You may know them as the Duggar family, but I lovingly refer to them as the family that can't stop popping out babies.
Viewers all around the world were shocked when news broke that Josh Duggar, the oldest of the 19 children, had molested five girls when he was 14 — including four of his own sisters and babysitter. After InTouch broke the news, based off a 33-page police report from 2006, Josh resigned from his job in Washington, D.C., where he worked as a lobbyist for the Family Research Council.
Soon after, the TLC hit show was suspended, but it is still unknown if it will be canceled.
I've been very back and forth with my feelings about this. Although I'm completely against child molestation and I feel disgusted by what this man has put his family through, the fact remains that this happened more than 10 years ago, long before we knew of the Duggars.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, along with their consistently growing family, were first introduced to us in 2008 when TLC debuted the reality series titled 17 Kids and Counting. Fifteen seasons later, the Duggars have welcomed two more children, updating the show's name to 19 Kids and Counting. The Duggars have become a household name not only because of its huge family, but also because of its strong beliefs and values, which are heavily displayed on the show.
The Duggars are Independent Baptists, which means they maintain modesty, remain pure before marriage and have faith in God. They also have a strong belief in not using birth control once married because they want to allow God to determine the number of children they have.
The Duggars also practice "chaperoned courtship," which basically means that when their kids begin a relationship, they are only able to see each other in a group setting. They are also not allowed to show any affection other than a side hug.
But clearly, all of the protection and regulations against sexuality couldn't stop their oldest son from doing the unthinkable.
Yes, the family has dealt with the consequences of Josh's actions and sought help for him and his affected sisters. This does not make what he has done acceptable. In my eyes, it is unforgivable. But if the Duggars have been able to move on from this terrible nightmare, then so should we — but without Josh.
While I think the show and family could come back from all of this, TLC should leave Josh behind. It would be a bad move on TLC's part if he were allowed to stay on air.
Brittany White is a contributing writer for the Central Florida Future.