The Duggar family isn’t giving up on their fight to stay on TV. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, the former stars of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, think that it’s “part of God’s plan” for them to have their own reality show. Despite the uproar against them from the public, they are shocked that their critics refused to move on after it was revealed that Josh Duggar molested four of his sisters.
A source close to the Duggar family recently talked to PEOPLE about how Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar reacted to the news that TLC was cancelling 19 Kids and Counting. The source revealed that the family “is heartbroken” because they felt like they were doing something positive by using their reality show platform to share their religious beliefs with the world.
“The Duggars want to return to TV because they truly believe it was part of God’s plan for them to spread the word about their faith.”
Unfortunately for the Duggar family, their faith likely played a part in their show’s cancellation. They turned to their church and other religious leaders after they discovered that Josh Duggar was molesting his younger sisters, and they thought that the power of prayer and worship would be enough to keep their son from sexually abusing his sisters again. Unfortunately, they were wrong, and critics of the Duggar family were appalled. Things only got worse for the Duggars after the media starting looking into the patriarchal belief system that the family subscribes to.
According to the Daily Beast, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are followers of a fringe fundamentalist strain of Christianity known as the “Quiverfull” movement. Followers of this strict, cult-like religion believe in “absolute female submission, a ban on dating, homeschooling, a rejection of higher education for women, and shunning of contraception in favor of trying to have as many children as humanly possible.”
Numerous articles detailing the Duggar family’s beliefs began circulating on the internet, and soon there was speculation that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s religious teachings created an environment where it was more likely for sexual molestation to happen. According to Salon, the Duggars used the controversial homeschooling program of Bill Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute (ATI).
ATI lesson plans encourage parent-teachers to treat sexual molestation as “an accident, not a crime.” They also teach girls and boys that victims may somehow be at fault for their own sexual assault. Michelle Duggar’s bikini anecdote is an example of how women are burdened with the responsibility of keeping men from having “desires that cannot be righteously fulfilled.” The Duggars seem to believe that men can’t control themselves, so it’s up to women to take ridiculous measures to protect their “virtue.”
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar still fail to see that it’s not just the sexual molestation scandal that has turned people off from their family — it’s their entire belief system that treats women as second-class citizens.
“I think Jim Bob and Michelle honestly did expect people to just move on from this,” the PEOPLE source said. “Their thinking is, they put this behind them ages ago, so why wouldn’t the rest of the world?”
There’s still a chance that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar will get to continue using TLC as a platform to spread their beliefs — the network has already invited Jill Duggar and Jessa Duggar to appear in a one-hour special about child abuse, and a rep for TLC has said that the network hasn’t ruled out a future Duggar reality series. However, as the Inquisitr previously reported, such a show would likely focus on a few of the Duggar kids, not Jim Bob and Michelle.
Do you think TLC should let the Duggar family return to TV?
[Image via Duggar Family Facebook]