Call Me Repulsed

Imagine looking at your phone tomorrow morning and seeing the following headlines:

“Call Me Judy” – Conservative political lobbyist and outspoken christian reality television star formerly known as Josh Duggar reveals new female identity.

Breaking: police report reveals First Father Barack Obama molested several female relatives multiple times when he was 14.

Would the conservative/evangelical Christian response be the same if Josh Duggar had undergone gender reassignment surgery?

Would the conservative/evangelical Christian response be the same if Barack Obama had been outed for molesting multiple victims when he was 14?

I kinda doubt it.

Most (but definitely not all) political conservatives and evangelical Christians seem to be of the opinion that Josh Duggar, who as a teenager repeatedly molested 5 young girls, 4 of whom are his sisters, in their sleep, and his parents deserve our mercy and forgiveness, but Caitlyn Jenner, who has not committed a violent or sexual unlawful offense against anyone, is an abominable sinner and a disgusting waste of surgically-altered flesh.

Recent current events (read: media circuses) have me wondering when the world went mad. I’m especially befuddled (and repulsed and stunned and incensed and sickened and amazed) by both the mainstream evangelical Christian and politically conservative response to the two recent major stories currently monopolizing the media: the Vanity Fair cover of Caitlyn Jenner, and the Duggar molestation case, discussed during last night’s Megyn Kelly interview of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.

Believers and political conservatives I know are all over the map on these two issues. Some have been truly gracious and compassionate in their reactions to Caitlyn Jenner and the victims of the Duggar tragedy. Most, however, based on an easy internet search and my social media feeds, are quick to label Caitlyn Jenner a sinner and don’t realize how completely offensive and judgmental that is regardless of the amount of compassion they feel they have displayed: “He (many conservatives display a blatant refusal to respect Caitlyn’s wishes regarding the use of pronouns used when referring to her) …is confused and mentally ill and needs help and the love of Christ.” Oddly enough, Caitlyn is a republican.

As for the Duggars, I don’t even know where to begin. I can’t figure out how anyone of any faith or no faith at all can defend parents who use their children for fame and filthy lucre (and purposely have more children with the *exact same intent* in mind), holding themselves up as Godly Examples for Us All. They marketed themselves and their family this way while being openly critical of lifestyles they deem sinful (including advocating the death penalty for those convicted of incest). They have been openly and vehemently judgmental of the LGBT community while covering up their son’s sexual crimes.

(Sidebar: I consider fondling children who are a. asleep, and b. unable to understand or give consent a crime, not a mere mistake. Teenage boys who are sexually curious and not sexually deviant typically get themselves a girlfriend of the same age, ask to touch her, and only do so if she consents. Or they look at a Victoria’s Secret catalog. They don’t molest their sisters. They just don’t.)

The Duggars created a dangerous environment for their kids, paraded it all over television as The Right Way to Live, and now are upset that people are judging them for their behavior. Their defenders are crying “persecution” as though people are only attacking their beliefs and not their actions.

These people knowingly and willfully exposed their children to their son who was clearly  a danger to them. Both the interviewer and the Duggars conveniently left out relevant details about the story in an effort to repair the Duggar Brand. Now, their daughters will  “Rally “Round the Banner” and defend the faith and the family name. I can’t fathom the suffering these girls are enduring. To be molested is a horrific violation; to have your trauma splashed across the media and your parents *add to it* is unconscionable to me. It’s truly heartbreaking and disgusting.

If the conservative Christian community believes Mr. and Mrs Duggar and their son Josh  deserve grace, space, and mercy, then at the very least, Caitlyn Jenner, who has not covered up or committed a crime against anyone, does too. I wonder if Jesus was standing between Caitlyn Jenner and the stone-weilders of today, what He’d be writing in the sand.

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16 Responses to Call Me Repulsed

  1. Erin says:

    Very well stated and a brilliant move in comparing and contrasting the two hottest social topics of the day.

  2. Nate says:

    I wonder if Jesus was standing between Caitlyn Jenner and the stone-weilders of today, what He’d be writing in the sand.

    He’d probably be crucified all over again, figuratively, if not literally.

  3. yewnique says:

    Bravo!

    That the Duggars went on their own TV show (when they don’t even watch TV) to, what?, minister to the world on how to be sexually pure AND ‘advertising’ their children as such — when by their own standards, their children are ‘damaged goods’ — is just unconscionable!

  4. Nate says:

    Just read that article from InTouch… pretty crazy stuff. This story only gets worse as time goes on. :(

  5. Holly says:

    I guess I do want to say something this time. Wow… Yes, the Duggars deserve mercy, of which you are giving them none. Yes, Mr/Ms. Jenner deserves mercy. I just posted an excellent opinion article on my page about that. You should check that out. And how do you know the Duggars “used their children for fame and filthy lucre?” And you think they are having more children for that purpose? How do you know that for sure? They had decided years before the show to have as many kids as God would give them. As for me, I’ve really only watched their show a few times, but I do believe their hearts are right in it. Why should I have any right to assume otherwise? Why should you? Also, how do you have any idea about what safeguards they did or didn’t put in place to protect their children? You do not live there. They specifically said they did and have ever since. You have no idea, and you are doing exactly what you are accusing others of. You are wielding your own stones, my friend. I love you and always will, but I think you are really not acting anything like Jesus in this one. The rest of what you said is dead on. Many Christians have acted horribly in regards to Jenner. But why you are attacking the Duggar family so viciously is beyond me. Do you really think Jesus Himself would be saying these same things? Call sin what it is, absolutely, but Jesus forgives, and He has forgiven Josh Duggar and the family for anything you think they’ve done so horribly. Heaven forbid your own son did something like that, and you might be singing a different tune. None of us is incapable of sin–even something like that. Every one of our hearts is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. And he says he accepted Christ after that. Praise God for that! Showing mercy is what makes us like Christ. Let’s all show the world what that means instead of jumping on the same band wagon they are on and hurling stones at people for their sins.

    • rodalena says:

      Holly,

      First, thank you for your comment.

      1. The Duggars are not doing “19 Kids and Counting” as a ministry for free. They are financially benefiting from filming a television show that focuses on the lifestyle that accompanies their beliefs and having as many children as possible. When people place their lives on television for the entertainment of others, and then openly judge lifestyle choices with which they disapprove, they open themselves up to the same criticism.

      2. The “safeguards” put in place to protect the other children in the Duggar home failed: young children were molested multiple times.

      3. I am speaking out against behavior I find reprehensible because I believe it is the right thing to do. Forgiveness (which only the victims can give Josh; he didn’t molest the rest of the world) is one thing, taking a year to report criminal behavior, leaving the victims with what obviously turned out to be inadequate protection from their attacker, and then covering up the crimes is quite another.

    • Nate says:

      Hi Holly,

      I know your comment was directed to Rodalena, but I hope you don’t mind if I offer my thoughts as well. I don’t completely disagree with your statements about the Duggars. I actually wrote an article about this recently, too. There’s a part of me that feels a little sorry for Josh Duggar, even though what he did was so terrible. It seems to me that his upbringing was so sexually repressed that it may have contributed to what happened. I don’t mean that as any kind of excuse — there’s really no excuse for it. But I can’t help but wonder how things might have turned out differently if he’d been raised in a different environment.

      Anyway, one of the things that has kept me from feeling more sympathy for him and his parents is that there was no noticeable outward change from them after these events. They still remained just as outspoken and unmerciful toward other people, including the LGBT community. You’d think after seeing what could happen in their own home, they’d be humbled. They understandably tried to protect their son from the worst consequences that could have come from his actions, but haven’t projected that same mercy and compassion toward others. In other words, they’ve been hypocrites, and that’s hard to stomach.

      At least, that’s the impression that I’ve gotten.

  6. Holly says:

    Rhonda, what I mean is, just because they are getting paid for something, that does not mean that is the main reason they are doing it. Plenty of people are in ministry and getting paid for it. I didn’t think “filthy lucre” was the fair term to use, since you have never spoken to them yourself and don’t know that to be true for sure. I’m not sure exactly what you mean by “covering up the crimes.” And the safeguards I’m talking about were put in place afterward. You are right. They should have been more vigilant right away!! Absolutely. I don’t think they did everything right. It was awful, all the way around! I certainly think they were foolish in starting a television program soon after. But does that mean we should all bash them for the rest of their lives? How is that really helping anyone? And as for the victims’ suffering they are enduring? I would assume you are correct, and this publicity is all making it worse, I am sure. However, I recently read a blog post written by a victim of horrendous sexual abuse, and she takes mighty offense to people who put words in her mouth like this. She says that she is healed and whole and does not consider herself a victim at all, and that her life was not ruined forever. Someone close to me who was in a similar circumstance says the same thing. I think the victims would need to speak for themselves about their own feelings about this matter and don’t need help from the public. And sure, speaking out about reprehensible behavior is good and sometimes necessary. I’m just saying that I don’t think it needs to be done in this bombastic manner when Josh was 14 at the time, and he was their precious son–(I’m not sure any of us could have easily known exactly what to do,) 12 years have gone by, and they have asked forgiveness of God and the victims. Do I need to forgive Josh? No. God already has, anyway. Do I need to bash him on my blog? No. Can I offer him and the family mercy and grace in the way I speak about them, the same way that I can offer mercy and grace in the way I speak about ALL people since every single one of us sins? Yes. You are implying that Christians should be merciful to Bruce Jenner and others in the LGBT community, correct? I just found it ironic that in the same post you would turn around and offer no mercy to the Duggars, who are not perfect, but loved and treasured by God, just like every human being. “They will know we are Christians by our love.” Not by the way we come down hard about people’s “reprehensible behavior.” We are all messed up sinners. Every one of us. And that’s all I was trying to say.

  7. javaj240 says:

    What a fantastic job you did comparing and contrasting these two “events”. I know little to nothing about the Duggars. I try to shield myself from conservative Christianity at all costs. As far as Caitlyn Jenner is concerned, I’m not sure Jesus said this (frankly, I’m not sure Jesus said anything, but that would be story for another day), but how about “Live and let live”? I like that for a motto. Of course that does not extend to criminal behavior — and molestation certainly falls into that category.

    Bravo to you.

  8. Quite a little pot you stirred, my friend! As you and I both know the Duggers are but the tip of the iceberg and more often than not the thing we get most upset about is the thing that trips us up. Must be something with that pride thing after all. I spent way too many years in situations where the public face of “worship” was so very, very different than the lives playing out in the shadows. There is something about getting in a twist about the mote in your brother’s eye when you have a beam in your own. The man I read about was a man of compassion for those he met, eating with prostitutes, tax collectors and country bumpkins. Hypocrisy, however, really rang his chimes.I am sure that at least part of the reason Jenner is making such a huge splash is because through her notoriety she can bring attention to the plight of many like her. When a support organization finds it hard to believe that someone died due to natural causes – then something is very wrong. I think we need to get a grip and find out what the root of all this venom is.

    • rodalena says:

      Every time I turn around, it seems another evangelical preacher is caught in a sexual scandal. That is part the reason this whole situation is so upsetting: it’s happening a lot.

      You nailed the real foundational issue: pride.

  9. Sherry says:

    Amen! I agree with you completely about the conservative judgment for some, but not for others. However, from what I’ve been reading, this fondling of sisters is a lot more common than you think. It can’t be blamed completely on their repressive lifestyle, because it happens outside of Christianity also, and most of those parents don’t report it either. If these teen boys receive proper help, they most likely will not go on to molest again. Fortunately, it seems that Josh Duggar did not become a molester as an adult. I also can’t completely fault them for keeping Josh out of the system, as I’ve read a lot of horror stories about mental health care in the system. However, where I can judge them is not getting proper counseling for their children, doing a tv show without addressing this and hurting their children, and being outspoken in their judgment of gays. What has happened in their family illustrates what goes on in most any family. It’s bad when someone else does it, but you cover it up when it’s in your family. Most of us just aren’t on tv.

You look like you want to say something. Go right ahead.