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Photo credit: Theresa Moxley, Spring 2014

Photo credit: Theresa Moxley, Spring 2014

Josh Duggar Makes Me Want to Hurl

So today Josh issued a carefully-stated and planned apology to whoever is listening to him at this point.   The apology was quickly posted and also edited, conveniently deleting the part where he admitted he was addicted to porn.

Um, this boy is not addicted to porn.  He is addicted to sex.

But anyway, apparently his parents stood by his side, still defending him and still supporting him.   I guess if my son were going through some tough crap I would be forced to support him as well, but it seems clear to me that they are much more interested in showing outward support towards Josh than their own daughters.

As if this whole situation wasn’t creepy enough, it’s only going deeper and deeper down the ugly rabbit hole.

Why is that, you say?   How could it get worse?

Well, something about his apology seems insincere when Josh belittled what he did to his own sisters, but then rushed to apologize because he cheated on his wife. When word came out about what he had done to his sisters and babysitter, he was quick to diminish the allegations and deflect issues upon anything but his own guilt. Now that these records from a shameful website come to light, he changes tune a bit.

There’s a silent, horribly misguided theology inside that, so let’s take a look.

The reason Duggar is apologizing to his wife is because his relationship with his wife is bound before “God and all who are present” at the wedding. Growing up fundamentalist means that wedding vows are seen as being between the husband, wife, and God. Josh is apologizing, technically not to his wife for cheating on her, but to God for disobeying one of the Ten Commandments.

Yes, I said it. Josh is only apologizing because he has broken the Ten Commandments. He only feels accountable to God. Let that sink in for a moment. He doesn’t feel accountable to his wife, who he has lied to, cheated on, spent money behind her back, and who now expects to forgive. He certainly didn’t feel accountable to his own sisters and the babysitter, who he molested while they were sleeping, and before they even understood what was going on.

He only feels accountable to God, not to humans. His actions only warrant apology and concern at this juncture because the sacred vows of marriage have been violated.

I only have one question:   If marriage vows are supposed to protect the wife, what protects innocent virgin women who have never had a romantic relationship in their life? Where is dignity for these girls and women, whose innocence is stripped from them with the bedsheets?

I’ve already read the comments about how his wife will be tied to this relationship for the rest of her life because he will never allow her to divorce him, and the parents will never allow it, and the church certainly will never allow it.

She will be held up as the perfect wife who was able to embody forgiveness “because of the cross.”   But no one will even recognize the horrible price she has paid: his apologies are not sincere, and are not even for her benefit, but only for God.

Is it ok when people only apologize to God, and not to humans? I truly don’t know the answer to that question, but I do know this.   His apologies are all a little trite at this point, because nothing is fixed until he gets himself help. And even then, all of these women will spend the rest of their lives recovering in some way.

Even while he is apologizing and trying to piece these broken pieces back together, I can assure you he is still out running around and he is still looking for sex. His addiction has no cure by miracle. And if current studies are correct, he stands to molest or rape some 500+ victims within one lifetime.

This is why apologies to God and not to man don’t really mean a thing to sexual predators.   Apologizing to God allows them to wipe the slate clean, and then return to business as usual knowing that forgiveness is a never-ending well.

But here’s what really bothers me about all of this. When we prioritize the marriage vows as a vow between God and husband, God and wife, at any and all costs, that doesn’t mean we are divinely sanctioned to treat our wives or husbands like garbage. In fact, Jesus set the bar pretty high on one thing: Love your neighbor (husband, wife, sisters) as yourself. Josh Duggar has treated women with anything but dignity and respect.   Instead he has proven a track record of treating women like sex objects, free and available for his own pleasure.

Some days I’d like to know if God has had enough of Duggar’s proverbial crap too? Does God have a definitive line across which there stops being forgiveness? I’d like to think that persons who abuse innocent, precious girls and women don’t have a place in the Kingdom. I’d like to think that there is no room at the table for Duggar.

One thing I know: if there is a heaven, and there is a table, only those sex offenders who have sought true forgiveness and rehabilitation will be present, and they will be present in a new body. Each of us who have survived the monstrous acts that men have done to women will also sit around the table in new bodies. Whole bodies, in the full image of Creator, and co-Creators of Life.   Come, Emmanuel, please come.