It Took This for People to Listen?

Last fall a petition was created calling on TLC to cancel 19 Kids and Counting after the Duggars deleted photos of gay and lesbian couples from their facebook page (they had called for happily married couples to post pictures of themselves, but apparently only meant heterosexual couples). At the time, I wrote a post I titled On the Duggars and the Locus of Outrage. My words then are still relevant today, in the wake of revelations that Josh Duggar sexually abused five girls in two families as a teen: So... Read more

Josh Duggar’s Lies, Damn Lies, and Half Truths

Over and over this week I have heard bloggers and commenters and people on facebook commend Josh for apologizing and accepting responsibility for his actions. He didn’t try to deny it, they say! He was forthright! He was honest! Well, no, he wasn’t. Josh Duggar’s apology is full of twisted half truths and blatant lies. Josh centers himself and his own life and needs and relegates his victims to the sidelines. He also lies, numerous times. Josh’s apology is neither honest... Read more

How Christian Culture Excuses Sex Offenders

Over the past week, as I have followed the response to the revelation that Josh Duggar sexually molested five girls as a teen, I have grown only more disheartened. At times I’ve started to hyperventilate. Many Christians are placing more emphasis on protecting Josh than on protecting his victims. Just as many have proven themselves unable to distinguish between consensual premarital sexual contact and nonconsensual premarital sexual contact. Even more have acted as though forgiveness should negate consequences. Some of the responses make... Read more

When the Perpetrators Matter More than the Victims

In March 2002, Jim Bob Duggar found out that his fourteen-year-old son, Josh, was sexually molesting prepubescent girls. Jim Bob did not say anything about this to the authorities until July 2003, even as it continued to happen and the list of victims grew. And in the wake of these revelations, I have been absolutely horrified by the number of people who have said they would not have immediately reported their fourteen-year-old son for molesting prepubescent girls either. I have a... Read more

Chris Hayes and Dan Savage Cover the Duggar Scandal

I share this video because it’s some of the best news coverage of the Duggar situation I’ve seen outside of survivor circles. In other words, while Chris Hayes and Dan Savage do not have a background in the quiverfull homeschool world, they hit on some very important dynamics and make some truly excellent points. It’s also a good summary of the situation. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5Ep-MD2jiQ[/youtube]

Why Josh Duggar’s “Teenage Mistakes” Matter

Last week it was revealed that Josh Duggar sexually assaulted five girls in two families, some as young as five, when he was a teenager. This took place over the course of a year. Josh’s father, Jim Bob, did not report the incidents to law enforcement until 16 months after the initial incident, and even then only did so to a family friend who then failed to file a report. The incidents came to the attention of the authorities in 2006, but... Read more

The Tomboy in Skirts

My six-year-old daughter Sally wears dresses, well, basically, all the time. If she’s not wearing dresses, she’s wearing skirts. I can’t think of the last time I saw her in shorts, and she swore off pants last year. Too uncomfortable, she said. When it’s cold, she wears leggings under her dresses. Dresses, dresses, always dresses.  This is weird to me. I grew up in a conservative evangelical homeschool culture that valued female domesticity. When I was 13, I swore off... Read more

Josh Duggar and the Tale of Two Boxes

In the wake of revelations that Josh Duggar sexually molested five girls in two families as a teenager, I’ve seen some Duggar supporters argue that progressives and liberals don’t have any room to criticize Josh given that . . . well, let me just show you: Text as follows: If this boy had been experimenting with girls in a non-Christian family, then he would have been encouraged. I know a family that were proudly showing photos of the their teenage... Read more

Anna Duggar and the Silencing Power of Forgiveness

I have been coming upon more and more truly excellent commentary in the aftermath of the revelation that Josh Duggar sexually molested five girls in two families as a teenager—and that his parents, their elders, and local law enforcement covered this up. There is Samantha’s How Josh Duggar Is Getting Away with It, for example, and Kathryn Elizabeth’s Josh Duggar Says He’s Sorry. So What? I’ve seen defenders argue that we shouldn’t be airing the family’s private affairs publicly, and that this... Read more

What Did Josh Duggar’s Counseling Look Like?

This week the news broke that Josh Duggar sexually molested at least five girls in two families while he was a teen. I can’t say for sure what Josh Duggar’s counseling looked like, though it appears it was handled in-house, through the family and likely also through the church and Christian ministries the family follows, such as Bill Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute (ATI). What I can do is speak to the sort of counseling Bill Gothard and ATI provide. The Duggars have long been avid... Read more
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