Former Counting On star Jill Duggar is no stranger to controversy these days. From infuriating fans with her so-called car seat hack to accusations of plagiarism, Duggar is on a roll lately when comes to raising eyebrows. As for the latest incident that has fans up in arms, look no further than Jill Duggar's post about her parenting prayers. Apparently, one of Duggar's hopes for her two sons is that they are "glad" to be boys. Yep.
Now that Duggar and her husband, Derick Dillard, no longer star on Counting On, the two have a lot of time on their hands. Case in point: the couple are extremely active on social media, and they post at least once a day. And often, not every post is a hit — including this one Duggar shared on Wednesday featuring a list titled, "16 Things to Pray For Your Children." "I got this at a #MOPS meeting my amazing momma was speaking at a few months ago," Duggar captioned the Instagram pic. "Not sure where she got it from, but it’s super good. #thingstoprayforyourchildren."
Oh, and if you're wondering what #MOPS stands for, it is an abbreviation for "Mothers of Preschoolers." The organization hopes to inspire environments where "moms can meet to share their hopes, fears and insights, in a format that works with their schedules, that doesn’t neglect their faith nor their womanhood, their motherhood nor their purpose, their heart nor their mind," according to the org's website.
But it's not Duggar's participation in MOPS that has people so upset. As it turns out, many fans are not happy about the 16th prayer on the list, and some commenters believe the sentiment behind it is extremely offensive. "That our boys would be glad to be boys and our girls glad to be girls," the prayer reads, according to Instagram. Duggar did not immediately respond to Romper’s request for comment.
Unsurprisingly, lots of commenters think the 16th prayer is a dig at transgender people.
"Pray that they won’t be transgender?" one fan asked. "Try loving your children the way they are, no matter what gender they choose. Gender is a social construct. It is not unique to any religion."
"12, 14, 16 - I just can’t... don’t think different from your parents, live in fear at all times and don’t you dare be gay or transgender," another person added. "So very sad @jillmdillard that you think this is Ok."
Someone else chimed in: "Pray they're not gay, pray they're not transgender, so that their parents don't teach them that who they are is somehow a flaw or a sin."
"#16 is so highly disturbing. I sincerely hope you have gay or transgendered children," a commenter wrote. "Perhaps then you would learn some real compassion and acceptance...what God truly commands from us."
It's not difficult to see why people are offended by prayer #16 on the list. Being transgender is not a choice or lifestyle, and it's not something a person can simply wish away. One can only hope that all parents — regardless of their religion — will be "glad" if their child is true to who they are. Duggar's promotion of prayer #16 makes me worried about how she would react if either Israel or Samuel are transgender.
Another point to consider about prayer no. 16 is its emphasis on gender. For instance, what does it mean to be a girl or a boy? And how does one show gladness towards the gender and sex they were assigned at birth? There are a lot of questions that myself and others have about this particular prayer.
Some fans, however, think there's nothing concerning about prayer no. 16.
"Jill, I’m sorry that every single thing you post is criticized by people," one supporter penned. "God sees your heart and He knows your true intentions. Have a lovely day!"
"Why are ppl following her if they don't agree with what she believes. Y'all saw their family on TV. You know what they're about," another commenter argued. "Why follow her and be salty when she posts something you don't like? You don't have to agree with her, but she didn't promote hate, she posted something that read to hope they're happy being a boy or girl. Not disown them if they aren't or anything. Goodness."
Unfortunately, fans might not get the chance to hear Duggar expand on her thoughts about prayer no. 16 now that she's finished with Counting On. There's a high probability, however, that her social media posts will continue to spark debates among fans.