October 20, 2005


God Does Not Want 16 Kids: Arkansas mom gives birth to a whole freakin' baseball team. How deeply should you cringe? (Mark Morford, October 19, 2005, SF Gate)

Who are you to judge? Who are you to say that the more than slightly creepy 39-year-old woman from Arkansas who just gave birth to her 16th child yes that's right 16 kids and try not to cringe in phantom vaginal pain when you say it, who are you to say Michelle Duggar is not more than a little unhinged and sad and lost?

And furthermore, who are you to suggest that her equally troubling husband -- whose name is, of course, Jim Bob and he's hankerin' to be a Republican senator and try not to wince in sociopolitical pain when you say that -- isn't more than a little numb to the real world, and that bringing 16 hungry mewling attention-deprived kids (and she wants more! Yay!) into this exhausted world zips right by "touching" and races right past "disturbing" and lurches its way, heaving and gasping and sweating from the karmic armpits, straight into "Oh my God, what the hell is wrong with you people?"

But that would be, you know, mean. Mean and callous to suggest that this might be the most disquieting photo you see all year, this bizarre Duggar family of 18 spotless white hyperreligious interchangeable people with alarmingly bad hair, the kids ranging in ages from 1 to 17, worse than those nuked Smurfs in that UNICEF commercial and worse than all the horrific rubble in Pakistan and worse than the cluster-bomb nightmare that is Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise having a child as they suck the skin from each other's Scientological faces and even worse than that huge 13-foot python which ate that six-foot alligator and then exploded.

It's wrong to be this judgmental. Wrong to suggest that it is exactly this kind of weird pathological protofamily breeding-happy gluttony that's making the world groan and cry and recoil, contributing to vicious overpopulation rates and unrepentant economic strain and a bitter moral warpage resulting from a massive viral outbreak of homophobic neo-Christians across our troubled and Bush-ravaged land. Or is it?

Never mind God, for a moment, which does Darwinism suggest Nature want? Childless Blue Staters or Red State breeders? You can hardly blame folks of Mr. Morford's ilk for looking at that family and seeing the inevitable end of secular liberalism.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 20, 2005 5:28 PM

He sees "18 spotless white hyperreligious interchangeable people with alarmingly bad hair..."

My first reaction was to notice that they appear to be happy, healthy and well-fed.

Posted by: Foos at October 20, 2005 5:47 PM

Years ago, while sharing a cigar and celebratory beer with an Army colleague who had just become the proud father of his 9th child (he came from an old-school Catholic family of 11 brothers/sisters) I learned something about large families:

"Geez! 9 kids! What, are you nuts!?" I reflexively spouted the common refrain.

He'd sheepishly respond, "I know, I know. A big family like ours sure isn't right for everybody."

Then his proud, sparkling blue eyes would somehow pierce the soul as he continued, "In fact, I tell everybody who says that 'Only have as many kids as you can afford to love'".

I'll never forget it.

Posted by: John Resnick at October 20, 2005 6:02 PM

Well, if we just make abortions mandatory if you already have two brats, the problem is solved, isn't it? Well, let's not call it "mandatory", that's just too harsh. We'll just say we're making the "right choice" for you...

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 20, 2005 6:03 PM

I'm not quite sure what a "neo-Christian" is. My guess is that he is either referring to Protestants or someone who worships Keanu Reeves...

Posted by: b at October 20, 2005 6:30 PM

Saving Social Security one little one at a time. Thanks, Duggars!

Posted by: Rick T. at October 20, 2005 6:44 PM

What we see is affirmation, confidence, the opposite of malaise.

Of course it has nothing to do with Darwin, being a demonstration of the competition and selection of value-systems.

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 20, 2005 6:56 PM

nothing has anything to do with Darwinism in reality, just funny that those who accept Darwinism also have to acknowledge they are the least fit.

Posted by: oj at October 20, 2005 7:01 PM


Mentally or physically?

Posted by: Peter B at October 20, 2005 7:07 PM


Posted by: oj at October 20, 2005 7:16 PM

My wife said, she must be one of those ladies who "never felt better" when she was pregnant.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 20, 2005 8:20 PM

I lived through it and don't know how my parents raised eight, but they did. What great family support you get as an "adult". A big family is a divine gift.

Posted by: jdkelly at October 20, 2005 8:54 PM

16 kids in one household. That equals what, 30-35 households in San Fran?

Posted by: Bob at October 20, 2005 9:11 PM

You've really got to go for 18 -- that you can have a real game of baseball. 22 then you're really talking. Some footie.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at October 20, 2005 9:55 PM

Wow, Morford is totally unhinged, and just because one family somewhere has 16 kids? That's the "most disquieting photo" he's seen all year? He must not get out much.

Posted by: Bret at October 21, 2005 12:48 AM

"...this exhausted world..."
"...weird [...] breeding-happy gluttony that's making the world groan and cry and recoil, contributing to vicious overpopulation rates and unrepentant economic strain..."

What on Earth is Mark Morford the Moron talking about ?

You'd think that it was the middle of the Great Depression, from the way that he's carrying on.

The only long-term "economic strain" that the U.S. is facing is trying to find enough workers to fill the available jobs of 2015.

As far as disquieting photos go, a family photo seems a bit tame when compared to the photo that the SF Gate ran a few weeks back, of a masked fellow shaking his fist, with hate in his eyes, while marching in a "peace rally".
(Of course, said whippersnapper no doubt felt like quite the rebel, like a Palestinian teen throwing rocks at tanks - the difference being that the Pali teens sometimes get shot to death, whereas Mr. Che-wanna-be went back to playing video games in his mother's basement when the rally ended).

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 21, 2005 4:07 AM

This is just a guess, but I'm betting not one of those 16 kids will grow up to write such hateful things about someone over something so arbitrary. Or at least, they would not do so in the full knowledge that it shows them to be cretins. That is what he admits countless times in the article, and yet he must write it. He must write hate, because he has nothing else to write.

Posted by: RC at October 21, 2005 9:35 AM