was rude and totally non-WWJD…but it was monday…and I work in a florescent lit cube…gimmie a friggin break.You caught me on my “Do-Box” steve, but you have to agree (and I’m not saying that this applies to dean…I don’t even know the guy) that there are just SO many of these pro-earth-green-loving-post-hippie-types who are just sooooo concerned about poor mother earth, and love blogging about her woes and philosophizing about the lack of governmental involvement…and yet ultimately they affect no change or contribute to a real solution(be it through words or actions).So shoot me for having eyes and an opinion…good times

  22. so ya lost me with the GHB…sorry.But with your screen-name, this conversation has taken a very akward and potentially itchy turn for the worse…yaowzaa!!!bazinnng!!

  23. I am impressed that they are debt free. Wow.I feel for Mrs. Duggar I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be pregnant for most of your adult life. Come to think of it I couldn’t imagine being pregnant once.Thank God I’m a man.

  24. dude, since you have soo much time on your hands, and all you do with it is diss on other families, i think you should get a job. the duggars are a great family and they stand in their faith.if you are gona put them down for believing in somthing then i feel sry for you.really i do.you should go cry now, cause you have no future. gocrybooooohooooo!lolps.DUGGARS ROCK!!!!!!!

  25. lowend, I turned off my computer long enough to smoke a joint, light up the Patchouli incense, and worship a tank of pond water.unfortunatley my job requires my computer be on and I fill my empty life by reading blogs and pretending these people are my friends.

  26. How creepy. I’m wondering just what cult they belong to…I see lots of women wearing the same “uniform” around north Alabama too (you know, ankle-length skirt, hair down to the waist, yada yada). Hmm, maybe they’re going to keep breeding until they use up all of the names in the bible.

  27. Dean, that’s utter BS. I’d bet considerable money on the fact that the carbon footprint of the Duggar household, and their general level of consumption is probably LESS than the average American … certainly per capita, and probably even overall.

  28. Hey, plenty of people have made fun of the Duggar family. I agree with you though. After having an initial giggle, followed by an “Oh my god, what is WRONG with these people?!” I decided to live and let live too.But that initial giggle is important… 😀

  29. My husband found a picture of them on the ‘net, with a caption of: “The Vagina — It’s Not a Clown Car.”

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