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Tuesday, 2 June 2015

The Duggar Scandal--What Next?

First of all, let me say that one of the things that most concerns me about this whole Duggar scandal is how it is polarizing the Christian community over 'what should have been.' "There's no use crying over spilt milk" is a very old saying, and as hard to implement as ever, but we need to keep in mind that this is NOT a current situation. We all agree that what Josh did was bad, and that it is good that he stopped doing it. If there's anything else we disagree on, we ought to be able to keep the Duggars out of it.

Secondly, I see people flocking to the position that the government has a role to play in keeping boys from falling into sin. That has NEVER been a responsibility of the government, and ESPECIALLY should not be a responsibility now that our government has itself undergone such moral decay. Do these people realize what they are suggesting when they say that the Duggars should have turned Josh over to the government as soon as they realized he was failing morally? A government that applauds homosexual experimentation, even among teenagers? A government that promotes public obscenity under the guise of supporting the arts? Remember, it was Lisa Miller's government-approved counselor who urged her to try homosexuality, driving her into the arms of the very woman who poured all her energies into stealing the heart, soul, and body of her only daughter.

Saying that only the government, and not anyone else, can be trusted to handle a problem is to give up on ever solving it, because the government is just people, and if people outside the government.can't be trusted, then neither can people inside the government. Such trust is guaranteed to be violated, on the principle that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Okay, on to the questions.

1. Is what Josh did really all that uncommon?

No. Talking about it is uncommon, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. What happened to Josh's sisters happened to my sisters, to my wife, and to her daughters. In other words, to an overwhelming majority of the women who are in a position to have disclosed it. Read any woman's biography who is open about the abuse she received as a child, and it's there. Attend any women's conference that dares to open that can of worms, and it's there. Boys have an extremely powerful urge to fondle girls, and no one has yet found a way to eliminate that urge in such a way as to leave those boys capable of becoming fathers of their own girls later on.

2. Was the approach the Duggars took effective?

Their first attempts weren't, but when the abuse continued, they ramped up the treatment. Josh finally had to be removed from the home entirely, with intensive counseling and mentoring, before he got his passions under control. But it did work. Everybody who has any standing to comment on the question agrees that Josh is cured. That they did it without government intervention is commendable, given the total lack of success of any government program at curing pedophilia.

3. What can be done to keep boys from molesting their little sisters?

Ah, there is the rub. By now, everything has been tried at least once. If any approach has been proven to work 100% of the time, I haven't heard it. But I do suspect that the fact that the little Duggar girls are never seen without pants on under their dresses is part of the Duggars' post-tragedy strategy, and is in line with the recommendations of Myron Horst.

4. What good could still come out of this disaster?

I believe that until you can name an enemy, you cannot defeat it. I hope that out of this, parents will be much more open about telling their sons to keep their hands out of their daughter's pants, and much more cautious about allowing their daughters to sleep in the presence of their brothers. I hope that the conspiracy of silence that has long fed the monster of child sexual abuse by family members will be broken for good.

5. What BAD could still come out of this disaster?

A lot. I won't predict it, lest I give out any ideas, but I have my concerns. I will express one concern, and that is that pundits are proclaiming that Josh's sisters had NO RIGHT to forgive him for what he did to them. Anyone too young to give sexual consent, goes the expressed thinking, is not yet mature enough to grant forgiveness. That idea is totally inconsistent with Christianity, and if it prevails, countless lives will be condemned to ruin that could have otherwise been redeemed.

Please remember: This is not about protecting abusers, or covering up ongoing abuse. It's about learning how to prevent abuse in the first place, and to protect its victims from having to experience the trauma all over again, when what was hidden comes to light. The way this has played out so far in the headlines has done no one any good. If any redemption comes out of it, it is probably going to have to happen through the Duggar girls themselves. May God give them strength.

UPDATE: Yes, it's happening. Bravo, girls.


  1. It's all just been an excuse for the haters.

  2. Touching a girl's private parts is okay when a doctor does it, right?

  3. Okay, it looks like I'll be able to comment on my own blog as long as I claim anonymity (appropriate). Agalltyr, no only doctors, but cops routinely do vaginal inspections, especially if they suspect rape but even as part of routine traffic stops. So, reporting this to the authorities would have unquestioningly subjected the girls to further trauma, and at a much worse level.


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