Duggars, Reality TV, religion

The Duggars are… done?

I woke up to the news that TLC is finally canceling the Duggars. That means no more Counting On. No more sneaky attempts by Jim Bob and his wife, Michelle, to get on camera and hijack what was supposed to be a reality show about his adult children who haven’t committed crimes. No more babies being born on toilets. No more contrived honeymoons to foreign countries, where the whole storyline centers around how “different” the Duggars are. No more over the top baby gender reveals. It’s about time.

What took them so long?

To be honest, the Duggars have been on TV for an astonishingly long time… and it’s high time they hightailed it off into the sunset. Even if Josh Duggar wasn’t a notorious sex pest, the Duggar time in the spotlight of reality TV should have been over some time ago. I quit watching their show several years ago, not necessarily because of Josh, but because it had become really boring. It was a lot of lathering, rinsing, and repeating. I’m sure a lot of the people on the show– Boob’s children and their spouses– who evidently weren’t even being paid for their work– will be glad to be able to do their own things off camera.

My guess is that Jeremy and Jinger will be glad to be done with the show. Now he can work on becoming the next Joel Osteen.

I read that Josh’s child pornography trial has also been postponed. It was supposed to begin on July 6th, but now it’s slated to start in late November. I guess that will be enough time for him to be around to see his seventh child being born. With any luck, he won’t have time to impregnate Anna again before he goes to trial and likely ends up in prison. Another baby is the last thing Anna would need. But I would not put it past Josh to try to make one more baby… Someone as narcissistic as he is no doubt thinks the world needs more of his progeny running around.

I’m sure Jim Boob is now thinking of new ways to be rich and famous, as he looks for experts to help his son beat his child porn charges. Even if Josh doesn’t go to prison– and I think he will, but I’ve learned never to “count on” what seems obvious– I suspect his life may be pretty much over. His reputation is ruined. There are some people in the fundie Christian world who might manage to overlook his past, but a whole lot of other people will never be able to forgive and forget what he’s been accused of doing, even in the highly unlikely event that he’s proven innocent.

I feel badly for Josh’s kids. Those poor souls never had a choice. It won’t be easy for them, growing up in the fundie Christian cult with their father locked up in prison. They will always be associated with him, no matter what. They probably love their dad, despite what he’s allegedly done and what he’s openly admitted to doing.

See this smirk? He probably isn’t hurting like his loved ones are.

I think this is something that a lot of people don’t think about in these situations… that predators may be the worst sorts of people, but there’s usually someone out there who loves them anyway. I’m sure Josh’s mother loves him. It looks like Jim Bob does, too. And he has a wife who is standing by him, and all those kids… The rest of the world may think he’s just the lowest form of turd, but there are people in his life who don’t see him the way others do. And those people are going to suffer for this. They’ll probably suffer more than Josh will. Josh doesn’t seem to be taking this very seriously. See the above pic for evidence.

I guess this Duggar situation is one reason why I’m not so tough on the Plath family, another large family that has been profiled on TLC. I mentioned the Plaths on Facebook yesterday, and someone mentioned how “cruel” the parents are to their kids. Honestly, I watched all of the episodes over the past couple of days. I didn’t come away with that much disdain for Kim and Barry Plath. I mean, sure, I don’t agree with their parenting decisions. I think Kim seems a bit closed off emotionally. Barry is a bit smarmy. But I don’t see them nearly as controlling or egregiously offensive as the Duggars often are. And at least Kim has an excuse. She grew up with the chaos of an alcoholic single mom and later lost a child to a terrible accident.

In one episode, Kim Plath mentioned that as a child of an alcoholic, she’d learned to “manage her emotions”. I know what she writes of, although I wasn’t very successful at that myself. She also mentioned being a partier in college, driving drunk and, by the grace of God, not getting in any accidents. I think it’s possible that if she hadn’t quit drinking, she would have ended up like her mother. Many children of alcoholics become alcoholics, marry them, or turn into control freaks. I’ve also witnessed in my own family people trading alcohol for something else. In Kim’s case, maybe it was religion. I have a cousin who quit drinking and turned into a gun toting, right-wing, Christian zealot. I can barely stand to talk to him anymore, and he used to be one of my favorite relatives. He’s become so smug and self-righteous. I’ll bet he’d love a flag like the one pictured below.

A screenshot of a Trump rally going on this week. Some people still think Trump is the president.

I watched the Plaths over the past couple of days. Unlike a lot of viewers, I feel like I saw both sides of the situation. Most of the kids were complaining about how tough the parents were on them, not educating them and preparing them for the world. But from what I see, the kids are doing quite well. Not a single one of them is a skid row drunk or drug addict. They all appear to be employed beyond the TLC show, launching their own lives as they see fit, and not being forced to work for the family business, as the Duggar children seem to be. Once they become 18, they are encouraged to get out and live life. I think that’s healthier than what we see with the Duggars, with all the adult kids living close by, often in properties owned by Jim Bob. Those who buck the system get ostracized by Boob. In the Plath family, it looks like the children are deciding to go “no contact”. Also… Boob protects his sex pest son, Josh, but doesn’t protect one of Josh’s victims, Jill. That’s way fucked up.

Now… in saying all of this, I’m not trying to be a Plath booster. Again– I see issues from both sides. I can understand why Kim Plath wouldn’t want her youngest children around people who seem hostile toward her. She’s still their mom, and she has to live with them. The youngest kids are not old enough to be kicked out of the house, as Micah and Moriah have been. And again, while I don’t agree with the fundie lifestyle, I do think parents should be allowed to raise their children the way they want to, as long as there’s no egregious abuse involved. And, of course, we all need to remember that if the Plaths weren’t a bit dysfunctional, they wouldn’t be on TV. If Kim Plath was an awesome mom who shits sunshine and flowers, they wouldn’t have a show. People tune in to see the strife. So we should all remember that… that dysfunction and apparent “cruelty” is what keeps people watching and the money rolling.

And I can also understand why Ethan and Olivia were hurt when they were told they couldn’t be around Ethan’s siblings unsupervised. It’s hurtful to have your parents not trust you, especially when you haven’t done anything criminal. Ethan and Olivia are just evolving into “regular” people. The Plath parents would do well to realize that this is going to happen with all of the children as they grow up. The vast majority of them are probably not going to follow the same path their parents have. That’s part of growing up– making your own choices. On another note, I also empathize with Olivia feeling disliked by Kim. I don’t think Bill’s stepmother likes me very much, even though I’m not nearly as abusive as Ex is. On the other hand, lots of people don’t like me… I figure that’s their problem.

For whatever it’s worth, Kim does seem to have a lovely relationship with her daughter, Lydia. Lydia, seems to be the type of person who goes along to get along. Personally, I think she’s my favorite on that show. I think she’s the prettiest, too. She just seems so kind and caring, as well as naturally beautiful. She’s probably the Jana Duggar of the Plath family. ūüėČ Seems like every large family has at least one person who is ultra responsible and mature. It’s usually the oldest who’s like that, but I think Ethan appears to be a lot less mature than his sister, Lydia, is… and she’s several years younger than Ethan is.

Anyway… I wouldn’t be broken-hearted if the Plaths have another season, although I don’t see them going on for years, as the Duggars have. I wouldn’t want them to do that. I think they’re wise enough not to try to do that, although I could be wrong.

Being on reality TV is probably a bit like gambling. It’s best to quit while you’re ahead. The Duggars should have been done years ago. They should have been done before 2015, when revelations about what a creep Josh is initially came to light. But no… Jim Bob had to keep the money, fame, and attention whoring going, and now he and Michelle and the rest of the clan are going to pay a terrible price as they likely watch their eldest trudge off to prison in cuffs and shackles. I think that’s probably the most appropriate thing to happen… but it does make me sad to see it. It makes me sad to see anyone being sent to prison, even if they absolutely deserve it. I think languishing behind bars is a terrible fate, particularly for those who have any potential whatsoever. That doesn’t mean I sympathize with Josh. It means that I know he’s a human being, despite his habit of doing terrible things. And I do empathize with all of those who love him and will be watching as he faces justice. Especially, his children... who have all of my sympathy.

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book reviews, religion

Repost: Kathryn Joyce’s book Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement

Here’s a reposted book review from Epinions, which I wrote in November 2009. It appears as/is. Bear in mind, this was written many years before the Duggar scandals! I have since changed my mind about the Duggar family and their so-called “normalcy”.

It seems like the older I get, the weirder society becomes. Maybe it’s because nowadays, everybody has access to 24 hours of news. Indeed, it’s becoming almost impossible to escape the headlines these days, which by their very nature of “infotainment”, seems to focus on the weird. I remember several years ago when Arkansas mother Michelle Duggar made the news for having her fourteenth baby and being named Arkansas Mother of the Year. It seems like that was the first time I heard anything about the so-called Quiverfull movement, the idea that men should reclaim ultimate control of the government, churches, and their families and women should be strictly relegated to the home, where they would be expected to bear and raise as many children as possible.

After Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar came on the scene with their ever expanding brood of telegenic children (she’s currently pregnant with #19), it seemed like more people involved with the Quiverfull movement started coming out of the woodwork on television, Internet blogs, and in communities. Suddenly, the Quiverfull movement, which had seemed to be an obscure anomaly in American culture, was getting a lot of press. I imagine that’s at least part of the reason why Kathryn Joyce wrote her 2009 book, Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement.

I will admit, I was attracted to this book, in part, because of watching the Duggars on their soon to be yet again renamed reality TV show, 18 Kids and Counting. While the Duggars seem to be relatively normal and even somewhat egalitarian for fundamentalist Christians, I have also had some exposure to fundamentalists who seemed less “normal” in terms of how they viewed gender roles. I wanted to learn more about the roots of this movement and the people involved. I think Kathryn Joyce did a fine job of covering those subjects in her book. She writes about meeting and talking to some of the movers and shakers in the Quiverfull movement and includes some fascinating anecdotes about real people who subscribe to Quiverfull as well as some who fell away from the idea.

What I liked about this book

I think Kathryn Joyce has chosen a fascinating and timely topic to write about. She traveled around the country, collecting stories about people who wholeheartedly believe in letting God be in charge of family planning. I was especially interested, and somewhat dismayed, by her discussion of people who had had tubal ligations and vasectomies reversed so that they might fulfill God’s plan for reproduction. It seemed the pervasive attitude among Quiverfull folks is that messing with one’s fertility is a recipe for disaster; the only way to gain God’s favor and be blessed is to let God’s will dictate family size.

Joyce also discusses patriarchy and the idea that all women should be submissive and subservient to their husbands. Indeed, Joyce writes about some of the issues that can come up when a church encourages absolute submission in a marriage. She relates the story of one unfortunate woman who was abused by her husband. When she sought help from the church in dealing with the situation, she found the church was firmly on her husband’s side. She was admonished for not being submissive enough and for speaking ill of her mate. Another woman, who had actually gone from being a devout liberal to a pioneer in the Quiverfull movement, ended up losing absolutely everything when she and her husband split up.

Joyce also discusses the fact that many people involved in the Quiverfull movement see their children as warriors for God. Each child is like one of God’s arrows, supplied by their faithful parents, in the fight for world domination. She describes one Quiverfull family who frequently shopped at a Middle Eastern grocery store in Nashville, Tennessee. They were friends with the proprietors and happy to give them business, yet they couldn’t help but realize that if radical Islam took hold in the United States, their way of life would likely be threatened. It occurred to them that their Islamic friends would have to “get in line” or be the subject of jihad. So, in many cases, all of the babies born to Christian fundamentalists are, in fact, seen as a source of manpower for the Christian movement.

Joyce also discusses some of the common perceptions and misperceptions people have about families who choose to be mega-sized. She is particularly careful to explain that despite common belief that such large families often end up on welfare, Quiverfull followers actually strive to live debt free and avoid government assistance. They are often masters at thrift and recycling out of economic necessity. I was glad to read this, since I know that other groups that tend to encourage large families– like the FLDS– encourage members to “bleed the beast” by accessing all of the government progams they can.

What I didn’t like about this book

First off, I found it hard to get into at first. I started reading this book several weeks ago and managed to get through it in fits and starts. Some parts of it were really interesting and easy to read. Other parts were somewhat drier and took more effort. Kathryn Joyce writes fairly well, but I found this book somewhat uneven.

Secondly, while I think Joyce tried to present a balanced view of the Quiverfull movement, I kind of got the feeling that she was very opposed to it. The book seemed somewhat biased against the Quiverfull movement, as most of the anecdotes presented in this book were negative. I was left wondering if there were any people out there who were happy with their choice to let God be their fertility counselor. In other words, it seems like Kathryn Joyce had an agenda and, while I might agree with a lot of her observations, I still can’t say this book succeeded in presenting an equal view.

I got the feeling that deep down, the admittedly feminist Joyce felt these people with deep religious convictions were freakish, and no amount of talking with people who followed the Quiverfull movement would change her way of thinking. When it comes down to it, that would make her as intractable as some of the right wing Christians she’s written about. In fact, I couldn’t help but notice the interesting font in this book. The “Q’s” in the typeface all had long, phallic looking tails on them. It sort of came across as a subliminal message.

Overall

I found¬†Quiverfull¬†a basically¬†satisfying read and I learned a lot in the process of finishing it. While I found small parts of it a little slow and larger parts of it less than objective, I think Joyce did a good job in presenting Quiverfull to those who want to read about it. And I’m guessing that many people who choose to read this book are going to pick it up because they¬†do¬†agree with Joyce and her feminist viewpoint. On the other hand, those who are in the Quiverfull movement and have the time to read this book will probably read it with a defensive attitude… and if they really believe in Quiverfull, they’d be right to be defensive.

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sexism, slut shamers, stupid people

Repost: Transformed Wife vs. The Transformed Wife…

This is another repost concerning Lori Alexander, aka “The Transformed Wife”. This was composed on my original blog on July 21, 2018. I am sharing it again because it includes discussion about one of Lori’s most notoriously controversial ideas… that men don’t like women with tattoos or student loans and prefer their wives to be virgins.

I have to write another quick post to opine about a situation that has developed in blogger land.  Though the Life is Not All Pickles and Hairspray group, I’ve become aware of several very successful “Christian” bloggers.  One blogger that gets mentioned a lot is Lori Alexander, author of “The Transformed Wife“.  I don’t really read a lot of Lori’s stuff because it’s usually poorly written and stupid, even though she’s published a book that evidently a lot of people have read.  She does have a Facebook page, too, and sometimes I see stuff from it posted in the Duggar group, mainly for people to snark on.  Somehow, despite writing poorly and centering all of her posts, she has thousands of followers.  Maybe I should start writing badly and include a lot of religion in my posts, too.  On the other hand, that’s a bad idea.  Sometimes it’s better to be anonymous.

Anyway, Lori recently wrote an extremely moronic post about how “Godly” men prefer debt free virgins without tattoos.  It went viral for all the wrong reasons.  I originally saw it in the Duggar group, but pretty soon, it was picked up by people like God and a bunch of bloggers wrote thoughtful rebuttals, like this one.  In the wake of this mess, there was another blogger who got caught in the crossfire.  Not just another blogger, mind you… this one, name of Rachel, is Transformed Wife

Apparently, Rachel was Transformed Wife before Lori was The Transformed Wife (note the addition of “The” before Transformed Wife– I guess Lori thinks that makes her name different enough from Rachel’s). ¬†Rachel writes in¬†a recent post¬†that Lori had sent her an email to tell her she was changing the original name of her blog to the one Rachel had already claimed. ¬†And because both women are popular bloggers, there has been some confusion about the controversial blog post that upset many thousands of people. ¬†Rachel claims that it’s gotten so bad that she had to make a public statement telling everyone that she and Lori are not the same person and they have different beliefs.

To make matters more confusing, someone else is running a snark page called The Transformed Wife 2.0.  I joined that one myself and it’s where I first learned of this controversy between two similarly named bloggers.

Neither of the Transformed Wives are women that I would listen to.  I actually don’t really like the whole “life coach”-“guru” trend that has emerged.  I think it takes a whole lot of moxie to assume one is qualified to be someone’s life coach.  To be honest, I think most people who feel they should work as life coaches are probably narcissistic assholes.  I mean, some people really are wise, but in general, I don’t think it’s wise to assume that dispensing your wisdom should be your career.  It’s bound to backfire.

But then… here I am writing “The Overeducated Housewife”, and God knows people have gotten a bad impression about the name of my blog.  I’m not the only Overeducated Housewife out there in blog land, nor was I the first.  However, I do seem to be the most prolific. 

In any case, the war of the Transformed Wives has drawn out other people eager to leap into the fray. On The Transformed Wife 2.0, I learned of yet another “wise” blogger called The Joy Filled Wife… who is apparently Lori Alexander in a previous incarnation.  And yet, The Joy Filled Wife left Lori a note of encouragement because of the backlash she’s gotten over her idiotic commentary about what kind of women men prefer.  I guess Lori split her personality so she could sock puppet an encouraging post.  Or maybe there really is a Joy Filled Wife out there who is Lori’s friend.  I don’t know.  I am so confused!

I’m with Eric.  I don’t like slutty, inked out, olive oil with too many credit card bills and student loans.  I like my olive oil where it belongs… in the kitchen and only educated about making food.

I myself have no tattoos.  In about ten days, I will also have no debt, although I was up to my ass in it on my wedding day.  I was a virgin when I got married, but it wasn’t because of God.  It was more because that’s how it worked out.  Bill likes me fine.  He probably would have liked me if I had tattoos, too… or if I’d been with other men.  You see, Bill loves me for who I am, not for what I look like.  We have worked together to have the best life possible.  And while Bill isn’t a churchgoer, I would say he’s “Godly” in the best possible ways.

I don’t know why so many people– particularly conservative Christians– feel the need to follow self-appointed gurus like Lori and Rachel.  In my experience, a lot of these “leaders” end up being very narcissistic and fallible.  Many of them eventually have embarrassing falls from grace that expose them for who and what they really are.  Unfortunately, people don’t seem to learn from experience that folks like the Duggars and the Osteens and others like them usually turn out to be very charismatic charlatans who do a lot of damage, particularly to people who are honestly hurting and need help.

Not being a fundie Christian myself, I don’t feel like I have any skin in this particular game.  It’s kind of amusing and disturbing to watch it unfold, though.  I hope the people who read my blog don’t think of me as a “guru” of any sort.  And the idea of my becoming a life coach is equally absurd.  It ain’t happening.

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Duggars, podcasts, religion

Meet Justin and Julia…

I know I already wrote today, but I want to take a quick moment to share this podcast I discovered, courtesy of all the Duggar followers out there. The podcast is called “I Pray You Put This Journal Away”, and it appears on the YouTube channel of the same name.

The podcast is done by a husband and wife named Justin and Julia. Justin grew up in the Deep South and was a fundamentalist Christian. He knew the Duggar family, and was once friends with Josh Duggar. Back in 2015, when Josh’s world was imploding, Justin tried to speak to the press about what he knew about him. Unfortunately, no one wanted to listen to him then, but people are definitely listening now. Julia was also raised fundie, but she’s from out West. They seem like a really good couple… and they have DEFINITELY left fundie Christianity. Justin was dropping lots of f bombs, which I appreciated greatly. I can hardly blame him, either.

What makes their podcast so interesting, besides the obvious regard Justin and Julia have for each other, and the truth bombs they share about sex pest Josh Duggar, is that Justin grew up undiagnosed with autism. Since Bill’s older daughter supposedly has autism (as does Ex’s youngest child), it was very illuminating for me to hear what he has to say. I mean, it’s not like he talks a lot about what it’s like to be autistic, but he does talk a little bit about how it’s hard for him to catch on to social cues.

I listened to all three (LONG) episodes today, mainly because I have nothing else to do. I must say, I was moved by Justin’s comments. My heart kind of went out to him, as he read his journal entries from around 2005-06, particularly as he spoke about his struggle and great pressure to be the perfect Christian. He was trying to impress the likes of Jim Bob Duggar, who certainly wasn’t worthy of his admiration or ambition. But I can tell by what he wrote, and remembering what it was like when I was a teenager, that he really was trying so hard… to the point of fasting obsessively, praying constantly, and quoting the Bible. Obviously, a lot has changed since those days. I like his theme music. It’s kind of lovely and sensitive… I relate to it.

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
ETA on May 16th… here’s a new episode. I think they’re going to do one more.
ETA on May 17…

I have a feeling this podcast is really going to take off, even if they eventually run out of journal entries to read. I had a journal when I was young, but no one would want to hear what I had to say back then. I don’t think many want to hear what I have to say now, either! I admire how candid Justin is, and how loving and friendly Julia is… I can tell they have a warm and friendly relationship, which is really nice. It’s clear to me that above all, these two are friends and are well matched. They care about each other, which is probably more than a lot of couples, especially those raised in fundie Christianity, can say.

Sometimes this podcast is sad. Sometimes it’s touching. Sometimes it’s funny… I really do recommend it, especially to anyone who is at all interested in the Duggar drama going on right now. I think I would have enjoyed it even if not for the Duggars, and all the dishing Justin does about knowing Josh back in the day (and finding out firsthand what a fucking creep he is). I think I would enjoy knowing Justin and Julia, too.

And now, back to my super boring Friday night alone, drinking sparkling mineral water… Hope your Friday night is more exciting and less lonely than mine is.

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Duggars, true crime

Josh Duggar is getting out of jail today…

I woke up this morning to the news that Josh Duggar will be temporarily released from jail today. Six days ago, Josh turned himself in, his wife Anna at his side, having been busted on federal charges for two counts of receiving and possessing images depicting child sexual abuse. Before I went to bed last night, I read an article that provided more details about Josh’s case. Federal agents found about 200 images on Josh’s computer, which was heavily rigged to deceive his wife, Anna. All of the images involved very young female children, some of whom were toddler aged. Despite all of that talk about the Duggars monitoring Internet usage and avoiding “wordly” things like pop music and television, Josh has developed some very sick obsessions that he’s accessed online. And despite his training at the School of the Dining Room Table, Josh is surprisingly tech savvy. He knows how to go to the dark, sleazy underworld on the Internet to satisfy his sick obsessions and perversions.

Frankly, as much as I dislike prison as a punishment, I think prison is exactly where Josh belongs. Prison should be reserved for people who are dangerous, and I think Josh has proven that he is VERY dangerous, especially to young children, the most vulnerable people in society.

Ugh… I can’t believe I watched the whole thing… Josh is truly disgusting.

According to a live stream video put out by Duggar expert, Katie Joy, who runs the Without a Crystal Ball YouTube channel, Josh’s computer had software on it called Covenant Eyes, which was supposed to send Anna information about the sites Josh was viewing on the Internet. But Josh also had his machine rigged with a TOR browser and a Linux system that allowed him to access the dark web, where there were no “eyes” on him. There, he was engaged in some very dark and shady activities that are about as far away from Christlike as a person can get.

People magazine reports that Josh will be released to “close family friends”, Lacount and Maria Reber. The Rebers say they don’t know Josh very well, but they are close to Josh’s parents, Jim Boob and Michelle, whom they know through church. The couple felt they should help the Duggars, even though Maria Reber says she’s only familiar with the charges against Josh and doesn’t know the details. Federal probation officer, Diem Nguyen, testified that Maria Reber had expressed concern that Josh would be released into her home, since her husband works full-time and she would be left for several hours alone with Josh during the daytime. For that reason, among others, Nguyen recommended against letting Josh out of jail.

The Rebers have a 22 year old daughter who gives piano lessons, but she will have to find another place to deliver her lessons. The Rebers also own firearms– big surprise– but no firearm safe. The judge did indicate that she wanted the weapons out the the Rebers’ home, since it would obviously not be a good thing if Josh decided to play with them while facing decades in prison.

Josh will have to be supervised 24/7. He’s not going to be allowed Internet access, must surrender his cell phone, and will be wearing a GPS monitor. Josh is not allowed to be around any children who aren’t his– and if he does see his own children, with whom he will be allowed unlimited contact, it can only be in the presence of his wife, Anna. He cannot see his minor brothers and sisters or his nieces or nephews.

I can’t help but remember Mark Salling, an actor who played Noah Puckerman on Glee. Salling was facing a prison sentence because, like Josh Duggar, he was in possession of images depicting child sexual abuse and had also been accused of sexual assault against an ex girlfriend, whom he sued for defamation of character. Salling was eventually forced to settle with his ex girlfriend, whom he was ordered to pay $2.7 million. When he was arrested in 2015, Salling was found to be in possession of over 50,000 illegal images. In 2017, Salling pleaded guilty to the charges and probably would have been sentenced to 4 to 7 years in prison. He also would have had to go to a treatment program and register as a sex offender. However, Salling never got sentenced because on January 30, 2018, Salling committed suicide by hanging himself.

While Josh Duggar is definitely not Mark Salling, there is a concern that he might try to commit suicide if he has access to weapons or any other means. Personally, I doubt Josh would ever try to commit suicide, mainly because I think he’s probably a sociopath. I suspect he thinks he will beat these charges, even though the evidence is extremely compelling and federal charges are notoriously difficult to refute. According to Katie Joy, who reportedly has many contacts within the Duggar family, Josh’s attitude during the bail hearing was surprisingly lighthearted. And the fact that he used the same easily guessed password for his regular accounts, such as banking, as he did for his porn sites, tells me that he’s unbelievably arrogant and never thought he’d be caught. And of course, he’s also a Christian, and a lot of Christians think they’re blessed and God is smiling on them… especially if they’re famous and wealthy, like Boob is.

I don’t know what life was actually like for Josh when he was growing up, but one thing I have observed is that Josh has always had access to his parents and their vast resources, even though his sex pest proclivities have caused significant issues for the Duggar empire. It’s because of Josh’s molestation scandal that 19 Kids and Counting was scandalized and canceled. Of course, that show was really just rebranded into one about the adult kids as Jim Boob continued to collect all the money on behalf of the adults… and I did notice, before I quit watching several years ago, that Boob and Michelle were becoming more and more visible on camera. But the point is, Josh hasn’t been shunned or excluded from the family circle.

Contrast that to what’s happened to his sister and one of his victims, Jill Duggar Dillard. Jill reportedly isn’t allowed to visit her family unless she has permission from Boob. She basically had to sue her father to get paid for her time on Counting On, and what she was paid basically amounted to minimum wage. When her sister (and fellow Josh victim), Jessa, went into labor with her latest baby, Ivy Jane, Jill had to ask permission to be able to go onto Boob’s property to help Jessa give birth. Jill and her husband, Derick, are definitely set apart from the family. Granted, I think part of it has been their (wise) choice– and they are now in charge of their own lives, which is how it should be. But the point is, Josh is definitely someone with deep and troubling issues. He’s been enabled, while his much healthier and less threatening sister, Jill, has been ostracized. And while Boob may find Jill a threat because she’s not living life according to Boob’s standards for women, it seems to me that if you really have the truth, it can’t be threatened because someone decides to wear pants, get a piercing, or seek therapy. If the Duggars had sought real help for Josh, back when he was a teenager, perhaps they would not be in the horrifying situation they’re in at this time.

I don’t understand the thinking of a lot of devout Christians, anyway. Or, at least the ones who profess to be Christians, yet vote for vile, disgusting, self-serving cretins like Donald Trump and revile people like Joe Biden. I’m not naive when it comes to politics. I know both of our major political parties in the United States are equally bad. But not all people are created equally in terms of their characters. For me, it’s pretty obvious that Donald Trump is a selfish, abusive, criminal. Any man who brazenly speaks about other people the way he does, with no shame or compunction whatsoever, is not someone who ever should have been allowed to lead– particularly the most powerful nation on the planet. By contrast, I see Joe Biden making decisions that clearly indicate that he cares about someone other than himself. It seems to me that Republicans who purport to be Christians are basically full of shit, and are only concerned with money and the appearance of being “blessed”, as well as keeping women under control. And the more I hear about the Duggars and the type of people who are their “friends”, the more I think that segment of society is corrupt and evil, despite all of their talk about emulating Jesus and worshiping God.

Well… we’ll see how well all of this works out for Josh and his family. I suspect that he may wind up back in the clink before too long. Even if he’s got the best intentions of being a model defendant, I suspect he’ll screw up before long. He can’t help himself, and he’s obviously very manipulative, dishonest, and sneaky. I really hope Anna wises up and finds herself a divorce attorney soon, before something truly tragic and irreversible happens. I know she was raised impoverished, in a cult. I know it seems like it would be impossible for her to break free of the Duggar trap. But I also know that there are many people who would help her in a heartbeat, if she would just reach out and ask.

Now to move on to cheerier subjects.

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