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I’ve never been a fan of the Duggar Family. You probably know them from either 19 Kids and Counting, one of their other numerous TLC specials, the current sexual abuse claims against the eldest Duggar son, or any of their hideous beliefs.
In case you haven’t heard of them, the Duggar family is a ‘Quiverfull’ clan. That means they are a family who believes it’s their religious and moral responsibility to have as many children as possible in order to spread their faith. They have a show on TLC, and a few days ago, their eldest son was outed as a child molester.
Many are arguing whether or not Josh Duggar, the one accused, can be blamed since it happened when he was 14. The Duggar family claims that it was a mistake from before he fully understood god’s plan. Later, it was revealed that his family attempted to cover up the allegations, and stalled a police investigation into the crime until the statute of limitations had run out.
Nearly a week ago, In Touch magazine unearthed the police report through a FOIA request. While people on the internet who followed the Duggar family figured something was up anyways, the report confirmed everyone’s worst fears. Starting at age 14, Josh molested at least 5 underage girls, most likely 4 of whom were his own sisters. Timelines would put the youngest at about 5 years old.
Now, I believe that Josh Duggar was fully aware of the wrongdoing he committed. The ‘he made a mistake’ excuse doesn’t sit well with me when we consider that it wasn’t a one time thing. It happened most likely more than 5 times. Innocent curiosity or childhood exploration goes out the window when it happened so often, and with a family member at least 9 years his junior.
This isn’t about Josh though. This is about his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.
Jim Bob and Michelle are the leaders of the Duggar family, and the ones who raised their children according to such a strict regimen. They are biblical literalists, believing that the Bible is 100% accurate.
Now, it’s easy to call people hypocrites, but Jim Bob and Michelle go for the gold on this one. Not only are they outspoken opponents to gay marriage and adoption, they also use their literalist beliefs to bolster any of their arguments. To them, the Bible is god’s literal word. They pride themselves on following it exactly. Which is what makes their failings so tragic.
A lot of the support that’s been going around for the Duggars is based around the fact that not everyone is perfect. Only god can be perfect. Etc.
This is true, no one can be perfect. We are human, and all humans have failings. It’s part of the human condition. That’s not the crux of the argument however. The problem people like me have against Jim Bob and Michelle is that they force their children to effectively take care of all the younger siblings, making them surrogate parents. They aren’t really raising the children, because it takes a team of caregivers to actually do it. In addition, these are people campaigning against the rights of LGBT families and women’s rights.
That makes it all the worse when you find out that not only did their son molest 5 underage girls in his teens, but that they knew about it. In fact, they covered it up. They took their son to see a police officer friend of the family (now in prison on child pornography charges) and had him talk to Josh. They then sent him away to a friend’s residence to help build a new home as therapy.
While we can’t judge them for what their son did, since he has free will, we can judge them for what they did afterwards. To fully understand the amazing backpedaling involved here, you need to know about Jim Bob’s state legislature run. Per Gawker, his now-defunct website lists his stance on many things, including oddly enough, incest. His beliefs match that of the Old Testament. Any man who commits incest needs to be executed. Now, I’m not saying Josh Duggar needs to be executed. What I feel is the most disturbing of the situation is that Jim Bob would point to their family as the basis for a biblical example, and then completely eschew any biblical responsibility the instance one of his family members breaks the rules therein.
Instead of having his son at least face the punishment that goes along legally with assaulting siblings, he and Michelle stalled the investigation until it was out of the statute of limitations. They kept their show going, and kept their son involved with the raising of their daughters. They campaigned against other people who wanted to raise their own families, because the Duggars felt that it went against the Bible. The same Bible they threw to the wayside the instant one of their own family member’s was involved with something that went outside teachings of scripture.
Their acceptance of his behavior also insists something horrific. A lot of the defense around Josh Duggar was that he was too young to understand right and wrong. That we need biblical teachings in order to teach morality, and that we need the belief of a fiery eternal punishment filled afterlife to keep people from doing horrible things.
What scares me about this, is that I am an atheist. I don’t believe in an afterlife, or eternal punishment, or anything like that. I don’t do illegal or hurtful things not because I’m worried about punishment or a man in the clouds keeping me from eternal bliss, but because I have empathy. To be told that all people would go around raping and murdering if not for the judgement of an all-powerful deity that hasn’t stopped by to reaffirm his existence in 2000 years, that says something extremely telling about those who feel we need a godly presence to keep us from doing bad things.
Now that I’m done being as eloquent as I can be, I’d just like to say:
Mike Huckabee is also standing by the Duggars. Great person to have in your court, Jim Bob. The dude’s an idiot who raised a son that tortured a dog to death.
Josh Duggar is a scumbag and should have known that molesting 5-year-old girls was wrong even at the age of 14.
Who would’ve thought a man named Jim Bob who lived in Arkansas would be involved in an incest scandal.