Search This Blog

Friday, May 22, 2015

19 Kids and Bullcrap: Why the Moral Outrage Against the Duggars Misses the Mark

Unless you don't imbibe social media (an ever appealing option every day), you've probably heard about the awful scandal involving the Duggar family of TLC's "19 Kids and Counting."

I'm not going to waste time trying to sort through the "details" of the case, as I know as little as everyone else about what truly happened, including those who claim to know everything.

In fact, this post is not about the specific incidences of abuse at all, but the flurry of commentary surrounding them and the level of deceit and faux moral outrage we, the watching public, are being fed.

Firstly, can we stop pretending the swath of gutter trash written on this "bombshell" is borne out of some Mother Teresa concern for the victims?

Seriously, if anyone gave a care about the victims this extremely personal and painful ordeal would not have been flung back in their faces after more than a decade's worth of time. And it certainly would not be paraded before a gawking and scornful public for uninvited and unwelcomed feedback.


This has only ever been about one thing: using this tragedy as opportunity to cut the Duggar family down to size and prove the liberal secularist meta-narrative about the inherent failure of the Duggar way of life (modesty, courtship, conservative Christianity, homeschooling, etc.).

While even as a Christian I do not share some of the Duggar's views on what fidelity to God demands, I also am not controlled by a neurosis preventing me from respecting them as people despite our differences.

Why is this so hard for some people?

Perhaps it's the same reason ravenous hordes descended on Rick and Kay Warren after their son committed suicide to make sure everyone knew how the Warren's faith had failed to save their son.

Perhaps it's the same reason the media laps up the "traditional values" politician caught soliciting gay sex in a rest-stop bathroom, but seem totally unaware of the plethora of same-sex attracted Christians living faithful, godly lives and encouraging others to do likewise.

Perhaps it's the same reason barbaric crowds heckled the Lord Jesus is his agonizing, dying moments, sarcastically inviting him down off the cross if he was truly who he claimed.

People love to see Christians fall if it somehow validates their own wicked lifestyle.

You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief as the moral guilt heaped on the consciences of a sinful public by the Duggar's bold Christian witness melted away with the news of Joshua Duggar's grievous past sins.

All this Duggar turmoil serves as a convenient excuse to ignore the truth claims of Christianity and questions regarding the secular worldview because, hey, look how awful Josh Duggar is!

I am well aware many people will call me biased, either because I'm a Duggar fan or a Christian, but being biased in favor of a view doesn't make that view untrue.

I don't deny I am predisposed to the view I am espousing, but only due to years of seeing it played out before my eyes.

And there's little reason to suggest anyone else writing on this story is less biased than I am.

Others will argue I'm more concerned about the treatment of Joshua Duggar than that he committed molestation.

This is also incorrect.

I am disgusted and shocked by this news, also recognizing this was something done and dealt with (or at least was being dealt with) before I was in 4th grade and was at no point any of my business. If there was current wrong being done, that would be a different story entirely.

I could go on, but since folks are using this hoopla as an opportunity to "reflect" on the possible larger issues at play, forgive me if I too indulge.

Firstly, if you are employing Josh Duggar as an argument against homeschooling, purity and modesty, the Bible, or conservatism (political or theological), not only are you almost absolutely wrong in your assumptions, but you're probably an opportunist profiting off the molestation of young children.

We have zero evidence any one of those things caused or precipitated Josh Duggar's actions. (For all we know, they kept them from getting worse or continuing).

We *do* know with every confidence, however, people who fall outside such demographics are not sexual abuse free.

Secondly, nothing the Duggars have said about modesty, purity, Christianity, same-sex marriage, or abortion is suddenly invalidated because of anyone's actions.

The truth of their worldview presuppositions are such completely independent of whether they live them out perfectly or not.

Thirdly, sexual abuse can happen to anyone and in any family, Christian or not, which means it is something everyone should take seriously. And when it occurs, the best thing to do is (1.) provide the necessary spiritual support/counseling and (2.) contact the police immediately. If one of those things is missing, true healing will remain elusive.

Disagree? Don't worry: I'm sure we'll get the chance to debate this again.