Josh Duggar resigns from Family Research Council after sexual abuse allegations

"Josh Duggar, of TLC's '19 Kids and Counting,' resigned his position at the Family Research Council Thursday after reports surfaced that he allegedly sexually assaulted four female siblings in the large family, plus an additional female victim."  Josh Duggar resigns

Related: What You Need to Know about the Josh Duggar Police Report

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Jim Racke's picture

Jim wrote:

Perhaps 14 kids (the number they had when this occurred) and counting ... means too many kids for two parents to oversee. 

The attitude of judging...too many kids, being hateful, opinion legalistic, acting like a dictator is why I ran away the typical IFB church and joined a church that is non-denominational but still preaches the Word and stands on doctrines from God's Word and clear convictions and stays away from opinions and personal beliefs. The comment about Gothard was way over the top. As far as I can tell Josh became a Christian after the sinful experience...isn't that what Christianity is all about...rescuing sinners...shouldn't we be rejoicing that Josh got right with God??? We are supposed to be a Christian hospital in the business of healing rather than shooting each other.

Jim Racke

Sean Fericks's picture

Sexual abuse is an awful crime.  God's grace and forgiveness are wonderful healers.  The only reason this crime rose to the surface again to inflict more damage is that a father and mother earned their money by inviting a TV station to broadcast their family life to the world.  Fame comes at a high cost.  I trust Jim Bob will note the lesson, and refocus on his family (away from the cameras).

GregH's picture

It would seem to me that this situation is very damaging not just because of what Josh did but what happened afterward and how it was handled. Yes Josh can be forgiven but I am not sure that is the point. Here are some of my questions:

1) Did the Duggars warn their good friends they spent time with of the problem Josh had? (Maybe they did and maybe not; I don't know. I am skeptical that they did because if they had, I think this would have been public sooner.)

2) Why did they not report it to the police until forced to four years later? Why was it Oprah who had to start the ball rolling?

3) Why did Jim Duggar apparently stonewall the police in producing Josh?

4) Why did they choose the "counseling" option that they did?

5) Why have they presented themselves as a model family with this just waiting to be uncovered from the past as if they were blissfully ignorant of the incredible damage this would do to the reputation of Christianity? (Perhaps the biggest surprise from this is that it took this long to come out.)

6) Why did Josh take the job he did (without telling his employer about this)? How could he possibly think his pontificating on the dangers of homosexuality in such a public way would not come back to make him look like a fool and biggest hypocrite of 2015 when this came out? That was breathtakingly ignorant and frankly, incredibly selfish. 

So yes, by all means, Josh should get a second chance and should be forgiven. But that is just a piece of this. In retrospect, the Duggars should never have done the show with this in their closet unless they could have found a way to come clean about it (without jeopardizing the identities of victims). 

Joeb's picture

 Maybe my statement about Gothard was over the top but it seems like the same old story let the perp of without going to jail or being marked as a sexual predator.  Protect the guy.  If that's the Christian thing to do I question someones Christianity.  You guys don't seem to get it so maybe over the top is what's needed.  Why was Josh even on this family research counsel if he was A sexual predator.  Bash gays but not sexual predators.  You worry more about Josh getting right with the Lord but never having to face any accountability for his actions.  What happens if he abuses another young girl.  Guess what all who worry about poor Josh now share his sin if he abuses another girl.  You tell me that is right and then bash gays while you continue the cAuse of Christ.  Josh should have gotten right with the Lord while he was in jail.  If this is what the fundemental christian movement feels about these things which appears to be so they need to do some real soul searching.  Wow To prove a point when Jim was a Pastor in NJ my friend was a Detective in a local township and Attended Jims Baptist church since childhood.  While at Jims church a guy who headed up the junior high girls group molested his daughter.  My friend arrested and prosecuted this man.  My Detective friend went to the Elders and Pastors and asked that this man be told to go to church elsewhere for safety purposes and practical purposes.  The elder and the pastors said no this man has repented of his sin and they did not think it was necessary.  This perp was their buddy so they protected him over the safety of other young ladies.  My friend left the church over this issue.  My friend told me this perp used to go around and judge women and young ladies for having short shorts or dresses and yes this was the church wear all the ladies wore shorts like knickers.  

dgszweda's picture

I don't want to throw stones at glass houses, since we all have our family struggles.  Of course as others have said this is the price you pay when you sell yourself out for millions of dollars to be on public display.  The challenge here is that this is not something you are "cured" of.  This is an individual that has a propensity for something and has acted on that propensity.  This is not in the same category as lying.  Sexual abuse of children, especially siblings is an extremely bad activity.  To classify these as "teenage mistakes" is a total misunderstanding of what really took place here.  This is not as simple as forgiveness.  It is not a natural propensity, which would be slipping out with your girlfriend and doing something like this.  This was not just experimentation or a slip up.  For me personally, I would not have married someone or had children with someone in which they admitted to this.  God can forgive and we should forgive, but that doesn't mean that you throw common sense out of the window.  I would forgive someone, but I wouldn't expose my own children to someone who had done this.  The trust would be gone.

I think those who classify this as just forgiving someone just as if they had lied and we would forgive them for the lie that they committed are being naive and have not seen the linkages with this behavior and subsequent actions as that individual ages.

As someone else stated, it is great to have children, but when you begin to have nearly 20 children, you must give up your parental control and hand it off to much less mature individuals such as other children.  There is no way that you can properly raise and be involved and have the right oversight over 20 children.  I am not saying don't have children, just people should be aware that there is a trade off that must take place.

dgszweda's picture

GregH wrote:

 

So yes, by all means, Josh should get a second chance and should be forgiven. 

I would agree with most of your points, and I would even agree about being forgiven.  But I don't agree on the second chance.  Sexual molestations of a minor is not an isolated event.  It is someone acting on a manifestation that they have.  Studies have clearly linked that people are not "cured" of this.  This is something they will struggle with for the rest of their life.  The fact that it was siblings, puts a further distortion in this sin.  This is not someone I would want to babysit my children, or have my children in their house unsupervised.

GregH's picture

GregH wrote:

 

dgszweda wrote:

 

 

GregH wrote:

 

 

So yes, by all means, Josh should get a second chance and should be forgiven. 

 

 

I would agree with most of your points, and I would even agree about being forgiven.  But I don't agree on the second chance.  Sexual molestations of a minor is not an isolated event.  It is someone acting on a manifestation that they have.  Studies have clearly linked that people are not "cured" of this.  This is something they will struggle with for the rest of their life.  The fact that it was siblings, puts a further distortion in this sin.  This is not someone I would want to babysit my children, or have my children in their house unsupervised.

 

By "second chance," I am not saying I would leave him alone with my children for one second. I simply mean that his mistake does not mean he has to be locked away for the rest of life. He should be able to find an appropriate way to be a useful role in society. However, that would not include being a public mouthpiece for conservatives and making pompous railings about homosexuality while he has that in his past. How conservatives have to be squirming today. Can you imagine the damage he has done to that organization he worked for?

 

Joeb's picture

Dgeszweda you are absolutely right. No question but a lot of the audience in this forum don't care what studies say. They believe the studies are ungodly and that the perps so called spiritual restoration is more important than the victims and Justice for the victim as.  They only care about the bitterness of the victims and their sin . The only people that got it right was Schapps  church.  There must be some good water in the fountain at that Baptist church. 

Julie Anne's picture

Excellent comments, Greg.  

Who were the Duggar's primary influences?  Most specifically, Bill Gothard, who also fell from his throne after sexual misconduct allegations. He, too, modeled the hurry-up-and forgive-and -orget mantra so you don't get bitter. 

This family appears to be doing the same thing and have controlled the narrative on repentance and forgiveness for their victim daughters.  

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/05/22/why-we-ca...

 

Sean Fericks's picture

USA Today wrote:
Josh Duggar was never charged with a crime, and the statute of limitations has now expired.

InTouch reported that his father took Josh to an Arkansas state trooper who was a personal friend, who took no action other than a "very stern talk." That officer is now serving a 56-year term in prison for child pornography, the magazine reported, and no case was ever brought against Josh Duggar.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2015/05/21/duggars-reeling-from-jo...

I am all for forgiveness, counseling, etc.  But the law ought to be followed.  The law protects the innocent among us.

That being said, it would be very difficult to take a 14 year-old son to the police.

 A tough situation, aggravated by the foolish decision of parents to run their lives in front of America's TV sets.

dgszweda's picture

There are a lot of diametrically opposed thought processes when it comes to the Duggars.

First, have large families so you can be rewarded as a parent, yet move most of the parenting tasks to other children.

Live a life free of TV and the awful influences that it creates, yet make your fortune off of TV.

Live a chaste life so that you can show others what it means to live removed from sexual temptation yet hide your sexual molestations.

This is a tough time for the family no doubt.  And I am sure a bunch of us sitting on the sidelines giving our viewpoint doesn't help.  But also not recognizing your sin for what it really is, has also now spread that hurt to other people and organizations.

What is also disturbing is that it seems from the police report that Jim Bob knew about it and tried to stop it but it continued and that is when it eventually got reported.  Again, this just further highlights that these actions are not easy to stop and are not just simple transgressions.  I hope this is a serious wake up call for many Christians who try to blow this stuff away.  If it had been addressed properly, more minors would have not been molested.  The damage this caused will go on for years.  I just cannot fathom why someone would choose to have children with someone who had admitted doing this.  I think it is naive to think that it won't possibly happen to his own children.

What is even more damaging was that the abused were forced to spend every day with their abuser while being raised in the same home.

Jim's picture

http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2015/may/josh-duggar-of-19-ki...

According to the police report, the initial assault took place in 2002 when Josh was 14. A minor girl told Josh’s father, Jim Bob, that Josh touched her breasts and genitals while she slept. There were another incidents in 2003, causing Jim Bob to consult with church elders. They agreed that Josh would enter a residential treatment program. But, instead, he was sent away to work with a family friend in home remodeling for several months. The assaults apparently stopped by the end of 2003.

...

Jim Bob told police in 2006 that when Josh returned home in 2003, Jim Bob, accompanied by some of his church elders, took Josh to Arkansas State Trooper, Jim Hutchens. Jim Bob knew Hutchens personally. Hutchens did not take any official action and instead gave Josh a “very stern talk.” As In Touch magazine reports exclusively in this week’s issue, Hutchens is now serving 56-years in prison for child pornography. He took no action on the Duggar case.

Josh’s parents, who are Independent Baptists and outspoken about their faith,addressed the reports on their official Facebook page, “When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before. Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God.”

Observation and comment not related to this situation. Anyone named "Jim Bob" should drop the "Bob". Advice from another "Jim"

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

OK, it's now time to stop bringing other organizations into this, unless there is a direct connection.  The others (e.g. Phelps, ABWE, etc.) that were mentioned above have been discussed ad nauseum in other threads.  Any more posts that gratuitously drag those in again will be summarily deleted.  Stick to the topic, folks.

Dave Barnhart

Jim Racke's picture

Appreciated the questions from Greg H...more food for thought and the seriousness of the offense

Another perspective from Mike Huckabee

 

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.

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Jim Racke

Jim's picture

If you Google Gothard and Duggars ... there is a link (will bring up a lot of admittedly extraneous stuff too). 

I mention this without mentioning the others because false teaching (Gothard) leads to false practice. If indeed the Duggards were devotees of Gothard (and it sounds like they were/are), then that aspect is both newsworthy and pertinent (in my view) 

Update w photo 

 

Further observations:

 

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Jim, that's more along the lines of the "direct connection" I mentioned.  Simply throwing out names of organizations or people one does not like that are not at all related to the Duggars is what I was getting at.

Dave Barnhart

Greg Long's picture

Joeb wrote:

Dgeszweda you are absolutely right. No question but a lot of the audience in this forum don't care what studies say. They believe the studies are ungodly and that the perps so called spiritual restoration is more important than the victims and Justice for the victim as.  They only care about the bitterness of the victims and their sin .  The only people that got it right was Schapps  church.  There must be some good water in the fountain at that Baptist church. 

Joe, you sure make a lot of judgments about what people on Sharper Iron believe, when in fact almost everyone--if not everyone--on this thread has little sympathy for the actions of the Duggars in this matter.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Bert Perry's picture

......and maybe at some point we ought to confront ourselves and ask what we might be doing that would make this more likely.  To draw from this case, here are some things I note:

1.  Gothard easy-forgivism.  Need to figure out how to have a robust theology of repentance and forgiveness that will hold peoples' feet to the fire.

2.  The Duggar family has a history of "home church" and some fairly radical isolation from the world.  OK, the young gentleman was 14 and and may have rarely seen a girl except for his mother and younger sisters.....might have led to some trouble.  (noteworthy; I don't believe Bill Gothard was an active participant at church, either)

3.  I've read a book by Jim Bob, and it strikes me that he almost consciously lived close to the edge.  The trouble with that is that sometimes you fall off.  I wonder if this is part of why they went on reality TV.....people got tired of living so close to the edge?

4.  19 kids in 17 pregnancies in only 22 years.  From conception to conception, that's less than 16 months on average.....with six kids, I'm all for "be fruitful and multiply", but there is a point where you listen to people and give your poor wife's body time to recover!  (and yes, this probably did negatively impact Josh when he needed his mom and dad most)  

I will grant that we see this kind of thing all over, so I'm not going to just pile on to them, Bill Gothard, or whoever--it's part of our sin nature, and there but for the Grace of God go I.  But that said, I do think we really ought to use this as an opportunity to examine ourselves and our churches in order to reduce the chance of this happening again.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

The problem with Mike Huckabee's view is that he classifies the impact of sin all the same.  While God expects us to forgive those who have sinned against us, there are also consequences, sometimes long term consequences that come with that sin.  We have plenty of areas in Scripture where sin has a consequence.  Sometimes it is spiritual and sometimes it is societal.  Achan sinned, hid it from those in society (obviously never hid it from God), the impact was great, and the result was not only Achan's death but the death of his family.  David asked for forgiveness, it was granted to him but he still lost his son.  Moses asked for forgiveness, probably had the closest relationship to God that a man could have, yet lost his chance to enter the promise land.

This was not a lie that a minor told his teacher about the toy he took from a friend.  This was a devastating sin that was perpetuated onto a younger child who had no control.  The focus (as we often see in Christian circles) is the protection of the perp and not the victim.  These victims had to endure the next 4-8 years living with their abuser.  There was coverup, the lack of integrity and many other factors here.  Besides killing someone, there is probably not another sin someone could commit that is so devastating as the sexual abuse of a minor.

The anger is not that the Duggars are capable of sin.  The anger is not that we should ask for forgiveness.  The anger is the laisseize-faire in which the sin was treated.  The parents had a responsibility and they destroyed that responsibility with the fear they had on the impacts to themselves and their family.  To me, I question their integrity, if they feel that their 14 year old could wipe away what was done, by asking forgiveness of other children, some significantly younger than themselves (maybe even 5).  And did they really ask forgiveness from the other family?  I don't know, but if someone did this to one of my young children, I am not quite sure what I would have been capable of.  There is a reason why, that even in the lowest parts of our society, prison.  That amongst all the murders, rapist, thieves and liars that a child molester is repulsive to them.

DavidO's picture

[F]orgiveness is not a one-time easy decision, particularly if it’s demanded or expected right away for the sake of peace and putting something shameful behind you.

(from the WP article Jim linked above).

Mark_Smith's picture

The thing that concerns me here is the everyone (not just here at SI, but out in the blogosphere in general) is operating on very little information. All we really know is that 13 years ago, a young teenage boy groped and inappropriately touched 5 girls, including several sisters. He confessed it, and the family dealt with it. Apparently someone wrote a personal letter (for personal catharsis??) and stuffed it in a book that was 3 years later given to some one outside the family. When this kind soul found the letter they promptly called Oprah Winfrey... Winfrey's people called the Arkansas police and they investigated. Finding nothing new and the old charges out of statute of limitations, the whole thing was done.

That is all we know.

From there, people are calling Josh Duggar a pervert, a pedophile, a molester, etc... The problem is we don't know enough to judge this situation. Was it an act of a desperate boy, or the action of a young molester? We don't know. Given that no new reports are out, it seems like a young Josh did some bad things and turned things around. It seems his sisters have forgiven him. We don't know if anyone else (girls that is... or boys) is involved and what they think.

A few things I am concerned about:

1- Many (not just at SI but out "there"), are acting like every instance of a boy unwantedly touching a girl's private parts should lead to arrest, marking as a molester, isolation in a youth detention center, and significant psychological counseling. If you haven't read what is being posted on many news sites about this, it is scary and over the top. I'm not sure about that. There is molestation, no doubt about it. There is also confusion and attention-seeking. 

2- If your 12 year old daughter said her 14 year old brother touched her vagina, would you call the police? Hard to think about I know...

3- I have worked with kids at our Youth Detention Center, and they are rough! My son knows nothing about the lives these kids have lived. Jim Bob said he didn't want Josh exposed to these kids, and I can appreciate that as a first response.

4- Anyone else find it interesting that the crowd asking for Josh to be drawn and quartered are the same people who thought that the Baltimore riots and looting were justified?

5- The complication is the Duggar's put themselves in this spotlight with the show...

 

 

 

Mark_Smith's picture

You are the pastor of a church. A 12 year old girl says a 13 year old boy touched her breasts in Sunday School in an intimate way. Do you call the police?

The media in this story says unequivocally yes. What do you think? Is there latitude here?

If you would call, we need to be teaching our boys early to not touch girls (and why), so that your little Jimmy doesn't wind up in the Youth Detention Center with a criminal record as a sex offender at 13!

Jim's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

You are the pastor of a church. A 12 year old girl says a 13 year old boy touched her breasts in Sunday School in an intimate way. Do you call the police?

The media in this story says unequivocally yes. What do you think? Is there latitude here?

If you would call, we need to be teaching our boys early to not touch girls (and why), so that your little Jimmy doesn't wind up in the Youth Detention Center with a criminal record as a sex offender at 13!

I would 

Mark_Smith's picture

Then we need to completely change the way that we teach boys. Because a curiosity could reap horrible consequences.

Joeb's picture

Mark you make a dump statement here and people typically expect from a fundy.  Play down the offenses likes its no big deal. Just a young kid getting into mischief.  Thats what BJU did and even had the guts to ask the victim if she really wanted to stop the young man from serving the Lord on the mission filed. By the way the mission agency is protecting this guy from prosecution.  Sounds familiar of Baptist mission agencies ie Wendell Kempton.  First of all Jim Bob and  the elders did not report it timely and then interfered until the statute limitations expired.  If the Police were allowed to do their job old JOSH might have been charged as an adult and labeled as a sexual predator and rightly so.  At least he would have been incarcerated until he was 21.  So come on Mark get real.  I think Jim has already pointed this out to you.  Out of this whole thread Bert makes the best point of all.  We need to examine our own hearts and mines and so do our churches. If living by rules is your answer to holiness you have failed your Lord.  You should follow the rules because you love your Lord and want to please him in all that you  do and Im speaking as a sinner who  struggling in his relationship with the Lord. You can't change people with rules and we can't legislate rules to  non christians.  The only thing that will change people is if they become saved and have a true relationship with their Lord not rules.  

Julie Anne's picture

Then we need to completely change the way that we teach boys. Because a curiosity could reap horrible consequences.

Mark, your comments are so disturbing. To indicate that you aren't teaching boys this already is problematic. Duggar's behavior was criminal in nature. If you heard this story as a pastor and were a mandatory reporter, you could be in a heap of trouble legally if you failed to report. Even if you by law were not a mandatory reporter, there have been cases where adults were sued for not reporting. This is not for YOU to decide. This is for experts to decide if a law was broken. That is why you report it when you hear about it. You don't wait a year, you report now. 

Many (not just at SI but out "there"), are acting like every instance of a boy unwantedly touching a girl's private parts should lead to arrest, marking as a molester, isolation in a youth detention center, and significant psychological counseling. If you haven't read what is being posted on many news sites about this, it is scary and over the top. I'm not sure about that. There is molestation, no doubt about it. There is also confusion and attention-seeking. 

I'm appalled that you spend so much time defending a perpetrator. Have you once even thought about these young girls who had to live for years under the same roof with their abuser and wonder if they would again be awakened in the middle of the night by their older brother's sexual violence towards them?

 

 It seems his sisters have forgiven him. 

I would question this. This is based on the words of the parents who followed Gothard's teachings of quickly forgiving and moving along.  It takes years and sometimes decades to come to grips of the sexual violation done to your body. Sometimes the real work of forgiveness comes as a young lady marries and has her own children.  Read the article I posted earlier.

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