A Few Words About the Duggar Family

Posted September 3, 2015 by Prairie Wife - 22 comments

I usually try and keep away from posts that might be controversial…as we say in our Prairie Wife Guarantee if you’re looking for a place to discuss news and hot topics this isn’t it…but I can no longer stay silent about the Duggar family and the terrible things that just keep on coming to light.

For those of you that are unaware, the Duggars are a family that until recently, had a reality show on TLC called 19 Kids and Counting. They are a large family whose  “desire is to make Christ known and [to help] others to see that the Bible is the owner’s manual for life.” Through their reality show they shared their way of life which includes homeschooling, chores, and responsibility of the older children to care for younger children. They have strict (by today’s standards) rules in regards to dress code, dating, and physical contact. The world became fascinated with their family and charmed by their seemingly simple way of life. Their eldest son and two of their daughters have been married and had children while on the show.

Topic 1 Josh Duggar’s past

Suddenly a few months ago their world fell apart. Though the incidents happened many years ago, it was released that Josh Duggar (the oldest of the Duggar children) sexually molested five young girls when he was 14-15 years old. It was revealed that two of the girls were Josh’s sisters. While this was not news to the family (they were well aware of the incident when it happened and went out of their way to keep it quiet) their fans and society as a whole was horrified. For me personally I was outraged. This information should not have been released, and nothing good came from it. I wonder why so many people were surprised?  Unlike many others, I didn’t think that their super strict religious beliefs would naturally result in sexually deviant behavior. But, I wasn’t surprised because we should know by now that no one is perfect! Why shouldn’t one of their 19 kids turn out to have problems?!

I think that the situation was handled badly. I respect that they kept quiet when this all happened, and I don’t think they should be criticized for not making it public. For the safety of the victims I would probably have done the same thing. I think they were wrong when they chose not to give him access to professional help immediately. I support TLC’s decision to pull the show and no longer back their family, and understand me clearly when I say that I think what he did is unacceptable and wrong.

Topic 2 Josh Duggar and Ashley  Madison

As if this weren’t damaging enough, it then came to light that Josh Duggar was a member of a cheating web site called Ashely Madison. Ashley Madison is a Canada-based online dating service and social networking service marketed to people who are married or in a committed relationship. Its slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.” Imagine that, a man who as a teenager was a sexual deviant and never received treatment is now cheating on his wife (who has given birth to 4 children). As a vocal lobbyist that talked often about the bible and strong family values he is now the worst of hypocrites…again why the surprise? We know Josh is a sick man and honestly a politician that turns out to be a hypocrite…why are people so indignant? Just because you have been brought up to read the bible and had parents with the best of intentions that dosn’t mean you are a good person. On the flip side, just because you have never been exposed to religion doesn’t mean you are going to be a bad person!

Topic 3 Josh Duggar’s wife

In the last week a Facebook post has gone viral about Josh’s wife Anna and this is what prompted me to write this post. At the time of this post Josh’s parents have readily admitted that what Josh did as a youth and now is wrong. “As parents we are so deeply grieved by our son’s decisions and actions. His wrong choices have deeply hurt his precious wife and children and have negatively affected so many others.” But they still love him and are offering him support as he receives treatment. As a parent don’t we still love our children when they do wrong? To say you love them and continue to allow them in your life doesn’t mean you condone their behavior.

Josh’s wife has also chosen to stand by her husband…

In the previously mentioned Facebook letter this woman states “[Anna’s] beliefs, the very thing she would turn to for comfort in this kind of crisis, are the VERY REASON she is in this predicament in the first place. How can she reconcile this? Her parents have utterly, utterly failed her.” She continues on to say “We HAVE to teach our daughters that they are not beholden to men like this. That they don’t have to marry a man their father deems ‘acceptable’ and then stay married to that man long, long after he proved himself UNACCEPTABLE.”

handsI get it, she thinks that Anna went from being a demure meek daughter to becoming a weak brainwashed wife. But I call bullshit. Who is this woman to say that the weaker choice is for Anna stay with her husband? Who is she to say that Josh is an unacceptable husband? The woman who wrote the letter may not choose to stay married to someone who has made those choices, but it is not our decision to make. Only Anna can make that choice. I also have to throw in this comment…was Hilary Clinton weak and brainwashed for staying with Bill?

To assume that because Anna was homeschooled and raised in a deeply religious family, that she will be unable to support herself and her children is ludicrous. Women with much less education have gone on to create wonderful lives for their families…where there is a will there is a way. She also wrote in her letter “Josh Duggar should be cowering in fear of Anna Duggar right now. Cowering. He isn’t, but he should be.” How on earth does she know if this is true? Has she been sitting in their house counseling them through this? Just because Anna isn’t splashing her fury all over on social media doesn’t mean that it is absent. Just because Josh isn’t writing “please forgive me” all over Twitter doesn’t mean it hasn’t been said. I have never put on social media such private details about my life, and hopefully most of us wouldn’t write terrible things about our loved ones for the world to see…especially in the heat of the moment.

For thousands of years women have found the strength to go against what society says is OK. Anna is choosing to stay with her husband, and her reasons are her own. We have no right to force her into our idea of what an acceptable marriage is. Any more than she can tell us to stay in a marriage that isn’t emotionally fulfilling.

I for one have no idea how I would react to such a situation, and I hope to never find out. But, I assure you that whatever choice I make would be based on what I think is best for me and my family. Whether Anna chooses to stay or go I truly believe that the choice is hers, and hers alone, and I know it will be made after much thought and prayer about what is best for both her and her family.

Alright…sound off and let me know what you think about all this…I can’t wait to get a conversation going!

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22 thoughts on "A Few Words About the Duggar Family"

  1. So well said that I can’t say anything more!

  2. Jackie says:

    Well said!!!! People are way to quick to judge and impose their own ideas of what is right on others.
    I pray for Anna and Josh. People forget that Josh is struggling with serious demons. He needs the counseling he never got as a kid.
    Mother Teresa said ” When we judge we have no time to love “

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      Love that quote…and filing it away!

  3. Kim Degney says:

    Even before the recent events of Josh, I hated that the Duggars had every choice and misstep in their life scrutinized because of their very devout lifestyle. I admire the family for trying to raise their children with a strong belief system, albeit extreme in today’s world.

    With all that being said, Anna’s BELIEFS are not the reason she is in this predicament. Josh and his poor decisions are the reason that they are in this predicament. Anna’s faith in God will lead her through this mess and possibly transform her. Anna’s beliefs will give her a stronghold on life when her marriage is in despair. Anna’s beliefs and her relationship with God will give her a light in the storm to guide her through. I could only hope for Anna’s strength in a situation such as this, which I hope I never have to face.

    We know that by turning everything to their good God co-operates with all those who love him (Rom 8:28).
    It is a promise for those who love God and the promise is that God turns everything to good, that God will somehow or other bring the best out of a bad situation for those who love him.

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      Such wonderful advice for all of us Kim. I agree that it made me so mad that everyone insinuated that their faith was the cause of the problem…not free will and his choices!

  4. Jules says:

    I strongly disagree, particularly on point 1. Josh committed a crime. A really awful one that hurts young girls, often for life. By keeping it quiet he Duggars covered up a crime and prevented a perpetrator and multiple young victims from getting treatment, To be clear they did not get treatment. Any clergy, counseler, doctor, nurse, teacher, psychologist, social worker would have been mandated to make a report. Hiding his abuse prevented the girls from having justice. It also allowed them to be assaulted again, I work with CYF and sibling sex abuse is sadly not uncommon. It does involve therapy for all involved and separating the perpetrator from the abused, Also parading you kids on tv talking about how they never kissed before marriage, knowing full well they were founded against their will is really crappy. You set sandards you know your kids didn’t really hold to but you tell the world how great it is. Clearly teaching about consent and respect for ones body and the right to say no was not a priority.

    Point 2 ok he is a gigantic hypocrite. He is a crappy husband. Since everybody was adults its a crappy thing to do but oh well. He’s kinda a crappy person.

    Point 3
    Girls in this culture are taught that they are subservient to men. Lady Duggar says you can’t be tired or have a headache because you are the only one who can serve your husband in that way. That’s crap. Boys should be taught to respect women and girls should be taught that they are always able to say no (and vice versa). Anna was restricted in her education and has 4 young children. Even with a bachelors degree stepping out on your own is financially challenging, I can’t even fathom what it is like for a woman without education, job experience or a supportive family and faith community, I will teach my children to breathe fire. Because men and woman deserve to be respected. And Josh should fear his wife, and should have loved and feared her enough not to cheat (back to the crappy person from point 2).. Sadly I do fear for those poor little kids in that house, Not only do they have to live with a tattered marriage they are at risk of being abused themselves (beyond the hitting your babies to teach them to stay on a blanket).

    I take comfort in the fact they do not actually follow the spirit of the bible and there is a wonderful world of loving, Chrisitan, homeschooling families that do value teachng their children to be loving, educated, upstanding men and women. The Duggars just aren’t among them.

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      Jules, I agree that Josh’s parents did not get him the help that he needed and that it is the parents responsibility to educate their children on appropriate touches, and how to protect themselves and their bodies. Something that it seems they did not do enough of in their house. I love that you used the word crappy to describe him because that was my original word choice and I changed it to bad in editing lol. As for your last comments I agree with many of them (respect of all human life.. male, female, black, white, purple is so important for our children to learn) but once again have to say that in the end it is their choice to raise their children their way (though I think we both agree that physical and emotional abuse is unacceptable)just as it is your choice to raise yours in the way you see is best. As an ex teacher I have seen that allowing your children total control and never saying no can be just as bad as always saying no…As a parent I feel the key is balance but I know that despite my best intentions, I may still have a child who grows into an adult that makes bad choices. Perhaps what many will take away from this is no family is perfect, all we can do is what we feel is best…and pray for God’s help.

      1. Jules says:

        Actually CYF can take her children if she is not protecting them from abuse, I do not know they are being abused, but there is a reasonable chance given his untreated illness. Just like CYF could have and probably would have taken the children if they knew the girls were abused and the parents were not willing to be protective or get them therapy. Agreed, without kids the choice is hers. She can put up with whomever she wants. With kids she is required to protect them and keep them safe. We cannot forget this abuse of his sisters was a crime, his parents did not value their girls enough to protect them..
        They absolutely did not need to come “public” with his abuse. They were required by law to report it to the police and Child Youth and families and comply with treatment for both the perpetrator and victims. They could have lived their life in Arkansas and gotten their children help and raised their kids them out of the public eye. They chose not to do their legal duty of reporting the abuse, They went on tv and lied when they to,d the world their kids didn’t kiss or have physical contact until marriage. They berated loving families who as a whole do protect their children when criticizing gay marriage and adoption.

        1. J says:

          I believe it was reported and that is how this all came out, someone leaked the police report.

          1. Jules says:

            it was reported by somebody the family knows over 3 years later, after the statue of limitations was up. Now it is much longer, hey even tried to prevent josh from speaking the the police,

  5. Karen says:

    It’s interesting to me that when a woman like Hillary Clinton stands by her man, people didn’t say half of what they are saying about Anna Duggar: both husbands were hypocritical and represented something they weren’t. Anna Duggar is a grown woman who can make her own choices, and just like Hillary, is a product of her environment. Two women, from completely different worlds, who made the same decision to stick with their husbands, yet we label only one of these women a victim of her upbringing with no power or choices.

    1. Jules says:

      Hillary did not stay Nya man who committed crimes against girls with 4 youngg children is her house. Night and day, Anna wants to stay with a man who cheated on her that’s fine, Anna wants to put her kids at risk by having her children live with a pedophile that hasn’t received treatment that is not protecting her kids. Clinton also did not travel the country and tell other people their families were wrong while clearly showing no family values himself. Again that makes him a gigantic hypocrite but doesn’t mean Anna needs to leave him,

      1. J says:

        While I agree with you that he is a total creep and his choices are vial and disgusting… is he a pedophile when he himself was still a child? His victims were girls his age not the little kids.
        I want to point out I am in no way making excuses or saying what he did was ok in anyway, I am just saying maybe Anna knows that he isn’t a danger to children…

        1. Jules says:

          His sister was 5. He was 15. One of his victims is still a minor. Pedophile? I don’t know. I can be certain Anna cannot guarantee her kids are safe.

    2. Prairie Wife says:

      I found that fascinating too and just had to bring it up!

    3. T Miller says:

      I agree Karen. The only difference was that most people were already aware of Bill Clinton’s deviant habits of running around back from his days as governor of Arkansas long before he became president. They were not under the impression that he was Godly by any stretch of the imagination. And on a sidenote: he very likely also participated in pedophile activity. Clinton took repeated trips on the “Lolita Express”—the private passenger jet used for sex parties and owned by billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, many to his privately owned island where it was found he housed child sex slaves. Flight logs also show that Clinton shared more than a dozen flights with a woman who federal prosecutors believe procured underage girls to sexually service Epstein and his friends and acted as a “potential co-conspirator” in his crimes. And you’re right. As far as what is reported, Hillary stood by her man and is still with him today by all accounts.

      But back to the Duggars, the crime is always amplified when the perpetrator is Christian and for some reason Christians tend to fall for lust and greed temptations the most. We are held to a higher standard as we should be. His wife is justified (even by biblical standards) should she choose to leave (if she stays she’s stronger than I) but honestly, if she can get through this and he gets the help he needs and they take precautions, it could still work. but it won;t be easy. He has the proper foundation. With God all things are possible. Josh will need to repent in a much bigger way than the average deviant though. He needs help.

      1. Prairie Wife says:

        That was some new information for me about the Clintons! I agree that Christians are held to a higher standard…and Josh does need help but, as you said “with God all things are possible.” Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Tina Peiffer says:

    I will preface my comments with: many of you are being waaay too kind!

    My honest opinion-the guy is absolute scum and she’d be a fool to stay with him. I think people are mostly pissed off about the deception. He pretended to be a model husband and Christian/human being. Unfortunately, if you’re going to be in the spotlight people hold you to higher expectations/standards of behavior, and they should. As for Hillary and Bill, I firmly believe their marriage is not much more than a business relationship, one to advance each other politically.

    It’d be different I suppose if the guy was truly repentant. Again, it’s not our place to judge but well… It’s so hard not to. I would say there are some self-worth issues if she stayed with him. If she was my daughter, I’d tell her to RUN!!! (Not to mention her children could be in danger, given his sexually deviant tendencies.)

    The Duggards had no business being on television without being forthcoming about their son’s skeletons from the get go. They’re not stupid- they withheld it not for the victims. They wouldn’t have had their show aired otherwise. Hence, it was taken off the air once things came to light. They were only protecting one person- Josh. Don’t even get me started on Catholic priests and the countless child molestations……

    I apologize in advance, as my ideas are not in any particular order and appear to be coming out as a rant.

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      Thanks for sharing, and you have nothing to apologize for. You shared your opinion (and I know many agree with you) very well and in a totally respectful way. I agree that they shouldn’t be surprised that all this is coming to light, when you choose to put yourself and your family on TV there is a risk!

  7. Bennie says:

    Wow! Hot topic here today. Being an only child I really couldn’t watch or approve of the Duggar’s show. I can’t help but think many of those kids don’t get the attention they deserve with such a BIG family. That being said, it also irks me how they were depicted being so God fearing, righteous, etc., with all of this going on in the background. How did they not think that this story might get out while being on a reality TV show? Kinda like the Housewives of NJ and that couple who are now serving time for obtaining loans fraudulently?

    I feel for the girls involved as I was touched inappropriately by two different people at different times in my life so I know how something like that can affect people. I just hope everyone comes out of this okay and we don’t hear of more fall-out in the future. I hope everyone gets or has received some counseling to help them through this tough time.

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      I was waiting to hear from you Bennie 🙂 I love that you put the focus on them getting professional help for those that need it (and I’m sorry to hear that you were a victim). When I see things like this happening it makes me glad that I’ve always been honest on my blog about the good and the bad!

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