10 June 2015

A Healthy Response to the Duggar Scandal


This isn't a sermon. It's a podcast and in it Reformed Baptist pastor Jeff Riddle discusses the Duggar scandal. I think his comments are appropriate and helpful and he expresses many viewpoints I share. He's rightly critical of the Duggars and felt that way long before this happened. That's how I've felt about it. I'm not only hostile to their Dominionism and their connections with Gothard but in general I did not like the way they were setting themselves up as paragons. Their message is misleading. It's easy to be the Duggars when you're wealthy. Others who would struggle to fill the gas tank of their bus, will find life to be considerably different.

That is not to say that we shouldn't be willing to lower the bar when it comes to standard of living. I came to that position many years ago.

But the Duggars sure haven't. They are doing extremely well and their lifestyle is hardly restrained.

And I am not the only one to notice their parenting was/is deficient. I would go further than Riddle. I've only watched the programme a couple of times...mostly YouTube clips and all I can say is I am not impressed.

Is this cruel? Am I perfect? Hey, I didn't parade around my family on the air making millions of dollars and pretending to be a 'witness'.

So yes, the criticism is warranted.

Something is amiss in their household. Something went very wrong with their son. Forgive? Of course, but there doesn't seem to be a great deal of repentance or humility. They don't want to give up the cash cow.

Riddle also critiques some aspects of the Homeschool movement, Quiverfull etc... from the perspective of a homeschooler. I also can largely agree with what he's saying.

It's not these viewpoints are wrong per se.... but what they have done with them and I would add the theology that motivates them. I may homeschool too but not for the reason people like the Duggars do.

If you're interested in a take that neither defends the Duggars nor just flat excoriates them but examines the issue soberly and with the Bible in mind then this podcast is worth listening to.


  1. What struck me about this scandal involving the Duggars is how the parents have gone to great lengths to downplay their son's actions. Of course I understand that parents will protect their kids - any parent worth his or her salt would do so - but they have stopped short of stating the brutally obvious: that their son has committed a crime and has not faced justice for his actions. Of course, divine mercy is important but salvation does not exonerate you from the earthly consequences of your actions. Saved or not, if you do the crime, you do the time. It seems that notion has been overlooked or ignored throughout this affair.

    What's also troubling is that this boy's sisters - those whom he victimized - are downplaying his actions as well. They've attacked the media for demonizing someone whom they perceive as a loving and supportive brother. Fair enough but once again, a crime is a crime. If they've truly overcome this tragedy through forgiveness and are willing to live in harmony with the man who victimized them then I applaud them. However, that's only if they're honest about what they're saying. If they're sublimating it and/or are under pressure from their parents and extended family to keep their emotions in check, then this will prove disastrous in the future.

    Finally, I'm curious as to your reasons for homeschooling. I listened to the podcast and - along with your remarks - I agree that in many cases the motives of parents are fueled by and interplay between pietism and dominionism.

  2. I don't know who I am responding to...

    We homeschool for lots of reasons but primarily because of Antithesis.

    Their pietism is rooted in dominion and so to me it's something quite different. On the surface it may all look like nuance but it's not.

  3. To borrow language from John McCain it's the difference between tactic and strategy.
    Pietism is their tactic, dominionism is their strategy. Their retreat is just a temporary survival move. The Rushdoony/Kevin Swanson narrative is that 'from the ashes' of the collapsed West they will rise to conquer. Kevin Swanson's Second Mayflower (a perversion of the first Mayflower to be sure) summarizes this outlook.
    For someone like me antithesis/separatism is the strategy... the tactics are contextual and subject to the application of wisdom.
    At times we may look the same, on a surface level but are in fact quite different.