As the details emerged, the story became more stomach-turning and shocking: Josh Duggar was caught molesting his own sisters, touching them inappropriately while they slept. Not once, but several times.
Life as he knew it quickly unraveled once the story hit: Josh immediately resigned from his job at the Family Research Council, and issued an apology for his "inexcusable" behavior, expressing "deep regret." Recent reports say that Josh and his wife, Anna, who is pregnant with their fourth child, will be relocating from Washington D.C. back to Arkansas to be closer to family and ride out the scandal. This week, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar--in full-on damage control mode now that their show has been pulled from TLC's lineup and sponsors are defecting in droves--will be sitting down for an exclusive interview with Megyn Kelly of FOX News.
More than anything, my heart goes out to the Duggar girls who were abused, and forced to keep silent about that abuse in order to protect the family "brand". As I anticipated, there is talk of giving a spin-off show to the recently-married Duggar daughters, Jill and Jessa, featuring their lives as newlyweds and new parents (Jill gave birth in April to a boy named Israel, Jessa is pregnant with her first child and due in the Fall). At first, I hoped they would get their own show--as victims, don't they deserve to move on with their lives, and not be punished for the misdeeds of their brother?
But now that I've had some time to reflect on it, I think that allowing the Duggars--any of them--to continue having a platform upon which to display their unique religion-based life choices, would be grossly irresponsible, and only serve to perpetuate the environment that led to this heinous cover-up in the first place.
Today, I came up on a terrific blog post from three years ago, written by Libby Anne, that sums it up much better than I can verbalize. Libby Anne was raised in a household with very similar values and ideals as the Duggars, so she knows whereof she speakes. She expressed her concerns about the Duggars, and what the future might hold for the children--and her musings were eerily prescient. Kudos to this writer, for seeing the warning signs that were there all along and calling attention to them...and shame on the rest of us for not heeding her warnings.
I strongly encourage you to visit her blog and read the original post: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/02/carefully-scripted-lives-my-concerns-about-the-duggars.html