The following is a PoliticusUSA editorial written by co-publisher and managing editor Sarah Jones.
Republicans have a far right Christian problem. To be even more specific, they have a sexual assault against children problem. It’s not because Josh Duggar admitted to sexually assaulting his sisters and other young girls, or even that Arkansas Republicans worked to get the police record of the investigation into Josh’s assaults expunged. No, sadly sexual assault of children happens in every community.
The reason Republicans have a problem is because they won’t denounce the Duggar family’s cover up of Josh Duggar’s sexual assaults. Former Governor Mike Huckabee has gone full-on defense of the sexual predator and his family, while other Republicans who used the Duggar family as right-wing Christian cred in photo-ops are now silent.
Silence is not courage or leadership. What is required at this point is a courage stand FIRMLY against child sexual assault and the cover-up of said assaults in this case — not just the police records, but the way the Duggars refused to produce Josh for questioning when the police were investigating for real, after their friend (the one in jail now for child porn) buried the first go around.
Republican politicians and activists are busy circling the wagons around this egregious cover-up of admitted sexual assault of minors — five that we know of, and not all of them family members. Republicans are saying the victims want this to go away, but of course, there is no reason to assume that people who have an obvious political agenda (the Duggars are knee-deep in Arkansas Republican politics) to silence this story are speaking for the victims. Nor could the victims possibly be free to stand up for themselves, with no less power than a man running for the White House justifying what Josh Duggar did to them.
Of course the Duggars did cover this up, in failing to produce son Josh to the police when they wanted to speak to him about it and then in working to get the record expunged when they knew the story was finally coming out. Anyone who is justifying this behavior is off their rocker.
To make matters worse, Republicans are justifying it as to judge Josh or his family is to play the part of God. This is some seriously warped thinking, but we saw in it the family’s statement, and we saw it in Mike Huckabee’s statement. We see the less obvious results of this kind of thinking a lot, like when Republicans announce that God has forgiven them for cheating on their wives and abusing the power of their office, so the matter is at rest. While they accuse others of playing the part of God, they are using God as a shield from being held accountable in this world, under our laws, by our community standards.
The problem for Republicans is that they seem to believe that God is on their side, so they believe they are above the law. Their religious beliefs are above the law. Is this not the same argument they have been making about Muslims imposing Sharia Law? It is.
This country was specifically designed to have our laws be separate from religion and to avoid “divine authority”. So Republicans are wrong to claim that their religious beliefs exempt them from the law, and they are wrong to claim divine authority and favor by God.
They are wrong to claim that they know what God thinks. What God thinks or doesn’t think is not relevant to our legal system. As far as morality goes, it’s hard to think of a worse crime than abusing an innocent child – statistically causing that child to contemplate suicide four times more than a child who was not abused. This is what Republicans are trying to silence because they were invested in the Duggar family. They used the Duggar family politically. The Duggar family used them. The Duggar family is headed by a Republican politician, and Josh himself is a Republican activist.
In all systems, we see this kind of cowardice when faced with the fall of a hero. I called the left out on it when Assange was accused of rape (not because there was compelling evidence that he was guilty, but because in trying to defend him, they attacked the women and the definition of rape in harmful and misogynistic ways). Penn State stood by their child assaulter, just as the Catholic church has for decades. This is what systems do. This is why people must speak up and say this is not okay.
Republicans, who at one time claimed to be the law and order party, need to find some courage to do the right thing here. The right thing is not tacking on “Of course this was wrong” after paragraphs of defense and justification. The right thing is very simple. This was wrong, the parents were horribly irresponsible to cover Josh’s rather relentless assaults up (not a one-off), Josh Duggar was wrong to do it, their religion is wrong to teach that the girls tempt a boy when he changes their diapers — all of these things are WRONG.
You can wish Josh Duggar the best and feel some compassion for his parents if you wish. I am saving my compassion for the victims, who were voiceless then and all over the world, remain voiceless against huge powers and systems hell bent on silencing them or making the abuse okay by claiming it was forgiven.
Hearing the defense of this horrific ongoing abuse just eggs on other abusers and silences more victims. And that makes Republicans’ lack of courage even more damaging and repugnant.
Listen to Sarah on the PoliticusUSA Pod on The Daily newsletter podcast here.
Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump.
Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.
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30 Replies to “Republicans Lack the Courage to Firmly Denounce Child Sexual Assault and the Duggars’ Cover-up”
And so this little Republican Circle Jerk has come to a messy ending and a new beginning.
Kinda hard to back pedal themselves out of this debacle.
Like someone else pointed out on the Politicusa commentary- The Duggars Judged First, now we’re judging back.
Something about a ‘taste of their own medicine’.
The rw politicians are waiting to be told what to say by the moneymen.
Remember Caribou Barbie and others accusing Senator Barack Obama of “palling around with terrorists” in 2008?
Seems to me these repub candidates are “palling around with pedophiles”.
Republicans are the biggest hypocrites on earth!
Ask yourself this question. If Josh Duggar was gay, would you be so quick to forgive him? Or would you be screaming BLOODY MURDER about it?
My guess is BLOODY MURDER!
Remember Ted Haggard?
Twins; action thought and deed;
Nothing like meth and getting buggered to prepare for the coming rapture
If he was gay and did this, they would BURN HIM AT THE STAKE, and it would cement into their already warped minds that gay men are perverts.
They live in glass houses and shouldn’t throw stones at the LGBT community calling them perverts, when it’s usually the *HETROSEXUAL* men who do it.
How many HETERSEXUAL men have been caught with CHILD PORN on their computers??
This is their whole ignorant schitck against gay male couples adopting children.
Haggard, yukky, enuf said!
Speaking of weirdo preachers, I saw a quote from Jim Bakker a few days ago: “ISIS is getting ready to kill us, so buy mac & cheese and veggie burgers before it is too late”.
they wont call out their perverts because they save their hate for others
Marco Rubio: Pretty Soon ‘Christian Teaching’ On Gays Will Be Labeled ‘Hate Speech’
Christ gave his life for THESE people?
He needs His head examined…
I’m beginning to think there’s a lot of this child molesting going on in the Republican party. You know what they say, birds of a feather, flock together. This cover up will all but end every Republican Presidential candidates campaign. It seems they can’t wait to get a picture with Duggar fast enough.
Richad, We’re experiencing the Die-Off of The GRAND Patriarchy=Birth-pangs!
There’s also adultry and use of prostitutes.
It’s always do as I preach but not as I do and if I get caught blame something – like I didn’t realize it was wrong- or someone else like the victim. Then repent for your sins and all will be ok.
OMG! the GOP truly is it’s own worst enemy! believe me, I take great pleasure in biotch slapping the “WE THE WHITE PEOPLE” party, I can’t touch the pure FILTH this party displays EVERYDAY by their own actions! For a party that claims to have MORALS, they sure don’t back it up! See republican logic says, “no matter how vile, trashy, hideous, RACIST, bigoted, uneducated, UNWASHED (TED NUGENT), anti american, you’re alright in our book so long as theres a (R) before your name. Imagine what republicans would say if the duggars were democrats?! or how about this? BLACK democrats!! bill o’reilly and the STORMFRONT cable network would be on full tilt! But because the duggars CULT are RWers and LILY WHITE, guess what? child molestation isn’t so bad! jesus will surely give the duggars a wink and a nod. Isn’t it funny how republican jesus always finds forgiveness for RWers? but republicans little jesus can’t let BENGHAZI GO?! even though BENGHAZI wasn’t a PLANNED tragedy!
There is and they have been:
Simply stated, Josh Duggar and his parents are sick! There is no need to use religion, politics, sexual preferences, etc. when forming one’s opinion! Trying to demoralize an entire group of people for the disgusting acts of three people makes one’s complaint less credible. Stick with the facts…they are horrendous on their own!
Usually, people who say they strongly support (a) certain person(s) would not remain silent when s/he/they run(s) into trouble. The silence from the movers and shakers tells me that their “support” is another example of their tendency to get on any bandwagon they think will bring them the approval of the base. One would think that Rand Paul, Walker, Jeb Bush, etc., would have come to the Duggars’ defense by now, but they’re all strangely silent. This informs me that they are afraid. If they condemn them, they risk riling the base. If they speak out against them, they will be attacked by their own the way Huckabee has been. They’re in a precarious position that they chose to place themselves in because of their pandering nature. I think if a talking head on Fox would come out in support of the Duggars, other high profile GOP/TPers would follow suit. Since Ailes hasn’t weighed in, they won’t either. They are truly cowards, No one should count on them in a time of trouble.
…as it should be.
I just want to say what an excellent and succinct article, you never miss a beat!
Word Play- by Tammy Mezera
sexual assault victims (those affected by my mistake)
sexually assaulted (acted inexcusably)
wrong path (ruining ‘my’ life)
counseling (hard work)
victims counseling (forgive/it’s his home too)
repentance (repentance? ‘If I continued down this road’ (linguistics- not that road long ago?)
hypocrisy (touting moral leadership)
cast the first stone (slander-glbt are sexual predators)
sensationalizing story (telling truth)
law and justice (wait for statue of limitations)
sexual assault victim – predator/abuse of power
secrecy – exposing abuse
defenders and supporters – social re-victimization of sexual assault survivors
fame, politics, family – abuse of power, influence
‘trying to discredit family’ – shame and blame those who speak out against abuse
forgive and forget – laws unnecessary?
Jenny, the trouble is it’s not just these 3, heck no, this is a wide spred cult, including powerful conservative politicians, leaders and organizations that support the same belief system as the Duggards.
The Hobby Lobby Green family supporting the Bill Gothard home schooling and biblical family teaching ministry, the Duggards heavy involvement and support of these teachings, it’s all intertwined. They all make big money brainwashing people.
And yes, there is plenty of hypocritical sexual and ethical scandal to go around in these organizations, that they hide! How do some of these pious people live with themselves?
Well, the FACTS are that all the adults in the Duggar family have piously put themselves forth as arbiters of what is right and wrong, using the Bible as their metric.
Applying their own measure for THEIR behavior seems entirely appropriate.
Maybe they should have paid more attention to Matthew 6:5-7, and Matthew 7:1-3.
republicans rail against the very thing they are guilty of doing. anyone with eyes can see that those horrible duggars are horrible. just like anyone with eyes can see that those horrible republicans are horrible.
There was a comment on this site a couple of days ago. Asking for numbers of Dem’s with wrong doing in their background. Like the thugs and party was being abused.
Wish this person would go to the site recommended by Moongrim.
That list of so called Christian rethugs gets worse as you scroll down. Made my stomach turn. How can any person, Christian of other wise make excuses for the conduct made by these men? Men in positions of influence and power.
They think women are not real people. Only White males are ‘humans.’ Everyone else is inferior to the glorious Great White Phallus.
Euro-Christianity is the sword they use to enforce their divine rule.
This is the same atti-tude that was taken when Ms. Paylin came on the scene with her unwed pregnant daughter. If of President Obama’s daughter’s had showed up on the podium, they would have been stoned.
Their entire sick cult is what is horrendous!
Denial is huge when the world is seen as “my guys” vs. “other guys”.
That mentality is what racism is based on. The Religious Right claims to be Christian while rejecting the values of Jesus Christ – it’s not about Jesus’s values, it’s about their values.
Even fantasy “my guys” – they want to associate themselves with the wealthy, movie stars and even royalty. It doesn’t matter what those role models do.
Great article, very supportive of the victims and understands the mindset of those like the Duggars very well. They are part of a cult which is patriarchal in the EXTREME! They teach that men have no control over their sexual impulses, and it’s the woman’s fault for being ‘immodest’ if the man attacks her. One person inside the cult molested a brother or sister-later said that he should not have been diapering the baby and that they needed to be more careful about letting the little ones get out of the bath without clothes on. This was his explaination for his behavior. Very very sick…http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/250074/duggar-homeschool-curriculum-semen-causes-cancer-cheating-women-miscarry/
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