Archive for the ‘Michelle Duggar’ Category

Joy-Anna Duggar Pregnancy Post: Life Begins at Birth!

The Duggars have gotten a lot of criticism over the years. For Michelle Duggar being a neglectful parent. For their fringe fundamentalist views on everything. For their children being uneducated "clones" of their beliefs.

But no one has ever realistically questioned whether the Duggar family is 100% anti-abortion.

Until now, that is. Diehard fans are questioning their views after being alarmed by the language used in a recent Duggar post.

Jim Bob, Michelle on Facebook

Joy-Anna and Austin Forsyth may never address the shotgun wedding rumors -- at least, that's how some fans are feeling.

Some believe that they're not trying to clear the air because the story is true and they're ashamed of doing the natural and healthy activity that almost every couple in the country does.

Others believe that they're not speaking about it directly because they don't want to give any weight to a false rumor. Perhaps they fear that if they shoot down one rumor, they'll be expected to respond to them all.

A more moderate view might be that Joy-Anna and Austin are biding their time and seeing when Joy-Anna gives birth. If it's late enough, it might look like "evidence" that the couple waited until their wedding night.

The touchy subject of Joy-Anna's due date was what brought about this post, which shocked numerous Duggar fans:

Joy-Anna Duggar Due Date Photo

On the Duggar family's official Facebook page, they wrote:

"Joy and Austin will soon be parents! Anybody have a guess when baby will be here?"

They then wrote:

"When it comes to arrival, these babies make up their own minds!"

On the surface, this is just a post about a pregnant Duggar daughter.

Dig slightly deeper, and it's a set-up to give a plausible explanation if (or when) Joy-Anna gives birth earlier than her wedding date would "allow."

But did you notice the unexpected language from the Duggars? These fans did, and they were shocked.

Duggars in NYC

One diehard Duggar fan commented:

"They are already parents! They've been parents since conception, because that's when life begins! (Just like to point that out, because life-affirming language is super important - and I know your family agrees on the sanctity of life!)"

That comment then continued, with some odd capitalizatin and hyphenation.

"God bless! Pregnancy is such a special time with Baby and so is birth! Praying for Baby and Mama on your upcoming big day! Have a very Happy Birth-day!"

Other commenters echoed the sentiment, "correcting" the Duggars.

"Life begins at conception."

And another:

"Human life begins before one has a heartbeat; of course, even if it didn’t, they’d still have been parents since nearly conception. Nothing controversial about that. It’s encouraging, actually."

Austin Forsyth, Joy-Anna Duggar

So, to the anti-abortion crowd, the Duggars were odd to suggest that Joy-Anna isn't already a mother.

By their beliefs, she's been a mother since conception.

The Duggars haven't been shy about mourning miscarriages with grave markers, as they might if a baby had died. (Which is totally their choice, folks -- everyone has a right to grieve a loss in their own way)

Fans have noted the family's apparent hypocrisy, grieving Jubilee while seeming to forget Caleb Duggar by calling Jubilee their "20th child."

And one commenter referred to that under the post about Joy-Anna and Austin.

"The Duggars are very pro-life. They turn up to abortion clinics and hold signs on the street. They choose to tell everyone else what should be considered life and then ignore one of the 'lives' they created. It’s hypocritical."

Austin, Joy

But perhaps whether or not Jim Bob and Michelle mention one child they never got to meet or another is beside the point.

For the Duggars to use the language that they did is odd for pro-life activists who usually use language designed to reinforce the idea that a fetus is a person already.

Were they just ... tired? Did they task some intern or family friend to make the post on their behalf?

Who knows.

Fans can all agree that, for most families, the language used to describe Joy-Anna's upcoming maternity wouldn't be unusual.

But surely the entire world can agree that the Duggars are not most families.

Michelle Duggar: SLAMMED For Negligent Parenting!

Michelle Duggar is a busy woman.

In addition to being the mother of an astonishing twenty children, Michelle is the queen of a multi-million dollar media empire.

Of course, there are times when these two aspects of Michelle's life come into direct conflict with one another, and they collided in a major way last week.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Kitchen Hug

It all started when Michelle was invited to address a group of mothers at a religious retreat.

She wrote about the experience on Facebook, and some fans took issue with the reality star's comments:

"As a busy mom with a growing family through the years, I never imagined me being the one to talk to crowds! My days were filled with all the daily chores of being a mom," Michelle wrote.

"Yet, I am so thankful for the opportunity to share our story with others and encourage moms in their faith, their marriages and raising their children."

Seems innocent enough, right?

Jim Bob, Michelle on Facebook

Unfortunately for Michelle, pretty much nothing she does is above criticism.

The issue this time is that many fans believe the Duggar matriarch is not as busy as she claims.

For one thing, Michelle is known for having her older kids assist with parenting duties.

It's a controversial method that she calls the buddy system.

So in addition to their extensive lists of chores the older Duggar kids who are still at home are each assigned one younger child to look after.

Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar on Vacation

Jana Duggar seems to have been burdened with the majority of the house and has earned the nickname "the Cinderella Duggar" as a result of her tireless devotion to her younger siblings.

“I love the show but let’s face it you couldn’t have raised such a big family without the older girls who did so much of the work,” wrote one fan on Michelle's Facebook post.

“It is not a child’s job to be a mom for the younger siblings,” another remarked.

“A child should do chores, have fun and go to school, homework is their job, not to be a mom’s replacement just because the parents were so selfish that they decided to have child after child.”

“Wow I absolutely do not agree that a baby at 6 [months] should be weaned and then you work on its replacement,” a third remarked, adding: 

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar: NOT Divorced!

“Having older daughters help is one thing but to just basically adopt out your infant is ridiculous.”

Obviously, Michelle hasn't responded to the backlash, and as Duggar controversies go, this one is pretty minor.

Still, it points to a growing trend that's likely got the whole family feeling a little uneasy these days.

With just days to go until the premiere of Counting On Season 7, fans are not as forgiving of the Duggars flaws as they once were.

That could mean trouble for a family whose livelihood depends on their reputation.

Watch Counting On online to get caught up in time for what may well be the show's final season.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar Offer Can’t Miss Marriage Advice

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have been married for even more years than the number of children they've produced.

Thirty-three, to be exact.

Yes, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have been married for 33 years, most of which came long before they were reality TV stars.

And while their lives are not without controversy (here is a look at the latest scandal), the bond between them has never been questioned.

Seriously, of ALL the stories and all the issues surrounding the Duggars, how many times have we heard that this marriage is in trouble?

Okay, quite a few, but unlike many Duggar scandals, everyone knows those are bogus. Michelle and Jim Bob aren't going anywhere.

What is their secret to a long-lasting relationship? Say what you will about them, and their belief system, but they certainly have one.

In honor of Valentine's Day 2018, Jim Bob and Michelle are happy to share their keys to making marriage work. Such as ...

1. An Instagram Tribute

An instagram tribute
"On Valentine’s Day everyone is thinking about LOVE and finding ways to express their love. I am so thankful for Michelle," Jim captioned a photo of the couple on Instagram, prior to delving into specifics about his wife and their relationship.

2. He Continued:

He continued
"Not only is she a wonderful wife; caring, selfless, kind and compassionate but her beauty continues to radiate from the inside out and I genuinely love her more today than ever."

3. And He Concluded:

And he concluded
"One of the things we’ve learned as a couple is that no matter how many children you have, or how busy you get, you have to continue to place a high priority on your marriage. Don't neglect it. Don't take it for granted. I always tell husbands, 'Continue to date and romance your wife. Make sure she knows how special she is.' Love you Michelle!"

4. What Else Can They Tell Us?

Michelle and jim bob wedding
Jim Bob included a link to the Duggar Family website at the end of this loving post, specifically to an article he and Michelle wrote about not only their marriage... but marriages in general.

5. What is Their Advice for Marital Success?

Jim bob duggar and michelle duggar on vacation
"We love each other more today than the day we married. Our love has grown richer & deeper with each passing year. Here are a few things we will share from our experience!" they wrote to open this helpful list.

6. Rule #1

Rule number 1
Early on in our relationship, we committed to never put each down or to call each other names (except sweetie, honey, etc...).
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Duggar Family: Do They Even SEE Josh’s Kids?

It's been nearly three years since the world learned that Josh Duggar molested five girls - four of whom were his sisters.

But for obvious reasons, the appalling scandal remains fresh in the minds of many former Duggar fans.

Anna, Josh Duggar Pic

These days, the eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle lives in virtual exile.

Josh works on a used car lot owned by his family, and while he still lives in Arkansas, he doesn't spend nearly as much time with his parents and siblings as he once did.

In fact, Josh sightings are so rare at the Duggar compound that it seems even the family's most devoted fans have forgotten the 29-year-old exists.

As you're probably aware, multiple Duggar women are expecting children these days, and a recent online conversation about their pregnancies revealed the extent to which Josh is no longer on the minds of Counting On viewers.

Fans on Facebook commented on a recent post made by the family with predictions about the genders of Joy-Anna, Jinger, and Kendra's babies.

Anna, Josh Duggar

“Lots of grandboys,” one fan wrote.

“I’m betting Jinger has the first girl! Or maybe Joy.”

“In all fairness, it’s been a long string of boys,” another commented

“The girls are sorely outnumbered!”

It was only then that a third fan pointed out that Jim Bob and Michelle have already welcomed two female grandchildren.

“You’re forgetting Mckenzie and Meredith,” 

Josh Duggar Family Photo

The apparent Josh amnesia amongst obsessive Duggar fans might be attributed to a number of different causes:

It could be that these fans simply prefer to forget about Josh.

After all, the disgraced former lobbyist no doubt inflicted immeasurable trauma on his sisters, to say nothing of the fact that he nearly single-handedly destroyed his family's media empire.

It's not hard to see why fans might prefer to pretend he never existed.

Of course, selective memory is just one possible reason that Josh and his family aren't at the forefront of some fans' minds.

Some fans seem to believe that the Duggars would prefer they never mention Josh.

Anna Duggar with Josh Duggar

In all likelihood, Josh makes so few appearances on his family's social media pages for practical reasons, but discussions in online Reddit boards reveal that many Duggar obsessives believe Josh is such a painful part of the family's past that they would prefer to pretend he doesn't exist.

Another possible reason - and perhaps the most likely explanation - is that Josh is not on fans' minds for the simple reason that these days, he has very little interaction with the famous branch of his family tree.

He lives outside of town, and not only has he never appeared on his family's reality show, he rarely pops up on his sisters' social media pages.

Since those are the primary means through which Duggars interact with their fans, it's not hard to see how Josh might get confined to the dustbin of history.

We just hope both fans and family members will bear in mind that his children have done nothing wrong and do not deserve to be exiled.

Watch Counting On online for more from reality TV's most famous family.

Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar: Ties to Child Abuse Scandal Exposed?!

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar hold a number of controversial views.

In fact, the parents of 20 are almost as well-known for their eccentric worldview as for their love of procreation.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Kitchen Hug

Many of the Duggars' most hotly debated ideas have to do with their unusual take on child-rearing.

In addition to the famous Duggar courtship rules, Jim Bob and Michelle advocate a number of controversial corporal punishment techniques.

Back in 2015, Michelle was criticized for her espousal of "blanket training," a practice in which children as young as six months old are instructed to remain seated on a blanket and struck if they refuse to comply.

Blanket training was originally devised by Michael and Debi Pearl, authors of the bestselling parenting book To Train Up a Child.

Critics of the Pearls accuse them of advocating some of the most brutal forms of child abuse and neglect.

Jim Bob and Michelle Today

The New York Times reports that in 2011, their book was found in the homes of three children who had died from child abuse.

The Duggars effectively distanced themselves from the Pearls following the blanket training scandal, but now it appears they've decided its safe to get back in their old friends' corner.

Last week, their daughter Joy-Anna Duggar's ties to the Pearls were revealed when she promoted a speaking engagement of theirs that's scheduled to take place at a facility owned by her in-laws.

On Monday, Jim Bob and Michelle also promoted the appearance on their Facebook page.

"This makes me so sad,” one user wrote on the post. “The Pearls literally promote hitting babies, actual babies. They are child abusers. Why you would promote their evil and cruel practices is mind boggling

“Why are you promoting child abuse?" another remarked.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar: NOT Divorced!

"I hope every single one of you participating in the Pearls’ abusive ways are arrested and spend significant time in prison. Those poor Duggar children.”

In an impassioned interview with Radar Online, Michael Pearl defended his views and teachings:

“The book has sold well over 1 million copies,” he told the outlet.

“A lot of families are being blessed by the content. They say it’s the best thing that ever happened to their family, including grown people who were raised with the principles in that book.

"Those adults are now training their children.”

Michelle, Jim Bob Duggar Photo

Pearl added:

"I teach not to punish your children. It’s a whole comprehensive approach to child training. Physical discipline is a small part of it.”

It seems unlikely, of course, that anyone who believes the Pearls' are responsible for the deaths of several small children will be persuaded by that argument.

At this time, the post promoting the Pearls' appearance in Arkansas has not been removed from the Duggars' Facebook page.

Watch Counting On online for more from reality TV's most controversial family.

Michelle Duggar: Her Life Before Jim Bob Exposed!

These days Michelle Duggar is the very picture of peity and domesticity.

But the mother of twenty's past isn't as squeaky clean as you might expect.

Sources say Michelle has cut ties with the family that raised her and is doing her best to distance herself form her upbringing.

But it's hard to keep anything a secret when your one of reality TV's mst famous moms...

1. Jim Bob's Bride

Michelle and jim bob 1984
These days, Michelle lives a life of quiet domesticity. But her past wasn't always quite so peaceful.

2. Michelle the Cheerleader

Michelle duggar in high school
Michelle was the one who decided her daughters should only wear below-the-knee skirts. Interestingly, she didn't always follow such a strict dress code herself.

3. She Wore What?!

Jim bob duggar and michelle duggar on vacation
And it wasn't just while she was cheerleading that Michelle refused to cover up. "The neighbors used to complain because she would mow the lawn in her bikini and wear short skirts," a neighbor tells Star magazine.

4. The Rebel

Jim bob and michelle duggar kitchen hug
It seems Michelle's parents were no fans of her fashion sense. "They were always trying to get her to cover up her legs," says the source. So THAT'S where she gets it!

5. The Protesant Reformation

Michelle duggar and jim bob duggar photo
Michelle has changed so much since marrying Jim Bob that those who knew her growing up say they can hardly believe it. "I've seen commercials for the show, but I never in a million years would've believed that's Michelle," says former classmate Joe Roblee.

6. A Modest Wedding

Jim bob and michelle duggar wedding pics
Of course, Michelle put all that behind her when she met Jim Bob. The two were married on July 21, 1984 after just a few months of dating. But as much as she's tried to leave her past behind her, reminders of her former life still pop up from time to time.
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Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar Pay Birthday Tribute to Son Tyler: We Didn’t Forget This Time!

There are many challenges that come with raising 20 children.

You have to feed and clothe a small army, you have to yell out the right name when you're angry, which is often a challenge even for parents with regular-sized families...

... and of course, you have to remember 20 different birthdays.

Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar on Vacation

Lately, that last task has proven a considerable challenge for Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.

Yes, despite their claims of being the planet's foremost super parents, the Duggars have been forgetting birthdays lately.

But don't worry, they've been doing their damnedest to cover their tracks.

First, they spaced on Jordyn Duggars' birthday, and hastily threw together a last-minute celebration.

Shortly thereafter, Joseph Duggar turned 23, and his parents obviously forgot about his big day entirely.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Kitchen Hug

They compensated by posting a video with a Jay Leno impersonator they'd just happened to run into, which sounds like something only the drunkest of stepdads would attempt to get away with.

Needless to say, the Duggars took quite a bit of flak, for their recent lapses in memory.

So it should come as no surprise that they've taken steps to ensure that no such errors occur again.

After all, forgetting your kids' birthdays is one thing - being called out as anything other than models of perfect parenting is quite another.

Many fans of the family aren't even aware of this, but back in 2016, the Duggars adopted a 20th child.

His name is Tyler Duggar and he celebrated his 10th birthday over the weekend.

Tyler Duggar on Facebook

Newly self-conscious about assuring the world that they remember the dates all their kids were born, the Duggars took to social media to pay tribute to Tyler.

The Duggars posted the above photo on Facebook, along with a caption praising the newest addition to their massive brood:

"Happy 10th birthday Tyler, a whole decade now!" Michelle and Jim Bob wrote.

"You are such a joy and a delight! We are so thankful for you! We wish you a happy birthday and look forward to another great year!!" 

Comments on the post served as a reminder that many fans were not aware of Tyler's existence:

Tyler Duggar

"Happy Birthday young man...Tyler. But, who is Tyler? All Duggar names start with a J," one fan wrote.

"Who is Tyler? I thought all there [sic] kids' names started with a J? Did they adopt?" another remarked.

So it looks like the Duggars haven't been very good about celebrating all things Tyler on social media.

But hey, at least they remembered his birthday!

Watch Counting On online for more from reality TV's most controversial family.

Duggar Family: New Counting On Promo Stuns Fans!

It's hard to think of a famous family more secretive than the Duggars.

Sure they have their reality show and their tens of millions of social media followers, but there are many aspects of their lives that they work hard to keep private.

For obvious reasons, they're not always successful in that endeavor.

Duggar Family: Counting On Season 4 Photo

Of course, keeping a lower profile would mean failing to properly promote their reality show, and thus allowing the foundation of their media empire to crumble.

So the Duggars make do with the fact that sometimes, the public will intrude on their private lives a bit more than they would prefer.

These days, with a new season of Counting On soon to premiere, the Duggar marketing machine is running non-stop.

But as always, Jim Bob and company are being cagey about which details of the upcoming episodes they choose to share with the public.

Over the weekend, a new promotional pic for the new season was revealed, and Duggar obsessives picked up on some very surprising details.

Counting On: TLC Promo Image

For one, it looks like the show will be getting back to basics.

Unlike 19 Kids and Counting, the original intent of Counting On was to focus on Michelle and Jim Bob's older kids (with the obvious exception of Josh Duggar, who's still in exile).

The next thing that fans zeroed in on was the obvious absence of Jill Duggar.

Jill's husband, Derick Dillard, was fired from the show back in November after harassing fellow TLC star Jazz Jennings on Twitter.

Derick stated that Jill wouldn't be returning to Counting On either, but many fans doubted if the Dillards would stick to their guns on that one.

Duggar Family Photo: A Classic!

After all, this is a family with such serious financial constraints that they've been forced to rely on donations from fans to get by.

Counting On was their primary source of income, and it's likely that these days, Jill and Derick are struggling.

Other details fans took note of were less revealing, but still indicates that the show is headed in a different direction this season.

For one thing, there's Joy-Anna Duggar's attire.

Several commenters pointed out that she's wearing a much shorter skirt than we typically see on the Duggar women,

Duggar Family Reunion Pic

That may not sound like a big deal, but this is a family that's made the importance of "modest attire" a big part of their brand and public persona.

A Duggar in a short skirt is a major sign that the times are changing, even in Tontitown, Arkansas.

Recently some of the Duggar women have taken to wearing pants, but the rebellious legwear is nowhere to be seen in the promo pic, and may not make it on screen this season.

Jim Bob is still an executive producer, after all.

Finally, the presence of Joseph Duggar's wife, Kendra Caldwell, is being taken as an indication that the show will shift its focus to their relationship this season.

We guess that's one of the advantages of being reality TV's biggest family - you never run out of new storylines.

Watch Counting On online in order to get caught up for the big premiere on February 26.

Michelle & Jim Bob Duggar: Slammed For "Ditching" Kids For Couples Vacation

This may come as a surprise, but in the Duggar family, Valentine's Day is a very big deal.

It's more than a little counter-intuitive - after all, one doesn't think of a family that bans all forms of premarital physical contact as being big on romance.

But the Duggars have their own take on the original Hallmark holiday.

Jana Duggar on Valentine's Day

Instead of viewing it as a celebration of love between a man and a woman, they view it as a time to renew their relationship with God.

Of course, the Duggars basically see everything as a time to renew their relationship with God, so we guess that should come as no surprise.

Anyway, the whole family usually gets together to celebrate Valentine's Day on the Duggar compound.

But it seems this year, Michelle and Jim Bob will be breaking with tradition and getting away just the two of them.

It's probably the most normal thing they've ever done.

So naturally, fans are all freaked out about it.

Jim Bob, Michelle on Facebook

Yes, it seems JB and Michelle will be jetting off to beautiful St. Johns Michigan for an exotic "date night" on the shores of Lake ... oh, it seems St. Johns is right in the center of the state.

Um ... maybe they'll spot a moose?

Anyway, the couple shared their plans on their website today, because just as they see every special occasion as a religious rite in disguise, they also see every holiday as a money-making opportunity.

The Duggars will apparently be speaking at a church in the area, and as with all of their speaking engagements, tickets are going fast.

“You don’t want to miss this great event!” an ad on their website teases.

Jim Bob and Michelle Today

In the past, the Duggars not only celebrated V-Day as a family, they also threw a banquet for single moms, which is actually a really nice gesture.

“It’s a really special time with the whole family getting around the table and spending time together," Michelle wrote of the holiday in a 2010 blog post.

“It was our way of expressing our gratefulness and our love for each other and the family, and celebrating how much family means to us,” she added.

“It’s so important to nurture that relationship.”

Emphasis on "was," we guess.

Jana Duggar: A Pic

For reasons that aren't entirely clear, there was a rumor circulating that this year, the family would announce that Jana Duggar is courting.

She has been spending a lot of time with Caleb Williams lately, but we're not sure why Duggar obsessives thought her family would break the big news on Valentine's Day.

Guess they'll just have to wait another year for that relationship confirmation.

Unless, of course, Jana and Celeb decide to just announce their relationship whenever, which would make perfect sense.

Watch Counting On online for more bizarre Duggar traditions.

Jim Bob Duggar Slammed By Fans: Your Children Are Uneducated Clones!

Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar are controversial, to say the least. For their fundamentalist approach to religion, for the way that they treat their daughters. Their parenting in general has been brought into question by ... basically everyone.

Despite that, the Duggar family will be speaking at a conference, telling the audience how to "prepare" their children for the world.

Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar on Vacation

Critics are slamming the Duggar parents, pointing out that their children end up as clones of their parents. Not a single Duggar child has gone on to get a university education.

Eschewing actual education in favor of keeping children culturally isolated through homeschooling is one of the goals of Bill Gothard and his Institute for Basic Life Principles.

Sure, the Duggars have distanced themselves from Gothard ... somewhat.

Duggar cousin Amy Duggar King tweeted her criticism of the Duggar family church, saying that she does not support it in any way or form.

She got really specific, pointing out that she doesn't share their views on topics like legalism (in which following select lifestyle rules from the Old Testament seems to take precedence over accepting salvation through Jesus).

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Kitchen Hug

To a lesser extent, the Duggar Family has tried to show that they aren't quite in lock step with Gothard's views. That might have something to do with Bill Gothard resigning in disgrace a few years back after being accused of sexual harassment and molestation.

Did we mention that Gothard is the one who "counseled" Josh Duggar after Josh's own bout of molestation? Yeah.

Despite the alleged distance between the Duggars and the IBLP, Jim Bob and Michelle will speak at the Big Sandy Family Conference in 2018.

The topic? On preparing one's children to enter the world.

Critics have taken aim at the audacity of Jim Bob and Michelle to lecture anyone on parenting.

Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle, Yellowed Out

Reluctantly setting aside allegations of abuse, the idea that they've actually prepared their children for the world is absurd.

By keeping their children isolated from American culture and from society, they've prepared their children to remain part of an insular subculture that shuns the real world and rejects anything unfamiliar from their childhoods.

Or, as one criticism phrased it, Jim Bob and Michelle produce only "robotic clones."

The page, Duggar Family News: Life is Not Pickles and Hairspray, took aim at the couple's expected presence at the Big Sandy conference, saying:

"Those kids are all robotic clones of Jim Bob and Michelle. I really don’t think God intended for everyone to be clones of their parents."

Jim Bob, Michelle on Facebook

To be clear, this isn't some bonkers conspiracy theory. They're saying that the Duggars actively suppress the individuality of their children.

More to the point, the writer of the criticism believes that the Duggars are positively ungodly:

"We would have never advanced as a civilization if that [were] His intention."

And there's a specific example:

"It seems God called Jill to become a nurse but Jim Bob overruled God and pushed her towards midwifery."

And finally:

Michelle and Jim Bob, 1984

"If their kids were actually doing something besides family businesses or having babies, they might have something to talk about."

If you're looking for other examples of the Duggars suppressing the individuality of their children whenever they express a desire to live actual lives:

-None of the Duggar children have gone on to have a university education. Not everyone has to go to college, but for no children from a wealthy family to go to higher education? That's bad. And no, Joe Duggar's one-year of Biblical study is not the same.

-Jinger Duggar has expressed an interest in photography. When she expressed a desire to live in a big city like New York, Michelle dismissed it as Jinger just wanting to live closer to Walmart.

-Joy-Anna actually had an internship with a local politician. While that's not exactly breaking the mold, since Jim Bob also worked in politics, some wondered if she might pursue elected office. But apparently her parents didn't push her to do that, and now she's pregnant and married.

(Considering the shotgun wedding rumors, her parents may have ruled out any other life path, particularly after she got pregnant)

In other words, many believe that the Duggar girls are trapped in a dangerous cult and that they may remain that way for the rest of their lives.

It's important to note that the Duggar family's avoidance of higher education (and public education ... and maybe education in general, since Jessa Duggar can't even do homeschooling right) isn't a coincidence.

Many fundamentalists and other deeply conservative folks are reluctant to encourage even their sons to attend a university.

Why? Because they believe that universities are "liberal bastions" where agenda-carrying professors braindwash children with wild ideas like equality.

In reality, the beliefs of professors vary wildly, and most are just passionate nerds who love a particular subject. But eduction and, perhaps more importantly, actual social contact with people who aren't exactly like a person can usually have a positive effect.

Imagine if a Duggar child came home from college and had made gay friends. Or friends from non-Christian backgrounds. Or both!

Jim Bob and Michelle might speak at the Big Sandy Conference, but they're not going to be talking about preparing your children for the world. Not really.

They'll be talking about how to insulate your children from the world. How to keep them from ever being truly a part of their world.

Critics say that they will be talking about how to crush every spark of individuality out of your child so that, even when they leave the nest, they'll always adhere to how you want them to be.

Duggars Slammed For Forgetting Birthdays: Do They Even Know Their Kids?!

Having 19 kids presents a number of challenges.

The coupon clipping alone is enough to prematurely turn your hands into gnarled oak roots.

So fans of Duggar clan would likely be sympathetic to the occasional missed recital or forgotten birthday ... if only Jim Bob and Michelle would cop to being anything less than perfect parents.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Kitchen Hug

These days, the couple has the added challenge of trying to keep track of the comings and goings of an ever-growing brood of grandchildren.

Again, if they just threw up their hands and admitted that they have flaws, the Duggars would probably receive a lot of sympathy from fans who have firsthand experience with their plight.

But that would mean messing with the narrative they've been selling for the past decade and admitting that everything they do isn't guided by the divine hand of providence.

So what the Duggars do instead is try to cover their tracks and pretend like all of their kids are equal in their eyes, when we all know there are clear favorites.

Duggar Family: Counting On Season 4 Photo

These days, it seems that the more marketable Duggars (Jill, Jessa, Jinger, etc.) are tops in their parents' eyes, while the younger siblings frequently get short shrift.

Last month, the Jim Bob and Michelle were accused of forgetting Jordyn Duggar's birthday and attempting to make up for their memory lapse with a hastily thrown together party.

Now, the couple is being accused of repeating their mistake with son Joseph Duggar, who turned 23 earlier this week.

Joseph is expecting his first child these days, and with the amount of importance Jim Bob and Michelle place on breeding, you would think that would put him in their good graces.

But it seems his big day slipped their minds, and instead of calling, the couple sent their son a belated birthday message featuring what they describe as a Jay Leno look-alike:

Duggars With Leno Look-Alike

The Duggars were duly roasted for their lame message, with many fans pointing out that Joseph's birthday obviously slipped their minds:

“You always give such generic wishes, like you don’t really know your kids,” one fan wrote. “Oh wait…”

“In all seriousness, it really shouldn’t be a surprise that birthdays are all so canned and repetitious,” another commented.

“They celebrate one once every two to three weeks basically. Like, of course, they all will meld together if you let them, and why wouldn’t 19 individuals do the same thing in your mind. Again, just proof that parents can’t be spread between 19 kids and have a relationship with each one on a deep and personal level.”

“One of the oddest birthday messages ever,” others chimed in.

“Whose birthday was it anyway? All they did was brag about their vacation and the weather and meeting a Jay Leno look alike.”

We're surprised by a lot of things here.

Jim Bob, Michelle on Facebook

For starters, the Duggars know who Jay Leno is?

We thought they condemned all forms of worldly entertainment.

Jay must get a pass because he loves denim and cars. 

And c'mon ... this guy doesn't even look that much like Leno!

If you hired him for a party you'd want your money back, but then again, if you're the type of person who hires a Leno look-alike for your party, maybe you deserve to get ripped off.

What were we supposed to be outraged about again?

Oh, right ... the forgotten birthday. For shame!

Watch Counting On online for more of Jim Bob and Michelle's attempts to bury their mistakes.

Duggar Women: "Trapped" In a Dangerous Cult, Source Claims

When the Duggars first made their debut on TLC in 2008, the hook used to attract an audience was the massive size of the family.

But viewers quickly became fascinated by Michelle, Jim Bob and kids for reasons that had little to do with breeding.

The Duggar Women

Reality stardom put the Duggars' extremely conservative religious views on display, and their belief system and practices drew a mixed reaction from their rapidly-growing fan base.

Some applauded the family's "old-fashioned" values, while others decried what they viewed as a cult-like setting.

The Duggars are adherents of Reverend Bill Gothard's Institute for Basic Life Principles, and the debate amongst viewers only intensified when Gothard resigned in disgrace after being accused of sexual assault and harassment by dozens of young men and women.

Gothard has thus far avoided criminal prosecution, but the scandal has only grown with revelations that he's not the only member of his church who used his power to coerce the congregation's most vulnerable members into performing sex acts.

In May of 2015, the Josh Duggar sex scandals became public knowledge after nearly a decade of coordinated cover-up by his parents.

 
Josh Duggar, Anna Duggar, and Kids in 2017

The fact that Michelle and Jim Bob knew their son was molesting his sisters but failed to act led many to wonder about the extent to which this sort of behavior was sanctioned by the IBLP.

Now, a powerful new voice has entered the debate--one with firsthand knowledge of the predatory tactics employed by IBLP leaders.

Rebecca Ishum is a blogger and former IBLP adherent who says she was brainwashed during an intensive "training" session at the institute's secretive headquarters.

She opened up about her experiences in a recent interview with In Touch Weekly:

"I still grieve for all of the kids...mainly the girls....who are trapped or have spent their lives trying to rewire their brains once they make it out. Most of the girls who are still in that cult don't even realize how trapped they are," Ishum tells the magazine.

"I was conditioned to believe anything that anyone in authority told me without question."

Joy, Jinger and Jana Duggar

The Duggars often claim that their extremist views on abstinence and "modest attire" are meant to enforce in young women an appreciation for their bodies as gifts from God, but Rebecca says she was taught that she had no autonomy over her physical self:

"I remember learning things like...if I was ever raped, then it would be my fault," she says.

Duggar women are taught from a young age that procreation is their primary reason for being, and Rebecca says that she was indoctrinated to trust in the philosophical underpinnings of that belief during IBLP training:

"Higher education was frowned on because we were created to raise up a Quiverfull of children to be the salt of the earth. Our main objective was to be the helpmeet (translation: servant) of our husbands and have children," she reveals.

"People who are still trapped in the IBLP cult are missing out on a whole lot of freedom and life. That type of thinking is a prison. Sadly, most of them don't know it."

Duggar Family Photo: A Classic!

Ishum argues that while the men responsible for the intellectual imprisonment of the Duggar girls deserve our condemnation, the public should be careful not to blame the victims:

"[If I could talk to the Duggars,] I would start by just listening," Rebecca says.

"I would just sit down and listen to them talk until I could start to get an idea of who they are at their core. And then I would tell them to dream bigger than the box they've been given because they can remain a Jesus-follower, but do so in a way that enables their freedom."

Ishum concludes:

"These girls need help seeing their worth and value for who they are, not what they do."

Watch Counting On online for more on reality TV's most controversial family.

Duggar Courtship News: Who Will Enter a Relationship Next?

We're only five days into the new year, but 2018 has already seen a Duggar baby announcement and a whole slew of courship speculation.

We now know that Jinger Duggar is expecting her first child, but that's certainly not the only way in which reality TV's largest family will be expanding in the months to come.

Joy-Anna Duggar is also expecting, as is Joseph Duggar's new wife, Kendra Caldwell.

And of course, several single Duggars are set to embark on courtship journeys of their own in the months to come.

Here's a rundown of who might be next to leave the nest:

1. Jana Duggar

Jana duggar a pic
The perennial fan favorite. Fans have been hoping for a courtship announcement from Jana for years now. And thanks to her increasingly close "friendship" with Caleb Williams, it seems 2018 will finally be her year.

2. John David Duggar

Jana duggar and john david duggar
This is another one that wouldn't come as much of a surprise. In fact, it's widely believed that John David is already involved in a secret courtship with a woman from Texas. No word on why he might be keeping things on the down-low.

3. The Pressure Is On!

Jana duggar with john david duggar image
Both Jana and John David are no doubt feeling the pressure to announce relationships. The twins will turn 28 this month, and they're the oldest unmarried Duggars by a considerable margin.

4. Josiah Duggar

Josiah duggar marjorie jackson photo
Many fans believe this is the year that Josiah Duggar will once again try his hand at courtship. Josiah is the only member of his family to enter a relationship that did not result in marriage, having pursued an ill-fated romance with Marjorie Jackson in 2016.

5. A Social Media Loophole

Joy anna duggar josiah duggar and lawson bates
Some fans believe Josiah is the next to go a-courtin', as in many respects, he's more modern and mature than many of his siblings. Duggars are typically forbidden to have social media accounts until they enter a formal courtship. However, Josiah has maintained an Instagram page despite the fact that his relationship with Jackson has come to en end, leading many to believe that he's using it to keep in touch with potential mates.

6. Jedediah Duggar

Jedediah duggar gun photo
Smart money is on Jedediah Duggar announcing a courship in 2018. As many fans have pointed out, he was likely already involved in a romantic relationship that went awry.
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Jordyn Duggar: Did Her Parents Forget Her Birthday?!

Last month, Jordyn Duggar turned 9 years old.

Her family celebrated Jordyn's birthday in true Duggar fashion by assembling a massive crowd of siblings to sing to her about Jesus.

Jordyn Duggar With Parents

They even posted photos and video of the occasion on social media for all of their fans to enjoy.

But some of those fans believe something was amiss with the celebration.

You see, Jordyn's birthday follows closely after that of her younger sister, Josie.

With 19 children, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are obviously accustomed to back-to-back birthday celebrations, but Josie's is more of a special occasion than most.

Born three months premature, 8-year-old Josie is often referred to as the Duggar's "miracle baby."

As the youngest in the family, she reportedly enjoys the lion's share of her parents' attention and affection. 

Jordyn Duggar Birthday Photo

It's a situation the other Duggars have reportedly come to accept, but some fans feel the Josie-worship went too far recently, and they're accusing Jim Bob and Michelle of getting so caught up in the birthday of their youngest daughter that they forgot about Jordyn entirely.

As we pointed out earlier, the Duggars did, in fact, celebrate Jordyn's birthday, but fans on Reddit believe they did so only after being reminded of the occasion on social media.

"It's mid-afternoon and still no happy birthday post for Jordyn. Because something always seems to be more important than Jordyn. The story of her poor, lost life," one fan remarked on Jordyn's big day.

"There is just such a history of the poor girl being overshadowed by Josie. It breaks my heart and I don't even know the kid. I want to adopt her as an 'unofficial niece' and spoil her with love and attention," another commented.

Other fans pointed out that Jordyn's birthday was further eclipsed by the announcement that Joe Duggar and Kendra Caldwell are expecting their first child:

Jordyn Duggar on Facebook

"Wouldn't whoever announced Jendra's pregnancy have known that today is Jordyn's birthday?" wrote one Reddit user.

"Common sense would tell them to delay announcing it for 2 days till Wednesday or the end of the week. But I guess we can wish her if her family can't. Happy birthday Jordyn!"

When the Duggars did finally acknowledge Jordyn on social media, it was too little, too late for many fans:

"I wonder if they’ve seen comments surrounding how they ‘forgot’ her birthday because her b-day message seems longer than normal lol albeit the same generic stuff," wrote one follower.

"They literally didn't post it until darned near her bedtime. They probably had to edit Josie out of all her pictures," remarked another.

With 18 siblings, we're sure Jordyn is accustomed to not being the center of attention, but that doesn't make the possibility that the Duggars forgot a 9-year-old's birthday any easier to accept.

Watch Counting On online for more from reality TV's most famous family.

Jordyn Duggar: Did Her Parents Forget Her Birthday?!

Last month, Jordyn Duggar turned 9 years old.

Her family celebrated Jordyn's birthday in true Duggar fashion by assembling a massive crowd of siblings to sing to her about Jesus.

Jordyn Duggar With Parents

They even posted photos and video of the occasion on social media for all of their fans to enjoy.

But some of those fans believe something was amiss with the celebration.

You see, Jordyn's birthday follows closely after that of her younger sister, Josie.

With 19 children, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are obviously accustomed to back-to-back birthday celebrations, but Josie's is more of a special occasion than most.

Born three months premature, 8-year-old Josie is often referred to as the Duggar's "miracle baby."

As the youngest in the family, she reportedly enjoys the lion's share of her parents' attention and affection. 

Jordyn Duggar Birthday Photo

It's a situation the other Duggars have reportedly come to accept, but some fans feel the Josie-worship went too far recently, and they're accusing Jim Bob and Michelle of getting so caught up in the birthday of their youngest daughter that they forgot about Jordyn entirely.

As we pointed out earlier, the Duggars did, in fact, celebrate Jordyn's birthday, but fans on Reddit believe they did so only after being reminded of the occasion on social media.

"It's mid-afternoon and still no happy birthday post for Jordyn. Because something always seems to be more important than Jordyn. The story of her poor, lost life," one fan remarked on Jordyn's big day.

"There is just such a history of the poor girl being overshadowed by Josie. It breaks my heart and I don't even know the kid. I want to adopt her as an 'unofficial niece' and spoil her with love and attention," another commented.

Other fans pointed out that Jordyn's birthday was further eclipsed by the announcement that Joe Duggar and Kendra Caldwell are expecting their first child:

Jordyn Duggar on Facebook

"Wouldn't whoever announced Jendra's pregnancy have known that today is Jordyn's birthday?" wrote one Reddit user.

"Common sense would tell them to delay announcing it for 2 days till Wednesday or the end of the week. But I guess we can wish her if her family can't. Happy birthday Jordyn!"

When the Duggars did finally acknowledge Jordyn on social media, it was too little, too late for many fans:

"I wonder if they’ve seen comments surrounding how they ‘forgot’ her birthday because her b-day message seems longer than normal lol albeit the same generic stuff," wrote one follower.

"They literally didn't post it until darned near her bedtime. They probably had to edit Josie out of all her pictures," remarked another.

With 18 siblings, we're sure Jordyn is accustomed to not being the center of attention, but that doesn't make the possibility that the Duggars forgot a 9-year-old's birthday any easier to accept.

Watch Counting On online for more from reality TV's most famous family.

Duggar Family 2018 Predictions: A Baby For Jinger & So Much More!

Well, a new year is upon us, which means new goals, new opportunities and--if you're a member of the Duggar family--lots of new marriages and babies.

Yes, not a year goes by that the Counting On clan doesn't get a little larger, and this year, they're off to a hell of a start.

Just today we learned that Jinger Duggar is pregnant with her first child, and she won't be the only member of the extended Duggar fam to bring a little one into the world in 2018.

Jump in for a full rundown of what you can expect in the months to come from reality TV's most controversial family:

1. A Baby For Jinger!

Jinger duggar weight loss photo
By Duggar standards, it's been a long wait! Jinger and Jeremy Vuolo were married for well over a year before they announced that she's expecting. No word yet on when the bundle of joy is due, but Jinger won't be alone in shopping for maternity clothes...

2. A Bundle of Joy For Joy

Joy anna duggars baby bump
Joy-Anna Duggar is expecting her first child VERY soon. She hasn't revealed an exact due date, but some fans believe Joy will deliver before the end of January.

3. Kendra and Joe's Become Mom and Dad

Joseph and kendra duggar announcement
Yes, Joseph Duggar and wife Kendra Caldwell also have a little one on the way. And believe it or not, the list of Duggars who may be expanding their families in 2018 still isn't done.

4. A Third Baby For Jill?

Jill duggar tortilla controversy
Some folks believe Jill Duggar will be making a pregnancy announcement any day now. it would be the third child for Jill and husband Derick Dillard.

5. A Courtship For Jana?

Jana duggar a pic
It's widely believed that after years of searching for Mr. Right, Jana Duggar is involved in a courtship with Caleb Williams. Fans are hoping she'll make a big announcement sometime in the next few weeks.

6. And What About John David?

Jana duggar with john david duggar image
You heard it here first! Our Duggar insider says John-David is involved in a low-key courtship with a woman who lives in Texas. (Fortunately, JD owns his own single-engine plane for easy traveling.) Will he announce his romance in 2018? Only time will tell! And of course, that would be far from the biggest surprise the Duggars have in store this year...
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