It’s so hard to know what to make of Michelle Duggar and her ever-expanding family. On the one hand, they’re loving, respectful, charitable and thrifty. Their children help around the house and care for their siblings; the oldest sons own their own businesses. And they bore their recent tragedy – Michelle’s miscarriage - with dignity despite their pain.
On the other hand, their insular lifestyle strikes many as being kind of hinky: homeschooling, little interaction with families different from their own, strict limits on what kind of TV shows and movies the kids can see. (Andy Griffith, yes; SpongeBob, no.) And their ultraconservative religious beliefs make lots of folks’ skin crawl, especially their views on women’s roles in the home and society. Let’s put it this way: The Duggar girls aren’t being raised to become physicists or CEOs.
And then every so often, the Duggars come out with something utterly head-shaking. Today, in a CBN interview, Michelle defended her family’s impact on the environment as being okay because there’s no such thing as overpopulation.
“The idea of overpopulation is not accurate because, really, the entire population of the world, if they were stood shoulder to shoulder, could fit in the city limits of Jacksonville,” she explained.
She went on to point out that while some countries are densely populated, others have a low birth rate, so it all evens out somehow, and we shouldn’t use that as a reason to limit the number of children we have. “Our world needs more joy and more purpose and just the next generation to be encouraged by those who are going to make a difference in the world,” she said.
Okay, so we still have enough space for everyone – that’s reassuring. But what happens if we all start producing megafamilies with children who go on to have megafamilies of their own? Or won’t exponential growth become a problem until we all can fit into, say, Houston? And what about the air, food and water we all consume? (Michelle made a point of saying they buy their clothes at thrift stores, but didn’t discuss their large pantry.) Shouldn’t we make sure the existing population has enough to survive on – and ways to get it to them – before we start encouraging couples to have children by the dozen?
Guess that’ll have to wait for the next interview. And maybe then she can give us an equally logical explanation of her belief that dinosaurs and humans existed side by side.
What do you think? Is she on target or way off base?
[Photo: via TLC]
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