A Duggar Warning: The Lost Opportunity

So our iconic Duggar family has been tragically discredited.  As I look at what is out there about the disclosure of Josh’s molestations, it seems to me that the vast majority of responses are taking sides to either defend or discredit.  I hope to be impartial, understanding that they have been held up to be the perfect family and let me tell you there is no such monster out there, no matter what appears on the outside.

So, from what I am finding (and we can be assured that we do not know all the facts) the authorities were called, and appropriately so.  Apparently Josh was required to work a program of some kind.  The girls received counseling.  All of this action is appropriate.

Three things bother me:

  • These young girls received damage that has changed their lives forever.  The hope is that they have received great help and redeem the damage done to them. Even then, as they have grown it is likely that problems will pop up at different developmental stages in their lives.  Is ongoing help (should it be needed) going to be provided?
  • The second issue is Josh himself.  I have not been able to pick up true brokenness and remorse in his statement(s). Inappropriate behavior in this case is molestation.  Can he admit he is a molester?  Such an admission does not mean he is currently acting out, though he might be. What is he doing to hold himself accountable and to protect children from himself? What is his personal history that would compel him to commit this horrendous crime?
  • In my opinion, secrecy is the worst mistake.  It is true it was not kept completely secret since they called the authorities.  The problem I have is what kept them from allowing Josh’s story to be part of their TV show?  Granted it needed to be done in a timely manner.  Granted sharing publically would have held it’s own risks.  Perhaps they did want to share and the producers said no, in which case I would ask ‘so what’?  To have been authentic, truthful, not fearing exposure and loss of the show would have invited respect.  It could have been an example to the millions of others who are going through similar things.  Molestation is an easy word to pronounce.  All secrets get exposed at some point.  To have it happen this way, hurting their testimony for Christ and home schooling is also a tragedy and has provided grounds for the secular community to criticize Christianity and Christians.

And in case you are wondering, yes, the above picture is Josh Duggar; not his usual TV image.

Comments

  1. Melissa Rossi says:

    This whole story and situation makes me very sad and quite angry. After watching the interview of Josh Duggar’s parents last night on the Fox News Channel, I am even more saddened. Here are my thoughts:

    Jim Bob (the father) stated that it wasn’t “rape” or anything like that. I took that as him minimizing the impact of the incest, which by the way, was NEVER named.

    Another thing that was disturbing to me, was that it seemed like the parents were more concerned and focused on Josh, vs the victims, both then and now. They kept stating the victims had NO IDEA what he was doing. That was VERY bothersome to hear. Of course, a 5 year old, would have no idea what he was doing because she didn’t know any different. That doesn’t make the incident less significant, hurtful, or negate any possible long term suffering to the little girl

    I didn’t think the analogy of the lost sheep was a good one to use. Not sure exactly why, but this analogy bothered me, and seemed like it was used as an excuse for how the parents responded to the situation.

    The church elders WERE/ARE mandatory reporters, and did not report anything to the police. Jim Bob stated he first went to the elders at the church. It wasn’t until a year later, and the incidents returned (the ones Josh actually “confessed to”–there may have been more), that they went to the police. The policeman that listened to the story did NOT file charges, and is in jail for 56 years for child pornography.

    It wasn’t until Oprah was tipped off, and reported the alleged incidents to the authorities, that another police investigation was opened, but the 3 year statue of limitations had already expired. Jim Bob refused to allow Josh to be interviewed by the police at that time—they did not talk about this in the interview on Fox News.

    The focus towards the end of the interview, by Josh’s parents, was on how the records should never have been exposed, and that angered them. They have lawyered up and are contemplating suing the police department. They talk all about forgiveness, but are not contemplating suing vs forgiving. I find this hypocritical.

    They said Josh was 14 when the incidents first started, and continued when he was 15 years old–but Jim Bob makes a very clear point to state Josh wasn’t “16”, the age in Arkansas at which a teenager is considered a pedophile. To me it seems their attitude was that since he missed the legal limit by LESS than a year, there should have been, and should not be now, any legal or other consequences. And also they don’t consider him a molester, or touch on naming what he actually did. They kept saying bad or poor choices.

    The place in Little Rock was with a family friend, who they stated “counseled” him and had him do hard labor, working on a house. This family friend was not a licensed practitioner. Michelle Duggar (the mother), stated in the police report he actually did not received counseling at a special facility, but went to stay with a family friend who they considered to be a good christian man who could give him Godly counseling.

    I am all about forgiving, but forgiving is not FORGETTING, keeping secrets, or an excuse for bad behavior. Yes, God is a merciful and gracious God, but he does not protect us from CONSEQUENCES.

  2. Excellent information and well stated. Thank you for thoughts Melissa.

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