Hey People: Is the Duggar Family Too Big or Are Our Hearts Too Small?

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 8, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Hey People: Is the Duggar Family Too Big or Are Our Hearts Too Small?

by Maria Vitale
LifeNews.com Editorial Columnist
February 8, 2010

LifeNews.com Note: Maria Vitale is an opinion columnist for LifeNews.com. She is the Public Relations Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Vitale has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.

A lovely portrait graces the cover of the February 15th edition of "People" magazine. Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar of reality TV’s "19 Kids and Counting"pose with their latest precious bundle of love, their 19th child, Josie.

But beneath the pretty picture is an ugly headline — “The Duggars Under Fire.” Another headline poses the question, “How Many Kids Are Too Many?” The cover story quotes a surgeon who says unashamedly that the Duggar brood amounts to “too many kids.” The doctor goes on to say that “there is no way” that the Duggars could provide sufficient emotional and financial resources for their children.

One wonders whether this physician has ever watched their show.

The Duggar children appear to be well-mannered and kind. As the “People” magazine profile points out, they live debt-free in a 7,000-square foot home. How many nuclear families can claim the same?

It’s funny how the so-called right to privacy — which appears nowhere in the Constitution — only applies when a woman is seeking an abortion. When she intends to birth her child, her privacy is invaded by all manner of “experts” who try to tell her how many children she should have and when.

No one should make light of the health challenges faced by both Michelle and her daughter Josie. Josie was born premature, weighing only 1 lb. 6 oz. Meanwhile, Michelle suffered from pregnancy-induced high blood pressure. But, as Jim Bob tells “People,” “You can’t let fear direct your lives. All of our children are thankful to be here.”

The Duggars subscribe to a philosophy that is considered radical today, but was once viewed as the norm: God should be the one who decides whether a child is to be born. It is telling that “People” puts this phrase in quotes: “each child is a gift from God.” The use of quotation marks indicates that such a belief is not necessarily widespread, that a child may not be a gift after all. That is the pro-abortion mindset, that people are the problem, rather than God’s magnificent handiwork.

The Duggars should be celebrated, rather than criticized, for their openness to life. If Michelle were to become pregnant again, would these “experts” recommend abortion? And would the reason for the recommendation be strictly medical, or because of a perception that her other children would be somehow deprived of love with the birth of an additional sibling?

Some of the kindest, most compassionate people I know came from large families. The love in such families was not limited, but multiplied, with every new member. The material sacrifices made seemed to forge their characters, helping them to become even more sensitive to the needs of the people around them.

Is the Duggar family too large? Maybe a more culturally relevant question would be: Are our hearts too small? For when we fail to welcome the child, when we consider a baby to be a bother rather than a manifestation of love, our capacity for compassion is indeed diminished.

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