A few days ago, several "news" (and I use that term very, very loosely) outlets began sharing the story about alleged sexual misconduct by then-teenager Josh Duggar, oldest son of the "19 Kids and Counting" Duggars. I've been absolutely amazed at the comments posted in response to these stories and on Facebook regarding this situation. But before I go on, I want to post a disclaimer or two:
1. I am not a Duggar-devotee by any stretch of the imagination. Several years ago, when I first heard about the show, I watched a few episodes. I'd never been a reality-TV fan, and this show didn't capture my interest, either. It simply wasn't for me, and I never watched again.
2. I have no idea what this young man did or didn't do as a juvenile, and I am neither condemning nor defending him. I repeat: I'm not writing either in support or to criticize this young man or anyone involved in this situation.
Okay, that's done.
I shared at the outset that I am amazed at the comments, and I am. I have to wonder at the "I always knew they were fake/hypocrites". Really? What knowledge were you in possession of that led you to that realization? Oh, it was just the fact that "nobody is that 'good' all the time". You're exactly right. Nobody is. We all mess up, we all make mistakes, and this family is no different.
I'm more surprised at the "I am so glad they are off the air/I always hated that show" remarks. I can understand disliking the show, maybe even hating it. Goodness knows, there are lots of television shows I don't care for and even a few I despise. But I don't give them a second thought (I can't even think of the names of any of them). I simply do not watch them. Oh, and I don't expend my precious energy trying to figure out why other folks do or bad-mouthing the program to them or to anyone who will listen. In short, I don't understand expending even the energy required to care about something you don't like.
I'm especially amused by the folks who profess to hate the program but who go on to talk about specific details from the many episodes they've watched. ?!?!?!?! I do not like mustard. As a result, I do not spread a layer of it on various foods, eat them, and then incessantly post about how horrible mustard makes each and every dish. Instead, I don't eat mustard! As a result, I find it perplexing that any person would devote precious time (and our time here on earth is precious) to watching something they claim to dislike and then expending more time and energy complaining about it.
I'm particularly perplexed by the individuals who demand tolerance of the lifestyles and choices they embrace but who condemn the Duggars for having 19 kids or for home-schooling or for . . . well, breathing! Last year, I politely asked one "hater" who said the Duggar parents were "trash" for having 19 children to explain her logic. She simply kept saying it was "wrong". Really? Show me the law. Show me the statue in any "guide" for living -- the Bible, the Koran, etc. -- that indicates that it is wrong to have over x-number of children. I then politely asked them how this really affects them, since the family accepts no government aid (hence, doesn't live off the "hater's" tax dollars), etc. The individual said, "I just don't like it." Well, that's certainly a person's prerogative, but what about that tolerance you demand from those who disagree with you on other issues? I'm thinking you might more likely be on the receiving end of tolerance if you extended it yourself. But that's just me.
Okay, I know you've got the point by now. I'm not a Duggar fan, but I'm not a hater, either.
I'm an individual who is amazed that there is criticism of a family who pays their own way and that stands behind how they choose to express their Christian lifestyles when at the same time our television lineups are filled with shows glorifying sexual immorality, drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behavior, etc.
I'm an individual who is amazed at the people who are taking absolute delight in their misfortune. One online "news" writer expressed that he was "filled with glee" to see the family toppled. I would be glad to see the leaders of ISIS toppled. A reality-television family doesn't even register on my "want to see toppled" list.
I'm an individual who looks around in dismay at what our culture apparently has come to value and at what we express our derision.
I'm an individual who wonders where we go from here.