Sunday, September 6, 2009

Family Attacked for Too Many Children: "Thrilled" to be Preparing for Baby Number 19

SPRINGDALE, Arkansas, September 2, 2009 ( - Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar told US news service MSNBC they are delighted to discover the impending arrival of their 19th child. Described by the Today program as "glowing," Michelle Duggar said, "I'm feeling sick and tired, which is a good way to be feeling about right now."

"I always tell myself that's a good way to be because that means good things are happening."

The baby is due to arrive around March 18, 2010.

The family stars in the reality TV show "18 Kids and Counting" airing on TLC. The family are members of the Quiverfull movement among US Protestants that rejects the modern anti-child philosophy and allows God to decide how large their families will be.

The news of Michelle's pregnancy, only eight months after the birth of their last child Jordyn-Grace, was followed by that of the family's eldest son, Josh, who announced that his new wife Anna is expecting their first child, who is due on October 18. "Children are a blessing and a gift if you raise them right, and I think my parents have definitely shown that," Josh Duggar said.

But not everyone is smiling. When the story was published on the website of the left-leaning Huffington Post, commenters did not hesitate to express their hostility to the Duggar's openness to life. 1081 commenters responded with nearly uniform outrage that the Duggars, who have no financial problems, live in a large house they built themselves and are not in debt, have the audacity to be happy with their large family.

"Nothing but pure selfishness," said one. "How about adopting a klan of white children who actually NEED homes?" followed another.

Commenters focused on the "threat" the Duggar children posed to the environment and accused the Duggar parents of using their older children as "unpaid servants and de facto parents" calling them "greedy and slothful." Some called the Duggars' religious beliefs a cult that "expounds the subjugation of women."

"You should pity these poor children with no childhood and no future, who pay everyday for their parents' desire to collect children the way the crazy lady down the street collects cats."

But one writer was more skeptical: "Funny how my fellow liberals preach tolerance and choice until they disagree with someone else's decisions."

The Duggars have produced a book about their experiences, including their decision to stop using artificial hormonal birth control, and have been featured on several US television documentaries. They have also appeared on numerous national and international TV shows including The Early Show, The Today Show, The View, Fox & Friends, Italian Public Television, the Korean Broadcasting System, Discovery Home & Health in the UK and Australia, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Fox News Network and CNN.

See a video of the Duggars here.

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