Last week, we reported on the news that Josh and Anna Duggar have welcomed their fifth child, a boy named Mason.
The news that a healthy baby has entered the world is typically met with universal congratulatory sentiments, and certainly no one wishes any harm upon the mother or child.
But feelings toward the father are a bit more complex …
As you’re probably aware, Josh molested five young women, four of whom were his sisters, while he was still in his teens.
His family has built a wildly lucrative media empire by projecting an image of wholesomeness and unflappable piety, so naturally, the Duggars have done everything in their power to put Josh’s sex scandal behind them.
Incredibly, following the cancelation of their reality show, 19 Kids and Counting, the Duggars were given a second shot television at stardom on the same network.
But while the narrative pitched by the Duggars and TLC is one of redemption, many former fans have not been so quick to forgive Josh’s horrendous transgressions.
Part of the problem, of course, is that Josh was never punished for his crimes, as his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, helped him to avoid prosecution.
That means there’s been no real effort toward rehabilitation.
And that in turn means that the possibility of Josh repeating his past behaviors remains disturbingly high.
As a result of this troubling scenario, fans have flooded the Duggars’ official Facebook page with comments condemning Josh and urging his family to vigilantly protect the children who are under his care:
“I pray that God blesses everyone but it should be illegal for an admitted child molester to procreate and create children,” wrote one follower.
“Josh admitted to molesting 4 different sisters so it did not happen just once; it happened multiple times. Any woman that would have children with an admitted child molester and pedophile I would have to recommend an intensive psychological examination.”
Another detractor addresses the fact that Josh went to rehab for sex addiction after it was revealed that he used an Ashley Madison account to try and cheat on Anna.
A mother of four, the commenter points out that a few months in an un-accredited, faith-based rehabilitation facility of his own choosing is hardly a guarantee that Josh won’t subject his children to the same abuse suffered by his sisters.
“People say Josh went to rehab and I will be honest here,” the follower wrote. “I have 4 children. If my son molested his siblings I don’t care what therapy he received I would never trust him again.”
“My kids mental and physical well-being comes first. Once you decide to be a child molester and pedophile I never want to see you again. I was molested as a child so I know the severe damage it does.”
Since Josh was never charged with a crime, there’s no action that concerned parties can take from a legal perspective.
The best any of us can do is hope that Josh’s family will heed the call to keep a close watch on Josh’s wife and children and report anything even remotely suspicious to the proper authorities.
Perhaps there’s some comfort to be taken in the fact that the Duggars live their lives under a constant microscope, and the world knows to be on the lookout when it comes to Josh.
Watch Counting On online for a closer look at reality TV’s most controversial family.