Ten things every person should be able to affirm in the face of the Duggar family tragedy

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dgszweda's picture

This pretty much sums up my viewpoint.  It is just sad that despite all of these scandals, we still have Christians brushing this under the rug as 1) a teenage mistake and 2) already asked forgiveness, and that somehow these two elements wash away the real issue and that Christians just need to love.

jimcarwest's picture

dgszweda wrote:

This pretty much sums up my viewpoint.  It is just sad that despite all of these scandals, we still have Christians brushing this under the rug as 1) a teenage mistake and 2) already asked forgiveness, and that somehow these two elements wash away the real issue and that Christians just need to love.

I don't think anyone is trying to "brush anything under the rug," saying that "Christians just need to love."  Certainly, that is not my viewpoint.  Unless we have heard from all the people involved in this issue and considered the motivations of some of those who have exposed the issue (and who are noticeably silent when similar situations involves non-Christians), we lack some information that might put the matter in a different light.  From a philosophical standpoint, many good points have been made, but as in all cases of this type, there is always some evidence that is lacking.  It is never right to rush to judgment.  Some have labeled erroneously what is said to have happened as rape and incest, ignoring the legal definition of these terms.  I would agree with those who find the whole idea of using children to produce a "reality TV show" as entirely objectionable.  However, a good many were tearing down the Duggars and ridiculing their beliefs (what about freedom of religion?) long before this latest scandal was made known.  TLC without doubt was simply using the Duggars to increase their bottom line.  Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, but they should not be surprised when a viewing audience bails out on them.  It would be interesting to know how long TLC has known of these happenings.  Surely, their investigators might have been aware of the matter for some time.  Did they sit on it, making money, until it was exposed?  Another question:  "Is there anything Josh Duggar might do to redeem himself, or any way to ascertain if the affected girls have found healing?" Or is long-term imprisonment the only thing that will satisfy some people, and for that matter, as some have suggested, imprisonment for his parents as well?

dgszweda's picture

I didn't say you were brushing it under the rug, but there are many who are.  There are enough saying that he was just a curious teenager.  Which I respond with "What on earth are these people even talking about?"  I was 14 and had a young sister and curious or not, I had absolutely no desire to do that to my sister.  Just the opposite.  Should he go to jail?  I don't know.  What I do know is that if these had been handled better, than 4 other girls would not have been traumatized by this action.  Even at a bare minimum, why didn't the parents have some accountability instead of leaving him alone with these girls.  By their inaction they created an environment for this activity and behavior to be sustained.  That is the disturbing issue.

I don't know if he can be redeemed or not.  There is no proof that anything was done to allow him to be redeemed.  No counseling (Christian or otherwise), no counseling for the victims (Christian or otherwise), no repercussions for his behavior, and with all of the secrecy around this and some of the deception that took place, it is unclear when and if it stopped.  He just commits a crime (one that is especially deviant) and he just asks forgiveness.  If this was my young daughter, I know for a fact that this would not have been enough, and I could also honestly say that I am not sure if my rage would have been controllable.  If I had a 5 year old daughter that had been repeatedly touched by a 14 year old kid, I am not confident if that kid would have been able to walk again, after I got done with him.  Short of the death of my child, I am not sure what act could be so heinous to a child.  I think this is it, the very bottom.

Mark_Smith's picture

This article from TGC highlights the problem with the "Christian" blogosphere response to the Duggars. We are throwing them to the curb. We ASSUME they covered up sin. We ASSUME they ignored the girls to protect the boy. We ASSUME they lived in an "us versus them" environment.We ASSUME the mom and dad were negligent. We ASSUME they learned nothing from Josh's sin/problems and the girl's responses.

Why this is wrong is WE HAVE NO IDEA what went on in the family. Maybe they did do nothing and swept it all under the rug... But just maybe they didn't. Maybe they did come together in forgiveness, love, and grace. Maybe they did grow together. Maybe Josh did deeply repent. Maybe the girls did work with their parents and church to overcome this. Maybe the girls really did forgive Josh (gasp...). Maybe the parents learned they did need to keep a closer watch over the kids, etc. And maybe the family learned that there can be (and is) sin in the camp, and worked with the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to fight that tendency to sin.

Just maybe... but no, we'd rather attack. We'd rather criticize. We's rather ridicule for not turning them in to the police, as if the social workers and the juvenile justice system was the only way to do it. And we are hypocritical in this. Do we turn ourselves in when we speed? Do we turn our kids in for alcohol? Do we turn our kids in to the police for drug use? No, most of us don't. Anjd before you say apples to orange, it is the same. If the "only right way" Josh could deal with his problem was through the juvenile justice system, the same applies to your little Johnny if you find him with a "roach" (as Jim called it), right? 

Think about it.

Ann B.'s picture

Jim wrote:

I think the real "sin" of the Duggars is / was living life in a reality show. 

(and I am not dismissing what Josh did)

 Yesterday while waiting in a doctor's office, I glanced through an old copy of People magazine - the cover story (the cover!  Not just a brief article) was about the Duggar daughter who had a baby in April.  All the details about the anticipated home birth that had to be moved to the hospital for a C-section.  History of her labor.  Sidebars about the other kids.  All this was printed before the news about Josh.  

Why would anyone subject their family to such publicity and therefore scrutiny?  Especially knowing there was such an explosive skeleton in the closet.

Jim's picture

Ann B. wrote:

Why would anyone subject their family to such publicity and therefore scrutiny?  Especially knowing there was such an explosive skeleton in the closet.

Why? Hard to know: 

  • Do they view their family as some sort of model for others to follow? Some sort of ministry? Follow us as we follow Christ! (I don't know!)
  • Is it  / was it the money? All the sponsors (like General Mills). Money flowed. (again I don't know)
  • Were they / are they victims themselves? Exploited? 

What I do know: (the "as for me and my house")

  • We value our privacy. 
  • I myself  have enough flaws that I would not want to be under thank kind of public scrutiny:(plus my life is really really boring)
  • I would never subject my wife, let alone my children to reality TV

 

Ann B.'s picture

Jim wrote:

What I do know: (the "as for me and my house")

  • We value our privacy. 
  • I myself  have enough flaws that I would not want to be under thank kind of public scrutiny:(plus my life is really really boring)
  • I would never subject my wife, let alone my children to reality TV

 If I had to guess, it would probably be two things:  the seeming opportunity to maybe be an influence in the world in spite of the gawking nature of reality tv; and - $$ speaks volumes to everyone.

Privacy - So important for families.  I don't even understand these parents who are all over Facebook with every event in their lives, and who allow their children to post constantly also.  I am on FB, and enjoy it to some degree (especially keeping in touch with family and old friends), but would never share all the details of my life in a forum that is so public.  Much less reality TV!!

jimcarwest's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

This article from TGC highlights the problem with the "Christian" blogosphere response to the Duggars. We are throwing them to the curb. We ASSUME they covered up sin. We ASSUME they ignored the girls to protect the boy. We ASSUME they lived in an "us versus them" environment.We ASSUME the mom and dad were negligent. We ASSUME they learned nothing from Josh's sin/problems and the girl's responses.

Why this is wrong is WE HAVE NO IDEA what went on in the family. Maybe they did do nothing and swept it all under the rug... But just maybe they didn't. Maybe they did come together in forgiveness, love, and grace. Maybe they did grow together. Maybe Josh did deeply repent. Maybe the girls did work with their parents and church to overcome this. Maybe the girls really did forgive Josh (gasp...). Maybe the parents learned they did need to keep a closer watch over the kids, etc. And maybe the family learned that there can be (and is) sin in the camp, and worked with the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to fight that tendency to sin.

Just maybe... but no, we'd rather attack. We'd rather criticize. We's rather ridicule for not turning them in to the police, as if the social workers and the juvenile justice system was the only way to do it. And we are hypocritical in this. Do we turn ourselves in when we speed? Do we turn our kids in for alcohol? Do we turn our kids in to the police for drug use? No, most of us don't. Anjd before you say apples to orange, it is the same. If the "only right way" Josh could deal with his problem was through the juvenile justice system, the same applies to your little Johnny if you find him with a "roach" (as Jim called it), right? 

Think about it.

 Good thinking, Mark.  The "just maybes work both ways."

Greg Long's picture

Mark, again the issue is whether they did their "due diligence" as far as the authorities are concerned. It's not about what they did internally as a family.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Mark_Smith's picture

Assuming the information that came out in the Duggar interview last night is accurate, this whole thing is ridiculously overblown.