Jon & Kate + 8 = Shambles

I didn’t read the book – my wife did – but I have seen the TLC TV show. My wife and I are flabbergasted by the embrace that Jon & Kate + 8 has received from the evangelical Christians world. Specifically, what is bothersome is the fascination with Kate – it is interesting that there is no acknowledgment of Jon,  I wonder if it comes from his leadership style, he is not a White-male authoritarian leader he is quieter Asian (though he is multi-racial) leader.

Much of it perhaps spawns from the Evangelical and conservative emphasis on motherhood. How can a mom who is a “Bible-believing” Christian with eight children not be considered as the best mother within Evangelical Christendom?

But I question . . .

Why did the Christian world get sucked into Jon and Kate’s world? Why did we exemplify them? Why are Christian women reading Multiple Blessings – published by Zonverdan (and probably will continue to)? Why did Kate do an interview with Today’s Christian Woman, a part of Christianity Today International?

Critics, both Christian and not point to the way Jon and Kate treat one another and the lac of grace in their interactions, however Kate suggests that that is normal behavior for a family.

Yeah. I definitely know there’s a lot of ugliness out there about us. Honestly, I think a lot of it’s because people squirm at how real we are. I think it bothers some people because it makes them think, If cameras were at my house, what would they capture? Would I be okay with that being aired?

I more than squirm. I am mad that we are allowing this family to represent at “Christian Family” Their marriage is horrible. I of course realize that we don’t see every aspect of their lives, but the way they speak to one another – honestly its Kat’s bossiness and Jon’s apathy – is anything but Christian. They do not work together on issues and disrespect each other. Specifically, they disrespect one another to the camera. Not in front of the camera. It is not that they do disrespectful, unloving things and the Camera catches them – that is real life – they make derogatory comments directly to the camera and to the audience about their spouse.

It would be one thing if they were caught on camera rolling their eyes, disrespecting one another, being ungrateful etc, and then apologized and reconciled with one another. This issue is they don’t do that. Perhaps the cameras just are playing that part, but the book suggests the same thing. As a married man, there is no way my relationship with my wife would be healthy if we treated each other this way. This backbiting is a LONG way from the love of Christ.

Now through all of the mess, there are rumors that Jon and/or Kate has been unfaithful.

Vancouver Sun

With the world’s tabloids salivating over every detail of her husband Jon’s alleged affair with a 23-year-old teacher, Kate Gosselin now finds herself in the adultery spotlight, with allegations she has become more than a little too close to her bodyguard.

According to US Weekly, many people have been noticing the affection that clearly exists between Kate and her bodyguard, to the point where Jon threatened to hire a private detective to get to the truth of the matter.

I don’t know if Jon or Kate has had a physical affair – I think they have been emotionally and spiritually unfaithful for a while.  I sure hope neither of them did, but honestly I don’t believe their marriage offers much for either of them. That doesn’t mean if either of them cheated they are off the hook. I am simply just not surprised.

Apparently, now Kate is considering divorce.

Okay she isn’t really considering a divorce she is just lost in all of this drama. But why is Kate addressing the public (and trashy magazines) by herself, especially if she and Jon want to have a good marriage? This isn’t something that you just do on your own. You do it together.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t envy Jon and Kate. Raising 8 little ones has to be extremely difficult. I understand how they can treat each other poorly and even have an affair. I pray – truly – that their relationship improves. Although they have a multiplicity of issues they need to address – especially Kate’s demeaning attitude and her seeming lust for the limelight and Jon’s respondent apathy. It is not them who need to be taken to task, it is Christian media.

This show is being generalized to represent Christianity. Stuff Christians Like made references to this show being a “Christian” thing. Perhaps Christians don’t want to turn their back on the couple, but I don’t think that fear is necessary. Christian media doesn’t have to claim they aren’t Christians – that would be preposterous – they simply need to stop funding them and state that these are not the values of a Christian family. Jon and Kate never were a good example of how a Christian family should operate and now they are even further from what God desires. Part of love within the Christian faith is calling out those who claim faith, but are not living that faith out.

I am not the first blogger to go at the show and Christian media’s endorsement and I hope I am not the last. Jon and Kate could easily be Christians, if they present that on their show that is a great thing, but we as Christians shouldn’t get sucked into their lives and set it up as some ideal nor should we ignore the ways that their actions are extremely unchristian.

    • colleen
    • May 21st, 2009

    Wow, very well written perspective.

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