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.