Christian Homeschoolers Will Not Acknowledge Their Complicity In Duggar Type Abuse Beth Stoneburner | Sympathetic atheist

With the Christian reality TV star Joshua Duggar (back) in the news for alleged sex crimes, more and more churches are realizing that predators can wander and roam within them. No matter how faith-filled your community is, predators can be in the congregation or even in leadership positions. As we’ve seen time and time again, however, these communities also place undeserved trust in people while rejecting the kind of surveillance that could prevent these tragedies from happening.

This is especially true in the world of Christian home schooling.

Write for Christianity today, Kate shellnutt describes how these communities allow abuse to flourish:

But for some who come from Christian circles like the Duggars – conservative Christian churches, tightly knit homeschool networks, large family “quiverfull” movements – this case is not just about Josh Duggar. This represents a greater concern about how their communities teach about sexual abuse and, sadly, have missed opportunities to respond to it..

“Josh Duggar is in the position he is in because he was empowered and protected from consequences at every step by his revolted parents and their patriarchal and dehumanizing theologyJacob Denhollander said in a series of tweets posted after Duggar’s arrest in April this year. Denhollander defends the victims along with his wife, Rachael, herself an abuse survivor. But he also grew up one of 13 siblings in “the same home schooling circles as the Duggars”.

The “dehumanizing theology” Denhollander refers to means a lot of things, including blaming the victim (presumably female) for “seducing” her abuser, as well as treating all sins as equal as a result.

But the more cases of abuse are reported and the more abuse survivors talk about what they’ve been through, the more Christians begin to see how sexual abuse is a particularly harmful sin.

His pattern of sexual abuse and misconduct has been reported for years, but the recent case comes at a time when more attention is being paid to abuse in church. Christians learn about the risks of abuse, including how predators target environments of trust they find among people of faith.

“Let’s start with the bad news. There are too many churches in this type of [homeschooling] movement that does not have protection policies and policies related to known sex offenders“said Justin Holcomb, a theologian who studies sexual abuse.” The good news is that in more and more churches, because of the #MeToo #ChurchToo movement years ago, the conversation about sexual abuse and domestic violence has increased. “

While it’s good to see this topic covered in a leading gospel publication, not everyone feels the article does the topic justice. Home school alum RL Stollar made these comments on Twitter:








All of these points are correct. For an article that discusses how the Duggar scandal leads to a calculation in the home schooling community, there is no mention of how nothing substantial has actually changed or how evangelical groups are the reason monitoring is almost impossible. When secular groups (or state governments) have called for the bare minimum of child protection, it is Christian groups like the Home School Legal Defense Association that have fought against these policies in the name of “religious freedom.” “.

Nothing will change until evangelicals stop attributing their problems to sin or secular culture and start pointing fingers.

(Image via Shutterstock)




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