Derick Dillard: Duggar Son-In-Law Responds To Criticism Over Santa, Missions, Trump

Steph Bazzle - Author

Dec. 27 2017, Updated 2:46 a.m. ET

Derick Dillard has Duggar fans seething with some of his most recent tweets. In particular, following a story about a pastor shouting at children waiting in line to see Santa, Dillard tweeted the same statement: “Santa isn’t real!” Viewers weren’t pleased, and the Duggar son-in-law soon deleted the tweet.

However, the criticism elicited further response from him, leading him to return to an oft-repeated party line from the Duggar family: the idea that people hate them and that this hate is their expectation because of their beliefs and that they will be rewarded by God for accepting this hate.

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Derick has spent the past week tweeting somewhat more frequently than usual. Moreover, the tweets have been of a nature particularly grating to some viewers: he has praised Donald Trump, engaged in “slut-shaming,” repeated the claim that Planned Parenthood sells baby parts, as well as promoting the “War on Christmas” narrative, and even lashed out at Santa Claus and the families who love him.

These resulted in predictable backlash: viewers reminded the Duggar son-in-law that “modest is hottest” is still sexualizing the way women dress, that modest clothing didn’t save the Duggar sisters from being molested by their brother, Josh Duggar, that there has never been a time when people couldn’t say “Merry Christmas,” and that the Planned Parenthood claims were thrown out of court and the videos discovered to be deceptively edited.

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What went too far for many followers of the Duggar family, though, was when Derick Dillard trashed Santa Claus. A recent story has circulated about a pastor who shouted at children who were waiting in line to see Santa, which may have prompted this tweet — it drew much backlash and may have resonated with the Duggar family’s sentiments. According to King 5, Pastor David Grisham Jr. told kids that their parents are lying to them, that Santa isn’t real, and that Jesus is the real reason for the holiday season.

Dillard’s tweet, whether or not it was prompted by that news item, echoed it in at least one important respect: rather than addressing parents and sharing why he felt they should handle Christmas the way that his religious beliefs dictate, Derick addressed the statement directly to kids. (It’s unclear whether any kids young enough to be regular visitors with Santa actually have Twitter accounts and follow Derick Dillard, but the intent still seems to be to direct a message to them.) Though both Derick and Pastor Grisham certainly have the right to those beliefs, bypassing parents to push them on kids has been widely decried as inappropriate behavior.

Though Dillard later deleted that tweet, you can see a screenshot — and angry responses from Dillard’s Twitter followers — below.


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