This just in:
Josh Duggar is alive and well…
… much to the annoyance and chagrin of many Facebook users.
On Wednesday afternoon, the official Duggar Facebook page shared a photo of nearly every member of this infamous family gathered at a restaurant in celebration of Jim Bob’s birthday.
As a caption, the post read as follows:
Happy birthday to a man that wears many, many hats! Jim Bob, you are an amazing husband and wonderful father. Your heart for people and the desire you have to see others come into relationship with Jesus is beautiful.
Our whole family has been blessed by you.
You have led and guided us and we are so blessed to call you “ours.” Happy birthday!!
Seems pretty straightforward, right?
Pretty much what you’d expect from this family in recognization of this kind of occasion, no?
However, it wasn’t this message or even Jim Bob turning another year older that has elicted serious debate online.
It’s the presence of the person front and center in that picture above: Josh Duggar.
Josh, of course, has been persona non grata for years now.
That’s what happens when you admit to molesting your own sisters, as Josh did in 2015; and then when you also admit to cheating on your wife.
Multiple times, we presume, considerning Duggar had an account with the infidelity website Ashley Madison.
In response to these scandals, TLC canceled the series 19 and Counting, although it has since launched a spinoff titled just Counting On.
Moreover, Josh and his wife Anna have remained pretty far out of the spotlight, sitting at home, caring for their five kids and, when it comes to Josh, trying as hard as he can to keep his hands to himself.
In light of this new photo surfacing, however, many Internet users have taken to the Comments section and engaged in a rather fiery debate over whether Duggar deserves to actually be forgiven.
Is he a “weirdo,” as someone has labeled him above?
Is he absolved of his sins because his family doesn’t hold these sins against him?
Should we let something as heinous as pedophilia go simply because it’s been talked about a lot and/or took place many years ago?
Then there’s the stance, espoused in one remark shared here, that Jesus has forgiven Josh… provided he doesn’t molest or cheat again.
Is this even how it works?
If Josh did commit these acts again and then sought forgiveness, wouldn’t these same people be saying the same thing?
Back in June, Josh made another rare social media appearance, this one by his own doing, on his own account.
He posted the following family photo in honor of his son, Marcus, turning five years old.
The comments Josh received in response to this image?
They were pretty similar to a handful of the critiques posted above.
“Josh should be castrated!” someone wrote at the time, while another added:
“Those poor little girls are at risk for being prey to their own father! The plot to cover for this monster was a very Christian thing to do!”
Josh may be better served just keeping to himself for the rest of his years.
The guy may have avoided any jail time for his horrible actions as a teenager, but he’ll never be free from online castigation.
And thank goodness, right?