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Jun 6, 2008

Fundamentalists and Prairie Muffins

Hi All!

I must say that my biggest bug-bear at the moment is the Duggar family. Mrs Duggar is pregnant with their 18th child and they are extreme Christian fundamentalists (or in web terms fundies) : google their name to find out more...

I struggle with this family: too many things are similar to my background and people I was exposed to growing up: especially the fundamentalist side of things.

They are strong believers in "quiverfull" (google this term to find out more) and go as far as to blame an early miscarriage on the pill. In my time it was known as "god plans your family" which is the concept that discourages any birth control, instead relying on God to decide how many kids (or in more fundie terms, children: after all kids are goats! :P) a couple can have. Quite a funny way of doing things as a commentator on "Bay of Fundie" (check it out, especially Michael: you'd get a kick out of it) points out: "God didn't have any kids (oops, sorry, children) and he wasn't even married, so why should he decide how many children people should have...lol...indeed! The Duggars are also very supportive of Gothard and his teachings, which are to be frank, a little out there, even for "normal" (OMG I can not believe I just said that) fundies. He believes that children should not be adopted by fundy families as they carry the sins of the parents...Parental authorianism is encouraged to the point that they can, refuse a child's marriage...etc. Read more here on Gothard teachings.

They also do blanket training: For blanket training, the parent would "test" baby by taking an enticing toy and rolling it off of the blanket. If baby goes off the blanket after the toy, they immediately
use this training opportunity to spank baby's hand with the paint stick and at the same time, verbally get the point across. They do this over and over with various interesting objects until a cookie can be placed along the side
of that blanket and baby will invariable go to the farthest side of the blanket away from the cookie. This also a Gothard teaching...and I find it just ugh! Enough said!

The major thing that stresses me out is how 'perfect' these children are. Now in my experience children are rarely that well behaved (especially when there is so many of them!) unless there is some sort of manipulation going on in the home...And like many fellow ex-fundy bloggers state, if there is one thing that fundies exceed at, it is manipulation and creating guilt!

And then there are the dresses that all the girls/women wear...ahhh equally stressful...Let me say that I do not a have a problem with dresses: in fact I still (yep the fundie roots thing) wear them 90% of the time. But I have a choice: I do not wear dresses because it is required of me. And also I don't wear baggy dresses, which don't suit anyone! I wear jeans in winter...but I am not a fan of them for myself 24/7...and am also not a fan of telling people what they can/cannot wear for religious reasons: or because it might "tempt a man". And this is the ultimate let in for a guy: "Forgive me Lord, but that woman showed me some leg and I had sex with her: but she was being immodest so it's ALL HER FAULT: she caused me to sin"....ahhhh gotta love the rational! Trust me, this does happen!

There are rumors throughout the web that one of the Duggar boys has committed a sin of a sexual nature, which caused his father to lose an election: with his father announcing he lost because of "sin in the camp"....Ha gotta love it.

I am waiting on bated breath for the tell all book by one of the children... ;) I am 99% sure that I can already tell you what is going to be in it! lol...But I won't because it is all nasty, terrible stuff, which is the sad reality for many fundie families: they just don't like to admit it till many years later... An trust me it all come out, and I think that is going to be more disturbing than people realise...People that support them now are in for a nasty shock...

Sooo...I would like to close off this post with a couple of links: I was unaware how thriving the online community is between christian fundies: it shocked me quite a lot.

Prairie Muffin Manifesto
: This is extremism to the max: anti- Laura Ingalls? Laura Ingalls is usually the holy grail for every fundie girl!

A Christian Home : This isn't so far out there , but does have web links to some more extremist aspects of the christian religion...

Please note, I don't support these people in any way, shape or form. I think in the long run, they are doing damage to themselves and their children but removing themselves so much from contact with people with different belief systems...Also this post was not anti any particular person in my own life, more just because of the recent furore with the Duggars and their 18th baby...



Lidia said...

Hey Jo!
This is an awesome entry! I hadn't heard of the Duggar family until I read this, and then I googled it and thanked God that I was born into my situation.

I don't really like anything funadmentalist and I think it's dangerous if they deny their children the right to free choice. I actually don't mind the Amish religion because they let their children choose. But I just wonder how much control the parents excert over the lives of their children and how they will grow up. I was reading about Quiverfull, and how there is speculation that the offspring of these proponents could help in converting America back from Liberalism to Conservatism. It's quite scary when you think about it!

I agree that every child is a blessing but I don't think there is anything wrong in preventing the possibility of a child. That's where I think the central doctrine of quiverfull is wrong - there is nothing wrong with prevention. Abstinence is just as much a form of prevention as the pill or a condom.

I'd be interested in hearing your experiences as part of a fundamentalist christian family, if that is how you consider it! My family wasn't fundementalist, although my dad was a strong christian. I quite like the way he brought me up, in that he told me about the Bible and JEsus but he never forced it upon me. I think to have done that would have been \a form of child abuse ;-)


Anonymous said...

Yeah - we should give our kids (I mean children) the right to free choice. Let's see..my parents want me to go to school today, but I think I'll exercise my free choice and not go. They want me to eat right, but what do they know? I'll eat what i choose. How about what to wear? I think it's OK to show cleavage, thong string, butt cheeks, etc, etc, etc. So, my choice is to wear those things. Spiritual guidance - God forbid I should have any training in that - my parent(s) shouldn't be teaching me anything - what do they know anyway. I can learn all I need to know from.....hmmmmm - my peers? Internet blogs?

Laura said...

Ugh, I know this post is over a year old, but I just found your blog tonight. I live in Fayetteville, about 20 minutes away from the Duggars, and while I don't remember Jim Bob's political career (I am 25), I do remember this political advertisement for Jim Holt. My parents, of course, voted for him. They, too, were Gothardites. I remember sitting through ATI as a kid, then twice again as a teenager. They applied it weirdly, though. I guess they just kind of picked out the parts that were convenient for them??? ie, they homeschooled my little brothers and made us go to every fundie seminar available (Ken Ham, Gothard, Worldview Weekend, etc!), but my mom still wore pants and short hair.

It's not hard to find ex-Christians, but I have noticed a slight scarcity of ex-very fundamentalists online. Nice to run across one, though I definitely wish you didn't have to go through what you did/are still going through.

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