She knows me as “Jules” which speaks volumes to the depth of our friendship. As such, I took strong note when reading her private message at 11:34 pm last night:
“Hey, Jules! I saw your FB post on your reservations about the whole Duggar scandal and possible interview. I am right there with you on it. I was really reticent to watch. And there was a part of me that was like ‘enough already!’ However, I am a processor and you are one of the few people I know who will debate hard topics reasonably, so I really encourage you to watch the interview. (You don't have to tell anyone that you did.) smile emoticon Think about it and then tell me what you think.”
Here’s my response; edited a bit to remove late night grammatical/spelling errors and add source sites and links in reference to specific observations and comments. Also, further thoughts post clicking and hitting ‘Send’ are noted in [ ]’s.
Hey, Sweet Friend! Just so you know, you're the first I've had any lengthy and measured conversation with regarding this matter. So here it is. Translation: I got's some things to say. I see multiple facets regarding all this:
1. The entire Quiverful/Bill Gothard/Patriarchal system [with its underlying methodology adhered to; practiced; and disseminated by family’s such as the Duggar’s] which the Duggar ascribes is rife with flat out skewed practices, lack of sound theology, as well as [its] extra-biblical precepts and [skewed] take on sexuality sets the stage for disaster.
2. The Duggar's decision to be on television—to remain on television year after year as their notoriety grew. You can't disdain the attention which you have courted. You just can't. If you have "this" (platform to propagate your worldview, faith, convictions), you're going to have "that" (intense scrutiny). We had [more than one thing] happen with more than one of our children and had we been approached within a year of [any one] of those events to be on the world stage of cable television, you'd better bet we'd said no in a heartbeat. In fact, we did just that as I was approached to do WifeSwap when my oldest (now 26) was 15-years or so.
Yes, to each their own but, I do not and will never understand their decision to subject their son given the details they knew at the time to the possibility of exposure. [I’m not trying to kick them while they’re down, mind you, but truly, I can’t wrap my brain around that.] Are they really that naive? I don't think so.
3. Doug Phillips & Bill Gothard. [Leaders/Overlords of Point 1’s methodology mess.] Creeps beyond compare, my friend. Kkkkkkkkreeeeeeeepy. Philips leading the Patriarch Brigade whilst ejaculating on the nanny (see, also—unfortunately, http://www.wnd.com/…/pastor-accused-of-using-nanny-as-sex-…/); Bill Gothard feeding a foot fetish and abusing girl after girl after girl under his "covering of authority" and being removed [finally] from [appearance at least] leadership (see, also, unfortunately again, http://www.washingtonpost.com/…/0381aa94-a624-11e3-b865-38b. It makes me want to puke.
To me, this is the story beneath the story beneath the story which this particular subset of Christian culture doesn’t want to address: to whit, the entire structure which undergirds the flight [from worldly culture] philosophy of Quiverful and such is a sham. Faulty. Unscriptural in enumerable ways. But too often, the immediate response is to cry, “We’re being persecuted!” or something akin rather than address the stinkin’ faulty theology of it all.
4. I listened to the first 15-minutes as my youngest wanted to view it [and have since listened to audio content of interview]. In those fifteen minutes, I heard both parents minimize/diminish what happened. "They weren’t even aware…" “ …to them they didn't probably even understand that it was an improper touch." Color me me profoundly doubtful. And angry as a woman and mother at the deflection of what happened to their daughters. [Transcripts can be found here: http://www.foxnews.com/sho…/the-kelly-file/transcripts.html…].
I had no idea listening to these portions of interview and reading impossible-to-ignore New Feed Posts on Facebook would trigger a memory:
When I was six-years old I had to sit across from a fellow first-grade student at the bus rider table. Every day he would push his foot between my legs. I was six-years old, yet, I felt dirty. I knew what he was doing was wrong and it made me feel bad. He wasn't my brother. I wasn't sleeping. I was in a room full of students and teachers and yet it happened again and again and I felt utterly helpless. I never told anyone—then or now, save my husband and children when I felt it was appropriate regarding their own safety and need for awareness. I was six years old and knew deeply within my conscious that what they little boy was forcing upon me was wrong and I did my best to avoid him on the playground and sundry classroom and lines to and from the restroom, lunch, and recess.
I thought of all that as I listened to them speak those few minutes. [Mr. Duggar said, “It wasn’t like rape or anything…”] They are either insanely clueless or, well, I don't even know what else. I don’t even know where to put those words or perspectives.
5. As I said previously, I do not want to hear cries of "We're being persecuted" in the middle of this--in the middle of their choosing to speak of the sexual molestation reveal. Yes, the world is becoming increasing aggressive toward Christ, the Cross, and Christians, but, for the love! What happened and the reason for their bowing [my assumption] to seeming pressure to speak was to address what happened in 2001 (both their son’s actions/inaction and repeat offenses in 2002, as well as their decisions as his parents). What has happened has had NOTHING to do with persecution.
• It had to do with the decision to diminish Josh's conscious actions against siblings and a babysitter.
• It had to do with the Duggar's family theology which considered sending him to a Bill Gothard-approved "work camp" to be appropriate counseling for the (lawful) crime against the girls involved as well as dealing with the (spiritual) sin. (As it turns out, he did neither—which claiming to have done so was disingenuous).
• It had to do with a methodology/theology structure of sexuality not so many degrees off of the horrific ideology of polygamist Latter Day Saints (Warren Jeffs ‘stay sweet’) or extreme Muslim—i.e. Gothard & Phillips. Bill Gothard who is neither married (never has been) nor a parent. I’ll never understand people adhering to his schtick. Never. The female form covered, always, always covered, from earliest age. Modesty = biblical doctrine. Warnings to drop ones eyes when a worldly woman is spotted. (Does the same go for well-built man?) No touching, hand holding, kissing, before marriage?
Honestly, my friend, it's insanity to me. In.SANE. How do you NOT get messed up messages and unclarified arousal and attractions with the extreme nature of all that? Oh for healthy sexual balance in all such things.
And as far as your thoughts and concerns regarding Mrs. Duggar’s social/political comments regarding transgender restrooms and the vitriolic response this stirred within the LGTBQ community: to be frank, the LGTBQ matter doesn't even appear as a blip on my radar screen regarding all this. However, the Cult of Family, which I've seen mushroom within Quiverful methodology (and varying subsets) and those who follow it lock-step, does.
I too appreciate our ability to maintain a thoughtful discourse on weighty matters and always strive to be reasonable with great measures of intellectual consideration and common sense. Something oft found wanting unfortunately.