Friday, May 29, 2015

Kit's Friday Thoughts: Duggar, Iraq, and some other stuff

By Kit

Duggar Family Scandal
A number of you are probably aware of the sex abuse allegations that have hit the ultra-conservative Duggar family of the reality show, 19 and Counting. If you are like me and before the scandal broke had no idea who the Duggar family were, only vaguely aware of the existence of a show called 19 kids and Counting, and had absolutely no interest whatsoever in it, here are the details from what I know.

The Duggar family is, as stated above, a very conservative, Christian family who hold very restrictive views on gender roles and sex —even by the standards of most conservative Christians; they allow no kissing or even any physical contact between members of the opposite sex prior to marriage and there are always chaperones for their daughters, usually the older brothers (Source). Bennett and Darcy’s courtship in Pride and Prejudice was Sex and the City by comparison.

And speaking of the older brothers…

Now, before I go any further I want to point out that I really don’t care how they choose to live their lives or raise their kids. As long as it operates within certain basic parameters of no abuse, I don’t care. Really, I don’t. It’s America. I love living in a country where you can have two agnostic (or Presbyterian) gay men raising a kid next door to a super-religious family with 12 kids.

Anyhoo, back to the family.

Speaking of older brothers, it turns out the eldest son, Josh, sexually molested five girls back when he was 14 or 15 by fondling their breasts and genitals. Four of them were his younger sisters. The family, it appears, only told a few close family friends and, when law enforcement was eventually contacted, it was a police officer the family knew who reportedly gave Josh a “stern talk” —and was later arrested on counts of child pornography.

As for Josh Duggar, he recently became executive director of FRC Action, which wikipedia describes as “the non-profit political action and lobbying arm of the Family Research Council.” A position from which he has now resigned.

First, I’ve never much cared for these family reality shows. Or most reality shows in general. I find them very stupid. The few times I’ve watched one, or, more accurately, been trapped in a room with people who are watching one, I’ve come away with a very low estimation of the human race. While there are in all likelihood at least one or two that are probably, most have come across as little more than voyeuristic freak shows; look at these weird people being weird!

Say what you will about the circus freak show of old, at least they typically had to develop some skill or talent. Like juggling.

Second, the family, going into damage control, said that the victims have forgiven Josh. Ok, that is good. Forgiveness is often better than holding onto bitterness and anger, even justified anger. It allows you to move on with your life like nothing else can. So to those girls I say, bravo.

BUT THAT STILL DOESN’T CHANGE WHAT HAPPENED! If this was one time event where he did it, got caught, and was punished at 14 then maybe, maybe, I could be grant them that point and move on. But he continued to molest his sisters, even after getting caught. That’s a pattern.

Finally, if you want a good takedown of the family’s actions and behavior, particularly those of the patriarch, from a conservative Christian point-of-view I recommend David French’s post at the National Review, “Put Not Your Faith in Duggars, or Any Other Christian.” It’s quite good. LINK.

And much of what he says about the Duggars is quite good, even if you are not a Christian: “If the past 30 years of very public Christian scandals should teach us anything, it’s that no one should put their trust in famous Christians. They often can’t even get the basics right, much less serve as shining examples of faith lived the right way. In the case of the Duggar family, they hid sexual abuse from everyone but those they most trusted, delayed notifying the authorities for months (and then afterward telling only a close family friend), escaped prosecution only through the expiration of the statute of limitations, and then had the audacity — knowing full well that these events had occurred — to put themselves out to the public as a role-model family. The abuser himself decided to become a leader in the Christian pro-family movement, as the executive director of the Family Research Council.”

Not much I can add to that except, “Amen brother.” Read the whole thing.

Obama’s (and Hillary’s) catastrophic failure in Iraq
Last Friday, Krauthammer wrote an excellent column for the Washington Post where he pointed out that instead of running around asking if we should or should not have invaded Iraq in 2003 we should be asking whether it was right for Obama to leave Iraq wholesale as he did in 2003?

Obama can complain about the crappy economy and the stuff in Afghanistan but he was handed a victory in Iraq on a silver platter. By his own admission, the surge was a success. All he had to do was maintain a minimal amount of troops in Iraq and it is certainly possible things over there would be a lot better now.

But he didn’t. So here we are.

Obama the Federalist?

I recently read a story in the USA Today about how Obama, now failing to get any of his measures passed at the federal level is now taking things to the cities, such as minimum wage raises (which are having the predictable effects).

Now, there is some debate about whether the cities can actually do this considering that traditionally the states and the federal government have handled this responsibility with the feds setting the floor and the states deciding whether or not to go up from there.

But, hey, at least he’s realized that not everything must be done at the federal level. Even if its really just another example of his “ends justify the means” mentality… and its constitutionally sketchy.

But, baby steps…


— No book of the week this week. Though I hope to have Road to Serfdom finished by next Friday. Nearing the end, it is very good.

— I will be resuming Summer of Marvel this coming Monday with The Incredible Hulk, so stay tuned!

— It was revealed that Bernie Sanders wrote an essay back in 1972 saying most men fantasized about raping women and most women fantasized about being gang raped.


Now, normally, I could not care less what someone wrote back when Nixon was President but in this case, considering that if he was a Republican we would never hear the end of this, I say hit him, and the Democrats, hard over this. They need to be held to their own standards. It’s the only way they’ll ever learn.

— Kevin D. Williamson wrote a great piece for National Review where he hit Bernie Sanders for his “Dark Age Economics”. Read it here: LINK.

Now, in there he referenced what Cthulhu would say on the subject of money. Jonah Goldberg, sensing an endorsement for the crustacean Great Old One, responded that the Sweet Meteor of Death (SMOD) would be a better candidate in “The Real Primary: Cthulhu vs. SMOD”: LINK

Kevin hit back in “The Campaign Call of Cthulhu”: LINK

Jonah will reply in his newsletter, the G-File, tomorrow. (Side-note: The current format of my Friday’s Thoughts are directly inspired by Goldberg’s G-File)

The highlight of the debate so far is from Goldberg: “replacing public-sector unions with Cthulhu cultists strikes me as, at best, a modest improvement.”

— The series Honest Trailers has now done 100 trailers and to honor that auspicious event they are doing 50 Shades of Grey. Give it a watch, though I warn you, it is very much NOT SAFE FOR WORK! LINK

As always, the thread is open for the weekend. Discuss anything you want, Hillary’s shell corporation or Cthulhu vs. SMOD (It’s Cthulhu).


Kit said...

For some reason, the links are not working on my end. Not sure why.

AndrewPrice said...

Fixed! :D

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, "If the past 30 years of very public Christian scandals should teach us anything, it’s that no one should put their trust in famous Christians. They often can’t even get the basics right, much less serve as shining examples of faith lived the right way."

That really is the issue I have with these people. These famous public Christians are often freaks who have read the Bible as endorsing a lifestyle that is cultish and flies in the face of most of Jesus's teachings. It is no surprise to me that so many of them turn out to be perverts or worse.

Kit said...


Yep. In the late-80s and early-90s a number of televangelists turned Protestant Christianity into a joke, something In Living Color nailed perfectly.

They still have not recovered from it.

Rustbelt said...

Cthulhu, SMOD...whatever.

Yog Sothoth in 2016, baby!

"Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They have trod earth's fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread."

See? Unlike Bruce Campbell, I can quote the Necronomicon correctly!

Anthony said...

Bernie Sanders is scum, but I don't see why Republicans would do anything to harm the campaign of Nader 2.0.

ScottDS said...

Kit -

I want to point out that I really don’t care how they choose to live their lives or raise their kids

I agree, though this is one case where I won't hesitate to label the family a bunch of "f---ing weirdos!"

(And yet, I'm the one who's going to Hell despite not having done anything as bad as this guy. But that's for another day.) :-)

Critch said...

Not defending Duggar at all, but the Left won't talk about their child molesters,,,,Roman Polanski, Michael Jackson and Woody Allen.

Anthony said...

What is worrisome is that the child molester now has daughters of his own.

Also, what are the odds that the cop/family friend the Duggars disclosed their Josh's pedophilia to at the last minute was a pedophile himself? Maybe he started Josh down that road.

Kit said...


There are many worrisome details about the story.

Another one, from the InTouch Weekly expose:

Jim Bob then “met with the elders of his church and told them what was going on.” No one alerted the police or any other law enforcement agency. Instead they decided to send Josh to a “program [that] consisted of hard physical work and counseling. James said that [redacted, Josh] was in the program from March 17, 2003 until July 17, 2003.”

He said the program was a “Christian program.” Michelle Duggar later admitted to police that Josh did not receive counseling and instead had been sent during that time to a family friend who was in the home remodeling business.

Asked about the training center that Jim Bob said Josh was sent to, Michelle told police, according to the report, “it was not really a training center. Det. [Darrell] Hignite asked if the guy [redacted, Josh] talked to was a certified counselor. She said no. She said it was a guy they know in Little Rock that is remodeling a building. Det. Hignite asked if the guy was more of a mentor. She said “kind of.”

It seems that the family friend was Bill Gotherd, who was later accused of sexually harassing female employees: LINK

BevfromNYC said...

Frankly, I think that the execs at TLC have known about this for years. Even Oprah knew in 2006. Ratings, ratings, rating. And "freak show" is the perfect name. They are 21st Century circus freaks. Sadly, these freaks don't know that they are being paid lots of money to the butt of the joke.

At least the Duck Dynasty guys were actually in on the joke.

Kit said...

Listening to the GLoP Culture podcast with Jonah Goldberg, Rob Long, and John Podhoretz.

John Podhoretz segued into the scandal with this bit of genius: "We have not discussed the fact that everybody, I think, on reality television is an ambulatory psychopath."

Kit said...

"At least the Duck Dynasty guys were actually in on the joke."

The bits of them I've seen come across that way. They seem more akin to the old Vaudeville family shows than the old circus freak shows.

tryanmax said...

I think Kevin D. Williamson said all that needs to be said about the Duggar thing:

"Axiom No. 1: Instances of sexual abuse among Catholic clergy, conservative Protestants, the military, and police agencies tell us a great deal about the dysfunctional culture of those communities and institutions, and suggest avenues of reform.

"Axiom No. 2: Instances of sexual abuse involving elite New York City schools, Upper East Side synagogues, 500 teachers every year overwhelmingly employed at public schools, trendy yoga factions, the homes of the children of artsy millionaires, etc., tell us basically nothing.

Read the rest here: LINK

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think that is an excellent observation... but let me play Devil's Advocate for a moment against the inference of the observation.

Maybe the problem is that when someone like the Duggars get caught, normal conservatives/religious types/etc. all circle their wagons and jump to their defense. Hence, you get an army of normal protestants, for example, defending a whacko fringe protestant who gets caught doing something twisted. In effect, they adopt the whacko and thereby associate themselves with the behavior.

On the other side, the left by and large immediately disassociates themselves from their whackos when they get caught... "He's not with us... he must be a conservative!"

So the difference is that our side is essentially claiming: "They are us and what they've done isn't so bad" and their side is saying "wow, what a freak... he's not us."

That could very rationally lead to the phenomena observed. Moreover, the times where the left does circle the wagon, like with false rape accusers, they lose all credibility with the public. (Specific politicians are something different again.)

I would also suggest that the observer is lumping together different groups who received very different responses to try to make the victim list more encompassing than what he probably really has in mind. For example, the Catholic Church got caught harboring and covering up for pedophiles. Now that they have admitted it and punished those priests, the issue has died. There are no more attacks except from the right. So they really don't belong on the list. Attacks against the military have rarely worked in my lifetime -- Tailhook being the one notable exception. So they don't belong on the list either. The police are definitely constantly under fire as observed, though it is limited to departments that operate in majority black areas. So while they belong on the list, they suffer from a very narrow form of attack.

That leaves conservative protestants and they tend to be waging political fights when they get caught doing the very things they claim to be fighting... which is why they have ready made enemies and why it's so easy for the public to see them as needing reform. Moreover, the groups who do the fighting tend to be the most fringey. You rarely see attacks against non-political protestants who only tend to their churches.

So while I agree that the left gets a free pass, there is more to this.

Anthony said...

I honestly don't get complaints about the treatment of the Catholic Church. From where I stand it got off light because it is an ancient, powerful institution with a seat at the UN. If a school or business had been found to have actively covered up child molestation for decades across many countries (shuffling pedophiles to different parishes/victims once discovered), it would have been bankrupted by lawsuits, closed due to the destruction of the equity in the name and the leadership would have died in prison.

Kit said...

Jonah Goldberg continues the Cthulhu vs. SMOD fight in his weekly G-File, which this week is entitled, "The Clinton's Favorite Way to Lie."

And Goldberg's wit is so forceful that Kevin D. Williamson must concede the battle: LINK

Kit said...

A bit of an update on the Duggar scandal:
"Josh Duggar's Parents, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, to Discuss Son's Molestation Scandal in Sit-Down Interview With Fox News' Megyn Kelly"


Anthony said...

Geraldo has called out conservatives for rallying behind Duggar but not Hastert (who paid a bunch of money to an ex-student he molested as a minor).

If Geraldo had two brain cells to rub together he would call out anyone who defends any child molester, not calling for more support for child molesters.

Anthony said...

Martin O' Malley has announced he is running for the presidency. As a Marylander I don't see him going anywhere, but maybe he will surprise me,

BevfromNYC said...

It was just announced that VP Biden's son Beau has just passed away at 46 yrs old from brain cancer. Very sad.

Anthony said...

That is terrible. My heart goes out to his family.

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