Last night, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar were interviewed by Fox News’ Megyn Kelly about their son Josh Duggar’s sexual assaults of four of their daughters and a babysitter.
The parents horrifically spent the entire hour praising Josh for coming forward and playing the victim card of such horrible media backlash over their son’s crimes.
A lot was said during the interview, most of it seemed out of line with the released police and sheriff’s reports, but if you listened close enough, you ended up learning a lot about the family and the amazing lengths they will go to protect their son much more than they ever protected their daughters.
Here are 5 things I took away from this interview.
5. Sexual abuse in the Quiverfull movement is apparently rather common
One of the scarier takeaway from this interview was when Jim Bob noted that they sought the advice from family friends about how to handle Josh and he said that they learned this happens in lots of families.
This speaks to a much larger issue inside the Quiverfull movement and the lack of sexual education and the amount of sexual shame placed on the children that may cause those like Josh to act out in highly inappropriate ways and never get the help they need.
4. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar believe their family is the real victims in all of this
The Duggar parents believe their story is nothing compared to the bigger story of someone leaking their son’s police records.
Obviously Josh is the real victims here, not their daughters.
And since I cannot say this any better than Raw Story’s Tom Boggioni:
Prompted by Kelly, who practically held up cue cards and mouthed the words for them, Jim Bob said that “THE REAL STORY” is how the supposedly sealed juvenile record of their son was released since they had gone to such extreme efforts with local authorities to bury it for the sake of Josh Duggar’s future. Also, the girls. Them too.
“And when you’re in every newspaper and everything throughout the world, I mean, it’s been an unprecedented attack on our family. And this information was released illegally,” Jim Bob explained. “And so I wonder why all this press is not going after the system for releasing juvenile records. That is a huge story.”
3. Jim Bob doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal because at least it was “nothing like rape.”
When asked by Fox’s Megyn Kelly why Josh did what he did, Jim Bob answered that Josh was “just curious about girls,” and wanted to emphasize that what happened wasn’t really all that bad by actually saying it was, “nothing like rape,” it was “just inappropriate touching over the clothes.”
Except Arkansas law does not see it that way, but more importantly, later in the interview Jim Bob says Josh did touch the girls under their clothes.
So we now know the lengths this family will go to in order to excuse Josh’s actions.
2. Michelle Duggar said they felt like failures as parents, but for all the wrong reasons
Jim Bob and Michelle say that Josh came to them on his own and admitted what he did and Michelle said at that moment they felt like failures as parents.
Yet that was the wrong moment to see yourself as a failure. If the story is true that Josh came to them on his own, that is in a way a sign of good parenting, their son knew he did something wrong and told someone.
But instead of helping Josh, his parents buried it and put undisclosed “safeguards” in place to make sure it never happened again. Except it did happen again, and again, and it happened to a babysitter and went from “over the clothes” to touching these girls under their clothes.
Their failure as parents was a failure to immediately get Josh the help he desperately needed right away. He grew up in a community where sex is shameful and he had zero proper sex education and most likely didn’t even properly understand the changes his own body was going through.
They failed all their children by allowing Josh to live in that house without professional help, to allow him to continue to molest their daughters and do nothing about it until the damage was done.
1. The Duggar family sees no hypocrisy in their anti-LGBT advocacy and their son’s actions
Host Megyn Kelly asked the Duggars is their campaigning against same-sex and transgender rights made them hypocrites, because they often, if not always referred to gays, lesbians and transgender men and women as sexual predators and pedophiles and appealed to the safety of children.
Jim Bob stated that their stance against transgender equality has to do with pedophiles. When Kelly asked if Josh was a pedophile they said he was not because he was a teenager when the crimes took place.
“He was still a kid, you know, and he was still a juvenile. He wasn’t an adult,” Jim Bob explained.
So to sum up, covering up and harboring an actual sexual predator in your home who repeatedly sexually assaulted your daughters is just fine, as long as while he is doing it he is identifying as a straight cis male.
(Images: Top: YouTube screen capture / Bottom: Fox News screen capture)