AR--Huckabee defends sex offender; SNAP responds

For immediate release: Friday, May 22

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, [email protected])

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

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected])


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  . . .  

Read full article here

Showing 3 comments

  • Kitten_Pile
    commented 2015-05-29 18:17:25 -0500
    @ Jean Harlow

    There is no evidence that anyone involved received effective counseling, Josh or his victims. There are no bank statements, no role calls, no actual evidence that any of those things happened. Only assertions. Please, if you can find any evidence, let me know. And, no, Gothard summer camp is NOT effective counseling for a confessed child sex offender. (

    Secondly, and more importantly:
    Many criminals have families. Some criminals are also famous. I know the father of the American Taliban kid. That trial was a big deal, and yes, his family name was dragged through the mud. It was a traumatizing experience for him. None of these facts mean that criminals should be free from investigation into their crimes. None of these facts mean the media is obligated to go easy on them. If this were about a serial killer, I doubt you would be making the claims you are.

    The criminal justice system exists for a broader purpose than mere rehabilitation – it also exists for the purposes of punishing and deterring crimes. Neither of which can be accomplished merely by letting confessed criminals go to counseling; skipping over an actual public trial where they must confront their victims and a sentence issued by members of the community.

    Follow me along on this hypothetical: the Zodiac Killer is caught tomorrow. These homicides were serial crimes that happened a long time ago and (supposedly) he hasn’t re-offended. It turns out the killer is a famous lefty’s grandfather (let’s go with: Rachel Maddow), and moreover, the she knew this and did not tell the authorities until the statute of limitations expired. But, once she did, she told a cop from the local coven who was a family friend. The cop then sat down with and told the Zodiac Killer simply to seek counseling from his local pagan priest who was covered under the clerical exception for admissible evidence. The pagan priest told him if he sacrificed a bull on the next harvest moon, ye olde gods would forgive him as long as he never killed someone again. The cop was later arrested for concealing a pagan animal abuse ring from his superiors. Rachel Maddow never tells anyone else.

    Even 20+ years later, when this all came to light: Rachel Maddow would be implicated, the family would be heavily criticized through the media, and all of the above would absolutely deserve it.
  • Jean Harlow
    commented 2015-05-23 10:57:25 -0500
    Mr. Clohessy says that the abuse that happened over a decade ago should be brought out into the open, because it protects society. This attack against Mr. Duggar hurts the family more. We can talk about sexual abuse without dragging families into the mix. By attacking Josh for something he did over a decade ago doesn’t change anything. Josh and his victims received counciling, and the abuse WAS disclosed to the authorities, so it wasn’t covered up.

    However, looking at how the media is attacking the family, it’s no wonder why they and so many others don’t want to have abuse disclosed. This is a reason why many victims chose not to disclose abuse – because it was a family member who abused them and they don’t want to see their family member go through this. All the victims want, is to be believed and for the abuse to stop!

    Instead of attacking a person who got help and hasn’t reoffend since (familia offenders have one of the lowest rates of reoffense), how about we find ways to stop and prevent sexual abuse without dragging families through the mud in the media…
  • @ tweeted this page. 2015-05-22 16:46:06 -0500

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant