Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are the parents of a large family and the hosts of the popular television reality show 19 Kids and Counting. The program was part of the TLC Network’s lineup. It recently became known that about twelve years ago their oldest child, Josh, had sexually molested several young girls, some were his sisters, when he was fourteen.
In the wake of this revelation Josh resigned his position as Executive Director of the conservative Family Research Council, and though his family’s show 19 Kids and Counting is one of TLC’s top-rated programs, production and programing is currently “in limbo.”
The disclosure has created a media maelstrom. The Duggars are accused of being hypocrites for remaining silent about what happen with detractors demanding cancelation of the show.
When Jim Bob and Michelle became aware of Josh’s actions they had Josh go through counseling, as well as the girls who were his victims. Everything seems to have been resolved to the satisfaction of all involved, including the counselors who actually dealt with the victims.
If this was indeed the case, then the decision to remain silent was probably in the best interest of the victims who may have been traumatized by further scrutiny. While their motives for remaining silent are questioned, I would have probably done the same, and to speculate whether their decision was right or wrong is not productive now.
When Josh Duggar resigned his post at the Family Research Council he issued a statement, “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. We spoke with authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling.”
Though a minor himself at the time, only fourteen, I am convinced he knew what he had done was wrong. I agree with Josh that he “acted inexcusably.” But I also agree with Mike Huckabee, that although Josh’s actions are inexcusable they are not unforgiveable. Josh appears to have been completely honest about his sin and his subsequent repentance.
Many who believed the Duggars were a model of Christian purity and pristine family life were shocked when they discovered Josh’s past sins. I was surprised but not shocked. The Scriptures declare, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23.
Everyone is born with a bent to sin and we each will eventually act on this innate propensity in one way or another. Thanks to Christ there is forgiveness for sin and healing for the one wounded by sin.
As the axiom says, “There is no sinner without a future, and no saint without a past.” It appears Josh has repented and is no longer the person he once was, and his victims seem to have moved on from what has happened. Let the past remain in the past.