Jim Bob Duggar is almost as well known for his ultra-conservative religious views as he is for the massive brood of children he’s raised with wife Michelle.
Jim Bob’s views on issues such as birth control, women’s rights and homosexuality have earned him scorn from critics, and accounts from insiders indicate that the Duggar children – daughters in particular – face harsh consequences for defying their father’s code of ethics.
But once Duggar women leave the nest (which occurs only after marriage), it’s their husbands who determine everything from how they dress to how they worship.
And it seems Jim Bob now wishes he’d been more selective when in helping his daughters select mates.
As we’ve reported previously, Jim Bob has butted heads with his sons-in-law over a wide variety of issues.
Jinger Duggar’s decision to begin wearing pants after marrying Jeremy Vuolo (Under Jim Bob’s rules, Duggar women are only permitted to wear florr-length skirts.) may have attracted the most attention, but it’s the more arcane doctrinal disputes that are creating the deepest divisions.
A source who formerly held close ties to several members of the Duggar family tells The Hollywood Gossip exclusively that Jim Bob is deeply upset by many of the views held by both Vuolo and Jessa Duggar’s husband, Ben Seewald.
As a result of the patriarchal structure of their home lives, these views are now being espoused by Jinger and Jessa, and our source says Jim Bob is extremely troubled by his daughter’s new beliefs.
“He’s allowed a division in the family to occur,” our source says of Jim Bob. “He knows it’s not a true doctrine.”
It seems the major point of contention is Vuolo and Seewald’s adherence to the doctrine of Calvinism, which holds that only a pre-determined “elect” is eligible for salvation.
Jim Bob’s life is centered around the conviction that salvation is available to all through the grace of God, so it’s not hard to see why he takes issue with Vuolo and Seewald’s belief in pre-destination.
Apparently, Vuolo’s rebellion against Jim Bob’s belief system did not come as a surprise, as the Texas-based minister has long preached Calvinism to his congregation.
Many now believe that Vuolo’s beliefs played a role in Jim Bob’s hesitancy to approve of Jinger and Jeremy getting engaged.
In fact, it seems Jim Bob may have only given his consent after realizing that he was no match for Jinger’s stubborn streak.
Seewald, on the other hand, was not expected to offer much resistance to Jim Bob’s views, in part due to his submissive nature and the fact that he’s beholden to the Duggars financially.
“Ben’s very quiet, reserved, but he’s a Calvinist,” says our source, adding that Jessa makes most of the major decisions in the Seewald household.
“His wife is the boss. She holds the key to everything – money, you name it.”
Seewald’s more liberal beliefs have caused him to run afoul of Jim Bob in the past, but it seems it’s only since Vuolo joined the family that Ben’s been vocal about his Calvinist views.
As a result of Ben gaining an ally, it seems the Duggars are in the midst of a power struggle worthy of Game of Thrones.
“The things you see when the cameras aren’t rolling aren’t necessarily so when the cameras are off,” our source says of the deep ideological divisions that threaten to tear the family apart.
The insider believes that Jim Bob will ultimately be triumphant in his struggle against his sons-in-law, noting that the former politician is such a force to be reckoned with in his hometown of Tontitown, Arkansas that locals have taken to calling the area “Duggarville.”
“You really have to be around these people to understand how cultish they really are,” our source says. “Everything is controlled by Jim Bob, all the money in that place is controlled by Jim Bob.”
“Jim Bob does what Jim Bob wants to do,” he adds.
“Sometimes, people who have a little bit of clout just do whatever they want.”