Not Every Courtship Looks Like the Duggars’

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So, courtships. In a post I wrote recently on the Duggars, I mentioned that I "went through a controlling and manipulative courtship process and then lived in fear that my mother would find out I was having sex during my engagement." A reader objected, and this exchange followed:So, I think it's time for a public service announcement: Not all courtships look the same. It seems that the high-profile Duggar courtships have so shaped public perception of what a courtship within this … [Read more...]

Josh was “Just Curious about Girls” and the Rank Hypocrisy of the Duggar Excuse Machine

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This past Friday, Jill and Jessa repeated their parents' minimization of their brother's actions, complete with their insistence that Josh was "just curious about girls." And what really hit me, hearing that, was the hypocrisy of all of this.First, they're treating what Josh did as something normal for boys his age when molesting prepubescent girls as a teen is not normal sexual behavior for adolescents. But more than that, this is the family that only allows "side hugs" before marriage, and … [Read more...]

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s Interview with Megyn Kelly: Minimize, Deny, Obfuscate

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This evening I listened to Megyn Kelly's interview with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. I've written a number of posts about the Duggar situation over the past two weeks, including What You Need to Know about the Josh Duggar Police Report, What Did Josh's Counseling Look Like?, and Why Josh Duggar's "Teenage Mistakes" Matter. As longtime critic of the Duggars and as someone who had a similar upbringing, and this entire situation has weighed heavily on me. Today Jim Bob and Michelle spoke publicly ab … [Read more...]

Why Josh Duggar’s “Teenage Mistakes” Matter

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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 by then the statute of limitations had passed. Any c … [Read more...]

Anna Duggar and the Silencing Power of Forgiveness

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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?

By Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP staff.) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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 foll … [Read more...]

What You Need to Know about the Josh Duggar Police Report

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New readers may be interested in my previous writings on the Duggars, including Carefully Scripted Lives: My Concerns about the Duggars, written in February 2012 and An Open Letter to Duggar Defenders, written in August 2014. When I first saw rumors circulating yesterday I didn't pay any attention, because the accusations were vague and felt rehashed. Remember when the tabloids reported that Jessa Duggar had sex at the church immediately after her wedding, based on a word of an obviously s … [Read more...]


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