Josh Duggar Molestation Controversy

Josh Duggar Molestation Controversy

Updated Dec 17, 2015 at 07:09PM EST by Brad.

Added May 28, 2015 at 07:24AM EDT by Particle Mare.

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Josh Duggar Molestation Controversy refers to the online backlash directed at the American conservative Christian TV personality Josh Duggar and his family over revelations that he had molested five underage girls as a teenager.


The Duggar Family

Best known for appearing on the TLC cable channel reality TV series 19 Kids and Counting,[1] the Duggar family consists of father and patriarch Jim Bob Duggar, mother Michelle, and their nineteen children. The family's members are all devout Christians, following a system of familial organization similar to the ideals of the Quiverfull[12] movement, which demands families homeschool their children and abstain from using any forms of contraception. The family is politically active, having declared support for the 2016 presidential campaign of Republican candidate Mike Huckabee in May 2015.[3]

Molestation Revelations

On May 21st, 2015, In Touch Magazine[4] published an article about a 2006 police report, which details how Josh Duggar, the eldest child of the Duggar family, purportedly molested several underage girls between at age of 14 and 15.[5] The report states that Duggar confessed to molesting the girls to his parents in 2002, but that authorities were not alerted. After several more incidents occurred throughout 2002 and 2003, Duggar was sent to stay with a "family friend" for roughly four months.

On May 27th, the Daily Mail reported[9] that state trooper Joseph Hutchens, with whom Jim Bob Duggar discussed the incident in 2003, was accusing Duggar of lying about what had occurred. Duggar allegedly downplayed what his son Josh had done, stating that it was only one minor incident as opposed to the five that had taken place by that time. The article noted that although Hutchens was a trooper, the police were not formally alerted.

Notable Developments

Public Apology and Resignation from FRC

On May 21st, Josh Duggar resigned from his position at the Family Research Council, a Christian conservative and anti-gay marriage lobbying organization.[6] He had previously been an advocate for anti-LGBT and pro-life politics. The following day, Duggar posted a public apology for his actions to the family's official Facebook account. A segment of the post was reprinted by the Huffington Post in its article covering the event.[5]

Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.

Public Reactions

On May 23rd, Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, whom the Duggar family had endorsed shortly before the controversy, wrote a post in support of Josh Duggar on his Facebook page.[7]

Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, 'inexcusable,' but that doesn’t mean 'unforgivable.'

Politician Rick Santorum, who was endorsed for President by the Duggar family in 2012, stated that he was "sickened" by the allegations in an interview on ABC news on May 28th.[11]


On May 24th, Urban Dictionary[14] user NeedyUrologist submitted an entry for "duggar," defining it as "to assault or abuse a person, especially a woman or child sexually." On May 26th, Dan Savage, known for created the neologism "santorum", posted a tweet calling for "duggary" to become a word for either "sexual hypocrisy," "fundy hypocrisy" or "child molestation" (shown below).[13]

Dan Savage @fakedansavage Follow Clearly "duggary" needs to be a word. Should it mean sexual hypocrisy? Fundy hypocrisy? Child molestation? #duggary 7:13 PM - 26 May 2015 502 ★ 676

On the following day, Redditor xxflufyniplesxx posted an illustration of Duggar holding a sign defining the term "duggar" as "to sexually abuse innocent victims while trumpeting your moral superiority" to /r/atheism, where it gained over 4,300 votes (91% upvoted) and 970 comments in the first 48 hours.

S-27-1S I GOT A WORD NAMED AFTER ME!. to sexually abuse innocent victims while trumpetinlgt your moral Superiorltylh, example "Hold my Bible While I DUGGAR you. Hol ny

Josh Duggar's Photo Ops

Shortly after the controversy began, several news and opinion websites and blogs noted Josh Duggar's political activism, and the fact that he had recently posed with many Republican Presidential candidates and politicians for photo shoots. On May 27th, music and culture website Death and Taxes[8] published an article titled "8 Photos of Republicans posing with Josh Duggar", featuring pictures of Duggar with Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, and Jeb Bush.

Fox News Interview

On June 3rd, 2015, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly interviewed Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, who addressed the molestation allegations for the first time publicly (shown below). During the course of the interview, the couple described their son Josh's actions as "inappropriate touching" and expressed their displeasure with the Arkansas police department supplying InTouch Weekly with the family's records.

During the broadcast of the interview, the hashtag #DuggarInterview[15] began trending on Twitter, with many criticizing the Duggars for downplaying the molestation incidents while others used the hashtag to show their support for the family.

Mario Lopez @MarioLopezExtra Follow Molesting a child isn't a "mistake" it's a crime. To call it anything else is minimizing & unfair to victims. #Duggarl nterview RETWEETS FAVORITES 3,202 3,852 |R 閤国商騙腳圈日죠 11:43 PM-3 Jun 2015 な 塩Follow Amy Mek @AmyMek I don't know a perfect person. I only know flawed people who are still worth loving #Duggarl nterview RETWEETS FAVORITES 28 54 10:58 PM -3 Jun 2015

That evening, the @TheTweetOfGod[16] novelty account tweeted that Josh and Jim Bob Duggar would be going to hell, garnering upwards of 7,000 favorites and 5,100 retweets in 24 hours. In the coming days, several news sites reported on the Twitter reaction to the interview, including CNN,[17] USA Today[18] and Raw Story.[19]

God FolloW @TheTweetOfGod "Jim Bob Duggar: 'God Has Forgiven Josh'." No I haven't. He's going to hell, just like you 9:58 PM-3 Jun 2015 わ 다 5,143 ★ 7,037

Search Interest

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Top Comments


Lena Dunham writes a book about molesting her sleeping sister throughout her teens, you're a sick misogynist fuck if you think she's a predator, she was just a curious child experimenting as curious children do, no regrets or apologies, whole world buys your book and you're a feminist hero.

Josh Duggar molests his sleeping sisters when he's 14, admits his problem to his parents who promptly drag him to the cops to make him admit what he did, actively seek therapy for him and his victims to rehabilitate and correct the behavior, is apologetic and remorseful, and the whole world completely loses their shit.


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