How Residents in the Duggars’ Town Are Reacting to Josh’s Molestation …

30 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Duggars to give first interview about molestation scandal.

The famously conservative Duggars seemed to be models of wholesome family life, but son Josh was hiding a dark past: He allegedly molested five young girls as a teen. “Next week we will sit down with Megyn Kelly on Fox News to share our hearts with you about the pain that we walked through as a family twelve years ago, the tears we all shed and the forgiveness that was given,” said a statement on the family’s website.Fox News news pundit Megan Kelly has snagged the first interview with 19 Kids and Counting stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, whose son Josh admitted to acting “inexcusably” after a report surfaced that he molested five underage girls when he was 14.

Last week, the entire country was fixated on one, and only one, issue: Whether the Duggar clan, who have more kids than they can count, have one kid they couldn’t exactly count on to do the right thing. Reruns of 19 Kids were pulled from TLC last week after a magazine revealed sexual molestation allegations against the Duggar’s eldest son Josh, now 27. You know the Duggars — they’re everywhere, on TLC 10 times a week, on the “Today” show every couple of months when they have another baby, and on the cover of magazines at the supermarket checkout.

Many of the residents in Washington County, Arkansas, are reeling from a scandal that has put them – and their most famous residents – under a microscope. While Josh apologized for “act(ing) inexcusably” as a “young teenager,” his parents said that “dark and difficult time” brought their family “closer to God.” In the wake of the scandal, the Duggars’ hit reality show “19 Kids and Counting” was pulled off TLC’s schedule, with several advertisers also dropping the show.

The now-married man, with a fourth child on the way, released a statement to PEOPLE that said, “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. Thanks to their ridiculous procreation rate, there are now so many of them that next time you’re walking down the street, shout out: “Hey you, Duggar!” and I’ll bet at least one person will turn around and wave back. The reactions are wide-ranging: One young mother, while herding her two small children in the parking lot of a Walmart, tells PEOPLE of Josh: “I think he should rot in Hell!” Meanwhile, friends of the Duggars remain as unfailingly supportive as Josh’s parents and wife, Anna, have been since the scandal broke.

They’ve also made it their business to tell anyone who will listen, and a good number of people like me who would prefer not to listen, how to run our lives. As far as they are concerned, the rest of us are spending eternity roasting marshmallows with Beelzebub, while they’re going to be up in heaven at an invitation-only Duggar Family Reunion Jamboree. I think it’s sad.” A retired public school teacher, she also has no problem with Michelle and Jim Bob’s choice to homeschool their 19 children. “There’s a lot of busywork in public schools. There are the “preachy” types, who want to dictate to everyone else how to live their lives, and the “preached at” types, who just want to be left the heck alone.

This despite the Duggars having raised their children by the book — home schooling, restricting access to entertainment, guiding courtships and advising that sex should await marriage, which, come to think of it, wouldn’t hurt a nation that seems to be in perpetual rut. The Duggars’ expectations were more or less the norm not so very long ago — and many would argue that the country would be better off if more parents were similarly engaged in their children’s lives. Who’s teaching them?” During the holidays, Trammell adds, hers was the only one of the neighbors’ houses serenaded with Christmas carols by the Duggars. As a card-carrying member of the preached at masses, I can tell you that there are plenty of people out there whom I can’t stand, and want to tell off, but I keep it to myself. Other viewers most likely have been gawkers riveted by the spectacle of so much post-betrothal activity under one tent by just one couple — and the fact that no one in his or her right mind would wish 19 children on anyone.

The Duggars have been further differentiated from Mainstream America 2015 by being frequently associated with, and embraced by, the Quiverfull movement. This might explain why Jim Bob went to church elders after his son confessed to child molestation and why he later sent Josh to see Arkansas State Trooper Joe Hutchens, who lectured him but took no action. Into this perverse auto-da-fé have waltzed two Republican presidential candidates, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, presumptively the two most devout Christians among the — hey! — 19 likely Republican presidential candidates.

You need to get the story while it can be told,” she said, echoing what the residents of Washington County have also believed about the connection between Josh’s childhood isolation from his peers and the alleged acts of molestation. “The best thing to do is to tell the truth about it get help,” Wyatt said. “Teenagers who have been isolated from their peers may be more likely to act out sexually, the abuser is trying to make themselves feel better. And these two candidates may not have been far-fetched in their calculations in cozying up to the family, but only if they have no ambitions beyond the primary. Nationally, neither has a ghost of a chance of becoming president for the simple reason that Americans in increasing numbers find the convergence of religion and politics distasteful if not loathsome.

Young people, who missed the Golden Age when most people didn’t talk about their religious beliefs or their politics — and never in combination — perceive that to be religious is to be politically conservative. To a party that tends to be skeptical toward Islam and draconian about immigration, separating politics from religion would seem to be an imperative of some urgency. At the very least, Republicans wishing to become president might steer clear of religious grandstanding and avoid association with reality show stars whose single claim to fame is having more babies than anyone else. Preachy types in our society always believe in swift justice, as long as the person swinging at the end of the rope isn’t them, or a close family member. So we sit there while we’re being preached at and nod our heads politely, as if we’re listening, and quietly wait for what goes around to, as it almost always, and most perfectly does, come around.

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