The Duggar family, made famous on the reality show 19 Kids and Counting and for its outspoken conservative leanings, is trying to contain the media blitz over the announcement that oldest son Josh had molested five underage girls when he was 15 years old. According to CNN, Duggar refers to a 2006 police investigation—which did not result in an arrest—of accusations against the eldest Duggar son of child molestation in 2002–03 in Springdale, Arkansas.
Josh, now 27, abruptly resigned yesterday from his position at the Family Research Council, a national faith-based activist organization; FRC president Tony Perkins said in a website statement, “Josh believes that the situation will make it difficult for him to be effective in his current work. We believe this is the best decision for Josh and his family at this time. We will be praying for everyone involved.”
Josh wrote in a Facebook post: “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. … I confessed this to my parents [and] 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.”
Josh’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, also wrote in the Facebook post: “Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before. Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family.”
For now, TLC has pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting from its on-air schedule, saying “We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time.”
(Photo credit: Facebook)