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Whitney & Zach Bates - Will Whitney Stick With It?

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I know that Zach met Whitney when she was working at a fast food place, and she clearly wasn't raised ATI like he was and that she basically converted to his beliefs and lifestyle when they started "courting" and married. They've seen had a child and I can't help but wonder...


Will Whitney stick with the program do you think? I mean, the Bates (like the Duggars) have some pretty rigid ideas about what they see as appropriate and inappropriate, ie: convincing Whitney not to wear pants for instance and all the courting rules, and the whole "leaving it up to God" as to how many kids they have, not to mention the complete subservience of the wife to her Godly "head", ie: husband.


I can see how, if you meet someone and are really attracted to them, that you might be willing to change; and I don't know what Whitney's background is, but if she's from a troubled home, for instance, the idea of a big and loving family to feel a part of, might make it all even more appealing...as long as she follows the rules. Now maybe she has bought into it all completely and is 100% onboard and ready for the busload of kids and no bathing suits for the rest of her life, but I have to wonder if the appeal will lessen as her stress with having kids and having to stay within such rigid guidelines (as written by the Bates and ATI) will wear her down and make her previous freedoms seem better than she realized. Often having children of your own makes you want to go and do things with them that you did as a child and had fun doing as a kid, but I could see that conflicting with a lot of the Bates' belief system.


I heard that she and Zach kissed before marriage and she bent over backwards apologising for doing so to Gil and Kelly (despite it supposedly being THEIR courting rules that THEY (Whit and Zach) decided on). Apparently Whitney even went so far as to agree that it was not only wrong, but that she would no encourage it to anyone. It sounds like they are so scared to live their lives deviating from the ATI/Bates rules.


Maybe if they lived farther away, they could kind of relax and blend a bit more of a light fundy lifestyle with some stuff she grew up with. Alyssa is apparently wearing pants, so anything is possible! I just wonder...if Alyssa lived closer to home, would she still feel okay wearing pants? Is it only because she's far enough away now that she feels free to test a few things out for herself?


But back to Whitney...do you think she's bought into it all hook, line and sinker? Was she religious before marrying Zach? Does anyone know her background? Is she told Zach she couldn't handle those rules any longer and wanted to loosen things up, do you think he'd go along with her against his parents?

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I don't think they will and I don't think they are right now. I have a feeling Whitney wears pants away from the Bates. I do think they will have a bunch of kids but probably not more than 5 or 6.

Zach and Whitney are likely playing certain things up for family and the public - they do have a television show to think about and their Zach's political career. But at home, I doubt they tow the party line.

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I honestly don't know if either Zach or Whitney want to be ATI/IBLP. I think Whitney probably just shifted to skirts because she loves Zach and wanted a good relationship with his family. I always got the impression it was more of a sign of respect than something she really had an opinion about herself - she's never given me the impression she really had a religious awakening or whatever, and God came to her in a dream to tell her to go buy some maxi skirts. :roll:

They both seem pretty laid back. I always think it's a good sign when these fundie couples say from Day 1 of marriage that they "aren't going to do everything like their parents." To me, that means they've been thinking and dreaming about the things they want to do differently for a looong time.

They also live in a very religious region overall, so I doubt their fundamentalism was even much of a shock for Whitney. Even if maybe her own parents were not as religious as the family she married into, I'm sure she's no stranger to Bible thumpers. It feels like there's a church every 10 feet in Appalachian TN/NC/VA. It can be intensely homogeneous in the rural areas. A lot of people in Eastern Tennessee probably don't even personally know an (open) atheist.

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Nope. I think they will move away as a couple. I also don't think they'll have a ton of kids. I could see 4 or 5 at the most. As more Bates kids marry and start their own families. Gil & Kelly will have a harder time controlling everybody.

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Zach doesn't strike me as the sort who has fully bought into the ATI/IBLP thing. I think he remembers a time before they went full on fundie and doesn't plan to raise his family the same way. He's already been shown to essentially tell his mom "oh hell no" when it came to the every Friday night "family" bible study. Erin and Chad might toe the line, not so sure about Lurch and Alyssa...Michael and Brandon...oh yeah...full on 2nd generation.

There's no way to keep control over adult kids unless of course you're JimBoob. He holds the purse strings for ALL those kids. The Bates, not so much, so control is going to be harder.

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I think when Whit was courting Zach/joining the Bates family, things were a lot more homogeneous in the family and there was a lot more pressure to conform to their ways in order to fit in. Yes, Erin and Chad were courting/married, but they had a very conservative courtship.

However, I think things have changed now. Alyssa wears pants. There's a reasonable chance that Erin and Chad will practice some form of family planning (or will someday consider it) if her pregnancies become too hard/risky. Michael openly front-hugs Brandon. I think that if Zach/Whit were courting now, there'd be a lot less pressure for her to say she was skirts only or avoid kissing.

Zach has said they intend to let Bradley watch TV. They decorated his nursery with Winnie the Pooh, which would have been unheard of before. And since Whit only seems to have a few skirts, I think that she probably does wear pants when the Bates are not around.

After his broken courtship, I think Zach wanted to move away from ATI/IBLP. I think that's one of the things that drew him to Whitney, and I wouldn't be surprised if he is quietly supportive of her wearing pants or eventually even working outside the home.

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I don't know, but I'm encouraged by Whitney having an epidural and giving birth in a hospital instead of her bed/toilet/tub. Zach seemed 100% behind her not suffering unnecessarily. I think whatever decisions they make regarding fundie observance will be reasoned, and mutual, ones.

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I think sometimes it takes a while of being parents before some realize they really are independent from their own parents. I think there is hope for most of the Bates kids to slowly move away from ATI.

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Zach to me doesn't seem like the overly pushy type where religion is concerned. He'll use it for his conservative political platform, but otherwise, I just don't see that he cares. I agree with those that say they're a very laid-back couple.

I think Zach and Whitney would leave fundiedom tomorrow if they could, but as so many stories displayed here have shown, extricating oneself from the lifestyle can be more than a little tricky, and some of the people that are first in line to leave can often end up being the last, due to family politics. That said, I think Whitney genuinely wants a larger family (as in 4-5 kids), and spaced close together. However, I think this has nothing to do with fundamentalism. Whitney just likes kids.

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Agree that they will eventually move into mainstream conservative Christianity and end up at some typical conservative church. I think that both of them, being born and raised in the Bible Belt, that kind of move is probably not going to seem that radical to them as opposed to how it seems to many of us here at FJ.

A couple of thoughts: I think both of them are laid back and both are going along to get along with Zach's parents, but underneath it all they are slowly moving away from it. I suspect Zach is over it, meaning playing by his parents' rules, and has been since the failed courtship, which was a real wake up call for him. Also, when it came to courting both times, he chose young women who had something going for themselves, not some SAHD who is sitting around waiting for the "all clear" from Daddy. If Zach wanted a SAHD type, he surely would have found one, especially considering his fathers' standing in ATI, he would have not had a problem getting approval from somebody's Daddy and there were probably a number of attempts at matchmaking in their circles. Also, Zach met Whit at Sonic, no doubt by complete chance, as many people meet their future spouses. He had no idea that when he stopped there that one day, that he would meet his future wife. He was able to experience having a relationship develop more naturally and genuinely than going through the incredibly awkward and stilted way of parent controlled courtship, as he did before. He learned that just because he gave away pieces of his heart before didn't mean that he would feel any less for the next person he had a relationship with. Maybe without parents screaming down his back and imposing rules (until they found out that is) he found he developed something deeper with Whit. Because I don't see how in hell anyone can develop a true connection with courtship rules such as no touch, chaperones, monitored communication, etc. Yes, it can appear to work for some (Erin and Chad are a good example) but really it works in spite of the rules, not because of them.

I think that Zach was totally OK with having met Whit outside of fundie circles, totally OK with her wearing pants, OK with kissing her before marriage, OK with her going to school and working (in short not a SAHD), but at the same time knew his parents would not completely approve of her. Once Gil and Kelly found out about them seeing each other outside of parent controlled courtship, they immediately got them into a proper courtship when it became clear that Zach was really, truly interested in Whit, in other words,could not be talked out of it, and yes, I believe they tried. He knew that Whit would not get the seal of approval as she was, therefore the whole "convicted to wear skirts" nonsense among other things. Plus the silly asking forgiveness for kissing before marriage, it's was all stuff to appease Gil and Kelly because I don't think Zach was at all that bothered with it, it was just to get their approval. Whit went along with the skirts because a) skirts being worn is probably no big deal, there's plenty of fundies and conservative Christians who wear skirts around in those parts and b) once they get married, who cares, it's not like Gil and Kelly can be there 24/7, she can wear at home or around her family and c) it appeases Zach's family, especially his parents, so they can get married plus now they get money for towing the family line on TV.

Another thing is Whit's family. They are probably a counterbalance to Zach's family and Zach gets to see that a good, godly family with the father a minister to boot, can follow a less extreme lifestyle and no one has turned into some hedonistic monster.

FTR, I do think that Kelly was not at all happy with Whit, in spite of what she posted on her blog. As I said before she knows how to make the family look less extreme, I never take what she posts as being the real truth of things and how she really feels. It's a conduit to push the family and their brand, not a journal. Kelly might be happier now that Whit looks to be going along with things but it would not be the case if Whit didn't. It also helps that Zach and Whit are parents of her first grandchild. However, I suspect that if Kelly is really fuming over Alyssa's wearing pants, let's just say she's got a lot more of the same coming down the line.

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Coconut Flan

The home birth group is a subset not a criteria for being super fundie. There's overlap of the crunchie, home birth, and anti-vax groups and the super fundies that creates some distinctive sub groupings.

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  • 3 weeks later...

What I guess I don't understand is how come Z&W felt the need to APOLOGIZE for kissing before marriage? It is stressed repeatedly that the adult children choose their own courting standards, which is OBVIOUSLY untrue.

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Also, in some states it is against the law for a midwife or medical professional to assist in a PLANNED home birth. Alabama is one of them.

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