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#75336 - 04/20/06 03:04 AM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
mashenka
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 222
Loc: NY

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Right, I understand that. I just think that tolerance needs to go both ways. They may be implying that wearing a regular bathing suit is immodest, but some of the posters here seemed to be implying that going covered up is insane. I am a fan of live and let live, but it seriously needs to go in both directions.

As for rejecting some aspects of mainstream modern culture, and accepting others -- we ALL do that. Each and every one of us struggles with the question of which aspects of modernity to accept and which to reject. This is a question that is not just relevant for highly religious people, but for all people. I grew up without a TV, which contributed, I think, to my becoming such a bookworm; I fully intend for my kids to grow up without a TV as well. At the same time, I believe having internet at home can be useful if monitored and limited wisely. I could give many more examples -- the point is, no one, not even the Amish, rejects *all* aspects of modernity, and likewise no one (at least no thinking person) unquestioningly accepts all of them.

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#75337 - 04/20/06 08:32 AM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
LaSalleUGirl
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 1895
Loc: Philadelphia, PA, USA

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 Quote:
So everyone has a different comfort level, right? But why "gag"? Why such a judgmental reaction? What exactly is *wrong* with not wearing bathing suits in mixed company?
mashenka, I very nearly posted something very similar the other night. I kind of like the bathing suits on that site (though not, to be fair, the sanctimonious justification for the suits).

Ever since this thread started, I've been wondering why it elicits such hostility from posters. And I'm not excluding myself here. I can't tell you how many posts I've started in this topic and forced myself to stop.

I agree with mashenka that a large family is not, itself, a problem (I want one too, though some of my kids will be adopted). And I agree with many of the previous posters that there is a problem with consciously and deliberately making your older kids raise your younger kids. Ditto the many creepy references to "Daddy."

I think the Duggars are misguided, but I don't think they are evil. They haven't killed anybody. So why are we so angry? Evangelism makes me profoundly uncomfortable, but they have a right to do it. I don't agree with them, but, then again, I don't have to. I guess I'm just wondering how our judgmental responses to them are any better than their judgmental responses to us...

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#75338 - 04/20/06 01:09 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
mashenka
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 222
Loc: NY

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Yeah, exactly. I mean, it's just bizarre seeing the lovely people on chicklit (and you guys *are* absolutely lovely!) turn into hostile, critical meanies as soon as we start talking about a very religious lifestyle.
I haven't seen the show either; the only judgment I can make is from the responses here. Had I seen it, I might have found that particular family creepy as well. I'm talking about general principles right now. Perhaps the Duggars are misguided (though I don't know about that); to say that all people who try to dress modestly, raise large families, and adhere to their religious beliefs are misguided is -- well, I don't even know how to respond to that.
And let me tell you -- none of the Orthodox Jewish families I've encountered are in any way judgmental. They don't understand a secular lifestyle, but they don't judge it, either. Sometimes people imagine that other people are judging them (when in fact they are not) and respond defensively and sometimes with hostility. The reality is that "secular" people are just as likely to be arrogant or "holier-than-thou" as religious people -- the issue is not of religioun but of general character and personality.

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#75339 - 04/20/06 02:02 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
Auroranorth
Ching Shih


Registered: 03/30/05
Posts: 318

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mashenka, these people do trigger a hostile response in me. I apologize for offending you. And no, there's nothing wrong with modesty. My comments here were specifically aimed at the Duggars, not religious families in general.

Part of my reaction is the inability they show when it comes to considering that other people may have a point of view that's valuable because of its diversity.

How often do those children hear dissenting views, do you think? What happens if they dissent? Would you want to get involved with someone who knew nothing of the outside world other than the limited amounts they learn from their parents (keep in mind, the parents are practically never away from the children.)

Also, let's face it- if you set yourself up as a moral example, complete with website, not everyone's going to agree with you. Once it's on the web, it's there forever.

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#75340 - 04/20/06 02:19 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
LaSalleUGirl
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 1895
Loc: Philadelphia, PA, USA

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Yeah, "misguided" was probably a poor word choice. I was mostly responding to the fact that, according to the schedule posted online, these children interact almost exclusively with each other and their parents. From what I know of, say, Orthodox Jewish and Amish communities, there is a lot of interaction among members of the community, though not necessarily with the more secular communities around them. I don't have a problem with that. It's the insular nature of the family that concerns me here, which seems to have less to do with their religious beliefs and more to do with...I don't know what. That's what seems misguided to me, I think.

Auroranorth, I think what mashenka and I were responding to is the tendency in this thread to be vitriolic in our disagreement. It's one thing to disagree. It's very different to sling mud while doing so. I agree with you that the Duggars have opened themselves up for scrutiny and disagreement, but I also think that such disagreement carries much more weight when we're rationally discussing gender roles, diversity (or the lack thereof), and workplace preparation instead of sniping about Michelle Duggar's hair or Tater Tot casserole (which, ew, but kind of not the point, either).

Also, as I think mashenka and some other posters allude to, it's one thing to critique this well-publicized family and quite another to tar with the same brush all groups who advocate modest dress, large families, and deeply-held religious beliefs, which, at times, this thread has veered towards.

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#75341 - 04/20/06 02:33 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
mashenka
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 222
Loc: NY

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Sure, like I said, I was not responding to this family directly. In fact, what struck me most about Orthodox Jewish communities is the mind-boggling amount of hospitality and friendliness -- there's a lot of interaction going on, a whole lot of visiting and hanging out and so on. Even in ultra-Orthodox communities where male-female friendship is discouraged, people have other families over all the time, and of course holidays are always communal occasions. In fact, this sociability is the main thing that drew me to Orthodox Judaism in the first place!

We do need to separate the "flies from the meat patties," as we say in Russian \:\) and figure out what exactly is provoking this response. The move from particular to general is always a dangerous one, anyway, and I know I made that move as much as anyone in this conversation. Because we tend to divide "secular" from "religious" no matter what sort of religion we are talking about (or what sort of secular lifestyle, for that matter), everything ends up being lumped together.

I just looked at their schedule, though, and to be perfectly honest it sounds really nice. As an only child of a single mother, this kind of big family is the stuff of my dreams.

By the way, some of the most polite, socialized, well-adjusted, and popular people I've ever met were homeschooled. And some of the homeschooled kids I met were miserable and rebellious. It's all in *how* you do it.

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#75342 - 04/20/06 02:33 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
Auroranorth
Ching Shih


Registered: 03/30/05
Posts: 318

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 Quote:
Originally posted by LaSalleUGirl:
Yeah, "misguided" was probably a poor word choice. I was mostly responding to the fact that, according to the schedule posted online, these children interact almost exclusively with each other and their parents. From what I know of, say, Orthodox Jewish and Amish communities, there is a lot of interaction among members of the community, though not necessarily with the more secular communities around them. I don't have a problem with that. It's the insular nature of the family that concerns me here, which seems to have less to do with their religious beliefs and more to do with...I don't know what. That's what seems misguided to me, I think.
Who will these kids marry? How will they react in the world that exists outside their hermetically sealed bubble? They have no coping skills in modern life. What happens if Daddy loses his firm? Who's going to hire them?

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#75343 - 04/20/06 02:36 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
mashenka
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 222
Loc: NY

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They will marry people with similar beliefs. People with deeply held religious beliefs do not view the general population as potential spouses anyway.
Again, whether or not this particular family is being wise is a different question, I just wanted to emphasize that getting married should not be a problem for them.

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#75344 - 04/20/06 05:32 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
SeattleShrew
Ching Shih


Registered: 09/17/03
Posts: 372
Loc: Seattle

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Speaking for myself, my own feelings stem from my belief that my country is under attack from evangelical Christians. I have no problem with people living and celebrating their religious beliefs. I do have a problem with those beliefs being imposed on others through governmental means. Our president is an evangelical Christian and is quite open about his desire to inject that into his administration. And I will fight that with every means at my disposal.

As far as the sheer number of children, the earth is a fragile thing. Every child, especially a child born in an industrialized nation, makes an impact on the environment, a footprint in ecological talk. So yeah, I have a problem with 16 children born to one couple. It is irresponsible, and the major religions that preach against contraception need to join the rest of us in the 21st century.

All that said, I do think it is important to be tolerant of all lifestyles, even ones we know aren't for us personally.

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#75345 - 04/20/06 07:49 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
Mara2
Ching Shih


Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 383
Loc: Canberra Australia

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Edited because I've rewritten this several times and haven't said what I wanted to say yet.
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