The Duggars Politics, Bill Gothard, and Josh Duggar’s Job Offer in Washington D.C.

Justin Duggar campaigning for Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum

Justin Duggar campaigning for Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum

I recently learned that there are a lot of rumors and strange tales in the political world surrounding the Duggars. Not being a huge follower of politics, I am not sure what to make of all of the mud slinging and rants that are prevalent on the internet about this large conservative family. Since becoming a homeschooling mom, politics has indeed taken on a whole new meaning for me. Just like most American’s today, I figured that my family had a right to do what we wanted pertaining to our children’s education; sans negligence and inadequacy , of course. That type of arrogance was quickly squelched when I became aware of the huge struggles and victories that homeschooling pioneers before me had faced in the 80’s and 90’s. I actually signed my very first petition (on the official White House website and everything!) that is trying to help a German couple obtain asylum in this country so that they may homeschool their children (it is illegal to homeschool in Germany). The asylum was denied on May 14, 2013, but HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) plans to appeal. To learn more about the Romeike Family and HSLDA go here: http://www.hslda.org/legal/cases/romeike.asp

The Duggars 45-foot bus campaigning for Rick Santorum in 2012

The Duggars 45-foot bus campaigning for Rick Santorum in 2012

The Duggars political platforms are pretty standard for homeschoolers, so I do know a bit about their political views and aspirations: Pro-Life, the stance on what a Biblical marriage should look like, and the freedom to homeschool. They have always stated that, “they have very conservative values”. Jim Bob was a political figure himself for a while, serving on the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2002, after feeling that God called him to run for the seat. He has campaigned for other offices, but those campaigns were won by others. The second oldest son John David, has also thrown his hat into the political arena when he campaigned for Alderman of Tontitown, Arkansas in 2010 (he lost). The family publicly and financially supported Rick Santorum (whose family is also homeschoolers) during his campaign to be the Republican Presidential Candidate…..further pushing them into the political spotlight. They even drove around in their huge 45-foot bus with the Presidential Candidate’s name on it, imploring people to, “Joint the Fight!”.

Jim Bob on the campaign trail in 1999 with his two oldest sons, Josh and John David Duggar.  They will both go on to involve themselves in politics.

Jim Bob on the campaign trail in 1999 with his two oldest sons, Josh and John David Duggar. They will both go on to involve themselves in politics.

Whatever is said about the Duggars concerning their beliefs and principles, one thing is very clear…….they knowingly invited scrutiny by publicly proclaiming their views on television and through the media (an observation, NOT a judgement). They were not afraid to openly display or discuss those opinions because they firmly believe in them. That is very commendable and regardless of your outlook on this family, standing up for what you believe in is a courageous thing if you are not hurting other people. Some would argue, however, that their children will suffer for their parents open and public views, but that is true for ANY child. Children are subjected to their parents convictions until they are legally free to make their own choices. Criticizing the Duggars because they have conservative values and that their children must adhere to those values while living in their home, seems hypocritical from anyone who also has values that they expect their own children to follow.

Jinger Duggar, Jana Duugar, Jessa Duggar, Jill Duggar, Bill Gothard, Amara Query, and Pricsilla Keller

Jinger Duggar, Jana Duugar, Jessa Duggar, Jill Duggar, Bill Gothard, Amara Query, and Pricsilla Keller

For me, the most confusing thing about the Duggars and why the world is so fascinated with their politics, is their involvement with Bill Gothard and ATI (Advanced Training Institute). The way I see it, they joined ATI (founded and run by Bill Gothard) when Josh was just 4 years old, and have used the homeschool curriculum associated with that Institute ever since. The meat of the curriculum is in the form of “Wisdom Booklets”, which I now own after purchasing a set off of Ebay (my family is not a member of ATI which is the only way that you can buy the books from the Institute itself). They are great booklets for their Bible study (we do not use them for the history or science because we use other materials). The program is very conservative and they do council you on many different aspects of your life, but I don’t see the Duggars complaining about the guidelines. Another family whom I love, Gil and Kelly Bates and their children, are also members of ATI….I don’t hear them complaining either. So, why all the fuss about that relationship? If you research it, you will find many sinister and ugly accusations…..tons of ‘Full Quiver” movements and “Gothard Cult” talk. I am sure there are people who have been dissapointed or even emotionally hurt by ATI, but I think that is true for ANY organization……and in ANY church. Does that make the organizations bad or wrong because they cannot serve or please eveyone? I don’t believe so……

Josh, Anna (who is preganant with the couple's third child), Mackynzie and Michael at Georgetown Cupcake in Washington D.C.  The bakery also has its own show on TLC called 'D.C. Cupcakes'.

Josh, Anna (who is preganant with the couple’s third child), Mackynzie and Michael at Georgetown Cupcake in Washington D.C. The bakery also has its own show on TLC called ‘D.C. Cupcakes’.

So, it should not come as a shock for any of us that Josh and Anna Duggar are about to journey head-first into the world of politics. Although they haven’t physically moved to Washington D.C. yet, Josh has been intergrating himself into the game for a few months now. The oldest Duggar son and his wife just announced to the world last night on the Duggar’s show, 19 Kids and Counting (which airs on TLC), that they are uprooting their family of soon-to-be five and moving halfway across the country so that Josh can officially take a job in the Capitol. Why now? Because Josh was offered a job there and the young couple believe that it will be a good opportunity for their growing family. How do Jim Bob and Michelle feel? By all appearances (which weren’t many, but they did talk about it on the show) they are being supportive, yet although they have said nothing negative nor contrary, last night they looked heartbroken. What position is Josh accepting in D.C.? Now, that’s a whole other ball of wax……

There are way too many speculations on the internet, yet I could not find one “hard fact’ that could serve as a straight answer to the above question. Here is what I very loosely pieced together:

Josh Duggar on a radio interview with Family Research Councils President, Tony Perkins

Josh Duggar on a radio interview with Family Research Councils President, Tony Perkins

The possible organization that Josh is going to work for is called Family Research Council, which is a public policy organization in Washington, D.C. that defends and promotes the pro-family agenda. Their website can be found here: http://www.frc.org/ Supposedly, there was a statement issued from FRC that stated that Josh was just one of many candidates that applied for a job at their organization……but, I couldn’t find it (doesn’t mean it’s not there, but I am a homeschooler of four so I don’t have a full-time researcher schedule).

FRC’s vision and mission statements are:

Vision Statement: Family Research Council’s vision is a culture in which human life is valued, families flourish and religious liberty thrives.

Mission of Organization: Family Research Council’s mission is to advance faith, family and freedom in public policy and the culture from a Christian worldview.

There are many, many opinions on Josh taking a reported ‘Senior Executive Position’…..some people are extremely happy and some people are downright infuriated (and a little scary). First of all, that Josh would even be offered such a position, and second that he would work for this organization. Good grief, a little contradictory isn’t it??

Good luck Josh and Anna  in Washington D.C.  God Bless!

Good luck Josh and Anna in Washington D.C. God Bless!

Eventually, time will tell exactly who Josh is going to work for, what position he will fill and what his job description will be. As a devout family person, I ache for the whole Duggar clan as they will surely feel the loss of losing close proximity to Josh and his family. No doubt, Josh and Anna will feel the loss the other way around as well. I myself, could never leave the area that I grew up in, because I know that doing so would be heartbreak for my Mom and Dad…….and truth be told, I have grown to genuinely feel the same about families staying close together geographically. All we can do is pray for the comfort of all of the Duggar’s who will be missing Josh and Anna, for Josh and Anna and their babies while they step out on this journey, and that every one of them seek God’s will in all that they do in this ministry of being an example for conservative Christians……Amen!

Read more on Josh and Anna Duggar, their story and updates on their life together here: http://ja20.com/

16 responses to “The Duggars Politics, Bill Gothard, and Josh Duggar’s Job Offer in Washington D.C.

  1. Josh seems like a nice enough guy, but if his experience consists of not going to college and working at a used car lot qualifies him for some kind of senior level position in a non-profit group then that seems a little strange. Maybe they throw out titles there to everyone, but it would seem his qualifications might earn him an entry level position at best in any business or nonprofit. I have to assume he got the job offer due to his celebrity status from the show to bring some “star power” to this organization.

    • As a person who supports the FRC I am pleased with their good judgement and intend to increase my support. Josh is an extremely capable person with real life experience. He is very gifted in many areas. I would hire him in a New York minute. Have you seen his resume? He is a celebrity with character and substance. Our prayers will be with them.

  2. Ya know, I do agree with you……I really do. I think that it was indeed the publicity that Josh could bring to the FDC’s platform that made him irrestistable to the ‘higher-ups’ and made him the winning candidate for the job. This blog post has had so much traffic, that I believe they were probably right. In his defense, Josh has quite a bit of experience in politics, watching from his father’s hip. I guess we will have to wait and watch the cards unfold…..praying that he will seek God’s guidance in his new job.

  3. We seem to be forgetting that 1) homeschooled kids have a higher education than public. 2) he owned his car lot AND did well enough to expand it. Sounds like the main focus is a piece of paper people want to see. We forget that ANYONE can get a piece of paper, but actually KNOWING what your talking about/doing is totally different! I’ve run into this with doctors

    • Sorry, it cut off- I’ve run into this with doctors. They have a piece of paper saying they are qualified, but they are dangerous because they haven’t had a clue to what they are doing since taking that final exam. Anyone can memorize answers to pass a test, but to truly KNOW what you are doing is totaly different. Isn’t THAT why we homeschool? We want our children to actually learn and be knowledgeable, so they can succeed and go farther in life.

    • he never owned the car lot. he was a manager. jim bob owned it and sold it to some other person, that wasnt josh. just like josh never owned his house. his grandmother or father owns it.

  4. I’m not saying Josh can’t do the job. I’m asking how many people at the FRC don’t have college degrees. I’d imagine like most employers, if they receive a resume with only a HS education then it goes right in the trash. Also, I don’t know how well Josh did managing his used car dealership, but I’d imagine if he owned it then it was purchased with income from their TV show. Nothing wrong with that, but I’m just suggesting that their TV show has opened several doors for Josh already.

  5. Wow, I just about fell out of my chair when I realized it was you! Please follow my blog, as I have a letter to you that I am posting soon……you have blessed my family in ways that you could not even imagine. God Bless!

  6. my family and i met the duggars recently. everyone was very nice and friendly except josh. he was very cold and rude when my husband spoke to him. he just gave him a look that seemed to say “why are you talking to me!” … who knows… maybe he was having a bad day. but, he will need to work on that if he is going to be successful. we now have a totally different view of josh duggar and hope and pray that he will be convicted of his pride before it becomes a serious issue!

  7. Lee, I’m sorry that your meeting was less than desirable. I am sure that it is hard for any person to be ‘on’ all the time….perhaps he was indeed having a bad day :-( I’m glad you enjoyed meeting the rest of the clan!

  8. Your statement….Does that make the organizations bad or wrong because they cannot serve or please eveyone? I don’t believe so…

    This statement made me ponder about what is bad or wrong. My belief is that God’s word (Holy Bible) is truth and inspired by Him. I believe truth is good and right and lies are wrong and bad. Thus, does Bill Gothard’s/ATI’s teaching uphold truth and good or are they teaching lies and bad? You will have to listen to both sides and come to your own conclusion but here are a couple articles from Recovering Grace that may be of interest.

    http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2012/01/a-response-to-bill-gothard/#more

    http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2013/12/no-condemnation/#more

    • Hi Cally,

      I agree with you wholeheartedly about God’s Word being THE truth, and that lies are wrong and bad. I read the articles that you were so kind to share with me, and I have to tell you, it does bring doubt as to whether Bill Gothard is teaching good things, or if he is distorting God’s truth.

      However, I do believe that we are all accountable for what we teach to our children, and what we ourselves hold as convictions. The former students that are presented in those articles didn’t really have a choice as to what their parents were teaching them……and for many of the ones speaking out on that website, those teachings caused them more harm than good. I am so glad that there is a sounding board for them to relieve some of their frustrations, and also a place to learn the true meaning of Christ’s relationship to us.

      I firmly believe that we should use the Bible as our guide and textbook on all things, and use other aids as a supplement to our growth as Christians and human beings. However, I would never take Bill Gothard’s teachings (or anyone else’s teachings for that matter) or his formula for that way of life as the end-all to my walk with Christ…..nor would I subject my children to that. I think his Wisdom Books are good tools in some areas. Yet, in most of his Biblical teachings, I always search out the verse he references, or pray on his theory to see if that is what God is telling me.

      I guess the absolute question about Bill Gothard should be this: Should any Christian family, homeschoolers or otherwise, put their complete trust and faith on how they live their lives, raise their children, and teach those children, in any one person or organization. I believe the answer is ‘NO’. Only God Himself should receive that type of faith and devotion. That is not to say that I am stating that Bill Gothard is a bad man…..for I do not believe that he is. I do however, believe that some of his teachings are questionable, but that is true of anyone in a position such as his. Many people are quick to follow leaders who seem to have ‘the answer’, as they are not able or not willing to search and study things for themselves. But, as fickle as humans are, those same people will turn and cry ‘foul’ when those leaders put too much of their own opinion into their teachings, or make a mistake.

      I pray for Mr. Gothard, as I believe that he truly is trying to serve God. I pray for those that have been hurt by his teachings, and for the parents who used his methods, as they were trying to do God’s work as well. I pray for all Christians, myself included, who are actively and genuinely seeking the right way to be Servants of Christ…..because in the end, we will all have sinned, we will all have made major mistakes in ministering to others, but we will all be forgiven. Praise God for being able to do something so wonderful, that many of us could never do!

  9. I really commend Josh and Anna for making this bold move. They could have chosen to sit comfortably in the lap of the parents luxury for their whole life. I am much more excited to see such a grounded young couple daring to step out into the world and make a difference as their parents have done. With more people like the Duggars we might be able to take back the country, bring it back to its moral foundations and grounding.

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