… and all of them an unapologetic load of shit.
I didn’t plan to discuss this on my blog but have decided to nonetheless, largely due to the ignorance permeating our world with regard to sex crimes. All that needs to be addressed concerning Josh Duggar’s sexual abuse of several girls can hardly be covered in one post but I just want to take a moment to focus on how the Duggar family has responded to Josh’s crimes. Terminology enables sex crimes to be reduced, thereby reinforcing rape culture. If you haven’t done so already and for reference, you should read this post on the Duggar Family Official Facebook page.
In the very first sentence, Jim Bob and Michelle call the revelation of their son’s sexual abuse of several girls, “one of the most difficult times of their lives.” They go on to casually refer to their son Josh’s crimes as “very bad mistakes.” They then go on to say how this time in their life urged them to seek God like never before and that this brought them closer to God. They hope the story of their journey, roughly translated as:
son grows up in patriarchal, misogynistic home that devalues women, becomes sexually abusive toward several girls including his own sisters, is disciplined by his God-fearing family but same family waits more than a year to go to police (you know…statute of limitations and all), Joshy-boy spends four months in a “Christian Program” (sent to stay with a family friend) but receives no counseling, upon Joshy’s return daddy Duggar takes Josh to a state trooper for a “stern talk” (said trooper is now serving fifty-six years for child pornography and took no action in the Josh Duggar case) …
… whew. Anyway, the Duggars hope that story will cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything, roughly translated as: if you’re white, wait long enough to report your crimes, and use religious brainwashing on your victims, you too can avoid prosecution for your crimes.
Religious institutions have their own form of justice. If one commits a private sin, one need only pray for forgiveness to be forgiven. If one’s sin is public, one must go before the congregation and have them pray to God on their behalf for the forgiveness of the sin in question (in some Christian practices). Only after these prayers have been said is the perpetrator, oops I meant sinner lol, is back in God’s good graces. After confessing, showing remorse, and being forgiven, guess what? God doesn’t remember anything you did! You have a clean slate. God doesn’t remember, and subsequently your brothers and sisters (and victims) in Christ must forget and forgive too. WIN!
So abusers get a pass in the church and with God while victims, no matter how much they pray, can’t forget and can’t move on. Pity that whole forget thing only works for God.
The post continues with statements from Josh and his wife, Anna, both of whom reference Josh’s repeated sexual abuse of several girls as ‘past teenage mistakes’. Anna admits to having known of these so called ‘mistakes’ two years prior to Josh’s marriage proposal.
Josh mentions confessing to his parents and that his parents helped him ‘address the situation.’ Josh says he’s real sorry and grateful for God’s grace, mercy, and redemption. Josh’s parents arranged for counseling for Josh, and this is important, those affected by Josh’s actions.
The words of the Duggar family highlight all that is wrong with how sex crimes are viewed and why rape culture is so pervasive worldwide. For anyone who may be confused listen carefully.
Sexual abuse, assault, rape, and incest are CRIMES, not mistakes.
If you abuse another person, that person is your VICTIM, not a person affected by your actions.
And Josh, your parents didn’t ‘address the situation’, they COVERED UP YOUR CRIMES. Yes, Josh what you term a ‘situation‘ is actually A FUCKING CRIME. (Oops…sorry about the language. I just hate to offend your Christian ears).
Jim Bob and Michelle say, in their statement, that they would never choose to go through something so terrible. Funny that they mention choice when Josh’s victims had none.
I see no remorse in these statements. None whatsoever. I see reductive words applied to serious crimes, religious brainwashing, religious cover-up, and all this from a family who attacks the LGBTQ community on a regular basis.
Speaking of words, TLC responded to the breaking news of Josh’s sex crimes by not issuing a statement at all, choosing instead to run a marathon of 19 Kids And Counting.
Choice. There’s that word again.