Sunday, May 31, 2015
My Sunday Feeling
By now it seems like all of America has turned its lonely eyes to our little State in a combination of shock, disgust, and not a small amount of schadenfreude over the scandal concerning the downfall of virulent anti-gay activist Josh Duggar after it was revealed that he "made a mistake" as a young kid when he engaged in inappropriate touching of some of his sisters as they slept.
Of course, Josh is but 1/19 (I think. I confess that I'm not really paying attention.) of the notoriously fecund Duggar family who up until recently had their own "reality show" on TLC. I wrote "up until recently" as TLC has suspended the show in light of these allegations and Josh has resigned as president of something called the Family Research Council.
Full disclosure: I have never watched the Duggar's show "19 Kids and Counting." It is my understanding that it provides a platform for them to promote their ultra-conservative Christian values. But I would think that the main draw for viewers, especially those that have kids, is to see just how Jim Bob Duggar and his dutiful wife Michelle manage all of this.
I mean, I can't imagine there being much interest in inserting the camera into the average,say, United Methodist family, with homework, going off to a real school with other kids, soccer practice, piano lessons and the like being the average stuff the camera would record. My friends up the hill still have 4 in the house ranging in age from 16-8. Chaos, albeit happy chaos, prevails. But it's not a freak show.
19? My God. The mind reels.
Much has been written and will be written about this situation. And Jim Bob and Michelle are supposed to appear on Fox to discuss this matter, which has a chance to be fun.
I mainly have one question which I will get to after a brief recitation of the facts.
13 years or so ago, it was discovered that Josh had engaged in "inappropriate touching" of some sisters as they slept. Jim Bob did not notify the authorities. Rather, he sent the boy to Little Rock for counseling at a religious based center that was run at the time by a friend named Bill Gothard, who eventually resigned after allegations of sexual impropriety and harassment on his own part.
Except that Michelle says he didn't really go. She says he stayed with a family friend in Little Rock who was remodeling a house. Whatever.
Jim Bob also took Josh to an Arkansas State Trooper named Joseph Hutchens who supposedly gave the young man what was described as a "stern talk." Mr. Hutchens, as a law enforcement officer was required to report this to the child abuse hotline. He did not because the Duggars told him that only one sister was the object of Josh's curiosity. How do we know this?
Because that's what Hutchens told the coincidentally named tabloid Touch Weekly in an interview from prison where he is pulling 56 years for possession of child pornography.
Now I'm not sure that I would turn my kid over to the authorities under the circumstances. Josh's behavior may well be considered more inappropriate than criminal. I don't necessarily disagree with Jim Bob's thinking at the time. And I don't necessarily disagree with having a cop deliver a lecture to the young man. Countless young people have been diverted from trouble by a good talking to from a police officer.
But it strikes me as really curious that the only people that Jim Bob sought out for help in this matter turned out to have had troublesome allegations of sexual misconduct against them. What are the odds of that? Which leads me to my question.
How many sex offenders do you know and have ready access to, Gentle Reader?
And the Duggars are held out as exemplars of Christian family values?
I mean, really. Think about it.
How many sex offenders do you know?