--Christopher Hitchens, god is Not Great
At times the phrase "methinks thou dost protest too much" doesn't even scratch the surface of a person's hypocrisy. At times one's hypocrisy is so massive and throbbing that it drips into the realm of comedic irony: it would be funny if it wasn't so sad. This seems to especially be the case for religious idealists who seek to shove their subjective faith-based morals down the throats of other people, while simultaneously breaking the very moral code to which they wish to force others to ascribe. This is most distressing when shoved down the throats of children.
I have written about evangelical pastor Ted Haggard a few times. For years the Colorado Springs mega-church pastor railed against the "gay agenda" in very public ways, while flaunting the moral superiority of his particular sect of Christianity. His career as a preacher abruptly stopped when it was discovered that he had been regularly meeting with a gay prostitute to engage in gay sex and get high on meth (it was the gay prostitute who exposed Mr. Haggard in order to stop Teddy from further hurting the gay community).
Don't feel too bad for Pastor Ted, however. He went to a Christian counseling facility and through a few weeks of prayer has cured himself of his sinful gayness (surprise!). His wife even wrote a book about how she has forgiven him and their new ministry is stronger than ever (despite being significantly smaller). It seems that god truly does help those who receive direct financial contributions from gulli-believers.
Well, such painful and public irony has reared its ugly head among god's favorite sexually-repressed sect yet again. A few months ago it came to light that Josh Duggar, an "ex-reality TV star" known for TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" and a leading member of the Family Research Council (an anti-gay lobbying group with significant clout among credulous anti-science sheeple), had sexually abused several of his younger female siblings and at least one female friend when he was a teenager. The wake of the scandal nearly caused the network to cancel the show.
His parents, also victims of self-perpetuating sexual-repression, waited over a year to intervene. Their rationale was that they thought it was a phase and that he would stop as he matured. Fine. Honestly, I can't say that I would immediately jump to criminal charges against my own child either. However, the thing which really boils my noodle is that when Josh's parents did decide to intervene they did not go to a licensed therapist or to an accredited treatment facility run by doctors, but to a Christian prayer-based rehabilitation program run by preachers.
As an aside, the director of this program also fits the category of "sanctimonious hypocrite" since his conviction for child pornography and pedophilia.
Josh has been set up to fail from the start. His parents are part of the "quiver full" movement, which approaches childbearing like an all-you-can-eat buffet. Their take on sex education is that abstinence is not merely the best option, but the only option. Education about reproductive health, contraception, and family planning are all schemes from the devil to thwart god's plan (as if any thwarting of a plan devised by an omnipotent and omniscient being is even possible...). Any mention of STD's should be made only as a scare tactic to encourage abstinence.
Furthermore, one should not engage in any sexual activity until marriage--an ideal most assured through ignorance--and once in a life-bound commitment with someone equally ignorant, one should not use any contraception at all to ensure the most babies possible being born into this lifestyle of perpetuated ignorance.
With all of these cards so neatly stacked against Josh, is it any wonder that, in his ignorance about sex, he acted out sexually?
I heard a podcast a while back where it was mentioned by a social worker or therapist of some kind that in their professional experience there are two types of people who grow up to be sexual aggressors and abusers. The first is victims of abuse. This is fairly self-explanatory. Victims perpetuate a cycle of abuse because this is what they were taught.
The second type of abuser is one which has been sexually repressed and their only reference for sex is the bible. Think about this. Think about the implications of only learning about sex from the bible. King Solomon's sonnets about tower shaped boobs are only the tip of a rather perky biblical ice berg.
Remember the story of Lot? Remember when he threw his virgin daughters to a mob of horny men so they wouldn't rape his angelic guests? Remember when his daughters got him drunk so he would get them pregnant? All of the concubines, the sex slaves, the incest, the virgin girls given to warriors as a prize for conquest, the mosaic laws favoring the rights of rapists over the rights of women--all of it paints a picture of that women are less than men, and that sex is a form of control and a symbol of power.
If this is the only place a young Christian boy learns of sex, his sexual acting out, although reprehensible and scary, becomes understandable. Young boys (and girls, for that matter) who are born in to this unrealistic and repressive lifestyle do not really stand a chance at becoming healthy functioning adults. They are victims.
This is why it is a bittersweet experience for me to learn that Josh Duggar--a leading member of a political organization which seeks to legislate their own warped view of morality on to our children--has been found to have multiple accounts on the Ashley Madison website (a website which allows paying customers to seek out extramarital affairs). On the one hand, I revel in the irony. People like the Duggars have more political power than they deserve and do more harm than good with their anti-science idealism. Their hypocrisy deserves to be exposed, if for no other reason than to sap them of their influence.
On the other hand, Josh is a victim of circumstance. He had no choice but become a pretentious hypocritical sexually confused bigot. He was given no proper education about his sexuality and had no sexual outlets. When his hormones began to rage and he had no healthy way to process or contextualize his budding libido--not to mention the changes happening to his sisters and female friends--he lashed out in his confusion. I honestly think that he had no idea what he was doing.
But he is an adult now. He should know better. He should have been educated and sent to a therapeutic facility to learn how to manage his sexual urges appropriately, but his parents failed him. He is now lobbying against the rights of others because he was mistakenly taught by his ultra-conservative politician father that this is behavior becoming of a decent person.
And to think that Josh's parents are now in the process of pitching a new cash-cow TV show to "The Learning Channel" in which they, the creators of the monstrous hypocritical mess of a man that is Josh Duggar, will advise others on matters of sex and relationships. I have no punch line. These people terrify me. My only solace is that TLC has not accepted their offer.
FSM help us.
Roy Zimmerman singing about Ted Haggard: