Matt C. Abbott
May 28, 2015
Josh Duggar and the left's schadenfreude
By Matt C. Abbott

(A version of the following column originally appeared at the American Thinker Blog.)

Josh Duggar, son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar – of TLC's 19 Kids and Counting fame – has made national headlines for a leaked (this point is indeed morally significant, but the horse is way out of the barn, so to speak) 2006 police report indicating he sexually abused five minor girls when he himself was a minor.

In a statement, Duggar admitted wrongdoing and apologized. He also resigned from his position at the Family Research Council. As for the Duggar family's television show, well ... it may get canceled. Sponsors are abandoning it left and right (pun intended). I've never watched the show, by the way.

Not surprisingly, the liberal media are having a field day with this story. Remember: If you're outspokenly conservative and desire to be in the public eye, you'd better be squeaky clean. The left will still despise you, but at least they can't ruin you. They'll try, of course. And, in the case of Lena Dunham the Duggars, it sure looks like they've succeeded. Christian hypocrites! they assert.

Yet as Matt Walsh points out at The Blaze:
    Progressive culture is filled to the brim with rapists, molesters, and deviants, but they never seem worried about any of it until some well-known Christian crosses the line. It's always interesting to watch progressives discover sexual morality just in time to denounce a right-winger, only to shed the pretense as soon as the next liberal pervert comes out of the woodwork. They are moral opportunists. They are the actual hypocrites. This outrage is a charade. A circus. A show. A political ploy. It always is.
Former Arkansas governor and presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee released the following statement in support of the Duggars; it's quite good.
    Janet and I want to affirm our support for the Duggar family. Josh's actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, 'inexcusable,' but that doesn't mean 'unforgivable.' He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities. No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story. Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things.

    The reason that the law protects disclosure of many actions on the part of a minor is that the society has traditionally understood something that today's blood-thirsty media does not understand – that being a minor means that one's judgement is not mature. 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.

    Those who have enjoyed revealing this long ago sins in order to discredit the Duggar family have actually revealed their own insensitive bloodthirst, for there was no consideration of the fact that the victims wanted this to be left in the past and ultimately a judge had the information on file destroyed – not to protect Josh, but the innocent victims.

    Janet and I love Jim Bob and Michelle and their entire family. 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. It is precisely because we are all sinners that we need His grace and His forgiveness.

    We have been blessed to receive God's love and we would do no less than to extend our love and support for our friends. In fact, it is such times as this, when real friends show up and stand up. Today, Janet and I want to show up and stand up for our friends. Let others run from them. We will run to them with our support.
However, Catholic author and speaker Dawn Eden (in the interest of full disclosure, Dawn is a friend of mine) – who's no liberal – is critical of the Duggars' statement to the media. She wrote:
    As a Catholic Christian, as a victim of childhood sexual abuse, and as an author who has met hundreds of fellow victims and their families, I find the Duggars' statement to be a sad caricature of what it should be. The use of the word 'mistakes' to describe what are in fact crimes is deeply offensive to victims – all victims – and compounds their pain. It is effectively a re-victimization.

    Yes, God forgives, but where there is forgiveness, there has to be an admission of sin. The family's statement indicates they are in denial and have not fully acknowledged the enormity of Josh's crimes.
© Matt C. Abbott

 

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He's been interviewed on MSNBC, NPR, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.


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