Thank you Jim Bob Duggar!

Sent in by Amy

For those of you that may not know, Jim Bob Duggar is the Arkansas man whose primary claim to fame is that he has managed to father 17 children, at last count (or the last time I cared about counting…). He has also served in politics at a local level and his platform is primarily built on the total abolition of abortion. (How fitting!) Anyway, I like to credit Jim Bob and his lifestyle, broadcast for the entire world to see on the Discovery Health Channel, for my leaving religion altogether. His lifestyle is of course dictated by his fundamentalist view of the Bible, from which he and his wife have extrapolated that it is their duty to fill the world with mini-Duggars, dressed in a weird combination of fashions from the early to mid 1980’s and Little House on the Prairie. But enough about them. How did Jim Bob facilitate my complete and total apostasy from Christianity?

First let me share that I was raised by nice and well-meaning parents. Their conversion to evangelical Christianity when I was a year old was motivated by the fact that they could not bear the thought of me going to hell. We were a military family and the church gave us an “insta-community” with all the moving around we did. This life included homeschooling, church every time the doors opened and no Halloween. My parents considered themselves pretty liberal by the standard set within “those” circles. My mother wore pants (literally and figuratively…without her interest I suspect my father’s faith would have faded years ago, not long after his collection of 70’s rock records were nearly committed to the fire by one of my mom’s favorite pastors. Don’t worry, he rescued them.), limited the size of their family to 4 children, and allowed us to listen to Christian music. All of this would have probably resulted ultimately in my attending a Christian college, marrying a pastor and settling down to a life of homeschooling, Bible studies and wifely submission. However, when it was time for me to decide on college my mom did a curious thing, for which to this day, has expressed regret. The college I wanted to attend was located in Tennessee, and she and my father had settled in southern Ohio upon his retirement from the military. She simply could not bear the thought of me being so far away and so forbade me from going there. I obediently enrolled in community college, and after two years ended up at a very liberal state university.

College and university were my first real exposure to an array of ideas. Ideas purported, explained and taught by very intelligent and articulate people. People much more so, than the preachers, teachers at my Christian schools, or youth leaders that had heretofore been my source of information. And so I played with their beliefs, trying them out as if they were my own. “What if there is no GOD?” I remember saying bitterly to my parents, who sat in stunned silence. We had of course, been arguing about my lifestyle of sex and booze—a lifestyle I had adopted when I arrived at public university because well, it was fun. Anyway, I eventually graduated and started out on a life of adulthood. At that point I didn’t consider myself a non-believer. Primarily just backslidden, I felt that one day, when I was finished having fun, I would return.

Well, all of a sudden I was 25 and pregnant with my long-time on-again-off-again boyfriend/ex-fiance’s child. We decided to get married and so we did. My parents were actually glad, probably because it meant I was settling down and would perhaps soon be living the life they had raised me to live. I did try attending church. After all, I didn’t want my daughter to go to hell, right? But a few things troubled me. My own experience with church and Christians wasn’t all peaches and roses. Corporal punishment (could I really let someone else effectively beat my child?), humiliation of those that didn’t quite fit the prescribed mold, the graphic descriptions of hell, fear mongering with threats of being left behind when the rapture came…was I really going to give my precious, intelligent, and beautiful daughter over to these things too?

So where does Jim Bob enter the picture? Well, one night, during this “I need to go back to church, it’s now or never” period, I watched "14 Children and Pregnant Again," the story of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their 14+ names that all start with “J” (gag) children. I watched with amusement and fascination. Their lifestyle was familiar, although more extreme, than mine had been, but a kinship was undeniable. I called my mom the next day to share my amusement and, well shock, at the way they were living. My mother had watched the special too (I think that she harbors wistful thoughts of a more Duggar-like existence had my father been more gung-ho about the religion thing in general…thanks Dad! No really, thank you.). She was ecstatic with praise and admiration. I barely get a word in edgewise. So the next day, I logged onto the Internet and found a thread on Television Without Pity about the show. With glee, I reveled in the snark, sarcasm and derision I found there. I finished reading the thread and was left wanting more. Surely, there was more, somewhere, on the wide, wide Web. Going to Google I typed in the following: fundamentalism, quiverfull. Several sites popped up. Many of them were supportive of the lifestyle—over those, I skipped. But there was one site I could not ignore: WalkAwayers, or “Walking Away from Fundamentalism.” What?!!! People that walked away??? I couldn’t help myself, I was intrigued. I spent the next several days reading testimonies, discussions and articles. They expressed my doubts, my questions, my opinions—things I had barely dared to think, much less express. These were people that had backgrounds similar to mine, which had the courage to face those nagging thoughts and walk into the dark unknown.

Well, it was pretty much downhill from there. I remember vividly the “deconversion” experience, as real as any tearful altar call. I was on my way to pick up my daughter from her babysitter, I thought, “I don’t believe in God, Jesus, the devil and all that shite…anymore.” My whole body seemed lighter, somehow. As if I had instantly lost 20 pounds (the Holy Spirit leaving perhaps??) and was free from some unseen bindings. Life now, a couple of years later, has a depth and breadth that it never had when I was a Christian. And thanks to the World of Jim Bob, I have found my happiness.

24 comments:

chucky jesus said...

This reminds me frighteningly of the movie, "Idiocracy." The premise being that stupid people (like Jim Bob) have many more kids than intelligent ones. In 500 years, our collective IQ has dropped some 40 points. If you're intelligent enough to be an Ex-Christian, don't wait...get out there and make some babies!!

John of Indiana said...

When I see people trying to sheppard 5, 6, 7 or more kids around the grocery, I'm sorely tempted to go up to them and say "You know, the book did say "go forth, be fruitful, and multiply". It didn't say a damn thing about you two doing the WHOLE DAMN JOB YOURSELVES!"

"This one's 2, this one's 3, she's 4, he's 6, he's 7, the twins are 8...."
"What, no 5-year-old?"
"Oh, no, that's the year we got DirecTV..."

Madame M said...

ROFLOL!!! I know SOOOOO many mini-Duggar family wannabes who pop out a kid every year or two, raise them (seclude) by homeschooling, are complete fundies..etc. Because I used to be involved in a couple of churches with this extreme no-birth control, no public education mindset. It was not for me and I simply refused to be a baby machine who has no life outside the walls of my home. The magazine Above Rubies which is based on the kind of lifestyle the Duggars live, convinced me of that. All I could see was that if everyone adopted this worldview we were going back quite swiftly to the women as second class citizens and bargaining tools era.

Basically, if women are raised only to have tons of babies and keep a home, then educating them beyond high school is seen as a waste- they won't have any use of a career. Once women are denied higher education, they are less intelligent overall then their male counterparts and thus looked down on, strengthening stereotypes. Also, what would be the point of a woman's life, go from parents house to husbands house. In fact, at least one of my mini-duggar friends informed me that her kids weren't going to college unless the BOYS had aspirations to go into the ministry, though blue collar work was good enough for their dad and thus them, and that her daughters had no need of it since they would become wives and mothers. I sincerly hope her kids rebel and go get some real world experience. I hope her daughters refuse to be second class citizens simply because they have vaginas.

And I am SICK of the Duggars. They believe Jesus will provide, yet they were unable to provide their own home until a tv station stepped in and financed the project. I hope that at least one, if not more of their kids leave te faith when they get old enough to get out from under their parents wing. I wish Discovery channel would stop glorfying them, but I guess they are appealing to the homeschool seminar going families.

Anonymous said...

I am homeschool parent to my 12 year old. I have 3 in public school. I couldn't imagine the thought of homeschooling 17 kids let alone popping them all out. I just hope the girls will learn that they are more than just baby makers/housekeepers and do something better with their life. That family reminds of something out of the 50s or the 1800s.

Madame M said...

My grandfather grew up in a family of 10 children, 4 were girls. The girls got stuck with all the extra household chores and caretaking for the younger children. Even though this was at the turn of the century when catholic girls such as these were expected to marry and have their own families, the girls were so burnt out on childrearing by the time they hit adulthood, all but the youngest refused to have children and married late in life. The youngest had one child after years of pressure from her husband and was still bitching about having to be tied down to a kid and being a housewife into her 80's.

I can't imagine that professional gestator Duggar is doing all the housework, homeschooling and childrearing on her own. I'm sure her oldest girls have gotten a lifetime of adult responsibility before ever turning 18. In these situations I see homeschooling as nothing more than a means of keeping "mother's helpers" home all day to rear children they didn't give birth to and to brainwash them.

freethinker05 said...

That was a good one, John of indiana. lol

xrayman said...

I find it so ironic when we see one to those commercials about an impoverished family from Mexico or Africa. The narrator will says something like, “Juan struggles to feed his 11 children on the $1.10 a day he earns selling mule dung, so please could you help a family like Juan’s?” WHY THE FUCK TO PEOPLE WHO CAN’T AFFORD TO FEED THEMSELVES, HAVE 11 CHILDREN IN THE FIRST PLACE? Oh wait I just thought of the answer to my own question. The Catholic church doesn’t want Juan to wear one of those rubber things on his cock, just as Mr. Dugger’s God must feel the same way.

I have watched quite a few episodes of the Dugger’s show and I do notice that they have sold themselves out because I have never heard their religion mentioned(OK one kid did say he must put Jesus before all, but that was it). Discovery must have said, “OK we will build you a million dollar home with all the furnishings, but you must never mention your fucked up religion, and you must continue to squirt out as many kids as possible.” If it weren’t for Discovery the only way that jackass could feed all those kids would be from handouts from the church. He would be in the same basic situation as Juan mentioned above. What does Jim Dugger do for a living? They never mention that he even has a job. He just has all the time in the world to drive his kids around in that airport shuttle bus.

What church do they belong where the women can’t wear pants or a haircut that fit’s the era? It is just so God Damned silly seeing Jim look like the epitome of the modern male while the wife and girls run around with those 1800’s hairdos and dresses. That women needs a hair intervention(I wonder if Jim ever accidentally blew his load in that hair?). I guess what ever church the belong, those old fashioned dresses and the Christian symbol of women’s repression like the burka is to Islam. The men definitely wear the pants.

Well Amy I find it quite silly that it was the Duggers that pulled you away from Christianity. Perhaps you should drop them a line and give them thanks. Welcome to reality !!!!!!!

John of Indiana said...

Xray, I did some calculations, and with 17 kids and a wife, the "poverty" level is somewhere around $63,000 a year.
And in between bids on the local school board and state assembly, the Sperm Whale works as a Realtor.
With the housing market as screwed up as it is, it would seem he's got plenty of time to make baybees and try to get elected to bankrupt the school system trying to get Creationism taught in public schools.
From the female's mode of over-dress, I'd say they are of the United Pentecostal perversion...

Left of Center said...

Great Post. While I cant relate to your background. (thankfully) I can appreciate your story and what you have gone through. Interesting how something like "Christian Families Gone Wild" can deconvert.

Anonymous said...

The Duggars home church so they make it up as they go along. Their home is the church and I believe that they use the tax exempt status to their advantage on their 20 acres. Jim Bob gives financial freedom seminars and works real estate. Have they created a compound for the future??

I homeschool and I think this family is creepy.

Chuch Darwin said...

God gave them the financial freedom to raise their herd of brainwashed xtians. Here's the link to how you can be like Jim Bob and Clan: http://www.duggarfamily.com/financialfreedom.html

The further south one travels from the Mason-Dixon line, the further south the IQ levels head.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for you that it is so offensive. We'll see in 30 years if you are still happy with your choice to reject God, and if the Duggars are still happy they honored Him. This life is short. Trust the Creator.

homeschooling mom of six.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Anonymous wrote:
"This life is short. Trust the Creator"

Hey Anon,
It's really tough to 'trust' in something that doesn't exist, wouldn't you say?

>"homeschooling mom of six"

I feel very SORRY for those six kids!!
I bet you won't let them near a public school because they might find out your god exists only in YOUR mind.
So yeah anon, keep them home so you can be assured they receive a proper old-fashioned brain-scrubbing.

BTW.....what exactly do you teach them when it comes time for the science lessons?
I bet you ripped out many pages from their science textbooks, right?

How about the books they need to read for English Lit.?
Do you black-out all the words/sentences that you find offensive to god?

I can only wonder what you might do with History when it's time to study ancient history.
What about more current history where xtians armies went around killing in the name of their god?
How do you justify those actions to these poor kids?


ATF (Who is praying to all the gods, for those kids to realize your god is a fantasy, just like the other ancient gods from their history lessons)

justaguy said...

wow...you all are harsh. What did the Duggars every do to you all? Why do you gotta go make fun of and rip on a good tight knit family? If they want to have a big family, then let them and don't . What makes you right and them wrong? It breaks my heart to see you all make fun of a healthy family when 50 % out there are ending up in divorce. Every family is different...It looks like they are doing something right.

.:webmaster:. said...

justaguy,

Do you have any kids? Are you even married?

Did you ever go to a magic show? Looks can be deceiving.

Astreja said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Astreja said...

A hundred years from now, plus or minus a decade or so, that whole "happy family" will be merrily rotting away in their graves, oblivious to the fact that they were ever sentient beings.

Unfortunately, some of the kids may have continued this sick tradition of overbreeding, so their genome's drain on the Earth's resources may well continue for a few more generations.

I am somewhat reassured, however, that many of the Duggar kids will eschew super-sized procreation... Madame M put me in mind of my own family, and I have a similar tale to relate.

Both my mom and dad came from large families, seven kids on the maternal side and five on the paternal side. Examining both sides of the child generation, I see my brother with two kids; me with one daughter; several cousins with one sibling; three cousins who are only children; and three aunts and two uncles who did not reproduce at all.

Those very few kids, however, are living large in another sense: We've got a medical research scientist, an urban planner, and virtually everyone else working or pursuing a second career in writing, art or music.

So we may well see unexpected benefits when the saner of the Duggar kids deconvert and give Reality a closer look.

Lu said...

I think that it is great that the Duggar family is polite and generally nice to everyone however I feel that the family is exploiting their kids. Not only are they required to build the house they are supposed to live in (try indentured servitude) they are oblivious to the ideas and teachings that experience of urban and even suburban culture lends us. I feel bad for those kids. Im pretty sure that they rarely get individual attention.

HoustonAggie said...

Dear friend, it is not that Christianity is wrong as a whole, but that you were taught false Christianity. Many of today's "Christian" sects are commercialized and have incorporated doctrinal errors. Hell is not what was described to you.

Consider www.lds.org, a source that explains how original Christianity, which included prophets and apostles that held AUTHORITY from God, and necessary ordinances, have been restored in preparation for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

AtheistToothFairy said...

HoustonAggie wrote:
Hell is not what was described to you

You're right HoustonAggie, hell isn't what was described to us, but rather, hell is when xtians like YOU chose to spam our ex-xtian site with your crap.

ATF (Who knows Hell, heaven, and this jesus, are nothing but silly myths)

Anonymous said...

Ah, a rebel to the end. The gates of hell are locked from the inside, you know.

webmdave said...

HoustonAggie (HA):

Do not copy and paste the same message on multiple threads or all of your posts will be deleted.

Thank you.

Sandy said...

I am a homeschooling mom of 5 great kids, ages 10-20. All of our kids still live at home and we are happy. We are Independent Baptist and believe that you let God tell you how many to have. He will and you will be happy with them. I love spending all my time with my kids and they all want to homeschool their kids. Our oldest 2 finished school at 16 and went on to Technical College and both have great jobs. Children are a blessing. I feel sorry for all the kids that are born to people who let daycares and schools raise them and are so caught up in their own hectic life that they never have time to sit down with their children every day and have a meal and simply talk to them, about what matters to them. I am 100% happy with my life and wouldn't change it with anyone!!

Sandy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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