Newsflash: The Duggars Are Christians, Get Over It [Op-Ed]

Newsflash: The Duggars are Christians.

I know what you’re probably thinking. How could this be possible in a civilized society? Isn’t Christianity a religion of closed-mindedness and hate because “the Crusades!” or something? Don’t the stars of 19 Kids & Counting often say things that sound a little bonkers and in contrary to what science, parenting, and relationship experts tell us is best for our lives? Don’t they just use their children as cash cows? Why are these people on TV and in seemingly every news story that I read on Yahoo! or, yes, The Inquisitr?

Two reasons:

Firstly, you click on the stories whether you like the Duggars or not. They stay in the public eye because that’s where you want them to be. If you’re reading this now and disagree with that statement, then guess what: You’re wrong because it’s people like you that allow people like them to stay visible.

Secondly, you’re an outright fan of the show and believe that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar may actually be on to something since they’ve managed to raise 19 children, whose only alleged foibles at this stage of the game are as follows:

They start businesses.

They give back to the community.

They speak their mind when asked or when the opportunity presents itself without forcing their beliefs on other people.

They believe God should play a role in relationships and family.

They respect public service.

They are self-sufficient as in they’re not mooching off tax payers.

They create jobs.

When I first started watching the Duggars on Netflix, it was with a sense of morbid curiosity. How crazy do you have to be to have 19 children? They seemed a bit inhuman to me, and so I had no attachment to Jim Bob, Michelle, or any of their children. (I can still only name six.)

But it didn’t take long to see that these are just people raising their kids as best they know how in a world that is increasingly contrarian to what they believe.

Their beliefs are not used to oppress. They work within the confines of law and circumstance to share what they believe with other people, yes; but last I checked, we live in a society where that is still allowed.

They don’t oppress women. They don’t cut off heads. They don’t believe you should be murdered if you disagree with their religion. The one time I’ve seen on the series where Jim Bob encountered a man who didn’t believe in God, he simply countered with, “He believes in you.”

(Oooooo, better write another story trying to make the entire family look like idiots.)

(And yes, before you ask, I’ve read this ignorant piece from The Daily Beast that attempts to connect them to a scandal involving someone else who supposedly shares their faith. Another newsflash: some Democrats, some Republicans, some Libertarians, are bad. Doesn’t mean you are, too, friend, just because you belong to the same political party.)

Look, people, you don’t have to agree with the Duggars or have 19 kids or raise those 19 kids to believe they should wait for marriage to have sex. You can roll your eyes when a Duggar child makes the point that evolution detracts from the divine inspiration behind the creation of Man. I get that that can be hard to swallow, but I’d still rather have a dozen of the Duggars in this world than many of the commenters on Hollywood Life, who took satisfaction in Michelle’s stillborn baby or who, without knowing the first thing about any of these people, accused them of being a cult that inflicts violence on children for disobedience. (Shocker: no evidence by the way.)

If more of you were more like the Duggars, social programs wouldn’t be abused, people would respect differing viewpoints, children would grow in to responsible adults, and marriages might even stay together.

Do I agree with everything the Duggars believe? Not by a long shot. Do I think they should always have a right to practice their beliefs no matter what? You bet. Do I think they’re “spreading hate” — such an overused phrase — by standing up for what they believe even if it rubs others (me included sometimes) the wrong way? Heck no.

We need more Duggars in this world. And if history is any guide, there’s a good chance we’ll get them.