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Fundamentalism

The Duggars: “Committed” or Crazy?


Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar

Image via Wikipedia

The Duggars announced that they are expecting yet again.

Yeah! I know!

If you are not familiar with the Duggars, Jim Bob and Michelle are parents to 19 children, some who are twins. They have made it known that they want to have as many children as God gives them. Their oldest, Josh, and his wife Anna, who have 2 of their own, seem to have adopted the same philosophy.

Here’s what People magazine had to say:

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar: “We’re Expecting again!”

by Alicia Dennis

They’re going for an even 20!

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, stars of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, are expecting their 20th child this spring.

“We are so excited,” says Michelle, 45, who is now about three-and-a-half months into her pregnancy and due in April. “I feel good. I am past the sickness stage now.”

The Tontitown, Ark., couple, who are parents to children Joshua, 23 (who is married to Anna, 23 and has two children, Mackynzie, 2 and Michael, 4 months), twins Jana and John-David, 21; Jill, 20; Jessa, 19; Jinger, 17; Joseph, 16; Josiah, 15; Joy-Anna, 14; twins Jedidiah and Jeremiah, 12; Jason, 11; James, 10; Justin, 8; Jackson, 7; Johanna, 6; Jennifer, 4; and Jordyn, 3, weathered the medical emergency of their youngest daughter, Josie’s birth on Dec. 10, 2009.

She was born following Michelle’s preeclampsia diagnosis at a mere 25 weeks, weighing only 1lb., 6 oz.

Josie’s medical drama – and Michelle’s own fight for survival – was documented throughout their TV series. Josie will turn 2 in December and is developing normally, without any longterm effects from her premature birth.

“It is a miracle. Josie is the most energetic, busy little almost-2-year-old,” says Michelle.  “She is short, and yet she can keep up with the big girls and she thinks she is just as big as they are. We are amazed at what she can do.”

There is an additional article from People in which they address the media scrutiny:

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar Defend Decision to Have No. 20

by Alicia Dennis

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have something to say to their critics.

“Every child deserves to be excited they are a part of life,” Michelle tells PEOPLE after just revealing that she is pregnant with her 20th child. “Even when we were having our 5th and 6th [kid] … we would celebrate each pregnancy.”

The reality stars have faced mounting criticism over the size of their family and the risks of Michelle’s new pregnancy following the premature birth of their daughter, Josie, in Dec. 2009. But the couple insists that Josie’s frightening premature birth and Michelle’s life-threatening preeclampsia were not enough to convince them that 19 kids were enough.

“If we felt that way, we would have stopped back with our second birth,” insists Michelle, 45, who experienced preeclampsia during her second pregnancy with twins John David and Jana, now 21. “There are many women who have experienced preeclampsia and have gone on to have more children.”

“That whole mind set that you stop after a problem pregnancy isn’t realistic,” she continues. “You may encounter struggles along the way. You may not have a perfect pregnancy, but each child is a precious gift.”

The Duggars, who star on TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, live debt free in a house they built themselves in Tontitown, Ark. They have also come under fire from those suggesting that their older kids have too much responsibility caring for the younger ones and that they don’t pay enough individual attention to their kids.

“We homeschool, so we are around our children day in and day out,” says Jim Bob, 46. “Because I am in real estate, I am home and can be with the children a lot. When we go to the store or run errands, we take the kids one on one and we get to spend more time individually than a lot of parents do.”

Michelle, who is under the care of a high-risk pregnancy doctor, agrees: “The beauty of being in a large family,” she says, “is that everyone works together as a team and it is about teaching our children responsibility.”

And, she says, the family doesn’t take their critics to heart.

“There are a lot of good things we can learn from our critics,” she says. “We really believe we are following our faith and there are sometimes going to be people who don’t agree and we aren’t going to worry about the negative things stated.”

“We are thankful for those out there who are happy,” says Michelle, “and we are grateful for each and every gift of a child.”

The Season 5 finale of 19 Kids and Counting airs Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 9 p.m. ET on TLC and the TLC special Duggars World Tour: Scotland & Ireland, premieres Sunday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m.

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Do you think the Duggars are just “committed to their faith” or do you think they are crazy for wanting more children, especially after Josie’s premature birth?

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “The Duggars: “Committed” or Crazy?

  1. After Josie’s premature birth, IT IS TIME TO QUIT!! 🙂 This is a sign from God! Yes, many blessings have come out of your large family and they ARE gifts from God. NOW IS THE TIME TO STOP..SELFISHNESS IS BLINDING YOU…

    Posted by Gabi Gaenicke (@gabi532) | November 13, 2011, 3:45 pm
  2. They did not build their house. TLC Extreme Home or whatever it’s called came in and did the majority of the building, furnishing, etc. because JimBob didn’t have enough slave labor yet to get it done. Why is that NEVER mentioned? I could live debt-free too if a major network built a showplace for my family to live in.

    Posted by W. | November 24, 2011, 5:17 am

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