Saturday, August 21, 2010

You Can Disagree Without Being Hurtful: A Ridiculous Duggar Criticism

So I'm reading through the comments and I get one from "anonymous" (of course) posted under the "Rules" section, that says my blog would be better if I would stop worshipping the Duggars--and admit that I worship them--and write about all the criticisms I have about them. Fascinating.

I had thought I'd made my views about the Duggars quite clear in the opening entry. I disagree with quite a bit of the Duggar's core beliefs. I make no mystery of that and list them openly. However, just because I don't agree with someone's beliefs or their lifestyle doesn't mean I'm going to publicly attack them and criticize them. Why is it necesary to criticize? What purpose does that serve? What does that teach others about my character? What does that inspire others to see in themselves?

Do I worship the Duggars? No, I don't. I'm entertained by them. I'm fascinated by them. I have a healthy dose of respect for them. But I certainly don't want to live their life or believe what they believe. I have a healthy dose of respect for ANYONE who has the courage and ability to live their faith openly, honestly, and completely. I certainly haven't reached that point in my own faith--I still don't eat completely Kosher, I drive and use electricity on the Sabbath, and I have only begun my journey into the Torah. The Duggars are truly living their faith--they don't just speak of them, they live them. While I don't care for some of their beliefs--while I disagree with many of them and vote accordingly--I respect them, because...they walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Are they perfect in that? Of course not, no one is.

It's much the same respect I have for my Rabbi and his family. Do I agree with all of his beliefs politically? No, I don't. Is he still my Rabbi? Yes. Because at least when he quotes Torah portions to back up his beliefs, he isn't just quoting the ones he needs. He is living his Torah completely. He does keep kosher, he does follow the laws, and he believes in what he lives. While I still don't agree with his interpretation of the Torah, I respect it. Because there are always more than one way to view a situation, to read a scripture, and to believe.

Yes, there are things the Duggars do that bother me. Yes there are things they do that I'd love to "help" them with. While most of these things have to do with the running of their household and have nothing to do with their core religious and political beliefs, I still will not write about how wrong they are for not doing what I think they should do.

If you read through all of the blog entries I've written, you undoubtedly will find me disagreeing with the Duggars. I would hope that I had kept friendly and upbeat, but I'm sure there are times when I was snarky. The bottom line is that this blog is written as a way for me to discuss the Duggars, not rip them apart. They get plenty of that elsewhere.

It is possible to disagree with someone without being rude or hurtful. To the anonymous who's post began this whole entry, you may want to think of that if you reread what you sent me.


  1. I have found Marybeth to be an aboveboard and HONEST person.

    Of the "duggar worshipers" I have met she doesn't even come close to fitting the bill, she disagrees with them, has found fault with them numerous times, and disagrees with MOST of their religion and it's practices....

    funny how by disagreeing with a person makes YOU the bad guy...

  2. "They were debt free before TLC even knocked on the door; they had the house kits bought and paid for before TLC knocked on the door. TLC is not the reason they are debt-free. Yes, they are in a better version of debt-free now, but this is America and they are free to be as capitalistic as they choose to be."

    I love the way you said this. I'd also like to add that on top of staying debt free in this economy, they have all maintained jobs and they are just as Republican as can be based on their previously stated beliefs and actions.

    I don't know if they're hypocrites or care because that depends on the individual evaluating them, people who don't like them say they are and people who do like them say they aren't and facts can be found to support both sides.

    I'm so tired of all the trash talk about them and all the issues surrounding them and their CHOSEN lifestyles. And trash talk about everyone else in the public eye for that matter, such as the Obama administration. Tired of intolerance in general. Not everything should be tolerated, such as violations of human rights, but more tolerance should be practised by everyone.

    Tons of people are hiding behind the curtain of contemporary-ism-just because their religion happens to be moderate means they are right but Christianity has a vast number of radicals as well who do a number of seemly insane things.

    So now what was the question? I don't really care anymore (lol). What's the name of that eastern religion that practises a lot of tolerance in...Thailand, I think? I'm gonna go google Buddhism.

  3. Marybeth, I really enjoy your blog. I love that you state your opinion respectfully. I always look forward to reading your posts, and I hope you keep them up. Thanks for not letting the people who criticize everyone and everything keep you from writing.

  4. I have developed a disdain for reality shows but few you can't help. My satellite is out so I can't watch anything. but watch. Debt free isn't the issue. All the smaller kids need to be off reality tv or have strict rules limiting the hours of filming. Say, over 12 years old make their own decisions. It applies to child actors so why not reality tv kids? I think criticism would tone down a bit if they did specials sometimes.

    The more you see of someone the more you find to critique. Yes you can disagree respectfully. I just think some never see the show first. We should respect all opinions.

  5. Paragraph One--I worship the Duggars
    "So I'm reading through the comments and I get one from "anonymous" (of course) posted under the "Rules" section, that says my blog would be better if I would stop worshipping the Duggars--and admit that I worship them--. . . "

    Paragraph Three--No, I Do Not Worship the Duggars
    "Do I worship the Duggars? No, I don't. I'm entertained by them."

    Please make up your mind!

  6. Anon...actually, paragraph one doesn't have ME saying i worship the indicates that the anon poster BELIEVES that i do and that i should ADMIT that i do...please reread the sentence you quoted and you'll see that is the case...

    my mind has always been made up...i don't worship the Duggars

  7. I think the issue here isn't your allegiance-- or non-allegiance-- to the Duggars. It's more your view on criticism.

    Criticism isn't bad. In my public school, they beat the phrase "constructive criticism" into our heads for 12 years. As you state, "...just because I don't agree with someone's beliefs or their lifestyle doesn't mean I'm going to publicly attack them and criticize them." Your issue here isn't that you are against attacking the Duggars-- it's that you don't disconnect attack from criticism.

    We are all here because, in some way, we disagree with what the Duggars do (because, if you love the Duggars and approve of their every move, you'd probably view these blogs as sacrilege). And, in turn, we criticize the family we spend a half-hour of our week watching. Yes, it's backwards; yes, it's the Duggar's fault for putting themselves in the limelight; yes, it's our fault, for being voyeurs; and, yes, it's OK to criticize people who willingly put themselves in the public eye.

    If you aren't willing to criticize, you lose your self to the will of the person you support. This applies to your blog-- because if you aren't willing to criticize the subject you are writing about, you lose whatever meaning(the reason you are writing) you wanted to portray.

    Yes, there are more than one way to think, pray, believe, raise your kids, whatever-- but that doesn't mean that everyone's views are sacred and untouchable. We all play this "hands-off" (or, as it truly is, being politically "correct") game in life that you use in your blog, and it's probably the reason you got labeled as a Duggar-Lover: being politically correct is dishonest and not very entertaining.

    What's the point in having a light discussion on the Duggars? Isn't that basically the same as watching the candy-coated TV show itself? We're here, on blogs, to pick apart what's not discussed on TV-- and I'm afraid you don't offer much more insight than the half-hour fairy tale TLC offers. And that's why some people think you worship the Duggars.

    Tolerance is good; tolerance is also evil. Balance is key.

    To finish an already ridiculously long comment, I do like your blog. I find it's refreshing, compared to the boards, though sometimes a bit boring. I'm not one of the people who think you worship the Duggars, which is the main reason why I'll continue to patron your blog.

    Cheers! And sorry for the long comment!

  8. kay...actually you are wrong in the sense that we are all here because we disagree with the Duggars....that isn't the case at all...most of my readers go along with me in that we support them and rather like them...this blog in particular was created to discuss them from the view that we like them...yes people who don't like them comment and participate as well and those pro-Duggar readers usually let the anti-Duggars have it...

    and the post in particular that started this thread specifically told me i SHOULD criticize them...and as i said before...i'm just not going to do that

  9. the other point i made was i have let my disagreements with the Duggars be known...repeatedly...does that count as criticism, i suppose it could...but back to that original post...the intent was clear...i need to be mean rude and snarky and i'm just not going to do that

  10. Good job Marybeth, don't give in to the pressure. I'm here because I love the Duggars. And because I like respectful, creative discussion not hate speech and critism.

  11. I don't see a place for this comment so I will put it here. It's concerning to me that when Michelle came home to Tonitown with Josie, that she didn't hand Josie to an older daughter and hug her other children. She hadn't been home in 7 months and hadn't seen the rest of the family since her father's funeral. Josie could have cared less about a tour of the house, but Jordyn, Jennifer, Johanna and the rest of those kids could have used a hug. Is this going to be 'ALL About Josie?' Yes, she needs protection, but she has had 8 months of her mother's undivided love and care. How about some for the rest of the family?