In the weeks since Josh Duggar was sentenced to 11 and a half years in prison, most of his family has steered clear of the press and social media.
A few Duggars — the more conscientious ones who have distanced themselves from their parents — have come forward to say that they believe justice has been served, and that Josh deserves a lengthy sentence.
Some of these dissenting opinions were expected.
For example, when Jill Duggar spoke out against Josh, fans were not surprised, as Jill had cut ties with Jim Bob and Michelle several years prior.
But now, even Duggars who have maintained close ties to the family patriarch are speaking out against Josh.
The latest to prioritize what’s right over what’s convenient is Jinger Duggar’s husband, Jeremy Vuolo.
Vuolo recently graduated from divinity school, and he’s been plying his new trade online by uploading sermons to YouTube.
And in his latest clip, Jeremy addressed the topic of his disgraced brother-in-law.
“At the heart of the gospel is substitution; Jesus Christ taking the place of sinful people,” Vuolo began.
“He takes our sin, we get his righteousness which means even the most wicked sinner can be counted righteous. Josh Duggar can be saved and wonderfully, so can you and so can I,” the newly-anointed minister continued.
“But here’s the second reality that needs to be declared: Josh can be forgiven, but that in no way erases the demand for his crimes to be punished. Forgiveness never means that temporal consequences disappear.”
Yes, Jeremy seems to be saying that forgiveness is possible for Josh — but that he has not yet done anything to deserve it.
Jeremy doubles down in his comment by stating his belief that until he confesses and repents, Josh should not be released from prison — ever.
“It would be a miscarriage of justice for a guilty criminal to be let back into the public, which means the convicted criminal will not ask for injustice – for his crimes to go unpunished because of God’s forgiveness – but they will ask for their crimes to be punished knowing that it is right and it reflects the righteousness of God’s justice,” Vuolo told his audience.
“Genuine repentance for a man like Josh Duggar, for anyone, would be very obvious to everyone,” he continued.
“My brother-in-law will one day stand before the [judgment] of Christ and have to give account for his actions – and I fear for him. … If you take advantage of the vulnerable for your gain, you should be terrified.”
As you can see, Jeremy did not mince words.
In fact, he risked the wrath of Jim Bob by pointing out that Josh’s pious facade makes him a hypocrite.
“Josh’s life has proven to be one of a hypocrite,” Jeremy said.
“One life in public, and one life in private.”
Jeremy went on to say that he’s hopeful Josh will one day “experience” repentance, but he adds, “I fear it has yet to be seen.”
This is not the first time that the Vuolos have revealed that they do not share Anna Duggar’s opinion that Josh was wrongly convicted.
“We are saddened for the dishonor this has brought upon Christ’s name. Josh claims to be a Christian,” they wrote on Instagram shortly after Josh was sentenced.
“When a professing follower of Jesus is exposed as a hypocrite, the response of many will be to challenge the integrity of Jesus himself,” the couple continued.
“For Josh, we fear for his soul,”
No doubt that fear is shared by many of Josh’s loved ones.
Unfortunately, most of them are afraid even to vocalize it, much less to see that he gets the help he seems to desperately need.