The only thing that has surprised me less about yet another Christian fundamentalist and rabid homophobe being caught up in a sexual scandal, has been a) the people coming out in defence of his actions and b) the excuses they are using to defend his actions. I’m talking, of course, of the ongoing Josh Duggar sex scandal, where instead of a rabid homophobe being caught with his pants down in a men’s public bathroom, it’s finally come to light that as a teenager (and for who knows how much longer) he was molesting little girls, including his own sisters.
I say “sisters,” because Duggar is the eldest of the abnormally large Duggar family, which belongs to the strange “Quiverful” cult. Here, in simplest terms, women are taught to be subservient to their man, to give in to his sexual demands whenever (i.e. marital rape) and are turned into little more than breeding machines, churning out children like human sausage factories.
The story really just gets worse and worse, before you even get into the defence of it. Duggar Jr eventually admitted it to his father – after being caught, feeling guilty, or ratted out by one of his sisters, I don’t know which – who did exactly nothing, except “discipline” Josh. Likewise, when Duggar Sr reported it to his church elders… they did nothing. In fact, I think it goes without saying that the whole family, especially the girls, were told to shut the fuck up, especially as they were now pulling the big bucks from their Learning Channel reality show. (Just as an aside, what the fuck does “The Learning Channel” have to do with reality shows about fucked up breeder cults and equally fucked up child pageant stars and their awful mothers?? What exactly it the “Learning Channel” teaching here?) The father waited a year, during which time Josh no doubt continued his nocturnal fondling, before reporting him to a local cop. Who also happened to be a family friend. And who did exactly nothing. Oh yeah, and that cop is now serving a 57 year sentence, after being convicted of possessing child porn.
Josh was meanwhile packed off to rabid fundamentalist and Hobby Lobby founder, Bill Gothard’s (an unfortunate name, as we’ll see in a minute) Advanced Training Institute for some “counseling” – which apparently entailed doing some construction work on the site. Because nothing curses your desire to fondle little girls, like working up a good sweat. Now would probably be a good time to mention that Gothard quit the foundation under a cloud of suspicion of grooming and molesting over 30 young girls himself. Remember, this is the same guy who believes that what women want most is more Bible in their uteri.
Oh, and here’s a copy of ATI’s “Counceling Sexual Abuse” document. Number 6 is especially heinous – “If the abused was not at fault…” and this gem: “If you had to choose between no physical abuse and being Mighty in Spirit, which would you choose?”
Ok, so enough of the past.
The story finally gets to the media (long after the statute of limitations for actually prosecuting this piece of shit has run out) earlier this month. And the hand-wringing commenced. But not before we were confronted by the wonderful hypocrisy of Duggar’s mother (who by now, we assume can drop kids much like the opening to Monty Python’s “Meaning of Life”) comparing transsexual people – actually members of the LGBT community – to child predators. Duggar also resigned from his position at James Dobson’s hate group “The Family Research Council” – which, of course, if rabidly anti-gay and pro “Christian values.” And of course, he was so sorry, and he’d asked for forgiveness from God and – I assume – his victims, and all should be well with the world again.
Now, I had a long rant on Facebook about the immorality behind the Christian belief that no matter how heinous your crime, it’s all ok, if you just ask God for forgiveness. Who needs justice for the victims, or accountability for your crimes when you’ve done that, right? This awful mindset is best display in an utterly, utterly awful tract by the equally utterly demented Jack Chick, in which a father finds forgiveness and happiness, after asking God to forgive him for fucking his little daughter. Oh, and sharing her with his neighbour. No, really. (Read at own risk, I’m not responsible for anything caused by the resulting rage.)
Needless to say, these poor, persecuted Christians needed some help and support from all the baby-eating liberals, who were reading the news, and – rightly so – calling for the serial child molester to be brought to book, or at least to be held accountable for his actions to something other than his imaginary friend.
First up to the plate is former Arkansas (the Duggar’s home State) Governor, Presidential hopeful, family friend and perpetual blow-hard, Mike Huckabee:
Janet and I want to affirm our support for the Duggar family,” the 59-year-old Republican wrote. “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.”
Yes, remember what I said above about the family “dealing with it” – bringing to the attention of a kiddy-porn loving cop, who did nothing, to church elders, who did nothing, and sending him for counseling at a center, whose founder is himself suspected of molesting young girls.
The Huckster continues:
“Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things,” he added. “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 judgment [sic] 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.”
The “people makes mistakes” thing is something I have seen many people using. The problem is that, especially when young a “mistake” is taking your dad’s car for a spin, or trying the contents of the liquor cabinet when they’re out. Repeatedly fondling your little sisters – who, as you might remember have been taught to be subservient to men – is not a “mistake.” It is a crime, and a pretty clear indication that all is not well with Josh Duggar.
I rather like the irony of Huckabee saying “No one needs to defend Josh’s actions as a teenager” then defends his actions as a teenager by a) saying his judgement isn’t mature and b) having a go at the media for exposing Duggar for the pedophile he his, and his awful family and church, for covering it up. Now, just on the “mental maturity” bit, I’d like to go back to 1996, when then-Governor Huckabee “refused to authorize a Medicaid payment for an abortion for a 15-year-old girl whose stepfather has been charged with incest, despite a Federal judge’s order that such payments were required by Federal law.”
That’s right – a 14-year-old son of family friends isn’t mentally mature enough to take accountability for fondling his owns sisters and other little girls, but a 15-year-old girl is mentally mature enough to carry to term the child fathered incestuously by her step-father. Huckabee is clearly a caring family man though. In 2012 he squashed charges against his son, after the latter brutally killed a stray dog. The son “hanged the dog by his neck, slit his throat and stoned him to death,” while on a scout camp.
And this from the guy who slammed Obama’s parenting skills, because his daughters listen to Beyonce. Maybe Huckabee prefer the girls listen to his bass playing, alongside Ted Nugent, who himself has admitted to having multiple affairs with under-aged girls.
Oh, and as a final twist to the whole Huckabee involvement in this sordid affair, Huckabee-appointed judge, Stacy Zimmerman, ordered that the police record, and all copies, of Duggar’s crimes, be destroyed, after an application was brought by one of his victims – no doubt under intense pressure of the Duggar clan – to prevent having her name revealed.
This post wouldn’t be complete, without the dumbest man on the planet, not named Kirk Cameron, sticking his head up above the parapet. Now, from my own interactions with the man, I know he’s… rather fixated on sex. One of his favourite quotes is from Matt 5:28: “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart,” and whenever he’s listing humanity’s sins “lust” is pretty high up on the list.
Then again, we are talking about a man who fervently believes that the world was populated – twice – from a single family. Except, in his mind, that doesn’t count as incest. Again, no really:
Finished headdesking? Good, let’s continue.
Ray posted his support on his Facebook page, and as we’ve come to expect from Comfort, it’s a terrible mish-mash of gibberish and lies:
‘This was in his BC days” – in other words, Ray is implying that Duggar – eldest child of a rabidly fundamentalist family, members of an extreme sect, and on the brink of breeding their own, only fondled his sisters and other little girls before he became a Christian. Because, in No True Scotsman fashion, no Christian would ever do that, right? (I’d post examples refuting that last comment, but the list would be endless.) Now, looking at the reports on the case, Duggar was 14 when he – and this is probably one of the worst excuses so far – “was playing “doctor” with his sleeping sisters” (according to the wife of fellow Quiverful cult pastor, Patrick Hurd) (Again, no, really) took place, so clearly he converted from being a sister-fondling atheist to a holy Christian sometime after that, right? If you’ve somehow convinced yourself that fondling a little girl’s genitals while she sleeps is “playing doctor,” then there something deeply disturbing with the mindset of the Quiverful cult.
Well, what does Josh himself say about his conversion to Christianity?
“Josh was raised in Arkansas, the first child born to Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar. He accepted Christ at the age of seven, was homeschooled and graduated from High School at the age of sixteen.”
WTF does that even mean. Is Comfort hinting at some dark history of his own here, which given his obsession with things sexual and dismissal of incest as “not a crime,” might not be too far a reach? Is he once again using the No True Scotsman argument and saying that no Christian has ever committed a sexual offence? Honestly, it’s Comfort – I haven’t got a fucking clue what he’s trying to say. Although, if you need Christ in order to not molest a little girl, I suggest you cut your nuts off right now, because you are a danger to society.
All he’s doing is illustrating what an awful, awful human being he is.
Oh yes, and just to show that he’s firmly in Duggar’s corner, Comfort has also dropped the Learning Channel from his viewing schedule, after TLC cancelled the Duggar’s reality show.
On the subject of awful human being, however, pride of place in the little (well, not so little) post must go to Eric Hovind, son of jailed tax dodger and creationist nut, Kent Hovind.
He started off with a long, rambling post on his ‘Creation Today” website, entitled “Why I Love Josh Duggar.” He starts off with the same spiel at Huckabee, about how poor old Josh has said sorry, and received counseling, and that should be the end of the story, if not for evil media.
He goes on to say:
Think for just a moment about how the media typically sees things.
Lust – Praised Abortion – Praised Homosexual Behavior – Praised Pornography – Praised Fornication – Praised Confession, Judgment & Forgiveness – Condemned.
I am not convinced that the media is interested in seeing justice. I am convinced that they are only interested in a story that will sell and make Christianity look bad.
No, Eric – Duggar and his cult family – along with yourself and your father are doing a perfectly good job of making Christianity look bad. Not only that – what justice, exactly? There’s hasn’t been any, besides a supposed spanking from his father. The police covered it up, his church covered it up and now Huckabee appointees are helping to cover it up. Duggar has not had to account for his crimes – and that’s what they are. Not teenage high jinks, but crimes.
Hovind goes on: “He took responsibility, his family took responsibility, he sought forgiveness, and reported it to the authorities.“ – the family covered it up for at least a year, before reporting him to a cop who did nothing and is himself sitting in jail for possessing kiddy porn.
But it gets better: “Christian morality is the basis for the judgment in the first place. Honestly, I am blown away by the incredible double standard that is applied to Christians. We don’t claim to be perfect, we claim to be perfectly forgiven. When a Christian admits his sin, goes to the proper authorities, pays the penalty, repents of his actions, is up front and honest with the world, and has made things right with the victims, he has done exactly what God has commanded him to do.“
Which brings me right back to the immorality of Christian belief, that saying sorry to God, is all you have to do to get away with your crimes. There is no accountability to the authorities (and let’s face it, besides their pedophile cop friend, the Duggars do have enough clout in Arkansas to make any investigation go away) and certainly not to the victims. You just mumble a heartfelt apology, and all is reset… until you do it again, but if you say sorry again, all is well.
What is laughable is when Hovind says “I have news for you, Christians are not “excusing” Josh Duggar’s actions” (despite all I’ve written above about mental maturity, and playing doctor, and before he was Christian, etc, etc) and then launches into a bizarre condemnation of evolution:
If evolution is true Josh should not have admitted his faults over a decade ago because what one evolved bag of molecules does to another bag of molecules just doesn’t really matter. If evolution is true there is no ultimate Judge on the bench who will hold every man, woman, and child responsible for their actions. And if evolution is true you will not give an account for every idle word you speak.
I mean where do you begin with that – besides the immorality of only being accountable to your imaginary. friend. Hovind has clearly no idea how evolution -or human interactions for that matter – work, if he’s reducing it to a “bag of molecules.” At the very least, from an evolutionary point of view, “not sleeping with your sister” is the best way to ensure diversity in the gene pool (something I doubt has happened in Hovind’s family tree), much like “don’t piss off the biggest guy in the tribe by sleeping with his woman” is a good evolutionary trait to evolve, to ensure that your genes get passed on, instead of you being a stain on the ground.
Once again, as I’ve said before, if you believe that the only thing keeping you from doing terrible things, is the fear that one day you might be held to account for those terrible things – be it to a judge, or an Old Man in the Sky, you fail as a human being forever.
As if that’s not bad enough, Hovind turns to his Facebook page, to explain just what kind of punishment Duggar should receive:
Since Josh molested girls, which could damage their trust of men, which could damage their future marriage, which could damage their future family, we should make Josh Duggar work the rest of his life to help families stay together and help them recognize how twisted the world is and how God offers instruction on how to live righteously! He should be forced to push faith, family and freedom in the public showing the Christian worldview has the answers. We should force him to get a job at the Family Research Counsel who’s mission is “to advance faith, family and freedom in public policy and the culture from a Christian worldview.”
Yes, because Josh has now ruined those poor girls from becoming effective breeding machines for their awful cult, we should totally send him back to the organisation he’s just resigned from, in order to spread more homophobic bullshit, about how marriage should be between one man and one woman.
Oh yeah, and just a final note, in case you still thought Josh was just a poor, misguided, hormonally driven teen, I’ll leave you with this thought: The Duggar girls were taught how to kiss by their dad, and by Josh.
I just threw up in my mouth a little.