complaints, condescending twatbags, LDS, rants, slut shamers

Repost: Speaking of shameless shaming– Breastfeeding is not an act of public indecency!

Here’s a repost from July 27. 2018, inspired by the swath of people who seem to think that breastfeeding a baby is an act of public indecency and my recent post about the Duggars and “defrauding”. As you can see, the fundies aren’t the only ones who have screwy beliefs about modesty. I am posting it mostly as/is, as I consider what today’s fresh post will be. The featured image is in the public domain.

I would be remiss if I didn’t post about this news story I read last night about a Mormon woman who was shamed by her bishop and stake president for breastfeeding (link was removed because it no longer works).  According to KUTV, an unidentified LDS mom of four from northern Utah lost her temple recommend because she decided to breastfeed uncovered while she was in the foyer of her church.  Temple recommends are basically cards that identify worthy members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  One must have a valid temple recommend in order to visit the church’s temples, where “sacred” and secret religious ordinances, including many weddings, take place.  Temple recommends are very important to faithful Mormons.

A few weeks ago, the mother had gone to see her bishop about getting her temple recommend updated and signed.  The bishop told her that church members had complained about her openly breastfeeding her 18 month old baby.  LDS churches have “mothers’ rooms” where breastfeeding moms can go to privately feed their babies.  The bishop said she should either use the mothers’ room or cover up, since her decision to openly breastfeed might cause the men in the church to have “sexual thoughts”.  The bishop refused to sign the temple recommend and she had to get it signed by the first counselor instead.

Later, the mom visited her stake president so he could also sign her temple recommend.  The stake president also brought up the breastfeeding issue and quoted from a church pamphlet about the importance of modesty.  The pamphlet, “For the Strength of Youth”, is well-known to LDS church members and provides guidelines about how church members are to present themselves. 

The mother said that she got very upset during the meeting and had to leave the room several times to calm down.  The woman’s husband, who was also in attendance during the meeting, was told that he needed to “control his wife”.  The husband was also told that if he supported his wife’s decision to publicly breastfeed without a cover, he would also lose his temple recommend.

Some people may wonder why the woman didn’t simply use the mothers’ room.  Apparently, the room is off of the bathroom and this mother claims it’s too isolating for her.  Also, she says she can’t hear the service in the mothers’ room.  The mom warns that even after her child is weaned, she doesn’t plan to back down on this issue.  She correctly states that breastfeeding is not a sexual act and publicly feeding her child is not wrong.  She wants the church to be more accepting and sensitive toward mothers who choose to breastfeed in public.

As I read this story, I was, at first, very irritated on the mom’s behalf.  Fellas, if you’re turned on by a woman’s breasts, that is your problem.  It’s not up to women to protect you from your sexual thoughts.  You need to exercise more self control and realize that breasts are, first and foremost, intended to feed babies.  I realize that public breastfeeding is a somewhat new phenomenon in that, until recently, many women would feel uncomfortable exposing their breasts in public to feed their babies.  But dammit, breasts are not primarily for titillation.  They have a purpose.  A man’s sexual reactions to seeing a woman’s breasts are secondary to that very important purpose.  When it comes to embarrassment about breastfeeding, it’s the men who need to get over themselves, not the women.

Then, after reading about how this mom was treated by church leaders, I was irritated by her reaction.  I understand that the LDS church is the type of organization where membership is very important, particularly within family circles.  It’s not like it is in my family, where people attend different churches.  Most of my family members are protestants, but they aren’t all Presbyterians.  I have an aunt who is Episcopalian and a sister who is an atheist.  My mom played organ in Baptist and Methodist churches for most of my life.  Yes, many of my family members go to church, but there is no pressure to attend a specific church or practice a particular religion.  This is not necessarily true for Mormons.  To them, family participation is essential and in devout families, there is intense pressure to be Mormon and participate fully in the church.  Leaving the church can lead to a host of unpleasant consequences.

And yet… here is this nice couple doing absolutely nothing wrong, sitting there listening to church officials berate them for doing something totally natural and necessary for their baby’s health, and threatening them with eternal damnation for not conforming to their stupid rules about modesty.  I realize I’m not Mormon and never have been, but it’s inconceivable to me that these people tolerated those shameful remarks from church leaders.  They should have told both the bishop and the stake president to go fuck themselves (sorry, I’m in a mood this morning), gotten up, and walked out, vowing that their children would not grow up to be tithe payers.  I may be very cynical or even naive, but I think that’s ultimately a response that would get church leaders to listen.  Seriously, fuck those guys.  They are just regular men put into positions of leadership in a manmade religious organization.  They only have as much power as their members are willing to give them.  As long as church members allow them to talk to them in that way, the abuse will continue.

I do think it’s abusive to subject breastfeeding mothers to shame, scorn, or ridicule for daring to feed their babies in public.  If you think the church is right about this, the next time you have a meal, put a blanket over your head or go sit in the bathroom to eat.  Tell me, is that a pleasant way to dine?  Why should mothers and babies have to tolerate that?

It seems to me that this mom is very faithful to her beliefs.  She is exactly the kind of member the LDS church would not want to lose.  She cares enough about the church to want to hear what is said during meetings, even when she’s nursing her child.  While I personally think Mormonism is bullshit, she clearly doesn’t.  I don’t think she’s the kind of church member they’d want to alienate, since she has clearly had several children who will one day pay tithes… that is, if the church doesn’t one day drive them out with their outdated and anti-woman policies.

Churches are definitely losing members lately.  Nowadays, many people are abandoning religion or attending churches that offer more in the way of personal enrichment or entertainment.  I have never attended a Mormon church service, but Bill has.  He tells me they are extremely boring, except perhaps on fast and testimony days, when members get up to testify that the church is true.  I have heard that a number of colorful testimonies have been offered on those Sundays, although in order to enjoy them, you have to be fasting…  I’m not sure that’s a good tradeoff.

I’m sure the church is very important to this mother and her husband.  It’s a pity she didn’t just tell her leaders that she’d find a church where breastfeeding mothers are more respected and men are taught that they need to control their lust.  The onus should not be on women to protect men from “falling”.  The men should be taught to self-regulate.

And… for the last time, breastfeeding babies isn’t sexual.  If you think it is, you’re the one with a problem.

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celebrities, Duggars, Ex, LDS, religion

How worshiping at the “church of George Carlin” serves me better than being a fundie…

Today’s post is going to be kind of convoluted and philosophical. I had originally meant to write about the Duggar family, but then I had an interesting talk with Bill this morning that I think can co-mingle with this topic. Bear with me… or don’t bear with me. It’s up to you. But I think these two topics are relative to each other, even if they don’t seem to be.

This morning, I came to the realization that George Carlin, who was famously foul mouthed and frank about his opinions, really had certain truisms nailed. I learned a lot from George, even though he was “godless”. He didn’t believe in the magical thinking, legalism, and mind fuckery that comes from religion. Instead, he was all about common sense. I appreciated Carlin’s astute observations about life, and I looked up to him… probably more so than I did my own parents.

Much to my father’s chagrin, George Carlin, who was raised Irish Catholic and eventually rejected religion, had a huge influence on me. When I was growing up, I worshiped at the “church of George Carlin”, instead of my dad’s preferred faith, the Presbyterian Church USA. I think the “church of George Carlin” probably served me better than being raised Presbyterian did. Not that being Presbyterian was particularly “traumatic” in any way. In my experience, being Presbyterian was just kind of boring… at least until I realized that the Presbyterian is a big part of my heritage. In that sense, being Presbyterian is interesting. But not interesting enough that I want to go sit in a pew and listen to sermons.

My dad didn’t like George Carlin. He used to lecture me when he’d catch me watching Carlin on HBO. He didn’t like Carlin’s seemingly liberal politics or the language he used. My dad would lament about how I found Carlin so funny and brilliant, decrying Carlin’s use of profanity. Dad believed that profanity was a sign of stupidity and a lack of vocabulary. Of course, my dad was wrong about Carlin. Carlin was right about a lot of things… and he was certainly not someone who lacked vocabulary. I also don’t think Carlin was necessarily a liberal. I think he believed both political spectrums sucked. But I also think that many people believe that if you aren’t on their side, you must be on the other side. There’s no room for moderate views, and in my opinion, not tolerating moderate views can cause huge problems.

One thing I appreciated about George Carlin was that he had no problem pointing out hypocrisy and silliness, especially as it pertains to religion. A lot of religious practices needlessly complicate life. If you need an example, just have a look at the Duggar family, and how they’ve fallen from grace. This is a family that lived with a LOT of rules and control. But underneath it all, they were full of shit… carefully hiding their sins. I think if they had embraced their sins and been honest, they wouldn’t be in the regrettable situation they’re in right now. They went from being a family to emulate, to a family humiliated.

Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of clips from the original reality show that made the Duggar family a household name. I’m reminded anew of the many false stories and outright untruths the Duggars told the world. It turned out that a lot of what they were telling the public about their lives was straight up bullshit. They presented a fake image and a false reality, and a lot of people bought it, and their formerly huge reality TV show. The clips I’ve been watching have been uploaded on YouTube by someone who starts each video with a minute of the Megyn Kelly interview done in May 2015, showing Jessa and Jill. Jill weeps on camera, while Jessa glances sideways at her, having just said how “wrong” people are that Josh is a “monster”.

Jessa flat out lied in that interview, minimizing what Josh Duggar did to her and three of her siblings. That’s a direct violation of one of the Ten Commandments! So much for obeying the Bible! It’s more important to obey Jim Bob Duggar– “God” in their home, and its “mini cult”. To his family and friends, Jim Bob is not a mere man. To the Duggars, he’s “the MAN”… and those who don’t obey him pay a price. But recently, the whole world has been reminded that Jim Bob Duggar is, in fact, just a man. And as awesome men go, he couldn’t hold a candle to George Carlin. But Jim Bob would probably consider Carlin “satanic”.

Incidentally, Jim Bob and Michelle also lied in that 2015 interview with Megyn Kelly. Why did they lie? Because they’re full of shit, and they worship money and power more than they do the Bible. It’s not so much that I care about the Bible per se. I just don’t like hypocrisy, or people who try to conceal their sins with lies and convoluted religious bullshit.

Many of us were eager to believe that the Duggars really did have a squeaky clean household. Lots of people thought Jim Bob was telling the truth when he said his children had no unfiltered access to the Internet or television. They seemed so wholesome and loving. Michelle Duggar wouldn’t show her knees or shoulders. The kids were shown wearing “Wholesome Wear” swimsuits, which were good only in that they probably helped them avoid sunburns. Jim Bob ran races in jeans. I guess that was supposed to make him appear to be “godlier”. Does Jim Bob really think God cares whether he runs races in jeans or running shorts? Or is he just doing that to look as if he’s a “hardcore Christian”? We all know now that Jim Bob is not any better than anyone else, particularly when it comes to being “Christlike.”

One brilliant example of why I worship at the church of George Carlin. This is a hell of a sermon. “Smug, greedy, well-fed white people have invented a language to conceal their sins…” Amen, George. And you can hear that he wasn’t really liberal, because he wasn’t about political correctness.

Hell, they even refuse to call “deviled eggs” by their proper name. Instead, they call them “angel eggs”. Supposedly, Michelle Duggar came up with the name years ago, saying that she didn’t like the name “deviled eggs”. Michelle supposedly said that the eggs were so “yummy” that they should be called “angel eggs”. Here’s a link to a photo of the Duggars’ famous “Yellow Pocket Angel Eggs”. I see someone commented that they’re, in fact, “deviled eggs”. Changing the name doesn’t change what they are. Michelle and her daughters could take a lesson from George Carlin, and his sermon on “soft language”, and how that language is used to conceal “sins”.

“Life doesn’t change because you post a sign.” Angel eggs are still devilishly delicious, despite Michelle’s decision to change the satanic name.

As George Carlin famously said, “Life doesn’t change because you post a sign.” Changing the name of a classic egg appetizer doesn’t change what the appetizer is, even if you’ve exchanged a “satanic” name for an “angelic” one. And, of course, deviled eggs aren’t satanic– that’s ridiculous. However, one of Michelle’s own eggs produced someone whom some might consider “satanic”, as he sits alone in a jail cell, pondering his bleak future. Of course, I’m referring to Josh Duggar, one of Ma and Pa Duggar’s so-called “gifts from God”. In fact, Josh was the very first “gift from God”… and now, he seems more like a ruined first pancake.

I remember in the early days of the Duggar family’s rise to fame, Jim Bob Duggar used to preach to the masses about “buying used and saving the difference.” The Duggar patriarch was famously cheap, doing everything he could to save money so that he could keep supporting the “gifts from God” that came in the form of his 19 children. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar proclaimed that their huge brood was a sign of God’s favor, even though having so many children meant that, for many years, the Duggars lived in poor conditions. The story back then was that they were a “humble”, Christ loving family, cheerfully accepting that there was always a line for the bathroom and never enough tater tot casserole to go around.

But then came the reality show, and many fat paychecks from TLC. Never mind that it meant that the children were forced to work, and they were on television, a medium that the Duggars claimed they eschewed in their home. Gradually, viewers saw the family’s fashion sense change. Instead of homemade jumpers with huge collars on the girls, and khaki pants and polo shirts on the boys, we started to see the family wearing name brand clothes. Granted, they supposedly bought those clothes at thrift shops and second hand stores, but they still changed their style. They were famously frugal and “cheap”… but because they focused more on legalism, collar lines and hem lines on the girls, and being open about praying and singing, they ignored the huge problem that was being covered up and has cost them so much.

Just this morning, I read a story by The Sun about how the Duggars can send Josh “care packages” through the prison commissary. Josh, who used to go to the grocery store with his family and load up on cheap, processed foods, and paper plates, can now get a package of several lunch bag sized bags of chips for a whopping $22. If he wants candy bars, he can get a package of those for $22. His wife, Anna, has to visit him by video, for which she pays 25 cents a minute. Or she can send him an email for $5.

When I think about how the Duggars used to demonstrate how they’d save money by letting the daughters give the guys haircuts or making their own laundry detergent, it boggles my mind at what Josh’s crimes have cost the family. The costs have been huge… not just in terms of the vast amount of money spent, but also their own reputations. I wonder if the outcome would have been different if Josh had been dealt with appropriately when he was much younger. What if he had grown up in a family where things could be discussed openly, and there wasn’t the constant pressure to appear like perfect Gothardite Christians? Would people have more respect for them if they had been honest instead of trying to cover up their lies? What if Jim Bob and Michelle had paid more attention to actually raising their kids and knowing them well, instead of making sure everyone wore modest clothing and “buying used and saving the difference.” I’ll bet actually raising and protecting their kids would have cost them a lot less than homemade jumpers and haircuts.

So many people think the answer to living a better life is to be someone they’re not, embrace legalistic belief systems… and to cover up their sins. This morning, Bill and I talked about this concept, as he discussed a recent session he had with his Jungian therapist. Bill had told his therapist about how, prior to Easter 2000, Bill had always enjoyed visiting his father and his stepmother at their home. But then, they allowed Ex to use their home as a setting for her humiliating ultimatum over Easter 2000. That was where she falsely declared Bill a “reprobate” of sorts. She didn’t use that word, of course, but that was what she meant.

The issue was, Bill wasn’t “bad”. He wasn’t a reprobate at all. That was a false narrative his ex wife was pushing, as she was also supposedly embracing Mormonism and using religion to present Bill as a bad person. By allowing Ex to use their home as the setting for Ex’s condemnation of Bill, Bill’s dad and stepmother changed the conditions of how Bill saw them, and their home. And then, instead of doing what he was expected to do and had always done in the past, Bill went off script, which really fucked things up, and changed the course of the future.

Ex thought Bill would beg forgiveness and bend to her will. But Bill had had enough, and it was time for a reckoning. So, when Ex told Bill he was “bad” and needed intensive church based “therapy” with his LDS bishop (who was a lay person with no professional training in counseling) or she would divorce him, Bill decided he wasn’t going to accept her conditions. He asked, “Where do I sign?” instead of “What can I do to make you love me again?” And that decision was not what Ex expected. It made Bill seem “satanic” to her… suddenly, he wasn’t the man she arrogantly thought she knew, inside and out. Suddenly, he was someone who was capable of saying he’d had enough. He couldn’t be controlled, and that somehow made him “evil”. She had to banish him. She used Mormonism and its strict “moral code” to justify what she was doing, which was ultimately harming the children and Bill.

Then I came along, and I upset the apple cart even more by refusing to dance to Ex’s tune. I refused to go along with her plans for Christmas in 2004. Because I insisted on being treated like an adult, instead of one of Ex’s flying monkeys, I became “evil” and needed to be cast out of the cult. I couldn’t be trusted around the children, because I might influence them. I’m sure she thought of me as “Satan”, too. But they were influenced anyway, and as most children do, they went their own way… or, at least a few of them have. That’s how it is in Jim Bob Duggar’s little fiefdom, too. Some of his children are going their own way. Jim Bob might think of his wayward children who have gone astray as “touched by Satan”.

If you think about it, in some ways, Satan was really just an agent of change. Sometimes the change was bad or difficult, and sometimes it was indifferent, or even quite good. After all, what would the world be like if Adam and Eve hadn’t eaten the apple? Would we all still be living in the Garden of Eden, naked, and frolicking in paradise? What fun is that? How does one grow from that experience? Sure, working all the time is hard, as is having to birth children… but hanging out in paradise isn’t very challenging or rewarding. Being stuck with Ex, likewise, wasn’t rewarding… although it was pretty challenging.

The “church of George Carlin” taught me that people have to be allowed to think and act independently. Blind obedience to one person or idea isn’t healthy. Independent thought is essential. That’s how positive change and growth can happen. George Carlin was a brilliant man… but he was also humble enough to propose that people worship someone other than him. He said, instead of worshiping God, we should worship the sun… or maybe Joe Pesci. In that sense, George Carlin, as an atheist, was probably more Christlike than Jim Bob Duggar will ever be as a “Christian”.

George Carlin says you have to “stand in awe” of the bullshit peddled by religion…

Imagine the heartache that could have been avoided if the Duggars had just worshiped George Carlin instead of Bill Gothard. Maybe Josh would have still been a pervert, but at least they could have a laugh about it. Naw… there’s nothing funny about a man who is so sick that he wants to watch children being abused and gets sexual gratification from it. That’s a problem that should have been taken care of many years ago… and maybe could have, if not for the distraction of religion, and the illusion of power and money grabs that come from adhering to strict religions. For all of the emphasis the Duggars place on being “saved”, religion and control couldn’t “save” Josh or spare his victims. He’s still sitting all alone in a jail cell, probably hoping someone might think enough of him to spend $22 on some Doritos and Cheetos for him.

So, given Josh Duggar’s pathetic example, I’m sticking with worshiping at the church of George Carlin. I think it serves me better than Duggar style fundie legalism ever could. And with that, I think I’ll praise George and get on with the rest of my day.

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Duggars, narcissists, poor judgment, psychology, religion

Ben Seewald is currently in the dog house. History shows it’s a familiar place for him.

Well… I thought I might have a non Duggar topic for today, but all I can think about this morning is that clip I saw of Ben Seewald and Jim Bob Duggar interacting at Jill and Derick Dillard’s 2014 nuptials. And since I’ve recently been watching videos about body language, I think I’ll just go with what’s in my head this morning. In a manner of speaking, writing about Ben Seewald is kind of a change of pace. I don’t usually pick on him. I’ll try to be gentle.

A little mood music for this post. It’s inappropriate and rude, so be warned. This song is stuck in my head.

Here goes…

Yesterday, I wrote a post about how Jim Bob Duggar is facing a “difficult season”. His eldest son, Josh, is sitting in the county jail awaiting sentencing for his crimes against children. He lost his bid to run for an Arkansas Senate seat. And now, his son-in-law, Derick Dillard, who is married to his formerly beloved Jilly Muffin, is slamming him publicly on social media. Derick Dillard had some very “choice” words for his wife’s father. I shared them in yesterday’s post, but for the sake of simplicity, I will share them again in this post.

Dayum, Derick… tell us how you really feel!

The other day, I wrote another post in which I commented on The Transformed Wife’s assertions that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are “very good parents”. Now, I don’t agree with that at all, and you “regulars” probably already know why. I’ve explained many times why I think the Duggar parents are frauds and grifters. They have been using their children to bankroll their hypocritical “fundie Christian” platform for way too many years. I think a lot of their “Christian” ideals are put on for the cameras. Christianity serves as a facade for what I believe is really Jim Bob’s narcissistic mini cult. Today’s post about Ben Seewald highlights an example of what I mean.

In the post I wrote two days ago about Jim Bob’s and Michelle’s alleged “very good” parenting, I included a video of Jill’s and Derick’s wedding episode on 19 Kids and Counting. When that video originally aired, I remember being absolutely floored as I watched Jim Bob, Derick, and the rest of the male part of the wedding party getting dressed. There was a subtle incident in that episode that I think pretty much sums up Ben’s relationship with Jim Bob and, quite frankly, his wife, Jessa. The interaction I’m referring to happened very quickly. It was so fast that a lot of people probably missed it. I haven’t seen anyone else bring up this incident prior to today. But, to me, it speaks volumes…

Anyway, here’s what happened. Jim Bob and Michelle were watching everybody getting dressed for the wedding. They both spotted Ben Seewald, who was, at that point, just “courting” Jessa. Ben was wearing a black tie. Michelle Duggar was wearing an absolutely hideous silver dress that I think makes her look like a fish. Not surprisingly, Michelle bragged about getting that dress from the clearance rack. It’s obvious to me why that dress was on clearance. Michelle then commented that Ben needed to iron his necktie. The tie, which appeared to be cheap and made of polyester, was a bit rumpled. Jim Bob agreed with Michelle…

I remember trying to find video of the above incident some time ago. I knew it was in Jill’s and Derick’s wedding episode, but I kept missing it. It’s very easy to overlook this interaction, since it lasts just a few seconds. However, given what has happened to this family since 2014, I think this incident is quite profound. Below is a YouTube video of the wedding episode. You can see this ridiculous and cringeworthy interaction for yourself at around the 41-42 minute mark.

Fun times.

Now… the other day, I briefly mentioned this “necktie” incident, but that was before Derick wrote his Facebook post slamming Jim Bob for being a verbally abusive and manipulative liar, and a complete hypocrite. After Derick posted his strongly worded comments that directly called out Jim Bob, Ben came back with this rather “bitchy” and passive aggressive rebuke that sort of indirectly calls out Derick for being “rude”. He claims being “rude” is being “weak”. I don’t know how Ben finds the nerve to call Derick “weak”, when he can’t even address him by name and has to hide behind the Bible… and he literally lets their father-in-law lead him around like a dog while they’re on camera!

Um… don’t you think Derick has the right to be rude to Jim Bob, given what happened to his WIFE, Ben? Where are your balls? In Jim Bob’s dog house? Or in Jessa’s purse?

I don’t usually pick on Ben too much, although I remember thinking, when he and Jessa started “courting”, that Jessa could do better. He seemed so young, immature, and, frankly, kind of wimpy. I thought Jessa would go for someone a little more assertive. But hell, I don’t know Jessa or what turns her on. I have noticed that she tends to be snarkier than a lot of her sisters. It seems pretty clear to me that in spite of Ben’s alleged biblically “superior” gender and his supposed role as “protector” and headship, Jessa is the one who rules the roost. And you know, that’s fine, if that’s how it works best for them as a couple. But I do think that Ben made a fool of himself with the above post. He clearly lacks a spine and perspective.

Remember this, Ben? (and Jim Bob)

Instead of calling out Derick in a straightforward way, using his own words, Ben relies solely on scripture and a “bitchy”, peevish tone. He seems to have completely missed the point, hasn’t he? Jim Bob is partially responsible for the fact that Josh Duggar was allowed to abuse his sisters and a babysitter, along with God only knows how many other young females. Jim Bob, supposed headship, protector, provider, and megadick almighty, did not live up to the role that he claims is so important, according to Bill Gothard’s principles. Jim Bob failed to lead and protect his own family in his own household. Then Jim Bob had the nerve to try to inflict the rest of Arkansas with his spineless, self-serving, misogynistic and money grubbing agenda by running for public office, which thank God he did not succeed in winning.

And now, following his father-in-law’s toxic example, instead of standing up to Derick in an assertive way, Ben Seewald snivels, passive aggressively hiding behind Bible verses, and not directly addressing anyone in particular. But we all know he’s throwing shade at Derick for speaking out against Big Daddy Duggar. I can practically picture Ben’s pissed, humiliated facial expression captured in the screenshots above, as I see him posting the above rebuke to his brother-in-law.

What the hell, Ben? Where are your priorities?

Ben is supposedly studying to be a pastor. He works for Jim Bob. He lives in a house owned by Jim Bob. It’s too small for his growing family, but instead of going out and getting what he needs, he relies on Boob and sticks up for him when another son-in-law justifiably criticizes Jim Bob. Ben needs to grow up and reclaim his balls. He needs to get a life, “leave and cleave”, and stop being such a goddamned bitch, doing it “doggy style” for Jim Bob. Even if he doesn’t agree with Derick, Ben should own up to it and address Derick directly, like a man.

I’m not the only one who has noticed how wimpy Ben Seewald has a tendency to be. It’s being discussed in the Duggar Family News community. Katie Joy has also tackled it, although I started writing this post before I listened to her video. I pretty much agree with Katie on this. Ben has missed the point, and he’s totally calling out the wrong person. Ben doesn’t want to piss off Daddy Duggar, because Daddy Duggar is bankrolling his lifestyle. But what a yucky way to have to live! Who wants to kiss Jim Bob’s ass for the rest of their lives? Derick clearly is more mature and courageous than his brother-in-law, Ben, is. I think if Boob had tried to lead Derick by the tie, Derick would have knocked the hell out of him. Maybe he would have done it verbally instead of physically, but he would not have let Jim Bob treat him like that.

For more on this…

Again, I really don’t know what the dynamic is like between Ben and the rest of the Duggars. It almost seems like Ben should have taken Jessa’s last name, though. He’s definitely showing signs of submission, which is not necessarily a bad thing, even in a man. But I do think that if one is submissive, one should embrace that and OWN it. Ben’s attempt at being “manly” by calling Derick “rude” is PATHETIC. Either man up and be assertive, or keep being a submissive lap dog. If I could, I would say this to Ben…

Ben– for God’s sake, your WIFE was molested, as a young girl, by her brother in Jim Bob’s house. And Jim Bob did NOTHING to fix the problem! Look at where Josh is! Maybe if Jim Bob had gotten his son arrested as a teenager, he might still be in jail. Or, maybe if he’d hooked Josh up with a therapist, Josh might still have offended. But at least he would have TRIED!!!! Ben, why the hell are you defending Jim Bob? He didn’t defend your wife– his own daughter– when it was clearly his responsibility to do so, under your own religious beliefs! Derick may be “rude”, but at least he cares about his wife, and he clearly LOVES and protects her. That’s a real man who doesn’t do it “doggy style”.

I have repeatedly stated on this blog that abuse thrives in secrecy, especially child abuse. I know it goes against what a lot of people think of as “polite behavior” when other people air their “dirty laundry”, but abusers THRIVE on people who don’t want to make a scene, upset the apple cart, or rock the boat. Abusive people demand that their victims be silent and keep their secrets. They use shame and humiliation to keep their victims down so they can continue to manipulate, exploit, and abuse others. Jim Bob is clearly very narcissistic, and Ben has signed on as one of his “flying monkeys”… or, perhaps he’s more of a lap dog. Either way, it’s pathetic, and it will eventually lead Ben down the road to ruin. He’s following a loser, and the loser will not take him anywhere worth going.

People who speak out against bad behavior may seem “rude” and obnoxious. I have been called “bitter”, “petty”, and “snotty” myself, for calling out certain abusers in my life and writing about them in this blog. However, I’ve also noticed that fewer people try to abuse me because I simply don’t tolerate it anymore. I would rather suffer or cause someone else some embarrassment, than tolerate abuse, exploitation, and disrespect.

Being an abuse victim is unhealthy and unworkable. If not being silent means people like me less, so be it. I’d rather have genuine people in my life who have real regard for me, than someone who just hangs around because I keep their secrets and do their bidding.

It seems to me that Derick Dillard has similar opinions to mine, when it comes to showing and receiving basic respect. Good for him for being a real man, instead of acting like another one of Jim Bob’s lap dogs. And may Ben find and CLAIM his balls very soon, instead of just playing with them when Jim Bob and Jessa give him permission and hiding behind posting passive aggressive Bible verses on Facebook.

And here’s a link to Red Peters’ hilarious album that provided the “mood music” for today. As an Amazon Associate, I get a small commission from Amazon on sales made through my site.

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funny stories, home

Repost: Unexpected search results…

Hello folks. It’s a cold, drizzly Sunday here in Germany. Bill and I talked more about the Duggar situation over breakfast. There’s a lot more I could write about it… and maybe I will later. However, it does occur to me that some people are tired of reading and hearing about the Duggars, and frankly, I am a little tired of writing about them, too. So here’s a quirky repost from January 2019. I wrote it just before I felt forced to shut down my old blog.

Zane (RIP) and Arran enjoying the futon when it was new, and didn’t smell like ass.

Something interesting happened the other day.  I was sitting on our yucky futon and noticed that it has kind of a nasty smell.  I also noticed that it was so uncomfortable that it made my butt go numb.  Looking at the futon, I realized that it’s served its purpose and needs to be re-homed or trashed.   That gave me the idea to search for a new couch.

We bought the futon in August 2014, when we first moved back to Germany.  I didn’t actually want a futon, but we were moving into our old house and had no furniture for several days.  I didn’t want to sleep on air mattresses because I usually end up with Charley horses.  Also, the box we sent our air mattresses in was delayed by the post office and we didn’t want to buy new ones.  The futon was just big enough for Bill and me to sleep semi comfortably.  Add the two dogs, who insisted on joining us, and it was definitely not so good.  But then our regular furniture came and we were able to use the futon in our old TV/office as more of a “couch” for TV watching.  It wasn’t perfect, but it served a function.

I figured we’d be moving back to the States after Stuttgart and decided I’d throw it out when the time came to move.  But then we moved to Wiesbaden.  We brought the futon with us, and now I want to trash it again.  One of the spokes broke when I sat down on it too hard.  The dogs regularly sleep on it and one puked all over the mattress.  It was impossible to get it very clean, so now the mattress and pillows faintly smell kind of like ass… or maybe the musty, ripe cheese smell that comes from an infection.  It definitely doesn’t make me want to use the TV room.

I went on Amazon.de to look for “couches”.  I entered the search term into the box.  Amazon.de usually translates English terms into German.  Sure enough, I got most of the expected results.  I started seeing the sofas I hoped to see.  And then I noticed something very different.

About two-thirds of the way down the second page, there was a very realistic picture of a dildo.  It appeared to be a French product and had veins, wrinkly “skin”, and everything.  The seller promised free delivery and, at less than 27 euros, it was a bargain.

I was rather surprised by that result.  I mentioned it to a German friend.  She happened to have studied French and explained that in French, the word “les couches” refers to layers.  Since I used the term “couch”, I guess Amazon.de figured I was looking for layers.  And this sex toy has double layers of silicone, which I guess doubles your pleasure.

I never studied French, so this was news to me.  To tell you the truth, as dirty as my mind can be, I don’t actually like looking at those kinds of… uh… playthings.  Especially when they’re very realistic looking.  The one pictured did NOT look like a toy.  It was kind of moist looking and someone’s hands were wrapped around it.  I guess I can now see why some people ban Amazon from computers where small children might be lurking.

I was reminded of another incident from years ago.  I was stalking a messageboard for fundamentalist women who wanted to buy “modest clothing”.  One of the women who posted referred users to this Web site.  She also warned people to be careful when searching for “culottes”, since that might bring pornographic results.  Another referred readers to this site (I removed the link in 2021, because the site is now defunct), where you can order handmade culottes that set the “right” Biblical example. 

It’s funny that Americans think of culottes as a very modest piece of clothing, but in France, culottes are underwear.  Consequently, if you search for culottes, it’s possible that you will find underwear when you really want an ugly pair of short pants that look like a skirt. Come to think of it, I used to have to wear culottes as part of my uniform when I worked at Busch Gardens Europe. I hated them, because they were ugly and gave me wedgies, plus they had a button and zip in the back, which made going to the bathroom more of a challenge.

One time, I actually made a pair of culottes.  I wasn’t even forced to make them, either.  I thought they looked “cool”.  I was in eighth grade, taking home economics, and we had to use a pattern to make clothes.  For some reason, I liked the illustrated culottes that appeared on the Simplicity pattern.  I thought they were fashionable.  Dopey me, what did I know?  They didn’t even use a real photograph of a model on that pattern.

I selected really ugly teal fabric.  It was cheap, thin, and tacky.  I remember buying it at AAFES, back in the days when they sold fabric.  It was awful stuff because it wrinkled super easily.  I made the culottes, but they looked terrible, with sloppy, irregular seams and constant rumples.  I got a “C” on my project; although, believe it or not, I did wear the ugly culottes around the house for awhile.  I was thirteen, and didn’t have any sense.

The following year, I made a tank style jumpsuit with pastel polka dotted fabric.  That time, I chose better fabric that didn’t wrinkle and I did a better job making the garment.  I actually wore it to school a few times.  It got an “A”, although now I kind of cringe at the idea of wearing it.  What the hell… I was fourteen.  I hate sewing, though, and that was the last time I made any clothes.

I’m actually pretty crappy at anything involving clothes or fashion.  When I was in college, I was a member of a music fraternity and I really struggled at making my Greek letters with puff paint.  I’m too much of a slob to do it properly.  My mom and my maternal grandmother were great at needle crafts, sewing, fashion, and anything involving looking like a lady.  I didn’t inherit those genes.

Anyway… I am hoping soon we can replace the futon and get a nice couch so we can enjoy our TV room and I won’t be tempted to lie in bed to watch all of those iTunes TV shows that are preventing me from updating my Apple apps.  But no, at this point, I don’t need any sex toys that I found while searching for couches.  Why is it that French words often end up translating to sexy stuff, anyway?

First world problems are such bitches.

Almost three years after I wrote this post, I still don’t have a couch for our TV room. I still want to get one. I just need to find one we can get up the stairs by ourselves and will fit through the door. I just searched Amazon.de and got many results for couches… and none for dildos. I guess they finally fixed their algorithms for English speakers.

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Duggars, religion

The Transformed Wife says Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are “very good parents”…

Before I get started with today’s post, let me state upfront that I don’t regularly follow “The Transformed Wife”, aka Lori Alexander. I do occasionally write about some of the dumb things she posts on social media, especially when they get people especially spun up in tizzies. I have a pretty high tolerance for stupid postings, though, so it’s not that often that I feel moved to opine about Lori’s commentary. I understand that she probably believes the stuff she writes, but I think most of it is laughable, and I generally don’t see the need to give her a platform.

I’m writing about her today because yesterday someone in the Duggar Family News group decided to do a little trolling on The Transformed Wife’s Facebook page. She asked Lori Alexander what she thought of the Duggar parents. I can’t find the specific post in question, but Lori– true to form– was quick to block the rabble rouser. But then she posted this…

There are no “perfect” parents, true… but I don’t think I would call Ma and Pa Duggar “very good parents”.

Lori Alexander explains that Josh Duggar “made his own choices”, and Jim Bob and Michelle shouldn’t be blamed for Josh’s choices. Well yes, Josh is an adult and he did make his own choices. But there were many signs, when he was still years before adulthood, that he needed significant help. At the very least, his siblings needed to be protected from him. Didn’t we hear Jim Bob say to Megyn Kelly that Josh had come to Jim Bob and Michelle in tears and told them what he had done to his sisters? Wouldn’t this be a sign that Josh needed assistance with a big problem? But they did nothing effective to address this issue.

This interview was full of untruths and half truths. I remember watching it in June 2015 and stating that the Duggar parents were lying through their teeth. I remember a now former Facebook friend taking me to task for stating that this interview was full of bullshit. Based on the results of this week, I was right.

In the above interview, Jim Bob and Michelle said that all of the children had professional counseling. They also said that Josh paid for his own counseling. We now know from Justin’s and Julia’s podcast that Josh just got his head shaved, and his “very good parents” sent him to do hard labor for a family friend for a few months. The “professional counseling” certainly didn’t come from a licensed mental health professional. It came via a stern lecture from a former cop, who is now in prison himself as a sex offender, and interrogations from religious leaders. Jim Bob also said that Josh touched the girls over their clothes while they were sleeping. Also, clearly untrue. Then at the sixteen minute mark, Jim Bob and Michelle explicitly state that their son isn’t a pedophile (or, more accurately, a child molester), but transgender people who want to use restrooms that apply to their genders are deviants who automatically put women and children at risk. Where was their concern for their daughters, who were clearly at risk with their sexually deviant brother still living at home?

The hypocrisy is astonishing.

But… I think the biggest sign that these two aren’t “very good parents” is that all of this stuff happened as many as 20 years ago or so, years before this family became reality TV stars. They knew their son had a problem, which allegedly began when he was as young as 12, but they chose to go on television anyway. They held themselves up as an example of an “ideal” Christian family. They got away with the deception for well over a decade before reality smacked everyone upside the head.

Then, once the truth came out, not only about Josh as a teen, but also about Josh as a philandering and sexually violent adult, Jim Bob still wanted to pimp out his adult children on reality TV! He was behind the new reality show, Counting On, which focused on the lives of his adult children who weren’t sex pests. And then he didn’t even pay them for their work! One of the reasons Jill Dillard is estranged from the family is that she sued her father so that she and Derick could be paid for their contributions to Counting On. I think I read that Jill finally got the equivalent of minimum wage for her work on the show. I doubt the rest of the “kids” got a similar payment.

I think raising children to be independent is the mark of a good parent. And yet here’s Jim Bob Duggar with quite a few adult children still living in homes that he owns, working for him, and completely dependent on him for their livelihoods, which he apparently doles out as he alone sees fit. The adults who are still being supported by Jim Bob are certainly not free to voice their opinions, and they must be loyal to Jim Bob or risk being cut off financially and shunned by the rest of the family. The adult children who have managed to be independent are somewhat on the fringes of the family, which now seems like the better place to be. But it also means that the youngest children don’t get exposure to their more independent siblings and in-laws, who might show them the possibilities of life beyond the Duggar compound.

So… while I agree with Lori that there are no “perfect parents”, I also think that there’s ample evidence to suggest that Jim Bob and Michelle are anything but “very good parents”. In fact, I think it’s pretty shameful that they did all they could to protect golden boy Josh from facing the consequences of his despicable actions, yet marginalize their daughters, Jill and Jinger, who were not only Josh’s victims, but were also smart enough to marry educated men and get the fuck away from Jim Bob’s toxic influence and control!

I’m sure if I really felt like it, I could sit here and think of all of the crazy stuff that has been said and done by this family over the years they’ve been on the airwaves. I can think of all of the fucked up and bizarre parenting and discipline techniques and methods I’ve seen on their show. Let’s put it this way. Before the Duggars were a thing, I didn’t know what “blanket training” was. I didn’t know the significance of the word “Nike!” (having the guys look at their shoes when a woman showing too much skin walked by– it obviously didn’t work). Outside of the film, Carrie, I had never heard of a prayer closet, nor did I know anything about Bill Gothard, or the wacko beliefs in the Gothard cult. I’ll admit, it’s all interesting stuff to me, or I wouldn’t read and write about it so much. But I don’t know that the Duggar family has contributed much to making America great again.

In fact, just last night, the news broke that eldest daughter, Jana Duggar is also in trouble with the law. In September, she was issued a summons for reckless endangerment of a child. She’s due in court next month. I don’t know the specifics of Jana’s case, but I do think that she probably wouldn’t have gotten into trouble with the law if there weren’t so many babies and children in the Duggar household that need constant supervision. And, if you’ve followed this show at all, you know that Michelle Duggar routinely handed off her babies to her eldest daughters to raise. Now that Michelle is a granny, the grandchildren are apparently being minded by Aunt Jana.

It’s certainly true that the adult children “make their own choices”, but they were not raised in an environment where they had a lot of one on one time with their parents. In fact, they were mostly raised on camera, which is definitely not the ideal place for a person to grow up healthy. Childhood is a time when people should be free to make and learn from mistakes. It’s a time when people should be protected and nurtured. I see little evidence that the Duggar parents did a lot of nurturing. How could they? They were always on TV, and they were always focused on having the next child– a “gift from God”– who would inevitably be passed to an older female sibling to raise.

I do think that Jim Bob and Michelle should share in the blame for what has happened. For years, we’ve watched them try to build a fundie Christian “empire” of sorts. Jim Bob’s blockheaded behavior was passed off as almost endearing. He was seen as a “protective dad”. But now, I see him as possessive and autocratic. Below is a quote from People Magazine in 2015:

“Jim Bob’s favorite word is ‘no,’ ” a family source tells People. “He’s like a dictator. He once saw a guy kissing a girl before marriage and confronted him about it. And the guy said, ‘Jim Bob, show me that verse in the Bible that says we can’t kiss. Get out your Bible.’ And Jim Bob was like, ‘Uhhhh …’ because no one ever confronts Jim Bob. No one.

Adds a second source: “Jim Bob calls the shots. Always has and always will.”

In this wedding video, at around the 42 minute mark, you can see Jim Bob Duggar actually LEAD Ben Seewald by the necktie, as if he’s a dog, because the tie is wrinkled. Look at Ben’s face. He appears to be humiliated. And if he doesn’t take off the tie, he will literally have to bow down to Jim Bob while it gets ironed.

So, even if someone tried to speak up to Jim Bob about what was obviously going wrong, he would have shut them down, cut them out, and gotten any mutual associates to disassociate with them. Jim Bob even displayed his arrogant and dictatorial attitudes at Josh’s trial. When he was asked about Josh’s admissions regarding victimizing his sisters and their babysitter, Jim Bob repeatedly said he couldn’t remember. And then he objected to the line of questioning. Jim Bob said to Judge Timothy L. Brooks, “I’m not going to allow it, are you going to allow for that?”

Judge Brooks, to his credit, replied “If there is [an] objection to be made, someone will make it but it won’t be you.”

Every time negative press came out about Josh, the Duggars would either deny that anything was wrong, or they would write “pretty” statements for the media, condemning Josh’s “choices”. Below is the statement Jim Bob and Michelle posted about Josh’s “actions” in 2015:

“As parents we are so deeply grieved by our son’s decisions and actions. His wrong choices have deeply hurt his precious wife and children and have negatively affected so many others. He has also brought great insult to the values and faith we hold dear.”

In spite of Jim Bob’s “dictatorial” behavior, Josh still made “choices” that insulted the family. Instead of ostracizing him, as he and Michelle have done to a couple of their daughters, Jim Bob was all about supporting Josh, minimizing his sins, and doing everything he could to try to shield him from the inevitable consequences of his perverse actions. Instead of protecting his daughters and other innocent women, Jim Bob got his son married off to Anna when Josh was just 20 years old. Obviously, they needed to get him out of their home and find him a nice, meek, docile woman who would give him a socially and politically acceptable outlet for his obsessions. Anna Duggar was used, and has no doubt been abused. And unless she takes decisive action, the abuse will continue, only she’ll be a single mom of seven enduring it, and will probably have a lot of dealings with CPS.

How sick… If anything, this is a sign that maybe practicing fundie Christianity isn’t the best way to live life. Especially if you want to be “very good parents”.
At best, this is a half truth. It wasn’t the Duggar home that was raided. However, clearly Josh was investigated, and Jim Bob knew damned well he was. Again– it’s not very Christ-like of him to lie, nor is he setting a good example for his children.
Okay, Jim Bob… what about your son? Would you like to see him executed for his crimes against women and children? And given your track record as a parent, do you really think you should be representing people in the community?

Now, if you’re the type of person who prays for others, I see nothing wrong with praying for the Duggar family, as Lori Alexander suggests. I don’t even see anything wrong with praying for Josh. I think he needs all the help he can get to redeem himself. Like it or not, he’s still someone’s brother, son, father, and husband, and I don’t generally take joy in wishing extreme suffering on others. So I don’t wish for Josh to be dead or beaten up in prison. I read this morning that he’s being held in solitary confinement for his own protection. The jail where Josh is being held is “notorious” for “inmate on inmate alleged sexual assaults“. As a white “Christian” man from a wealthy, famous family, who has been convicted of sexual offenses against children, Josh Duggar would be a sitting duck for attacks from other inmates. So it’s probably a good decision to keep him away from other inmates. Being kept in solitary confinement will probably not be easy for him at all, but “it is what it is”.

Just to sum things up… these folks are the same people who champion Donald Trump and his ilk… and Trump is every bit as sick and dictatorial as Jim Bob is. He just doesn’t use Christianity as much to hide his obvious agenda to fulfill his need for power, prestige, wealth, and control over other people. I think Jim Bob, and men like him, see other people as betas to their alphas. They can do no wrong. They accept no responsibility. And when something does go wrong, they are always victims. It’s sick and pathetic, and these are not people who should be leading anything in any way. They certainly should NOT be involved with making laws that everyone else has to follow.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I don’t follow Lori Alexander very closely at all. I really only pay attention to her when she writes something especially outrageous. Perhaps, on the surface, the statement she’s made regarding the Duggars’ parenting isn’t all that outrageous. But if you look at the outcomes, you can see that Jim Bob and Michelle are clearly NOT good parents, nor are they very good Christians. They aren’t attentive to their children or their needs, and they certainly don’t even live by The Ten Commandments. If they had been more focused on raising and nurturing their children, they would have gotten Josh the help he required when he was still a boy. They would not have kept pumping out more children and potential abuse victims. And they would have done all of this off television and outside of politics. Just my two cents… and I figure that if the Transformed Wife can share her opinions, so can the “Overeducated” Housewife. 😉

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