Tim Drake is an award-winning writer and former journalist and radio host with the National Catholic Register/EWTN. He currently serves as New Evangelization Coordinator for the Holdingford Area Catholic Community in the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota. He resides with his wife and five children in St. Joseph, Minn.
Another one of the highlights from being on the set yesterday was meeting Jim Bob Duggar and some of his 19 children. Big supporters of what Sherwood Films is doing, they’ve been here in Albany for the filming of Courageous as well, and were appearing as extras in the 5K run scene which appears at the end of the movie. The television program Inside Edition was on-hand filming a segment about Courageous and the Duggar family, as was TLC, who was filming an episode of “19 and Counting” that will air sometime in September.
Duggar told me how his failed Senate run in Arkansas led to a photograph in the New York Times, which led to an article in another publication, and ultimately led someone to contact him about being featured in TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting.”
Duggar said that they were open to a reality-style show “as long as they didn’t edit out our faith.”
The Duggars, who participate in a home church, credited the Catholic Church for its support of life and teaching on contraception, spoke about how he and his wife Michelle became convicted on the issue. He said that in their early married life, they used oral contraceptives for four years. Then their first son, Joshua was born. He said they continued to use contraceptives for nearly four years after that, but Michelle became pregnant and the contraceptive led to their second child being aborted.
“We didn’t know that the pill sometimes acts as an abortifacient,” said Duggar. “That’s when we stopped using contraceptives.”
Duggar was very approachable, and spoke personally about how his family views the television show as an opportunity to evangelize and share the message that “children are a blessing from the Lord.”
“We decided that if the show could help save even one child from being aborted, it was worth it,” said Duggar. Several seasons later, the show is still going strong, and Duggar said that they’ve had emails and letters from viewers who have decided not to have abortions as a result of the show.