The most important aspect of the scandal over fake-TV star Josh Duggar’s juvenile sex crimes should be the story of the victims—how their family failed to protect them while treating their abuser to religiously skewed “treatment” that facilitates predator rationalizations that girls bear some blame for sexual abuse.
South Dakota’s study group on child sexual abuse, the Jolene’s Law Task Force, is in its second year of work. It meets next week Monday, June 1. That work would not be happening if the House State Affairs Committee had had its way. A few Republican legislators this winter thought it more important to play unconscionable political games than to discuss child sexual abuse and seek policy actions to protect sexually violated children. Governor Dennis Daugaard saved the task force.
Governor Dennis Daugaard stood for a photo with Josh Duggar and a bunch of other South Dakota elected officials who came to hear the fake-TV star speak as an expert on morals in Pierre on February 5:
But amidst all those suits, the thematic focus of this unfortunate photo ought to be that somber little girl standing next to Duggar.
Family Heritage Alliance said in February that one pastor attending the Duggar-headlined ministry leaders conference said, “Josh Duggar is first class in challenging us to use the platform we are given in order to make a difference.” We cannot hold that pastor or the pols in the photo accountable for not knowing Josh Duggar had sexually abused his sisters (although Oprah Winfrey appears to have known and responded accordingly nine years ago). But we should hold that pastor, the pols, and press accountable for using the platform they are given to carry out the thoroughly Christian and journalistic imperative to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Let us hope at the very least that FHA’s pastors and the politicians they lobby will support the Jolene’s Law Task Force and its important work to fight the evils perpetrated by people like the focus of their February photo op.