The Duggars, the reality TV family with ’19 Kids and Counting’

23 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Josh Duggar apologizes amid molestation allegations, quits Family Research Council.

The Republican presidential hopeful defended the oldest “19 Kids and Counting” son Friday — a day after Duggar apologized and said “I acted inexcusably” following allegations he molested several girls when he was a teenager. “Effective immediately, TLC has pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting currently from the air,” TLC officials told the Daily News Friday. “We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time.” “Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, ‘inexcusable,’ but that doesn’t mean ‘unforgivable,'” Huckabee wrote on Facebook. “Being a minor means that one’s judgment is not mature.” In Touch Weekly magazine obtained a police report detailing accusations that Duggar fondled the breasts and genitals of at least five girls, sometimes as they slept. Following the revelation that Josh Duggar, the eldest child in the Duggar clan, sexually molested a number of underage girls in the early 2000s, TLC has announced that it will pull the family’s reality show, “19 Kids and Counting” from its schedule. His own father, Jim Bob, turned him into Arkansas police in 2006 after he caught his son leaving a young girl’s bedroom and “learned something inappropriate happened,” a source told In Touch. “No one needs to defend Josh’s actions as a teenager, but the fact that he confessed his sins to those he harmed, sought help, and has gone forward to live a responsible and circumspect life as an adult is testament to his family’s authenticity and humility,” Huckabee wrote. 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.

According to the police report, after Jim Bob Duggar reported the alleged abuse in 2006, Josh was investigated for sexual assault in the fourth degree. But then the boy next door sneaks into the shed and borrows your new bike; he stunt-rides it up and down the back alley. “On Christmas morning your parents lead you out to the shed to reveal the special gift they bought for you, and as they open the door and say, ‘Surprise!’ they’re just as surprised as you are. The move is no surprise considering that TLC canceled Here Comes Honey Boo Boo shortly after allegations surfaced about a romantic relationship between series matriarch June “Mama June” Shannon and a man convicted of child molestation. On Thursday, Josh Duggar resigned from his post at the Family Research Council and released a statement saying he was “extremely sorry” for his former actions. “Janet and I want to affirm our support for the Duggar family.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which obtained the offense report before its destruction, reports Duggar was accused of fondling five girls in 2002 and 2003. And so you choose to do what anyone else with such a blessed existence would do: You fill your house with cameras and broadcast your lives for all the world to see. Normal, happy, functional families don’t yearn to have their homes filled with television producers, their children’s faces plastered on billboards and across the Internet. It looks worse than something you would have bought at a garage sale. “I’m sure you would still be grateful for the bike, and you would have fun riding it, but it won’t be in the condition your parents had hoped and dreamed it would be when you received it. Springdale Police began investigating Duggar in 2006 when officers were alerted to a letter containing the allegations that was found in a book lent by a family friend to someone else.

In November 2014, over 100,000 people signed a petition calling for TLC to cancel the show after matriarch Michelle Duggar sent out a robocall opposing a Fayetteville, AR anti-discrimination ordinance. TLC has not responded to requests for comment, but we can surely expect a new series exploiting yet another deeply dysfunctional family in the near future. They are no more perfect a family than any family, but their Christian witness is not marred in our eyes because following Christ is not a declaration of our perfection, but of HIS perfection. They eschewed things like birth control, alcohol and drugs, opting instead for things like church, posting inspirational religious Instagram quotes, and lots and lots of children.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar said in a statement, also posted on the Duggar family’s Facebook page on Thursday, that the period 12 years ago was “one of the most difficult times of our lives. A normal, healthy, functional family would hunker down and work to maintain the privacy of their other children, and ensure their son wouldn’t victimize anyone else.

But he didn’t first alert authorities until nine months later, when another victim alleged she had also been molested by Josh, who was 14 at the time. What if you happened to be all the way in the back – the last person on the last row – and when the cup finally came to you the speaker asked you to drink out of the cup? The 18 Duggar children who aren’t accused of molestation are now at the center of a media frenzy, made bigger by their parents’ choice to force them to live their lives in the spotlight. The organization’s budget in 2013 was about $13 million, according to its financial statements. “Family Research Council is one of the major players among the pro-family social conservatives and has a major D.C. presence,” said Tobin Grant, a political scientist at Southern Illinois University, who compared the FRC to the Heritage Foundation or the American Family Association. “It still represents an old guard of people who are pushing the culture wars and traditional family values.” Of the molestation allegations and Duggar’s apology, Grant said: “This is really going to hurt them.

If it looks like hypocrisy, it’ll be, ‘Who are you to throw a stone?’ ” FRC is often the go-to group when the media is looking evangelical, pro-family messages. The Duggars built their brand on a slavish dedication to ideals of modesty and purity, keeping their children away from Unwholesome Influences, even to the point of shouting “Nike!” when the family was out for a walk in the presence of a woman who was immodestly attired, in order to get them to stare at their shoes. In “Growing Up Duggar: It’s All About Relationships,” published last year, Josh Duggar was quoted as saying that “as I became a young man I was constantly tempted to have lots of wrong thoughts and often battled to keep my heart right.” The book was written by the four oldest Duggar sisters. Where you are no longer as good as anybody else?” A teacher had likened women to chewed pieces of gum, and the image stuck with her. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m that chewed up piece of gum, nobody re-chews a piece of gum.

Sealed cases aren’t supposed to be left in public view, but the Duggar case file had been left in a stack of routine court filings at the circuit clerk’s office. Recently, Michelle Duggar successfully helped a campaign to repeal a Fayetteville, Ark., ordinance that would have prohibited discrimination in the city on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. When all sexuality is a sin, when even holding hands is off limits, there isn’t a clear line between permissible, healthy forms of exploration and acts that are impermissible to anyone, not just the particularly devout.

This gospel of shame and purity has the potential to be incredibly harmful because it does away with important lines. (Studies not only suggest that abstinence-only approaches to sex education do nothing to decrease the incidence of sexual behaviors, but also that they can make them riskier and that they deprive kids of the vocabulary they need to discuss when bad things happen.) Patheos blogger Libby Anne writes, “Handling child molestation as ‘sin’ rather than addressing the psychology behind it is a serious problem. Although the number of adherents is small within the larger American evangelical Christian community, the Duggars’ large following and wholesome image have helped the family function as ambassadors for their way of life. In their statements to People, the Duggars spoke of Josh’s past wrongdoing as ‘past teenage mistakes’ and spoke of growing closer to God through it.

The Duggars have previously promoted the teachings of Bill Gothard and the Institute in Basic Life Principles, a conservative organization that was once popular among the Christian homeschooling movement. Some sexual things are normal for a teen to do — say, masturbating — but other sexual things are not typical behavior — say, molesting children — and those things need to be addressed professionally rather than simply as ‘sin’ issues. Failing to do so places other children at risk.” (The whole post is worth a read.) Kay Steiger at ThinkProgress also put it well: When you treat this as a sin instead of a crime, you let everyone down. “Such a message can leave children confused about what is actually harmful behavior and what is merely something of which his or her religion does not approve. There is also evidence that using accurate medical terms to educate children in an age-appropriate way can be effective at allowing children to report abuse when it happens to them.” The account of what happened and how it was handled — failing to report the incidents promptly to authorities?

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