Who's Got a Beef with Duggar Family Planning?

On tonight's new episode of TLC's 19 Kids and Counting (9 p.m. ET), the Duggar family settles into their new home and goes grocery shopping. And when you have 21 mouths to feed, even grocery shopping is an adventure!

As for the new home, fans of another super-sized family series -- Jon & Kate Plus 8 -- remember that big, new house episode as the point when the TLC hit pretty much went off the rails, with viewers griping that the family's financial success turned the series into a tedious ogle-fest of new-money abundance (pretty tacky timing, as the economic recession began bearing down on non-famous families nationwide).

Unlike the Gosselins (a televised character study in marital passive aggression), Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar appear to be a solid, loving couple. Some might say too loving, considering all the procreating going on! Of course, the Duggars are free to have as many children as they like. I just wish they'd stop chalking up the decision to religious faith. ("We agreed we would stop using any form of birth control and let God decide how many children we would have," they say on their website.)

As a Christian myself, I'm baffled by the "let God decide" argument against family planning. First of all, it undermines the very idea that God is in charge. The Duggars don't "let" God decide anything. He is in charge. If God wants them to have another child, they will have another child, birth control or no.

Secondly, birth control isn't even directly addressed in the Bible. As this article explains, Scripture's "emphasis is that children are gifts from God and happy is the man whose quiver is full of them (Psalm 127:5)." This may give insight into God's love for children, but it's hardly a mandate to have 19.

By all accounts, the Duggars are good parents, and their older kids seem well-adjusted. I can watch them traipse through a supermarket with some confidence that they're not heading for tabloid-fueled crises. Relatively speaking, Jim Bob and Michelle's family seem pretty great, but unfortunately, their extreme views on family planning may be tainting how others view followers of the Christian faith.

Plus: Likes or Yikes? Duggar Family: 19 Isn't Enough?

What do you think of the Duggars' approach to family planning? Chime in below!

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