Earlier this month, we learned that Josiah Duggar is courting Lauren Swanson.
The couple shared the news with fans in a video message posted on Facebook, and both seemed positively giddy about the process.
What’s not to love about getting to know one another in the early stages of what the Duggars describe as “dating with a purpose”?
Not much. As a result, news of a Duggar courtship is always greeted with excitement from the family’s legion of obsessives.
In this case, however, there’s been a pervasive sense of deja vu sweeping across the family’s fan pages.
The reason, of course, is that Josiah has been down this road before.
Yes, back in 2015, Josiah courted Marjorie Jackson, but in an unprecedented move, the couple parted ways just a few weeks after their relationship went public.
Five of Josiah’s siblings are married and every one of them wed the first person they courted.
Josiah and Marjorie parted ways with no explanation, which naturally led to speculation that they broke up for reasons that the Duggars would prefer to keep quiet.
The split took place at a time when the Josh Duggar sex scandals were still making tabloid headlines, but Marjorie would have known about that situation before she entered the relationship.
Duggar fans ran wild in their effort to come up with a reason why these two might have broken tradition by ending their relationship.
The best they were able to come up with by way of an “explanation” was that … Josiah is secretly gay.
Some even went so far as to insist he was caught carrying on an affair with another young man, which prompted Marjorie to end the relationship.
These conspiracy theorists cite two pieces of “evidence,” one of which is patently ridiculous.
The other might – might – serve as an indication that Josiah engaged in some sort of sexual behavior that the Duggars would deem unacceptable.
First, the absurd:
Some Duggar fans believe Josiah is gay because he often wears pastel-colored clothing.
Yes, that’s seriously a theory that grown-up adults have espoused on Duggar message boards.
Like we said, not exactly rooted in hard science … no stereotype is, but this one in particular is just grasping at straws.
The other theory, however, might have some legs.
Around the time that his courtship with Marjorie ended, Josiah attended an Institute for Basic Life Principles cadet training program.
This was reportedly not unlike the sex addiction treatment that Josh attended after getting caught cheating on his wife.
Which does make you wonder …
The Duggars’ response to what they deem sexual deviancy is generally to ship the offending party off for some militaristic reprogramming.
Was that why he went there?
We have no way of knowing if that’s what Josiah was forced to endure, but it’s certainly more compelling evidence than pastel clothing.
What do you think?