I cannot let the Duggars go

Crying_Angel_by_lovliksmrosesThat benighted family owes me nothing: No. Thing. But the story of Josh Duggar’s sexual abuse of children  strikes every chord for me. That the show may have been cancelled doesn’t mean squat to me. I am listening, as I type this, to old-time gospel music on Pandora, which I never do because it makes me cry.

I cry for all the little girls and boys who are being raised in any religion that treats them as something they’re not — either as vessels or as spears, when really all they are is children who need loved and protected.

I cry for those of us who lived through childhood sexual abuse, and I cry for those who didn’t make it.

I cry for writers who seek to turn the conversation to forgiveness, when that is not the writers’ place, to ask for forgiveness. That’s for the victims of Josh Duggar, and I do not believe any of us have the right to ask them to forgive any one. That’s on them and if they choose not to actually forgive their perpetrator, they won’t hear squat from me.

I cry for family members who, thinking they are defending Josh Duggar, say:

Many times it is simply lack of opportunity or fear of consequences that keep us from falling into grievous sin even though our fallen hearts would love to indulge the flesh. We should not be shocked that this occurred in the Duggar’s home, we should rather be thankful to God if we have been spared such, and pray that he would keep us and our children from falling.

Actually? I don’t cry about those last two.  I throw things because it pisses me off so very much, the arrogance of the writer.  I also don’t cry at hypocrisy, as when Mr. Jim Bob Duggar suggested during an unsuccessful 2002 candidacy for U.S. Senate that rapists should be killed. Hmmm…

I cry for the severe perversion of the Gospel — not because I’m the gatekeeper or anything like that, but the actual words make us all equal if we’d just read the damn Book.

I cry for the Duggar girls, who are in the middle of a shitstorm not of their making.

I cry for parents who are too up their own flagpoles to pay attention to this kind of behavior and then seek to cover it up because they have a TV show that’s making them scads of cash and what’s more important? Truth? Or riches?

I cry for television networks that seek to make entertainment out of perversion and will continue my here-to-the-grave boycott of TLC.

And now please excuse me. An a cappella version of “Farther Along” just came on and I must sing along. Here. You sing, too:

Published by datingjesus

Just another one of God's children.

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19 Comments

  1. Well…as long as you’re still all pissed off and everything….
    The Duggars’ Dangerous Cult of Purity by Alexandra Petri at WaPo.

    Experience tells me this type of bullshit is not unique to The Duggars” Brand™ of religion. An extreme case? Possibly. But certainly not unique.

    This makes me wonder what kind assistance, if any, has been made available to Josh’s victims. Even though the law cannot touch Josh, shouldn’t authorities have been anxious, after that 2006 police report, to discover the status of the victims? If the victims were indeed family members, as it has been alleged, what action, if any, did authorities take to guarantee the safety of victims and other family members?

    I’m guessing zilch.

    1. I’m guessing you’re right, and thanks for the link, which helped my pissed-off-ness not one bit.

      1. As it turns out, I guessed wrong. State agencies reviewed the 2006 investigation and issued rulings. The Duggars appealed, The results are sealed.

          1. I assume so…because at the time the affected parties were all minors. It’s being reported one still is. If true, it would take a great deal of legal wrangling to open the record.

    2. The statute of limitations of 3 years alone pisses me off. I wonder about their duty to act as mandated reporters. Weren’t they obligated to contact their state’s Children & Family Services to investigate and check on the victims?

      1. The mandated reporter in this case was a state trooper, and family friend, Jim Bob turned to a year after discovering his son’s sexual abuse (2003). The state trooper, now serving 60 years in prison on child pornography convictions, gave Josh a stern talking to and let it go at that.

        An anonymous tip reaches local police in 2006. The Duggar elders are questioned. and some alleged victims are interviewed. But no formal investigation is opened. Later that same year, Harpo Productions receives the same tip via email prior to a scheduled appearance by The Duggar family on the Oprah show. The email is turned over to the Department of Human Services. Springdale law enforcement begins a formal investigation. Jim Bob and Michelle stonewall. Because Jim Bob contacted his state trooper friend in 2003, it’s determined the statute of limitations has run.

        As far as I know, the statute of limitations applies only to criminal prosecution. It doesn’t bar any investigation into the fate of the victims or the family. Because of laws governing disclosures of victim information, it may not be possible to learn what services, if any, were offered to victims and family members by the authorities or specific findings on that area of the investigation…if it occurred. Only Jim Bob and Michelle, and the now adult victims, have the ability to empower Arkansas DHS and Springdale police to release their findings.

        1. Thank you for this. So it appears that Harpo Productions did the right thing, and it fell through the cracks, anyway, given Jim Bob’s earlier action of calling his friend — a year after the actions came to light. A year. Jesus Christ.

          1. It’s no surprise Oprah’s people acted immediately…and was probably the impetus behind opening the formal investigation. But yeah…it appears little, if anything, was done to secure the safety of family members after the formal finding. Was Josh removed from the home? (Usually a requirement in such cases.) Were victims evaluated by the state or local authorities? What, if any, reporting or inspection requirements, if any, were imposed upon Duggar elders?

            There’s a compendium of child protective services and requirements, standard in just about every state, that either were ignored or are not being reported on in this case. As far as I can see, not even Duggar elders are saying anything on that issue.

            Josh fell through the cracks. I’m hoping his victims didn’t. We may never know.

        2. That State Trooper, a mandated reporter, failed to report the situation to child protective services. I wonder if the state trooper’s department is also responsible for failing in this, with the trooper as their agent. When a minor is involved, the parents have no say in stopping any mandated reporting. And why didn’t the local police in 2006 investigate whether CPS (or whatever they call it in their state) was notified? These are unacceptable failures of required mandated reporting.

          The whole thing stinks to high heaven!

          1. The trooper’s superiors might be held to some criminal responsibility, or vicarious liability, depending on existing law at the time, especially if said trooper actually filed a report, which, it appears, he did not.

            Mandatory reporting laws have changed in Arkansas, and practically everywhere else, since 2002-2003.

            State DHS acted to open a criminal investigation once they were informed of the accusations. And reports are surfacing that the results of the 2006 investigation were turned over to DHS and other child protective agencies. Rulings were issued the Duggars didn’t like. They appealed in 2007. Results of that trial are sealed.

            1. Amazing, the lengths this family will go to to maintain a beautiful front.

              1. Money in the bank. As long as The Learning Channel is buying, I’m sure the Duggars will have a place in that market. And as long as there’s an audience, The Learning Channel will be buying.

  2. I have been reading more on this than probably healthy. I end up just angry. There are so many pieces that are wrong. I get very angry at the people who rush to support him, and their justifications for doing so. As you mentioned, they don’t get a vote on forgiveness. Forgiveness denies true accountability and healthy anger that validates the harm done.

    I love Jesus, but there are parts of Jesus’s teachings that made it very hard on me when I was a child, as I dragged my family to church, sang my heart out in choir, and read the Bible I got in 3rd grade, in search of answers. I learned about Jesus in church and from my Bible; it was not something pounded into me at home. Yet the unspoken expectation that God, Jesus, the Bible held the secret of the highest morality and what we all should be, trickled down from the older generations – my great grandfather, “The Reverend”, was a minister. Even without a family that discussed God at home, and taught the Bible, and guided things like what I wore, how I could move, and involved themselves in chaperoned courting instead of dating – even without all of that, I still sought out guidance from Jesus. It was all I could do because talking to the adults seemed impossible for a lot of reasons. The only thing I could think of to do when bad things would happen was to be as good as I could be when I was in control, so there was Jesus as my guide. Jesus in the Bible is not what a person can be, no less a child. One falls short constantly and the pressure to turn the cheek and forgive is unhealthy. In other words, the words about and example of Jesus were my comfort and a thorny reminder that I could never be good enough. So, I cry for all of the children (& adults) who decide because of Jesus, that they will never be good enough.

    I wrote more than I intended. That’s all for now. I’m not done talking about this.

      1. I love you back, DJ. And having said what I said, I can just begin to imagine how what I felt must have been multiplied a hundred-fold for those who live surrounded by the constant (yet conflicting) messages from family members about what is expected of a true Christian girl. It breaks my heart.

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