The Duggar family maintains a delicate balance in the way it presents itself to the public.
They often hold themselves up themselves as simple-living paragons of Christian virtue, while at the same time flaunting their success and material wealth in subtle ways.
Well, most of the time they’re subtle about it.
Sometimes, Jim Bob and company’s methods of reminding the world they’re rich are about as low-key as the decor at Trump Tower.
Earlier this week, for example, the Duggars secretively flew to Rockford, Illinois for reasons that were initially unclear.
You may be thinking that a trip to Northern Illinois doesn’t sound like a particularly lavish display of wealth.
And you’d be right, were it not for the fact that the Duggars eschewed commercial air travel in favor of arriving aboard their own private plane.
Highlighting the gap between the Duggars’ lifestyle and their belief system, the family was in the Rockford area to attend a church service.
Obviously, there’s nothing in the Bible forbidding private planes, but there are quite a few passages about Jesus not particularly favoring the wealthy.
And it seems the Duggars have chosen to ignore those verses.
The family’s wild spending habits have come under fire before, with one associate describing Jim Bob as a “high-class hoarder.”
Making matters worse is the fact that the Duggars often solicit money from fans.
Sometimes they just flat-out ask for monetary gifts for a wedding or other special occasion.
Other times, the money goes toward Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard’s missionary trips to Central America.
Normally, the couple’s expenses would be covered by a governing body such as the International Mission Board or the Southern Baptist Convention, but that’s not possible in this case, as Jill and Derick are not licensed missionaries.
As a result, despite the tremendous wealth enjoyed by Jill’s family, she and Derick turned to fans to fund their travels – and many of those fans are now fuming.
“If they can afford a plane they can afford to support Jill & family in South America – rather than asking for donations from people who are less affluent,” commented one follower of a Duggar fan Facebook page.
“They are within their rights to own a plane,” commented another.
“However, it’s awfully hypocritical, and in my opinion immoral as well, to then have your child solicit donations for a ‘missions’ trip or to publically post a link to a wedding or baby registry (knowing full well your fans will send you stuff).”
A third Facebook user was even more direct, writing:
“They are wealthy and should not be soliciting money or gifts from anybody. Ever. They are disingenuous, greedy, fame hungry and poor examples of Christians.”
It seems that the Duggars are rapidly alienating even some of their most supportive fans.
Next time they need to travel by plane, they may want to look into airfare rates before gassing up the jet.
Flying first class is considerably less ostentatious than touching down in your own aircraft.