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Glad to see that Gil Bates’ church chose to do webcast their sermons. Edit: Unless it was state mandated?I’m not sure what’s going on in Tennessee…

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Thank you for answering my email about the Bates boys. On last night episode I notice a couple of things. I know you don't watch but wanted to shared 1. The sisters were pushing marriage very quickly with Chaney. She looked freaked out living in TN and being part of the store. Like Chaney might wanted to do something else. 2. She made a comment during the double date where Jeb charpone that he was stricter than Gil and Kelly.

Referenced ask

Thanks for sharing! Yeah it sounds like the expectations the Bates family had of the courtship and of Chaney were different from what she had in mind!

I can see why Jeb (who in my mind is like 3 but he’s definitely older lol) would be more strict than his parents. In my experience, kids tend to approach things as “all or nothing” rules until they gain more experience and learn to let small infractions go due to nuance. Maybe that’s why he was a more intense chaperone?

Also, I’m not sure if you follow other fundie blogs but there’s an interesting discussion about how the Bates boys want a Whitney that kind of addresses your earlier question about why the Duggars seem to have more success!

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Do you think after so many Bates Boys failing in courtships anything will change from what they're doing? I understand that Whit was craving for a family so the Bates rules were okay to swallow to have Zach. But the other boys are falling for girls who have a tight family already. It would be hard to isolated them for their families. I don't understand how the Duggars are able to get it done but the Bates are having much difficulty to.

Full disclosure, I haven’t really watched Bringing Up Bates, so most of my understanding comes from how I interpret their social media and reading the recaps @keepingupwitht does! So I could be missing information. I think your point about Whitney wanting a family is interesting and I hadn’t thought of it! I saw my in-laws be a super close knit group and wanted in, so I also did a brief period of skirts-only to fit in.

My impression is that the women the Bates men try to court are less fundie than most of the women the Duggar men try to court. Don’t get me wrong, all these women probably call themselves conservative Christians, but Lauren and Kendra come from families that only wear skirts and generally seem to run in the same circles as the Duggars. It seems like Ashley and Chaney’s families were more “liberal” (loose definition) by focusing less on those aspects of modesty and seemingly being less into the ATI/IBLP stuff.

I know that doesn’t change big things like acceptance of gay people or their views on abortion, and that both sets of women probably agree on all the “big” things. But I imagine that Joe and Kendra grew up with much more similar ideas of The Woman’s place in the house compared to Trace and Chaney, so it makes sense that they might be more aligned going into courtship.

That being said, I also sometimes wonder if the Duggars’ successful courtship rate has more to do with how the women’s fathers are so involved in the courtship process. Does the Duggar family’s success rate have more to do with the courted women being more likely to buy into the idea that failed courtships are an indicator of personal failure or having “given away pieces of your heart”?

For example, what if Lauren got to a point in courting Josiah where she had the same thought of “I don’t think this is going to work out” that Ashley did while courting Nathan? I think a lifetime of being told courtship was THE WAY would influence Lauren to push through or ignore those feelings. Someone even slightly more worldly might feel less pressure and be willing to call it off.

So I think the Bates men are either going to change how they act or who they are courting.

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With the news that Jackson Bates will be attending ALERT Academy’s Basic Training, I thought that I would do a brief summary of ALERT.

What is ALERT? In short, its training for God’s army. ALERT - Air, Land, Emergency Resources Training - has/had four divisions.

• STEP - Skills Training for Emergency Preparedness. This program was discontinued in 2019. Apparently, STEP was geared towards young women ages 15+. They would spend three weeks in the outdoors and learn to totally depend on God.

• QUEST: Geared towards young men age 14-17, lasts anywhere from 1-4 weeks. Three levels - Quest, Quest Advanced, Quest Banquet. The purpose of QUEST is to “motivate young men to put away childish things and choose Christlike manhood”. They teach that adolescence is a myth perpetuated by today’s world.

• ALERT Cadet: This program is open to fathers and sons. It’s encouraged for the boys to be at least 8 years old, but they will accept younger kids. While fatherless young men may bring an uncle or grandfather along, an ALERT Cadet Captain or Major must “approve” all situations where a father is not involved.

• ALERT - In Basic Training, or Phase I, young men age 17+ will finally confront their unhealthy self-focus and challenge themselves to “live a lifestyle of serving others for Christ”. Highlights include wilderness survival, response drills, multi-day hiking, and learning healthy spiritual habits.

• A sample of the ALERT application questions:

- Have you ever had sexual relations? Also: Have you ever had homosexual relations?

- Do you have a girlfriend? If yes, who? Are your parents “guiding” or “tolerating” this relationship?

- How many hours of TV do you watch a day? A month? A year? List your five favorite television programs.

- On a scale of 1-7, relate your spiritual walk with the Lord.

- Have you ever been physically beaten or sexually molested?

- Which of the following have applied, or do apply, in your life: Pornography, Smoking, Street Drugs, Drinking Alcohol? How long has it been since you participated in these activities?

- Have you ever rebelled?

- Have you ever heard or seen a spiritual being in your room or anywhere else?

References:

- https://alertacademy.com/files/2020/01/alert_application_updated_jan_2020.pdf

- https://alertacademy.com/alert/

- https://alertcadet.org/

- https://alertacademy.com/quest/

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