17 Kids and Counting: “Duggars in El Salvador” and “Duggars on a Mission”

Last night I watched the newest episodes of the Duggars, as they went on a mission to El Salvador. Wow. Jim Bob came across as even more of a jerk than usual, if that’s possible. My major complaints: putting an -o at the end of a word doesn’t make it Spanish (e.g. asking for “big-o bags,” or warning everyone to “back-o away-o.”); he shellacs his hair down with an entire can of hairspray even when visiting third-world countries; bragging to the family that lived in a dirt hut and couldn’t read that “my wife and I are having our eighteenth child.” They juxtaposed footage of a family that had two sleeping mats for eleven people with footage of Jim Bob saying how well he slept the night before – since there was an extra mattress, he was able to double up. Also, he commented at the end that maybe some of his family members would one day adopt children from El Salvador, but we know this will never happen because the people in their fundie movement believe that adopted children carry the sins of their parents with them, that’s why they don’t adopt, they just have tons of their own kids! (One of the best lines of the night, from the guy who organized the mission trip: “Hola… is the only Spanish word we know, and I don’t think Jim Bob even knows that one.”)

On the other hand, I’m glad the kids were exposed to lives so different from their own, and hopefully this affects them for a long time to come. Though it was really unfair to make the girls wear those long, heavy skirts even while trekking through the jungle. And in the land of snakes and scorpions, were flip-flops really the best choice for footwear? Nice that Josh and Anna were able to come along, rather than staying home and trying to fill their quiver. But did she have to hang all over him the entire time?

Also, who else caught the sign the camera focused on for a second in the airport when they were leaving? “Stand back, they’re multiplying!” Someone’s got a sense of humor!

I found this article, Raising God’s Army, that talks about the Quiverfull movement. Some of this stuff is pretty extreme! I mean, making a 200-year plan for your descendants to follow? It’s things like this that remind me how plausable The Handmaid’s Tale really is.

One comment on “17 Kids and Counting: “Duggars in El Salvador” and “Duggars on a Mission”

  1. Touchy feelie to impress American children how good they have it compared to third world countries.
    The work is superficial, unsustainable, and hope which is illusary and trite. One key quote from a native was “will you take me home with you?” Obviously, NO. The short-term good feelings, hope another family will take a turn, and the overwhelming sadness of the unfairness in the world show that God treats or allows some social groups to do well and others not. Unfairness is so inadequate a word to describe it.

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