NOW they want compassion and forgiveness???
The family claims that both Duggar and his victims received counseling and that the authorities are aware of his crime. Although the Duggar family’s official statement barely mentions the victims, the family apparently did seek counseling and took action, which is positive in this devastating situation.
Yet, there are SO many things wrong with what has occurred that I’m not sure what to address first (or what disturbs me most).
The Duggars hold their family out publicly as a so-called outstanding example of faithful Christians. Yet they are openly judgmental (and some might say downright hateful) to anyone who does not follow their particular doctrine of Christianity. They unapologetically state that being gay is dangerous to children, yet they allowed an admitted sex offender to stay in their home with their young children?
The horrible hypocrisy of that is laughable ... but the danger to those young girls is definitely NOT.
Is the family even positive that Josh Duggar is a reformed child molester? A compulsion to sexually abuse children is one of the most difficult types of mental illness to treat. Prayer is well and fine, but it is no substitution for the proper type, duration and intensity of therapy. And most professionals say that a reforming child molester should not be allowed around children, yet Duggar remained in the home with his younger siblings throughout ... and went on to marry and have children of his own.
Furthermore, what about the victims of Duggar’s crime — what were they told? “Gee girls, sorry that happened to you but we need to pray for your poor brother who is the real victim here?”
These young girls had to live in the home with their abuser for all of these years. Were they really given effective counseling and support during that time, or since?
The Duggar's response to the public outing of this situation focuses on their own hardship, and although it's, no doubt, quite devastating to realize your son (whom you love) is molesting your own and other children ... the Duggar family's first priority should have been on the needs of the molested children.
I admit it — I wonder (and doubt) whether the needs of the girls were truly met.
After all, the Duggars highly recommend the truly despicable book, To Train Up a Child, which advocates hitting children in order to teach them. The vast majority of mental health experts (regardless of religious beliefs) deem that child abuse.
So, the Duggars advocate hitting children, let a sexual offender remain in their home around their own (and other) young children, and do all of this while sharing their "exemplary" lives on national television and earning millions of dollars. Is anyone else a little nauseated by this?
Ironically, the Duggars are now asking for compassion and forgiveness from the world, yet how much did they actually show to the victims of this crime?
And how much compassion and forgiveness (or just basic non-judgmental human decency) do the Duggars show to the “sinners” of the world (e.g. people who live differently from them) whom they condemn so easily and frequently? How much compassion do they show for gay couples yearning to marry and have families of their own? We certainly know the Duggars showed zero mercy when they participated in a telephone campaign against transgender individuals.
It’s hard for me to summon pity now for people who exhibit such cruelty and exclusion to others.
But I wonder — Do we, as television consumers own any responsibility here for idolizing and promoting a family like this? We knew of their hateful beliefs against gay families and LGBTQ people. We knew they practice and encourage hitting children, even very young children, and still we continued to stare into their lives with dreadful curiosity — with some viewers even considering this family positive role models for others.
Shouldn’t we choose our heroes with just a bit more care?
For the sake of his own children, I hope Josh Duggar truly did undergo (and continues to participate in) intensive therapy. If not, the statistics are clear ... his children are in true danger (as are their friends).
And I hope his parents see the utter hypocrisy of their self-righteous preaching and judgment as it’s own form of sin and cruelty. Ironically they're asking that their son now be spared the harsh sting of similar cruelty.
Most importantly, I hope we as television consumers see that we gave this family a platform for their voice of judgment and cruelty. We indulged their hypocrisy and enabled them to hurt and hate on others ... and we paid them millions to do it. Shame on us.