The Duggars have built their fame off of being different. After all, what other family has 19 kids, wears skirts even while working out, eats pickles, and is affiliated with a controversial ministry? No one can out-Duggar the Duggars — well, except the Bates. The Bates family also has 19 kids, and although we’re not sure if they’re obsessed with pickles, they do love a good ankle-length skirt. Because the families are so similar, we asked a few people who are familiar with both families if they can tell the difference between a Bates and a Duggar. The result? Surprisingly hard. Watch our video above to see how well they did.
So why does America have not one but two Duggarish families? Well both families are affiliated with the Quiverfull movement and the controversial ATI ministry. Both religious sects encourage having as many children as possible because they’re considered blessings from God. Because of their similarities, the families are (unsurprisingly) total besties. The families met at an ATI conference back in the mid-90s and have been pals ever since. If you watch episodes of Counting On, you’ve probably seen the Bates crew drop by on several occasions. The families are so close, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary with, you guessed it, Gil and Kelly Bates.
Since both families have 19 kids, many fans have hoped that a Duggar and a Bates would hook up and get married. There were rumors that Jana Duggar was being courted by Lawson Bates. When those rumors were confirmed to be false, fans then championed for her to be courted by Nathan Bates. Even though an epic Duggar/Bates wedding hasn’t happened yet, family members are still optimistic that it might happen one day. “I personally think, hey you have 19 kids on each side, I think it’s almost inevitable somewhere down the line,” Erin Bates said. “As much as we see each other, I think there’s going to be an attraction somewhere. I don’t know where yet, but I think it’s gonna happen.” We’re keeping our fingers crossed!
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