AR--Huckabee defends sex offender; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Friday, May 22
Shame on GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee for defending Josh Duggar by attacking those who report on his admitted abuse and using inflammatory words like “bloodlust.”
In a Facebook post, Huckabee wrote"(Josh) and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities.” That’s a disingenuous statement and a reckless assumption.
It’s disingenuous because Duggar’s parents waited a year before contacting law enforcement about these crimes. Hiding child sex crimes for a year is hardly “open and honest.”
And it’s reckless because Huckabee doesn’t really know whether the Duggars were “honest” with secular authorities about this tragic situation.
“No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story," Huckabee claims. Those who commit and conceal child sex crimes often make this claim: that no good comes from talking about abuse and cover up. We believe just the reverse.
And history, psychology and good sense suggest otherwise. The more our society discusses, debates and discloses child sex crimes, the safer kids will be. Silence helps wrongdoers. Silence hurts kids.
In his Facebook post, Huckabee repeatedly bashed the media for showing "insensitive bloodthirst" in dredging up things that occurred when Duggar was underage.
It may not be too late to pursue charges against Duggar’s parents or others, possibly for endangering kids, destroying evidence, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, failure to report suspected abuse or other related offenses. We urge law enforcement officials to work hard investigating this case. And we urge pundits like Huckabee and others to put the healing of victims, the safety of kids, the punishment of wrongdoers, the deterring of cover ups ahead of their personal views of or feelings towards their ideological or personal friends.
Finally, Huckabee is wrong to talk forgiveness at this point. Forgiveness is a personal, private choice. Endangering kids is an irresponsible public act. That’s what the Duggar family apparently did.
A victim can choose to forgive their predator. That's admirable. But I can't knowingly allow him the chance to hurt others. That's irresponsible.
If we allow a convicted drunken driver to get behind the wheel of a school bus filled with kids, is that forgiveness or folly?
It’s painful when some misunderstand and misapply the notion of forgiveness in ways that lead to putting other innocent kids and vulnerable adults in harm's way again, even in cases of proven, serial, predatory behavior by dangerous men.
One other quick point: we forgive after, not during, wrong-doing. In many instances, even now, the church hierarchy continues to act secretively, callously and recklessly, which makes it extremely hard for some victims to even begin thinking about forgiveness. If it becomes clear that Duggar’s family is not still hiding child sex crimes, then and only then will it be time to consider forgiveness.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Mike Huckabee Goes To Bat For Josh Duggar Amid Molestation Allegations
By CATHERINE THOMPSON Published MAY 22, 2015, 12:07 PM EDT 7909 Views
Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) on Friday rushed to the defense of Josh Duggar, the eldest child of the family made famous by TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" who is now publicly facing allegations that he molested young girls when he was a teenager.
"Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, 'inexcusable,' but that doesn’t mean 'unforgivable,'" Huckabee wrote in a Facebook post. "He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities. No purpose whatsoever is served by . . .
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.