May 25, 2015

Leading creationist Eric Hovind argues that if evolution is true, it wasn’t wrong for Josh Duggar to sexually assault little girls, “because what one evolved bag of molecules does to another bag of molecules just doesn’t really matter.”

Writing on his blog Creation Today, leading creationist Eric Hovind, son of imprisoned creationist theme park operator Kent Hovind, defended Duggar’s heinous acts by making an absurd argument involving evolution.

Hovind, expressing the twisted moral logic of many creationists, writes:

If evolution is true, then there is no absolute right and wrong. If evolution is true Josh should not have admitted his faults over a decade ago because what one evolved bag of molecules does to another bag of molecules just doesn’t really matter. If evolution is true there is no ultimate Judge on the bench who will hold every man, woman, and child responsible for their actions. And if evolution is true you will not give an account for every idle word you speak.

Hovind’s argument, if it can be called an argument at all, is an embarrassing obscenity.

Josh Duggar, the oldest son of “19 Kids and Counting” Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, sexually assaulted four of his underage sisters plus an additional underage female victim. To deny the humanity of Duggar’s victims in a petty attempt to make some juvenile and facile argument about evolution is obscene.

Hovind continues to make light of the damage Duggar has done to his victims on his Facebook page. Hovind writes:

A good punishment for Josh Duggar?

Since Josh molested girls, which could damage their trust of men, which could damage their future marriage, which could damage their future family, we should make Josh Duggar work the rest of his life to help families stay together and help them recognize how twisted the world is and how God offers instruction on how to live righteously! He should be forced to push faith, family and freedom in the public showing the Christian worldview has the answers.

We should force him to get a job at the Family Research Counsel (sic) who’s (sic) mission is “to advance faith, family and freedom in public policy and the culture from a Christian worldview.”

That would be a great punishment!

Before being forced to resign earlier this week after news of his crimes were leaked to the media, Duggar was a policy director at the Family Research Council, an anti-gay Christian extremist organization which has been classified as a hate group for making false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science with the intention to denigrate LGBT people.

Hovind’s jocular attitude towards the sexual assault of little girls is morally repugnant. The fact that Hovind would make light of such heinous acts reveals a profound poverty of both intellect and character.

For Hovind, and Christians like him, morality is dependent upon some imaginary God, some “ultimate Judge on the bench who will hold every man, woman, and child responsible for their actions.”

For Hovind, without a God to judge, everything is permissible, including the sexual assault of little girls.

Amanda Marcotte, writing for AlterNet, has given what has come to be a classic response to such intellectually challenged and imbecilic notions. Marcotte writes:

Atheist are routinely asked how people will know not to rape and murder without religion telling them not to do it, especially a religion that backs up the orders with threats of hell. Believers, listen to me carefully when I say this: When you use this argument, you terrify atheists. We hear you saying that the only thing standing between you and Ted Bundy is a flimsy belief in a supernatural being made up by pre-literate people trying to figure out where the rain came from. This is not very reassuring if you’re trying to argue from a position of moral superiority.

Or, as Detective Rust Cohle from Season One of HBO’s “True Detective” so eloquently states:

If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward, then brother that person is a piece of shit.

Bottom line: Evolution is true; morality is not dependent upon some imaginary god; and sexual assault is always wrong.

Eric-Speaking-Event_09-630x310

May 22, 2015

Good news: TLC has removed “19 Kids and Counting” from its schedule in the wake of accusations that star Josh Duggar, the oldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, sexually assaulted four of his underage sisters plus an additional underage female victim.

Compounding and contributing to the crime, a conspiracy to “forgive and forget” forged by parents and church leaders allowed Josh Duggar to escape criminal prosecution for sexually assaulting his underage victims.

Time reports:

TLC refused to comment on the incident Thursday, but the network sparked outrage later that evening when it ran a 19 Kids and Counting marathon. As of early Friday, the show had been scheduled to air on the morning of May 27, but it has since been taken off the schedule.

TMZ reports on TLC’s decision to yank the Duggar’s popular reality show:

Sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ, the fate of the show is uncertain, but there’s now so much heat in the wake of Josh Duggar’s molestation confession … the network had to make the decision.

We’re told they absolutely have not made a long-term decision, but it’s clearly a bad sign for the show.

And there’s this … a rep for General Mills tells TMZ, they have already blacklisted the show and removed it from their company’s current advertising schedule.

The disgraced Josh Duggar now admits to what police reports confirm: the oldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar forcibly fondled and sexually assaulted at least five underage girls, including four of his sisters, on multiple occasions, over the span of several years, while he was a teenager.

Josh Duggar was never prosecuted for his crimes, and Jim Bob Duggar waited over 1 year to alert police to the fact that his son was sexually abusing his daughters, despite the fact that both Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar were aware that multiple incidents of sexual abuse in their home had occurred.

In 2006 multiple underage victims testified to police that Josh Duggar had sexually molested them. However, Josh was never prosecuted for his crimes, and the statute of limitations has since passed.

According to reports, Josh Duggar apologized to the girls he had sexually assaulted, and family members told police that the girls had “forgiven” him.

The Duggars are part of a radical Christian lifestyle known as the Quiverfull movement, a movement where children are considered canon fodder in the Lord’s army: culture warriors bred to promote an ugly, intolerant, sexist, and homophobic brand of Christian extremism.

UPDATE: TLC has released a statement confirming they have pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting from their schedule:

Effective immediately, TLC has pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting currently from the air. We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time.

Maybe instead of “thoughts and prayers” TLC could provide some much needed counseling for this troubled family, in particular, counseling for the children. After all, the children never asked if they could be circus freaks to be publicly exploited in the service of Jesus Christ and television ratings.

(Portions of this post were previously published here and here.)

(Image via YouTube)

 

May 22, 2015

Cover up and hypocrisy: A conspiracy to “forgive and forget” allowed Josh Duggar, the oldest son of “19 Kids and Counting” Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, to escape criminal prosecution for sexually assaulting four of his underage sisters plus an additional underage female victim.

The disgraced Josh Duggar has now admitted to what police reports confirm: the oldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar forcibly fondled and sexually assaulted at least five underage girls, including four of his sisters, on multiple occasions, over the span of several years, while he was a teenager.

Josh Duggar was never prosecuted for his crimes. Jim Bob Duggar waited over 1 year to alert police to the fact that his son was sexually abusing his daughters, despite the fact that both Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar were aware that multiple incidents of sexual abuse in their home had occurred.

However, Jim Bob Duggar did tell members of his church about Josh’s offenses, but the church leadership also chose to wait months before notifying the police, thus participating in the cover up.

When the police were finally informed of the crime no charges were filed, despite the fact that during the 2006 investigation, multiple victims testified to police that Josh Duggar had sexually molested them.

Jim Bob told police, when he was interviewed in 2006, that Josh had been “disciplined” for his actions, explaining that the Duggars sent their son to a Christian program at the advice of their church elders. It turns out that “program” entailed working for a family friend remodeling a building.

According to the police report, Josh Duggar apologized to the girls he had sexually assaulted, and family members told police that the girls had “forgiven” him. One victim told police that Josh “sought after God and had turned back to God.”

Because of a three-year statute of limitations, Josh Duggar has apparently escaped prosecution. Questions remain as to why police failed to act on the allegations at the time, as well as why the family waited over a year before reporting the sexual assaults.

Perhaps more disturbing than the fact that Josh Duggar avoided any legal consequences for his crimes, is the family’s apparent complete and total disregard for the victims of Josh Duggar – his underage sisters.

Identities.Mic reports:

One in five girls in this country is a victim of child sexual abuse, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime, and 3 out of 4 adolescent victims of sexual assault knew the perpetrator well, according to a 2003 National Institute of Justice report.

Commenting on the Duggar scandal, Jonny Scaramanga, writing at Leaving Fundamentalism, notes:

Groups like Homeschoolers Anonymous have been warning about the abuse in patriarchal Christian movements for years. They’ve been telling everyone who’ll listen how abuse is facilitated by the power structures in that world, and how the same system works to cover it up. How many more victims do there have to be? When will people start to listen? If anything good can come out of this atrocity, it would be for it to become the tipping point where people start to take safeguarding in homeschooling and fundamentalist environments seriously.

Scaramanga’s warnings about the dangers of Christian homeschooling cannot be overemphasized. It is clear the Duggar’s radical Christian lifestyle known as the Quiverfull movement contributed to and facilitated the sexual abuse and subsequent cover up.

(Portions of this article were previously published here)

Duggar Family (Image via Facebook)
Duggar Family (Image via Facebook)
May 21, 2015

Josh Duggar, the oldest son of “19 Kids and Counting” Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, allegedly sexually assaulted four of his underage sisters plus an additional underage female victim.

Arkansas police reports obtained via the Freedom of Information Act by In Touch Weekly reveal Josh Duggar was investigated by police for allegedly forcibly fondling and sexually assaulting five underage girls, including four of his sisters, on multiple occasions when he was a teenager.

The 33 pages of material include accusations of “multiple sex offenses, including forcible fondling against five minors” going back to 2002.

Josh Duggar is currently 27-years-old and a policy director at the Family Research Council, an anti-gay Christian extremist organization which has been classified as a hate group for making false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science with the intention to denigrate LGBT people.

According to multiple reports, a then 17 year-old Josh Duggar was brought into the Arkansas State Police by his father, Jim Bob, who said he caught him leaving a young girl’s bedroom and “learned something inappropriate happened.”

According to reports, the incidents of sexual abuse date back to 2002 when Josh Duggar would have been 14 years old. Police reports state that the father, Jim Bob Duggar, was first alerted by one of the alleged victims in March 2002. She allegedly told Jim Bob that Josh had been touching her genitals and breasts while she was sleeping, according to the report.

The police report says Josh was accused of fondling the “breasts and vaginas” of multiple minors “when they were sleeping” and sometimes when they were awake. Jim Bob said that Josh had been “disciplined” for his actions.

The report states that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar then learned that multiple incidents like this had occurred. Jim Bob told police, when he was interviewed in 2006, that the Duggars sent their son to a Christian program at the advice of their church elders.

During the 2006 investigation, multiple victims testified to police that Josh Duggar had sexually molested them. The report said some of the underage victims lived with Jim Bob and Michelle, indicating they were his siblings.

According to the police report, Josh Duggar apologized to the girls he had sexually assaulted, and family members told police that the girls had “forgiven” him. One victim told police that Josh “sought after God and had turned back to God.”

Because of a three-year statute of limitations, Josh Duggar has apparently escaped prosecution. Questions remain as to why police failed to act on the allegations at the time, as well as why the family waited over a year before reporting the sexual assaults.

The whole thing is an ugly twist to a bizarre and twisted family saga. The Duggars are part of a radical Christian lifestyle known as the Quiverfull movement, a movement where children are considered canon fodder in the Lord’s army: culture warriors bred to promote an ugly, intolerant, sexist, and homophobic brand of Christian extremism.

Ultimately, all of the Duggar kids are victims: victims of Christian patriarchy, victims of Christian homeschooling, victims of Christian parents who raised their children to be ideological props in their perverted and deluded fantasy of Christian dominion.

As a product of the Quiverfull movement, the Duggar children were raised to be cannon fodder in a Christian Holy War. As such, they should all have our sympathy.

Josh Duggar (Image via YouTube)
Josh Duggar (Image via YouTube)
May 14, 2015

Reality TV stars Jessa Duggar and her husband Ben Seewald visited the Institute for Creation Research in Texas where they promoted the false idea that atheists really do not exist and that science proves Biblical creationism.

Jessa Duggar, reality TV star and victim of the radical Christian extremist movement known as Quiverfull, recently married Seewald in a tabloid extravaganza featured on 19 Kids and Counting, the wildly popular reality show that glamorizes the dark life of a family dedicated to promoting a dangerous and radical brand of Christian extremism.

Using their media platform Jessa and Ben went to the Institute for Creation Research in Texas to promote the ridiculous claims that atheists really do not exist and that science proves Biblical creationism.

The Institute for Creation Research is similar to Ken Ham’s Creation Museum, both promote the naive notion that God created the universe, and that the “first human beings did not evolve from an animal ancestry, but were specially created in fully human form from the start.”

At the Institute, Ben interviewed  Dr. Jason Lisle, the Institute’s Director of Research, and asked how one could prove to atheists that God exists. Lisle explained that “God has revealed himself to everyone” and that atheists say there’s no God “because they’re suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.”

Wonkette provides a partial transcript of Lisle’s remarks:

The evidence of God is ubiquitous. It’s everywhere. And, in fact, Romans 1 tells us that God has revealed himself to everyone. And what that means is there really is no such thing as an atheist. There are those people who profess to be atheists, but in their heart of hearts, they know that there’s God because God has revealed himself to everyone. He’s hardwired us to know that he exists. And he’s hardwired us in such a way that when we look into the universe, we immediately recognize it’s the handiwork of God. And not just a god, the God. We recognize God.

So I don’t really have to give new evidence to a professing atheist. All I have to do is expose his suppressed knowledge of God, because you see, in Romans I again, it tells us that the reason that unbelievers profess, you know, they say there’s no God, et cetera et cetera, it’s not because they don’t know Him, it’s because they’re suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. The Bible says.

While Ben interviewed this so-called expert, Jessa shared the video on her YouTube account.

This is not the first time Jessa Duggar has used her platform to spread absurd, misleading, and false information in the service of her extreme Christian beliefs. Earlier this year Duggar used her Facebook page to tell liberals they will burn in hell, while last year Duggar blamed the Holocaust on the theory of evolution.

Indeed, the Duggar family has come to be a symbol of the ignorance and hatred associated with conservative Christian extremism.

Jessa’s brother, Josh, claims his Christian love for gays forces him to fight against rights for LGBT people, and he is currently the policy director at the Family Research Council, which has been classified as a hate group for making false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science with the intention to denigrate LGBT people.

Particularly odious, Duggar family matriarch Michelle Duggar participated in a series of robocalls in which she urged voters to not support a municipal non-discrimination law that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual and gender orientation.

In the calls, Michelle Duggar described LGBT people as “child predators,” and said that trans women are actually male sex offenders who want access to women’s locker rooms and bathrooms.

In short. the family advocates for ignorance, hatred, and bigotry, all under the banner of Christ.

The Duggars are part of a radical Christian lifestyle known as the Quiverfull movement, a movement where children are considered canon fodder in the Lord’s army: culture warriors bred to promote an ugly, intolerant, sexist, and homophobic brand of Christian extremism.

Ultimately Jessa Duggar is a victim: a victim of Christian patriarchy, and a victim of Christian homeschooling. As a product of the Quiverfull movement, Jessa was raised to be cannon fodder in a Christian Holy War. As such, she should have our sympathy.

Watch Dr Lisle explain that atheists really do not exist and that science proves Biblical creationism:

(image via Facebook)
(image via Facebook)

 

February 26, 2015

Christian love: In an obnoxious Facebook rant, Jessa Duggar, reality TV star and victim of the radical Christian extremist movement known as Quiverfull, tells liberals they will burn in hell.

The 22-year-old 19 Kids and Counting star addressed her thousands of followers via Facebook Wednesday in order to share a “hard truth” – hell is for real, and if you don’t do as she says God says, you will fry for an eternity.

Jessa writes:

I will speak to you a hard truth. I do not write this because I think that it will bring me popularity. It won’t. But it is Truth from the Word of God: the Bible. To not tell people this is to hide the truth from them. To keep silent is to not care for their eternal destiny! I care about you, and this is why I am speaking out!

The irony of this deluded victim of religious indoctrination speaking of “truth” is painful.

No doubt Jessa is sincere, but there is always something deeply disturbing about some religious extremist “bravely” condemning others to an eternity in hell because they don’t happen to embrace some cherished religious superstition.

In fact, Jessa wants to judge; but she doesn’t want to be judged for judging others. Jessa writes:

Whenever someone speaks out against something that God calls sin, ‘Don’t judge!’ can be heard coming from a thousand lips. People don’t like to have other people disapprove of the way they’re choosing to live their life.

People are content to live on in lying, cursing, pride, anger, bitterness, disrespecting of parents, lust, pornography, fornication, adultery, and other sexual sins — and if anyone tries to confront them, their attitude and response is, ‘You live your life, I’ll live mine. Don’t you tell me what to do! Only God can judge me!’

And Jessa seems to revel in her God of Hellfire:

God’s judgement isn’t something to be taken lightly! It should scare you! Man’s ‘judgement; is a 1000x lighter… usually just a voicing of disapproval. But when unbelieving, sinful men die and stand before God, He justly condemns them to hell.

Jessa’s imaginary god is a moral monster to be feared, a nightmare of reason that would punish some supposed temporal and finite failing with eternal and infinite punishment.

Yet reading her post, one gets the distinct feeling that Jessa enjoys this irrational drama immensely.

Indeed, the Duggar family has come to be a symbol of the ignorance and hatred associated with conservative Christian extremism.

Jessa’s brother, Josh, claims his Christian love for gays forces him to fight against rights for LGBT people, and he is currently policy director at the Family Research Council, which has been classified as a hate group for making false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science with the intention to denigrate LGBT people.

Particularly odious, Duggar family matriarch Michelle Duggar participated in a series of robocalls in which Duggar urged voters to not support a municipal non-discrimination law that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual and gender orientation.

In the calls, Michelle Duggar described LGBT people as “child predators,” and said that trans women are actually male sex offenders who want access to women’s locker rooms and bathrooms.

In short. the family advocates for ignorance, hatred, and bigotry, all under the banner of Christ.

The Duggars are part of a radical Christian lifestyle known as the Quiverfull movement, a movement where children are considered canon fodder in the Lord’s army: culture warriors bred to promote an ugly, intolerant, sexist, and homophobic brand of Christian extremism.

Ultimately Jessa is a victim: a victim of Christian patriarchy, a victim of Christian homeschooling. As a product of the Quiverfull movement, Jessa was raised to be cannon fodder in a Christian Holy War. As such, she should have our sympathy.

Jessa Duggar (Image via Facebook)
Jessa Duggar (Image via Facebook)
December 16, 2014

Josh “my mom’s vagina is a clown car” Duggar claims his Christian love for gays forces him to fight against rights for LGBT people.

Duggar, the oldest son of “Quiverfull” parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, and policy director at the Family Research Council (FRC), said that his and his family’s efforts to successfully overturn a non-discrimination law in Fayetteville, Arkansas were an act of love toward the LGBT community.

While guest-hosting the FRC’s Washington Watch radio show on Monday Duggar explained that his and his family’s efforts to repeal the LGBT non-discrimination law in Fayetteville were actually a favor to the gay community.

Recently the prodigious baby-making Duggars used their wealth and celebrity to help overturn an ordinance outlawing discrimination against people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

As a consequence of the Duggar’s anti-gay efforts, which included describing LGBT people as “child predators” and expressing other ugly sentiments motivated by their Christian extremism, over a 180,000 people have signed a Change.org petition calling for the cancellation of the Duggars’ TLC series “19 Kids and Counting.”

Particularly odious, Duggar family matriarch Michelle Duggar participated in a series of robocalls in which Duggar urged voters to not support the municipal non-discrimination law that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual and gender orientation.

In the calls, Michelle Duggar described LGBT people as “child predators,” and said that trans women are actually male sex offenders who want access to women’s locker rooms and bathrooms.

Josh Duggar’s employer, the Family Research Council, has been classified as a hate group for making false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science with the intention to denigrate LGBT people.

The Duggars are part of a radical Christian lifestyle known as the Quiverfull movement, a movement where children are considered canon fodder in the Lord’s army: culture warriors bred to promote an ugly, intolerant, sexist, and homophobic brand of Christian extremism.

The Duggars: Too much Jesus – Too many kids
November 20, 2014

Quiverfull of hate: The prodigious baby-making Duggars are in trouble after describing LGBT people as “child predators” and expressing other ugly sentiments motivated by their Christian extremism.

Over a 100,000 people have signed a Change.org petition calling for the cancellation of the Duggars’ TLC series “19 Kids and Counting” after the reality stars expressed discriminatory sentiments against the LGBT community.

According to Huffington Post, viewers are angry about Duggar family matriarch Michelle Duggar’s participation in a series of robocalls in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in which Duggar urged voters to not support a municipal non-discrimination law that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual and gender orientation.

In the calls, Michelle Duggar described LGBT people as “child predators,” and said that trans women are actually male sex offenders who want access to women’s locker rooms and bathrooms.

If that was not enough material for outrage, the Duggars added fuel to the fire after deleting photos of gay married couples from their Facebook page.

Last week the couple posted a Facebook photo of themselves kissing and encouraged other married couples to share their own shots.

John Becker, of LGBT blog The Bilerico Project, posted a photo of him kissing his husband, along with a message about marriage equality; he says his photo was later taken down and that he was banned from the Duggar’s page.

The Duggars are part of a radical Christian lifestyle known as the Quiverfull movement:

the idea that truly godly families will “trust the Lord” with their family planning. Children are viewed as unmitigated blessings (“As arrows in the hand of the mighty man, so are the children of one’s youth, happy is the man who hath his quiver full of them”).

In essence, children are considered canon fodder in the Lord’s army, culture warriors to promote an ugly, intolerant, sexist, and homophobic brand of Christian extremism, an extremism that resembles the worst sort of Islamic sharia, only with Jesus.

The Duggars: Too much Jesus – Too many kids
October 2, 2014

Using the Holocaust as a prop to promote absurd conservative Christian talking points, “19 Kids and Counting” star Jessa Duggar blames the Holocaust on the theory of evolution.

After visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. last week, the 21-year-old reality TV star Jessa Duggar issued a lengthy Instagram post in which she blamed the Holocaust on the theory of evolution, and went on to compare the Holocaust to abortion.

The following is the text of that offensive and ignorant Instagram post:

I walked through the Holocaust Museum again today… very sobering. Millions of innocents denied the most basic and fundamental of all rights–their right to life. One human destroying the life of another deemed “less than human.” Racism, stemming from the evolutionary idea that man came from something less than human; that some people groups are “more evolved” and others “less evolved.” A denying that our Creator–GOD–made us human from the beginning, all of ONE BLOOD and ONE RACE, descendants of Adam. The belief that some human beings are “not fit to live.” So they’re murdered. Slaughtered. Kids with Down syndrome or other disabilities. The sickly. The elderly. The sanctity of human life varies not in sickness or health, poverty or wealth, elderly or pre-born, little or lots of melanin [making you darker or lighter skinned], or any other factor. “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it? and He that keepeth thy soul, doth not He know it? and shall not He render to every man according to his works?” (Proverbs 24:10-12) May we never sit idly by and allow such an atrocity to happen again. Not this generation. We must be a voice for those who cannot speak up for themselves. Because EVERY LIFE IS PRECIOUS. #ProLife

To be clear, the Holocaust had very little to do with the theory of evolution. Instead, the Holocaust was a direct result of centuries of Christian anti-Semitism in general, and a toxic combination of Christian fascism and German nationalism in particular.

As for abortion, it is an offensive non sequitur to draw an analogy between the singular horror of the Holocaust to women exercising their right to reproductive autonomy.

It should also be noted that Duggar is saying nothing original in her Instagram post, but merely repeating tired and thoroughly discredited conservative Christian talking points.

Ultimately, Jessa Duggar is a victim: a victim of Christian patriarchy, a victim of Christian homeschooling. As a product of the Quiverfull movement, Duggar was raised to be cannon fodder in a Christian Holy War. As such, she should have our sympathy.

Jessa Duggar

 

April 19, 2019

Christian homeschoolers David and Louise Turpin have been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the torture and abuse of their 13 children.

CNN reports:

David and Louise Turpin have each been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison after they pleaded guilty to holding captive and torturing their children for years in their California home.

The California Christian homeschoolers who kept their children “shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks” entered a guilty plea to multiple felony charges of torture and other abuse earlier this year, and were sentenced Friday for their crimes.

Before sentencing the Christian homeschoolers were given a chance to speak. Louise Turpin, the mother, said that she believes “God has a special plan” for each of the children, declaring:

I’m sorry for everything I’ve done to hurt my children. I love them more than they could ever imagine.

David Turpin, the father, cried as he tried to address the court. Ultimately his attorney was forced to read his statement, which read in part:

I thank God for all of my children…

Delivering the sentence, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Bernard J. Schwartz cited the parents “selfish, cruel and inhumane treatment” of their children, noting:

Their lives have been permanently altered in their ability to learn, grow and thrive.

The Christian homeschoolers were placed under arrest in January 2018 after police found their 13 children emaciated and “shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings” in their family home.

Commenting on the family, James and Betty Turpin, the parents of David Turpin, and grandparents to the abused children, said that “God called on them” (referring to their son David and his wife Louise) to have as many children as possible.

The grandparents also report that the children were given “very strict home-schooling,” and that the children were forced to memorize long passages of the Bible.

The Washington Post reports:

The siblings’ grandparents told ABC News that during the children’s home schooling, they were made to memorize long scriptures of the Bible, with some memorizing the entire book.

Commenting on the horrific case, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said:

This is severe, emotional and physical abuse. There is no way around that. This is depraved conduct.

In more than 20 years as a prosecutor in Riverside County, this is one of the most disturbing cases I’ve seen. We are fully prepared to seek justice in this case and to do so in a way that protects all of these victims from further harm.

Hestrin noted that while the children were supposed to be homeschooled, they were so clueless about the world that “many of the children didn’t know what a police officer was.”

Note: While homeschooling can be a good fit for some children, often parents are not qualified either by temperament or by education to be homeschooling their children. Add to that the ignorance and bigotry associated with religious superstition, and one is left with a toxic brew ripe for abuse and neglect in the world of Christian homeschooling.

However, being shackled and tortured is not the only hazard faced by children forced into the secretive and sometimes dangerous world of Christian homeschooling. One need only recall the tragic life and death of Leelah Alcorn, or the tragic circumstances of the Duggar family, to recognize the dangers inherent in the Christian homeschooling movement.

Bottom line: Christian homeschoolers in California who kept their children shackled to their beds in dark and foul-smelling surroundings while forcing them to memorize Bible verses will serve 25 years-to-life in prison for their crimes.

Christian Homeschoolers Get  25 Years To Life For Torture And Abuse Of Their 13 Children (Turpin family image via Facebook)
Christian Homeschoolers Get 25 Years To Life For Torture And Abuse Of Their 13 Children (Turpin family image via Facebook)



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