A week ago I couldn't have told you who Josh Duggar was. I mean, yes, that he is a Duggar but not his birth order number or age or marital status or how many, if any, kids he has. And some of you not only know all of that but also what he ate for breakfast two weeks ago.
Some of my friends are disgusted by the Duggars (believers and non), and others downright worship them. I'm not really in either of those camps and just to set the table here, so you'll know where I'm coming from, Duggar-wise...
I've never been a Duggar fanatic like so many people out there. I did see the parents on The View several years ago but have only actually seen one episode of their show and didn't have really strong feelings either way about them (there's some weirdness, there's no denying that, but there are also some great things they teach their children, so we can't write them off as utter monsters.) So, well, I've just been "meh" all these years.
I'm (mostly) Duggar whatever. Duggar neutral. Duggar Switzerland.
The story that broke last week about Josh's molestation of young teenage girls when he was a young teenager himself and the world's response to it have been quite repulsive. There are a lot of Duggar-haters who have been tapping their fingers for all these years, just waiting for some horrible thing to come out about the Duggars. And now they're just drooling over the juicy deliciousness of this story, forgetting that there are very real people involved. There are also a lot of Duggar-lovers who are blindly defending this man, saying what he did when he was a kid isn't that big a deal. I'm only interested in what's fair and right for the victims, which is to leave them the heck alone.
The next step, I fear, will include a desperate hunt by the media to uncover the victims' names and rob them of their anonymity, some twisted little "Where Are They Now?" bit. To humiliate the women who would probably rather die than have to publicly talk about the intricate details of something that happened to them long ago. If those victims wanted more out of Josh Duggar, they could definitely have gotten it by now. Did one of the victims "break" the story? No? Okay, then we need to leave them alone.
Josh Duggar's words about taking responsibility for his actions, the incredible regret he feels, that he confessed and along with his parents and the authorities took steps to make things right by seeking counseling and providing therapy for the victims as well, ooze hurt and shame and brokenness over his actions.
What he did when he was 14 years old was not okay. It was horrible and hurtful. But it was dealt with. He did confess to his parents, who did go to the police, who did follow protocol in protecting the victims as well as making sure the Duggars provided counseling for the girls who were molested. It was 12 years ago and it was dealt with, not "buried" as many have tried to say.
Josh Duggar and I do not have a lot in common, not at all. Were we to sit down for a cup of joe and a chat, I dare say we would disagree on a lot. But I am 100% with him on his claim to forgiveness and gratitude for God's mercy and grace.
I have done a lot of crappy things in life, and if you are a living breathing human being, so have you. I am thankful that I don't have to wear those on a sign around my neck listing all I have done wrong, and that's what Josh Duggar means when he talks about grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Those are very real things, and I need them daily...hourly, for my own sins.
There is no "just getting over it" for victims of sexual abuse. Even though they were young (or, possibly, especially because they were young), the girls will probably suffer lifelong issues from what happened to them.
The Duggar-haters probably just need to back off a bit and let this family (and especially the victims) move on.
The Duggar-lovers, on the other hand, also need to back off a bit and realize that the reason this is all such a very big huge deal right now is because this family has been wrongly placed in a high and lofty place, reserved for God Himself, the only Being worthy of anyone's worship and adoration.