Josh Duggar Has Sinned. So Have You and I. So Shall We Get Out Our Stones and Start Scribbling?

The Duggar story just gets worse and worse. Josh Duggar, the oldest boy in the Duggar clan which had their own family-friendly reality show 19 Kids and Counting on TLC, is not the upstanding husband and father we thought he was.

First in May 2015, Josh was forced to resign from his position as executive director of the Family Research Council, a conservative lobbying group in Washington DC, after In Touch Weekly popped the news that he had molested (or, “improperly touched”) five girls–including four of his own sisters–as a teenager, beginning in 2002.

Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay

Then this week, after hackers published the names of clients of the Ashley Madison affair match-up service, it was revealed that Duggar had two paid accounts at the cheating website. Yes, it’s true: Josh has had affairs. His sexual improprieties had not, as his public apology implied, been confined to his inquisitive pre-teen and teen years. No, Josh Duggar had violated his marriage vows, entering into extramarital affairs with the help of the confidential “dating service.”

His poor parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, were quick to issue a statement, asking for prayers for Josh, his wife Anna, their grandchildren and their entire family. Josh himself also released a statement, admitting his sin and begging forgiveness. The statement from Josh Duggar read:

I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have been unfaithful to my wife.

I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.

I have brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions.

The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country I was hiding my own personal failures.

As I am learning the hard way, we have the freedom to choose our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences. I deeply regret all the hurt I have caused so many by being such a bad example.

I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please pray for my precious wife Anna and our family during this time.

Josh Duggar 

And to all of this, I say:  Yes. Yes, Josh, you really screwed up. You have betrayed the people who love you, to whom you owe your loyalty and the gift of your unshared self; and you have betrayed us all.

GossipBut now I want to talk to all of you, my readers. Because in the secular news stream which influences the culture, the next swell will be coming from you. Already the website vice.com calls the Duggar scandal “part of a much larger Christian abuse problem.” I’m sort of expecting the explosion of hate-filled Internet rage to start in 3… 2… 1…

And what will the people around you hear?

  • Will the world hear your hate-filled rants, your petty gossip against this public sinner?
  • Or will people come to experience God’s forgiving love through your demeanor, your quietly hating the sin while still loving the sinner?
  • Will you troll the newsstand like a gawker at a pedestrian accident, or hover overhead like a Peregrine falcon, waiting for the opportunity to swoop and dive and demolish?
  • Or will you utter Josh Duggar’s name softly in prayer, asking God to turn his heart toward home?

I’ve been pretty fed-up lately with Internet agitators, people who get their jollies peering down the hall at the misfortunes and the missteps of others. You know them: They break into fisticuffs in the combox, holding up their ethereal “Holier Than Thou” placards and chanting “Sinner! Sinner! Sinner!” toward the person who’s been caught in a lie or an unjust act.

Here’s my heartfelt advice:  Don’t be that guy.

But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”]

John 8:6-11

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • TH

    How about all of the press surrounding the two conservative Michigan legislators? Some times people bring this on themselves with self righteous talk and poor decisions.

  • Dave Armstrong

    Excellent piece as usual, Kathy. There will be hell to pay now by the Duggars. Christians aren’t allowed to sin, in the eyes of the world, without being piled upon big-time. They can’t just say that Josh sinned. No; it’s his whole family, and indeed, Christianity as a whole, as if one person’s sin leads to all that.

    We know that it is often “justification” for rejecting God. It won’t do. Saying that one person’s sin disproves God or Christianity is nonsense.No educated Christian has ever denied that we are all sinners. It’s as old as King David and St. Paul and St. Peter. Nothing new here.

    • mirele

      No, it’s not that the Duggars aren’t permitted to sin. It’s that the Duggars (a) held themselves up as paragons of virtue and (b) used their name and fame to throw rocks at GLBT people. After all, Josh Duggar worked at the Family Research Council, a notoriously anti-GLBT organization, until his molestation of his sisters came out. And the apple didn’t fall far from the tree–a year ago, Michelle Duggar taped a robocall claiming gays were pedophiles, which was used in a drive against a non-discrimination ordinance in Fayetteville, AR.

      Now that Josh Duggar and his family have again been exposed for the colossal hypocrites they are, Kathy Schiffer and her ilk step out of the woodwork to say, “stop throwing stones.” What about the stones the Duggars threw *first*?

      • Lookingup73

        No one could have said it better. Amen.

    • Marty Sills

      Educated Christian? If you were educated you wouldn’t believe in fairytales and imaginary friends. Christians just love condemning the sins of non Christians yet bitch and moan when one of their own is exposed for their hypocrisy. I grew up believing all this God crap. Sure glad I got over that nonsense. Don’t need a false God to be a good person.

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      Christians aren’t allowed to sin, in the eyes of the world, without being piled upon big-time? So should those who practice the opposite lifestyle they push simply be patted on the head and told ‘don’t do that again’?
      Remember this is not some private person but someone who has been on TV for years, pushing a lifestyle they themselves have not lived by.

    • Lookingup73

      I don’t believe you know the Duggar story too well if this is your reply. People on the outside who are critical of the events of Josh Duggar are not critical of those events because he is Christian. It has nothing to do with “Christians can’t sin.” Everyone does unethical/immoral things at some point in their lives. The difference is that Josh was someone who had as one of his purposes in life the job of telling those who were different from him that they were wrong. This is a trait he learned from his parents, who also have publicly spoke out against people who were sexually immoral in their eyes. That is a big difference.

      I can criticize Duggar because he was part of an organization that actively fights against my personal rights in this country. Yet when it comes to actual sexual morality he has no leg to stand on. in fact, I could teach him a bit about sexual morality instead. But you don’t see me actually doing that because, as a humble human, I know better than to push my morality on others.

  • ejpoleii

    Sinning is one thing. Hypocrisy is another. Sinning involves only you and your god if you have one. (I sinned.) Hypocrisy involves another. (YOU sinned.)

  • Jul

    If you are going to make yourself out to be the ideal of “family values” then yes, you should be prepared to have stones cast when it’s found out that you don’t practice what you preach. I wonder why liberals aren’t so quick to cast stones when other liberals don’t live up to this ideal? Maybe it’s because they don’t make themselves out to be, accepting that everyone should be free to live their lives as they wish?

  • RedQueen

    “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”

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      Perfect verse RedQueen!

  • Hilary

    I am more than happy to pick up every rock he and his ilk have thrown at LGBT people and throw them right back with as much force as possible.

    • TLC

      I would be happy to join you in that!

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      Rather than seek to throw rocks etc how about we simply hope/pray/wish this entire family goes away? The last thing we should want to do is what they have done to people.

  • Catherine Urbanski

    http://atypical60.com/2015/05/30/josh-duggars-final-judgement-from-atypical60s-point-of-view/
    First of all, this evil vermin offspring of the evil vermin parents is judgmental toward everyone who doesn’t fall into the “fundie” ideology. They spew hatred toward the LGBT community. They hate Catholics (read any one of Ben’s Catholic bashing writings) and just about everyone else. They throw boulders at most everyone. Throwing a few stones toward them is nothing!

    • Joan Swan

      With all due respect, I don’t think Our Lord would agree with you about “throwing a few stones toward them”. I am sure you remember the story about the woman caught in adultery and the men who wanted to stone her. Also, I think we really need to consider the language we use in our commentary. It does not speak well of us. We are spewing the very hatred we are condemning in others.

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    I expect a liberal to be a liberal and a conservative to be conservative and I think a conservative who is part of some show or pro family organization that LECTURES people on how they should live and that if they do not live by the conservative ideas being PUSHED and are found to be the COMPLETE opposite of what they wanted us to believe that we have a serious, serious situation. Remember he was making $$$$$ on the tv show, where he and his entire family were pushing a fantasy. And now his parents want a new show where they will focus on helping victims of sexual abuse? They need to concentrate in cleaning up their own lives!

    Stop and ask yourselves how someone who is pushing a conservative agenda finds the excuse in the first place to commit sexual acts via a website that makes it clear its for men/women seeking sex OUTSIDE marriage when in fact the person projected a virginal image via a TV show that turns out to be a big LIE.
    Remember he had multiple hook ups to for sex outside marriage via a website that is 100% upfront about being for those who want to commit adultery. If it has just been the past sexual crimes when he was a teen ager, and he owned up to it, then fine. But he never changed.

    • Joan Swan

      And how many times does Our Lord say that we should forgive: seventy times seven which represents an infinite number. With all due respect, I believe only God knows the heart and knows if and when a person has repented. It is not within our limited understanding to know such things,

  • TLC

    If Jesus were here in person, He wouldn’t be writing in the sand. He’d gather this man and his wife and all the kids and parents. Then He’d repeat what He said about whitewashed tombs, and washing the outside of the cup. And He’d remind Anna that adultery IS an acceptable reason for divorce.

    These people have been brainwashed by their cult leader to put on a perfect show. They know little about grace, love and mercy — they certainly haven’t shown it to ANYONE who does not follow their ultraconservative values, and certainly not to the LGBTQ communtiy.

    First their leader falls, then the First Family. There’s a reason all of this is coming out. This horror needs to be EXPOSED and STOPPED. It does not need to be swept away or minimized with Bible verses.

  • jacquelyn weddington

    I thought a lot about this yesterday when I first read the posts. This whole family has been a disaster waiting to happen. No one can be as good as they pretended to be. What I find disgusting is the lack of parenting towards the little girls who had to live through this. This young man who is sexually troubled and unfaithful needs forgiveness from his wife, if she wants to do that. I would pack my bags and my children’s things and leave. However I am not her. I seldom watched this program , only when I was flipping channels. I do not have to forgive anything they did or will do. Which is a relief. The young girls who were molested need help as does the whole family. It amazed me that people really believed everything they see on the television.

  • Polly

    As one of the elder role models in my life used to say, “Be Who You Are”. Don’t claim to be who your aren’t. That is the travesty of this situation. We know who Josh claimed to be; now we know him for who he is.
    I am a believer in Christ. I understand what he expects me to do. But, I don’t have to forgive Josh Duggar. I don’t want to forgive him. That forgiveness will happen between him and God. However, I notice in his “Forgive me for I have sinned” statement that he did not talk about God’s forgiveness. His concerns are horizontal, I hope he gets to the vertical conversation quickly. It is there that healing will begin. I have no sympathy for Josh D. but I do sincerely grieve for the other 18 children and his parents.

  • dominic

    Matthew 6:1 Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

  • Mick

    Josh judged people – now Josh is being judged. Jesus warned him this would happen: Judge not, lest you be judged.

    • Derrik Pates

      But I’m perfectly happy to judge him. See, I’m not ignoring the very next verse: “For with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured back upon you.”. It’s not saying “Don’t judge”; it’s saying “unless you’re ready to be judged by your own yardstick, sit down and shut up”.

  • Aram McLean

    I suppose you probably know that bit about chucking rocks is a fairly late addition to the Bible. As for not ‘judging’ Josh. Of course I can judge him. If I did what he’s done I’d expect to be judged as well. Not all ‘sin’ (as you lot like to label human-animal foibles and worse) is created equal. Should we have let Dahmer and Bundy walk free as well? ‘Judge not lest ye be judged’ has got to be one of the dumbest Bible verses out there. It means nothing if you actually think about it for more than three seconds.

  • frrolfe

    Ever hear about the 7 deadly sins? Josh has ticked all the boxes. Remorse? Contrition?

  • wastedwit

    to quote the beautiful elizabeth esther, “This isn’t just about Josh Duggar, it’s about an entire Christian culture that turned purity into profit.”

    i will continue to advocate for the victims of this cult. i pray others will, too.

  • GreenEggsNSamm

    Please show us where you applied John:8 6-11 to Josh Duggar (or any of the Duggars really). Why does this verse not apply to them as well?

  • Lookingup73

    The main difference between Josh and me? I didn’t get paid to publicly condemn other people for their “immorality” (e.g., being gay, being trans, being non-Christian, etc.). I don’t throw stones because I know better. I feel bad for Josh, his wife and his kids. I wish them the best. Perhaps this life event will change their ways and THEY will stop throwing stones (as they have been doing for years).

  • Korou

    Looks like the commenters have got it right. Well done, guys!

  • shmooney

    I believe that the Duggers have acted ‘holier than thou’ for a while. To see how they fall back on ‘let’s pray for him and forgive’ when it never happens for the people they denigrate. Their concern of how they’ll be perceived is laughable. They’ve helped develop Josh into the pervert he is. Now they get to hear the fall out.

  • Cinnamon67

    AYFKM? Ok, he didn’t “screw up” – he MOLESTED CHILDREN. He fucked around on his wife. God only knows what diseases he brought home to the mother of his children… or do you think he was (gasp) so unchristian as to (gasp! gasp!) use a condom?! When it comes to hate-filled rants, the WORLD has already had to hear his, over and over. Or doesn’t hatespeech count when the hate is thrown at gays, women, and anyone who isn’t licking the bootheels of the patriarchy like a brainwashed cowering dog? If you want to spend your time “muttering Josh Dugar’s name softly in prayer” go ahead you wackadoodle. Sounds like you were already muttering his name softly to yourself a whole lot before this happened.

  • Dottie Parenti

    Well here is the thing, he(Josh) went around and said what people should and shouldnt do according to the bible and God. Only for us to turn around and find out that those very things were things that he was doing. Those who say things or stone him will probably be those who are tired of being told how to live as Christians and then having to watch those very people preaching are the biggest sinners. Just saying.

  • Mrs. Harris

    You are so right Kathy. Of course the mercy and forgiveness of God are exactly for people just like Josh and anyone who desires it. People so often miss the fact that Jesus did not hate the Pharisees for being hypocrites. He did not hate them at all. He doesn’t spew obscenities at them or wish them dead. He wished them to not be hypocrites and to be converted in their hearts. Josh was hypocritical, among other things. And he can be forgiven. Justice is not vengeance and does not seek destruction of the sinner. No, In Gods mercy, justice seeks the remediation as best as possible, for the sake of the victims and for the reformation of the one who has sinneD.

    And how absurd is it that anyone would imagine the solution to be not “preaching” righteousness. As if somehow “preaching” immorality is preferable because then no one can expect anything but bad behavior from you and if by chance you happen to not be a complete loser, somehow you’ll get credit? Yet even those who claim to not judge and preach morality seem to have a lot to say when someone doesn’t meet their standards. They ooze venom. That too is hypocrisy. Good thing Jesus doesn’t hate them either.