Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) declared his support on Friday for the Duggar family, after revelations the eldest son of the reality television clan was investigated for inappropriately fondling young girls in 2002 and 2003.
Josh Duggar, the oldest of the family made famous by their TLC reality show “19 Kids & Counting,” confirmed on Thursday he had acted “inexcusably” in the face of a report from In Touch Weekly revealing he was investigated by police in Springdale, Arkansas in 2006 for allegations he forcibly fondled five minors.
The parents of the Duggar family, Jim Bob and Michelle, endorsed Huckabee’s 2016 presidential run earlier this month. On Friday, Huckabee penned a Facebook posting in response to the scandal.
“Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, ‘inexcusable,’ but that doesn’t mean ‘unforgivable,'” Huckabee said.
Duggar, now 28, married with three children and the Executive Director of the conservative political group Family Research Council Action, said on Thursday that “as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret.”
He subsequently resigned from his post at FRC Action.
Duggar’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, also released a statement in light of the claims.
“When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes, and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before,” they said.
In his note about the scandal, Huckabee called on critics to withhold judgement from the religious family.
“Those who have enjoyed revealing this long ago sins in order to discredit the Duggar family have actually revealed their own insensitive bloodthirst, for there was no consideration of the fact that the victims wanted this to be left in the past and ultimately a judge had the information on file destroyed — not to protect Josh, but the innocent victims. Janet and I love Jim Bob and Michelle and their entire family,” he added.
Huckabee added that while others may flee from standing with the Arkansas family, he and his wife Janet want “to show up and stand up for our friends.”
Read Mike Huckabee’s full statement on Facebook about the Duggar family:
“Janet and I want to affirm our support for the Duggar family. Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, ‘inexcusable,’ but that doesn’t mean ‘unforgivable.’ He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities. No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story. Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things. The reason that the law protects disclosure of many actions on the part of a minor is that the society has traditionally understood something that today’s blood-thirsty media does not understand — that being a minor means that one’s judgement is not mature. No one needs to defend Josh’s actions as a teenager, but the fact that he confessed his sins to those he harmed, sought help, and has gone forward to live a responsible and circumspect life as an adult is testament to his family’s authenticity and humility. Those who have enjoyed revealing this long ago sins in order to discredit the Duggar family have actually revealed their own insensitive bloodthirst, for there was no consideration of the fact that the victims wanted this to be left in the past and ultimately a judge had the information on file destroyed — not to protect Josh, but the innocent victims. Janet and I love Jim Bob and Michelle and their entire family. They are no more perfect a family than any family, but their Christian witness is not marred in our eyes because following Christ is not a declaration of our perfection, but of HIS perfection. It is precisely because we are all sinners that we need His grace and His forgiveness. We have been blessed to receive God’s love and we would do no less than to extend our love and support for our friends. In fact, it is such times as this, when real friends show up and stand up. Today, Janet and I want to show up and stand up for our friends. Let others run from them. We will run to them with our support.”
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