The Duggars of Northwest Arkansas — they of the bargeload of kids, “Quiverfull” beliefs, and squeaky-clean reality TV show on TLC — get tarred by association in an opinion piece out today from The Daily Beast that examines troublesome cracks in the Biblical Patriarchy movement, which holds that God supports and blesses a specific family structure, with husbands making decisions and wives joyfully obeying.
From the article:
The “pitch” of Biblical patriarchy, as epitomized by Michelle Duggar, is that women will be coddled and worshiped in exchange for giving up their ambitions and the autonomy to practice an extreme form of female submission. The unpleasant truth is that a culture that teaches that women are put on earth for no other purpose but to serve men is not going to breed respect for women. Instead, these incidents show a world where men believe they can do whatever they want to women without repercussions. Is it any surprise that a subculture that promises absolute control over women will attract men who want to dominate and hurt women? Don’t believe the TLC hype. Biblical patriarchy is a sour, dangerous world for women, and luckily, that reality is finally being outed.
The piece doesn’t accuse the Duggars of anything other than being the fresh-buttermilk faces of the far-Right religious movement, but they do seem to have associated with some folks who are allegedly taking some liberties with the Biblical prohibition against coveting thy neighbor’s wife. Front and center in the article are allegations against Doug Phillips, a leader in Biblical Patriarchy circles and former president of Vision Forum Ministries. Vision Forum named Michelle Duggar “Mother of the Year” in 2010. In Oct. 2013, Phillips — who the article says is a friend of the Duggars — confessed to marital infidelities with a woman who wasn’t his wife before resigning, with Vision Forum Ministries later closed by the board of directors.
A 29-year-old woman who worked in Phillips’ home as a nanny for his eight children filed a civil suit against him in Texas on Tuesday, alleging that Phillips bullied her into a number of non-consensual sexual encounters that didn’t include intercourse. The woman claims Phillips promised to marry her, and pressured her to keep up the affair after she stopped working for Phillips in 2008.
The Daily Beast story also mentions the long fall of Bill Gothard, a prominent preacher, influential in the “Quiverfull” movement and leader of an outfit called the Institute of Basic Life Principles, who resigned in March after being accused by over 30 women of making unwanted sexual advances.