I’ve waited to post on the Duggar molestation story because I’m conflicted. On one hand there is the horrible and inexcusable actions of Josh Duggar, while on the other hand there are the horrible and inexcusable coverups, misdirections and lies that normally accompany child molestation charges in a church. In most cases that I’ve follow over the years, my concerns rests with the victims and with justice. I see neither in this case, but I’m not as concerned with the concept of justice when it comes to Josh Duggar, because he was a young teen when the molestations occurred.
I know this position might piss a few people off, but if the stories I read are true, Josh as a child turned himself in and sought help from his parents. A 14-year-old is still a kid and often confused by sexual feelings. Kids can sometimes act out in ways that are inappropriate. If the case had gone to court, it would have been handled via family court and counseling. I can let the anger go because of this.
How the family handled the allegations is another matter. They protected a kid with a problem from getting the help he needed and they did not seek help for the victims (at least that is the story I’ve read so far). They kept the matter in-house by using the church as a replacement legal authority. The church had a vested interest in hiding the potential scandal. When they finally reached out to legal authorities, they did so through a friend. Finally, they gave their son no real help, did nothing to protect at-risk children and did little to help the victims. We don’t even know if the girls were treated as victims. It’s a complete fail and typical of how churches and cults conduct themselves.
The world’s moral outrage is justified though. These people hold themselves in judgement of others while committing morally repressible actions. The Family Research Council is a hate group. Having a former child molester run the group is hypocrisy of the highest order. Stepping down is nice, but the institution remains. Defending the Duggar family is unconscionable. And, claiming Josh Duggar is “forgiven” just pisses me off.
“Forgiven” - Josh Duggar may have prayed for forgiveness, but he was never held accountable for his actions. He may think he is forgiven by using the Christian Get of Jail Free card, but society still demands justice and accountably. Justice is not possible, but accountably is. Full disclosure is required. I prefer to use the trust but verify approach for cases like this. Josh should have disclosed his problem publicly and then those working and living around him could verify that he is a changed man and not cable of abusing others. I’m a realist though, if Josh had disclosed his problem publicly, it would diminish his assumed moral high ground and weakened his leadership of the FRC. This would have never happened. The mission of the FRC is more important than the truth.
19 Kids and Counting was pulled from TLC’s schedule. The show should be cancelled. It is Christian propaganda and now that we know that they do not live their values, we can see it for what it is… fiction. There is no return to grace here. They are a circus sideshow now. Let them go.