I always hesitate before blogging about something that’s already receiving widespread coverage. No one needs me to fill in details on events that are flying around the internet at lightning speed.
But there’s something about this Duggar situation that’s really chapping my you-know-what. (If you don’t know about the Josh Duggar story, you can find all the ugly details here.) Maybe it’s the fact that these people are not just stars of some stupid reality show, but have leveraged their fame to advocate their narrow world view in ways that hurt real people.
One great example of this comes from last August when Fayetteville, Arkansas was considering a non-discrimination ordinance to protect LGBTQ citizens. Momma Michelle Duggar sent out a robocall using the tired old “child predator” in the restroom scare tactic:
Hello, this is Michelle Duggar. I’m calling to inform you of some shocking news that would affect the safety of Northwest Arkansas women and children. The Fayetteville City Council is voting on an ordinance this Tuesday night that would allow men – yes I said men – to use womens and girls restrooms, locker rooms, showers, sleeping areas and other areas that are designated for females only. I don’t believe the citizens of Fayetteville would want males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls.
I cannot even fathom how this woman could spread this utter crap while hiding the knowledge that the real child molester was her own eldest son. Meanwhile, this guy grows up with no real consequences for his actions (I guess Jesus forgave him, so there’s that). His parents covered it up. They failed to cooperate with a police investigation. They lied about getting Josh counseling.
Oh, but they did report it to an acquaintance who was an Arkansas State Trooper. And not just any State Trooper. He was a child pornography-collecting State Trooper! From the In Touch report linked above:
Jim Bob told police in 2006 that when Josh returned home in 2003, Jim Bob, accompanied by some of his church elders, took Josh to Arkansas State Trooper, Jim Hutchens. Jim Bob knew Hutchens personally. Hutchens did not take any official action and instead gave Josh a “very stern talk.” As In Touch magazine reports exclusively in this week’s issue, Hutchens is now serving 56-years in prison for child pornography. He took no action on the Duggar case.
Little Joshy went on to bigger things. For the last two years he’s been at the viciously anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council (an SPLC-designated hate group). And, of course, one of his main responsibilities there has been to lead the fight against human rights and marriage equality.
In the meantime, his family has been lecturing to us about morality and Christian rights and about the connective lines from evolution and reproductive choice to genocide and the Holocaust. Because they’re so moral.
The first question that pops into my head is whether they and their defenders will now choose to STFU. Is it possible that these narrow-minded fundamentalists will finally recognize that all of the things that they blame on secularism happen in spades in their own community? That they have no monopoly on morality?
Of course not! They’ll just talk about how sorry they are and about how Jesus forgives them and try to convince us how wonderfully the family dealt with the whole thing. In other words, they’ll lie and obfuscate.
Hey, wouldn’t that be a great campaign slogan for their new champion, Mike Huckabee?