Paul Caldwell: Newest Duggar In-Law Under Fire For Controversial Views

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If you watched the season premiere of Counting On, then you witnessed the official beginning of Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell's courtship.

Joseph and Kendra married last month, but due to the lag in production time, the origin of their relationship is just now being documented on TLC.

Kendra is considered by many to be a natural fit for Joe due to their similar backgrounds.

Joe and Kendra Duggar

Both come from equally pious and strictly conservative backgrounds.

Both share similar views regarding relationships and child-rearing.

And both grew up with the church at the center of their lives.

That being the case, Joseph and Kendra are something of a power couple in their tiny Arkansas hometown.

Joseph's family carries so much clout in Tontitown, that residents jokingly refer to the area as "Duggarville."

And Kendra's family also enjoys a place at the top of the social hierarchy, thanks to her father's work as a local pastor.

Joseph Duggar, Kendra Caldwell Pic

But while Joe and Kendra may appear to be a match made in heaven (literally, in the eyes of their parents), the relationship has not been without its share of controversies.

For starters, there are reports that Kendra courted Jedediah Duggar before shifting her affections to his brother Joe for reasons that remain unclear.

On top of that, Kendra's father, Paul Caldwell, is something of a divisive figure due to his ultra-conservative views on topics such as homosexuality.

Pastor Caldwell recently became a subject of nationwide criticism as a result of a pamphlet distributed in Tontitown by his church.

“Does God love homosexuals?” the pamphlet rhetorically asked, with Caldwell responding that it's a “flawed question." Why?

"[Because] there are no such things as homosexuals.”

Pastor Paul Caldwell

It's a teaching that meshes with the Duggars' homophobic worldview, as a growing chorus of critics has noted over the years.

There's been a considerable effort on the part of TLC and the family's PR team to downplay that aspect of the family's belief system.

Lately, that's been an exceedingly difficult task.

On top of Paul Caldwell joining the Duggar ranks, Jill Duggar's husband, Derick Dillard, recently sparked outrage as a result of similar views.

His comments about a fellow TLC star, seemingly unprovoked, made national news; Derick attacked Jazz Jennings, a transgender teen.

On Twitter, Derick stated that "transgender is a myth" and noted the supposed irony of her being on a reality show that "features a non-reality."

Joseph Duggar Kisses Kendra Caldwell

All of this comes at a time when the Duggars can scarcely afford another scandal.

Many former fans wrote the family off in the wake of the Josh Duggar sex scandals, and many more are now outraged by the family's views on the LGBTQ community.

Over the past year, ratings for the family's reality show have declined steadily, although the show has held its core fan base.

Nonetheless, TLC execs have reportedly begun to wonder if the Duggars have a future on television beyond this year.

The addition of Pastor Paul seems unlikely to do many favors for the family's battered reputation amongst moderate and left-leaning viewers.

As always, you can follow the link to watch Counting On online for much more from reality TV's most controversial clan.

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