Since news broke last week of Josh Duggar’s sexual abuse of underage girls, including his sisters, we’ve all heard his and his family’s statements about “past teenage mistakes” and how he “deeply regrets” what he’s done. We’ve also learned a whole bunch of other stuff that makes us so, so rage-filled and tired and sad and plea-for-death-y. So let’s just run it all down here like life matters or has meaning.
First, this clip has been unearthed. It’s from 2008, featuring a “repented” Josh making an incest joke. Fer fun.
We’ve also learned Josh has his supporters, and not just the world’s worst people in the world’s worst comment threads. He has support in presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee.
Janet and I want to affirm our support for the Duggar family. Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, ‘inexcusable,’ but that doesn’t mean ‘unforgivable.’ He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities. No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story. Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things. The reason that the law protects disclosure of many actions on the part of a minor is that the society has traditionally understood something that today’s blood-thirsty media does not understand—that being a minor means that one’s judgement is not mature. No one needs to defend Josh’s actions as a teenager, but the fact that he confessed his sins to those he harmed, sought help, and has gone forward to live a responsible and circumspect life as an adult is testament to his family’s authenticity and humility. Those who have enjoyed revealing this long ago sins in order to discredit the Duggar family have actually revealed their own insensitive bloodthirst, for there was no consideration of the fact that the victims wanted this to be left in the past and ultimately a judge had the information on file destroyed—not to protect Josh, but the innocent victims. Janet and I love Jim Bob and Michelle and their entire family. They are no more perfect a family than any family, but their Christian witness is not marred in our eyes because following Christ is not a declaration of our perfection, but of HIS perfection. It is precisely because we are all sinners that we need His grace and His forgiveness. We have been blessed to receive God’s love and we would do no less than to extend our love and support for our friends. In fact, it is such times as this, when real friends show up and stand up. Today, Janet and I want to show up and stand up for our friends. Let others run from them. We will run to them with our support.
And in his sister’s father-in-law.
There are others that see this episode as a result of sheltering and repressing human desires. They think that had he access to sex education by Planned Parenthood, been allowed to watch edgy Hollywood films, been encouraged to experimentation with a girlfriend, or gotten free condoms from the local school nurse, then none of this would have happened. Right. The stupidity of some people is mind boggling. Fan the flames of youthful lust and you end up with what we have: unprecedented numbers of unwed mothers, millions of abortions, rampant STDs, and the unraveling of the fabric of our whole society. Josh didn’t sin because he was repressed, he sinned because like all of us he is a sinner.
Just like all of us. Let he who hasn’t molested his sister cast the first stone, amirite? *laughs like Josh Duggar in the incest joke video, sobs hysterically for several days*
Also, as a cherry on the shit sundae of this whole story, the police went ahead and destroyed the report.
Springdale police spokesman Scott Lewis said Judge Stacey Zimmerman ordered the 2006 offense report destroyed Thursday. Zimmerman didn’t return a request for comment on Friday.
“The judge ordered us yesterday to expunge that record,” Lewis said, adding that similar records are typically kept indefinitely. “As far as the Springdale Police Department is concerned, this report doesn’t exist.”
The judge who ordered the report to be destroyed? She was appointed by Mike Huckabee.
Finally, we’ve learned how the Duggars have been trained to handle sexual assault, per their homeschooling program.
Students are taught to question the victim if they had any fault in the assault. The most obvious way they would be at fault is if they defrauded their attacker. Defraud is Gothard’s favorite word for any dress, actions, or manners that cause someone to lust. This teaching is further backed up by a handout on moral failure released in the 90s after an ATI boy was caught molesting his sisters… Victims are to be reminded that their soul has more value than their bodies, so forgiving the offender must be the priority. Any suffering caused by the assault is then brushed aside.
I could probably go on, but I can’t. This whole thing has just ached for days and it isn’t limited to the scope of this one family, rather a greater systemic issue of religion and family and patriarchy and rape culture and it is too much. It’s too much.