Thursday, August 20, 2015

Josh Duggar, Ashley Madison, and Christian Persecution

Sometimes I fall down internet rabbit holes. I did last night, when I saw on a Facebook sidebar that Josh Duggar apparently had an account at Ashley Madison.

I was vaguely aware of Ashley Madison. I've heard of it before, but if, out of the blue, you'd asked me, "Who is Ashley Madison?" I would have thought perhaps one of my daughter's classmates, or my son's.

Ashley Madison is actually an internet sleazeball site whose slogan is, "Life is short. Have an affair."

Awesome. Life is short. Damage all the relationships you have. Or only have fake relationships. Whatev.

Anyhow, I keep holding out faint, ridiculous hope that Josh Duggar will suddenly understand why molesting his sisters was an actual crime. I keep hoping he'll go to jail, or at least get the hell off tv. But there's been a big 'ol data hack at Ashley Madison and Josh was the first leak. While fathering four children in five years, he's also been advertising, and paying for, a chance at some sex on the side.

So this is completely scurrilous, and I'm reading all about it, and I get to the comments on the webpage and here come the claims of Christian Persecution. The new American Christian Persecution Complex. It was extraordinary. According to the new ACPC, the only reason anyone would ever say nasty things about a good Christian boy like Josh Duggar is that they are persecuting Christians.


Christian persecution is completely real. It's happening in much of the world, primarily Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. According to Open Door, a website with a pretty good handle on what persecution actually means, the most difficult countries for Christians right now are North Korea, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. These are places where Christians are being killed because of their religion. These are places where churches are being burnt down.

Open Door has a world map colored to show the degree of persecution Christians are experiencing in each country. The United States of America is white. As in, none.

Because when people dislike your favorite reality tv show, that's not persecution. When people disagree with your opinions or even your particular Christian sect's beliefs on anything--gays, lesbians, transgender people, global warming, evolution, the age of the earth, transubstantiation, women priests, eating pork, getting tattoos--that is not persecution.

Unless you are suffering actual physical harm, unless your church is being physically destroyed, unless you are being prevented from worshiping as you chose, you are not being persecuted.

If Josh Duggar is your particular Christian poster child, I hope you'll change your mind. I disagree with you. Strongly. But, in doing so, I am not persecuting you. If you still doubt me, I suggest you spend some time in North Korea, Somalia, or Iran. 


  1. Or read "Just Mercy," by Bryan Stevenson, or "Between the World and Me," by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Or have a conversation (and really, really listen) with some Muslims or Jews.

    Your passionate-yet-thoughtful views continue to impress and enrich me, Kimberly. And today I handsold not only a copy of "The War that Saved My Life," but also "Jefferson's Sons." I'm especially proud of my twofer! Any idea (roughly) when your new book will be available as an ARC, and how an enthusiastic and impatient bookseller might get her hands on it?

  2. Hooray for you!

    "Just Mercy" is on my coffee table at this moment. (Along with about a dozen other books, but still. When you move from my office countertop to the coffee table, you're getting very close to being actually read.)

    I'm just now starting the Big Third Draft of the sequel, so no idea yet when we're scheduled for publication, but I'm pretty sure I can get you an ARC once there is one.

    1. WOO HOO! I live for the moment! I just finished Rebecca Stead's "Goodbye, Stranger." A fine, fine book, as were her two previous ones. Laurie Halse Anderson is a friend and near-neighbor (next town over), who comes into our store with some regularity. I'm impatiently awaiting an ARC of her next book, "Ashes," the third in the trilogy that began with "Chains." I'm beside myself with anticipation for that and for your next!


The comments on this blog are now moderated. Yours will appear provided it's not hateful, crass, or annoying--and the definition of those terms is left solely to me.