Here’s what will happen with the Duggars:
19. Within a month, Josh and dad Jim Bob will issue fuller statements clarifying apparently contradictory narratives among the family’s joint Facebook message, the police report filed by Jim Bob, and other details disclosed by family members and inferred by bloggers and journalists.
18. Within six months, Josh and wife Anna, who will stand by him for many reasons, one of which is that Josh confessed everything to her years ago, will give interviews on Sixty Minutes or Oprah or something, reinforcing the tragedy’s redemptive themes.
17. Within a year, TLC will resume airing 19 Kids and Counting, possibly changing the show’s title (again) to signify a new, wiser chapter in the Duggar family’s very public history.
16. Within two years, Josh will write a book that contextualizes his teenage sins within the dark-hearted rebellious period of a confused, pubescent male in a mildly but increasingly famous, and oddly populous, family led by two parents whose marriage silently screams “SEX,” despite their modesty and monogamy.
15. The book, which will be titled something like What Really Counts, or Counting What Counts, will sell big and prove a key step toward rehabilitating Josh’s image, which for the next 20 years will be even more overtly Christian as he accepts countless invitations from evangelicals to speak on themes such as the gospel of Christ, slavery to sin, secret sin, God’s redemptive plan, and leadership.
14. Concurrently with releasing his book, Josh will found a not-for-profit ministry dedicated to (i) exhorting young men and women to expose hidden sins that are holding them captive by turning to Christ and counseling, and (ii) urging parents, pastors, and friends to be as supportive, firm, and forgiving as Josh’s were.
See next page to find out “Why These Things Will Happen.”
Here is why these things will happen:
13. Josh has to move on from this, and owning his story is his only hope of controlling it. He cannot just move himself, Anna, and children back to the Duggar plantation to resume raising someone else’s kids as though that was normal the first time.
12. Josh needs another job, and most organizations will not clamor for him until they are confident that Disclosed Details dwarf lingering Undisclosed Details.
11. Josh is a professional public figure and will remain one because of his family, regardless of his wishes. As such, quasi-full disclosure is the only way forward.
10. The Duggar family is far too lucrative a commodity for television networks to dismiss from the limelight. People compare themselves to others, and the Duggars (like the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty) are a welcome polarity to balance against. This is true even of Christians who agree with them on just about everything in theory but who are nonetheless weirded out by Jim Bob and Michelle’s practices. This is why after seven years on TLC, and three years after Michelle stopped mass-producing children, 19 Kids and Counting is still gaining viewers. The show’s attraction is not its storyline, but the peculiarity of the family and especially the daughters, both of which now seem even more peculiar. Some fans will jump ship; more will rally. Most opponents to the Duggar Way will mock on; many will defect.
9. Josh’s repentance and his campaign to emphasize the redemptive themes of his narrative will have the added value of being authentic. Although he will be ridiculed as hypocritical, opportunistic, and worse, his actions will be identical to those of a non-opportunist who (i) trusts in Christ’s purity and power to compensate for his admitted depravity, (ii) wants to accomplish good in the world, (iii) has common sense not to waste the gigantic microphone Gorilla-Glued to him until death, (iv) and believes God’s M.O. is taking unworthy human characters and revising their stories to serve greater purposes than they would have chosen for themselves. The spin may be convenient, but it will not be invented.
See next page to find out “What everyone else will do.”
Here is what everyone else will do:
8. Non-Christian observers currently calling for Josh and family’s head or at least the show’s dismissal will continue to do so.
7. Christian fans, or friends of fans, will continue to sell indulgences on the cheap via social media, to the tune of “Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.” A different set of Christians will grant the indulgence but also argue that a family as publicly Christian as the Duggars assumes added responsibility; these will distrust the Duggars until the family resolves apparently contradictory reports on the incidents.
6. People of various camps will say that “of course” Josh Duggar did those things; his parents are oversexed and their children are taught to parent each other.
5. The next time an anti-Christian celebrity does something more egregious than 14-year-old Josh Duggar, much of the mainstream media will fail to notice. The Drudge Report, Fox News, and Matt Walsh will point out this hypocrisy.
Here is what else is happening this month:
4. More than 200 women and girls out of 234 recently rescued from the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram are contemplating abortions, hoping for miscarriages, or accepting the reality that they are carrying children conceived in captivity and fathered by rapists who would never dream of helping their sons overcome temptation.
3. More than 8,500 Nepalese lost their lives, and 2.5 million more lost their homes, family members, communities, and jobs to an earthquake of biblical proportions.
2. More than 20 million men, women, and children in 161 countries are being trafficked for commercial sex or forced labor.
1. ISIS has enslaved between 3,000 and 5,000 women for sex under the demonstrated threat of trading them up to 22 times each and burning them alive for refusing to perform certain extreme sex acts.
At least everyone except the Duggars is counting what really counts.