Sunday, December 13, 2009

Baby #19 for the Duggars

I'm sure I'm the last to know that the Duggar family had a baby girl over the weekend. She was incredibly premature. This news makes me very sad for several reasons, chief amongst those reasons is that my mom went through this after Rani. I think I talked about it in the "pregnant" post. I really feel badly about the challenges the Duggars and their baby will face.

Question from a reader: How do Gothard families reconcile a happening such as this with their idea of God's will? Will they stop, do you think?

In families like the Duggars, God's will and timing is perfect. The Duggar family is probably sad and confused about this birth, but they won't show it like you'd think they might. It's not as much a Gothard-family trait as a devout Christian, conservative-Baptist approach: You don't question what God puts before you and you make the best of it. It's considered a test of character and worthiness to face situations like these with a positive spin and complete faith. They'll see Josie as a blessing, sent to teach them patience and possibly humility. I've alluded to it before but never really said it outright, but there are some families in the ATI circle that see the Duggars as prideful. I'm sure everyone is praying for them but there are feelings of this being a "moment of choice" for the Duggars. My own parents told my brother that the Duggars would be judged by God for their reaction to this and in how they react to this. It's sick, but some people will want them to stop the show now because this would be God's...not God's punishment, but his message for them to reevaluate the important things and maybe not see the show as their "mission". Alot of ATI see them as falling away from the mission to serve God and evangelize to a selfish mission. I'm not saying they're right or wrong.

I feel bad for the older Duggar kids. Little Jordyn has lost her mom for a while, at a time when she needs her very much. Why didn't the Duggars and why don't QFers in general think of the suffering that occurs in cases like this for the children they've already had? It's an oversight. The focus is so much on a PREGNANCY being a NEW blessing that the blessings they've already received get shorted. I'll just say it- I don't think my dad even thinks about my mom's health and what losing her would mean for us kids. I'm not sure Jim Bob and Michelle get it either. If they got it, why would they risk it? They have eighteen healthy, adorable babies, but it wasn't enough for them. When is it enough? Unless Michelle had a hysterectomy, this won't stop them. They'll have more if she can, you can bet on that. It doesn't matter if a doctor tells them no. They'll find a new doctor. They've done it before. It's what my mom did.


  1. Ruth I dont understand it either. I got my Mom following the Duggars (she is an Ob/Gyn) and the delivery was the talk of her office all this weekend. As a medical professional and a mother, she doesnt understand how anyone could take such a risk. While the Duggars are as opposite of me as could be (I am a liberal childfree humanist agnostic) I hope little Josie is one of the lucky micro premies and pulls through alright and if JimBob and Michelle choose to have other children they suffer no ill health.

    I do not understand how the conception was "God's Will" when it was Michelle and JimBob that CHOOSE to have intercourse, knowing intercourse often leads to conception. In my mind it is like eating a lot of calories and saying its "God's Will" that you gained weight.....

    I also hope your Mom and new sibling are alright. Thank you for writing.

  2. I'm going to be terribly presumptuous so please forgive me but: I can only imagine the types of worries this latest Duggar-development has raised for you concerning your mom. I really really hope your family is this sort of hardship.

    "The focus is so much on a PREGNANCY being a NEW blessing that the blessings they've already received get shorted"

    THANK YOU! That pretty much sums up my biggest argument against the QF idea that children are a blessing ergo you must welcome as many as you can. It seems so greedy and ungrateful, like a kid wanting every toy in the world but not appreciating what's already there.

    -- tatortotcassie

  3. Hi razing ruth,

    Just thought I would drop you a line to tell you that you are not alone: I have a similar story and it is told all throughout my blog: : my family wasn't involved in ATI: but many other features are similar, scarily similar. You sound like me only 4 years ago....ugh :(

    I recommend as well.



  4. I don't get why a miscarriage occurs because of "sin", but this is just "God's will." That kind of thinking drives me nuts. I said the same thing about how it will affect the other kids. Poor Jordyn won't understand why she doesn't get to see Mom and Dad. I wrote about it on my blog, too, but I wasn't nearly as nice!

    Anyways, I am a former fundie, too. We did a lot of ATI stuff, but weren't as extreme as the Duggars as far as the long hair and lots of kids go. Everything else was pretty similar, though.

  5. PS @Natalie, gaining weight and God's will comment: brilliant!

  6. I'm curious if Quiverfullers can explain why God gives babies to parents that can't take care of them. If God only gives as many children as a couple can handle, then why are children giving to people who can't handle them?

  7. Lauren,
    Gothard has an answer for that and it's convoluted. The short answer, for a Gothard/ATI follower, is that God knows the TRUE hearts of the people he gives a child to. He knows that they COULD take care of this child. It's their sinful nature and worldly desires that prevent them (the parent) from fulfilling God's will. Gothardites see "bad parents" or "neglectful parents" (and I parenthesize those terms because they're relative) as people who are actively choosing to reject God's plan for them. Very convenient, isn't it? However, a Gothardite would never see what the Duggars do as neglect (handing off a baby to a buddy so mama can get pregnant again or having so many children that you can't possibly fulfil their emotional needs).

  8. I'm very worried about my mom. She's farther along than Michelle (my mom is due at the beginning of February) but she's not doing well and she's been forbidden to talk about it with me. My father is in total control. It's not knowing that frightens me.

  9. Thanks for the response - it makes sense (in an irrational, Gothard/ATI sort of way).

    I'm sorry your mom is not doing well. Hopefully she will pull through this, and deliver the baby to term - at the very least, 7 months along is better than Josie, at barely 6.

  10. Gothard has an answer for that and it's convoluted. The short answer, for a Gothard/ATI follower, is that God knows the TRUE hearts of the people he gives a child to.
    Amen, Ruth! God is great.
    He knows that they COULD take care of this child. It's their sinful nature and worldly desires that prevent them (the parent) from fulfilling God's will.
    God sees your sinful nature, Ruth. He sees you put worldly desires before your beliefs and your families needs. You have tricked yourselve in to believing that you follow God's will for you. Now you attempt to trick your readers in to believing lies about the Duggars and good families.
    I'm very worried about my mom. She's farther along than Michelle (my mom is due at the beginning of February) but she's not doing well and she's been forbidden to talk about it with me. My father is in total control. It's not knowing that frightens me.

    Your mom is being protected from your doubting Thomas spirit. She needs positive people now, Ruth. You only want to speak of her challenges. Who would want to talk to someone like that? You place to much importance on what men of science say in opposition to men of God. God will save. God will provide. Your mother is not your concern. Her child will be fearfully and wonderfully made as you once were.

  11. Ugh, don't pay attention to that, Ruth. You're doing just fine in life, and you are your own person. I may not know you, but I'm greatful to your blog and I fully support anyone's desire to live their own life as they see fit.

  12. Wow, never take seriously anyone who feels the need to post cruel stuff on a blog under the cover of anonymity. Poor soul's been brainwashed and has to make themself feel better about their crappy life by putting you down.

    I hope your mom's okay.

  13. I've linked my son's birth story. Suffice it to say that it's not that far from Josie's, I suspect, except that it was my first pregnancy-and that, hopefully, Josie's outcome will be better.

    I ended up leaving the church for a long time after Brian died, and one reason was that there always seemed to be someone who was ready to point fingers and blame me. Or my non-regular church attending husband-and me for having married a 2x/yr Christian instead of a "real" Christian. It wasn't until years later, after having a high risk, highly monitored, but successful pregnancy that I started attending church again, more because I wanted my daughter to have the opportunity than for me. And it wasn't until after that that I realized that those who pointed fingers at me were operating out of fear. They didn't want to think "There, but for the grace of God go I", so they chose to think "You didn't deserve God's grace"-and I believed it.

    If I got this in a more mainstream, albeit on the conservative side, church, how much worse must it be for a QF mother who loses a baby or has a severely complicated pregnancy?

  14. Ruth, that is so very difficult. I am so sorry you are going through that, and that expressing care and concern for your mother brings nothing but scorn from the ATI camp. You know, it is possible to block IP addresses on your blog so you don't have to put up with it. You don't have to. I know it's the default position to just kind of take it, but you're not there anymore and you don't have to listen to it just to be nice or respectful. I don't know how to do it in Blogger, but it is possible to do it in Wordpress. Maybe someone can tell you how to do it on this blog?

  15. Donna, I just read your story. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. How devastating.

  16. Re: Anonymous

    Your arguments would have more weight if they used correct spelling and grammar. It would also help if you could refrain from giving statements that most people would think are obviously untrue, like someone shouldn't care about their mother.

    We as people are defined by our challenges. If we do not have challenges in life we are shallow caricatures.

  17. Ruth, I just found your blog and wanted to tell you how brave you are and how much I admire your fortitude. Having come from a fundie (not QF) background, I know how hard it is to move forward when someone is constantly holding the specter of eternal hellfires over your head for every misstep you may make.

    Fortunately, that is NOT what the grace of Jesus Christ is about, nor what His work on the cross accomplished. These people, like your father and Bill Gothard and his followers, are teaching "another gospel", which the Apostle Paul refers to in his letter to the Galatian church in Galatians 1:6-7. And they, along with all of those who seek to pervert the grace of Christ for their own selfish purposes, will answer for it (Luke 17:2)(which probably brings you no joy).

    Please keep moving ahead. You are in good company, as many are seeing the truth and refusing to live in such darkness and despair any longer. Please keep sharing your story with us.


  18. @Donna,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I'm sorry you had to experience that pain.

  19. Ruth, I just found your blog and want to tell you that you are an awesome person. I can tell that you've been through the wringer with regards to your family and I think you will succeed. Follow your dreams and even though the way may be strewn with some boulders, it will even out.

    And always remember you are saved by Grace and Grace alone.And that Grace was freely given, not earned or bought. The rules that men have created tarnish and darken the words that the Lord has given us. I hope you can find a place that you feel safe and can give worship a chance.

    Fight the good fight and your success will be the fruit that blooms as a gift of the Spirit.

  20. Ruth, please don't let the anonymous poster make you doubt yourself. If you need to, someone at your college can probably help you block his IP address to keep him from spouting his hurtful things.

    You're a very brave woman -- my family is praying that you receive the healing and comfort you need and deserve. Hugs from Virginia.

  21. Ruth, you are such a strong and brave young woman. Please continue to speak the truth. I believe you.

    I hate the fact that a hate-filled family member is apparently posting here.

    To that family member: The more you post comments here, the more you add credibility to Ruth's true and heartfelt testimony. When you post your horrible harrassing comments, we come to know all too well why she needed to run from you. I am also a survivor of your kind of life-style. I praise the God I still somehow believe in, that there are alternatives to your particular beliefs.

    Ruth: Sweetheart, stay strong. People you do not know are rooting for you.

  22. I'll be adding your mom and sibling to my prayers for Josie and Michelle Duggar. Your mom is further along, thankfully, but every day in utero helps.
    I also really hope that you get to spend some time with the new addition. The baby will be your sibling, after all. I suspect you won't get any unsupervised time, but babies are loveable no matter who's around.

  23. argh! I meant to write "I really really hope your family is SPARED this sort of hardship." Serves me right for typing after midnight.

    As for "Anonymous" . . . phooey. "Your mother is not your concern" is ridiculous, heartless, and I dare say unbiblical. Even Jesus worried about his mother; why else would he have had his "best loved" disciple take her into his home to care for her?

    BTW, i hope your date goes well!

    -- tatortotcassie

  24. Thanks for your support. And thank you for providing this outlet. I've been staying quiet on TWOP, because I don't want to go too far OT, but Michelle's case is more and more parallel all the time, and therefore it's bringing back memories. My guess, given that the most current article lists Pre-eclampsia with Liver involvement, is that she either had full blown HELLP, or she was on the verge of it.

  25. Ruth,

    I admire your courage and your concern for your mother is valid and natural and any person who thinks it is not is not living in reality.

    I am a mother of 10 (24 yrs down to 3) and we were in ATI for a while. I have 4 teenage daughters who are honest with me and would show the same concern that you have for your mother. I am proud of them as I am of you.

    It is very hard to come out of that environment and to have to endure the scorn and condemnation from those who think you have gone apostate and fallen away from the Lord. Keep telling your story there are a lot of young people who are walking in your shoes but too afraid to leave the system that they have been entrenched in.


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