My last post was about the tragic news story of Josh Duggar and his abuse of young girls. How should the Church react to something like this? Here are some thoughts on that as well as reactions and analysis.
Barefoot Betsy shares her reactions and opinions. A short quote to whet your appetite:
I believe that the Christian community needs to soundly condemn the adult Duggars’ response as well as the molestations themselves. This kind of chicanery should not be tolerated in the name of Christ. Yes, forgive, but don’t forget. There is no excuse for the adults sweeping this kind of incident under the rug. For years and years.
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, explains what the church’s response to abuse should be. I encourage you to read the whole article. Here is a small quote:
We should also make clear to the whole congregation the steps we are taking to make sure that children and the vulnerable are safe in our churches from sexual abuse. Tell the congregation why you have background checks, why safeguards for parent pick-up in nursery or Sunday school are in place, and so forth. Moreover, tell the congregation what the leaders will do when there is an allegation of sexual abuse. Make it clear that sexual abusers will not be enabled in your church, and victims will not be blamed or shamed.
Also, Elizabeth Esther has a picture of an ATI counseling worksheet on her Facebook page. She says,
As many of you may know, the Duggars used teachings by Bill Gothard and ATI. Someone just sent me this ATI worksheet that was used for “counseling” victims of sexual abuse. Note the question “Why did God let it happen?” and the subsequent answers which blame the victim for “defrauding” the perpetrator (defrauding is fundy-speak for seducing/tempting a man) through “immodest dress, indecent exposure, being out of the protection of our parents and being with evil friends.” So, it’s the VICTIM’S fault for being sexually abused. Obviously this kind of “counseling” is egregiously WRONG (not to mention unprofessional) and, in fact, causes MORE damage by re-traumatizing the victim. Since the Duggar family used and promoted ATI materials, it’s conceivable that worksheets like these were used in the counseling (although, of course, I don’t know that for sure). Regardless, this kind of “counseling” material serves as an important insight into the kind of environment in which the abuse happened.
There is much more information about ATI style counseling in this article by Libby Anne.