The Duggar family is most known for their popular show on TLC "19 Kids and Counting" which details the trials and tribulations of being part of a family with 19 kids. The Duggar parents and their children adhere to Christian values and never stray far from purity. But the family's name has been poisoned ever since it surfaced that their eldest son, Josh, had "inappropriately touched" a number of girls, including a few of his younger siblings.
The media exploded with this scandal and America erupted in opinions. Many people claimed that Josh Duggar was a hypocrite because, as a Christian activist, he condemned those who did not follow God's law. He served on a family research council and made his support for anti-abortion very clear to the public. Josh Duggar was criticized in the weeks following this discovery, and asked the public and God for forgiveness. Just when everything seemed to calm back down, the Ashley Madison hack revealed that Josh Duggar held multiple accounts that he used to cheat on his wife. There were also allegations that he twice paid an adult film actress for sex while his wife was pregnant. He, then, publicly admitted to cheating on his wife, Anna, the day after his accounts were identified. Even the most genuine of apologies cannot excuse Josh Duggar from his misconduct.
Many people were quick to judge the Duggars simply because they did not agree with the views of the family as a whole. Some of their views that spark criticism include anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, and general lack of support for a woman's right to use birth control. It seemed America was just waiting for something like this to surface, but we lose sight of just how bad this mistake is, in and of itself. He molested young girls and committed adultery. Even if you aren't famous, those are some pretty big mistakes. My biggest issue that I have with the whole situation is that Josh Duggar spoke in the name of God, love, and family while hiding these darks secrets of his past and present. Who is he to judge others and speak from a place of God while simultaneously committing grave sin himself?
After Josh Duggar came clean, his family members did not hide their disappointment. Two family members who chose to remain anonymous spoke out about their shock and disappointment with Josh's decisions. Anna's brother even went as far as calling Josh a pig on social media. This reaction leads me to believe that his family members were not aware of the sex scandal and did not shove it under the rug -- the opposite of what they did when they found out about the molestations many years ago. On the other hand, it could seem that the Duggars were simply trying to save face. They dealt with the repercussions of not coming clean about the inappropriate touching and did all they could to avoid those repercussions a second time around.
My final thoughts and questions are directed at Anna Duggar. I understand that I do not know the extent of what she knew about Josh during their marriage and that I know virtually nothing about their relationship. I'm not in a place to judge, but as a young woman in my late teens, I can't help but question her decision to stand by her husband, especially after he cheated on her while she was pregnant. What kind of example does this set for other young women in relationships? What kind of example does this set for her own children? Although part of me admires her for dealing with this personal hell in the public eye, I cannot help but feel sorry for her and question her own ideals of independence and strengths.
The Josh Duggar scandal will forever be associated with the Duggar name.