The Duggar family holds all sorts of believes that fall well outside of mainstream Christianity -- or the rest of society, for that matter. Beliefs like Josh Duggar's actions being the devil's fault or that men own women already put them at odds with much of the world.
So when Austin Forsyth and Joy-Anna Duggar got slammed for what critics said was an endorsement of animal-abuse, it's not surprising that the couple disagreed.
But the couple is defending themselves by arguing that, actually, God says it's totally okay!
So, have you ever seen a rodeo show? You may have at least glimpsed part of one.
There are a lot of cable channels out there, and some of them have events that you wouldn't think existed outside of oldtimey movies and Westworld.
Rodeo shows, in which young cattle are released in a frenzy only to be pursued, knocked to the ground, and forcibly have all of their limbs tied together while they panic, are often criticized as animal cruelty.
Well, Austin and Joy-Anna Forsyth have seem one.
They didn't just watch one on the Sin Screen or whatever the Duggars call television, but actually went to one. In person.
Which, again, sounds like something straight out of an old-timey movie.
The couple attended the Stockyards Championship Rodeo in Forth Worth, Texas. And they posted about it on social media.
And the backlash was immediate.
"The rodeo is pure animal abuse," one commenter wrote. "So you're anti-abortion but pro animal abuse?"
There are people who try to keep their views consistent across the board. If they oppose meat-eating because of inhumane treatment, then they can't bring themselves to support the death penalty for the same reason.
Clearly, Austin and Joy-Anna do not fall under this umbrella.
"Not animal 'abuse.' And humans and animals are not equal."
Ignoring, for the moment, their contention that roping a calf for entertainment isn't abuse -- we'd be interested to hear that argument -- critics would point out two issues with their response.
One, they say "humans and animals." What exactly do they think that humans are? Plants? Minerals?
Two, it appears that they're saying that a zygote -- a single-celled organism formed from a fertilized egg that could potentially grow into a human -- is more important that a living, feeling animal that already exists.
They wouldn't be alone in that, but ... it's a controversial stance for a number of reasons.
And the controversy continued.
Another commenter wrote:
"Humans are just intelligent apes."
Uh-oh. We have a feeling that this argument isn't going to work with the Forsyths.
The comment continued: "It's incredibly arrogant of us to conclude a human life is more important than any other animal's life just because we can verbalize our thoughts and emotions."
Whether you agree in whole, in part, or not at all with that statement, it's very well said.
The Forsyth's didn't see eye-to-eye with the commenter:
"God is no ape, and we are created in His image. Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them."
Interestingly, a lot of anti-evolution arguments cite humanity being made from clay or ribs or otherwise willed into being rather than beginning with "God is no ape."
But let's not stray from the topic.
We wonder where Austin and Joy-Anna draw the line, with regard to what they do and do not consider abuse of a non-human animal.
Of course, we have to remember that, as a Duggar, Joy-Anna grew up in a household that is allegedly abusive. Fringe religious beliefs aside, she might have a very skewed idea simply of what's acceptable for one human being to do to another.
That said ... Joy-Anna and Austin Forsyth probably had sex before marriage, so maybe there's hope for them to grow beyond Joy's family's expectations.