I wouldn’t ordinarily be writing a post about a grown man’s adultery with other grown people. If you cheat on your spouse, you’re a scumbag, but you’re your spouse’s problem – unless, of course, you’re one of those moralizing shitlords who try to keep my queer friends from getting married, encourage people to hate on them, tell us we’re damned for enjoying premarital sex on the regular, and try to legislate what we can do with our reproductive systems and our relationships. In that case, damn straight your cheating is public business, because if you can’t practice, you shouldn’t be preaching, much less trying to get laws passed to condemn others for what you’re doing.
And Josh Duggar, the holier-than-thou sleazeball who loved to pretend he was the perfect husband and father, whose actual work was to harm families that didn’t fit his own narrow definition, has not one but two different kinds of sex scandal going on. First we find out he molested his sisters and their babysitter, now he’s forced to confess that he signed up on Ashley Madison so he could cheat on his wife. He had an OK Cupid account, too. And a Facebook account where he followed local strippers. And a Twitter account where he showed himself to be the typical pathetic straight white boy interacting with women. The man was obsessed with illicit sex.
I’m not happy the truth came out like it did. The people who hacked Ashley Madison were so busy being self-righteous assholes that they gave not a single thought to the kind of people whose lives might be put at risk by their leaks. They didn’t think of the people who would be driven to suicide, the people who might face domestic violence, or the people who could get executed for breaking the law in their countries. They didn’t think of the singles who were on there because it seemed like a safe and secure place to meet a same-sex partner. They didn’t think of the sex workers who would be put at risk. didn’t think of the ordinary lives that would be destroyed. The little shitheads just wanted to prove their point. And like little shitheads everywhere, they’re so full of themselves they have no room for anyone else. I hope they get to contemplate their actions from the interior of a jail cell for quite a long time.
This was a horrible way for it to happen, but the truth inevitably got out, and Josh confessed to it. First he tried to blame porn and Satan, then walked that back because, apparently, somebody in his camp realized how hilarious that would sound to outsiders. I don’t believe his apology means anything more than he’s sorry he got caught, and I certainly don’t feel sorry for him. I feel sorry for Anna and the kids. They didn’t deserve this. They don’t have any good way out, considering what their culture’s like. And Anna will probably end up taking some of the responsibility, even though it was Josh’s fault from start to finish. I just hope she’s able to realize he was crooked from the beginning. I hope she realizes she shares none of the blame, and that he was a predatory asshole long before she met him. I hope she comes to understand that there was no way she could change him. And I hope that, if she wants out, that she finds a way out with the kids, and that her family and friends close ranks around her rather than against her. I hope that, if she loses her faith, she finds her way to a safe place within the secular community, and that her life goes as smoothly as any life can after that. I hope that people will give her the time and space she needs to be as okay as she can be after being saddled with a lying fuckwad of a husband.
As for Josh, I don’t think he’ll be making a triumphant return to the Christian circuit as a redeemed man now. Those conservative Christians and fans who convinced they could handwave away all his counts of child sexual assault because he hadn’t really been saved yet are now being forced to confront the fact that he went right on sinning after he accepted Jesus. Some of them want to claim he was never a real Christian, but it’s pretty hard for them to do that, seeing as how they called him a really-real and true Christian right up until they learned he cheated on his wife. It’s just too bad. that this won’t serve as their wake-up call. It’s a shame that their morality has been so twisted by their stunningly awful religion that they won’t see how very fucked up it is, forgiving a man for abusing children, but condemning him for having an affair. Good Christian People™, allow me to splain something: both of these things are bad, but only one of them is a sex crime against children. One of these things is far, far worse than the other. (Hint: it is not the adultery that is worse.)
With any luck, this series of scandals will tip dewy-eyed viewers off to the fact that a squeaky-scrubbed and smiling exterior means nothing. Constant babbling about God does not make a person moral. These ultra-conservative Christian movements and cults promise perfection, but they can’t deliver. All they do is provide a safe space for predators to hunt, confess when caught, and go right back to hunting. The twisted morality around sex and purity leads to a lot of broken people. So can we please, please, stop putting people like this all over teevee and electing them to office because they look so shiny on the outside?
Many of the people who escaped from the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements have weighed in. I’m going to turn the mic over to them, because these were their people. They know them better than any of us ever will. If you want to understand how this latest scandal will be handled by the Duggars, why the strict rules taught by them pretty much set their son up to be a complete shit, and what the fallout will probably be, they’re the people to listen to.
Roll to Disbelieve
Love, Joy, Feminism
No Longer Quivering
Outside News and Views
Daylight Atheism: Anti-Sex Dogma Can’t Fail, It Can Only Be Failed
Josh can fuck right off back to obscurity. I hope his wife, children, and the surviving victims of the Ashley Madison hack come through this strong and whole.