Josh Duggar opts out as Jessa and Jill Duggar seek to resume their normal lives after the 19 Kids And Counting molestation controversy. Joined by their husbands, Ben Seewald and Derick Dillard, Josh Duggar’s sisters headed to Ohio to participate in the ALIVE Christian Music Festival, reported E! News.
And that appearance at the Christian event is a milestone in the Duggar family’s future after their highly-publicized Fox News interview. During that question-and-answer session, Jill and Jessa shared that they were among the five underage girls molested by Josh.
Using social media to express their determination to get a fresh start on their lives, pregnant Jessa seemed positive and perky about her journey with her sister.
“Awesome travel buddies,” declared the 22-year-old.
That baby bump is shielding Jessa’s first child.
However, although her social media mentions focused on her sister, the ALIVE Christian Music Festival Web site indicated that both Josh and pregnant wife Anna are scheduled to make appearances, as well.
But public opinion can change from positive to negative quickly in the Age Of The Internet. Hence, the festival’s manager stated that neither Anna nor Josh will attend, which is confirmed by the official schedule.
It’s been two weeks since the sisters attempted to explain why they feel that Josh should be forgiven. During their interview with Megyn Kelly, they agreed that their brother’s actions were wrong, but that he did not deserve the labels, such as child molester, that have been attached to Josh since the news broke.
“Well, I think in the case of what Josh did, it was very wrong,” admitted Jessa. “I’m not going to justify anything that he did or say it was ok, not permissible, but I do want to speak up in his defense against people who are calling him a child molester or a pedophile or a rapist, some people are saying.”
And although the 22-year-old said that she recognizes she may get some backlash, she feels that it’s important to voice her version of what happened.
“I’m like that is so overboard and a lie really, I mean people get mad at me for saying that but I can say this because I was one of the victims. So I can speak out and I can say this and set the record straight here. Like in Josh’s case, he was a boy, a young boy in puberty and a little too curious about girls. And that got him into to some trouble. And he made some bad choices, but really the extent of it was mild, inappropriate touching, on fully clothed victims, most of it while girls were sleeping.”
As Josh opts out of the opportunity to appear in public, both Duggar and Anna posted cryptic messages on social media just before the scandal broke, reported People.
And both messages focused on forgiveness and doing what is morally right.
Pregnant with her fourth child at 26, Anna shared a quote from Lon Solomon.
“The three most beautiful and liberating words in the English language are these: ‘I forgive you.’ – Lon Solomon.”
Josh’s quote was from governor Sam Houston.
“Do right and risk the consequences,” Duggar posted.
But many have wondered whether Anna, 26, will leave Josh, 27, in the wake of the scandal. She has now revealed that she was aware of what happened two years prior to his proposal.
“I was surprised at his openness and humility and at the same time didn’t know why he was sharing it. For Josh, he wanted not just me but my parents to know who he really was – even very difficult past mistakes.”
In addition, Duggar and Anna have posted on social media since the scandal broke, as the Inquisitr reported.
They used Instagram to share their birthday wishes for their son, Michael James, who turned 4.
“So glad to be in Arkansas celebrating Michael’s 4th birthday,” posted Anna. “We love you Mikey!”
For the 26-year-old, Josh’s scandal constitutes only a mistake.
“[His] past teenage mistakes [are forgiven because he] had humbled himself before God and those whom he had offended,” said Anna, whose fourth child is due in July.
[Image via Josh And Anna Duggar Facebook Fan Page]