Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

Defending Duggars

I like the Duggars darn it. I like the way they live an unconventional lifestyle and share it with others on t.v. without slamming doors, calling each other names, or cussing profusely. I like that Michelle and Jim Bob seem to genuinely like each other and that the children enjoy each other's company. I love how their house, (which is definitely my idea of a dream house!) doesn't keep itself up and you can see the family working together to cook and clean. And I am becoming very fond of the TLC crew which seems to have become almost a part of the Duggar clan as witnessed in a recent episode when the sound guy and camera man took turns holding newborn Mackynzie Duggar!

As much as I already liked Michelle Duggar, she found a special place in my heart when she underwent an emergency cesarean this month (as did I with Izzy 10 years ago) and as she mothers her preemie daughter little Josie Duggar. Josie, you see, was born at 25 weeks and my little boy Raphael was stillborn at 23. I am really pulling for this little girl to make it.

But it doesn't take long to find that a lot of people don't like the Duggars, especially now that a micro preemie has joined the clan. After reading quite a few left leaning forums on the topic I think I've narrowed down the main gripes against the Duggars, as well as my thoughts for each one.

1. So many babies caused pre-eclampsia.

Actually pre-eclampsia turns up mostly in first time moms.

2. God’s way of saying you have enough.

Scripturally, God's way of saying a family had enough children, was just not to send any more children. Scriptures tell us that God's ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. So I find it amusing when so many folks have the confidence to put this argument forward as a translation of what God is saying and makes wonder what qualifies them as modern day prophet?

3. Not enough attention to each child.
This is one of my favorite arguments! A "small" ideal sized classroom for regular public school students is 13 to 17 students. In other words, if a child is in a classroom with one teacher spending the most productive time of his day with 13 to 17 other children, that's ideal! So I fail to see how it is possible for an employee of the school system, but not for a mother who probably has even more interest in the success of her children! As a side note, of the 19 Duggar kids, three are homeschool graduates and the oldest is already married, out of the house, and running a business.

4. What is so wonderful about making CHILDREN raise other children?

For starters, when the older Duggar kids get out on their own they'll already know a thing or two about running a household and taking care of children. This must be of some value to public school systems who offer classes to their students in just these types of domestic skills!!

5. The Duggars are terribly selfish and immoral. To truly decide whether one's behavior is immorall, one must ask, "What would the world be like if everyone behaved this way?"

This was one of the more unique arguments put forth and I liked it. Let's see - what the world be like if mom's and dad's loved and respected each other, stayed together, lived within their means and raised kids who were wholesome, respectful and obedient. One can only imagine.

6. There is no way that that mother and father can really pay attention to all those children.

They are doing a disservice to their children who cannot be children because they have so many chores and other children to look after

This is a variation on question #3.  Modern day people seem to have no clue that childhood and "teenage" years are modern day inventions and the result of a very prosperous and even spoiled culture. 100 years ago mothers and fathers didn't worry about "paying attention" to each child individually.  Kids did chores that mattered to the survival of the family and when they played it was for hours with each other in a lot of healthy physical activity like ball games, running, riding bikes etc.I think an argument could be made that since most of those types of kids grew up to survive two world wars and a great depression, there might even be great merit in having kids that do more than play video games, eat junk food and text their friends all day.

7. "I see it as a miserable way to be raised. I have 2 children and cannot imagine having to divide my attention for 19."

An inductive logical reasoning fallacy that is fun to point out, but usually the kind of person that would make such an argument has no clue what an inductive logical reasoning fallacy is, let alone that they have just made a weak one! Nonetheless it's fun to throw out there and sometimes it's enough!

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