Tale of two approaches

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For those who may think that the broo-haha surrounding the news on Josh Duggar is overblown, I guess it needs to be explained that when a family seems to make a career of judging others to the point of lying about them to do that, people do take notice when the biblical beam is found to still be stuck in that family’s own eye.

The Duggars paint certain people with the broad brush of predatory behavior and not being as “saved” as they are, while someone they claim to have raised properly has proven himself to be the very predator that they claim others to be, while they took steps to sweep it all under the rug.

When you claim that certain people “choose” a “lifestyle” that includes predatory behavior directed on the innocent, you also impugn those who raised them. You condemn the producer along with the product.

It gets worse when people discover that, in spite of claims of having dealt with it properly, it took two years to report the predatory activity to proper authorities, and that the counseling that was presented as a reason why no legal action need be taken turns out to be having sent the son to work for a friend in another city with no actual counseling having taken place. Adding to this that the predator then got a job with a very judgmental, conservative religious organization, and people just may see this as a fine example of hypocrisy and want to know the whole truth.

Five children, some his own sisters, are fondled by a self-righteous person who was raised to be so by his self-righteous parents.

But now that they have lost their TLC program that had presented them as the opposite to what they really are, it could be that there will be those who, while unforgiving of others who may be guilty of lesser offense, if not outright fictitious ones, will offer support while claiming that it is nothing more than religious persecution and a hypocritical attack on First Amendment free speech rights.

The former Arkansas governor and erstwhile presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, who also passes judgment on others and how they have raised their kids while protecting his own son from punishment for having tortured animals, is defending the questionable actions of the family surrounding the abuse and said he wanted to “affirm” support for the family.

“Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, ‘inexcusable,’ but that doesn’t mean ‘unforgivable. No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story. Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things. The reason that the law protects disclosure of many actions on the part of a minor is that the society has traditionally understood something that today’s blood-thirsty media does not understand—that being a minor means that one’s judgment is not mature.”

He conveniently forgets that the parents’ judgment was mature, and they did what they could to protect the son with no regard for his victims, sweeping it all under the rug.

He likes the family, but seems to have little, if any, concern for the victims. Of course, the family’s endorsing his run for president this time around might hold more weight than the victims.

According to Huckabee, “No one needs to defend Josh’s actions as a teenager, but the fact that he confessed his sins to those he harmed, sought help, and has gone forward to live a responsible and circumspect life as an adult is testament to his family’s authenticity and humility.”

If only the confession had come before he was found out, not after the report on his actions was uncovered; if only the counseling his father assured legal authorities was real was not just hard physical labor helping a family friend remodel a house; and if only an actual investigation had been done as opposed a “very stern talk” with his father and a policeman friend that took place at his home.

His action was not a sin so easily forgiven, but a crime that needed to be addressed as there were victims, unlike with many sins.

Huckabee also found fault with

“Those who have enjoyed revealing this long ago sin in order to discredit the Duggar family have actually revealed their own insensitive bloodthirst, for there was no consideration of the fact that the victims wanted this to be left in the past and ultimately a judge had the information on file destroyed—not to protect Josh, but the innocent victims.”

Obviously, he feels that it is wrong to attempt to tarnish the reputation of a “good boy” from a “good family” while he seems to have no problem finding fault with those who are concerned for the victims.

As the Duggars themselves have stated,

“Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes, and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before.

Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles every day. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God’s kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us – even though we are so undeserving. We hope somehow the story of our journey – the good times and the difficult times – cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything.”

They claim things have been forgiven by God, with no proof other than their word for it, so things are just fine. Even the victims should be happy that God loves the Duggars

And then there is this.

A new bill introduced to committee in the Maine Legislature seeks to deny welfare and food stamps to anyone with a felony drug conviction.

And the conviction could be the result of a onetime thing.

You could have been at a party, tried something for the first and only time, and then the raid happened. A party gone bad after you finally gave in to see what the drug was like.

You could have even been in a car that was pulled over with no idea what was in the trunk until the police found it.

You did the time and paid your debt to society in a real place, not working for your father’s friend.

In Maine your only recourse is executive clemency, and Maine Governor Paul LePage has made it clear that people with drug or DUI convictions can forget it. He has urged lawmakers to push the bill through so Maine can stop spending tax dollars on people displaying “reprehensible personal behavior.”

The people who did the time are not only going to be denied assistance, but their children could be denied it as well merely for being someone’s kid.

In this case, though, even claiming God’s forgiveness won’t be of any help.

So you have two situations.

One allows you to commit a heinous crime repeatedly over time, have your family shield you from due process, label it a sin, claim God has forgiven you and so, then, should society, and you are done.

The other, in spite of it possibly being a onetime victimless act, and even after doing the time for the crime, stays not only with you, but can affect your whole family for years to come no matter how far back the crime was committed. It is not a sin that people will accept God has forgiven you for. It is something that even the God fearing will never detach from you.

Shouldn’t the words of Mike Huckabee apply to both cases?

“Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things”.

Nah.

You’re talking about loud, ostentatious religious people in one case and about, well, people who don’t throw their religion around in the other.

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