People seem to either love or hate the Duggars. Michelle and Jim-Bob Duggar have built a brand on being fundamentalist Christians who are devout Baptists, and their show features kids – a lot of kids.
Unlike other big families you might know who have five or six kids, the Duggars do not believe in birth control and Michelle and Jim-Bob clearly like each other a lot, and often. Often enough to produce 19 children.
That is one busy house. And one very popular show that lasted for ten seasons until Josh Duggar’s molestation of five underage girls as a teen leaked onto the internets via In Touch Weekly. After this information came to light TLC cancelled 19 Kids and Counting.
However, there is no shortage of wholesome Duggar-based entertainment with Counting On, which features everyone but Josh. He got banned.
Nowadays the Duggar kids are busy "Growing Up Duggar" (which is a book written by Jinger, Jessa, Jana and Jill) – courting, getting married, having their own babies and still being a little bit scandalicious. Well, Josh is. The most of the other scandals are really scandalous because they break ‘rules’ set by the Duggar matriarch and patriarch that are somewhat unusual to your average modern teen and coming-of-age adult. In a society that is increasingly secular, the inclusion of religion in every aspect of life, from dating to television choices can seem strange, but for the Duggar kids it is life, life in front of the camera and life behind closed doors.
Here are 15 shocking facts about the extraordinary Duggar children and their lives.
16 The Duggars Have Their First Kisses At The Altar
Who remembers their first kiss? Was it in a nighttime garden, under a sky full of stars? Was it in (as in my case) a garage, leaning up against a motorbike. Were you alone? Of was everybody watching you?
Well if you were a Duggar than your answer should be no! It was when the preacher said ‘You may now kiss the bride’.
The Duggars do not believe in sexual anything before marriage – no hand holding, frontal body hugs, almost no physical contact of any kind. This isn’t uncommon among religious communities in Islam and Judaism as well as Christianity, but for people outside of that world it does seem peculiar – movies and tv shows all show kissing as the first gateway to sexual activity.
Well so do the Duggars and they do not approve of that gateway being opened before rings are on fingers and everyone is all hitched up good and tight!
15 Jill, Jessa, Jinger And Joy-Anna Are Suing Over Molestation Re-Victimization
In 2006 Jill, Jessa, Jinger and Joy-Anna spoke to investigators into the molestation of minors by their brother Josh Duggar. Documents relating to this investigation were then released to the general public with only ‘cosmetic redactions’ – that is that while the names of the girls were obscured, the names of their parents were not, which led to public speculation as to which of the four Duggar girls were victims. Jessa and Jill identified themselves in an interview with Megyn Kelly, but until the filing of this law suit, the identities of the third and forth Duggar victims were unknown. The fifth victim is allegedly not a Duggar.
Jill, Jessa, Jinger and Joy-Anna are suing both law enforcement and In Touch Magazine for an undisclosed sum.
The sisters have forgiven their brother for his actions, which has also led to some hurtful comments from internet people who feel they should not have done so, because people do not like to mind their own business.
14 Jill And Husband Derick Dillard’s Friend Was Kidnapped And Murdered
Jill and Derick have been living in El Salvador for nearly two years as missionaries, spreading the word of Jesus and raising their son while Jill grows them another child to add to the family.
But what should be a lovely time to celebrate the growth of their family has been turned to tragedy with the knowledge that a close personal friend of theirs was kidnapped and killed in El Salvador. Jill is being urged to leave on social media, and has already received some anger from fans for exposing her unborn child to the Zika virus.
However, despite the horrifying turn of events, Jill and her husband are determined to stay until the date they had planned to leave, in a couple of weeks. Let’s hope they stay safe and unharmed and come home without any further incidences!
13 The Duggar Kids Do Not Swim At The Beach Except For That One Time
The Duggars have strict modesty dress requirements, which is fine, they are allowed to. These carry over from what a Duggar can wear shopping or to a restaurant to what a Duggar can wear to the beach.
Beach going must also be modest, covering from neck to knees and generally for the Duggars a t-shirt and board shorts is seen as quite appropriate.
Lots of people are modest at the beach for whatever reason, whether it is personal or religious. If you look around on the internet there stacks of modesty options for the beach. Coverups for all!
However the Duggar kids never went to the beach (except for the one time they did) because of how OTHER PEOPLE DRESSED.
There was always a danger in public swimming that some boy might get an attack of the lusts and that would be too bad. According to Michelle ‘it’s just too hard for the guys to keep their eyes averted’.
Wow. This seems a little………… sorry, just got distracted by the hard bodied man with the surfboard who just walked past (which is weird because I am in a library).
12 Josh Duggar, Catfish
Josh has been summoned to defend himself against allegations that he stole another man’s image to use for his online dating profiles.
On the May 15 Josh presumably has already been to court to face Matthew McCarthy, a rather handsome DJ/producer living in Hollywood whose good looks Josh allegedly tried to appropriate for himself.
Now just for a minute pretend you are on Ashley Madison – you have paid your money and you are all fired up for your affair. You connect with an attractive man who looks like Matthew McCarthy and agree to meet up and you get…… Josh Duggar.
There is no way you would mistake them for each other except that they are both white dudes with brown hair. What were you thinking Josh?
But now Matthew is becoming linked in the minds of the populace with Josh Duggar, and it is negatively affecting his life. As it would. So he wants it stopped.
11 According To The Duggars, Josh Duggar’s Wife Does Not ‘Get Down’ Enough To Keep Him Faithful
Anna Duggar stood by her husband while he has been accused of molesting under aged girls as a teen. Then the Ashley Madison cheating website was hacked and Josh was exposed as one of many clients looking for an affair, and she stood by him.
THEN Josh admitted to cheating on Anna and having an addiction to porn. She stood by him. He went to rehab for sex addiction. She remained steady.
Porn star Danica Dillon said he paid her for sex multiple times. Anna remained like a rock. Anna’s family urged her to leave – she did not.
Anna and Josh are expecting their fifth child, and she isn’t going anywhere, and from listening to the words of Michelle and Jim-Bob in their public speaking and blogging about marriage advice – women should always be ‘joyfully available’ to their husband and this will keep him from straying. Because God has made men like they literally can’t keep it in their pants, which seems rather sad to me, because I always thought men were proper people and capable of self-control.
10 Jana Duggar Is A Modern Day Cinderella
Well at least according to her fans, who see just how much work beautiful, kind and nurturing Jana Duggar does around the house. Jana has been like a second mother to her younger siblings, and has been passed over to stand watching as her siblings, older and younger, marry and start their own families.
Rumours started that perhaps Jana had started ‘courting’ when a picture surfaced of her opening the card attached to a gorgeous bouquet of red roses on Valentine’s day this year, but so far we have no idea if this is the case or not.
The 27 year old seems to be in no hurry, perhaps because she has already done so much housework and child caring that she doesn’t want to start all over again for herself, and who can blame her?
But we hope that she does find the right guy and she gets to have a freaking rest before she starts having babies, hopefully somewhere very pretty with a nice cool (non-alcoholic) drink and some serious down time. At least fans send her Mothers Day greetings to thank her for all that she does.
9 John-David Duggar’s Sisters Want To Marry Him Off
John-David Duggar is Jana’s twin, and at 27, the two of them are still happily (or unhappily) living at home, unmarried and uncourting, as far as we can see.
John-David thinks that perhaps his sisters want to get rid of him – can’t think why – oh, well maybe because they do his laundry! “They love it!” “Um, not really…..” seems to be the attitude to washing John-David’s underwear.
Why should he leave? He has company and comfort, he has his twin sister (not in a Game of Thrones type way, he’s not Josh Duggar) and he doesn’t have to worry about providing for his own family, which, as a Duggar boy, is his responsibility. He just gets to sit there on the comfy mom and Dad furniture and eat tasty but still low cost food that he didn’t prepare. I totally get it. I wouldn’t move out either.
8 Jessa Let Her Children Be (Gasp) Shoeless
Jessa is like the most Duggar of all the Duggars. Compared by many to Angelina Jolie and Jessica Alba, Jessa is the ‘hot’ one. She seems untouched by 'real' scandal, well if you discount the rumor that her and her husband acted on their, ahem, lust in the back of the church right after their wedding, but that rumor is from a possibly satirical source. So we won’t say it happened.
But what DID happen is that Jessa posted a photo of her family – herself husband and two adorable sons – to Facebook and the boys weren’t wearing shoes.
Cue riotous rage! I’m sorry, Jessa, you can be as pretty and skirt wearing as you like but you do not have the right to have barefoot children. Barefoot children are for deadbeats and heathens. “USE YOUR HEAD JESSA” internet people screamed.
Jessa responded to defend herself, and personally, I don’t think she had to.
There are many sins in the world, there are many parenting fails.
This ain’t one.
7 Jinger Was And Still Is A Rebel
Rebels do big and little things. A rebel might present herself with rainbow hair or decide not to shave her legs – anything that can visually show that she hears the rules and she is not playing.
Jinger is a big rebel in a small way. She even inspired the Free Jinger website, which is not a fan site but rather a site devoted to concerns about people growing up in fundamental Christianity.
When pretty Jinger Duggar married preacher Jeremy Vuolo, she stopped living under her father’s rules and started living under her husband’s rules. Luckily for her he still married her despite her scandalous full bodied lust-hug recorded on Keeping Up With The Duggars. I mean, 19 Kids and Counting.
Her husband is totally pro women wearing pants.
Jinger has effectively gone nuts, donning modest shorts, and denim jeans like she was born to it. She looks great.
And let me tell you, if Jinger in jeans is wrong, then no one wants to be right. Go Jinger!
6 Jessa And Ben Seewald Broke Courtship Rules Too
Jessa, who is in my mind the pin-up Duggar child, also broke the courtship rules. Now married to Ben Seewald with sons Spurgeon Elliot and Henry Wilberforce, Jessa was very very naughty before the wedding by: 1) Having private unchaperoned phone calls from day one of courtship, 2) Sharing a body to body ‘lust hug’ with Ben on the day of their engagement, and 3) Holding hands.
Michelle and Jim-Bob must have been beside themselves with these young fire-crackers. Oh the blood pressure tablets.
And yet it all seemed to work out ok, so I guess Jessa and Ben knew what they were doing in some way, and they certainly seem happy now.
This does all somewhat lend credence to whether the whole ‘afternoon delight in the wedding chapel’ may or may not be true story though, doesn’t it?
5 Josiah Duggar Had A Courtship That Broke Up
Josiah Duggar, who is currently not courting anyone, actually did begin a courtship with a girl called Marjorie Jackson, that did not, I repeat NOT lead to marriage.
Courtships are meant to lead to marriage. They are about marriage. They are agreed upon by both parties and their parents. They aren’t just ‘dating’. They are practically a promise.
And Josiah did not follow through.
This might not seem like such a big deal, but when the internet is watching your every move and your ex courtshipper writes a relationship book for teen girls, then it kind of is.
Why did they break up? What is the big secret? Was it to do with Josiah’s hairline receding at 19?
Well un/surprisingly the news of the breakup coincided with news breaking of Josh Duggar’s molestation of his sisters.
Perhaps Marjorie thought better of marriage into that family.
4 Jason Duggar Was A Homeowner At 17
At 17 years old, Jason Duggar entered the property market, buying a cheap house that he can renovate and either live in or flip. Good for him.
Jason bought (with his dad’s help but no judgement) a $33,000 house that was in need of some repair and a lot of tender loving care. What a great idea for a 17 year old boy!
Without a ‘normal’ teenage life I can imagine that Jason has some time on his hands, so why not put it to use helping get his future secured. And I’m no gold digger, but there are women who will like the idea of a man with his own house at a young age, especially women who have never been encouraged to work or be able to work outside the home.
So in one go he has just upped his marriageability. Well done Jason!
3 Jedidiah Duggar Posed With A Shotgun At 16
If there is ever a reason you might want to start a fight at a dinner party, then one of your best bets is to bring up guns.
Some Duggar fans see guns as dangerous weapons that go against the peaceful following of Christ's message. Some of them see the right to bear arms and protect their families as God-Given.
So when a 16 year old Jedidiah Duggar posed for social media with a 12 gauge shotgun, there were many dramas in the comments. Basically, everyone has an opinion and Duggar fans are no different. All of a sudden the Duggars were both the worst and the best at parenting.
So much drama, just the one gun.
But Jim-Bob had the final word, telling Radar online that bearing arms is one of the rights afforded to him by the constitution, and that he intends his children to learn about gun and knife safety.
2 Joy-Anna May Have Committed… I Mean Had 'Intimate Interactions' Before Marriage
Hold the phone! News flash!
Joy-Anna Duggar and her fiancé Austin Forsyth are suddenly getting married THIS WEEKEND because they um, want to. By the time this list is published they may well BE MARRIED!
‘Sources’ told Star magazines that Joy-Anna and Austin have been doing the hokey pokey AND turning themselves around for the past year.
Could this sudden wedding hastiness be anything to do with what happens when a man loves a woman and can’t keep his mind on nothing else?
Only time will tell, if there is a new little Forsyth born in a rather quick period of time.
All the best for your wedding, you mad, impetuous kids!
But is Joy-Anna the only Duggar who was a little too impatient to wait for the wedding vows?
According to a very successful internet joke, no she isn’t.
1 April Fool's Joke Accused Joseph Duggar Of The Unthinkable
This year, a headline published by The Hollywood Gossip on April Fool's Day made much of the strict Duggar morals by proclaiming that Joseph Duggar had knocked up Kendra Caldwell, and that a love child was on its way.
“There were nights that Kendra and I sinned like four or five times in a couple hours” the article read, before quoting Joseph as saying “if it’s a girl we are thinking Jezebel. If it’s a boy, wither Cain or Abel, depending on how guilty I feel when I look at him for the first time."
Thankfully this is a joke, whether it is a good one or not is up to you. However, considering how many loyal fans were upset by the post, it might serve as a reminder to readers to LOOK AT THE DATE IF IT SEEMS A BIT WEIRD.
Sorry to yell, it's just, come on people. This is Joseph, not Josh.