Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, whose family is chronicled on the hit TLC show 19 Kids and Counting, recently lost the baby that Michelle was carrying. Jubilee Shalom Duggar was stillborn on December 11th when she was 19 weeks along; she weighed just 4 ounces.
This family is obviously mourning the loss of their daughter, and they should be given time to grieve. I have debated blogging on this issue because I believe in privacy, but yet it is the need for privacy that has compelled me to write this. I have been disgusted by the criticism this family has received.
This family has many critics for the same reason Tim Tebow does: they are successful Christians, and non-believers can’t stand that. They passionately love Jesus, live holy lives, and enjoy life. They are proof that Christians don’t need filthy TV, sexual music, or alcohol to have a good time, and for that, liberal Christians have become their critics as well.
The 19th Duggar baby, Josie, was born early and spent a few months in the NICU. There were harsh comments made then about how careless it was for them to continue to have children. So last month when the Duggars announced that Michelle, now 45 years old, was pregnant again, the blogosphere erupted with more of the same.
I’m having trouble reconciling these comments of concern for the loss of a baby with the political agenda that says Michelle could have aborted this baby if she wanted to. These people are saying that the Duggar family’s selfish desire for another child has caused this tragedy, but since the majority of their critics are liberals, these comments are being made from people who would be just fine (some even delighted) with her choosing to abort.
The family has even been criticized for having a memorial service for little Jubilee. At the service the family passed out a black and white picture of Jubilee’s feet in Michelle’s hand, and an inscription that read, “There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on the world.”
An article in The Daily Beast reported on this event: “It just seems too public and almost seems like, ‘OK, we’re stars, everybody wants to know abut us.’ From what I know of parents who have lost children, it’s horrific. It’s not something you want pictures of. There are people who will argue with me and say it’s a way of coming to terms with the death. But given the Duggars’ history, their television show, and the way they exploit their children, I just find this a cog in the same wheel. I find it rather distasteful.”
What I find distasteful is a woman who hasn’t lost a child trying to weigh in on how the parents are supposed to grieve. The woman who said that, a psychologist named Susan Newman, should know that there is not a textbook way to deal with a loss. A frequent critic of the Duggars, she is putting her professional skills aside to take a stab at this family. She assumes that parents will not want pictures of their lost children, so I wonder how she explains organizations like Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, which take pictures especially for families that have lost a child.
When my aunt and uncle had a stillborn daughter they took many pictures, some of which are still displayed in their house along with their other children’s photos. They also had a memorial service. For this psychologist to claim that the Duggars are only doing those things to exploit their children is absurd.
The real reason why this is disturbing people is that these beautiful pictures of tiny hands and feet hurt the abortion issue. An overwhelming percentage of women (every survey puts the number in the 90%’s) who have aborted said they were given very little information about how abortion works and about the life that was developing inside of them. Pictures like these might help young ladies realize that it is not a “glob of tissue,” but a tiny human. This scares liberals.
As I explain in my book Asleep in Heaven’s Nursery, life begins at conception, and these babies that were lost too soon are immediately ushered into heaven. The Duggars’ strong faith in the Lord assures them of this, and they know that they will see Jubilee in heaven.
I hope that no professing Christian is criticizing this family during this time of tragedy. As Christians, let’s take this opportunity to pray for them. Pray that God’s Holy Spirit will provide the Comfort that He promises, and pray that this family will continue to be a light for Jesus Christ to millions of people every day.