What About the Girls? The Duggar Scandal and the Cost of Fundamentalism

This is what comes of fundamentalism.

This week in the news, the Duggar family–made popular by their reality show, “19 Kids and Counting”–have been in the spotlight for a sexual abuse scandal. Though I seriously doubt they are calling it that, amongst themselves. No, where they come from, this is a youthful indiscretion; a series of inappropriate behaviors; evidence that we are “not a perfect family”… Etc.

C5nqhn4But the news that the oldest son, Josh (now 27) repeatedly molested and sexually assaulted his younger sisters (and another unnamed minor) is beyond “inappropriate.” It is a crime. And one for which nobody is going to jail, given the 3 year statute of limitations in the state of Arkansas. (And in many states).

This is what comes of fundamentalism. And this is not about me railing against conservative brands of faith. Conservatism in belief does not always amount to abusive behavior. But when conservative beliefs (the Duggars are part of the Quiverfull movement) manifest in harmful, toxic systems that allow for–and even condone–systemic abuse, then you have fundamentalism. And it comes at a price. Most often, the price is human dignity. And most often, that price is paid by women.

Fundamentalism is how Jim Jones got a tragically large group of people to “drink the Kool-aid.” (I know that is a really derogatory thing to say now, but this is, most literally, where the saying originated). Fundamentalism is how Waco happened. Fundamentalism is how ISIS continues to grow at an alarming rate.

Fundamentalism is why so very many children have horrific stories of being abused by Catholic priests; and fundamentalism is why so few of those priests are in jail (so far).

At the heart of fundamentalism is fear: fear of being cast out for dissent; fear of an authority figure (always a man or group of men); and in many cases, fear of physical harm. This fear is held in place by a power structure that depends, ultimately, on silence.

Deadly, deafening silence.

And that’s why we can now classify the Duggars, and their brand of faith, as not just conservative–but harmfully fundamentalist.

Because when these charges came to light (several years ago) the concern was not for the victims… but for the moral purity of the young man. The fathers says that they ‘dealt with the issue’ as a family, and took it to the elders of their church. Police were informed, but no formal charges were filed. There was no continuing investigation.

Even now, in the news, the story is not about the crime. It is primarily about how the family is ‘reeling’ from the public disclosure; and how poor Josh will not be able to continue his career as the professional face of family values (through one of those NON-PROFIT family values organizations that many classify as a hate group.)”

What thinking people want to know now is this– what do they mean when they say the matter was “dealt with” by the family and the church? Was Josh grounded and sent off to Bible camp?

No charges were filed against Josh, who was a minor at the time… What about the parents? If they knew about these instances but didn’t press charges–nor did they do anything to protect the other children from further abuses (that we know of)–why were there no criminal negligence charges filed there?

The Duggar parents say that their daughters have “forgiven” Josh for his crimes against them. But have they also been offered counseling? Have they been taught about consent, and healthy forms of sexual expression?

Are the families, and the church itself, beginning to see how their “values” about gender and authority pave the way for predators? Not just in the home, but throughout a woman’s lifetime?

Are they going to start dismantling the language of shame around sex–and especially, women’s bodies–that keeps women from speaking up? That leads to prolonged silence, which leads to “no charges will be filed, because statutes. Because reasons. Because men are the boss of you…”

This family is going to be in the spotlight for awhile because they’ve always been in the spotlight–as the embodiment of ‘family values’ no less. But it’s not just about them.  It’s important to recognize that this one instance (or this one perpetrator) reflects the heart of fundamentalism, and what it does to women, children, and other vulnerable parties. I don’t care if the group in question is Christian, Muslim, or a secular cult with a self-proclaimed prophet and a series of doomsday billboards along the highway. It all amounts to the same fear and silence; the same cost to human dignity; and the same looming question:

Who’s looking out for the girls?

 

 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Stephen

    I sympathize with your thoughts here, but I would be more careful drawing lines in the sand. Jim Jones was pro racial integration, a socialist, and a bit of a feminist. He also abused members of the congregation and created a cult with a mass suicide scenario, in the end. You might want to look him up more, before you write about him. In many ways, I think he challenges the concept of your blog, here. It might cause us to re-think what makes religious abuse happen and why.

    • C’ute’Thulu

      Jim Jones was a Lefty fundamentalist, the Duggars are Righty fundamentalists. Fundies are fundies, regardless of which side they come from. The article was anti-fundie, not pro-left or anti-right.

    • Erin Smallwood Wathen

      Fair points. But, there is such a thing as liberal fundamentalism, too. (Maybe for another blog). That’s why I tried to delineate between conservative belief and fundamentalist behavior. Whatever JJ believed or taught to his people, there was a toxic extremism at the heart of it that led to death and destruction.

      • Drunken Housewife

        I for one am glad to hear Jim Jones even mentioned. We don’t pay enough attention to the dark side of American religious cultures. I live in San Francisco and regularly pass by the place where Jones’ temple stood, and no one here ever speaks of it. We all pretend that a large group of San Franciscans didn’t travel to what they thought was a religious utopia in order to be murdered.

      • Stephen

        I tend to think that the case of Jim Jones would have us question the very heart of what causes this sort of violence and destruction. I do not see, in his case, that violence and destruction coming out of his belief system of “fundamentalism” as such, but more out of his own mental illness and abuse of power. It leads me more to think about the possibility that any of us might get wrapped up in systems of violence.

        Perhaps I do not find enough support here for your premise that it is the “toxic extremism,” itself, that causes these abuses. Simply because these things happened in cases where there was some “toxic extremism” doesn’t make it a direct cause.

        Your association here is helpful, perhaps, in that it also gets me wondering whether the abuse in the Duggar household comes, not out of their belief systems, as such, but more out of a result of this sort of family system. We would all do well to question our own communities and whether they are the sorts of places that could foster open and honest conversations about what is going on, or whether the secrecy or repression within them could end up fostering or hiding abuse.

        Your association of these things as necessarily about “fundamentalism” seems to me to simply attempt to define the “other” and distance ourselves from it. If it is more of a problem with “those people over there,” then we don’t really have to ask ourselves the sticky, difficult questions. What if this was your own family, and your own children? In your own church? How would you love the various people involved? I say this, not really knowing how I would handle a situation in my own church or community where one person was abusing another. I would want to end the situation and support the victim(s), but the one committing the crime is also usually a victim, themselves. How do we also help them get healing? How do we heal the whole system rather than cover it up or go on a murderous rampage? I don’t think that is a very easy situation, at all. I’d like to think I’m immune from it, in some way, because of my “enlightened” opinions about spirituality and emotional health, but I’m probably not.

        I do, however, feel every right to criticize the Duggars for not supporting their daughters, for not supporting their son in his feelings and exploration of sexuality, and for creating an insulated system where the only appropriate place for sex is having loads of children and then needing to be on reality TV in order to support that family. Of course, the fact that we watch it means we are a part of it, too…

  • Jessica Valiant

    All this, right here, spot on.

  • cvryder2000

    I have also been wondering this: what about the girls? Nobody seems to have been addressing THEIR feelings and how they were dealt with. Being abused by your older brother, who you’re supposed to look up to, is a horrible breach of trust, just for starters. Then there’s the whole business of “purity” which is so overemphasized by these people; the girls are now “spoiled goods” because they’ve been violated, touched in ways reserved only for a husband, and by *their own brother*! Instead of being counseled and helped, because it wasn’t their fault, it was almost certainly covered up and swept under the rug as if it never happened. Is this why some have rushed to get married, while others seem not to want to marry at all? Shame on you, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. Shame.

    • Laurie Ann Giampietro

      If they follow the logic of many other fundamentalist movements, it’s all on the girls. They weren’t modest enough. They somehow tempted their brother. They should be ashamed and never speak of it lest they be seen as “damaged goods”. I’ve been on the inside of this type of mindset and heard it all. Not Quiverfull but another really conservative movement.

      • Curtis Martin

        Except at least one of the girls (Not the relative) was ASLEEP.

        • Laurie Ann Giampietro

          I am saying that it won’t matter. These people are nuts and akin to organizations like the Taliban. It is ALL on us girls, always. It’s awful and not right and I for one am glad I decided to leave fundamentalism. In one case, a SEVEN year old was blamed for “tempting” a 24 year old man. And it’s SICK, SICK, SICK.

        • Elizabeth 44

          Doesn’t matter; they weren’t modest enough or somehow inflamed their brother’s lust. The worst example I’ve heard was “she was so sexy in her diaper” that a rapist used to explain full penile penetration of a two year old. Its the girl/ woman’s fault…always.

      • WiseMom

        Yes. 5 year old girls are super sexy! ick.

      • cvryder2000

        And some of them were as young as 5 or 6…..

      • Kathi J

        Yeah, what awful girls, tempting him by lying fast asleep in their pink princess pj’s and being so .. alluring. Bet the ‘counseling’ they got was to learn to be more modest and not to temp their brother.

        • Laurie Ann Giampietro

          I know. They’re like that though and it won’t matter to a fundamentalist in this movement. Look at what’s going on at Bob Jones University. The movements are akin to Islamist groups in their attitudes toward women and girls, even baby girls. It’s awful and I’m glad I left.

    • Drunken Housewife

      Yes, the focus on purity must make them feel terrible. These are girls who were raised to save their first kiss for their wedding day… and meanwhile their own brother had “gone to third base” with them. How are they supposed to wrap their minds around that contradiction?

      Elizabeth Smart has written and lectured about how part of why she didn’t try to escape her rapist captors was because she had been raised in a strict Mormon family and believed she was worthless because she’d had sex, even though it was sex forced upon her.

      I left a fundamentalist Christian family and am glad to be raising my own daughters in a secular home, where they won’t feel that their value is largely predicated upon whether a man has touched them.

    • quietglow

      On top of this, they were living their lives in a TV show, under constant media scrutiny, with the possibility of all of this coming out for years and total pressure never to show any signs of trauma and probably pressure against asking for help.

    • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

      I’ve certainly been shuddering at the thought of the counseling they received, given what I know of the group which did the counseling for Josh and their messages for sexually abused girls. Massive trigger warning: victim blaming, tons and tons of it.

      Abandon hope all ye who enter.

  • mrivera1119

    The parents should be held accountable. They were too busy irresponsibly multiplying like rabbits and making money without taking care of the children they were bringing into the world. And then they had the gall to throw stones at others…

  • Bajovane

    The girls’ welfare means nothing to that crowd. Michelle herself said, “Duggar women don’t say no!” It is the girls’ duty to do what is asked of them by the men in their family. Their desires mean nothing. JB and Michelle must be held accountable for what happened. I won’t be holding my breath though. In their world, mental health counseling isn’t something they believe in. They believe in “Praying it Away” – no matter what. I guarantee you – they will be doing just that.

  • Zelda

    The Jim Jones comparison is interesting. Jim Jones actually began a very progressive church – inclusive of everyone and respectful of women. Jim Jones became a cult of personality and his ego so bloated that he couldn’t bear the thought that his church had run its course and was going to fade away. Abuse in these cases happens when concern for the organization – no matter what it is – overrides concern for the individual. Predators take full advantage of this. We see it in schools. We see it in churches. We see it in governments. We see it everywhere some ideal or institution is set up as the greater good that must be protected above all else.

    • Erin Smallwood Wathen

      true enough. that’s why i tried to state the difference in conservatism and fundamentalism… because liberals can be fundamentalists too–and i think you are right that the power that comes from fame and following can play a big role in that.

    • Drunken Housewife

      Good points made by Zelda. I’d add that also Jim Jones had a very serious drug problem, which was undoubtedly a factor in his mental deterioration and the tragic mass murder/suicide.

      • Zelda

        Yet so many people drank the kool aid. It’s one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever heard.

        • Drunken Housewife

          But another thing people forget is that many of them were forced at gunpoint to drink the poisoned FlavorAde. (Poor Kool Aid gets the blame when in fact they were drinking a cheap rip-off). I read a fascinating book about the survivors recently, which you might find interesting, Zelda: http://www.amazon.com/Stories-Jonestown-Leigh-Fondakowski/dp/0816678081 Truly fascinating and bizarre, Jonestown.

          • Nancy King

            You took the words right out of my mouth DH. The members of Jim Jones’ cult *were* forced to drink at gunpoint.

          • kagil

            Many were shot too.

          • kagil

            Also interesting are the CIA ties. Some of them that drank willingly, had just witnessed the deaths of all their loved ones. They killed the women and kids first so the men wouldn’t fight. To me the whole thing smacks of a MK-ultra camp and a clean up operation when the congressmen was killed investigating.

  • raytheist

    And it wasn’t even Kool-Aid, but a similar product called “Flavor Aid”.

    • cfc

      yes but drinking the kool-aid is the verb-age that has caught on in society.

  • http://napadofoundation.com/ Donald G.

    The problem is that too many times those with fundamentalist views pick and choose which biblical principles they want to adhere too. They seem to forget that one of the roles of fathers (and mothers too) is protecting their children from harm. I do not want to appear too chauvinistic, but as a man I believe it is our role to protect our wives and daughters from harm and predators even if they are in our own family. This is not a matter of conservative or progressive issues but a matter of right and wrong. What Josh did was predatory and a crime. Covering it up was also a crime and the pastors/elders for sure were required by law to report it

    • ActiveChristianMedia

      Amen. What is really sad to me is that there are a ton of Christians I know personally who are defending Josh and agreeing with Mike Huckabee. Assuming any of what they are saying is true, it is true that God forgives. That’s not my issue. My issue is TRUST. Jim Bob intentionally didn’t report these sex crimes for over a year and Jim Bob can’t be trusted and no one is questioning why Josh would commit these crimes…. this isn’t just a normal teenage sin, this is a FELONY and one that they made sure he wouldn’t have to pay for.

    • Samantha Rogers

      I agree, the mother and father should be the ones who would go out of there way to pertect the girls of the house I mean they show that they definitely do when it comes to the girls bf so why not the brothers of the house? And he was 14 when he did it but he should have been told when he was 6 to always protect his sisters and all falls for that matter and to never put his hands on them. And I just don’t understand why the parents would cover something like that up and not send him off and really let him get some help so it wouldn’t happen again. Cause I don’t care if I was the biggest Christian in the world I would have never covered it up cause that’s why alot of Christians cover stuff like this up bc they r scared it’s gonna ruin there reputation and people wouldn’t have nothing to do with them and my thing in that is if u r really trying to b a good Christian then u wouldn’t care about what other people in the church will say cause that’s when u turn to the Lord and depend on him. But my last question is is how r the sisters taking it that it happened to cause not only did there brother ruin them when they were younger but now he’s wanting to go public with it after they get older and have not just a TV show but they r getting married and having kids too and once again since it didn’t come out when they were younger now they r having to face it to the world as they r older so I say for the brother he needs to b locked away do his time and the dad needs to do his time for knowing and not saying anything and the mom needs to stay with the kids cause like someone else said u can tell the men run the women in that house the women don’t have a say which in my opinion is wrong but the mom needs to b at home with the kids and the girls that all that mess happened to need to have there own show with there new marriages and babies and show the mom helping out with them and all the smaller children in it as well but CARRY THE DAD AND SON TO THE PIN AND KEEP BOTH OF THEM AWAY FROM ANY OF THE GIRLS!!! And yes they better pray that the good Lord have mercy on there souls cause after all he’s the one who is gonna b doing the judging and I’m not judging cause I really loved the show and how they taught the kids but it doesn’t need to b another brother messing with one or more of the little little sisters cause this time maybe the MOM will b able to speak out and really get some help for them if it does happen. But these r just my questions and opinions.

  • Signs

    Hopefully, they will be allowed to demonstrate God’s mercy and to exist within our perfect secular culture. A culture which never discriminates or persecutes traditional Christians. (The sarcasm intended)

    • Snooterpoot

      Do what?

    • Kyle Bowers

      oh, shut the FUCK UP… my god, what is wrong with you people??

      • wkmtca

        they are crazy

      • Signs

        Yes let’s give props to the curser…what is wrong with me? Nothing that Yeshua can’t fix….

    • Cat Poster

      lol.

    • Dave Thompson

      You appear to retain your internet access, even if the caps lock is broken.

      • Signs

        I find it funny that people care about such things but do not address the words but their sizing I would go smaller if I could like a whisper…

        • rozlee

          Dude, you’re krunked. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Go sleep it off. This is a political forum, not ‘High Times.’

          • Signs

            I am a Lady not a dude. A lady who does not partake in drugs. Thank you for your astute comments on this very political forum. It is quite amazing that free thought and commentary is still allowed especially from those who dare disagree with the liberal left….whoops I believe I left off some Oxford commas but never mind the tree in the person’s eye for it is the splinter that will kill them…

          • rozlee

            I’m not a dude either, but I’m certainly no lady. Note: Oxford commas are those used in a serial list.

            Additional note: the mote and beam parable you refer to is a warning against self-righteousness. Since I revel in my hedonism, I am definitely not the one waving my virtue around.

    • Rhonda

      Satan does not exist, you boob. Get your head out of your ass.

      • Signs

        You are concerned with body parts too much… two thousand years of learned men and woman would disagree with you….good and truth no longer exist either in your world.

    • rozlee

      Satan pays people off? How much? Is he in the yellow pages under employment or can I stand outside Home Depot and wait for a guy that looks like Obama to show up? Please answer promptly, as I need the money for new editions to my porn collection, “Free Will Humping,” “Romeo and Julio,” and “28 Lays Later.”

      PS: LOL. Our ‘signs’ has gone back and totally edited out her previous posts.

      • Signs

        The edit button allows for things it should not…. Then again I am a rule follower, so please enlighten me to the peculiarities of this social commentary?

        • rozlee

          Your assault on grammar by not using proper punctuation and capitalization is highly suspicious.

          • Signs

            Troll…yes, your proper grammar markers around your porno choices clearly indicate your evolved intelligence.

          • rozlee

            Hey, I didn’t even mention my favorite one of all, “Night of the Giving Head.”

          • Signs

            You said you did not know satan…I beg to differ clearly you do.

          • rozlee

            If he’s my brother-in-law, I can totally agree.

  • Dee

    Having been raised in a fundamentalist home like the Duggars, I want to thank you for writing this. My thoughts have been your words since the story came out. It is so common what happened to these girls and most of the time, they are blamed for the temptation and left unprotected for abuses until they are married off at a very young age, usually while in high school or right after. Ruled in a patriarch stronghold, they carry that stigma the rest of their lives, with no apologies from anyone. If the Duggar girls were apologized to, they are a rare breed because most of the time girls from other families aren’t.

    • kagil

      My childhood friend was from a family like this – forced to wear ankle length dresses, kept ignorant about what would happen to her in puberty so that when she bled, she was scared to death she was dying . I remember when she was beaten horribly and called whore b/c she shaved her legs above her knees. She was such a pretty, smart girl, but she grew up severely damaged. Pushing 50, she tried to take her own life recently. :(

      • Dee

        Its so complicated with so many layers. One thing about living in a secular world, we see women come forward and say with very strong voices they were victims of abuse. The girls in the fundamentalist world would be thrown out and shunned if they even dared speak out. And speaking out is the basis for healing. Because if you cant speak out, you are basically protecting your abuser. Saying all of that, I am not even going to talk about what they do to little boys who may seem effeminate. That is a whole other realm of hell.

  • Ellen H.

    I have a feeling the girls were probably made to feel guilty about what their brother did. I also hope they are keeping a closer watch on their other sons to make sure nothing like this happens again.

  • Lark62

    This is excellent. The material published by Gothard s ministry on sexual assault confirms the lack of any concern or awareness of the harm done to the victim. The victim needs to forgive so she won’t damage her spirit. The victim needs to make sure she is modest. The physical attack is minimized.

  • Joann

    Will the authority be looking into the younger girls? I feel so sorry for the 5 girls that Josh hurt.

    • Lark62

      I hope so. All the factors of sexual repression and male authority that contributed to Josh are still there.

  • Al Cruise

    “It all amounts to the same fear and silence; ” “EXACTLY ” How that fear and silence is to be carried out was explained clearly in another blog on Patheos called “What to do when a fellow Christian embarrasses the rest of us,” I would recommend everyone read it, will help understand the thinking behind fundamentalism and why they do what they do. A movement is taking place to stamp out fundamentalism through educating our young people, and using cases like this to show the real fruits of fundamentalism.

    • Signs

      You are correct there is a movement to stamp out fundamentalism lead by satan in the end the traditionalist will be harmed for owning a bible…so who are you again?

  • Dave Thompson

    The Christ I was taught about would vomit at the thought of these people using his name for their constant clambering towards hate & ignorance in His name.

    • Rust Cohle

      Maybe. Maybe not. Jesus wasn’t any paragon of moral virtue.

      Avolos, H. (2015) The Bad Jesus: The Ethics of New Testament Ethics. Sheffield Phoenix Press Ltd.
      sheffieldphoenix.com/showbook.asp?bkid=294

    • mary burkhardt

      Jesus said, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off,” and “if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.”

  • missym

    Sorry but this is being made out to be the crime of the century. Yes he was wrong but a little context please. He was a juvenile making selfish juvenile decisions. He clearly was confronted and admitted its inappropriate nature and matured beyond that. Are there “victims”? Yes, to some extent but this scenario is far more common with kids which kids understand as kids. Using the word “victims” here is overkill and deliberately paints a sinister and looming evil when what we have is a 14 year old learning boundaries. But alas someone will come along and teach them how to be lifelong victims and pick at their scab so the wound never heals nevermind for some who didn’t even consider it a wound rather their brother or friend being a jerk for trying to cop a feel. But nooooo let’s blame the fundamentalist bogeyman. Sure, the Duggars’ quiverfull doctrine is unsound but I guarantee you most of these hysterical voices are supporters of homosexuality as normal. Finally, if we are going to take seriously the inability of a juvenile to make sound sexual judgments because they are a minor then it cuts both ways which includes this fella when he was 14. Let me guess, it only counts if it is a female.

    As a woman I am appalled by the ignorance, overreaction and out ofcontext treatment of this situation. But who cares as long as you get to impose onto this situation your own unresolved conflicts and use the man as your rage therapy punching bag. Grow up girls.

    • Rhonda

      Your thinking is exactly what is wrong with this crap. The girls he molested are victims and he is a sex offender, plain and simple. There is NO justification for what he did or how it was “handled”. That whole family is evil and disgusting and they do nothing but promote hate. They are the worst kind of hypocrites.

    • cfc

      You are welcome to your opinion but His SISTERS were as young as 4 or 5 and asleep while he was making these “making selfish juvenile decisions.” I have 13 and 15 year old nephews and they know what is wrong with touching your little sisters while they sleep… And his Father covered it up long enough to keep his precious son out of jail.

    • Valerie .Anderson

      Would you feel the same way if he made a ‘selfish juvenile decision’ and one of your daughters was the one he was abusing? Is it the crime of the century? No, it’s not, but it’s serious and it’s something that the Christian community in all its forms needs to examine and sort out.

      Also…what he did has nothing to do with homosexuality or homosexuals. Please try not to speak about something you clearly do not understand. And pulling the “As a woman I am appalled” card? Funny how others can do the same this. Frankly, I find it appalling that you think it’s okay that this was covered up and now you think it shouldn’t be discussed and people should not be outraged by it. The parents of those children made the decision to be on television and play their holier-than-thou games with the world…if they are being called on their hypocrisy, well, you reap what you sow, right?

      Last thing…at 14 he may not have had sound judgment but he most certainly was old enough to know it was wrong to touch his 4-year-old sister inappropriately.

      • Chuck Bryant

        What this has to do with homosexuals is that the entire clan has been tirelessly painting homosexuals as predators hell bent on raping your children. All while the actual predator is right there in the clan.

        • Valerie .Anderson

          I understand that – what I was getting to in my comment to MissyM was how among many conservative and/or fundamentalists it is common to equate homosexuality with pedophilia which is dishonest and incorrect, a tactic used in order to continue to paint gay folk as the evil Other. When she brought up homosexuality in her comment it underscored this tendency though I expect I did not express the correlation well. As I said in answer to be called a liar (by MissyM), when I am indignant I am not at my best.

          • missym

            You did lie. You claimed I said it was “Okay”, I never said that. That is called a lie. Would you like me to copy and paste where you said that or can you scroll up and read your own lie?
            Wait…you want to excuse it for being indignant…a poor judgment on your part. Sure, adult women who knows better than to lie but did so anyway and excuses it because she is indignant. Hmmm…someone knows not to do something but does it because they are in a state which induces or influences poor judgment. Saaaayyyy…isn’t that precisely what I brought out about 14 year old Josh Duggar but noooooooooo….he doesn’t get such a qualification. You all stink like the hypocrites you are. He was a kid. Good Lord. Get over yourselves.

      • Signs

        Agreed the concern should be with why they would be chosen by the media as a model family… if they knew this… they needed to divulge it immediately or step down that is where there are serious questions because it leads people astray. Right now many traditional Christians are being trailed so we need to question the validity and timing on this.

      • missym

        Thank you for being honest about the judgment capacity of a 14 year old, this ought to temper many of these arm chair jockeys. I have kids, I know my kids, I am not stupid and many of these sisters seem to be oblivious to the boundary learning teens go through.
        But to something you said that is not honest. You state above that I claim it was “okay”. I never said it was okay. You lied about that, I never said that. That makes you a liar. You should have better judgment as an adult.

        • Valerie .Anderson

          You are very quick about tossing out names. Calling me liar is hardly productive to any sort of discussion – I may have overstepped with the ‘you think it’s okay’ comment but I was not lying, I made an incorrect judgement call of my own and for that I will apologize—I usually know better than to put words in the mouths of others. When I become indignant I am rarely at my best.

          I think a lot of the outrage here has more to do with the fact that the parents (well, I suppose it was the father ) seemed to let it slide – and did very little to address the issue beyond sending him off to help a relative build an addition to his house. While it could just have been a bad decision on the (then) boy’s part, it seems unlikely since he did it more than once. He should have undergone some sort of therapy at very least with the elders of their church; sweeping it under the rug and not admitting the problem at all until there was no other choice. Not everyone who has a lapse in judgement at a young teenager goes on to continue pedophilic behavior later in life, but the odds are not terribly good that it will never happen again. Covering up the behavior helps no one. Not the boy, not his sisters and not the family who have been held up as exemplars of good Christian values.

          • missym

            Your lying about what I said is not only hardly productive but lying, but that seems to not matter to you. Typical hysterical personality type.

          • Valerie .Anderson

            Oh, yes. You know everything about me and feel that you can know what my personality type is and continue to call me a liar even after I admitted my mistake in assuming something about you (you know, like your assumption that I am an hysterical personality type). I tried to apologize for that assumption. So much for Christian forgiveness, I guess.

            Well, then, I shall hysterically be on my way since I see there is very little point in trying to discuss anything with you. Have a nice life and God bless you.

          • missym

            Oh, so now you make a “mistake”. Your offenses get to be mistakes, I see. Your violations of boundaries are “mistakes” but no one else’s, right? More irrationality and hypocrisy.

    • teacher2511

      As a woman and a survivor of abuse I am completely sickened by your thoughtless and callous words.What if it had been your 4 year old daughter, Hmm? I do think you’d be barking up a different tree. It wasn’t a “mistake” as you called it, it was a a felony, actually, multiple felonies. And this so called treatment he received, he was sent to help a family friend in Little Rock remodel a building, then he spoke to a state trooper (who happened to be a family friend) who gave him a “stern lecture”. This said trooper is now serving 57 years in the federal penitentiary for multiple child pornography charges. “Cop a feel” you lady are sickening and an embarrassment to the female population.

      • missym

        You, too, are a prime example of why hysteria prone people are not appropriate to weigh in on that matter. First you quote me as using the word “mistake” when the word does not appear in my comments so clearly you cannot read and retain.

        • JT

          You are the kind of person who would likely deny the validity of a rape victim by calling her “a hysterical female” to begin with.

    • AQ

      As a woman and a survivor of rape and sexual abuse, I am sickened and appalled that you would defend a rapist and those defending him–especially because Teh Ghayz.

      You, madame, are disgusting.

      • missym

        So in your hysteria you now lie and call the man who fondled some girls as a teen, a rapist? You’ve just demonstrated why people like you are not qualified to speak to such a matter, you’re irrational.

    • ginalex

      I wonder if the Duggars would say the same things, like “He was just a boy” or “he made some mistakes” or ” he was properly punished” if it was a homosexual, transgender and/or an atheist in the exact same situation? I wonder if they would be okay with the punishment that Josh received being doled out to gays or trans people who did exactly what Josh did?

    • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

      I find it very concerning that a fourteen year old putting his hands down his five year old sister’s pants is being brushed off a selfish juvenile decision with the suggestion that she is not a victim.

  • cfc

    Exactly what I have been thinking “Who’s looking out for the girls?” I have been wondering about that since I first heard about this show… always seemed the women and girls where controlled by the men and boys… Look at when the Adult daughters started dating they had to take one of there Much younger Brothers along to keep them pure…. That sounds a lot like the Taliban that is always reeled against by the Patriots in the USA.

  • http://patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts Susan Cottrell Freedhearts

    Erin: WONDERFUL article. Well done!! Great minds think alike. :-) “Jim Bob & Michelle said that God had worked this situation for good. I wonder if the abused girls feel the same way?” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2015/05/23/the-sneaky-deadly-lies-of-the-duggars-christianity/

  • Valerie .Anderson

    Considering such an enormous amount of value is placed upon ‘purity’ and the idea that a girl must come to her husband unsullied, that on top of the damage sexual abuse heaps upon the victims, they also have that layer of shame to contend with, courtesy of their parents’ religious beliefs.

    All you hear is sympathy for what the abuser is going through.(you reap what you sow, buddy. At 14 you may not have a great sense of control or the best comprehension of consequences, but you do know when you are doing something wrong) but I have yet to hear anything from the parents regarding the ordeal visited upon the victims.

  • Frank

    Sadly situations like this are found in many places, including different faiths and even atheists. It has nothing to do with Christianity or what some would label fundamentalism. Making it about that detracts and victimizes the victims again. Kinda shameful actually.

    • Al Cruise

      This has everything to do with fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism has a long history of a smug, arrogant, holier than thou attitude of pointing out the perceived faults of those who do not believe like they do. However when they get caught in sin they scream victimization. Throughout history they have used fundamentalism to justify the killing of those who they disagreed with. Even recently they have taught in their university that people of dark skin had the mark of Cain on them and are not the same value to God. That view is widespread among many fundamentalists today. They will do anything to maintain an image of morality and maintain the right judge others even unto death. All the while saying, they are just loving the sinner and hating the sin. However their sin should be forgiven immediately and without question.

      • Frank

        You are welcome to live within your bias. I’ll live in reality.

        • Al Cruise

          I can prove all my statements with fact and reality. The reality you live in consists of people who are, red moon watchers, snake dancers, end timers, left be-hinders, people who believe clothing bought at the second hand store is inhabited by demons, etc.

          • Frank

            You wouldn’t know fact from reality. Sad.

          • Al Cruise

            That’s your only response? You can’t disprove anything I said. Sucks to be caught in your own lies isn’t it?

          • Frank

            When you actually speak about something you have a clue about, something intelligently or anything compelling really except foolishness I will respond in a more intelligent or compelling way. Right now you are getting what you are putting out.

          • Wolf

            Don’t waste time, Al. This guy’s a troll. He’s been banned from other Patheos blogs so many times he has to use an autogenerated e-mail address just to sign up for Disqus.

          • Frank

            Yes it is pointless for a fool to waste his time with me.

          • otrotierra

            Note to Al and moderators of this blog: “Frank” has burned through multiple Disqus accounts due to getting banned multiple times at Patheos Christian blogs such as Susan Cottrell (banned at least TWICE), Kimberly Knight, John Shore, Benjamin Corey (banned at least TWICE), Mark Sandlin, Fred Clark, and others. Regular commenters at these blogs can tell you all you need to know about “Frank’s” hate-filled trolling.

            It is no surprise that “Frank” and other religious fundamentalists would invest their energy in defending a serial rapist who cowers behind religious fundamentalism.

      • Matt Poling

        Albert. . .Decaf.

      • lilycarol

        You meant”dark skin.”

        • Al Cruise

          Yes . Thanks fixed it.

    • Marianne Waters

      Thank you. You said it much shorter and sweeter than I did!

    • XxJUGxN0TxX

      Actually. we only know what the MEDIA has told us.

  • Matt Poling

    They have NINETEEN kids! And one (as a 14 year old!) did something very wrong–and then with the help of his amazing family changed! Show me the evidence that conservative Christian families (relative to others) raise abusive boys. Oh you can’t? That’s because the opposite is almost certainly the case. This is a slur. Bigotry pure and simple.

    • Erin Smallwood Wathen

      this isn’t really about ‘conservative Christian’ families. it is about fundamentalism, which can be rooted in any tradition. There’s a difference. Also, we don’t know that he ‘changed.’ We know what he is saying in the media…

      • Matt Poling

        Of course, there is a lot we don’t know. But that has not stopped the intolerant left from leveling any number of bizarre charges.

        • Jeff

          You mean the ‘bizarre charges’ that were detailed in the official police reports? Facts have always been the greatest enemy of you fundies.

          • Matt Poling

            No Jeff. I mean bizarre charges against Christians. Thank you for making my point.

    • AQ

      Found the rape-apologist!

      • Matt Poling

        There was no apology. And there was no rape. Otherwise a thoughtful response!

    • rozlee

      Did you read the story about the SIX homeschooled brothers who were just accused of raping their sister since she was 4? And some homeschooling. One kids couldn’t even write his name. charlotte.suntimes.com/clt-news/7/93/99269/four-six-brothers-plead-guilty-raping-sister-decade
      Not every homeschooled family in an evangelical setting will suffer from sexual abuse, but sexual repression has shown over and over again to create sexual neurosis which many times expresses itself in abnormal sexual behavior. And in a societal milieu, where males rule and women are subservient, sexual abuse is tolerated and in some cases, becomes institutionalized.

    • Jesus Bones

      This statement may or may not be true “Show me the evidence that conservative Christian families (relative to others) raise abusive boys.” but you do not know that for a fact. And the statement ” That’s because the opposite is almost certainly the case.” is just hokum! You are just a Fundamentalist apologist. The kid was sick in the head and they tried to hid it, Christian hypocrisy at it best! Come on! Nineteen kids, is not “normal” something weird and creepy going on !!!

    • Signs

      You are correct Matt but it is a mess because they were raise up as examples knowing this took place and pushed a purity line…we need to understand why this was done. Like the priest scandal in the Catholic Church we must question the leadership here. There has to be other families which did not have this issue and if they were honest from the beginning it would be a none issue. If we believe in God we also understand there is evil and what better way to take away faith then to set it up to fail.

  • AQ

    The answer is “no one, because the Duggars’ toxic belief system teaches that women are chattels who only serve two purposes.”

  • Marianne Waters

    “Because when these charges came to light the concern was not for the victims… but for the moral purity of the young man.”

    Who says there was not concern for the victims? How do you
    know that? In fact, I suspect there was great concern for the victims. If you
    watch the show carefully, you will notice that there are problems between Josh
    and Jim Bob. I have a feeling these problems are rooted in what happened to the
    girls.
    Sadly, sexual abuse happens in families across the board, from
    fundamentalist Christian to regular ole Christian to Islamists, to atheists and
    everyone in between. It happened in the Duggar family in spite of there
    religious beliefs and not because of them. It was a crisis for this family as it
    should have been. We don’t know that the girls were not taken care of
    appropriately. I would guess that they were as they seem to be well adjusted,
    healthy young women capable of entering into intimate relationships with young
    men today. Yes, I am concerned about whether Josh could be a true pedophile as
    opposed to a young teen whose raging hormones led him to something very wrong and harmful. As far as any of us know, it never happened again during the
    subsequent 13 years. We do not know and can not assume he is a danger to anyone.
    And let me ask this to the author, what would you have done had your 14 year old son molested your 10 or 12 year old daughters? Would you be rushing to call the police and have him locked up? Lets be honest. That would be a horrible dilemma for any parent.
    From what I can ascertain, the girls did speak up. One or more told their parents and the parents responded, and stopped it from recurring (from what we know)
    While I don’t agree with all the things the Duggar’s believe
    (their anti-gay beliefs for one) I see their daughters as strong women, able to
    more than hold their own in relation to men! (think Jessa) And in spite of
    traditional roles, I see a great respect and equality between Michelle and Jim
    Bob Duggar. (And who says there is anything wrong with traditional roles)
    “It’s important to recognize that this one instance (or this one perpetrator) reflects the heart of fundamentalism, and what it does to women, children, and other vulnerable parties. To that ridiculous statement I have one word “BALONEY” (I’m choosing a polite word instead of the one I’m thinking) Do some real soul searching and rethink your thesis Ms Wathen.

    • quietglow

      ” Would you be rushing to call the police and have him locked up?”

      Hey, uh.

      He was preying on younger kids. Kids he’d helped raise (which is a separate problem.) Kids who trusted him. Prison wouldn’t be helpful, but there are in fact juvenile programs for sex offenders who would keep him on the grounds and give him appropriate therapy. Having him sentenced to one of those would be a perfectly reasonable reaction to his fondling sleeping children. Probably the best one.

      Your difference between a “true pedophile” and a “hormonal teenager” is disgusting.

      His parents may have kept it from happening further within the family, but he had access to children outside the family. So actually they were irresponsible to the extreme.

  • XxJUGxN0TxX

    Looking out for the girls? The media does not care about those girls or they would have asked their permission to reopen old wounds. This story is disturbing and sad. We do not know if those girls received the care they needed, but they have definelty been thrown under the MEDIA BUS!

    • quietglow

      What if the parents had looked out for the girls by not putting their family under a constant media spotlight?

      • Lynn

        I thought this took place before they were on TV. Which is probably why Josh wasn’t shown too often in the home that I recall. No matter how much love his parents have for him, there must be a sense of relief when he moved out on his own.

  • Jeff

    Ray ‘Banana Man’ Comfort recently posted this on Facebook:

    “I saw that The Learning Channel dropped “19 Kids and Counting” from their line-up, so we dropped The Learning Channel from our personal lineup. If they change their minds, so will we.”

    So if the child molester is a born-again Christian, then he is to be supported at all costs, no questions asked. And what is it that evangelicals are always saying about non-Christians and their ‘moral relativism’?
    Anyone who would allow children to be around these vermin should receive an immediate psychiatric exam.

    • Lynn

      I STRONGLY agree, that it is VERY neglectful for anyone to allow their children to be around him or any other molester without strict and proper supervision.

    • lilycarol

      It’s a sarcastic page that makes fun of Ray Comfort, the rabid fundamentalist who would have probably really said this if he thought of it.

  • Lynn

    The questions being asked by this author have in may ways already been given. The police reports that were posted online stated that Josh did go away to some form of a rehab/retreat from March to July and that both Josh and the girls involved went through counseling. From what the police reports show, the matter was not ignored. The parents, being that they are the parents of both the victim and the criminal has the right to decide to press charges. I think it is fair to say that the parents felt the issue was being properly handled and addressed. Personally, I don’t know what efforts they made if any to make sure there was no way the situation could ever happen again. I don’t know the numerous family chats that took place with the girls either. I’d like to hope the girls were protected from the moment people became aware of the disgusting incidents. I’d like to hope these young women now have handled and coped with their past as best as humanly possible and that this being published for all to see does not trigger too much harm to these innocent victims.

    • Anne Weber-Falk

      Josh was sent to work for a church member/mentor/police detective that is now serving 56 years in prison for child pornography. He did not have any sort of rehab or treatment. They originally went to the church elders for advise and when he was caught commiting the acts again they went to this police detective friend from the church. Josh worked with him doing construction. It wasn’t until an email was sent to Harpo Studios warning them before an interview with the Duggars that the proper authorities were contacted, by Harpo people.

      • Signs

        This is why we must question why on Earth they would not disclose this in the beginning… it seems they built them up to fall…which is seriously messed up. If you are going to preach a strict purity code, knowing you have a giant in the closet, it is very dishonest. So like the Catholic Church the faithful suffer from the leadership. My concern is whether it is purposeful. Shows such as the Amish Mafia, lead people to believe untruths about the real Amish. One questions what the purpose of these shows are if from the start they deceive?

  • sketchesbyboze

    I largely agree with the argument of this post, and I’m no fan of fundamentalism, but I wouldn’t call the People’s Temple a fundamentalist cult. Jim Jones attracted a significant number of wealthy and cultured people with a utopian vision that was remarkably progressive. He preached equality for blacks and women and devoted much of his time to works of social justice in Indiana and later in California. His denomination was nominally Pentecostal, but it wasn’t fundamentalist by any stretch. Jones himself believed passionately in socialism. (Again, I say this as someone who’s sympathetic to socialist ideas).

    • Erin Smallwood Wathen

      There is such a thing as liberal fundamentalism too though… another post maybe!

    • kagil

      ITA Jim Jones was an atheist. He was egalitarian. It really doesn’t belong in this article. The whole thing was SOLD to the public as a charismatic religious leader misleading his congregation. Don’t drink that kool-aid either.

      • Mike Fry

        There are all kinds of fundamentalism. It is a term that does not necessarily correlate to Christianity… Jim Jones wanted to in effect, replace God with himself in the minds of his followers. That is about as fundamentalist as you can get!

      • sketchesbyboze

        Yes, Jones’ personal beliefs were atheist. He presented himself to his congregation as a religious believer, though by the time they moved to Jonestown he had effectively declared himself God.

  • gapaul

    I share the outrage, I guess, but I wonder why we can’t read more general treatments about what this means and what we can learn from it. Does anyone know the mechanism that would allow a 14 year old boy to brooch such a clear taboo? What had to happen in one’s psychological/sexual development? (I suspect experts know, but the rest of us are swimming around in a swamp of assumptions.) The truth is that incest between siblings isn’t common, but it happens. And presumably in families that are not fundamentalist.
    I don’t think fundamentalism “explains” his behavior. It explains the way it was dealt with by his parents and religious community,– as a garden variety sin, not indicative of a disorder. How many millions of times do we repeat, “rape is a crime of power, not sex.,” recognizing that the way we label and understand things matters. Whatever this is, I is more than a simple story about a 14 year old boy who did something icky.

    • Barb Winslow

      I think fundamentalism exactly explains his behavior! The God of the Bible encouraged rape of women and girls repeatedly throughout the book. Talk about a double standard! http://www.evilbible.com/Rape.htm

      • http://alenabelleque.com/ Alena Belleque

        No God did not! Other travesties, yes. But not that. No, I haven’t yet figured out how to grapple with what it does say about Him, and it sucks, but please at least get your facts straight.

        • Mike Fry

          Well, to be perfectly clear, many followers (especially the fundamentalists) of the Bible believe it to be the literal word of God. So, since the Bible says those things. That is why Barb said, “The God of the Bible.” If you don’t believe God wrote those words about rape, murder, etc. then you have to understand that humans wrote the Bible and that *if* there is a God, s/he is probably nothing like what is described in much of that book.

      • Signs

        Clearly truth is not important to you if you would reference this…as for your “quiver full” experience the out of wedlock part might clue you into the relationship the group has to God. Please read some apologetics and look at the words in the context of the times. More importantly pray for Him to take the scales from your eyes so you may see the messages within His Word….people have died for that Word and sadly will again… because we forget our history and we distort our truth.

  • Barb Winslow

    Years ago I was part of a cult in Montana which was very similar to the Duggars’ cult. I had had one child “out of wedlock” and a few years later had to have a hysterectomy. I had left the cult by then, and one day saw the man they had chosen for me to marry on the street, and he castigated me for having the procedure to save my life because, “Sister, you could have filled the quiver of the man the Lord chose for you”.
    That’s all women are good for to these jackasses.
    I am no longer in any contact with these idiots, am in fact an anti-theist, and happier than I’ve ever been, but I could tell you stories…..

  • ginalex

    What I wonder is, will the Department of Social Services open up an investigation to see if those kids are in any danger, either the siblings of Josh or his own kids? If they investigated that family who let their kids simply walk down the street by themselves and put them on probation, then surely the Duggars merit a visit from the DSS, right?

    • Jimmie Mack

      No unless he is reported for something. What he did was a juvenile offense and there is no longer a record of it.

      • ginalex

        I wish you were wrong, no offense, but I think you are correct. That sucks.

  • Jimmie Mack

    What
    does this have to do with Christian fundamentalism? You not only
    condemn the whole Duggar family but any Christian who takes their faith
    seriously. I wonder if patheos would attack fundamentalist Islam the
    same way. No probably not. Because they are leftist hacks!

    • rozlee

      Fundamentalist Islamist are leftist hacks? They believe being gay is a sin, that women should be submissive to men, that government should be ruled by religion and that women shouldn’t be allowed access to artificial birth control. Sounds like they have more in common with right-wing religious Christians fundamentalists to me.

      • Jimmie Mack

        There is never any attacks on so called muslims. As far as right wing goes. This nation was in better shape before Christians got too tolerant of the intolerant tolerant left. I for one have had enough of liberals period especially, the hypocritical nonsense. By the way why no outrage over Lena Dunham who said last fall she molested her sister. I tell you why. Because she is an atheist and liberal. Liberals love their own and will defend them until the end…..Just look at how Bill and Hilary are close friends with a pedo but no one talks about it….Hmm

        • rozlee

          Lena Dunham is Jewish. And she was accused of being a pedophile at…7? When she peeped into her sister’s vajajay because the 4-year-old had been putting pebbles up into it? Seven is a far cry from being an adolescent 14 year old that is capable of sexual intercourse and reproduction. You must have a twisted view of sexuality yourself if you consider a child that age a sexual being capable of sexual response.

        • David S.

          This nation was in better shape when? Give me a year so we can talk about the horrific shit that went down then.

          There’s attacks on Muslims all the time. Sam Harris is writing a new book on Islam. But, guess what, a lot of bloggers are more interested in what’s going down in their own country, and Islam in the US tends to be the religion of a small, fairly boring minority.

          If you think there was no outrage over Lena Dunham, you weren’t paying attention. Of course groups protect their own; notice how you and people like you are running around attacking everyone but the Duggars on this thread and others like it.

        • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

          Another Walsh minion, I see.

    • Mike Fry

      “What does this have to do with Christian fundamentalism?” Really? Did you read the article? I thought it was well explained.

      I will expound on some of the key points… Christan fundamentalists generally have very rigid ideas of gender roles. I believe this goes to the heart of their issues with gay people. Any person who does not neatly fit into the fundamentalist idea of the “right” kind of man or woman is automatically bad, wrong, whatever. Gay men don’t fit. They are weak for assuming some of the female roles. And, ya know, since women are inferior to men, and are supposed to be subservient to them, well, a man that would take on any part of woman’s work is… well… not worthy.

      Similarly, women who take on the male roles are pushy, arrogant, aggressive, etc., etc…

      Underlying the Duggar scandal and the fundamentalist habitual bashing of gays is the idea that men are more powerful and important than women; that girls really don’t count; and that, fundamentally (pun intended) they operate in a constant mode of survival, because no human can actually live up to the standards these fundamentalists apply to others. They are habitually operating with a lot of secrets, and with their wagons circled.

      So, when the parents learn the girls are being molested, the important thing is to cover it up, keep it hush-hush and not really do the right thing. This is no different than how the Catholic Church handled their own child molestation scandal.

      This was a very well-written piece and spot-on.

      • Signs

        Incest, rape, murder, adultery, theft…have no boundaries among mankind…it is ridiculous to attack fundamentalism for it and even more ridiculous to bring up homosexuality which has no baring on this case although it inserts itself into every waking moment of existence these days…question why this channel chose this family knowing what happened…that is the only question that needs answering…

      • Jimmie Mack

        NO it well explained. First of all the catholic church allowed homosexuals in the 1960s to become priest. The aids death rate for priests is alarming. most of the priest it has been proven were gay who molested the boys. I know the media does not like to admit it, but it was true. Further, the catholic church turned to leftist theology in the 60s which is why the church is so fragmented today. Second, there are differing views on women in leadership in the church. I know of several CONSERVATIVE Evangelical female pastors. Third, the fundamentalist belief system is how I was reared and I am thankful for it. I am now more of a Charismatic Christian but still a follower of Christian orthodoxy which is truth and really in my view the only true truth as G. K. Chesterton might say. Finally, the article was bigoted. To paint a whole group of people even a whole family as stupid or crazy is foolish. personally, I think liberals have mental problems. But I still dont pigeon hole them all.

    • Jesus Bones

      Fundamentalism in the Abrahamic religions, Judaism,Christianity and Islam are the cause of much strife,conflict and hostility between them selves an others for millennia,They are apocalyptic, prophesying the complete destruction of the world with intense and eager enjoyment! The Bible and Koran are the source of this abuse and exploitation, oppression and control is what fundamentalism is all about! The fountainhead of these perverted beliefs are their scriptures with there sociopathic tribalism and literal interpretation of scripture!! Christian fundamentalist are the Christian Taliban,worshiping the same sick deity the God of Abraham! I learned the hard way, so take heed with these people! Bear in mind “There is nothing to be gained by believing an untruth, but there is everything to lose!” Lose your God and gain your humanity!

      • Signs

        Hysterical… when you consider the warring nations of natives which practiced canabalism…you’re right all the pagan nations never had hostility issues…Sparta anyone? How many Christian missionaries killed? Most were killed in the process of seeking peace…rewrite history then…lose God and gain humanity? Yes deny Him and He will deny you.

        • Jesus Bones

          I will grant you, that men have been killing in the name of pagan “gods” for a long time, but two wrongs don’t make a right. The Big three Judaism,Christianity and Islam where and are by far the pinnacle of religious deviance apocalyptic Armageddon is their goal and you know it to be true or your not a Christian. So we come to how many did the Christian missionaries kill through out the old world and new world, millions and they did not come in peace, but with sword and cannon and disease! So now we get to the practiced cannibalism Priests exercise their power to change bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ by repeating at the Consecration of the Mass the words of Christ: “This is My body . . . this is the Cup of My blood.” So yes I deny Elaha the “god” of Abraham and any other Godan out there and I’ll repeat “There is nothing to be gained by believing an untruth, but there is everything to lose!” Lose your God and gain your humanity!

          • Valerie Finnigan

            So you don’t believe religious people are human. What does that make you?

          • Jesus Bones

            Understanding and dignity to “All” with out condemnation and compassion, charity and mercy, the things that Christians preach but do not practice. Christians will only be human when they become fully aware that they are no more significant then all others humans.You can never be fully human when you live literally, by a myth and can not face life with out religion as a crutch.Your religion deceives you with false ideas of eternal life and forgiveness, humans are not eternal by definition and only humans can forgive other humans. The quality of being a humane you can never truly have, until you have only one life to live. I’ll repeat “There is nothing to be gained by believing an untruth, but there is everything to lose!” Lose your God and gain your Humanity!

          • Frank

            How embarrassing for you.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            In other words, rather than admit your bigotry, you’re doubling down on it. Lose your bigotry. Scientifically, the only requirement for being human is to be a living organism of the species homo sapiens.

            Furthermore, proving you don’t rely on logic very well, is your accusation that all Christians preach but don’t practice charity, mercy, et cetera. And you don’t show the mercy you demand of others when you deny people’s very humanity.

            Do you know what people who deny others’ humanity tend to do?! Read a history book. “They’re subhuman” has been an excuse for every genocide ever attempted.

            Furthermore, I like proof. You cannot prove that a human being cannot move on to an eternal afterlife. The definition of a human being says nothing about the possibility or lack thereof.

            Finally, as a person with a disability, I currently have a hard time functioning without crutches. You seem to think the need for a crutch makes someone somehow not human, which is repulsive. I don’t deny that religion is a crutch, but I don’t think that crutches are bad things, nor does the need for them make someone not human. Rather, the need for a crutch proves we’re not all-powerful gods. Only a megalomaniac would think he’s perfect and needs nothing to lean on.

        • Jesus Bones

          Ritual cannibalism every Sunday!!!!

        • Jesus Bones

          I will grant you, that men have been killing in the name of pagan “gods” for a long time, but two wrongs don’t make a right. The Big three Judaism,Christianity and Islam where and are by far the pinnacle of religious deviance apocalyptic Armageddon is their goal and you know it to be true or your not a Christian. So we come to how many did the Christian missionaries kill through out the old world and new world, millions and they did not come in peace, but with sword and cannon and disease! So now we get to the practiced cannibalism Priests exercise their power to change bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ by repeating at the Consecration of the Mass the words of Christ: “This is My body . . . this is the Cup of My blood.” So yes I deny Elaha the “god” of Abraham and any other Godan out there and I’ll repeat “There is nothing to be gained by believing an untruth, but there is everything to lose!” Lose your God and gain your humanity!

      • Stevie D

        Wow, excellent post. You have my respect Michael,

      • Jimmie Mack

        You mean lose God and my soul. not interested. I am in a relationship with Jesus Christ and thus alive more then ever because of my faith in Him. I have seen the move of God in my life and it is undeniable. Once one experiences the truth that is Jesus Christ all else pails in comparison! I would not trade it for anything!

        • Jesus Bones

          So be it !

    • David S.

      It takes a hell of a hack to conflate, ignorantly or willfully, Patheos with its wide array of bloggers. Bloggers on Patheos range all over the political and religious spectrums, and they go after Islam all the time.

      • Erin Smallwood Wathen

        I don’t think any Patheos writers “go after” Islam. Islamic Extremism, maybe, but that is very different. This is an interfaith forum, for respectful cross-cultural dialogue. That said–I will embrace ‘leftist hack’ if that means I am for women’s voices and LGBT equality, and economic justice. I assume that’s what he’s talking about 😉

  • Concourse D

    Serious question for the author: How does this compare to Lena Dunham’s sexual escapades with her little sister as described in her book? Similar? Unrelated?

    • Erin Smallwood Wathen

      i haven’t read the book, but from what I do know, I’d say it is a related conversation…but not the same thing.

      • Concourse D

        Thanks for the response. I, too, have only read secondhand articles myself, so we’re in the same boat. With that in mind, can you elaborate a little? How is it related in your opinion, and how is it different?

    • Stephanie Reckart

      I would say unrelated, but then I also have only read second hand accounts. From my understanding she was seven years old. I think she was a curious kid. There is a huge difference between a seven year old and a fourteen year old.

      • Valerie Finnigan

        The damage can be just the same.

  • http://www.churchformen.com/ David Murrow

    So quick to cast the first stone, aren’t we?

    • Al Cruise

      Something the fundamentalists have been doing for a long long time. Anyone who was not like them, they stoned with ferocity . Your comment, is so typical of how a fundie responds in these situations.

      • http://www.churchformen.com/ David Murrow

        It’s so obvious fundamentalism is the cause. Theological liberals never raise wayward children, do they?

        • Al Cruise

          Yes theological liberals have raised wayward children . Fundamentalists have enjoyed a privileged place in society for a long time right back with the era of slavery and then into the years of Jim Crow, and now into the era of right wing tea party politics. Being quick to cast the first stone was taken as a God given right for them. Now a little push back is occurring, and they scream foul. Maybe go clean up your own back yard first.

        • Jesus Bones

          It’s about the cover up! Nobody knows who and where a person will become a deviant, but it the hypocrisy, that’s going to get the fundamentalist because they have strict beliefs to uphold so when one becomes a deviant they resort to deception, just as the Roman Catholic Church did with their deviants!

    • F.Jaime

      So quick to cover up for a criminal, aren’t you?

    • David S.

      The Duggars made mass political phone calls calling gay people child molesters. It’s amazing how stones need to withheld only when they’re pointed back, justly, at the Duggars.

  • Amir GTR

    Erin,

    I fully agree with the notion that religious fundamentalism creates horrible results. My dad side’s family was religiously fundamentalist, so I know first hand.

    HOWEVER, anti-fundamentalists (by definition) root for open-mindedness towards vastly unpopular ideas. A great example is homosexuality, which until recently was extremely unacceptable. Lowering the age of consent is another one. Incest is another one.

    I would imagine you, like any reasonable person, would root for living by less extremist conservative ideas. Which to me is an acceptable stance. But you are not against conservatism, as you clarified. You are against fundamentalism: the inability and unwillingness to stray from an established rule. By condemning the behavior of Josh, you are actually being a fundamentalist.

    DURRR SO WHAT INCEST IS OKAYY??! No, not at all what I am saying.

    What I am really saying is, being a fundamentalist does not define any particular agenda, but rather one’s flexibility with their agenda. If you have a problem with fundamentalism itself, you cannot criticize it while being a fundamentalist.

    You CAN criticize fundamentalism by saying that the results of such a system clearly go against its very own premise, therefore this system is flawed. This is a valid and rational argument.

    You CAN NOT make a case against a behavior that is considered wrong based on a fundamentalist idea, and condemn the system that causes it. Because that itself is a clear example of enforcing fundamentalism, which is what you are trying to criticize.

    I think you should have focused your attention more towards “Religious Fundamentalism” rather than “Fundamentalism” itself. That seems to be the focus of your criticism.

    You should have also made a better case for why the behavior was abusive and punishable, rather than relying on fundamentalism. I saying this because this specific behavior seems to be the main basis of your criticism of fundamentalism practiced by this family, and I think you need to better establish why it is a bigger deal than what they make it seem.

  • blondemama

    “This is what comes of fundamentalism”?! How ignorant! Its not racism, but its along the same ignorant line of thinking. One fundamentalist kid does a very wrong thing 13 years ago and now you write this rant-like article condemning ALL fundamentalists using ONE KID as justification?? This kind of blanket generalization is asinine. Completely ludicrous. This is the kind of thinking that promotes hate and its purpose is only to rile people up and get them to jump on your hate filled bandwagon.
    What he did was wrong. It has nothing to do with his religion.
    It was wrong regardless of his religion. Period.
    This article is a fine example of someone trying to stir the pot. Using a shyt spoon.

    • http://aimaiameye.blogspot.com/ Aimai

      Fundamentalism protected Josh from the consequences of his actions, and Fundamentalism condemned his sisters to being treated as a problem to be hushed up, not full participants in their own lives.

  • Katey

    What no one seems to understand is that in the case of the Duggars – like so many others – we are talking about siblings. Family. People who are and forever will be part of you. The consequences of saying anything to anyone are so painful. And all this talk of criminal prosecution and social services investigations will only make more kids keep quiet. The silence – the s walling down of the guilt and shame of the abuse, the confusion and the anger – that’s the real prison sentence. I know because I was abused by a sibling when I was 12. I forgave them, but I could never talk about it. Not ever. I loved them. I couldn’t bear the thought of hurting my family. The shame was almost insurmountable. And if I thought for one second my sibling would go to jail or a social worker would take her away….well, that would have been unthinkable.

    For all that I dislike the hypocrisy of the Duggars, somehow they learned the truth. Whether Josh told them or one of the girls, they found out early. And they did what most parents who love their kids – the perpetrators and the victims – would do. They took advice. They asked for help. They got help. We might not agree with the content, but thye did something! And they kept the family together.

    I’ve read that 95% of kids under 16 who sex ally offend against someone and get counseling do not reoffend or grow up to be pedophiles. The answer, in most cases, is not criminalizing kids but in helping kids and their families heal.

    • http://www.morgaineswann.com/ MorgaineSwann

      That’s nonsense. The recidivism rate for pedophiles – and that’s what he is – is nearly 100%. It doesn’t just go away with counseling or prayer. He ought to be locked up.

      • Katey

        I think you will find that to be classed as pedophilia the offender must be 16 years or older with a predilcition for pre-pubescent children. Josh Dugger was 14. I am not sure if his victims were pre or post pubescent. Probably both. Nor am I suggesting that the “counseling” either Josh or the girls received was adequate. It sounds appalling. What I am saying is that it is complicated and by saying that he – and other young people like him – should be locked up, you ensure that victims will stay silent. You hurt more victims than you help.

        If the perpetrator were an adult, my response would be different.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      For what it’s worth, sadly, I know exactly how you feel.

    • http://aimaiameye.blogspot.com/ Aimai

      They kept the family together? And they kept exploiting the family in public something that nearly ensured that the family secret would come out and the girls would be forced to relive it. In addition the girls have seen that their offender was promoted within the family and in the family business, while they have been forced to continue to live in a fake purdah created by their family’s obsession with sexuality and fear of sexual feelings outside of marriage. They have not received an education or the chance to work outside the home because the family is hysterically protecting some notion of their purity and their virginity as the most important thing about them. While at the same time encouraging Josh to go ahead and marry and have children with a wife to whom he has not been honest–putting in danger his own children.

    • F.Jaime

      B.S.! They took him to a cop who was a personal friend. They knew what would happen: nothing! They sent him to a therapy center set up by another fundamentalist pervert. They only cared about their reputation. To them, the girls never mattered.

  • Roger Horst

    Color me stupid if you wish, but the author, Erin Wathen makes a bewildering invective attempting to connect and subsequently condemn fundamentalism as being the cause of this young man’s sin. I fell off the back of the truck at the first turn. What this man’s sin proves is that he is a sinner in need of a Saviour just the same as myself, just the same as Erin Wathen. The fact that he sinned only serves to prove that he strayed from his fundamental beliefs. He certainly did not act out as a consequence of them, or acquiesce to them. In the end, I am just perplexed and left wondering about Erin’s own agenda. Several of her statements may lend a clue. Erin’s fusillade against fundamentalism early on segues to conservatism. “Conservatism in belief does not ALWAYS (emphasis mine) amount to abusive behavior.” This is a loaded statement which may be a window to Erin’s own belief system or dare I say, fundamentalism?

    • Stevie D

      Yeah, you’re right; your colour is stupid. Deep, deep stupid.

      • Applestar

        *applauds*

      • Elyse Frances Enger

        Your colours are the darkest shade of idiotic.

    • F.Jaime

      Stupid doesn’t begin to describe you.

  • JollyTexan

    Wow, you didn’t research your “story” very well. They’ve stated the girls all got counseling. That was a very easy fact to check.

    • Barbara Tillman

      Actually, the girls themselves, during their interviews with the investigator (Taylor) never spoke of counseling for themselves, although four of them said they forgave him, one said she didn’t trust him, and all indicated that Josh went away for counseling. You would think they would have mentioned the “fact” if it happened. They were pretty forthcoming about what was done to them…

    • Erin Smallwood Wathen

      the kind of ‘counseling’ they got, however, is up for discussion…

    • F.Jaime

      Really? WHERE?

  • Al Cruise

    The question that needs answering is why this father took his family into this situation. As a fundamentalist, that made him the head of the household and the final decision maker of all things regarding his family. He demonstrated very poor stewardship as a father, knowing what his son had done as a teenager and then allowing his family to be taken into the spotlight in a reality TV show. He should have kept his family out of the spotlight and concerned himself with the well being of his children and their spiritual wellness, knowing what had taken place. Not realizing what can happen in the world of TV land because of your lust for stardom is a sign of extreme spiritual immaturity. He just revictimized his children. The blame rests squarely on his shoulders.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      Denial is an all too typical reaction parents have to finding out one child is committing crimes against siblings. Too often, parents of abused children do nothing at all because of that. Or it could be because they simply don’t know what to do, wanting no further harm to come to victims, but also wishing to avoid what harm might befall a child they turn in. From what I’ve read, though, the Duggars handled this better than a lot of other families. Somebody told the parents relatively quickly. They sought counseling for everyone involved, removed Josh from the home for a bit, and even went to the state police (though the officer handling the investigation was himself a criminal). Most perps get nothing, and most victims get no justice and no help of any kind until- sometimes years later- things reach absolute crisis level and/or the victim finally feels it’s safe to tell someone.

      • http://aimaiameye.blogspot.com/ Aimai

        They went to a pedophile state police officer because he was a personal friend and was not going to actually do anything to Josh but give him a lecture. There is no merit to this action and never was. If anything, the fact that this close personal friend was a covert pedophile and child abuser who wound up being given a multi year prison sentence for his abuse of children should reveal to you that the Duggars, for all their bragging and posturing and public praying, are horrendous judges of character.

        • https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=UUwbGJwCdp96FKSLuWpMybxQ Lee Rudolph

          the Duggars, for all their bragging and posturing and public praying, are horrendous judges of character.

          You’re really being very charitable to them, there. I think that they chose this fine fellow precisely because they judged his character perfectly. (What they didn’t judge perfectly was that he’d get caught. Can’t win them all!)

          • http://aimaiameye.blogspot.com/ Aimai

            Well, you are absolutely right about that Lee Rudolph. I was thinking the same thing. I wonder how many of the other “elders” and friends of their church they took Josh too have similar histories? And I think that people are being way, way, too kind to Father Duggar. Josh didn’t just spontaneously develop his interest in little kids. You have to wonder about whether he was abused himself, and whether the other kids have been abused by other family friends or the parents (aside from the abuse they have suffered being produced like cattle and marketed for th eparent’s advancement.)

          • Valerie Finnigan

            Idle speculation will not get at the truth. A lot of sexual abuse is committed by people who weren’t abused.

            Also, being a part of a large family or even a very large family does not mean children are abused. That you assume a couple produces children “like cattle” reveals that you judge fertility and the choice to eschew birth control as abuse.

            By the way, the Duggars were already a very large family long before they got a TV show, so you can’t say they had all their kids for their own advancement.

          • http://aimaiameye.blogspot.com/ Aimai

            You know, I really think your argument is beside the point. The parents knew their 14 year old son was sexually abusing their other minor children and they attempted to marry him off to another 14 year old girl. In the meantime they took their children onto tv and marketed them as a novelty act. That’s just the fact. The society makes fun of the Kardashians, and Honey Boo Boo for doing the exact same thing. I don’t see why the Duggars are exempt from the harsh reality that they profited off marketing the image of their family as wholesome, while covering up the reality that the parents both failed to know what their child molester son was up to and while leading a movement that literally threatened death and social exile to people they whose morals they had the nerve to disagree with.

        • Valerie Finnigan

          And what do you know about abuse within families?

      • Applestar

        No they did not handle this quickly or effectively. In fact, quite the opposite, which is why there is so much outrage. Well, one of the many reasons.

        • Valerie Finnigan

          And your basis for comparison is..? I’ve known too many kids (myself included) who got zilch for help- indeed could not even work up the courage to report abuse for years. We didn’t get counseling. We didn’t get any apologies. We did get slut shamed, gaslighted, accused of overreacting, and victim blamed, though, and that was if we were lucky enough for someone to acknowledge that anything inappropriate happened to us at all.

          That Josh Duggar even got a “talking to” is much more than what happens to way too many abusers.

      • F.Jaime

        No, they didn’t. The father took him to a cop who is now in prison for kiddie porn and then sent HIM, not the girls, to a therapy center. Said therapy center was led by a man who later had to resign because he was found to be grooming children for abuse.

    • Irfan M. Khan

      Is it money/fame/hits?

  • lizzysimplymagic

    “Fundamentalism is not something alien, ‘out there,’ to be feared and guarded against. It is something that can well up within any of us, because it results from very human conditions: faith and fear.”

    http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma/fundament.html

    • Irfan M. Khan

      I don’t think so.

    • Stevie D

      Bizarre

  • Valerie Finnigan

    Fundamentalism is not why people violate their religious beliefs. (And yes, regardless of one’s outlook toward women, looking at someone lustfully would be a violation of even Fundamentalist Christianity.) As a Catholic (and Catholics are not Christian Fundamentalists), I know that Fundamentalism has nothing to do with why some priests (a smaller percentage than that of the general population, by the way) violate their vows of celibacy and abuse their authority in such horrendous fashion. Catholicism has nothing to do with it, too. You can’t blame a religion for people doing exactly what it forbids.

    You ask “What about the girls?” That is a valid question. I’m not a Fundamentalist, but I highly doubt attacking the religion in which they were raised is going to help. You may not agree with or even like it, but for all you know, it could be a source of comfort for them.

    What about the girls? Has anyone who’s judging the family even talked to the girls?

    • Peter J. Kraus

      Cults are not religions. Cults benefit the desires of the cult leader and the desire for leadership of the followers, people who have a problem facing life head-on and taking responsibility for their actions.

    • ginalex

      Well, I disagree that it’s not about fundamentalism, however, I’d go so far as to say it is more about brainwashing, which happens in these cults. I mean, yes, brainwashing could happen in a non-religious group, but more often than not it’s done in a religious group.

    • Erin Smallwood Wathen

      Valerie–fundamentalism can be present within any form of belief. While not all Catholics are fundamentalists, I think it is a certain kind of conservatism, and a certain power structure that comes with it, that kept victims silent for so many years. As far as talking with the girls… I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, I think their voices should be heard. On the other hand, they should be given privacy and dignity; and i doubt that dragging them round the talk show circuit would do them any good.

      • Valerie Finnigan

        No, Catholics are not Christian Fundamentalists. Fundamentalism goes by an extremely literal interpretation of the Bible that the Catholic Church does not teach.

        And I’m not saying to haul the ladies on the talk show circuit. Just that anyone presuming to advocate for them should have a word with them before risking reopening wounds they just might prefer to keep left alone. Telling the world how awful their religion is to them and how their brother is an evil pervert who should be in prison without asking them how they feel first both denies the ladies their privacy and dignity and their voice.

        In other words, it doesn’t help to speak for people when you don’t even know how they feel or even if they want anyone to speak for them. Most of the ladies are now adults and can speak for themselves if they want. They are certainly capable of saying yes or no. Before risking reopening old wounds in the potentially septic environment that is our media, especially when it comes to cases in which a person’s right to give or withhold consent has been violated, perhaps we should ask for their consent.

    • http://aimaiameye.blogspot.com/ Aimai

      One of the issues in this story is that the social and political position of the Duggar family prevented social services from being called in at an appropraite time. The family, in its arrogance and its privilige, decided that it would sweep the molestation under the rug and simply send Josh away until the scandal died down. Nothing was done for the girls, our could be done for the girls, because of the family’s strong interest in preserving its marketing brand. This is not the fault of people commenting on the situation now. Its the fault of the Duggars and their enablers in their own community. If they had been a poor family, or a family without social position, social services would have been called in immiediatly and the children might have been removed from the house and given foster care and therapy.

      • Valerie Finnigan

        The scandal hadn’t even erupted until a few days ago. Josh was sent away not because of any scandal, but simply because of what he’d done. This happened before there was any TV show, before there was any “marketing brand.”

        Do you realize that fear of tearing apart families is one reason victims are reluctant to report abuse? Do you really think splitting a family up in foster care or sending an abuser to total strangers who might have other children be a great idea? And how do you expect children to willingly risk all the fallout when they’re conflicted between a desire for justice and love even for an abusive sibling and the desire to keep the family together?

        Oh, and removing victims from a house with an abusive sibling could be the worst thing to do, particularly if there are other siblings in the house. Many children in such situations wish to stay, having designated themselves protectors of their younger siblings.

        • http://aimaiameye.blogspot.com/ Aimai

          Sure, its complex and there is no one size fits all solution but, of course, Josh was the eldest and had certainly not “designated himself his younge sibling’s protector.” And it was not simply the siblings at risk from Josh but girls from outside the family.

          Also: if you think the scandal hadn’t errupted you haven’t been following the saga of this family–there were widespread rumors about this years ago.

          Another thing to consider when considering the culpability of the family w/r/t the young victims is that Jim Bob, during his failed Senate run, had of course advocated for the execution of rapists and those guilty of incest–but suddenly when one of his own family members is literally guilty he hushes the entire thing up. If it was bad policy when applied to his own family why was it good policy when pushed on others as a public policy stance? If he and his family refused to report the literal violation of their own daughters and a friend’s child by their son why should anyone else be required to? Why have police and social workers at all?

          • Valerie Finnigan

            But they didn’t fail to report it. The investigation was messed up beyond salvaging, but there was a report, which is more than what happens to most abusers.

            Widespread rumors happen about all people who have “too many” children, don’t have any children, aren’t interested in any relationship at all, and so forth simply because ours is a society that thinks anyone not married with no more or less than 1.8 children scheduled precisely three years apart are deviants, we’re not very good at minding our own business, and we’ve suspended presumed innocence and due process in favor of trial by social media. Rumors have a knack for being baseless and false- certainly unworthy of trust. And no Christian should heed or spread them. Nor should they lynch a whole family in the name of “protecting” some of its members, who may not have even asked for this intrusive and ultimately useless kind of “help.”

          • http://aimaiameye.blogspot.com/ Aimai

            They reported it to a family friend, who was a pedophile himself although technically a mandated reporter. They reported it and then, because they had “reported it” and despite nothing being done, the statute of limitations ran out and none of the girls–not even the non family member girl–were entitled to have their complaint heard or investigated.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            If you don’t like hyperbole, perhaps you should avoid using it. The trooper who botched the investigation is in prison for possession of child pornography. It is terrible, but it is not precisely the same as pedophilia.

          • http://aimaiameye.blogspot.com/ Aimai

            How is possession of child pornography not a symptom of pedophilia? Do people who are not pedophiles collect child pornography? What a bizarre assertion.

          • http://aimaiameye.blogspot.com/ Aimai

            I object to your hysterical and ridiculous use of hyperbole. No one is “lynching” this family–on the contrary, if anything, as I’ve pointed out this family has been in the forefront of fomenting violent laws interfereing with other people. People only suspected of rape and incest were the targets of Jim Bob’s politicking to get into the Senate. People in consensual gay relationships were and are the target of Michelle and of Josh in his sinecure at their family foundation.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            So if you don’t like hyperbole, don’t use any yourself.

          • http://aimaiameye.blogspot.com/ Aimai

            No one is lynching this family. To say so is absurd and an insult to the many people who were lynched. Again: Jim Bob advocated for the execution of people found guilty of rape or incest. His wife opposed civil rights for gay people. Far from being lynched by mere public comment on their very public lives–Josh confessed, publicly, remember–Jim Bob and his wife have engaged in public attacks on other people and have called for the deaths of some of those people and all for political gain.

    • SkippyFlipjack

      No, you can’t blame a religion for people doing what it forbids, but you can question a religion that seeks to prevent normal human behavior. Sex is part of being human. Forcing priests to abstain from sex entirely results in some seeking illicit outlets. The Duggars preach absolute abstinence and look where it’s gotten Josh. His classmates were experimenting with kissing at 14 but he was forbidden — by his religion and his parents — from exploring these urges and instead molested his sisters while they slept. That is absolutely a valid discussion to stem from this.

      • Valerie Finnigan

        Then, yes, actually, you are blaming religion for people violating its rules by calling its rules unreasonable. Like we’re all bonobos with no control over our instincts.

        A prohibition on exploring urges until an appropriate time includes prohibiting messing around with siblings.

        By the way, sexual abuse happens even in families where there’s no prohibition of kissing, et cetera.

  • W Kumar

    As an Evangelical (though more liberal than most), I have mixed feelings about this. First, I find the actions of the Duggars to be dishonest and offensive for many reasons. To claim to be a moral example not only for the world, but for Christians as a whole, and then hide something like this, is beyond corrupt. I never liked the belief system the Duggars pushed on their show (I believe it to cultish and I am surprised that so many Evangelicals would support them even though some of their Biblical interpretations are not orthodox), so a part of me is not surprised by this.

    That said, I am also sad at the fact that a scandal like this can only make all Christians look bad. No, not all Evangelicals are fundamentalists. Also, not all fundamentalists are like the Duggars. The problem was that the Duggars believed in a system with no accountability.

    • Lark62

      Would you please stop caring about how christians “look”?

      • W Kumar

        Why? The victims are important, but one can still care about how this will impact Christians. One does not exclude the other.

    • Erin Smallwood Wathen

      W–i agree with you that not all evangelicals are fundamentalists. I think there are some nuances in language that put people in boxes where, maybe, they don’t belong. Working on an other post about this!

      • W Kumar

        This is something that I have been thinking about lately. What is the difference between an evangelical and a fundamentalist? In my experience I have seen both sides though trying to explain it can be difficult especially for those who have little knowledge of Christianity. I look forward to your article on this.

      • Rebecca

        Erin, have you finished writing this yet? I would like to read your post when you publish it.

    • Jesus Bones

      Christian apologist! People are departing Christianity young and old because they know, when they see things like this, that it’s just another place where hypocrisy is institutionalized and has a place to grow and hide! When you see abnormal in the open you know it’s there and you can act accordingly!

    • Applestar

      We know that it’s not all Christians. By speaking up against abuse you show that. Please keep speaking up against abuse.

    • F.Jaime

      Your comment is all about how Christians will look and not about helping the victims. Typical.

      • W Kumar

        First and foremost this article was about how Christians look during c
        tines like this and what allows these behaviors to manifest. It wasn’t about victim support which of course should be one of the first priorities.

  • notnotjeff

    I believe the Duggars played with the statutes. They waited 2
    years before telling a state trooper who was a friend of theirs. He did nothing. And later (yrs maybe) went to jail on child pornography convictions. Mr Duggar & the church kept it quiet themselves by dealing with it alone. The counseling Josh Duggar got was from another family friend, who was not a counselor, certified or otherwise. He was a construction/carpenter type man who had Josh do manual, hands on, construction work. That’s it. This gave the Duggar clan, along with the church, plenty of time convince their daughters & the other victim’s parents to forgive the teenage transgressions so no charges would come. At one point the authorities asked to speak with the Duggar’s eldest, but when the time came, the parents refused. The Duggars have not said, as far as I know, at what age Josh discontinued the molestations, if at all. If I were in charge of investigations surrounding all this, I would take his children during investigations. There should be investigations going on even if they’re saying the statutes have past. This because we don’t know if there are other victims. We just know what was admitted to. We don’t know what he did as an adult. An adult who’s done something so horrible & gets away with it may continue. And would continue with more tricks & cunning. Has he even registered as a sex offender? He has to do that within a certain length of time. And he must not be within a certain distance of a school. Though the laws on child molesters reporting & proximity probably differ from state to state & even county to county.

  • Danny

    You nailed it! It is a perfect example of the privileged positions men hold over women in non progressive religion. The son was treated like the victim, and the girls were handled like unfortunate chattel.

  • OneMadAmericanMom

    Well said! I am a victim of clergy abuse (not sexual) and I speak out against chruches and ministries that have covered up sexual abuse.

    There are 103 documented cases of sexual abuse in the Independent Fundamental Baptist Churtch alone.

    The Duggars fit the pattern of coddling the perp and forgetting about the victims or telling them to just forgive and forget.

    FTR, I’m still a Christian however, I haven’t been to church much in 12 years.

  • http://www.churchformen.com/ David Murrow

    Pastor, where is the love? Where is the forgiveness? All I read in this post is self-righteous judgment. Jesus warned us not to judge others, for we will be judged by the same standard by which we judge others. I pray you never have a wayward child.

    • http://aimaiameye.blogspot.com/ Aimai

      The Duggars not only have a wayward child, they have four victims of that child. What treatment have they been offered? How were they taken care of after the family found out what had been done to them? How does the family’s bizarre view of sex, sexuality, and female purity affect the Duggar parent’s ability to generously and lovingly care for their daughters, not just their “wayward child?” The fact that you have entirely forgotten those children says volumes about you. And as for Jesus? Leave him to the Duggars. The girls that Josh molested aren’t Jesus–they are the victims.

    • Al Cruise

      “Jesus warned us not to judge others,” Can you share why the fundamentalists have been judging others for many decades? Leaders like Jerry Falwell, Albert Mohler, James Dobson, etc. I can give quotes from them about what they have said about people of other faiths , political leaders and people working for social justice , over the years.

    • Applestar

      Lol

    • Erin Smallwood Wathen

      Love and forgiveness for the perpetrator, and justice for victims, do not have to be mutually exclusive things. I am not ‘judging’ what he did–it is just plain wrong, whether I say so or not. My critique is for the system that clearly failed here, for the culture that subjugates women, and for a family that chose to ‘deal with’ this on their own, rather than going through proper channels. Working on a separate post about the finer points of repentance and forgiveness, as it applies to abusive relationships.

    • CanIbeFrank

      I pray you never have four sexually abused girls in your household. Apparently you would just forgive their abuser and tell them they were being judgemental if they complained.

    • F.Jaime

      You are beyond vile. Covering up the molestation of 5 girls and not making him face the consequences, only revictimized the girls.

    • http://www.leahfarmer.com Leah Farmer

      Wayward? Seriously? Wayward???
      He’s a criminal. With victims.

  • JusDance

    Bravo-well stated. As a Canadian, I will NEVER understand why statutes of limitations are in place….they ONLY person they serve is the perpetrator….why has this gone unchallenged all these years??

    • Bryan

      Statutes of limitation are in place to protect people from false accusations. “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has time to put on its boots.” Never has that been more true than the 21st century. A false accusation picked up by the NY Times or AP that gets posted on Twitter or Facebook gets reposted all over the world long before the facts ever come out. If you have a better idea on how to stop false accusations and he-said/she-said complaints, which only discourage those who have been truly assaulted from coming forward, from becoming public then please share it.

      • JusDance

        Still doesn’t serve anyone but the perp….we now have the ability to convict based on irrefutable evidence such as DNA and yet a perp can walk free because he dodged the law long enough for the requisite # of years to pass in order to be awarded the “get out of jail free” card. Meanwhile countless people suffer a lifetime of trauma and invalidation knowing a murderer, rapist or molester is still out there. Makes no sense and doesn’t line up with the meaning of justice. If people are concerned with false allegations, well I guess anyone can claim to be falsely accused. The whole point of going to trial is to hear the evidence and make a decision based on fact. In many cases DNA is a fact that needs to be heard. At the very least there should be enough flexibility to allow cases to go ahead when there is hard evidence. Please note…I am speaking in general terms and not specifically commenting on the Duggar crimes.

        • Bryan

          I’m also speaking in general terms. If someone waits 3 years before filing charges, what evidence do you expect to find? You’re left with little more than he-said/she-said. It’s important to remember the statute of limitations isn’t about when the trial begins or when the accused is arrested. It’s about when charges are filed. Yes, it serves more to protect the accused than the accuser, but it DOES protect all parties.

          Remove statute of limitations, you could have the accusation out there for years with no pressure on the police or courts to move on it. Not because they don’t care, but because the person accused is harmed more by the media blitz against him/her. Especially if they know the evidence leads to exoneration rather than conviction. The pressure on police and DA’s to file within the narrow window also ensures they don’t let cases pile up, which helps get criminals off the street sooner.

          It is far from perfect. And I don’t even know all the ins and outs. What I do know, in the abstract, is that both the accused and the accuser have rights which must be protected. When we forget this, we get scandals like Duke Lacrosse where charges were filed hastily in the absence of DNA evidence and with a witness who changed her story almost daily. Those students were smeared for a crime they didn’t commit.

      • seashell

        The statues of limitations can’t stop false or true accusations. They’ll be on Twitter and FB with or without them. The only part the statues play is whether or not somebody serves time if they did do the crime. Hard to believe you even posted this.

  • bluequeenmb

    Has anyone bothered to answer the question, “What would I do if this was my family? What would I do if these were my children?” Don’t be judgmental until you can say you have walked a mile in these shoes. Would you be so quick to complete the steps you are so certain the Duggars should have done?

    • Applestar

      Yep. There is no excuse for abuse. Secrecy only makes it worse and adds to the burden of the victims. Or have you conveniently forgotten about the victims that he molested over a period of at least months?

    • pinkiedeathhead

      Were it my child, he would have received treatment, actual therapeutic treatment, in order to prevent him from healing others. And, were it my child, I would not have pushed him in to the public eye, parading him and myself as perfect examples of great parenting while knowing that this information was out there waiting to be used against him. I would have protected all of my children to the best of my ability.

    • CanIbeFrank

      Are you asking what I would have done if it were my girls being sexually abused in my household by a family member? Or, are you only concerned about the abuser?

    • F.Jaime

      Yes, separate him from his sisters. Get therapy for the 5 girls and make face consequences.

    • http://www.leahfarmer.com Leah Farmer

      Been there. Done that. My parents did what the Duggars did. I didn’t receive justice and we didn’t receive healing. So yeah…I’ve thought about it.

  • Applestar

    Good post. Excellent post. Nice to see the whole tragic story and the toxic culture in which it happens clearly and rationally exposed. I’m sorry for the crap that you’re going to have to deal with from people who would rather cling on to a fantasy of perfection than face the unhappy reality.

  • Reverend Xenakaboom

    The sentence “The Duggar parents say that their daughters have “forgiven” Josh for his crimes against them” disturbs me. Who says that the parents have the moral authority to speak on behalf of their adult daughters? Or that one daughter who is still a minor?

    • pinkiedeathhead

      And were the daughters given the choice to not forgive him? Or were they forced to?

      • CanIbeFrank

        From what I understand, the family adheres to Gothard’s teachings which specifically say the abuse victims become more spiritually mighty as a result of the trial of being sexually molested Oh, and by the way, Gothard’s later was convicted to sexually abusing many many young girls. I’m guessing Josh’s victims were advised to forgive and that God would greatly honor their spiritual maturity. (As long as they continued to dress modestly and only side-hug any suitor so as to keep their purity.)

        • Andy

          Really? They adhere to the teachings of a man named “Gothard”?

  • steve_adams21

    In my experience I would not rush to get the police and social service involved. While the parents seem to have failed in many regards I think the assumption the the state will do better is misplaced – 3yr statute of limitations as one example. Plus putting the young man in prison for say 5 years will help him? Not sure that would be a reforming experience.

    • SkippyFlipjack

      Conservatives are generally less interested in the “reform” aspects of the penal system and more interested in the “punishment” part. (The death penalty, for example, reforms exactly no one.) F*ck reforming Josh, put him in prison for molesting his sisters and let him reform himself afterwards.

    • F.Jaime

      Funny how you ask about HIM (the predator) and not his victims. Where are your priorities?

    • http://www.leahfarmer.com Leah Farmer

      But choosing to live in this country means we abide by these rules. The victims deserve the justice that we have decided should be given them. And their parents, instead of honoring the country they talk about loving so much, didn’t honor the law and the rights of their daughters.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Apparently part of the family’s “dealing with it” was to have Duggar talk to a family friend, a state trooper who would later go to prison — and is still there — for repeated arrests for child pornography. Stellar work, Duggars!

  • trinielf

    Coming from a religious sect where the men held absolute dominion, the women were subservient and the children expected to be absolutely obedient, seen and not heard, and the pedophilia was also rampant, (of which I was also a victim) as was the cover-ups of it, I see a pattern here.

    Something about a community where:

    1. Men get automatic, unquestioned authority over women and children
    2.Children have no rights and must show 100% compliance
    3. An outward semblance of piety alone where you rehearse and regurgitate the all the right words will buy you trust, leadership and respect and unsupervised access to children
    4. There is a deeply vested interest in putting up a perfect appearance to the outside world and severe penalties of ostracism for any who do not play along with this
    5. Outside systems of law enforcement, legal justice are not the first response but the community has its own internal system
    6. People are raised with this blinkered US vs.THEM view of the world. They trust people based solely on them being part of the group and stop using their other instincts, faculties and powers of observation (which if you know how can send up red flags about who is “not quite right” around children) because as far as they are concerned “That does NOT happen here! That happens OVER THERE among “those ungodly folk”…

    tends to attract pedophiles. It seems to just be TAILOR MADE as a hiding and hunting ground for child molesters and from what I’ve read of the psychological profile of serial pedophiles, such environments just play into all their needs perfectly.

    • Applestar

      I hope that you are out of that environment now and in a safe and healthy place. It looks terrifying enough from the outside – i can’t begin to imagine the reality.

      • trinielf

        Thanks. Yes, all free and clear and I work with at risk girls who have been sexually abused.

        • Erin Smallwood Wathen

          Thanks for sharing that with us. I think your insight about gender and power structure is spot on. Glad you are in a good safe place now–and doing such important work!

  • Anna Lopez

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. Finally a blogger (unsurprisingly, a woman) is saying what needs to be said about this.

  • Cyndi Ricard

    We refer to the show as “too many kids and counting.” I both admire and sympathize with the family. Parents try to protect their children from the evils out in the world. It is impossible. Original sin and temptation encroach anyway. For the commenters who want to punish and never forgive, I wonder how they would speak if they were in the same situation? The consequences have been the cancellation of the tv show. That’s a huge loss of income. God is forgiving and merciful, but God is also just and does not prevent consequences.

    • Bekah

      I think I can address your question. I was molested for one year (by a teenaged relative) beginning in first grade. No one believed me when I told them. No one cared about me, they cared about the reputation of the person I was accusing. I will never forgive the person who preyed on me. And no, it was NOT a case of ‘boys being boys’. There was no consent. And I still bear the scars 33 years later. It alters a person for life. Josh Duggar’s apology is empty and insincere. He is sorry he got caught. He deserves to burn in hell just like my 17 year old relative who thought it was acceptable to molest a 7 year old.

      • Cyndi Ricard

        Dear Bekah, I also was molested by more than one person in my family by both male and female and different generations, and thus I believe I can authentically acknowledge your experience and agony, and also speak from my experience. Nobody in my family ever believed me. To this day I am somehow weird and distant and nobody really understands why, except that I am just not affectionate nor loyal to the family. Denial, and never showing the “dirty laundry” is the method of family loyalty. The reputation of the family was all that mattered. Yes, you know this too: Scars do not magically disappear. Forgiveness is never deserved. We, the survivors forgive because we are higher, stronger, better and in the enviable position of granting mercy. When, by forgiving them, we release ourselves from their harm, we are free. This does not erase their sins. This does not make them innocent. This releases us from forever suffering. Believe that God enforces consequences to the abusers. In this case the Duggers are faced with public humiliation and the loss of their big source of income. For survivors of sexual abuse by close relatives, we have won some attention. Hopefully this will open some eyes. For incest survivors, this is a win.

        • http://www.leahfarmer.com Leah Farmer

          But that’s just it…we victims cannot have our forgiveness demanded of us by Christians or the media or politicians. It is ours to give…whenever we are ready. Reconciliation is our choice not the perpetrators. And this decision…this ownership can only belong to the victim when they are allowed to have a voice.

          In the meantime, everyone calling for josh to be forgiven has NO SAY in the discussion. It is not for us to decide. It is between this young man and a God who knows his heart and the victims who get to decide if they want to extend mercy or grace…or not. Their choice. Not ours.

          • Durin

            This is a great post – it brings much needed clarity, and the exact way you’ve phrased it nails it.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            And sad to say that nobody asking Josh to be imprisoned have asked the victims how they’d have liked the case handled. So we’ve got people claiming to support Josh and claiming to support his sisters and family friend all denying the victims their own voice.

          • http://www.leahfarmer.com Leah Farmer

            I hear you…and I’m very concerned about the voices of the victims. Except that children don’t get to decide how a criminal is punished. And given that kind of responsibility in a very guilt laden patriarchal family, I’m not sure that doesn’t just revictimize them and ask them to be adults.

            We are responsible for setting laws. And adults…including parents…are responsible for abiding by them. In this situation the daughters don’t get justice for crimes perpetrated against them according to our laws because most/many states have ridiculous stature of limitation rules and this molestor’s parents ensured justice wasn’t allowed to be acted upon.

    • F.Jaime

      I’m sorry but that’s not enough. This was not a youthful indiscretion, normal curiosity or playing doctor. This was the willful molestation of 5 girls (all minors, 4 of which were his sisters and one that was 5 (FIVE) years old. And the disgusting parents did nothing! The father took him to a cop who is currently doing prison time for child pornography and then sent him to a therapy center set up by a man who later resigned because he was “grooming” kids. Your attitude is disgusting.

    • seashell

      For the commenters who want to punish and never forgive…

      It’s not about either, but it is about damage done to the victims of Josh’s sexual abuse, his parents refusal to deal with it appropriately for Josh and his sisters, and also for young girls he might come in contact with in the future – like his own daughter[s]. And then for excusing it all because: Jesus. If Jesus was in the habit of forgiving all crimes, Walmart wouldn’t have to build more stores with all the empty jails around.

      Then there’s the other victims of this family. The LGBT people the Duggars have demonized as child sexual predators, and used as a basis for repealing laws meant to protect sexual orientation, or to keep from legislating those same laws and denying equality to their fellow citizens and quite a few Christians.

      Losing the tv show affects their income. What about their morality – or lack of it?

  • Bryan

    You mention the Catholic Church scandal, but what about the scandal in American public schools? Only 4 percent of ALL Catholic priests between 1950 and 2003 were abusive. A 2004 Dept. of Education report shows almost 10 percent of all American public school students will be sexually assaulted by the time they graduate from high school. This is abuse which is STILL HAPPENING. The majority of Catholic abuse claims came between 1950 and 1981. During that time the prevailing societal attitude about these cases was to send abusers to counseling rather than prison. The courts were doing the same thing the Catholic Church was doing.

    I’m not saying this behavior is okay. I don’t condone the actions of child molesters or those who take action to protect them from prosecution. However, if you want to rail against fundamentalism as the cause of this crisis you must get your facts straight. In 2010 there were more than 63,000 complaints of child sex abuse in the United States. Only 8 were by Catholic clergy.

    • BillYeager

      The courts were doing the same thing the Catholic Church was doing.

      I don’t recall the courts opting to hush up abuse cases, silence victims and relocate offenders to new Parishes without ever reporting the abuse to Law Enforcement.
      I certainly don’t recall any ‘supreme head’ of ‘The Courts’ attempting to dismiss the avalanche of reports from adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse as being nothing but, ‘petty gossip’.

      As for your dubious statistics, if 10% of students will experience some form of sexual abuse in school by the time they graduate, you do of course know that this does not only count abuse committed by teachers but, also, other students.

      I don’t recall the rape statistics of little children in The Church as including other congregants so, no, you don’t get to fly the RC-sanctified ‘excuse’ of, “Hey child abuse happens elsewhere, too, so, you know, stfu, God’s gonna get ya'”.

      • Bryan

        1.) The courts sent convicted abusers to treatment and counseling rather than prisons. That’s what I meant by doing the same things.

        2.) The 2004 US Dept. of Education reported I cited specifically refers to sexual misconduct of educators. It DOES NOT include abuse by other students.

  • Cindy Tannen

    you ask who is looking out for the girls…. I think the parents and the Police were, certainly not the media. Reporting this doesn’t hurt Josh it hurts the innocent girls.

    • http://twitter.com/Moctavius Moctavius

      “Reporting this doesn’t hurt Josh…”

      Maybe the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read. You’re right, it’d be much better to just keep things quiet as they had been for the last several years. That seems to have worked out pretty well.

    • Rebecca

      I disagree. You do realize that Josh should be a registered sex offender, right? Laws and regulations are in place for a reason. I sincerely hope Josh received the correct help or will in the future, but it sounds like he has not. What most hurt these innocent girls (now adults or older teens) was the sexual assault itself and the lack of timely or correct action on the part of the parents. And since unaddressed sexual assault can have long-lasting, serious consequences, the lack of professional help and support for the victims is also extremely hurtful.

      • Pippy Taylor

        As no charges were laid, I do not believe that Josh will be a registered sex offender – the only way that people know about this is due to the reporting of the lack of criminal charges. you are totally correct about the damage to the girls from the incidents and lack of action.

    • Misty Corrales

      Why does it hurt the girls? THEY are innocent.

      Should they be ashamed of their brother’s actions? THEY are innocent.

      How, exactly, does this information release hurt the girls?

      Oh right, because now in the eyes of their f-ed up faith, they are now damaged.

      • Valerie Finnigan

        Did it occur to you that ripping open thirteen year old wounds can hurt innocent people more? Best to ask victims of old crimes first before rehashing their traumas in public.

    • http://www.leahfarmer.com Leah Farmer

      You have GOT to be kidding me??? Reporting a crime hurts the victims? Or maybe it just allows the perpetrator to continue to victimize.

  • Cindy Tannen

    why weren’t charges filed? good question. Child and family services doesn’t need much to pull children from their homes, so why not this home? Because it was taken care of and all parties were satisfied with the outcome.

    • Rebecca

      Maybe because it was swept under the rug & never dealt with properly? Maybe because a report was filed FOUR YEARS after the initial incident and only then because the police were tipped off by a chain of phone calls? Maybe because the “mentor” Josh was sent to is not a professional counselor or therapist?

      This was handled very poorly by the Duggar parents. The authorities should have been notified immediately and all six minors, both perpetrator and victims, should have received professional help from a licensed counselor at the very least. So far it looks as if Josh never did, and if the Duggar’s son didn’t, I doubt his four siblings received professional support considering how this family seems to view females and their role in families/relationships.

    • seashell

      No charges were filed because the statute of limitations on the crimes had expired by the time the police were informed in late 2006. In Arkansas, the statute of limitations is only 3 years.

      • articulett

        The report wasn’t filed because the state trooper who should have filed the report ended up gong to jail for pedophilia himself.

  • Eric A. Roberts

    Let me first say [lest I be declared a pervert myself] that what Josh did was wrong, exploitive and criminal. I do not condone his behaviour, nor do I exempt him from punishment or at least court-supervised counselling [rehabilitation]. Second, let me say I have never watched the TV show, so I’ve never had a look inside their family. Third, as said above, what about the girls? I’m guessing there is very little that we would call Sex Education in the family, since they likely think comprehensive sex education will lead to the children wanting to have sex. [As I recall my teen years, no one needed to ‘lead’ me to wanting to have sex.] But yet, despite the lack of sex education, the girls certainly knew the difference between a ‘good’ touch and a ‘bad’ touch, since they reported the bad touches to their parents [which sorta puts the lie to the notion they were asleep]. Why didn’t Josh know the difference? Because, as stated above, Josh grew up with a sense of Male Privilege. So with Male Privilege firmly established, and lacking any sex education, Josh struck out on his own. At 14, we often will make bad choices – that’s why we have parents, part of whose job is to teach us about appropriate behaviour, sexual and otherwise. Homeschooled children can ONLY get it from their parents. The first crime is neglect – the parents neglected to teach their eldest son proper behaviour toward others. What are the chances that they taught the other sons any better? Fundamentalists, like Josh and thousands of unnamed children aren’t taught what the rest of us are taught. They need to be if they want to live with the rest of us.

    • Applestar

      “Sorta puts the lie to the notion they were asleep” – um, have you considered that they THEN WOKE UP???

  • mary burkhardt

    I have been watching the show because it’s on A LOT, (but that will change because of this news, I assume). I have lived among Evangelicals for 40 years. Some have been exactly what keeps being described here, cult-like places for men to squelch and abuse women., those in a weakened position, and children. Two groups that I was with were the exact opposite–light filled, freeing, places of love, support and healing.
    Jesus was kind and compassionate, but he was honest, (brutally honest), The group that Jim-Bob and Michelle are involved with was founded in the early 60s by Bill Gothard, his brother, and some associates. It got it’s start from some graduate work that Bill Gothard was doing in which he taught a class and addressed issues that baby boomers were likely to have. He also gave “chalk talks” which were mesmerizing, He would draw with chalk on a lighted board in a room that was darkened, often explaining to audiences how to ask Jesus to come into their heart and life and cause them to be born of the Spirit, (a truly precious thing). What should have been told to any who would choose to join or follow this group–with honest disclosure, is that early in the organization’s existence, Bill’s brother had sex with many women on staff. It seems he had an orgy-like appetite and wanted to conquer all who would be his. When it came to Bill’s attention, he tried to hide the problem. This organization is located in one of Chicago’s richest suburbs and commanded millions in revenue, classifying itself as non=profit. Bill has been the teacher and speaker and head of the group, giving advice on every aspect of life, even on sex, (though he himself has not ever married). He has been said to have made all sorts of inappropriate innuendos and advances, even physical contact with young women employees, using flattery, etc to have them around him if he found them attractive. (this sounds like a person “addicted to love” as the song says,…or is it lust??? So with this being at the head (of the organization), how can the body be sound?? the Duggars need to find a light-filled, honest, loving group to be a part of, and they will be o.k..

    • http://www.leahfarmer.com Leah Farmer

      Maybe instead of that being “honestly disclosed” the organization should have been shut down and stopped propagating dishonesty and the abuse of women in the name of Jesus.

      • mary burkhardt

        Yes. Exactly, it should have been, because it continues its pitiful repulsive “dance” while the world looks on and reacts with distress.

      • mary burkhardt

        Very good observation, (statement). It should have been shut down and the lazy jerks who have had an easy and cushy ride at the top of this sick system could have gotten real jobs and learned something.

    • rozlee

      One of the main motivations of the Quiverfull movement is racism along with misogynism. The biggest reason they have for promoting their large families is the fear of ‘race suicide.’ Their members are practically all white, although they do push out the occasional brown or black family in front of PR campaigns as a cover to allay suspicions. They claim publicly that their main fear is the growth of Muslims and that they breed so excessively to counter it in order to spread their Christian numbers. But, that barely scratches the surface. The Quiverfull movement fears that whites are having fewer and fewer families (they are) and that brown and black races are spreading plague-like throughout the world. They’re trying to spread the message among white evangelicals to reproduce in super-size numbers.

      • mary burkhardt

        How do you know this?

        • rozlee

          Have you ever read any of the books written by people who have escaped the Quiverful Movement? Or read any of their articles? ‘No Longer Quivering’ is an excellent book. Plus, literature put out by earlier founders and leaders of the movement don’t make any secret of the fact that they see a threat in the fact that whites are having smaller families while people of color keep multiplying. ‘Race suicide’ was their earlier catch term. Today, they prefer to be more circumspect and appeal to Islamophobia, claiming they want to raise large numbers of Christian children to combat the Muslim hordes.

  • PDY

    This is not Christianity.

    I keep seeing people say this is the result of fundamental Christianity, but it is not. It is the result of a twisted, extremist form of Christianity. Christianity at its core has two concepts:

    1. God so loved the world He gave His only son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

    2. Love God with all your heart, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.

    Anything that contradicts either of these two concepts is at its core NOT Christian.

    Yes, I believe God can forgive Josh Duggar. Jesus died for child molesters. He also died for me, you, gay people, Islamic extremists, and that teen who just had an abortion.

    A true Christian admits his faults, pays his dues to society, and extends grace to others just as God gave them grace.

    The thing is about grace if you receive it, you’re supposed to extend it, and unfortunately Duggar went the career route of hurting others with an organization that accuses gay people, ironically, of the very thing Duggar did, which was a very evil thing to do.

    This isn’t grace, its hypocrisy.

    I’m very disappointed and offended that this is lumped in with my faith. If people honestly believe a flawed movement made up flawed people is in line with the core tenets of Christianity, I apologize because that is not what Christianity is about.

    • http://thephyseter.wordpress.com The_Physeter

      While I’m sure everyone appreciates your condemnation and disavowment of this act, I can’t help but notice your “Christianity is all about love” message is severely hobbled by the way you can’t help lumping gays and “kids who have an abortion” in with molesters and murderers.

      Ah well. Credit where credit is due.

      • PDY

        I also lumped me and you in there.

        However my point was Josh Duggar claims Gods grace but doesn’t extend it to these particular groups due to his work in the FRC. I wasn’t saying they were equal groups, I was saying they were groups that the FRC, and Duggar himself by extension, had targeted.

        While I appreciate the failed attempt to derail my overall point by trying to paint me as a bigot, using a fallacy to do so isn’t the best way of going about it.

        • http://thephyseter.wordpress.com The_Physeter

          That does make more sense.

      • Frank

        It’s all sin. Can’t change that.

    • articulett

      Christians believe in a god that knowingly created imperfect people and then punished them for being exactly as they knew they would be before he made them. Christians believe in a god who created humanity via incest.
      Christians believe in a god that eternally punishes those who don’t believe the right magic story.

      • PDY

        Funny. I’m a Christian, and I don’t believe that. Maybe you shouldn’t tell people what they believe

        I believe in a God that created humanity with the same pride and love that people have in their children. He created them perfect with the capacity for both good and evil and freedom of choice, and that people become imperfect through the choices they have made.

        I believe in spite of this God continues to love us, and in spite of the laws of the universe saying sin cannot enter into heaven, He consistently tries to find away to forgive and accept us for what we are.

        He was so willing to make a way, he made himself into a man and endured a brutal execution to pay the blood price for our failures.

        People, however, are like stubborn teenagers when it comes to spiritual matters and just because the parents are loving and willing to forgive anything, we’re prodigals that don’t necessarily come back asking to be forgiven.

        God doesn’t condemn us to hell. We do that to ourselves, He simply gives us every opportunity to pull ourselves out of that condemnation.

        And whether you believe God made man, or we evolved from apes, there was incest along the way whether you like it or not.

        • LeeAnneClark

          Um, hate to tell you but…man DID evolve from apes. That’s not a matter of “beliefs”. It’s a fact. You should try to learn the difference between beliefs and facts.

          As for the laws of the universe…what an odd universe you and your ilk have imagined up for yourselves…one in which a supernatural deity has to “make himself into a man” and pay a “blood price” for our “failures”. This so-called “law of the universe” exists nowhere but in the heads of those who choose to believe in some ancient myths and legends.

          And choosing to believe such outlandish crap is exactly what leads to the abusive, patriarchal, woman-subjugating environment in which that boy believed those girls owed him their bodies…and his parents seemed concerned only with how it affected him, not the victims. And then decided for themselves that their God had forgiven him.

          • PDY

            And you have solid evidence that man evolved from apes, do you? Something concrete? Not based on theories? An unbiased experiment directly confirming your statement?

            No, I don’t believe you do. Scientific fact is based on observation and testable hypotheses and as no one has ever observed one species evolving into another, or been able to replicate it, it remains a theory with no proof.

            Now, mind you, I’m not dismissing evolution. I completely believe evolution exists, and there is certainly evidence of natural selection. But for you to tell me that speciation is fact does nothing more than highlight your own ignorance regarding your own beliefs.

            Hence “belief”. A legitimate belief with currently popular in the scientific community, but a belief nonetheless.

            Reading something from a first year biology textbook does not in fact make it true.

            And as far as my ‘ilk’ goes, you don’t know who or what I am behind the screen so I really doubt you can make many claims to what my beliefs lead to.

            Christian beliefs can lead to bad things if misused, but so can Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, or atheist beliefs. A lack of God can easily translate into a lack of absolute morality, in which case why do we even worry about right and wrong when evolution basically insinuates that the strongest have the right to do what they want?

            Its a strawman’s argument, but no different than what you just did.

          • LeeAnneClark

            Yup. Evolution is based on solid, repeatable evidence. Ask a biologist. And no, I’m not just referring to a “first year biology textbook”. There are actual scientists (and in fact an entire scientific discipline) who have used the scientific method to discover, learn about and prove evolution. So yeah, it’s a fact. Just like gravity is a fact.

            I find it hilarious that someone who believes in a magical sky daddy who “made himself into a man”, birthed by a woman who’d never had sex (uh huh), and rose from the dead, would ask for “solid evidence”. Oh the irony! 😉

            You also clearly have no clue what the term “science” actually means. Fortunately, actual scientists do.

            Unlike religion, science involves the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. People don’t just conjure up scientific theories. They discover them, and then set out to either prove or disprove them, based on whether or not results can be repeated. Unlike religion, it has nothing to do with popularity. It doesn’t matter if anyone LIKES what’s discovered…even if the theory of gravity becomes unpopular, dropping a rock from a building will still result in that rock falling to the ground. And evolution will still be how we humans got here, and will continue to impact our evolving species.

            I’m sure you’ve heard the old canard: you are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own facts.

            But then I also totally understand that none of this will have any meaning to you, because Christians in general tend to have a fuzzy grasp of the concept of reality. Anyone who elects to believe what they read in a 2000 year old book written in an ancient language, translated over and over by men with personal agendas to the point where it bears little resemblance to what may or may not have been written by those ancient men, clearly has a tenuous connection with the real world anyway.

            No need to reply. You are going to continue to believe in your magical fictions, and I’m going to continue to believe in observable reality. That’s just the world we live in. It’s in the nature of some people to conjure up supernatural fantasies and cling to them when the harsh truths of life are too hard to bear. I get it.

          • PDY

            “Yup. Evolution is based on solid, repeatable evidence. Ask a biologist. And no, I’m not just referring to a “first year biology textbook”. There are actual scientists (and in fact an entire scientific discipline) who have used the scientific method to discover, learn about and prove evolution. So yeah, it’s a fact. Just like gravity is a fact.”

            An actual scientist? With like biology degrees, a doctorate, and works at a university? One of those guys? Oh yeah, I am one of those guys. I’m not a creationist. At no point did I disagree with evolution. I stated SPECIATION, which one species evolving into another species, has not been scientifically proven. And it still has not.

            “I find it hilarious that someone who believes in a magical sky daddy who “made himself into a man”, birthed by a woman who’d never had sex (uh huh), and rose from the dead, would ask for “solid evidence”. Oh the irony! ;-)”

            I never stated it was fact. I stated it was belief and nothing more. The teleological argument is my reasoning for the existence of God, but that doesn’t offer you proof. It does however prove it for me. If you had lived my life, experienced what I’ve experienced, I highly suspect you’d believe in God too. Its not a belief born of naivete, but of personal experience.

            “You also clearly have no clue what the term “science” actually means. Fortunately, actual scientists do.”

            You still have yet to offer proof. You’re trolling and thinking that being an ass somehow makes you right. And again, you know nothing of my qualifications, and I sincerely doubt you are in a place to state what scientists know.

            “Unlike religion, science involves the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. People don’t just conjure up scientific theories. They discover them, and then set out to either prove or disprove them, based on whether or not results can be repeated. Unlike religion, it has nothing to do with popularity. It doesn’t matter if anyone LIKES what’s discovered…even if the theory of gravity becomes unpopular, dropping a rock from a building will still result in that rock falling to the ground. And evolution will still be how we humans got here, and will continue to impact our evolving species”.

            You’re right. None of that disagrees with what I said. You just are still failing to offer proof. Repeatedly saying ‘the proof is out there’ doesn’t make speciation any more fact than the X-files.

            “I’m sure you’ve heard the old canard: you are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own facts.”

            Of course, I did state that everything I said was a belief… you’re the one who seems hung up on the word fact, without actually knowing any facts.

            “But then I also totally understand that none of this will have any meaning to you, because Christians in general tend to have a fuzzy grasp of the concept of reality. Anyone who elects to believe what they read in a 2000 year old book written in an ancient language, translated over and over by men with personal agendas to the point where it bears little resemblance to what may or may not have been written by those ancient men, clearly has a tenuous connection with the real world anyway.”

            Ah, there we go again, devolving into insults in order to strengthen your unvalidated position… I would advise doing a couple of formal logic courses if I were you.

            “No need to reply. You are going to continue to believe in your magical fictions, and I’m going to continue to believe in observable reality. That’s just the world we live in. It’s in the nature of some people to conjure up supernatural fantasies and cling to them when the harsh truths of life are too hard to bear. I get it.”

            Observable reality changes. 3000 years ago the earth was flat, there were four elements, and the earth was the center of the universe. 200 years ago the atomic theory was considered debatable. 30 years ago a computer scientist said 64kb was all the computer memory you’d ever need.

            If all you go on is what you see, you will miss a lot in life. Its also bull. You don’t believe in observable reality, you believe in what people have told you is observable reality. You haven’t ran every experiment, studied every subject, or proven every fact personally. I’m sorry to tell you, but your entire belief system is in fact based on faith on what you’ve read.

            Not so different than a looney Christian, huh?

          • LeeAnneClark

            I take it the “no need to reply” part didn’t get through.

            I haven’t offered any proof because I literally have zero interest in persuading you. I’m just pointing out the irony of a Christian (who, in order to call yourself a Christian, must believe some outrageously absurd concepts with ZERO evidence) calling scientific concepts (which have, in fact, been put through the scientific method) “beliefs”, as if they are in the same category as believing in a virgin birth.

            Sorry but it’s not my job to educate you about reality. Feel free do to that on your own. I’ll just sit back and laugh at the looney (yes, looney) Christians, as I always do. Because you guys and your twisted view of the world truly are entertaining.

          • PDY

            The “need no reply” was an attempt to get a last word in a debate which you’ve failed to act rational, logical, or offer any supporting evidence for your statement of fact.

            And there is no irony as I’m not attempting to prove Christianity to you. I’m not stating its scientific fact. It would be a fool’s errand to try and prove the existence of God, much less anything else.

            Again, I’m not a Creationist. I’m merely stating that the macroevolution side of evolutionary theory is very incomplete, filled with holes and inconsistencies, and shouldn’t be taken as scientific ‘fact’. It’s more scientifically ‘most likely scenario’. 100 years from now we may have a completely different idea of how humanity came to be. Widely accepted scientific theories that have been the most likely scenario have been disproven many times throughout history.

            As far as rationality goes, there are very intelligent, educated, rational Christians as well as atheists. Your assumption of lack of education or that I have a poor life (which I laughed at since my life is actually awesome to the point I occasionally feel guilty about it) is ignorant and displays your own prejudice and lack of information.

            I arrived at the conclusion of God rationally. Just because you disagree doesn’t make either theism or atheism any less rational that the other. I merely start off with a different premise “Life in our universe can only come from life” to arrive at my final conclusion. Whether or not you agree with the premise, which also has significant scientific evidence by the way, does not negate the rationality of my own beliefs.

            As I stated before, my reasons for believing in God are not proof to you… but they are proof to me.

            Anyway, I’m done feeding the troll who has repeatedly been either insulting or ignorant and is clearly guilty of the same narrow-minded prejudice she accuses others of.

          • LeeAnneClark

            If you’re done feeding the troll, why do you keep replying? :-)

            The reason I said there was no need to reply was because I literally can’t even find a fuck to give about your nutty religion, and the people who claim they have “rationally” come to believe in things like a virgin giving birth, a dead dude coming back to life, a guy who built a boat that carried every animal species on earth in it (imagine the POOP!), and all the other whackadoodle crap Christians believe.

            But if you really can’t help yourself, keep on keepin on! It’s quite entertaining.

          • Eeyore

            I challenge you to find where in the scriptures it says a guy built a boat that “carried every species on earth”. Little hint: it isn’t there. You are just determined to be insulting and most of the time you are condemning us for believing things we don’t even believe

          • LeeAnneClark

            I didn’t say YOU specifically believed it. Read my comment. I said “people who believe”. I’m aware that not all Christians believe the same thing…but even the most moderate Christian believes some pretty nutty shit. And the extreme ones? Holy CRAP their beliefs are off the rails!

            Yes, I did a little creative paraphrasing of the Noah story there…but that doesn’t change the fact that the whole Noah’s Ark thing is completely insane! 😉 You may personally not believe in the Noah story, but you can’t deny that it’s in the Bible…nor can you deny that there are plenty of people who believe it literally. They actually believe some dude put a shit-ton of animal pairs on a boat to save them from a global flood, and then when the waters receded, re-populated the world with them. (Completely ignoring everything we now know about genetics and interbreeding – LOL!) Heck, there’s a whole new theme park in Kentucky getting built just for them. What fun!

            As for your challenge…sorry, not interested. I have zero interest in opening a Bible. I went through eight years of Parochial school, and 5 years of after-school CCD classes…and I’m happy as shit to be out of that mess. Most abusive time of my life.

            I know you want to keep defending your religion, but even the most basic premises of Christianity are nutballs. Sorry if you find that insulting. Well, actually, I’m not…I’m certainly entitled to think Christian beliefs are batshit insane, just like Scientology. And you’re entitled to keep on believing in your virgin birth and zombie Jesus and magical sky-daddy. Carry on! :)

          • orthodox guy

            There’s absolutely no “scientific” proof that man descended from apes. You might want to read Finding Darwin’s God by Kenneth Miller. In it he makes a great case for evolution and that it is in fact part of God’s plan. He also puts to rest the man from ape fantasy. There is no evidence in evolution of any cross species happenings.

          • LeeAnneClark

            LOL! Sorry, no interest in reading about “God’s plan”. There is zero evidence that God exists. I’m quite happy living my life on this side of reality, thankyewverymuch. :)

          • Eeyore

            Closed minded people rarely learn anything.

          • LeeAnneClark

            “Rational people” rarely “suddenly begin to believe supernatural bullpucky”.

            There. Fixed it for you. :-)

          • Eeyore

            I agree completely.

          • orthodox guy

            The God’s Plan reference was just to illustrate that some scientists have discovered a link between science and faith. Don’t expect you to accept that, not even trying. Just wanted to reply to your unwarranted assertion about man coming from ape. Science says seeing is believing. Jesus came to tell us believing is seeing. Fully realize that my believing is mocked by most of the world. In fact that in some of my beliefs, others (the vast majority), think I am completely out of my mind. Don’t know what to say about your vitriolic criticism of believers other than to say your extreme reaction seems to belie some sort of deeper concern.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            Straw hypothesis. No scientist studying evolution makes this claim.

          • orthodox guy

            Really! I’ve given a reference from a Cell Biologist who does study these things. You’ve replied with a sweeping generalization totally lacking in substance. Tell us who if anyone make the cross species evolutionary claim. Don’t think you will because it never happened.

          • Eeyore

            You say “evolution is fact” as if you have any idea what “it” is. Sure evolution is fact. Micro evolution is observable. Macro evolution is an assumption based on HUGE extrapolations of large numbers from tiny ones. Something scientists usually frown upon. Very few people realize how much actual dissent and change in opinion and debate there really is on the subject of evolution among biologists and paleontologists. They just assume it’s all been figured out and accepted as fact. The evolution crap we were fed in highschool has long since been disproven and they’ve moved on to new theories. We were told there was a biological family tree of all living things. Any evolutionary biologist worth his salt will tell you that tree has long since been buried. But you didn’t see that in the papers did you? People believe there are actual fossils showing in-between species of fish to amphibian or amphibian to mammal. But what they don’t know is those fossils are few and far between, are incomplete and they make assumptions on the rest, are often misrepresented as to their relative size and there is actually no evidence they are even related.

            Truth is you really haven’t seen any real evidence to back up your claim. You just blindly believe.

          • LeeAnneClark

            Yes, the theory of evolution, and our understanding of it, has shifted over time as it’s been put through the SCIENTIFIC METHOD. That’s how science works. You take theories based on observation and evidence, and attempt to disprove it. As it goes through ever more rigorous experimentation and observation, our understanding of these theories expands and shifts.

            Compare this to religion, which is put through NO experimentation, is based on NO evidence (other than anecdotal), and must be taken on faith.

            Not that I expect any Christian to be able to see how those two concepts differ. That’s okay…I realize there’s zero point in even having this conversation. Christians generally can’t allow themselves to understand the difference, or it might end up with them realizing they’ve based their entire lives on a bunch of crap. Which is just too painful.

            I get it…no worries, I’m not forcing you to change your beliefs. Believe away. I’m just having my say, knowing that there are plenty of rational people out there who agree with me. But in this society they are afraid to speak up, lest they be attacked for their views, shunned by their religious relatives, lose their jobs, and become pariahs in their communities.

          • Eeyore

            How exactly has the theory of evolution been put through the scientific method? Please enlighten me. I’ll tell you about some experiments trying to replicate how mutations could have caused speciation (which is really what we are talking about. They used the scientific method to try to prove that it is POSSIBLE for a mutation to lead to new species. Wanna know how that turned out?? I bet not. Lol. They did scientific experiments trying to replicate how life could have spontaneously come about since mathematicians say it is impossible. They tried and tried but no luck. Even if it had worked all they would have proved is that life could be made in a controlled invironment with an intelligent being making it happen. Now most say life came to earth via asteroid. Lol. So they know it couldn’t have originated here. It must have come from outside but there is one possibility they have eliminated before they started. And that is very unscientific.

          • LeeAnneClark

            Sorry but it’s not my job to teach you biology. I’m just a stranger on the internet. :-)

          • Eeyore

            No it’s not your job to back up your many claims. But then again it’s not my job to just believe you because you say it. I’ll believe my research and actual study instead.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            You’re assuming that all Christians are Fundamentalists or in any way anti-science. That’s a false assumption that belies your own bigotry.

          • http://thephyseter.wordpress.com The_Physeter
          • Eeyore

            And by the way, which theory of gravity do you adhere to as fact? Because truth is we still don’t know why things fall. Newton came up with the theory of gravity. But Eisteins theory of relativity is in opposition to it. Ask any theoretic physicist and you’ll hear what theory he/she believes. Truth is: when scientisist use the term theory, it means it is in fact JUST a theory.

          • LeeAnneClark

            Sorry but you are wrong about what the term “theory” means in the world of science. A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation.

            Obviously we don’t know everything…and we never will. But we continue to increase our understanding of nature and the natural laws of the universe via the scientific method. That includes gravity.

            And just for the record, there is no natural law of the universe that requires a supernatural deity to send his divine son to earth to be born from a virgin, get tortured and murdered, and then rise from the dead, in order pay a “blood price for our failures”, as stated by the person who started this thread. That’s just nuts! LOL.

            Seriously though…this has been fun and all, but I do realize there’s zero chance of you changing your mind…or me. So carry on in your beliefs if it makes you feel better about the world. Me? I don’t need to believe in magic and supernatural deities to know right from wrong, or to be happy in my life. I’m quite comfortable with the knowledge that this is the only life I will have, and I won’t get a second chance to be a positive force on the planet, or to find joy for myself, and create joy in others. I’m doing that the best I can, and when it’s over, it’s over. I’m good with that. :-)

          • Eeyore

            I’m wrong about the meaning of the word theory?? Lol. I didn’t state the meaning. I said that when scientists say theory they mean theory. And I stand by it. It’s only wannabe scientists like you who constantly claim that in science theories are facts.

            Once again you offer nothing but ad hominem and sarcasm. Condescension and arrogance doesnt make you seem any wiser you know. Actually having facts might.

          • JR in WV

            A hypothesis is the real word for what you assert a theory is. Scientists formulate a hypothesis when they try ti figure out why and how something is what it is.

            Darwin formulated a hypothesis about the origin of species and spent decades proving the theory, and since then hundreds of scientists have spent their professional lives refining the details and the genetics of how it works.

            Newton’s theory of mass and motion and gravity is a fact, and Einstein’s theory of relativity is also a fact. They were hypotheses when they were first imagined, and they became proven theories by the sweat of the brows of the scientists who work in those areas.

            The internet is a great tool for learning, you too can learn how biology and physics work. Or meet a real scientist, and ask them to explain things to you slowly.

            You are wrong about evolution, the fact that high school science class disappointed you is sad, but you could have taken the 50 additional classes to gain a more complete understanding of what you are so confused about.

            Get the PhD and then we can talk.

          • Eeyore

            You must be kidding. You are seriously going to tell me that there is no debate among theoretical physicists over the theory of gravity??? And that Newtons theory and Einstein’s are compatible? Really? You know what? The Internet is a great tool for learning. I suggest you try it. Start now.

          • http://thephyseter.wordpress.com The_Physeter

            You have a serious misunderstanding about Newton’s theory of gravity. It’s not in competition with Einstein’s.

          • Eeyore

            Regarding Darwin’s theory you claim he proved: In recent years, scientists have been able to compare the genetic codes of dozens of different single-celled organisms as well as those of plants and animals. They assumed that such comparisons would confirm the branching “tree of life” proposed by Darwin. However, this has not been the case.

            What has the research uncovered? In 1999 biologist Malcolm S. Gordon wrote: “Life appears to have had many origins. The base of the universal tree of life appears not to have been a single root.” Is there evidence that all the major branches of life are connected to a single trunk, as Darwin believed? Gordon continues: “The traditional version of the theory of common descent apparently does not apply to kingdoms as presently recognized. It probably does not apply to many, if not all, phyla, and possibly also not to many classes within the phyla.”

            Recent research continues to contradict Darwin’s theory of common descent. For example, in 2009 an article in New Scientist magazine quoted evolutionary scientist Eric Bapteste as saying: “We have no evidence at all that the tree of life is a reality.” The same article quotes evolutionary biologist Michael Rose as saying: “The tree of life is being politely buried, we all know that. What’s less accepted is that our whole fundamental view of biology needs to change.”

          • LeeAnneClark

            Take a wild guess how many fucks I give what you think of me, or how “wise” I seem to you.

            You believe in a magical sky daddy, and all the other insane crap required of Christians to accept on faith.

            That says everything I need to know about you. Have a good day!

          • Eeyore

            Quit pretending like you know what I believ. You don’t. I have about as much in common with christendom as you.

          • LeeAnneClark

            Oh…sorry…I thought you were the same person who earlier in this thread made it quite clear that he/she is a Christian. Your arguments seemed to point in that direction. If you are not, mea culpa.

          • Eeyore

            The Bible doesn’t teach that God made himself into a man. Christendom borrowed that from paganism to justify celebrating the pagan festival in winter of the birth of the “God-son”.

            You state something as fact but I want some evidence. Because I’ve looked at the so-called evidence scientists put out and it is laughable. Have you actually looked at it? Or do you just trust them?

          • LeeAnneClark

            I have spent the past twenty years working in the sciences. So ya…I have actually observed the scientific method myself. And I sure trust scientists a whole lot more than I trust some religious leader who believes much-translated stories written by camel jockeys 2000 years ago, and then uses those stories as the basis for subjugating women, discriminating against gays, and enriching themselves off the backs of vulnerable, deluded believers.

            (Yes I realize not all Christian leaders are like this…but there are enough of them to have made it clear that being one does not give anyone any sort of claim to have any special wisdom…or moral compass.)

            No thank you. But this whole conversation is, of course, useless. The religious faithful can no more stop believing in their myths and magic any more than I can start. I have no illusions that anything I say will have any effect on any of you…other than maybe praying for the heathen. Which, of course, does nothing but make you feel better about yourself. :)

            I always find it entertaining when religionists twist logic up into pretzels in order to try to equate religious belief with science. Can’t actually do it, but y’all sure do try!

        • Eeyore

          By the way hellfire is a belief borrowed do pagan religions and has no basis in christianity. Not only would God never condemn anyone to burn forever, he wouldn’t let it happen. And it isn’t even possible. Look up the real meanings of the Hebrew word sheol and the Greek words hades and Gehenna

        • http://thephyseter.wordpress.com The_Physeter

          I still like the way you present a good, loving Christianity instead of defending hateful Christianity like so many.

          But your Christianity is more beautiful than what’s actually found in the Bible and taught in churches.

          He created them perfect with the capacity for both good and evil and freedom of choice, and that people become imperfect through the choices they have made.

          I don’t think so. Can I choose to be good? So good, in fact, that I don’t become imperfect and deserve eternal separation from God? If I can, than for what did Jesus come and sacrifice? If I can’t, how in the world can you say I have free will? I was created with limitations that prevent me from making good choices, apparently; and is this my fault? Did I choose to be made this way?

          I believe in spite of this God continues to love us, and in spite of the laws of the universe saying sin cannot enter into heaven, He consistently tries to find away to forgive

          What laws of the universe? Did God create those laws? If so, why? If not, who created them? Christians are always telling me that laws require a lawgiver, you see. Your worldview says that God created laws which prevent me from getting into heaven if I sin, then created me such that I’m not able to choose to never sin. God created me with no choice; hell is my only option.

          He was so willing to make a way, he made himself into a man and endured a brutal execution to pay the blood price for our failures.

          Pay the “blood price” to who? To himself! God is the one who required blood in the first place. And you talk as if it was a free gift–but if God created us so that we can’t help but sin and go to hell, it’s his fault we’re going to hell and he owes us the sacrifice. It wasn’t some great act of mercy; it’s the least he could do to still be considered ‘good’.

          God doesn’t condemn us to hell. We do that to ourselves, He simply gives us every opportunity to pull ourselves out of that condemnation.

          Except demonstrate to us, clearly, that he’s actually real or that hell’s actually real. God threatens us with a matter of eternal, infinite importance and then asks us to make it on evidence which most people wouldn’t find sufficient to make a decision of minor importance. Would you buy a car if you weren’t allowed to see it first, and you didn’t even know if the car was real or not, and you knew every car salesman OTHER THAN the one you were talking to was a crook?

          You and LeeAnne can keep arguing about apes if you like. If you’ve looked at the science at all, you know good and well there’s sufficient evidence to indicate we evolved from a common ancestor, whether or not you call that “proof”.

      • orthodox guy

        That’s pretty sick in it’s own right and you might want to be careful about how you take God’s name in vain.

      • esbee

        God created mankind to have a choice –after all, who wants to be a puppet? Most of us choose sin though in different flavors or types and until God touches our heart, we mostly do not realize our actions or attitudes are sin. The stories in the Old Testament tell the good, bad and ugly about the relationship between God and his chosen people, the Israelites.

      • Eeyore

        I’m a christian and don’t believe those things. You got it screwed up sister.

      • AnneG

        God created people with free will. You demonstrate that with your comments.
        And, no, God does not send anyone to hell. You send yourself there by refusing God.

    • TheMarsCydonia

      It may not be “your christianity” but it is christianity, one of many different christian beliefs that have resulted into thousand of denominations.

      From the most liberal denomination to the Westboro Baptist church.

      • Eeyore

        Christianity and christendom are not always synonymous.

  • AnneG

    What happened in the Duggar family, to the girls, by their older brother is horrible. I have no idea why he did what he did and I don’t think the blogger does either.
    You have made way too many assumptions about the conditions and the perpetrators.
    First, it is not fundamentalism that causes anyone to sexually molest a child. It is sin and concupiscense, the tendency towards sin. Christians have it, as do Muslims, Jews and atheists.
    I’ve known some fundamentalist kids who were abused and some Catholic kids as well, though not as many as the author implies. Most of the kids I know who were abused, were not religious in any way, and were molested by their mothers’ boyfriends. Next are the kids molested by school teachers, so I think you can hold your fire. This blog is more of a screed because you do not like the Duggars or their Quiverfull teaching. I do not like it either but want to be honest.
    In order to actually help the girls and help prevent abuse, we need to be honest, not just pointing fingers and calling names.
    I pray for the girls, all of them, and the boys. They all need healing.

    • Naptown man

      The reason Mr. Duggar’s conduct is so repugnant is precisely because he masquerades as man of God. You cannot simply separate his affiliation with the act or the context. His parents’ reaction was to say that the whole thing brought them “closer” to God (much closer, presumably, than the rest of us) and Josh Duggar said he was redeemed in God’s eyes. Where do you start with the arrogance and incredibly self-absorbed hypocrisy of these people? His statement was thoroughly concerned with himself and his insinuation that he is forgiven by the highest authority possible. It’s nauseating to read the comments and people praising this man.

      • Frank

        Why not start with your own arrogance and hypocrisy?

        • JR in WV

          You have to set yourself above others to be arrogant, and you have to commit immorality while claiming to be pure of heart to be a hypocrite. Neither of which Naptown did.

          That is the nature of the Quiverfull folks, and the Duggars, who prove their arrogance and hypocrisy every time they open their mouths.

        • Naptown man

          Ha- weak reply. Duggar is an idiot and obviously has psychotic issues.

          • Frank

            See above and repeat.

          • AnneG

            How do you know either of those things? Idiot and psychotic?

      • AnneG

        Nonsense. It was bad but it happened when he was 14 or younger. Most juvenile records are expunged and those who committed even serious crimes are given a second chance.
        Reading these comments, I don’t know if there are a whole bunch of saints making comments or people who throw rocks cause they can get away with it and don’t have to admit their own sins.

    • right to left

      A lot of us out here in the world who fled fundamentalist churches in our youth, know the game that’s being played here! Erin Wathen doesn’t have to know the Duggars, or the Quiverfull Movement, or their church, or Mike Huck and the other hypocrite Republicans to see the same patterns of outward displays of happiness and piety, the rigid dogma rules, the rigid laws applied to everyone who strays even slightly from the teachings, to know that this kind of religion is stifling, misogynistic, homophobic…and maybe a lot of other things too.

      Doesn’t matter what the cult is, or what their particular crazy dogma is, they have men set up as virtuous leaders with smiling wives and smiling children, and the whole thing is a farce that falls apart as soon as they are inside four walls and no outsiders are watching!

      It’s not that every fundamentalist religion is a den of secret sexual abuse, it’s that they will hide it and cover it up 100% of the time, because fear of having outsiders learn about their sins is worse than the crimes in themselves.

      • AnneG

        You are right. These groups tend to try to put on a perfect face. I’ve seen it in Mormon groups, a lot in evangelical and fundamentalist groups. The Gothard stuff says you have to peacefully submit to what is a false authority, and I come from a faith that has a strong authority structure. The emphasis is on perfection, so a lot of their faith is based in what you do, ignoring the fact of sin in everyone’s life and how to deal with it.
        Actually, that’s a pretty common human trait. Most people try to deny their sins. See Bill Clinton’s participation with his friend, Jeffrey Epstein on his party island.
        This is not an issue limited to fundamentalists. It is all over.
        The good thing is that Christians know it is wrong. Atheists just do whatever they want.

        • right to left

          It’s not just Mormons that put on a front. I think every fundamentalist religion that teaches an exclusive path to salvation and perfection also sets up the same dynamic, where people have to pretend they are overjoyed…even if they’re not.

          And when it comes to things that are wrong Anne, atheists know that molesting children is wrong too….if we have any capacity for empathy….I’m not talking about psychopaths and sociopaths here, but any normal person does not have to look up a bible verse to realize they may be causing harm to others.

          Most people want to do good and feel good when they are unselfish. This is another thing I rejected when I left Christian religion – the doctrine of inherited sin is an abomination, because it teaches that people….even babies born into this world are evil and it’s the job of good Christian parents to beat the devil out of them and put them on the straight and narrow!

          Atheism leaves a blank page when it comes to deciding how to live life. Some…especially young atheists, who have fled fundamentalist churches, are likely enjoying their new-found freedom from church rules and can follow the natural youthful tendency towards hedonism and selfishness….I have seen lots of that in atheist circles….but at some point in life…if an atheist has any capacity for introspection, they are going to have to ask themselves what is important in life and how they should be trying to live their lives.

          This was a path I followed after my mid-20’s, when it was time to get married and have children, and have to decide what and how to teach them about life. It has been a journey that made me less antagonistic towards religion (especially Christianity), but my irritation with fundamentalists and their simplistic rules and myopic views on the world etc. haven’t changed over the years.

    • James Burkhardt

      “First, it is not fundamentalism that causes anyone to sexually molest a child. It is sin and concupiscense, the tendency towards sin. Christians have it, as do Muslims, Jews and atheists. ” No where did the author claim that fundamentalism was the cause of the molestation, it was the cause of the reaction to the molestation. All you do here is put down a straw man. And in doing so, you miss the point of why the author claims fundamentalism is bad, namely that the figure of authority (namely Jim Duggar) decided that it should be handled quietly, by the church and the churches friend in law enforcement who wouldn’t file a report. And in doing so, put their own daughters at risk, to maintain the image of a man being a moral figure, something he had no place claiming at that time.

      • Eeyore

        But none of that directly implicates the church. But she clearly went after “fundamentalism” itself in this piece. The father could have made that choice because of his celebrity or because of the show. Or because he himself is twisted in the head. His decision cannot automatically be used as evidence that “fundamentalism” is dangerous.

        • James Burkhardt

          His decision was to go to the church, and handle a secular crime via the church. The church, which was not under the Catholic seal of the confessional (they are ‘independent baptists’), had a duty to report the crime, and they did not. To protect the reputation of a man. Because they have the fundamentalist belief that a man is above a woman. It can be seen throughout their professed beliefs. The daughters can’t date or marry whom they want, their father makes that decision. They can not move away to a region deemed ‘sinful’. The wife should submit to her husband’s demands. Its a clear patriarcial power structure, and the way they handled their son just reinforces that.

          • Eeyore

            I’m not familiar with the Duggars or their beliefs or church. Im speaking about this article and the assumptions made in it. It’s real easy to just assume that we know what happens in private meetings but we don’t. The truth is the laws are different from state to state regarding reporting. And it isn’t so cut and dried when there is so much at stake when it is reported. Often children will actually beg for police not to be told. Did you know that? And the perpetrator was a minor with parents who had legal responsibility. It’s so easy to say what you would do when you don’t actually have to face those people and see them live with the consequences. Every case is different. And many churches including mainstream ones have handled it poorly in the past but many have handled it very well. In the end most people don’t want to see kids hurt and will do what they need to to protect them. But what that is isn’t always so cut and dried.

      • AnneG

        “This is what comes of fundamentalism….”
        From the second paragraph, and the third and continuing.
        That’s why I commented. Also, fundamentalism means something. In Christianity, it refers to a historical group that believes in the “fundamentals” of the faith.
        What Josh Duggar did is wrong. Period. It isn’t wrong for Muslims of any kind, btw, another error in her comments.

        • James Burkhardt

          And what she is claiming is the fact that no one is going to jail is what came of fundamentalism. Not that the assault comes from fundamentalism. Fundamentalism, defined as “a form of a religion, especially Islam or Protestant Christianity, that upholds belief in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture.”, in christianity leads to the belief that a man is above women, and that directly leads to the fear and control the author uses to define fundamentalism in this article. In this case, Jim Duggar decided His reputation and His sons repuation as good christian men with solid family values was more important than his daughter’s well being, and chose to have his son counciled by a string of men who have, in hindsight, turned out to have low moral fiber rather then resort to doing the legal and moral thing, which is turn his son over to a neutral police officer, and keep his son away from his daughters in general.

          Also, I can’t see where she claimed anything about Islam aside from her commentary on ISIS, which has nothing to do with assault.

          See, words have context, and that context is the problem. You are taking her words without context, and assume she is blaming the assault on fundamentalism, when she is blaming the fallout on Fundamentalism.

      • Valerie Finnigan

        And she’s wrong. Denial and much worse things like victim-blaming, intimidation, gaslighting, and playing up fears of destroying the family happen even in non-religious families where abuse takes place.

        And I wonder if anybody railing against the family had even asked the girls how they would have liked this handled? It’s a tough question to ask any child when someone they care about hurts them. I know I did not want the person who abused me to be charged. I just wanted the whole thing to stop forever, and to hopefully resume a normal relationship with that person.

        I wonder if anyone asked how the girls felt about these wounds of theirs being exposed to the public some twelve or thirteen years after the fact. Did anyone consider the possibility that perhaps they might not like being made to rehash this?

        Nope. By grinding your axe against this family’s religious beliefs in the name of “concern” for people whose feelings you don’t even know, you demonstrate the same lack of concern for these ladies that you decry.

  • stylite

    Wow, what a terrible tragedy. Never knew much about this show, but much of the reality TV shows of this type seem exploitative anyway. Regardless, very sad but hopefully it puts a spotlight on that type of behavior that is probably not often uncovered or reported to the benefit of the victims. Still, the article is flat wrong to blame this on “fundamentalism”. It can happen anywhere and in any place… abuse happens in San Francisco just as it can happen in Little Rock or any other place. I’ve known many people I would call fundamentalist and they are not necessarily extremists.. just often very dogmatic and sometimes judgmental about what they believe. I know many people that are not conservative or religious that share those exact same traits. We must be careful not to call anyone we disagree with a
    “fundamentalist” in order to label them as “bad” and not deserving to be treated with the same human dignity that we all desire. It’s also not helpful to try to connect wacko death cults and ISIS to fundamentalism or conservatives. “Extremists” would be a much better term since the extreme fringe are those who kill others for their beliefs or ideology, whatever they may be.

    • seashell

      George Marsden, the Christian historian and prolific author defined fundamentalism [in the US] as “militantly anti-modernist Protestant evangelicalism, or as others might say, “conservative extremism”.

    • http://www.leahfarmer.com Leah Farmer

      This kind of patriarchal oppression and allowance for violence against girls is EXTREMISM and FUNDAMENTALISM. It’s the ‘poo-pooing’ of it by the church that has made it easy to keep a secret.

      • right to left

        That’s the core problem. When a church elder committed sex offenses against two teen girls in my church, the girls were shamed and told they were likely equally at fault because they lured a “Christian” man into temptation.

        • mary burkhardt

          Exactly why I am concerned here and now. I was watching the program, “19 Kids?. last week and Michelle said, “When a young lady dresses inappropriately and shows body parts that cause an unGodly reaction in a young man, then the young lady becomes responsible for the young man’s actions in response.”

          This fully nullifies Jesus teaching, “If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off!” The young man is responsible for his actions, Michelle, wake up and smell the coffee and quit acting stupid!

    • Glorrierose2

      While it can happen in ANY family, do not discount the fact that the culture of fundamentalism and its attitudes regarding women and power (that is, their lack thereof) itself is a BREEDING GROUND for these kinds of problems. When women and girls are expected to serve men’s interest, and their only value in the family is baby-making, boys are taught to feel entitled to the bodies of the girls (that is, those less powerful than they) in their families.

      DO NOT try to take this out of the context in which it developed!

  • http://www.leahfarmer.com Leah Farmer
    • otrotierra

      Thank you Leah!

  • Kimberly Garcia

    I quit reading at “sex scandal.” Molestation isn’t sex. Just like rape isn’t.

    • Erin Smallwood Wathen

      Fair enough! I will think of a way to rephrase that.

      • seashell

        How about rephrasing from “…have been in the spotlight for a sex scandal” to “…have been in the spotlight for revelations that the eldest son is a child predator”?

    • orthodox guy

      Amen Kimberly. It’s a sick, perverted, forced use of power on a defenseless human being.

  • Garnet27

    He would not have ever gone to jail …he was 14. I thought youthful records were sealed. I hope who ever released this information is dealt with.

    • seashell

      “I see”, said the blind woman. So you want the messenger dealt with and not the sexual predator. How does that help keep children safe?

      • Garnet27

        i could care less about the Duggar family, but he was 14 and this information should have remained private.

      • lizp

        I don’t know that a child can be considered a predator. Sexual exploration among siblings is more common that our society wants to acknowledge.

  • Manuel Collazo

    Excellent post.

  • labman57

    ALL religions have ultra-orthodox factions, and these religious extremists are almost uniformly chauvinistic in their treatment of women and girls, even to the point of routinely blaming the victims of sexual assault for the violence inflicted upon them.

    • radiofreerome

      These people are not orthodox at all. they are autocratic. Orthodoxy requires some submission to a higher authority. This is utterly alien to Scots Irish.

  • Jessica

    What bothers me about his statement is where he says something along the lines of “I knew if I continued down this destructive path, I would ruin my life.” What about the lives of his victims? Really disturbing to me.

  • right to left

    To the fundies that are chiming in here: if you want to save your religion, YOU have the obligation to do something about your fundamentalist terrorists like the Duggars before they are embroiled in scandal/not afterwards!

    Where were the good liberal christians when Michelle Duggar was railing against gays having or adopting children, when all the while she was fully aware that she had a son who was a sexual offender and among others, abused his own sisters! What does that say about her and Jim Bob’s religion, teaching and ‘family values?’

    Like they say, don’t throw stones if you live in glass houses!

    • PDY

      I’m not sure if I’m one of those ‘fundy’ Christians you were referring to, but at no point have I ever supported the claims and beliefs put forward by the Duggars. I disagreed with them on many issues long before this. I’m not American, and I have huge issues with the way extreme-right wing Christianity works in the US. Honestly its barely recognizable as Christianity at all.

      And quite frankly, I agree with you. It was and is hypocritical. My voice is being raised now because the atheist groups are taking this opportunity as a terrible event done by a very extreme sect to bash all Christians. Its like using ISIS to bash all Muslims or Stalin to bash all atheists. I have no intent on convincing you, but if other neutral readers are coming in here I don’t want them thinking all Christians are like the Duggars.

      • right to left

        And I identify myself as a naturalist because I am not happy with the antitheism movement in atheist circles which teaches a new dogma of better world after religion is stamped out…and I take them on also.

        But here, what about the rest of the baggage surrounding the Duggars: fundamentalist rejection of science and higher education; embracing the Quiverfull cult belief that women need to make as many babies as possible (even in an overpopulated world of 7+ billion); using the money brought in from the show to extend their control even over their adult children (this is what patriarchy is all about); full political embrace of the Republican Party and candidates….God is a Republican it seems!

        In America, Christianity has been stamped as politically and socially conservative, and there has not been much pushback, no doubt because so many younger dissenters are leaving the churches, while the most extreme conservatives dig in deeper.

      • radiofreerome

        You clearly don’t understand that most U.S.Evangelicals are part of an ethnic group that lives by an honor culture that values violence, narrow-mindedness, misogyny, ignorance, and assorted bigotries as virtues. this group has higher rates of violence and incest than other white ethnic groups because the avoid the legal system and operate by a strict code of omertà just as the Sicilian mafia does.

        • Eeyore

          I need to see some data on that. You do sound just like the Muslim haters who claim that Muslims are all violent and hate Americans. You just completely destroy a huge group of people with one fail swoop of your keyboard. No need to back it up. Just lump them all together to justify your hate.

          • right to left

            Anecdotally, I think comparisons of crime, STD, teen pregnancy and other data between the most religious and the least religious states would back up that statement from radiofreerome.

            Morality standards have to be realistic or they cause more harm than good. A recent story in the news from Texas informs us that many schoolboards are abandoning their useless abstinence education programs and actually offering sex-ed classes again because of a dramatic rise in chlamydia among young teens.

            My personal experience growing up in fundamentalist christianity as a teen, was feeling racked with guilt and shame, while some of my friends just became more effective liars and hypocrites.

          • Eeyore

            Let me get this straight, you support his claim of a certain ethnic group being more violent, bigoted, and incestuous by referring to the results of abstinence-only education? Pardon me but I don’t see the connection

  • right to left

    If I was going to pick one single dangerous dogma that is at the heart of the problem it’s the antiquated notion of Dualism – mind separate from physical body. This concept of non-physical soul allows the belief that the mind is not a product of brain function, and that it is even conceivable that someone can pray and make confessions and all of a sudden, they are completely changed or “born again.”

    For the important and high profile sexual offenders, this is the get-out-of-jail free card! All they have to do is confess…cry alot to Jesus or whatever…and their victims are supposed to accept this bullshit.

    • Eeyore

      Actually I am a Christian who does not believe that. It is really a belief borrowed from Greek mysticism anyway. But is one that has been held by most religions throughout history – with the exception of the early Jews. But one could make the argument that not believing that humans have a soul or spirit separate from the body would make people feel even less culpable and willing to change. “I was born this way”. Even science is beginning to back up the belief that child molesters are suffering from some mental disease due to differences in the brain. I would think if anything the religions have made people more accountable for their actions over-all.

      My belief as I understand it in the scriptures is that we are our bodies. We don’t live in our bodies. When we die we are gone. But there will be a resurrection (recreation). We were created with free will. But we are now imperfect and have sinful tendencies that are inborn in us. If we repent and turn around and start on a course in line with Gods requirements He will help us to succeed and overcome any bad tendencies we have.

      • right to left

        That is true – the kind of afterlife mythology from books like “Heaven Is For Real” that has sold millions of copies, has nothing to do with anything described anywhere in the Bible.

        Prior to the Greek Occupation…about 2nd century b.c., there is no mention of Hades or having any kind of existence after death. In Ecclesiastes (my favourite book), it states:”the dead know nothing, they have no future reward, and even their names will be forgotten.” Ecclesiastes could be considered the first humanist text, because the author isn’t saying:’be good so you’ll get a future reward/and avoid eternal damnation in hell’; his message is clear that you make the best of this life you have now/ not be living for the next life!

        The New Testament teaches that the Resurrection…the raising of the dead. Somewhere in the intervening centuries, the Greek concept of a separate, ethereal and immortal soul that either goes up or down after physical death, becomes the standard doctrine that most Christians believe.

        The aspect of mind being a product mostly of brain function that you object to in:” one could make the argument that not believing that humans have a soul
        or spirit separate from the body would make people feel even less
        culpable and willing to change. “I was born this way”, is exactly why many scientists and philosophers have been trying to find ways to keep free will alive by creating compatibalist interpretations, where the mind can both be the product of brain function yet decision-making remain undetermined by the same physical processes.

        But to me, all this shows is the innate human tendency to want to assign blame for bad things people do and rewards for their achievements. When we are assigning blame, the first mistake is to assume that all minds are identical and place ourselves in their situation…with the self-confidence that we would have acted better if we were in their situation. Unrelated…this lack of appreciation of separate minds allows libertarian thinking which makes poverty a personal failure and wealth a personal triumph. I’ve also noticed the same thinking in many of the “what’s wrong with Those people” comments on messageboards since a small level of civil unrest started in cities like Ferguson, Baltimore and Cleveland….but that could go off on a tangent.

        Determinism does not mean that the subject with the damaged sex drives (pedophile) cannot change their behaviour. Because, the mental routines and thinking that person does, will affect the physical subroutines in brain function. When neuroscientists have people wired up with brain imaging machines, they notice this most clearly among test subjects who are trying to change compulsive or addictive behaviours. Their routines are more difficult to change the more ingrained they are in their behaviour, but with concentrated conscious effort, they can learn new routines and change a lot of their harmful behaviours.

        This is not to say that psychotherapies a pedophile or similar sexual offender are going to be easy to change, but, if they can’t change their arousal patterns, they can make lifestyle changes that put them away from risk of offending in the future.

        Now, if I can get this back to Josh Duggar and what I consider the most dangerous parts of his statements, his family’s, and his fans, it’s that they are all running with this magic repentance- life changed way of thinking. I don’t believe anyone or anything flips a switch, and all of a sudden we have a different person! If Josh Duggar was a sex offender at 14, the odds that he re-offended in the intervening years are much greater because of the way the issue was handled by himself, his family and his church.

        • AnneG

          No, to your last paragraph. Sometimes older boys molest younger girls. But, adolescents, especially young ones, do not do it again if it is dealt with.
          As for the rest, wow. There is a lot in Christian history and philosophy wrong there.

          • right to left

            And it wasn’t dealt with in any honest and meaningful way. And we have no idea of whether or not Josh Duggar has committed sexual offenses in the intervening years because of the way the issue was swept under the rug by a family patriarch who is more concerned about his image and his TV show than the wellbeing of his daughters! That’s just the way it is.

          • http://www.leahfarmer.com Leah Farmer

            “But, adolescents, especially young ones, do not do it again if it is dealt with.”

            Based on what?

  • Kennedie Miller

    Out of curiosity, just simply because I am curious. What type of “sexual misconduct” was actually commited? I guess I just ask because the Duggers seem to have very strict standards as to what they believe to be inappropriate (no hand holding until engagement, no kissing before marriage… Ect….) Was this misconduct something along the lines of touching these girls in inappropriate and unwanted ways? Was it hand holding behind a closed door without the approval of an adult? Was it you’re typical “7 minutes in Heaven” ? I am in no way defending Josh in this situation, I am in all honesty just curious as to what his true actions were….. Help?

    • shellzyb

      It was fondling breasts and vaginas. Not some silly “omgkissing” nonsense. Straight up textbook sexual molestation, sometimes when these girls were asleep.

      • Lalalala

        And severa were his little sisters. 5 and 6 year olds.

  • Eeyore

    I see what you’re saying. And I despise that show so I don’t know much about the story. But to claim that fundamentalism and child abuse are connected is misleading. Child abuse is systemic in our world unfortunately and doesn’t adhere to any belief system. While I am dismayed – even appealed and disgusted by the way the Catholic Church and some other religious groups have delt with child abuse we cannot say that charges not being filed are the fault of “the church”. It is just assumed that children are talked out of testifying when it is often just as likely that they are encouraged to but either they or the parents refuse and it is NOT the place of the church to compel a child to go through that. Churches are not parents nor are they law enforcement. Their job is to keep the church clean and safe. Some have failed in that regard, I’m aware – and they should be held accountable for it. But let’s not assume every time a child or its parents choose not to convict the church is to blame.

    • seashell

      Fundamentalism is more than a church – it’s an entire way of life far from the mainstream as most of us live it. However, in the Duggar case, the church elders did play a part in how it was handled, and still failed to protect the victims.

    • J_Bob

      You might be more appalled & disgusted if you heard about all the sexual abuse in schools or the media.

      Look at Penn. St. & the BBC Jimmy Savile cover up.

      To bad these institutions never learned from the Catholic Church, & the corrective measures it took.

  • Joanne Barchalk

    Okay, sure, they forgave their attacker. For whatever that’s worth. As children, that doesn’t mean much. “Honey, you HAVE to forgive poor Joshie or we’ll have to send him away!!” They had no other choice in that environment. Hello, what else COULD they do in a repressed, male-centric environment? They HAD to pretend to forgive him in order to maintain the status quo. I’m sure Jim Boob and his Wife Object were breathless with relief when the girls gave Master Molester a free pass.
    What else is going on in that house?? I’ve often wondered.
    If there is a God who loves us, He will cause this family to fade into obscurity and we’ll no longer have to avoid them on TLC.

  • Nikki mangini

    When I was a little girl I was molested by my uncle and was also forced to watch him make his kids do acts on him, even his mentally challenged daughter. I have suffered from this physical and mental abuse all my adult life (now 45 years old), my life has been anything but easy or normal and suffering from PTSD by my uncles actions. I will ask in this case what can actually be done? He was a minor himself when he did what he did, minors usually never get the same punishment as an adult. I am sure if he was 18 or older when this happened, stronger consequences would be playing a roll here. Being under the age of 18 plays a huge roll in any punishment for crimes and we all know this. Is this fair? no it is not, but it is what it is. With him being a minor it is the parents responsibility to get the girls counseling before they end up living a life like I do. If they blow this off like water under the bridge then they should be facing the adult crime that their son can’t for what happened and for the life their girls will have to live. I hate sitting here saying any of this because I strongly believe the boy should pay for his actions, too bad his butt is covered because of the age thing.

    • just me

      One thing Josh Duggar could do is talk to other evangelicals directly, going from church to church, and get then to realize there could be abusers and victims in their own homes. He could talk to the ultra-religious evangelicals and get them to stop treating females like they are responsible for any abuse that happens to them. He could do a lot of positive things as a result of this situation coming to light. But he won’t. He won’t do anything except try to shove this whole thing back under the carpet as he continues bashing homosexuals.

      • Diana Kyle

        Anyone wonder if Josh himself is gay? Did he abuse any brothers? I will always wonder.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      It’s not just his age at the time that factored in, but that the criminal investigation (which doesn’t even happen in most similar abuse cases) was messed up so badly nothing much was accomplished until the statute of limitations was up.

    • http://www.leahfarmer.com Leah Farmer

      Nikki,
      I am so sorry that happened to you. No one…and certainly not you…deserves to be misused that way and have their innocence stolen. I’m a survivor too. Just wanted to say that I hear you and see you.
      Leah

    • Diana Kyle

      Nikki…I am so sorry to hear of this ordeal. Damn him to hell. Sending you lots of love. XXXX

  • TDHawkes

    In that movement no one is looking out for the girls. They don’t count. They are there to serve males and take their abuse, then forgive.

    • mary burkhardt

      That is correct. It is brainwashed into the girls and women that this “constant” is normal.

    • Marra Nathar

      Honestly it can’t be as bad as Islam and nobody here is out there crying out for women’s rights in that religion. Are you sure you are not just bible bashing?

      • TDHawkes

        Classic bait and switch to protect this behavior. The Bible has many things in it that could mitigate against the kind of abuse Duggar committed. This isn’t about the Bible, it is about a certain sect of folk who claim they base their lives in the Bible, but who also practice the abuse of women and girls by men. Our objections to this have nothing to do with the Bible or Islam or the Koran. You sound like those playground bullies who smack people around then claim it is okay because that bigger bully over there does it too. It just shows you have zero empathy, zero ethics, and zero morality. Grow up.

        • Marra Nathar

          Excuse me! The behaviour IS despicable. I don’t condone it in any way. You completely misunderstand my point.
          What Christian men abuse women and girls? That’s not biblical at all so how can they possibly be fundamentalists? Fundamentalists are supposed to live the bible. None of her points makes sense.
          To me it sounds like you folk are speaking about a cult – not Christians. Perhaps it is just a case of “It only happens in America!” Being outside America, we don’t seem to have the kind of stuff you are talking about. I have not heard of the kinds of things you guys are saying or quoting…
          Fundamentalists in Australia are truly good, ordinary people with a couple of kids, read their bible and just happen to believe it.
          That is why I am so confused about people calling Christian Fundamentalists, terrorists. How?
          I have been a voice for women’s rights in Islam. And the contrast is enormous. I mean 9 yr old brides dying on their wedding night can’t be part of this group heh?
          It just seems to be that if you hold up the candle to this cult then do so with Islam too. But it sounds like you have a gripe. If they are truly Christian, how can they be as bad as Muslims? Either they aren’t, and you are painting them with a dirty brush, or they are a cult. I don’t understand how they can be anything else.

  • Naptown man

    Amazing that his statement referred only to himself and God. Apparently he’s one of God’s buddies.

  • No Pre Trib

    Wow! There are so many false assumptions and misrepresentations in this article that its difficult to know where to start refuting it, but here goes. First there is no excuse for child molestation, but does the fault lie with his parents belief system? No it doesn’t. Bible believing Christianity does not condone child molestation. What you have here is an example of one person out of a family 21 people that failed to live up to the standards of Biblical Christianity. But it seems that it was handled in an appropriate and responsible way considering the offender was 14 years old at the time.

    The author of this article goes on to claim that Jim Jones and David Koresh were fundamentalists. Nothing could be further from the truth. A fundamentalist by definition is someone that adheres to the fundamentals of a religious text. In other words, they believe the the Bible or the Koran are divinely inspired revelation from God. That is usually accompanied by accepting what was written as being literally true and correct. Jim Jones did not take the Bible literally. By today’s standards he was a progressive liberal socialist that taught his followers that he himself was Jesus Christ. It was the kool-aid of utopian socialism that Jim Jones followers drank. As for David Koresh, he was very much similar to Jim Jones in that he also proclaimed himself to be Jesus Christ and was a megalomaniac that used fear and mind control techniques to maintain control over his followers, but he was not a fundamentalist either. Both of these individuals deviated so far from the fundamentals of Christianity that we don’t even call them Christians, we consider them to be dangerous cults. Erin’s version of Christianity is more in line with Jim Jones than the Duggar family’s are.

    Catholicism and fundamentalism? Apples and oranges. One of the reasons there are so many protestant and non-denominational Churches is due to Catholicism’s abandonment of adherence to the the Bible’s teachings. The Bible itself does not support the idea a a Catholic priesthood, let alone a celibate one.

    Erin expressed concern that the girls receive counselling. What makes her think they did not. Her real concern is that the counselling came from a “fundamentalist” perspective. Yeah, God forbid that these sisters ever forgive their brother and have some kind of reconciliation with him. Reconciliation and forgiveness are fundamentalist values, in fact it is the heart of the Christian Gospel.

    To say that the parents and the Church don’t care about the girls merely because they do not embrace Erin’s radical feminism is not only slanderous, it is simply not true.

    • Mickey

      “But it seems that it was handled in an appropriate and responsible way considering the offender was 14 years old at the time.”

      BULLSHIT! It was a crime and a cover up. This is why the criminal justice system exists, These elitist pute christians think they are above the law. And you agree.

      • No Pre Trib

        Micky, do you have kids? If you discovered that your 14 year old son had fondled his younger sibling, would you have him put up on criminal charges? Do you think a 14 year old child should be held to the same legal standard as an adult? Our laws say no, regardless of what your religious beliefs are. I do not see how in any way this is an example of Christians putting themselves above the law.

        • http://www.leahfarmer.com Leah Farmer

          I was raped repeatedly by a 14 year old…and my parents did NOTHING. So yeah…I think the appropriate LEGAL punishment according to our justice system should be given to the perpetrator. And parents need to stop being so damned concerned about the poor 14 year old and worry about the daughters who have had their lives (souls, spirits, sexlives, marriages, parenting) changed FOREVER.

          These same people call themselves patriots and wave flags every chance they get and claim that God loves America. Well then…FOLLOW THE LAWS of the land you love so much. You don’t get to pick and choose.

          • No Pre Trib

            Leah, you have my sympathy. You did not deserve to have that done to you. I’m sorry that your parents did not do anything to stop your abuse, they should have. I agree with you that there are some crimes commited by children that should be held to adult standards including rape, armed robbery, murder and other violent crimes, and they need to be evaluated on a case by case basis. While fondling is definetely sexual abuse, I don’t think rises to the same level as rape, and in the Duggar’s case when the parents discovered it they put a stop to it and involved others in the child’s punishment and reconciliation. I hope that you can heal from the terrible thing that was done to you.

          • Diana Kyle

            I’ll add to this that my brother was molested by a family member as a child. As a man of 40 he killed himself. Who was looking out for him? Anyone like to comment on this aspect?

          • http://www.leahfarmer.com Leah Farmer

            No sympathy necessary.

            Fondling generally involves penetration with fingers in the vagina of a very small child. It is a crime. And the law gets to sort out the level of punishment for that crime…it’s the reason there are varying degrees of criminal charges built into our system.

            By the way…read up on what these parents did. They sent him to stay with a friend. They didn’t send him for the intense counseling necessary. They let him live in the home with the sisters where the abuse CONTINUED. They got him a “stern talking to” by a cop who was not an honorable person either. And they told their church elders…who should have done the right thing and involved external counselors and law enforcement.

            Get your head out of the sand. He is not some penitent small child. He was a teenager given the permission by his religion and parents to do as he pleases to the bodies of girls. No “stop to it” was put…instead they kept making money by having a tv show and now want sympathy for having their lies exposed. These parents are disgusting and MAYBE just MAYBE they should have stopped filming a tv show and taken care of the serious business of raising children…particular children who have been victimized.

        • Mickey

          Yes I do and yes I would. That’s why there are laws against child molestation which would have gone to juvie court where records are sealed. They absolutely put themselves above the law and apparently you would do the same.

    • Everybodhi

      The first thing that would have been done if this had been handled appropriately, is to seperate the molester from the victims. Any sexual assault therapist will tell you this.
      One of the girls told her dad when Josh was fourteen and a year later it came out he had continued, molesting four sisters, five through eleven years old, and a family friend. After he had been caught.
      This is why it is standard to seperate juvenile offenders from their victim and other young children.
      Children of fourteen and fifteen years old are convicted and sent to juvie and have to register on the national juvenile sex offender registry for less everyday in this country.
      JimBob and his church and the child porn addicted state patrol counselor and the other molester couselor (Bill Gothard of ATI) gave Josh a pass from the normal consequences.
      All the fundamentalists defending Josh by saying, “he was a child of fourteen” make me wonder if this is standard in your families. Boys will be boys?
      And also standard, as we all know what the Bible teaches, it’s the females fault.
      That’s why we worry about the girls.
      Because fundamentalists have some sick backwards beliefs about women.
      And then, on top of all that, this family has the nerve to preach that homosexuals are child molesters.

    • http://www.leahfarmer.com Leah Farmer

      This particular brand of fundamentalism may not condone it…but they certainly condone victim blaming/shaming and not involving the law of the land.

  • Erin Smallwood Wathen

    For those of you who wanted to talk more about what fundamentalism is, and isn’t… I wrote a follow up piece today. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/irreverin/2015/05/10-ways-to-spot-afundamentalist/