Josh Duggar, the oldest of the famous Duggar Clan just resigned from his position at the Family Research Council. Records have come to light that Duggar molested some of his sisters by touching their breasts and genitals while they were sleeping and at least one girl reported him to their parents.
"Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends," Josh Duggar, 27, said in the statement posted on the family's Facebook page.
"We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling," the statement said. "I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life."
It's shocking for a number of reasons and I'm not entirely sure that the family is going to be able to overcome this scandal and keep the television program.
- The Duggars and particularly Josh are outspoken advocates of traditional marriage. In the comments section of the Washington Post and Facebook, he's already being slapped with the label of hypocricy for disparaging one sort of sexual activity outside of traditional marriage, while participating in an other.
- The wisdom of having so many children that can't be properly supervised has popped up several times.
- The Duggar family did not report this immediately to the authorities, nor did the elders of the church. They did report him to a state trooper known to the family and he received a sternlecture. Unfortunately that state trooper is now in jail for child pornography.
I'm not going to try and defend Josh Duggar. He was 14 at the time and he's turned his life around since then. It's unfortunate that there was ever anything that could be used against him.
However, this has happened before, and is something Catholics are very familiar with. The entire priest scandal of 2002 still comes up in discussions and debates with liberals. We've also had other Catholic leaders fall and disappoint us.
When scandal like this becomes public, many people seem to think, if that can happen to a great family like the Duggars, what hope is there for my family?
It's important to remember that the easiest and surest way for Satan to bring someone down is through sexual temptation, and everyone of us, is susceptible to it.
But there are some things that we can remember:
- Pray, and pray always, as if our lives depend on it, because indeed they do. And mothers especially need to keep our husbands and our children under a blanket of prayer, because they will be under assault.
- As parents looking for role models for our children, in the wisdom of the church we cannot do better than the actual cannonized saints. These are men and women who have run THE ENTIRE RACE, and had their lives examined and scrutinized. They have been found to be authentically holy.
- Josh Duggar and the Duggar family have done many wonderful things, but their message is going to be marred with this fall from grace. Men and women who are in effective leadership are under constant attack from Satan - so it shouldn't surprise us when they mess up. It's probably more miraculous when they don't, and the Duggars have had a good run.
- I'd still watch their program and reruns for their wholesome example of a Christian Family - but it's probably a time to reiterate the talk about good touches, and bad ones, and what is and is not appropriate even amongst siblings.
- Lastly, Josh Duggar was 14 years old when this occurred. The sins of a young teenager should not take away from the message the family has been putting out there for years - a love of family, an openness to new life, and support for traditional marriage. But they will be punished in the public forum for being so outspoken in their beliefs. That's happening a lot - not just to the Duggars, but to many conservatives who try to speak on these issues in blogs and social media. If this scandal stops the discussion, we've already lost, and I think that really would be a tragedy. I intend to continue to write and discuss in those forums that let me, but I'm prepared to take some lumps for this one.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)