Anna Duggar Update: Sadly, She’s Feeling Like Her Old Self Again
Four years after the sex scandal that changed her life forever, Anna Duggar is acting like everything is back to normal. This isn’t a good thing.
We’re approaching the fourth anniversary of the Josh Duggar sex scandal, one of the biggest stories to rock the Christian patriarchy. In August 2015, Gawker discovered that former 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar was a victim of the hackers who targeted Ashley Madison, a website used to arrange extramarital affairs. Josh confessed to being unfaithful to his wife and suffering from an addiction to pornography.
This was a big deal because Josh’s other sex scandal, the one involving incestuous sexual molestation, had recently led to his resignation from the Family Research Council. While working for the political lobbying wing of the fundamentalist Christian organization (and certified hate group), Duggar used his reality show fame to spread a message of hate against the LGBTQ community.
Josh Duggar confessed that he was a hypocrite in a statement about his infidelity. He may come off as a smug and self-righteous narcissist who thinks that he is infallible, but he was smart enough to realize that it was not a good look to accuse the LGBTQ community of destroying marriage while he was busy destroying his own.
The fallout from Josh Duggar's sex scandal completely shattered his family’s world. In addition to losing his job with the Family Research Council, he was barred from joining the rest of his family on their retooled TLC reality series, Counting On. He, Anna, and their four children were also forced to leave their home in Washington, D.C. and move in with Josh’s parents in Arkansas. However, Josh avoided a few months of judgmental looks from his extremely strict parents by checking himself into a Christian rehab center. While he was away, Anna lived with his family.
Some fans thought that Anna would leave Josh, but she quickly made it known that she had forgiven him. There was speculation that she only stayed with him because she felt like she had no other options; after all, she’s a housewife who has never had a job, so how would she support herself and four children? It was also suggested that she was afraid to divorce Josh because her family’s views on divorce are similar to those of the Duggars and other independent Baptists like them. Imagine seriously believing there's a chance that you will burn in hell for all eternity if you divorce your cheating spouse who molested four of his younger sisters.
But now I think that Anna Duggar’s reasons for staying with Josh aren’t sympathetic at all; they’re two rotten peas in a pod, and they’ll always be bonded by their hateful political views. Josh and Anna were both very active on social media before his scandals broke, bragging about rubbing elbows with conservative politicians like Tom Cotton and Ted Cruz, or crowing about Josh’s speech at the anti-LGBTQ March for Marriage. Anna loved sharing anti-choice propaganda and memes, and she was once criticized for using Black History Month to promote her views on abortion. The controversial meme she retweeted is below.
Anna and Josh obviously loved the attention that they received on social media, but Josh was forced to wean himself off of it after he became a stain on Christian fundamentalism. Anna went silent for a while, aside from occasional family updates on Twitter and Instagram, but now she’s been getting political again. She rarely uses her own words to make her views known, however. Instead, she endorses the views of others by flooding her feed with likes and retweets. She’s become a big fan of right-wing firebrand Candace Owens, with some of her more shocking retweets including one in which Candace compares people that rely on government assistance to “parasites” and another making light of the plight of the “sad children” of undocumented immigrants who were interviewed after their parents were arrested in an ICE raid.
One thing that strikes me about Anna Duggar’s Twitter feed is the lack of tweets imploring her followers to do something to help innocent children who are no longer in the womb. She shows no sympathy for the children who are being kept in cages in detainment camps, including those that the Trump administration tried to prevent from getting access to soap and toothbrushes. Instead of using her waning celebrity to draw attention to their plight, she retweets the president. That’s right, Anna Duggar, a woman who has felt the pain of infidelity, is a “yuge!” fan of a man who cheated on his wife with a porn star and tried to pay her for her silence.
Anna has retweeted a video that's a montage of Trump repeating the words "no collusion" and celebrating his perceived exoneration by the Mueller report. She also liked a tweet about his crowd size at a recent campaign event in New Hampshire. In the tweet, Kayleigh McEnany, the National Press Secretary for Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign, proclaimed that New Hampshire “won’t be blue for long.”
Perhaps Anna and Josh are Trump supporters because they believe that his presidency is a divine sign that some adultery is okay, as long as you pay a little lip service to the Lord (and we're talking the absolute minimum). I’d love to see how Josh and Anna would have reacted if Obama had said “Goddamn” during campaign speeches like Trump does.
Anna is just falling in line with the other evangelicals who support the liar, serial philanderer, and narcissist who is currently running the country, but it’s still somewhat surprising that she’s being so open with her Trump love; the other members of the Duggar family rarely mention the president. Maybe she’s not worried about what people will think of her political views because she and Josh are no longer stars of the Duggars' TLC series.
Unfortunately for Anna, she was more sympathetic when she was silent and people could project their idealized perspectives of Anna onto her. She was the wronged woman bravely trying to hold it together for her family, or she was the brainwashed victim of a religious cult. However, now she’s turning into a political Twitter troll. It's becoming increasingly difficult to hold on to the sympathy I felt for her when I learned that a Duggar family pastor had responded to the Ashley Madison hack by seemingly shaming Anna; he suggested that a wife is partially to blame for her husband's infidelity if she's not keeping him sexually satisfied.
Anna Duggar’s social media feeds are still peppered with plenty of nonpolitical updates on her family and cute pictures of her kids. Speaking of which, did you know that Anna is currently pregnant with her sixth child, or her second so-called “Band-Aid baby?” You’ve probably heard the quote often misattributed to Einstein defining insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” and I think this could be what’s going on with Anna and Josh’s increasing family size. The more, the merrier, I guess?
Or maybe Josh and Anna want everyone to know that their marriage is just hunky-dory now; the two additions to the family that came after Josh's sex scandal prove that the couple is still having sex, and that has to count for something, right? Anna Duggar also tried to paint a rosy picture of her marriage in June when she celebrated her birthday.
“Turned 31 years old today and I have so much to be thankful for! 11 years ago today I said, 'Yes!’ to the man of my dreams!” she wrote on Instagram.
Just a friendly reminder: According to Anna, when she said “Yes” to the “man of her dreams,” she was aware that he had molested his younger sisters.
Anna may be working hard to convince the world that her marriage is great as she continues to pop out kid after kid, but I’m not buying it. In the past, she and Josh have both indicated that they struggle with parenthood. When she was taking care of four children in 2017, Anna admitted that the only time she felt like “a good mom” was "during naptime." And five months before the Ashley Madison scandal, Josh said that having a large family is “tough” nowadays due to “financial pressures.”
“If someone told me when we got married, I’d have three kids and one on the way, I’d have been overwhelmed,” he told People.
Just imagine how the reluctant father of a whole litter of children feels with No. 6 on the way.
I sometimes wonder if Josh Duggar secretly hoped that Anna would divorce him so that he could have lived the bachelor life and enjoyed the delights of the sinful secular world; after all, he’s already a public pariah, so it’s not like our judgment is going to make things much worse for him. Instead, he’s stuck being silent while his wife gets to control how the world views their family. The Duggars think that almighty men are supposed to be the "headships" of their households while wives are simply submissive “helpmeets,” so he must find his new lot in life a bit emasculating.
I guess I can’t be too angry with Anna Duggar for being awful on Twitter; all she really has going for her is social media and her kids. Sometimes it just feels like she sold her soul—and possibly her sanity—to stay in the spotlight.