Our society loves to watch the “morally pure” fall from grace.
The stars of 19 Kids and Counting–the Duggar Family–are under intense scrutiny after a grocery store rag revealed that the clan’s oldest son was once charged with sexual molestation for acts he committed while he was 14 years old. Josh Duggar, now 27, was forced to publicly apologize and resign from his position at the Family Research Council.
His family are renowned for their evangelical Christianity and support of socially conservative causes. Josh’s former employer, the FRC, is a staunch opponent of gay marriage and the man himself gave ferocious speeches against the practice at public events.
Add all this up, and you have some ripe targets for a left-wing outrage fest. While it is understandable to show anger at a guy who molested young girls, he was also a dumb teenager doing dumb things. He should’ve been punished at the time, but he wasn’t. Now, he’s being punished retroactively by the media.
Yet the condemnations the younger Duggar and his family are receiving aren’t due to his horrible acts he did as a teen—it’s due to what his family represents. The Left hates big, happy White families and it is reveling in this story. It’s giving individuals like Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern—who once penned a column defending the joys of barebacking—an opportunity to give lectures on morality and gloat over their shamed foes.
Stern’s take on the l’affaire Duggar probably represents a milestone in the “culture war,” a point where the enemies of the Left are no longer just monsters, but monsters worthy of pity.
Here’s the writer’s view on what he thinks is the cause for the family heir’s horrible actions:
The leaders of the Duggar clan are undoubtedly hypocrites of the highest order. Josh’s heinous crime merits our utmost moral condemnation, and his victims deserve sympathy and compassion. But it would be shortsighted to treat Josh with nothing more than mocking, scornful ire. Josh may be a monster—but as 19 Kids and Counting demonstrates, his path to depravity was lighted by the twisted beliefs of his parents.
Although TLC goes to great lengths to mask this fact, the Duggar family is a cult. They forbid their children from exploring outside ideas and expression, carefully monitoring every word and image they are exposed to. They forbid them from wearing shorts. They homeschool them in order to indoctrinate them with backward beliefs. They refuse to let their adult daughters kiss or hold hands before marriage and demand to read every text between their daughters and their suitors. They adhere to a fringe Christian movement called the “Christian patriarchy,” which commands total female submission to men and limited education for women. The Duggars do everything they can to control their children’s minds, then brainwash them with misogynistic dogma.
Josh Duggar grew up in this sexist milieu. He was told that women exist to serve men—to show them “submission,” “obedience,” and “reverence.” He was barred from seeking out any differing views about men and women. His mind was warped from childhood. Is it any surprise that, by the time he reached adolescence, he believed girls’ bodies were his to touch however he pleased?
Well, in the age of Beta Dads writing blank checks for their night-riding daughters, I have no real qualms with this “Christian patriarchy.” Sounds like Jim Bob Duggar is a modern-day paterfamilias looking out for the best interests of his family. But, then again, that’s “subjugation and repression.” Instead, he should want his children to be like the moral paragon Mark Joseph Stern and write about homosexuality for a living.
What Stern and the rest of the Duggar critics reveal is a hatred for the family’s values rather than a genuine disgust with the younger man’s actions. If the amount of coverage is due to natural outrage at the thought of high-profile figures molesting kids, then there would been an equal amount of condemnation of Terry Bean, a prominent donor to LGBT and left-wing causes, for raping minors. Not surprisingly, there was relatively little coverage of that incident, much less any deep analysis that blamed Mr. Bean’s abuse of children on his hedonistic lifestyle. Same goes for Lena Dunham, who was allowed to go into a self-righteous “rage spiral” against those who attacked her for sexually molesting her sister. Instead of being deemed a “monster” for commiting the same transgression as Josh Duggar, Dunham’s act was defended in the media.
It is easy to mock the Duggars as goofy Christians (who are invariably obsessed with Israel) and view the family as “monstrous” hypocrites for failing to live up their principles. But when the stone throwers consist primarily of flamboyantly degenerate gay men and women with barren wombs, I’m going to be sympathetic to the family that raised 18 perfectly normal White kids (that excludes Josh, of course).
Unfortunately for the Duggars, their family model is outdated in our times. Rather the ideal “family” is now best represented by a commercial for the bank Wells Fargo. In the ad, it shows us two aging, “career-minded” lesbians learning sign language so they can communicate with the deaf Latina they’re adopting. This is supposed to be heartwarming depiction of what a great family looks like in 2015.
The Duggars—with 19 White kids living under the rules of an authoritative father—don’t meet the new ideal.
Wonder if the show runners of 19 Kids and Counting will replace the family with a gay couple that decides to adopt 19 Somalians. Who’s to say that’s not a real family?