June 17, 2015

Why I Don't Support the Duggars


And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. | MARK 9:42

You know things are going to get intense when I actually start using correct capitalization.

This isn't what I usually write about. I dislike controversy and pointless debates, and this is probably the first time that I have gotten involved in either. I'm also kind of late to this particular party. But I've recently been reflecting on the fact that most of my audience consists of homeschooled, female, Christian teenagers, so I think that this topic is particularly relevant.

Basically, a guy named Josh Duggar (a professing Christian and a star on a TLC reality show called 19 Kids & Counting) recently admitted to having molested a number of young girls when he was 14, including some of his own sisters. When these events occurred, a police report was filed and Josh underwent months of corrective labour and spiritual counselling. He publicly stated that his actions were inexcusable and that he sought for and received forgiveness from God and the people he wronged. TLC also dropped 19 Kids & Counting from their schedule.

So why do I feel the need to write a five-hundred word essay on this topic? Because there are still people who want the reality show to come back on the air. More importantly, there are people who are trying to excuse Josh's actions. This, in my opinion, should never be supported, and here is a list of reasons why.

1. THE FACT THAT THE DUGGARS ARE AN EXAMPLE OF CHRISTIANITY TO A WIDE AUDIENCE CHANGES EVERYTHING.
Some of the girls who Josh molested eventually forgave him. This was their decision; I think this is amazing and I don't know if I would have the love and compassion to forgive something like this. I also believe that if Josh was truly sincere in his remorse, God also forgave him. I'm not trying to say that his repentance was insincere or that should never have been forgiven. However, this forgiveness is entirely and utterly undeserved. He did not deserve a second chance at all; the fact that he was given one is entirely a result of God's grace. Some might argue that none of us deserve forgiveness and we are all given second chances through God's grace. While this is very true, there are four reasons why I believe that in this case, we can't just brush the issue off. (1) Sexual immorality is deeply and extremely offensive to God and should be treated seriously. Read the verse at the top of this post; it kind of emits a vibe that this issue is serious. Some writers such as Matt Walsh have been trying to point out arguments like "all Christians make mistakes", but I believe that (2) sins that directly affect and hurt other people should not be readily excused. Sexual abuse should never be swept under the rug. Yes, we are called to forgive others as Christ forgave us, but (3) forgiving an abuser and supporting that abuser as a public example of Christianity are two very separate things. Josh and the Duggars were representing Christianity to a very, very large demographic. Is this the kind of person we want people to think of when they hear the word "Christian"?

3. THE FAMILY AGREED TO STAR IN A REALITY SHOW WHILE FULLY AWARE OF JOSH'S PAST.
They agreed to have their lives filmed and televised as an example of a Christian family, and I think this was a dreadful mistake. Did they just never consider the possibility of this information being released? It was, by the way, a tabloid that initially released the information on these sexual assault allegations. It is likely that if this information has not been discovered, the family would never have been prevailed upon to mention the incidents. Of course, not even Christian families are perfect. Everyone has their own skeletons in the closet, but these are some pretty nasty skeletons. I'm subsequently led to ask why they ever agreed to have their lives televised for the public; I cannot discern any legitimate spiritual benefit from it. I don't know what their motives were (although I'm guessing fame and money), but the result is that now a large number of people think of conservative Christians as backwards, sexist child molesters. This, although mostly inaccurate, is not a great testimony.

3. SEXUAL OFFENDERS SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO BECOME MEDIA ICONS.
"If you're a sexual abuser, having a chance at becoming a better person is completely different from deserving your large audience of people that you have power over."  This quote is from a YouTuber called TheThirdPew in an {extremely good video} on a similar topic. Supporting Josh on a personal level is completely different from supporting him as a media icon. There isn't much that I need to add to this.

4. SUPPORTING THE SHOW INDIRECTLY SUPPORTS RAPE CULTURE.
This isn't the fault of the Duggar family and I believe that they probably wouldn't want to excuse rape or blatant sexism. Nevertheless, there are still some  fans of the show that are making excuses for what happened. Some that even go as far as to blame the victim. This is awful, and it is possible mostly because the show had such a large audience (which reiterates my previous point). To allow the show to continue would be, in my opinion, to indirectly excuse sexual assault.

It's great that Josh is apparently different now. It's not great that the Duggars were hiding Josh's past sexual misconduct and simultaneously starring in a show that displayed Christianity to the world.

7 comments:

  1. this makes me sick to the stomach and, to a certain extent, the heart. i'm sad that something like this has happened to the family, the reputation of Christianity, and to the poor, poor girls on whom such a dreadful sin has been committed. i hope and pray that his repentance is true and real.
    i completely agree with all of your points, i think TLC made the right choice to stop showing them. it may, in the long run, do harm to the family and to Christ's name.
    thank you for taking the courage to put this out there, people need to hear this.

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  2. basically everything evelyn said. i almost just typed out a novel on here, but i won't. your post got it all while remaining balanced, Christ-like, and serious about a terrible, terrible sin that has been committed and a terribly, terribly sad issue that has been distorted in so many ways. these points are so important- people need to hear this.

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  3. AMEN (no wordplay intended). I agree basically with everything you said, because wow, he's a sex offender? And people are actually blaming the victim. I mean, wow, just wow. I believe in forgiveness but never, ever forget the actions of those who have hurt you. Let things be at peace if they are sincerely remorseful, I say, but it should never be easily brushed aside. Actions speak louder than words. Great post. :)

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  4. thank you all for your support! <3

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  5. nominated you for the liebster award in my latest blogpost!! if you have the time to check it out, that would be awesome. thank you!!!

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  6. wow...You know I NEVER thought of it that way. Thank you!! :)

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    1. i'm very glad that you decided to read this, then!! if you want to talk about feminism some more, drop me a line. ;)

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