• Ben in oakland

    Don’t leave out the very relevant fact that the “family friend” who “counseled” Joshy Boy was a POLICE OFFICER who is now in prison on child porn charges. It’s not a little bit like asking the fox who guards the henhouse to write a treatise on the virtues of foxes.

    And I am not at all surprised that people fall from the pedestals that they have placed themselves on. That is usually what happens, especially when they are walking the well trod trails of self-proclaimed proclaimed godliness by attacking other people.

    And that is what Joshy boy has been earning his living at, as have his very similar parents.

  • Ben in oakland

    Joshy Boy said, “As I am learning the hard way, we have the freedom to choose our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences.” But in Duggar’s case, that is EXACTLY what he attempting to do– choosing his consequences.

    I have a REAL problem with the oldest Christian con game of all: “I am the most miserable of sinners. I have failed Jesus, but I know (absent any actual evidence) that he has forgiven me. So no actual consequences, right? We’re all good!”

    Until the next time. Duggar has already had a number of those next times: serial child molestation, serial attempted (if not actual) adultery, serial looking at women with lust in his heart (also adultery, according to Jesus), two different Ashley Madison accounts, and on and on.

    Until the next time, where once again, Jesus will forgive him, because we are all sinners, doncha know?

    as for Mrs. Josh, she married into that family. I suspect she is no better than they are. Maybe she’s a victim.

    Maybe not.

  • John

    Wow, talk about reading intentions into a situation about which Laura has absolutely no idea. Wow. Laura, you have painted “professional Christianity” with such a broad stroke that I wonder if there is anything that you don’t know about it. Yes, this guy is a slug, but you demeaned his wife. Great job blaming the victim! Wow. Such knee-jerk vitriol against a perceived strand of Christianity that you humiliate a man’s wife who just cheated on him because you think you know her motives. You project motives onto her that you can’t know and then you judge her for them. Shame on you Laura.

  • Patrick Horn

    The problem isn’t hypocrisy and cheats.
    The real problem is false morality in sexuality-politics.

  • Dominic

    This article is making a judgement on Anna’s decision that is completely. feminist and weak. True Christian marriage is based on fidelity, love, and understanding. Yes, hubby is a dog many times over, but perhaps, just perhaps Anna still loves him and sees herself as his helper through this.
    Hilary remains with that impeached oaf and no one criticizes her. People write off marriage too easily today, let them make their own choices and don’t humiliate her for believing in something.

  • Greg1

    We’ll have to see what happens. He has four children to raise, so separation would only destroy them mentally. Hopefully he will turn to our Lord, and ask for forgiveness, the grace to combat his temptations, and correct all the sin he has committed. If he were Catholic, he would begin that process by going to the Sacrament of Confession, and then hopefully joining a Catholic support group to battle the Devil who has entered into his life. People don’t realize today that living a holy life is a difficult spiritual battle with the Devil and his fallen angels. They are constantly tempting us to turn to sin, and leave God Almighty. That is their goal, and anything which fuels that is an accomplishment for them. And, once we sin, our souls are darkened, and they can accomplish their task easier and easier once the grace of salvation is snuffed from their souls. Nothing causes the Devil to scream louder than turning to the Lord in these situations. His hope is you cut and run.

  • Dave

    Forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same thing… excellent insights in this well written article. Thank you.

  • Daniel Berry, NYC

    Jesus is recorded as urging his followers to avoid making a public show of their “righteousness.” But the seductiveness of lights, cameras, $5000 suits, million dollar homes and the rest of it are just too much for most of us, as we’ve seen over and over. And we’ve also seen such professional Christians crash and burn over and over. Seems that Jesus knew what he was talking about.

  • Daniel Berry, NYC

    This forcing forgiveness in front of the camera is a very shrewd, very manipulative move. Rex Humbard shameless pioneered this technique, even forcing his wife to say on camera in a split screen that she forgives him.

    Slimy business by slimy charlatans.

  • Larry

    The real problem is we have “sexuality-politics” in the first place.

    People who are making tons of money lobbying and trying to legislate ways to tell people how to behave in their bedroom. The bedroom is not a place where government needs to be prying its eyes.

    It invites hypocrisy and double talk. Its good business.

  • Ben in oakland

    Gee, Dom, MY marriage is based upon love, fidelity, and understanding. And yet, we’re not Christians! In fact, the marriages of my gay and straight friends alike are also so based. go figure!

    It looks like Christian marriage is only as special as the people who are in one. That probably explains the divorce and adultery rates in our most Christian country.

    Joshy was in a Christian marriage, until he wasn’t.

  • LJRich

    Anna is a young mother of 4 children all under the age of 5 who also has zero education. That’s why she won’t leave her husband. I think it has more to do with that than any part of the religion. Those women are raised to be helpless in all matters other than wifely duties and being a baby factory. They have nothing to rely on other than the men. You’re right, she’s probably praying day and night right now. She’s probably scared out of her mind about how she’s going to eat it Josh doesn’t feed her. Other than the fact that Josh Duggar is a child molester, the other crime here is how these women aren’t allowed to have even an education.

  • The Great God Pan

    If the knowledge that the father of her children is an admitted incestuous child molester didn’t strike her as grounds for divorce, why would this? Maybe she’s just thankful that he’s getting his jollies with consenting adults who aren’t blood relatives.

  • Jack

    This is a truly sordid story in every aspect. I too despise the warped rendition of Christianity that, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote, is nothing but the cheapening of God’s grace.

    But there is a difference between hating Christian hypocrisy and smarminess and hating Christianity itself. There’s a difference between people who hate the hypocrisy of Christians precisely because they value the moral teaching of Christianity and people who hate the moral teachings of Christianity and use the hypocrisy of Christians as a way to undermine Christianity and hence its teachings.

  • Jack

    Perfect, John. Very well said. All we really know is that her husband is at best a pretty sick person and at worst an utter fraud. We know absolutely nothing about her or where she is in the forgiveness/reconciliation process. Hence this article is layer upon layer of conjecture built on the sands of childish speculation.

  • Jack

    I hate to sound rude, but why is this person even writing for an adult audience? She should be writing for some teen magazine or web site. That’s the maturity level revealed in this article.

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  • Greg1

    LJRich, actually women who do not work, and stay home to raise their children are performing a great sacrifice for them. Yes, she would be out in poverty if she left her husband, but that is not Christian. Christianity is a bout sacrifice, and not pleasure, or pride. I find it interesting that in the Writings of Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich, who was given a great grace in life to “see” the Life of Christ, as if it were filmed, spoke and wrote about how our Lord handled the affair of the Samaritan women at Jacob’s well, who had 5 husbands. It is a good read, and runs from the Book pages 181 through 195. The book has been photocopied, and that section can be found at the below link:

  • Ben in oakland

    Mostly, jack, we are in agreement here. I hate the hypocrisy of a certain class of so called Christian, but not because of Christian morality.

    I hate hypocrisy and authoritarianism, period.

  • Ben in oakland

    On another note, but it’s actually the same goddam note, yet ANOTHER So called Christian is using and abusing the the doctrine of forgiveness to evade responsibility and cash in on the lucrative “Jesus forgives me”racket.

    Noted v-logger, vocal homophobic bigot, and super duper Christian Sam Rader as also been caught, lyin’, cheatin’ and adulterin’ in the Ashley Madison scandal.

    But NOT TO WORRY!!!!!!

    He has already announced that he knows Jesus has forgiven him. Hallelujah, glory hallelujah.

    And by the way, send more money and LOOK OVER THERE!

    Sinning gays!!!!!!!

    Thank god I’m an atheist.

  • Joe T

    Who cares if she divorces him or not! If he is living with his children why is the state not removing them from the home? He is an admitted child molester. Why aren’t the authorities doing something?

  • Greg1

    No, Ben, Jesus has not forgiven him. Salvation is day to day. When baptized, our souls are joined to the body of Christ, and the soul is then filled with the very life of God. However, as one sins, the life of God (divine grace) is slowly but surely diminished in the soul until all is left is the mark of Baptism. That grace can be restored through the Sacrament of Confession, and repentance, but since these people have left the Catholic Church, and its priesthood, they must appeal to God directly, and ask for forgiveness. And that type of forgiveness only comes from God slowly, and is given only insofar as their repentance is shown. So we must watch this event, and see how it unfolds.

  • Ben in oakland

    HE says that Jesus has forgiven him.

    YOU say Jesus has not.

    Both of you believe in Sock Puppet Jesus. funny how the desires of Jesus always and forever so perfectly match yours and his. One would almost think that you both have an agenda.

  • Ben in oakland

    Because Jesus has forgiven him?

  • Ben in oakland

    Well! will the onward rush of the Duggarnaut ever stop?

    It turns out the Super Duper Christian Joshy Boy used someone else’ s photo on his OK Cupid account! So, besides being a child molester, and adulterer, a porn viewer, and GAWD alone knows what else, Joshy Boy is also a thief, a liar, and an imposter.

    I’d say color me surprised, but I’d be lyin’ if I said that.

    I’m sure Jesus has already forgiven him this as well.

  • Greg1

    Joe, because the state is much worse in its understanding of family, marriage, and sin, than this family.

  • Greg1

    Ben, read the following: 2Ptr 2:17-22 “People like this are dried-up rivers, fogs swirling in the wind, and the dark underworld is the place reserved for them. With their high-flown talk, which is hollow, they tempt back the ones who have escaped from paganism … if anyone lets himself be dominated by anything, then he is a slave to it; and anyone who has escaped the pollution of the world once by coming to know our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, and who then allows himself to be entangled by it a second time and mastered, will end up in a worse state than he began in. It would even have been better for him never to have learned the way of holiness, than to know it and afterward desert the holy rule that was entrusted to him. What he has done is exactly as the proverb rightly says: The dog goes back to his own vomit and: When the sow has been washed, it wallows in the mud.”

  • Ben in oakland

    He could be talking about any number of the judgmental, so called Christians here.

    Something about. Toes and beams. Or was it pots and kettles?

  • Ben in oakland


    Pots and kettles.

    That’s it.

  • Ben in oakland

    iPad did it again. MOTES and beams.

  • Ben in oakland

    So the Duggarnaut continues merrily on down the road.

    It turns out that Joshy Boy, super duper Christian that he is, stole an innocent man’s photo– probably because the man is pretty hot, and Joshy would have to pray mightily to look even a tenth as good– and used it on yet another hook up and dating site, OK Cupid.

    So joshy is also a thief, a liar, and an imposter, and not just a child molester, adulterer, porn viewer, and Gawd knows what else?

    Color me surprised.

    But not to worry!!!!! His particular, peculiar Savior, Jesus!!!!!! Has probably already forgiven him these little sins as well. I don’t know if his God-fearin’ parents will. He has seriously messed with their income stream. Because, doncha know, every child deserves a good, Christian mother and father.

    Fat lot of good it did Joshy,

  • Greg1

    Yes, Ben, Sacred Scripture is the Living Word of God. It was written for three audiences: those to whom it was written, those now living (those alive), and the end time audience. When you read scripture, it is God talking to you directly. So yes, apply as needed.

  • The Great God Pan

    The Duggars have political connections in Arkansas. And Josh was never convicted or even charged with anything, so technically speaking the authorities might not have grounds to intervene without accusations of current abuse.

    In fact, a judge had all the files pertaining to the case destroyed (hello, political connections!) after it came to light, so officially speaking the abuse has been written out of history. It never happened, as far as the state of Arkansas is concerned.

  • Be Brave

    Josh Duggar’s sexuality is simply that he was born that way. He’s doing nothing wrong. No different than a homosexual that has to frequent beach bathrooms and state parks and bath houses for anonymous sex with dozens and dozens of different sex partners night after night after night.

    Duggar is just part of the secular sexual morality we see so common today.

    What’s the big deal?

  • Be Brave

    Joshy Boy is not the greatest of sinners because he is not rejoicing in other people’s sins. If he was doing that I believe the term used by the gay community is “questioning.”

    The greater sinners are those that ridicule and mock Christians and Christianity while behaving being loathsome but making an excuse for their degenerate behavior.

  • Be Brave

    Christian marriage is man and woman/husband and wife. That can be broken by infidelity.

    Same gender people get to married by some weird degenerate secular sickness of a sexualized and debauched society making its way to supreme court lunatics.

    Whatever Duggar does and did, he didn’t blaspheme marriage nor redefine marriage, he just embraced secular morality. Nothing we haven’t seen so many, many, many times before.

  • Be Brave

    Duggar didn’t and doesn’t wipe away degenerate behavior by some congenital excuse. Leave that to the LGBT community and its “legion” of supporters.

    It’s interesting that we can call Duggar’s behavior loathsome and hypocritical, but homosexuals get a civil right to their debauchery.

    Disgusting, but a matter of fact.

  • Be Brave

    And Ben and the Demons inside him shriek and howl as he/they try desperately to drag Duggar into their world.

    Of course Ben claims atheism as his point of reference.

    Of course.

  • Be Brave

    Jesus addresses this in the Sermon on the Mount, when He says “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

    That is almost as perfect as it gets to describe how The Church should treat so-called homosexual and Bi-sexual “Christians” and the entire “Gay Community” that wants to pretend they can stay in The Church. And the ironic and hypocritical aspect of the gay pride demand, is that they refuse to repent of their sins at all. In fact, as Paul points out in Romans, they not only enjoy their sin, they actively encourage others to engage in them. INCLUDING encouraging children to “question” committing sins.

    And they scream about Josh Duggar?

    L G B T H Y P O C R I S Y

    The letter soup grows and grows.

  • “Duggar is just part of the secular sexual morality we see so common today.

    What’s the big deal?”

    No he isn’t. He is one of you guys.

    A bible thumping arrow in the quiver for Jesus as he was born to be. Part of a religious sect which emphasizes servility of women, dangerously high birthrates (with attendant leeching off public services) and enabling rampant sexual abuse (sexual purity is only for women).

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  • Randall

    The Duggars have placed themselves in the limelight to be scrutinized. Unfortunately they are finding that once there, everyone is watching them for any small tidbit that can be used against them. True to form, however, no one is perfect save Christ Himself. That’s why He died for our sins.

    The fact of the matter is no one sin is greater than another, aside from denial of the Holy Spirit (which means more than denying it verbally, it is to deny it in your heart and walk away from it, which doesn’t mean instant Hell forever.)

    I see a lot of people making comments about LGBT and stuff. If you feel led to judge those people just remember you yourself are standing in the place of God and you are throwing stones when you have sin yourselves. One of my dearest friends is homosexual and I wouldn’t trade his friendship for a hundred Sunday Only Christians who sit in and relish the conviction of others.

  • Randall

    And adding to that, I do think this article had some extremely positive points to show that just because you’re sorry doesn’t mean you don’t have consequences. Josh Duggar has done something awful in regards to the vows he took. And public persona and image along will find a way to ruin him and his actions are now coming back to his family. However, it also stands to reason that he may only be sorry because he was caught. If he had reconciliation in his heart to begin with he would’ve been honest with his wife and told her. But some people want their cake, be able to eat it, and have the pie they baked and not expect any consequence such as weight gain (in this case, losing his wife and kids, be married and enjoy affairs, too.)

  • Lydia Strickler
  • Victor Edwards

    As a pastor and theologian, my own view is that it is you and John who are the amateurs. The article was well written and utterly frank – and utterly right in its theology. Forgiveness is NOT reconciliation, and her selection of biblical texts to support his teaching was spot on.

    What the heck is “professional” Christianity anyway? That is an oxymoron if ever I have seen one.

  • g

    Boy, am I glad that the Lord doesn’t take this same position on forgiveness when He forgave me! I think perhaps you would have been better served to consider the implications of the gospel on forgiveness before publishing this unworthy article.

  • Ben in oakland

    Your second paragraph?

    I couldn’t say it better myself. Unfortunately, you weren’t looking in the mirror when you said it.

  • Ben in oakland

    Professional Christianity is where you make money and accrue power by ignoring the forest of logs in your eyes in favor of the bacterium in someone else’s, where you have a ready pile of stones to throw at others through the glass walls of your house, and where you treat others as you would like to treat them.

  • Ben in oakland

    He didn’t blaspheme marriage?

    adultery– the new fidelity and chastity!!

  • gary

    We are surprised when people fall from grace, but should we really be? Scripture tells us over and over again on the necessity of guarding our hearts and giving no room to the Devil. Did not multiple numbers of God’s choicest servants in Scripture commit the most heinous acts as well? We need to understand why the battle against sin is a terrific one to fight, and requires every God-given weapon available to us in order to win that fight. Porn especially will slay any man and has left countless victims in its path. Pray for Josh to be restored to his first love, Jesus, and that hopefully his marriage can be saved.

  • John

    Actually, forgiveness can be reconciliation. It doesn’t have to be, but it is just as viable an option as the other. The article is a grade school exposé of Laura’s opinion that needed an excuse to come out. But you already recognize that, didn’t you Mr. (false!) pastor and theologian?

  • Deb

    I think one of the most tragic things is that Anna and her children are stuck with Josh no matter what his behavior, because of the Bill Gothard culture Anna was raised in. She has no formal education, no training, no skills and no ability to live outside of that culture and navigate the world. How will she provide for her children if she is cut off for not submitting to his authority?
    She has few; if any options and he knows it, which may be partly the reason he felt he could get away with his behavior.

  • roberta

    read this. When someone can not change, you can forgive them and not reconcile with them.
    Women need to stop being abused because people take the bible out of context. Women submitting to their husbands does not mean they become their servants and get walked all over. Men are suppose to love their wives as they love themselves.
    Women never should stay in an abusive marriage. Neither should men, or children. God did not intend for their to be abuse by anybody, it is a sin. Using the Bible to force people to stay in abusive relationships is a sin.
    No one knows what is in these 2 peoples’ hearts only God does. If they stay together or not depends on them. She does not have to, but if changes are made and they still love each other then that would be a beautiful thing.

  • Jack

    Victor, she writes like a teenager who thinks she knows all about life but knows little. She pretends to know the wife’s heart and motives, when clearly, she knows nothing of the kind, nor do any of us. We can’t possibly know….all we can do is speculate.

    The wisdom of adulthood knows that there is a time to speak and a time to refrain from speaking. Her entire discourse on forgiveness and reconciliation is completely misapplied to the situation, because it assumes for a fact something none of us can possibly know — what’s going on in her head and heart.

  • Pastors of small churches are having affairs, sexually assaulting, and masturbating to pornography, too—especially in independent churches that aren’t led by elders (or other accountability circle of faith). I hope “megachurch” was used only in terms of “celebrity” and not in terms of special culpability.

  • Jack

    All true, Gary, but in the case of Josh Duggar, this doesn’t seem to fit. His doesn’t seem to be a typical case of a decent guy fighting temptation. It’s looks more to be a case of a double-minded man living a double life and finally getting caught.

  • Jack

    Randall, I too have some gay friends, and I agree with what you’re saying.

    One can have such friendships without compromising what the Word of God says about marriage and family. I never lose sight of the fact that we’re all in the same boat before the High King of Heaven, to use a great Celtic phrase. We’re God’s image-bearers but also fallen sinners who need His forgiveness and grace. And they realize that anything I say about marriage and family has nothing to do with inherent bias on my part, but sincere commitment to God’s Word. They have not married and that may be partly due to my yakking and partly because they don’t see the point of it. I probably influenced them to resist the outward pressure they felt to get married.

    My view is that both homosexual and heterosexual men are missing God in their lives and the need to become His brides & that each avoids it in different ways. Christians should know this, and some do, but few humble themselves.

  • Jack

    I would like to feel sorry for Josh Duggar, but it’s hard to when I think of his wife and kids. And it sounds to me that he never really got to the bottom of whatever problem he has that is feeding his sin. I’m a bit cynical about his motives — I honestly don’t think he’s a good guy who just keeps falling, but a person living a dual life that has now been exposed.

    Most of all, I think people should leave his wife alone.

    We are living in times of unprecedented freedom and unprecedented opportunities to abuse our freedom. We are living in times when we define freedom as external alone, not internal. We want to be free on the outside, even as we are slaves to things that bind us on the inside.

    The genius of the Gospel is that offers freedom on both ends, if we have eyes to see and ears to hear. Despite human hypocrisy, every generation has millions who have been freed on both ends through Christ.

  • Jack

    Ben, you seem to be on quite a tear over this…..

    If you ever became a Christian, I could see you as a fire-and-brimstone preacher ready to thump sinners over the head with your 50-pound Bible. I’m picturing my having to restrain you before you crash it down on some poor lad’s head and get sent to the slammer for assault with a…..[ahem]…deadly weapon.

  • Jack

    The big picture is that in spite of all the hypocrisy, most pastors of churches big and small are not having affairs but are dealing with more mundane flaws common to most of us who have strong opinions and personalities — impatience, a sharp tongue, a bad temper, a workaholic, cynical at times, too empathetic with people who need a good kick in the behind, and all the rest.

  • Jack

    Ben, you’re repeating yourself.

  • Jack

    It’s kind of interesting to watch you lefties suddenly sound like tub-thumping moral absolutists when professing Christians make fools of themselves.

  • Jack

    “Dangerously high birth rates?”


  • Jack

    Authoritarianism? In America? In 2015?

    That’s like saying California has been getting too much rain and that anorexics need to lose more weight.

  • Jack

    Actually, the greatest sin is the sin that denies one is a sinner. That’s the only sin where there is no forgiveness until the second it stops.

    Unfortunately, it appears that Donald Trump believes that about himself, at least from what he recently said about the matter.

  • Mick

    Lary come on , Hillary Clinton , Eleanor Roosevelt , Jackie Kennedy , and many more folks have been taken in on the likes of a dugger sweet talking . . Basically at the time of his affairs , Bill Clinton had the same morality based on marriage that this dugger dude does. Signed the Defense of Marriage Act . Talk about servility of women ? LOL The difference is obvious , the left uses things like this to throw dirt and do what you just did .

  • Mick

    Once again this is not where one goes for Bibical perspective . If the moral failings were of President Obama how would people respond . I don’t know these people , never heard of them till the secular and liberal attacks started poping up because this guy was a traditional marriage advocate I guess. Hillary Clinton , Eleanor Roosevelt , Jackie Kennedy , and many more folks have been taken in on the likes of a duggar sweet talking . . Basically at the time of his affairs , Bill Clinton had the same morality based on marriage that this duggar does. Signed the Defense of Marriage Act . The difference is obvious , Bill stood for things like abortion rights so his abuse of power with women was ignored more . Those on the right will circle the wagons in many cases because this guy supported tradtional morality vocally . Leave them alone , it makes you look silly and everyone sees through it .

  • Ben in oakland

    You bet I am on the tear over this, Jack.

    I despise theocracy, hypocrisy, dominionism, authoritarianism, and moralizing busybodies. Duggar, serial child molester, adulterer, porn addict, embodies all of these attributes. One more time, a hypocritical religionist has been caught with his hands in the proverbial cookie jar. He has proclaimed the evils of my quite harmless marriage, and has claimed that employment protections for gay people are the work of the devil, or somesuch nonsense.

    I have no interest in duggars alleged morals, except when he proclaims them loudly, when that obviously isn’t true. I’m not interested in telling other people how to live, and even less in claiming that God is giving me authority over the lives of other people.

    If I have any particular moral stance,it is Socrates’: Be as you would seem to be. And leave everybody the hell alone. Believe whatever you want, but keep it out of my life.

    Not so difficult.

  • Ben in oakland

    No. It’s this funny commenting system. I made the comment, and it disappeared. So I made it again, and it stayed. And then the original comment showed up about three hours later.

    I wish RNS would switch over to disqus. No more multiple logins, comments not showing up, and they are editable.

  • Larry

    Its funny, the sanctimonious religious types who claim to be moral absolutists are always relative in their application when it applies to their own actions.

    Religious belief is the ultimate in relative moral thinking. All things are moral if you can claim God sanctions it. All sins forgiven for Christians to their own if you make a show of being contrite (without actually doing so). The arbitrary rules of one’s faith are only applied in a draconian way against one who is not of the faith not against one’s own.

    And who knows what the hell you consider “leftists”. Its gotten to the point of being just a silly trademark.

  • Larry

    “Randall, I too have some gay friends, and I agree with what you’re saying.”

    LMAO!!! Let me guess, you have also told creditors “the check is in the mail”.

    Of course those friends must realize you have no respect for them as human beings and gladly support efforts to treat them like crap under color of law.

    Either that or you are just a two faced type of guy.

  • Jack

    Larry, for starters, you’re a leftist, or at least you impersonate one very well. I can’t think of one issue where you disagree with such thinking. In fact, you’re a virtual caricature of one.

  • Jack

    As I said, if you ever became a Christian, we’d have to keep you away from large Bibles encased in metal.

    If you stopped with “leave me alone,” you’d eventually win over a permanent majority of people, at least in America.

    But going after bakers who won’t put inscriptions on cakes is a quantum leap past “leave me alone,” because that doesn’t leave them alone.

    I don’t know whether that’s colossal hubris — akin to a roaring drunk who picks a fight with a guy in a bar who happens to be a Navy Seal — or just blind tactical stupidity on the part of activists, but either way, it is a miscalculation of potentially epic proportions.

    We shall see, though….

  • Jack

    Just for clarification’s sake, I meant to say that if you went no farther than “leave me alone,” you’d probably win a permanent majority. But blowing past that stop sign is what puts activists in a precarious position looking ahead.

    Again, though, we shall see…

  • Jack

    Understood. I have had the same posting problem.

    RNS, are you reading this?

  • Jack

    Wrong as usual, Larry. I have friends on all sides, culturally, politically, and in terms of religion.

    That’s how I’m able to make a distinction, for example, between Max and a good friend of mine who also is an atheist. The friend is intellectually honest and believes in fair play and is working with the same knowledge base as I am…..and that makes real debate both doable and enjoyable. And being that he’s one of the most decent human beings I know, I can be friends with him because I value his character, even though we disagree strenuously about God. Maybe Max is that way in real life, but not on these boards.

    What brings people together as friends isn’t always similar world views, but similar personalities. There are people I agree with on nearly every issue whose personality clashes with my own. And there are people with whom I disagree on most things who otherwise are just like I am.

  • Larry

    Hmm yourself.
    Encouraging women to use their uterus as a clown car is dangerous. Encouraging nuclear families in double digits is far from sane.

  • Larry

    I am pretty sure all those 1st ladies didn’t feel like turning their uterus into revolving doors. Eleanor Roosevelt stopped at 4 children. That would make her a rank amateur to the quiverfulling Duggars.

    Slick Willy never held himself out as a moral example nor lobbied to attack the civil liberties of others based on his view of sexual morality. Josh did both.

    The difference is conservatives (when discussing the Duggars, reactionaries is really more appropriate) frequently employ “family values” as a political position and hold themselves out as Christian morality figures to be followed. Liberals don’t usually play that game. Their position is to simply say that government doesn’t belong in your bedroom.

    People who throw mud at others deserve it thrown back at them. Religious hypocrites like the Duggars threw a lot of mud.

  • Jack

    As for gay friends, the same thing holds true, to a point. Obviously if I favored imprisoning gays or otherwise punishing them for how they live, I would have none nor would I want to. If I had an ounce of native hatred or revulsion toward gays, ditto. I would have had no such friends.

    But given where I stand, ie that I bear no such animus, and couple that with a natural tendency of mine, which I inherited from my father, to be inquisitive and interested rather than defensive when running into people who are different from me, and it’s really no great surprise. I also tend to favor underdogs and hate slavish conformity of any kind, preferring to arrive at conclusions after really thinking about things from all angles, as best as I’m able.

    And I like to talk and to hear others talk….I’m a good talker but a good listener, too….and people can talk to me about literally anything and I don’t turn them away, because I see helping them as a worthy endeavor.

  • Jack

    As for our different views on homosexuality, that comes in when it comes to gay marriage, but not religious freedom. Those I know are with me on the religious freedom issue. They think it’s absolutely asinine to demand that Christian bakers bake cakes for gay weddings. One gay friend I know called people “a…holes” who make such demands of people of faith. So the idea that all gay people are making such demands is total rubbish.

  • Larry

    The Quiverful movement encourages men to consider themselves laws unto themselves and the sole decision makers for a family. The sect breeds arrogance and a sense of invincibility for its males. Sexual abuse is rife in the sect and goes unchallenged (even encouraged).

    Josh is not an aberration. He is just a very public example of what the Quiverfull movement has been producing from its inception.




  • Larry

    “Leftist” being anyone who disagrees with your views or who is the alleged subject of any given ad hominem and strawman arguments you feel like making.

    Got that. 🙂

  • Larry

    Whatever makes you feel better.

    I am not the one resorting to a hoary cliche.

    “My __ friends agree that people are just getting whiny about their civil liberties.”

    Do you also have a girlfriend who lives in Canada that nobody else has met?

    Do you want to tell me of the great investment opportunities of timeshares as well?

    Tell me how that wire transfer with the Nigerian prince is supposed to work out.

  • Jack

    Interesting articles…..parts of the Daily Beast piece indulged in guilt by association, but other than that, it was revealing & disturbing.

    That’s why I’ve never trusted Christian movements that advocate separation from, rather than engagement with, the culture. And by active engagement, I don’t mean acquiescence, but debate and discussion and even principled opposition.

    Nothing good ever has come from Christian ultra-fundamentalist separatism. It births a cult-like mentality and it attracts wacky, dysfunctional people.

    As for relations between men and women, one of the chief reasons the Gospel attracted so many women, including women of high status, during the first century was its high view of women relative to the view of surrounding paganism. Paul, for example, at one point said that in a Christian marriage, the man’s body belongs to his wife as much hers to him. I don’t know of any parallel teaching in the ancient world outside of the Jewish world.

  • Jack

    No, Larry, leftist as in someone who agrees with views that any politically conversant person would recognize as far left of center, starting with cult-like faith in government as the solution to every human problem and continuing on to a reflexive desire to control or manipulate other institutions, from family and community to religion and business, which compete directly with government for the attention and allegiance of individuals. Add to that an elitist view of the average person as a drone to be controlled, rather than an individual possessing inherent rights and dignity.

  • Larry


    “This lazy freeloader was already depending on the government to take care of her other kids, and then she has the nerve to pop out a couple more? Unbelievable,” said Arlington, VA resident Evan Hunt, echoing the sentiments of millions of hardworking Americans who were appalled to learn that the moocher has never worked a single day in her life and has received federal housing assistance and cost-free child care since 2000.

    “She just sits on her fat behind eating all day while taxpayers fork over their hard-earned cash to pay for the handouts she gets. And you know her kids are going to grow up to be just like her, too. She’s a disgusting parasite.”

    At press time, the outraged nation was reportedly speculating that Mei Xiang probably didn’t even know who the father was this time either.

  • Jack

    I see you’re into free association, Larry. I just hope it doesn’t reflect any of your current activities, because some of what you cited could get you sent up the river.

    As for “hoary clichés,” that sounds like your current view. All we need is the Grateful Dead or Jefferson Airplane or some other period band playing in the background while you recite your four-decades-old litany of favorite policies and programs — all of them failures.

    We can even update it a bit — all the way to the late 1970s and show pictures of Iran’s taking our hostages and your friends droning on about the CIA and American decline, while Jackson Browne and friends sing/whine about the supposedly dreadful evils of nuclear energy.

    All together now: “Just give me the warm….power of the sun….bla bla bla….but just take all your atomic poison power away.”

    Fast forward to today — now let’s put Iran on a glide path to a nuclear bomb.

    Welcome to LarryWorld.

  • larry

    [Facepalms] OK, you are either a bit young, a bit dim or I was being a bit too clever here. Never mind.

    “All we need is the Grateful Dead or Jefferson Airplane”

    Oh hell no! Rolling Stones or Black Sabbath at least if you must go retro. The good bands back then appealed to heroin addicts, speed freaks and cokeheads, not potheads.

  • Larry

    Jack, I have never seen someone so wedded to arguing strawman positions and ad hominem attacks as you are. You would rather believe I ascribe to that Gish Gallop word salad of nonsense positions you posted. It saves you the trouble of actually bothering to respond to what people say.

    Of course you will discuss the “leftist” crack rather than address the glaring faults of the “Christians are moral absolutists” garbage you tried to invoke.