Monday, May 25, 2015

Who Will Forgive Mike Huckabee?

Recently the Duggar family, the ever proliferating family on the popular TLC series 19 Kids and Counting, has found itself embroiled in a scandal when it was revealed that oldest son Josh Duggar molested underage girls back in 2002-2003. 

That by itself is not a good thing but can it be made even worse? Yes. Yes, it can. 

  • Josh's father, Jim Bob Duggar, knew back in 2002 that then 14 year old Josh was accused of sexually molesting an underage girl. 
  • Josh was accused of touching 5 underage girls inappropriately from 2002 to 2003. In other words, after Dad found out about it, it kept happening.  
  • By the way, some of the girls were his sisters.  
  • Police found out about all this in 2006 because someone found a letter in a book discussing these events. The Duggars did not bring this matter to the authorities; the authorities found out by accident. 
  • When confronted by the police about this in 2006, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar said they had disciplined their son about this behavior. Josh's parents said that Josh has been sent to a Christian program where he put in a lot of hard physical labor and received counseling; if that's what you call sending Josh to live with a family friend to help with a home remodeling business (which is what actually happened), well, sure. 
The day after Duggar admitted the allegation were true, TLC pulled 19 Kids and Counting from its lineup, which was one day too many for those disgusted by this whole affair. 

Sensing an opportunity, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee offered his support for the Duggar family and said that Josh Duggar should be offered forgiveness. 


Now here's the thing: in one sense, Huckabee (please don't hurt me for saying this) is right. Forgiveness of sins by God and by each other is a central bedrock of the Christian faith.  

But the problem is that bedrock is badly fractured. Too many hot headed firebrands of the evangelical ultra conservative right wing have made so many outrageous statements in judgement of other people for so long; vitriolic attacks on gays, Muslims, atheists, liberals, not to mention the President of the United States, a lot of them slung by Mike Huckabee himself, have really damaged the credibility of Christians when it comes to messages of love and forgiveness. Particularly to hear Mike Huckabee offer this olive branch of forgiveness to and for Josh Duggar rings especially hollow. Of course, Duggar should be forgiven, some may think, looking from the outside, he's one of their own.  

Maybe Duggar has genuinely felt remorse for what he has done and has actively applied himself to being a better person. But a crime was committed and the perpetrator of that crime did not have to answer for it in a court of law. You know, the same court of law where you and I would have to face judgement for our crimes ...unless you happen to know a Arkansas State Trooper  (as Jim Bob Duggar did) to help sweep things under the rug. 

The person I feel is most reprehensible in the whole sordid mess is Mike Huckabee. He saw a chance to score face time on TV which is a great thing if you're running for President. This same rat in a human suit who is not above pandering to the lowest elements of humanity, ignorance and fear, wants us to forgive Josh Duggar. 

And maybe we can and someday we will. After all, that is the foundation of not just the Christian faith but also of a just and equitable society. Sometimes we do wrong, we pay for those wrongs and then try to improve our lives so we won't do those wrongs again. Not being able to forgive is what fuels the fires of war in the Middle East. Not being able to forgive is what fuels the fires of distrust between citizens and police here in America. 

But poor, poor Mike Huckabee: who is going to forgive you? Well, I will. Mike Huckabee, I forgive you for being such a total dick. I but hope that you will accept my forgiveness and from that forgiveness, I hope you can go and be a dick no more. 

Be good to one another, everybody. 


UPDATED: 05/25/2015, 9:40 AM
Mike Huckabee digs himself into a hole on tax policy without realizing he's in a hole. For more on that, read this.


For an earlier post on the subject of forgiveness, click here for my take on the subject from June 29, 2014.  

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