Monday, April 2, 2007

The Martyr Scale

My father's family has the unique distinction of having named all of
their children with “J” names. My Dad and
his two sisters are both “J’s.” The two
sisters married “J’s” and they all named their children “J” names. My poor Mother is the only outsider. Here’s a breakdown of our names:






Susanne (the rebel of the group)








It seems that the Duggars have followed suit with my family,
naming each of their 16 children a “J” name. In case you are unfamiliar with this Arkansas family, they are
pseudo-celebrities as a result of an endless stream of TLC television specials with subtle
titles such as, 15 and One on the Way, 16 Children and Moving In, 16 Kids on the Move, 16 Brides for
16 Brothers
, and 16 Kids Organize a Fast to Protest Overpopulation
(OK, so maybe the last two are wishful thinking).

As a result of their unique distinction as one of the (if
not THE) largest biological family in this country, the Duggars have received a
great deal of help, both financial and otherwise, from the community and the
media. For some reason this makes me
angry. Why is it that when people
choose to have an exorbitant amount of children they are considered martyrs and
given generous gifts by the community and praise and adulation from the
media? Remember when the Dilley
Sixtuplets were born? There was an
outpouring of support from celebrities and the community. Why is that? Why do excessive numbers of biological children compel people to
donate and give? You don’t hear about the
family that adopts seven special-needs children getting a $10,000 check from
Sharon Stone or the mom that fosters six high-risk teenagers in a low-income
area getting a home makeover from Ashley Furniture. Why do biological choices trump adoptive/foster choices in the
minds of philanthropic Americans? It
seems bass ackwards to me. I don’t
begrudge the Dilleys or the Duggars for their choices. I just think they are gluttons for
punishment and that their standing is pretty low on the martyr scale.


  1. I couldn't agree with you more. Everytime I see one of those TLC specials coming on, I feel my blood pressure rise several levels. Another thing that gets my ire up are hypocrites like the folks in East Ridge who are protesting the gentleman who wants to have a group home for at-risk teenage boys who are wards of the state. My head scratching moment came on the evening news the night that story broke. One of this guy's neighbors said "I think what he wants to do is very admirable. I just don't want it in my neighborhood." Huh???

  2. I had planned to try and trump the Duggars (we need some new furniture and a home makeover) but my biological clock quit ticking.
    And what is up with the over use of the letter J?....Why on Earth would someone use names that all begin with the same letter?
    Signed the U family,
    George, Angie, Ashley, Austin, Anderson, Alison & Anna

  3. I'm all for anyone getting extra financial help raising kids anywhere they can, however, we raised 3 sons, and, by our count, at least 17 other kids that were at our house more than our own kids were, and, then, we couldn't even take any extra tax deductions for the little rug rats. On another note, George Foreman named all his kids George, even his daughters, I think that was his wife's idea, that way when anything was broken, George did it!!

  4. I already tried to post a comment the first day and it is not here! What is up with that??? I just wanted to say ha angie! To funny!

  5. Angie N=
    Yes, I know. Everytime I see those specials are coming on I roll my eyes. I roll my eyes and then I set my DVR to record it :) I can't help myself. There is something fascinating about those Duggars and their handmade clothes and tater tot casserole!

  6. Angie U-
    Yeah, I know, I keep waiting for you and George to up the ante and get your own TLC special! You need to get on the ball girl!
    And what is up with naming all of your kids with the same first letter. What kind of freaks do that?

  7. Papa Dale-
    I know some of those rugrats and you SHOULD have gotten a tax break. As for George Foreman, well, he made millions selling indoor plug-in grills on HSN so I guess he can support all of those Georges without handouts.

  8. My comment is in reference to the show Jon & Kate Plus 8...
    The couple who gave birth to sextuplets didn't choose to have 6 kids. All they wanted was another kid, they didn't plan to have six more. That's why people are generous and willing to help out with the overwhelming occasion.
    On the other hand, the people who DO choose to take in/adopt kids, whether they are mentally handicapped or not, it was their decision to do so. So why should people be generous and donate money and stuff when it was the adopter's choice.
    Why shouldn't a couple who gives birth to SIX kids (unexpectedly) get help from people? It's not like they planned to have six kids and be in a financial bind!!