On Sunday, Jessa Duggar’s father-in-law, Michael Seewald, spoke out in a lengthy essay where he defended admitted child molester Josh Duggar in perhaps the absolute worst way, even when compared to some of the other right-wing Christian defenses of the embattled kid-toucher.
According to Seewald, only consequences keep us from acting as Duggar did when he molested five children in their beds. Seewald said that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar “are to be commended” for their roles in covering up their son’s crimes, reporting them only to a law enforcement officer who is currently serving more than 50 years in prison for possession of photos of naked children.
“As it stands criminal charges were not brought against Josh but I believe that Josh’s parents acted in a way that godly parents should,” Seewald writes. After the Duggars discovered their son’s horrific actions, he was sent for treatment at a center run by a man who ultimately resigned after it was discovered that he was “sexually grooming” teens and young women.
According to Seewald, “we should not be surprised” that this happened in the Duggar home because of humankind’s “sinful nature.” After all, only the “mercy of God” keeps people from molesting children. In fact, according to Seewald, we should thank God if we have been spared the horrible experience of being violated in our beds by one of our siblings:
Many times it is simply lack of opportunity or fear of consequences that keep us from falling into grievous sin even though our fallen hearts would love to indulge the flesh. We should not be shocked that this occurred in the Duggar’s home, we should rather be thankful to God if we have been spared such, and pray that he would keep us and our children from falling.
“Though consequences are sometimes necessary and desired to uphold civil society and to bring temporary justice,” Seewald write, “Jesus forgives repentant sinners, real sinners: murderers, thieves, child molesters, homosexuals, self righteous church goers, the proud, liars, scoffers, atheists, hypocrites, and any other sinner or combination of them all.”
Yes, according to Seewald, the only thing that keeps humanity from engaging in widespread and wanton child-rape is the fact that offenders might be punished — or a lack of molestable children.
Perhaps it is time to be concerned with any children associated with the Duggar family. If Jessa’s father-in-law genuinely believes that emotionally and physically brutalizing children is a normal part of the human condition (until God steps in, often after-the-fact), one must worry about what will happen to kids who are subjected to that sort of lifestyle.
Already we know that, under the Duggars’ philosophy, victims are taught to blame themselves — after all, they are at fault if they dress immodestly, or have “evil friends,” or if they expose themselves. Children who are abused are taught that it is OK not to go to the authorities, as long as they tell their pastors or God what happened. In fact, there “is no ‘victim'” at all, as it is godly to “suffer for righteousness.”
Josh Duggar has decided that God has forgiven him — an assertion that seems to be fine with many Christians, including Seewald.
“I want to say that the Seewald family stands with the Duggar family in solidarity,” Seewald wrote. “I want to say to Josh, hang in there, the shame you feel is legitimate, yet Jesus took your shame as he was punished in your place.”
According to The National Center for Victims of Crime, 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are victims of sexual abuse. In the Duggar household, these statistics are much higher.
The Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence notes very high recidivism rates among child molesters. The Leadership Council points out that “follow-up studies typically find sexual recidivism rates of 10%-15% after five years, 20% after 10 years, and 30%-40% after 20 years,” but adds that “these numbers are conservative because not all offences are detected.” A review by the American Psychological Association found that “the research demonstrates that even sexual offenses against children that occurred long ago evince a continuing risk of recidivism by the offender.”
All of this is something that should frighten someone whose future grandchildren will likely be calling Josh Duggar “Uncle Badtouch,” but apparently the power of Jesus is strong enough to fix everything after the abuse occurs.
Featured image via Towelroad