Jinger Duggar is not holding back these days.
Earlier this week, Jinger’s long-awaited memoir finally hit bookstores (or e-reader devices, if you prefer), and as expected, the 29-year-old mother of two portrays the people who raised her in a less-than-flattering light.
Jinger revealed that she was raised in a cult-like environment in which she and her sisters were controlled by fear of eternal punishment.
She also confirmed a long-held belief among her family’s harshest critics — that the culture of abuse created by her parents enabled Josh Duggar to get away with his monstrous acts of abuse for decades.
But for whatever resentment she might harbor toward the people who were supposed to protect her, Jinger makes it clear that Josh is 100 percent to blame for his own actions.
She revealed in a recent interview that she hasn’t spoken to Josh in two years.
And while she says she would be open to reconciling with Josh if he repented and vowed to change his ways, she doesn’t see that happening.
“I haven’t spoken to him in years,” Jinger said when the topic of Josh came up in a recent interview with People magazine.
“I just would pray that he would be truly broken over what he has done. So I just pray for the victims and their families.”
Jinger goes on to explain that she believes Josh’s outward piety is a lie, and that he’ll never reform as long as he continues to insist upon his innocence.
“I think that part of this story that I’m telling is you can’t put up all of these outward standards and rules and say that’s going to do anything. It’s not,” she said.
“Your heart has to be changed from the inside out and only Jesus can truly change that,” Jinger added.
“That’s not something I saw in my brother. He’s not truly changed. So until God does that, it’s only what God can do.”
Asked if Jinger still views Josh as her brother, she added that it’s “really tough.”
“I think that walking through such difficulties time and time again, I think for me, whenever I walked through that, it’s something I would look at and say — first off, my heart just breaks for the victims and their families. And that’s who I pray for first,” she said.
In her book, Jinger compares Josh to Bill Gothard, the disgraced founder of her parents’ cult-like church.
“One of the hardest realities in my life is that my brother Josh very publicly displayed some of the same hypocrisy as [Bill] Gothard,” she writes.
“He used his platform, and even his job at the Family Research Council, to promote some of the same ideas Gothard taught.
“But while he looked the part in so many ways, the true Josh appears to be much different. He was living a lie.”
As for what it would take for Jinger to even think about forgiving Josh — she made that quite clear in her memoir.
“I want my brother to be genuine and honest about his sin and reject the hypocrisy that has been part of his life for so long,” she wrote.
Sadly, it’s unlikely that that day will ever come.