Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Duggars and TLC: Do You Think They Pay Attention to The Fall Schedule?

TLC offers a wide variety of programming, the Duggars being one small part of their schedule. Several families have appeared on TLC, telling their stories: The Roloffs, the Gosselins, and now the Browns. Of course family reality programming isn't all TLC airs, but they seem to be the shows that get the most attention.

We all know that the Duggars do not watch a lot of TV, in fact they go somewhere else to watch their own TV show, if they watch it at all. I remember when the Gosselin marriage was falling apart someone in the media asked a Duggar (I don't remember which one) what they thought about the whole mess and (again I don't remember well) from what I do remember, they had no clue who the Gosselins were. I'm sure they've heard of other TLC families--although now that I write that, I have to wonder if they actually do. For some reason, in my mind, TLC families are like employees and they should know each other--see each other around the water cooler. But then when I actually think about it, I know that isn't the case at all. Each and every show is a seperate entity being filmed by different people, by different production companies, and in different parts of the country. Being on the same network doesn't mean they know each other or have even heard of each other.

I have no doubt that there are a multitude of shows on TLC that Jim Bob and Michelle would avoid. There are a multitude of shows on TLC that I avoid. When I did have TV service I did watch the Roloffs on "Little People, Big World," but honestly, it was because I'm from the Portland-area and it was fun to see my old hometown on TV. The family itself wasn't that interesting to me. I have never seen a whole episode of the Gosselins. I remember watching a few minutes of their first season and I was appalled--she was a shrew and he was hen-pecked. I changed the channel quickly.

I was visiting my parents last week and as such was able to see the series premiere of "Sister Wives." I admit that this subject fascinates me. I've seen several different documentaries done by A&E, WE, and similar networks. With that tidbit in mind, yes I enjoyed the show very much and am hopeful that TLC will post full episodes, or that someone will kindly upload them secretly on youtube. Of course the majority of people aren't going to approve of this show. They aren't going to approve of this lifestyle. That's what makes me think of the Duggars.

Do you think the Duggars are aware of this program on TLC? Judging from the uproar on the "19 Kids" facebook page, many people have written to TLC complaining about the commercials being show during the Duggar's program. Knowing they are writing to TLC, it wouldn't surprise me at all if some had emailed the Duggars as well, letting them know. So assuming that they've been told, what do you think their reaction is?

I like to think with an open-mind. I would hope that with all of the pleas for acceptance and understanding that Duggar fans make, they could at least extend that same courtesy to this new program. No one is asking them to approve of polygamy, or even watch the show, for that matter. I just hope that the same courtesy can be extended to this new program that Duggar fans request for their favourite show. When you get right down to it, both families are, they believe, living out a biblical principle.



  1. I'm sure the Duggars know about the other families on TLC-- whether they pay attention to them or converse together is an entirely different issue. We don't really know whom is shooting each different family, we don't know a lot about the producers and editors (except that one 18kids&counting last season, when they showed two editors). They all answer to Discovery (who owns TLC), though, so I'm sure they know what the spin machine's up to.

    I think the Duggars wouldn't agree with Sister Wives-- they are FLDS (fundamentalist Mormon), while the Duggars are some form of fundamentalist baptists (right?). The Duggars believe in two parental units and a mass of children; the family on Sister Wives believes in multiple parental units and a mass of children. Having said this, I wouldn't expect Jim Bob and Michelle to denounce the family anyway, but I can't imagine they would approve of a polygamous marriage when they're afraid of hand-holding and innocent kissing pre-marriage.

    However, I would assume they probably DO like that tons of Christians are being born to a Christian family-- after all, they are Christ's warriors, just like the Quiverfull Duggar kids.

    Sister Wives freaks me out. The idea that one man is so sacred that he gets more than one wife is just beyond me; why does he need four women to procreate with? If this show is on TLC, TLC should have a show about a wife with multiple husbands... now that would be interesting! Haha.

    To each his own-- the polygamist lifestyle isn't for me, but neither is the Duggars'-- but I will not watch Sister Wives. I think it'll be off the air fairly soon, especially since the Patriarch is being investigated for polygamy.

  2. Actually every show has a different production company that's in charge of it--unless by coincidence that production company came up with both show ideas and got them into production. So it is quite possible that the shows have nothing to do with each other.

    As to the Patriarch being investigated for polygamy--that's not exactly true. He's being investigated for bigamy--being illegally married to more than one wife. Unfortunately those charges won't stick because he's only legally married to the first wife--meaning getting a marriage license from the state. The other marriages are "spiritual" and not legal. The charges for bigamy won't stick.

  3. Yikes. One comment and already the blog-author has a response! I think you might get more readers if you were patient and took a less active roll in the comment section, Marybeth. It's a little freaky to state your opinion and have the blog author comment on it right away.

    Yes, I did mean bigamy when I said polygamy-- my apologies. I do understand the difference-- I read several articles regarding the investigation when it was first announced. I agree that I was incorrect, but I also think you're nitpicking. Anyone who read what I wrote understood the message.

  4. I don't look at the time stamps...I just logged in and replied to what's written...If you pay attention to my blog at all you'll see that I don't often respond, only when I feel the urge. This is a topic I'm interested in. Why so defensive?

  5. Actually,I think the charges against him for bigamy may stick.I may be wrong but I read that in Utah it is a crime not only to be legally married to more than one person but even to be living (as husband/wife, etc) with more than one person at a time whether the relationships are legal or not. It seems like the government of Utah brainstormed all the loopholes the Mormons would think of when they outlawed polygamy in the late 1800's. I just read an article by Anderson Cooper on CNN that 65% of the "single" women that apply for welfare in Utah are not single women. They are women involved in polygamous relationships. How appalling. They are abusing the system. What does that say to their children?

    I don't know if you read "Nie Nie" or "CJane Enjoy it" (both popular Mormon bloggers- they are sisters. Stephanie aka Nie Nie was in a small plane crash two years ago and barely survied). They have both commented on FLDS and polygamy in the past (I think it was when "Big Love" was on TV) and how they didn't like that being on TV because even though that is an FLDS belief people tend to apply the "weirdness" to mainstream Mormonism as well and it doesn't make them look very good or normal.

    I don't think the Duggars know about these other families. Jim Bob & Michelle might and maybe some of the oldest children but I highly doubt they talk about the other families or share about them with the under 16 crowd. I am surprised that TLC airs the commercials repeatedly during the Duggars show and I wish they would stop. I am not going to "re-think marriage" because some guy with 4 wives asks me to. No, thanks.

    Sorry for the long comment!! I have been thinking about this a lot ever since the previews started airing although I admit I didn't watch the show (the Browns show).

  6. Actually Marybeth,
    In Utah, the law says he cannot legally cohabitate with more than one wife. So if he is sleeping and 'acting' married with all 3(or 4)women, he is doing something illegal in Utah.

    The Duggars actually did comment on the Gosselin situation in a video interview with Sally Quinn(I think??) from the Washington Post. She asked them what they thought about the Gosselins, and all they said was that they were sure it must be very hard to have all those children those young ages, and be followed by cameras, and it would have been horrible to them when their first 7 or so were little (they would have been like 8 and under). Then they of course said that they were praying for the parents and the children(this was when they were separated only).

    Love Samantha

  7. I thought they said somthing about Kate, i just didn't remember who or what...I don't like Kate so i didn't pay attention....i find it appalling that someone who is actually supporting his children and "wives" without government assistance is being investigated...that is wrong to me...if the women applying for welfare are lying on their applications then i have a problem with it, if they tell the truth and qualify for the benefits, then i don't have a problem with it--however i do think that if you can't support your "wives" then you shouldn't marry your "wives" but once it's done then i think the children deserve to be fed so that's what food stamps are for...but i do agree that there is a horrible group of polygamists who not only force their girls into marriage but work the system for welfare and grant money--those people ruin it for everyone....families like the Browns on "Sister Wives" are leading a perfectly respectable life, raising their kids without any government assistance and paying their bills...why is that wrong? no one is asking anyone to live the way they do or to even believe it's right, they are just asking that you accept them or change the channel

  8. The loophole the Browns have is that the "house" is actually 3 SEPARATE apartments, and I think each apartment has a separate entrance as well.

    So technically they are living separate lives. It's why the house was built that way... What I can't figure out is where they are planning to put the 4th one.

    Some one in legal looked long and heard BEFORE they decided to do this show, but the thought that it might be illegal and stir up news reports of being prosecuted over it, now that kind of press is just golden...

  9. I agree with Marybeth's comment. If the Sister Wives crew are raising their kids and paying their bills without government assistance, who cares how they choose to live their lives. It doesn't seem that any of the wives have been coerced into the marriage. How they choose to live their life in no way affects my life and my beliefs. I wouldn't choose to live as they do, but that is the beauty of living in a free society - I am free to choose my belief system. Where I think we need to draw the line is where abuse and coersion exist. In my view, prevention of abuse is handled by a different set of criminal laws.

    I do see a lot of similarities between the Browns and the Duggars. Although they have very different interpretations of Christian faith, they are living out their interpretion of the faith.

    A constitutional principle of the US is the separation of church and state. One of the conditions to Utah's statehood was the denunciation of polygamy by the Mormon church. From what I understand, the criminal laws were drafted in such a way to prevent any subversion of the bigamy laws ie the cohabitation point described by a commenter above. However, given that societal principles have changed over the last 120 years since Utah's statehood, it may be time to revisit those laws.

    At the end of the day, I'm sure the Duggars would disagree with how the Brown's have chosen to live their faith, but I don't think that they would publicly denounce them. I think the Duggars have proven repeatedly that they live their faith and minister by example.

  10. I think that the Duggars would not approve of the sister wives show. They are very conservative as the pre-marriage physical aspect. They celebrate marriage and all that comes with it, and even enjoy discussing the physical aspects of marriage in public. I cannot see that they would think that these 'sister wives' who are not legally married to this man, but are sleeping with him and discussing that in public would be doing anything but 'living in sin'.

    And, Marybeth, you seem very progressive for someone that keeps all of yourself below the neck covered for religious reasons.

  11. i've always been progressive--as i've said before, i'm pro-gay marriage, i believe abortion should be legal, and have no problem with birth's because i'm freely exercising my religious beliefs on a daily basis with my dress that i believe this family should be allowed to freely exercise theirs

    as for the 4th wife...i saw the preview for the next show (i assume it's the next show) and it shows the dad revealing a "surprise" new apartment-i would assume then that they've added on to the back of their house or side maybe...probably why they were cleaning up the back and cutting down trees?

  12. My husband and I were discussing this from a Biblical standpoint and referring back to the Patriarchs in the old testament such as Abraham, David, and Solomon who had more than one wife. Apparently it was tolerated but always seemed to cause problems!

    In the new testament Paul speaks about an Elder being the husband to one wife, but I can't recall what other references their are to monogamous relationships. Paul also states it is better to "marry than to burn", referring to a man's apparent need for the intimacies of marriage and how he might sin if not married. Can anyone else think of other references

    That said, I find the husband in the case to be smug, selfish and very off putting. I agree with another poster who asked why one man should deserve to have four women. I think this relationship with the fourth woman was a done deal awhile back when an earlier documentary explored this family along with some other polygamist families. They must have did some of this filming a year ago in anticipation of this series.

  13. I think this relationship with the fourth woman was a done deal awhile back when an earlier documentary explored this family along with some other polygamist families. They must have did some of this filming a year ago in anticipation of this series.

    THANK you for defining that strange sense of dejavu I kept having watching the opening show.... Since I happen to LOVE the whole concept of polygamy I probably watched the other show as well.

  14. Polygamy (or polygyny to be more precise) is not exlusive to the Mormons. As a poster mentioned above, there are plenty of examples of it in the Old Testament. It is was a founding principle of the Mormon church and was only abandoned by the mainstream Mormon church in order to Utah to achieve statehood. Polygamy is a principle of Islam, as well.

    Historically, men have always had more power economically and socially than women and many orthodox religious communities still live that particular model of family dynamics since their view of faith is not open to change as societal principles and values change.

    What is shocking to me is that so many women simply accept that they are to submit to a man in the name of religion. And to clarify, I am a Christian woman. But I don't believe that in order to be loved and accepted by God I need to submit to a man. God made me who I am, including my intelligence and strength of character. I don't believe that God wants me to tuck that all away in order to do, feel and act as a man instructs.

    Which leads me back to my fascination with the Duggars and the Browns. Both families believe that women are to be submissive to men, and it is instructed by God. They also believe that children are a gift of God and large families abound in their cultures. They aren't so different, after all.

  15. I'm progressive but some things I'm still very conservative about. The 21at century isn't a reason to let go of core values.

    I think 'Sister Wives' needs to be off tv along with the other kid shows. the kids dont have a say. It amazes how comments on other articles think the kids are well-adjusted. Well-adjusted with three other step-mothers, and half -siblings? hmmmmmmm It is way for him to be 'baby daddy' without paying child support. Lots of people dont live off the government myself included. It doesnt make this arrangement ok Just because the custom is mentioned in the Bible and practiced during the time doesn't mean 'God' condones it.

  16. People seem to interpret the verse about being the husband of one wife in the New Testament differently even within the same denomination. In my Southern Baptist church this means the elder or deacon can only be married once thus only having had one wife. I say elder or deacon because in my church we only have deacons but in the Baptist church I attend now they have elders and deacons. I know of another Baptist church that interprets this verse as only having one wife at a time. I found out this different interpretation when a friend told me her husband was divorced from his first wife yet he was also a deacon/elder in her church.

  17. There are polygamist Christian sects, polygamist Jewish sects, polygamist Muslim sects, and I'm sure many other religions that have off-shoots that practice it. I would guess that many of them, (i saw a documentary that had Christian polygamists in Utah) settle in Utah because it's "accepted" there more than anywhere else. I'm not saying it's approved of (mainstream Mormons tease them, for example) but things seem to be set up that way. There are houses built for polygamist families for example...the house the Brown family on Sister Wives lives in, they bought it that way...there are private schools built and paid for by these polygamist families. so in that sense...i'd say it's quite possible these kids could be well-adjusted...after all they go to school with other polygamist children, they are raised by mothers who were also raised in this lifestyle so it goes back generations for them...just because we wouldn't raise our kids that way doesn't mean they couldn't be well-adjusted. There is a whole school of thought that will tell you homeschooled children couldn't be well-adjusted. So who's to say?

  18. Sister Wives? I can't imagine in what universe a woman would think so little of herself she would allow herself to think that is all she is worthy of. Maybe they are just lazy....wanting other people to help raise their children.

  19. I was watching an older episode of the Duggars and Jim Bob said the exact same thing Kody says in the opening of Sister Wives, "love should be multiplied; not divided." They have different interpretations on how love is multiplied.

  20. Just a bit of correction... The Sister Wives are not FLDS they are members of the Apostolic United Brethren. They are both polygamist breakoff groups, but as you can tell by comparing the show to the Texas Raids, the AUB is much more mainstream.