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Womb For God
November 30, 2004 3:22 PM   Subscribe

Meet The Duggars! ?Michelle and Jim Bob have had 15 children in 16 years all with first names that start with the letter “J”. Recently they had their own 1 hour reality TV show called: 14 Children and Pregnant Again. They belong to the Full Quiver movement which states that you should receive as many children as God blesses you with. The women dress Little House on the Prairie fashion and refer to themselves as Prairie Muffins. The men get to dress normally. This is what the White Supremists think of them and this is what other Christians think of them.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy (140 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Yeah! When everyone does that, we'll hit a trillion people within only a couple of generations. Let's get busy! Who needs more than a few square feet of space anyway?
posted by u.n. owen at 3:29 PM on November 30, 2004


wahooo! another 'let's make fun of them stoopid xstians' fpp. woohoo. how EDGY!!
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 3:32 PM on November 30, 2004


I thought a "prairie muffin" was similar to a "buffalo chip." I guess they're two different things, even if the philosophy behind both is identical.
posted by fandango_matt at 3:36 PM on November 30, 2004


First link best viewed with periodic mattress spring noises as a background noise.

I like the Let's all look into the sun picture.
posted by NewBornHippy at 3:40 PM on November 30, 2004


18) Prairie Muffins are fiercely submissive to God and to their husbands.

I'm actually really intrigued by that wording. Is "fiercely submissive" a quote from somewhere? To me it seems like they were anticipating criticism, but what an odd adjective to temper "submissive" with...
posted by flaneur at 3:40 PM on November 30, 2004


Stoopid is as stoopid does.
posted by fungible at 3:42 PM on November 30, 2004


I am a Christian, and I think this is stupid. I also think it's interesting that someone finds these people and their life worthy of a television reality show.

So the heck with you, BrodieShadeTree.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:43 PM on November 30, 2004


Note--what I think is stupid is not the FPP, but the reality show and the ideology it depicts.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:44 PM on November 30, 2004


intensely accommodating, ferociously acquiescent, brutally compliant? All of those are good, I think.
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 3:46 PM on November 30, 2004


Wow. I can't stop reading this stuff. It's like my own, personal, deepest nightmare.
posted by JoanArkham at 3:47 PM on November 30, 2004


I thought muffin was a strange word to use as well, if only because I have frequently heard it used as a euphemism for a certain part of the female anatomy.
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 3:49 PM on November 30, 2004


Hey Maw, let's just go ahead and try to breed those darned heathens out of existence. You good for another baby yet? No? Tough, God wants more followers and this is the best way I know of to make them since my command of the language is passable at best and arguing someone into conversion is way harder than humping you and making you carry another baby for 9 months.

Yeah, I learned something today, I learned that people will use God to justify anything they do, from chopping their child's arms off and letting them bleed to death to paying absolutely no mind to the fact that the planet's already over crowded and over taxed as it is but hey, fuck that, God's will and all that.

What's next? A reality show competition between them and a couple taking massive doses of fertlization drugs to see who can make the most children in 20 years? Oh boy. Then we can grudge match those kids against each other for the ultimate survivor. Damn, I hope nobody from Fox is reading this thread.

What is brutal compliance anyway? They say yes, kick you in the balls and then go make dinner?
posted by fenriq at 3:49 PM on November 30, 2004


Actually, I think it's within people's rights to raise a large family if they want - but they have to pay for it all (don't use my tax dollars for your need to breed) and they have to deal with the consequences.

My best friend when I was a kid had a 9-child family (devout Catholics). And while I'm sure they have a good support system amongst themselves now, whenever I visited their house growing up, it was a fucking zoo. Completely messy, kids running rampant breaking things, Mom having a nervous breakdown more often than not. I'm sure she questioned her faith more than a few times.
posted by fungible at 3:54 PM on November 30, 2004


Prairie Muffins recognize that there is a real battle in which they are on the front lines: the battle of the seed of the woman against the seed of the serpent.

Oh good grief. How quaint that some people insist that living like it's the 17th century (except for the Intarweb, I suppose) is some sort of badge of honor. There is nothing godly about breeding as many humans as you can when we have a few billion more than we need right now.

And reading that racist trash on the stormfront board gives me an idea of who we could start with to mitigate our overpopulation problems.
posted by mstefan at 3:58 PM on November 30, 2004


Actually, I think it's within people's rights to raise a large family if they want - but they have to pay for it all (don't use my tax dollars for your need to breed) and they have to deal with the consequences.

*clap* *clap*

If you can't feed 'em don't breed 'em


As an added bonus, do you have the 'cost' from state to state TO the State to take a kid on and off WIC to age 18?

I can't find that data. :-(
posted by rough ashlar at 4:03 PM on November 30, 2004


I would looooooooooooove to know what these folks think.

Plug your ears, kids!
posted by OhPuhLeez at 4:05 PM on November 30, 2004


Well, that particular family can afford it.

I know people who have huge families, and do a good job, and enjoy it. As for me, three was plenty.

My personal viewpoint is that it is none of my business how many or how few kids anybody else has.
posted by konolia at 4:05 PM on November 30, 2004


Whether your quiver is large or small, you are welcome.

Thank you Jesus!
posted by moonbird at 4:05 PM on November 30, 2004


Yeah, so I saw this TV show a while back (maybe August?). It was both compelling and repelling at the same time. I may be mistaken but I think it was just the one show, kind of a long show, but not a series as far as I could tell.

On the one hand, yeah, 15 kids, that's a bit beyond the pale. What was especially creepy was that all the girls in the family also wanted to have these huge families, as did the older boys. The family also seemed to socialize almost exclusively with another like-minded family (but I think they "only" had like 8 kids). I'll never get the whole 'I'll take as many babies as the lord gives me' mindset, personally.

On the other hand, I found it hard to dislike them because at heart they did seem like decent people, who loved their kids and (old-fashioned religious wierdnesses aside) were raising their kids well. And they had a hell of a system for the day-to-day things which, if you have 17 people to feed, wash and clothe everyday, I suppose is essential. If I recall correctly they did it all on their own (as they should) -- they claimed they do not, and never have, received any kind of assistance. Just a really strictly-adhered-to budget of their own money.

I totally disagree with their ideology, and I think adding 15 kids to the world is highly irresponsible, and I wouldn't do it myself if you paid me, but honestly there are probably worse people than the Duggers to have in this position.
posted by contessa at 4:06 PM on November 30, 2004


Oh, I read somewhere the show is getting rebroadcast on Discovery Health on Christmas Day if any of you want to catch it.
posted by konolia at 4:09 PM on November 30, 2004


So it's okay if they're nice people?

What if they were Satanists? What if they were bikers? What if they were hedonists who let all 15 kids run around naked all the time?

There are worse people doing this, that's the problem. That and the fact that they put people doing this on TV so more people will think if they start pumping out lots of kids, they'll get on TV too.
posted by fenriq at 4:11 PM on November 30, 2004


My personal viewpoint is that it is none of my business how many or how few kids anybody else has.

Actually, it's everyone's business... literally and figuratively. When you choose to breed, you're not doing it in a vacuum. You're creating something that consumes resources and impacts society. That impact can be large or small, positive or negative, but it exists nontheless.

Personally, it amazes me that we require licenses for people who want to style hair for a living, but anyone is free to reproduce as many humans as their bodies can accomodate without any consideration other than they're physically capable of doing so. It makes absolutely no sense.
posted by mstefan at 4:13 PM on November 30, 2004


I am thinking we should take up a collection and send her a mothers day present from Stormfront.org,just to say,We appreciate her efforts to replenishing the White race.

...and...

Mrs. Duggar is a hero for our race!

Fantastic stuff!

Oh, and this is why the Democrats don't stand a chance. They just breed more than us. Oooh, look, I found a really cool link!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:16 PM on November 30, 2004


So it's okay if they're nice people?

What if they were Satanists? What if they were bikers? What if they were hedonists who let all 15 kids run around naked all the time?


or say ...palestinians or quebecois?
posted by srboisvert at 4:17 PM on November 30, 2004


ewww, quebecois? I think not! Hehehe.
posted by fenriq at 4:23 PM on November 30, 2004


Personally, it amazes me that we require licenses for people who want to style hair for a living, but anyone is free to reproduce as many humans as their bodies can accomodate without any consideration other than they're physically capable of doing so. It makes absolutely no sense.

You can't be serious.
posted by trharlan at 4:24 PM on November 30, 2004


or say ...ParisParamus.

My aunt lives in a red state and says the Duggars and the Full Quivver Movement are the exact reason I need to have kids--otherwise, she says, "we're going to be overrun with stupid people."
posted by fandango_matt at 4:24 PM on November 30, 2004


15 babies at 9 months a pop, 11 years 3 months carrying a baby. Murders get less time then that.

Mrs. Duggar doesn't have stretch marks, she has pleats.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:24 PM on November 30, 2004 [1 favorite]


Personally, it amazes me that we require licenses for people who want to style hair for a living, but anyone is free to reproduce as many humans as their bodies can accomodate without any consideration other than they're physically capable of doing so. It makes absolutely no sense.

You can't be serious.


No, I have to take mstefan's side on this one. There's too damn many people on the planet, and a large portion of them are being produced by people incompetent to raise them responsibly. I think that we need a qualification and licensing system to determine who is entitled to reproduce and who is not.

Too hard to enact fairly, you say? In that case, we declare a total moratorium on reproduction until a fair system can be worked out. Problem solved.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:31 PM on November 30, 2004


You can't be serious.

Oh, but I am. I'm a social moderate in most spheres, but when it comes to people ejecting more screaming lumps of meat from their crotch into a festering gene pool already teeming with humanity, I'm a fascist wanker who thinks that mandatory parental licensing and systemic sterilization is the only thing standing between us and a future of dining on soylent green.
posted by mstefan at 4:33 PM on November 30, 2004


some people have a talent for playing baseball ... some people have a talent for coding ... and some people have a talent for having and raising kids

just what is the problem here? ... considering that our general population growth in this country minus immigration is pretty low, i don't think they're doing anything but making up for a few people that don't have kids

and licensing people to have kids ... hey, whatever happened to a woman's right to control her own body?
posted by pyramid termite at 4:33 PM on November 30, 2004


jesus christ.
posted by Satapher at 4:34 PM on November 30, 2004


Personally, it amazes me that we require licenses for people who want to style hair for a living, but anyone is free to reproduce as many humans as their bodies can accommodate without any consideration other than they're physically capable of doing so. It makes absolutely no sense.

Liberty's a bitch.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:35 PM on November 30, 2004


There are worse people doing this, that's the problem.

WUTANG CLAN AINT NUTTIN TO FUCK WIT
posted by Satapher at 4:37 PM on November 30, 2004


total moratorium on reproduction until a fair system can be worked out.

No seriously, a solution instead of a new problem. When have we ever created a system of equality, without those who run the system game it to their own advantage?

Even if you created a system that had perfect equality, no one would trust it.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:39 PM on November 30, 2004


hey, whatever happened to a woman's right to control her own body?

If it stayed in her body, then I'd have no problem with it. However, when I'm yelling at her fuck trophy to get hell off my lawn, it's a different story altogether.
posted by mstefan at 4:40 PM on November 30, 2004


Actually, it's everyone's business... literally and figuratively. When you choose to breed, you're not doing it in a vacuum. You're creating something that consumes resources and impacts society. That impact can be large or small, positive or negative, but it exists nontheless.

Tough shit, and fuck "society."

Oh, and fuck those people who think "society" owes them something, too.
posted by Ayn Marx at 4:43 PM on November 30, 2004


Well, let's see. I'm bipolar and should not have been allowed to breed......but funny, right this minute one of my kids is a cadet at the Air Force Academy.


If you want a society that tells people whether they can reproduce or not, try communist China.
posted by konolia at 4:43 PM on November 30, 2004


"home despots"

Wha...?
posted by jesourie at 4:46 PM on November 30, 2004


When I'm yelling at her fuck trophy to get the hell off my lawn, it's a different story altogether.

.
posted by fandango_matt at 4:47 PM on November 30, 2004


I'm actually really intrigued by that wording. Is "fiercely submissive" a quote from somewhere? To me it seems like they were anticipating criticism, but what an odd adjective to temper "submissive" with...
posted by flaneur at 3:40 PM PST on November 30

You'd think so, but any woman who chose such a life would face the disapprobation of her society - just look at the posts here. Some ferocity is required in the face of internal and external conflicts. There's nothing passive about it.
posted by By The Grace of God at 4:49 PM on November 30, 2004


some people have a talent for playing baseball ... some people have a talent for coding ... and some people have a talent for having and raising kids

Ah, there's the rub. I noticed you put "having and raising" together, like they're somehow inextricably linked, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Well, let's see. I'm bipolar and should not have been allowed to breed......but funny, right this minute one of my kids is a cadet at the Air Force Academy.

konolia, did anyone in this thread specify bipolar disorder as a potentially disqualifying factor? Please don't try to change the subject.

If you want a society that tells people whether they can reproduce or not, try communist China.

Oh no! Orientals! They're so inscrutable and evil! We must avoid being like them at all costs!
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:50 PM on November 30, 2004


Tough shit, and fuck "society."

I was once trying to define the phrase 'redneck' for an Austrian, Austria is a rural country so explaining it as people who lived in 'wood cabins in the hills' went no where. She was from Freistadt, which is in the hills dotted with wood cabins

Best description I could come up with was, "Someone who's credo is, 'Society is for fools.' "
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:53 PM on November 30, 2004


Great. More bipolar, self-important, sententious, judgmental, cherry-pickin'-Bible-texts-to-bolster-their-own-prejudices Air Force officers. Just what our country needs.

Because as bad as a huge public flameout on the Internet might be, it's a hell of a lot worse when someone has a huge flameout in a Stealth fighter.

Jesus loves you, konolia, but He's a lot nicer than I am.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:54 PM on November 30, 2004


If you want a society that tells people whether they can reproduce or not, try communist China.

Actually, I want a society where people reproduce responsibly with an awareness of the impact that they're having on their children, other members of their family and their community at large. Where they have the financial stability, emotional maturity, intelligence and wisdom to raise another human being to adulthood where the end result is a productive, contributing member of society.

The other 99.9% should just be fucking for the fun of it.
posted by mstefan at 4:55 PM on November 30, 2004


I actually am extraordinarily against any governmental regulation of procreation in any way. The government shouldn't keep you from carrying a fetus to term OR make you carry a fetus to term; it shouldn't keep you from using birth control OR make you use birth control.

However, I still think the Duggars are idiots. And I can't imagine watching them display their idiocy to the world for an hour on the TV.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:57 PM on November 30, 2004


My son is not bipolar, sidhedevil.
posted by konolia at 4:58 PM on November 30, 2004


I'd hit it. The mother that is.
posted by Photar at 4:59 PM on November 30, 2004


I mentioned China because they have been known to force women to abort their (wanted) babies.
posted by konolia at 5:00 PM on November 30, 2004


Faint of Butt an object can be a communist?
posted by thomcatspike at 5:00 PM on November 30, 2004


Must be wealthy to afford to raising 14 kids with one working spouse. Maybe they get help from Larry Kidkill.
posted by RemusLupin at 5:00 PM on November 30, 2004


The Duggar dad is in real estate and from what I understand had made some prudent investments earlier in life. But all I know about them I learned at TWOP.
posted by konolia at 5:02 PM on November 30, 2004


idiots have been raising good children for a long time. raising kids is not as hard as you'd think it would be, and humans are pretty resiliant. government regulation will only fuck things up even worse. you're not going to solve the problem, it's called humanity.
posted by chaz at 5:05 PM on November 30, 2004


konolia, here, how's this then, More bipolar, self-important, sententious, judgmental, cherry-pickin'-Bible-texts-to-bolster-their-own-prejudices Air Force officers.

Happy now? What about now?
Now?
posted by fenriq at 5:06 PM on November 30, 2004


idiots have been raising good children for a long time. raising kids is not as hard as you'd think it would be, and humans are pretty resiliant. just look at me for example, my parents were totally out of it and i turned out fine.

government regulation will only fuck things up even worse. you're not going to solve the problem, it's called humanity and its been around for a damn long time.
posted by chaz at 5:06 PM on November 30, 2004


There goes the neighborhood...
posted by Oyéah at 5:11 PM on November 30, 2004


konolia, the "bipolar" was the least problematic (to me) aspect of my description of you. Thanks for adding another inflexible self-righteous zealot to the US military. I'm delighted that my tax dollars are going to pay his salary and send him overseas to kill people he scorns.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:14 PM on November 30, 2004


Gee, sidhedevil, don't you think you should meet someone or at least talk to them before you assume you know what they are like?
posted by konolia at 5:21 PM on November 30, 2004


Any of you guys ever read Ringworld? They had a limit on kids couples could produce (every citizen was allowed half a kid or something) except they also held nationwide lotteries and people could win the rights to an additional kid. So it turns out there is a girl who is from 14 successive generations of lotto winners and they discover luck is genetic, or something.

Yeah. That'd be cool.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 5:22 PM on November 30, 2004


Hey, if they can afford it, and they turn out useful members of society as opposed to wastes of protoplasm, then God bless 'em. Looks like they're doing okay on those counts, even though I don't agree with their philosophy.

Anyone who can't afford it, I don't want to give my tax money to. Simple as that.

Now, where can I get me a "fiercely submissive" woman who DOESN'T want to pop out a mess o' puppies, but just treat me as lord and master??

(kidding...?)

Konolia, i don't mean to be flip about this, and I don't condone it, but China has forced women to abort wanted babies because if every woman in China had a mess of kids, there would be many hundreds of millions of new mouths to feed every year in China. Much like India. Those two countries now have some 2.75 BILLION people in them - close to half the population of earth.

So, at what point should people stop breeding? When there are so many people that there's no room to lie down to give birth? Or will God fix it all up for us? While there's some sarcasm there, I really don't mean it with that much sarcasm; if your faith in the Revelation - the coming destruction and culling of humanity by Almighty God - is guiding your thoughts on the matter... well, I guess I can't do much about it. Just want to know where you see the end point happening and why.
posted by zoogleplex at 5:23 PM on November 30, 2004


The reason why I am so fascinated with the Duggars is the weird mixture of good and evil.

Good: their children are very well behaved, good citizens who don't take drugs, vandalize the neighborhood, or cause problems.
Evil: Their children are mindless zombies who are not allowed to choose their own clothes, hairstyles or even their own instruments. (They all learn to play violin.) They are home schooled and attend church in their own house and only associate with like minded people. No TV, no internet and very few books. The 16 year old boy will be taking college classes next year on-line.

Good: They are building a 7000 sq foot mansion with 9 bathrooms to replace their 2000 sq foot house with two bathrooms.
Evil: Jim Bob and sons are doing everything themselves. The kids got a field trip to watch insulation being shot into the walls. There will be 2 1000 sq foot bedrooms-- meaning the kids still won't have any privacy.

Good: Everyone is well-dressed, well fed and the house runs smoothly.
Evil: They live on canned and processed everything. When they went on a picnic, they took canned corn, Tatertot casserole (ground turkey, cream of mushroom soup and tatertots) and jugs of water. The boys get to dress normally but the girls must dress "modestly" which means ankle-length bib-style dresses over white blouses-- the exact outfit Michelle started wearing after she was married. The house runs smoothly because the kids do everything and every child is assigned a "buddy," a smaller child they are responsible for.

I could go on, but you can read the links yourself. I'm not bashing Christians here, but commenting on the life style choice that the parents chose freely but are forcing on their kids. This is assembly-line parenting.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:24 PM on November 30, 2004 [1 favorite]


I now regret expressing my less-than-warm regard for konolia on this thread, because it just wasn't appropriate. I apologize, konolia.

On the other hand, she was the one who made the ad feminam argument in the first place--as though we would all suddenly be convinced that reproductive restrictions would be terrible because she has a neurological/psychological illness and her kid is in the Air Force Academy.

I absolutely think that bipolar people should be allowed to have as many children as they like. And, even though I may not enjoy the outcome, small-minded, humorless, narcissistic, unChristian people should also be allowed to have as many children as they like.

konolia, I do agree with you that China's draconian restrictions on procreation are a terrible violation of human rights. It would be nice if President Bush didn't just lean over and hand them the Vaseline every time he meets with them.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:26 PM on November 30, 2004


And konolia, I do suppose it's possible that your son isn't an inflexible, self-righteous zealot. It just doesn't seem likely to me, considering what I know of his mother. But you are right--I should give him the benefit of the doubt.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:28 PM on November 30, 2004


The level of intolerance in this thread from those who consider themselves liberal (choose the modern or classic definition, it works either way) is astounding, even for MeFi.

SLoG: Is it possible, somehow, that some of the good you list is at least partially due to what you're listing as evil? Isn't it possible that, given some of the insane folks raising kids today, these people on balance are doing us a favor? They may not be doing a perfect job, but is any parent? And anyway, just how evil is it for a dad to have his sons help him with a major family project? Isn't that what we want dads doing?

If they want to associate only with like-minded people, sure, it's their loss, but I'd much rather have the Duggars as neighbors (raising kids who'll pay their taxes, not bother my family and me, and generally try to be decent folks) than a lot of the folks that are, in fact, my neighbors.

It never ceases to amaze me how so many people that profess to be all about freedom only want it as long as it's for people that think just like them. That, unfortunately, applies to nearly the entire political spectrum.

/me returns to lurk mode.
posted by elvolio at 5:38 PM on November 30, 2004


It's cool, sidhedevil.
posted by konolia at 5:41 PM on November 30, 2004


The "fiercely submissive" line caught my eye as well, and I must say pondering that - from both ends - made me tingle a bit. Oh dear.

If we - as society - were smart and forward thinking, there probably should be some sort of metric or test passed before having kids. Something along the lines of a parenting skills course involving nutrition, psychology, and an assortment of other factors. We need licences to drive cars, bear arms and run a business, but not to rear children? However, how to accomplish such a test or metric while still remaining impartial to religion, politics, culture or tradition is totally beyond me. Plus, enforcing it would be nearly impossible.

Is it just me or do Ayn Randroids pretty consistantly come off as near-sociopathic selfish fuckwits of the most dangerous sort? Every time I hear one of them spout off I have visions of the Thunderdome and hear the clash of improvised weapons and body armor. The thought of a Randroid finally grasping the concept of mercy at the wrong end of a homemade poleaxe is just too tasty. Tina Turner scantily draped in chainmail is thankfully absent from these hallucinations.
posted by loquacious at 5:42 PM on November 30, 2004


If you want a society that tells people whether they can reproduce or not, try communist China.

Um, if you refer to "The Republic of China" or "The People's Republic of China", there can be confusion, but if you just say "China", people are pretty clear that you're talking about the PRC and not Taiwan.

Also, as an argument, that stands up as well as "If you want a room with a TV, move into a pre-furnished apartment". You could always, you know, buy a TV instead.
posted by Bugbread at 5:46 PM on November 30, 2004


This is all too real for myself. I would be the oldest of 12 in a family that believes this stuff. In my parents case they are getting on in years and are moving on to adoption as an 'enlargement' tacit. I am 25 years older then my youngest sibling, and he won't be in college until my father has retired.

I asked my mom once what she wanted as a younger woman, she said that she wanted 1 or 2. My father wanted as many as possible. They compromised on his decision.

I was raised around many families like this and the trend always seems that they didn't start out with this mindset. After the third or fourth kid they looked for justification for a large household and found that god was "blessing" them. They at that point pop them out as fast as the woman can recuperate from labor.

The irony of this appears to be in the children. The people that grew up from these family don't typically want large families themselves. They know the strain that many children can present.
posted by Exad at 5:46 PM on November 30, 2004


Also, I don't get what's "evil", let alone "kinda bad" about "every child is assigned a 'buddy,' a smaller child they are responsible for."
posted by Bugbread at 5:48 PM on November 30, 2004


I can't be the only one who looked at this picture and immediately thought of the Nahasapeemapetilan octuplets.
posted by thirdparty at 5:49 PM on November 30, 2004


I certainly want freedom for these people to be as silly as they want to be. As long as I have the freedom to find them ridiculous.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:49 PM on November 30, 2004


I am fond of the Floating Head of Patriarchy. I miss the Floating Head of Portraiture School. It flowered, oh so briefly, just in time to catch thousands of children at their snaggle-toothed, jug-eared worst both front and side. If you have a Floating Head school picture in your album, remember, and be humble.

loquacious: it is not just you. The Floating Head of Ayn Rand is a cautionary tale for the ages.
posted by melissa may at 5:50 PM on November 30, 2004


The Language People should create a word that means an apology that isn't REALLY an apology, it's an insult. And then if someone ever says something that could be described using that word, we get to hit them, because they're idiots, and were better off before they started pretending to apologize just for the excuse to continue making insults, which debases the concept of the apology and really doesn't help anything.

Also, re: fiercely submissive. You try living a life truly in accordance with the one outlined in the Bible and see how easy it is to submit to. It takes effort, will, and, yes, a certain amount of ferocity to actually, truly submit yourself to following God's will, instead of your own. Regardless of whether you believe the Bible to be the Literal Word of God or the ravings of lunatics twisted to justify hating those who are different from you, it professes a code that is not an easy one to live, and if you're going to submit yourself to it in anything other than a superficial manner, then you're going to have to be really darned committed to doing so.
posted by Fontbone at 5:52 PM on November 30, 2004


exad, oddly enough, the family i know that has the most kids both came from incredibly large families themselves. In their case, they appear to be enjoying their family immensely, and are pretty relaxed and laid back people. But in their case I think they agreed from the getgo they wanted a herd.
posted by konolia at 5:53 PM on November 30, 2004


I do not feel that one group of zealots could be deemed worthy to receive the blame for the bright, budding future of overpopulation. I also do not feel that reproduction should in any way be mandated by the government.

At the risk of sounding ludicrous, it could be argued that dentistry, antibiotics, and vaccinations are also strong contributing factors to the current dilemma of overpopulation. These are not things for which we have biological urges, as we do with reproduction, so it could even be argued that it would be in more in the interests of the human race to do away with disease prevention than with the right to reproduce.

At any rate, I doubt the species will learn not to overpopulate until it has already done so to ... well ... a much more destructive degree.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 6:02 PM on November 30, 2004


And if they can do a good job raising 15 kids, kudos to them.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 6:07 PM on November 30, 2004


The Language People should create a word that means an apology that isn't REALLY an apology, it's an insult.

"a backhanded apology"
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:10 PM on November 30, 2004


amazes me that we require licenses for people who want to style hair for a living, but anyone is free to reproduce as many humans as their bodies can accomodate

Well, there goes the thread.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:12 PM on November 30, 2004


"a backhanded apology"

Er, yeah, that works too. We should still get to hit people that use 'em, though.
posted by Fontbone at 6:19 PM on November 30, 2004


"a backhanded apology"

Er, yeah, that works too. We should still get to hit people that use 'em, though.


Appropriately, we should hit them backhanded. That way we can call it a "pimp-slap apology."
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:23 PM on November 30, 2004


I actually saw this on TV -- it was like a train wreck, I couldn't STOP watching -- and the one thing I wondered (beyond what in the hell you would WANT with 15 kids) is if those girls are getting any idea that they CAN do something else if they want to.

Somehow, I think not.
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:37 PM on November 30, 2004


secret life of gravy - while i don't like the cookie cutter aspect of these kids' upbringing myself, i've got to wonder about what you call "evil" ...

learning how to put insulation in walls and helping build a house ... my dad must have been evil ...

no tv, no internet and very few books? ... well, my mother did have books ... but not only didn't she have tv or internet, she didn't have indoor plumbing ... or electricity or a radio until 1944 ... by the way, her folks were both college graduates ... and had 9 children, most of whom became professionals and college graduates themselves

they live on canned goods? ... oh, my god ... it could be worse ... they could actually have to grow the vegetables themselves and can them themselves like my mother's family did ... now that's EVIL

they actually have to look out for their younger siblings? ... why, that's horrible ... next thing you know, they might learn something about personal responsibility and being one's brother's keeper and all that EVIL stuff

and there was a time when ankle length dresses were COMMON ... what's worse ... shudder ... they often didn't get new ones, but had to wear the ones their older sisters grew out of

just think of it ... much of my mother's generation grew up in the veritable heart of darkness of hell and didn't even know it ... how they ever managed to become productive, moral human beings is beyond me

elvolio ... yeah, this thread's a classic example of liberal intolerance ... and city slicker ignorance to boot
posted by pyramid termite at 6:39 PM on November 30, 2004


I relocated to China just over two months ago. Many Chinese people are educated and made aware of the impact that so many people have on finite resources. It is seen as being a responsible citizen to only have one child and the children are cherished and raised in a very loving environment. Many of my students have brothers and sisters, some more than one. Look before you leap. China is not the heathen nation it is often portrayed to be in Western media.

The UN has found no evidence to support the US claims that forced abortions are rampant in China. The report says moreover that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) worked "closely" with population control officials in China in 32 counties which employed coercive methods of population control. Despite the repeated denials of UNFPA the U.S. report states that these counties that worked with UNFPA employed "birth limitation policy, including the requirement that couples employ effective birth control methods, and enforced it through other means, such as social compensation fees."
posted by geekyguy at 6:46 PM on November 30, 2004


Also, I don't get what's "evil", let alone "kinda bad" about "every child is assigned a 'buddy,' a smaller child they are responsible for."

My concern is that the parents are making the kids responsible for raising the kids. So, you have your little buddy. You teach them table manners, you groom them. You get them ready for school. You are responsible for them. "You" being an 8 year old.

just how evil is it for a dad to have his sons help him with a major family project? Isn't that what we want dads doing?

Is it taking time away from studies? Is it taking time away from leisure activities? This is a huge project and the oldest boy seemed overwhelmed on the TV show.

My point is these kids seem to get very little time to themselves-- little down time or unprogrammed time. They have a schedule on the wall that shows what everyone is supposed to be doing every 15 minutes. Family life for them seems more like boot camp.

Actually I must apologize for being lazy. I should never have used the terms "good" and "evil" (I guess I slipped into religious mode.) I should have used the phrases "I think it is great that:" and "I am concerned that:"

Other things I am concerned about: The parents are now discussing dating with the 16 year old boy. But not to find a girlfriend, to find a wife. He will not be allowed to associate with anyone outside their church friends.

The girls are not allowed to wear anything except long dresses, even when playing sports. Plus when asked they all want to get married and have a big family.

I just wish they had a chance to be more exposed to other cultures, other lifestyles, other choices.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:48 PM on November 30, 2004


Woo, lots of Arkansas on the blue today. These nutters live in the same town as I do, which should let you know that they are fucking messed up. Everyone and everything in and from my town = fucking messed up. It's just the way it is.
posted by bargle at 6:49 PM on November 30, 2004


I just wanted to pop in and say

HOLY SHIT YOU PEOPLE HATE EACH OTHER
posted by undule at 6:51 PM on November 30, 2004


Quotes that caught my eye:

From the White Supremacists:

Well.I am thinking we should take up a collection and send her a mothers day present from Stormfront.org,just to say,We appreciate her efforts to replenishing the White race.

Maybe like, two dozen towels and wash cloths ,embroidered with STORMFRONT.ORG.That way at least someone out of the 17 people in that family may someday actually get on line and see who we are.Recruit,recruit,recruit


From the Prairie Muffin Manifesto:

Prairie Muffins appreciate godly role models, such as Anne Bradstreet, Elizabeth Prentiss and Elisabeth Elliot. They do not idolize Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie) or Louisa May Alcott (Little Women); while they may enjoy aspects of home life presented in their books, PMs understand that the latent humanism and feminism in these stories and in the lives of these women is not worthy of emulation.

Prairie Muffins mind their own business. While that business may include encouraging other women "to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored," ...


Linens as Nazi recruitment tool and Little House on the Prairie as sneaky feminist ideology and and telling people how to live as minding one's own business. And it's a sin to cut your hair, but spraying your bangs up to heaven is A-OK!

Funny old world, innit?
posted by jennyb at 6:53 PM on November 30, 2004


Groucho Marx had a guest on his show, a woman who had
twenty children.Groucho,"why do you have so many children?"
guest,"because I love children,and I love my husband.
groucho,"well, I love my cigar!but Itake it out of my mouth once in a while"you bet your life.
posted by hortense at 7:03 PM on November 30, 2004


The level of intolerance in this thread from those who consider themselves liberal ... is astounding, even for MeFi.

You might as well start getting used to it, because it's the upcoming trend throughout Western (esp. US American) society.

The root cause is simply that our society(ies) became liberal to the point that (Christian) religion was irrelevent to living a good life, getting a good job, raising good kids, and being a good person. Many people quite enjoyed all this freedom to choose for themselves what was important to them.

Fundamentalist religion is now making a comeback, perhaps because there are many people who apparently can't live a good life &c without the support of a religion.

And as fundamentalist religion makes its comeback, it is infringing on the freedoms that allowed people to choose for themselves.

Naturally, this means liberal people are getting a little pissed-off.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:05 PM on November 30, 2004 [1 favorite]


I'm afraid that story may be apocryphal, hortense.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:08 PM on November 30, 2004


Funny old world, innit?

A lot funnier with you in it, jennyb. I'm just enjoying the image of my poor grandma gluing her bangs up with the lard she rendered from her own humble, work-roughened hands. And loving it!

And yes, what's with the Nazis and the :-)ing and ;-)ing and LOLing and embroidering? Cognitive dissonance, you make my head go ow.
posted by melissa may at 7:13 PM on November 30, 2004


"him with a major family project? Isn't that what we want dads doing?"

Is it taking time away from studies? Is it taking time away from leisure activities? This is a huge project and the oldest boy seemed overwhelmed on the TV show.


Ok, I have to confess, I haven't seen the show, so I'll have to defer to you here. That said, I certainly don't think it's impossible to do other things during the day without taking away from studies. I say this because in junior high school I got in-school suspension for getting in a fight. Instead of going to class, I was told what pages in what classes were being covered, and given all my assignments for the day. I found that 6 hours of class could be completed in just under two hours. Heck, if they'd given me a week's worth of assignments and reading I could have finished it in 1 day and a morning, leaving me 3.5 days free. So for a homeschooled kid, I can definitely imagine there being pleeeenty of time in a day to work on building a house.

But, again, you saw the show, and I haven't, so your impressions are probably more accurate.

Prairie Muffins mind their own business. While that business may include encouraging other women "to love their husbands...

I gotta remember that approach. "Bugbread, mind your own business!" "I am minding my own business. And my business is to tell you to stop cheating on your wife."
posted by Bugbread at 7:15 PM on November 30, 2004


melissa may: That's just the Nazis at the tail end of their warm and fuzzy white supremicist image enhancement program. They're trying harder, and it shows!
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 7:18 PM on November 30, 2004


no tv, no internet and very few books? ... well, my mother did have books ... but not only didn't she have tv or internet, she didn't have indoor plumbing ... or electricity or a radio until 1944

Yes, life certainly was different before WWII. My own grandparents both came from enormous (12+) families but then birth control was invented you see, and women no longer to had to have a baby every year or two. Plus people no longer had to have so many children to work as free labor on the farm, or to replace all the younguns that died from disease.
I myself grew up without the internet and lived for years without a TV, but I had books. Plus I got to go out to school and out to church. These kids rarely get to leave their home. If anyone could benefit from a little TV viewing it would be them. Still, far be it from me to demand that anyone watch tv or go on the internet.

and there was a time when ankle length dresses were COMMON ... what's worse ... shudder ... they often didn't get new ones, but had to wear the ones their older sisters grew out of

You just don't get it, do you pyramid termite? That was then, this is now. There was a time when all men wore high collers and corsets and pantaloons, but I bet you wouldn't want to have to live like that today. And I do call it evil to force young girls to play in long skirts if they don't have to. It is a handicap. Running is more difficult, kicking balls, climbing the jungle gymn.

Again it comes down to a lack of individual choice. I like solid dark colors-- I wear only black, grey, red, or white. But my daughter made it very clear from the age of 4 that she was not going to be a little mini-me. All the Duggar girls are forced into being little mini-Michelles.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:23 PM on November 30, 2004


There is only one question worth asking the Mom: "Are you enjoying your life?"

If she truly is happy with it all, then great.

If not, then what a damn shame.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:23 PM on November 30, 2004


That is where you and I are different Five Fresh Fish, I don't actually give a damn about Jim Bob and Michelle. They had normal lives before-- Michelle was even a cheerleader-- so they embarked on this new life style with eyes wide open.

I'm concerned for their poor, brainwashed little prisoners. I know one thing for sure that they are being taught, on the back of their bus is a sticker that reads "Evolution is a lie--Save America."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:33 PM on November 30, 2004


five fresh fish: The root cause is simply that our society(ies) became liberal to the point that (Christian) religion was irrelevent to living a good life, getting a good job, raising good kids, and being a good person. Many people quite enjoyed all this freedom to choose for themselves what was important to them.

So before liberality came around, you had to be Christian to be a good person. Now, in order to be a good person, you have to be liberal? This is different...how?

Fundamentalist religion is now making a comeback, perhaps because there are many people who apparently can't live a good life &c without the support of a religion.

Or, perhaps fundamentalist religion is now making a comeback because there are many people who think that living a moral way, according to a certain code, is a good way to live. I mean, I suppose it's possible that people actually made a choice, of their own free will, because they believe it's true, to follow a certain religion, isn't it? No, sorry, I'll stop talking crazy. You're right, it's because they're incapable of doing anything for themselves. That's a nice, logical train of thought.

And as fundamentalist religion makes its comeback, it is infringing on the freedoms that allowed people to choose for themselves.

Don't confuse the religion with the people in government that are also members of the religion. It's perfectly possible for a person to be religious and freedom-loving at the same time. So unless you want to sound exactly like those people who say that if you're against the war you're anti-freedom, I'd stop with the "fundies are anti-freedom" crap.

(You may not agree with 'em, but acting the way that SOME of them do doesn't help anything.)
posted by Fontbone at 7:52 PM on November 30, 2004


Regardless of what being taught by the parents, there is more stress placed on the children. You can't physically spend enough time with each kid once you have too many. The tendency is to get a child to the point where they are can feed and bath themselves and then ignore the heck out them to deal with the others.

The bond between siblings is much stronger in that respect, quite often your older brother/sister is your immediate guardian. The parent just has time to run from fire to fire in order to keep the herd in line.

Keep in mind that the homeschooling percentage is through the roof in these homes, and that can lead to some truly socially damaged children. Homeschooling has its benefits but if a child needs to get skills to deal with their peers don't look to these parent to provide it.
posted by Exad at 7:54 PM on November 30, 2004


five fresh fish: There is only one question worth asking the Mom: "Are you enjoying your life?"

I'd alter that to say "Do you think what you're doing is worth doing?" because sometimes the things that are right to do aren't necessarily enjoyable at the time. But the sentiment, even if I disagree with the specific syntax, is right.
posted by Fontbone at 7:55 PM on November 30, 2004


There is only one question worth asking the Mom: "Are you enjoying your life?"

Even if you asked her, by now, she would rather die than say "no." It would be an affront to her husband and her god, implying that her lifestyle was not gratifying in every possible way. And -- the real horror -- if you asked the kids, they wouldn't have any idea of what the fuck you were on about. It's all they've known. Plato's Allegory of the Cave has nothing on this family.
posted by jenovus at 8:12 PM on November 30, 2004


That applies to Fontbone's phrasing, as well.
posted by jenovus at 8:13 PM on November 30, 2004


I think 15 kids is a bit ridiculous, too. And I can't imagine a woman who would do that willingly.

But for all those folks talking about resources, here are some choice facts, first mentioned by B. Fuller, but updated with today's numbers by me.

If the population of the entire world were crowded together with the density of a NYC subway car at rush hour, everyone would fit in Luxembourg.

There is enough land to give every man woman and child on the planet 5.4 acres, including half an acre for farming.

There is enough indoor space in New York City to provide a space to sleep for every person on the planet.

We're not running out of resources, we just don't allocate them very well. For example, North Dakota alone could provide enough wind generated power to provide electricity to the entire United States.
The world is using less than 10% of the available arable land for growing crops.

Population growth is not going to have an impact for a long time, as long as technology continues to improve.
posted by bashos_frog at 8:15 PM on November 30, 2004


You can't physically spend enough time with each kid once you have too many.

Exactly. I grew up with a couple of Mormon kids in my grade (small town - 100 kids per grade). The one kid's family had a manageable number of children - four if I recall. The girl, her family had seven - going on eight - when we graduated. And she told me that I was lucky as an only because I actually had the benefit of my parents being able to pay attention to me. So. It's not all roses.
posted by Medieval Maven at 8:16 PM on November 30, 2004


And it's a sin to cut your hair, but spraying your bangs up to heaven is A-OK!

How can someone get bangs if they don't cut their hair?
posted by spinifex23 at 8:47 PM on November 30, 2004


U.S. Census Projections for World Population
A cursory search seems to indicate that most sources believe that this will peak at ~10 billion around 2050, then taper. Of course, a whole lot of variables come into play like drought and its effects, potentially increasing AIDS mortality, etc.

more excellent charts and tables here

Although I think having 15 children is insane, I can't support the idea of the .gov stepping in.

And I'm conflicted too, on the idea of Parental Licensing. How about no license, but a mandatory class.... like the five-hour defensive driving class?
I'd say a full half of the parents I know could've at least used a CLASS on parenting. They're clueless, and doing what might be irrevocable damage to their children. Parenting seems pretty hard- but no one comes into it with any idea other than some nebulous concept like "I'm going to try to not fuck this up."

on a related note, this quote from mstefan:
"...people ejecting more screaming lumps of meat from their crotch into a festering gene pool already teeming with humanity..."
was evocative, to say the least. it made me think of this. yum yum.
posted by exlotuseater at 9:10 PM on November 30, 2004


Fontbone: Your statement,
perhaps fundamentalist religion is now making a comeback because there are many people who think that living a moral way, according to a certain code, is a good way to live
jives with what I was saying. As I read it, you seem to feel that the only way to live a moral life is to live a religious life: this is the attitude of the past, in which areligious/other-religion people were treated as, well, "suspicious" for want of a better word. As society became more liberal, ie. more accepting of a wider variety of beliefs and behaviours, one's "goodness" came to be judged more on one's actions than one's churchgoingness.

As for the rest of your post, recall what prompted my response: The level of intolerance in this thread from those who consider themselves liberal ... is astounding, even for MeFi.

It isn't astounding, because liberal/freedom-loving/areligious/other-religious people are getting sick and tired of (Christian evangel/fundamental) religionists mixing their shitty faith-based morals with our secular government.

Don't like being painted with a broad brush? Then do something about it. Kick the assholes out of your religion. Reclaim the name of "Christianity" and make it clear that those who would use it to rule others' behaviours are not Christian in the least.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:14 PM on November 30, 2004


There is enough land to give every man woman and child on the planet 5.4 acres, including half an acre for farming.

No problem. I'll take mine in Illinois, or perhaps on the Carolinas. You won't mind having your plot near Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, right?
posted by mstefan at 9:26 PM on November 30, 2004


MetaFilter: It's like my own, personal, deepest nightmare.

(sorry, JoanArkham)

Also, I'm terrified for when these kids go out into the real world. They're screwed. At least the Amish send their kids out into reality for a year.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:57 PM on November 30, 2004


fff: As I read it, you seem to feel that the only way to live a moral life is to live a religious life: this is the attitude of the past, in which areligious/other-religion people were treated as, well, "suspicious" for want of a better word. As society became more liberal, ie. more accepting of a wider variety of beliefs and behaviours, one's "goodness" came to be judged more on one's actions than one's churchgoingness.

Ahh. Well, actually, although quite religious myself, I don't believe it's the only way to live, and definitely not the only way to live a good, moral life. Do I think it's the best way? Sure, otherwise I wouldn't have selected it as the way I wanted to live. ;) But I also most definitely don't believe it's the only way, and don't think that "forcing" it on anyone via laws, societal pressure, or otherwise is a good way to let people see its goodness. My reaction was based mostly on your statement that "many people apparently can't live a good life &c without the support of a religion."

I somehow (I blame the cold medicine, although still take full personal responsibility) read that as you meaning that people who follow a religion do so because, basically, they can't think for themselves enough to live without the support of a religion. Taken in a historical sense, the way you explain it now, it makes sense and I can agree with it--until relatively recently in much of the Western world being a good person in society's eyes has frequently been tied to how often you put your butt in the pew. I apologize for the misunderstanding and inflamed response.

Don't like being painted with a broad brush? Then do something about it. Kick the assholes out of your religion. Reclaim the name of "Christianity" and make it clear that those who would use it to rule others' behaviours are not Christian in the least.

As for that part, well, it's tough to kick someone out of your religion when one of the tenets is to turn the other cheek and forgive, y'know. ;)

More seriously, I personally prefer to believe that people outside the religion are smart enough that, when confronted by someone who doesn't act in the way that a religion professes to be the right way, they would know that people who don't act accordingly are, whatever they call themselves, not Christian. If I meet a man who swears that he's straight and yet seeks out and has many sexual encounters with men, I know that, whatever he says, he's not straight. I expect people outside of Christian religions to use that same level of critical thinking regarding Christianity and its members.

Put more simply, I try not to judge the entirety of non-Christians on the basis of the most prominent people calling themselves non-Christians, and ask that non-Christians do the same in response.
posted by Fontbone at 10:57 PM on November 30, 2004


"Or, perhaps fundamentalist religion is now making a comeback because there are many people who think that living a moral way, according to a certain code, is a good way to live."

That's fine, I don't think any "liberal" has a problem with someone living a moral life and following a code that has positive results for that person and those like that person.

It's when you try to make everyone else follow the same moral code through intimidation, harassment, manipulation of legal systems, and outright force that non-followers have a problem. Please keep that in mind. You can live your life whatever way you want, but don't try to force me to live as you do. And yes, I know that goes both ways.

"There is enough land to give every man woman and child on the planet 5.4 acres, including half an acre for farming."

Last I read, half an acre is not enough arable land to appropriately support one person via agriculture. It's more like 1.5-2 acres. You have to rotate, fertilize, lie fallow, and of course ensure proper sunlight and watering. Are you basing your number on the total land area of earth (which includes an awful lot of inhospitable land), or the maximum potential arable land? mstefan's got a point.

While I agree with your assertion about poor distribution being the real problem (because it is), bashos_frog, you'll also want to look at fresh-water usage and transportability, which is going to be a big problem. Also there's need to apply rigorous psychology to the problem of how closely you can crowd people together before they go nuts.

Can people live sanely with say, 5 people in a 500 sf apartment, in a building with 15 such apartments and a common washroom on each floor? My building, currently housing about 90 people, could house 375 people - maybe as many as 650 or 700, if all the space in the basement (mostly garage, with double-height ceilings) - under those conditions were apportioned in the same way. If you just go by sleeping space, this apartment could triple-bunk 15 people with military footlocker storage for each - you could put 1500 people in this building that way. How would that work, psychologically? A lot like a prison, I'd bet...

Oops, I'm derailing. Sorry.
posted by zoogleplex at 10:58 PM on November 30, 2004


Fontbone: good words. You've got a deal, at least from me.

That still doesn't fix the problem of assholes coopting your religion to further their own agenda of domination, and finding success doing so. You, me and fff all know that's what they're doing, but letting them do it is eventually going to hurt all of us.

Surely there's a way for you real Christians to turn your cheek, and yet render their efforts ineffective, no?
posted by zoogleplex at 11:04 PM on November 30, 2004


I don't think it's possible to "kick the assholes out of a religion", since the only requirement to be in a religion is to believe that you're part of that religion.
posted by Bugbread at 11:04 PM on November 30, 2004


So, I've looked over the Duggar's schedules, and the kids obviously don't spend a lot of time socializing with other kids at the church. I'm just wondering if a "Flowers in the Attic" Scenario is more likely if the kids only interact with siblings while going through puberty? I mean, most kids will have a crush on some other kid at school by age 10.
posted by sophie at 12:08 AM on December 1, 2004


I expect people outside of Christian religions to use that same level of critical thinking regarding Christianity and its members.

The wider you cast your net, the more crap you pull in -- whether or not that crap is actually edible is irrelevant. Christian fundamentalists in this country are operating like the military -- you don't have to like it, you don't have to be any good at it, just sign up! and increase the numbers. Bigger numbers == bigger influence.

If you can get the crazies to breed like mad, that'll help, too. People, you should really check out this link. It finds an almost direct correlation between the average size of households in each state to the percentage that state voted Republican. Surprise, surprise, the states with the big breeders are bleeding red out the eyeballs.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:12 AM on December 1, 2004


Speaking of babies, Nazis, and shit, that white supremacist site has a forum for dating advice. It's sort of like roaches or banana slugs laying eggs--they're so revolting, you can't imagine them having sex, and then you wonder where they come from.

www.stormfront.org/archive/f-97.html
posted by fandango_matt at 12:51 AM on December 1, 2004


Who's paying for their medical care?

What if they were 15 liberal babies, advocating gay rights, free love, world peace, the U.N.? What if they were black or Mexican?
posted by faux ami at 1:04 AM on December 1, 2004


If you don't believe in the social contract (taxes, civic responsibility, the greater good, your rights extend only so far as they don't harm others) then why are you willing to profit so much from it?

Americans (libertarians, conservatives, fundamentalists) are autologically (self-referencing) nice, down-home, simple, humble, hard-working, hale fellows well-met... but that ain't so hard when you have a 7,000 square foot house.
posted by faux ami at 1:11 AM on December 1, 2004


chaz that was awesome
posted by Satapher at 1:11 AM on December 1, 2004


Satapher, what's chaz?
posted by faux ami at 1:38 AM on December 1, 2004


Clown's pocket?
posted by biffa at 4:09 AM on December 1, 2004


should not have been allowed to breed......but funny, right this minute one of my kids is a cadet at the Air Force Academy.

Excellent, junior will soon have made more space for the majority of us by bombing some evil faceless ragheads into the dust.
posted by biffa at 4:12 AM on December 1, 2004


How can someone get bangs if they don't cut their hair?

God works in mysterious ways.
posted by jennyb at 5:15 AM on December 1, 2004


I remember reading in a university astronomy textbook that if the population of Earth continues to increase at the rate it was increasing when the textbook was written, eventually there will be a solid wall of humans expanding out into space in all directions faster than the speed of light.

I know that if you take any exponential rate of increase and follow it to its (il)logical conclusion, you get a result like this, but it's still a pretty funny image.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:31 AM on December 1, 2004


by bombing some evil faceless ragheads into the dust.
biffa you have a crystal ball? Not sure what was worse here; your perceived future or racist comment?
posted by thomcatspike at 6:33 AM on December 1, 2004


What if they were 15 liberal babies,

I tried to ignore the fact that they were fundamentalist Christians, because I know I am prejudiced against fundamentalists. So I asked myself, how would you feel if this was a humanist family that forced their girls to wear long hair and long skirts? What if they were humanist parents who forced every child to learn the violin, to share a room with 9 other siblings, to socialize with only a few like-minded families? What if it were a humanist family that allowed no TV, no internet, no public schooling, and few books? Answer? I would still be appalled.

If I seem too judgemental, I am sorry. In truth I think they raise their children better than the Hiltons did. And I will be very interested to see how they are doing in 10 years.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:41 AM on December 1, 2004


This thread hits home for me as a chooser not to reproduce. mstefan echoes my thoughts best. It does affect society as a whole to overpopulate.

Case in point: I have a sister who had 6 kids, 3 abortions prior to that. She is 44. She is a devout evangelical born-again. Her first two kids she raised on WIC. She told me just prior to having her last kid 3 years ago that she would have to quit her job 3 months before delivery so medicare would shoulder the delivery costs. All I could think was, HEY! That's MY fucking money paying for your selfish breeding.

I don't want kids, never did, for both personal and broader societal reasons. I always thought - for others, it's ok to responsibly parent 2 kids - one to replace each parent. Outside that, the resources are taxed. Here's a link for everyone to chew up:

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement.

What exactly are these 15 kids going to do for careers here in the good ol' USofA? What's left, except waiting tables, bartending, and tourism (which I say weakly, b.c who wants to come to the bully's house?)? I say those "careers" because the pricetag of putting 15 kids through college for a whitecollar progressive career is insurmountable for the poorer set. Or the burden once again, falls on the gubmint, i.e. the taxpayer.

Meanwhile, my sister's kids: well mannered, and blindered by a Christian homeschooling program designed to isolate them from non Christians in public schools. Her oldest two? The son has fathered two kids outside marriage, didn't graduate high school, and has several outstanding federal charges for drug trafficking. The daughter finished high school but married immediately with intent to start her own family. No career.

There's nothing to say they wouldn't have turned out that way anyway. However, society has an inarguable influence on individuals - sooner or later. And vice versa. I resent shortsighted family building b/c it affects me directly. Do I think she has a right to have kids? Sure. Do I think she has a right to have 6? Not when everyone else is paying for it. Is she happy? Yes. She makes no connection whatsoever between how little money they have for vacations or retirement and the size of her family. Why should that be my problem?
posted by yoga at 8:20 AM on December 1, 2004


MetaFilter: Get your fuck trophy the hell off my lawn!
posted by Mitheral at 8:33 AM on December 1, 2004


OMG, someone is making reproductive choices that I don't like! Stop them!

These people are taking their Christian fundamentalism pretty far. They are also raising their children with no tv, plenty of chores and family responsibilities. It will be very difficult to keep those kids insulated from MTV, The Simpsons, and reality teevee indefinitely. To say nothing of the internets, newspapers and radio. So they'll get the chance to learn about the world and make choices, and they'll have good skills and habits to build on. They're not using public assistance, or even public education.

If they'll stay out of my reproductive choices, I'll stay out of theirs.
posted by theora55 at 9:10 AM on December 1, 2004


They're not using any public assistance now, but what happens if there's a big market bust, if Dad's investments go belly up or if he loses the family business? Do they stick to their principles? Does USAToday get to do articles on the Duggar children starving to death, one by one?

I know that's basically a ridiculous question, but it seems like the family's "self-reliance" model doesn't scale well in a post-agricultural society where losing even one kid is looked on as something rather abnormal and appalling.
posted by senator homer at 9:35 AM on December 1, 2004


Fontbone: As for that part, well, it's tough to kick someone out of your religion when one of the tenets is to turn the other cheek and forgive, y'know. ;)

Temple and moneychangers, buddy. When necessary, Jesus kicked ass but good. And IMO most of the evangel/fundie churches are in it for the money.

Put more simply, I try not to judge the entirety of non-Christians on the basis of the most prominent people calling themselves non-Christians, and ask that non-Christians do the same in response.

Ain't gonna happen. There's nothing I can think of in the history of humanity that shows people are generally capable of making that sort of distinction.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:57 AM on December 1, 2004


Does USAToday get to do articles on the Duggar children starving to death, one by one?

Nah, they just need to start plumping up the youngest ones now. Just in case, you know. Besides, by the time they hit 12 or so, the meat starts to get tough.
posted by mstefan at 10:20 AM on December 1, 2004


What if they were 15 liberal babies

it would be just as weird. mrs. duggan must be built like the chunnel by now. gah.
posted by t r a c y at 10:33 AM on December 1, 2004


Lauren, Tiffany, Heather, Cody, Dylan, Dermott, Jordan, Taylor, Brittany, Wesley, Rumer, Scout, Cassidy, Zoe, Chloe, Max, Hunter, Kendall, Katlin, Noah, Sasha, Morgan, Kira, Ian, Q-Bert, Phil.

The thought of just one child makes me want to run screaming into the night. I wonder how often hubby and wife get to go bowling.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 10:52 AM on December 1, 2004


hey, considering the possible state of her pelvic region, they don't have to leave home to bowl.
posted by t r a c y at 10:58 AM on December 1, 2004


I'd like to thank this thread for bringing the wonderful term "fuck trophy" to my attention. Anyone who has enough kids to not revere and just about worship each and every one for the incredible and unique person they are is doing a disservice to those children.

These people bother me and the kids are fucked. I don't care that they are GOPheads, I care that they are producing more than they can realistically care for (and no, I don't mean bath and feed, I mean care for in the individual time with mommy and daddy way). Fifteen kids divided by 24 possible hours in a day is an absolute max of 1.6 hours a day per parent without sleep.

T R A C Y, I was thinking she probably had her birth canal replaced with a slip and slide by now! And Re: last comment, Eww! Where's the ball return then?
posted by fenriq at 12:23 PM on December 1, 2004


fff: And IMO most of the evangel/fundie churches are in it for the money.

Which is why I don't associate myself with 'em. I prefer the "do goodness yourself and let others see the benefits thereof" theory of Christian life to the "force everyone else to conform to your version of Christianity" theory. Forcing televangelists, extreme fundamentalists, or Bush's extreme supporters to follow my brand of Christianity or stop calling themselves Christian would be to act no better than they are. It's a tough situation but, again, I trust in the ability of the observer to use their own gift of discernment to see the difference.

Ain't gonna happen. There's nothing I can think of in the history of humanity that shows people are generally capable of making that sort of distinction.

And that's where faith comes in. I try to act the way I feel I should act, and trust that anyone who wants to see any goodness will do so. Those who don't want to, won't, regardless.

t r a c y: it would be just as weird. mrs. duggan must be built like the chunnel by now. gah.

Future source of income: www.duggar.cx? Just sayin'.
posted by Fontbone at 6:58 PM on December 1, 2004


You believe, then, that the fundie/evangelist churches are moneychangers in the temple.

And you trust that you don't need to do anything.

How unChristian of you.

And how absolutely unlikely to encourage anyone to distinguish between your Christ-like church and the evil bastards who want to take control of the government.

If you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:11 PM on December 1, 2004


I believe the appropriate aphorism here would be that I believe one should "put their own house in order". When I said I didn't associate with the televangelists/etc., I said that because I'm not a member of their congregation, not because I believe in letting people desecrate what I see as holy. Were I a member of their church, and they were acting the way they are, I would act in the appropriate manner and take steps to change things. However, just because they call themselves Christian and I call myself Christian, doesn't mean that I have any right to object to their actions within their own churches.

(It's also very un-five fresh fish of you to suggest I do so, I think. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you think it's wrong for an American to poke his nose into how another American lives his or her life? Yet here you're suggesting that I poke my nose into how another Christian church lives its life? I don't see any difference.)

Not all Christian churches are the same, you know. In case you hadn't noticed, some people have different interpretations of what Christ meant when he said some of the stuff he said. Personally, I feel it's just as important that those people be allowed to live how they want to live, and worship as they want to worship, as it is important that I get to live how I want to live and worship how I want to worship, and that you get to live how you want to live, and worship how you want to worship--or not worship, as the case may be.

Again, were a member of my church (or sect/branch of Christianity, whatever you want to call it) to act in an inappropriate fashion, it would be well within my rights and responsibility to attempt to do something about it. As it's not, it's not.
posted by Fontbone at 12:02 AM on December 2, 2004


Read Ain't Nobodies Business If You Do (available on the web) for a complete understanding of my position.

Then realize that that position is under direct attack by the religious right. I have no problem with people who have beliefs different than mine so long as they do not infringe on my rights and freedoms.

The politically-active religionists leave me -- and you -- with no choice but to shut them down, for the simple reason that if we do not, we will not have our freedom.

I'm really quite shocked that you are so persistent in believing that everything is hunky-dorey. Your complacency is going to lead to the "American Taliban" and I am quite sure that you really don't want that. You must get off your ass and prevent the religious right from gaining the upper hand: they leave you no choice.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:41 AM on December 2, 2004 [1 favorite]


Ahh, see. Now you're talking about the government. When we're speaking governmentally and/or legally, we are in complete agreement--I don't want to see their religion influencing the government any more than I want to see MY religion or YOUR religion influencing the government.

But before, you were talking about moneychangers in the temple. The TEMPLE, not the Congress. It's no business of mine what they do in their personal and/or religious lives, and just because they also call themselves Christian does not mean that I have that right because I call myself Christian, we being of separate denominations under that oh-so-wide umbrella.

However, I agree wholeheartedly that in the arena of government religious extremists of ANY denomination or creed, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist, or what-have-you, need to be curtailed and/or removed if they attempt to make their religious beliefs legislation. That's the only reason, despite being a conservative-leaning moderate, that I voted against Bush this year. But I stand by the position that they can do whatever moneychanging they want in their temples, and unless they try to do it in mine, I have no responsibility nor right to do or say anything about it.
posted by Fontbone at 11:57 AM on December 2, 2004


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