By now, we’ve learned to view everything we see on TV — especially reality TV — with a skeptical eye. We all know producers play up or even script this “unscripted” drama. But could the Duggars be fooling us, too? redditor Princessleiawastaken seems to think so, as do legions of other online commenters. “The entire Duggar brand is, ‘Look how conservative we are!’” this redditor writes in the Counting On subreddit. “Yet they seem to be getting less and less conservative.”
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Ben and Jessa, Happy 3rd Anniversary! You are an incredible ministry team together. You both love investing in the lives of others and encouraging them to follow Jesus. You both have a servant’s heart and are a great example to the rest of us. We love when you bring Spurgeon & Henry over. They are such sweet boys! You are great parents and are really blessed. May God continue to prosper your marriage, family, and ministry as you daily continue to seek to follow Jesus! -Mom & Pops Duggar
Princessleiawastaken lays out a convincing array of evidence: Jill Duggar got her nose pierced and wears pants now. Jinger Duggar is wearing pants, too, and may even be using birth control. Ben and Jessa Seewald listen to rap and rock music. And the kids are even using phones and laptops now!
The redditor wonders if the family has become disillusioned with the Institute in Basic Life Principles, the Christian organization they’ve followed. “But they like the fame and TLC money, so they’re going to pretend to keep all the same beliefs. I’m not saying they're liberals or atheists by any means. I just think they’ve changed so much and become more worldly.”
Other fans agree that the Duggars are changing, if not losing their fundamentalism altogether. “I see them becoming less Duggar-specific weird, and a little less towing the IBLP line, rather than less fundie,” commenter NommyPie writes. “The only thing anti-fundie I've really seen is the whole birth control thing with Jinger. I would love for them to at least get out of IBLP. That would be such a huge progressive step for them.”
Commenter butterfliesandlattes, meanwhile, thinks the change as more to do with their money. “They’re an empire now. [Jim Bob] has tons of cash, they have no debt, the older kids are snapping up real estate by the ton. They’ll probably rename Tontitown ‘Duggarville’ in the next few years.”
“Face it,” butterfliesandlattes concludes. “They’re morphing into a modern version of Dallas.” (Does that mean we should expect a reboot in a couple decades?)