Mike Kueber's Blog

May 23, 2015

Josh Duggar

Filed under: Parenting — Mike Kueber @ 8:41 pm

Until this weekend, I’d never heard of Josh Duggar or his TV show, “19 Kids and Counting.”  Josh, 27 years old, is apparently the oldest of the 19 kids in this TV reality show on the TLC network (The Learning Channel).  He is in the news this weekend because of news reports that a dozen years ago he had a brush with the law because he molested (fondled) several young girls of undisclosed ages.  This conduct would be scandalous for any TV star, but it is especially embarrassing for the Duggars because they apparently wear their Christianity on their sleeves.

My liberal Facebook friends are outraged that prominent conservatives, like presidential aspirant Mike Huckabee, have been quick to forgive Josh, and they cynically wonder if the conservatives would have been so forgiving if the offender were Kim Kardashian.  Some point out that one’s views on child molesters should not depend on whether they are conservative or liberal.

I disagree that Huckabee’s response represents a conservative position.  Rather, I think he represents the Christian position, and Christians like Huckabee will always err on the side of forgiving a like believer.

Another criticism of the Duggars on Facebook has been that they are damaging their kids by raising them to be “pure” for marriage.  My liberal friends are aghast that the parents are setting up their kids for potential self-loathing when they likely fail to achieve this lofty goal.  (Abstinence only rarely succeeds, they report.)

I disagree with the liberal suggestion that this is a Christian problem, akin to the Muslim terrorist problem.  Rather, I think it reflects obsessive parenting, which can be found across the spectrum, from religious to secular. Indeed, I see a similarity between the Christian Duggars and the secular progressives who start working on their children’s Ivy League application before their kids are out of grammar school.  Or the sports parents who start sending their kids to gymnastic or tennis training about the same time they matriculate into elementary school.  All kinds of domineering parents, not satisfied with living their lives, attempt to live their kids’ lives, too.

So, yes, politics seems to color many issues today.  And that’s not a good thing.

p.s., when I first wrote this blogpost, I couldn’t find the article that prompted my comment about Christians obsessed with being pure for marriage.  Since then, I stumbled across the article in the Washington Post.