Tuesday, October 29, 2013

ALTM: Chapter Two: Babies, Babies, BABIES!

I had the hardest time reading chapter two and writing about it. Every time I tried to read I was triggered and sickened, preferring to hide under the covers of my nice warm bed and eat popcorn instead of reading and writing.

As always the Duggars started this chapter with a Bible verse. Luckily this time they actually had the correct verse number - “God blessed them and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply.” - Genesis 1: 28. But I have to wonder why they lopped off the backside of 1:28, you know, all that jazz about filling and subduing the earth and its critters.

Chapter two of “A Love That Multiplies” is all about Babies, Babies and more BABIES!!!! The sole reason for the Duggar fame and their television show. More freakish breeding starting out with the Duggars talking about the arrival of their first grandbaby Mackynzie Renee Duggar.

A few months before Mackynzie's birth it seems most normal that Michelle Duggar, the grandmother-to-be would end up enceinte again. Their wallet is based upon militant fecundity and it wasn't likely that Michelle would either forgo the television dollars or lose her position of Duggar top momma to that upstart Anna Duggar.

Baby Jordyn Duggar was a mere six months old when Michelle took a pregnancy test and showed the little plus sign on the peed upon stick to Jim Bob. He claimed surprise to learn that he was going to be a daddy again, but really how much of a surprise could it have been?

He disingenuously stated in the book “You probably won't believe this, but I could hardly believe that. If just wasn't on my radar for possibilities at the time. I knew that having another baby was completely possible --- God had proven that again and again. But the timing was really surprising.”

The book goes on to explain how Jim Bob and Michelle use those ancient Old Testament rules about when to start having sex again, forty days after the birth of a boy and eighty days after a girl. He follows this with discussion over Michelle, her cycles, breast feeding and the usual time it takes her to conceive again.

Regular person translation: “I didn't want another baby quite so soon, and thought it was at least a few more months away, holy *insert favorite fake curse word*! I guess we need more money from the network.”

Or perhaps someone just needs to explain with graphics, pie charts and puppets how babies are conceived. If you have sex without birth control babies are usually the result. You'd think he would know this after all the kids! If water turns into ice cubes every time you put the tray full of water in the freezer eventually you figure out the cause and effect mechanism even if you no knowing about the process at first.

In a calculated move for the cameras Jim Bob decides to tell the kids during a bout of home-made Slip N Slide using black plastic, a back hoe, some dish soap and a hole in the front yard. But first Jim Bob assures his readers that everyone was fulled covered in swimsuits that went from neck to knee. No defrauding with random thigh viewing.

Remember SlipNSlide? I sure do. Many a bruises and scrapes happened while sliding over a plastic-coated front lawn. I have to wonder if at some subconscious level if Jim Bob isn't making a state about the nature of birth, a slippery slide.

Maw and Paw Duggar reminisce about how wonderful it is that Josh and Anna Duggar made the commitment to not use birth control followed by some gratuitous humble-bragging about their business savvy used car lots and acumen.

Jim Bob wisdom on car buying “Always negotiate to buy items at a price you could instantly get back if you decide to wholesale it.” Would you buy a used car from this man?

When Mackynzie's birth starts the Duggar are away at an ATI conference in Big Sandy, Texas. They attend every year and state so in the book, If their continued involvement with Advanced Training Institute headed by Bill Gothard doesn't point to the Duggars being part of a dangerous Quiverfull cult, then nothing will. No matter how much they downplay their links to the obvious and harmful Biblical Patriarchy the truth is that they are as much a part of it as they ever were, now it's not as visible in their show. Another deliberate attempt to whitewash their core beliefs to a middle American viewing audience to keep the series dollars steadily flowing in.

Speaking of cash, answering critics and white washing things, Michelle Duggar has posted different 'recipes' throughout the book and this chapter brings the first one, not so much a recipe but a listing of all the fruits and veggies that the kids snack on. In the first few Duggar specials people remarked upon how the majority of the time the kids were served heavy sodium very processed diet that seemed to be lacking any fresh produce. The next special showed the kids each getting an orange to eat with their balogna white bread sandwich to shut up those evil nay-saying critics. Her list of how to serve veggies and fruits for snacks reads very much like answering critics.

Sorry, Michelle, but canned green beans and frozen corn is still not exactly health food.

This chapter made me feel sick to my stomach as again and again, there were references to the camera crew for their show “19 Kids and Counting” being on hand to catch life's most memorable bits, like the birth of Mackynzie, Anna finding out she's pregnant, Anna and Michelle being pregnant at the same time.

The mere fact that they do mention being filmed so much tells me that most of what the Duggars do it carefully calculated for the cameras. Sad and twisted, turning touching intimate family moments into grist for TLC

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Interviewing Vaughn Ohlman Part 1

by Calulu cross posted from her blog True Love Doesn't Rape
A few months ago I decided that I needed to interview Vaughn Ohlman of True Love Doesn't Wait. I wanted to know how he was coming up with his interpretations of scripture to support young marriage and young motherhood. I've read those same scriptures many times over and not come up with the same meanings.
Shot off an email to Vaughn asking if he might just let me interview him for NLQ and he agreed. The ground rules were that I would ask no personal questions nor add or detract from his replies.
Which made coming up with the first set of questions nearly impossible as I wanted to ask background questions, not to dig up dirt in a gossipy fashion, but to see how the foundation of his life was laid and how his beliefs now had been shaped by his past. Sometimes testimony leads to an understanding of theology. So I hemmed and hawed, trying to come up with the least offensive versions of the questions, knowing that Vaughn might not answer any of them. Started with easy softball questions.
Let me state here for the record that there is something I like about Vaughn, unlike other fundamentalist Christians he will talk to people who are at the other end of the religious spectrum. Unlike most that will just hurtle names/insults/same old stuff Vaughn will engage and talk. I think we have to respect that even if we don't agree with all of his views. He is a rarity in that.
Here are the questions I asked:
  1. Were you raised in a religious household? If not what age were you saved at?
  2. What denomination were you raised in?
  3. How did that affect your views of the Bible and religion as you grew older? Were there things you rejected or felt the need to delve into deeper?
  4. Once you married and started having children how did that impact your beliefs?
  5. Did you find your wife through courtship or the church?
Vaughn did answer them in a fashion that did convey background without scads of personal things I didn't want to know in the first place.

Qivering Qestions 1-5

Suzanne Calulu, of ‘No Longer Qivering’ has asked to do an interview with me. Before we got started we set up some ground rules, namely:
a) There would be no personal questions. I do theology, not testimonial.
b) That I would not be asked if I still beat my wife (ie loaded questions).
I am also participating with the understanding that my words won’t be edited, but posted in full, which is fairly standard policy on her site. Now she has sent me her first set of questions.[3] I am a little afraid she has already violated the ‘no personal question’s’ thing; but her questions seem like legitimate background. I’m going to answer these with a couple of twists: I’m going to avoid all ‘personal’ information that might incriminate others along the way, and I think I will combine all my answers into one long prose segment.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
So, beginning at the beginning… I was born. No, don’t think I will go there. My early life was a bit confused, and involves an aircraft accident and all sorts of other otherwise interesting details. My life as she wishes to know it could be said to start when I was eight years old, and I was baptized. In an independent baptist church somewhere West of the Mississippi and North of Texas.
That was the church were my religious identity could be said to have been formed. Independent Baptist, the kind of church with Sunday School, Daily Vacation Bible School, the whole nine yards. I can remember our pastor going out into the local fields to try to talk little leaguers into coming to DVBS and trying to get our numbers up. One thing that the NLQ audience will appreciate is that we sang the songs ‘The B-I-B-L-E’ and ‘Tho none go with me…’.[1] And, of course, we memorized hundreds of verses.
This church, camp, and, later, Christian school laid the basic foundation of my religious philosophy. The foundation: the Scriptures. My life goal: to glorify God. (BTW a bit of a note along the way. I think one kind of funny issue that I have with the NLQ crowd is that they fail to realize that we have different life goals. For many of them (perhaps not all) their goals are ‘to be happy’ or ‘to be an important person’ or somesuch. We all need to realize that different life goals will require different methods to get there. We often argue as if we forgot that.)
Meanwhile life was changing around me. I suppose it has done for everyone, but I can’t help thinking that the difference was particularly large for my generation. When I was in elementary school practically every house in our neighborhood had kids in it, a mother who stayed home, both a father and a mother (who both happened to be the non-divorced parents of the child) living in the home, etc. Watching television was kind of a rare event, we mostly played out in the streets and fields, often not coming home until dark. Nope, no computers. Pretty much everyone went to church; even if it wasn’t ‘as good’ a church as we went to. It was a pretty Protestant area… I don’t even remember knowing any Jews or Catholics (I know a lot now!). Pretty much everyone would have agreed with my life goals, even if they didn’t really commit to it.
Which is not to say that I have remained where I grew up. The foundation is the same, but it has been much built on. I am no longer an ‘independent’ baptist, but a reformed baptist, a difference in theology of much importance but probably of little interest to the NLQ readers.
Oh, and camp, which I mentioned earlier, was really important. Going to public school for my early years, my Christian faith was pretty much of a ‘Sundays and Wednesday night’ thing… well, along with Bible stories at night for story time. But camp was different. Starting as a camper, and then moving to a counselor, camp was a time where Christianity was a 24/7 thing. Especially once I did become a counselor and was literally responsible for ‘counseling’ young people in the faith.  Nothing makes your ‘knowledge’ seem inadequate as having to teach, eh? I have found the same thing as a schoolteacher, nurse, EMT, etc.
James 5:10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
Luke 6:2-4 And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days? And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him; How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?
Another issue that was drilled into me during those years, and that forms such a gulf between myself and the NLQ crowd was the role of Biblical examples. I can’t really count how many times I have been lectured about the ‘fact’ that the Biblical narratives ‘aren’t law’. I think there are a dozen or so in just our most recent exchanges. But that kind of misses the point. Of course they aren’t law. They are examples.
In pretty much every field I have ever worked in (camp counselor, teacher, administrator, EMT, nurse) we have had both ‘law’ and ‘example’. And you spend about 1% of your time worrying about the laws, and about 99% following examples. In God’s Word we have law: Two great commandments: Love God and Love your neighbor. Then ten commandments which give us some flesh for that: Worship God alone, no idols, no blasphemy… honor your parents, don’t kill, don’t steal… etc.
And then we have voluminous case law and descriptions: what is incest (a violation of ‘thou shalt not commit adultery’), what is theft in this case or that case, etc.. But then, and this is really a huge portion of Scripture, even the part we traditionally call ‘Law’ (ie the Torah), we have ‘examples’. We have Godly man after Godly man, struggling to serve and glorify God, and we get to watch how they did things. Only a fool would call their examples law, but only a greater fool would dismiss them as irrelevant. Just as only a fool would ignore their nursing mentors because their actions ‘weren’t law’. And in the case of our nursing mentors you are merely dealing with fallible human beings. In the case of Biblical examples your are dealing with fallible human beings, specifically chosen by God to have their actions included in Scripture!
Proverbs 5:15-19 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee. Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.
So, moving along in my life, one area of our theology that has changed over the years comes in the area of marriage; especially the path to marriage.
My wife and I both grew up in the era of dating. There was not even any other option. Indeed I was expected to ‘recreational’ date. I wasn’t expected to have sex, that is intercourse, before marriage, but there were few other boundaries. We met at an airport on our way to a Missionary training course, where we spent the next few weeks… by the end of which we were all but engaged.
Getting married really forced both my wife and I to examine the Scripture much more seriously, as we started with rather different theological viewpoints. We both believed that Scripture was the place to go for the answers, though, and developed our theology together over the years. There is nothing that makes differences as important as living with someone as man and wife who holds different views.
And it was my role, as the husband, to be the one to whom my wife could come for questions.[4] I was to be the spiritual leader in our home. So I was bereft of excuses and really had to buckle down and study.
Psalms 127:3-5 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
Having kids, and having them grow up, was the real impetus for our study on marriage. By this time a lot of our theology had really settled down: we were basically theonomic, full quiver, homeschooling, moving toward family integrated, etc. etc. We had just become familiar with such names as Doug Phillips, Vodie Baucham, Paul Washer, etc. But we really hadn’t studied much on the idea of how to get married.
As we studied more and more of what the modern (conservative, family integrated) church was teaching on the path to marriage the more we saw that it had very little, if anything, to do with what Scripture taught. Law, teaching, example… none of it were reflected in this new thing called ‘courtship’. Oh, their rejection of dating made a lot of sense, dating is even less Scriptural. But this courtship thing?
The more we explored the more we found doctrines that the church has historically believed, that the modern church had thrown out. And so we kept studying and writing… and, through one thing and another, ended up where we are now.[2]
Well, there we go. I think I have answered pretty much all of her questions and, along the way, laid the foundation for the  issues of why I believe what I believe. The foundation is Scripture, the goal is to glorify God. Our search revealed a very different path to marriage than the world (dating) or the church (courtship) is currently teaching. So this we practice, and this we teach.

[1] Actual title ‘I have decided to follow Jesus’. The reference cited is from one particular verse.
[2] See http://truelovedoesntwait.com for more information on where that is.
[3] 1. Were you raised in a religious household? If not what age were you saved at? 2. What denomination were you raised in? 3. How did that affect your views of the Bible and religion as you grew older? Were there things you rejected or felt the need to delve into deeper? 4. Once you married and started having children how did that impact your beliefs? 5. Did you find your wife through courtship or the church?
[4] 1Co 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 1Co 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
Written by: Vaughn Ohlman
Approved by: Jeff Woodward: Caveat: While I agree that examples are very important, in the mind that “they aren’t law”, one must be careful to objectively consider whether any given examples is appropriate to follow or not–that is, whether they are “good” or “bad” examples. This is only possible by comparing their actions with relevant (explicit) biblical laws.
(Vaughn would encourage the reader to read our paper, “Our Hermeneutic” to see how we work this out in practice.)
Is there something, dear readers, that you would like to ask Vaughn that falls within his guidelines? Post it in the comments and I'll add it to the question list I'm working on now.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Love That Multiplies Chapter 1 Review

Chapter 1 - Little Eyes Watching: Psalm 127:2 - 'Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord and the fruit of the is his reward'

The start of this chapter gave me one the biggest laughs I've had in a long time. Psalm 127:2 actually reads - 'It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.'

I think what the Duggars were aiming for was Psalm 127:3 It makes me wonder exactly who edited this book. Was it their children? Crackheads on the street? Or just monkeys with keyboards? Freudian slip? How does something that glaringly wrong get through? I even spotted it and I stopped reading and memorizing scripture ages ago.
"We believe that children are a blessing from God"
I think it sort of sets the tone for this chapter. Michelle starts off by explaining how they'd decided to stop all birth control and let the crowd be created followed by cooing about blessings and joys and such having to do with having such a large number of children. Followed by saying how they've had hardships like everyone else.

But faith and prayer get them through, no mention of the hefty financial contributions towards their family by The Learning Channel. The same television channel that paid to finish their home, plucked them from obscurity, and an old small three bedroom rental. TLC turned the Duggars into a established  money-making brand.

Also the Duggars never mention that money does tend to smooth out many of the bumps in the road. Don't believe me? Just try living through the crisis of Josie Duggar's birth and many moons of medical care without having insurance and a serious amount of moolah.

Michelle and Jim Bob say that they wrote this book because of the oodles of emails, letters and questions they get every day, that people from all walks of life like what they see. So the book is supposed to answer those questions and share how they got through 2009 together.

The interesting thing to me about Michelle and Jim Bob answering 'questions' about their family, parenting practices et al is that with every different special, series, book released they feel compelled to 'explain' away things they have taken public heat for. This is typical for fundamentalists, the fundy must ALWAYS be RIGHT every single time. There's no self introspection, no learning from anyone else not within their own cultic sphere.

Remember when Michelle Duggar explained during the first television special using Michael Pearl's discipline method of 'blanket training' babies? Swatting a baby with a wooden spoon if it would not stay content on it's blanket? All mention gone now, edited out along with many other things.
"One of the most frequent comments was that we'd never experienced "real life," with all its hardships, challenges, setbacks, and pain"
Sure, Michelle and Jim Bob might have experienced "real life" but the Duggar children have been sheltered a ridiculous amount. They've never really had to deal any thing harsher than all those kids sharing one bath in their old house. They're kept away from everything people must learn to deal with in life, like peer pressure, how to handle a plethora of situations that most kids learn early on. I know the Duggar parents think they are helping their kids by sheltering them from anything off the compound but in reality they are delaying the maturation.

No one residing in the Fundigelical world bubble experiences life as most in the world do. They talk the Fundigelical talk, view natural consequences as 'tests of faith' from God and often fail to take necessary steps to resolve a challenge until it reaches crisis-proportions.

"We're not parenting experts"
What they've been through with first Josie and later Jubilee has done what terrible things usually do to religious people, make them cling ever tighter to their beliefs.

One thing that is common with everyone going to those type of hard times impacted the Duggars too, it's made them value their family and home more. They even said they no longer take health for granted, but you're never know that if you saw their ABC News interview last week. Michelle and Jim Bob both said they are trying for another baby, obviously that last lesson didn't stick.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

If Love Is Real It Shares

At the locked residential treatment center for kids I work at I am learning something that isn't taught in fundamentalism or evangelicalism. Sharing. Sharing with others.

Amidst all the work, kids, utter chaos that sometimes reigns at the treatment center I've been observing the phenomena of those with the least to give seem to give the easiest. Is it because they value possessions in a lesser way? Or is it being disadvantaged makes you realize that holding on to things doesn't keep you from losing them?

I don't know. I've thought about it a great deal as it seems many times the kids are eager to give people their drawings and sometimes even their personal possessions. Most of them have been either surrendered to the state or products of homes with little in the way of anything.

It reminds me of the story Laura told me after returning from her mission trip to Romania. To her the most touching moment was when a homeless Gypsy girl her own age offered to share her bag of potato chips. Someone with very little sharing with another without any expectation of favor or reward

But most the giving I've witnessed is with two of my coworkers. The two black ladies a few years younger than I who were hired at the same time I was to help out with audit season. Both were raised in incredibly difficult circumstances by mothers who struggled with substance abuse before being raised by extended families. They're both single moms who until recently were on WIC and food stamps themselves. Neither are what you'd call well off or even middle class. They don't have a lot to give but give they do to others at work, each other and anyone who looks their way.

They shame me with their ability to be generous easily. Until I started working with both of them I considered myself to be a giver, a generous person who gave to those less fortunate. While I have raised money and food for the local food bank and given tithes and money, man power and other things my giving hasn't been a natural part of who I am.

Their giving is a organic natural part of who they are, as reflexive as breathing.  I want that.

Giving with no expectation of receiving anything in return is the kind of selfless love I want. A way to love, in such short supply everywhere these days. True love gives.

I'm not talking about giving to people trying to scam you out of something or manipulate you into giving. I'm talking about a mindset that helps out all the time.

Looking back at my old Fundigelical church and many others, particularly others that are politically involved with the extreme right wing and/or Teaparty types, I see very little giving in day to day life, just carefully staged giving where everyone can see. Plus that ever charming proclamations that the poor need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get a job like everyone else. Nothing for the poor.

Most of the people I know who are very religious or of a certain social class seem to equate giving with weakness instead of heeding what the book they claim to be following, the Bible, has to say about being generous. I think I'll ignore them, the politicians, the preachers and do what my two new friends at work do, actually live the spirit of giving, or try to. I'm working on it, started to share what I have with others that could use it better than I could including giving to those two ladies. It is going to take some work in my mind.

Part of that means staying away from restaurants and retail shops in my area tonight. It's the last day of the Values Voting conference in the Greater DC area and the poorer congregations usually end up staying in our tiny town. Last year when they were here I got some flack for wearing knee length baggy shorts. Being around those type of religious folks is going to short circuit my giving mindset and make me want to lay down a verbose beat down.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Love That Multiplies Review: Introduction - Testy Already

Introduction – “Our Biggest Test Begins”

For the last year I’ve been gingerly attempting to read this book for the purposes of writing a review. Invariably what would happen is I would either snort in outrage or be triggered by some statement straight out of my old fundamentalist life and I’d end up abandoning the book in it’s entirety for months.

Let me state for the record that I am not a Duggar family fan. In fact, I believe they may be the most dangerous weapon that the Evangelical Right has.

How so? The Duggars show the lifestyle of Quiverfull in a way so attractive that it fools the average American television viewer into thinking that while the Duggars lead a lifestyle that is religious it is essentially harmless. You see a well-scrubbed, polite, behaved and parent-honoring brood of children without seeing any of the usual reality of families like theirs.

Sometimes I look at their family and think about that old horror movie “The Children of the Corn”

It’s the equivalent of sausage commercials, you see the beautifully cooked sausages arranged with loving care on an attractive porcelain plate without seeing the raising of the hogs, the kill floor, and the processing plant where those hogs are run through the grinders and stuffed into the casings. It skips all the unpleasant realities of the situation that have to happen for the sausages to land on that pretty china.
The Duggars show a side to American viewers, that while it does exist, it glosses over the things that led to this. Through the years references to ATI, blanket training and a slew of other things in the Duggaralia have disappeared as they’ve refined their message to the masses to make Quiverfull more socially desirable.

Most Duggar-like Quiverfull families you see are living fifteen children of all ages in a tiny three bedroom house with one bathroom. Bedrooms stacked with bunkbeds like cordwood. Second hand possessions and donated items. Financial struggles and some hardship. If I was one of them I’d be seriously pissed about how easy and perfect the Duggars make it all seem.

If this is what you want and you know going in that it might be a struggle that’s one thing, but to see the Duggars and accept their lifestyle as it is shown is being horribly deceived.

On to the book.

I was interested in reading the book because of the fact that this was the book that dealt with the challenges the family faced when their reproductive gambling came up snake eyes. How did the family manage to function during the premature birth of Josie Duggar. The birth of a premature baby would put undue stressers on any family, but might be a special challenge for a bigger family.

Usually this is where I would complain about how the Duggar fecundity would be sheer foolishness due to the advancing age of Michelle Duggar and the many children she’d birthed. Even statistics show that the older the mother is and the more births the odds are good something bad will eventually happen. You can only throw that hot dog down the hallway so many times before the door knobs get dented and floor greasy.

The introduction starts with Michelle describing Friday, December 4, 2009, before Josie and her early arrival. By the second paragraph you get a good taste of how ‘abnormal’, even by evangelical Christian measure, the day to day is in the Duggar family. The day starts with the kids getting ready for a film crew, grooming, chores, music practice and homeschooling. Half of the children are packing for an El Salvador mission trip. The first mention is the filming, not that the children should study or clean. Getting ready for filming took first priority.

The day was eaten up by the filming of the Australian film crew, the way the book reads the filming was the most important part of the busy day. Reenforces exactly what the priorities of JimBob and Michelle really are, raising their children in the media eye. Any publicity is good according to the gospel of JimBob. Even if it interferes with school and chores.

During much of the day Michelle was resting, thinking she was passing a kidney stone. But it’s obvious something more is going on and she goes to the hospital for tests. She managed to put off going to the hospital until after the film crew left.

I will give her credit for taking full advantage of modern medicine instead of shunning it and ending up with a much worse outcome.

The rest of the introduction was spend on babbling over how their faith would be tested and how even the very marital relationship would be challenged. Hey, but at least they don’t have to worry about keeping the house clean or having to find someone to babysit the kids. Built in ‘Buddies’ run everything.

JimBob broke the news to the kids, telling them that momma and baby might die:

“Pray hard,” Jim Bob would tell them as tears welled up in his eyes. “Pray to God for Mama and for the baby; pray like you’re never prayed before!”