The depressing side of Josh and Anna Duggar’s baby announcement

This piece originally appeared on Friendly Atheist.

Josh Duggar, the disgraced reality TV star of 19 Kids and Counting, is expecting a fifth child with his wife, Anna.

The couple made the announcement on their family website:

For nearly the last two years, we have quietly worked to save our marriage, focus on our children, and rebuild our lives together as a family… Doing so is never easy after a breach of trust.

We’ve learned that a life of faith and rebuilding a life together is simply done one day at a time. As we continue our journey as a family and rebuild our lives, we are delighted to share with you that we are expecting a new baby boy later this year. Beauty comes from ashes and we cannot wait to see and kiss the face of this sweet new boy.

That “breach of trust” refers to the recently uncovered skeletons in Josh’s closet: He molested his younger sisters as a teen, then cheated on his wife by paying strippers for sex. It was also revealed that he had an account on Ashley Madison, a dating website for married people looking to have affairs.

The pregnancy announcement was made just one month after rumors began circulating that Anna was contemplating divorce.


Honestly, I feel badly for Anna. For those on the outside, it may seem baffling that she didn’t leave him immediately after learning how he betrayed her. But for those unfamiliar with Quiverfull culture, the Christian movement that encourages baby-making, the psychological brainwashing runs deep.

Women like Anna grow up believing it is their God-given duty to marry young and produce as many children as their bodies are able. They are taught to be submissive to their husbands at all times, no matter how badly they might be treated. Worst of all, Anna was likely blamed for her husband straying. If she left him, it’s possible she could have lost custody of her children and be completely cut off from the only support system she’s ever known. Being perpetually pregnant, then, makes her even more dependent.

It has been reported that Josh sought treatment for sex addiction at a faith-based facility, which likely means that he did a bunch of praying without getting any genuine counseling. Sadly, men like him are very unlikely to change, and women in Anna’s position are the ones who end up bearing undeserved shame.


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8 thoughts on “The depressing side of Josh and Anna Duggar’s baby announcement

  1. Poor Anna she need’s get on the internet and learn about the lie’s of this movement their is more to this life than having baby after baby . Josh will never change and all these people suing Josh will keep coming up the porn star could sue Josh from ruff sex she said it was like rape and that right there should be enough for jail time .Plus Bill Gothard’s homeschool cult is another thing these women in this movement are taught that there only place is in the home which is a complete lie again I say Poor Anna letting her parents and in-laws talk her into staying with her husband instead of ending the marriage .If Anna would use the 3 pounds of brains that God gave her she would see that she is being brainwashed someone needs to talk to Anna and show her the world outside this stupid cult and maybe then there will be some deprograming.


    • I was hoping she’d run away somehow (I believe her brother offered to let her stay with him) and snag a million-dollar book deal for a tell-all memoir so she could support herself. The battle for custody of her kids would take far longer though.


  2. I’m really not surprised. Quiverful ideology promises the reward of heaven for obedience (carrot) but threatens hell for disobedience (stick.) It’s whole idea is to raise theological / ideological clones; sons who grow up to be patriarchs of super-size families and daughters whose sole ambition in life is to follow in their mother’s footsteps. Any decent patriarch when then pair up his kids with the sons and daughters of other patriarchs who were raised the same way. These potential spouses are carefully vetted to ensure that they won’t do something radical, like vote democrat or have feminist leanings.
    As for blaming Anna, that’s just par for the course in her extremely unequal world. It will always be her fault that she was never enough woman to satisfy her husband, never attentive enough, never pretty enough, etc. Patriarchs can do no wrong, matriarchs must submit to their husbands in everything and always seem to be the ones to take the blame; it’s just for the most part quiverfull families live such private lives that most of us never know about it.
    It’s well known that the Duggars had a close relationship with Doug Phillips, the founder of Vision Forums, which put out a plan for multi-generational faithfulness called “The 200 Year Plan” in a world where most people can barely get through the day, they’re thinking two hundred years in advance and it’s crucial for their children and great-grandchildren to play their parts. The fate of the whole family rests on their shoulders and they want to be sure that the whole clan goes to heaven and will do their utmost to control their environment (isolate from dangerous elements), their teaching (isolate from alternative interpretations), or other worldly influences that might taint their sanctity.
    It bothers me that it’s only their fame that revealed them for who they were – were they nobody then what happened might still be hidden. It’s sad to think about all those other families where among them some of the same sins have taken place, but they were never brought to light. At least, among all of us, quiverfull is discredited, but to those for whom it is the way, the truth, and the life – there’s really no way for us worldly heathens to show them the truth of what they’ve been taught; because they were taught to believe their fathers would never lie about their beliefs being the only way to salvation and the importance of being a mother in Scripture.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. When I first heard about that family and that they were collectively stars of a TV show (which I have never seen) mainly for having lots of children I found that rather depressing. The further revelations only made it more disturbing that these people are celebrities, people who are famous for being famous. Yes, Anna is in a really tough spot.

    Liked by 1 person

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