Conservative Christians miscount

Published 10:16 pm Thursday, June 4, 2015

I don’t care how popular the Duggar family and their TLC reality show “19 Kids & Counting” is with Christian conservatives.

I don’t care how many Republican presidential hopefuls Josh Duggar posed with in Iowa, or how important his celebrity was to the Family Research Council, the conservative Christian lobbying group.

When the Duggar family’s oldest son admitted he had molested and fondled five little girls — including some of his own sisters — when he was 14, it was time for conservative Christians to hold Josh and the Duggar family accountable for their actions.

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Most didn’t.

Also, I noticed, most of those who want to be the GOP’s president in 2016 bit their tongues and pretended they hadn’t heard the shocking news.

But not Mike Huckabee, the ordained Southern Baptist minister. He really blew it.

Rushing to his Facebook page, he said he and his wife affirmed their support for the Duggar family. He said what Josh did was “inexcusable” but not “unforgivable.”

“Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things,” Huckabee wrote.

Almost 70,000 of Huckabee’s Facebook followers “liked” what he said, but he was completely wrong.

Child molesting is not a “mistake” you make when you’re young. It’s a crime against the innocent that should be prosecuted — and one I believe that should have no statute of limitations. In fact, the statute of limitations is only there to protect the guilty, not protect the innocent.

As we wait for more shoes to drop in this scandal, I have some uncomfortable questions people should be asking.

Let’s start with Josh, who’s now 27, has three kids and is no longer the executive director of the Family Research Council.

Was he a born a molester? Was he molested as a child?

Were other members of Josh’s huge family molested? Should he be in therapy now? Are his own kids safe?

Child molesting is evil, sad, disgusting stuff. I know. I was molested by a camp counselor when I was eight. Though my father wanted to kick his butt when he found out 34 years later, my molester never paid for his “mistake.” But I did.

Child molesting is often covered up — and most often it’s the family itself that protects the molester.

Did Duggar’s parents put their commercial success ahead of holding Josh accountable? Were they afraid to lose the national platform TLC gave them for their strict brand of Christian family values?

And speaking of TLC, shouldn’t we be asking its executives what they knew about Josh’s “mistake” and when they knew it? Did they care more about ratings and revenues than doing what was right?

Republicans and conservatives should be asking the people who run the Family Research Council the same tough ethical questions.

If it turns out they knew about Josh’s past and were still willing to hire him because of his celebrity, the FRC’s credibility is finished. Everything it believes in and has fought for will be lost.This scandal was a good time to do more than just fire Josh Duggar from the FRC and put the TV show on hold. It was also an opportunity to hold Josh accountable for his actions. But that didn’t happen.

As for Huckabee, I also have some questions.

If you found out tomorrow that Barack Obama had molested his young nieces when he was 14, would you call that “a mistake” and say you were willing to forgive him?

What if teen-age Barack had been caught molesting, was reprimanded and was then caught molesting again a year later?

Would you still say no purpose would be served by discrediting Barack Obama or his family by “sensationalizing” the story? I bet not.

We all know why Huckabee blew it. He had Iowa on his mind, not God.

He didn’t want to lose the support of the Duggar family or his Christian base, so he decided to call Josh Duggar’s child molesting a “mistake.”

But child molesting is never a mistake. No matter who does it, it’s always a felony. And it’s not something a cable network or a family is ever entitled to cover up.

Michael Reagan, bestselling author and political pundit. He is a popular national speaker on issues related to conservative politics, adoption, and the life lessons he learned from his father Ronald Reagan and his mother, actress Jane Wyman.