As if the light in the room was slowly being extinguished

Teresa MacBain is finding the reporting on Josh Duggar harrowing; it resonates with her experience as a pastor.

I couldn’t shake the deep sorrow that I felt (and feel) for his victims, and the outrage at the way some Christians are ignoring the victims and excusing Duggar’s behavior. Five precious children fell victim to abuse, yet very few are speaking up for them. This is why I can’t remain silent.

It’s really quite astonishing how thoroughly the victims are being ignored and indeed negated by the Christian fans of the Duggars.

Teresa has one pastoral experience burned into her memory:

I received a call from an elderly parishioner one summer day many years ago. She asked me to come by for a visit, which happened often. I’d spent many hours at her home over the years and didn’t think anything of her invitation. .As I walked into her home, I could sense that something wasn’t quite right. Her usual cheerful, bright demeanor was replaced with deep sadness and grief. It felt as if the light in the room was slowly being extinguished. There, in her living room, she opened her mouth to speak, but tears began to stream down her face instead. Once she composed herself,  she told me about her recent discovery that her 6-year-old granddaughter had been sexually molested by her 13-year-old cousin. Pastors are taught to remaining calm and in control, but that ‘skill’ couldn’t keep me from weeping as I sat with this broken-hearted grandmother. I was horrified then and I’m horrified now.

Sorrow is the right response; sorrow for the people harmed; not sanctimonious joy at the redemption of the perpetrator.

This isn’t a lemons into lemonade situation.


  1. grumpyoldfart says

    They’re not trying to get Josh Duggar off the hook. They don’t give a stuff about Josh Duggar. They’re trying to defend their religion.

    Ray Comfort has made the most obvious attempt yet. He says Josh Duggar wasn’t even a Christian at the time of the rapes. He says Josh wasn’t a real Christian until he asked god to forgive him.

    Standing by my friend Josh Duggar, as a brother in Christ. This was in his BC days. Such were some of us.

    So Christianity is off the hook. That’s the important thing. Stuff the Duggars. Stuff their problems. As long as Christianity isn’t involved; that’s all Christians want.

  2. iknklast says

    grumpyoldfart: And it doesn’t matter what they do or when they do it. Obviously they weren’t a Christian when they did that, because no Christian would ever do that. No matter that they’ve been a Christian their whole life. They just stand and ask Jesus into their hearts (after the nastiness is revealed) and that is when they become a Christian. So, they publicly welcomed Jesus into their heart seventeen times over the past few years? That didn’t matter. This is the one that counts. At least until they do something horrible again, then they have to once again REALLY ask Jesus into their hearts this time.

    It’s a nice argument for them. A real Christian wouldn’t do that sort of thing; obviously, he was not a real Christian at the time.

  3. lorn says

    To me the irony is that Josh Duggar, because it became about ‘Getting right with God’, avoided therapy that could have closed the issue for him psychologically, avoided more molestations, and creation of more victims. Real counseling and therapy, as opposed to handing the kid over for hard labor and a stern talking to by a state trooper who later got convicted of kiddie porn, has a very high success rate for offenders caught early enough. Adult sex offenders are often considered irredeemable but most were salvageable if caught young.

    Treatment for sex offenders is not just about saving them. It is about preventing them from causing more harm.

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