This is somewhat of a follow-up to this post. By now I’m sure everyone’s heard about the latest Duggar scandal (and I suspect there will be more to come), in which Josh Duggar (oldest son of the brood) admitted that he was addicted to pornography after he was found to have used an Ashley Madison account to cheat on his wife.
Honestly, I can’t tell you what I think Anna (the wife) should do. I can’t tell you that girls should be raised to breathe fire. Come on, people. It doesn’t matter how much fire you breathe. If someone’s a dirtbag, they’re going to be a dirtbag regardless of what you say or do. If she divorces him (highly doubtful), he’ll continue to be a dirtbag, and if she stays with him and offers love and forgiveness, he’ll continue to be a dirtbag.
My theory about Josh is that he chafed against his parents’ restrictions and rules, but instead of rebelling outwardly (you really can’t rebel in a Fundamentalist Christian household, apparently), he internalized his rebellion until he became an adult and separated from his parents upon marrying Anna. Instead of gaining a little freedom from restrictions and responsibilities, he became saddled with four young children in quick succession, so he was once again in the same position he had been in at home: the leader, the oldest, the responsible person. It’s a lot of pressure.
In keeping with his parents’ values (but apparently not his own), he started working for the Family Research Council in Washington, DC, a conservative pro-life and pro-marriage lobbying organization. From what I hear, the District of Columbia is not a nice place, what with all the politicians and other venomous creatures. What a change from life in rural Arkansas. So it’s really no wonder that he started to lead a double life in which he felt as though he could explore other options beyond what he had always been taught.
I don’t expect that things will get better for Josh in “rehab.” If anything, being beaten over the head with Bible verses might cause greater confusion; it seems as though a life steeped in religion was what he had been trying to escape by creating his illicit online accounts. The issues run deep, possibly too deep to be fixed. Maybe Josh isn’t a certified, grade-A dirtbag, but he certainly needs help; probably more help than he can get from another Bible-based rehab that only echoes his parents’ teachings.