It was little surprise to learn that there is a close connection between the anti-women’s rights Hobby Lobby patriarch and the twisted Quiverfull Duggar family. Although there are likely several reasons the Duggars, their church leaders, and local police covered up the admitted molestation at the hands of Josh Duggar, their devious cover-up was certainly not to protect the victims. In fact, there is a very informative read on the role of women in the dangerous Quiverfull cult here, and another here explaining why the Duggar’s Christian beliefs set up the conditions for sexual abuse. Accordingly, based on the homeschooling and sexual counseling program developed by evangelical political activist Bill Gothard, the Duggar’s likely still believe in their religious hearts that Josh’s victims were at fault.
The underlying beliefs and biblical principles the Duggars embrace are completely informed by the teachings of Bill Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute (ATI), a homeschool program founded on “biblical principles” that “actually help groom and shame victims, hide grievous sexual abuse, and prevent offenders and victims from receiving help.” It is little wonder then, that an organization and its leader that teaches that women and girls are second-class citizens, blameworthy, and under subjection of a Christian man has been heavily-funded by Hobby Lobby patriarch David Green. Green is the man who believes the bible gives him purview over women’s healthcare decisions; a belief the Vatican-5 on the Supreme Court completely agree with and ruled accordingly.
Hobby Lobby has, for years, provided substantial financial support to Bill Gothard, the Christian fundamentalist who founded the ATI homeschool program and the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP). IBLP is the Christian sexual treatment center the Quiverfull Duggars sent their son Josh to for “Christian sexual counseling.” What is not a surprise is that Josh likely got the same “sexual counseling” from IBLP as he did from the law enforcement officer convicted of child pornography his Quiverfull father sent him to see.
Gothard, the evangelical hero, resigned his post in 2014 after accusations came to light that he molested 34 women, failed to report child abuse under his watch at IBLP, and was accused in an internal IBLP report of “acting inappropriately toward women.” Gothard, a Quiverfull advocate, claimed he did nothing wrong and was simply “sexually grooming teens and young women;” not touching all 34 of them inappropriately. It was likely the kind of scriptural “counseling” he provided to Josh Duggar with support from his parents who, along with Sarah Palin, champion Gothard’s Christian teachings and biblical homeschool program.
Whatever Gothard’s particular sexual dysfunction toward women and young girls, and his belief they are subject to the will of Christian men, it certainly appeals to Hobby Lobby’s founder David Green. Green’s family sold Gothard a 2,250-acre campus in Big Sandy, Texas, complete with a landing strip and aircraft hangar for $10. The Green’s also gave Gothard a 529,717-square-foot building in Little Rock, Arkansas and a campus in New Zealand. In fact, according to a report, “No-one was more instrumental to Gothard’s now-controversial ministry than the Green family,” and this was long before Hobby Lobby went to the Supreme Court to gain religious control over women’s reproductive health choices.
The Greens were anxious to assist Gothard in spreading his particular brand of Christian homeschooling and sex counseling that uses biblical justification to portray female victims of sexual abuse as blameworthy. Gothard is closely associated with the Quiverfull movement championed by the Duggars and advocates, above all else, abject female submission to a man; something the Christian Green’s certainly endorse. Gothard also teaches that if something bad like a sexual assault happens to a young woman or girl, and their father is righteous, it is always the girl’s fault. Just being aware of this “scriptural knowledge” keeps most girls from ever disclosing being abused because questions about “their sins” are the first response to revelations that they were violated.
Under the Gothard ILBP Christian sexual counseling program, the impetus is always on the victims’ responsibility such as young girls coming out of a bath without being fully covered, “running around in a dress,” or an infant girl having their diaper changed in the presence of a male. In fact, in ILBP literature victims are reminded that since their soul holds more value than their bodies, after being abused their only priority and regard is forgiving the offender to ‘magically’ brush aside any physical or psychological suffering. The Duggar parents claimed all of Josh’s victims received adequate counseling, but since it is founded in Gothard’s Christian program, they were blamed and shamed, not healed and certainly not forgiven; they are female after all.
Just when it seems that this sordid affair cannot get any worse, more revelations arise that make one wonder how the Duggars, Bill Gothard, or Hobby Lobby’s Greens can live with themselves. The Hobby Lobby owners were well-aware of the Gothard counseling and homeschooling program to puts women in servitude roles in the home and society, and the Duggars were aware they were teaching their son that his actions were his sisters’ fault. It is all founded on biblical teaching that women are the root of man’s fall from grace, and that a man can garner complete forgiveness for the most sexually deviant and heinous acts simply by asking Jesus’ forgiveness and getting close to god. For the victims, as long as Jim Bob Duggar was as righteous as he says he was, then the girls are to blame and according to Gothard’s teachings they were no doubt shamed mercilessly according to the scripture-based Institute in Basic Life Principles that Hobby Lobby’s owners fully support and heavily fund.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.