“I don’t know who their version of Jesus or God is. I have no comprehension of the Duggar’s idea of right and wrong.”
In 48 hours the Duggar’s reputation came tumbling down like a house built on stone-colored sand.
Their marginal brand of Conservative Christianity propelled them into a rose-colored national spotlight, where chastity, ‘tradition,’ and over-population are celebrated with a Pollyanna innocence.
The spotlight grew more intense this week with revelations that Josh sexually assaulted some of his sisters as well as another little girl. I’ve read the redacted police report. It’s stomach turning.
Interviews with the sisters and parents are cited . . . for example, one of the little girls tells the police investigator that others touch her bottom – her parents when they beat her with a rod.
The father said they sent their son to a Christian counselor, but a subsequent police interview with the mother reveals that Josh wasn’t sent to counseling, he spent three months helping a man work construction.
When Josh returned from his vacation, he was taken to a state trooper who gave him a ‘stern’ talking to. The trooper incidentally is in prison, convicted of possession of child pornography. When the police asked to speak to Josh, the family closed ranks, consulted several lawyers who declined to represent them, and finally refused to allow investigators to speak to Josh.
The statute of limitations expired, no criminal charges were filed, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar continued to reproduce and their television show when on air. (Full disclosure. I’ve never seen more than a minute of the program. But I don’t need to taste poison to know what it is.)
But more disturbing than his repeated sexual assaults of his sisters over the course of months, it’s that the parents did nothing for their daughters. Nowhere in the police report nor in any of the Duggars public statements this week, did they talk about counseling for the victims.
Josh Duggar sexually assaulted several of his sisters, said he was sorry, and that was the end of it. Nothing was done to help the girls. They were forced to forgive him, because that’s what Christianity says to do.
And life proceeded as normal for everyone. (Do the little girls have nightmares of their brother lifting the covers while they slept so he could fondle them? I pray not.)
The sister victims don’t appear to have received any counseling from a licensed professional. They continued to live in the same very crowded house with the young man who had fondled their breasts and ‘private areas.’
I can try to understand the conflicted feelings the parents must have had – they love all of their children, so they didn’t report the crimes – felonious sexual assault of multiple girls – committed by their young son. But Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar didn’t protect their daughters. They didn’t send Josh away to live with relatives, or to a military school. They kept the victimizer and the victims together.
In their faith tradition, women are subservient to men. By definition women are worth less than men.
The needs and wants and feelings of the daughters are less important than the needs of the brothers. In many ways, Michelle Duggar is as much a victim of her faith as her daughters and all the other women trapped in traditions that preach they are not equal to men.
The Duggar’s flawed, patriarchal, and broken idea of Christianity teaches each of them that men are more important than women.
And some of those little girls were reminded of it every night, when they gathered around the table and sat across from the young man who assaulted them.
Thank God the Duggar’s misogynist representation of a warped Christianity isn’t the actual message of Christ.
Jesus would have us protect the innocents and the victims, not victimize them daily by making them remain in the same house with the man who assaulted them.
We can hope the Duggar’s television show remains off the air, and that their confused, conflicted and poisonous version of Christianity slinks back into the shadows and away from the mainstream.
I don’t know who their version of Jesus or God is. I have no comprehension of the Duggar’s idea of right and wrong.
The Christ I know would be saddened by what happened, and would be just as appalled as we are by how the Duggars handled it.
Their fabricated Jesus is way different from the Jesus I grew up knowing. Here’s my latest blogpost in connection with these vermin. It’s humorous but with serious undertones. http://atypical60.com/2015/08/23/my-interview-with-the-devil-josh-duggar-blames-satan-thats-what-he-said/
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for your comment. If you have a link to Michelle’s statement about counseling, please share it.
It makes me sad that she didn’t say anything to the police about counseling. Here’s the police report.
In their official statement on Facebook, there’s no mention of counseling, for anyone.
” From Jim Bob and Michelle:
Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before. Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles everyday. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God’s kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us — even though we are so undeserving. We hope somehow the story of our journey — the good times and the difficult times — cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything.”
As a seminary-trained professional, I would be appalled by any clergy who didn’t immediately refer a family in this situation to a licensed counselor.
And counselors and clergy have an obligation to report situations like this to the authorities — felonies were committed.
This legalistic, male-dominated version of Christianity isn’t the message of Christ. Christians would protect the little girls, not the man who assaulted them.
Michelle very specifically stated that all members of the family involved received counseling. Your commentary misrepresents the facts of the case.
Uh Heather – but they didn’t did they … Josh went to work construction
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Various members of the Duggar family “received counsel” from their church elders and other leaders within the Bill Gothard/ATI community. In this context “receiving counsel” is the same as receiving spiritual advice. It was this “counsel” which helped Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar keep the sexual assaults of five young girls hidden for years. This “counsel” also pressured five young girls to forgive their assaultor before they even had a chance to process or understand the depth of what he’d done to them. All of this is further compounded by their warped belief system that the girl is equally responsible if she does not “cry out” as the assault is occuring.
“Receiving counsel” is not even remotely similar to receiving ongoing counseling from a competent, trained and fully licensed professional therapist. The Duggar’s very narrow and harmful religious belief system would have never supported them receiving psychological counseling from trained professionals – especially anyone outside of the Gothard/ATI group.
If their daughters had truly received counseling from a competent professional, the abuse would have been immediately reported by said professional. Sadly, the police officer they took Josh to for a “stern talking” was also a mandated reporter who chose to not report the abuse. He was specifically selected by the Duggars because he was a part of the Gothard group in which they were involved. They met with him “off the record” and the Duggars were fully confident that his loyalty to the Gothard group would trump his legal responsibilities to their daughters and the other young girl. This man is now in prison for possession of child pornography – clearly, he did not have a healthy, protective attitude toward little girls.