A threat to child safety

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In December 2014, Joshua Duggar, at that time executive director of the political entity of the Family Research Council, led what was ultimately a successful campaign in Fayetteville AR to repeal GLBT nondiscrimination legislation. Interviewed by the FRC’s radio broadcast Washington Watch, Duggar labeled the importance of defeating Fayetteville’s anti-discrimination law as important in defending and protecting women and children from GLBT folks. At the same time, Michelle Duggar, Joshua’s mother, was involved with a pre-recorded robocall to repeal the legislation, on which she stated that it is important to repeal the law because it “empowered child predators” and “threatened the safety and innocence of children.”

The Duggars are the stars of the reality TV show which was originally titled 17 Kids and Counting and is now called 19 Kids and Counting. Since the inaugural broadcast in 2008, Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar have added 2 more children to their family. The Duggars have been neatly packaged and sold to the US viewing audience for their devotion to Christ through biblical living and sexual purity. In 2010, before employing Joshua Duggar, the eldest Duggar child, FRC awarded the Duggars with the “Pro-Family Entertainment” award, stating the Duggars merited the award because they were “outspoken ambassadors for Christian values in a secular world.”

However, we find out through an article in In Touch magazine that it’s been a charade. The whole time the Duggar family has been covering up the truth that it was their heterosexual eldest son who was a predator and threatened the safety and innocence of children, some of whom lived in his own home. Additionally, Jim Bob & Michelle have been untruthful over the years as to how the situation was handled as they tried to sweep things under the carpet. They claim that they reported Joshua to the police authorities. The truth is that Jim Bob Duggar reported his son to a state trooper whom he knew in 2003 and stated at that time that he was made aware of Joshua’s crimes in March 2002. In a confusing timeline it appears Jim Bob didn’t confront Joshua at that time and he reports Joshua confessed he abused a girl in July 2002. Joshua was punished somehow. However, he abused more children and it was discovered in March 2003.

The Duggars stated that at that time they made their church authorities aware of the situation and told them that Joshua was being sent to a Christian boarding program where he would receive counseling and participate in manual labor. Later, Michelle Duggar admitted to the police, after further questioning, that Joshua didn’t receive any professional counseling, he was actually sent to live with a family acquaintance for about 4 months where he helped in remodeling a building. In Touch Weekly further reports that in 2006 through a series of happenstances, the Oprah Winfrey Show was alerted to Joshua’s crimes and passed the information to the state authorities, who contacted the local police. At that time the Duggars refused to cooperate with the police and the 3 year statute of limitations had passed on Joshua’s crimes. A side note to this is that the state trooper, Jim Hutchens, to whom Jim Bob Duggar first reported Joshua Duggar’s crimes against 5 female children, chose not to do anything more than give Joshua a stern lecture. Trooper Hutchens was later arrested and convicted of child pornography and is currently serving a 56 year prison sentence for his own crimes.

The Duggars have potentially damaged the lives of many GLBT folks by accusing them of being threats to children. They played a key role in having a local anti-discrimination ordinance repealed that now exposes GLBT folks to any number of different forms of discrimination and possible violence. The hypocrisy of it all is that they sheltered a sexual predator in their own home and tried to keep it under wraps while pushing him into the limelight in his later years as a paragon of virtue and sexual morality.

UPDATE –
As advertising sponsors, such as Payless Shoes, Choice Hotels and General Mills, withdraw support from the Duggar Family reality TV show, a statement by patriarch Jim Bob Duggar has surfaced from the past to color his response to his son’s incestuous molestation crimes. A website was recovered (and since been removed from the internet) from Jim Bob’s 2002 run for a US Senate seat. During his bid for Congress Jim Bob sanctioned making rape and incest punishable with the death penalty;

Rape and incest represent heinous crimes and as such should be treated as capital crimes.

The information in this story was gathered from the reporting of In Touch Weekly, Religion Dispatches and Right Wing Watch.
The Update information was gathered from the Today Show.

Posted by David Allen

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