One of the reasons religious fundamentalism is so innately stupid is the hypocrisy that comes with it. It is not only impossible to live up to standards set out in a book written by goat herders living in a desert thousands of years ago, but maintaining a strict moral code at all times defies what it means to be human. Jesus Christ seemed to understand this quite well, telling his disciples simply: “judge lest ye be judged”. Sadly, many Christians have failed to adhere to their savior’s advice and have set themselves up for the most spectacular falls from grace.
Rarely does this hypocrisy get played out so glaringly as it has with the ultra Christian Duggar family, stars of ’19 Kids And Counting’ show on TLC.
27-year-old Josh Duggar, the eldest son of the Duggar family, admitted publicly to molesting several little girls when he was a teenager, some of them his own sisters. This type of abuse is sadly quite common and when it happens, it should be dealt with appropriately by the authorities. Duggar was a child himself at the time, so his criminal culpability is not the issue at hand here. Rather it is the way in which his family sought to protect him from the law and public scrutiny while building their own mini media empire, then condemning other people for what they perceive to be sexual transgressions. As Chez Pazienza wrote last week:
It’s not hard to imagine Jim Bob and Michelle burying this precisely because it would tarnish their reputation and therefore bring the gravy train that’s made them very rich, very famous people to a grinding halt….The Duggars aren’t thelive-and-let-live types, which makes any effort to cover-up the child molester in their family an act of grotesque hypocrisy. Just last year, Michelle Duggar lent her voice to a robocall asking residents of Fayetteville, Arkansas to protest an upcoming anti-discrimination bill aimed at protecting transgender citizens. “I doubt that Fayetteville parents would stand for a law that would endanger their daughters or allow them to be traumatized by a man joining them in their private space,” Michelle says in the recording. “We should never place the preference of an adult over the safety and innocence of a child.”
Of course the Duggar’s preference that their son’s crimes be kept a secret over the safety and innocence of their daughters does not count, because the rules evidently don’t apply to them. Not only this, but it has now been revealed that Josh Duggar’s dad, Jim Bob Duggar, believed incest represents a ‘heinous’ crime, ‘and as such should be treated as capital crime’ at a time when he knew his own son had molested his sisters. From Defamer:
What does Jim Bob think of his own response to his son’s familial abuse? In a brief statement to People, Jim Bob and Michelle said last week that “that dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before.” Maybe that’s because Jim Bob publicly stated during his 2002 campaign for U.S. Senate that he thinks incest should be punishable by death.
Jim Bob’s platform on his campaign website—preserved via web cache—states that he believes “rape and incest represent heinous crimes and as such should be treated as capital crimes.”
Of course it isn’t a capital crime if it is your own son doing the incest, just as running an anti-gay church while hiring male prostitutes to have sex with isn’t gay.
There would be a great deal more sympathy for the Duggars and the Haggards of this world if they hadn’t dedicated their lives to condemning everyone else for the way they live theirs. And as the Bible teaches – ‘for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap’ – a lesson the Duggars and Haggards are now acutely aware of.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.