Skeleton’s In The Tater-Tot Casserole….

So….Josh Duggar….I AM SHOCKED….not even a little bit.

Ok, so I did not exactly expect to read that the eldest Duggar son had allegedly molested a number of young girls, the majority of whom were, it seems, his own sister’s, but I have always suspected that the family isn’t quite as squeaky clean and sanctimonious as they appear.

I figured it was only a matter of time before one of them announced he/she was gay, or knocked up before marriage, video-taped leaving a seedy motel with a prostitute, revealed as the Imperial Wizard of the KKK and/or caught riding around with a body in the trunk.  With all those kids, the odds have always seemed reasonable.

Personally, I will admit to having had a long standing, horrified-type fascination with the Duggar Family.  Kind of like a rubber necked gawker on the highway passing a bad accident scene.  You don’t really want to look….you don’t want to watch….you don’t want to Google it….but you do.

I was first introduced to the Duggar family in the early years of their rise to reality TV fame.  Not literally….we were introduced through the Discovery Channel and the magic of television when they were featured in a number of one-hour specials back in the day when they were something like 16 kids and counting.

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Though I didn’t and still do not, subscribe to their belief system….as it relates to pretty much every topic….it was hard to deny the children all seemed lovely….smart and polite….picking their little banjo’s and violins and harps while describing each other and their various experiences as “really sweet” and “precious” and “really neat” and “really special.”

They seemed happy all dressed alike in their second hand clothes (buy used and save the difference) and bad perms and I could appreciate that.  I tend to almost always impart a certain degree of respect to those who choose to live their lives by a particular code and who stick to it in a way that doesn’t intentionally hurt others.

It’s in this that Jim Bob and TLC were crafty in their representation of the family on the show.  It wasn’t hard to conclude how the Duggar family likely felt about topics like abortion and LGBT rights, but the show largely steered clear of those topics and instead portrayed a family who professed an abundance of kindness and compassion….they just weren’t specific with regards to exactly who was worthy of their kindness and compassion and who they were condemning.

So, the next thing I knew….much in the same way I eventually found myself fascinated by the Real Housewives of (insert any city except Atlanta)….I was tuning in to watch the family move from their teeny tiny house to an expansive property, partially paid and furnished by the good people at Discovery.

Then, Josh started courting deer-in-the headlights Anna and I watched as their awkward little romance developed.  I was there when she took Josh home to what appeared to be the bayou where she him up for the weekend in the “trailer house” in the front yard.

I thought about writing in a suggestion that TLC blend an episode of “Whatever Number of Kids at the Time” and “What Not to Wear” when Josh and Anna started to dress in matching ensembles.

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When Josh surprised Anna with an engagement ring….while she was dining with her parents at a restaurant called Gator Landing….I wondered if she wished she weren’t wearing the exact same shirt as her mother in that moment….and also if she wished her engagement wasn’t happening in a place called Gator Landing….but she seemed as goofily happy as ever, so I cheered them on.

Eventually though, I quit cheering.  When stories about the families involvement in various groups that seemed to be borderline hate groups, began to surface on the internet, it was hard to ignore the hypocrisy of the TLC Duggar family and the real Duggar family.  Hypocrisy is something I don’t respect.

Nor can I respect anyone who molds, interprets and/or uses religion to suit one’s own agenda.

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?”  ~Matthew 7:15

Personally, I believe firmly in “Live and Let Live.”  I say we leave the judging and condemnation to whatever entity may or may not be waiting on the other side.

In the last few years, as the kids have grown and begun making their presence and belief’s known through social media, as if they are somehow the moral and Godly authority on all subjects related to everything from faith, human rights and politics, I haven’t tuned in.

I didn’t really care that Jill and Jessa were placed into arranged marriages by skeevy Jim Bob, except that I kind of wanted to start a “Free Jana Duggar” campaign.

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I wasn’t surprised that Jill announced she was pregnant five seconds into her marriage and I got a good chuckle out of the rumors that Jessa and Ben consummated their marriage in the church rectory immediately after saying “I do.”  My money is on those two having a body stashed in the trunk of a car somewhere.

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When Josh became involved as a Lobbyist with the Family Research Council and multiple family members insinuated that homosexuality was akin to pedophilia, while also spouting off on a variety of topics from women’s rights….and why we shouldn’t have any….to other belief systems, creationism and everything in-between, I was amazed, but not fascinated, by their ignorance and lack of intellect.

I vomited a little in my mouth when Jim Bob and Michelle posted their own “passionate?” kiss in response to Jessa and Ben’s photo on Instagram that rapidly made it’s way through various media outlets.  I vomited a little more when Josh and Anna followed suit, because I had come to find the very site of Josh repulsive for some reason….perhaps a sixth sense for dysfunction….and when smooching selfie’s became a “thing” that turned into another “thing” when the Duggar’s removed photo’s of all same sex couples who shared their own kisses on the Duggar family Facebook page, I knew I was officially disenfranchised.

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For me, they were no longer oddly, but innocently, fascinating.  They were just gross.

So yeah, I wasn’t surprised by the reports that an ugly secret was looming just below the surface of their carefully, but cracking, TLC created, Jim Bob controlled facade.  I was only surprised it wasn’t brought to light sooner.

Now, it’s the country that has a lot to say….me, Mike Huckabee and Montel Williams included….regarding what should happen to this family from here.

The show has been canceled, at least for now, Josh has resigned from the FRC….he, his wife and his parents have released statements regarding his “teenage mistakes”….official records of the crime have been destroyed and it’s been revealed that the officer, a Jim Bob buddy, who the family originally reported the abuse to years ago, has since been arrested, tried and convicted on child pornography charges.  I can’t help but remember the saying, “You are the company you keep.”

Duggar supporters are saying he was a young person with a limited understanding regarding the depth of what he was doing.  That he owned up to his mistakes….admitted his transgressions….turned to God….made amends to those he harmed, has been forgiven by his victims….and so too should he be forgiven by the public and the blood-thirsty media.

I’m going to go ahead and call bull-shit on that.

For one, I do agree he was, perhaps a young man who did not understand the emotional damage he was inflicting on his victims.  However, he would be hard-pressed to suggest he did not know it was wrong in the moment.

As someone with a self-professed, highly moral, God abiding compass….capable of regurgiating the family mantra’s even back then….he clearly didn’t have the moral compass to do the right thing when it mattered.

Second, he didn’t confess, he was caught, turned in and then admitted his transgressions.  He was protected from legal persecution by a corrupt cop and parents too afraid of losing the cash cow they were parading around publicly to properly protect their own children.  I see no consequences in that.

Lastly….he shouldn’t be condemned?  I’m going to end with something Jessa Duggar recently posted to social media:

“Whenever someone speaks out against something that God calls sin, ‘Don’t judge!’ can be heard coming from a thousand lips. People don’t like to have other people disapprove of the way they’re choosing to live their life. People are content to live on in lying, cursing, pride, anger, bitterness, disrespecting of parents, lust, pornography, fornication, adultery, and other sexual sins — and if anyone tries to confront them, their attitude and response is, ‘You live your life, I’ll live mine. Don’t you tell me what to do! Only God can judge me!’ But when unbelieving, sinful men die and stand before God, He justly condemns them to hell.”

To paraphrase….Josh is screwed.

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