Josh Duggar, Atheists, and Pedophiles
By now, many readers have probably heard about the recent revelation that Josh Duggar, the oldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting fame, has admitted to molesting some young girls a decade ago when he was a teenager. The information about this came out recently when a heavily redacted police report from 2006 was released by In Touch Weekly detailing the incidents. Duggar has since apologized for the acts, even as the scandal has grown and the Duggar’s television show has been pulled from TLC.
I have no interest here in defending Josh Duggar or his family—even though he was a teenager, Josh still committed terrible crimes against several young girls, and it appears that his family was complicit in trying to cover up the series of incidents so that scandal didn’t brew. They all should have faced the consequences for their actions, which would most likely entail jail time, both for the molestation itself as well as the act of interfering with an investigation. And while I firmly believe that God’s grace can cover all the sins of any who repent, at the same time, Scripture clearly teaches that we must face the earthly consequences of our actions—even when the perpetrator is a professing Christian who has repented and been forgiven. Jesus is not a “get out of jail free” card and treating Him that way for purposes of political expediency is an insult to the Saviour.
However, the radical Left has been making hay of the whole matter. The usual suspects in the internet kookosphere are practically salivating over reporting about the “anti-gay hypocrite” who got caught diddling little girls. Using their usual leaps of illogic, they’re trying to spread the guilt around to implicate all Christians, conservatives, opponents of “gay marriage,” and anyone else deemed an “enemy of progress.”
So it was when I recently came across a discussion on the Facebook feed of some atheist who is friends with a mutual acquaintance, the tenor of the comments was about what I expected. So naturally, I had to jump in. After a couple of go-arounds involving the usual silliness you expect when debating with atheists, I got down to the point and asked a couple of those “armor-piercing” questions that penetrate to the core of the dispute. I simply asked,
- Could any of them come up with a moral or ethical argument against child molestation that doesn’t ultimately derive from a biblical, Christian origin?
- If Josh Duggar were an atheist, could we credibly say that he was a “hypocrite” for having molested those girls?
Atheists purport to derive their own morality, and one which is “better” than Judeo-Christian moral views
The discussion following that was rather desultory, and neither of the questions were actually answered. One fellow tried to answer the first question by essentially arguing that atheists could argue against child molestation simply because it’s wrong—a rather circular line of reasoning that did nothing to actually answer the question (after all, WHY, apart from the common Christian heritage that still undergirds our culture, is it wrong?). My second inquiry was basically left untouched.
This exercise exhibits why trying to use “opportunities” like this so often backfires on atheists, and why atheists end up being one of the most disliked groups of people in the country. Atheists purport to derive their own morality, and one which is “better” than Judeo-Christian moral views, yet when you get down to the steel under the concrete, you find that atheists are merely scavenging parts of the common Judeo-Christian morality that has been a part of our country from its founding. One disputant, trying to draw the discussion away from atheism’s reliance upon Judeo-Christian morals and ethics, attempted to make the argument that you could argue against child molestation because of what it says in Hammurabi’s Code of Laws (ca. 1800 BC). But, unless she was raised on that particular document, or on the Roman Twelve Tables or some other ancient document, by her parents and within those cultures, she can’t make that case. If she was raised in American culture, then her moral ideas are largely distilled from biblical sources.
The second question, however, is the real problem for atheists. While the biblical record—the Law, the Gospels, and so forth – clearly teach against incest, clearly condemn fornication and uncleanness (of which molestation would form a part), clearly teaches the Lord Jesus Christ’s concern for the purity and faith of children, there simply is no independent atheistic ethic or moral against child molestation. Now mind you, I’m not saying that all atheists are positively for it, but without relying on Judeo-Christian morals, they can’t really make an independent case against it.
That’s why you can’t say that an atheistic Josh Duggar would be a hypocrite. To term someone a “hypocrite” requires that this person has held to some moral standard and then that they failed to meet it. Someone who doesn’t have any standards can’t be a hypocrite, however. What were they failing to meet?
But the problem extends further than the simple deficiencies of atheistic moral principles. We are increasingly seeing efforts to “normalize” pedophilia in this country, and the main impetus for this movement is coming from the decidedly secular side of the divide in this nation. While not all atheists are pushing for the mainstreaming of “adult-child relationships,” those who are pushing for this are mostly atheists and secularists.
There was a furor a couple of years ago when Richard Dawkins, one of the more prominent “New Atheists” who has taken the offensive against theism,appeared to be defending “mild pedophilia” because it “does no lasting harm.” Peter Singer, the Princeton “ethicist” who has elsewhere argued for abortion up to the age of three years (i.e. toddler-killing), stated that “I don’t have intrinsic moral taboos. My view is not that anything is just wrong…” when he was asked by a reporter if he thought pedophilia was wrong. He then proceeded to explain that he is a “consequentialist,” which essentially means that if you like the consequences of your actions, then they are right, and if you don’t, then they’re not (the quintessence of the moral relativism that many atheists swear up and down that they don’t hold to).
Historically, other prominent atheists have been involved in seeking to normalize child molesting perversion, and homosexuals have been prominent among that community. Harry Hay, who advocated for statutory rape as well as pedophilia, was prominent in the American atheist community prior to his death in 2012. David Thorstad, a homosexual atheist, founded NAMBLA. Larry Kramer, who founded the well-known homosexual activist group ACT-UP, wrote in his book, Report from the Holocaust: the Making of an AIDS Activist,
“In those instances where children do have sex with their homosexual elders, be they teachers or anyone else, I submit that often, very often, the child desires the activity, and perhaps even solicits it.”
An article in a 1995 issue of the homosexual Guide magazine stated,
“We can be proud that the gay movement has been home to the few voices who have had the courage to say out loud that children are naturally sexual and…deserve the right to sexual expression with whoever they choose…Instead of fearing being labeled pedophiles, we must proudly proclaim that sex is good, including children’s sexuality…we must do it for the children’s sake.”
Remember, these are the folks that the Boy Scouts are all set to start letting into the tent with your sons.
“Mainstream” sources on the Left have increased the frequency with which they have been advocating for the normalization of pedophilia
Unfortunately, even “mainstream” sources on the Left have increased the frequency with which they have been advocating for the normalization of pedophilia, seeking to classify it as an “orientation” or a “disorder,” rather than a perversion and a sick crime. It’s almost as if secular society is actively looking for any and all taboos that it can overturn, no matter how filthy or perverse. I suppose we should be thankful they haven’t started trying to “normalize” bestiality yet. Oh wait.
To the extent that there is an authentic, genuine secularist/atheistic morality and ethics, it is this—if you like the results, then it is moral and ethical. If it feels good, do it. And it is the results of this morality and ethics that provide the real proof in the pudding vis-√†-vis Judeo-Christian biblical morality. The atheists can waste their time passing around their lists of “One Billion and One Big Buy-Bull Contradikshuns!!!!” and they can jabber on and on as much as they would like about God commanding the destruction of the Amalekites or instituting temporary debt-servitude in the Old Testament. But when you get to the end of the day, Christians were the ones fighting to end the gladiatorial games and chattel slavery and the like, while secularists and atheists are the ones today arguing for gay marriage and pedophilia and the rest of the sorry mess of perversion to which our society has been giving ear. If this is going to be the direction taken by the shiny secular society of the future, then I really, really can’t wait for Oswald Spengler’s “second religiousness” to come into its own.
So while Josh Duggar may be a hypocrite who needs to face up to the consequences of his actions, the radical “freethinker” community is really the last group of people who have any business pointing it out.