Jessa Duggar’s father-in-law couldn’t resist sharing his thoughts about the Josh Duggar underage sex abuse scandal.
Michael Seewald, the father of Jessa’s husband, Ben, is a religious zealot who occasionally shares his beliefs on the Seewald family blog. Many of his posts involve the Duggars in some way, and his latest lengthy screed is a defense of Josh Duggar and Josh’s parents.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Josh recently confessed to sexually molesting four of his sisters by forcibly fondling their breasts and genitals, usually while they were asleep. He was 14 at the time, and the Duggars had five underage daughters (ages at the time in parentheses): Jana Duggar (12), Jill Duggar (11), Jessa Duggar (10), Jinger Duggar (9), and Joy-Anna Duggar (5).
Like many 19 Kids and Counting fans, Jessa Duggar’s father-in-law seems more upset about the family’s good name being tarnished than he does about the family’s decision to allow their daughter’s molester to continue living under the same roof as his victims instead of turning him into the proper authorities. In a post titled “Grace Greater Than Sin,” Michael Seewald begins by whining about the media uncovering the dark secret that the Duggars wanted so desperately to hide.
“It pains me to see that they are now having to relive the nightmare that had been laid to rest well over a decade ago with Josh’s repentance and reformation, but I feel compelled to bring some context and reason to the bloodletting that many are engaging in and to come to the aid of our dear friends and family.”
Notice how he only mentions Josh while talking about how the family put this behind him — he doesn’t say anything about the victims, and there’s a good chance that neither they nor Josh got the help that they needed. According to People, Josh’s “treatment” consisted of a very short stay at the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) Training Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Institute in Basic Life Principles is a religious organization, and its training center “has been the subject of a local Child Protective Services investigation.” Josh was most likely getting preached to and studying the Bible, not getting psychological help. So far, no one has revealed what kind of help Jessa Duggar and her sisters received, if any.
According to Gawker‘s summary of the police reports, the Duggars lied about Josh’s “treatment.” Instead of saying that he was sent to the IBLP training center, they claimed that he was staying with “a family friend who was in the home remodeling business.”
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar also failed to report Josh Duggar’s crimes to the proper authorities right away. Instead, they consulted “church elders,” sent Josh to the IBLP training center, and asked Jim Bob’s state trooper friend, Cpl. Hutchins, to give Josh a stern talking to. Hutchins never charged the teen with a crime. According to InTouch, Hutchins was later arrested on child pornography charges, and he’s currently serving a lengthy prison sentence.
Many parents would find the Duggars’ actions appalling, but not Jessa Duggar’s father-in-law. According to Ben Seewald’s dear ol’ dad, the Duggars should be commended for how they handled the whole ordeal.
“As it stands criminal charges were not brought against Josh but I believe that Josh’s parents acted in a way that godly parents should. They did not turn a blind eye, but earnestly sought help from the church, counselors, and eventually the police … In their efforts to salvage the wreckage that these transgressions brought, and bring healing to all involved, Jim Bob and Michelle are to be commended.”
Michael Seewald goes on to complain that the media “illegally obtained” the police reports pertaining to Josh Duggar’s sex abuse scandal. However, this isn’t the case — InTouch legally obtained them using a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
Michael doesn’t even refer to what Jessa’s brother did as a crime. Instead, he complains that the Duggars “owed it to no one else to publicize the sins of a minor child.” However, now the Duggars are simply suffering the consequences of trying to keep that secret hidden for all these years — many of their fans feel betrayed, and they can likely see that Jim Bob and Michelle only have the fame and fortune that they have now because they tried to protect themselves by protecting Josh. Had Josh’s behavior been public knowledge a decade ago, it’s likely that TLC never would have given the Duggars a reality show.
Jessa Duggar’s father-in-law goes on to say that fans shouldn’t be shocked by Josh’s actions — he claims that many people would do the same thing if they didn’t fear the consequences of their behavior.
“Many times it is simply lack of opportunity or fear of consequences that keep us from falling into grievous sin even though our fallen hearts would love to indulge the flesh. We should not be shocked that this occurred in the Duggar’s home, we should rather be thankful to God if we have been spared such, and pray that he would keep us and our children from falling.”
Michael Seewald also writes that no one should be judging Jessa’s brother now because he felt bad about what he did. However, a few years later, Josh was cracking jokes about incest and using his family’s squeaky-clean image to score a job at the Family Research Council. If he actually felt guilty about what he did, he’d probably find it pretty difficult to preach to America about “family values.”
Michael Seewald doesn’t think that people should be judging Josh, but Michael is a judgmental man himself. As the Inquisitr previously reported, he once tried to stand up for Jessa Duggar by labeling her critics “Hilter’s doppelgangers.” Jessa had compared the Holocaust to abortion, and a few of her Instagram followers had simply informed her that they found this comparison offensive. Seewald also gave Rush Limbaugh a shout-out by calling Jessa’s critics “Femi-Nazis,” and, in a separate post, he let his followers know that he shares the Duggar’s anti-gay marriage views by comparing LGBT people to murderers and thieves.
Do you think Jessa Duggar’s father-in-law is helping or hurting her family by using Josh Duggar’s sexual abuse scandal to draw attention to himself?
[Image credit: Ben Seewald / Instagram]