Sunday, January 3, 2010

The wolves and the world

Question from email: I have a question for you that maybe you can answer. You said the Duggars aren't thought of too highly in ATI circles because of their fame. Why is that? Wouldn't they be seen as going out to spread their faith as Matthew commands?

I don't think I said they weren't "thought of too highly". I think I've suggested that there are some families within ATI circles who see the Duggars in a less positive light than they once did. ATI-ers do believe that Matthew commands Christians to go forth and spread the gospel among non-believers. Where the current ATI crowd finds fault with the Duggars (so I've been told) is the involvement of the children. Most QF families, especially the ones that isolate their children, read Matthew as commanding mature, adult Christians (who are secure in their faith) to go out and spread God's words and commands. Knowing Matthew, they will go out of their way to point out passages in Deuteronomy and Ephesians which - they claim- is God's command for parents to isolate their children from worldly things because anything worldly is against God. To coin a common phrase- "if I had a dollar..." for every time I was told "be not even a little bit an enemy with God" based on James 4:4 as a reason not to have friends outside of our movement, "...I'd be a rich woman". The Duggars have "made friends" with the worldly. They've invited them into their homes and circle. Worse, in the minds of the ATI/QF, they've allowed their children to spend time with all these people who aren't just like themselves in commitment to keeping the "word". It's like this...when you see the Duggars on the Today Show and think "there they are again", the ATI/QF crowd thinks of how foolish it is for the Duggars to put their children in the same room with all those non-ATI/QF people. The average QF/ATI family would never take their children to New York, let alone Time Square. It's too much outside influence for the children.

Make no mistake. I'm happy that the Duggars, for whatever reason, are stepping outside the ATI/QF norm and getting out in the world. I think it's the best possible thing for those kids, but it's considered very dangerous by those still "in" the movement. I suspect that the Duggars' recent hesitance to say they're QF stems from some of this "worldly" influence. In true QF circles, having their children hang with camera men and cousin Amy would be considered treacherous and for all the other faults I can find with Jim Bob and Michelle, they truly do seem to accept these people and trust their kids enough to allow contact.


  1. Happy New Year Ruth! May 2010 be an incredibly wonderful year for you. Please keep on posting, this middle aged mom is learning a lot from you.

  2. Hi Ruth, Happy New Year to you!

    What I find very odd (yes a lot of things about the Duggars I find odd), is that they will go on the "Today Show" to talk about their family, be in People Magazine, on TLC,Discovery Health etc but they would not let their children WATCH TLC or the Today Show or read People Magazine- unless they would and I am mistaken regarding their beliefs.

    As far as a regular ATI/QF family taking their children to NYC, I am making the assumption that most ATI/QF people do not live in large metropolitan areas? I just don't know how in a big city like Chicago(where I was born and raised and still reside) one could "protect" their children from being "defrauded" or from being around people outside of the movement. I know they would be home schooled, but children still need to go to the doctor, to on errands etc.......What about family members that are not ATI/QF- are they cut off to protect the children?

    I would appreciate your opinion (if you have one) on how the Duggars rationalize participating in in media they wouldn't consume themselves. As always thanks for writing!

  3. Hi Ruth,

    Most of us on TWOP, on one level, can understand wanting to wrap your kids up in cotton wool & protect them from all the horrible influences of the world won't work. You grow up not knowing how to handle yourself with no skills, real or scholarly.

    I remember in one of my soc. or rel. studies classes in university having to read " The Wayward Pilgrims." In a nutshell, they were going to build Utopia. In the end, they just saw evil everywhere & kept buliding more and more 'fences' to keep the people in line and evil out. Of course, every little action was viewed as the 'thin edge of the wedge.'

    Rather how I imagine how Gothard works. Instead of seeing the good, the mind is crowding with the bad.

    Anyway, I'm babbling. lol. I also wanted to let you know that I think you are quite brave to go on to college and really start afresh. Good luck and keep posting. Lots of people enjoy your posts.


  4. I know that not coveting what isn't yours is a commandment but I have to wonder if the schism against the Duggars might be influenced by the fact that having a TV show gives them more wealth and oppertunities than other QF families who are scraping by on meager funds.

    Also I notice that TLC tends to downplay the more radical parts of the Duggar life.


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