Deep South Daily
Okay, by now we’ve all heard tale of Josh Duggar, one of the ‘19’ in that TLC reality show about good Christians raising their nineteen … and counting … children, admitting that, while a teenager, he molested several girls, including, four of his own sisters, but let’s get the facts first before we dive in, shall we?
March, 2002: an unnamed minor claims Josh Duggar, then 14, 'had been touching her breasts and genitals while she slept.'
July, 2002: Josh admits to sexually molesting the girl; the family has a meeting to discuss it; nothing is done.
March, 2003: 'several' other minors—apparently even his sisters—come forward claiming Josh touched them while they slept; Duggar family patriarch, Jim Bob, calls another family meeting and then speaks to his church elders about the molestation.
July 2003: Jim Bob Duggar finally reports the molestation to Joseph Hutchens, an Arkansas State Police officer, who gave Josh “a very stern talk” about his actions; nothing more was done. Sidenote: Joseph Hutchens is currently serving a 56-year prison term for child pornography offenses.
July, 2003: the Duggars and their church enter Josh into a treatment program where he spends four months in Little Rock doing construction work; the treatment program is run by the Institute in Basic Life Principles, founded by televangelist Bill Gothard — whose teachings have been promoted by the Duggar family; the Institute in Basic Life Principles houses “court-referred youthful offenders in the organization’s Bible-based rehabilitation program.” Sidenote: in 2014, Bill Gothard resigned from the Institute of Basic Life Principles following allegations of sexual harassment, molestation and failing to report child abuse.
December 7, 2006: an anonymous tip is called into the Arkansas Child Abuse Hotline; the Springdale Police reach out to the Duggars to schedule interviews but are told the family is in Chicago to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
December 7, 2006: an anonymous source sends an e-mail to Harpo Studios warning Oprah show producers against airing the Duggar interview because of the allegations; producers passed along the e-mail to law enforcement and Winfrey cancelled the interview and sent the family home.
Dec. 12, 2006: Springdale police interview Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, along with Josh and his victims; it is determined that the statute of limitations has expired and no charges are filed.
2007: rumors of Josh’s pedophilia begin to appear online, though they are, at this point, unsubstantiated; the same year, a reporter for the Northwest Arkansas Times discovers a court document for a case — Josh Duggar vs. the Arkansas Department of Human Services —and contacts Jim Bob and Josh Duggar for a comment, but both men refuse.
May 2015: the tabloid In Touch Weekly publishes an article about the allegations that Josh Duggar molested multiple girls as a teenager; a follow-up piece is published, this time with a police report detailing the allegations — the police report was obtained through a Freedom of Information [FOI] request; an Arkansas newspaper, the Democrat-Gazette, obtained the same report through an FOI request, but when the Washington Post asks for the police report, via an FOI, it is answered with a court order, dated May 21, stating that the police report in question was destroyed.
May 22: TLC announces that the network is pulling all episodes of “19 Kids and Counting” from its schedule. That same day, Springdale Police Department spokesman Scott Lewis confirms that the department has destroyed the police report in question, saying:
“The judge ordered us yesterday to expunge that record … as far as the Springdale Police Department is concerned this report doesn’t exist.”
Okay, that’s a lot, but let’s dive in with my two cents:
I guess, for the Duggars, doing a little construction work is a cure for pedophilia; and to even discuss the kinds of men they chose to rehabilitate their son is exception; one, a man of the cloth with his own history of sexual abuse and harassment, and the other a friend, and police officer, who scolds Josh about molesting girls in between loading child pornography onto his own computer. It seems quite clear that the Duggars were more concerned about their image — Jim Bob Duggar has run for political office on multiple occasions — than getting their son, not to mention his victims, the help they need.
And what about the girls? The Duggars’ own daughters? At the very expense of their children, and others, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, who have held themselves up on television to be paragons of virtue and devout Christians, hid Josh’s sexual molestation from the authorities and, except for a few months, let him stay at home. Think about those Duggar daughters for a moment, knowing their parents protected their son, a pedophile, a sexual molester, and sent him off to build an addition on someone’s house, before bringing him back home to live in the same house as his victims.
It’s disgusting. And what about therapy for Josh’s victims? All that time spent making sure Josh got ‘help,’ but what about the girls? Was it a couple of months chatting with someone, because that worries me since victims of child molestation often suffer from the abuse far into adulthood. Where was the good Christian love for the victims? And how did those girls, Josh’s sisters, feel, about continuing to live in the same house with someone who crept into their rooms at night and fondled them as they slept?
Well, they’re girls, so I’m guessing they weren’t as important as a son, who faced no serious consequences for his actions. The Duggars simply move on, going on television, running for political office, hiding the fact that a pedophile lives down the hall from his victims.
It isn’t until 2015 that the repercussions of what Josh, and Jim Bob and Michelle, have done are felt. When the story finally breaks, finally the family has to tell the truth: their son is a pedophile.
TLC, which airs their reality show, opts to pull 19 Kids and Counting from its schedule, though the network does not comment at all on the story. However, by week’s end many advertisers are running from the show; General Mill has apparently “blacklisted” the show and may, in fact, blacklist the network altogether. But that’s all?
Yes, because here in America we have a statute of limitations of child sexual abuse — even though many victims block out the abuse, and the pedophiles, for years, and by that time, well, too late. That’s the hypocrisy of our judicial system; victims being denied closure because the time has run out and the pedophile gets to go along his merry way.
But what about the hypocrisy of these so-called Christians? The Duggars have spent years touting their anti-LGBT beliefs, even going so far as to demonize gay men and women; in fact, Michelle Duggar worked voraciously against a transgender nondiscrimination ordinance in Fayetteville, Arkansas by warning that it would endanger children:
“I doubt that Fayetteville parents would stand for a law that would endanger their daughters or allow them to be traumatized by a man joining them in their private space.”
Michelle Duggar attacked trans people, and gays and lesbians, arguing that the threat to little girls in Fayetteville were transwomen who might molest their children in bathrooms, when she knew her own son had done this to multiple girls for at least a couple of years; and then they hid it, and sent him away with a hammer and some nails. But hey, it’s TV and God, so why should the truth matter, right?
And what about Josh, the child molester? Well, he decided to work for the anti-LGBT Family Research Council [FRC] as head of its lobbying arm, and has spoken out continually against LGBT Americans, calling us unfit to be parents, saying we should never be allowed equality, and calling us pedophiles.
Pot.Kettle …which leads us to Politicians and Religious Leaders; and let’s start with the worst of the worst, Mike Huckabee.
As soon as the story broke, Huckabee, running for president, mind you, took to his Facebook page to instantly throw his support behind the Duggars:
“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.”
Oh Mike, there is a purpose; it exposes the hypocrisy of the religious right, and the conservative wacknut politicians, because, just let this sink in, what if Josh Duggar was a gay man, a gay Christian, who’d molested his own sisters? Do you think for a moment Mike Huckabee would “forgive” him? Not a chance because Mike Huckabee has spent years calling The Gays horrific names and spreading lies and falsehoods about us.
But, maybe because he cannot help himself, Huckabee digs himself in deeper:
“Josh Duggar was a teenager, the girls were almost teenagers. In Biblical times they could have married. The only reason the liberals are attacking Josh is because he has been a faithful warrior against the perversion of homosexuality.”
Wait. What? So, because they were all teenagers this is somehow okay? A teenage boy can sneak into his sister’s room at night and sexually abuse her and it’s okay because it’s … what … boys being boys? And, I don’t believe that Huckabee is saying that, had Josh Duggar been molesting his sisters in Biblical times, he was also allowed to marry them?
This is simply the case of a religious, and political, wagon master trying to circle the wagons and protect their own, because, if you remember, when Michael Sam came out as gay, Huckabee declared it as a sign that the culture was in “utter collapse,” and yet when we learn that one of his political supporters, from an entire family of political supporters, is a child molester,. Huckabee comes down in favor of protecting the pedophile from “sensationalism.”
Now, there is an interesting note: that judge who ordered police to destroy the records of Josh Duggar’s sexual molestation history is Juvenile Judge Stacy Zimmerman, an Arkansas judge appointed to her position by Mike Huckabee when he was Governor of the state. Huckabee even referenced the judge’s order in his Facebook post:
“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.”
So, a Huckabee flunky destroyed the files — which, again, was her right as the statute of limitations was up — just as Huckabee runs to aid his friend and ally. But, again, the hypocrisy is so apparent, for Mike Huckabee had a very different opinion of what to do about Roman Polanski, also accused to sexual molestation of a minor:
“If something is right, it’s right. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong … It doesn’t matter who does them. When Hollywood hero Roman Polanski drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl and then fled the country instead of facing the consequences of his own guilty plea, there should be no defense of him from anyone.”
And yet Mike Huckabee has rushed to defend Josh Duggar who molested not one, but several young girls; but, I’m guessing, being a Christian and supporting Mike Huckabee for President, makes pedophilia okay? And this is the same Mike Huckabee who once said, of child molesters, that they face the consequences for their crimes “no matter who does them.”
Apparently not. And if this doesn’t put an end to Huckabee’s quest for the White House something is seriously wrong here. How can a man rush to aid and defend a pedophile be elected to the highest office in the land?
And, speaking of hypocrites running for office, the wildly anti-gay Ted Cruz — who last week announced that he would “always always always’ fight marriage equality, has decided to fight for the rights of Josh Duggar, saying:
“While there may have been an age difference, Josh Duggar’s transgressions are far less an affront to God than what gays do with each other.”
That man wants to be president; that man who calls me an abomination, who seeks to deny my the right to equal protection under the law, who would like businesses to deny me service because I’m gay, deny me jobs or housing because I’m gay, finds me more reprehensible than Josh Duggar, a pedophile.
This is the same man who has said that gay men are pedophiles, so I guess he’s also saying that a gay pedophile is disgusting, but a Christian pedophile is just making a mistake.
We also heard from Bryan Fischer, of the American Family Association; rather than suggest Josh Duggar seek reparative therapy for his sexual deviancy — as he asks of gay men and women — Fischer actually compared Josh to the biblical kings Solomon and David, and said he believes that “every indication is that his repentance for those deeds was sincere, and there has been no hint of sexual impropriety on his part in the intervening 13 years.”
At least none that we know about; I mean, since we know that many victims of child sexual abuse block out those memories, who can say that there aren’t more little girls out there?
These three men disgust me; for years, Huckabee, Cruz, and Fischer have degraded and maligned LGBT, oftentimes with lies; and they have worked side-by-side with some of the most homophobic and bigoted evangelical TV celebrities, like the Duck Dynasty gang and the Duggars. Each of these men has, at some point, compared LGBT people to child molesters and degenerates and perverts, and unworthy of any kind of equality, but when they face an actual child molester from their own hypocritical Christian, Republican ranks, suddenly we must all be forgiving.
Well, I can’t forgive, and I cannot forget. No matter how many Facebook post Huckabee makes, or how many times Cruz vows to keep me down, or how many times Fischer says The Gays f**k dogs. These men don’t care about right and wrong, unless the wrongdoer is a non-Christian, then it’s all bets off.
So, what do we take away from this?
Josh Duggar admits to repeatedly molesting, assaulting and sexually abusing his younger sisters, and another young girl. The parents, Josh’s wife, and others — Huckabee, Cruz, Fischer … Tony Perkins — all say it was just a “mistake” even while they are out in public calling homosexuality an abomination.
How does this possibly make sense? It doesn’t; not to rational thinking people. I am all about forgiveness, but it doesn’t seem to me that even Josh Duggar deserves forgiveness; he’s never suffered for his crimes; his parents and their friends in high places hid his crimes. He’s never apologized for his crimes, that we know of, until last week when the story came out, and even then he never actually said the words “sexual molestation.”
There was no real concern from the family, from their church, from their friends — save that anonymous person who found the evidence … a note in a book in the Duggar house — who contacted the authorities back in 2007.
And how do ever trust — not that I ever did — politicians like Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz, who act as though sexually molesting a young girl, while she slept, is something that teenagers do, or, at the very least, isn’t as bad as being gay.
Let’s be queer: being gay is no longer a crime, but being a pedophile, and fondling minor girls most certainly is against the law.
Jim Bob and Michelle now say that God “worked this situation for good” though I wonder how Josh’s victims feel about that; I wonder how many years they will suffer as they remember what their brother did to them, and how their parents saved him from any kind of real punishment for his crimes.
I am sickened and disgusted by what Josh Duggar did to those girls, but what makes me even more disgusted is how his parents handled the situation, how they took the law into their own hands, how they never really punished Josh for his criminal behavior. I am disgusted that a law enforcement officer thinks that a “good talking to” will stop a pedophile: I am disgusted that they believe building a house is punishment.
I am horrified that any politician, much less a politician running for office in 20167 would stand up for a pedophile and call child sexual molestation a mistake and ask that we just move on.
I’m disgusted by the lies, the hypocrisy, all in the name of religion and politics.