Not An Easy Week for Christians (Duggars, Culture, Child Protection)
I've never watched a reality show, partially because we haven't had cable in over six years. The whole concept of a reality show seems strange; no one is entirely themselves when on camera, so why the word reality?
I don't know much about the Duggars, but I've noticed that headlines regarding them are usually snarky, not respectful. Their show may have its fans or lurkers, but mostly they're hated, much like the overly-covered Kardashians, but for different reasons.
The large family, the patriarchy, the culture of purity and the worship of it, are all big drawbacks for Americans, regarding the Duggars and their Quiver-full movement. Not to mention, the name of Jesus is sure to bring out the haters.
While I want my children to remain pure, I do agree that the worship of purity is dangerous, and while I'd love for my children to enjoy large families, I don't think God is less pleased with smaller families--he's pleased with our heartfelt, sincere worship, period.
Parenting is so very hard; adhering to the best standards while not exasperating our children is a delicate balance. Few things fill our hearts more, nor break them, like parenting.
We may never know if Josh Duggar has a normal sexuality or not; in fact, we rarely know this about anyone unless they're caught doing something deviant. Human sexuality is both a blessing and curse--something which all of history reflects. Not everyone is born with an inherently normal bent, which is a reflection of the sin curse as much as cancer is, unfortunately. I don't know why God allows this, but I know he wouldn't want us to hate, but just to uphold his standards in all things.
Because the world is this way, I don't trust anyone with my children's innocence--not at church, in my own home, or anywhere. As soon as I heard the shocking statistic years ago regarding the percentage of people who've been molested, I took very seriously my responsibility to protect.
What if you are certain there has never been a child molester or a molested child in your family? You are probably wrong.
Unfortunately, most of today's children will never tell. They feel ashamed that this has happened to them. They are protecting their abuser because he or she is part of their family. They are protecting other members of their family - saving them from the pain of knowing.
In spite of the millions of victims in our families, many people stick to their mistaken belief that child molestation has nothing to do with them.
An estimated one in 20 teenage boys and adult men sexually abuse children, and an estimated one teenage girl or adult woman in every 3,300 females molests children. Although that's well over five million people, most families mistakenly believe that as far as molesters go, there has never been one in their family, and what's more, there never will be. Add together the child victims, the adult survivors, and the abusers, and that's 15 out of every 100 Americans who have been either a molested child or a molester. Children seldom tell. Those millions of children are a secret. They are the secret in family after family after family. Even adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse seldom tell....We do know that if we use the conservative estimate that two in every ten little girls and one in every ten little boys are victims (based on the population reported in the 1999 U.S. Census statistical abstract) well over three million children are victims. Table below and statistics from Child Molestation Prevention.org
The table below shows that child molesters look and seem like the average American man. They are the average American man, so don't hold preconceived notions about who may or may not be capable of this. Read this story on child molestation prevention.org about a wife who thought her husband would be the last one to do such a thing.
Contrasts: Admitted Molesters vs. All American Men
Admitted Child Molesters
Married or formerly married
High School only
Ethnic Groups: Admitted Molesters vs. All American Men
Admitted Child Molesters
Which Children Do Child Molesters Target?
CHILDREN IN THE FAMILY
Stepchild, Adopted or Foster Child
Brothers & Sisters
Nieces & Nephews
CHILDREN IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Child Left in My Care
Child of Friend or Neighbor
CHILDREN WHO ARE STRANGERS
As much as I love my own sons...as much as I respect them and think they're normal, they won't ever be alone with my girls longer than it takes me to go to, and return from, the dollar store (15 minutes). This hasn't happened yet because my oldest son is still only 13--too young for holding down the fort.
In protecting, we need to be just as vigilant about Internet access--also a potential corrupter, as we all know. When neighbor kids bring their smart phones here, I tell them they're welcome to play and exercise here, but they need to leave their smart phones in their pockets or at home, as we don't believe in unsupervised Internet access.
It's just prudent to never assume it won't happen to our family, and to always be vigilant. No girl or boy should have to carry memories of abuse, and no parent should have to regret not doing more to ensure protection.
The police report being published and indicating sisters as victims devastated those Duggar girls all over again. It was a horrible, inexcusable decision on the part of the magazine or outlet that released it. My heart aches for these women and for the stained Christian witness--for which the Church collectively takes the punch.
If you caught any stories about the Duggars this week, you saw comments like the following, which I'm sure made your Christian spirit groan: