Why this awful post
This started out as a Facebook post, which no one liked and which received no comments. So either I missed the mark by a mile, or, really, none of my friends wants to talk about the Duggar cult. I’m posting a longer version here, because I wanted to focus on the awful effect of QuiverFull culture on growing children of both sexes. This IN NO WAY reduces the crime committed against the girls, but it means more people are responsible for it than just Josh Duggar.
Josh Duggar is an unapologetic rapist, isn’t he?
Yep. I don’t want to defend Josh Duggar, but I do want to put the spotlight on the cult that programmed his developing brain, and on the “responsible adults” who failed to act responsibly. They were, themselves, deluded by the cult to the extent that they wouldn’t get qualified help for their obviously disturbed teen (and no help at all for his victims). Then the kid grows up and positions himself as an avatar of morality, joining some very predictable company, and they’re only too happy to lap up the positive attention until it hits the fan.
We’ve learned a lot about how human brains develop*. If the family is screwed up, the kid will most likely be screwed up, and there aren’t many families more screwed up than the Duggars. Their kids are fed a steady diet of misogynistic lies from infancy. And not just your usual societal sexism-type lies. These are extra-strength, religious-fanatic lies with a side-helping of religious psychobabble lies. Washed down with truly weird family pathology and… media-fueled celebrity.
A more toxic family environment is difficult to imagine. If a kid’s parents added a little PbCO3 lead chromate to his breakfast every morning, we’d be a bit less likely to put all the behavioral blame on him alone.
Duggar defenders do make two valid points: a 14-year-old is not an adult*, and he hasn’t re-offended (other than his relentless focus on what a tragedy it all was for HIM never mind his victims. That’s gotta hurt.) But then they throw both those points out the window with their praise for the cult that spawned him. This is supposedly a model for America? For humanity, anywhere?
Summary: I would rather judge a culture than a person. Because no way is this limited to just one person. And yes, we do have do make judgments, because we have to make choices. We have to choose what culture to align ourselves with.
- No discussion link for this post; it’s just a place to collect my thoughts and make links available.
- *(Brain is still developing until around 21 years old, and continues to change throughout life)
- “What is QuiverFull?”
- Dana Hunter: Josh Duggar molested children, then made a career claiming gays are dangerous to children (excellent).
- Cosmopolitan: Josh Duggar didn’t “make a mistake,” he committed a crime
- People: The Duggars Respond (If you want to save yourself the pain of reading this link, he’s sorry but God forgives him.)
- Best comment so far: “The thing is, the #Duggars already failed “judge not.” This is the “lest ye be judged” part.” – Steve Marmel
- Worst defense so far: “They were playing doctor.” No. Two four-year-olds, maybe they’re playing doctor. A four-year-old and a fourteen-year-old; that’s an assault.
- Nathan Phelps grew up in a similar family, says “Just like the Duggars, with 13 children and a father who demanded the lion share of our mother’s attention, there was extensive sexual misconduct amongst my siblings. Not to mention the complete lack of rational education on the subject.”
- MediaIte: 5 times that… Josh Duggar asked people to “think of the children”
- Dana Hunter: an open letter To the victims of Josh Duggar and predators like him
- Ophelia Benson on the kind of “counseling” Duggar received: “If the abused was not at fault“
- In fact, that “treatment center” in Little Rock (which judging from its building is pretty big business) is pretty damn suspicious.