Josh Duggar: Who Will Join the Crucifixion March (Hammer & Nails Not Included)

© thefamilyleadershipsummit

Weighing in on the Duggar story is something I was not going to do. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is my decision in past public hype, to stay out of it. I tire quickly of it. And the whole thing, in most cases, is media driven poison that is detrimental to healing and hope. Therefore it doesn’t interest me, because healing and hope are my mission.

I work with abuse victims and I am an abuse victim, well, an overcomer now, but I was victimized many times. And I, like many of my clients, was violated by family members. I also have very close friends who were sexually molested by family members. And we do not all agree with bold statements being made on our behalf, about how victims feel with Josh Duggar. That’s actually the thing that tipped me ‘over the edge’ into writing about it, a bold statement on behalf of victims. And I, as a victim, do not support much of what I read and I’m hoping I can offer some hope and healing. Besides, I needed to sleep tonight, and writing is how I usually ‘clear my chest’.

Having been victimized and now working with victims, I occasionally end up in front of offenders when I support a victim who is confronting their abuser or alleged abuser, and I serve as mediator. Other times I work with the offenders who seek help for the crimes committed. (If victims are under 16, I report. If not, the voice has to be theirs, and they decide if they wish to report or not.) Sometimes my gizzard gets all in a tangle about the offender–whether a family member of the victim or not–even the ‘very young’ one, because there is an arrogant and unrepentant heart, usually exposed by denial and excuses. And sometimes they are ‘repentant’ when confronted, and then spend the rest of their lives finding ways to bully and blame the victim. These are dangerous offenders. There is nothing of their behaviour that makes me believe they wouldn’t offend again, and I’m all for dealing accordingly.

There are times, however, when the offender is repentant and humble, and their behaviours support repentance. They are broken, and make no excuses, wanting only for their victims to find help. I’ve worked with both, and the latter evoke something very different in my heart and spirit than the former.

In both cases there are consequences for both the victim and the offender. In both cases there are wounds and scars, guilt and shame, and always, always brokenness. Molestation is always damaging. That is the harsh reality of it, no matter the situation, the repentance, the brokenness. I do not downplay that.

However, that does not always mean that a family should be ripped apart and the victim and offender be kept apart for life. I do not believe in pushing the ‘forgive, forget and move on’ agenda to provide a quick cover up and push the consequence on the victim that way and make it the victim’s problem to ‘let it go’. That is wicked beyond wicked, and often does even more damage than the initial abuse, from what victims tell me. But I do believe in ‘forgiveness with boundaries’. I do believe that the offender should not be alone with the victim or other vulnerable (younger) children. It is on the part of wisdom to protect the children, and ensure there are no questionable or risky situations. That’s not genius; it’s the most basic of common sense. Unfortunately still missed by many.

Where the Duggar case goes south for me in a hurry, is the vehement judgement from people everywhere, considering that Josh has made no excuses for his sins and crimes. I was molested by a fifteen year old, and I have no desire to see him dragged through the legal system for what he did to me than I have to see Josh dragged through. My offender apologized and owned it. Unfortunately he did much worse to others over the same time, and refuses to this day to take ownership for those crimes, therefore I do not trust him at all. If those victims decided to take him to court, I’d be there to support them. I never trust an offender who does not own the wickedness of his/her crimes against another, and finds ways to put the crimes on the victim. That is deserving of punishment and legal justice.

I am not a ‘Duggar fan’. I’ve not watched them, even once, or followed their story. I do not care if their show ever airs again or not, on a personal level. It’s simply never interested me. But I do care about truth and justice, and justice and mercy, and I do have a problem with the media attacking Josh and the Duggars and the general public chiming in with no apparent compassion. And the reason for my feelings are multifaceted: 1. Josh was a minor. 2. Jesus changes lives. 3. Victims should have some input, or they simply become victimized again, and their voices are taken away… again. (And it makes me cross, to be honest, to see some of what is being said about ‘victims’ out there and how molestation destroys us for life. Also not true. I am not destroyed; I am empowered. So, if you’re not one, don’t decide for us. If you are one, decide for yourself.)

What Josh did was very wrong. He ‘owned’ that. He has made no excuses, that I’ve seen or heard. He has not blamed his victims. And he was a minor. Fourteen, my friends. Fourteen… That is incredibly young! In my home right now I have a thirteen year old, and he is very young. He has the advantage of talking openly with me and daddy about sex, but even so, he is very young.

Even where I was victimized, there is no way anyone will convince me that the fifteen year old who violated me fully understood, or understood at all, the consequences of his actions. I’m sure he knew what he did was wrong, but understanding what it was he did to me… not possible. So I forgive him, with boundaries.

When I see Christians throwing their rocks at Josh, it troubles me. I am a believer in Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus died for all my sins. I believe that He transforms lives, and that people change. Even those who molested. If Jesus cannot do that, then He is neither God, nor the Messiah. Then Christianity is a farce. Either He can save and restore all, or He can save and restore none. There is no middle ground.

The popular belief of ‘once a molester, always molester’ is a tragic life sentence to put on anyone, and a slap in the face of God/Jesus. And I do not support it. I never have, and I never will. Admittedly I feel most hope for those who come forward on their own with their sins, repent, and ask for help. I also feel hope for those who are caught at a young age and are forced to get help. They have the advantage of not establishing life patterns. And the manipulative, lying ones… they’re not repentant or looking for change; I am not speaking of them.

But the notion that they are all molesters for life is not truth. I doubt we can begin to grasp the impact that kind of teaching has on people. So I will look every young offender in the eye, if they are repentant, and tell them I believe in them. I want them to believe in themselves. I want them to believe they can overcome and are not sentenced to a life of crime. I want them to set a higher standard for themselves. And I want them to look to God, through Jesus, for that strength. I want them to understand consequences and comply with the laws of the land, because it is scriptural, but I want them to know they can be free, that they never have to do it again. So, yes, I am willing to swim upstream and speak against the tide of judgement, condemnation and hopelessness. Because I believe in God, and what He can do.

If I understand right, Duggars removed Josh from the home for a while. No doubt they were reeling in shock, uncertain what to do. They should have reported right away, true. And, yes, it took them a year, but Mr. Duggar turned his own son in for his crimes. That is unheard of. I work with sexual abuse almost daily. Even on weekends I get messages and emails. Never, in my five years of working closely with sexual abuse–or my twenty-five years of speaking openly about it and listening to stories–have I heard of a father turning in his own son. And as a young teen. Not until now. (Note and addition: In this paragraph, in particular I had some inaccurate information. I have addressed these things in a follow up Blog: “The Duggars; a Few Things… And a Secret of My Own” I have posted the link again, below.)

And if I think back fifteen years to when this happened, the topic was not open like it is today, which makes that reality doubly shocking. In many ways they acted ahead of their time, and from what I can find and read, seem to have done all that they knew to do, and more than most would have done. For that reason, along with what seems a humble and repentant heart in Josh, not to mention my faith in Jesus Christ, I cannot and will not join the crucifixion march. I am appalled at what I see and hear from Christians on this matter and I cannot help but wonder what we have done with Jesus, and what He would do with this situation. He looks very differently on the repentant heart that is open about sins than the hidden thing. (And if you’re going to cry ‘but they hid it’, let me remind you that they went to the police, and he was a minor protected by law from public exposure, if I understand correctly.)

I write this as someone who struggled through the confusion and aftermath of having a teenage boy rub himself all up against me, groping me, grabbing me and doing things to my body I never wanted done. Please don’t decide for those of us who were victimized, how we should heal and that all those who offended us at a young age should be marked for life. Some of us want them to get help and go on and live whole lives, if they are repentant. And please don’t tell me my Jesus isn’t big enough. I won’t buy into that lie. And I hope Josh doesn’t either.

And, for the sake of those who hold the hammer and nails for his crucifixion march, let me repeat, I do not believe in cheap forgiveness. I believe in forgiveness with healthy boundaries and protection, and for the victims to be empowered to heal. And I believe victims should not be forced to have a close relationship with their offenders, even if they are family members, and if the scars are so deep that psychological trauma results from being near the offenders, they should have the liberty to keep a safe distance. But all of us do not want that.

I will end with this; I am healed and whole. And as a healed and whole adult, I have a very healthy and mutually respectful relationship with several of the individuals who touched me inappropriately as young teens. I have forgiven all other offenders as well, but I do not feel safe around them, because they did not take ownership of their crimes, and I have no desire for a relationship. With my father I kept safe boundaries for myself and our children, even after he asked me to forgive him. It was my responsibility to do that, and take care of my family; those are consequences. He was my father, and should have protected me. As a father, and as an adult, he violated that trust. Still, I sat by his hospital bed in the last two years of his life, held his hands, and cried with him and told him I loved him. It was healing for both of us, and set me more free than I’ve ever been, and it gave back my voice (or ‘power’, as some say it).

So please don’t sentence teenagers to a life of crime with thoughtless judgement. If ever he offends as an adult, I’ll offer no defense. I’ll still not let you borrow my hammer and nails, but I will understand the outcry. Until then, I will thank God for His grace in my life, and do my best to extend it to others.

And please don’t rob us, as victims, of that deepest healing, where we reclaim our voice by offering forgiveness in a way that gives life to our spirits. I know most, if not all of my clients would echo this. I’ve not had many (if any) who did not want to extend forgiveness with boundaries they were comfortable with. And I’ve not had any clients who, when I finished working with them, were not healed, whole and confident adults who reclaimed their voices, yet offered forgiveness. That freedom is what Jesus came to offer, so I will boldly declare it, even if it means swimming up stream… alone… through a crowd.

Follow up Blog: Here

Love,
~ T ~

Ps. For those who read how a teen rubbed himself against me and groped me, and presume I have no concept of ‘real’ victimization, I refer to that isolated case here b/c of the age comparison. Two things: that *is* real victimization, and I went through a lot more ‘hell’ than all that. In my book Between 2 Gods; a Memoir of Abuse in the Mennonite Community I tell of repeated molestation and later being raped in my teens. I understand abuse. And my first ‘passion’ is *always* compassion and care for victims. There is never excuse for molestation.

© Trudy Metzger

July 9 – 12  Pennsylvania:
I plan to be in Lancaster Pennsylvania, July 9 – 12. To receive updates on where I will be speaking, join our email list by sending your name and email address via my “Contact Trudy” page. I would love to meet you if you’re in the area!

180 thoughts on “Josh Duggar: Who Will Join the Crucifixion March (Hammer & Nails Not Included)

  1. jezziebezzie May 23, 2015 / 2:15 am

    I am very glad that you are healed & whole because I can’t imagine how triggering a super publicized event like this must be for those still dealing with being victimized.

    The only thing I wanted to address was that you don’t know a lot about this family. I watched originally believing them to be a nice, Christian Family … But then something (I honestly don’t remember what) made my personal “Spidey Senses” tingle.

    I began to research them. Fairly extensively because I like to be certain that my opinion is informed & well-rounded. And I was horrified!

    They essentially belong to a Patriarchal Cult. Bill Gothard, the head of their Church is himself accused of molesting girls. You can find charts & lists online this family follow called “Character Qualities” that essentially dictate women to be completely subserviant to their “headship”.

    The girls in the family wear rings … Not just as Purity Rings, but that bind them to the Head of the Family until they are GIVEN by their father to their husbands. Mates are chosen by parents & presented to the adult children. They aren’t permitted to date, only to “court”. Courting means they intend to marry & soon. They are ALWAYS chaperoned & never touch.

    Once engaged, they are permitted to hold hands & to “side hug” for a moment when saying hello & goodbye. But they are still chaperoned at all times. They are “instructed” by their parents to save their first kiss (and everything else) until after marriage. And that marriage is a “Covenant Marriage”, which means divorce is more difficult & not anticipated. When married, the husband is now the “headship” of the family that the woman must follow.

    This is what the Women is this family have been instructed from birth. They are instructed to “Keep Sweet” at all times. They are TOLD to always be cheerful.

    One of the facets of this “cult” the Duggars follow are the Child Rearing practices of Michael Pearl. They have posted material from his book & used his key phrases on the show. I’m not certain the D’s practice this, but one segment of “To Train Up A Child” by Pearl suggests a method called “blanket training”. An infant is placed on a baby blanket with a toy just out of reach. Every time the baby instinctually reaches for the toy, they are HIT until they learn to stop & submit to the will of the mother! Pearl even advocates hitting a child with a piece of plumbers pipe!

    When a child is raised like this & then you hear today that the “Victims accept the apology”, you have to wonder about it. Do they know any different? Do they know if they are allowed to express if they aren’t feeling ok? That this DID impact them? The son got “sent away” for a few months. What did they do to help those girls? Pray with them? Make them pray for their brother?

    They believe they must dress modestly because THEY are responsible for stirring up “urges” in men if they don’t. I’ve been deeply worried for a long time over the girls in this family, but knowing this has happened now? I’m heartsick.

    • Trudy Metzger May 23, 2015 / 9:35 am

      Thank you for this; I appreciate your candidness. By no means am I interested in defending the Duggars. From the little I saw and read, I cannot and do not support them or their show. As to the family, I write with relative ignorance, which is why I said little about them. (And since you used ‘spidey sense’ I will tell you that is what I got every time and everything in me rose up in ‘shivers’ about something and I wasn’t interested in spending time on it. So you’ve confirmed some of that. Thank you.) Your last two paragraphs are the source of great trauma for victims, to be sure, and are very wrong. I pray for my past abusers, by choice, but being ‘brainwashed’ like that and have it put on them is very wicked. (I think I say a bit about that in my blog.) I am not addressing those things in the blog, or defending them. I’m simply talking from a perspective of actions taken in the past on a legal and reporting level…

      So as not to be misunderstood on this one hting–and it was very hard to write this blog and cover all the bases–I do not defend offenders who are not sorry, and those who are sorry ought to to still follow the laws of God and the land, and I still will not defend them. However, if they have done this, and reported, then there is a time to let the victims heal, or we traumatize them all over again. It simply is not fair to the victims to take their voice/power away by deciding for them what should be done. I am a firm believer in that. It is unfortunate they waited a year, but they still did the right thing. Unless i”m missing something, I do not understand the hype and accusations. And if even one victim wanted to press charges, I’d support the victim. But right now we are disrupting their healing and it grieves me.

      Thank you again, you’ve brought some good things to the discussion and I really hope the Duggar children get help for the impact of the molestation, and whatever destruction has come from how it was handled at home.

      • Rose May 24, 2015 / 1:38 am

        Jessiebezzie is greatly taking things out of context and twisting/ slandering Bill Gothard, the Pearls & the Duggar family. But that is to be expected when Christians do great things for God!

      • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 10:42 am

        Rose, there is validity to the concerns over Gothard and Pearls. That’s not to say there isn’t some good things, but they get lost in the dreadful misrepresentation of God, through endorsing violent behaviour. People who embrace it, have that right, but there are some very alarming teachings and realities there for many of us.

      • Teresa L. Cox May 24, 2015 / 9:57 pm

        I so LOVED how you were able to put into words, the feelings I had on the subject. Christian s can be offenders….they are obviously going against their beliefs when they molest but the can repent and make amends…..I really felt that josh did that….I thank you for reminding people that it is the offended’s right to decide how when or if their story is told….that right was stripped from those 5 girls…..and that is what probably breaks my heart the most….

      • Sandy May 25, 2015 / 1:53 am

        Jezziebezzie is not giving an accurate description AT ALL of the Duggars. It is very similar to a lot of other posts I have read all over social media who are downing the Duggars and what they stand for. Everything is greatly exaggerated. The Duggars are very soft-spoken, meek, loving, humble people. They don’t force their children to follow all of the rules of dating/courtship that are described above. The Duggar children decide for themselves what standards they will have in their relationships. There are no arranged marriages. The parents do not select who their children will court. And the notion that the Duggars would abuse their babies by doing this “blanket training” is absolutely ludicrous!! Their beliefs and the way they live their lives are based on the bible/biblical principles, plain and simple. They are decent people who have raised a decent responsible family! It amazes me how things can get so distorted.

      • losingmyfaithandmind May 25, 2015 / 11:11 am

        I clicked on your ‘contact’ link on your website to send you thoughts privately – but wanted to say again, i appreciate your article. It would be good for all children and their families to safely seek help for problems – but a “big government” makes doing that very difficult or find effective help w/o becoming a part of a database and fear of the power they wield – the power to take your children. – William Cowper

      • Sarah May 25, 2015 / 11:42 am

        Actually, what Jessiebezzie reports is accurate. My cousins were completely involved in ATI for several years, the cult that is run by Bill Gothard. All four of my cousins (and their parents) have left and cannot even believe how brainwashed they were by it. They are reformed, but forever scarred by some of the things they experienced. Instinctual abuse is rampant in this cult. It’s disgusting and sad.

      • heidi1021 May 25, 2015 / 7:49 pm

        Thank you JEZZIEBEZZIE! You said everything I wanted to say. That Gothard book makes me physically sick. To treat any human how they condone treating your children is disgusting. If you were to do half of that to an adult you would be doing decades in prison. There’s no way those children (being raised how they were) would be allowed to have an opinion other than “yes, sir” when asked if they were comfortable with Josh in the house. It’s ridiculous that they have to be put through this, and the father turning him in, he only did so to a corrupt police officer who is now doing 57 years in prison for child pornography so rather than prosecute like he should have he merely gave him a “stern talking to”, not that the girls would have been allowed to testify against him.

      • Mary May 26, 2015 / 8:04 am

        Sandy and Teresa reply like they know the Duggar family. Unless you live with them you cannot say what they would or would not do.. They “appear” to be very sweet…. when the cameras stop rolling…. no one knows..My heart goes to the victims and the rest of the girls in the family. .

    • Kirsten May 23, 2015 / 9:51 am

      Most of what you just described is not a cult, it’s Biblical!!

      • Trudy Metzger May 23, 2015 / 10:25 am

        I will need to do some more research, but the whole thing of being bound to the father until marriage… That’s not a ‘biblical’ concept, I don’t think, is it? And I think I know my Bible very well, but may have missed it. I have worked with clients from ‘extreme’ patriarchal situations and being a ‘daddy’ is one thing… ‘owning’ a daughter is another and does dreadful damage to the mind and spirit. Even my very Conservative Mennonite background didn’t cross that line, from what I saw. And ( realize now, having seen the extreme a few times–though not often–that was a blessing. As to the ‘cult allegations’ I would need to do a lot more reading and studying to call it that, but I do think there are (at the very least) some seriously unhealthy things there. (And links are popping up everywhere for me…. I just can’t keep up reading them all, and wasn’t trying to open that can of worms.)

      • Ruth May 23, 2015 / 1:11 pm

        I agree with Kristen its Biblical and How the bible tells us to raise our children. I don’t believe everything on the internet but I do like to read other peoples opinions/ testimonies. But when they think that purity, courting and not kissing or touching is unheard of or must be a cult has definitely not read the Bible. Thank you for the article I am a Dugger fan and think this is a sad situation not too many shows out there with Godly Principles and I know that people were looking for a way to get God off tv. Just like everything else. GOD bless the USA

      • Trudy Metzger May 23, 2015 / 1:25 pm

        We also teach purity. With that teach in we teach our children that their identity is found in God, not in perfect attaining. If one would come to us–which we don’ hope for–and announced a baby out of wedlock, we would walk it out with love. Our children all have the option of a blessing party where they receive a purity ring or chain. But it is up to them. Teaching our children and controlling them are two different things. (Not saying the Duggars control; I really am not familiar enough with them to make bold statements.) Are those ‘purity’ teachings the things that make most critics label them as a cult, speaking of those who do? I didn’t get that sense from comments.

        I will say that extreme patriarchal control is not biblical, but ‘fathering’ with love and compassion is biblical.

      • Ruth May 23, 2015 / 1:21 pm

        P.s. I don’t have spidy senses I have Holy Spirit senses

      • Trudy Metzger May 23, 2015 / 1:27 pm

        Spidey senses is a term used for when something feels wrong, like when a spider crawls across your neck. Spiritual spiders are especially distressing. And I thank Holy Spirit for giving us such awareness

      • Ellen May 23, 2015 / 1:46 pm

        Many things described in the Bible are from the cultural norms of that time and should not be misconstrued and applied as Biblical principles.

      • Natalie May 23, 2015 / 3:18 pm

        Totally agree with you! 👍👍

      • Debra Grange May 25, 2015 / 11:23 am

        The one thing I haven’t heard anyone question, is Josh the victim of sexual abuse himself. I am raising three small children who are all very sexually reactive due to the sexual abuse they went through from a mother, the mothers consorts and their grandmother. Purple need to keep their own noses on their own faces, but what had become acceptable in our society is for everyone to chime in others lives

      • Trudy Metzger May 25, 2015 / 11:28 am

        Debra, I think many of us have asked it ‘inside’… If he has, it still wouldn’t excuse the behaviour, but it would mean he needs help as both a victim and a perpetrator. Last I checked the stats they say about 30% of offenders are first victims; the rest do it without that history. (As much as stats can be trusted. Which is mostly not that much, I reckon.)

    • Christie May 23, 2015 / 10:11 pm

      My problem with this whole mess is that they are actually laying some blame on the victims. I am a christian and I do believe in forgiveness but I also believe in accountability. I know people are tired of hearing Dugger bashing. The truth is someone has got to get through to this family. You cannot have a whole army of kids and let the older ones watch the younger ones. Even christian kids have sexual feelings and urges and sometimes they will experiment on younger kids. They spend so much time shaming them into not feeling these feelings and not even kissing that they have made the whole subject of sex so taboo that they have pushed them into this kind of rash behavior.

      • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 12:34 am

        You make excellent points here! Well said, and Amen!

      • Rose May 24, 2015 / 1:49 am

        Older children SHOULD be taught to help with younger children ( it teaches responsibility and plain old helping out in a family). As far as shaming? Who is shaming? Teaching young adults to have SELF CONTROL over SEXUAL IMPULSES is SMART! They don’t shame their children for HAVING feelings silly. Everyone does because God made humans to be sexual beings.

    • Laurie May 23, 2015 / 11:12 pm

      Thank you Trudy for stepping up and writing this…. I to am no longer a victim and am a conqueror through Christ! I was raped over 600 times and molested and sexually torchered over a period of three years…. How do I know the amount of times? Cause it happened every single day….generally not Sunday’s cause my mom and step dad were home. It was at the hands of my step brother whom by the way was 14yrs old when he began to rape me. I have so many thoughts about this entire thing and most would be surprised…. I have forgiven my step brother and pray for him. I have no contact with him nor have I had since I was in 6th grade. My other brother was sooo angry that I forgave him…. to which I explained…. This happened to me, not you, my forgiveness is MY choice no one else’s…. It has also been the very first step that led to my healing. I am now a pastors wife and have four beautiful children ranging from 19yrs to 9. I am who I am today because of Christ and Him alone. My step brother didn’t own up and lied for years, until he was in jail for something else, then admitted it to my mom in a letter, but blamed his actions on him being abused. I said all of that to lay some background… I too am tired of people assuming a victim will not recover and will be ruined for life… This does not mean I haven’t struggled or didn’t have counseling or haven’t had some issues in the past…. To this very day I still can’t handle hearing someone breath just out of their mouthes…. but I have had the privilege to minister too and help sooo many young ladies who have been through what I have… My life is a story of hope, not ruin… In my human mind, I can’t wrap my head around how God can forgive such a sin… Or any sin for that matter, but He does. That’s not our gift.. It’s His. I also am tired of people who have never been abused speaking for me. Now I have met many people who have struggled, but their story is not mine, I can’t speak for them nor would I try. I am also saddened at how this is being handled through social media…. If the hateful comments are for his actions, then why is there not an outcry for Leah (the lady who molested her sisters and brags about it and makes light of it) anyways…. I haven’t even displayed my full feelings about this, but you have echoed it for me…. So thanks again for writing it. not everyone is ready to hang him… Even this former victim!

      • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 12:39 am

        Ah, bless you Laurie! I will always say this to (former) victims; “I’m so sorry!” I know that God redeems and, as He has in your life, had given you purpose out of your pain, but I am always sorry that it keeps happening, or has happened. But I also thank God for our redemption and that we can reach out to others, out of that redemption. Blessings to you as you walk with the broken.

    • Pkharp May 24, 2015 / 8:09 am

      I do not accept this version as true from jezziebezzie. What were your sources? A lot of people have been doing character assassination on this family for a long time. How can you pass along stories like this? I’m pretty sure the family has been scrutinized from every angle but I don’t think much of it is objective. Many want to find anything. Thank you Trudy for what you wrote.

      • heidi1021 May 25, 2015 / 7:51 pm

        Read the Gothard book. It’s disgusting.

    • Bill May 25, 2015 / 1:17 am

      Everything you described of how the Duggards raise their Children is Biblically. Why do you have a problem with that?

  2. truthseeker May 23, 2015 / 2:25 am

    Trudy, thank you. While I am not a victim,but being closely connected to both abusers ( in the past) and victims you said exactly what I was feeling. The judgements and condemnation I was reading about in a few posts left me feeling sad and sick. You said it so well. Bless you!

  3. Lester Graber May 23, 2015 / 7:12 am

    Thank you Trudy, for speaking out and writing what you did about the Duggar case. So many are totally missing the point.

  4. Katrina May 23, 2015 / 9:06 am

    Thank you!

  5. RayLene May 23, 2015 / 10:41 am

    I also have survived sexual molestation. I am also the mother of 9 children, including a 14 year old boy. I know that if he ever did anything like this it would be devastating to our family, and I would have no idea what to do . I wonder how many of us really would. Honestly, I don’t think I could turn my son over to the police. I too have been appalled at the ugliness displayed against this young man, for something he did as a young boy. Something that was dealt with, and for which he has shown repentance. I know this must have been a hard blog to write, but thank you for doing so. You perfectly worded everything I’ve been thinking and feeling about this situation.

    • Geraldine May 26, 2015 / 1:07 am

      Agree….well said…..I too can relate to your story…..thank you….

  6. Carol Corrington May 23, 2015 / 11:31 am

    Had he not made a career as a professional rock thrower, none of this attention would have happened. The lord works in mysterious ways!

    • Trudy Metzger May 23, 2015 / 12:14 pm

      Ah… and here you make an excellent point, if in fact he was a rock-thrower. (Again, I don’t know what his specific role was, and what he did for the organization.) It’s like the pastor/preacher who deals harshly with someone (not necessarily molestation, in fact likely not) when he has hidden molestation in his past. It usually crawls out of the woodwork somewhere along the way…

    • Jc May 23, 2015 / 12:41 pm

      My thoughts exactly !!!

  7. sherri67 May 23, 2015 / 12:10 pm

    I didn’t want to like this post as much as I did so thank you. It is a wise perspective. I think some of uswith the “spidey senses” think there is more here than we can see. There is a creepy teaching behind what looks like healthy forgiveness and repentance. Gothard and his teachings need to be examined. It would seem that with these large families that follow his home school curriculum, this issue may be more prevalent than we realize. Here is what he includes in his teaching which is what many might be reacting against. http://gawker.com/the-duggar-homeschool-programs-terrifying-advice-on-sex-1706406324

    • Ellen May 23, 2015 / 2:50 pm

      The info from the link was very enlightening. It’s scary to think that anyone is teaching/counseling that the abused can be at fault. Frightening and sad.

  8. Bing May 23, 2015 / 2:03 pm

    Well said but you have to understand christian people are the # 1 would crucify sinners they claim to forgive sinners but deep down in their christianity inner self they will still throw the rock and nailed sinners been there made bad mistake but have ask forgiveness from the only one (GOD,JESUS) will forgive and forget my sin and washed cleanse my sin.

  9. jessiquawittman May 23, 2015 / 2:21 pm

    Thank you for this multifaceted perspective. So much of what you said resounded with me.

  10. Angel May 23, 2015 / 2:46 pm

    Thank you so much for your blog Trudy! I recently read your book, Between 2 Gods, it was so good! As was this blog…it’s the forgiveness that catches me & holds onto me. Never to forget or blot it out of ones memory. But forgiveness needs to happen in order for a healing to take place! This is brought to attention so very much, even the victims from the Cleveland kidnappings say the very same thing!
    Another good point you brought out is that bringing this whole thing back & the victims reliving it all over, ugh! My heart bleeds for them all.
    I too am not a Duggers fan or have I ever watched the show, it’s this latest piece of media attention that brings a sadness to my heart. Thank you again Truday for your wisdom! Be blessed!

  11. Nate Boyer May 23, 2015 / 2:59 pm

    Bill Gothard is not the head of the Duggar’s church. I don’t know what church they belong to but I am very familiar with Gothard’s organization and it is not a church at all. He is a conference speaker.

  12. Plaidkanga May 23, 2015 / 3:26 pm

    My comment will be “Dugger Free” 😉 You mentioned in your article that you have never seen a situation where a family/father has alerted the authorities on their child for sexual aggression. Three years ago my husband & myself did call the police on our son for his acting out sexually on his younger brother. Our son’s are both adopted, not that that had ANYTHING to do with our calling. However, our older son had suffered abuse prior to coming into our family which led to his mindset, his brokenness. The interesting thing was during the court proceedings. We were over & over again referred to as “the family who called 911 on their son”. It was meant to be very negative toward us. The courts etc all wanted this very aggressive, violent, sexual assault to be whipped away as a “first offense” even though during the proceedings we discovered additional sexual aggressive acting out by our son. We fought to be certain this event would not just go away but would stay on his record, at least until 18, just in case he offended again. It was quite a fight I might add. Then we, not the courts, fought to get him into a 6 month intensive residential treatment facility for sexually aggressive boys. He could not make gain through the levels of healing…he was there 18 months before we were forced to bring him back home, with no healing. He accepts that he acted out, at times, but it always comes with “it wasn’t that bad”, “____ blew it out of shape”, ” Mom lied”, “It wasn’t my fault” or ” my siblings have no right to be afraid of me.”
    Three months ago he went back into a hospitalization setting, at our insistence due to his behaviors. Thank God over the past year our other children have been safe due to the extreme boundaries we had in place in our home because of him being in the home. Since he’s been in the hospital he has been the center of 2 state police investigations due to his acting out in an aggressive sexual manner. What I am detailing is the extreme, I know that. Our son is the type of child parents are afraid their children will meet in treatment centers….still no excuse to not get help. There are many wonderful therapists etc without residential programs. However, we live with a very broken system for really getting help for kids with sexual issues. I think families who find themselves in this situation are in a catch 22 deal. We have had people say to us that our son is now worse because we placed him in treatment & that he learned things while away. Of course these are the same people who didn’t believe he was capable of the first offense to begin with. The only way our family can win in this war is to keep our children safe & advocate for treatment for our son. Thank goodness we don’t also have to deal with media !

    • tg May 23, 2015 / 11:18 pm

      I am so sorry for your heartache. And, so true…can you imagine having to live this all out in the eye of the watching world? Grace and peace to you…

    • Robin Turner May 24, 2015 / 5:33 am

      Sounds like reactive attachment disorder. Approach how you deal with him with that in mind and you might see some changes. RAD kids are tough customers.

    • Jeanne May 27, 2015 / 4:44 pm

      Thank you for stepping up and adopting your children. God calls very special people to do that. ❤️

      The difference with being in the media and not is, when you are in the public eye in the name of money, your life is an open book. I truly believe everything happens for a reason. Based on the therapy or lack-there-of that all involved received, hopefully they can now get professional help and begin true healing.

      Lifting your family in prayer for healing.

  13. starla May 23, 2015 / 3:57 pm

    You are a very wise woman!!!

  14. Joanna Yoder May 23, 2015 / 4:08 pm

    Very well written. Exactly my thoughts and feelings. Thank you!

  15. Hellen May 23, 2015 / 4:09 pm

    Thank you so much for addressing the ‘once a molester, always a molester’ issue! I agree wholeheartedly with your view. I believe that it needs to be clearly and openly presented so that those with a past as a molester can come out of hiding to find the fullness of healing that is available to them!

  16. mark armstrong May 23, 2015 / 4:55 pm

    As the liberal media always says” he that is without sin cast the first stone ” it is the only verse they know

    • truthstandsforever May 25, 2015 / 1:58 pm

      The other verse they know is, “Judge not, that you be not judged.”

  17. Jay May 23, 2015 / 4:59 pm

    Trudy, thanks for such an excellent article. So balanced!!!

    There should be quite a different attitude, long-term, toward those who own their sin, fully repent, and back that repentance up with long-term actions that demonstrate it. I have no reason to doubt that Josh has. Perhaps most telling is that when he first began courting the girl who is now his wife, both she, and her parents, were made aware of the past sin. People who are denying and hiding their sin just don’t do that!!!

    This can be directly contrasted with the former leader of a now defunct organization with whom the Duggars had some association. His actions directly contradicted his professions, he victimized a minor and continued to do so after her majority, and the last I was aware, he was still blaming the victim whom he groomed for victimhood. Vipers won’t escape the wrath to come.

    But those who own their sin, repent of it, and humble themselves before God will come into the kingdom of heaven when the others don’t. And repenting does NOT mean telling the whole world (it’s none of their business). It does mean telling the right people to apply leverage to verify the repentance.

    Again, thank you for this wise blogpost.

  18. rb May 23, 2015 / 5:48 pm

    Thanks Trudy
    Well said. What more can I say than WELL SAID

  19. Lil May 23, 2015 / 7:17 pm

    I am a Christian so I do not agree with this post below 100%, but I took a lot of pointers from it. The information she gave about the manner the Duggard’s reported this incident is accurate. Yesterday when I first read about this. I was very trouble and very sad at many levels, and because not I do believe every source of information I receive, because of accurately. To make good judgment on my own, when the details first came out. I read the 33 pages police repost myself, and yes Jim Bob took Josh to a police officer but he was a family friend. Who by the way is serving a 59 years jail sentence for child pornography. This officer failed to follow correct procedures as he did not made a police report, and proceeded with the necessary investigation. If did it was only a year, if he the case was only one year old, and would have not pass statute of limitation. A church sister is who faxed the letter that described the events to Oprah and called the authorities, this did not came from the family. This is the only reason why there is a police report about the incident today. So they did not only failing report on time. It was handle horribly. Because this is not only a sin matter. It is a Crime!!! And should have been dealt as such. Lastly if any of they had receive appropriate counseling in a timely manner, even from a lay counselor. They would have been some kind of report filed, because they ethic and law practice would have mandate such documentation. That makes me believe, unless with was years later. Neither the victim nor the offender, received proper counseling. I attach the blog website bellow, because if the family pertain to Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute (ATI). The counseling they would have gotten was not totally unacceptable, but not only so was not even biblical. The Bible that God gave us law to follow, and whoever commit a crime should pay for it (Romans 13:4). Regardless of his age then, he committed a crime, and it didn’t make a difference if he was Christian, Jew, atheist, or agnostic a crime is a crime, regardless of the perpetrator. With that said I feel sorry for the all the people including Josh, because the real perpetrators here are the parents. As I think they failed to handle this situation correctly. I agree with you that an offender can definitely change, because Jesus died for all sin, and can change us all, but I would say. I will never allow knowingly child molester repented or not, to ever watch my kids. Because I believed the implicit memory from the traumatic experience will bring always bring such temptation again, which I am not saying is something they can’t overcome. What I am saying is I wouldn’t take the change to find out. Thank you for your blog.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2015/05/what-did-josh-duggars-counseling-look-like.html

  20. Anonomom May 23, 2015 / 7:19 pm

    Oh please. Like Josh hasn’t been offered ample forgiveness already. His family, his victims, his own wife have forgiven him. I’ve seen more forgiveness and defense of a child molester than I ever cared to see. And why? Because he’s a good Christian boy from a good family who said sorry like his PR team told him to? What if it weren’t a Christian, white boy from a prominent family? Say it were a black atheist raised in the foster care system, who didn’t have a PR team telling him to handle the media? Would everyone be so quick to forgive and offer up excuse after excuse about why he did what he did? The public is outraged, as it should be. They’ve pushed their squeaky clean agenda down America’s throats, and made themselves out to be the perfect christian family that everyone should aspire to, when In reality, it was all a lie. Their highly idealized lifestyle is a sham considering how this molestation was handled, which was not well at all. He was not turned into the authorities. He did not receive counseling. He was not kept away from his victims. His victims did not receive proper support. It was rugswept. And forgiven. Because he’s a Christian and said sorry.

    Articles like this make me a little embarrassed to call myself Christian.

    • Trudy Metzger May 23, 2015 / 7:27 pm

      You are entitled to your opinion and feelings, and I am entitled to mine. If you read the heart of my article at all you would know better than to insinuate that I am good with ‘sweep under, forgive, forget and move on’. Your attitude speaks for itself. If you are embarrassed to call yourself a Christian, at least make it more personal to yourself.., if condescension and attack is what you perceive to be the Jesus Way. Especially when you missed the point of my blog.

      He was 14, so he was not in control of how it was handled. It was not up to him to not report ‘correctly’, and it was not up to him to insist on counselling. Adults failed him and his victims. I hope they still get that help. I do not endorse their presentation of Christianity, and purity in particular while hiding something like this. And ultimately my heart is for the victims. Is that clear enough for you?

      • Gumption May 23, 2015 / 7:49 pm

        You’re right on that. It was up to Jim Bob and MIchelle Duggar. They failed to protect their daughters. They are not a shining light of family values and should never be portrayed as such.

      • Trudy Metzger May 23, 2015 / 7:49 pm

        Now we agree on something.

      • Anonomom May 23, 2015 / 8:59 pm

        In regards to the adults handing of the situation, you said “In many ways they acted ahead of their time”, and “did more than most would have done”, then in your response to me say that they “failed him and his victims.” Well, which is it?

        You also say that he has a humble and repentant heart.. how do you know this? He posted a paragraph on social media that probably wasn’t even written by him. I will leave the forgiving to his victims, and to God. I on the other hand, have no sympathy for him or any other person who molests children.

        I am sorry if I come across as attacking you, that was not my intent; but when you said you were “appalled at what I see and hear from Christians on this matter”, I felt equally as attacked. I as a Christian feel repulsed by him, and the handling of this situation, and I do not owe him any sympathy, and neither does the public at large.

      • Trudy Metzger May 23, 2015 / 9:06 pm

        Now I understand where you’re coming from, and you are correct. My position is unclear, because on that front I changed my view since learning more about the case. I have written another blog for tomorrow, in which I address discovering all things were not as they appeared. Initially I thought they acted ahead of their time, because I understood they had gone to the law, and it was dealt with, and they had received counselling . Upon learning that it was handled by the parents and the church, in a way that seems to be protection of image, I no longer feel as I did initially. So, I do believe they failed him.

        As for my comment about the humble and repentant heart… Please reread that paragraph, I do not believe I mention Josh’s name; I make a general statement. I am not at my computer right now, where I can doublecheck that wording, but I’m fairly confident that I do not say that about him specifically.

      • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 12:23 am

        Now that I am home again… I did not feel attacked by you. I like to hear opposing views, and I want to learn from others. I do not have all the answers; I have blind spots. I also did not seek ‘sympathy’ for Josh. He does not need sympathy. Compassion is something we all need, even in the face of ‘what we have coming to us’ for our crimes, but not excuses or sympathy. Those are destructive. And I agree that the forgiving is for his victims to offer. And the only context in which I address forgiveness is in a general sense, in that I **do not** believe in cheap forgiveness, or the ‘forgive, forget, move on’ mentality, but in ‘forgiveness with boundaries’. And I maintain that the ‘voice and the power’ need to be given back to the victims, all around. Right now they have none.

      • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 12:49 am

        I am not a fan of ‘forgive, forget, move on, extend grace’ as taught by many (if not most) religious people and organizations. Forgiveness is hard work, plain and simple. (there’s a reason Jesus said, ’70 x 7’… I think He understood that it’s hard.) And that other thing they promote is usually a ‘quick fix’ to save face and bury the truth, in my experience and opinion.

    • MommyT89 May 23, 2015 / 7:47 pm

      He didn’t have a PR team back when he was 14.

      • Anonomom May 24, 2015 / 7:38 am

        I appreciate your response Trudy, and rereading my original words this morning, I realize I was a harsh, for which I apologize. However, reading your article felt personal for me as a Christian not jumping on the “forgive and have compassion” for Josh Duggar bandwagon. I stand by my original stance that it does not make one a bad Christian to not automatically forgive someone who has molested children. Maybe with time, and as we learn more about this case and what is in Josh’s and his victim’s hearts, I will have more compassion for him. I appreciate your words about not believing in cheap forgiveness.

        One thing we can all agree on, is that when it comes to children, the stakes are high for all of us. We all know of a child, have loved a child, have been a child, etc. that has been hurt. My compassion and prayers are with his victims.

      • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 10:40 am

        No worries. There are many strong feelings involved, for victims and general public alike. I don’t take these things personally. Blessings on your day.

      • Destiny June 1, 2015 / 2:40 pm

        My daughter was molested at six by her 15 year old cousin, I got her help andade his parents seek help for him. I was told my daughters therapist that if he was left alone with my daughter or any other girl under 18, the adults in charge would be arrested.the Duggars let Josh back into the home with several children under the age of 18. That sickens me. It’s been ten years since this happened to my daughter and we have not seen her abuse in all those years. The Duggars failed to protect their other children. No I do not forgive my daughters abuser, but she does.

    • Not Embarrassed May 23, 2015 / 9:07 pm

      its good that you are perfect and would have handled this situation in a way that no one could criticize the way you acted had you been in the parents’ shoes. We need more Christians just like you that always do the exact right thing every time, and definitely would have turned their own son in to the police the very second abuse was learned about. And I’m with you…we shouldn’t go around forgiving people that commit certain sins that are the “worse” sins just like that. I mean, even if the perpetrator asked for forgiveness and guinunely repented, we as Christians have a duty to impose our comdemnation upon them. I’m assuming that you are without sin, because that’s who Jesus said could cast the first rock. We need more sinless Christians just like you.

      • Anonomom May 24, 2015 / 7:42 am

        I am not perfect, and I pray to God everyday for forgiveness for my sins. I’ve heard time and again that in the eyes of God a sin is a sin is a sin, which may be true, however some sins have bigger consequences than others. Josh Duggar has molested children and he is dealing with the consequences of that now. I will leave the forgiveness to God and his victims.

    • Lisa B. May 24, 2015 / 5:40 pm

      VERY well said!!!!!!!

  21. MommyT89 May 23, 2015 / 7:43 pm

    I have a family member who was also an abuser and was a young teenager at the time. He was out of town for a couple of weeks when his parents found out. This separation at the time of finding out turned out to be very helpful for his parents because it gave them time to come up with a plan and they didn’t react and regret later their reaction. They talked to their pastor who advised that they should go to the police, which they did. They did the right thing but it caused a lot of heartache for the whole family for years. He was put in JD for a couple of weeks then the courts said he had to go to some boys school to get counseling. Because they are Christian they didn’t want him to go to just any boys school because that could have caused more trouble later on. The courts required him to go for a few years. In hindsight they wondered if they should have gone to the police because there was a lot more requirement than they would have ever thought. It’s scary either way. They should be forgiven as God forgives and not have to relive it, pay for it their entire lives or be crucified for it if they are repentant and own it. He, like Josh Duggar, told his girlfriend who is now his wife.

  22. Gumption May 23, 2015 / 7:46 pm

    It IS other people’s right to shame Josh Duggar, and let’s not forget the Duggar parents who put their family image above the safety of their children. This behavior and the knee-jerk reaction to “Forgive! Forgive” puts the responsibility again on the victims and creates future victims.

    Cry us a river that Josh Duggar is being shamed. Would you have this sort of sympathy had he been a Muslim or an Atheist? I wouldn’t. I don’t care about a person’s religious belief. I care only about behavior.

    And more to this, Josh Duggar and his family do not offer the same acceptance and forgiveness to homosexuals who have CONSENSUAL sexual relationships. Only now that they’re caught, they demand what they never give to others.

    Forgiveness is never to be expected or demanded. I don’t forgive Josh Duggar because he didn’t molest me. Forgiveness is not mine to give in this situation. You can forgive the person who molested you in the same way I have forgave the person who molested me. That’s your right.

    However, your robust defense of Josh Duggar’s being owed sympathy is appalling. He did not repent and his behavior was unreported until there was no threat

    If your god forgives Josh, well, then he can find out when he dies. Until then, the stones are justified.

    • Trudy Metzger May 23, 2015 / 7:48 pm

      Read my post again. And pick out the truth this time.

      • Gumption May 23, 2015 / 8:06 pm

        Trudy, you’re sending mixed messages. On one hand, you say you believe this behavior shouldn’t be swept under the rug (Correct) and yet, we’re being too hard on Josh Duggar (Incorrect). I would go so far as to say we’re not being hard enough on his parents who allowed this to happen. They were the adults, they were in charge, and they failed to protect their daughters from their son.

        Josh is not being crucified. His actions are being condemned. He’s not riding into Little Rock on a ass awaiting a sentence by Pontius Pilate. I’m surprised you’re comparing him to your Lord Jesus Christ. I’m not a Christian, but I’m a bit offended at the comparison. Jesus didn’t do anything wrong other than irritate the locals and tip over stalls in a temple, Josh molested his sisters. Of the two, Josh would be a better candidate for crucifixion, though juvenile detention, counseling and being registered as a sex offender would’ve sufficed had his parents not delayed reporting.

        Your message is mixed. That is the truth.

      • Trudy Metzger May 23, 2015 / 8:22 pm

        First of all, I didn’t intentionally make the comparison to Jesus. Crucifixions were around long before Jesus was crucified. My bad.

        “Of the two, Josh would be a better candidate for crucifixion, though juvenile detention, counseling and being registered as a sex offender would’ve sufficed had his parents not delayed reporting. ” I support JD, counselling and whatever the state/province requires. It is unfortunate these were not handled appropriately by the adults. If they had done their due diligence (all of them) Josh would not be paying in this way for *their* wrongs and he would have already had the ‘full extent of the law’ applied to his crimes. And the victims would still be scarred and/or suffering. That is a tragedy I don’t downplay.

    • MommyT89 May 23, 2015 / 7:56 pm

      Have you NEVER done anything wrong and kept it a secret or do you ALWAYS tell everything that you have done wrong to the world? There are a a number of other well-known people who have done the same thing and play it off that they were young and it was just “sexual curiosity” and are not being crucified like Josh Duggar. I’m not saying everyone who abuses someone else shouldn’t deal with the consequences, but I am saying that once they have paid the price for what they did they should be able to go on with their life, just like someone who has gone to jail once they have done their time they should get another chance.

      • Gumption May 23, 2015 / 8:11 pm

        I’ve never abused children or anyone for that matter. I got a few speeding tickets and caused a minor fender bender. What else?

        See? I’m just like Josh Duggar. Oh, wait, I got speeding tickets, had to pay a fine and repair the other person’s car and my insurance payments went up. See? I got real world punishment.

    • Lisa B. May 24, 2015 / 5:43 pm

      EXACTLY Gumption!!….I couldn’t agree with you more!!!….

  23. Ellin May 23, 2015 / 7:54 pm

    The issue which bothers me most is the ease with which the mother in an interview and the son in his position with Family Research Council made comments on gay and transgender pie ole being pedophiles. With this in the family background, those comments are insulting.

    • Trudy Metzger May 23, 2015 / 7:57 pm

      I am with you on that. Those comments were first of all hypocritical, and secondly not accurate. There is no indication, anywhere, that people with same-sex attraction are any more likely to have tendencies toward pedophilia. Such a statement, under any circumstances, is not something I would endorse. But it particularly alarming when there is history like this.

  24. Ellin May 23, 2015 / 7:55 pm

    That should be people…sorry for the typo.

  25. Gumption May 23, 2015 / 8:43 pm

    Thanks for your response, Trudy. I understand your point better. I am aware crucifixions happened prior to Jesus, but most people aren’t. I think for those who are sympathetic to the “forgiveness” concept, it might appear that Josh is being raked over the coals. However, he’s receiving a belated public shaming. All things considered, he got off pretty lightly. He’ll recover.

    I hope the victims can heal and gain a voice to speak out and champion their own rights.

    • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 1:08 am

      For the record, I’m not sympathetic to the forgiveness concept. I’ve seen the damage. It does something crazy to the mind of victims, to have that pushed, while their hearts are ignored. I hope to they all get help and heal, the whole lot of them, and especially that the victims are released from all blame. That is far to common too. All the best!

    • Lily May 24, 2015 / 6:28 am

      I have a friend who’s 14 year old son was accused of sodomizing a three year old boy. He was given counselling and 3 years probation. He never admitted to it and is not on a sex offender list. From what I understanf they do not put minors on a sex offender list. I think he for sure is being punished as much or more than other young teens.

    • barbara mishio May 28, 2015 / 5:26 am

      not going to happen if true Jesus people don’t pray to God and bring down the “spirit of the “Power” of life in Christ Jesus. Forgiveness is not something you can borrow from Church – its a “spiritual event. Christianity is just a religion that produces many opinions of the Bible and does not make any of then acceptable to God. what Jesus preached is the only truth the Bible has made available to us about being a good believer. sorry to say and anything else can be disputed by our Church or your Church. All Christians are in serious trouble right now because they fail to totally follow Christ. We have to let the courts take care of bad people and pass judgement and punishment – so its ok to be crazy mad over bad peoples actions and society has the right to condemn their actions and expect the courts to condemn. But a good follower of Christ knows we have a responsibility to get God involved to save the souls of anyone caught in bad even unforgivable bad activity/actions. But healing which requires forgiveness has to come from Jesus – in order to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth. That is where the “power is and only that power called “the power of the spirit of life” can there be real forgiveness and healing. We don’t need Christians who come here to argue wether to forgive or not -But we need “true believers to separate from the false teaching of their church and only concern themselves with inviting God (thru Jesus) into every situation in every prayer and interaction we have with our world. PRAY : father, Let YOUR KINGDOM COME LET YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH -JUST AS IT IS DONE IN HEAVEN – THANKS FOR LETTING ME SHARE THIS – I LOVE ALL PEOPLE EVEN CHRISTIANS -just so no one takes offense that I say they are terrible followers of Christ – I once was a terrible Christian but am becoming more willing to LET GOD TAKE ALL my stinky reasoning and other SHIT because that’s what he demands of me. do you know this is what God DEMANDS FROM CHRISTIANS only this will please Him, If you respect God then give HIM all your egotistical ideas and thoughts generated by a sick/diseased virus ) we call sin( sin is an actual spirit on the Earth and ALL humans are infected ALL: as Christians we are still living with this virus – we think we are good – its all in our mind – Truly – we can’t see the “TRUTH” we are so wrong about EVERYTHING. especially about what God wants and what pleases Him. Its not that we aren’t tryin our best – but- its because our minds are contaminated -infected with that sin VIRUS- we can’t even understand any thing in the Bible till you pray for “understanding” . That’s the crazy thing about Christianity. You don’t have the power till you activate it thru prayer, I call on all Christians of all faith and denominations – to just pray that prayer above. Only , then can God can get involved in your brain and mind and restore by using the Holy Spirit – daily you will heal from many symptoms of this terrible virus, As Christians we should be only praying. This is the only way to please God – that we choose to involve him in Every decision and unrighteous thinking because only He is righteous. We are egotistical beings that love God but don’t understand Him, He will bring understanding – pray for it. love u guys who let me share my Gospel.

  26. pacwp May 23, 2015 / 9:55 pm

    Trudy, like you I am a victim of sexual abuse. I was raped three times, three different men, as a sixteen-year-old. Was stalked by my obsessive neighbour four years. The horror I felt during those times is unbelievable.

    It changed my life profoundly. But I did heal, as did you, went to school for social work, psychology, and gotten a spiritual direction degree.

    I, too, have worked with moms in crisis, children abused: but Josh’s confession: “I acted inexcusably” smacks of not fully atoning for his sins. If he were brave enough to use the words I molested those girls and I am ashamed of my inexcusable behaviour; then I would applaud his bravery.

    You, Josh, must fully accept your/his actions before any true healing and change can begin.

    • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 12:15 am

      I’m sorry for your suffering, and celebrate with you the healing you have found and how you pursued a career in the very field that helps victims. Bless you!

      • Debbie Russell May 24, 2015 / 12:31 am

        This is all very interesting to me. I have been watching Duggers from a distance. I was raised like them, in a large family that was in the spotlight. I heard the same teachings and spent much time under the Gothard influence. I feel the worst about the extreme lack of wisdom his parents show, which I have discovered is sooooooo prevalent the that circle of people. The same thing happened in my family. A teenager, that was in our little collective body of believers, took advantage of my little sister. My parents and his parents had him go through their version a “being held accountable”, he grew up, married one of my collage friends and has recently gotten out of jail for messing with a babysitter. What the adults did short changed him from getting the actual help he needed, and he did not experience any huge consequences that would make him say, “boy, I’m never doing that again.” Josh is an adult and I do not absolve him of responsibility, but the people that make me super mad are the adults in his life that in my opinion handled it just the way I would expect someone with their persona to handle it. I really do not want to be unfair because I do not know this family, but I have seen this happen over and over and over again in this group of people. Mr. And Mrs. Dugger should have had the wisdom to turn down the spotlight opportunity for no other reason than to prevent their sons past (assuming it truly is past) from being published all over the nation. There is no way it would not come out. Too many people were involved and knew. It truly does hinder the large christian family image. I don’t like that because I am a Christian and have a large family. It is very important that children that struggle with sexual stuff while they are young get the help they need while they are young from professionals. My understanding from reading many news articles is that this behavior was between the ages of 14 and 17. I am sad this went nation wide and trust all get the healing and forgiveness needed.

      • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 12:54 am

        I so agree with you! Where my blog says ‘they did all they could’ I realize now, having done much reading today, that I was wrong. There is certainly the appearance of ‘saving face’ at the expense of Josh’s best interest, and the victim’s healing. He should have received help and justice.

        I may be wrong, but my math would say that all known cases ended when Josh was 14, but there were repeated events in the 5 cases leading up to that. Thank you for your insight, culturally. The same scenarios play out in many ‘closed group’ Christians, including my Mennonite background. Unfortunately.

  27. Becky May 23, 2015 / 10:09 pm

    I disagree that since he was only 14, that he didn’t know what he was doing. One of the girls who was younger than 14 knew it was wrong because she told the truth. At what age do we make allowances for crime?

    • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 12:31 am

      When I was molested at thirteen, I knew it was wrong. I did not know why it was wrong. When I suggested to my friend, six months younger than me, at age 13/14 that ‘we should put our bodies together’, she agreed to it and we did. I had no awareness of it being a ‘sex act’, but I knew after that I felt sick and dirty, and I felt like I had wronged her by suggesting it. So I apologized to her and we never did it again. I recognize dynamics change when it is a child and but I can honestly tell you that even in a peer-to-peer same-sex act, I had no clue what it was . (And, for the record, I’ve been open about this, and have blogged about it before. I don’t believe in secrets.) So, yes, I believe there is a lack of understanding. Maybe that is only true for those of us raised in settings that are ‘controlled’ and where we are so ignorant/naive that all we know is we are not to be with boys. All I’m saying is that young teens who are not taught about sex may not understand fully what they are doing. And maybe he was educated and knew… Regardless, it is a tragic thing for children to suffer a crime.

    • bill May 24, 2015 / 12:50 am

      Yes Trudy but what you don’t address is most people who have who have done this type of thing and most families who are aware of this type of thing that has happened in their own home do not set themselves up a example to follow with their holier than now self righteous attitudes. She dared to come out and speak out about gay rights, I kinda think it a little much on the poor Duggar,s side. By the way he was only 14 and did not know what he was doing, I was molested as a child and was having sex at 7 and knew full well what I was doing, I think you better update your studies somewhere into the real world.

      • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 1:00 am

        I had a same-sex encounter with a friend when I was a young teen and had no idea that it was ‘sex’. All I knew is that it felt pleasant and I felt horrid after. It was consensual–I suggested putting our bodies together–but I still apologized because I felt horrible after. When those feelings would come, I thought something was wrong with me and eventually I would die from it. Though I had read about sex, since it was not explained graphically, I had no frame of reference as to just what it was other than the fact that married couples have sex. That was the sum total of my ‘understanding’ of it. Maybe Josh did know… All I know for certain is that I had no real understanding of it, and when there is no teaching in closed circles, there is also a lot of ignorance.

        And my blog wasn’t about them setting themselves up as an example. There’s a reason I don’t watch the Duggars and have never been interested in the show. I agree that in putting themselves out there as ‘so perfect’ they set themselves and their children up for a pretty hard tumble. They all need counselling.

  28. Lori May 23, 2015 / 10:11 pm

    I started thinking back on the show over the years and never have I seen the girls or boys for that matter have friends come over or even talk to them on the phone. I have never seen them go to a movie unless it is Christian. I don’t know, but to me these are not healthy things for children to not be involved in. They need interaction with other children. Just my opinion.

    • Lori May 23, 2015 / 10:13 pm

      And maybe this would not have happened. I don’t know if it would have prevented any of this, but it might have never happened, if they interacted with others their age.

      • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 12:35 am

        In any case children need to be taught about sex. Ignorance is certainly not bliss.

    • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 12:33 am

      Apart from doing some research, I cannot confirm or deny what you say here. But I agree, these are healthy aspects of child development and should not be withheld.

      • Leslie May 24, 2015 / 12:15 pm

        They Have Friends Visit Regularly And Go Visiting Other Families As Well. And have never set themselves up as “perfect” in any episode I’ve seen as others are saying.

  29. Jody May 23, 2015 / 11:23 pm

    I respect that you have found such peace and freedom and am so grateful that you have. However, I wonder if perhaps you should have done a bit more digging in before writing this piece.
    The Duggars are/were (they have tried to distance themselves since the founder/leader of the ministry was accused of multiple counts of sexual assault) followers of a cult-like leader named Bill Gothard. The teachings of this man and his “ministry” have a HUGE impact on the entire situation and how it was handled. It has already been shown that Josh’s “counseling” was nothing of the sort and was merely time away from the family doing hard labor/construction work with a family friend. The victims also were not the beneficiaries of any true professional counseling. A little investigation into the teachings of that group will show that victims are pretty much blamed for what happened to them, they are told that the abuser merely hurt their body but by not extending grace, they will harm their very soul, and that since such things happened, they will receive the benefit of having a stronger spirit having gone through it. The only counseling is to get over it.
    A coerced “forgiveness” is not true forgiveness, there are no boundaries, and it certainly doesn’t bring any freedom.

    I hope that as adults all parties involved (yes, Josh too) get some REAL counseling.

    • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 12:46 am

      Yes, Jody, I could have done more research (and have today) but my piece wasn’t about the cult-like behaviours that many have referred to. I took at face value, after reading numerous articles, that it had been reported, and counselling had taken place. My ‘argument’ that the Duggars did all they could, from what I had seen, has fallen flat on its rump. On that front I was completely off-base, and that is the one thing I regret, and wish I had seen articles arguing the other side of that. (The curse of the internet, is wading through all the crap.) My reason for writing was (as stated) the thing of wanting my own voice back, rather than everyone screaming what *all* victims want and need. We are individuals. And to make that point I didn’t think to deeply research every other angle. I didn’t realize how big this thing was when I tackled it. (There’s a reason I stay away from ‘big news’ stories; I don’t enjoy the hype.) Had I known, I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to tackle it. .. at least not from the heart, the way I did.

  30. whispersfrommyheart May 24, 2015 / 12:49 am

    First of all, GREAT response, Trudy! I’ve read several things regarding the Duggar news and yours is one of the best.

    Second, I’m glad Jesus doesn’t withhold forgiveness, or throw stones, as some of the Christians who have posted here have done. That makes me sad.

    Jesus told a crowd of angry self righteous men, “Whoever is without sin throw the first stone.” Not sure anyone has the right to condemn Josh, as a 14 year old boy, or the parents for handling it the way they did because Josh apparently had a life altering come to Jesus meeting that resulted in his salvation, and a change in his life.

    If Jesus Christ forgave Josh, then who are we to hold a past sin against him?

  31. exmennonite May 24, 2015 / 12:51 am

    I absolutely agree with thus 100%. Amen. Also, I an ex-amish.

  32. exmennonite May 24, 2015 / 12:54 am

    I completely agree with you, amen. This is almost as if I wrote this. Also, I used to be amish.

  33. Jenna May 24, 2015 / 2:02 am

    Josh molested the girls for a number of years, finally told the parents, who sat on the information for over a year, allowing Josh to continue to fondle the girls.

    When he wouldn’t stop they finally ”turned him into” a State Trooper who gave him a ”stern talking to”. Turns out this Trooper is now serving prison time for kiddie porn.

    Josh STILL wouldn’t stop touching his sisters so they sent him away for 3 months to a do-it-yourself retreat. Because we all know that child molesters deserve a vacation.

    The girls on the other hand, were told to keep their mouths shut, live with their abuser, and smile for the cameras.

    • v4happytrails May 25, 2015 / 6:17 pm

      He did not tell his parents, his father saw him coming out of a room and then from there, his parents stated he confessed. Thankfully he was caught, although they protected him in every way, while the victims were left vulnerable and more than likely had Bill Gothard faux counsel for Josh and his victims. And yes the inexcusable behavior was in fact a crime, that was strategically covered over and over.

      My biggest concern is the mature adult and Christians responses appear to me as a future sanctuary for many more crimes such as this to be covered over and hidden rather than proper reporting and proper counsel. God’s biblical Grace is being disgraced and misinterpreted for a lost world looking on. And I believe it is the very reason child abuse statistics are so high, because of adults protecting their homes from disgrace.

      I am angry for the sake of all future victims.

  34. Jana May 24, 2015 / 3:20 am

    I generally don’t reply on random blogs I come across but I will here for one reason. I personally know a family who was also a part of the Advanced Training Institute founded by Bill Gothard. They homeschooled their kids, had outside friends from church, did swim meets at the local YMCA, etc. And their oldest son raped their daughter.
    Now, I also know personally another gal about that same age. She was raised in a broken, dysfunctional home. She went to public school and was unchurched. She was also raped in her own home by her brother.
    I could go on with other abuse situations I know of but all other issues aside, I bring this up because we live in a broken, fallen, sinful world. As many comments have brought out, abuse happens. It’s very wrong but it still happens. I don’t want to comment on what should or shouldn’t have happened in the Duggar’s situation or what they should or shouldn’t have done. But I do want to say that this situation is not a result of how the Duggars have raised their children and is not exclusive to their method of parenting. It is the result of a sinful heart in a sinful world. In all the discussion swirling around them, let’s not forget that.

    • Joy Frazey May 24, 2015 / 6:52 pm

      Wonderful post. It is definitely a sin problem, believer or unbeliever.

  35. Melissa May 24, 2015 / 6:10 am

    I shared your post because I think it is the best article I have read on this topic. It beautifully covers forgiveness and the power of the gospel to change the heart and lives of those who do His will. The victims are considered and even provided space to feel and think on their own -to develop their own conclusions and path of growth independent of others’ expectations. However, I have serious concerns with the thinking that goes along the lines of “He’s young and cannot understand. ..” I don’t think a repented sinner should hang or be the object of cruelty. I am addressing this train of thought independent of the Duggar case. A 14 year old might not understand the long term effects of such behavior, but a 14 year old should have a complete understanding of that behavior being criminal with zero tolerance for it. If our 14 year olds do not understand that touching someone else in sexual places without permission is wrong and violates the other’s body, then we are going wrong as parents too. What kind of people are we raising? My next point on this matter is that so many are using the “he was young and look at how many teens are having sex anyway” excuse for him, that I wonder how many people reading will be influenced by that and start “excusing” such behavior. Boys will be boys, and teens have sex. These should never be used in conjunction with a forced sexual act. This leads to my next point. I believe you did what you were trying to discourage others from doing. Sharing your own experience of abuse and forgiveness is one thing, but when you talk about how young he was, and either say or imply that he didn’t understand what he was doing or that this was just a mistake he made- and you said that in a general paragraph about this case- you were speaking for victims. That is telling victims how they should feel. Maybe they are not ready to accept the excuses about how he was young. That’s drawing a conclusion for the public. That line might not make one bit of difference to a victim. It might just make a victim feel guilty because she is struggling to forgive. It might make a victim feel abnormal because she’s still struggling decades later, and if those actions are somehow not so bad because he was just 14, then why can’t he or she forget what happened and move on? Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and I hope you will consider mine.

    • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 10:45 am

      Thank you Melissa. I address some of this further in my next blog, including the ‘he was young’–which I didn’t present as an excuse, by the way–and I maintain that position, but still not as an excuse. Josh committed a crime. http://wp.me/pUOds-1CE

  36. Laura May 24, 2015 / 6:35 am

    Trudy I am so grateful for this post. It is a voice of reason. I wish you did not retract your defense of his parents. They have responsibility to protect their daughters yes. They also have a responsibility to parent their son. Call me stupid and ignorant but I don’t know (I also don’t know exactly to what extent his actions were) if I would have called the police on my son at this age. It just might but have occurred to me. An adult son yes, but not a 14 year boy. I probably would have done what they did. You are holding them accountable to your level of knowledge and expertise. I could guess this was their first time dealing with anything like this and they did their best. They clearly did not attempt to excuse or hide it from anyone that matters in their life. We all out here in the peanut gallery do not matter and are not entitled to know this kind of information about them. He was a 14 year old boy. What bothers me is that this whole deal is over the acts(yes they were wrong) of a 14 year old boy. There needs to be a big step back and get some perspective on this. This is not news. It is private and something stupid and wrong in the past of a 14 year boy who has repented and turned the other way without looking back. I’d like to see a show of hands of who would be proud of all their choices as a teenager? Who wants to be accountable as an adult for all of their choices as a teenager? Yes their needs to be healthy support and counseling for those girls (blasting this story for all America does not count as supporting them) but seriously this is not a newsworthy story. I am shocked and annoyed anyone would think it was.

    • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 10:47 am

      Thank you Laura. I am retracting what was based on false information, because I would not have made statements like ‘they did all they could do’–or that sort of thing–with accurate information. I am not willing to attack them, but I do need to correct that, and I have done so here: http://wp.me/pUOds-1CE

  37. Gina May 24, 2015 / 9:04 am

    I was molested by my Dad, cousin and raped by a boy I had dated 3 times. I don’t like your post. How dare you downplay this?? How dare you talk about Josh Duggar as if he did nothing wrong and say “he was a child” and didn’t understand fully what he was doing?? He DID know otherwise he wouldn’t have done it behind closed doors, while they were sleeping! I am sickened by molestation and the thought of it and it makes me wonder how (if you really are a victim) that you could defend ANYONE like this? I have a 12 year old son and he knows better. We victims will speak out and say what we feel and you have no right to say we should forgive. I couldn’t read your whole article because you rambled on and on and all you did was piss me off!

    • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 10:34 am

      Re-read my post, without your tinted glasses on. I call what Josh did a crime. He was a juvenile, and that does have to be considered. And I certainly do not tell victims they should forgive. That is up to you. But some of us choose ‘forgiveness with boundaries’. I’ve seen people as aggressive as you, also victimized in their past, and then their teen son or daughter became the perpetrator. Suddenly they understood that youth do not understand the full extent of the consequences of their actions. Yes, they know it is wrong, but if they are not taught, they do not understand. I am sorry you have suffered, and I hope to God you are never the mother of ‘that teenage son’… for your sake, and for his. Here is a further response to attacks such as yours: http://wp.me/pUOds-1CE

      I pray you find healing. And I pray you learn to call it a crime, without… whatever that is coming through here.

    • Leslie May 24, 2015 / 12:24 pm

      Maybe if you read the article, you’d not make silly and inaccurate statements like this. Shame on you. Deliberate ignorance is the worse sin.

  38. nicole May 24, 2015 / 9:32 am

    For me its not about crucifying Josh. In a way I believe his parents actions have now victimized him
    as well because his life is being turned upside down after this revelation. From my reading of the facts of the incident I gelieve you have some things confused. The duggars took their son to a police officer who was a family friend within a year of the incident to give him a stern talkig to, but 1) he didnt trport it amd 2) the guy was later sent to jail for child pornography. Makes you wonder what is going on in their extended community. It was not until 4 years later, when a family friend accidentally got hold of a letter with the molestation details, that mr duggar went to the proper authorities, presumably to get there before anyone else, and still woukd not allow his son to be questioned. That is not turning your son in, its covering it all up.
    You said yourself if a victim is under 16 you report-period. And that is the issue here. Both the duggars and the parents of the other girls had an obligation to their daughters to go through legal channeks so tgat ALL avanues would be open to them as victims, including getting some te with a counselor or someone outside the family/church community contect because how is a you g girl, especially in a hyper conservative community like theirs, not going to feel pressured to firgive and say she feels safe if thats what everyone wants her to do so that everything gets bsck to normal. Im not saying Josgmh didnt tepent and change- my guess is that he did. But its not about Josh- its about all those girls and the duggars believing, as many if these hyper conservative christian grouos often do, that they are above and beyond the law. Gods word is clear ghat we are to obey the law and mr and mrs duggar did not. That is the issue here, and I too speak as a victim of sexual molestation. At the end of the day the duggars actions give more fodder for the secular public to vilify the church- this time for good cause.

    • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 10:35 am

      You are right, I had some info wrong. Here is the blog where I address some of that: http://wp.me/pUOds-1CE Thank you for your comment.

  39. A Mom who knows May 24, 2015 / 9:45 am

    6 years ago this June, we called the police now you know of two families. 🙂 loved your post have your book in my wish list can’t speak to the other comments i look forward to reading your blog and book in the future. Thanks for your work with families. It’s a gift from Him.

    • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 10:36 am

      Here is the next blog: http://wp.me/pUOds-1CE 🙂 I applaud you for your courage to report.. I received numerous messages from parents, so now I know a small handful. 🙂

  40. Katie May 24, 2015 / 10:02 am

    My opinion on the situation aside, I just wanted to clarify one point. His father did not freely turn him in. Someone put a letter into a book in the church after the father told the church about what happened. This letter was written by someone who knew details about what happened. The book was loaned out and the person who found the letter sent it to the Harpo Co as the Duggars were getting ready to appear on Oprah. The Oprah show cancelled their spot with the Duggars then contacted the authorities and sent the info to them and an investigation started. At no point did his parents freely turn him over to any legal authority. At one point they did have a family friend give him a “stearn talking to.” This man happened to be a cop but no documentation, investigation or police report was ever done from this interaction. That man is now in prison on child pornography charges. At no point did the Duggars contact the authorities, or turn their son in for his behavior. Here is the full police report if you want to read it. I found it very enlightening and as close to being out of the media as I would get. I agree there is a lot of spin put on many things. This is just a report of the events as they happened. http://m.imgur.com/a/zqPMi

  41. Grimbone May 24, 2015 / 11:00 am

    This is the kind of stuff that happens when you sexually repress your children with religion.

  42. Ruth May 24, 2015 / 11:16 am

    Thank you so much for this post!! I would also say, in light of all the warnings in the comments that all is not as it seems…we really don’t know what is truth. Which are the fabricated articles, because anything can be made to look like truth. & I know a lot of people would like to see the Duggars ruined. I personally, until it can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, am going with the facts about this situation that you used in this post.

  43. Alaina May 24, 2015 / 11:23 am

    Thank you for this article. Very well written. I completely agree with everything you said. I was a victim of sexual abuse when I was 6 yrs old at the hands of my stepfather that lasted for a year. It ended when my mom divorced him for other reasons. I do watch the Duggar show and I like many of the things they stand for. Not all, but many. I think the media needs to get off this train though. The incident happened a long time ago when he was a teenager. Yes he did it multiple times and must be accountable. But seems remorseful and does not place blame. Whatever happened in the past, the family has obviously moved on. We should too. I’m sure this is not helpful for the victims. I went to therapy for three years and I still have triggers that take me back.

  44. denise johnson May 24, 2015 / 11:25 am

    this went on for years………………teenage boys know not to touch their sisters…..if they don’t then the church needs to revamp and be part of the teachings….if parents aren’t doing their jobs….and its a shame those girls couldn’t turn to their parents and tell them what their brother was doing to them….it was found out ACCIDENTLY…..by someone that found a note in a book, give me a break, josh is a creep and sadly he may have been molested himself

  45. Bill May 24, 2015 / 11:43 am

    The most disturbing thing is last fall Michelle was making robo calls telling everyone that transgenders were going to go into womans restrooms and molest there children,, all this why she knew she had one in her home, I am sure he was sorry for what he did,,but not many words in support of the victims,, his own sisters

  46. Margurette Davis May 24, 2015 / 5:01 pm

    Trudy, read your blog without your tinted glasses. As you know by now, you were not well informed at all. Before you post the follow up blog, read the police report at least, where Jim Bob, the father, states that they never wanted anyone to know( something in those words)nor planned to report the incidents, better than that stick to what you know and have researched. I have not read that God will not forgive Josh or that there is no forgiveness for Josh. God gave us freedom of choice, which we must pay for the consequences. If you had viewed their reality show, the outrage is that Jim Bob and Michelle portrayed their family as the perfect family, they knew of three secret before they moved to their present home, they were already on the show. Josh apology is for a mistake and his parents, Michelle now states that they are not a perfect family.

    • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 5:46 pm

      Have you ever driven by someone who is beside the road changing a flat tire, and then you pulled over and walked up to them and said, “By now you probably know that your tire is flat. Yeah, you might want to change it before you drive any further…”? And then promptly driven away with two flat tires of your own? Because that’s about what your comment amounts to. Yes, I know my tire is flat. But, honey, yours is too.

      Your own information is inaccurate, so you might want to reread Josh’s apology. He does not call it a mistake; his mother does. And you may also want to reread my blog without your tinted glasses on. I don’t rant about forgiveness, or whatever other bunny trails you went on that have nothing to do with my post. I understand the public outcry because of the image they presented, and they are free to do that. I am not trying to silence them. But I will continue express my heart and opinion, even if imperfectly. If you don’t like it, the easiest solution is to ignore me. 🙂 otherwise, you are welcome to continue to express yourself in the comments, condescendingly if it makes you feel better. I won’t take it personally

      • Dan May 26, 2015 / 9:41 am

        Trudy, you are one amazing woman! You have tolerated a whole lot more Male Bovine Feces (If you get my drift) than I ever would have. My hat’s off to you for the way you brought Grace into the equation when many are standing with stones ready to throw. My observations are these:1. No one on this blog was there in the Duggar home to witness what went on. 2. There are many comments, that Jim Bob did, didn’t do, Josh said, thought, did, that are all based on either second hand information, assumptions, inaccurate information, or drawing conclusions from their own experience. I would caution that NO ONE knows what went on inside the walls of the Duggar household, how many tears were shed, the sleepless nights, the agony of Father and Son, and how they actually dealt with the situation. It takes no character whatsoever to stand outside, make rash observations of the situation without real knowledge, pick up the stones, and demand the head of the offender. Not to make light of the situation in any respect, but how many of your bloggers have been guilty of malicious gossip, tearing down pastors in churches, being responsible for church splits because of their tongues, gluttonous, and the list goes on. In the eyes of Jesus, there are no categories of sins, but we always see the sins of others greater than our own. I for one would much rather error on the side of grace, it seemed that Jesus was always ticking off the religious leaders because of his “Neither do I condemn thee, Go and sin no more.” I won’t belabor the “Bill Gothard cutl” accusations except to say, the two situations bear striking resemblance of gross inaccuracies, coupled with mis-information, and a total absence of Grace! Carry on the good work Trudy. BTW your blog was not intended to be a TV news piece to be torn apart for accurate details, it was your sharing your heart, which you did very well. Shalom from another EX-Menno

  47. Marcia pearson May 24, 2015 / 5:53 pm

    Trudy, I really feel like I’ve been to school! Lol. You are obviously very knowledgable. Very professional in your work and in your answers here. I am glad those you deal with have someone like you who has their best interests at heart and will treat them fairly. You are truly amazing. May the Lord bless you . I will say one parting thing. People who are in a cult or a cult like environment usually don’t realize it unless they are removed to a more normal situation and can look back and realize where they were. So for those arguing that certain situations are not cult like…they truly can’t see that it is, sadly.

  48. Joy May 24, 2015 / 6:24 pm

    Remember that Victims are Survivors

      • Joy May 24, 2015 / 8:28 pm

        Sure- the reason that I put that victims are survivors, is that one of my friends was a victim but she would say she was a survivor as well. She went through so much & is striving to keep pressing onward, to keep going, & effort to keep living each day even with the difficulties that come and go.

      • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 9:37 pm

        Thank you Joy! That is what I thought you meant, but just wanted to make sure. I applaud your friend for her courage. It is not easy to live beyond and pain of past abuse, and an element always stays with us. Bless her for her courage, and bless you for being a friend with whom she can share safely.

  49. Debbie May 24, 2015 / 6:31 pm

    This was delt with years ago. Whether we agree with how it was delt with, is not our business. This is between Josh and his victims. It seems to me, as if everyone involved had delt with this matter and moved on. 19 Kids and Counting has been pulled off the air (totally agree with that decision). Leave the family alone to deal with this situation, which is their business, not ours.

  50. Grimbone May 24, 2015 / 7:22 pm

    This is the kind of stuff that happens when you indoctrinate your children. Post this if you dare to have a discussion.

  51. Tina May 24, 2015 / 7:33 pm

    Exactly. Thank you. 🙂

  52. Lesly May 24, 2015 / 9:31 pm

    What you need to understand amidst the effort to “cover all the bases” is this. Old Jim Bob did not turn his kid into the authorities as you state. So therefore he’s not the “one” guy to ever do such thing in all your years of helping molestation victims. This timeline from the WASHINGTON POST says it all.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/05/23/a-timeline-of-the-molestation-allegations-against-josh-duggar/

    What JB did instead was have his son talk to a family friend, who happened to be a corporal with the Arkansas state police who gave him a “stern talk.” Get this…that guy “is currently serving a 56-year prison sentence in an Arkansas Department of Correction facility for child pornography offenses.” So yeah, they knew “this guy” wouldn’t file an official report. He was just there to scare the kid. REPEAT: no report was filed at this time.

    Oh and by the way, repentant little 14-year-old Josh didn’t run to Mommy and Daddy with his confession. It was reported to them by one of the victims. And then four months later, (who knows why that time gap), he “confessed.” Was he finally asked about it and said, “Well yeah, golly gee, I did that.”

    Oh and by they way AGAIN, the same behavior happened AGAIN one year later. Why? Because his parents allowed it.

    What happened during that year and who had to endure this boy’s advances while the parents looked up to the sky and counted butterflies flitting around? What courage did it take for another girl to come forward, presumably the same or another sister, knowing that nothing was done with the first “confession”?

    According to the timeline, they did not go to the church elders until this one year mark. Sickening.

    No police report was filed by old Jim Bob or anyone else. No, not until Oprah caught wind of the whole thing in 2006 (and after the statute of limitations had elapsed) before the Duggars were about to appear on her show. She booted the whole gang back to Arkansas and called the police, which was about high time someone did since the trooper, the pastor, church members, parents and the family-friend-posing-as-a-counselor never did.

    Let’s talk about that. He did not go to “counseling.” Instead he was sent to work at a “family friend’s” remodeling business to get him out of the house for four months. Yes, four months, March to July. Then, from everything that has been said according to the timelines, he was ALLOWED BY HIS PARENTS to come back and live in the same house with his sisters with whom he fiddled and WHOSE PARENTS allowed to have him there because they are the SAME PARENTS. It seems Jim Bob and his flighty wife were more interested in protecting reputation and the perp instead of the victims, their little girls.

    If forgiveness is spiritual, fine go for it. But this was a crime, not just by Josh Duggar, but also by his parents who allowed him continued access to their daughters and others in their church community who were aware of the situation.

    Don’t ask me questions about this. Read the timeline which is embedded with links and documentation for yourself. Clearly, this begs the question: Why doesn’t TLC do a better job of vetting these families before they are allowed to get rich off of some stupid show?

      • Lesly May 24, 2015 / 11:55 pm

        You should have researched this better first before posting so you didn’t have corrections. You should have at the very least corrected this article with edit notes instead of just redirecting everyone to your new and very long blog. To suggest that anyone who intends to hold Josh and his parents and anyone else who covered this up by not reporting accountable as judgmental is sad. The title alone including the word “crucifixion” implies the masses are out to get an innocent man, but they should bring their own nails. Ridiculous! He’s not innocent and the people he hurt must have suffered tremendously when this happened and even more so now. His parents apparently thought they could get continue to get away with it and never dreamed being on a national television program would expose their darker secrets. The whole this is mind-boggling and playing the “super Christian” “if I can forgive so can you” card is pathetic.

      • Trudy Metzger May 25, 2015 / 12:05 am

        Your own arrogance–speaking as though I committed some crime by posting a blog from my heart, without digging through the public manure pile for some potential misunderstanding, when my blog wasn’t about that–and as though you have never made an error, speaks for itself. Your need to attack, in general, seems to come from a deep and bitter place that is toxic, but I could be wrong. Maybe you are truly a compassionate soul, trying to reach me, and you genuinely misunderstood my blog. If so, your compassion is probably better invested somewhere else, where you can see the heart and intent of those you are reaching out to. I have plenty of people–friends and strangers, telling me the same things you are, but with a bit more grace.

      • Lesly May 25, 2015 / 12:43 am

        This is no “misunderstanding” of your blog. You don’t want to face the truth that you were too lazy to look at the facts and now attribute that to not wanting to “dig through the public manure pile.” Actually, there is a thing called honest research. It’s beyond comprehension that someone who claims to be an abuse victim would condone anything to do with this family and their actions. If anyone disagrees with you, you have stated in several comments to re-read your blog without their “tainted glasses on.” That is extremely condescending (ie arrogant). You want everyone to say, “Oh Trudy, it’s OK.” But it’s not OK.

      • Trudy Metzger May 25, 2015 / 12:51 am

        Yes, I said to retread my blog because they made statements that proved they had not read all of it. I’m pretty clear that I don’t agree with the quick forgiveness and sweep it under the carpet. I took some news items at face value. Get over it. Many disagreed with dripping poison and hate, and I welcome that. This thing you have going on is toxic.

      • Lesly May 25, 2015 / 8:23 am

        You are still saying on your Facebook page that they reported one year later, even after you have been corrected on that point. You can say whatever you want, but the truth is you don’t want to face the music. You want to be told how wonderful your post is and anyone who points out otherwise makes you go off the deep end. You say in your bio “I prefer forthright communication, not side-stepping the issues or softening the blow. Give it to me straight and let me process it.” You clearly can’t handle that so you might want to edit that as well.

      • Trudy Metzger May 25, 2015 / 10:45 am

        I didn’t want to comment on what you say I am still saying on my FB page… Not sure which page you went to–I have 5 and manage one for someone else–and I wanted to double check, but I was fairly confident I had not posted anything new. I link to my follow up blog in the blog posted there. I’ve been pretty busy, responding to messages–here and privately–and writing a new blog, so I’ve done little on FB. No apologies offered for that.

  53. Lucy May 24, 2015 / 10:36 pm

    Thank you, Trudy.

  54. beckersonthejourney May 24, 2015 / 10:37 pm

    Thank you very much for this post. Like you, I have little interest in the specifics of the Duggar family/Bill Gothard, and have never watched the show. But I do have a personal investment in how we, as a community and as Christians, deal with sexual abuse. My husband and I have worked with teenagers for 17 years, my husband as a youth pastor and both of us as high school teachers. Like you, we have dealt extensively with both victims and offenders, and some of these cases have affected our family very personally.

    I was encouraged by your articulation from your own experiences and those you have worked with that healing and forgiveness (for both parties) is possible through Jesus. Sometimes I have had the feeling that sexual abuse is the “unforgiveable sin” for an offender. Allowing the offender to accept forgiveness from the victim, or being a community member that supports the offender continuing life with appropriate boundaries, is often communicated as a betrayal of the victim. I agree with you that sexual abuse for a victim can be very harmful, but need not be a life sentence. And I hope the same for truly repentant offenders as well. We have had offenders come to us suicidal because they feel there is no recovery from their transgression. I would love to see a healthy model where the healing of the victim also restores hope for the repentant offender.

    I think there is a fear that offering forgiveness to the offender will only encourage sexual exploitation. (Hey, I can do whatever I want and ask forgiveness later!). There has to be a way where we can communicate that consequences are real, and grace is not cheap. But God is still redemptive.

    • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 11:05 pm

      You have said this so well! Thank you! I’ve worked with numerous cases involving both victim and perpetrator and *always* put the victim first, and if they never want to be around the offender again, because they don’t feel safe or just feel so ‘sick’, that should be honoured. Truth is, that the victims I’ve worked with who confronted their offenders with something like, “I remember what you did to me, and I am okay now; it has no power over me. I extend forgiveness to you”… (or however it tumbles out from their heart)… these are the victims that walk away empowered. It’s like they have reclaimed something from the offender, and at the same time released the offender so that all ‘power ties’ are broken. There’ nothing left to torment. (What I don’t know is what this does to most perpetrators. In one case it seemed to unleash half of hell’s demons, but the victim/survivor/overcomer walked away free, and didn’t surrender to the attacks from the family of the perpetrator.) I didn’t understand it until I ran it by a psychologist and she’s the one who explained how it ‘gives the power and the voice’ back to the victim. Pretty cool. For this reason it seems unbelievable to me that this is not taught and modeled more. I offer all my victims to walk it out, practically, with them and sit with them and their offender. If the offender tries to ‘overpower’–and I’ve had it happen–I stop them mid-sentence and ask them to hear the victim out, without putting anything back on the victim. Those sentences never get finished, if I can help it. I am gentle, but firm; it is the victim’s time to speak. The only thing the perpetrator is free to say to the victim is, “I am so sorry”, if they want. If not, the conversation is over and the victim is still free. In most cases the offender is pretty shook up and sorry. And God has given me creative ways of having them admit to it. 🙂

  55. recoveringGrace May 24, 2015 / 11:24 pm

    I encourage you to visit recovering grace. It is a website that is for victims of sexual abuse from this cult. We as Christians should not be rallying around these people.

    • Trudy Metzger May 24, 2015 / 11:45 pm

      I ‘rally around’ people because they are humans, not because I agree with anything they live and believe. If a Satan worshiper was starving to death, I would feed him/her. If any human was bleeding to death, I’d do my best to save them. If a Duggar has committed a crime, he/she ought to be subject to the same laws of the land–both for ‘judgement/sentencing’ and ‘protection’ (juvenile)–as any other person, no matter their beliefs. We need to separate the Josh crimes from any perceived cult or cult-like involvements, and our love must supercede both of those realities. My humanity demands that I serve others–and I mean *all* others–as does my love for Jesus. I do this, to the best of my ability… and sometimes I do it imperfectly. If that is your mission, to live ‘Jesus’ in the lives of all around you, you have my support as a Christian organization. If not, then I still wish you well, but offer no support.

      Please read my follow up, where I acknowledge faulty info in first blog: http://wp.me/pUOds-1CE

    • Dan May 25, 2015 / 9:26 am

      You mention Bill Gothard as a cult leader because of his moral failings. I ask you, if a local surgeon is found out to be a chain smoker and dies of lung cancer, does that totally invalidate every surgery, every diagnosis, every person he has helped? For every person that says that have been “damaged” by Bill Gothard’s teaching, there are 10 whose lives have been changed for the better. I understand that not everything Bill Gothard taught to be 100% “Biblical” but there were millions of people who attended seminars whose lives were changed. I have been to “Recovering Grace” website and came to the conclusion there is no grace there, only a venue to accumulate information to “Hang Bill Gothard” I have heard the phrase many times, “The church is the only army that shoots it’s wounded” Sad but true, we kick those that are down. Read Pauls admonition in 2Cor. 2:5-8

  56. Perry May 25, 2015 / 12:00 am

    I wonder what would be said if these folks weren’t staunch Republican supporters? If they were of a Democratic persuasion, he would most certainly be crucified in every public forum known to man. But because he is a Bible wielding, God fearing, Repentant, Apologetic public figure……it should be okay?

    If this guy did the same thing in the Bronx, or Compton, or College Park Atlanta, or South Chicago, or South Dallas…….would he receive the same sympathy? Of course not. WHY DO WE ACCEPT THIS FROM PUBLIC FIGURES????

    • Trudy Metzger May 25, 2015 / 12:15 am

      I’m Canadian, so I don’t care about their political position or jargon. And I am not into their public figure “influence”, so can’t speak to either account. I fully agree that all offenders are subject to the law. Josh should be treated as a juvenile offender, as he was at the time of the offence. As such he should ‘pay’ of his crimes exactly as other 14-yr-olds, and the victims should have their identity protected, and be offered support through counselling and whatever they need. That’s my views in every situation.

  57. Haptown May 25, 2015 / 4:16 am

    I am about to go and read your next blog. I realized reading this blog that you had some misinformation but, oh my gosh, I think we have the same brain because I could tell that you would say things differently if you’d had the most updated info. And literally every single one of your comments I agreed with…that never happens.

    BUT…I just have to say thank you for saying this side of the story. It is a fine line to defend the healing process of the victims while not defending the perpetrator or family. What people seem to have a hard time getting is that they may be inflicting more harm on the girls who were abused by attacking their family so harshly, or attacking their family in order to promote an agenda. The thing is that we don’t know every detail. We aren’t inside the heads of the parents, perpetrator, or victims. If the Duggar girls are in a place of healing where they are overcomers who have forgiven their parents and brother, then the attacks on their family are probably creating shame in the girls. I so hope that’s the case but I am afraid it’s more likely that they have not been given the opportunity to properly heal. In which case they are probably confused and vicious attacks on their family are not going to help promote true healing versus vengeance and hate. Another thing people seem to not get is that you are saying we shouldn’t be attacking or crucifying the Duggars for the actions…but you never implied we shouldn’t be critical of their actions! I seriously don’t understand how people are so black and white…like you are either for them or against them. NO! Ugh. Let’s be for the victims! People were just waiting for something to attack the Duggars with and I think they hopped on that train without actually considering what it might be doing to the girls. Even though I have vastly different political and theological beliefs than the Duggars, I was a fan. Now I am just a fan of the girls getting what they need.

    Because my story is similar. I was molested by my brother and a male cousin on 3 separate occasions when I was 10 and 11 years old. They were 13 and 14. My family handled it far worse than the Duggars even. Between being shamed into silence by my aunt and having my mom try to just ignore it to death, I stuffed it down so far that I didn’t talk about it, or think about it, until I was 25 years old. I had sought counseling for an eating disorder (because hello duh I hadn’t dealt with childhood sexual abuse) and it hadn’t even occurred to me to bring the abuse up. When my counselor opened those gates, I almost drowned in the flood. I am so thankful for the healing process my Christian counselor walked me through. I also read “The Wounded Heart” which I am guessing you have heard of. You are so right that forgiveness with boundaries is the only way to find healing and you are SO right that is a long and hard fought battle. It’s a grieving process so you get angry and you question God’s goodness and you hate the perpetrator and you hate the world and you feel like an abandoned and abused dog in a shelter who can’t trust a soul. But that is not where you stay. Because there is victory to be had and it comes through forgiveness. So yeah, my process was hard and long, and actually still ongoing in some aspects, but I did not stay a victim.

    I just so appreciate you putting words to what I was still trying to process. When this story broke I noticed I was feeling a deep since of shame as I read everyone’s attacks on Josh Duggar and the family, because I forgave my brother and actually have a redeemed relationship with him. If my story was being dragged through the media, I’d want my voice to be heard. It kind of does feel like it’s my story in some ways being debated and I don’t like not having control over the narrative. I know that your post’s original intention and goal was to address some key narratives that were being thrown around that do not speak to how we, as abuse victims, feel. And that is what I needed to read so thank you!!

    PS – is there an email address I can reach you at because I would really like to ask you a few questions, not publicly?

    • Trudy Metzger May 25, 2015 / 9:53 am

      Thank you for your comment. And I’m sorry I don’t have time to respond to all the comments anymore, it’s just gotten too big. If you go to the ‘contact Trudy’ page, you can reach me. 🙂

  58. Jilly May 25, 2015 / 4:32 am

    Can I ask what is a Crucifixion March? I am at loss. Thank you in advance!!!
    Jilly oxo

    • Trudy Metzger May 25, 2015 / 9:51 am

      You’re not the first to ask… Whether it is an official expression or not, I don’t know. It was around 2:00 AM, and I was reaching for a title… This popped in my head, I typed it out, and hit ‘post’ on my blog.

  59. Marie May 25, 2015 / 7:28 am

    Yeah, I’d rather say I am a follower of Christ. I don’t like giving biblical principles certain names, because then people who don’t read the Bible and go to big churches who don’t even use the Bible think you’re in a cult. So sad. I am sure my sister in laws who live in adultery within a church that places them in leadership positions while they are sleeping around with other men besides their own husbands called courtship archaic. So really, some people’s opinion means zilch to me. The Duggars are follow and obey the Bible. So if you all claim to be Christians, maybe crack one open? They are preserving their bodies for marriage. Yes, they don’t go into marriage with divorce as an option. I seem to have read that God HATES divorce. People remarry after committing adultery and Biblically that is LIVING IN Adultery and God’s word says that the Adulterers will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Ok, so I digress because I hate reading from people who are obvious deficient in reading their Bibles but so quick to say something is a cult, especially if the people CLAIM to know Christ. I was also victimized as a 4-7 year old child by a neighbor who was a big guy in the church, he road on parade floats. He was Mr. wonderful.Yes, it effected me as a youngster. My parents NEVER spoke to me about it after someone caught him in the act and told my parents. My father was actually angry and slapped me. That was the last I remember anything being said/done. I lived a low confidence childhood, hyped up sexual teen years. Then when I was around 21 God saved me!! Things changed greatly and I was turned right around. I was able to put the hurting of the abuse and my parent’s rejection of help behind me. I hold no ill will toward them. Now I am just mad at the people who are blaming Josh’s family like they would even begin to guess that their son was touching their daughters. Who would think that? Their BIBLICAL views do not make someone do that. I am done.

  60. Tilting Tiara May 25, 2015 / 10:16 am

    Not sure why I keep reading articles on this family that I’ve never watched on TV before. I didn’t want to say anything, anywhere… but thank you for saying that those who have been abused don’t have to be damaged for life. There may be damage and pain and a whole bunch of other junk for a time — maybe for a long time depending on how one deals with it (or not) — but it doesn’t have to be for life. Victims of sexual abuse need to know they don’t have to feel the way they feel forever. Healing and wholeness are possible. On the other hand, some sexually abused (possibly the girls in this story) may have hidden it so far away that they don’t know it’s there and just go on living life, sometimes making decisions not knowing why. They simply aren’t prepared to deal with it yet. But when the past finally comes to rear its ugly head, they need to know then that life does not always have to be like that. In this particular case, how horrifying for those girls to know that seemingly the whole world knows what happened. Few people (probably nobody) would be able to handle this kind of exposure on such a public level for such a private pain. Thank you for saying Jesus can heal. He sure can, but most of us for some reason will fight against it for a while. It usually takes time and then a little more time, but coming out of sexual abuse whole and free is absolutely possible. What hopelessness, bitterness or resentment comes if you believe you are damaged for life?

  61. Teresa Lucas May 26, 2015 / 2:17 am

    Hi Trudy this was an excellent blog and I am saving it. The reason is you are right when one is truly repentant, God forgives and forgets all; but we know on the earth there are consequences the both the accuser and the accused have to go through such as the counseling to heal. But people need to be careful because people do not know the heart of Josh Duggar, and if he was truly repentant and has turned it fully to God and people judge this, God will fight for what is right and just.

    And then those who speak out against others, when crisis comes in their lives, they cry out to others for prayer. Why? If a believer cannot have compassion on others or at least pray for God’s hand in a family’s situation, how do they expect God to be merciful to them?

    It just fathoms me and concerns me because what believers call you sow what you reap, unbelievers call “Karma” and even a lost world knows they fear “Karma” so they need to be careful how critical they are of others.

    People may get angry but I alway forewarn people, if one submits themselves to God, then are being judged, they better watch out, testing may be coming their way and it is not easy. Thus I truly fear God over men.

    Be blessed in the Lord.

  62. ClaimedTwice May 26, 2015 / 3:43 pm

    “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
    Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:14-18

    There’s a lot going on in the posts above. Each person is coming from a different perspective and world view. Each person was shaped by elements in their life that the rest of us cannot understand. Each of us has experienced hard, painful things in life. A little mercy goes a long way.

    Thank you Trudy for your patience and love in dealing with people – remember; Jesus never stood up for Himself… He often answered scathing criticism with a question, rather than explain Himself. Bless you as you strive to touch others with His love.

    Lesley, somehow this whole topic is extremely sensitive for you. Thankfully, you are not forced to agree with Trudy… you are entitled to your opinions and she to hers. May you feel His love today. Thank you for posting the link about the timeline. That was very informative.

  63. Barb May 27, 2015 / 7:40 am

    Your post was very well thought thru. I am dealing now with my adopted daughter’s deep emotional problems due to her being raped by her own brother when she was 4. I know how sexual abuse can destroy a person and I also the healing of Jesus. I don’t know all the specifics of the Duggar case, but the thing that gets me, is that this happened so long ago and the show kept on going. It seems to me that having these kinds of skeletons in the closet is not something to consider lightly when your show is so well known. I don’t know if this happened while the show was being produced or before, but one thing for sure, as Christians anything like this will certainly be used by the devil to smear the name of Christ! They should have known this or received council about this and emmediately pulled out of the deal. What saddens me the most is that their Christian witness is completely shattered now. This is what 1 Peter was talking about when he says to keep our behavior excellent among the Gentiles. Now the world has something for which they can slander Christians over.

    • Trudy Metzger May 27, 2015 / 9:31 am

      I’m very sorry for your daughter’s suffering. It is always tragic and horrific, when sex crimes are committed, and in particular against little ones and children who often have no one to tell, or even know how to tell.

      As to the other issue, of the Duggars presenting an image… That is where I understand the anger and outcry of the public. If I wasn’t a believer and someone was teaching all they taught, and this came out, I would probably not be very persuaded by them, to believe. And it must be acknowledged by us Christians that, as you talk about, that staying in the public eye rather than pulling back to care for their children and the other victims, has left big question marks in the minds of the public. And rightfully so.

      As for ‘skeletons’ in the closet… Yesterday I looked into the Arkansas laws for mandatory reporting, and it wouldn’t hurt for the rest of the world to do the same. It’s readily available, and those who care to look, will see what laws exist, and that non-existent laws cannot be broken. Secondly, I tried to look up laws about protecting juvenile offenders and couldn’t find them. So I’ll go by what I know is the case in many places. It is against the law to disclose the identity of a young offender, and the person who does so can be sued. Josh was a young offender. And it remains an issue with the law for the rest of their lives because they were young offenders at the time of the crime. If this is true in Arkansas, then it isn’t about skeletons in the closet, it is about the law that protects offenders under 18. And if that is true, then the source of the leak could be sued.

      I wish your daughter ongoing healing. She is very blessed to have a mom who cares. Truly, truly blessed!

      • Trudy Metzger May 27, 2015 / 9:51 am

        I meant to also mention that Josh would have had the option of being forthcoming and disclosing it, even though he was a juvenile. It would have served him well because it (hopefully) would have inspired humility and understanding of others, and given him credibility. He didn’t and now they have to find their way from here.

  64. Dale miller May 27, 2015 / 5:22 pm

    I have news for everybody Jesus is not going to climb back on the cross when he paid the price on Calvary he paid once and for all like God’s Word says if you refuse to forgive others their sins or trespasses against you or anyone he will not forgive you and you will be cast into hell gods word says sin is sin so if you stole a piece of bubble gum told a lie aren’t you needed somebody you’re just as guilty the man replanted got right with God as
    Anybody can do. Knowing God forgives he forgets gods word says what did you do on to the lest you’ve done it on to me so whatever you want to do regarding Josh you’re doing it to Jesus Jesus forgave him just like he’ll forgive you if you repent want to do that now

    • Trudy Metzger May 27, 2015 / 5:58 pm

      Yes, God forgives. He doesn’t forget, though. He *remembers against us* no more. There is a difference. So the ‘forgive and forget’ theology is not accurate. And holding someone accountable is not unforgiveness. There is much destruction that comes from not letting those who forgive, have space to heal. Particularly when we’re talking a crime against the very identity and soul of a person. It isn’t like stealing bubble gum. It isn’t like any other sin; the Bible makes that very clear. There is no other sin, than offending a child, that Jesus say “It would be better if you were dead”… and no other sin, where Jesus reminds the offender that ‘their angel is always in God’s presence’. That tells me that God feels strongly about this. More strongly than stolen bubble gum. This is one crime that causes deep spiritual, mental/psychological and physical struggle. I said it in my blog that God forgives, and He does; any repentant soul. But He doesn’t say He will remove the consequences. We leave that to Him. And being silent isn’t the right answer either. The Bible is full of ‘bad stories’ and God tells them anyway. So to silence people is not the solution. Hopefully we can all learn something from this, and hopefully the family, the offender and the victims all find the help they need.

  65. teacher d June 10, 2015 / 4:57 am

    Wonderful article, well written and thought out. I am happy you shared your experience as this will help (children) boys and girls. sadly the comments above are so off topic humanity fighting over one subject or how lovely you opened your heart. Theology is a very hard topic. thank you for your openness and kindness

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