When the news of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s oldest son, Joshua, having a sex addiction, multiple affairs, and a history of molesting four of his sisters hit the streets, 19 Kids and Counting was pulled from the air by TLC in 2015 and Joshua Duggar was sent to rehab for his pornography and sex addiction. He returned to Arkansas after completing his rehabilitation, but kept a low profile on social media. His wife, Anna, ultimately stuck with him throughout the scandal, which broke when she was pregnant with one of their four children. Anna was heavily criticized at the time for knowingly exposing her children (two of which are girls) to a known, admitted child molester. At the time, it was said that Joshua did not actually rape his sisters, but details about what happened were sketchy as his sisters’ privacy, who live in the public eye, were of great concern.
It was also revealed that Josh was never formally charged with any crime and continued to live around his sisters even after his parents discovered the molestation, with the family choosing to handle it internally. At the time, it was said this his parents had a police officer who was a family friend come talk to Josh, and he was also sent to his uncle’s home to help him work on construction. Many people criticized the way the Duggars handled the situation and felt the girls should have been more protected, but in multiple interviews with the sisters he molested, they say they forgive him and hold no grudges. Even so, Joshua had continued to be a thorn in the side of the Duggars when it came to television and success.
According to Refinery 29, his family took to their official Facebook page on March 3, Josh Duggar’s birthday, to wish him a happy birthday and give him some pointed advice concerning rest of his life.
“Happy birthday, Josh. We love you, your amazing wife and sweet children. We pray that you diligently follow and serve the Lord with your whole heart all the days of your life and that this year is a wonderful year for you and your family.”
While Jim Bob and Michelle never shunned Josh after the news of the sex scandals and molestation, he was noticeably absent for family events for a period of time as the couple focused their attention on pictures of their daughters as they married and had children. It now appears they are ready to move forward and have accepted Josh’s apology, which he made publicly to People after news of the scandal broke.
“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.”
While his family seems ready to accept his apology, many of the public do not and are outspoken with their outrage that Josh never did jail time for his crimes and that he continues to have access to his children. One reader of Refinery 29 commented directly to Anna, his wife, and asked why she is continuing to expose their children to a child molester.
“Anna, I can’t understand why you are still with this ‘used’ man. He is dirty, having sex with other women [that sin does not wash off]. He sexually molested his 4 sisters [sick, sick, sick] and will molest his own if he gets a chance. That sickness can’t be cured. You would be better off divorcing him and find a decent man who will treasure you and love your children.”
What are your thoughts on Josh Duggar receiving a public “happy birthday” from his parents and the outrage that some people in the public still have? Is he safe to be around his children? Share your thoughts.
[Featured Image by the Official Duggar Facebook page]