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I’ve interviewed the Duggars and… they were open and honest about the fact that they are not perfect and never have been.  In fact, I’ve interviewed the Duggar family 4 or 5 times in recent years and found them admirably humble.  That’s why I finally decided to add my opinion to the “scandal” that has threatened the Duggar family’s reputation in the last week.  For those who haven’t heard, Josh Duggar, the eldest son of the Duggars (featured on TV’s 19 Kids and Counting) publicly admitted that he molested underage girls 12 years ago, as a teenager.

The conundrum for people like me who really admire the Duggar family is: if we defend them, people could accuse us of defending the horrific act of molestation.  Those people would be wrong.*

Here’s the thing I find maddening about this story… some of the same folks who scream “tolerance” in the public arena have a zero-tolerance policy when it’s an evangelical Christian caught in a sin.  The irony is that the Duggars, including Josh, have publicly admitted this sin.  Years ago, when Josh committed the molestation, his parents eventually chose to speak to authorities about their son’s wrongdoing and sought counseling for him because they knew he must have it.  This is what Josh and his parents have said about that time:

Josh Duggar admitted in a statement: “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar released this statement:  “Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before. Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles everyday. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God’s kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us — even though we are so undeserving. We hope somehow the story of our journey — the good times and the difficult times — cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything.”

In the secular world, the word is “tolerance” and many groups demand it… especially from Christians.  In the Christian world, the word is “grace” and I’m asking for it, on behalf of the Duggars.  Josh committed vile acts.  Still, I agree with one presidential hopeful (cited in Christian Today) who observed that Josh Duggar’s acts are “inexcusable,” but they are not “unforgiveable.”  I, for one, will stand up for this family and their TV show on TLC.  I think they do far more good in the world than harm.

*I do not, in any way, condone child molestation.  I am deeply aware of the ongoing pain and suffering victims of molestation endure.


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Jenny is passionate about the important role of mothers in modern America. She believes the role of moms is often overshadowed by popular culture values… like the spotlight we place on celebrities and the celebrity lifestyle. Jenny wants moms everywhere to understand they are celebrities to their Creator.

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