Life in the Duggar Family
Let’s return to the Duggar family, the God-fearing, Velveeta-loving fundies of Arkansas.
I’m continuing our exploration of the Duggar family web site for three reasons:
1. It’s funny.
2. It’s scary.
3. Too often, I just take a fundie email I receive and make fun of that. Those are written by fundies with an agenda. The Duggar web site is a glimpse into how a fundie family lives (albeit extreme even by fundie standards).
We last left off looking at their page called How do you make a household of 17 people run smoothly? We got through one whole paragraph last time. Let’s look at the rest of the article today.
Our daily routine begins with personal hygiene (get dressed, brush teeth, comb hair, etc…). Each older child has a younger buddy or two that they help. We eat breakfast & read Proverbs at 8:00a.m., then we ‘quick clean’ the house (older child & their buddy work together to clean their jurisdictions).
Every day the same thing! Reading Proverbs every day at breakfast sounds stifling. They should at least give the kids a break every now and then and let them read something else—like Chick Tracts!
Throughout the day we try to pickup as we go along, but naturally things tend toward disorder.
This is a perfect example of the second law of thermodynamics (increasing entropy). I’m a little surprised that the Duggars didn’t take this opportunity to attack evolution. Fundies frequently cite the second law as “proof” that evolution is impossible. They argue that evolution (increasing order) violates this law.
What their straw-grasping little brains fail to comprehend is that the second law is referring to the increase in entropy in a closed system. The fundies view the Earth as a closed system. What they overlook is that energy is entering the Earth in the form of sunlight. If you look at the Sun and Earth together as the closed system, then entropy is increasing big time. (For more about this topic, here’s one of many articles at the TalkOrigins archive.)
At 9:00a.m., the older children help their buddies with their studies in phonics, math, violin & piano (J-O-Y- Jesus first, Others second, & Yourself last!). Then the older children start their music & individual studies—math, English, spelling & typing.
Oh J-O-Y! Actually, the acronym they should use is L-O-R-D. (Looney Oppressive Religious Delusion)
We break for lunch at 12:00pm. Jill (age 13) prepares lunch & we all help cleanup.
Poor Jill! She has to make lunch for this horde all by herself? At least they don’t also stick her with the dishes.
At 1:30p.m. the little ones go down for naps (4 & under). Momma & older children are around the table at 2:00p.m. for Wisdom Booklet group studies—science, history, law, medicine.
From what I’ve been able to gather, Wisdom Booklets are booklets for fundie homeschooling. I’d love to see what passes for science in there. History probably cites the Bible for much of its content. Law is probably the thinnest pamphlet; fundies only need ten laws. Or maybe medicine is the thinnest pamphlet, consisting of only two words: “Pray hard!”
We work on one subject until we complete the study. We also review & memorize scripture, hymns & operational definitions of character qualities.
Sounds like they’ve got their own little madrasah going.
The children especially enjoy this because they make up motions to help with memorization.
One motion they might make is hands to their throats. “Help! I can’t breathe! Living here is suffocating me!”
At 4:00p.m., we break from group study to complete individual studies, otherwise this is free time.
Just don’t do anything that Jesus wouldn’t do.
We have dinner at 5:00p.m. Jana (Age 14) prepares dinner & everyone helps cleanup.
Now it’s Jana’s turn to be groomed into the perfect fundie wife. Quick! She’s running out of time! Fourteen is an old maid by Arkansas standards!
(Apologies to my Arkansas readers. Fourteen is only an old maid by Arkansas fundie standards, but that doesn’t read as well when you’re making a joke.)
We do another ‘quick clean’ of the house after dinner & then have free time.
The older boys go out to the barn for a circle jerk…
Some may still be finishing up music, seeing we have to take turns with one piano to 11 students!
I think you mean “…seeing as we have…”. I’m surprised that people who read a book that is mostly filler (“…begat… …begat… …begat… …begat… …begat… …begat…) would feel the need to chop words out of their sentences.
8:00p.m.is snack time.
Grape Kool-Aid anyone?
Then we get ready for bed (baths, brush teeth, pick out clothes for next day).
What’s to pick out? They all dress alike! Maybe they get to choose whether tomorrow they will dress like an Amish or a Mennonite.
9:00p.m. is Bible time with Daddy. This is probably our favorite time of day.
I know it would be my favorite!
Daddy reads the Bible & we discuss the passage together. We talk about the day & bring out points of how to apply what we have learned. We enjoy making up skits & acting out examples of right responses & wrong responses.
Gosh! That sure sounds like fun! It sure beats watching Desperate Housewives!
Often our little ones will fall asleep as Daddy begins Bible time…
Ahh! The Kool-Aid is beginning to work!
We have a master schedule of each family member’s responsibilities displayed on our dining room wall.
Their micromanagement of their children’s lives and thoughts knows no bounds.
For each month, we also have individual daily checklists which cover schoolwork, chores, music lessons, & personal hygiene.
Jimmy’s enema is scheduled for Wednesday at 3:00. Jill’s tampon change will occur on Thursday at 5:30…
These were designed by Daddy so we could see at a glance how each child is doing. These checklists enable us to keep our children accountable & also reward them accordingly.
And punish them accordingly, I’m sure.
We have goals, but then we have reality!
No, you’re fundies. You’re about as far removed from reality as possible.
We are learning to practice flexibility—Not setting our affections on ideas or plans which could be changed by God or others!
So what happens? God rings you up and asks you to block out three hours this afternoon?
Sometimes we have ‘Daddy Days’ when Daddy overrides the schedule and takes the children out for family time, a field trip or a service project.
I’m sure the field trips are to places like the local creationist museum.
We try to make each day fun. Everyday is an exciting adventure!
No. Your days sound like repetitive, stifling bores.
It’s a good thing I don’t believe in Hell. I’d be worried that my punishment for this snarky blog would be reincarnation into this family.
Update (August 8, 2007):
Most of you reading this are coming from various places around the web where the link to this article has been posted. I appreciate the additional traffic, and I respect the fact that many of you hold very different opinions than I do.
Many people have commented that they like the Duggars and/or don’t think I have any right to criticize them. Whether you like them is entirely your choice. I do have the right to criticize them, because they have gone public with their lifestyle.
I have written a more recent article that explains why families like this are a problem. I invite you to read it: The Duggars—Parasites of Science.
(BTW, they don’t pay any property tax on that giant house of theirs. They had it declared a church. You’re subsidizing their lifestyle.)
Update (August 8, 2008):
It has now been a year since I last updated this article, and a year-and-a-half since it was originally written. I have now closed off the comments for this article. I think most of what anybody can say about the Duggars has already been said (many times over) in the 326 comments below.
Many of you have arrived here by following a link from another site. This is not an anti-Duggar web site. The several Duggar articles here are just a tiny fraction of the 400+ articles that I’ve written about the issues of science, science education, and church/state separation. You are welcome to explore the rest of the site. And don’t forget to stop off at the home page to read the fresh stuff.