Michelle Duggar Soaks Up Praise on Mother's Day ... But Does She Deserve It?

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Americans from coast to coast celebrated Mother's Day this past Sunday, and naturally, the members of the Duggar clan pulled out all the stops to honor their matriarch.

After all, with the adoption of Tyler Duggar, Michelle is now a mother of 20, so if anyone deserves a day to relax and be pampered, it's her.

Michelle Ruark

Now, if you're a member of the Duggars' army of devoted fans, then you probably see absolutely no problem with that statement.

But if you count yourself among the equally sizable ranks of Duggar detractors, then you may have just thrown up in your mouth a little.

Obviously, there are lots of folks who take issue with Michelle's approach to parenting, but the continuum of criticism is vast:

Some feel she's harmlessly inept, a brainwashed victim of the fundamentalist patriarchy.

Others believe Michelle is something much, much worse - an abuser, an enabler, and a willing participant in a community that sanctions rape and other forms of sexual abuse.

Of course, as we're reminded every year at this time, Michelle's husband and many children think she's just the bee's knees:

That's Jim Bob's annual creepy Mother's Day video, and as usual, he and several of his kids acted less like seasoned reality stars, and more like members of a forgotten tribe who are vaguely frightened that the camera is sucking out their souls.

Now, depending on which of the aforementioned camps you fall into, you're either thinking that Michelle must be one hell of a mom to have earned such devotion from her kids, or you're marveling at how well she's trained her children to convey counterfeit emotions.

If you're in the former category, you might be wondering how anyone could think such awful things about such an ostensibly sweet woman.

We don't have time to get into all of the complaints against Michelle, but here's a brief rundown of why her toughest critics think she deserves punishment, not praise:

For starters, there's the matter of the Josh Duggar sex scandals.

Michelle Duggar: Pregnant Throwback

Now, Michelle obviously had no direct involvement in the molestation of her four eldest daughters, but there are those who believe that when she was presented with an opportunity to put and to the abuse, she did nothing.

Whatever the case, Michelle definitely helped Josh avoid prosecution, which many believe makes her an active participant in some truly horrendous crimes.

And that's not the only time that Michelle has condones abuse.

The 51-year-old is a proponent of "blanket training" which is a technique in which children as young as 6 months old are seated on a blanket and told to stay put.

If they move, they are struck with a ruler or some other blunt instrument.

Jim Bob, Michelle on Facebook

The Duggars are supporters of controversial child behavior "experts" Michael and Debi Pearl, who originated the technique.

The Pearls co-authored a book called How to Train a Child, which the Duggars reportedly consider their personal child-rearing bible.

Within a year of its release, the book was found in multiple homes of children who died at their parents' hands.

As we said, the list goes on and on with Michelle, with some even going so far as to accuse her of abusing her daughters by forcing them to dress in floor-length skirts in all weather and no matter what sort of activity they're engaged in.

We'll leave up to you to decide if Michelle should be condemned or emulated.

But clearly there's no denying that she's a more complex figure than most of her fans would like to think.

Watch Counting On online for more from reality TV's most controversial family.

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Michelle Duggar Quotes

When you've missed [sex] for seven days, you look forward to it even more! - Michelle Duggar

Anyone can fix him lunch, but only one person can meet that physical need of love that he has, and you always need to be available when he calls. - Michelle Duggar on saying yes (yes, and more yes) to sex