Why Josh Duggar Is Federal Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ Immunity From The Law
If someone has “gotten right with Jesus,” none of us can judge, him right? If someone has told God that they sexually molested young children, then society is in no position to step, according to the Duggars and the Catholic Church, apparently. Josh Duggar has recently “apologized” (and I use the term very loosely) for sexually molesting his sisters and other children. A cynic might say that he only “apologized” when the story broke that he had molested his sisters, but he issued a public statement about how he apologized to his victims and got “mercy” from God. As another blogger pointed out, this so-called apology is entirely focused on Josh Duggar and how his sexually abusing his sisters impacted his life:
Josh Duggar’s got a steep hill to climb, and I have no intention of piling on, but something about his public statement galls me. Here’s the full thing with some additional emphases:
Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to myparents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgiveme and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.
That’s more than 20 personal references and only two passing nods to his victims and the harm he inflicted. What’s more, he blunts the second reference. In the first he mentions people he “hurt,” but the second only mentions “those affected by my actions.”
And it gets even worse at the end because Duggar plays the Jesus card. He asked Christ for pardon, he says, and we should all know that he’s grateful for the forgiveness. It’s impossible to escape the idea that the entire focus of Josh Duggar’s statement is Josh Duggar being okay with Josh Duggar. As if anyone cares about that.
I don’t know what a public “apology” for committing sexual abuse against children should look like, but the end result of this statement echoes the Catholic Church’s assertion that since God took care of everything, there is no legal issue from committing a sex crime, particularly for committing a sex crime against children. Let’s all celebrate God’s forgiveness of sexual predators and not take any action, right? Yeah, not the way the criminal justice system works, and for just this reason. For a sexual predator to simply say that God forgives him just validates the concept that he is a predator, and most predators justify criminal actions with their own system of personal validation.
It’s part of the criminal mindset to justify a crime according to a personal set of values. For example, child sexual predators make up scenarios in which they say the child came on to them. (For a quick primer on how the child sexual predator thinks, read the the Lolita novel, scary.) In other words, part of the criminal mindset is justifying a horrible crime according to a value set that demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of what is an abuse against another person. Josh Duggar’s so-called apology epitomizes the criminal mindset at play with child sexual predators.
Famous men have gotten away with this type of sexual predation for years–shout out to you, Catholic Church (priest molesting boys) Federal Supreme Court (Clarence Thomas), and Bill Cosby. As an article in The Guardian points out, the Duggar case is just another in a long line of society’s protection of sexual predators:
The Duggar case, in this regard, is particularly repulsive. For those unversed in the “look at this weird family” school of American reality television (subsets include “let’s all laugh at the impoverished” and “fats – they think they’re people!”), the Duggar family populates a programme called 19 Kids and Counting, formerly 18 Kids and Counting, formerly 17 Kids and Counting. The premise is that patriarch Jim Bob Duggar incessantly impregnates his wife Michelle in order to expand the ranks of their sanctimonious Christian homeschooling cult – which, as far as I can tell, holds as its sacraments: boringness, purity, female subservience, shamelessly rubbing heterosex in strangers’ faces, the letter “J”, hairdos of a peltlike nature and keeping LGBT people from doing stuff…
“News” “broke” this week that the eldest Duggar son, Josh, sexually assaulted at least five girls (four of whom were his sisters) when he was 14, allegedly sneaking into their bedrooms at night to grope them while they slept. I say “news” sarcastically because this occurred all the way back in 2002, so it’s hardly new, and I say “broke” sarcastically because the list of people who are said to have known about it this entire goddamn time apparently includes but is not limited to: Jim Bob Duggar, Michelle Duggar, an unknown number of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s church friends, at least one online commenter, an Arkansas state trooper who did not pursue the case for some strange reason and then in a totally unrelated coincidence was imprisoned for child pornography later.
And yet, as is typical, especially in insular, patriarchal religious communities, Josh’s life rolled on with little perceptible disruption – he’s now married with four children of his own, two of whom are girls, and (until he resigned this week) he was executive director of the political arm of the Family Research Council, a rightwing hate group that specialises in spreading hysteria about transgender people assaulting your children in public toilets. Josh has already been defended by rightwing Christians as high-profile as presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, who called the sexual assault of five children a “mistake” made by a “good [person]”. One pastor’s wife who also subscribes to the Duggars’ “Quiverfull” movement (which, apparently, is where you pretend your nutsack is a quiver and your penis is a stout longbow and your wife is a pile of hay or rags that you shoot sperm arrows into), argued that Josh was just “playing doctor” and deserves to be “left alone to live a good life”.
Why does it seem that religious right extremists/cultists always seem to be involved in sexual abuse? Maybe it only seems that way, but it seems that way every single time they are on the news. Warren Jefts ring a bell?
How dangerous is this cover-up of male sexual predators? So dangerous it made a sexual predator into a Federal Supreme Court justice, a man whose rulings have argued to support all kinds of abuse from power figures, the government, police officers, men against women, and anything else you can think of, Clarence Thomas’s rulings argue in support of abusive behavior. It’s a frightening level of manipulation and power to wield against the public, and it’s been unchecked. Clarence Thomas still argues he did nothing wrong, even when Anita Hill provided evidence that he sexually harassed her. Another woman was sexually abused by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (just writing that makes me gag), and an incredible power structure because he was judge prevented her from testifying, according to a Time magazine article:
In an interview with TIME last week, Savage recalled her meeting with Brock in the lobby of the Marriott Hotel in downtown Washington in 1994. A book titled Strange Justice, by reporters Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson, had just come out — and it used on-the-record interviews to argue persuasively that Thomas had indeed subjected a number of women to frequent sexually explicit remarks about porno videos. Savage, a black mid-level aide in the Reagan Administration, told both the authors and the Judiciary Committee (although she wasn’t called to testify publicly) that when she went to Thomas’ apartment in the early 1980s, the place was littered with graphic photos of nude women. When Savage met Brock, she says, he let her know he could ruin her. “He knew all this personal stuff,” she says. “He wanted me to take back what I had said. I couldn’t — it was true — but I was intimidated, and so I faxed him something innocuous. I was scared.”
Society’s inability, and largely powerful male inability, to confront sexual predators allowed a sexual predator to be appointed, a lifetime appointment, to the Federal Supreme Court of the United States of America. Sickening stuff. Josh Duggar’s so-called apology and concomitant self talk just illustrates the larger problem of allowing men in power to sexually abuse women and children with immunity. Look younger sexual predators, your predilection to harm women and children need not stand in the way of your career expectations; you, too, can be placed on the highest court in the United States. Look, Josh Duggar, your sexual abuse of your sisters and other children need not be prosecuted or prevent you from making millions on television and proselytizing hatred for the gay community or anyone else you feel doesn’t support your sexual predilection [to children?] and your breeding like rabbits.
It’s not just that he pulled the Jesus card to condone his sexual predation against children, it’s a large pattern that would seemingly support such behavior when the criminal justifies sexual predation and others agree with it. The Time article I quoted was published in 2001, and still nothing was done to Clarence Thomas; the writer of the article claimed he “broke no law,” which would be accurate unless you feel that coercing women to watch pornography as part of a work function isn’t breaking a law, or using your status as a judge in a custody hearing to prevent a your sexual abuse victim from testifying against you by threatening to take her kids away. No, abuse of office isn’t a law, especially when you use that to commit sexual abuse, is it? Or it only isn’t a crime if you are a famous man?
Clarence Thomas offered up a memoir, which not many read, nor will read, and his description of Anita Hill and the so-called conspiracy against him sounds eerily like Josh Duggar’s “apology.” An article in The New Yorker points out that if Clarence Thomas really believed Anita Hill were lying, why did he not call for an investigation into her story? Why didn’t anyone pay attention to Anita Hill, to find out if she were really lying or not?
“Senator, I believed that someone, some interest group—I don’t care who it is—in combination, came up with this story and used this process to destroy me…. I believe that in combination this was developed, or concocted, to destroy me… my view is that others put it together and developed this…. All I know is that the story is here and I think it was concocted…. The story is false, the story is here, and the story was developed to harm me.”
If Thomas and his supporters were speaking the truth, then not only he but also the entire nation were being victimized by a monstrous plot to use perjured testimony in order to undermine a solemn process mandated by the Constitution itself—and, thereby, to alter the course of American government for decades to come. A considerable number of people would necessarily have committed serious crimes in furtherance of this plot, beginning, of course, with Anita Hill herself.
Ideological conviction is not a valid defense for perjury. Nor are ego, ambition, and immaturity. If Hill was lying on her own, then she deserved to go to jail. If she had been programmed to lie, her programmers—feminists, liberals, and pro-choicers, presumably—deserved jail, too. It would have been a simple matter to collect the evidence from e-mail and telephone records and from the testimony, immunized and compelled if necessary, of her co-conspirators and other witnesses.
Nothing of the kind happened, of course. The Senate, for its part, did vote, 86-12, to launch an investigation. But its sole writ was to find out who leaked the existence of Hill’s preliminary affidavit to the press, and it quickly petered out.
From Thomas’s supporters, there were no calls for a special prosecutor, no demands to bring in the F.B.I., no expressions of outrage that Hill and the other plotters were being permitted to get away scot-free, no attempts to uphold the rule of law and the Constitutional order by ensuring that the guilty were indicted, tried, and imprisoned for their crimes.
The answer to that is, no one wanted to know the truth. The Senate couldn’t handle the truth, that Anita Hill didn’t lie and that the United States Senate just confirmed to the United States Federal Supreme Court a sexual predator, allowing Clarence Thomas to hide behind the race card and his skin color, much like Josh Duggar hides behind the Jesus card. We shouldn’t judge a man for his sex crimes because he is black? Or we shouldn’t judge a man for his sexual assault against children because he believes in Jesus?
Sadly enough, both reputable papers, The Guardian and The New Yorker, whose writers are not attorneys, mind you, opined that Clarence Thomas committed no crimes, well, if you don’t consider sexual abuse a crime…