Duggar family’s actions, behavior contradict their religion

Essentially Essex

Over the past few years, the Duggar family has been prominent in the media. They had a TV show on TLC called “19 Kids and Counting.” The Duggars may think the show was so popular because people were interested in their lives and how they manage to raise 19 kids in one house at the same time, but in reality it is because of the bizarre lifestyle they lead. The most bizarre thing about the Duggars is their religion. However, they are not very upfront about what they actually call their religion. In their book, "A Love That Multiplies," Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar write, “Even though Wikipedia and some Internet blogs report that we are part of a QuiverFull movement, we are not. We are simply Bible-believing Christians who desire to follow God's word and apply it to our lives. God says children are a gift and a blessing, and we believe it.” They identity themselves as “Independent Baptists.” This may sound pretty innocent, just like a good Christian family teaching values, but this is not the case. The Duggar family’s religion is very new, even more so than Scientology. According to The Huffington Post, the religion started and spread through families who use homeschooling and has a cult-like following. I think the whole religion is crap. The Duggars may not say they are followers of QuiverFull, but all the values they display match with that religion. Although the religion may sound innocent, it is very controversial. Followers of the QuiverFull religion have a history of incidents such as rape and female submission. According to The Huffington Post, the QuiverFull leader Doug Phillips found himself in his own controversy in 2013 when he admitted to a lengthy and inappropriate relationship with a woman who was not his wife. Recently, Joshua Duggar, the eldest son in the family, came forward and admitted to acting inappropriately with his younger sisters who were asleep at the time of the incidents. His exact statement said, “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends.”

The QuiverFull beliefs seem to move backwards, almost like a time machine taking a trip back to the days when women did not have many rights. Women who follow the religion must not dress "inappropriately," must be covered and must not date without being chaperoned by an older sibling or parent. Touching, such as full frontal hugging, is not allowed on dates — only side hugs are appropriate. In addition, QuiverFull marriage tends to happen earlier in a young adult's life, limiting the time women have for career advancement. Since marriage is the main foundation of the religion, these families have children earlier, and so the cycle continues. The religion is so bizarre that in one of the episodes, blurred shirts can be seen on the entire family that bear the words “anti-abortion,” a belief which inherently opposes a woman's right to choose. But this is not entirely surprising, since Josh Duggar worked at the Family Research Council, an anti-abortion and anti-LGBT rights lobbying group in Washington, D.C.

The whole family is strange, and I certainly don’t agree with their beliefs. The family is involved in scandal after scandal. First, Josh comes out as having molested his younger sisters while sleeping, then is exposed for his use of a website for cheating spouses, Ashley Madison. Josh’s actions contradict his religion because of how restrained the children are. Due to the fact that they are not allowed to have pre-marital sex, this may lead younger QuiverFull members to marry early and have more teen pregnancies. Molestation and incidents related to such offenses are more likely to happen as well because the children are taught nothing about sex. Josh Duggar is an example of a horny teenager, who was restrained from touching girls or thinking about girls in a sexual manner, although his religion is certainly not an excuse, by any means, for what he did. What is also upsetting is the fact that divorce is not an option in the Independent Baptist religion. This woman married to Josh is supposed to sit back and forgive her cheating, disgusting husband after what he has done because women have no rights in this religion. The women must forgive, push everything under the rug, put on a smile and provide for her family that she was forced to have at a young age. The Duggars are an embarrassment and a horrible example of a family with “values.”

Diana Essex is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies. Her column, “Essentially Essex,” runs on alternate Wednesdays. 

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