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09/21/2007

Unfortunately, it's not so easy for us to dig the Duggars

by Jeremy Hooper

If you watched the "Today" show this morning, you probably saw extensive coverage of the 19 member Duggar family. Here's a pic:

Tdy Lauer Duggarfamily 070806.300W

It was presented as a sweet, heartwarming family story involving the foibles and fun of raising 17 little ones. Yet unfortunately, like so many stories and individuals that non-politically active heterosexuals can take for granted, the Duggar story is not so easy for us to accept as just a cute lightweight kicker story to fill a morning news program. That's because there is a strong anti-gay element to the religious fundamentalism that motivates the brood's extremely fertile ways.

Ya see, the Duggars support many anti-gay groups and organizations, such as Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, and Bob Jones University. But most discouragingly, they are strong supporters of the controversial teachings of Christian activist Bill Gothard and the staunchly anti-birth control "Quiverfull" movement (thus a big reason reason for the scores of kids). This is the same Bill Gothard tours the country speaking rabidly against people and situations he sees contrary to a good, moral life, which of course includes homosexuality. Consider these words from Allen M. Barber, wherein he recounts a 70's era Gothard sermon in order to support his claim that gay acceptance is bringing us toward the Endtimes:

Bill Gothard Shows the Path a Nation Takes Toward Moral Decadence and the Judgment of God

In 1976, as a young minister, I attended a Bill Gothard seminar in Dallas and I will never forget his teaching on homosexuality and perversion (I still have the notes).

His teaching was under the title of “The Development of Concupiscence” (An old King James word we do not use anymore, which means “an evil unbridled craving or a strong unrestrained lust”).

He used the graphic of a thermometer to illustrate the moral temperature of society. The lowest and healthiest temperature was the ideal characterized by a spiritually moral society guided by the Laws of God. The next level up showing a rising unhealthy temperature was the development of concupiscence where the soulical natural man with his sensual cravings had begun to dominate and suppress the spiritual. The next level up representing the highest and most dangerous threat to a vibrant society was blatant perversion or homosexuality . Gothard said “That when a society reaches the point of condoning perversion, God will destroy that society” (Israel and Rome are examples from the past).

And there's loads of other frighteningly anti-gay Gothard testaments available online. Plus, there is Jim Bob Duggar himself, who, as an Arkansas state legislator and failed candidate for the U.S. Senate, ran as an EXTREME conservative on so-called values measures (and in case you aren't already aware, gay love is considered antipathetic to those "values").

So we sincerely wish we could just sit back and laugh as Ann Curry bounces a little Duggar on her knee and discusses the minutiae of the mother's harried days. However, doing so is a little tougher for those of us who desperately want to start families of our own, yet are constantly thrown roadblocks by folks like the Duggars and their allies. Now, we're not saying we think "Today" or any of the other networks who've given the Duggars airtime should necessarily delve into the family's controversial beliefs. We're obviously not saying that the Duggars should be barred from the national airwaves, nor are we denying that these are good kids with a compelling story. We're just saying that for us, the story can't help but have an extra element of frustration. And we have to wonder if a pair of queer progressives with their own oversized brood would get presented in such a cute, fluffy light without any qualifiers regarding their beliefs.

Meet the Duggar family — all 19 of them [Today]

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Your thoughts

Well, if the studies about how the more older male siblings a male has the more likely he is to be gay, these parent's are in for a rude awakening, and a few of their sons may be if for a life of heartache.

I feel sorry for any of their kids who are GLB or T.

Posted by: Zeke | Sep 21, 2007 2:12:30 PM

Someone put a cork in the mom, please.

Posted by: Franc | Sep 21, 2007 3:27:02 PM

17 kids. Five percent of that is .95 when rounded gives us 1, which means that statistically at least one kid will turn out gay. And I bet it'll be one of the boys as research is now showing that hormones have a very big part in creating a gay kid.

I would love to be a fly on the wall when that kid comes out.

Posted by: Tony P | Sep 21, 2007 3:58:52 PM

There is no scientific proof that people are born gay, or for that matter that being is an actual type of sex.

Posted by: | Sep 21, 2007 5:25:11 PM

Oh anonymous.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Sep 21, 2007 5:28:49 PM

Gross. I would hate to see that woman's insides. One time, I actually sat and watched the TLC special on the entire family. It was like watching a train wreck, it was awful, yet I couldn't look away.

Posted by: Jane Know | Sep 21, 2007 8:59:45 PM

I thought of the exact same thing as Zeke as soon as I looked at the headline. With all those kids, especially so many males from the same mother, the chances of them having one or more gay kids is really quite high.

Posted by: GayMormonBoy | Sep 22, 2007 2:03:37 PM

Someone put a cork in the mom, please.

How about we put a cork in the guy instead? I mean, I'm just a lesbian, but I'm fairly sure there has to be a guy involved somehow in all that breeding ... why do you automatically assume that it's the woman's responsibility?

Posted by: Sarah in Chicago | Sep 24, 2007 8:00:21 AM

All of you people talking poorly about the Duggar's are just jealous that you can't be just as sure of what you beleive. You are also so insecure that you feel like you have to put someone down to raise yourself up. It's pathetic! I know that everything they beleive came straight from the Bible and that's all that matters. Also, their kids won't turn out gay because they actually teach and enforce morals on them and it's not an option to do anything other than what the Bible teaches. Most people let their kids do whatever they want because they feel like the minute they turn 13, they can't tell them what to do, their just teenagers. Just follow the crowd whether it's good or bad. I can assure you that the Bible doesn't say anything about marrige being anything other than this...

" Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib and brought her to Adam."~Genesis 2:22
"She will be called woman because she was taken out of a man. This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined with his wife, and the two are united into one."~Genesis 2:23
See, nowhere does it say that man and man or woman and woman should be together. Why do you think that same sexes can't reproduce? Because it wasn't meant to be that way! GOD BLESS YOU DUGGAR FAMILY!!!!!!!

Posted by: Annie | Mar 4, 2008 11:42:22 PM

Wow, that's quite a handful of suppositions, Annie.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 5, 2008 8:41:47 AM

what is the age of all of the kids from oldest to youngest

Posted by: corey skead | Mar 3, 2009 6:04:14 PM

All statistics set aside, it is genetically proven that the more sons a family has, the more likely the youngest, (or younger ones) are to be homosexual. Each time the mother is pregnant with a baby boy, her body creates a sort of "anti-body" against the child. I am by no means an expert, but it has something to do with the RH factor? Anyway, with that many sons, it is wayyy more than likely that the youngest 10? 20? however many sons they go on to have will be *ehem* pre-disposed to the "sin" of homosexuality. Since they seem to have such a good relationship with God, maybe they'll realize that God loves both heterosexuals and homosexuals alike.

Posted by: laura | Mar 4, 2009 10:50:56 AM

I don't get it. People act like 2 year olds fighting over toys. The old "Let's pass laws so they have to play the same games we play" type of mentality. They can believe anyway they want. As can you. It doesn't make them better but it certainly doesn't make them worse. They (and others like them) try to get laws passed that support the type of country they want to live in - YOU (and others like you) do the very same thing. They feel homosexuality is wrong - you don't. They feel bearing children outside of wedlock is a sin - you don't. I most certainly do NOT believe as they do - however, I fervantly believe in their right to hold their views, just as I fervantly believe in your right to hold your views. Intolerance is abundant on both sides of this particular coin. Their attitude (as you have described it) about gays/Lesbians is mirrored by the gay/lesbian attitudes about them.

Posted by: Ernie | May 31, 2009 9:04:24 PM

Well let's acknowledge the fundamental difference, dimphil: That *their* side is working against the civil equality of LGBT people. That is the only reason why gay activism exists in the 21st century -- because their are still socially conservative forces that keep LGBT rights at bay.

If it weren't for anti-gay politics playing out in the civil realm, very few gay progressives would care even one iota about people's religious right to stand against gays through their faith. Most of us support the right of anyone to hold whatever faith view they want. What we don't support is the right of personal faith views to enter into matters of state.

Now, as for the Duggars and this post: All we were saying here is that the media should acknowledge the impetus behind their decision to have so many children. It's actually a more mooted point now, because their religious views are much more known. But back when this post was written, the media would act as if this was just a fun novelty store about a family who decided to ramp up reproduction. We, having studied the movement and the anti-gayness within, knew that there was much more at work. All we wanted was for the media to give it, the seemingly key element of the story, some play. They still haven't, at least not fully. But more so than back when this post was first written.

But please don't confuse this for a call to have the Duggars removed from TV, boycotted, etc. I actually really enjoy their show, finding it all quite fascinating. Again, I just think transparency is key.

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 31, 2009 9:30:53 PM

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