Friday, May 22, 2015

When a celebrity role model disappoints us.

I certainly wasn't expecting to write about this today, but since it's all over my Facebook newsfeed, I feel that it needs to be addressed.

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. 
Josh Duggar

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)



8 comments:

  1. How did records come to light? He was a juvenile.That is not an excuse- but those records are supposed to be expunged.
    Second, many many of the Saints were not such great people until they took the Lord as their Savior into their hearts. I think that is important to point out to children- as well as their virtuous life after they took the Lord in. God takes us where we are at when we ask and then moves us forward.
    The last is, although both are about sex, the priest sex scandals were adults who preyed, mostly, on children. This is a very different thing. Both situations are power plays---but an adult is supposed to have a fully informed conscience when taking a vow. A child- even an older teen- does not have that capability.
    I do think the anti religion people would like us all to abandon good role models---but it is to their benefit that we do. I do believe this young man still is a good role model---and am sorry it all happened. Actually, I would not even know about it without your blog post here!

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    1. Good points Janette. I'm sorry this all happened too and I'm especially sad for the Duggar girls who had all moved on with their lives, having to relive it all again.

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  2. Anonymous11:37 PM

    You are utterly disgusting. You are willing to sink to any reprehensible depths to defend your moronic beliefs. WHAT IF THIS WERE IZZY OR ROSIE????!!! Would you sweep it under the rug and have the only punishment be a "stern talking to" by a convicted child pornographer. Would you deny and excuse if it had been your sweet innocent girls violated repeatedly in their own home BY THEIR OWN BROTHER???!! What is wrong with you Elena? Are you so desparate to have everything fit into your narrow box of godly and conservative you've stooped to defending pedophiles and their enablers? You are gross and I feel sick for having read this. I'm finished with you Elena you've absolutely gone off the deep end here. ~Linds84

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  3. OK, let's look at your charges
    * sinking to reprehensible depths to defend moronic beliefs - you didn't actually specify what moronic beliefs you were referring to. I specifically said that I wasn't defending Josh Duggar, other than that I'm not clear what you are referring to.

    *What if it were Izzy or Rosie? Hypothetically, this is where I would probably do things differently than the Duggars. I would NOT have called the police immediately and frankly I don't think most people would pick up the phone and call the police to arrest their 14 year old son in the middle of the night. I would get him out of the house and get everyone into counseling though and I wouldn't wait on that.

    * Deny and excuse what? I don't deny what he did was wrong and I totally find it inexcusable. Your point?

    *What's wrong with you Elena? Nothing. You on the other hand might want to sharpen your reading comprehension skills. I neither defended or condoned anyone. This was a post about helping folks who are scandalized by this find hope in prayer and finding good role models, and about not losing the message just because another messenger has fallen from grace.

    Seriously Linds- take a chill pill, or a stiff drink, calm down and actually read what I wrote.

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  4. Anonymous9:43 AM

    "What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every men be false... But if our wickedness serves to show the justice of God, what shall we say? That God is unjust to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in the human way.) By no means!" And the rest of Romans 3... -Mallory

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    1. Excellent scripture Mallory. Thanks for sharing it!

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  5. Janice6:48 PM

    Should the man be torn to shreds over this? I don't believe he should. However, the failure of either Josh or his parents to acknowledge his sisters in their statements makes me angry. They are the true victims in this, not Josh. Josh is NOT the one who should be pitied or made a martyr. Michelle and Jim Bob's statement was particularly eye-roll worthy and seems to elevate their son over their daughters, as if covering up for him was more important than tending to the fact that four of their other children had been molested.

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  6. I wonder how many parents of both boys and girls are wondering what they would have done had it happened in their family--because if could. I don't care how much or how little sex education you give your kids, or whether you preach abstinence or protection, it COULD happen in your house, to your kids. It is easy enough to talk about throwing the book at someone else's kids, or at an adult who violated your child, but the reality is parents have to consider BOTH kids, and what seems like a good system of mandatory reporters means that there is no where they can go for help without having government intrusion into family life. Where would Josh have been sent? To Grandmas? or to a foster home where who knows what would have happened to him (I'm not knocking the wonderful foster parents out there who deal with kids with all sorts of issues, but there are plenty who aren't good and in whose care Josh would have not gotten help, and may have been harmed by other kids.

    My only criticism of this whole affair is the reality television end of it. All of us have dust bunnies under our bed or dirt behind the washing machine or....in other words, look long enough and hard enough and you are going to find problems in any family. You are going to find kids who don't live up to parental expectation, parents who make child-rearing mistakes and friends who aren't. You are going to find people of faith who don't live up to the expectations of that faith. When you stick cameras in a family home and record "real life", especially a "real life" that is considered odd by most, you are sticking yourself on a pedastal from which a fall is likely and painful. If the Duggars were just your average overly-religious too-large family this would be a family matter to be dealt with by family; now it is being discussed by people who don't know anything about it, and that discussion is probably as painful for those girls as the initial molestation.

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