The Village Church: Child Pornography is Child Sex Abuse/ Josh Duggar /Christian Janeway’s Story

“I was just four when a hired teenage field hand attempted to molest me. Miraculously, I got away, and I told my dad. My father made three important choices that day: He listened to me, he believed me, and he took action. I was one of the fortunate ones–I had a childhood.” ― Carolyn Byers Ruch link

IMG_0815
My view as I write.

[Trigger warning]

For the remainder of this series we will be discussing the issues surrounding child sex abuse via the Internet. It may cause those who have been wounded by such abuse to experience flashbacks, PTSD, serious anxiety and depression. I wish that I didn't have to write about this subject but I must expose the tragedy of child sex abuse in the church. Please know that i pray for you as i write this series. May God give you the peace that passes all understanding.

I am gazing out over placid blue green waters of Seacrest Beach in Florida. Yet it hides danger like sharks, rip currents, and jelly fish. I have been contemplating how often the church portrays itself as a gentle, kindly place but underneath there is danger. There is a danger because, for all of the talk about obedience, Christians and those posing as Christians are sinners.

Yesterday a reader pointed me to this post, The Loveliest Church in All the Land written by Lore Ferguson

Every time I proclaim how much I love my church, I feel somewhat suspect. I sit under teaching weekly most people only experience at conferences and special events. I sit at the feet of some of the best thinkers and teachers, men and women, in the Church today. Not for one second do I forget it.

Towards the end of this post, she admits that there are still some blemishes but they are dealing with this via church discipline!

We have faults and failures and holes and lacks. We spend much time pressing back darkness and engaging in discipline. 

I am glad she wrote this before The Village Church discipline became major evangelical news. She demonstrates the stark naïveté that often leads to problems of cover up in today's evangelical church. No, Lore, your church is not the loveliest in the land. Your church engages in sinful behavior just as much as any other church. We must never forget that at The Village Church (TVC from this point) and many other churches, "There be sharks here."

Let us hope your visions of TVC's loveliness are demonstrated in the days to come. 


Child pornography is child sex abuse (Graphic but necessary to make my point.)

For the duration of our series on TVC and Jordan Root, I will be referring the child pornography as child sex abuse. I am stunned at the number of people who think child pornography is a victimless crime. Already I am seeing tweets from poorly educated individuals asking the question "But did he actually harm children or only look?"

I will be writing a post on the issues surrounding child pornography later next week. Do you know that people rape little children online while children are crying for their mommies, while they are drugged, while they have been sold into child sex slavery? Did you know that babies are raped online?

Folks,  we are not dealing with some guy who is drooling upon a woman who has decided to show her surgically altered enormous frontage online. (Aside, many of these women have been trafficked as well. ) We are dealing with a guy is being sexually gratified by looking at scared, traficked or drugged children being violated in all sorts of ways. 

The implications of this are enormous. We are dealing with violence, violation, felony, a seriously flawed sexual identity, the willingness to cause harm to another, etc. By viewing these images, Jordan Root participated in the exploitation of little children and keep this wretched industry alive. This is like driving the getaway car for a guy who just killed his wife. 

For the duration of this series, I would ask that those of you who understand this, refer to Jordan Root's crime as participating in Internet based child sex abuse. I will be writing the narrative of the Jordan Root story on Monday which will fill in some blanks. I have been in contact with Karen and she will have the final word on what is said and not said. She is an amazingly brave woman who has carefully thought through her motives in exposing this story. I am so grateful to have gotten to know her.


Two more revelations: Josh Duggar and Matt Makela (Graphic)

​As you probably know, I am on vacation. I would love to post the narrative of the TVC/Root story today but my time is limited since this is a special time with my family. I want to carefully write the story and it will take many hours to do justice to it. So, here are two stories in the news right now.

Josh Duggar

The Duggar family has benefited greatly from their willingness to put their family into the public eye. They have portrayed a family that knows "how to prevent sexual sin in kids" by courtship dating, their refusal to go to beaches because of bikinis, and teaching hte boys to look to the ground when a certified Duggar immodest™ woman walks by. They show just how lovely they all are. Except, their family sins, and sins badly, just like the rest of of us sinners who go to beaches which I am about to do momentarily, wretch that I am.

     The quick version: 

Josh reportedly sexually molested 5 girls, some of whom are allegedly his sisters, when he was 14-15 years old. It was reported to the police one year later but the guy they reported it to is now serving 56 years for Internet based child sex abuse (56 years- Take note TVC). He was sent away by his parents for a few months to physically work very hard. His mother said he did not receive counseling but his wife said he did. Of course, they do not define *counseling.* Link and Link Both sides of the mouth still talking…Josh has resigned from his job at the Family Research Counsel in which he made a number of declarations on how to keep children safe.

     My concern:

Josh Duggar is now the father of 3 children with another expected in June. Has he received professional counseling for his problem? Also, kids who molest have often been molested themselves. Has the angle been explored carefully? I wonder if there are more things swimming under the radar?

Matt Makela

A Lutheran pastor with an alleged penchant for being anti-LGBT, was allegedly found advertising for services on Grindr-a gay meet up site. He has since resigned from his church. He allegedly told one teen who cam to him for counseling that:

 he (teen) would go to hell for being gay.

Here is a report from NBC news.


Christian Janeway's Story

I'm going to share a story of loss with you. It's personal, it's painful, and I hate going back through the memory, even to write this. However, I feel like it's vital that the Christian community understands this type of loss, because they're about to experience it this weekend. (ed. note: The Village Church Scandal)

The Innocence

I was eighteen. My dad sat in the driver's seat, admiring his new wedding band.

“This is perfect,” he said, “A gift from my soul mate.”

We were chatting in the car while we waited for my mom and and sister to finish getting ready for dinner. Our family had finally weathered a nasty storm, where my mother was certain my dad was having an affair with a woman at his office. (Let's call her Cassandra. She was his employer's daughter.) However, he'd worked for over a year to regain my mom's trust, and now we were all about to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary.

My parents had already found new rings. His band had a little row of diamonds across the center, and they glinted in the fading sunlight.

“I don't see how your mother could ever think I would go out on her,” he said. He smiled, and spoke the words softly, with such love. “She's been with me through so much. I love her deeply, and I don't know how I could ever live without her.”

They had been through a lot. My father had a rags-to-riches career, marked by loss of dreams, recovery from drug addiction, and alcoholism. My mother had devoted herself to getting him well, and had often lost her own identity in the process. However, things changed when my dad tripled his salary by taking a new job in a different state. We'd lived there for three years, and finally felt like life was returning to normal. It was nice to see my mom relaxing a bit, and her own personality unfolding.

“No one could ever replace your mother.” I loved the winsome, tender way he said that. “Besides,” his smile turned to a sneer, “Cassandra is such a pig.”

I was a bit taken aback—why did he have to insult Cassandra to insist that he wasn't sleeping with her? Well…she did have a reputation of being promiscuous. Maybe she'd propositioned him at some point, and he was disgusted by her actions.

That made sense.

My dad was a good man. He lavished gifts on me and my sister, he was well-respected, he supported our local church, and he was even playing the part of Jesus in an Easter play that I'd written. Someone like my dad would sneer at such a come-on.

College Graduation…

Four years later, I found out my dad was leaving my mom–for a woman he'd been having an affair with for two years.

My mom attempted suicide. Three times.

I won't go into all of the horrid details of that season of my life. However, let's fast-forward to a year after my dad remarried.

Then Comes Marriage…

I was a new mom, and took my baby daughter to visit my dad and stepmom at Thanksgiving, while my husband was dealing with the insanity of final exams. I don't know why my father did this, but the day after all the other family went home, he told me directly, “I had an affair with Cassandra.”

It started right after he'd taken the new job. He said his boss wanted him to leave my mom, and marry Cassandra, but that she was a “pig,” and he wouldn't do it. “She was in love with me, though,” he said, “and used to follow me all over the office.”

He smiled, like he was proud of it.  (Before you say, “You're reading meaning into his facial expressions that you don't know is there,” remember, this is my father. I know the difference between pride and shame on his face. Pride is when I won the blue ribbon in the swim meet. Shame is when I lost to one of his buddies' kids.)

The Loss

According to my white-haired sociology professor, most human beings have the ability to normalize what they're experiencing. When we look at a situation, our first tendency is to believe nothing is really wrong, and that there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for what's happening.
As an extreme example, he told the story of a serial killer who hid the bodies of his victims in dumpsters. As serial killers are prone to do, he became more and more bold, and started hiding dismembered legs and arms and torsos in his own household garbage. One day, a leg was sticking out of the covered garbage can that was sitting on his curb. A neighbor saw it, and (seriously?? seriously!?!?!?!) went to the serial killer's house to ask,

“Why do you have a leg sticking out of your trash?”
“Oh, I'm sorry, it was part of a medical experiment at school. Was it smelling up your house??”
“Yeah, and the flies are all over the place! Can you get rid of it?”
“Sure, I'm so, so, sorry. I'll have it out of here today.”

Two more women were killed between that neighborly request for pest control and the police finally tracking down the serial killer.
(I've looked for a source for this for over ten years. All I can tell you is that it was a part of a sociology class lecture in 2002 or 2003. I may have some details wrong. If you can find a link or a source for it, please let me know at XianJaneway@gmail.com)

This is why parents will often say, “My child could never do that!” to a beleaguered teacher who's trying to stop a bully from escalating. They raised that child, and they're sure he could never hit someone.

This is why people don't go to the ER when they first feel chest pains, because they're sure the spicy chili they had the night before is causing it.
This is why no one believes the preacher they love could be protecting a pedophile, because they've been so blessed by the preacher's teaching and pastoral care.

However, the day that my father told me the truth about his affair, I lost the ability to “normalize” anything.
I can never again see a sincere, sweet, smiling man who played Jesus in an Easter play, and automatically assume that his sweetness, sincerity, and church attendance meant he was telling the truth.

Yes, my father knelt down beside my bed and prayed with me when I was a child. Yes, he provided well, and gave me so much affection. Yes, he supported my missions trips, and bought me a car.

None of that changes the fact that he is a skilled, manipulative liar.

Plenty of people have told me that my father has “repented.” However, none of them heard the tender, soft, heart-felt denial of his affair that night in our family garage. None of them heard how much affection he can put into a lie. None of them had heard him swear on the Bible that he had not touched any drugs. None of them had to re-evaluate every childhood memory, and realize, “Oh no, he actually chose jobs that would allow him to sleep around, do drugs, and swindle money from his employers and family.”

(I later found out he bragged about having *hundreds* of women while on the road. Also, he never stopped doing drugs—he only found a better way to hide it. He even “borrowed” tens of thousands of dollars from family members and employers, claiming he was going through hard times. They're still waiting for repayment. Let me know how that works out for you!)

I can't look at my father, no matter how many tears he cries, and believe him. Now, I need evidence of repentance.

Why Am I Telling You This?

I don't share this story because I want sympathy, or need additional healing. I share this story because a loss of this magnitude is often difficult to accept. People want to believe that they're blowing things out of proportion—he's not really a lying adulterous scoundrel, he was just abused as a child, or mentally ill, or “a sinner like the rest of us,” and needs forgiveness and healing. No one wants to believe they've been scammed, taken advantage of, or had the wool pulled over their eyes. No one wants to believe they've been deceived. They want everything back to normal, and the family portrait ready for the Christmas party.

Unfortunately, the Christian community is about to experience a painful loss.

Wartburg is sharing one of the most disgusting stories of spiritual abuse I've ever heard. You will recognize the names. You will cringe at the situation. You will wonder, “How could anyone in their right mind do these things?” However, you may be tempted to say, “Oh, it's not possible that THIS GUY could actually do this. We know THIS GUY. We love THIS GUY.”

I'm here to tell you, THAT GUY can do such things. Wolves in sheep's clothing look like sheep. They live around sheep, smell like sheep, and know sheep's language. However, you'll notice that they take special care to develop systems that give them power over other sheep, and insist that you get in line. Sheep that mysteriously disappear are labeled heretics or haters. (To this day, my family believes I broke contact with my father because I'm “bitter” over his divorce. They seem to forget I sang at his wedding.)

Brace yourself: a painful revelation is coming. Once you see it, you may want to reevaluate everything this person has taught you. It's hard, but sifting through the chaff to get to the truth is worth it. It's easier to focus on God when there's no wool over your eyes.
 
(Quote removed at request of author)
 

Comments

The Village Church: Child Pornography is Child Sex Abuse/ Josh Duggar /Christian Janeway’s Story — 595 Comments

  1. CANCER VICTIM ALLEGES MISCONDUCT. Carolyn Kruse, Aurora, filed
    suit against her minister and church, saying he coerced her into a sexual
    relationship when she went for counseling while ill with Hodgkin’s
    disease. Sued is John R. Leonard, pastor of Harvest Christian
    Center, who told the congregation Kruse was possessed by a demon.
    Source: Rocky Mountain News. ))))
    Well there goes my anonymity by claiming 1st…but first off, kudos to Dee/Deb for excellent coverage. Pulitzer Prize not withstanding. Will forward one day details of episodes that occurred in Denver for over 10 years from the mid 80’s to mid 90’s. Point being, the situation as reported by the Rocky Mountain News on Harvest Christian Center (which was actually a Vineyard church, having just changed its name)was by a woman claiming sexual abuse. But she was not alone. Discovery by her attys found over 20+ similar incidents. Carolyn passed away soon after the lawsuit was filed. However, here is the point. All the Denver are pastors whom were closely aligned with John Leonard remained silent. Many of them today are still active in ministry and prominent among certain evangelical circles. Some were tightly involved with Promise Keepers…and now one particular one, iHop. Many may complain that TWW is bad to openly publish…but the bodies that have been killed in the name of power and sexual abuse is frightening. Carolyn only found a voice via the law, the church ignored her, beat her up,…and she died from both physical and spiritual ailments…all because a pastor maintained his power and accused her of being of the Devil. How many instances do we have to hear of before others speak out??? Carolyn….you are not forgotten.

    January 1992 – Carolyn Kruse files a lawsuit claiming her pastor, John R. Leonard of Harvest Christian Center, had sex with her during counseling sessions. Leonard told his congregation that Kruse is possessed by a demon, according to the suit. Kruse, who is married, and Leonard met with church elders in March 1991. She told them she wanted Leonard to resign and retract statements he had made. Instead, the elders told her she should possibly undergo exorcism, the suit says.

  2. Having lived a sheltered life, it’s hard for me to imagine the degree of pain that the discovery of Christian Janeway’s father’s lies and manipulation caused her. When it’s anti-gay bigot who gets caught with his pants down (literally) on Grindr, I find it hard not to feel a bit of schadenfreude. But the loss of innocence and trust is harder to accept when it’s someone whose writings have genuinely helped me deal with the leftover rubbish from my years in fundamentalist purgatory, who turns out to be covering up problems with people on their (ok, I should own up and say “my,” too) side. I’ve felt that “this can’t be true” feeling, and it was … challenging … to come to terms with it.

  3. Honestly, I am worried that this story is being overshadowed by the Duggar case. While that case is horrific, it’s not really surprising to 98% of people. Further, I only see a small handful of people that are even aware of the Village Church problem, and most people in those circles don’t care and think “oh well he was apparently reported to the authorities.” Move on. The VC is walking on like nothing happened, and such is the same for the people who are in those circles. I don’t think anyone really cares. More and more cases would have to come out, I think, before there would be any real acknowledgement from people in those circles.

  4. As an addendum, to be clear, my beliefs have more in common with Rachel Held Evans, and much less with Tony Jones. But my initial reaction to that situation was rather different from my reaction to pretty much every homophobe who gets caught on the down low (and curiously enough, this happens regularly).

    On another note, the short-lived men’s small group at my church started a Matt Chandler book once (after we’d been through books by R.C. Sproul, Tim Keller, and C.S. Lewis, which were much better, even if I didn’t agree with everything therein), and I was never able to figure out why he has the reputation that he does. Maybe his sermons are better, but the book seemed to be poorly written and more derivative than usual for modern Christian writing targeted at a general audience.

  5. “…more derivative than usual for a modern Christian writing?”
    _______________________________________

    Great scott, how derivative must that book be?”

  6. I became embroiled in an online controversy in the world (of all places) of online Tolkien fanfiction. A fanfic writer had written and published on fanfic site(s) a “love story” of Frodo and Sam, starting when the character Sam was perhaps eight years old (and Frodo would have been considerably older). It might even have been cast as a “forbidden love story”. I don’t know for certain, as I never read the story itself.

    What I did, was react to some beautifully rendered drawings that an artist (not the author) published online, to illustrate the story. There was one drawing in particular, of teenage Frodo holding young Sam, that troubled me. It was beautifully done, winsome, innocent-looking unless you looked very closely. (I am so grateful for someone who came alongside me, in the midst of the battle, to give me a reality check, to tell me I wasn’t overreacting to the picture, but that it was triggering to another besides myself.)

    I published a plea on my online journal account, to fanfic artists, that they refrain from publishing such pictures, from lending their encouragement to child sex abuse. I talked about how abusers can and do use such pictures to groom their young targets.

    This post started a miniature firestorm in the fanfic community. People unfriended me, people denounced me as a bigot. That wasn’t so bad, because… What really hurt were the “Christian” “friends” who told me I was being narrow-minded; that the drawings, the story they illustrated, were not harmful because they were fictional!

    I almost left the fanfic community over this. Indeed, I left that particular community, and I stopped interacting with those “Christians” who saw no problem with “fictional” child sex abuse, basically cutting them out of my life. (I’m sure they felt no loss.) I pulled in, restricted my activity to a fanfic site that had very strict policies as to what could be published, and stopped interacting, for the most part, with the wider world of fanfic.

    And yes, I realize that fanfiction is only marginally legal. It was a hobby, something I found relaxation in writing and reading stories set in another author’s world.

    I admit it, I’m timid. I stood up against child sex abuse in my own little world, I said my piece, I fought through that controversy to its bittersweet end (the artist pulled down the pictures from the internet, and I got denounced for my vicious attack on a sensitive soul). But I didn’t keep on fighting — I stopped there, and withdrew. I had to stop there, for my own mental health. It was exhausting, and I was exhausted from the fight.

    So I salute you for pressing forward, for keeping up the good fight.

  7. Law Prof wrote:

    Great scott, how derivative must that book be?

    We only made it a couple of chapters into the book before the group kind of fell apart. The working hypothesis I maintained at the time was that it was a collection of Matt Chandler’s sermons for which someone was given manuscripts, and then ghost wrote, or should I say ghost massaged, er… ghost edited … into a book.

  8. So is it reasonable to conclude that Samuel Shutup James’ post about not posting/commenting on embarrassing things and Kevin DenialYoung’s post about the evil watchbloggers who are weeping prophets were about The Village news? I guess I’m losing my confidence in coincidence.

  9. Emily wrote:

    The VC is walking on like nothing happened, and such is the same for the people who are in those circles. I don’t think anyone really cares. More and more cases would have to come out, I think, before there would be any real acknowledgement from people in those circles.

    PA system at work just played an old John Mellencamp song that could be an epitaph for Karen, Julie McMahon, and all those others:
    “I FIGHT AUTHORITY — AUTHORITY ALWAYS WINS!”

  10. Josh, Doctor of Pulchritudinousness wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    Great scott, how derivative must that book be?
    We only made it a couple of chapters into the book before the group kind of fell apart. The working hypothesis I maintained at the time was that it was a collection of Matt Chandler’s sermons for which someone was given manuscripts, and then ghost wrote, or should I say ghost massaged, er… ghost edited … into a book.

    Those are pretty much the worst–with the sole exception, to my knowledge, of Mere Christianity. But neither Matt Chandler nor any of the usual suspects is a C.S. Lewis, to put it mildly.

  11. Deb wrote:

    @ Emily:
    We are going to do everything we can to make sure Karen’s story gets the attention it deserves.

    I hope so. The Duggar thing will get a lot of coverage in the secular media while The Village outrage will likely be dismissed as just inside baseball. If anything changes in the Authoritarian churches, it will have to be from within the conservative churches and preferably led by someone formerly blinded by the Acts9/MarsHill/9Marks authoritarianism who has breathed the fresh air of the true Gospel.

  12. I personally think most Christian books–with the exception of the Bible–should be tossed in the nearest circular file cabinet.

  13. Deb wrote:

    @ Emily:
    We are going to do everything we can to make sure Karen’s story gets the attention it deserves.

    Except now Karen’s story is competing with that media darling, Reality Show CELEBRITY Scandals.
    op cit John Mellencamp above.

  14. I’m here to tell you, THAT GUY can do such things. Wolves in sheep’s clothing look like sheep. They live around sheep, smell like sheep, and know sheep’s language.

    Remember the interviews with friends and relatives of recently-arrested Serial Killers and Serial Rapists? “But he was such a NICE Boy!”?

    Successful serial killers, successful child molesters, successful psychopaths, successful abusers, successful sociopaths, successful NPDs — all are masters at camouflaging what they really are and Transforming themselves to Appear as Angels of Light. (To everyone except their chosen victims.) If they weren’t, they’d have been exposed and caught long ago. We only hear about the ones who slipped up.

  15. Unfortunately, the Christian community is about to experience a painful loss.
    Having experienced several of these over the past couple years, I can say I’m not surprised.

    Thanks for all you do.

  16. Law Prof wrote:

    But neither Matt Chandler nor any of the usual suspects is a C.S. Lewis, to put it mildly.

    I’m going to guess the book is The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler *with* Jared Wilson, who is one of the Usual Suspects. And he earned a slot in that group with his post defending Doug Wilson’s penetrate-conquer-plant-colonize disgrace.

    So my guess is that their gospel take on this situation is that the gospel calls us to repentance (but not the leaders) and calls us to submission (but not the leaders and never for the male pewpeons to females) and offers grace (but not to the victims who make us look bad) and gives us the opportunity to show humility (never by the leaders or the males) and obedience (always for the pewpeons and certainly always for the females.) That’s pretty explicit, and some of us get that news loud and clear.

  17. HUG – Slight modification to what you say:

    They also sometimes let their true faces show not just before victims, but also in front of those whom they have judged to be ineffective at stopping them. When I experienced the narcissistic/sociopathic sadism and rage of the pastor at the church where I was one of two elders, it was in a private meeting of three, we two elders and the pastor. But elder #2, my cohort, was one of these “nice” guys who just doesn’t have the internal strength to stand up to sociopath pastor. But when elder #2 saw pastor’s true face when he was unloading on me for about half an hour, I looked over at him and thought he was going to fall to pieces, he started shaking and stammering, couldn’t believe what he was seeing, probably did about 100 double takes in that half hour. But of course, never did a thing about it, don’t know if he ever backed me up, told the truth. I left that church and never looked back, sociopathic pastor is still at the helm (though from what I can tell they’re dwindling to pretty pathetic attendance).

  18. a) I grew up on the coast and now live inland. That beach photo makes me happy and jealous at the same time.

    b) On rape drugs and human trafficking pertaining to the porn industry:
    Rape Drugs, Roadside Stands, and Human Trafficking: There Are No Innocent Bystanders

    https://timfall.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/rape-drugs-roadside-stands-and-human-trafficking-there-are-no-innocent-bystanders-see-more-at-httpwww-jennyraearmstrong-com20120612rape-drugs-roadside-stands-and-human-trafficking/

    [MOD:Edit] I changed the link formatting. Please don’t use fancy linking. Too many times people mess it up and we have to fix it later. Plus we want people to see exactly where they are going when they click a link from a commenter.

  19. @ Josh:

    When it’s anti-gay bigot who gets caught with his pants down (literally) on Grindr

    This name sounds funny to me because in CT, a “grinder” is a sub sandwich…

  20. New article out covering TVC story:
    She told Christian Today she believed there was “an unwavering commitment to an extreme theology of church authority combined with a strong desire to control the narrative and maintain control of the situation” at The Village Church. She said that after she arrived in Dallas, she was told by a pastor that the elders were instructing her not to separate her finances from her husband’s because it “felt too much like a step toward divorce” to them and they were “not ready to approve any steps that would bring further separation to our marriage”.
    http://www.christiantoday.com/article/church.disciplines.wife.for.wanting.to.divorce.husband.who.admitted.paedophile.leanings/54480.htm

    “When I asked why the elders felt as though my choices about personal finances were within the scope of their authority, I was informed that ‘In a marriage separation, every aspect of your marriage is under the authority of the elders of the church’,” she said.

  21. I sit at the feet of some of the best thinkers and teachers, men and women, in the Church today. Not for one second do I forget it.
    Ha! Ah Ha! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Really? Really??? My how blessed you are! Although I sincerely doubt the “women” part, especially in the realm of teaching (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). Some of us, however, are not respecters of persons, ya know? And we are totally not impressed with your sycophantic ignorance and the way it empowers abusers.

  22. @ Law Prof:
    Sociopathic Pastor had Elder #2 very well-trained, didn’t he?

    “SIT! SPEAK! ROLL OVER! GOOD BOY! (pat pat pat and dog biscuit)”

    Or (if you’re into Game of Thrones) like Ramsey has Reek very well-trained.

  23. Amy Smith wrote:

    “When I asked why the elders felt as though my choices about personal finances were within the scope of their authority, I was informed that ‘In a marriage separation, every aspect of your marriage is under the authority of the elders of the church’,” she said.

    There are not words for this. There is no explanation or excuse for this. And there is certainly nothing in the Bible that says anything remotely like this. God did not give any human being this kind of authority and power. These men have been made mad by inhaling the toxic fumes of their false doctrines.

  24. @ Law Prof:

    It is amazing, when the public face retracts and you see almost a demonic face behind it, red face, protruding eyes, projecting fury, even evil…

  25. Law Prof wrote:

    I personally think most Christian books–with the exception of the Bible–should be tossed in the nearest circular file cabinet.

    You are so right! I recently tossed all of my Christian books (save my Bible) in the recycling container and it was liberating.

  26. Tim wrote:

    [MOD:Edit] I changed the link formatting. Please don’t use fancy linking. Too many times people mess it up and we have to fix it later. Plus we want people to see exactly where they are going when they click a link from a commenter

    Okey dokey artichokey, got it!

  27. @ Deb:

    I always felt things were a little to picture perfect in the Dugger family. What really frustrates me is Mike Huckebees declaration of standing by the Duggers and that everyone makes mistakes. When are we as a nation going to face this disgusting pedophilia with transparency and make a stand with and for the victim? When?? I pray for complete brokenness in this stronghold and that we start holding these that abuse accountable.

  28. Amy Smith wrote:

    Rage Against the Minivan:
    The Duggars, The Village, and the role of the church in sexual abuse allegations

    “1. Immediately calling Child Protective Services to report suspected neglect or abuse of a child. Proof is not required – that is the job of the investigator.”

    When reading this part I immediately thought, out of all the people initially involved in Josh Duggar’s crime, it was Harpo productions that had the correct response. What does that say about the church? (Rhetorical question.)

    I think it is not a good day for TVC when they find themselves discussed along with the crimes of Josh Duggar. I’m not so sure they realize how serious Jordan’s actions are.

  29. Gram3 wrote:

    I’m going to guess the book is The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler *with* Jared Wilson, who is one of the Usual Suspects.

    A thousand points to Gram3! I just looked back in my Kindle library, and sure enough, that was the book, sitting there unfinished (a state in which it will likely remain forever).

    @ Hester:
    It’s just the latest in a line of apps that can’t spell. Flickr, Tumblr, Grindr, etc. I guess it’s this season’s “cool” spelling faux pas, like spelling everything with an “i” in front was some time ago…

  30. With the Village Church I applaud Karen so much! I cannot for the life of me understand all of this, it is so disgusting!

  31. From the CT article:

    [Steve Hardin says] “We are continuing to pray for those named in this blog and for those posting the blogs that the Lord Jesus would be glorified and his Church would be sanctified through it all.”

    Great, Steve. Let’s see that process start with you repenting of your abusive behavior and standing for the little person who cannot benefit you. Let’s see you lead your church in the sanctification process by apologizing for your despicable treatment of your sister in Christ. That would bring glory to Jesus’ name, but the actions which you and your fellow elders have taken certainly does not “adorn the gospel.”

    The church’s communications director Kent Rabalais said: “As a church, we strive to maintain a consistent process of pastoral care that follows the biblical steps and principles outlined in the membership covenant and bylaws approved by our members.”

    This sounds like something a low-level bureaucrat at the DMV might say. Kent, Jesus does not care about your procedures and your human bylaws and your human church covenant. Jesus cares about how you as elders who claim his authority treat the little ones for whom he died.

    Please think about this. Do you have daughters? Granddaughters?

    I know that this is not a sweet statement. Nor is it winsome. Nor does it show proper female deference. For a season, I thought it might be refreshing for you to hear some straight talk. If you want to act like the scribes and Pharisees who were so scrupulous about observing their laws, then prepare yourselves to hear what they heard.

  32. refugee wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    It is amazing, when the public face retracts and you see almost a demonic face behind it, red face, protruding eyes, projecting fury, even evil…

    Sometimes the face is oddly cool when it should not be. Sometimes it is even cold and even and carefully measured. I’ve seen both varieties.

  33. @ Josh, Doctor of Pulchritudinousness:
    Josh, i wasn’t surprised to see that Matt Makela belongs to the LCMS (Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod). As opposed to, say, the synod I’m part of, the ELCA, whichmis (iin general) pretyy much on the “affirming” side these days. I don’t want to make it serm like all LCMS people are hypocritcal or whatever, but part of the tipoff as to his affiliation (for me) was thst he threatened a gay kid with hell. I really cannot imagine that happening in my synod, though it could well be that I’m woefully ignorant. Otoh, growing up, i never heard *anyone* threatened with hellfire and brimstone from the pulpit. Maybe it’s just the PA German types who aren’t big on it, or maybe it’s that some of our Quaker neighbors’ “peaceable kingdom” ethos rubbed off on us. I just know for sure that the Upper Midwest is avery different ballgame, and that most of the Lutherans out there are not from the same background as me. (Might serm like a small thing, but a lot of the Lutheran descendants ofmore recent immigrants were still holding services in the languages of their country of origin not that many decades ago… and Lutheranism is a pretty broad label, really.)

  34. @ numo:
    I have known some lovely LCMS people, but think the Midwestern LCMS crew can be ultra-dogmatic (includes their refusal to ordain women, closed communion, and more).

  35. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Successful serial killers, successful child molesters, successful psychopaths, successful abusers, successful sociopaths, successful NPDs — all are masters at camouflaging… (To everyone except their chosen victims.) If they weren’t, they’d have been exposed and caught long ago….</blockquote

    I think that there are quite perceptive people (non-victims) who pick up on the patterns of dangerous predators and sound the alarm call as well as get out of harms way. I and my astute family members have picked up on the behaviors of child molesters and other dangerous people. (I like Gavin De Becker's book The Gift of Fear which explains the tactics of predators.)

  36. From the main body of the post:

    “It is as though we want to believe that God can create the subatomic structure, but is clueless when faced with how to aid or fix our painting, sculpture, writing, film.”–Julia Cameron

    I gotta admit that I’m as clueless as the entity referred to in the quote attributed to Ms. Cameron. Can somebody help me out with its meaning?

  37. Faith wrote:

    @ Deb:

    I always felt things were a little to picture perfect in the Dugger family. What really frustrates me is Mike Huckebees declaration of standing by the Duggers and that everyone makes mistakes. When are we as a nation going to face this disgusting pedophilia with transparency and make a stand with and for the victim? When?? I pray for complete brokenness in this stronghold and that we start holding these that abuse accountable.

    There have been no statements issued from the young women victims. Statements from the Duggers ( mom and pop) a statement from the offender, but nary a word from the victims. Who really knows their story, are they even allowed to speak of their molestation. I feel badly for them, trapped in a home they can’t escape. ( and heaven only knows what ” counsel” they received.

  38. @ Emily:

    Totally agree….don’t take this the wrong way. But between the two I am more concerned about the Matt Chandler situation. Here’s why…I don’t know a lot of people running around acting like the Duggars are the fourth member of the trinity. The Duggars aren’t responsible for faith in found zero in a denomination like Matt Chandler is. I’m not trying to be insensitive….but between the two I would like to see the focus on Matt Chandler.

  39. laura wrote:

    The victims of teenage ‘folly’…. well lets just say folly like that takes place every day…..In your home town…. not one person does anything ‘disciplinarian’ about it…… just carry on with life…. do we need to go back to teenage marriages to correct these molesting teenager problems???? perhaps but economically not possible…. human minds have been imprinted with much history and information about such….. teenage ‘flings’

    I’m sorry, are you referring to Josh Duggar molesting his sisters as a teenage fling? I want to make sure I understand you correctly here.

  40. Eagle wrote:

    @ Emily:
    Totally agree….don’t take this the wrong way. But between the two I am more concerned about the Matt Chandler situation. Here’s why…I don’t know a lot of people running around acting like the Duggars are the fourth member of the trinity. The Duggars aren’t responsible for faith in found zero in a denomination like Matt Chandler is. I’m not trying to be insensitive….but between the two I would like to see the focus on Matt Chandler.

    I agree, Eagle.

  41. Thankfully, i have not personally been around someone that close to me and also that much of a wolf, so thanks for the eye-witness insight and perspective, Capt. Janeway. I hope you’ll continue to find healing in your life and your family’s.

    Unfortunately, for some, these terrible things are always done by “those liberal churches” or that weird church down the road that everyone knows is a cult, but not possible in the bastions of evangelicism and orthodoxy – the evil is all out there in the world! The church name is so appropriate though – M Night Shyamalan would be proud.

    I had a few comments on Facebook when i shared Amy’s link to this story – Dee, I might share with you via email if I get a chance. I told you I’d get some defenders and “whats the big deal”.

  42. numo wrote:

    Josh, i wasn’t surprised to see that Matt Makela belongs to the LCMS (Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod). As opposed to, say, the synod I’m part of, the ELCA, whichmis (iin general) pretyy much on the “affirming” side these days. I don’t want to make it serm like all LCMS people are hypocritcal or whatever, but part of the tipoff as to his affiliation (for me) was thst he threatened a gay kid with hell. I really cannot imagine that happening in my synod, though it could well be that I’m woefully ignorant.

    On the other hand, I am LCMS, and not only does telling someone they will go to hell for being gay not characterize anything I’ve experienced in our denom, but it is contradictory to the Lutheran understanding of Law and Gospel. I expected WELS or one of the more fundy groups (although there are plenty of LCMS folks that I would call fundamentalist). Still, if it was going to happen, it wouldn’t probably happen in ELCA, because, you know, he could just come out as gay.

  43. Gram3 wrote:

    refugee wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    It is amazing, when the public face retracts and you see almost a demonic face behind it, red face, protruding eyes, projecting fury, even evil…

    Sometimes the face is oddly cool when it should not be. Sometimes it is even cold and even and carefully measured. I’ve seen both varieties.

    I think it was because the face had always been so good natured, kind, self-deprecating. To see the transformation was a great shock.

  44. To our readers

    It is now out in the open with Karen’s permission. Jordan Root confessed to Karen that he had molested two kids when he was a kid. It was never reported. More on Monday…

  45. @Hester – yes, the good old “grinder”. I am in CT right now and won’t be having a grinder, but may get a pizza because, even though it will raise my cholesterol, there’s nothing like eating a really good pizza. Can’t get it in MD>

  46. @ Albuquerque Blue:
    Thank you for caring. It is really hard keeping up with all of this while trying to do activities with my family. I am actually looking forward to getting home so I can manage this all a bit better.

  47. Muff Potter wrote:

    From the main body of the post:

    Muff, that quote was actually my email signature, and it wasn’t supposed to be in the post at all. 😛 So sorry! 😀

  48. Law Prof wrote:

    I personally think most Christian books–with the exception of the Bible–should be tossed in the nearest circular file cabinet.

    Well, if you recycle them, they might go on to a very useful afterlife as a roll of toilet paper. So don’t just bin them yet.

  49. dee wrote:

    To our readers
    It is now out in the open with Karen’s permission. Jordan Root confessed to Karen that he had molested two kids when he was a teen

    Karen, thank you so much for caring more about Jordan’s victims than the distress I know this has caused you. And shame on TVC for standing by the pedophile and punishing Karen!

  50. GovPappy wrote:

    I had a few comments on Facebook when i shared Amy’s link to this story – Dee, I might share with you via email if I get a chance. I told you I’d get some defenders and “whats the big deal”.

    I look forward to hearing what these individuals have to say bout this one.

  51. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    laura wrote:
    The victims of teenage ‘folly’…. well lets just say folly like that takes place every day…..In your home town…. not one person does anything ‘disciplinarian’ about it…… just carry on with life…. do we need to go back to teenage marriages to correct these molesting teenager problems???? perhaps but economically not possible…. human minds have been imprinted with much history and information about such….. teenage ‘flings’

    I’m sorry, are you referring to Josh Duggar molesting his sisters as a teenage fling? I want to make sure I understand you correctly here.

    It’s shocking to me the number of times in the news media that male sexual predators preying upon girls is defined as ‘a relationship’? No, it’s “a FELONY crime”!

  52. I wanted to share this link to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s [I.C.E.] website about the international efforts to stop predators who have committed sex crimes against children and the related laws/punishments for U.S. citizens.

    http://www.ice.gov/predator

    I.C.E. is a division of the U.S. Homeland Security.

  53. @ Mae:

    The Duggar debacle was just on the national news broadcast. It was announced that TLC has pulled the Duggar program for now.

  54. @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:
    Oh, i thought the same re. WELS, but i have, over the past few years, come across morethan a few fundy-ish LCMS sites, so…

    I would imagine that many things depend on the locale and individual congregation, as with us. I mean, not all ELCA churches/congregations are affirming, and there are places that would *not* want any openly gay clergy on staff.

    It’s the threatening a kid with hell that is so out of character in the really pretty conservative ELCA churches in my area that set off alarm bells for me. I literally cannot imagine PA Dutch Lutherans having anything to do with that kind of thinking.

  55. @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:
    Huh. I have never heard much law vs. Gospel talk in any Lutheran church I’ve been part of, both ELCA & LCMS. In fact, zero from the pulpit. I think this is not as vwidespread as some people believe.

  56. Former CLC’er wrote:

    @Hester – yes, the good old “grinder”. I am in CT right now and won’t be having a grinder, but may get a pizza because, even though it will raise my cholesterol, there’s nothing like eating a really good pizza. Can’t get it in MD>

    Never pass up the opportunity to get a good pizza!

  57. dee wrote:

    To our readers

    It is now out in the open with Karen’s permission. Jordan Root confessed to Karen that he had molested two kids when he was a teen-ala Josh Duggar. It was never reported. More on Monday…

    Dee, how does this reconcile with how she called Jordan to confess if he had molested any kids? Did she know at the time of her statement in Amy’s article or is this new to her too?

  58. Gram3 wrote:

    The Duggar thing will get a lot of coverage in the secular media while The Village outrage will likely be dismissed as just inside baseball

    Maybe…maybe not. The Duggar publicity could feasibly encourage other victims to have the courage to expose their own abuse. I hope this will be the case.

  59. Michaela wrote:

    It’s shocking to me the number of times in the news media that male sexual predators preying upon girls is defined as ‘a relationship’?

    …or “a very long time ago, when I was very young, I made a mistake…” 🙁

  60. I just read that TLC knew about this in 2005 or 2006, yet the show went on describing the Duggers as this super pristine, Christian, quiverful family. Oprah also knew and scrubbed them from an interview. I may be wrong but I think the only reason Josh Dugger probably came out in public is because someone was going to spill the beans here pretty soon- just my take.

  61. Faith wrote:

    I just read that TLC knew about this in 2005 or 2006, yet the show went on describing the Duggers as this super pristine, Christian, quiverful family.

    RATINGS! RATINGS! RATINGS!

    Just like that other Reality Show with the Christianese tie-ins (including CHRISTIAN(TM) Autobiographies and Show-themed Study Bibles), John & Kate Plus Eight.

  62. Victorious wrote:

    …or “a very long time ago, when I was very young, I made a mistake…”

    Shouldn’t the proper phrasing be “Mistakes Were Made”?

  63. GovPappy wrote:

    Unfortunately, for some, these terrible things are always done by “those liberal churches” or that weird church down the road that everyone knows is a cult, but not possible in the bastions of evangelicism and orthodoxy – the evil is all out there in the world!

    Or that Babylon Mystery Religion(TM) in Rome.

    The church name is so appropriate though – M Night Shyamalan would be proud.

    So would Patrick McGoohan.
    “Be Seeing You!”

  64. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    @ Faith:
    In fairness to Oprah they did the right thing. They sent the tip immediately to the cops when they got it and the cops opened an investigation immediately when they got the tip.

    Not surprised.
    Oprah herself seems to be a pretty decent person.

  65. Faith wrote:

    Oprah also knew and scrubbed them from an interview.

    It was Oprah’s production company that was tipped off, and they alerted the proper authorities. Otherwise it would probably never have been investigated. Oprah did what the Duggars and their church failed to do.

  66. Michaela wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Successful serial killers, successful child molesters, successful psychopaths, successful abusers, successful sociopaths, successful NPDs — all are masters at camouflaging… (To everyone except their chosen victims.) If they weren’t, they’d have been exposed and caught long ago….

    I think that there are quite perceptive people (non-victims) who pick up on the patterns of dangerous predators and sound the alarm call as well as get out of harms way. I and my astute family members have picked up on the behaviors of child molesters and other dangerous people. (I like Gavin De Becker’s book The Gift of Fear which explains the tactics of predators.)

    And when you sound the alarm, nobody believes you. Or everybody blames YOU. Because the abuser is “Such a NICE Boy”, SOOOO POLITE, SOOOOO SINCERE, he looks you right in the eye So Innocently, Swears to God in All Sincerity, and Butter Wouldn’t Melt in His Mouth, he is So Innocent and Sincere!

    “Go ahead and squeal, tattle-tale! Nobody will ever believe you! Because you’re just The Crazy Kid and I’m the Sweet Little Angel!”

    Sixteen years without letup.

  67. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    When reading this part I immediately thought, out of all the people initially involved in Josh Duggar’s crime, it was Harpo productions that had the correct response. What does that say about the church? (Rhetorical question.)

    It means Oprah and her staff are much more decent people who do the Right Thing than these Mighty Anointed Men-a-GAWD(TM).

  68. @ Faith:
    No worries! I’m just really impressed with someone doing the right thing in this mess and wanted to point Oprah out. Earlier you said something about the witness of Christians being damaged with this that got me thinking. When Cosby came to everyone’s attention it was shocking, but the Cosby Show was still just a show. 19 Kids and Counting has been presented as a reality. As an inspiration. In the wake of that study about the rise of nones, I wonder how this will affect that. Toss in Josh Duggar the child molester’s work with the Family Research Council, the robocalls Mrs. Duggar recorded against LGBT equality; and I think we haven’t even started seeing the ripple effect from this. On the other hand, this now being out and about such famous “good Christian folk” how many kids in similar situations are going to have the courage to come out because they can see there is support. I’ve seen a lot of reactions about this and it’s fairly universal condemnation and support for the victims above all others in my circles (Various atheist and skeptic). And in the wider world comments similar support for the victims seems to be there as well.

  69. Deb wrote:

    I’m fairly sure t was the fall of 2008 when the first episode of the Duggars aired on TLC. And we are just now hearing about this???

    The Gawker link that Faith posted above is actively pursuing who knew what and when, especially TLC. It’s going to look particularly bad if TLC went ahead with the show knowing what Josh had done.

  70. Faith wrote:

    Oprah actually did a fantastic interview with Matthew Sandusky; she handled it professionally in my opinion.

    https://youtu.be/3JZOTE61bIw

    I saw that on Amy Smith’s blog. I thought it was very well done. Kudos to Amy for fighting the good fight against predators and for all of her great resources.

  71. @ numo & Dr. Fundystan:

    I have known some lovely LCMS people, but think the Midwestern LCMS crew can be ultra-dogmatic

    This is my general impression as well. There are some loudmouth conservatives at my LCMS congregation but the district-level leadership in New England does not (in my experience) talk like Grindr guy. The folks at the mothership in St. Louis, on the other hand, might be a different story.

    I have never heard much law vs. Gospel talk in any Lutheran church I’ve been part of, both ELCA & LCMS. In fact, zero from the pulpit. I think this is not as widespread as some people believe.

    I have heard a few people in my LCMS district talk like this, but rarely. I agree it’s not as widespread as it should be. It would probably help them stay out of junk like complementarianism if it was more common.

    The LCMS church in my town talks about Lutheran doctrine like Law and Gospel, but they’re tiny. At the larger one a few towns over (which I attend), people are enamored of evangelical/megachurch culture and seem to want to adopt it. You can’t bring up Lutheran doctrine without getting a mini-lecture about how we shouldn’t be “focusing on our differences.” My brain turns off at that point. I spent years in homeschool culture with a bunch of evangelicals messaging that I should be ashamed to be Lutheran/liturgical. Well, I’m not. Deal with it, and stop mooning over theology that encourages and enables abusive BS like SGM and TVC. (They even run a couples class based on Mark Gungor videos. Don’t get me started about Mark Gungor and his ManBoxBrains.)

    As you can probably guess, I’m considering switching to the smaller congregation that’s not embarrassed to be Lutheran. It’s closer to my house anyway.

  72. Victorious wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:
    The Duggar thing will get a lot of coverage in the secular media while The Village outrage will likely be dismissed as just inside baseball
    Maybe…maybe not. The Duggar publicity could feasibly encourage other victims to have the courage to expose their own abuse. I hope this will be the case.

    Hopefully they will both be covered. We’ll see if the Dallas media and the Gospel Glitterati have anything to say. My guess is that the Usual Suspects will either be silent or will have the second-tier Usual Suspects tell everyone it is no big deal and why do we hate the great work that Matt Chandler is doing. I expect a reprise of the Driscoll non-reaction.

  73. @ numo:
    I don’t know much about LCMS, other than that they’re more conservative than ELCA (or so I’ve been told), but I wouldn’t be surprised by anything that comes out of WELS (couldn’t have named it off the top of my head, but they sound like the crazy fundamentalist Lutherans).

    On another note, the irony here with Oprah is that evangelicals love to complain about how she’s so far from orthodoxy, which is probably true, but regardless of her beliefs, she gets being a caring human being in a way that many of her haters don’t. It breaks my heart that institutional churches so frequently fail at this most rudimentary skill.

  74. Not defending Josh Duggar, and I do not know enough to know enough when it comes to this particular situation……but my two cents….

    We rightly recognize that when curious young children act with curiosity towards others that while it needs to be corrected because it is inappropriate, it isn’t the same as abuse/molestation.

    And how do we define the line between “young” and “adult” when it comes to certain behaviors? That is the challenge. I don’t agree theologically, doctrinally or with the practices in general of the Duggars and find the overly sheltered lives of their children odd and problematic. So when you take a young kid, completely cut him off from normal social development how “emotionally” old is he really at 14. Not that it makes the behavior ok in any capacity, but most 14 year olds who are curious find equally interested partners at school. Not that we say it is “ok” for a 14 year old boy to be sexually active with his 13-15 year old girlfriend, but it is clearly a much different situation. But what do you do with a lonely sheltered 14 year old boy who has no other relationships to gauge these things by.

    An extremely sheltered and unknowledgeable young boy would know he shouldn’t do “this”, but can he grasp the gravity of what it is he is doing? If you grow up with zero sexual education and you are going through puberty without appropriate guide posts and peers to talk with, it is realistic to see this behavior occur because they may be unable to fully grasp the problem with what they are doing. Since EVERYTHING is forbidden, therefore all crossed lines feel the same.

  75. Adam Borsay wrote:

    We rightly recognize that when curious young children act with curiosity towards others that while it needs to be corrected because it is inappropriate, it isn’t the same as abuse/molestation.

    That applies to 5 year old children, not a 14 year old teen.

    Adam Borsay wrote:

    but most 14 year olds who are curious find equally interested partners at school.

    There is rarely a problem when it is consensual except for angry parents. However, this was nonconsensual. The girls were violated against their will.

  76. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    I’ve seen a lot of reactions about this and it’s fairly universal condemnation and support for the victims above all others in my circles (Various atheist and skeptic). And in the wider world comments similar support for the victims seems to be there as well.

    EXCEPT among Born-Again Bible-Be-LEEEV-ing Christians(TM), of course.

  77.   __

    “Walk And Not Be Weary?”

    “Trust and not be afraid”?

    hmmm…

    Another example of what further progress Christ’s kingdom needs to make in individual lives, churches, and the wider community?

      For what it’s worth, regardless of the latest church sex scandal, Christ is still upon His throne…

    Bad things happen?

    (sadface)

    they do.

    yet,

    regardless of your present circumstances, call upon Him today,
        
    He is listening!

    “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Myself”, da Master said…

    Blessings 2U

    Sopy

  78. @ dee:

    Maybe I missed something in the stories, but I didn’t come away with an understanding that it was “forced”. Not that it was invited at all, but I didn’t read that he forced himself on them, or, that he did more than “touch”.

    Again, not ok, but a good friend had a similar situation happen when they were 10 by someone who was 12(not related though). They felt very uncomfortable, but they admitted to having a sense of curiousity, though it obviously clearly made them feel not ok, but they went along with it because they were young enough to not know better.

    If you put kids in situations where they really don’t know how to react and respond because they are completely unknowledgeable they could realistically go down a path that afterwards they say, “hey wait a minute, what was going on there??”

    My larger initial point is that overly sheltering kids creates situations in which this stuff can AND does happen. If you don’t know how to deal with what is going on with you because you have no education, peer relationships, cultural experiences, etc, it is highly possible to make decisions that are terrible ones.

    To make a clumsy analogy…you shelter your kids from knowledge of drugs in any capacity, hide them from the world, they finally are “out” and someone offers them heroin, they might very likely try it because they have no concept of what it is they are participating in. Was this person destined to be an addict? I don’t think so at all. But how you raised them put them at greater risk for becoming one when the real world came crashing in. They were unable to grasp the gravity of what was going on, nor, were they prepared to respond in a healthy way to what was in front of them because they really didn’t understand it in the first place.

  79. Mea Culpa. The village church is NOT in the Park Cities. It is to the north and under the Dallas Police Department. Sorry for the error.

  80. Adam Borsay wrote:

    but I didn’t come away with an understanding that it was “forced”. Not that it was invited at all, but I didn’t read that he forced himself on them, or, that he did more than “touch”.

    There are two problems with this response. One must give permission for any type of sexual contact. If permission was not given, it was forced. Also, an underage child cannot give permission for any type of sexual contact. It is stated that all the victims were not happy with the contact. Therefore it was forced.

    Adam Borsay wrote:

    he did more than “touch”.

    It was called sexual molestation. That is a sexual act ad it isn’t “just a touch.* It could sound as if you are downplaying what happened here. There is a reason that such actions are considered against the law.

  81. Adam Borsay wrote:

    Maybe I missed something in the stories, but I didn’t come away with an understanding that it was “forced”.

    I think you missed something. Some of it happened when the little girls were asleep. That is “forced.” Also, the father was notified by one of his daughters and did NOTHING for a long time. Have you seen this timeline? http://defamer.gawker.com/josh-duggar-accused-of-molesting-several-sisters-as-a-t-1706096839

  82. Adam Borsay wrote:

    An extremely sheltered and unknowledgeable young boy would know he shouldn’t do “this”, but can he grasp the gravity of what it is he is doing? If you grow up with zero sexual education and you are going through puberty without appropriate guide posts and peers to talk with, it is realistic to see this behavior occur because they may be unable to fully grasp the problem with what they are doing. Since EVERYTHING is forbidden, therefore all crossed lines feel the same.

    I think I hear what you are saying, and I think this ties in with what Christian Janeway said about normalization. Thinking of females as being temptresses and their bodies as being for the use of a man and even themselves as females being created expressly *for* a man can make both boys and girls have a very warped view of what is normal. Warped and twisted *is* their normal. The Bible is warped and twisted to make it say things that are warped and twisted. That doesn’t make Josh Duggar’s behavior excusable, but it does help us to understand the context for how this happened and continues to happen. We must force ourselves to be honest about what has happened and why.

    That is why we need to fight to rid the church of this cancer of genderism just like we finally saw the need to rid the church of racism. Racism is still with us but at least we recognize that it should not be so in the church. However, the utilitarian view of females by so many in the church is not from God, and the men of the church need to wake up and name it and claim it when it comes to the misogynistic, though syrupy and oh-so-spiritual, toxic doctrine and practice that is driving many away from the church. If someone had told me even 10 years ago that I would be a done, I would have laughed out loud.

    Gramp3 ran into some old friends today who are slightly younger than we but who are also disgusted by the way our conservative churches have drifted away into patriarchy, and they are out of church with no plans to go back. We haven’t left the faith. We’ve left the church because we still have the Old Faith. Our old friends are very traditional and their Christian roots are deep, but the authoritarian patriarchy that is being pushed by the Gospel Glitterati and the Doug Wilson/Doug Phillips nonsense is a new thing, or really it’s an old thing in a new and “godly” wrapper.

    That doesn’t mean that little sisters are not molested by their older brothers in non-Christian homes. But we who claim the name of Jesus really need to do much better at looking like him. We need to teach our little girls and our women that God created them as females and that he delights in them. And the men of the church need to mean that and not merely be paying the lip service that the “Complementarians” pay to the value of females.

    The Duggars are a modern freak-show who have sold themselves as role models for what Christianity is. Too many people watch it as if they really have anything to do with the Christian faith at all. It is sick, and every man and woman who is promoting any form of a genderized Christianity is complicit in what is happening right before our eyes.

    I think Christian Janeway is exactly right. We will not see it until we can no longer avoid seeing it. But by then there are more bodies and more little children and other vulnerable ones who have been hurt by these false doctrines.

  83. dee wrote:

    Also, an underage child cannot give permission for any type of sexual contact.

    Yes. The youngest victim was, I believe, 4 years old at the time?! Only a very sick teenager would sexually molest a child so young.

  84. @ Adam Borsay:
    I think you are not getting what molestation is. Including incestuous molestation.

    Please don’t try to downplay what happened. It is real, it was forcible, and it was and is damaging.

  85. @ Hester:
    Actually, i am not in favor of Lutherans making a big deal about law vs. gospel. I would far rather see the focus be on the gospel itself, and on the person of Christ. In fact, I’ve seen people online using law vs gospel as rhetorical bludgeoning, and they come off like every other variety of fundy.

    Agreed on going to the smaller congregation that isn’t embarrassed by liturgy snd so on.

  86. @ dee:

    I definitely don’t want to downplay anything. I think the understanding of what happened, why it happened, etc, is so fuzzy that it I guess I am more knee jerk reacting to those who are claiming beyond a shadow of a doubt that Josh is a “molester”(by that I mean, someone with a serious mental disorder that compels him to behave and act out and that he is an ongoing risk). May larger point is that the environment that he was growing up in makes it a reasonable argument to claim that he wasn’t fully aware(in an adult sense) the gravity of what he was doing. And when he became aware, he stopped(allegedly). Which is quite a different situation than; “serial abuser/molester”

    And I agree, acting without permission is rape/molestation. But if you are sexually unaware of practically anything at all, knowing that it is necessary to have a clear verbal agreement/invitation to do something at all is virtually impossible.

    Not to compare 1 to 1, but I have had some interesting conversations with my 5 year old lately. We live in the middle of no where and he will often relieve himself(number 1 only….he blamed a number 2 on the chickens once when he was three…and after a long talk it hasn’t happened again…..) outside somewhere since we have such a large property. He doesn’t fully get why he can go out in a field where no one can see him but not on the playground at preschool…..He just knows that it is unacceptable(still working on that one with our three year old…..) As his parents it is our job to educate him about these things and as he enters into full time school next year we have begun to have more conversations about “private parts” and how no one can see or touch etc.

    But what if we just avoided that stuff? Because we were just never letting him out of our site or sending him to school so we weren’t “worried” about it. And say that avoidance continued into puberty. We would have a very confused kid on our hands. A kid who might act in strange ways because he has no context to understand it. Would it make him a serial molester? Probably not….but it is stacking the deck against him having an healthy understanding of himself, others, and how to interact with the people in the world.

    So while I am not ready to say “Josh Duggar is a menace and must be watched closely”. I will say, “what do you expect when you raise your kids that way?”

  87. Adam Borsay wrote:

    t I guess I am more knee jerk reacting to those who are claiming beyond a shadow of a doubt that Josh is a “molester”(by that I mean, someone with a serious mental disorder that compels him to behave and act out and that he is an ongoing risk)

    He admitted what he did to his parents. He knew he had done something wrong. Therefore your argument is moot.

    Adam Borsay wrote:

    So while I am not ready to say “Josh Duggar is a menace and must be watched closely”

    Any teen that molest 5 girls has a problem. It is also a bigger problem since 4 of them were his sisters. We are discussing incest here! This is not some 5 year old playing doctor. How many guys do you know who loosened their sisters when they were sleeping? I bet you don’t know many.

    He also could have been molested himself which led to this behavior. he now has children-one is a girl and another girl is on the way. I would be scared to death for the safety of my children if I was his wife.

  88. @ Adam Borsay:
    Dude, he should probably be serving time, and has had people actively involved in trying to hide what he did for a long, long time now.

    On top of that, he actually used his job at the FRC to tell people how to keep their kids from being molested.

    Sibling molestation is a vety real thing, and he clearly did it. I think it would be helpful for you to learn more about this, because you don’t seem to understand what is involved.

    Strictly put, there was no consent and could never have been consent. It was forced on these girls.

  89. Hester wrote:

    I spent years in homeschool culture with a bunch of evangelicals messaging that I should be ashamed to be Lutheran/liturgical. Well, I’m not. Deal with it…

    Good for you, Hester!

    I have Christian art from countries all over the world. One of my deepest regrets was caving in to an older, judgmental, Pharisee-type woman at my former church who took offense to an Italian crucifix I had on my living room wall, a birthday gift to me that costs hundreds of dollars and that I had always loved. I asked my (now former) pastor how to handle this woman. He said that he would be ‘offended’ by it too and that I should get rid of it. Against my better judgment, I got rid of it.

    In the end I was excommunicated/shunned from that (9 Marks) church over my not going along with the pastors/elders putting their friend a Megan’s List sex offender into positions of leadership and trust.

    Hindsight: I should have kept my Italian crucifix and dumped that church!

  90. Adam Borsay wrote:

    I will say, “what do you expect when you raise your kids that way?”

    This part of your perspective I do agree with. However, I think what Gram3 called “genderism” has a lot to do with it. I came from a community where sexual molestation occurred between siblings as well as fathers to daughters. Patriarchy, in it’s truest form, sees women as little more than animate property.

    Still, I’ve grown weary of reading the comments on news sites describing Josh’s actions as “normal” for a teenager.(!!) I’m starting to wonder, if that many people think it’s normal, if it isn’t happening more often than we realize.

  91. @ Albuquerque Blue:
    🙂
    this is what gets me and I have come from that conservative background; the railing against the LGBT, yet sexual sin is rampant in the church and being covered up. Do they think they can cover this up forever? The lid is about to pop like a pressure cooker.
    This is one reason I left the church and I know for myself God gave me a clear “Get out of jail free card” and I ain’t going back. This is such serious business, but the outright refusal to deal with this abuse is only furthering the IC into damaging consequences. God will deal with it and it won’t be pretty.

  92. Here is where I am coming from for my larger point of; Is he a molester, or was he just a confused kid?

    When I was four a neighbor boy who was maybe 7 told me all about sex in graphic detail(he came from a really rough home). I don’t really remember it, but I was extremely confused about the whole thing, I knew there was something not right about what I had heard, but I couldn’t grasp it. I told my mom about it and so she “set me straight” because he had apparently been not too sure of what he was really saying. But it created for a number of years a real confusing internal psycology for me. I was unhealthily interested in these matters, knew I “shouldn’t” be, but really couldn’t grasp what it was I now had knowledge of. Now I didn’t grow up to act out in terrible ways. But I could only imagine if that same sort of “shock” had occurred during puberty.

    If you take a kid who was raised like Josh and suddenly he is thrust into puberty with no grasp really of what it is that he is feeling, how to channel it/be in control of it, he is set up for failure. Perhaps he was himself molested, or something more “benign” like I experienced, but whatever it was he had no context to address or deal with what was going on internally. This DOES NOT excuse his choices. But it paints a different picture than immediately jumping to “predator”.

    As I grew up, what I was feeling began to grow a context in a healthy way and my confusion/obsession was pretty much gone well before puberty. And not to compare a confused 4 year old with a 14 year old, but I have always viewed that family dynamic(and ones similar) as a place where kids never really grow up. Sure they can cook and clean by the time they are 6, but they are emotionally stunted for years(if they ever really do get out of the cult like stunting that they experienced). Therefore, I am empathetic to what was surely a confused young kid who knows he is doing something he shouldn’t, but doesn’t fully grasp it.

    And to be fully clear, even if my hypothesis on the whole thing is accurate, the girls who had this happen to them DESERVE help/counseling. Even if Josh was 100% innocent of intentional wrong doing(he isn’t) it still DID happen to them, and there are repercussions to those experiences. Even if they can later say, we know he didn’t mean to damage us, it doesn’t take away the damage.

    Which as an addendum. That is what enfuriates me with all these, “you MUST forgive your abuser” churches/pastors. I can forgive someone for shooting me in the arm(and it is good and healthy for me to do so) but I still have to deal with the bullet in my arm and my attacker still needs to face consequences. These girls need to be helped no matter what the context of the situation was.

  93. @ Adam Borsay:

    Even if they did get counseling when the molestation was brought to light, I am fearful of what type of counsel they might have received in the culture they were steeped in.

  94. @ numo:
    Let’s just assume he’s genuinely ashamed of what he did for a moment and has genuinely repented, apologized to the victims, etc.

    Wouldn’t part of repentance be owning that story publicly, along with the victims (provided they wanted to), for the purpose of educating parents with the goal of prevention?

    Sure, that’s tough, and he’d probably never get the job he had in the first place, but that’s just part of the cost and consequence of your sin.

    You don’t get to pontificate about a sin when you’re covering up that very sin in your own past.

    How could you live a life like that and use that platform, KNOWING 5(?) victims knew you were a phony?

    Just thinking about that gives me the shudders.

  95. @ Bridget:

    I 100% agree. I have been bothered from the beginning by the coopting of the Duggars by the Christian mainstream. Theologically and doctrinally they are far left field. There may be enough “checks” to say they are Christ followers, but their practices are unbiblical and in general just practically unhealthy. They aren’t just some random Evangelicals who happen to love having babies, they have a very clearly defined theology that would put them on the outs with nearly all protestant Churches in the US. And their extremely insular world-view does not promise great results for the sort of help the girls may have received.

  96. I’ve always liked Huckabee, but lost some respect for him after that defense. I also wondered if it would hurt his presidential campaign, but don’t really think he had much of a chance of winning anyway.

  97. @ Adam Borsay:
    Uh, Adam, this is exactly how my child molester husband (now ex-husband) got started. By age 14 he was molesting younger children. By age 45, he admitted to the authorities that he’d had dozens of victims. People don’t grow out of this.

    All of the therapy in the world might reduce their danger from a 10 to a 7, but no one wants even a 7 around their children.

  98. __

    @ XianJaneway,

    hey,

    I am so sorry these things you describe here in this post happened to you and your family.

    🙁

    Thank you for sharing.

    ATB

    Sopy

  99. The Duggars story does not surprise me at all. You had to be out of your mind to not think there wasn’t some messed up stuff going on with a family like that. When you play like you are perfect, something truly vile is in the shadows.
    As far as TVC goes, I do believe that if you have seen all of the garbage that comes out of the “sign the contract” churches and you still love, love, love their theology well, quite frankly you’re crazier than those in authority. Run people run!!!!!!!!!

  100. Another thing. Sex is the churches Achilles heel. We have so badly mishandled this topic for a long time.

  101. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    BeenThereDoneThat wrote:
    When reading this part I immediately thought, out of all the people initially involved in Josh Duggar’s crime, it was Harpo productions that had the correct response. What does that say about the church? (Rhetorical question.)
    It means Oprah and her staff are much more decent people who do the Right Thing than these Mighty Anointed Men-a-GAWD(TM).

    Which is a darned sorry state of affairs. I consider Oprah to be an utterly confused woman who appeals primarily to similarly confused people who follow whatever’s trending at the moment. But darn it, when these so-called followers of God were apparently doing everything to protect their nascent TV empire and their dear son–but not their daughters!–here Oprah of all people has the temerity and honesty to do the right thing. Good for her.

  102. dee wrote:

    Adam Borsay wrote:
    We rightly recognize that when curious young children act with curiosity towards others that while it needs to be corrected because it is inappropriate, it isn’t the same as abuse/molestation.
    That applies to 5 year old children, not a 14 year old teen.
    Adam Borsay wrote:
    but most 14 year olds who are curious find equally interested partners at school.
    There is rarely a problem when it is consensual except for angry parents. However, this was nonconsensual. The girls were violated against their will.

    I agree with you, Dee, but I suspect that Adam is implying that Josh may well have emotionally been about 5 years old at the time of the abuse due to his bizarre upbringing (and this is coming from one who had a huge family), that he was not at all a normal 14 year old. His recent statement is so absurdly self-centered and so indicative that he simply does not get it, I doubt he’s advanced much beyond that 5 year old emotional state even on the cusp of middle age.

    Of course it’s evil, of course he has destroyed the childhood of innocent sisters–it’s just a full scale tragedy all round.

  103. Lucie wrote:

    I’ve always liked Huckabee, but lost some respect for him after that defense. I also wondered if it would hurt his presidential campaign, but don’t really think he had much of a chance of winning anyway.

    I am absolutely done with Huckabee.

  104. @ numo:

    In fact, I’ve seen people online using law vs gospel as rhetorical bludgeoning, and they come off like every other variety of fundy.

    That’s unfortunate. 🙁 I’m not surprised because every doctrine can be twisted into fundy nonsense by somebody somehow, but in my experience it’s been used positively.

  105. Robin wrote:

    When you play like you are perfect, something truly vile is in the shadows.

    Absolutely correct. What about the 2,000+ year history of the Israelites that is portrayed in the Bible would lead anyone under any circumstances to think that playing perfect has anything whatsoever to do with godliness? It is a 66 chapter airing of dirty laundry of the most frank and embarrassing sort. These people who play good, in my opinion, are always without exception bad. Always. No exceptions. Because the playing good is itself bad. They are whitewashed tombs, sons of hell looking for disciples to make twice the sons of hell that they are.

    I reject them, and their dirty laundry is now starting to be aired and thank goodness, people can now start to look and see who the real followers are and who the frauds and snakes are.

  106. Dee! When you said you were at the beach, I didn’t realize you were at THE Beach! We have been going to Sea Crest Beach yearly since 2005. We’ve seen a lot of growth during that time. The unique beach communities that line 30A are delightful. We have our favorite spots to drop in on in several of them. We’ve often thought we should stay at another beach a few hours closer to home, but that area feels like “our” beach. Every year when we return home, I put off washing our large beach blanket and set it aside in the laundry to bury my nose in every time I wash clothes. That carefree beach scent is a good mental health pick me up. No wonder I stay on top of the laundry for weeks! (Now I’ll read today’s article and comments, certainly not a pick me up activity, but necessary.)

  107. @ Josh:

    I don’t know much about LCMS, other than that they’re more conservative than ELCA (or so I’ve been told), but I wouldn’t be surprised by anything that comes out of WELS (couldn’t have named it off the top of my head, but they sound like the crazy fundamentalist Lutherans).

    The LCMS is kind of a mixed bag. They contain everything from the Lutheran version of Quiverfull, to people who are ELCA in basically every way except that they disagreed with the gay marriage vote, to people who act and believe as if they were in a megachurch but still want to call themselves Lutheran for some reason. Personally, as a parishioner, I wonder if they’re headed for an identity crisis in the near future. The people who want to actually examine the relevant issues per sexuality, evolution, the Bible, etc., and the people who want it all swept back under the rug, are not going to be able to coexist peaceably forever. Headquarters in St. Louis sometimes comes up with stuff that looks ridiculously conservative to parts of the denomination not in the Midwest, and can be randomly out of touch and late to the game (such as finally approving Bible studies on Left Behind a full decade or more after the books came out). It’s…interesting.

    On the positive side, they do have great domestic violence resources online and are probably the most sensible non-mainline denomination I’ve seen on that particular point.

    IIRC one of the distinguishers between ELCA and LCMS is how they view the confessions, which numo or Dr. Fundystan could probably explain to you in more detail than I could. I seem to recall last time it came up here that my personal view of the confessions was actually closer to the ELCA. So although I’m in the LCMS, I don’t fit either the LCMS or ELCA mold perfectly. I feel like I’m way too liberal for one and a bit too conservative for the other.

    And yes, WELS is out there. I wonder if they’re still anti-scouting…

  108. @ Adam Borsay:

    As his parents it is our job to educate him about these things and as he enters into full time school next year we have begun to have more conversations about “private parts” and how no one can see or touch etc.

    If you look at the police report and read the interviews with the victims, they were able to correctly identify which parts of their bodies people were not supposed to touch (i.e., the ones Josh was touching). It was also pretty clear from how the interview was conducted that some of the victims were far younger than 14. If they knew which parts of their bodies were off-limits at that young of an age, I find it incredible that Josh would have known so little at 14 that he was bordering on a mental child who didn’t understand.

  109. Frankly, I think true biblical conservatives should take an extremely hard line on the abuse of children, inasmuch as Jesus said the death penalty was fitting for harming little ones, I also think true biblical conservatives should take an extremely hard line against anyone who attempts to set up a hierarchy within a church based on what Jesus said about being the servant of all, calling no one rabbi or leader, all of us being equal in Christ.

    I consider myself a staunch biblical conservative. The problem with the Chandlers and Devers and Mahaneys and Phillips and Duggars and Driscolls of the world is that they are flat out screaming liberals. They could scarcely care less what the Bible has to say on unless it can be twisted to serve their predetermined agenda. They just have a different agenda from the welcoming and affirming liberals, the pro choice liberals, the Bible-as-pious-myth liberals, the diminish Jesus liberals.

    Just because their agenda happens to be male domination, rigid pyramid church hierarchy, doesn’t make them conservatives. Hey, they diminish Jesus just like their Bible-as-pious-myth counterparts. They a merely a different breed of liberals.

  110. @ Law Prof:
    If I interjected my political views into the mix, well, I just won’t, but Huckabee has done himself no favors whatsoever in my view with his involvement in this (not to imply that I liked him before, oops, sorry!).

    @ Hester:
    The only Lutheran church near me is an ELCA, and while I don’t know that particular congregation’s view on sexuality, whatever my next church will be, it won’t be one where I have to either stay in the closet with regard to why I’m single, or pretend that it’s oh-so-horrible that I have to “struggle” with this “affliction.” So ELCA has a higher probability of being an acceptable fit. But I digress…

    On that note, also beside the point, if WELS wasn’t anti-scouting at some point after they were anti-scouting (funny, I do think I remember reading that somewhere now that you mention it), I’m sure they’re anti-scouting again, given Robert Gates’s statement two days ago implying that, whether he personally likes it or not, the BSA needs to get with the times and stop discriminating against non-straight adult scout leaders. That’ll probably get the [conservative Christian, not scouting] troops riled up again, just like they did not long ago when the BSA finally decided to stop kicking out boys who were known to be other than straight.

  111. Gram3 wrote:

    Amy Smith wrote:

    “When I asked why the elders felt as though my choices about personal finances were within the scope of their authority, I was informed that ‘In a marriage separation, every aspect of your marriage is under the authority of the elders of the church’,” she said.

    There are not words for this. There is no explanation or excuse for this. And there is certainly nothing in the Bible that says anything remotely like this. God did not give any human being this kind of authority and power. These men have been made mad by inhaling the toxic fumes of their false doctrines.

    i love this post!

  112. Hester wrote:

    @ Adam Borsay:
    As his parents it is our job to educate him about these things and as he enters into full time school next year we have begun to have more conversations about “private parts” and how no one can see or touch etc.
    If you look at the police report and read the interviews with the victims, they were able to correctly identify which parts of their bodies people were not supposed to touch (i.e., the ones Josh was touching). It was also pretty clear from how the interview was conducted that some of the victims were far younger than 14. If they knew which parts of their bodies were off-limits at that young of an age, I find it incredible that Josh would have known so little at 14 that he was bordering on a mental child who didn’t understand.

    Fair point, but I tend to think the average 30, 40 or 50 year old male in a male-dominated, hierarchical structure, phony Christian cult (such as that propounded by Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard, both Duggar favorites) is likely less mature than the average 10 year old female. Just an observation.

  113. Law Prof wrote:

    but I tend to think the average 30, 40 or 50 year old male in a male-dominated, hierarchical structure, phony Christian cult (such as that propounded by Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard, both Duggar favorites) is likely less mature than the average 10 year old female.

    Sad but true.

  114. Law Prof wrote:

    Fair point, but I tend to think the average 30, 40 or 50 year old male in a male-dominated, hierarchical structure, phony Christian cult (such as that propounded by Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard, both Duggar favorites) is likely less mature than the average 10 year old female. Just an observation.

    Didn’t both Douggie ESQUIRE and Got Hard go down in sex scandals?

  115. They view themselves as the gatekeepers of the kingdom and in their very accurately stated, by you, liberal system, they get to make up rules on church governance and say that it’s biblically mandated but soon you realize it’s just their way to keep control over the flock. They think they will be the ones separating the wheat from the chaff. They love telling others to look inward 24/7 to see if they are truly in the faith but, they may want to take heed that they aren’t actually the chaff. I am convinced that every single one of these churches is a dangerous place for women and children. That can’t be Christian folks.@ Law Prof:

  116. Adam Borsay wrote:

    Maybe I missed something in the stories, but I didn’t come away with an understanding that it was “forced”.

    Some of the girls were asleep when he was molesting them, they woke up to discover it, and were upset by it.

    In the police report, the cops categorized what he did as “forcible molestation” – or forcible something- or- other.

    I don’t care how backwards or limited his upbringing was, anybody, even at 14, has a moral compass inwardly telling them it’s not okay to fondle other people, especially not siblings.

    I had a neighbor when I was about five – the neighbor boy was probably around 8 – and he wanted to do some experimenting on me. He was always wanting to show his dad’s naughty magazine collection to me and so on, and he was wanting to touch me. I knew instinctively at age 5 there was something wrong about that whole thing, so I tried to stay away from him.

    And I had not yet gotten “the talk.” All I knew at 5 years of age was what my mom told me when I was about 4: it takes a mom and a day to make a baby. I am just not seeing where Josh Duggar had any excuse at all.

  117. Adam Borsay wrote:

    knee jerk reacting to those who are claiming beyond a shadow of a doubt that Josh is a “molester”

    Josh Duggar admitted that he molested them. He confessed that he did so.

  118. Adam Borsay wrote:

    knee jerk reacting to those who are claiming beyond a shadow of a doubt that Josh is a “molester”

    Josh Duggar admitted that he molested them. He confessed that he did so.
    Adam Borsay wrote:

    Here is where I am coming from for my larger point of; Is he a molester, or was he just a confused kid?

    The little girls he was molesting knew it was wrong, and the girls were upset by it, and I think, IIRC, they told their parents.

    If a four year old, or six year old, or however year old, girl knows it’s wrong for her big brother to molest her, to touch her private, wouldn’t you think that the reverse is true, that the boy would realize it as well?

  119. Michaela wrote:

    I have Christian art from countries all over the world.

    The first time I read this, I thought it said you have a “Christian ant farm” (A-N-T FARM). I had to go back and reread that.

    Ant farms I’ve heard of, but not Christian ones. I didn’t know ants could be converted. I could just see them reading their little tiny Bibles. 🙂

  120. About Josh Duggar, I won’t be too quick to call this a small issue.
    I could get that people are not too comfortable with the actions of a 14-y.o. with a repressed view of sex being outed many years later, if those actions were fondling and not repeated as an adult. However, his parents
    a) did not report this to the police (telling a family friend who is in the police, and filing a police report, are 2 different things),
    b) did not, as far as we know, got therapy for the girls
    c) kept a molester living in home home with their daughters
    d) did not get therapy for him
    e) hid him from the police when it did come out.

    Considering the world view they have, the Duggars would probably have put blame on the girls he molested, too. (The Duggars are Gothard followers. Gothard’s teachings on sexual abuse, proving they would have been blamed, could be seen here: http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2013/04/how-counseling-sexual-abuse-blames-and-shames-survivors/ MOD Banned topic removed. also look up “There is no victim: A survey of IBLP literature on sexual assault” and the newest one “how ‘lessons from moral failure in a family’ blames victims.”) So, the parents certainly deserve blame.

    And he himself, when talking about it as an adult, now talk of how this affected him, not thinking of the effect it had on his sisters. This is inexcusable in an adult. It wasn’t all that small a thing when he was 14 either, as he did not ask girls’ permission and it was his sisters.

    As such, I won’t put this under “good people with past mistakes.” Good people care more about the well-being of their daughters than this.
    To quote secular feminist Jessica Valenti: “Don’t know why anyone is suprised that the Duggars covered this up: Patriarchy means putting the needs of a son over multiple daughters.”

  121. Robin wrote:

    As far as TVC goes, I do believe that if you have seen all of the garbage that comes out of the “sign the contract” churches and you still love, love, love their theology well, quite frankly you’re crazier than those in authority. Run people run!!!!!!!!!

    I second that motion.

    It should be evident to all that membership covenants are useful tool for only the oppressors of the sheep. One would hope that 9Marx and The Gospel Corporation, the chief proponents of these, would see significant erosion of their fan base.

  122. @ Adam Borsay:
    One theory behind “why” narcissistic personality disorder is that the person cannot get past that 2-4 year old stage and thus remains self-centered. Their ensuing years doesn’t bring maturation but only increasing sophistication to that self-centeredness, which turns into damaging social relationships.

    I was raised somewhat like the Duggars–not exactly but a similar isolation, (minor) fishbowl because of parsonage, overt misogyny, no sex education, beatings, etc. Yet we all knew that incest and sexual abuse were not at all ok.

    However, my parents’ oldest biological son was given constant favor and that was deeply destructive all on its own. I think the combination of over-approval along with watching the others being treated abusively, twisted my brother in a particular way. He is insecure, shallow, and over-confident and one of the results has been a life-long addiction to porn. He dumped his first wife and is now engaged to a young fashion-plate submissive. He is in banking at a top US bank and thinks his company is great. He is a member at a money-is-God’s-blessing church.

    I see something similar in Josh Duggar. He is a deeply messed-up person. To stop his penchant for molestation would require humility and long therapy with an expert. Unfortunately humility is the one thing he cannot afford because by now the self-centeredness is structured into his personality, holding up his insecurity and maintaining his superficiality. He can’t face the truth unless his internal self completely collapses. His continued narcissism is apparent in his non-apology.

    Josh’s life is a tragedy. And he must not be allowed to spread his tragedy to others.

  123. @ Law Prof:
    If Josh Duggar is “on the cusp of middle age,” as you say, what does that make a 50-something like me? Oh, wait, I got a senior coffee at a fast-food place earlier this week without asking for any discount.

    Regarding the TVC scandal and Josh Duggar, all I can say right now is Lord, have mercy. Perhaps I’ll have more to say later, but I’ve got to get ready for work.

  124. @ Josh:

    The only Lutheran church near me is an ELCA, and while I don’t know that particular congregation’s view on sexuality, whatever my next church will be, it won’t be one where I have to either stay in the closet with regard to why I’m single, or pretend that it’s oh-so-horrible that I have to “struggle” with this “affliction.” So ELCA has a higher probability of being an acceptable fit.

    Yeah, ELCA would be a better fit for you.

    I’m not sure what would happen at my current LCMS congregation if a single gay person who didn’t hide/downplay their orientation showed up. I wouldn’t care, but I’m pretty sure the loudmouth conservatives I mentioned upthread would be bothered.

  125. Anonymous ex-wife wrote:

    By age 14 he was molesting younger children. By age 45, he admitted to the authorities that he’d had dozens of victims. People don’t grow out of this.

    Thank you for sharing. This is why people should be concerned about both Josh and Jordan.

  126. dee wrote:

    How many guys do you know who loosened their sisters when they were sleeping? I bet you don’t know many.

    The fact that he only approached his sisters while they were sleeping is a good indication he knew better than to do so when they were awake. He knew they would object. We do have a conscience and his was evidently doing it’s job.

  127. @ Victorious:

    Should have added that he was overriding his conscience by approaching them while they slept. I didn’t make that very clear…

  128. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    It should be evident to all that membership covenants are useful tool for only the oppressors of the sheep. One would hope that 9Marx and The Gospel Corporation, the chief proponents of these, would see significant erosion of their fan base.

    A decade ago (when the Neo-Cal crowd was coming into its own) I can understand why droves of Christians signed a membership covenant. There were no warnings about doing so, and they trusted their leaders.

    The same cannot be said today. We have testimony after testimony of church leaders who are abusing their followers under the auspices of 'caring for the flock'. What more proof does anyone need? The mantra – Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, SHAME ON ME – is extremely appropriate when it comes to membership covenants.

  129. I’m starting to get feedback from people who think the Village Church did the right thing. Or who can at least “understand” or “appreciate” the elders’ motivations behind what they did.

    I think I can control my nausea long enough to write it out, but it will be old news for most of us here. 🙁

  130. Slightly off topic, but not really.

    So TLC cancels 19 Kids and Counting.
    TGC and friends continue to support CJ/SGM.

  131. Victorious wrote:

    The fact that he only approached his sisters while they were sleeping is a good indication he knew better than to do so when they were awake. He knew they would object.

    Great observation.

  132. XianJaneway wrote:

    Or who can at least “understand” or “appreciate” the elders’ motivations behind what they did.

    They have to to protect their own egos. They couldn’t have a chosen a church that was abusive, could they?

  133. dee wrote:

    XianJaneway wrote:
    Or who can at least “understand” or “appreciate” the elders’ motivations behind what they did.
    They have to to protect their own egos. They couldn’t have a chosen a church that was abusive, could they?

    Well great, you just gave me actual sympathy for the people I was about to shred. Why do you always have to humanize people?!?!?!?!

  134. @ Tree:
    I know. People from North Carolina ask why we drive so far since we have nice beaches in NC. It is difficult to explain unless you have visited this area. We now make this our annual family vacation by unanimous vote of our family.

  135. Law Prof wrote:

    Frankly, I think true biblical conservatives should take an extremely hard line on the abuse of children, inasmuch as Jesus said the death penalty was fitting for harming little ones, I also think true biblical conservatives should take an extremely hard line against anyone who attempts to set up a hierarchy within a church based on what Jesus said about being the servant of all, calling no one rabbi or leader, all of us being equal in Christ.
    I consider myself a staunch biblical conservative. The problem with the Chandlers and Devers and Mahaneys and Phillips and Duggars and Driscolls of the world is that they are flat out screaming liberals. They could scarcely care less what the Bible has to say on unless it can be twisted to serve their predetermined agenda. They just have a different agenda from the welcoming and affirming liberals, the pro choice liberals, the Bible-as-pious-myth liberals, the diminish Jesus liberals.
    Just because their agenda happens to be male domination, rigid pyramid church hierarchy, doesn’t make them conservatives. Hey, they diminish Jesus just like their Bible-as-pious-myth counterparts. They a merely a different breed of liberals.

    I totally agree Law Prof……. these guys have hi-jacked the term conservative. A true conservative believes in limited government, personal responsibility, and good morals. These guys don’t know good morals “as much about as a hog knows about Sunday”. They are good at portraying themselves as knowing but are fools.

  136. Bridget wrote:

    Even if they did get counseling when the molestation was brought to light, I am fearful of what type of counsel they might have received in the culture they were steeped in.

    Libby Anne at Love Joy Feminism has a post about how Gothard thinks abuse should be handled. And it starts with What did the victim do?

  137. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    Still, I’ve grown weary of reading the comments on news sites describing Josh’s actions as “normal” for a teenager.(!!) I’m starting to wonder, if that many people think it’s normal, if it isn’t happening more often than we realize.

    BTDT, I’m with you. I don’t think i’m naive, but the number of people who think this is normal is really frightening.

  138. In the middle of this very serious article, there was this statement.

    “This is why people don’t go to the ER when they first feel chest pains, because they’re sure the spicy chili they had the night before is causing it.”

    Sometimes it really is the chili. I went to the ER twice, absolutely for sure I was having a heart attack, and it was just dinner. (Blasted acid reflux.) That said, early last year my brother and mother took my dad to the ER early one Tuesday morning. As he was being admitted, my mom started complaining of chest pains and asked the nurse for a nitroglycerin. “Not unless you’re admitted,” so mom got admitted. A few minutes after that they were wheeling her back into the cath lab because she was having an honest to goodness heart attack, her cardiologist actually happened to be in the hospital and she got two stents put in. My brother called me later (I’d gone to work) and said, “Dad’s in the hospital,” which I knew was likely to happen. And then: “Are you sitting down?” Me: “Yes.” “Mom’s in the hospital, same floor.” I took the rest of the week off from work.

  139. mirele wrote:

    In the middle of this very serious article, there was this statement.
    “This is why people don’t go to the ER when they first feel chest pains, because they’re sure the spicy chili they had the night before is causing it.”
    Sometimes it really is the chili. I went to the ER twice, absolutely for sure I was having a heart attack, and it was just dinner. (Blasted acid reflux.) That said, early last year my brother and mother took my dad to the ER early one Tuesday morning. As he was being admitted, my mom started complaining of chest pains and asked the nurse for a nitroglycerin. “Not unless you’re admitted,” so mom got admitted. A few minutes after that they were wheeling her back into the cath lab because she was having an honest to goodness heart attack, her cardiologist actually happened to be in the hospital and she got two stents put in. My brother called me later (I’d gone to work) and said, “Dad’s in the hospital,” which I knew was likely to happen. And then: “Are you sitting down?” Me: “Yes.” “Mom’s in the hospital, same floor.” I took the rest of the week off from work.

    Exactly—that’s why it’s important that chest pain be analyzed, period. I know it’s upsetting to find out that it’s “just” reflux, but reflux can slowly destroy one’s esophagus. 🙁 Reflux in my oldest, as a baby, prepped her body to later develop an eating disorder. 🙁 You still did the right thing.

  140. From all I’ve seen lately, I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘evangelical Christians’ couldn’t give a rats’ patoot about children. Quiverfull, ‘family integrated churches, and the rest merely count children as a commodity, the more the better, but really don’t care about their well-being and have no love for them. They are like dogs, to be trained to just respond ‘appropriately’ on command. If one of them is abused, well, that’s too bad. As long as the abuser ‘repents’, that’s the end of it, the child just needs to suck it up and forgive and everyone moves on. Or, alternatively, the abuser is quietly sent packing and everyone is to keep silent lest it damage the church’s ability to preach the ‘Gospel’.

    Jesus wonders “what the hell have you done to my Gospel?”

  141. @ Hester:
    Interesting comment. I think you are right that praxis generally over-shadows theology. It is sort of like what you really believe versus what you believe on paper. In my experience the law/gospel distinction is rarely taught explicitly, but rather finds its voice in the way that sin issues are addressed. So, for example, one Lutheran might find homosex to be a sin, and another not; but in both cases such is a law issue. The Gospel isn’t really about any sins we may or may not do. That theological foundation, which is enshrined for Lutherans in the Book of Concord is what makes this kind of communication surprising for a Lutheran cleric.

  142. @ Adam Borsay:
    I get your point, Adam. Actually, I read an interesting psychology paper on this. Bottom line in this case for me is that the combination of homeschool upbringing and patriarchy probably warped everyone’s sense of social ethics. Not cutting Josh any slack, but I don’t think his environment helped anything.

  143. Law Prof wrote:

    Frankly, I think true biblical conservatives should take an extremely hard line on the abuse of children, inasmuch as Jesus said the death penalty was fitting for harming little ones, I also think true biblical conservatives should take an extremely hard line against anyone who attempts to set up a hierarchy within a church based on what Jesus said about being the servant of all, calling no one rabbi or leader, all of us being equal in Christ.

    Amen, but I don’t think it will happen because conservatives are tribal just like every other group. Progressives are tribal. The only difference is which tribe. There are people within each tribe who are much less tribal and who can think outside their tribal box.

    Mohler had a scathing rebuke of Joe Paterno because Paterno failed to report what he knew. Then, when the Mahaney stuff really hit the fan, Mohler comes out guns blazing in defense of Mahaney. So, the issue for Mohler, at least, was not child abuse, but rather how can I manipulate a bad situation for my benefit.

    I believe the Duggars are Christians who have bought into and are propagating a very anti-Christian moralism. I think they are very disturbing, but there are many people who watch their shows whether to mock their lifestyle or just watch the freak show. TLC has become voyeur central for all sorts of dysfunction. There’s a new one on TLC about Submission Theology. The crazy mom is from North Carolina and looks for all the world like a beauty pageant veteran who has breathed too much hairspray. Christians make much of being gentle as doves, but I sure wish we could be as wise as serpents, too.

  144. JeffT wrote:

    From all I’ve seen lately, I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘evangelical Christians’ couldn’t give a rats’ patoot about children. Quiverfull, ‘family integrated churches, and the rest merely count children as a commodity, the more the better, but really don’t care about their well-being and have no love for them. They are like dogs, to be trained to just respond ‘appropriately’ on command. If one of them is abused, well, that’s too bad. As long as the abuser ‘repents’, that’s the end of it, the child just needs to suck it up and forgive and everyone moves on. Or, alternatively, the abuser is quietly sent packing and everyone is to keep silent lest it damage the church’s ability to preach the ‘Gospel’.

    Jesus wonders “what the hell have you done to my Gospel?”

    I agree Jesus is not pleased with how the state of the gospel message. I believe he is grieving over the gross abuse of children and women in the so called church.

    This false gospel of patriarchy parading itself as truth must be stopped. If we don’t scream from the rooftops ( and take offenders to court )how perverted this view of the gospel is, the evangelical church will be as tarnished as the RCC, for hiding sexually abusive priests.

    I was reading over at the Duggar’s blog and was sickened to read all the posts supporting the Duggars, and hoping praying the show returns to TLC.

  145. XianJaneway wrote:

    I’m starting to get feedback from people who think the Village Church did the right thing. Or who can at least “understand” or “appreciate” the elders’ motivations behind what they did.
    I think I can control my nausea long enough to write it out, but it will be old news for most of us here.

    Prepare yourself. The fact that this is being downplayed by the “Christian” media is a telling sign. They will not cover this because the powerful men in the Gospel Glitterati have been teaching this stuff for a long time and are fully invested in it. Their fan base is not going to suddenly wake up and think. They became the fan base because they do not think, even though they have been taught by their idols that they are the deep thinkers in Christianity. It is a sick andd twisted version of the faith that appeals to fear, vanity, and pride.

  146. Retha wrote:

    Considering the world view they have, the Duggars would probably have put blame on the girls he molested, too. (The Duggars are Gothard followers. Gothard’s teachings on sexual abuse, proving they would have been blamed, could be seen here: http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2013/04/how-counseling-sexual-abuse-blames-and-shames-survivors/ MOD Banned topic removed. also look up “There is no victim: A survey of IBLP literature on sexual assault” and the newest one “how ‘lessons from moral failure in a family’ blames victims.”) So, the parents certainly deserve blame.

    The worldview needs to be shouted from the rooftops. What Josh Duggar did was wrong and as so many have said, he knew it was wrong. He also had been taught that women are for the use of men and are basically sexual vessels. That, I believe, is the teaching which he as a teenager used to silence his conscience.

    He obviously knew it was wrong, but I think to confine the conversation just to what he did while ignoring why he might have thought that this was OK is to miss an opportunity to expose the ugliness of this worldview and how it sets people up for tragedy.

    It’s not just the utilitarian view of females, but also the authoritarian approach to everything. If you stay under your Authority, then you will be protected and your Authority is responsible. So, in this twisted scenario, Josh Duggar was under his Authorities, so whatever his Authorities told him to do is what he should do. First and foremost, his Authority was his father.

    Gothardism and Rushdoonyism are both false gospels and we need to oppose and refute them with the truth. All of the truth.

  147. dee wrote:

    XianJaneway wrote:
    Or who can at least “understand” or “appreciate” the elders’ motivations behind what they did.
    They have to to protect their own egos. They couldn’t have a chosen a church that was abusive, could they?

    Exactly. It is very difficult to admit we have been taken, and it is even harder to do anything about it so that others don’t get taken as well.

  148. I think that the more people focus on “covering up” and what is showing or not showing tends to imbue a prurient interest in sexual matters in growing kids. I think it’s better to let your kids go to a public pool and be exposed to what’s there and not get worried about it. We have to remember that it’s families who are overt “Christian families” who get the attention. I know of plenty of families whose kids have done as Josh did but we don’t hear about them because they are not Christian or are not parading their Christianity. Let’s not skew the statistics.

  149. Gram3 wrote:

    Exactly. It is very difficult to admit we have been taken, and it is even harder to do anything about it so that others don’t get taken as well.

    The key to a successful con is to get the mark involved both financially and emotionally to the point that they can’t back out even when they know they’re being taken to the cleaners. To where the mark’s identity is so involved in the con that backing out would mean not only losing their investment but having to admit to themselves that they got taken. Once that’s achieved, the mark will even defend the con and the con man rather than face reality.

  150. In response to Adam…

    Yes, this is forced molestation and yes, this is serious in terms of the consequences for Josh and the girls. I am sure that Josh was and is confused about sexuality, but that doesn’t make it any better. Sexual feelings are diffuse and those associated with early experiences generalize very easily to the whole of the situation. His are associated with passive (because they were asleep) young girls. Also, keep in mind that he was caught and admonished once and caught again nine months later so this is repetitive behavior.

    Is Josh a pedophile? We don’t know. There are some sexual offenders who will assault anyone, male or female, minors or adults. They are looking for opportunity. So it might not be that he currently is attracted to children. Still, without real therapy, I don’t think we can assume that now that he has a wife, he wouldn’t offend again.

    A few years back, a man abducted, raped, and murdered an eleven year old. His mother was eager to set the record straight, holding a press conference to inform the public that he was not a pedophile because the girl looked older. I guess what I am saying is that whatever was going on in Josh’s head, he committed serious crimes.

  151. Gram3 wrote:

    Amen, but I don’t think it will happen because conservatives are tribal just like every other group. Progressives are tribal. The only difference is which tribe. There are people within each tribe who are much less tribal and who can think outside their tribal box.

    And those tribes always see the other tribe as much worse than them. It is sort of ‘end justifies the means’ type thinking for both sides. It really plays off pet issues. People align with the tribe on these pet issues (whatever they are) which become all important. It makes it almost impossible to see that, in reality, both tribes are really based on power and money (for a few).

  152. Mae wrote:

    This false gospel of patriarchy parading itself as truth must be stopped. If we don’t scream from the rooftops and take offenders to court )how perverted this view of the gospel is, the evangelical church will be as tarnished as the RCC, for hiding sexually abusive priests.

    After the attitude I’ve gotten from BABBECs (Born-Again Bible-Believing Evangelical Christians) towards Catholics using pedophile priests as ammunition to count coup, all I can say is RUB THEIR FACES IN THEIR OWN PEDOPHILE PASTORS UNTIL THEY BLEED OUT.

    After all, THEY are the TRULY SAVED(TM). After all, THEY don’t have an Apostate Religion with only the Appearance of Godliness(TM), THEY have a RELATIONSHIP(TM)! And such things are the Mark of Apostasy and False Doctrine(TM), NOT (their) REAL TRUE ORIGINAL CHRISTIANITY(TM)!

  153. Happymom wrote:

    Slightly off topic, but not really.
    So TLC cancels 19 Kids and Counting.
    TGC and friends continue to support CJ/SGM.

    A God Can Do No Wrong.

  154. Gram3 wrote:

    There’s a new one on TLC about Submission Theology. The crazy mom is from North Carolina and looks for all the world like a beauty pageant veteran who has breathed too much hairspray.

    Looks like they’ve lined up their 19+ Kids and Counting replacement.

    And if beauty pageant veteran who’s breathed too much hairspray has a mini-me she’s pushing into the life, they can also pick up the Honey Boo-Boo demographic.

  155. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    I hear you HUG. Some in the evangelical church relished the RRC being brought down, so they could look good. (sick ) The issue is justice for those who have been abused, and punishing those who did it.

  156. @ Gram3:
    Then there was the whole “My Husband’s Not Gay” special (so why were all the men still obsessing over hot guys, if they’d become straight?), which a few have speculated might come back and be a full time show (maybe now it really will, if they need to fill the vacuum left by the Duggars). It is my personal opinion that The Learning Channel actually reduces IQ and kills brain cells.

  157. Robin wrote:

    They think they will be the ones separating the wheat from the chaff. They love telling others to look inward 24/7 to see if they are truly in the faith

    What would God ever do on J-Day without them to sit at His right hand and tell Him who’s REALLY Saved and who’s not? God is SOOOOO lucky to have them!

    “ME SHEEP! HIM GOAT! HIM GOAT! HIM GOAT! HIM GOAT! HIM GOAT! HIM GOAT!…”

  158. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    Still, I’ve grown weary of reading the comments on news sites describing Josh’s actions as “normal” for a teenager.(!!) I’m starting to wonder, if that many people think it’s normal, if it isn’t happening more often than we realize

    This is where I blame both sides. The Patriarchal gender sex saturated fundies and the secular objectifying women/sex saturated culture.

    I cannot tell you how accepted sex is between 14 year olds in public schools. It is considered totally “normal” by admin and teachers. I was shocked. Middle schools are the worst in my neck of the woods.

  159. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    The key to a successful con is to get the mark involved both financially and emotionally to the point that they can’t back out even when they know they’re being taken to the cleaners. To where the mark’s identity is so involved in the con that backing out would mean not only losing their investment but having to admit to themselves that they got taken. Once that’s achieved, the mark will even defend the con and the con man rather than face reality

    Yes. I have personally seen this with some very successful people who got heavily involved with seeker mega celebs back in the day. To this day they would never admit they were conned, used for their big money and influence. But they know it. It would actually hurt their standing to admit.

  160. Adam Borsay wrote:

    An extremely sheltered and unknowledgeable young boy would know he shouldn’t do “this”, but can he grasp the gravity of what it is he is doing?

    Really, Adam…do you think a 14-yr. old who sneaks into his sister’s beds and uses their bodies to satisfy himself really cares about the gravity of doing so?

    He was sneaking around in the dark!! He didn’t tell anyone for more than 10 yrs.! Why? Because he was fully aware of what he had done and how serious it was. That’s why secrets are kept…they cover devious, sinful violations of others.

    This young man was not an imbecile, but he was devious imo.

  161. Robin wrote:

    As far as TVC goes, I do believe that if you have seen all of the garbage that comes out of the “sign the contract” churches and you still love, love, love their theology well, quite frankly you’re crazier than those in authority. Run people run!!!!!!!!!

    Oh, no. Don’t run. Running may endanger your spiritual health, according to Trevin Wax of TGC… http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2015/05/21/running-from-a-bad-church-situation-may-hinder-your-spiritual-growth/
    One wee quote, “Many people think their church’s problems are an obstacle standing in the way of their spiritual development. Usually, the opposite is true. It’s their commitment to their church, in spite of its problems, that is making them more like Jesus.”

  162. Lydia wrote:

    I cannot tell you how accepted sex is between 14 year olds in public schools. It is considered totally “normal” by admin and teachers.

    I was actually referring to Josh molesting his siblings being seen as “normal.” But I hear you.

    You know, my husband doesn’t have time to read these blogs. He hears about it from me. When we first talked about the breaking story on Josh Duggar he told me, “I’m keeping an eye on the boys.” I about lost my lunch at the thought. My husband grew up in the patriarchal cult we came our of, so he doesn’t buy the facade for one minute and hasn’t for a very long time.

    I followed the link that nmgirl posted to Libby Anne’s blog. In her article, she has a link to a Social Work article on “Sibling Sexual Abuse.”
    “Sibling sexual abuse victims often live in dysfunctional family environments that subtly foster incestuous behaviors and are not conducive to disclosing the secret. Sibling incest appears more likely to occur in large families characterized by physical and emotional violence, marital discord, explicit and implicit sexual tensions, and blurred intrafamilial boundaries. Emotionally and/or physically absent parents may empower older siblings to assume parental roles. In short, these families are chaotic and unlikely to recognize the significance of behaviors occurring between siblings. If sexual behaviors are noticed, they are likely to be minimized and misinterpreted as a normal aspect of childhood development. Lack of adequate parental supervision provides perpetrators with ongoing opportunities to offend and protects the secret, leaving the victim vulnerable to continuing abuse.”
    http://www.socialworktoday.com/archive/111312p18.shtml

    It’s interesting that “lack of adequate parental supervision” (I would also include awareness) is a risk factor.

  163. @ Dave A A:

    Trevin Wax is another example of a little boy man being given a position because he is a loyal foot soldier in the Gospel Glitterait. Don’t expect any deep thinking.

  164. I have never been able to wrap my head around the Duggers. I have always found them to be a sort of variation of the bearded lady freak show at the circus. I cannot understand why anyone would put them on TV except for the “bearded lady” money angle.

    But about the only thing it does is normalize their freakiness. I am concerned for a culture that enjoys watching these things. It seems to me that even supporting that show and their subsequent fame only endangered the children even more in the long run by the normalization and acceptance of their gender teaching.

  165. @ Dave A A:
    Here’s another wee quote from Trevin’s article which seems to be more damage control and guilt-tripping of people who are disgusted by The Village (emphasis mine):

    Covenantal commitment to the body of Christ is what counts. And our commitments must be grounded in God’s unflagging commitment to us because of Jesus Christ’s work in our behalf.

    “But you don’t understand. The people in my church are really messed up.” True. But so are you. So am I. We are all sinners, saved only by the grace of a merciful God. We are all being slowly transformed into the image of Christ, and one way that God forms us into the image of His Son is to place us in hard situations where “loving one another” seems unnatural and costly.

    If Christ remains committed to us, in spite of our continual failings, why should we not remain committed to Christ’s bride? In a difficult church situation, what looks more like Jesus: to hop to an easier church situation or to stick with a local congregation through the dark days?

    No, Trevin. Commitment to Jesus matters much more than commitment to the body of Christ by which you must mean the particular local church in which one is a Covenant Member. Because if you meant commitment to the universal Body of Christ, you wouldn’t get so dyspeptic about people leaving abusive and authoritarian churches like you guys advocate at TgC. I’m sure all your friends appreciate you re-posting this when The Village disgrace was about to become public.

  166. @ Gram3:
    And Trevin also picks up on Joe Carter’s theme of “You can’t talk about how men using the name of Christ are abusing Christ’s bride because that would be slandering Christ’s bride.” Honestly, you cannot make this stuff up, and the parodies write themselves. They see themselves as the personification of Christ’s bride, so we can’t say anything about them. Very convenient. And exceedingly arrogant.

  167. Lydia wrote:

    I have always found them to be a sort of variation of the bearded lady freak show at the circus.

    That’s exactly what it is. The non-Christians get to say to themselves, “Look at what idiots Christians are. I’m so glad I’m not an idiot like those people.” Some Christians, the ones who don’t think, say to themselves, “They are so godly. I’m so happy to have a positive portrayal of Christianity.”

    Both groups are loyal viewers for exactly the opposite reasons. You can substitute The Duggars with the 600lb Life show or the Hoarders show or the nutty Vintage women. My hat is off to TLC for their creativity and savvy.

  168. @ Lydia:

    I am with you on that Lydia. It is like “Barnum’s and Bailey” out there. I never liked the Dugger show.
    I felt it was so wrong to parade your kids out in the open for money. Plus, these kids never had a say in being exposed to public scrutiny; now they are really exposed!

  169. Lydia wrote:

    But about the only thing it does is normalize their freakiness.

    I definite agree with you on this. I have never watched the show. But thousands of families live this ideology. Tens of thousands of kids have gone through Gothard’s training centers. They have all been trained to approach sexual molestation in exactly the same way that the Duggars did. And it seems that evangelical Christianity is following lockstep behind them.

  170. Lydia wrote:

    Don’t expect any deep thinking.

    Another quote,”Covenantal commitment to the body of Christ is what counts.”
    This WOULD be deep thinking if he thought it meant something like God says in “I have loved you with an everlasting love” or “I will never fail you or forsake you.”. But I think he thought, “Sheeple must commit to a “localchurch” by signing a covenant, which obligates them to endure a bit of abuse for a season if things go bad. It’ll vee food for their spiritual growth!” Which is not so deep.

  171. Dave A A wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    Hadn’t seen your excellent comment when I posted my last!

    I miss comments all the time! Did you see the blog by Russell Moore? He writes about the Duggar situation and manages to say that the church needs to do something about sexual abuse in the church while saying exactly nothing about Mahaney, SGM, or The Village. How can someone have that level of cognitive dissonance? Maybe he hasn’t heard about The Village and SGM messes and has never heard of Mohler, Mahaney, Chandler or Dever and how they covered up or covered up for those who covered up for sexual exploitation of children.

  172. Gram3 wrote:

    Did you see the blog by Russell Moore? He writes about the Duggar situation and manages to say that the church needs to do something about sexual abuse in the church while saying exactly nothing about Mahaney, SGM, or The Village.

    No time to read it yet, but I’ll attempt a brief parody of what he might say about the village.
    “Jun 26, 2013 – God designed the one-flesh union of marriage as an embedded icon of the union between Christ and his church.”
    The church cannot annul Christ, so wives may not annul husbands, nor pewsitters their elders (or Youngers)— therefore Karen is wrong on both counts!

  173. singleman wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    If Josh Duggar is “on the cusp of middle age,” as you say, what does that make a 50-something like me? Oh, wait, I got a senior coffee at a fast-food place earlier this week without asking for any discount.
    Regarding the TVC scandal and Josh Duggar, all I can say right now is Lord, have mercy. Perhaps I’ll have more to say later, but I’ve got to get ready for work.

    Hey singleman, we’re about the same age. “Middle age” is a loooooong time, I plan on calling myself middle aged until I keel over.

  174. Gram3 wrote:

    Did you see the blog by Russell Moore?

    I did see it, and I thought it was quite good actually. He is clever, I think, and is staying within the bounds of what his current job is designed to do. This Duggar thing however includes widespread media coverage and includes a confession. Fair game at that point I think, and a comment from him was appropriate and handled well.

  175. Gram3 wrote:

    Did you see the blog by Russell Moore? He writes about the Duggar situation and manages to say that the church needs to do something about sexual abuse in the church while saying exactly nothing about Mahaney, SGM, or The Village.

    A strange admonition imo… Moore says, “We cannot assume that we can avoid this topic simply by making sure our doctrines are right, our values conservative, and our people sheltered from the world.”

    Sheltered from the world?? Sounds a bit like he’s implying “the world” is now getting some of the blame for the sexual abuse occurring in the church.

  176. Daisy wrote:

    Michaela wrote:

    I have Christian art from countries all over the world.

    The first time I read this, I thought it said you have a “Christian ant farm” (A-N-T FARM). I had to go back and reread that.

    Ant farms I’ve heard of, but not Christian ones. I didn’t know ants could be converted. I could just see them reading their little tiny Bibles.

    Girl, you are too funny! If I’d had an ant farm those control freaks at my former church would have made me get rid of it too!

  177. Victorious wrote:

    Really, Adam…do you think a 14-yr. old who sneaks into his sister’s beds and uses their bodies to satisfy himself really cares about the gravity of doing so?

    He was sneaking around in the dark!! He didn’t tell anyone for more than 10 yrs.! Why? Because he was fully aware of what he had done and how serious it was. That’s why secrets are kept…they cover devious, sinful violations of others.

    Exactly, Victorious: People hide what they know is wrong.

  178. @ Gram3:
    Well thats the thing they will make a “generalized” statement about sexual abuse, but won’t single out anyone in particular. This is how they can get away with it; make the churchgoers feel that they are serious without really doing anything. As someone said earlier here or on SSB that the Roman Catholic church does the same- Pope comes out; says they are serious about sexual abuse and going take care of it and then behind the scenes disperse the abuser priests to other parishes.

  179. Thanks for sharing Christian’s story – it is eerily similar to my own relationship with my dad, a former elder and highly visible figure in a SoCal megachurch who left my mom after 30 years of marriage. I am still de-tangling from his lies and narcissism, which were as damaging as the adultery and divorce. The hardest part about spiritual abuse is it steals part of you – the part of you that was meant to relate to God and feel his love – and it is so hard to get it back.

  180. @ Nancy:
    It’s not what he said. It was what he didn’t say and has never said about the elephants in his own living room. They love something like the Duggars because they can say the pious things about child abuse without ever making application to their own tribe.

  181. Faith wrote:

    This is how they can get away with it; make the churchgoers feel that they are serious without really doing anything.

    When the thing came out about Piper saying a woman should endure abuse for a season, there was a flurry of “The church should protect women” posts. Never a mention of Piper, though, or saying how their doctrines encourage men to be bullies and women to be doormats or silent. Thankfully, very few men draw those conclusions, but there is certainly nothing in their doctrines which prevents a man from drawing the conclusion that he has a right to do whatever it takes to keep her in line.

  182. Jed Paschall wrote:

    The hardest part about spiritual abuse is it steals part of you – the part of you that was meant to relate to God and feel his love – and it is so hard to get it back.

    Thank you for putting that so well. It steals our trust in those we should be able to trust.

  183. @ XianJaneway:
    Hey, I can “understand” and even “appreciate” their motives — they think they can do nothing other than what they are doing, lest they get it wrong and come under the condemnation of god. However, understanding where they are coming from no longer signals my agreement or approval.

  184. Gram3 wrote:

    Thankfully, very few men draw those conclusions, but there is certainly nothing in their doctrines which prevents a man from drawing the conclusion that he has a right to do whatever it takes to keep her in line.

    Did the “Christian” “spanking” thing (and not as in 50 Shades of Christian Gray … oh, wow, that’s a scary coincidence) get discussed the last time this topic came around? I don’t remember what it was called, but I think it may have been “domestic discipline” or something like that. Terrible, messed up, abusive stuff it was, anyway, but given what some of these folks believe, it sounds like it would fit right in with the misogynistic, patriarchal culture they inhabit.

  185. @dee @deb @XianJaneway @Amy Smith

    I have a question.

    What, in your opinion(s), should repentance (if truly genuine) and restoration look like for someone who had once engaged in sexually deviant behavior (either criminal or non-criminal)?

    What should it a look like for the perpetrator, and also what should it look like for his/her family, friends, church? Is it possible, in your view, to live a whole and productive life after this? (as a Christian, I think it HAS to be…with the caveat that life will never be what it could have been in terms of the different occupations and ministries that one might be allowed to be engaged in).

    I’ve been asking myself since yesterday if I could honestly say that if I were the parent of a child who had forcibly fondled their sibling (and others) would I immediately call the police upon discovery of this horrendous act. I’m not sure it would occur to me to do so…and I’m being totally honest here, not trying to be provocative. I think I would be so shocked, stunned,horrified, devastated, and saddened that I would not know exactly WHAT to do other than immediately protecting the victim.

    Thank you in advance for your answers.

  186. @ Josh, Doctor of Pulchritudinousness:
    IIRC, this was something advocated by Sproul, Jr. who is a whole bunch of messed up. Nevertheless, it appears he is to be given the keys to the Ligonier bus.

    I’ve been around the patriarchal culture a long time–since Gothard became a thing–but I cannot remember ever hearing anyone advocating that particular horror. It would not surprise me if that idea arose in the Gothard movement somewhere. It goes outside my realm of imagination, thankfully, and I don’t know anything about 50Shades. Don’t understand it and don’t want to understand it.

  187. That’s hilarious actually! I am assuming he is talking about the new cal evangelical church. Would he say the same to someone who goes to a mainline theologically liberal church who is beginning to question the teachings at said church? Probably not. These people are shameless.Dave A A wrote:

    Robin wrote:

    As far as TVC goes, I do believe that if you have seen all of the garbage that comes out of the “sign the contract” churches and you still love, love, love their theology well, quite frankly you’re crazier than those in authority. Run people run!!!!!!!!!

    Oh, no. Don’t run. Running may endanger your spiritual health, according to Trevin Wax of TGC… http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2015/05/21/running-from-a-bad-church-situation-may-hinder-your-spiritual-growth/
    One wee quote, “Many people think their church’s problems are an obstacle standing in the way of their spiritual development. Usually, the opposite is true. It’s their commitment to their church, in spite of its problems, that is making them more like Jesus.”

  188. Godith wrote:

    I think Anna Duggar, wife of Josh, could also get an annulment. What do you think?

    I read somewhere that she was told about it long before they got married. She apparently doesn’t think it’s an issue. Since she knew about it and went ahead with the marriage, she probably can’t get an annulment. I don’t think she wants one at this point.

  189. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    But about the only thing it does is normalize their freakiness.

    I definite agree with you on this. I have never watched the show. But thousands of families live this ideology. Tens of thousands of kids have gone through Gothard’s training centers. They have all been trained to approach sexual molestation in exactly the same way that the Duggars did. And it seems that evangelical Christianity is following lockstep behind them.

    I’m angry about what happened. I’m just as angry at the culture that allowed this to happen. I’m angry about our mile-wide-inch-deep-faith in this country. I’m angry about the things we choose to argue about: how many days of creation, whether or not to have instrumental music in the church, whether or not to post the 10 Commandments on public property, whether or not to have prayer in public schools, what the definition of “modesty” is . . .

    No wonder our young people are leaving Christianity.

  190. Sadly the Josh Duggar matter is not uncommon amongst large Patriarchial families. I personally know of other instances. The situation seems to have been badly handled all around – leaving the victims without proper help, or Josh. When a minor moslests, something has gone horribly awry, not only in the minor’s psyche, but also in the broader family unit. Without in any way excusing Josh’s actions, it isn’t hard to see how such a repressive environment might contribute to such horrible acts. These kids probably had little to no sexual education, and were taught at an early age that normal sexual attractions are to be repressed: eyes down when an ‘inappropriate’ woman passes by (who may only have been immodest by Duggar standards), no visits to the beach (lake, river, etc.) because they might see females in bathing suits, and probably deeper repressions we aren’t privy to. Then you combine the normal confusions of puberty, and the fact that Duggar’s only ‘normal’ female contact was with his sisters, and like minded families’ children, and there is an environment ripe for a 14 year old (and by all accounts probably very naive one at that) to act out in horribly inappropriate ways.

    In a more normal, less repressive setting, Josh may have had healthier outlets to come to terms with his developing sexuality without engaging in predatory behavior. When he acted out as he did, as with any sexual crime, it should have been reported through proper legal channels. Had this happened, the victims and Josh would have retrieved the treatment they so desperately needed. In therapy, it could have been properly determined if Josh was acting out inappropriately due to some of these environmental factors that he could learn to correct over time (which certainly can be the case with some minors), or if he was someone who would be likely to offend in the future. All of this would have taken place in the context of the juvenile criminal system, and properly sealed to protect both victims and Josh.

    However, since it was botched from the beginning, and since the Duggars have now positioned themselves as paragons of Patriarchal virtue, the mess is much worse now. The fact that this happened while he was a minor doesn’t excuse anything, but the victims and Josh should have had all protections and treatments that minors are entitled to in these cases, but his parents, elders, and the police officer this was ‘reported’ to deprived them of this.

  191. Tina wrote:

    I’m angry about our mile-wide-inch-deep-faith in this country. I’m angry about the things we choose to argue about: how many days of creation, whether or not to have instrumental music in the church, whether or not to post the 10 Commandments on public property, whether or not to have prayer in public schools, what the definition of “modesty” is . . .

    No wonder our young people are leaving Christianity.

    But are they leaving “Christianity” or a “False Gospel”?

  192. Elizabeth Lee wrote:

    I read somewhere that she was told about it long before they got married. She apparently doesn’t think it’s an issue.

    And since when does a mere WOMAN have any say in such a Godly(TM) Dynasty?
    Here only purpose in life is to marry, Submit, and Make her husband’s Babies.

  193. Josh, Doctor of Pulchritudinousness wrote:

    Did the “Christian” “spanking” thing (and not as in 50 Shades of Christian Gray … oh, wow, that’s a scary coincidence) get discussed the last time this topic came around? I don’t remember what it was called, but I think it may have been “domestic discipline” or something like that.

    Christian Domestic Discipline(TM).
    AKA “Papa Spank!”

    And everybody outside the church who has heard of it has said the same thing:
    “There’s a guy who’s into BDSM but won’t admit to it.”

  194. Elizabeth Lee wrote:

    I read somewhere that she was told about it long before they got married.

    What I read was that she said that the first time that she and her parents visited the Duggars was when Josh told them about this. I am thinking that perhaps this was an official visit as a first step to an arranged/encouraged marriage. If that is the case then all sorts of interesting questions can be asked.

  195. @ Sad:
    Sad, it’s a very very good question.

    As someone who lives with a repentant husband, who committed years of “financial abuse” against me, I believe I’m living through the answer to that question.

    1) Accept the consequences of your actions.

    2) Don’t attempt to deflect blame onto anyone else, or any other circumstances.

    3) Don’t expect the victims (or anyone else) to immediately trust you, or believe that you’ve changed.

    4) Work to build your trustworthiness.

    My husband has to make career and life choices that he otherwise would not have made—because he ran up a tremendous amount of debt, and I was expected to submit to his decisions.

    In the case of Josh Duggar, or Jordan Root, they should have to submit to whatever the consequences of their crimes are, including but not limited to jail time and monitoring.

    My husband spent the last two years working 2 or more jobs at a time, listening and taking actions based on what I said, and watching every penny he spent. He proved by his actions that he truly had repented.

    When I see someone hide their actions, or put on flower words of repentance like the J&J crew here, I have absolutely no reason to believe they repented.

  196. Josh’s police report is readily available online, names redacted. It appeared to me that at least initially the touching was done while the girls slept and were unaware of it. Josh it appears went to his parents and confessed. (Seeking help?) It at least appears to me that initial event was handled in family, maybe with some church counsel for the parents. When it continued Jim Bob Duggar took Josh to the police and Jim Bob and Michelle turned Josh in.

    Certainly I am not defending what Josh did, and I am equivocal about how it was handled. We raised a child who had been severely assaulted, and he acted out at around Josh’s age at time of offense. We went the residential treatment route, offered to the Duggars, and as they were warned he came out of treatment having been schooled in offending by much much worse offenders. Truly there is an abysmal lack of good choices for parents trying to both protect their other children and get treatment for the offender.

    The police interviews do indicate the abuse stopped when Josh was sent away for 90 days, not to be repeated. I can’t say if he is cured or not, only time will tell.

    My heart goes out to the Duggars, including but not limited to Josh. I believe he offended seriously, reached out for help, they did what they thought was the right thing for both Josh and the victims, and will always have this hanging over their heads. I’m thankful the offending was not much worse actions. I’m thankful it was addressed, and know it took tremendous courage to take your own child to the police to turn him in. BTDT.

    They need our prayers, and perhaps can help others either avoid this tragedy or know better how to handle it.

    There but by the grace of God go we all.

  197. Lydia wrote:

    I have never been able to wrap my head around the Duggers. I have always found them to be a sort of variation of the bearded lady freak show at the circus.

    What do you think a Reality Show is?

    It’s throwing Nuts-and-Sluts onto TV so Al Bundys in their trailers can laugh at those freaks — “Look! I Can’t Be a Loser Because They’re Bigger Losers!”

  198. Lydia wrote:

    This is where I blame both sides. The Patriarchal gender sex saturated fundies and the secular objectifying women/sex saturated culture.

    I have said before that Christians are just as screwed-up sexually as everybody else, just in a different (and usually opposite) direction.

  199. @ Michaela:

    Typically, a minor’s criminal record is sealed after the age of 18. Kids can do genuinely horrible things to each other, which need to be dealt with in the criminal courts. However, in the case of minors, the perpetrator, and the victim(s) both need protection and treatment. But the purpose of the juvenile criminal justice system is to rehabilitate kids who commit crimes, so that they can go on to live healthy productive lives. This is why juvenile records are typically sealed.

    I suspect the only reason we are even hearing about this is because a) the whole situation was mishandled by all adult parties involved, b) the Duggar parents have opened the door for this by presenting themselves as an exemplary Quiverful/Patriarchal family to the American public. At the end of the day the victims are suffering for it, as is Josh for his parents poor choices and subsequent grandstanding.

  200. Typically a minor’s record is NOT sealed. It happens in Arkansas (unless it was an offense for which the juvenile could have been tried as an adult) and in a handful of states but not in my state nor in most states where the record remains available. To have them sealed requires a court order and an absence of subsequent convictions for some years.

    Before I retired I accessed computer records of juvenile and adult offenders for research purposes and every arrest was there, back to age seven in some cases. There are no separate juvenile and adult data bases. People often assume that their juvenile records are not available but they need to find out just what does happen in their state.

  201. @Jed,

    Thanks for your post. I work in law. So I know how records work. It’s disturbing to me that the Duggars got special favors granted to them.

  202. @Linda,

    There is plenty of excellent treatment in the U.S. for juvenile sex offenders. I’ve been doing research on the topic since your comment said that it was basically non-existent. Not so.

    Additionally, you have no idea if Josh went on to abuse other victims. That is usually the case. The daughters in the Duggar Family were already effectively silenced. Who knows how many other victims were also silenced.

    What dysfunctions in the Duggar Family created an environment for child sexual abuse? What do they need to change, that they aren’t willing to?

  203. Jed Paschall wrote:

    @ Michaela:

    Did Josh Duggar do anything out of the norm? It’s fairly common to petition to have juvenile records sealed, even expunged (depending on the state).

    Hi Jed,

    Yes, I work in law and I have worked on sealing and expunging juvenile records (mostly for drug and alcohol offenses). There are conflicting news stories.
    Some say that the police records were destroyed; others say expunged. More to be revealed…

  204. Jed Paschall wrote:

    @ Michaela:
    Thanks for clarifying. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

    Yes it will. I think the whole Christian patriarchy movement/NeoCal/9Marks is starting to blow up in abuse cases, churches (SGM, Mars Hill folding or losing members), and the rising population of The Dones (committed, long-time Christians fleeing churches and their abuses).

    I like Gram3’s posts here as an older Christian: That she (and her husband Gramps3) remember a time in the church when these foolish ideas (patriarchy, membership agreements) weren’t so.

  205. @ Michaela:
    There is the possibility that the non-Dugger victim(s) may have asked to have the record made unavailable. That may or may not be a reasonable request, but I can think of a scenario where releasing all the info on the case could be perceived by her as re-victimizing her. Perhaps she is married with children herself and doesn’t want that information public.

    I really wish all the attention were not being placed on the Duggars because The Village is pedophilia being covered up plus elders abusing an already victimized innocent wife when they proudly claim that they are all about protecting women.

  206. @Gram3,

    That’s a possibility, that a victim didn’t want the records available. My only concern is were the records sealed or were they destroyed (there are conflicting news stories). I can agree with them being sealed; I can’t agree with them being destroyed.

  207. @ Gram3:

    I was just saying at Julie Anne’s blog I tried explaining some of those very things at a fairly popular right wing, political blog (I am right wing myself), but some of the other conservatives (including some Christians) keep placing protecting the reputation of their political party or views, conservative theology, or Christianity, above being concerned for the victims.

    They view any criticism of the Duggar family in this matter, or how the underlying theology brought about the abuse, as being attacks on conservatism itself, or on Christianity.

    Because I was critiquing the Duggar family response and the theology surrounding all this, a few of them assumed I am, or accused me of being, a liberal, atheist, or feminist (but I am none of those things.)

    They seem more disturbed by liberals using this to criticize right wingers or Christians, than they do that Josh Duggar did what he did.

    They are not the least bit curious or concerned as how the abuse happened, or how to prevent things like this from happening in the future.

    Their predominant concern, (at least on the particular political site I was on), is in circling the wagons around the Duggars, around conservatism, or around Christianity.

    I’m a conservative, and I tried talking to them, but all I got was obnoxious behavior from most of them (not all, but a lot).

  208. It occurred to me today while practicing the organ, that the most ironic thing about the Duggar situation is that Michelle recorded robocalls last year for a campaign against an anti-discrimination ordinance in Fayetteville, AR. The topic of the robocall was stopping child molesters from posing as transgender to get into opposite sex bathrooms and abuse children. But the actual child molester – and not just a “regular” molester, but an incestuous child molester – in her own home seems to have had unrestricted access to his victims whenever he wanted.

  209. @ Daisy:

    Their predominant concern, (at least on the particular political site I was on), is in circling the wagons around the Duggars, around conservatism, or around Christianity.

    I think this would have happened no matter who the public figure was (witness the reactions to Phillips’ and Gothard’s implosions), but it’s made worse with this one because the Duggars are deeply involved and connected in conservative/Republican politics, and Jim Bob has actually held public office (state representative) in AR.

  210. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    towards Catholics using pedophile priests as ammunition to count coup

    A long time ago, when I was invited to participate in debates between Roman Catholics and Non Catholic Christians, (eg., Protestants, Baptists), I would almost always see a Protestant or Baptist bring up pedophile priests.

    In theology debates with Roman Catholic persons, I think bringing up pedo priests is like Godwin’s Law.

    I’m on Team Baptist, so I don’t agree with RC beliefs on lots of stuff, but I never once brought up pedo priests in discussions.

    It always puzzled me when someone else did, like, we could be in a thread debating about Transubstantiation, for example, which has nothing to do with child abuse.

    The online discussions would often go like this:

    Roman Catholic Rick: “The wine and host literally become the blood and body of Christ.”

    Baptist Bob: “Nah, it’s all symbolic.”

    Protestant Pete: “You’re wrong Rick, and everyone knows priests molest altar boys!”

    Baptist Daisy (me): “Protestant Pete, huh? That doesn’t have anything to do with transubstantiation.”

  211. Hester wrote:

    …Michelle recorded robocalls last year for a campaign against an anti-discrimination ordinance in Fayetteville, AR. The topic of the robocall was stopping child molesters from posing as transgender to get into opposite sex bathrooms and abuse children. But the actual child molester – and not just a “regular” molester, but an incestuous child molester – in her own home seems to have had unrestricted access to his victims whenever he wanted.

    Spot on, Hester. I feel so sorry for those victims who have been silenced and they’re all supposed to pretend that everything is ok.

  212. linda wrote:

    I’m thankful the offending was not much worse actions. I’m thankful it was addressed, and know it took tremendous courage to take your own child to the police to turn him in

    How do you know it wasn’t much worse? You are listening to them tap dancing. Anyone who breaks into a room to molest his sibling is a monster in the making. But maybe you think that is child’s play? You do not seem to understand the consequences of lying, molestation, deceit, and cover up.

  213. Michaela wrote:

    I can agree with them being sealed; I can’t agree with them being destroyed.

    Definitely, as long as the victim(s) are protected from it being unsealed. Don’t know how that works, and it’s OT. Whatever makes the most sense to protect the victims.

  214. @ Daisy:
    Anyone can turn this into a political thing. Liberals can gloat and conservatives can defend what I think cannot be defended. If it were a liberal Hollywood type, for example, there are liberals who would defend it, and I expect there would be some liberals who would decry it. Same here where there are conservatives who are speaking up about this and The Village. Anyone of any persuasion who defends the exploitation and abuse of little children and the re-victimization of someone like Karen or Julie McMahon for political or personal advantage is complicit, IMO. A party spirit is a party spirit.

  215. Faith wrote:

    I never liked the Dugger show.
    I felt it was so wrong to parade your kids out in the open for money.

    Kate Gosselin used to be interviewed on Christian programs once in awhile. She and her now ex had that show Kate Plus Eight.

    After she got a divorce and different rumors came out about her and-or her ex having affairs, I don’t remember them being back on Christian programs.

    I can’t remember if Gosselin ever claimed to be a Christian or not, but some Christian programs seem to hold her up as some kind of godly role model for Christian women.

    I think this is because some types of Christians assume that being a stay at home wife and mother automatically equates to “godly” and what a woman should be.

  216. Michaela wrote:

    Girl, you are too funny! If I’d had an ant farm those control freaks at my former church would have made me get rid of it too!

    I should probably try to go to bed sooner, but I sometimes find myself awake in the very early morning hours, and my eye sight tends to get blurred, and I can misread things.

    I like the idea of ants studying little tiny Bibles, though. 🙂

  217. @Xtian Janeway – so sorry for all the abuse and deception you have been a witness to and experienced!

    As for Josh Duggar, it is sad that it seems more serious than it was initially presented (occurring many times, and victimizing his sisters), and also not handled by professionals. As Christians, we need to get better about handling these situations.

  218. Daisy wrote:

    Michaela wrote:

    Girl, you are too funny! If I’d had an ant farm those control freaks at my former church would have made me get rid of it too!

    I should probably try to go to bed sooner, but I sometimes find myself awake in the very early morning hours, and my eye sight tends to get blurred, and I can misread things.

    I like the idea of ants studying little tiny Bibles, though.

    Late nights do odd things for my reading comprehension too. In college I was typing a paper at 2 am in the morning and I said to my roommate, “Is ‘the’ really spelled T-H-E? It looks odd.” LOL.

  219. linda wrote:

    My heart goes out to the Duggars, including but not limited to Josh. I believe he offended seriously, reached out for help, they did what they thought was the right thing for both Josh and the victims, and will always have this hanging over their heads. I’m thankful the offending was not much worse actions. I’m thankful it was addressed, and know it took tremendous courage to take your own child to the police to turn him in.

    except that when the police tried to get them to bring Josh in for questioning they lawyered up and then lawyered up again when that lawyer refused to take the case, and then refused to bring him in to be questioned and then covered it up until the statue of limitations expired. that is not ‘but by the grace of God’ anything, that is intentional unrepentance and hiding behind deceit, and then having the audacity to go on national tv and be involved with an organization under the guise of caring about children. That is what Jesus called the leaven of the Pharisees, hypocricy, and Jesus said to beware of it, not to make it seem wonderful and Godly.

  220. Final Anonymous wrote:

    @ Adam Borsay:
    Sneaking up while they are sleeping and doing things they would not consent to if awake is not consensual.

    A Seventies-vintage National Lampoon called this “a Sleep Job” and mentioned “it is grounds for her to do anything she wants to you in court in all 50 states”.

  221. Gram3 wrote:

    It’s not just the utilitarian view of females, but also the authoritarian approach to everything. If you stay under your Authority, then you will be protected and your Authority is responsible.

    German Bureaucratic Tradition, from Bismarck to WW2:
    Ich habe nur meine Befehle ausgefert” — “I was only Following Orders.”

    In German Bureaucratic Tradition of that period, the Authority who GIVES the Order is responsible, not the one who carries it out. (As long as the one following orders can produce a paper trail.)

  222. Lydia wrote:

    And those tribes always see the other tribe as much worse than them.

    Most tribal-language names for their own tribe translate as “The People” and those for other tribes as “The Enemy”. Think about it.

  223. @ Hester:

    To be fair to her on that, I’m not comfortable with men being in ladies’ locker rooms.

    What would stop a cis hetero (whatever the jargon is) man who likes to assault women from slapping on a skirt and claiming to be trans and doing so to gain access to women victims in bathrooms and such? That is a concern of mine.

  224. Lydia wrote:

    @ Dave A A:

    Trevin Wax is another example of a little boy man being given a position because he is a loyal foot soldier in the Gospel Glitterait

    i.e. Good Little Party Member.

    At an SF con in the Nineties, someone told me there was a subtle change in the ending of the 1984 movie adaptation of 1984, implying that now that 6079 Smith W had been completely broken in Room 101, he was going to be promoted from the Outer Party to the Inner Party. “Only when you are completely broken to The System will you be allowed to advance within The System.”

  225. Jed Paschall wrote:

    The fact that this happened while he was a minor doesn’t excuse anything, but the victims and Josh should have had all protections and treatments that minors are entitled to in these cases, but his parents, elders, and the police officer this was ‘reported’ to deprived them of this.

    The police officer this was “reported” to (completely off the record) was (1) a buddy of Daddy Duggar and (2) has since been convicted of kiddie porn himself. Easy to connect the dots.

  226. Daisy wrote:

    Because I was critiquing the Duggar family response and the theology surrounding all this, a few of them assumed I am, or accused me of being, a liberal, atheist, or feminist (but I am none of those things.)

    They seem more disturbed by liberals using this to criticize right wingers or Christians, than they do that Josh Duggar did what he did.

    Closing ranks/circling the wagons against Those Heathens.

  227. Daisy wrote:

    A long time ago, when I was invited to participate in debates between Roman Catholics and Non Catholic Christians, (eg., Protestants, Baptists), I would almost always see a Protestant or Baptist bring up pedophile priests.

    In theology debates with Roman Catholic persons, I think bringing up pedo priests is like Godwin’s Law.

    Tell me about it. Some years ago, I had an SF novella published in a small-press anthology which was “Catholic-themed”, i.e. the story had to have something to do with the Catholic church. My editor told me some of the epic fail submissions she’d received — the one that topped the list was where the “Catholic content” was having the main character’s backstory being molested by a priest.

  228. Daisy wrote:

    Kate Gosselin used to be interviewed on Christian programs once in awhile. She and her now ex had that show Kate Plus Eight.

    Actually, the original title was John & Kate Plus Eight.

    After John split, Kate continued her Reality Show Stardom.

    After she got a divorce and different rumors came out about her and-or her ex having affairs, I don’t remember them being back on Christian programs.

    I can’t remember if Gosselin ever claimed to be a Christian or not, but some Christian programs seem to hold her up as some kind of godly role model for Christian women.

    I heard she did. Another blogger (JMJ at Christian Monist?) reported seeing a Christianese Autobiography of John & Kate (crediting The LORD with their marriage and family and Walk of Faith) in the Jesus Junk stores — which disappeared the day after the scandal broke. There may also have been a John & Kate Study Bible edition (similar to the later Duck Dynasty Bible).

  229. Daisy wrote:

    I should probably try to go to bed sooner, but I sometimes find myself awake in the very early morning hours, and my eye sight tends to get blurred, and I can misread things.

    I like the idea of ants studying little tiny Bibles, though. 🙂

    “You need Little Teeny Eyes
    For reading Little Teeny Print
    Like you need Little Teeny License Plates for Bees…”

  230. I knew it was those wimins fault!
    “According to an essay by Michelle Duggar published at TLC, the family does not swim in public, wear shorts, tank tops, or for women, skirts that fall above the knee. She wrote, “In general we don’t do a lot of swimming events where swimming suits are worn because it’s just too hard for the guys to try to keep their eyes averted in those situations.” http://www.kgw.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/05/22/duggars-family-facts/27777663/

    they forgot they be supposed to sleep with chastity belts on, none of this woulda happened if they had just remembered that!

  231. sam wrote:

    She [Michelle Duggar] wrote, “In general we don’t do a lot of swimming events where swimming suits are worn because it’s just too hard for the guys to try to keep their eyes averted in those situations.”

    I guess she never heard of things like…

    All the women who used to throw ladies’ underwear on stage to singer Tom Jones, or the 40 year old women who crushed on the 20 something actors who played Werewolf Boy and Ed Cullen in Twilight, who would show up at movie premieres to meet those young men in person and squeal at the sight of them?

    There’s this total Christian evangelical, patriarchal, or gender complementarian, denial that most women have eyes that work, use them, and notice male attractiveness. And enjoy it. Hubba hubba.

  232. Pharisee is the appropriate word. They had many pious rules yet they were called white washed tombs. The bible doesn’t go into detail but I would imagine that those Pharisees weren’t just misguided pious men who erred because of placing too much credence in their goodness. I would bet they did really vile things while abusing their authority as the rulers. sam wrote:

    linda wrote:

    My heart goes out to the Duggars, including but not limited to Josh. I believe he offended seriously, reached out for help, they did what they thought was the right thing for both Josh and the victims, and will always have this hanging over their heads. I’m thankful the offending was not much worse actions. I’m thankful it was addressed, and know it took tremendous courage to take your own child to the police to turn him in.

    except that when the police tried to get them to bring Josh in for questioning they lawyered up and then lawyered up again when that lawyer refused to take the case, and then refused to bring him in to be questioned and then covered it up until the statue of limitations expired. that is not ‘but by the grace of God’ anything, that is intentional unrepentance and hiding behind deceit, and then having the audacity to go on national tv and be involved with an organization under the guise of caring about children. That is what Jesus called the leaven of the Pharisees, hypocricy, and Jesus said to beware of it, not to make it seem wonderful and Godly.

  233. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Successful serial killers, successful child molesters, successful psychopaths, successful abusers, successful sociopaths, successful NPDs — all are masters at camouflaging what they really are and Transforming themselves to Appear as Angels of Light. (To everyone except their chosen victims.)

    Oh, dear, isn’t this just the sad truth…..

  234. linda wrote:

    Josh’s police report is readily available online, names redacted. It appeared to me that at least initially the touching was done while the girls slept and were unaware of it.

    Did we read the same police report? I read it on The New York Times’ website. I found it – even redacted – disturbing to read. Josh Duggar seems very cunning, predatory, and aggressive. The Duggar girls’ answers, after talking about initial incidences of abuse, seemed odd: they were all the same. To me that leads me to believe that they were coached in the answers they were to give, because there was basically no variation from any of their answers. He did it to girls while they were asleep and awake. It’s actually very creepy to read and I have no clue why you give the pat, trite, glib answers that you did in your post.

    You said one of your children committed sex offenses? So what are the dynamics going on in your family that created that and why didn’t you ALL go in for treatment?

  235. Law Prof wrote:

    I consider myself a staunch biblical conservative. The problem with the Chandlers and Devers and Mahaneys and Phillips and Duggars and Driscolls of the world is that they are flat out screaming liberals. They could scarcely care less what the Bible has to say on unless it can be twisted to serve their predetermined agenda.

    Well said.

  236. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    linda wrote:

    There but by the grace of God go we all.

    Speak for yourself. I didn’t molest anyone nor cover up my son Josh Duggar molesting his sisters and others.

    Yes, it’s amazing how many people manage to behave decently. And then there are the others……

  237. There is something here that seems odd. When the stories of sexual crimes of priests first came out, and long with that the mismanagement of some of the bishops, it was noted that many times the priests were sent for ‘treatment’ and then returned to work elsewhere. At the time information came out that there was the idea that ‘treatment’ actually worked and that sexual predators could be rehabilitated. That proved false. Repeat: the information said that this idea of treatment and rehab proved false.

    Now I keep hearing the cry among evangelicals that sexual predators receive ‘treatment’ and then ‘restoration.’ What? It did not work for catholics but it will work for evangelicals? There is some glaring inconsistency here in my opinion.

  238. @ Daisy:

    To be fair to her on that, I’m not comfortable with men being in ladies’ locker rooms.

    …but you haven’t gone around publicly pointing fingers at all the bad child molesters “out there” while keeping quiet about the one in your own house.

  239. I didn’t molest anyone either. I did not cover up when my son did.

    Would you have had the Duggers broadcast this? What would it have done to the girls?

    Again, if you think your children cannot do horribly wrong things, you are wrong.

    There but by the grace of God go any one of us.

  240. XianJaneway wrote:

    XianJaneway on Sat May 23, 2015 at 05:58 PM said:
    @ Sad:
    Sad, it’s a very very good question.
    As someone who lives with a repentant husband, who committed years of “financial abuse” against me, I believe I’m living through the answer to that question.
    1) Accept the consequences of your actions.
    2) Don’t attempt to deflect blame onto anyone else, or any other circumstances.
    3) Don’t expect the victims (or anyone else) to immediately trust you, or believe that you’ve changed.
    4) Work to build your trustworthiness.
    My husband has to make career and life choices that he otherwise would not have made—because he ran up a tremendous amount of debt, and I was expected to submit to his decisions.
    In the case of Josh Duggar, or Jordan Root, they should have to submit to whatever the consequences of their crimes are, including but not limited to jail time and monitoring.
    My husband spent the last two years working 2 or more jobs at a time, listening and taking actions based on what I said, and watching every penny he spent. He proved by his actions that he truly had repented.
    When I see someone hide their actions, or put on flower words of repentance like the J&J crew here, I have absolutely no reason to believe they repented.

    @xianJaneway
    Thank you so much for taking the time to give me your thoughts on this. I’m so sorry, though, that your wisdom comes from painful experience.

  241. linda wrote:

    linda on Sat May 23, 2015 at 06:06 PM said:

    They need our prayers, and perhaps can help others either avoid this tragedy or know better how to handle it.
    There but by the grace of God go we all.

    @linda

    I so often think this. I have a friendly, on-going debate with my nephew about the old archery analogy of sin meaning we missed the mark. In my belief, it’s not that I’ve missed the mark, it’s that I’m not even aiming at the target.

  242. Sad wrote:

    In my belief, it’s not that I’ve missed the mark, it’s that I’m not even aiming at the target.

    Well said. That is a great way to describe it.

  243. I do not know Arkansas law regarding Josh Duggar, but there are some things I can share. Our son was also an offender, having been horribly abused by his birth parents. When puberty and the first bipolar mania which often brings hypersexual risk taking behavior hit, we faced the unthinkable. I can only share some things we learned walking through this.

    If the offender is under 18 (began when Josh was 14?) the state we lived in would have considered him a CHINS, not a criminal. Meaning a child in need of supervision. That does not cast aspersions on the parenting of the offender’s parents. It means there is more supervision needed than two parents can reasonably provide.

    We also turned our son in. We were given the option of do nothing, get him in out patient treatment, or residential treatment. We chose the latter, even though we were told that in our state the best centers boasted only about a 3% success rate. He learned far worse things in treatment, and honestly, if I God forbid ever faced it again I would NOT choose residential treatment. I would, knowing what I know about him now, get outpatient treatment for bi polar disorder and strong Biblical teaching. The psychological treatment available seems to worsen things, not improve them.

    At the time we walked through this, we were warned that the victims and their families could speak of what had happened, not the perps or their families. So we could turn him into the police (we did), get him into treatment (we did), and keep him to the best of our abilities out of situations where others might be at risk. We did, but that is truly impossible unless your offending child is an only child and never allowed out of your sight, not even for school.

    The reasoning we were given is that for the victims of touching (as opposed to rape) the best chance of a normal life is if they are able to talk it out with good counselors, understand they did nothing wrong, and most importantly not walk away from the incident feeling their life is ruined. Elizabeth Smart speaks out about this. There is such a thing as making it such a big deal that while the molestation does not scar for life the reaction to it does. So in the best interest of the victims there does need to be (or so we were advised) a degree of life goes on as usual. Again, listen to some of what Elizabeth Smart teaches is needed for victims of abuse and rape.

    Our chosen course of action today is different from the Duggars in that we would never allow our son around children. He will never meet his nieces and nephews. We opt to keep the children safe. But then again, he did not EVER stop offending, whereas apparently Josh has. I would not choose their path, but I cannot say they are wrong. I am very concerned when Josh says he stopped because he could seriously ruin HIS OWN life. I am not hearing him concerned enough for the victims.

    I would also say I’ve always felt the Duggars go tooooo far with the whole modesty, chaperoning, and temptation thing. I suspect the whole family has adapted to this horrific situation in unhealthy ways.

    And yet I know they did turn him in, did try to help him, and have tried to move on.

    Like one police officer told us, our options were limited. You can’t just take the teen out and hang him the first time he offends. Law insists you have to try to finish raising him as best you can.

    And if the child is somehow rehabbed, or grows out of it, or is successfully treated for mental illness how can they go on and function in life if we make them wear a sign around their neck warning “kiddie molested as a kid.” And how do the victims go on to a normal life if we perpetually tell the world “her brother molested her?”

    My heart goes out to them all. Josh is experiencing what the Bible said–his sins have found him out. So have his crimes. His life will never be the same and no one will now ever trust him. His sisters have the embarrassment of having all this discussed and dissected on the media. How embarrassing for them! And the parents now get to watch all their kids suffer AGAIN and know they cannot fix it.

    Have they handled it well? Probably not. Probably none of us do. Or can.

    Just pray God you never have to face it. And know that how you cuss and discuss the Duggars and their many sins is how the world will treat you should one of your children do something horrific.

  244. @ sam:

    “According to an essay by Michelle Duggar published at TLC, the family does not swim in public, wear shorts, tank tops, or for women, skirts that fall above the knee. She wrote, “In general we don’t do a lot of swimming events where swimming suits are worn because it’s just too hard for the guys to try to keep their eyes averted in those situations.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    in my observation, when people are relaxed about the human body, are used to seeing it in mundane contexts, it ceases to be such a lightning rod. people are more matter of fact about it. it’s less taxing emotionally, mentally. quite freeing, even, I think.

  245. @ Sad:
    @ lydia:
    Sad and Lydia could one of you clarify something for me? I am really not getting this “I sin to” or “I fail as well” response to Josh Duggar? It mystifies me that you would identify and align yourself with him as some sort of equal that you’ve been lucky enough to avoid going as bad as him by committing an equal wrong. My guess is I’m missing something in what you’ve both said in the linked comments above, or maybe this is Christianese type phrasing?

  246. Daisy wrote:

    What would stop a cis hetero (whatever the jargon is) man who likes to assault women from slapping on a skirt and claiming to be trans and doing so to gain access to women victims in bathrooms and such? That is a concern of mine.

    Daisy, there is no need for a man to don a disguise. Locker rooms don’t have a secret bio-gender code for entrance. Many women around the country have been assaulted by a man who just walks in. That’s why if I’m the only woman in the locker room, i just go home wet and sticky to clean up.

  247. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    linda wrote:
    There but by the grace of God go we all.
    Bullsh*t.

    Thank you Doc. I can’t stand this idea that all of us are capable of sexual assault or incest. What world do these people live in.

  248. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    Sad and Lydia could one of you clarify something for me? I am really not getting this “I sin to” or “I fail as well” response to Josh Duggar? It mystifies me that you would identify and align yourself with him as some sort of equal that you’ve been lucky enough to avoid going as bad as him by committing an equal wrong. My guess is I’m missing something in what you’ve both said in the linked comments above, or maybe this is Christianese type phrasing?

    It’s Christianese-type phrasing; with many who lay claim to my faith who use that phrase, it’s somewhere on the spectrum between vacuous tripe and pernicious lie.

    But there is a strain of truth that runs through it. I have no idea if, given the nature and nurture of anyone, if I’d do better with what they were given. If I’d had Ghandi’s nature and nurture, I might have acted like Pol Pot. No one can possibly know if they’d have done better with the raw material handed Josh Duggar–to say otherwise is to claim God-like omniscience.

  249. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    Albuquerque Blue on Sun May 24, 2015 at 12:16 PM said:
    @ Sad:
    @ lydia:
    Sad and Lydia could one of you clarify something for me? I am really not getting this “I sin to” or “I fail as well” response to Josh Duggar? It mystifies me that you would identify and align yourself with him as some sort of equal that you’ve been lucky enough to avoid going as bad as him by committing an equal wrong. My guess is I’m missing something in what you’ve both said in the linked comments above, or maybe this is Christianese type phrasing?

    @Albuquerque Blue

    Glad you asked! 🙂 First of all, I’m not “aligning myself” with Josh Duggar in the context of this particular, reprehensible behavior.

    I’m more aligning myself with David in the context of 2 Samuel 12 where Nathan told David a hypothetical story about a rich man stealing the only lamb of a poor traveler(mirroring David’s own behavior) to which David became incensed at the perpetrator and said “As the Lord lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die. He must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion”.And then Nathan said to David “YOU ARE THE MAN!”.

    David, whom God called “a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22) had arranged for the murder of the husband of a woman that he had impregnated. He had “stolen” this man’s only wife and harmed her.

    I’ve not arranged for anyone’s murder, but I’ve been filled with white hot rage towards others. According to 1 John 3:15, I’m therefore a murderer.

    I’ve never sexually abused or harmed anyone, or stolen anyone’s husband, but according to Jesus (Matthew 5:27- 28), I am (as is everyone who has ever lusted) an adulterer.

    So, I can’t measure my behavior against Josh Duggar’s and say that I’m better than him because I’ve never molested anyone. I measure it against what Jesus has taught us…and that is that I, by my own efforts can never please God. But that God is pleased only with the righteousness of His Son which He has graciously offered to apply to our souls…”This is My Body, given for YOU for the forgiveness of Sins”.

  250. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    I am really not getting this “I sin to” or “I fail as well” response to Josh Duggar?

    I am not sure what people actually mean if they stop to think about it when they say that. Do they mean that they might have done that same thing and that if they had done it they would not have held themselves accountable (would have excused themselves) and therefore they are not going to hold anybody else responsible either? I hope not.

    Or is it something about casting the first stone, mixed with do not judge, and carried to the extreme? Are they saying that they ‘sinned’ by not cleaning up their rooms when they were that age so how can they ‘blame’ somebody for sexual crimes at the same age? That does not make any sense either.

    It may be just a meaningless expression, in and of itself, used to terminate a certain topic of conversation at the time.

    But as for poor kid look how he was raised, did any of the other boys in the family do this? Were they raised the same way? How does one explain that?

  251. @ Albuquerque Blue:
    It is nothing but a platitudinous lie about God that people think sounds humble but pious. it is one of my huge pet peeve Christianese cliches.

    If Gods mercy is the only thing keeping us from molesting girls then what does that imply about His grace toward the victims?

    It is just another way to blame God for human action and excuse evil behavior.

  252. Sad wrote:

    Glad you asked! First of all, I’m not “aligning myself” with Josh Duggar in the context of this particular, reprehensible behavior.

    Thank you for clarifying! I thought I’d misunderstood your meaning and just wanted to make sure.

    Sad wrote:

    I’ve not arranged for anyone’s murder, but I’ve been filled with white hot rage towards others. According to 1 John 3:15, I’m therefore a murderer.
    I’ve never sexually abused or harmed anyone, or stolen anyone’s husband, but according to Jesus (Matthew 5:27- 28), I am (as is everyone who has ever lusted) an adulterer.

    Mind another question? Isn’t this punishing thought crime? I mean, you haven’t actually murdered or adulterated anyone, you’ve just been angry or checked someone out. You’re also fighting against basic biology, I just don’t get it. It’s like your being set up to constantly fail.

  253. nmgirl wrote:

    Daisy, there is no need for a man to don a disguise. Locker rooms don’t have a secret bio-gender code for entrance. Many women around the country have been assaulted by a man who just walks in. That’s why if I’m the only woman in the locker room, i just go home wet and sticky to clean up.

    Whether a man is in a skirt or not, I don’t think it’s safe to have men in areas meant for ladies.
    It would be a bit easier for a guy claiming to be trans (whether in skirt or not) to have access to women than a guy who just “walks in” or who tries to sneak in. Why make things easier for guys who are up to no good?

  254. @ Nancy:

    Now I keep hearing the cry among evangelicals that sexual predators receive ‘treatment’ and then ‘restoration.’ What? It did not work for catholics but it will work for evangelicals? There is some glaring inconsistency here in my opinion.

    Because Catholics are those bad dead-Christian Romish Papists who use old stale formal liturgy and worship Mary. Of course it didn’t work for them, they’re lost. But it will work for the True Living Elect People of God.

    /off sarcasm/

    In real life, I’ve known Protestants from the South who insist vociferously that ONLY Catholics sexually abuse children and such things do not occur in THEIR churches.

  255. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    Sad and Lydia could one of you clarify something for me? I am really not getting this “I sin to” or “I fail as well” response to Josh Duggar?

    I’ve been seeing a lot of those sorts of comments from Christians also (on other sites). I find it troubling.

    The Christians who do understand, who post against abuse and who feel that the Duggar family did not handle the incidents properly, get replies from other Christians, who say things like,
    “Oh, I guess you’re saying you’ve never sinned,” or, “we all need grace,” or, “Josh repented and asked God for forgiveness, God let it go, so you should just let the whole thing go too.”

    They don’t seem to differentiate between types or severity of sin, as though someone flipping someone off in traffic in a bout of anger is as serious, grave, and damaging to someone as a 14 year old who molested four year old girls.

    They also seem to feel that forgiving someone of a sin means that the person who sinned should suffer no negative consequences in this life at all for the sin, whether from the church, from the police, the courts, the court of public opinion, etc.

  256. elastigirl wrote:

    in my observation, when people are relaxed about the human body, are used to seeing it in mundane contexts, it ceases to be such a lightning rod. people are more matter of fact about it. it’s less taxing emotionally, mentally. quite freeing, even, I think.

    Oh yes, absolutely. The “cover it up” mentality is linked to all kinds of sexual disfunction, as documented in numerous psychology studies (this is still a huge topic in Asian and Middle Eastern psychology, though largely established in the West).

  257. It would be helpful here if they understood vertical versus horizontal nature of sin. Vertically before God all sin is damnable but horizontially before man some is more egregious than others. I seriously doubt these same people would say “oh well he repented” if they discovered that 10 years ago he killed five girls and buried their bodies. This just shows how screwed up people’s thinking can be when it comes to sexual abuse. These same people will want to proverbially crucify a homosexual via their internet rants but all of a sudden Josh is repentant so enough said. I wonder what the response would have been had josh been in a long term same sex relationship and then repented? Would there still be the support behind him? Me thinks we have made an idol out of Christian TV personalities. Daisy wrote:

    Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    Sad and Lydia could one of you clarify something for me? I am really not getting this “I sin to” or “I fail as well” response to Josh Duggar?

    I’ve been seeing a lot of those sorts of comments from Christians also (on other sites). I find it troubling.

    The Christians who do understand, who post against abuse and who feel that the Duggar family did not handle the incidents properly, get replies from other Christians, who say things like,
    “Oh, I guess you’re saying you’ve never sinned,” or, “we all need grace,” or, “Josh repented and asked God for forgiveness, God let it go, so you should just let the whole thing go too.”

    They don’t seem to differentiate between types or severity of sin, as though someone flipping someone off in traffic in a bout of anger is as serious, grave, and damaging to someone as a 14 year old who molested four year old girls.

    They also seem to feel that forgiving someone of a sin means that the person who sinned should suffer no negative consequences in this life at all for the sin, whether from the church, from the police, the courts, the court of public opinion, etc.

  258. Robin wrote:

    Me thinks we have made an idol out of Christian TV personalities

    I think tribalism explains it, maybe? Can’t have the faith looking bad in front of all the non Christians. So minimize or hide it so others don’t see it. Which has problems of its own as TVC shows. Sin as a belief seems to really mess with the way Abrahamic faiths are lived or expressed by some of their adherents.

  259. @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:

    “The “cover it up” mentality is linked to all kinds of sexual disfunction, as documented in numerous psychology studies”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    if I were to research such psychology studies, what would I search on? (i’m guessing “cover it up mentality” wouldn’t get me very far).

  260. Robin wrote:

    It would be helpful here if they understood vertical versus horizontal nature of sin. Vertically before God all sin is damnable but horizontially before man some is more egregious than others

    Robin, I respectfully disagree with this vertical/horizontal nature theory. If we can differentiate between the seriousness of some sins more than others, why do we think God can’t or doesn’t? God is just and if you do a search for the word justice in scripture, you’ll find it’s referenced 135 times or so. Some things are listed as an abomination in God’s eyes as well.

    And for lack of time, I’m reminded that our court system and that of witnesses was designed and approved of by Paul as of God to execute justice for victims and punishment of the wicked for crimes. Thus citizens are protected from those who would commit crime. Level of punishment determined by the seriousness of the crime. God does the same.

  261. elastigirl wrote:

    if I were to research such psychology studies, what would I search on? (i’m guessing “cover it up mentality” wouldn’t get me very far).

    Repression maybe? This question is tickling my brain, I may come back with other answers.

  262. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    The “cover it up” mentality is linked to all kinds of sexual disfunction

    I don’t know what the ‘cover it up mentality’ is exactly, but from the standpoint of someone who has seen laaaaatttss of human flesh in all states of repair or disrepair, I do want to say that there is a time to cover some of it up!

  263. @linda
    Just because the girls were sleeping doesn’t mean they remained asleep. My abuser came into my room at night while I was sleeping and fondled me. I awoke and lay there stiffly, afraid to move, or even breathe. I cannot describe the fear to you. So, please people, do not think they remained asleep. I would bet my life they awakened and suffered silently with paralyzing (literally) fear. They knew, they remembered, and they eventually told. I feel so bad for them that they are now having to relive the shame all over again as the country discusses this. I’m glad it’s exposed; I just know how hard it is that they now have to relive it so publicly. Poor things.
    Also, the comment “except for the grace of God, go I”. NO! Not everyone is capable of being a child molester. There is a difference between sin and disorder. People who are molest are DISORDERED. This is beyond what most people are capable of. I kinda wish they’d keep the show on TV and bring in experts who truly understand how to deal with this type of abuse and have everyone work through it. The same with Honey BooBoo. I don’t watch either of the shows, but millions do. Having them work through it on camera could really educate the public on how to protect victims, their legal obligations to call the police, etc…It could start a very necessary dialogue about what constitutes sexual abuse.

  264. @ Beakerj:

    Thanks. I look forward to whatever you can come up with.

    when arguing from common sense, it would be great to be able to back it up with some clinical data.

  265. @ Albuquerque Blue:
    Not really. I hear this blame someone or something else mentality all the time from all quarters. Secular, Muslim and Christian, etc. Lack of personal responsibility is everywhere. Christians just make God bless responsable for action and non action. Bizarre.

  266. nmgirl wrote:

    Thank you Doc. I can’t stand this idea that all of us are capable of sexual assault or incest. What world do these people live in.

    In my own Native American tradition there’s the parable of the two wolves within (in the interest of brevity, Google it up). If I feed the mean and cruel wolf, there is no evil I am not capable of performing because his appetite for destruction is insatiable. So in that sense I can see where they’re coming from, but no further, I no longer buy into the rest of the Augustinian model of ‘sin’ and justification

  267. About covering it up–at the pool or on the beach for example. It is not just the raw sight of human flesh that is the issue. There is also the issue of ‘what are you saying’ for example when you put your young adolescent daughter in a bikini that is almost not there to be sure that everybody within eyesight knows what the kid ‘has to offer.’ And then the moms compare the bodies of their children in some sort of competition for who has the sexiest kid. Do mothers do that? All the time.

    St T’s has a rule about this on the upcoming mission trip for the teens. One piece swimming suits only, and if you do not own a one piece you must cover up with a non-white T shirt at all times. But then St T’s people are liturgical heathen in a ‘liberal and mainline denom.” Go figure.

  268. Fair enough victorious. I will agree with what you have said. I was wrong. I hope there isn’t any ill will between us.Victorious wrote:

    Robin wrote:
    It would be helpful here if they understood vertical versus horizontal nature of sin. Vertically before God all sin is damnable but horizontially before man some is more egregious than others
    Robin, I respectfully disagree with this vertical/horizontal nature theory. If we can differentiate between the seriousness of some sins more than others, why do we think God can’t or doesn’t? God is just and if you do a search for the word justice in scripture, you’ll find it’s referenced 135 times or so. Some things are listed as an abomination in God’s eyes as well.
    And for lack of time, I’m reminded that our court system and that of witnesses was designed and approved of by Paul as of God to execute justice for victims and punishment of the wicked for crimes. Thus citizens are protected from those who would commit crime. Level of punishment determined by the seriousness of the crime. God does the same.

  269. I was in no way stating that he shouldn’t be punished. I was just saying that just because God forgives sins, that doesn’t mean that we are to not have any earthly punishments. I think you misunderstood me to say that we should willy nilly excuse what he did. I DID NOT SAY THAT. I would like for this whole garbage these patriarchy proponents promote to be exposed as evil and corrupt. I am sorry I made you think I was covering for them. Please forgive me.b>Robin wrote:

    Fair enough victorious. I will agree with what you have said. I was wrong. I hope there isn’t any ill will between us.Victorious wrote:
    Robin wrote:
    It would be helpful here if they understood vertical versus horizontal nature of sin. Vertically before God all sin is damnable but horizontially before man some is more egregious than others
    Robin, I respectfully disagree with this vertical/horizontal nature theory. If we can differentiate between the seriousness of some sins more than others, why do we think God can’t or doesn’t? God is just and if you do a search for the word justice in scripture, you’ll find it’s referenced 135 times or so. Some things are listed as an abomination in God’s eyes as well.
    And for lack of time, I’m reminded that our court system and that of witnesses was designed and approved of by Paul as of God to execute justice for victims and punishment of the wicked for crimes. Thus citizens are protected from those who would commit crime. Level of punishment determined by the seriousness of the crime. God does the same.

  270. Covering it up isn’t necessarily a bad thing for reasons other than modesty. Earlier this week my dermatologist removed a suspicious mole near the bottom of my rib cage. I should learn the biopsy results soon after Memorial Day. This comes almost a year after removal of a suspicious lesion from my scalp; it thankfully turned out to be benign.

  271. Nancy wrote:

    . But then St T’s people are liturgical heathen in a ‘liberal and mainline denom.” Go figure.

    Exactly. It is a good thing not to affirm the objectifaction.

    Mine was attending a summer camp a few years ago at a mainline liberal church and they were required to bring “real” competitive type swim wear. No 2 pieces and only trunks for boys.

    The exact same rule applied at the St. Pete community center later that summer.

    This is not some Fundy rule.

  272. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    I think tribalism explains it, maybe? Can’t have the faith looking bad in front of all the non Christians. So minimize or hide it so others don’t see it.

    It may be a little more complicated than that, depending on what aspect of the situation we are talking about. When it comes to conservatives in general defending the Duggars or excusing Josh’s behavior, then I think that tribalism certainly is a big part of that. After all, conservatives are supposed to be, well, conservative, and defend traditional values and such.

    When it comes to the Christians who are defending them or excusing him, I think that a big part of it is shame and an unwillingness to fully embrace the real Christian faith in contrast to various Christian systems. And that faith says that no system of rules or standards of behavior can fundamentally change people. Only Christ can change and redeem people. And that is not magical, because Christians continue to sin, and sometimes gravely.

    IMO, no one is fooled by outward pretense of perfection. At least not for long. The trouble is we start to believe that we really are different or better because we are not like *those* people, whoever those people might be from our particular perspective. And that is a fundamental human problem, I think.

  273. Gram 3 that is excellent! Good comment.Gram3 wrote:

    Albuquerque Blue wrote:
    I think tribalism explains it, maybe? Can’t have the faith looking bad in front of all the non Christians. So minimize or hide it so others don’t see it.
    It may be a little more complicated than that, depending on what aspect of the situation we are talking about. When it comes to conservatives in general defending the Duggars or excusing Josh’s behavior, then I think that tribalism certainly is a big part of that. After all, conservatives are supposed to be, well, conservative, and defend traditional values and such.
    When it comes to the Christians who are defending them or excusing him, I think that a big part of it is shame and an unwillingness to fully embrace the real Christian faith in contrast to various Christian systems. And that faith says that no system of rules or standards of behavior can fundamentally change people. Only Christ can change and redeem people. And that is not magical, because Christians continue to sin, and sometimes gravely.
    IMO, no one is fooled by outward pretense of perfection. At least not for long. The trouble is we start to believe that we really are different or better because we are not like *those* people, whoever those people might be from our particular perspective. And that is a fundamental human problem, I think.

    Gram3 wrote:

    Albuquerque Blue wrote:
    I think tribalism explains it, maybe? Can’t have the faith looking bad in front of all the non Christians. So minimize or hide it so others don’t see it.
    It may be a little more complicated than that, depending on what aspect of the situation we are talking about. When it comes to conservatives in general defending the Duggars or excusing Josh’s behavior, then I think that tribalism certainly is a big part of that. After all, conservatives are supposed to be, well, conservative, and defend traditional values and such.
    When it comes to the Christians who are defending them or excusing him, I think that a big part of it is shame and an unwillingness to fully embrace the real Christian faith in contrast to various Christian systems. And that faith says that no system of rules or standards of behavior can fundamentally change people. Only Christ can change and redeem people. And that is not magical, because Christians continue to sin, and sometimes gravely.
    IMO, no one is fooled by outward pretense of perfection. At least not for long. The trouble is we start to believe that we really are different or better because we are not like *those* people, whoever those people might be from our particular perspective. And that is a fundamental human problem, I think.

  274. Robin wrote:

    I was in no way stating that he shouldn’t be punished. I was just saying that just because God forgives sins, that doesn’t mean that we are to not have any earthly punishments. I think you misunderstood me to say that we should willy nilly excuse what he did. I DID NOT SAY THAT. I would like for this whole garbage these patriarchy proponents promote to be exposed as evil and corrupt. I am sorry I made you think I was covering for them. Please forgive me.b>Robin wrote:

    No Robin, I didn’t think you were excusing what he did. There is no need to ask forgiveness. I just happen to have a pet peeve and it’s the “sin is sin” so he’s sin is no greater than my sin in God’s eyes. My button got unintentionally pushed. 🙂

    The “sin is sin” teaching implies God doesn’t see the difference between giving someone a black eye and murdering him and I think that’s not what scripture says.

    But thank you for your kind, gracious reply to my comment!

  275. Nancy wrote:

    There is also the issue of ‘what are you saying’ for example when you put your young adolescent daughter in a bikini that is almost not there to be sure that everybody within eyesight knows what the kid ‘has to offer.’ And then the moms compare the bodies of their children in some sort of competition for who has the sexiest kid. Do mothers do that? All the time.

    Thank you for saying this. I believe there is a difference between modesty culture which imposes strict norms on some people so that other people do not sin. From the Christian perspective, it seems that we all, male or female, should cultivate in ourselves the personal modesty of all kinds that the Bible exhorts us toward. The emphasis for a Christian ought to be to not call out for attention of any kind, and especially the kind that might cause someone else to stumble. It is not just a sexual thing, but that is certainly a big part of it.

    My friends from the Middle East tell me that the cover-it-up thing does not keep some males from aggressive sexual behavior. I’ve never been inside that culture, so I’m just reporting what they say. Well, I’m not going to use the “french” they used to describe it.

    As for parents who put their children on display like some of them do, I don’t know what to say. I am totally opposed to the TrophyKids culture, whether that’s kiddie beauty pageants or 6 year-olds on travel sports teams. It is ridiculous, and it is all about the parents’ pride, IMHO.

  276. I like the idea of ants studying little tiny Bibles, though.

    I like that a lot better than ants invading the kitchen or ruining picnics.

  277. God must care about degrees of sin. Even though we are told that lusting in one’s heart is the same as adultery, it cannot be true that once we have had those thoughts about some attractive person we aren’t married to, we might just as well go ahead and have an affair.

  278. I watched a few episodes of the Duggars' reality TV show when I was out of work and had more time on my hands. I wasn't very impressed. As for the present crisis, I'm not sure whether I'm more sad or angry. And while Josh Duggar and his parents must take responsibility for their (ed.) actions, I also have to place a lot of the blame on the teachings of Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips. I find it ironic that neither of them lived up to the standards they preached and imposed on their followers.

  279. @ Victorious:
    My impression without looking up the references is not so much that God equates anger with murder or lust with adultery. I think the point that God is making is that the root of murder is anger and the root of adultery is lust. I also think that we have way over-interpreted what constitutes ungodly anger and lust. But that’s another kettle of worms.

    I think the greater point that Jesus was trying to make to the law-conscious people who were self-righteous is that just because they have not violated the letter of the law (actual murder or adultery) that they are blameless. They are guilty of lust and anger, and it would be wise for them to consider that the root of murder and adultery lies in our hearts. That, IMO, is not the same thing as the sin-leveling that pious Christians engage in, nor is it the same thing as saying that all of us are potential murderers.

    I have been very angry at people and wished that they (or I) were not alive because of their actions. I have harbored hate toward people. I haven’t murdered anyone yet nor committed suicide, but I am not blameless. That’s probably pretty muddled, but I’m thinking out loud on these things. It is helpful to see the discussion.

  280. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    Mind another question? Isn’t this punishing thought crime? I mean, you haven’t actually murdered or adulterated anyone, you’ve just been angry or checked someone out. You’re also fighting against basic biology, I just don’t get it. It’s like your being set up to constantly fail.

    Which is why I now subscribe to the Jewish model in which ‘sin’ is an action or inaction and not a state of being (Augustinian model). In other words I no longer believe that ‘sinner’ is the default setting; we choose what we’ll be by our own actions, whether good or bad. I no longer believe that the Almighty demands a standard of perfection that sets us up to fail. I now believe He’s an advocate for imperfect humans doing the best with what they have and the time they’re given to build a better world.

  281. Singleman,
    I wonder if the reason why Gothard and Phillips promoted all of this junk was because both had very repressed unhealthy sexual urges and they thought that if they placed their bodies under strict discipline those desires would go away? Since we see what they ended up doing, I think I have already answered my question. They were sick men. I hope people begin to see what all of this is about namely control. But, they won’t. A lot of Christians just can’t accept that sexuality isn’t as cut and dry as they make it. So, when someone like a Duggar is caught, people generically talk about how we are all sinful but, no one wants to look at the root cause of the sinfulness. It’s just brokeness so everyone move along. It couldn’t possibly have been because we grew up in a patriarchal, authoritarian home. No not that. Just sin in a generic sense. Puh- leeze!

  282. singleman wrote:

    And while Josh Duggar and his parents must take responsibility for his actions, I also have to place a lot of the blame on the teachings of Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips. I find it ironic that neither of them lived up to the standards they preached and imposed on their followers.

    The Duggar parents played out a grand deception of being the perfect family. That to me is unconscionable when they had sexual abuse in their family. Imagine the pressures that were placed on the victims/daughters (and Victim No. 5 a non-family member) to keep up this charade. Not only are those girls not safe from their own brother, but from their own parents.

  283. And while Josh Duggar and his parents must take responsibility for his actions

    Oops, that should have been “their actions.”

  284. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    The key to a successful con is to get the mark involved both financially and emotionally to the point that they can’t back out even when they know they’re being taken to the cleaners. To where the mark’s identity is so involved in the con that backing out would mean not only losing their investment but having to admit to themselves that they got taken. Once that’s achieved, the mark will even defend the con and the con man rather than face reality.

    Scientology is great at doing this. You think you’re learning the mysteries of the universe. Instead, you’re learning the insides of L. Ron Hubbard’s head.

  285. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    Mind another question? Isn’t this punishing thought crime? I mean, you haven’t actually murdered or adulterated anyone, you’ve just been angry or checked someone out. You’re also fighting against basic biology, I just don’t get it. It’s like your being set up to constantly fail.

    I’ll try to field that one also. The primary difference between someone who kills and someone who doesn’t may not be that the former is more evil, it may be that they are more virtuous.

    Surely you can imagine there are people who don’t kill, but who have the same murderous impulses as those who do, but don’t act on them out of cowardice and fear of reprisal. I don’t know how anyone who hates and would kill if only they knew they could get away with it is any better than one who has the strength of their convictions and the willingness to put them through, even if those convictions are evil.

    That seems to me to be all Jesus was recognizing. Of course, the murderous coward does less damage, but it’s hard to see how he or she is any better.

  286. linda wrote:

    Josh’s police report is readily available online, names redacted. It appeared to me that at least initially the touching was done while the girls slept and were unaware of it. Josh it appears went to his parents and confessed. (Seeking help?) It at least appears to me that initial event was handled in family, maybe with some church counsel for the parents. When it continued Jim Bob Duggar took Josh to the police and Jim Bob and Michelle turned Josh in.

    Your account is incorrect. Please see this chronology:

    http://www.etonline.com/news/165063_josh_duggar_molestation_allegations_a_timeline_of_events/

    I’d note in particular the following:

    March 17, 2003 – July 17, 2003
    Josh is allegedly sent to a Christian program “[that] consisted of hard physical work and counseling.” According to In Touch magazine, Michelle Duggar later admits to Springdale police that Josh did not receive counseling and instead had been sent to stay with a family friend. The Duggars tell police that Josh “apologized” to the female minors and that they had “forgiven” him.

    Late 2003
    When he returns home, Jim Bob and church elders take Josh to meet with then-Arkansas State Trooper Jim Hutchens, who knew the Duggars personally. Hutchens gives Josh a “very stern talk,” according to In Touch magazine, but takes no official action. In 2007, Hutchens is convicted on child pornography charges and is currently serving a 56-year prison sentence.

    I would also note that the actual police report we see here was generated in 2006, after someone at Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios dropped a dime on Josh Duggar.

    Dec. 7, 2006
    The Oprah Winfrey Show cancels the Duggar family’s appearance on her show after receiving a tip about Josh Duggar’s molestation allegations via email from an unidentified 61-year-old female.

    Harpo Studios, which produces the show, faxes the letter to the Department of Human Services hotline. The report is then opened for investigation, leading to the investigation by police in Springdale, Ark.

    At that point in time, all of the alleged acts were outside of Arkansas’ (then) three-year statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, so Josh Duggar couldn’t be charged even if the police wanted to.

    Seriously, I’m restraining myself in saying what I really think about your attempt to minimize what happened here. Especially since Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar did not do right at all. If TLC thinks of bringing back 19 Kids, I will raise holy h*ll. These people should not be rewarded!!!

  287. Muff Potter wrote:

    Which is why I now subscribe to the Jewish model in which ‘sin’ is an action or inaction and not a state of being (Augustinian model). In other words I no longer believe that ‘sinner’ is the default setting; we choose what we’ll be by our own actions, whether good or bad.

    Augustine is an interesting character who casts such a great and long shadow. Plus it is hard for me to separate his personal issues from his theological conclusions from his political interests. What some people see as a clear system in Augustine I just see as a confusing mess.

    When it comes to “original sin” I think in terms of a weakness or an unavoidable susceptibility to be or do what is unlike God in whose image we have been created. Our spiritual DNA has been corrupted. We are frail, and therefore we will fail. For Augustine, however, his concept of original sin worked well to explain some things, like his own experiences, and also worked with his idea regarding infant baptism and his argument with the Donatists to cement the church-state fusion.

  288. Daisy wrote:

    To be fair to her on that, I’m not comfortable with men being in ladies’ locker rooms.
    What would stop a cis hetero (whatever the jargon is) man who likes to assault women from slapping on a skirt and claiming to be trans and doing so to gain access to women victims in bathrooms and such? That is a concern of mine.

    What’s to stop a gay guy or a lesbian from doing the same in a same-sex locker room? I mean, seriously, after a certain point it becomes just downright ridiculous. But the point here remains that Michelle Duggar, knowing that her oldest son had molested her daughters, still went to the trouble of recording a robocall against transgender persons. She was trying to put the scare into people about public restrooms but failed to protect her own daughters within the four walls of her own home.

  289. Michaela wrote:

    singleman wrote:

    And while Josh Duggar and his parents must take responsibility for his actions, I also have to place a lot of the blame on the teachings of Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips. I find it ironic that neither of them lived up to the standards they preached and imposed on their followers.

    The Duggar parents played out a grand deception of being the perfect family. That to me is unconscionable when they had sexual abuse in their family. Imagine the pressures that were placed on the victims/daughters (and Victim No. 5 a non-family member) to keep up this charade. Not only are those girls not safe from their own brother, but from their own parents.

    Yes. And to think Michelle Duggar stood up to accept the Arkansas Young Mother Of the Year Award in 2003, knowing full well the son had abused his sisters. What gaul, what hubris. She ought to have been awarded, sick mother of the year, for ignoring getting counselling for her daughters.

  290. While looking at a comment on a friend’s Facebook page concerning Josh Duggar, her explanation was that he wasn’t saved at the time. That’s right folks! Just a not yet saved 14 year old doing what all not saved 14 year olds do… molest children. She went on to say that they chose to keep this within the walls of the church and she really didn’t know what she would do. I know what I would have done. Not let my 14 year be with his sisters. If I had been a parent of the victim that was not a sibling I know what I would have done. Gone to the freaking police. You know, if you are a non Christian this should be deeply offensive to you. I know many people who don’t believe in Jesus and still manage to not molest people. I am amazed and dismayed by the majority of what I am reading. Dee and Deb, I felt the push back when I disagreed today. It has to be lonely sometime to be you two huh? You know they are all whispering about how you probably are unsaved too. It’s so unnerving when you realize that a lot of Christians are more interested in the brand name than they are the Christ. Do we even worship Jesus or our personal holiness? It just seems our personal holiness is the god. I am really sad.

  291. @ Gram3:
    Gram3, I think your understanding is spot on so far as the root of sin is in the heart. I use the Mosaic Law to find how God was teaching the Israelites how to learn the difference between intentional and unintentional sin and how to arrive at an appropriate level of punishment based on the crime. For example, God even ordained cities of refuge where a murderer could flee to safety if his act was not premeditated and was unintentional. He would then need to stand trial, but would not be killed by one who wanted revenge for the death. Levitical priests were instructed what to sacrifice when one of the “common” people sinned unintentionally or through ignorance. So God saw the difference between intentional, deliberate, willful sin and inadvertent, unintentional sin not planned or premeditated. Some of our laws reflect the same type of punishment level, i.e. manslaughter vs. first degree murder.

    Paul recognized he received mercy due to his ignorance. He thought and acted according to the Roman law and Hebrew law when he participated in killing Christians.

    Anyway, a study long ago of the Mosaic law confirmed for me that God recognizes the differences between unintentional (Eve’s sin) and intentional, deliberate (Adam’s sin) and progressively taught the principle of justice to the Hebrews. That’s why Paul calls the law a tutor or teacher.

    The flesh sets itself against the spirit as well. Some emotions are nothing more than normal reactions because we are human.

  292. @SAD,

    Your posts (sin leveling) digress from the issue: These are felony sex crimes that were committed. You keep beating around the bush using Scripture as a smoke screen. And you make us Christians look like imbeciles before unbelievers, who have more wits about them and decency and a sense of justice. And you make a mockery of God (which IS ‘taking the Lord’s name in vain” and not just a cuss word).

  293. Robin wrote:

    It’s so unnerving when you realize that a lot of Christians are more interested in the brand name than they are the Christ. Do we even worship Jesus or our personal holiness? It just seems our personal holiness is the god. I am really sad.

    I’m not whispering about whether these people are Christians or not, I’m shouting. If they’re protecting the brand rather than upholding the truth, then they are showing very strong indications that they neither know Christ nor care a whit what He says. He did, kind of, justify the death penalty for hurting little ones, didn’t He?

  294. Mae wrote:

    Michaela wrote:

    The Duggar parents played out a grand deception of being the perfect family. That to me is unconscionable when they had sexual abuse in their family. Imagine the pressures that were placed on the victims/daughters (and Victim No. 5 a non-family member) to keep up this charade. Not only are those girls not safe from their own brother, but from their own parents.

    Yes. And to think Michelle Duggar stood up to accept the Arkansas Young Mother Of the Year Award in 2003, knowing full well the son had abused his sisters. What gaul, what hubris. She ought to have been awarded, sick mother of the year, for ignoring getting counselling for her daughters.

    And Michelle Duggar should return her award with an apology!

  295. It seems that they only care about the commandments that they can make everyone think they are pulling off. I believe that they use the “we are all sinners saved by the grace of God” thing when it is useful to them. When it does not apply to them, when someone else is caught up in the same exact sin then, they get to use the great leveler of “well maybe you aren’t saved.” Jesus Christ nor his apostles dealt with sin in this manner. I am certain that the early church would not have played this game the patriarchal, authoritarian crowd of today is playing. For one we know that the man sleeping with his step mother in the book of Corinthians was excused from the church for a time. At some point we know that he was restored but, that sexual misconduct was taken very seriously. Yes the warm embrace of forgiveness was extended to this individual but, it seems that some time apart from the group was needed! @ Law Prof:

  296. Michaela wrote:

    Michaela on Sun May 24, 2015 at 06:12 PM said:
    @SAD,
    Your posts (sin leveling) digress from the issue: These are felony sex crimes that were committed. You keep beating around the bush using Scripture as a smoke screen. And you make us Christians look like imbeciles before unbelievers, who have more wits about them and decency and a sense of justice. And you make a mockery of God (which IS ‘taking the Lord’s name in vain” and not just a cuss word).

    @Michaela

    Wow, that’s a pretty harsh indictment of what I have said.

    First of all, “smokescreen” and “beating around the bush” implies that I’m avoiding and/or hiding something…can you tell me please what that would be?

    Secondly, as far as “digressing from the issue”, I was answering a direct question that I had been asked.

    Thirdly, and most importantly, can you please tell me how have had “made a mockery of God” by applying His Word to MY life? I’m not leveling accusations of sin at anyone but myself. If I have done otherwise, can you please point that out?

    We have a criminal code, and obviously Josh Duggar transgressed this in a felonious manner by molesting his sisters…there is no debating that. By pointing out the way in which I view this situation in light of a HIGHER court, I am in NO way trying to diminish its seriousness here on earth.

  297. @ Robin:

    While looking at a comment on a friend’s Facebook page concerning Josh Duggar, her explanation was that he wasn’t saved at the time.

    I’ve got one better. Josh Duggar is not a “pedophile” because a “pedophile” has to be at least 16yo, so stop calling him a pedophile.

    Seriously. Somebody used this as a defense in their blog post.

  298. Victorious wrote:

    The “sin is sin” teaching implies God doesn’t see the difference between giving someone a black eye and murdering him and I think that’s not what scripture says.

    i think this that Jesus said backs up that there are different punishments and levels of sin in God’s view.
    Luke 12:46-48 (KJV)
    46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
    47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
    48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

    it also brings in the problem with when a person who knew God’s will sins anyway, i think it particularly stinks in the worlds view when it is covered with pious speeches about how those sinners in the world need to repent or burn in hell

  299. thanks Mirele, this is a concise timeline that is very helpful

    mirele wrote:

    Your account is incorrect. Please see this chronology:

    http://www.etonline.com/news/165063_josh_duggar_molestation_allegations_a_timeline_of_events/

    I’d note in particular the following:

    March 17, 2003 – July 17, 2003
    Josh is allegedly sent to a Christian program “[that] consisted of hard physical work and counseling.” According to In Touch magazine, Michelle Duggar later admits to Springdale police that Josh did not receive counseling and instead had been sent to stay with a family friend. The Duggars tell police that Josh “apologized” to the female minors and that they had “forgiven” him.

    Late 2003
    When he returns home, Jim Bob and church elders take Josh to meet with then-Arkansas State Trooper Jim Hutchens, who knew the Duggars personally. Hutchens gives Josh a “very stern talk,” according to In Touch magazine, but takes no official action. In 2007, Hutchens is convicted on child pornography charges and is currently serving a 56-year prison sentence.

    I would also note that the actual police report we see here was generated in 2006, after someone at Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios dropped a dime on Josh Duggar.

    Dec. 7, 2006
    The Oprah Winfrey Show cancels the Duggar family’s appearance on her show after receiving a tip about Josh Duggar’s molestation allegations via email from an unidentified 61-year-old female.

    Harpo Studios, which produces the show, faxes the letter to the Department of Human Services hotline. The report is then opened for investigation, leading to the investigation by police in Springdale, Ark.

    At that point in time, all of the alleged acts were outside of Arkansas’ (then) three-year statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, so Josh Duggar couldn’t be charged even if the police wanted to.

    Seriously, I’m restraining myself in saying what I really think about your attempt to minimize what happened here. Especially since Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar did not do right at all. If TLC thinks of bringing back 19 Kids, I will raise holy h*ll. These people should not be rewarded!!!

  300. robin said in this comment: ” You know, if you are a non Christian this should be deeply offensive to you.” and i think that is absolutely true and they very much are. the only thing worse is the ‘christian’ attempt to justify and decieve and condemn the non christians even in the midst of this.

    Robin wrote:

    While looking at a comment on a friend’s Facebook page concerning Josh Duggar, her explanation was that he wasn’t saved at the time. That’s right folks! Just a not yet saved 14 year old doing what all not saved 14 year olds do… molest children. She went on to say that they chose to keep this within the walls of the church and she really didn’t know what she would do. I know what I would have done. Not let my 14 year be with his sisters. If I had been a parent of the victim that was not a sibling I know what I would have done. Gone to the freaking police. You know, if you are a non Christian this should be deeply offensive to you. I know many people who don’t believe in Jesus and still manage to not molest people. I am amazed and dismayed by the majority of what I am reading. Dee and Deb, I felt the push back when I disagreed today. It has to be lonely sometime to be you two huh? You know they are all whispering about how you probably are unsaved too. It’s so unnerving when you realize that a lot of Christians are more interested in the brand name than they are the Christ. Do we even worship Jesus or our personal holiness? It just seems our personal holiness is the god. I am really sad.

  301. Gram3 wrote:

    The trouble is we start to believe that we really are different or better because we are not like *those* people, whoever those people might be from our particular perspective. And that is a fundamental human problem, I think.

    Hubris. Tell me about it, everyone makes that mistake but me. ^_^

    Gram3 wrote:

    When it comes to the Christians who are defending them or excusing him, I think that a big part of it is shame and an unwillingness to fully embrace the real Christian faith in contrast to various Christian systems.

    It’s interesting how different schools of thought in Christianity all seem to lay claim to a real Christian faith practice. I wonder if that’s built into it particularly as a faith or if its just the nature of religions.

  302. Muff Potter wrote:

    Which is why I now subscribe to the Jewish model in which ‘sin’ is an action or inaction and not a state of being (Augustinian model). In other words I no longer believe that ‘sinner’ is the default setting; we choose what we’ll be by our own actions, whether good or bad. I no longer believe that the Almighty demands a standard of perfection that sets us up to fail. I now believe He’s an advocate for imperfect humans doing the best with what they have and the time they’re given to build a better world.

    Well said.

  303. @Sad,

    There is an epidemic of child sexual abuse in the conservative evangelical church, one that rivals that of the Catholic Church’s child sexual abuse epidemic. This is from insurance companies, such as Church Mutual, the largest insurer of churches and the claims they are getting as well as from attorneys like Richard Hammer (Harvard law degree) at Church & Tax Law:
    http://www.churchlawandtax.com/web/2014/july/top-5-reasons-churches-end-up-in-court.html

    The church’s children are in danger, and their relationship with God, and that of their families (many of whom never return to the fold after their children are sexually abused and they are betrayed).

    It seems inappropriate to me, and insensitive, to give anemic answers that all of our sins are the same. While you acknowledged Josh Duggar committed reprehensible actions you also said this: “So, I can’t measure my behavior against Josh Duggar’s and say that I’m better than him because I’ve never molested anyone.”

    What do your personal sins and a future Higher Court (God as Judge) have to do with the fact we have a very present problem that needs to be addressed (child sexual abuse) that has taken root in our churches with predators knowing that they can have easy access to children?

    When children are sexually abused in the church family it often breaks their relationship with God. Ditto for their families who are betrayed. Many of them never go to church again. Can we blame them?

    This whole argument that we can’t judge sexual predators because we are sinners who have committed other kinds of sins is sheer nonsense.

  304. It’s unbelievable isn’t it?Hester wrote:

    @ Robin:

    While looking at a comment on a friend’s Facebook page concerning Josh Duggar, her explanation was that he wasn’t saved at the time.

    I’ve got one better. Josh Duggar is not a “pedophile” because a “pedophile” has to be at least 16yo, so stop calling him a pedophile.

    Seriously. Somebody used this as a defense in their blog post.

  305. Michaela wrote:

    It seems inappropriate to me, and insensitive, to give anemic answers that all of our sins are the same. While you acknowledged Josh Duggar committed reprehensible actions you also said this: “So, I can’t measure my behavior against Josh Duggar’s and say that I’m better than him because I’ve never molested anyone.”
    What do your personal sins and a future Higher Court (God as Judge) have to do with the fact we have a very present problem that needs to be addressed (child sexual abuse) that has taken root in our churches with predators knowing that they can have easy access to children?

    @Michaela

    Again, in mentioning my sins, and my thoughts on them, I was answering a direct question.

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion that my thoughts are “inappropriate, insensitive, and anemic”.

    As the parent of a daughter who came VERY close to being abused by a Christian School teacher (he was trying to groom her, but she was able to discern this and protect herself) I am very sensitive to this issue.

    That experience, plus a minister who told her categorically that animals do not go to heaven, have pretty much kept her out of church for 25 years.

  306. @Sad,

    Thanks for your reply. I am aware that you were answering a direct question to others.

    We constantly hear this talk in the Christian evangelical church about our sins being just as bad as a sexual predators, even if we didn’t molest. I don’t know when this drivel started or amongst whom, but it is sickening in light of the fact that we have an epidemic of child sexual abuse in the conservative evangelical church.

    What are your thoughts about how we should protect children at church?

  307. Daisy wrote:

    Whether a man is in a skirt or not, I don’t think it’s safe to have men in areas meant for ladies.
    It would be a bit easier for a guy claiming to be trans (whether in skirt or not) to have access to women than a guy who just “walks in” or who tries to sneak in. Why make things easier for guys who are up to no good?

    So in a situation where unisex restrooms are not available, what about an mtf trans person who is undergoing hormone therapy and passes as a woman while clothed? What restroom should that person use – and if you say the men’s restroom, how will be safe for her to be in there?

    Then, what about an mtf trans* person who has had surgery and is legally classified as a woman? Is she to be required to use the men’s restroom as well?

    Honestly, it may just be because I’m well aware that a significant minority in the United States still has a problem with my mere existence as a [single] gay man, that I have empathy for what trans* people are going through. But in all this talk from the conservative side about restroom safety, no one appears to ever give a crap about what trans* people go through. And yeah, I’m sure unisex restrooms would be nice, but those don’t exist everywhere (and when they’re brought up, it’s not infrequently that I hear that side dissing the idea as though unisex restrooms should just not exist).

  308. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    It’s interesting how different schools of thought in Christianity all seem to lay claim to a real Christian faith practice. I wonder if that’s built into it particularly as a faith or if its just the nature of religions.

    If it comes right down to it, each Christian has their own idea of what the Christian faith looks like, and each has their own basis for believing that. That makes some people a bit anxious, but if what the orthodox creeds tell us about God is true–that God is with us and in us but not us–then I don’t see the problem with the Holy Spirit working that out individually. I also think that the greater Christian community is part of that process.

    I suspect that the phenomenon of what amounts to a highly personal belief system is pretty common to humans, whether it is a religious belief system or not. Let everyone be persuaded in his/her own mind because we all see through a glass darkly.

  309. Michaela wrote:

    What are your thoughts about how we should protect children at church?

    @Michaela

    I honestly don’t know how to protect the kids within the current Evangelical church paradigm of separating all and sundry into age groups. How can you “vet” everyone who comes into contact with them? I’m not sure that you can…even though there are programs in place to make it seem as though it’s possible.

    I was one of those parents who did not leave my children with anyone until they were old enough to be able to give me a full run down on what happened in my absence. Even with that safe-guard, my daughter came perilously close to danger when she was in middle school.

    My hubby and I no longer consider ourselves Evangelicals, we are members of a confessional Lutheran church where the children stay with their parents during church.

    I had a very close friend in nursing school who was raised in a horrendously legalistic church and family. She was molested by neighborhood boys, and when she told her mother, the response she got was “You can’t tell anyone because then those boys won’t go to church with us, and they will go to hell, and it will be your fault”. The last time I heard from this friend, she had had a psychotic break and was diagnosed with multiple personality disorder. Is it any wonder? I sob when I think of her. And, as if right on cue, the “pastor” (!!!!!!!) of the larger organization who pulled the strings behind her little church, has since been accused of multiple accounts of abusive and immoral acts.

    I have no answers other than constant parental vigilance. And keep far, far away from any “church” body that tries to separate you from your kids at any time.

  310. @ Gram3:

    “From the Christian perspective, it seems that we all, male or female, should cultivate in ourselves the personal modesty of all kinds that the Bible exhorts us toward. The emphasis for a Christian ought to be to not call out for attention of any kind, and especially the kind that might cause someone else to stumble. It is not just a sexual thing, but that is certainly a big part of it.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    but even this very fair statement is in the subjective realm. what’s modest??

    The church I’ve attended most recently has a surprising (very) conservative streak. In my opinion I’ve always dressed modestly and in a way that didn’t make loud statements of ‘look at me!’. but when I have worn some things I have been given looks by some at this church as if it is scandalously inappropriate. it would never have occurred to me that my apparel choice was remotely inappropriate. (for one thing, it was 107 degrees)

    my whole life growing up in church people wore anything, were entirely comfortable around each other at beach/lake/pool events, it didn’t matter what kind of swimwear anyone had on. it just wasn’t a charged issue at all.

    now, all of a sudden, in this new Christian environment, it’s like the air is charged with electricity over the human body… it’s so shocking to me. as if some people have kept themselves so sequestered that apparel which would go completely unnoticed in other settings seems to set off arousal bells like a fire alarm. like they never learned how to manage those feelings due to living in a sterile environment. and they don’t know what to do with them — they’re terrified.

    for me, it’s weird and uncomfortable and like a drag on the engine of being alive (when i’m there at a church event). for them, i’m sad — so very un-free, either stern-faced with their modesty policeman’s hat on or else nervous wrecks.

    in my opinion, this particular Christian culture has done their people a disservice.

    modesty is truly a cultural, subjective thing.

  311. elastigirl wrote:

    as if some people have kept themselves so sequestered that apparel which would go completely unnoticed in other settings seems to set off arousal bells like a fire alarm

    A male friend and I had a similar conversation and he was so bothered by the way he saw women dressing. I told him perhaps a simple solution might be to stop focusing on her body parts. LOL He said he hadn’t looked at it that way before, but he might give it a try.

  312. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    It’s interesting how different schools of thought in Christianity all seem to lay claim to a real Christian faith practice. I wonder if that’s built into it particularly as a faith or if its just the nature of religions.

    Our scriptures are consistent in telling us that there would be people who would affect the form of our faith but would be frauds. Much of the NT was written to expose the predators who pose as what are referred to as angels of light. I don’t know if this is particular to the Christian faith, but I don’t see anything particularly concerning about it. A person does not become a Christian by dint of calling themselves one.

  313. lydia wrote:

    Sad wrote:

    In my belief, it’s not that I’ve missed the mark, it’s that I’m not even aiming at the target.

    Well said. That is a great way to describe it.

    Perhaps I misunderstood where you were coming from on this. So often I have heard folks say that we all “miss the mark” when they are referring to the Greek word for sin: Hamartia.

    IMO, it is totally misunderstood by many. I view it as if one misses the mark, they are in the process of “aiming”. I took Sads comment to mean that in some obvious situations some are not even trying to aim for the mark.

    Hope that clears up any misunderstanding of where I was coming from.

  314. rules rules rules… about what you can wear, what you can’t wear, what you can say (& how you say it), what you can’t say, what you can do, & can’t do…. no one can agree. other than it’s their hill to die on (or close to it).

    what a waste of ‘life in all its fullness’.

    love that ‘no greater commandment than this: to love your neighbor as yourself, and love the Lord God with your all your heart, soul,…. & stuff. (not that I fully understand that last part)

  315. Thanks SAD for your longer reply about child sexual abuse in the conservative church. I am glad that you and your husband kept a close watch on your children.

    I am very sorry to hear about your friend’s miserable life of abuse and then more abuse by her family. Sad and bad.

    At my former church (I was excommunicated and shunned after 8 years for not being ‘on board’ with the pastors/elders giving their friend a Megan’s List sex offender church membership as well as positions of trust and authority) they did not take child safety seriously. The former senior pastor wanted to invite his friend the Megan’s List sex offender to volunteer at our summer children’s basketball camp. Parents – believers and unbelievers – entrusted their children to us for one week, having no clue that a convicted sex offender was invited to show up at any time. It’s a complete betrayal.

    The senior pastor subscribes to ‘patriarchy’, which means not only does he believe that he gets to control women and girls, but other men too.

    I think my former church is a dangerous place for women and children (and decent men). I am sure it will be just a matter of time for sexual abuse cases to be reported from that church.

  316. Gram3 wrote:

    If it comes right down to it, each Christian has their own idea of what the Christian faith looks like, and each has their own basis for believing that. That makes some people a bit anxious, but if what the orthodox creeds tell us about God is true–that God is with us and in us but not us–then I don’t see the problem with the Holy Spirit working that out individually. I also think that the greater Christian community is part of that process.

    Very true and that has been part of the problem with Christianity since the early days. It is very individual yet corporate. Hard to wrap our heads around. But all believers are now “priests” and all have anointing. A very individual position that we bring to the corporate setting. But we must NEVER lose sight of the individual position direct to Jesus Christ.

    Throughout history the focus has been on the “corporate” with a priestly class and the constant systemization of beliefs in the political, state church realm. That is one reason I see so many different denomination in this country, since its founding, as more of a blessing of freedom than a curse.

    I read a very interesting take on this whole concept in a book by Leonard Verudin, Anatomy of a Hybrid. He starts his book with John the Baptist and an indepth look at how John the B was totally removed from the sacral system of the Temple/Pharisees/SAdducces system and how that fact plays into what happened next and its meaning for us.

    After looking into this for a long time, I start to cringe when I hear pastors teach about “God’s institutions” like family, church, government. IMO, there is nothing “institutional” about Jesus Christ.

  317. elastigirl wrote:

    modesty is truly a cultural, subjective thing.

    I think that is mostly true. Maybe totally true, but I only have my own culture to go by. And in my lifetime, standards of modesty have definitely changed. I wouldn’t necessarily say you should change what you wore under a certain circumstance. But, I might consider whether I am unnecessarily violating someone else’s visual environment, for lack of a better way of putting it. So I might think about how, within reason, to be comfortable without crashing the social norms where I am, however ridiculous they might be. I wouldn’t wear sleeveless attire in many parts of the world even though I don’t see anything wrong with sleeveless tops, and they are certainly much more comfortable in the heat of many of those countries.

    Just as there are larger cultures, there are micro-cultures. For example, restaurants frequently require people to wear shirts and shoes, and that is because of the fact that other people are affected by the attire choices that people make. Some people do not have reasonable standards according to the larger cultural norms, and these “regulations” are necessary.

    I’m not advocating for blindly following arbitrary and unreasonable standards or for being governed by someone else’s standards, but rather for thinking about how the choices I make impact someone else. It’s an internal thing, an attitude of the heart toward others.

    Now, on the other side of that coin, it can be just as immodest, IMO, to dress like a PrairieMom in most places in America. It is still an attempt to draw attention to one’s own self even though it is supposedly just the opposite! It is making a display of one’s modesty rather than a display of one’s body parts. But it is still a display.

    Or consider it from the point of view of loud behavior instead of dress. I have the “right” to talk on my cell phone and disrupt everyone else’ environment in most places. That choice has an impact on the people around me, however, and I think that Christian modesty entails considering my impact on those around me in whatever way that might manifest itself.

    In other words, I think we should broaden the concept of Christian modesty while not laying down arbitrary rules for everyone. We should have a humble attitude toward others and not cause needless offense, IMO, due to paying them due respect. That is different than the legalistic modesty/purity culture, at least as I’ve encountered it.

  318. Longtime lurker, first-time poster here. This is going to be a long post, as I try to summarize this debate and add to it.

    At least within those of us who would call each other siblings in Christ, it seems there are two diametrically opposed viewpoints on what happened with the Duggars. One is justice-focused while the other is grace-focused.

    The justice-focused crowd hones in on the nature of the act being a sex crime with victims. Because Josh was never made to be punished (I’m not counting three months away with a family friend), the Duggars seems to have devalued the safety of their daughters over the freedom of their oldest son. Therefore, since he skated, and there are five victims, the focus should now be on punishing Josh. It’s justice-above-all it seems. Additionally, many in this camp appear to believe it’s not at all possible that Josh has repented and changed in the 12 years since the sexual assaults.

    The grace-focused crowd sees that the Duggars handled this horribly, and that even though Josh was only 14, there should’ve been more intensive counseling and even restoration for Josh, as well as the girls. No doubt about it—they handled this is the worst possible way. I can’t begin to imagine what 4/5 victims had to go through while seeing him everyday for the next ten years or so. The only way they don’t have wounds from this is to forgive Josh. I’ve read way too many stories of spiritual maturity/recovery to know that if they didn’t forgive him, it would impact their relationships with others and with God.

    I have to also interject here the biblical accounts of Paul and Peter. Recall that Paul killed many Christians, including participating in the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7. How do you think Peter, John, Mary and the others felt about Paul at that time? The dude just killed their brother in the faith! Yet, when he converted after Damascus they welcomed him in. There wasn’t any “Burn him! Kill him! Think about Stephen!”

    Also, in John 18 when the group of soldiers arrive to arrest Jesus, Peter takes out his sword and cuts Malchus’ ear off. Now, that’s assault and battery if I’ve ever heard of it! Jesus didn’t turn to the guards and say “Take ’em!”, the Lord merely rebuked Peter, re-attached Malchus’ ear and went on to be arrested. He also didn’t treat Peter any differently after the resurrection.

    Why is justice more important than mercy and grace? After all, the four daughters will each have to forgive him FOR THEIR OWN GOOD—NOT HIS. Why should we be any different? Even today, Josh should be in legitimate Christian counseling, far away from his parents’ influence. I’m not denying that. If Josh is indeed a different man at 27 than he was at 14, then all this served was as an ambush. An ambush on a changed man, an ambush on five victims who might rather not have the world know they’ve been violated, and it’s also an ambush on Christians.

    I agree that the Duggar family shouldn’t have been railing on social issues without being completely transparent. Homosexuality is no different than lying, gluttony, divorce or adultery. But as ultra-conservative Christians they’ve held that mantle like so many others on the Christian Right. I myself am conservative, but I think it’s appalling that they and so many others promote abortion and gay marriage as “Super Sins”.

    I have this mindset because not even four years ago I weighed over 600 pounds and today weight near 250. I was 32, had been a Christian for 13 years, and just considered that I was a victim of a bad body from birth. To make my testimony very short, I saw my salvation as an escape hatch for this life. My life didn’t amount to much, and I didn’t trust that God not only save my soul, but also save my life. But on Thanksgiving night 2011, that all changed as I hit rock bottom. These last 3.5 years have shown me just how wrong the Christian right is in promoting certain sins as more important.

    Like so many others, the Duggars got a platform, preached from said platform as they attacked certain sins, and then weren’t transparent. That’s part of the reason this report came out. They took an arrow in the back from secular media because they weren’t transparent. And now there are enumerable consequences, whether correct or not.

  319. Lydia wrote:

    “God’s institutions” like family, church, government. IMO, there is nothing “institutional” about Jesus Christ.

    That comes most recently from Rushdoony’s re-working of Van Til’s adaptation of Kuyper. Rushdoony’s thought has penetrated in many places, even in places where people have never heard of Rushdoony. Gothard always seemed to me to mimic Rushdoony without the overt church/state thing, and they seemed to move in somewhat different circles. It’s almost like Gothard was a combo of IFB and Rushdoony. That’s a cocktail with a bad hangover.

  320. Lydia wrote:

    I read a very interesting take on this whole concept in a book by Leonard Verudin, Anatomy of a Hybrid. He starts his book with John the Baptist and an indepth look at how John the B was totally removed from the sacral system of the Temple/Pharisees/SAdducces system and how that fact plays into what happened next and its meaning for us.

    That is a very interesting thought which I don’t remember hearing and would like to investigate.

  321. elastigirl wrote:

    rules rules rules… about what you can wear, what you can’t wear, what you can say (& how you say it), what you can’t say, what you can do, & can’t do…. no one can agree. other than it’s their hill to die on (or close to it).

    That’s funny. The last two churches where I was a member, there was one woman who always wore an obvious headcovering. One of them wore gloves. And this is in the past couple of decades! As far as I could ever determine, they were each the only one to wear something on their head whenever they were at worship. Now, I think that is pretty much being immodest in that it is drawing attention to one’s superiority, which in this case is supposed spiritual superiority. But, hey, 1 Corinthians 11 says you’ve gotta cover up that hair!

    My naughty alter-ego thinks that wearing a Halloween wig would be a great object lesson for these gals.

  322. @ Gram3:

    To show you how far off the beaten path I was, It has only been in the last 10 years I have heard of either one of them and that is because of the internet. I am amazed how much influence they have had on Christendom.

  323. @ Gram3:

    Verduin is from the 1950’s Dutch Reformed. He did not write a lot of books but what he wrote is incredible scholarship and worth checking out. His indepth insights and intense scholarship remind me of NT Wright. I ran across his book “The Reformers and Their Step Children” when I was researching Christian history. That is one for your library.

    Here is an interesting quote:

    We meet in Luther [as well as the entire Reformed /Calvinist /Puritan tradition], to put it theologically, a very heavy emphasis on the forensic aspect of salvation and a correspondingly light emphasis on the moral aspect. Luther was primarily interested in pardon, rather than in renewal. His theology was a theology that addresses itself to the problem of guilt, rather than to the problem of pollution. There is an imbalance in this theology between what God does for man and what He does in man.”

    The Reformers and Their Stepchildren, p. 12.

  324. How do you know that Josh has stopped offending? Because *they* say so? He sneaked and lied for 2 years once. Why not again?

  325. @ Gram3:

    in agreement, all of it. that part i really loathe is the tendency in religion to attach right/wrong to things that are merely different than what a religious person is accustomed to. things that are simply neutral, amoral. and then you enter a religious setting and suddenly you get all these weird, shaming vibes.

    in fact i feel that just as a Christian assumes a modest sensitivity of sorts, they should assume an equal proportion of open-minded lightening up, and just let people be.

  326. Lydia wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    To show you how far off the beaten path I was, It has only been in the last 10 years I have heard of either one of them and that is because of the internet. I am amazed how much influence they have had on Christendom.

    Let’s just say I didn’t go looking for them, but their peeps found me. When I first heard of Gothard’s teaching, I was dumbstruck. And that does not happen very often. I learned of Rushdoony by coming into contact with his spiritual children back in the early 80’s, IIRC. Looney tunes. Absolutely looney tunes, though very intelligent people like Greg Bahnsen were taken in, and they drew in more intelligent people. It is similar to what is happening now in the Gospel Glitterati with the pretense of deep thinking. When it’s really all just old-fashioned legalism that’s sold with an elitist wrapper.

  327. elastigirl wrote:

    in fact i feel that just as a Christian assumes a modest sensitivity of sorts, they should assume an equal proportion of open-minded lightening up, and just let people be.

    We should make allowances for the weaker brother but try really hard not to be the weaker brother. The fact is that each of us has a conscience that is wired and sometimes needs to be re-wired in one direction or the other. Except mine, of course. Perfectly calibrated.

  328. i dont know if any of this is true, but if it is wow!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3093250/Faith-healing-clinic-Josh-Duggar-sought-treatment-repeatedly-molesting-young-girls-founder-resigned-accusations-sexually-harassed-teenagers.html

    excerpt:
    The clinic that Josh Duggar attended after his parents learned he had molested multiple young girls has been revealed as the Basic Life Principles Training Center.
    The facility, in Little Rock, Arkansas, which offers faith-based healing has been criticized by some who have attended their programs and also come under fire after a scandal involving founder Bill Gothard.
    Gothard was accused in 2014 of sexually harassing women who worked at his ministry, including teenagers, and not reporting cases of child abuse.
    He was never convicted of any crimes, but resigned soon after these claims became public.
    Radar Online spoke to Harold Walker who confirmed that Josh had attended the facility, but would not go into details about why or any treatment he received at the time.
    He also said the entire family spent time working at the center.
    ‘I really don’t remember the circumstances on why Josh came to our center,’ said Walker.
    ‘He came down … they used to work at the center, the entire family did.’
    Walker is the family friend named in the police report of Josh’s molestation who Jim Bob says he contacted about getting his son counseling.

    Jim Bob told investigators in 2006 that Josh was there from March 17, 2003, until July 17, 2003.
    There are facilities across the country, and some have been labelled as ‘appalling’ in their treatment of children.
    According to the Basic Life website ‘the programs offered and the specific focus at each training center varies.’
    It also stated that ‘the common goal is to strengthen individuals and families through sound Biblical teaching and character development opportunities and to demonstrate Christ’s love through serving.’
    The non-denominational, Christian organization was founded in 1961 by Gothard.
    The popular minister, who is close to politicians including Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, became caught up in a sex scandal of his own in 2014.

  329. another thing from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3093250/Faith-healing-clinic-Josh-Duggar-sought-treatment-repeatedly-molesting-young-girls-founder-resigned-accusations-sexually-harassed-teenagers.html

    There were also reports that Gothard, who also runs the ALERT Academy which most of the Duggard boys have attended, was not reporting cases of child abuse.

    He has long been a friend of the Duggars and even been featured on their TLC show 19 Kids and Counting.

    ALERT Academy was also featured on the show when Joseph attended, with the entire family showing up for his graduation ceremony.

    The show also filmed Joseph as he participated in the nine week program, being asked to complete tasks such as putting a car back together using wood for axles and then having to legibly copy a passage from the Bible.

    The cost for an eleven-week program is $2900.

    Gothard also runs the ATI Family Conference the Duggar family attends every year in Big Sandy, Texas.

    This year’s conference took place last month and Jim Bob and Michelle were two of the featured speakers.

  330. dee wrote:

    How do you know that Josh has stopped offending? Because *they* say so? He sneaked and lied for 2 years once. Why not again?

    I wonder if we will ever know that with either Josh Duggar or Jordan Root. The only thing I know is that every time I’ve seen this issue come up, the sides get so polarized over *other* concerns. And that baffles me.

    I don’t understand a lot of things about the Duggar case, and that’s probably because I don’t know much about the subject of child sex abuser behavior and motivation. I do understand parenting and grandparenting, and that is where I do not get Michelle and Jim Bob. Why put your family in the spotlight knowing that this could come out at any time? Why put the daughters and the other child/ren at risk of being re-victimized like that? And now the grandchildren.

  331. didnt duggars parents say something like, we didnt want him to go to a secular place for rehabilitation where he would learn all kinds of bad stuff from bad people?

  332. Kevin wrote:

    An ambush on a changed man, an ambush on five victims who might rather not have the world know they’ve been violated, and it’s also an ambush on Christians.

    Hi Kevin, thank you for joining us. A few things. 1. How do you know he’s changed? All we have to go on is his word and his parents and they have shown themselves to be deceitful at the costs of even their own family members. 2. How do you know the victims don’t want the world to know, it’s not like their parents or church were looking out for their safety and interests as their brother Josh Duggar molested his sisters and one other girl. 3. How is this an attack on Christians? Is it an attack to discover people covering up and skirting the law and then being appalled by that behavior? I confess I’m a bit baffled here.

  333. @ elastigirl:

    Yeah, “Naked And Afraid — The Evangelical Edition”. A YRR male pastor and a female lay person….. a YRR male pastor and a female pastor…… a YRR male pastor and…. any number of kinds of females.

    it’s the great equalizer….. after those 21 days more often than not the man is extremely humbled and ends up sincerely valuing his female partner. And she is exploding in confidence.

    reckon that’s just what’s needed in evangeliworld.

  334. @ elastigirl:
    Or in Brazil. Beachwear that is considered normal and even modest there is… well, let’s just say that none of these people woulfd survive the extreme culture shock.

  335. hukabee is getting blasted for his support, this was just posted on his facebook page ~

    Oh the double standard:

    “Some things are either right or wrong. It doesn’t matter who does them. When Hollywood hero Roman Polanski drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl and then fled the country instead of facing the consequences of his own guilty plea, there should be no defense of him from anyone. What he did was evil and reprehensible. The fact that he is a great director doesn’t obscure the fact that he robbed a child of far more than Bernie Madoff stole from his victims.

    What has our culture become when people can commit despicable criminal acts and yet get defended and excused because they are celebrities. If David Letterman takes advantage of subordinates who work for him, then it’s not funny, it’s pathetic and immoral. The audience shouldn’t laugh and applaud; they ought to walk out in disgust. And instead of actors and even governments seeking the release of Roman Polanski, they should be screaming for justice.”

    — Mike Huckabee, FOX News commentary, 2009

    http://www.foxnews.com/…/can-have-different-points-view…

  336. i dont think i should ever say anything online again, oh wait, i am still typing. May Jesus have mercy on me and never let me go blasting people online or in my heart, amen

  337. it gets worse for hukabee
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/05/24/judge-with-ties-to-mike-huckabee-orders-the-destruction-of-josh-duggars-police-report/
    excerpt~
    That’s why it’s appalling to learn that, on Thursday (when the story went public), Judge Stacey Zimmerman (below) ordered the Springdale Police Department to destroy the original documents
    excerpt~
    Why did she do it? She won’t say.

    … former Governor Mike Huckabee, who has already expressed his support for the man… has a connection to Judge Zimmerman.

    According to her re-election website, she was twice appointed by the governor to serve on various committees:
    Appointed by Governor Mike Huckabee and served on the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice, 1999-2005
    Appointed by Governor Mike Huckabee and served on the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, 1995-1998

  338. Kevin, thanks for a thoughtful response. You know the 14 year old Josh could have been a victim himself of abuse. We really don’t know everything do we? It just seems that the groups of people and churches who subscribe to this ultra strict complentarianism always ends up being the ones covering up sexual misconduct when it is a male authority figure perpetrating these acts. Even for a curious 14 year, it doesn’t seem like a normal sexual urge to do the things he is accused of. You are right that these girls are probably mortified to have these allegations brought to the light. I am sure the shame they must feel is unbelievable. Many people are circling the wagons and either are attacking Josh or hash tagging things like #teamjosh but, I have yet to read a blog or article from a Christian source who is decrying people like Bill Gothard or Doug Phillips who promoted movements like Quiverfull. Not one word about the very legalistic nature of this family and how the insular nature coupled with male authoritarianism might have possibly led to not only the actions but the portrayal of it just needing to be an in house sort of thing. I am just wondering why sexual sins are front and center with the Christian right yet, the sexual sin of abuse gets downgraded to some thing akin to you gossiping about the preacher’s wife. Nothing illegal just sinful. If Josh had murdered someone would it have been an in house sort of thing? I actually think murder is a fair comparison because many people sexually abused feel as if their soul were ripped from them the day it happened.
    Thanks for sharing your story. I am glad that you are in the healing process.@ Kevin:

  339. Kevin wrote:

    I have to also interject here the biblical accounts of Paul and Peter. Recall that Paul killed many Christians, including participating in the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7. How do you think Peter, John, Mary and the others felt about Paul at that time? The dude just killed their brother in the faith! Yet, when he converted after Damascus they welcomed him in. There wasn’t any “Burn him! Kill him! Think about Stephen!”

    If Paul had offered himself up for years as a very public face of proper Christianity and had gotten very wealthy and famous doing so, THEN have been found to have participated in the stoning of Stephen and others, I think Peter and the other apostles wold quite rightly have called him a superapostle and wolf.

    You really need to think this through more carefully.

  340. To clarify my previous (MOD forbidden topic removed.) response to Kevin: Paul was undeniably an open enemy of Christians at the time he was an accomplice to the murder of Stephen and was imprisoning Christians, he later had one of the most remarkable conversions in history, as you point out.

    But had he been secretly imprisoning and assisting in the murder of Christians and engaging in a cover up of it after that conversion, and the truth of the matter only came out a decade later, and it wasn’t by his hand that it came out, history would quite rightly have a very different perspective on Paul. I think at that point Peter and others would’ve been quite right to disassociate from him and call him a fraud.

  341. @ Kevin:
    I don’t think it is either justice or mercy, at least for me. The thing is that we do not know whether Josh has continued or whether other children have been put at risk because the Duggars chose to do what they did. Maybe mercy for Josh would be injustice for those kids. It’s just not as simple as a justice/mercy dichotomy.

    I’m a conservative Christian, and I don’t feel like I got ambushed or like Christians in general got ambushed by the media. The media or the interests that they serve will do what they will do. If anyone ambushed the Duggars, it was the Duggars themselves, because I doubt we would have ever heard this if they were not celebrities. No one forced them into the spotlight, and no one forced them to mount the platform from which they preached. So, I think that should not be the focus here.

    I agree that the story breaking is awkward and potentially re-victimizing for the children. But what if the story breaking now saves other children from becoming victims? And I don’t just mean victims of Josh Duggar. I mean that the whole issue of child sexual abuse and how to handle it is getting a lot of coverage and discussion, even amidst the celebrity of it. Maybe that will prompt people to come forward or to re-think how we handle these difficult and complex situations. That, ISTM, is all to the good.

    I think among Christians, there are many issues involved that we need to face squarely and with courage and conviction. Among those issues are some false ideologies which are *not* based in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and which provide the environment for tragedies like this to occur in Christian communities. There is a false sense of security that we are immune from sin and temptation if we just follow the right regimen. And that is not the Gospel. Christians should be decrying the shame that these false prophets have brought on the name of Jesus and on the name of Christians generally. I’m not ready to shoot the messenger for delivering a dose of reality.

  342. this sounds exactly like what i think the apostle paul was saying about not eating if it offends his brother, love it gram3

    Gram3 wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:

    modesty is truly a cultural, subjective thing.

    I think that is mostly true. Maybe totally true, but I only have my own culture to go by. And in my lifetime, standards of modesty have definitely changed. I wouldn’t necessarily say you should change what you wore under a certain circumstance. But, I might consider whether I am unnecessarily violating someone else’s visual environment, for lack of a better way of putting it. So I might think about how, within reason, to be comfortable without crashing the social norms where I am, however ridiculous they might be. I wouldn’t wear sleeveless attire in many parts of the world even though I don’t see anything wrong with sleeveless tops, and they are certainly much more comfortable in the heat of many of those countries.

    Just as there are larger cultures, there are micro-cultures. For example, restaurants frequently require people to wear shirts and shoes, and that is because of the fact that other people are affected by the attire choices that people make. Some people do not have reasonable standards according to the larger cultural norms, and these “regulations” are necessary.

    I’m not advocating for blindly following arbitrary and unreasonable standards or for being governed by someone else’s standards, but rather for thinking about how the choices I make impact someone else. It’s an internal thing, an attitude of the heart toward others.

    Now, on the other side of that coin, it can be just as immodest, IMO, to dress like a PrairieMom in most places in America. It is still an attempt to draw attention to one’s own self even though it is supposedly just the opposite! It is making a display of one’s modesty rather than a display of one’s body parts. But it is still a display.

    Or consider it from the point of view of loud behavior instead of dress. I have the “right” to talk on my cell phone and disrupt everyone else’ environment in most places. That choice has an impact on the people around me, however, and I think that Christian modesty entails considering my impact on those around me in whatever way that might manifest itself.

    In other words, I think we should broaden the concept of Christian modesty while not laying down arbitrary rules for everyone. We should have a humble attitude toward others and not cause needless offense, IMO, due to paying them due respect. That is different than the legalistic modesty/purity culture, at least as I’ve encountered it.

  343. Hi Kevin,

    I am a conservative Christian. In case you didn’t know, there is an epidemic of child sexual abuse in conservative evangelical church that rivals that of the Catholic Church. Child sexual abuse is the No. 1 reason that churches get sued every year. Sources: Church Mutual (the largest insurer of churches in the United States) and Richard Hammer (Harvard-educated attorney) at Church Law & Tax.
    http://www.churchlawandtax.com/web/2014/july/top-5-reasons-churches-end-up-in-court.html

    The problem of sexual abuse in the conservative church is real and it has nothing to do with the attacks of the left. You should expect to hear more and more stories. It’s about time the conservative church started addressing this issue.

    Children are being abused and its harming their relationships with God. Many never return to church. Ditto for their parents and siblings.

  344. rofl
    Lydia wrote:

    @ Gram3:

    You guys might want to stay away from the seeker mega churches were designer chic and botox are the norm. :o)

  345. @ Kari:
    This was such a great article…wouldn’t it be great if every victim could collect 100% damages from each pervert/viewer.

  346. @ Gram3:

    I don’t think it is either justice or mercy, at least for me. The thing is that we do not know whether Josh has continued or whether other children have been put at risk because the Duggars chose to do what they did. Maybe mercy for Josh would be injustice for those kids. It’s just not as simple as a justice/mercy dichotomy.

    Same here. Justice in the legal sense can’t be had anyway, because the statute of limitations passed years ago.

    I am finding the general coverage and reactions frustrating for multiple reasons:

    1) Just how ridiculous the mental hoops are (Josh is not technically a pedophile, Josh wasn’t saved, etc.) that everyone is jumping through to protect the Duggars’ reputation, and that they honestly cannot see they are ridiculous. Stop pretending you can salvage the Duggars’ reputation with the public. Only people who already adore them will believe you now. For good or ill, they’re sunk.

    2) That everyone is making light of Josh’s age, and no one is acknowledging the extremely high recidivism rate for child molesters. In other words, yes, it’s possible that Josh has changed/repented, but it’s also statistically possible that he hasn’t. I wish people would at least acknowledge that. You don’t have to go all the way to “I KNOW HE’S MOLESTING HIS OWN CHILDREN” to acknowledge the recidivism rate (esp. since we don’t actually know he’s molesting his own children). And please, please stop presenting getting saved as a magic cure for pedophilic urges. It’s not.

    3) Most importantly, that everyone is carrying on as if this doesn’t prove anything about the Duggars’ brand of Christianity. The promise made by people like Gothard, Phillips, Pearl and company is that you will have pure godly children, godly men, godly families, etc. if you do XYZ. And then Josh Duggar molests his sisters. And Bill Gothard molests 30+ young women. And Doug Phillips has a years-long affair with his nanny. Guess what? Your promise just got an acid test of real life, and it failed. Which wouldn’t be so bad except that that promise is the entire reason for all the rules, isolation, etc.

    Really, ultimately all the questions whether Josh repented or the Duggars reported him, don’t matter, because it was all over the moment Josh molested for the first time. All the other stuff is just window-dressing to hide the fact that the patriocentric system is irreparably broken and can’t deliver the goods.

  347. @ Kevin

    i think your comment is very judmental. since you been lurking you already saw my comment yesterday about the difference between what a repentant person does and what a pharisee does.

    One of my concerns, having personally known a pedophile for 20 yrs, is that when those around them make it really easy to suffer no consequences and brush it under the table, it is hard for them to really deal with the sin and they often re-offend. For the offenders sake it is important to confess their sins and be repentant, this is not the same as acknowledging your sins because they became public. not reporting for a year, or allowing any non family members to know so they could see if he had molested any of their children doesnt seem like a Godly thing to do. i am not God and have no idea if Duggar is repentant or has offended again. I do know that talking about the issue and the way he and his family have (not) dealt with it is very important. Jesus talked about things that Pharisees and rulers of Israel did and His words were not always full of grace and mercy, He first hedged them into a place where they had to look at themselves, decide whether to renounce their sinful lifestyles, and hypocrisy and decide if they would leave the temple and follow Him.

  348. Michaela wrote:

    Hi Kevin,

    I am a conservative Christian. In case you didn’t know, there is an epidemic of child sexual abuse in conservative evangelical church that rivals that of the Catholic Church. Child sexual abuse is the No. 1 reason that churches get sued every year. Sources: Church Mutual (the largest insurer of churches in the United States) and Richard Hammer (Harvard-educated attorney) at Church Law & Tax.
    http://www.churchlawandtax.com/web/2014/july/top-5-reasons-churches-end-up-in-court.html

    The problem of sexual abuse in the conservative church is real and it has nothing to do with the attacks of the left. You should expect to hear more and more stories. It’s about time the conservative church started addressing this issue.

    Children are being abused and its harming their relationships with God. Many never return to church. Ditto for their parents and siblings.

    I have no doubt it’s a big issue, along with many other sins. However, I’m not sure I understand projecting the faults of one group of Christians (a local church or denomination) onto every Christian church. I know this may come off as I’m saying “Get over it”, but I know it’s not that easy. Yet I know that if those who have been hurt do not truly forgive, it will only hurt them. I know this from my own life. You cannot mature spiritually with hardness in your heart. Victimhood is incongruent with an intimate relationship with God.

    Should we call it out? Absolutely! But don’t stop there. What about restoration? Mercy? Grace? Or do we put them all in a cell and throw away the key? Because even after twelve years and no other reports, it sounds like that’s what everyone wants to do with Josh Duggar. They’d probably have wanted to do the same thing with Paul as well.

  349. @ Kevin
    A mans sins are forgiven when He comes to the cross and lays them there, because Jesus died for them. Jesus doesnt forgive excuses, or i didnt mean too’s, or i was too young to know better’s, or my parents made me do it (when the kid is 14 that doesnt fly) or it was the way i was raised with all those patriarchal christian mentors, Jesus forgives sins. Most of what i have heard from the religious right wing perfect christians is that stuff i just wrote, excuses and justifications and i shouldnt dare talk about it’s.
    By talking about it on this blog the conversation has turned to: what should people do that are christians that have this happen in their families? what should they not do? what are good ways to avoid or at least detect this sort of behaviour? Also with a dash of, maybe we shouldnt be doing everything that certain christian groups who make themselves into authorities on how to raise christian children that never sin say we should be doing.

  350. Kevin wrote:

    Michaela wrote:
    I am a conservative Christian. In case you didn’t know, there is an epidemic of child sexual abuse in conservative evangelical church that rivals that of the Catholic Church. Child sexual abuse is the No. 1 reason that churches get sued every year. Sources: Church Mutual (the largest insurer of churches in the United States) and Richard Hammer (Harvard-educated attorney) at Church Law & Tax.
    http://www.churchlawandtax.com/web/2014/july/top-5-reasons-churches-end-up-in-court.html

    I have no doubt it’s a big issue, along with many other sins. However, I’m not sure I understand projecting the faults of one group of Christians (a local church or denomination) onto every Christian church….You cannot mature spiritually with hardness in your heart. Victimhood is incongruent with an intimate relationship with God.

    Should we call it out? Absolutely! But don’t stop there. What about restoration? Mercy? Grace?…=.

    Hi Kevin,

    It seems to be that you are uneducated about the topic of child sexual abuse in the conservative church. It’s a felony crime and not “a fault” of a local church.
    Predators go to churches because it’s easy pickings for them to get children to abuse.

    Church Mutual, the largest insurer of churches, is so concerned about it that they are cancelling insurance coverage for churches that don’t separate sex offenders from children. Churches are having to have special services for sex offenders or minister to them off-site. (And of course there are plenty of sex offenders who have never been arrested and prosecuted and who will also prey upon the youth of a church.)

    I am saddened by your treatment of child sexual abuse victims. So on top of being the victims of felony sex crimes and somebody else’s sexual sin, you’ve used words that blame them again: victimhood, hardness of heart, unforgiveness.

    I am much more gentle with victims. It’s not my place to lecture them about forgiveness and the like. It’s not my place to heap shame and judgment on them. It’s my place to love them and help them carry a big burden. It’s my place to be a safe place to land.

  351. Proper followup does not appear to be the case here, but if it were properly handled, if the 14 year old was properly dealt with and then truly repentant, the victims were properly supported and protected, I would deem it necessary to keep a low profile for protection of all involved, obviously the Duggars didn’t keep out of the limelight.

  352. Kevin wrote:

    But don’t stop there. What about restoration? Mercy? Grace? Or do we put them all in a cell and throw away the key? Because even after twelve years and no other reports, it sounds like that’s what everyone wants to do with Josh Duggar. They’d probably have wanted to do the same thing with Paul as well.

    No one is saying “lock them all in a cell and throw away the key.” Who said that? Or are you just using straw man arguments to demonize those with whom you disagree?

    Kevin, if Paul had done all that bad stuff such as consenting to the stoning of Stephen AFTER he’d become a very public Christian and had been sending men, women and children who loved Christ off to prison AFTER he’d become a very public Christian, and had been doing so secretly and had covered it up with the help of others for a decade, and if the truth finally came out not because he publicly confessed it but because in spite of his best efforts to sweep the truth under the rug, another person leaked it, Paul would have been a total hypocrite to criticize the superapostles, to come out against the judaizers–Paul himself would have been a judaizer and a hypocrite and a pretty evil scoundrel.

    Kevin, you’re simply not living in the land of reality.

  353. Michaela wrote:

    Kevin wrote:

    Michaela wrote:
    I am a conservative Christian. In case you didn’t know, there is an epidemic of child sexual abuse in conservative evangelical church that rivals that of the Catholic Church. Child sexual abuse is the No. 1 reason that churches get sued every year. Sources: Church Mutual (the largest insurer of churches in the United States) and Richard Hammer (Harvard-educated attorney) at Church Law & Tax.
    http://www.churchlawandtax.com/web/2014/july/top-5-reasons-churches-end-up-in-court.html

    I have no doubt it’s a big issue, along with many other sins. However, I’m not sure I understand projecting the faults of one group of Christians (a local church or denomination) onto every Christian church….You cannot mature spiritually with hardness in your heart. Victimhood is incongruent with an intimate relationship with God.

    Should we call it out? Absolutely! But don’t stop there. What about restoration? Mercy? Grace?…=.

    Hi Kevin,

    It seems to be that you are uneducated about the topic of child sexual abuse in the conservative church. It’s a felony crime and not “a fault” of a local church.
    Predators go to churches because it’s easy pickings for them to get children to abuse.

    Church Mutual, the largest insurer of churches, is so concerned about it that they are cancelling insurance coverage for churches that don’t separate sex offenders from children. Churches are having to have special services for sex offenders or minister to them off-site. (And of course there are plenty of sex offenders who have never been arrested and prosecuted and who will also prey upon the youth of a church.)

    I am saddened by your treatment of child sexual abuse victims. So on top of being the victims of felony sex crimes and somebody else’s sexual sin, you’ve used words that blame them again: victimhood, hardness of heart, unforgiveness.

    I am much more gentle with victims. It’s not my place to lecture them about forgiveness and the like. It’s not my place to heap shame and judgment on them. It’s my place to love them and help them carry a big burden. It’s my place to be a safe place to land.

    Isn’t scripture the safest place to land? Forgiveness will relieve the burden…or else Jesus was lying. And we all know that’s not the case.

    I’m not saying this is instantaneous…it obviously isn’t. However, it’s unloving to tell victims of sexual abuse (or victims of theft, assault, slander) that they can let bitterness grow and God’s okay with it. To the degree bitterness festers, forgiveness looks harder.

    If the aim is truly loving and caring for the victims, young and old, then you have to start with God. And it’s not a lecture. When people like me talk about forgiveness, it’s because we know the difference it made in our life. That’s why I keep coming back to it.

  354. is it monday yet over there on the east coast? are you done typing yet? hurry up! 🙂

    in seriousness, i have had a heavy heart all weekend over the travesty done to Karen Hinkley. Praying that the Lord sustains her through this difficult time and I so appreciate her willingness to deal with this publicly. all the hundreds and hundreds of women locked under bondage to these types of churches will now know that it is possible to get out, and that the Lord is calling them to stand up for Him and His children.

  355. Law Prof wrote:

    Kevin wrote:

    But don’t stop there. What about restoration? Mercy? Grace? Or do we put them all in a cell and throw away the key? Because even after twelve years and no other reports, it sounds like that’s what everyone wants to do with Josh Duggar. They’d probably have wanted to do the same thing with Paul as well.

    No one is saying “lock them all in a cell and throw away the key.” Who said that? Or are you just using straw man arguments to demonize those with whom you disagree?

    Kevin, if Paul had done all that bad stuff such as consenting to the stoning of Stephen AFTER he’d become a very public Christian and had been sending men, women and children who loved Christ off to prison AFTER he’d become a very public Christian, and had been doing so secretly and had covered it up with the help of others for a decade, and if the truth finally came out not because he publicly confessed it but because in spite of his best efforts to sweep the truth under the rug, another person leaked it, Paul would have been a total hypocrite to criticize the superapostles, to come out against the judaizers–Paul himself would have been a judaizer and a hypocrite and a pretty evil scoundrel.

    Kevin, you’re simply not living in the land of reality.

    And you sound like your worldview is lacking any semblance of grace and bent on justice for the mere fact that this is a family whose been vocal about their faith.

    So you would’ve been more forgiving if he’d been some drugged out kid who no one knew and had never been to church in his life?

  356. Hi Kevin,

    Albuquerque Blue, Gram3, and LawProf have raised very good questions, which you haven’t answered.

    Gram3 is a conservative Christian, wife and mother. LawProf has been a church elder, has been married for many years, and he and his wife have a large family. These people have a lot to share.

    You spoke of spiritual maturity in your post to me (i.e. sexual abuse victims dealing with hardness of hearts).

    How about your spiritual maturity? It’s not showing up in your posts.

  357. Kevin wrote:

    You cannot mature spiritually with hardness in your heart. Victimhood is incongruent with an intimate relationship with God.

    Wow.
    Density of Christianese on a par with that communique from Karen’s “Elders”.
    Sure you don’t want to submit your resume to that church?

  358. sam wrote:

    it gets worse for hukabee
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/05/24/judge-with-ties-to-mike-huckabee-orders-the-destruction-of-josh-duggars-police-report/
    excerpt~
    That’s why it’s appalling to learn that, on Thursday (when the story went public), Judge Stacey Zimmerman (below) ordered the Springdale Police Department to destroy the original documents
    excerpt~
    Why did she do it? She won’t say.
    … former Governor Mike Huckabee, who has already expressed his support for the man… has a connection to Judge Zimmerman.
    According to her re-election website, she was twice appointed by the governor to serve on various committees:
    Appointed by Governor Mike Huckabee and served on the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice, 1999-2005
    Appointed by Governor Mike Huckabee and served on the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, 1995-1998

    Wasn’t Huckabee GAWD’s Anointed Choice for POTUS during that GAWD’s-Anointed-Choice-of-the-Week-Not-the-Mormon-Not-the-Mormon-Not-the-Mormon during the 2012 GOP primaries? Where GAWD’s Choice changed every week while Romney plugged steadily ahead?

  359. sam wrote:

    The show also filmed Joseph as he participated in the nine week program, being asked to complete tasks such as putting a car back together using wood for axles and then having to legibly copy a passage from the Bible.

    The cost for an eleven-week program is $2900.

    NICE. RACKET.

  360. Gram3 wrote:

    We should make allowances for the weaker brother but try really hard not to be the weaker brother.

    What about the Professional Weaker Brother who’s gaming the system?

  361. Michaela wrote:

    We constantly hear this talk in the Christian evangelical church about our sins being just as bad as a sexual predators, even if we didn’t molest. I don’t know when this drivel started or amongst whom, but it is sickening in light of the fact that we have an epidemic of child sexual abuse in the conservative evangelical church.

    I would not be surprised if the two (sin-levelling talk + child sexual abuse) are connected. After all, sin-levelling means the child molestor is no worse than YOU and ME. Can you say “NORMALIZATION”?

    And could somebody tabulate what the Christianese response is to same-sex molestation as compared to opposite-sex? I strongly suspect that as long as it’s not HOMOSEXUAL(TM) (AKA The Unpardonable Super-Sin), it’s nudge nudge wink wink rank hath its privileges.

  362. Hester wrote:

    I’ve got one better. Josh Duggar is not a “pedophile” because a “pedophile” has to be at least 16yo, so stop calling him a pedophile.

    Seriously. Somebody used this as a defense in their blog post.

    “Stupidity is like hydrogen; it’s the basic building block of the Universe.”
    — Frank Zappa

  363. Robin wrote:

    Singleman,
    I wonder if the reason why Gothard and Phillips promoted all of this junk was because both had very repressed unhealthy sexual urges and they thought that if they placed their bodies under strict discipline those desires would go away?

    Wouldn’t be the first time someone tried to self-medicate/self-treat in secret. Especially if they become a CELEBRITY in the Moral Superiority market and cannot admit to imperfection in any way.

    Like Rush Limbaugh being number-one cheerleader of the War on Drugs while battling a secret Oxycontin addiction.

    Like the old saw “You can tell when a preacher is in trouble when he stops preaching what he’s for and only preaches What He’s Against.”

    Or the suspicion that a lot of psychiatrists/psychologists weren’t all there to begin with and got into psych because they could self-treat without anyone finding out they were crazy.

  364. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Kevin wrote:

    You cannot mature spiritually with hardness in your heart. Victimhood is incongruent with an intimate relationship with God.

    Wow.
    Density of Christianese on a par with that communique from Karen’s “Elders”.
    Sure you don’t want to submit your resume to that church?

    When you’ve lived with, and then without, bitterness you’ll understand. I grew to be more than 130 pounds by six years old which turned into more than 600 at age 32. I lived with enough bitterness towards my parents and God…the amount of hate matched my waistline. Once I relinquished my victim mentality and forgave my parents I had the mind to attack the weight.

    I know we can’t be the Holy Spirit for others, but I look back and think what could have been if someone more mature than I was in the faith would’ve counseled me instead of merely accepting me as I was. It might have saved a decade of darkness for me.

    And for the record, I’m not a fan of the Calvinist crowd…Chandler was the last one I ever gave a listen to. I guess slam me for being a Robert Morris guy…I’ll accept that label.

  365. Kevin, I disagree that victimhood is incongruent with an intimate relationship with God. Michelle Knight was held captive for eleven years and tortured and raped the entire time. She was a victim every single day – you cannot deny that – and she says that God was with her and sustained her.

  366. I cannot believe, Kevin, that you are complaining that people accepted you just as you were! Isn’t that what we all want, to have others look at us, imperfect beings that we are, and find us to be valuable and worthwhile to have a relationship with?

    It has been my experience that when people want me to counsel or mentor them, they will indicate this by asking for my advice and not dismissing it. Did you ask? What were they supposed to tell you, that you needed to lose weight? You knew that (me too). Were they supposed to tell you that your excess weight had psychological roots? Even if true, psychogical insights are effective only when we come to see them for ourselves.

  367. Kevin wrote:

    They’d probably have wanted to do the same thing with Paul as well.

    There is no record that Paul committed any acts that we today would deem sexual perversion and/or sexual crime or that we would deem ‘treatable’ or apt to be something he could not or would not stop. Today we would merely call Paul a religious zealot and a criminal, based on our laws. There is a huge difference between these things.

  368. When people demand that victims forgive and accuse them of bitterness, they are continuing their victimization.

    There is nothing wrong with righteous anger. Jesus certainly expressed it. Perpetrators of abuse often try to make their victims think they deserved or caused the crimes committed against them. They try to make them share the guilt. They don’t want their victims to feel angry about being hurt because they want to go on hurting them and getting away with it.

    The first step in helping victims is to arrest and prosecute the perpetrator and protect them from further abuse. The next step is to make sure that they understand that they were a victim; they did not deserve what happened to them and they share no guilt. Anger can be a healing emotion and a necessary step in the process.

    No one who genuinely cares for victims will fail to protect them or try to rush them through the process of moving from victim to survivor. No one who genuinely cares will insist on forgiveness or make accusations about bitterness.

    Those who do have another agenda and they start by making false equivalences. Serious felonies are equated to the ‘sin’ of bitterness. As in: Sure, this person criminally abused someone but the victim has sinned too by not forgiving so let’s just apologize all around and go back to the status quo.

    What might those agendas be? Spouses that care more for their abusive partner than their child, churches wanting to protect their reputation, a pastor wanting the ‘glory’ of bringing a child molester to salvation, people psychologically invested in denying the reality of abuse, people who wish the abuser would just shut up because everything was ‘fine’ before. There are any number of reasons, all bad.

  369. Marsha wrote:

    I cannot believe, Kevin, that you are complaining that people accepted you just as you were!

    Sometimes accepting people as they are really means just thinking that they are too bad off and hopeless to do anything else, and/or just means that nobody cares enough to try. Young daughter teaches kids who are academically bad off but the school system does not leave them just as they are. Every effort is made to improve their situation if possible. When people go to the doctor it is not for acceptance but rather for solutions. And God does not leave us where he found us when we turn to Him in our sorry conditions.

    To turn an entire line of thinking in christianity into mere acceptance of the human condition ‘as is’ can sometimes result in depriving people of what they need to make their lives better.

  370. Law Prof wrote:

    Paul would have been a total hypocrite to criticize the superapostles, to come out against the judaizers–Paul himself would have been a judaizer and a hypocrite and a pretty evil scoundrel.

    Paul admitted he received mercy because of his ignorance. He believed he was obeying Roman law and Hebrew law who thought Jesus and His followers were heretics. That’s entirely different for Jordan Root and Justin Dugger. They can receive justice (by paying the penalty according to the law of the land) and mercy by repenting.

  371. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Or the suspicion that a lot of psychiatrists/psychologists weren’t all there to begin with and got into psych because they could self-treat without anyone finding out they were crazy.

    There may be some accuracy however in looking at the field of psych with the same amount of reserved judgment that one looks at any other professional fields and/or looks at anyone who sells their skills on the market. I did run into some really weird stuff that year I spent as psych resident, and it did play into my decision to get into a different specialty when the opportunity arose.

    Now Dee says, I believe, some good things about somebody who is or was at Duke. That is great if people can find somebody like that. It would be a mistake, however, to blindly trust somebody just because they have some important looking paper hanging on their wall.

  372. Kevin wrote:

    And you sound like your worldview is lacking any semblance of grace and bent on justice for the mere fact that this is a family whose been vocal about their faith.
    So you would’ve been more forgiving if he’d been some drugged out kid who no one knew and had never been to church in his life?

    Kevin, you made a point of comparing this situation to Paul’s. I was commenting on that, I was not trying to make a stand-alone point about the Duggars’ fame and how that should negate forgiveness–fame has nothing to do with whether we should offer forgiveness.

    You compared the Christian response to Paul’s sins (welcoming acceptance) to our response to the Duggar’s sins (in your words “lacking any semblance of grace”). While I disagree with your perspective and think you fail to grasp the concept of forgiveness and grace, let me put that aside for a moment.

    I was pointing out that Paul’s sins in persecuting the church and aiding Stephen’s stoning occurred BEFORE he was a Christian and a very public face of Christianity.

    Again, I put it to you: if Paul had done this persecuting AFTER his coming out as the public face of Christianity, if he had done these sins in secret, if he had done his best to cover up and navigate his way around assuming legal responsibility for his crimes, or the crimes of a son, if he had continued, through this entire process, to sit on the boards of organizations to promote righteous living, if he had continued holding himself out as a model of virtue, if, when he was finally exposed by another’s hand, he had crafted a public response to the situation that said, in effect, “If I didn’t stop doing this persecuting, imprisoning and murdering, I realized it would ruin MY life”, do you honestly think the other apostles would have said “Forgive and forget, welcome the brother into the group”?

    No, I think they’d have been quite right to wonder whether he was a brother in Christ at all and told him his public ministry was almost certainly over.

  373. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    What about the Professional Weaker Brother who’s gaming the system?

    Usually that will become apparent pretty quickly. A Professional Weaker Brother is another flavor of control freak, and we should make our decisions in light of that. A true weaker brother may have strongly held convictions that cost us very little to honor. For me, it’s just another instance of weighing the burden of my choices on his/her conscience and applying the love of neighbor principle.

  374. Kevin wrote:

    Victimhood is incongruent with an intimate relationship with God.

    I agree with Marsha, this here be a tad problematic.

  375. Kevin wrote:

    Once I relinquished my victim mentality and forgave my parents I had the mind to attack the weight.

    I know we can’t be the Holy Spirit for others, but I look back and think what could have been if someone more mature than I was in the faith would’ve counseled me instead of merely accepting me as I was. It might have saved a decade of darkness for me.

    It’s tragic that there was no one to walk alongside you through the process of forgiveness and the process of turning your life around. It should not have been that way, and this is something that happens all too often. But I also think that accepting you as you were/are is not inconsistent with encouraging you to make changes in your life. We can do both/and.

    In the case of the Duggars, I don’t know that any of the victims are holding on to bitterness. That seems to be speculation. Those of us who are asking for the whole situation to be examined are not victims, so I’m not sure what you mean by holding on to bitterness and victimhood. I certainly hope that those children got some help and continue to get whatever help they need. That is not inconsistent with calling for the facts to come out in the hope of protecting other children.

    Is there a report you have heard of one of the victims holding on to bitterness?

  376. @ Law Prof:
    Good points. You or someone else may have already said above that Paul did not go out preaching right away, either. And the other Christians were very skeptical of his conversion. Paul made a point of using himself as an example, not of virtue, but of the lure of thinking one is righteous while actually not being righteous.

    That doesn’t seem like the facts in the Duggar case.

  377. Gram3 wrote:

    I certainly hope that those children got some help and continue to get whatever help they need. That is not inconsistent with calling for the facts to come out in the hope of protecting other children.

    This is a good point. There is nothing inconsistent about truth and grace, they go hand-in-hand.

    Calling for the facts to come out, calling people to task for being very public hypocrites, calling a man who is approaching 30 to task for writing a statement in response to these revelations that is almost wholly self-serving and puts the focus almost entirely on himself and his own life rather than those whom he rather viciously harmed, is not inconsistent with grace.

    We are pointing out what is wrong, if he were to come on this board and read what has been written, I’d hope he’d say “Good gosh, what am I and what have I been taught that after all these years to reflect on that evil period, I would write about how it threatened to ruin my life with scarcely a nod to the victims who’s lives I may have already ruined?” I would hope he would see that and start lurching towards true repentance.

    Kevin, I would also hope you could reflect upon yourself and what you’ve been taught as well. You seem tightly focused on two points: 1). People who don’t accept the Duggars’ explanation of this as perfectly satisfactory and forget about it are completely lacking even a concept of grace; 2). The victims better not hold onto their victimhood, because that is incompatible with a relationship with Christ.

    You seem more quick to impugn the victims and imply that somehow what they (may be) failing to do puts them outside a relationship with God than that how what their abuser did to them may well put him outside a relationship with God. Did Christ say anything about those who harm little ones? What did He say?

  378. Pingback: Christian Janeways Story Exposes How Adultery Hurts Even Adult Kids | Divorce Minister

  379. Patrice wrote:

    Kevin wrote:

    Victimhood is incongruent with an intimate relationship with God.

    I agree with Marsha, this here be a tad problematic.

    The difference is choice. You don’t have a choice in being a victim (as in the Duggar girls’ case). However, victimhood is a mindset by where one makes their being a victim into the primary identifying marker of their life. That’s victimhood. Every victim has a choice to either forgive (as God wants, for their own good) or become bitter and enter victimhood.

    The only way to guard against entering, or leave, victimhood is healing and forgiveness. Telling an abuse victim they shouldn’t forgive is doing additional damage which may not be seen for years. Should forgiveness be forced? No…because then it wouldn’t be forgiveness.

    When you’re in your thirties and still feeling wounds from abuse or neglect in childhood–that’s the product of victimhood. It’s nut unhealthy to properly acknowledge that you were victimized. What’s unhealthy is allowing that to make me a bitter, grace-less, mercy-less, faith-less mess.

    Just from my own experience, once I allowed the Holy Spirit to change my heart regarding my upbringing, I now am at the point where I almost defend my parents’ neglect in allowing me to weigh more than 2x my normal body weight. They both were lifelong, every night, drunks who did a poor job raising kids. No three-year old weighing 70 pounds knows what they’re doing…at that age you’re doing well to not be wearing a diaper…you can’t comprehend an idea like morbid obesity. However, once I made the choice to forgive them I began seeing them through God’s influence. That’s the opposite of what had been the case. I’d previously allowed their neglect and lack of real love impact how I saw God–I equated their neglect with God’s.

    Victimhood allows its’ citizens to rationalize their bitterness and other behaviors. It creates an idea that one is incapable of ever changing or taking control of one’s own actions. It repels people, because who wants to be around such dour people?

    Being a victim is the gateway to victimhood if left untreated. That’s why forgiveness is the antidote to victimhood.

  380. To clarify: I do not mean to say in previous post that even such a sin as molestation necessarily disqualifies you from being a Christian. Certainly, it does not. But that does not take away what Christ said about harming little ones. Both are true.

  381. Kevin,

    Do you mind me asking what type of church you attend? It’s irrefutably true that we need to act in forgiveness, it’s irrefutably true that bitterness is an awful poison. But something about your vibe makes me wonder what you’ve been taught and from whom.

    Not asking for particulars, just curious what type.

  382. Kevin wrote:

    The only way to guard against entering, or leave, victimhood is healing and forgiveness. Telling an abuse victim they shouldn’t forgive is doing additional damage which may not be seen for years. Should forgiveness be forced? No…because then it wouldn’t be forgiveness.

    Who is telling the abuse victims that they should not forgive? If you know of who is saying this, please let us know. It sounds strawmannish.

    Which of the victims is holding on to their bitterness? If you know which one is, please let us know. It sounds strawmannish.

  383. Kevin wrote:

    Just from my own experience, once I allowed the Holy Spirit to change my heart regarding my upbringing, I now am at the point where I almost defend my parents’ neglect in allowing me to weigh more than 2x my normal body weight. They both were lifelong, every night, drunks who did a poor job raising kids. No three-year old weighing 70 pounds knows what they’re doing…at that age you’re doing well to not be wearing a diaper…you can’t comprehend an idea like morbid obesity. However, once I made the choice to forgive them I began seeing them through God’s influence. That’s the opposite of what had been the case. I’d previously allowed their neglect and lack of real love impact how I saw God–I equated their neglect with God’s

    Well, that takes care of Testimony Night.

  384. I’ve been noticing the strawmen throughout, e.g., “lock em up and throw away the key”, “telling an abuse victim they shouldn’t forgive”. No one is doing or advocating either of these things. And he seems unwilling to address our points. I know not why.

  385. Nancy wrote:

    Kevin wrote:
    They’d probably have wanted to do the same thing with Paul as well.
    There is no record that Paul committed any acts that we today would deem sexual perversion and/or sexual crime or that we would deem ‘treatable’ or apt to be something he could not or would not stop. Today we would merely call Paul a religious zealot and a criminal, based on our laws. There is a huge difference between these things.

    I wonder if Kevin was trying for an “Everybody’s Doing It!” justification.

    If Everybody’s Doing It, then It Isn’t So Bad and Who Are You To Judge, SINNER!

  386. @ Kevin:
    Kevin, I am very sorry that you had to endure obesity as a result of trauma. I had a friend with similar problems who just couldn’t face the underlying issues and she eventually died of it. But for her it wasn’t because of bitterness/hate–it was because she had a been recipient of a particularly demeaning sort of childhood trauma and couldn’t love herself enough to tackle it. I am very glad that you were able to do so. It’s a hard path!

    You might consider using a different word than “victimhood” . Maybe find a phrase such as “deciding to blame others as a replacement for the hard work of facing trauma.” Some people do that but not nearly as many as we often think.

    Trauma-processing takes time; the more trauma, the more time. We’re talking years. For eg, I was angry for 1 1/2 yrs solid. During that period, you would likely have labeled me as bitter or hating, but I was simply catching up on normal anger-responses to the terrible things done to me. When it finally went away, I was sooo relieved because I didn’t like that feeling, at all. Yet it showed that I finally saw myself as someone worth defending.

    Forgiveness is a process that happens, if it does, towards the end of the path to healing from trauma. Being truthful, honest, and courageous is most important on that path. Generally speaking, forgiveness falls automatically into place, becoming a matter of “letting it go” because the power and pain from those who harmed you has gone from your life and other things become more interesting.

    In order to process these kinds of wounds, one does, at some point, need to see the perpetrators as humans rather than monsters. Perhaps that is part of what you mean by needing to forgive?

    It’s also possible that you have a few underlying issues to tackle yet. You blame people who loved you for a lost decade while at the same time you say the most important thing was relinquishing your victim mentality and forgiving. It might also be why you have such readiness to throw a “bitterness” label at those who don’t “get with the program” in the way you think should be done.

    I wish mercy for you and all the rest of us who suffered from being unloved, neglected, abused. Love covers all things and this is especially true for those who have been damaged by the evil of others.

  387. Gram3 wrote:

    Kevin wrote:

    The only way to guard against entering, or leave, victimhood is healing and forgiveness. Telling an abuse victim they shouldn’t forgive is doing additional damage which may not be seen for years. Should forgiveness be forced? No…because then it wouldn’t be forgiveness.

    Who is telling the abuse victims that they should not forgive? If you know of who is saying this, please let us know. It sounds strawmannish.

    Which of the victims is holding on to their bitterness? If you know which one is, please let us know. It sounds strawmannish.

    It honestly sounds like many here are harboring their own bitterness for pain inflicted upon them and then projecting that into the Duggar situation. That’s why I keep coming back to it.

    Just because it might not have been childhood sexual abuse doesn’t mean it can linger unchecked. Church/pastoral abuse goes here as well. Forgiveness is paramount when one has been victimized. I’m in line with rescuing the innocent and protecting them. It just seems that some who are doing that work might be operating while having been victims themselves who are still bitter after years or even decades.

    I believe that’s why there’s such vitriol and doubt surrounding Josh Duggar. I’ve seen very few people posit the notion that perhaps he did repent of his sin. On the other hand, I’ve seen a crowd of folks bent on doubting whether he has changed, or whether he’s even able to change. I’ve seen numerous people claim that molesters never change. That’s bitterness talking…

    What’s enough? You’ll never be satisfied in knowing Duggar is changed. After all, you can’t be with him 24/7. When do you let him alone with kids again? When do you cease thinking the worst of him? Is there anything he can say or do, outside of sitting in a prison cell, that is sufficient?

    That’s what I would ask many people who doubt. I’d guess there isn’t anything that would be enough.

  388. I don’t know any abuse victims who have made being a victim their identity. Not one. I think this is another straw man argument. I do know victims whose lives have been negatively affected with anxiety, flashbacks, fear of intimacy, trust issues, and physical disability. That is not a choice.

    We have no right as Christians to tell anyone to forgive on our timetable. Nor do they have to forgive anyone who isn’t repentant. And we have an obligation to acknowledge the evil that was done, call it what it was without weasel words, and provide love and support.

  389. Forgiveness does not preclude consequences, natural or inflicted, for a perpetrator. Likewise, justice should not be pitted against mercy and grace. In the example of David, we see all three concepts in play. David certainly experienced consequences in his family and when God refused to let him build a temple. He also experienced mercy in not being put to death for murdering those he was supposed to protect.

  390. @ Kevin:
    Hey, Kevin, I’ve just remembered an odd thing about my dead friend’s family. They seem to want my friend to stay overweight–as if it proved to everyone that she was indeed just that badly flawed. When she tried to tackle it, family members would booby-trap her by delivering bowls/pans of her favorite foods.

    If this is the sort of thing that your family did, then I can see why you would be critical of nobody saying anything. But really, that wasn’t love at all, for my friend–it was a hateful way to scapegoat her and keep her trapped in the pit they’d dug for her.

  391. @ Kevin:

    Kevin, I appreciate your willingness to post a differing opinion about this topic. It certainly sounds like you have been through a lot of heartache yourself. I’d like to make two points in response:

    1. Law Prof has made an excellent counterpoint to your argument which you haven’t attempted to answer at all. Comparing Paul’s unsaved life to a situation whether Christians are hiding terrible sin is not a valid argument IMO.

    2. You appear to have a faulty view of what forgiveness is. I often hear from other Christians that we must just forgive others that have wronged us and move on, as if forgiveness is just a one-way transaction. However, forgiveness is a two-way street. I would argue that I can’t forgive someone until they have repented and asked for that forgiveness. This is the pattern of forgiveness that God displays to us. We were not forgiven of sin before we repented and placed faith in Christ (unless you are of the neo-Calvinist persuasion that seems to imply that God does unilaterally forgive before we even exercise faith or repentance . . . but that is another topic). Did your parents ever ask for your forgiveness? If they didn’t, then you didn’t really forgive them. You may have chosen to overlook the sin and no longer let it be an issue between you. That is one option when you have a problem with someone, but please don’t say that is forgiveness.

  392. Kevin:

    At least for me when you throw the “bitterness” bomb–the discussion is over.

  393. Michaela wrote:

    singleman wrote:

    And while Josh Duggar and his parents must take responsibility for his actions, I also have to place a lot of the blame on the teachings of Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips. I find it ironic that neither of them lived up to the standards they preached and imposed on their followers.

    The Duggar parents played out a grand deception of being the perfect family. That to me is unconscionable when they had sexual abuse in their family. Imagine the pressures that were placed on the victims/daughters (and Victim No. 5 a non-family member) to keep up this charade. Not only are those girls not safe from their own brother, but from their own parents.

    Not just of being the perfect family, but a deception of KNOWING THE PERFECT SYSTEM TO PRODUCE THE PERFECT FAMILY, a family where nobody misbehaves and nobody gets sexually hurt by the time they stand before the altar. All the while, they knew their son did misbehave badly, and several members of their family did get hurt – they saw their system failing, and that happened before they went on TV to say their family is great and has the best ideas on living right with regards to sex, procreation, pre-marital chastity, etc.

  394. Nancy wrote:

    There is no record that Paul committed any acts that we today would deem sexual perversion and/or sexual crime

    I’m not so sure about that statement. Acts 16:3 states that Paul circumcised Timothy. The age difference between Paul who was older and Timothy who was much younger would definitely be viewed as some type of sexual abuse and/or perversion if it occurred today. The older taking advantage of the younger.

  395. Kevin wrote:

    It honestly sounds like many here are harboring their own bitterness for pain inflicted upon them and then projecting that into the Duggar situation. That’s why I keep coming back to it.

    Really. You presume much about many people who you don’t know the slightest bit. On the other hand, you act like no one should make judgements about a man who has led a very public life that we could all see (as much as was revealed) for many years. What person would allow themselves to be placed on a council for the family when they had struggled with abusing others? There are many other jobs he could have been involved with besides what he chose.

  396. Kevin wrote:

    I believe that’s why there’s such vitriol and doubt surrounding Josh Duggar. I’ve seen very few people posit the notion that perhaps he did repent of his sin. On the other hand, I’ve seen a crowd of folks bent on doubting whether he has changed, or whether he’s even able to change. I’ve seen numerous people claim that molesters never change. That’s bitterness talking…

    What’s enough? You’ll never be satisfied in knowing Duggar is changed. After all, you can’t be with him 24/7. When do you let him alone with kids again? When do you cease thinking the worst of him? Is there anything he can say or do, outside of sitting in a prison cell, that is sufficient?

    Why are you, who has been a victim, so totally focused on Josh the perpetrator rather than on the 5 girls who were his victims? He was not hurt, they were, as you were. He is now being humiliated for his wrongs, and that is moot compared to the kind of harm that would cause a child to fall into death-endangering obesity.

    This seems more to me like someone who, in his hurry to forgive, remains focused on the feelings of his perpetrators in order to avoid seeing the evil done.

    To call out something as evil and to understand the destruction it has caused, and to say anathema—this is not bitterness but truth-telling. The truth might be bitter, because evil is bitter.

  397. Law Prof wrote:

    When you’re in your thirties and still feeling wounds from abuse or neglect in childhood–that’s the product of victimhood.

    No. It might not be victimhood (is this a word?) at all. Many people may not have ever dealt with the awful things that happened to them as children or young adults. Many people reach maturity without acknowledging that they were abused or harmed by otbers. It happens all the time. Some people have lived in such a small bubble that they don’t have knowledge to know that they were mistreated.

  398. sam wrote:

    it gets worse for hukabee
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/05/24/judge-with-ties-to-mike-huckabee-orders-the-destruction-of-josh-duggars-police-report/
    excerpt~
    That’s why it’s appalling to learn that, on Thursday (when the story went public), Judge Stacey Zimmerman (below) ordered the Springdale Police Department to destroy the original documents
    excerpt~
    Why did she do it? She won’t say.

    … former Governor Mike Huckabee, who has already expressed his support for the man… has a connection to Judge Zimmerman.

    According to her re-election website, she was twice appointed by the governor to serve on various committees:
    Appointed by Governor Mike Huckabee and served on the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice, 1999-2005
    Appointed by Governor Mike Huckabee and served on the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, 1995-1998

    Judge Stacey Zimmerman – one of the best judges money can buy??? [/sarcasm off]

  399. Joe2 wrote:

    Nancy wrote:
    There is no record that Paul committed any acts that we today would deem sexual perversion and/or sexual crime
    I’m not so sure about that statement. Acts 16:3 states that Paul circumcised Timothy. The age difference between Paul who was older and Timothy who was much younger would definitely be viewed as some type of sexual abuse and/or perversion if it occurred today. The older taking advantage of the younger.

    And it’s done today by Doctors, Joe2. Are doctors sexual abusers? Not to mention it was and still is considered a religious and health custom (despite the current controversy about the custom).

  400. @ Former Fundy:

    “…I would argue that I can’t forgive someone until they have repented and asked for that forgiveness. This is the pattern of forgiveness that God displays to us. … Did your parents ever ask for your forgiveness? If they didn’t, then you didn’t really forgive them. You may have chosen to overlook the sin and no longer let it be an issue between you. That is one option when you have a problem with someone, but please don’t say that is forgiveness.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Former Fundy,

    it seems to me that your view of forgiveness is akin to seeing the universe, the world, everything and everyone through bible-colored glasses, in shades of black and white. so rigid and pedantic.

    OF COURSE IT’S FORGIVENESS!

    perhaps the fundy lingers on.

  401. Gram3 wrote:

    I don’t think it is either justice or mercy, at least for me. The thing is that we do not know whether Josh has continued or whether other children have been put at risk because the Duggars chose to do what they did. Maybe mercy for Josh would be injustice for those kids. It’s just not as simple as a justice/mercy dichotomy.

    Yes. Kevin seems to believe justice and mercy are incongruent. Sadly, many Christians now believe this when it comes to their own. It is as if they expect victims of crime and evil to get on the cross for the perp. Especially if they are all professing Christians. SGM taught this perverted form of forgiveness which is more sweeping under the rug than an expectation of true metanoia. That would require real consequences.

  402. Former Fundy wrote:

    @ Kevin:
    Kevin, I appreciate your willingness to post a differing opinion about this topic. It certainly sounds like you have been through a lot of heartache yourself. I’d like to make two points in response:
    1. Law Prof has made an excellent counterpoint to your argument which you haven’t attempted to answer at all. Comparing Paul’s unsaved life to a situation whether Christians are hiding terrible sin is not a valid argument IMO.
    2. You appear to have a faulty view of what forgiveness is. I often hear from other Christians that we must just forgive others that have wronged us and move on, as if forgiveness is just a one-way transaction. However, forgiveness is a two-way street. I would argue that I can’t forgive someone until they have repented and asked for that forgiveness. This is the pattern of forgiveness that God displays to us. We were not forgiven of sin before we repented and placed faith in Christ (unless you are of the neo-Calvinist persuasion that seems to imply that God does unilaterally forgive before we even exercise faith or repentance . . . but that is another topic). Did your parents ever ask for your forgiveness? If they didn’t, then you didn’t really forgive them. You may have chosen to overlook the sin and no longer let it be an issue between you. That is one option when you have a problem with someone, but please don’t say that is forgiveness.

    Your view of forgiveness isn’t exactly biblical. Matthew 6:14-15…Jesus says nothing of waiting for the other person to acknowledge and repent. However, he does connect unforgiveness towards others with unforgiveness from God. Furthermore, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

    No, my parents never asked for forgiveness. They’re not even Christians. To say that forgiveness requires the repentance of the offending party is potentially setting yourself up for a lifetime of bitterness. You could go to your grave waiting for something that may never happen. I was waiting decades for my parents’ help/acknowledgement/some sort of reparations…and it imprisoned me.

    Forgiveness is absolutely about you and God, not the other person. My call is to obey Jesus and let the Holy Spirit deal with my parents.

  403. Joe2 wrote:

    Nancy wrote:

    There is no record that Paul committed any acts that we today would deem sexual perversion and/or sexual crime

    I’m not so sure about that statement. Acts 16:3 states that Paul circumcised Timothy. The age difference between Paul who was older and Timothy who was much younger would definitely be viewed as some type of sexual abuse and/or perversion if it occurred today. The older taking advantage of the younger.

    Question for you. How would they know whether Timothy was circumcized or not? The answer is shocking to us, too.

  404. Making victimhood an identity? I never heard of anyone who does that, but I do know that being a victim changes you or your circumstances. Supposed someone managed to survive on her pension because her home and all she own is paid for, and she just had to buy her consumable needs. She become the victim of an arsonist, her home is burnd down. Suddenly she is homeless. “Arsonist victim” is not her identity. But it does have a huge influence on how she lives, with or without grudges.
    What you may not understand, Kevin, is that personal crime makes a huge difference – forgiveness or no forgiveness – on what you think of yourself, how safe you feel, the expectations you have for how those around you are going to treat you. This is not wallowing in victimhood, this is a result of what you saw about the nature of people in general and particular people close to you, specifically. Forgiveness won’t change that, it won’t lift that burden.

    Kevin wrote:

    Isn’t scripture the safest place to land? Forgiveness will relieve the burden…or else Jesus was lying. And we all know that’s not the case.

    Did Jesus ever say forgiveness will release the burden inside us of the sins others did against us? I don’t think so?

  405. @ Kevin:
    I echo what Patrice said. It is unfair for you to assume the motivation of all the people who are commenting about this. I have never said that Josh should not be forgiven by his victims. I also believe that future victims should be protected by the greater community, whatever that greater community might be.

    I hear the valid points you are making. But you are muddying your own arguments by throwing out the bitter card. And the problem with that is that is exactly what many of us have heard from people who did not want to deal with the reality of abuse. From people who wanted to deflect from the abuse. From people who wanted to walk by on the other side of the road. If that doesn’t describe you, then please think of another way of putting it. There is simply no way for anyone to know anyone else’s heart.

  406. Kevin wrote:

    Just because it might not have been childhood sexual abuse doesn’t mean it can linger unchecked. Church/pastoral abuse goes here as well. Forgiveness is paramount when one has been victimized. I’m in line with rescuing the innocent and protecting them. It just seems that some who are doing that work might be operating while having been victims themselves who are still bitter after years or even decades.

    Kevin, who sets the timetable for healing & forgiveness? It’a also true that many who have faced hideous traumas need a lot more help than they have received (me not being of a nouthetic counselling persuasion) to start to get near to the possibility of their emotions from the situation no longer being overwhelming.
    The main reason many will be very suspicious of Josh Duggar’s change is simply that statistically child molesters are an exceptionally recalcitrant group. Now, Josh may be different, but absolutely nothing in his (weird) upbringing meant that he was unaware that was he was doing was actually wrong. How many times must those children have heard that any sexual contact before marriage is wrong? Given that they don’t seem to allow hand holding before engagement & kissing only at the altar, he will have known that touching breasts and vaginas (let alone of his kid sisters) was wrong wrong wrong as he was as single man. It wasn’t just someone unknowingly getting it wrong, he knew what he was doing was absolutely outside of right behaviour, a sin as well as a crime. Given he repeated these acts (rather than getting a non-christian girlfriend to experiment with like most lads would have done) it can’t be shown he does not have an unhealthy interest in young girls rather than mis-directed teenage experimentation. That explains the suspicion. Would you trust your young daughters/female relatives with him?

  407. Kevin wrote:

    Your view of forgiveness isn’t exactly biblical. Matthew 6:14-15…Jesus says nothing of waiting for the other person to acknowledge and repent. However, he does connect unforgiveness towards others with unforgiveness from God. F

    You are making the typical interpretive mistake so many do. You are leaving out the cultural context of a people who are furious about being occupied by Rome and their treatment. do you honestly think that Jesus was teaching that Jew on Jew crime was normal for them? No big deal? that it was their a lot in life to be preyed upon by criminals, religious leaders and evil doers of their own tribe?

    Keep reading because he says of those types of frauds: I never knew you.

  408. Joe2 wrote:

    The age difference between Paul who was older and Timothy who was much younger would definitely be viewed as some type of sexual abuse and/or perversion if it occurred today.

    This is a joke, right? Tongue-way-in-cheek perhaps?

    If not, then please consult your local synagogue or temple. Or hospital.

  409. And everyone wants forgiveness for him. But that means the guilt of his crime is gone, like someone who has served a sentence. Not that it never happened, & not that it is safe to treat him like everyone else. Do you understand that distinction?

  410. Kevin wrote:

    Forgiveness is absolutely about you and God, not the other person. My call is to obey Jesus and let the Holy Spirit deal with my parents.

    None of us has anything to forgive Josh or Jordan for doing. Their sins are not against any of us, AFAIK. So, to say that we or the others commenting are not willing to forgive makes no sense at all. Who among the victims is refusing to forgive Josh? Have any of the Duggars repented of promoting a false religious system while calling it Christianity? I don’t think they have. For myself, I speak out against this false gospel of patriarchy/Complementarianism precisely because it is a false religious system that leads many into great harm and distracts many others from the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. That isn’t a lack of forgiveness or bitterness but rather a zeal to protect others from great harm.

  411. @ Kevin:
    This does not line up with my experience. The victims I know (and there are a lot of them over the years due to my work with them) are usually the most empathetic, compassionate and even generous people I know.

  412. @ Kevin:

    Luke 17:3 – Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.

    Notice the condition given of repentance beforehand.

    Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

    Notice that our forgiveness is to be like God forgave us in Christ. Does God forgive us before we repent? My point is that you are talking about overlooking a wrong that someone has done against you. Just don’t call it forgiveness or claim that others “aren’t forgiving” when they can’t overlook a terrible wrong and are seeking justice.

  413. Kevin wrote:

    What’s enough? You’ll never be satisfied in knowing Duggar is changed. After all, you can’t be with him 24/7. When do you let him alone with kids again? When do you cease thinking the worst of him? Is there anything he can say or do, outside of sitting in a prison cell, that is sufficient?
    That’s what I would ask many people who doubt. I’d guess there isn’t anything that would be enough.

    Here’s why I doubt, Kevin:

    _______________________________________
    “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”
    _________________________________________________

    Do you see anything wrong with that statement from Josh Duggar?

  414. ..and one more thing: Can you bring yourself to post a response to my question about the Paul-Duggar contrast? Have you no response?

  415. Gram3 wrote:

    I hear the valid points you are making. But you are muddying your own arguments by throwing out the bitter card. And the problem with that is that is exactly what many of us have heard from people who did not want to deal with the reality of abuse. From people who wanted to deflect from the abuse. From people who wanted to walk by on the other side of the road. If that doesn’t describe you, then please think of another way of putting it. There is simply no way for anyone to know anyone else’s heart.

    I agree that it shouldn’t just be deflected. Remember, I was one who was “victimized” myself in a way. I had numerous people who in effect “walked by the other side of the road” regarding my physical size. Friends, people in ministry and family all just sort of assumed that I was the “victim” of a bad body…that it was my identity. They may not have said as much, but by not perceiving my body as a prison, that’s what they were doing.

    I’d argue that there is a healthy middle ground where both truth and grace is present for the victim and perpetrator alike. Maybe that’s too idealistic, but I’d argue that with God, all things are possible.

    I’m not sure what else to call it re: bitterness. What do we call it? Anger? Sadness? Whatever it is, I’d argue that it has to be dealt with for healing to spring forth.

  416. @ elastigirl:

    Kevin was making a “biblical” appeal about forgiveness that I don’t think even the Bible teaches. Elastigirl, you are free to define forgiveness however you like, but I think it is valid to point out when that definition is not taught by the Bible, regardless of your opinion of the Bible itself.

    Personally speaking, I get annoyed when someone tells me that they already forgave me for something of which I haven’t asked forgiveness. That seems to imply my guilt before they’ve even convinced me that what I did was wrong. Or it lets the perpetrator off the hook without acknowledging any guilt or facing any consequences. This is just a bad view of forgiveness.

  417. Former Fundy wrote:

    I often hear from other Christians that we must just forgive others that have wronged us and move on, as if forgiveness is just a one-way transaction. However, forgiveness is a two-way street. I would argue that I can’t forgive someone until they have repented and asked for that forgiveness

    Not sure you are correct about that, Fundy. Jesus asked for forgiveness on behalf of those who crucified Him without their repentance. The thief on the cross didn’t repent and yet Jesus told Him he would be in paradise that day. I believe the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears was asking forgiveness without words but Jesus forgave her.

    We can even forgive people who have hurt us without their knowledge of having done so. Just careless words; a dirty look; unfair criticism, etc. Forgiving another loosens us from those things which might bind us to unhealthy emotional interactions with others.

  418. Former Fundy wrote:

    Personally speaking, I get annoyed when someone tells me that they already forgave me for something of which I haven’t asked forgiveness. That seems to imply my guilt before they’ve even convinced me that what I did was wrong.

    Other people who say that are expressing their pain at something you have said or done that caused it. You really can’t deny their pain. It’s theirs. They own it. Their perception is their reality. An appropriate response might be, “Oh, I’m so sorry…I wasn’t aware I was doing that.”

  419. Law Prof wrote:

    Kevin wrote:
    I have to also interject here the biblical accounts of Paul and Peter. Recall that Paul killed many Christians, including participating in the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7. How do you think Peter, John, Mary and the others felt about Paul at that time? The dude just killed their brother in the faith! Yet, when he converted after Damascus they welcomed him in. There wasn’t any “Burn him! Kill him! Think about Stephen!”
    If Paul had offered himself up for years as a very public face of proper Christianity and had gotten very wealthy and famous doing so, THEN have been found to have participated in the stoning of Stephen and others, I think Peter and the other apostles wold quite rightly have called him a superapostle and wolf.
    You really need to think this through more carefully.

    Here’s you reply….

    So?

    Would Paul have then been unqualified for God’s grace? Peter and the disciples would’ve been correct in ex-communicating him, treating him as an unclean leper? It sounds like you would lean that way…that grace/mercy only reaches so far.

    You seem overly hung up on the money/fame aspect…what’s the root behind that?

  420. Law Prof wrote:

    Kevin wrote:
    What’s enough? You’ll never be satisfied in knowing Duggar is changed. After all, you can’t be with him 24/7. When do you let him alone with kids again? When do you cease thinking the worst of him? Is there anything he can say or do, outside of sitting in a prison cell, that is sufficient?
    That’s what I would ask many people who doubt. I’d guess there isn’t anything that would be enough.
    Here’s why I doubt, Kevin:
    _______________________________________
    “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”
    _________________________________________________
    Do you see anything wrong with that statement from Josh Duggar?

    He didn’t acknowledge the damage he caused of the victims.

    And you take that to mean he hasn’t changed? That he should be vilified publicly? That he’s been molesting for the last 12-13 years?

  421. Lydia wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    Not asking for particulars, just curious what type
    He said above he identified with Robert Morris.

    Why is it important who I “identify” with? So you can categorize me based on your standards?

    For the record, I regularly listen to:
    Dave Ramsey
    Charles Stanley
    Tony Evans
    Craig Groeschel
    Robert Morris
    Kerry Shook
    Lee Strobel
    Jentezen Franklin

  422. Kevin wrote:

    I believe that’s why there’s such vitriol and doubt surrounding Josh Duggar. I’ve seen very few people posit the notion that perhaps he did repent of his sin. On the other hand, I’ve seen a crowd of folks bent on doubting whether he has changed, or whether he’s even able to change. I’ve seen numerous people claim that molesters never change. That’s bitterness talking…

    The parents are frauds. Josh learned how to be a fraud. They went on TV to present big happy Christian family when they knew about their son. And the daughters were required to pretend. Josh was to pretend. But there might be another side to this. What Josh did might not be that big of a deal in their world of extreme gender roles.It could also be they were doing damage control to keep up the media gig. In their world it is “Christian” to handle such things in house with “friends”.

    These kids were raised to see girls as “lesser than” and their existence is soley for the male. Josh grew up with that thinking. The girls are just collateral damage.

    That is another reason this must be exposed and dealt with. They sought to be public celebs. Their existence as big happy Christian family is a lie. Their doctrine is a lie. If Josh had truly repented, we would have known about it before he was ratted out. That is how repentance works.
    He probably thought his job also gave him repentance cover when in fact, it was just putting others in more danger.

  423. @ Kevin:
    Which people are you talking about who are harboring bitterness? Which victim?

    Perhaps the people who did not take you aside thought they were loving you and accepting you. Perhaps they did not assume that it was something you could control. Maybe they thought you had an endocrine issue or a condition requiring steroid use. Maybe you are incorrectly blaming people for not caring who actually were caring in the best way they knew to love you.

  424. Former Fundy wrote:

    Personally speaking, I get annoyed when someone tells me that they already forgave me for something of which I haven’t asked forgiveness. That seems to imply my guilt before they’ve even convinced me that what I did was wrong.

    I’m not sure what the issue exactly is between you and elastigirl, but this is a good point. The reason this is so offensive is that it is a covert-aggressive manipulation tactic. It casts them as the generous forgiver, and how can you argue with someone who is so generous toward you? I know this first-hand, and it is extremely offensive and cowardly.

  425. Kevin wrote:

    And you take that to mean he hasn’t changed? That he should be vilified publicly? That he’s been molesting for the last 12-13 years?

    We don’t know if he has changed or not. We don’t know if he has repeated his offenses. What we *do* know is that he sought out or cooperated in very public ventures, including the Family Research Council. So, how is he exempt from public discussion when he has taken a public platform? That doesn’t make sense. Is the communication only one-way? If so, then that is a huge problem right there, and it’s one we have way too much of, IMO.

  426. @ Kevin:

    It is not that important, really. But I do think Robert Morris is a fraud. He is part of the get rich off Jesus crowd.

    Ramsey made his millions partnering with churches and quid pro quo. He teaches a tithe as essential to salvation (even though using that tithe to pay off your debt is more Christian) in exchange for them hosting the FP series. We used to do a lot of them. So I know the drill well.

    Charles Stanely told the SBC leaders at the famous airport meeting with Criswell that anyone who goes against him at his church gets cancer or loses their jobs. IOW, bad things happen to people who dare go against him.

    The only other one I am familiar with is Lee Strobel who was Billy Hybels all the way in the seeker movement years back.

    I would suggest fewer gurus and more Jesus.

  427. Kevin wrote:

    Why is it important who I “identify” with? So you can categorize me based on your standards?

    Speaking only for myself, it can be helpful when discussing issues with people to identify what informs your perspective. That neither validates nor invalidates a position, but it can help understanding with people who really desire to reach understanding. And understanding is not always agreement. That’s why I identify myself as a conservative evangelical, and sometimes as a Baptist, depending on the topic we are discussing.

    I happen to know one of the people on your list and have some familiarity a long time ago with another. I would be careful because their trajectory and certain things are very concerning. I will not go beyond saying that it was not Robert Morris, but I caution you in the greatest possible terms against what he teaches.

  428. Kevin wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    Law Prof wrote:
    Not asking for particulars, just curious what type
    He said above he identified with Robert Morris.
    Why is it important who I “identify” with? So you can categorize me based on your standards?

    Because Jesus said the servant becomes like the master. If you do indeed identify with Robert Morris, this explains why you sidestep reasonable questions, obfuscate points, and when all else fails, throw vitriolic pseudo-righteous shame at those with whom you disagree.

    If you do truly identify with Morris, I’m really wasting my time trying to reason with you at all. I wish you well and I hope your eyes open up wide.

  429. Lydia wrote:

    I would suggest fewer gurus and more Jesus.

    I say NO GURUS!!! And I am shouting and jumping up and down. The jiggling will stop momentarily.

  430. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Former Fundy:
    “…I would argue that I can’t forgive someone until they have repented and asked for that forgiveness. This is the pattern of forgiveness that God displays to us. … Did your parents ever ask for your forgiveness? If they didn’t, then you didn’t really forgive them. You may have chosen to overlook the sin and no longer let it be an issue between you. That is one option when you have a problem with someone, but please don’t say that is forgiveness.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Former Fundy,
    it seems to me that your view of forgiveness is akin to seeing the universe, the world, everything and everyone through bible-colored glasses, in shades of black and white. so rigid and pedantic.
    OF COURSE IT’S FORGIVENESS!
    perhaps the fundy lingers on.

    I did not view it like that at all. What she said makes common sense. In the Christianese world forgiveness is used as a club to beat folks with. If they are using the bible as a club there is nothing wrong with someone who has studied it deeply to make another arguement they believe is more plausible.

    There are differing views here. There are some who cannot stand the bible because it has been so abused. I can totally relate to that. There are others who have embarked on their own study to discover much of it was totally misrepresented to them. I can relate to that, too. The one thing I hope we can all agree on is that the bible is not the 4th person of the Trinity but it has its historical place and an important overarching narrative.

  431. Kevin wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    Kevin wrote:
    What’s enough? You’ll never be satisfied in knowing Duggar is changed. After all, you can’t be with him 24/7. When do you let him alone with kids again? When do you cease thinking the worst of him? Is there anything he can say or do, outside of sitting in a prison cell, that is sufficient?
    That’s what I would ask many people who doubt. I’d guess there isn’t anything that would be enough.
    Here’s why I doubt, Kevin:
    _______________________________________
    “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”
    _________________________________________________
    Do you see anything wrong with that statement from Josh Duggar?
    He didn’t acknowledge the damage he caused of the victims.
    And you take that to mean he hasn’t changed? That he should be vilified publicly? That he’s been molesting for the last 12-13 years?

    Thanks for acknowledging something at least. So unless he’s molested additional victims, he gets a pass and we’re to move on as if nothing is going on here? No, I think as one is on the eve of middle age, they ought to acknowledge the damage they cause victims and not make it all about themselves, particularly if one is the father of three and sits on the board of a national organization for family values and uses a public forum to lecture others on morals. There are so many “me’s” and “I’s” in that statement, and so much about him ruining his life, it shows me that there’s a massive blindness and possibly a serious personality disorder. I am saying that in a larger sense, whether he’s molested additional victims or not (and who can know other than Josh, the hypothetical victims, and God?), he does not get it at all. That statement is enough for me. That is the problem I’m talking about now. I am not ripping him for what he did 12 years ago.

  432. Kevin, It seems to me that perhaps you are projecting your own experience (of living for years with the paralysis of bitterness) onto the good people of this blog. I know it is tempting to see all others through the lens of our own experiences, but I see you basically accusing others of “projecting” their own bitterness into their analyses of these situations.
    It seems to me you are judging the motives of others here without examining your own. Justice and mercy are linked together in the Bible. Yet Jesus’ harshest words were reserved for pedophiles, those who stumble little children. The truth is, many in the church have covered for pedophiles for years, decades, centuries. Jesus will not hold them guiltless.

  433. lydia wrote:

    @ Kevin:
    This does not line up with my experience. The victims I know (and there are a lot of them over the years due to my work with them) are usually the most empathetic, compassionate and even generous people I know.

    Yes! This has been my experience as well.

  434. About the idea that Josh should acknowledge the damage to the victims–I believe that idea has been presented several times here. I am not so sure about that, if what people mean is doing that loudly and publicly and lamenting the harm to the ‘damaged victims.’ It sounds like trying to play the girls up as forever damaged goods because of what happened. That does not sound to me like the best thing for the girls. I have just now deleted a couple of sentences as to why that may not be a good idea, and I have done it to prevent any triggers for anybody heres. But there are reasons as to why that might be a bad idea.

    We have a similar problem in our family. Two of my grandchildren were abandoned at birth in another nation and they were adopted as infants. Now that was a bad thing to happen, and before we got one of them she was severely suffering from starvation and infection. That was then and this is now. They just seem like ordinary kids now, but we have had to get confrontational with some ‘super christians’ from time to time who have wanted to play the poor pitiful them card. It is just not helpful.

  435. lydia wrote:

    The victims I know (…) are usually the most empathetic, compassionate and even generous people I know.

    I’ll second that. There is a season of confusion and then often anger but the resting place is often the one you describe.

    My issue with the Duggars is whatever witness they thought they had has now just given many, who didn’t subscribe to their particulars, a black eye. With this skeleton in their closet they should have stayed out of the public eye, for everyone’s sake; the victims, themselves, even Josh, and the faith they espouse.

    Hopefully no one will confuse my beliefs with “Sister Wives” or other such curiosity show. Thankfully I won’t be identified in any way with “Honey Boo Boo”.

  436. Kevin, thank you for explaining your childhood, that both of your parents were alcoholics. I was trying to figure out, since the beginning of your posts, why you have such a hard time with healthy boundaries and healthy emotions. Now it makes sense.

    I am glad that you are no longer obese and have lost the weight and see your parents as the broken people that they are. You still have a ways to go in your healing. I wish you well.

  437. Lydia wrote:

    There are differing views here. There are some who cannot stand the bible because it has been so abused. I can totally relate to that. There are others who have embarked on their own study to discover much of it was totally misrepresented to them. I can relate to that, too. The one thing I hope we can all agree on is that the bible is not the 4th person of the Trinity but it has its historical place and an important overarching narrative.

    I definitely agree, Lydia. I for a while was in the first camp because the Bible was so abused and I seriously considered throwing Christianity and the Bible aside. Now I’m finding out how much was misrepresented and trying to find a better balance still as a Christian. I’ll try to remember the diverse audience on this blog. And yes, I agree that forgiveness is definitely used as a club by some Christians.

  438. Former Fundy wrote:

    I get annoyed when someone tells me that they already forgave me for something of which I haven’t asked forgiveness. That seems to imply my guilt before they’ve even convinced me that what I did was wrong.

    So with you there!

  439. Bill M wrote:

    My issue with the Duggars is whatever witness they thought they had has now just given many, who didn’t subscribe to their particulars, a black eye. With this skeleton in their closet they should have stayed out of the public eye, for everyone’s sake; the victims, themselves, even Josh, and the faith they espouse.

    Exactly. They totally misrepresented themselves.

  440. @ linda:

    I have decided not to approve your comment from today. We get your message but i am frankly tired of you downplaying the psychological damage that is done to victims of child sex abuse. Also, people have answered you yet you keep accusing them of just “twaddling their tongues” whatever that means.

    Please step it up.

  441. Michaela wrote:

    Kevin, thank you for explaining your childhood, that both of your parents were alcoholics. I was trying to figure out, since the beginning of your posts, why you have such a hard time with healthy boundaries and healthy emotions. Now it makes sense.
    I am glad that you are no longer obese and have lost the weight and see your parents as the broken people that they are. You still have a ways to go in your healing. I wish you well.

    Based on the last three years of my faith journey I’d say I’m more healed than you may believe. I’m trying very hard to understand what barriers and emotions you think I don’t have a grasp on in light of scripture. It sounds like I may be more rigid and literal in what healing looks like than most here.

  442. Nancy wrote:

    About the idea that Josh should acknowledge the damage to the victims–I believe that idea has been presented several times here. I am not so sure about that, if what people mean is doing that loudly and publicly and lamenting the harm to the ‘damaged victims.’ It sounds like trying to play the girls up as forever damaged goods because of what happened.

    That is a good point to raise. Speaking for myself, I would not want the children to be named. They did not ask for this in any way, and they should be protected. I think that the problem is that Josh and his parents have not really acknowledged the viewpoint of the victims. They have made this all about Josh and themselves.

    Another thing to consider which is related to what you said is that in the patriarchal culture, they would be considered “damaged goods.” This I know from interacting with this culture up close. That’s what all the purity stuff is about, and it is nothing more than a shame/honor culture based on the relative value of female property. The whole patriarchy/Complementarian system is corrupt from top to bottom and needs to be taken down and burned up. So much damage to so many…

  443. Law Prof wrote:

    Kevin wrote:
    Law Prof wrote:
    Kevin wrote:
    What’s enough? You’ll never be satisfied in knowing Duggar is changed. After all, you can’t be with him 24/7. When do you let him alone with kids again? When do you cease thinking the worst of him? Is there anything he can say or do, outside of sitting in a prison cell, that is sufficient?
    That’s what I would ask many people who doubt. I’d guess there isn’t anything that would be enough.
    Here’s why I doubt, Kevin:
    _______________________________________
    “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”
    _________________________________________________
    Do you see anything wrong with that statement from Josh Duggar?
    He didn’t acknowledge the damage he caused of the victims.
    And you take that to mean he hasn’t changed? That he should be vilified publicly? That he’s been molesting for the last 12-13 years?
    Thanks for acknowledging something at least. So unless he’s molested additional victims, he gets a pass and we’re to move on as if nothing is going on here? No, I think as one is on the eve of middle age, they ought to acknowledge the damage they cause victims and not make it all about themselves, particularly if one is the father of three and sits on the board of a national organization for family values and uses a public forum to lecture others on morals. There are so many “me’s” and “I’s” in that statement, and so much about him ruining his life, it shows me that there’s a massive blindness and possibly a serious personality disorder. I am saying that in a larger sense, whether he’s molested additional victims or not (and who can know other than Josh, the hypothetical victims, and God?), he does not get it at all. That statement is enough for me. That is the problem I’m talking about now. I am not ripping him for what he did 12 years ago.

    Why are you the authority on if he “gets it”?

  444. Looks like trouble for the person who revealed the victims in this case. Putting out all the information is bad news for the young women/children who were victims of Josh Duggar.

  445. Gram3 wrote:

    @ Kevin:
    Which people are you talking about who are harboring bitterness? Which victim?
    Perhaps the people who did not take you aside thought they were loving you and accepting you. Perhaps they did not assume that it was something you could control. Maybe they thought you had an endocrine issue or a condition requiring steroid use. Maybe you are incorrectly blaming people for not caring who actually were caring in the best way they knew to love you.

    The problem is that in the overwhelming majority of cases, it IS something that falls under the umbrella of self-control. That’s an assumption that is far too prevalent across many areas in our society. It’s an inconvenient truth, but according to the bible, a truth nonetheless.

  446. Kevin wrote:

    It sounds like I may be more rigid and literal in what healing looks like than most here.

    I’m not sure if rigid and literal are exactly what I’m hearing. It seems more like a formulaic or procedural thing rather than something that has to be worked through on a very personal and individual basis. I do not mean to be offensive at all, but the people that you mention make a great deal of money selling formulas for godliness. But there isn’t a formula because godliness comes from the work of the Holy Spirit in an individual’s life. That teaching, however, does not make for endless books and conference revenues. I implore you to read the posts and comments about Robert Morris again. Why does he look nothing like the Jesus of the New Testament if he is to be an under-shepherd? He is being greater than his Master, and that makes me question whether The Master is his master.

  447. Lydia wrote:

    @ Kevin:
    It is not that important, really. But I do think Robert Morris is a fraud. He is part of the get rich off Jesus crowd.
    Ramsey made his millions partnering with churches and quid pro quo. He teaches a tithe as essential to salvation (even though using that tithe to pay off your debt is more Christian) in exchange for them hosting the FP series. We used to do a lot of them. So I know the drill well.
    Charles Stanely told the SBC leaders at the famous airport meeting with Criswell that anyone who goes against him at his church gets cancer or loses their jobs. IOW, bad things happen to people who dare go against him.
    The only other one I am familiar with is Lee Strobel who was Billy Hybels all the way in the seeker movement years back.
    I would suggest fewer gurus and more Jesus.

    All I can tell you is that tithing has been a huge blessing in my life, and that teachings of Stanley, Morris, Ramsey, etc. have helped me greatly.

    I’d guess no one should preach/teach/prophesy, etc. in your opinion? Have those gifts all passed away? Is no one worthy of being a “guru” in your eyes? Or is it just anyone who is halfway well-known in evangelical Christianity? I’m curious, because I hear a lot of this on other sites. It seems like every person with a church over a couple thousand people has been denigrated at one point or another.

  448. Kevin wrote:

    The problem is that in the overwhelming majority of cases, it IS something that falls under the umbrella of self-control.

    That may be true, but if someone doesn’t know whether that is the case or not, it may seem best to them not to assume that it is a self-control issue. I’m confused because it seems to me that the persons who did not assume you were out of control were granting you the grace that you want for Josh Duggar. What if you had told the people close to you that you were struggling with food issues? Maybe they would have felt comfortable challenging your false beliefs about yourself or food.

  449. Godith wrote:

    Looks like trouble for the person who revealed the victims in this case. Putting out all the information is bad news for the young women/children who were victims of Josh Duggar.

    Bill M. wrote this up the thread: “My issue with the Duggars is whatever witness they thought they had has now just given many, who didn’t subscribe to their particulars, a black eye. With this skeleton in their closet they should have stayed out of the public eye, for everyone’s sake; the victims, themselves, even Josh, and the faith they espouse.”

    I agree with Bill M. The parents are responsible and they put themselves, and their children, in the media spotlight when they should have never done that. (The victims’ names and identifying information were crossed out with a black marker in the police report.)

  450. Gram3 wrote:

    Kevin wrote:
    It sounds like I may be more rigid and literal in what healing looks like than most here.
    I’m not sure if rigid and literal are exactly what I’m hearing. It seems more like a formulaic or procedural thing rather than something that has to be worked through on a very personal and individual basis. I do not mean to be offensive at all, but the people that you mention make a great deal of money selling formulas for godliness. But there isn’t a formula because godliness comes from the work of the Holy Spirit in an individual’s life. That teaching, however, does not make for endless books and conference revenues. I implore you to read the posts and comments about Robert Morris again. Why does he look nothing like the Jesus of the New Testament if he is to be an under-shepherd? He is being greater than his Master, and that makes me question whether The Master is his master.

    Granted, I don’t know Morris personally, but I’ve heard nothing in his teaching that is un-scriptural, and I’ve probably listened to several hundred of his sermons. He takes many hits because he teaches on tithing. I get that. However, I’ve seen many times more anger out of the “anti-tithing” crowd than on the opposite side. There seems to be a root to that which I can’t pinpoint.

    As for healing…yes it does need to be the work of the Holy Spirit, but I would strenuously argue with anyone that God was grieved watching me flounder for 13 years as a believer inside my prison. He had an escape plan all along. Had I merely gotten with his plan at 19-20 instead of 32-33, the hole would’ve been more shallow and fewer years would’ve been wasted. Why would I tell anyone it was perfectly okay to “embrace their hole”? Especially after what I’ve been through…it would be incredulous.

    Now, I know I can’t be the Holy Spirit, but lets not act like God doesn’t have a plan for each of our lives. The longer we hold onto doing it our own way, the more we miss out on in terms of everything he has for us. That’s why I would tell folks to quit messing around being a victim…my experience says that nothing good comes of it.

  451. Godith,

    All 50 states, and the federal government, have laws about obtaining various governmental records under the Freedom of Information Act. This is Arkansas’ law:
    http://www.foiarkansas.com/1010/1010foia.html

    The releasing agency (police department) complied with Arkansas law.

    Here is Harvard University’s Digital Media Law Project’s website which explains the Freedom of Information Act: w.dmlp.org/legal-guide/access-records-from-federal-governme

    An explanation of how to obtain records from a governmental agency in a state:
    http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/access-records-from-state-governments

  452. Gram3 wrote:

    Kevin wrote:
    The problem is that in the overwhelming majority of cases, it IS something that falls under the umbrella of self-control.
    That may be true, but if someone doesn’t know whether that is the case or not, it may seem best to them not to assume that it is a self-control issue. I’m confused because it seems to me that the persons who did not assume you were out of control were granting you the grace that you want for Josh Duggar. What if you had told the people close to you that you were struggling with food issues? Maybe they would have felt comfortable challenging your false beliefs about yourself or food.

    If Josh Duggar is still molesting kids right now, he should be in counseling as I should have been in counseling when I was growing to be 600+ pounds. What ended up happening is that the Holy Spirit had to be my Counselor.

    As it is, it appears Duggar has repented. None of us truly know, and I think that is part of why there is a splintering of Christians on this. I’d also add that anyone who is more than 100 pounds overweight has a self-control issue. It’s not like other sin areas in that it can’t be hidden, yet it seems to the “acceptable sin” within Christianity. Morbid obesity is a billboard to the world which screams “I’m in prison and need help.” Of course, I didn’t realize that on the front end but I realize that I was in such a high amount of mental bondage for decade that I had no idea what healing looked like.

    The church has never really taken a hard look at itself on this issue, and perhaps that’s part of the reason I was just accepted as a new believer at age 19 weighing north of 400 pounds. No one equated “super obese kid” as “must be set free of mental bondage”.

    Perhaps Duggar has already gone through a similar process as I have regarding his sin. We don’t know.

  453. Marsha wrote:

    If Josh Duggar is still molesting kids, he should be in prison.

    But, seeing that there have been no reports for twelve years…

  454. Godith wrote:

    Putting out all the information is bad news for the young women/children who were victims of Josh Duggar.

    I’m thinking we need to get over this type of hiding victims. They’ve done absolutely nothing to be ashamed of and it takes courage to speak up about what’s happened. If the first youngster had