Task Force Continues Work on Child Sexual Abuse, Despite Duggar-Friendly SD Politicians

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:

Josh Duggar, fifth from right, as South Dakota State Capitol, Pierre, South Dakota, February 5, 2015. Photo by Family Heritage Alliance.
Can you pick legislators who voted to kill the child sexual abuse task force out of this line-up with a guy who sexually abused his sisters? (Click to enlarge.)

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.

18 Responses to Task Force Continues Work on Child Sexual Abuse, Despite Duggar-Friendly SD Politicians

  1. Steve Hickey

    This pic was from pastor appreciation day. It was about 11:30 am. At that time I had not heard of Mr Duggar or his family TV show. We don’t have cable and I don’t watch TV. He didn’t speak at the lunch the legislators went to but he did speak afterwards to the pastors.

    Regarding the task force, I didn’t have a chance to vote for it or against it. But it was one of a handful of things that left me sour toward second floor this session. The governors office should let the legislature decide on their own task forces. My economic contingency task force was declined for the same reason the Jolene task force was declined. It had nothing to do with abused kids. But the governors office found money and held a press conference and made the legislature look like child abuse enablers. It was a low moment for relations between branches.

  2. mike from iowa

    Party of family values whiffs again (like a skunk).

    We didn’t file charges because of his young age. Explain that to some awfully young kids of color spending their lives in prison for being young and dumb and black.

  3. Steve, your brain is better off for not having cable and for not being familiar with “reality” TV.

    But to say that voting against a task force trying to help abused kids has nothing to do with abused kids seems illogical. I am more willing to say that votes against the two task forces you analogize were both votes against the importance of studying those problems. I see no violation of the separation of powers if the Governor steps in with funds of his own (well, in the case of Jolene’s Law, Uncle Sam) to support continued study of an issue that the Legislature thinks is less important than its twisted fiscal knickers.

  4. Yes, we really believe that Hickey. This Duggar family is disgusting. You got to give it to the religious right when it comes to hypocrisy. Josh Duggar should have been in juvenile detention, and the Ark police and family services should start an investigation immediately into his children he has now, and they all should quit popping out babies. Baby making has become a business for them and it’s sick, sick, sick.

  5. Cory, you have heard of the Quiverfull movement? This is what the Duggar cult followed. It’s fascinating (in a bad way) stuff. Major female oppression, bow to the patriarch of the family. Keep women barefoot and pregnant (I’m serious!!).. Ewwww, ick,…….!


  6. Jenny,

    It’s another example of those who are the most critical of the LGBT community usually have something to hide. Both he and his mother have made quite the effort to lobby for discriminatory LGBT laws in a number of states claiming among other things that they are pedophiles.

    Look at how the Duggar family intimidated the local police from pursuing this and burying the records with the money they made from their TV gig. It’s disgusting! Has Josh sexually abused since? He was certainly paraded around the capital in Pierre during the religious freedom discrimination and high school extracurricular transgender hearings with a number of our Republican legislators taking selfies with him. How Ironic.

  7. The police chief who talked to Josh was a friend of the family, and later this police chief was sentenced to 50 years in prison for child pornography. This police chief gave Josh Duggar a lecture is all.

  8. Quiverfull—Jenny, I’ve heard of it only in the context of the Duggar coverage. It sounds awful.

    And yes, Lynn: FHA portrays transgender students, homosexuals, and others as threats to our children, but they have plenty of wolves in their own fold.

  9. Lynn wrote:
    >“Look at how the Duggar family intimidated the local police from pursuing this and burying the records with the money they made from their TV gig.”

    What are you talking about here, Lynn? (Sincere question.) Can you post a link or something?

  10. Roger Cornelius


    This past Friday the judge in the Josh Duggar case had the case file destroyed since he was a teenager at the time.

    I wasn’t aware case files for minors were ever destroyed.

  11. Joan Brown

    I’m waiting for some more skeletons to fall out of their closet. If I was his wife I would kick him out and only allow supervised visitation for their kids. I have heard that the honorable Pastor Huckabee had something to do with expunging Josh’s record. Don’t know if that is true or not, but I hope to heavens they keep the program off permanently. Of course that could be said for all of those stupid reality programs that are on the supposedly educational cable channels.

  12. Deb Geelsdottir

    Good links Mike.

    So does that pedophile register as a sex offender? Why is he allowed near children?

    Those icky parents should be cowering in shame. Even if the children were rescued from that criminal environment immediately, it would be a very long haul for them to recover from a lifetime of indoctrination.

    Jenny, I’ve done a little reading about the Quiverfull cult. Abusiveness is built in. It and the Duggars aren’t much different from the FLDS cult. The Duggars should be raided and the children rescued.

  13. Donald Pay

    Jim Bob Duggar ran for US Senate in Arkansas. His position on abortion included a statement that incest should be treated as a capital crime. I kid you not:


  14. mike from iowa

    It has become routine and even more disgusting to hear wingnuts claim their god forgives their sins and that is basically all that matters. I beg to differ. Since wingnuts don’t bother to keep up with legalities and such,let me remind them their god does not run stuff here in ‘murrica and pulls no weight with millions of us peons. Hypocites need to be stoned to protect women and children from phony christian wingnuts.

  15. This is a basic human rights issue. Religion and politics aside, fundamental human rights were violated. It’s sad to see how these people have a skewed interpretation of gender. Their girls cannot show their legs so they have to wear pants with skirts. Let’s flip this around, maybe their men should wear the flowing skirts to hide the extra appendage they have down there. Josh Dugger needs to be properly prosecuted without special favoritism. And the girls rights need to be protected. It really saddened me to hear about this.