Josh Duggar and Josh Komisarjevsky: A Tale of Two Joshes

By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator

Two Joshes. Both ATI alumni. Both perpretrators of serious crimes.

But each one received very different reactions from the conservative Christian milieu in which they grew up. And those reactions are worth taking a closer look at.

Josh Duggar

Josh Duggar was homeschooled by his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, with the Advanced Training Institute — the homeschooling curriculum developed by Inge Cannon (the former Director of HSLDA’s National Center for Home Education) for Bill Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles. According to a police report released last week, Josh molested at least five young girls. Josh began molesting these girls around the age of 14, despite him claiming that he “accepted Christ at the age of seven.” Josh’s crimes were not reported for at least a year, and only then they were reported to a police officer who himself was later convicted for child pornography. His parents willingly covered up his crimes as they were on the brink of political and entertainment stardom.

Though Josh Duggar immediately resigned from his position as Executive Director of FRC Action once the police report became public last week, multiple Christian and homeschool celebrities immediately sprang to his defense. Mike Huckabee declared those angry with Josh to be motivated by “bloodthirst” and praised Josh’s “authenticity and humility” for confessing after his criminal actions were forced into the public eye. Ray Comfort pronounced Josh “a brother in Christ” and dismissed his criminal actions as happening “in his BC [before Christ] days. Such were some of us.” Eric Hovind used the situation to preach about Creationism and make a joke about how Josh should be “punished” by working for Family Research Council (the same organization he just resigned from). Rick Boyer praised the Duggar family as “one of the happiest, holiest, humblest families I have ever met” and said Josh has “lived an exemplary life.” Matt Walsh used the opportunity to condemn not Josh but progressives, penning a tirade entitled “The Duggars Aren’t Hypocrites. Progressives Are.” where he not only denounced progressives but also admitted he wouldn’t “immediately run to the cops” if his own son molested children. Chad Bird and Daniel Emery Price at Tullian Tchividjian’s Liberate wrote a poetic defense of Josh entitled, “We are all the Duggars.” Bird and Price waxed eloquently about how, “What happened within this family is many things—tragic and abusive, shameful and selfish, destructive and deceptive. It is all manner of evil, no matter how you look it. But there is one thing that it is surely not: it is not surprising. Not in the least.” Rather, “We are all the Duggars. We are all dysfunctional sinners living in flawed families upheld by grace.”

That was one Josh. Then there’s the other one.

Josh Komisarjevsky

According to friends and family, Josh Komisarjevsky was “a brilliant but troubled young man” who was “very loving, very caring.” Josh was adopted at two-weeks-old by fundamentalist Christians. His father Benedict has been described as “critical, cold, and controlling”; the mother Jude, “quite submissive.”

Like Josh Duggar, Josh Komisarjevsky was homeschooled using material from Bill Gothard’s ATI. Jude said that she and her husband Benedict “had tried to instill Christian values in the boy by pulling him out of public school and educating him at home,” but he had nonetheless “wallowed in depression” due to the death of his grandfather a year earlier. She recalled going into his room at one point and “he had written over and over again on the walls: ‘death’ and ‘die’ and ‘suicide.’”

At some point during his childhood, Joshua was raped by “someone he trusted,” allegedly a teenage child that the Komisarjevsky family had fostered. Several years later, like Josh Duggar, Josh Komisarjevsky molested a younger relative. The church that the Komisarjevsky family attended “rejected psychology, psychiatry, or any kind of mental health treatment, and so did Komisarjevsky’s parents.” When Benedict and Jude discovered the sexual abuse in the family, they — just like the Duggars — did not seek any mental health treatment for either Joshua or his victim.

Right before turning 15, Joshua set fire to a gas station. Since police recognized he had serious mental health issues, he was briefly hospitalized in a mental health hospital and given medication. However, his father did not want him on any medication, and instead sent him to a “faith-based” treatment program.

On July 23, 2007, Joshua and his friend Steven Hayes broke into the home of the Petit family — William, Jennifer, and their daughters, 17-year-old Haley and 11-year-old Michaela. Joshua and Steven held the family hostage for hours. They forced Jennifer to drive to the family’s nearby bank and withdraw $15,000 — on the threat of killing the entire family otherwise. They raped and strangled Jennifer and then sexually assaulted Michaela. William was severely beaten and tied to a post in the basement. Joshua and Steven then doused the house with gasoline and set fire to the house. Haley and Michaela died from smoke inhalation. William managed to escape.

Joshua had specifically targeted the Petit family. A day prior to the killings, he noticed Jennifer and Michaela at a grocery store. He followed them from the store home and made plans to come back the next day with Hayes.

Joshua was found guilty of murder. Evidence of “his strict Christian upbringing, his disturbed behavior as a youth and his parents’ decision not to get traditional psychological treatment for him because of their Christian beliefs” was a significant matter of discussion during his trial. In January 2012, Joshua was sentenced to death. His accomplice, Steven Hayes, was also sentenced to death.

Two Joshes, Two Different Reactions

When Josh Komisarjevsky’s crimes swept across the national, publicized by the media much like Josh Duggar’s crimes, the Religious Right was silent. No Mike Huckabee praised Komisarjevsky’s “authenticity and humility.” No Ray Comfort said he was “a brother in Christ.” No Eric Hovind used Komisarjevsky’s actions to preach about Creationism. No Rick Boyer praised his “exemplary life.” No Matt Walsh said he could relate to not wanting to turn Komisarjevsky in for murder. No Chad Bird and Daniel Emery Price saw themselves and the Gospel in Komisarjevsky.

No, they were silent.

Not a single one stood up and said, “We’re all Josh Komisarjevsky.” Not a single one dared to say such an insensitive remark a mere week after he raped and murdered his victims.

No one said, “Oh, it’s okay he murdered someone, he was young and now he’s sorry so hey, let’s make him a television star again!”

No one should have.

Because not only is that horrible, cruel timing, it is also false. Yes, we all have made mistakes. But not all of our mistakes have involved raping and murdering. And Josh Komisarjevsky is not a darling of the Religious Right, so his raping and murdering and molesting is apparently not worth the effort of the Religious Right to defend.

But many want to defend Josh Duggar. Because something is at stake. Something called reputation. Something that, honestly, Jesus does not demand of us. Yet it’s something we love to value over and against Jesus. And it’s a lie to claim that what’s at stake is the Gospel, like Chad Bird and Daniel Emery Price pretend. It’s a lie to claim that progressives would be hypocrites to condemn Josh Komisarjevsky.

No, we know better than that. Josh Komisarjevsky’s crimes were sins. So we could say “We’re all Josh Komisarjevskys” but no one’s going to. Because when the crime is murder, we take it far more seriously than when the crime is child sexual abuse. No one is tempted to Matthew 18 a murderer. No one drags the family of a murder victim in front of the murderer and demands immediate forgiveness. No one faults the family of a murder victim for being bitter and angry and loud because of the immense pain rendered by murder. But everyone wants to Matthew 18 child sexual abuse. Everyone wants to handle sexual abuse in house. Everyone wants to silence and shut up the abuse victims and survivors and everyone wants them to behave and speak prettily and kindly.

And no one is going to pull a Matt Walsh on Josh Komisarjevsky because we can see the ludicrous nature of doing so. But for some reason, it doesn’t seem as ludicrous to pull a Matt Walsh on a perpetrator of child sexual abuse.

Why?

Why are we so willing to call murder murder — and shocking – but call sexual abuse “yet another sin” and “not surprising”?

Why would we be up in arms if our pastors and religious celebrities wrote poetic, eloquent defenses of Josh Komisarjevsky — but we’re not in arms when they do so about Josh Duggar?

Why would we decry the utter insensitivity to Josh Komisarjevsky’s victims’ families of trying to score theological points less than a week after he wrecked havoc on those families’ lives — but we think it’s appropriate to make the pain of Josh Duggar’s victims’ families into rousing sermons less than a week after their wounds were so carelessly re-opened?

And don’t give me excuses about how Josh Duggar was a teenager and maybe he himself was abused and hey, he offered a public apology. Josh Komisarjevsky’s troubles began when he was a teenager, too, and unlike Duggar, we know Komisarjevsky was abused. We know there are plenty of reasons we could give for Komisarjevsky’s descent into criminality.

There really are no excuses.

The fact is, we have a double standard. We have a double standard for the people we put on pedestals and “only” molest young children versus the people we don’t care about because they are mentally ill and we can dismiss as “demonic” and “evil” and thus explain away their violence. And that double standard is truly damaging, hypocritical, and unbiblical.

What we must be communicating to survivors of child and sexual abuse with this double standard breaks my heart. The way we think we have a right to tear open survivors’ wounds to water our Sunday sermons is, dare I say, demonic.

It is heartless and cruel and it needs to stop.

64 comments

  • Thank you for saying what has been bothering me so much this week. People crying about how “all sin is sin” and claiming to see it all the same. But they don’t. Absolutely do not. You used murder as an example, but I could think of a few more that show how the people claiming such things are lying and really do have a hierarchy of sin acts. And a standard of what deserves forgiveness.

  • All sins are separations from God, and supposed to be equal in his eyes, but I’m not God. It’s evident that certain sins hurt victims and humanity as a whole worse than others and need to be dealt with accordingly. I’m sure God understands that, after all, it was his son that instructed his disciples to carry swords to defend themselves.

    Checkmate.

  • The other consistent feature is that the victims of Josh Duggar’s crimes are completely erased. Let there be no mistake, he committed multiple crimes and should have been charged and if found responsible (juvenile speak for “guilty”), registered as a sex offender. It goes far deeper than not knowing their names. It’s as though what happened to them and how it affected them at the time, now and in the future, DOESN’T MATTER.

    If Josh Duggar didn’t receive appropriate treatment, what are the odds his victims did?

    Josh Duggar didn’t murder them but he stole their sense of safety, their peace of mind and their trust. That should matter to everyone. Particularly those who are defending Josh Duggar today.

  • “All the girls the police report show were all at least five years or more younger than him.”

    http://acasa.us/pdfs/Sexual-assault-laws.pdf

    “Although many details in the police report are redacted, based on the ages of his siblings and the dates of the molestations as described to police, one of Josh’s victims was as young as five-years-old when Josh touched her private parts. It was part of an escalating series of attacks by Josh.”

    I worry about his daughters. I’m even more worried about their friends. If my child was invited over to his home, I would decline the invitation. Invite his child to MY house but never, EVER, permit my kid to go to theirs, or go to an event where he would be attending and milling about. Not unless I was there and monitoring HIS location.

    • one was only five when she was molested. He was reading to her while he had her sit on his lap and his fingers went up her skirt to her private parts.
      She ran and told her parents. It is in the 33 page police report.

  • As I’ve said before, I believe it takes a very different mentality on the part of the perpetrator to secretly touch younger children when the perpetrator is also underage, than it does to viciously assault, torture, imprison, burn, and ultimately murder the victim(s). I find it offensive that these two very different crimes are being equated. If the Duggar boy’s parents had sat him down when they first discovered the behavior, told him that it was harmful to his sisters, and had him talk to the authorities and a professional counselor right away, and then he continued his behavior, I’d be more willing to buy the whole “he continued to do engage in it” line. But I seriously doubt that’s what they did. They probably did the same thing my mom did when I was 7 and asked one of my little brother to touch me: Gave me a long lecture about “adultery” and the importance of saving ones’ self for marriage, a long and thorough whipping, and basically terrorized and shamed me to the point that I was afraid of all males above crawling age for many years to come. Never did she say anything about harm to my little brother, other than that I was damning his eternal soul along with mine. Never did she even question where I had learned such a thing, although by that point I had blocked out the teenage boy who assaulted me when I was 4 and threatened to destroy my favorite toy if I told anyone.

    It’s not easy for me to talk about this, but I feel that those homeschoolers who have been victims, or simply non-perpetrators, do not understand how damaging these teachings are to ALL of the parties involved. At 7 years old my mother could still strong-arm me into not doing something out of fear, with no real logic behind it. At 14, kids are far less likely to take their parents’ word for it that their behavior is wrong. Not knowing what Josh Duggar’s parents may have said to him after the first offense they caught, I assume that it was very similar to what my mother said to me, and it sadly does not surprise me at all that the desired impression was not made. I blame the parents and their teachings for this, and I do not believe that the boy’s lack of real information and counseling means he is psychologically a child molester. His victims were much younger, but do you really think he’d risk waking up his near-age sisters and having them tell on him? His actions were predatory and wrong, but I don’t think there’s any evidence that they were malicious or that he knew what he was doing was harmful to the victims’ minds and bodies.

    • Your Worshipfulness

      I’m sorry, the first part of your post I totally agree with, but the last part of your response seems crazy to me. I agree that the Duggar parents are at least partially to blame for this, and that the crimes compared here were not equal. I think the differences between the level of criminal activity undermines the author’s point, which makes the article confusing because we instinctively equate the two and find them unbalanced.

      However…

      I also think your response kind of proves the point the author was trying to make. One kind of activity is seen as definitely a crime that must be punished to the full extent of the law because this guy is clearly evil and that the other crime is somehow a fuzzy, messy not-sure-this-is-really-a-crime, let’s just forgive-and-forget situation. The difference between the two people is that one is an unknown kid and the other is Josh Duggar. If we look at the response when Josh D. molested 5 children and Josh K. molested one chld and set fire to a gas station–Josh D. is sent to a family friend and is counseled by a (dubious, also family friend) police officer. The charges then disappear and he is never forced to face his crime. When it finally comes to light, people makes excuses for him and minimize what he did. Josh K is arrested (since police are involved), sent to a mental health hospital, and then to faith-based counseling. Everyone knows what he did and he must face the consequences–no one defends his actions. So whether or not Josh D went on to lead an exemplary life or Josh K went on to become a killer is irrelevant–it is the response to their crimes which is the problem

      I also disagree that Josh Duggar is not ‘psychologically’ a child molester. I’m not sure exactly what you mean by that term, but I take it to mean that you do not believe he is sexually attracted to or predatory towards children. I know by 14 you know right and wrong and by 14 you are capable of understanding consequences. That means he considered which of his sisters were most vulnerable and struck when they were asleep and helpless to minimize his chances of getting caught. Then he went on to do it to children outside his family. That says child molester to me, but hey–just my two cents.

      • I agree he his a child molester. He was testing the waters with his sisters once he saw he could get a way with it he started venturing outside the home… .most child predators are grooming their victims and or picking random victims carefully…they go a little further each time they commit a crime

    • I find it offensive that these two very different crimes are being equated.

      Just to be clear, Rose ASL, I don’t think these crimes are equatable in a one-to-one correspondence sort of way. I don’t think crimes (or sins) are ever equatable, which is one area I significantly disagree with people like Chad Bird and Daniel Emery Price who minimize individual sins/crimes with the “all have sinned” claim. I think murder and sexual abuse have different consequences and impacts — though I also think sexual abuse has far more of an impact that many people think. The point here is that many people are more than willing to admit the consequences and impacts of murder while glossing over and ignoring the consequences and impacts of sexual abuse.

      And to Timber St. James — you are always welcome to disagree with me! The freedom to disagree is how we fight fundamentalism. 🙂

      • You bet. Didn’t mean to claim more friendship than we actually have (as I read my half-assed comment again). I suspect we/America are (MAYBE) moving to a place culturally where the punishment fits the crime, instead of the outrage porn fits the page hits.

  • Holy crap, so many things I want to say. About mental illness, molestation, physical abuse… yeah. Josh Duggar was *presented* to us. Do you understand?

    Why are we being sold these Josh Duggar molestation stories? Who wins? “The Matrix has you, Neo.” If you’re a recovering abused fundie kid, and MSNBC is selling something to you, be careful.

    I love Ryan as much as anyone (despite our disagreements), but YourWorshipfulness (best name on the interwebs, bonus for Star Wars reference) is right. Like, WAY right.

    Victimology isn’t judged in re-Tweets.

  • Pingback: Dear Homeschool Parents and Leaders, Jesus Doesn’t Need Your Reputation « HARO

  • I hope that show gets canceled and never comes back on again !!

  • Reblogged this on shadowsandsubstance and commented:
    Worth a read…regardless of your opinion on the latest Evangelical micro tempest.

  • ” The way we think we have a right to tear open survivors’ wounds to water our Sunday sermons is, dare I say, demonic.”

    Question: I have blogged on the Duggar story from the side of “remember the victims, do not condone the actions of the perpetrator, and this is a culture that is dangerous, that will victimize.”

    Can it be reasoned that both the Josh Duggar defenders and those who speak against him uses the survivors’ wounds to water sermons? Can we say the writer of this article, and me, did so?

    • I think that both supporters as well as defenders of Josh Duggar can either inappropriately or appropriately speak about and to survivors’ wounds. For me, it goes back to a theme of Ecclesiastes: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” The time immediately following the public tearing open of survivors’ wounds is not, in my opinion, the time for flowery sermons about the theological concept of universal depravity. There are certainly appropriate times to discuss such theological concepts, but now is not that time. Now is the time to show that Church can be a place where abuse survivors are centered and valued.

  • Great article. I’m thinking they defend Duggar because so many men who are supposedly Christian have major problems with lust and they are sympathizing with him. So many of these men have sexual skeletons in their closets that I’d be willing to bet it’s the majority of them (conservatives). So many churches have sex addiction groups now where they teach that it’s a sickness like alcoholism. They have support groups for the spouses telling them their man can’t help himself. There is no accountability and the burden is placed on the spouses to get over it and be forgiving like a good Christian. It’s sickening.

  • Thank you for this post. I recently started my blog as a means to express my frustration of my own parents who are religious extremists and denied me medical treatment as a child when I was very sick (physical tho not mental). Called a sinner and evil cuz I was sick. Their lack of taking me to a doctor thus caused a snowball affect of me getting debilitating conditions one after another til I was bedridden and now forced to live with them 38 years later totally dependent upon people that still shun me all cuz I was sick, wore black, listened to rock and am as my dad put it “a liberal piece of shit”. It worries me that these kind of religious extremists do the things they do. It’s unacceptable. I was smart enough as a kid to not get sucked into it and left home as soon as I could. I don’t understand how they think. But it’s sick and hypocritical. Especially that they condemn others and are so full of hate. But use their religion as a reason for it. If I’m going to hell for being sick and wearing black, I wonder if we’re not all doomed. Lol. You gotta laugh at the hypocrisy. But my situation is no laughing matter. I’m now stuck bedridden relying on the very people I disowned 20 years ago.

  • I have purposely avoided reading commentary on the Duggar case. But I can see that the church is being reactionary once again. I think the whitewashing, etc was a response to the absolutely gleeful reaction of the mass media to the Duggars being proven hypocrites or sinners, who certainly cared nothing for the victims either.

    This was a ridiculously wrong and stupid tactic. We should NEVER react. Spokesman for the Christian culture are only damaging the public image by defending someone like this.

  • I’ve heard the “he was just a teenager” and “he went to counseling” defenses since this happened. What really gets me though is that he insists he’s been forgiven by Jesus. To me that sounds like a cop-out and a way to avoid taking responsibility. Unless Duggar has actual phone records of him talking to Jesus, I don’t buy it. He should be seeking forgiveness from the girls he molested, who were probably told in ATI-run counseling they were to blame and should try to live like Christ in order to make up for it. They’re the ones who were hurt the most by this. Not Josh Duggar.

  • Good post. I think if Duggar weren’t a “celebrity” he’d be ignored completely by the religious right or takes over the coals.

  • I wouldn’t and don’t defend either one of them.

  • This is very insightful! It needs to just stop.

  • The reason why Josh Duggar got a pass is because he is worth big money to the Christian Right in America. The other Josh was just somebody.

  • I use to like the Duggar family ,but now my heart goes out to the girls that he messed with.

  • This was a great read. It seems that in many cases, the perpetrator is not held responsible for their actions. No matter what your past is, if you make a conscious decision to hurt someone you should be held accountable. Should the victims forgive them? Yes, according to The Word. However, this is easier said than done. When you kill someone, they’re dead. Their life is over. That’s the end of their suffering. When you rape/molest a child their suffering is just beginning. They have to carry around that burden for days on end. They are put in a position where they can no longer trust others and no longer feel secure. Not saying that one sin is better or worse, but the victims have a different kind of suffering. Just something to think about. Neither perp should be defended in my opinion. People take The Lord and his grace/mercy for granted. Many of us think “Well if I sin, I can just ask for forgiveness so I will go ahead and whatever I want.” As if The Lord’s wrath is not real….. Smh

  • mylifeasahomeschoolinghousewife

    Great writing, thank you for this. It is insane what rich christians can and do get away with. I don’t see christians uniting together for the good of a homeless person or like in this article a for a young abused boy. Nope, everyone feels all forgiving and loving for the rich and famous guy, yet millions of hurting, poor, low social class, or just “undesirable” people are ignored and unloved. It breaks my heart.

    • I’m not sure which is more ridiculous: labeling Josh Duggar as “rich and famous” or saying that you haven’t seen Christians band together to help those in need. You’ve been hanging around the wrong crowd in a big way. If you’re going to argue, at least make an argument that has some logic behind it.

      And just to address everyone at once here, I haven’t heard anyone “defending” Josh Duggar’s actions – including him or the family. What bothers me is the number of people who refuse to recognize that he was not just a perpetrator, but also a victim of these loathsome ATI teachings, and as such deserves a bit less venom from those fortunate enough to have been raised in a normal home with normal education.

      • mylifeasahomeschoolinghousewife

        I sincerely only wish good things including love and forgiveness for Josh Dugger. I am a Christian and I have unfortunately noticed that their is favoritism and “clickishness” in the churches. He is in fact “rich and famous”, VERY much so. If you do not see the wealth and priveledge he has, then I don’t know how to show that to you. Not every homeschool family has such luxury and abundance, in fact most do not.

  • This really rouses deep reflection and it is really painful when these double standards are meted out by us “Christians”. How some are privileged and thus, their sins are easily erased, forgiven and waved away and those who are poor and without much social status don’t even merit a helping hand. Real shame! Thank you for the write up.

  • Reblogged this on (tH)InkSlinger and commented:
    …and more on the Duggar saga.

  • Reblogged this on jennyleemcd and commented:
    This could not be more true! What they BOTH did is so very wrong and BOTH are crimes they should be punished for! I am a Christian, but I do NOT agree with the crazy ones defending the Duggar family. If this family wasn’t famous, there would NOT be so many defending them.

  • Such a great piece you’ve written! Is here wit you. Mao many people are trying to explain away Josh Duggers crimes, because of who he is. Him and his family are well known and respected because of their show. Nevertheless, he committed a crime! I can’t imagine having to grow up near the person who molested you & your siblings. I understand people have faith. I’m also Christian, but I know for a fact If anything like this ever came out in church, that family would be expelled. That family would not be allowed to continue fooling everyone. A crime is a crime. I honestly do hope the victims are well and that they have forgiven him, so THEY can live a happy life. But I cannot understand how so many people are defending Josh Duggar.

  • Just a quick two cents from someone that was attacked by “just a teenager” as a very young girl- those wounds NEVER heal. Not completely, not with therapy. NEVER, and I am 40 years old. So anyone that can say that he was “just a teenager, and didn’t do it out of maliciousness or is not a predator” has never been a child victim to a sex crime. You know right from wrong at a relatively young age- and the whole “men lust” BS is not even in the same realm as pedophilia. Grown men that lust after grown women, or even other grown men is a far, far cry from some deviant that gets his rocks off on children. If he was fourteen and they were five? He was a grown up in comparison. And predators learn from a very young age how to manipulate those around them “he accepted Christ at age 7”- Oh, well then- he must be an exemplary individual and will never commit any crime. People may never judge him harshly. BAH- the idiocy of anyone that truly believes that maddens me! That is like saying ALL SINS ARE FORGIVEN, so go forth and sin all you want. Pretty sure that even in antiquity sex acts with a 5 year old was punishable by death ( I may have to check the historical accuracy of marriage, so I recant to say “all sex acts with a 5 year old, unmarried child”). With that being said, at least Duggar didn’t murder any of his victims. That sentence, in and of itself, should show you what utter contempt I have for ANY pedophile. As far as I am concerned the second Josh’s family should be sentenced right along side him. Faith based healing- for mental health issues? For dealing with the ramifications of rape? Pray all you want- but prayer alone was not going to save that boy and shame on everyone that suggested such tripe! Only people that have never suffered abuse at the hands of a sick individual would believe that would work. Ask William Petit how he feels about “faith based healing”. I bet he has some choice words, as would his family had they lived. I am just appalled that in today’s “enlightened society” that there are STILL people looking to belittle child sex abuse and sweep an atrocity of epic proportions under the rug. Sorry, I got a bit heated about it- but the entire situation is appalling, and hurtful to anyone that suffered from either situation.

    • You are incorrect in saying that anyone who says this has not been a victim. Just FYI. I was, and I stand by what I said. Not all boys who touch little girls grow up to be predators. I’m sick of having this argument with people who refuse to accept that anyone might ever NOT fit into the little box you’ve prepared for them. I’m going to leave this conversation now before I become unreasonably furious and just start raving.

  • I never said he would “grow up to be a predator”, at 14 he already was. If he had clubbed those little girls to death at 14, would he not have been a murderer? What makes him less of a predator? He was already old enough to know what he was doing was wrong, or he wouldn’t have been attempting to hide it.

    I never said that every person that was victimized grows up to be a predator- because there are plenty of us out there that have never perpetuated the cycle.

    As for an argument about being put into a specific “box”, maybe you should re-read what I wrote.

    It is one thing for young children to be curious together about the differences in anatomy, but when the ages are that disparate- it is a completely different situation. I am not talking about a 6,7, or 9 year old child here.

    Unless you were a 14 year old boy (or girl) that was doing the same thing to 5 year old little girls (or boys) then magically grew up to not only be able to forget what wrongs you had perpetuated on someone else- but no longer have the urge to commit those heinous crimes, then I guess I stand corrected. (Doubtful. Highly doubtful)

    • If you can’t recognize that a 14-year-old is still a child, let’s all hope you never have a teenager of your own. They are more responsible for their actions than a younger child, but less so than an adult. Their motivations and comprehension are not at an adult level, no matter how badly you want them to be so that you can feel justified in calling for their heads.

      • You, madam do not dignify a response. Yes, technically a child. But still old enough to know what they are doing is wrong. Obviously they are not at “adult level”, but still know what “molestation” means. I am done with the level of your ignorance at this point. Good day!

      • I haven’t the slightest doubt whatsoever that Josh Duggar never even heard the word “molestation,” or “sex,” and probably still didn’t know the proper names for private parts at the age of 14. Have you paid attention to anything about this story other than the actions reported? My whole point is that he, like all ATI kids and many other Fundy homeschoolers, had no frame of reference on his actions at all! I’m beginning to think you jumped into this conversation hearing nothing but “teenager molested little girls” and have just run with that. It would not surprise me in the least if he thought that by touching them, he was actually having sex with them, and that it wasn’t a big deal because they couldn’t get pregnant from it. This whole argument is based on how much responsibility we believe a perpetrator has when they are carefully insulated from any information whatsoever about their actions.

        No, I can promise you that Josh Duggar did not have the slightest idea what “molestation” means. Even at 14. That is a non-word among ATI followers.

      • What would you do if someone 14-15 like Josh famous or not molested your child, would you seek justice legally or just pray it away and hope it never happens again, and hide in shame. This has for me nothing to do with ones religion, their political afillation or how much money they have. This is the rights of children their rights not to be violated in any form, their right to be protected by their parents their rights for legal justice against a predator. At 14 boys and girl are aware of right and wrong. It’s my opinion that the Duggars wanted to minimize what their son did. I have read quite a bit of news on them, read the police reports, looked at the interviews and seen how they back track on some points. People keep throwimg out he who is without sin cast the first stone, they fail to read the whole passage it’s in Matthrew and the Duggars also have sinned by lying and casting judgment on others and of course you know what the Bible says about that. I will cheer when TLC finally says we are done with the Duggars forever and in some way it will be God’s judgment on them. They have a right to their lives but not on a reality show preaching what they do not practice

    • Rose, I was raised just as sheltered as the Duggars, maybe even moreso when it came to sexual matters, but I knew without a doubt that private parts were private. I didn’t know what molestation was, I didn’t know anything, not even names for anatomy. But I knew right from wrong and the very idea of touching another person would not have crossed my mind. We were extremely into modesty, just like the Duggars and for all the same reasons, and were embarrassed to even see each other naked. And at 14, I was not a child anymore. Kids in these families grow up very quickly in many areas and are given the responsibilities of adults. You cannot use these to excuse what Duggar did. That is a cop-out. There are thousands of us who grew up this way and never abused children, never even thought about it.

      • I HAVE NEVER TRIED TO EXCUSE WHAT HE DID!!! All I’ve said is that he is not necessarily a pedophile or a confirmed child molester because of it! And I stand by that statement. There is a big difference between knowing that something is “wrong” because Mom and Dad said that God said so, and knowing that something is wrong because it harms another person. That is my whole entire point, and if you don’t get it or don’t agree, too bad.

      • Everything you’ve said has excused and dismissed the severity of the perp’s actions, whether you meant to or not.

      • Blech. Some people just can’t see or hear anything beyond their own personal experience. Is negligent homicide as severe as plotted murder? Well, that depends on whether you’re the victim or the perpetrator. There’s a reason our justice system takes MOTIVATION into account. It’s ideal purpose is to find a balance. Clearly you people have none. Your mentality is what is wrong with this planet. Everything is black and white, punishment and revenge are the most important things whenever a wrong is committed, and you’re incapable of recognizing humanity on both sides. Josh Duggar was a victim as well as a perpetrator. The main concern here is the ATI teachings, since there’s no evidence other than your opinion that he continues to molest children. Thank goodness we aren’t all subject to your version of justice. It would be the Dark Ages all over again. “Off with their heads!!!”

  • Sin is sin. The difference is that one repented and stopped, the other didn’t. It’s so easy to point out anothers sin and while ignoring our own. It’s also easy to invoke emotional responses from folks using sensational reporting and misuse of the truth….. The ole bait and switch.

  • My apologies! I had NO IDEA that You, ROSE ASL were privy to EVERYTHING that went on in the Duggar home! I stand corrected!

    • I know the teachings. They apply universally to ATI families as well as many others, including my own. If you weren’t raised with that level of ignorance, you have no concept of the underlying issues here and will never understand the basics of this whole situation to begin with.

  • I don’t think the double standard is in what the crimes were. But in how they were released to the public. If Josh Duggar was not such a star in the public eye. Would his records have been released in this way? I am NOT however condoning what he has done. but after listening to the interview last night. Where Megyn Kelly talked to the Duggers. I truly think they handled the problem the best they could at the time. Being a parent I can sympathize on what they did. It’s not their fault that the case was not handled the right way when it did get reported. The real outrage should be that a sealed juvenile record was released to a tabloid. Now if I’m not mistaken that is a crime. But no-one is talking about that. And what we should take away from this is. Even with something as horrible as this happening in a family, that were still able to work through it. And show that with unconditional love and faith, a strong family can weather any storm.

  • I really appreciate this post. I honestly have been struggling to find words on why I do not think any sort of abuse is ok. Thank you for stating your opinon I really appreciate it because now I can have better words to say when people disagree with me on this subject

  • The supposed to be basic and the foundation of our society is the family but what is happening nowadays…we cannot be safe and comfortable anymore even in our own house….and the consequences of being a star or i would just say advantages of being a star…the world sympathizes because they’re star but what was the crime all about, can we just skip about it? thanks to media as a source of socialization but what is the impact of all this things happening to our future generation where our young children establishes their own identity and socialization…they might just say it is ok to commit a crime and there are some ways to to sort it out.where are our values and norms?

  • Standing Ovation to you! Very, very well said!

  • Reblogged this on talkingthisandthat and commented:
    I don’t believe in this double standard. Do you?

  • forensicsontheinternet

    I have worked for 35 years treating survivors of sexual abouse in conjunction with law enforcement and parole and probation. This article does not consider the different types of child molestation. There are those that experiment inappropriately. Then there are full time sexual predators of children. There is a huge difference. Murder and experimenting sexually, inappropriately, are not proper categories to juxtapose. Perhaps murder and sexual predation of childre are comparable in some manner.

    If Duggar’s sister can forgive him, and they do, why can we as a society not do the same.

    Then there are different types of murderers. From manslaughter to serial killing. When discussing forensics, psychology, and religious or spiritual beliefs, considering the “minutae” is essential.

    Thought provoking article, as you can see. Cheers and Blessings

  • Homeschoolers Anonymous is probably the most vicious group of hate filled people I have ever seen. I have never seen a group of people so seething with anger and making such wildly insane accusations as those at this site. You all act like the Duggars and ATI are condoning rape and incest, when nothing couldn’t be further from the truth. It has been said that the time would come when true Christians will be killed by those who think they are doing God a service, and you people will be at the front of the line with the stones.

    I know only the moderators will see this post, because they delete anything but their own echo chamber so they can create the illusion that homeschooling is responsible for all evil in the world. So, this message is for you moderators who will be held accountable in that day.

    • Homeschoolers Anonymous, like the rest of the world, is made up of an enormous variety of people, people in various stages of healing and maturing, many of whom have been deeply hurt, many of whom are bitter and resentful due to many different reasons, many of whom do not understand where other people are coming from, and many of whom are calmer heads who choose to refrain from engaging in very heated topics that do not directly concern them. If you think this site is bad, try bringing up the topic at a community event. You’ll get the exact some responses.
      We have to let other people be wrong sometimes if we want the freedom to express our opinion of what’s right.

    • Im no moderator and I see your post….. negativity does not need fuel

  • Reblogged this on K.E. Wilkinson and commented:
    Some things to ponder.

  • Pingback: Our Top 21 Most Viewed Posts of 2015 | Homeschoolers Anonymous

  • When I became aware of my child’s molestation by the young adult son of close friends and well respected members of my church, I asked some elders to get involved (HUGE mistake). It became evident that one of their primary goals was that we deal with it quietly and inhouse. Pressure was brought on me not to report to the police. When it became clear the only way my child would be able to get professional counseling was if the crime was reported, I thought all of the elders (including the young man’s parents) would agree it would have to be reported. Nope. I had a teacher I respected very much misquote Matthew 5:25 at me and insist that Jesus required that I deal with the situation outside of the courts. When I asked if he would say the same if his grandchild were to be raped or murdered, he said no. He had no answer when I asked why molestation is different.

    Sexual molestation is not considered a serious enough problem in a lot of the church, which is one reason it is spreading like Ebola. The church has proven itself to have no moral voice in regards to the sin of sexual abuse. It is my belief the Holy Spirit is truly grieved over this. I’m tired of hearing pastors preach on revival, when they should be calling the church to repentance for the way they’ve mishandled and covered up abuse.

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