celebrities, complaints, Duggars, religion

Nurie Keller’s got one in the oven…

Lately, I’ve noticed a bunch of hits on a post I wrote about Nurie Keller in October 2020. I wrote that post in reaction to speculation that Nurie Keller, wife of Nathan Keller, might have been pregnant. People in the Duggar Family News Facebook Group were thinking that Nurie, who in October, had just been married a few months, might have one in the oven. One person wrote that Nurie was “pregnant as all get out”. I was amused by that comment, so I used it as a blog post title. If you read what I wrote, though, you’ll find that I don’t actually care if Nurie is having sex. I would expect her to, since she’s a young woman who is married and follows a fundamentalist Christian faith. And I don’t actually care much about the status of her womb, either. I mean, I hope she has a healthy and happy pregnancy, but I would wish that for any pregnant person. I don’t go out of my way looking for information about her life.

I guess I can understand why people are interested in this family, though. Jill Rodrigues is kind of fascinating in a train wreck kind of way. She wears a lot of makeup and sports an 80s era hairdo. She has many children and is often featuring them on social media, particularly the ones who are of marriageable age. Looking at YouTube, I see that a lot of videos have been made spoofing Jill. And Jill herself also has a channel and the camera thumbnails for her videos are often unintentionally hilarious.

Why do I hear the theme song for “Lowered Expectations” when I look at these two?
Seriously…

Well… Nurie’s mother, weirdorama mom of 13, Jill Rodrigues, apparently announced last night that her eldest child, married Nurie Keller, sister-in-law to Anna Keller, who is the wife of Josh Duggar, is now pregnant. She’s about seven weeks along– due October 12, 2021. Jill and her husband, who run a “printing press ministry”, made a nighttime video announcing Nurie’s womb status. It seems a little early to be announcing this, and it also seems like it shouldn’t necessarily be Jill’s news to share. But maybe Nurie’s okay with it.

Notice in the above video screenshot, Jill is wearing a Plexus hoodie. I keep hearing about Plexus, but not being a fan of multi-level marketing schemes, I don’t know a whole lot about it. A quick look at the Plexus Web site tells me that it’s a brand of products for weight management and nutrition. Religious folks seem to be very much into MLMs, but I’m pretty leery of them, mainly because of an experience I had in the mid 90s when I was looking for a job. I see that I haven’t reposted about that experience yet, so I’ll do that after I finish writing this post.

Yikes… almost like a caricature. I don’t really know or care that much about Jill, but candidly speaking, these stills are a bit sideshow-ish.

I don’t follow Jill Rodrigues at all. I only know about her because people in the Duggar group follow her and post about her all the time. A lot of people are fascinated by her, because she seems to be obsessed with self-promotion. I might be inclined to take a peek at her page, but I’ve heard she blocks anyone who either isn’t completely positive or reacts “inappropriately”. Like, for instance, anyone who uses a laugh emoji in a mocking way is liable to be blocked. In that sense, she’s not unlike Lori Alexander, aka The Transformed Wife, who similarly blocks anyone who doesn’t shit hearts and roses on her posts, many of which are pretty cringeworthy.

A screenshot of the big announcement. I think Nurie looks well. She has pretty hair.

Anyway, since I can see that people are looking for Nurie, here’s an obligatory post about her pregnancy. I guess now, she really is “pregnant as all get out” and has “one in the oven”. I hope she’s happy and healthy, and doesn’t get trotted out too much for the masses as she blossoms into motherhood. I really do mean that, by the way. I’m not a completely snarky asshole. I especially hope her mom hasn’t spoken too soon. I am glad, however, that they made the announcement without setting off any explosives. I read another tragic news story today about a man who died while trying to rig a “gender reveal” explosive. His is the second sad story I’ve read in a month about men who have killed themselves trying to celebrate a baby shower or reveal their unborn babies’ genitalia with a bang. I don’t laugh about these obvious Darwin Awards candidates because I know that the babies who will be born without ever knowing their fathers will have to live with that for the rest of their lives.

In other fundie news, Jessa Seewald is also pregnant with her fourth baby. She reportedly had a miscarriage, so this one will be a “rainbow baby”. I’m thinking it might be time for her and Ben to look for new digs. Their tiny hand-me-down house must be getting pretty tight by now. But as it’s not my womb or my family, I don’t actually care too much… I do think she and her husband, Ben, make beautiful babies, though. Also, Kendra Caldwell Duggar is about to pop any day with her third baby with Joe Duggar. And so is her 41 year old mom with Kendra’s next sibling! Sheesh!

I’m also continuing to watch Growing Pains… and yes, there have been even more fat jokes, even as Tracey Gold was obviously fading away. In one episode, Tracey’s character, Carol Seaver, gets asked by her on screen grandma about why she got so “svelte and sexy”. Her other grandma, played by tiny Jane Powell, makes a comment about being a size two. And Kirk Cameron, as Mike Seaver, tells Carol’s date that she will “turn into a porker at midnight”. No wonder Tracey had issues with anorexia!

I’m nursing some pain today, too, because I tried to take the dogs for a walk and Noyzi slipped out the front door. I made a grab for him, slipped, and skinned my knee, gave myself a big bruise, and tore off part of my thumbnail. I also had to sit on the floor for a few minutes, because the pain was enough to make me feel a bit faint. Then Arran threw up. Needless to say, I never got around to walking the dogs yesterday. I’ll try to do it today. Bill has to leave town on Saturday, and I’ll be alone for three fucking weeks. Sometimes, I hate his job…

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celebrities

Pregnant as “all get out”!

No, not me. As many readers might know, I follow the Duggar Family News group on Facebook. That group follows and snarks on the Duggar family, but it also follows a few other “supersized” families. One such brood that they like to watch is the Rodrigues family, headed by weirdorama mom, Jill.

The Rodrigueses have 13 children, all of whom are very skinny. Jill Rodrigues is very prominent on social media. I don’t really follow them at all, except for what I see in the Duggar Family News group. They’re easy to make fun of, mainly because Jill appears to be a bit of a fame whore. She wears tons of makeup, always has her hair styled in an 80s fashion, and has a weird habit of name dropping the Duggars.

Eldest daughter, Nurie, was homeschooled and got married earlier this year. Her husband is Nathan Keller, who is Anna Keller Duggar’s brother. That means that Nurie is Josh Duggar’s sister-in-law.

When Nurie had her nuptials, she wore a second hand wedding gown that it’s said was purchased for her at a thrift shop when she was about 12 or 13. Nurie is now 21 years old and has been married for just over two months. Photos are now circulating in the Duggar Family News group with Nurie holding her belly. Many people are speculating that she might already be pregnant, hence the title of today’s post.

I don’t actually care too much if Nurie’s expecting. She’s over 21 and married, and has probably been having sex. Sex leads to pregnancy, particularly when you’re that young. And she’s a fundie Baptist, so she probably would like to be pregnant. Either way, every time I see a picture of her, I see two big rows of white teeth framed by heavy lipstick. She’s always smiling. Maybe it’s the glow of the Lord. Maybe she’s just happy to be on her own.

I actually think Nurie is quite pretty. I wouldn’t choose to wear as much makeup as she does. And while I don’t know what her mother is actually like, I get the sense that she and her siblings are regularly trotted out for her mother’s purposes.

For some reason, Jill Rodrigues seems very interested in following the Duggars’ example and being famous for having a big, religious family. But one other thing I’ve noticed is that Jill seems to want to auction off her daughters to marriage as they come of age. Usually, this happens when the daughter is about done with homeschool and “graduates” from high school. This is something that others have noticed, too.

Jill will post a picture of one of her kids, usually one of the daughters who is getting close to marriage age. She posts about what a “godly” person the young woman is, or she writes about what a “servant’s heart” she has. The youngster is almost always fully decked out in makeup, dressed up, with big white teeth showing in a cringeworthy smile that looks a bit strained. It has the feel of a livestock auction. Like, I’d want to go up and check out her teeth and feet, looking for soundness or athletic potential. It’s really creepy.

Nurie supposedly decided at age four that she wanted to be a Christian. Maybe I’m overly cynical, but I have a strong suspicion that Nurie had nothing to do with her conversion to religion. But it makes for a nice story for true believers, I guess. People in the Duggar Family News group are speculating that Nurie hasn’t announced her “pregnancy” yet, because they’re waiting to find out if Jill is also pregnant. But it could be that Nurie just has a belly because she’s been eating more and the rest of her body hasn’t yet caught up.

Know who else is pregnant? Kendra Duggar, wife of Joseph Duggar. She is due with her third baby and she’s just 22 years old. And, once again, her mother is pregnant, too. When Kendra was pregnant with her first baby, Garrett, her mom, Christina, (in her late thirties then) was also pregnant with her eighth baby. And now, Christina, aged 41, is apparently preggo again.

I always wanted to have kids. It didn’t work out for me. Now that I see the way the world is going, I’m kind of glad I don’t have to worry about my children trying to navigate things while donning face masks and visors. But I guess if you are a strong believer in religion and you think God is in control of everything, a baby represents hope and perhaps a future voter who will help swing the government in a way that suits your religious views.

Anyway… it’s interesting to see who ends up with whom in these big ass fundie families. Supposedly, Kendra’s sister, Lauren, is courting James Duggar. If they get together, that would mean their children would be “double cousins”. Maybe that isn’t such an odd phenomenon in the world of fundie Christianity. I think I’m just glad I’m not in it. Mainstream Presbyterianism was enough religion for me.

Incidentally, having a prominent beer gut apparently feels much the same as being pregnant…

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religion, sexism

Repost: Good Christian ladies don’t need to be readin’…

This post appeared on my original blog on November 22, 2018. I am reposting it today, because I have a bit of writer’s block, and this post is a good one.

Yesterday, I happened to come across a screenshot someone took of Hyles-Anderson College’s Web site.  I have written about Hyles-Anderson College before.  It’s basically a fundie Baptist run college in Indiana, where young adults go to be treated like children.  That idea was really driven home when I took a gander of the screenshot, which details what men and women are allowed to keep in their dorm rooms.  Check this out.

Am I to understand that men are allowed to bring a bookshelf, but women can’t?

Notice that the shelf can’t have doors on it.  Why?  Because doors would hide any contraband books that these college students shouldn’t be reading.  Wouldn’t want a copy of 50 Shades of Grey to make it on campus, right?  I’m not sure if Hyles-Anderson students are allowed to use reading devices like Kindles or iPads.  I would imagine they would be off limits.

Someone did bring up the point that these restrictions might be about space in the dorm rooms.  I spent four years living in dorms myself, so I know space is a premium.  It still seems odd that the ladies aren’t specifically told they are allowed a bookshelf.  But then, I don’t think Hyles-Anderson College is that much about higher learning, particularly for the women who attend.  This seems to be more of a place for people to find their mates before becoming “ministers”.

Notice that the ladies are only allowed one refrigerator per room, while the men can have two.  Do people now bring more than one fridge to college?  And the ladies are not allowed their own microwave, but the men can have two microwaves in their rooms.  Wouldn’t want the ladies to eat too much popcorn, I guess.

No need for the ladies to bring their own cars, unless she has a job where college transport doesn’t go.  I’m actually surprised the women are allowed to work off campus.  The men can bring cars.  No sweat.

Some time ago, I posted some videos that were done by leaders at Hyles-Anderson College.  One of the leaders, Jack Schaap, is currently sitting in a prison cell for raping a sixteen year old girl.  Schaap also memorably preached a sermon during which he polished a rod as if he were masturbating, simulating a hypothetical conversation between God and a man.  It’s quite the spectacle.

I can’t imagine how I would have reacted if I had been listening to this live…  

Jack Schaap’s views on women…  of course, now he’s behind bars.

I would hope that any student in college would be encouraged to read.  Reading is fundamental to learning.  Maybe I watched too many episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale, but it does seem pretty sad to me that young women in college are not being encouraged to bring books… and bookshelves to hold their books… on all manner of topics.  That being said, I also realized that Hyles-Anderson College is a private Christian college and it’s not accredited, so people who choose to go there probably look for that type of legalistic environment.  Or perhaps their parents do.  This is the only college I know of that divides its curriculum by sex.  

A bonus video… Talk about a treasure trove of fundie weirdness.  I especially enjoyed the bit about “heifers wearing britches”.

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religion

Is a hot dog a sandwich?

This morning, I ran across an interesting post on the Duggar Family News page. A woman wrote this:

Hmmm..

She got a lot of responses to her query. One person wrote that by simply not believing in evolution, the poster was not a believer in science. Another wrote that science isn’t like a buffet. You can’t just pick and choose what you believe in and what you don’t. But the response that actually got me to thinking was this one:

Wow… how profound.

Is bread really essential to a sandwich? And does the presence of bread with a filling automatically make something a sandwich? As Bill and I ate delicious grits from South Carolina, we discussed this conundrum. The above posters got some interesting responses to her comment, too.

So… according to the original poster, without bread, you don’t have a sandwich. But a hot dog, which is a sausage between a bun, which can be separated, is NOT a sandwich…

I decided to see what the experts had to say about this. I found that Merriam-Webster does, in fact, consider a hot dog a sandwich. Merriam-Webster defines a sandwich thusly:

1) two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between 
2) one slice of bread covered with food

So, according to a major dictionary, a hot dog, which is a type of sausage surrounded by a roll, is a sandwich. Makes sense to me. But then I went looking on the Internet and found that this topic is surprisingly controversial. Many people seem to think that a hot dog isn’t a sandwich because, despite its meeting the definition of a sandwich, it just isn’t. I found an article about this very topic which claims that out of 34 actors, writers, athletes, journalists, radio personalities, and musicians don’t think the hot dog qualifies as a sandwich. Only nine people surveyed answered that hot dogs definitely are sandwiches.

So why isn’t a hot dog a sandwich? Some people say that in order to be a sandwich, the bread has to be open on all sides. And because most hot dogs are served encased in a roll, it doesn’t qualify as a sandwich because on one side, there is a closed seam. However, I have eaten hot dogs in which the bun is pulled apart. Does that mean that since the seam was breached, my hot dog has become a sandwich? What about a burger? Is a burger a sandwich since the sides of the bread are open?

Other people said it wasn’t a sandwich because it’s not called a sandwich on a menu. Actually, this thought was pretty interesting to me, since in the course of researching this topic, I learned that hot dogs have quite an intriguing history and, in fact, were originally called sandwiches. However, according to the article I linked, written by Kathryn Paravano,

“In 1971, the state of New York passed a law which imposed a state and city sales tax to restaurant bills that totaled more than a dime and less than a dollar. The price range earned the tax moniker “hot dog tax” because it boosted the tax on lunches, namely the most popular lunch item — the hot dog.”

So calling a hot dog a sandwich would have made it more economical. In the same article, Paravano points out that states purposely refused to define hot dogs as sandwiches because hot dogs were a moneymaker for the government in the form of higher taxes. Some people who protested the so-called “hot dog tax” rightly stated that the tax unfairly targeted the poor, who were more likely to eat hot dogs for lunch instead of something more high brow.

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council states that hot dogs are NOT sandwiches. And this is their inane reasoning why:

“Our verdict is…a hot dog is an exclamation of joy, a food, a verb describing one ‘showing off’ and even an emoji. It is truly a category unto its own.”

Well… I think that’s overstating things a bit. Clearly, they say it’s not a sandwich because of money. Personally, I rarely eat hot dogs anymore. They bring back a lot of bad childhood memories. Aside from that, they’re kind of gross, even if they do taste good. But anyway, as far as this topic goes, I agree with Merriam-Webster. I think a hot dog IS a sandwich. It literally qualifies as a sandwich. As for whether or not you can make a sandwich without bread… well, I don’t know. You can make sandwich cookies, right? And ice cream sandwiches… and sandwich crackers. Technically, those items are cousins of bread. What makes bread bread, anyway? And can a person be “sandwiched” between two other people? I may have to think about this topic some more.

As for the post that prompted today’s topic, I think that fundie Christians who only believe in some aspects of proven scientific theories because of their beliefs in God aren’t particularly scientific. I think that Christians can be science believers… I guess, anyway. It probably depends on the church. I grew up mainstream Presbyterian and mainstream Presbyterians are big believers in education. But, as we all know, not all Christians are created equally. Plenty of Christians aren’t members of churches that are big on schooling. They only believe in God.

I think the woman who posted in the Duggar group is probably regretting her decision now. I need to find another rabbit hole to fall down.

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book reviews

Reposted: I finally finished The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood…

I am reposting my review of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, because it’s relevant to today’s fresh content. This post was originally composed on July 7, 2017. Enjoy!

I don’t know how I missed Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, but I swear I had not heard of it until a couple of months ago, when I happened to read an interesting article on Medium.com about a woman who had grown up fundie Christian.  She had gone to a Christian college and a literature professor had assigned the book, letting the class know that Atwood’s 1985 novel was pro-feminist and a reaction against the religious right.  For that reason, the professor said the class may not enjoy the book.  It was a statement against everything fundamentalist Christians stand for.

I was myself an English major from 1990-94.  The Handmaid’s Tale was published in 1985. Somehow, in the 32 years since this book was published, I had not heard of it.  However, perhaps as an explanation, I will admit that I kind of quit reading most novels after I graduated from college.  I prefer to read true stories most of the time, except when I stumble across an author who is especially engaging. 

Having just finished Atwood’s book, I will say that I found The Handmaid’s Tale frightening and depressing.  And while it was written in the 1980s, I have seen some distressing signs that our world may one day regress to a state in which certain women are relegated to being simple brood mares.  It seems like more and more people are either turning to militant atheism or extreme religions as a means of navigating life.  Although I am sure there were plenty of fundie Christians back in the 80s, it seems like there are so many more of them now.  Maybe it’s just because we have the Internet.

Anyway, The Handmaid’s Tale is the story of a young woman who is “re-educated” by a totalitarian, fundamentalist Christian government.  As a handmaid, she wears a bright red dress and is of a lower rank than other women.  Her purpose is to make babies with an old, high ranking, married man.  She is a surrogate and worth nothing more than her ability to produce children, which will then be raised by the wife.

The woman’s name is Offred (of Fred)– her original name was stripped of her when the government turned fundie.  She lives in the Republic of Gilead and is old enough to remember when times were different, but young enough to have feelings of lust and desire.  Offred remembers when she had a husband, a child, a job, and money of her own.  She remembers when she was allowed to read.  Now, she is forced to rely on pictures. 

Offred is forced to visit a gynecologist monthly, to check the status of her womb and whether or not she is fertile.  At one visit, a sympathetic male doctor tells her he can “help her” if she wants.  He says she’s physically ready and he is able to provide what the old fart she’s forced to fuck cannot.  Her value is wholly determined by her ability to make babies.  Once her ovaries stop working, her worth plummets to nothing.

Margaret Atwood’s book may seem like a fantasy, but she based this book on things that have already happened in history.  She wrote her novel in Berlin back in 1984, at a time when Germany was still divided and the Soviet Union still loomed large as a nuclear threat.  She based the novel on 17th century Puritan traditions, times that seem archaic and backwards to many readers.  But look at what’s going on right now.  That old puritanical mindset exists all over the world and it’s spreading. 

Given phenomenons like the Duggar family and Warren Jeffs’ fundamentalist Mormon compound hitting the airwaves, Atwood’s novel may not be as “out there” as it might seem to the average reader.  The truth is, there are already populations out there that are trying to breed themselves into majority status.  There is already a “holy war” going on, with people believing wholeheartedly in the black and white thinking that can lead to revolutions.  And while the Soviet Union is gone now, there are other populations in the world that would love to see women relegated to mere vessels for new life and a powerful force behind a totalitarian regime.

To be honest, I had some trouble getting through The Handmaid’s Tale.  It’s definitely a dark, disturbing, and ultimately depressing read.  While I’m sure that the future will never be exactly as Atwood describes it in this work of fiction, I do see why The Handmaid’s Tale is now a show on Hulu.  People are relating to it.  Every day, there’s something else in the news about how the government is trying to control women’s reproductive abilities and police women’s behaviors.  Although women have been fighting for equality for decades, there is still an extreme segment of the population that wants to “make America great again.”  They want to regress to a time when life was better for certain segments of the population, forgetting that it really sucked for others.

Although I found The Handmaid’s Tale a difficult read, I am glad I persevered and finished the book.  I think it’s an important novel for today and would recommend it, especially to young people who are coming of age at this time of lunacy.  We have a man living in the White House who admits to “grabbing women by the pussy”.  And a significant faction of our population thinks he’s an awesome guy– perfectly appropriate as the Commander in Chief and world leader.  This is a man who is openly sexist and abusive toward women.  He’s in a position to influence laws.  And, scarier still, is the fact that right behind him are at least two more men whose ideals are even more frightening and oppressive to women.

Young people should read this book and do some heavy thinking about what they want their futures to be.  Although The Handmaid’s Tale is over thirty years old, I don’t think the subject matter could possibly be more timely.

For more on this…

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