I felt like reposting this open letter I wrote to the Duggar Family. I did this shit for The Daily three years ago, but it seems awfully relevant at the moment. (I hate to say I told you so, but seriously, what a bunch of fuckin’ creeps.)
Dear Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar,
You are horrible people. There, I said it.
I know there are plenty of basic-cable watching Americans who’ll tune in to your new season on Tuesday night and rush to your defense. They’ll scream that it’s not my place to judge, but screw that. I just watched you bury the miscarriage of your 20th child in an ammunition box on national television, so you know what? I’m judging.
You are unfit parents. More than that, you’re a pair of glassy-eyed wingnuts who’ve latched on to a dangerously narrow interpretation of an already ridiculous belief system, and you are using it to inflict serious psychological, emotional and spiritual damage on your nineteen children. No one ever seems to call you out on it, though.
You’ve trained your brood to smile and tuck in their shirts, and apparently that’s enough to fool everyone into thinking that your sinister program of isolation and indoctrination is a legitimate form of parenting. It’s not.
Your syrupy-sweet wholesome schtick doesn’t work on me. I see right through to the underlying cruelty, and it breaks my heart to think what will happen to Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn or Josie (just the youngest eight, mind you) if any one of them should turn out to want a different kind of life.
How will you treat the boy who has the heart of a nonbeliever? How will you treat the girl who has the mind of a free-thinking individual? How will you treat the teenager whose sexuality isn’t heteronormative? Let’s not pretend for one second that they won’t be tortured with shame, repression and authoritarian violence.
I know, I know. That’s not the part they show on your outrageously exploitative reality television program, but the brutal truth is that for a quiet minority of your nineteen children, their lives will be a soul-crushing hell.
By all means, live your lives of ignorant bliss on the lunatic fringes of red-state America. This is a free country, and you have every right to practice whatever creepy fundamentalist nonsense makes you happy.
That being said, it is morally reprehensible to treat your uterus like a clown car, and what you’re doing to those kids is wrong.
Yours in judgment,