Mother-of-19 Michelle Duggar is facing criticism on social media after she promoted a book about the ‘assault on Christianity,’ with critics arguing that there is no such assault on the world’s most widely-practiced religion — but that Michelle’s oldest son, Josh, did assault his sisters.
Michelle, 55, shared her reading recommendation on Facebook on Sunday, calling the book ‘powerful’ and ‘thought-provoking.’
But many commenters have said they won’t be taking her suggestion to heart, insisting that she is guilty of ‘covering up her son’s sins’ as he faces charges of receiving and possessing child pornography nearly three decades after he was caught molesting five minors.
They’ve told Michelle that she should ‘clean her own house before advising others,’ with one mocking her for ‘trying to set herself up as a victim’ ahead of Josh’s trial next week.
Living in an alternate reality: Michelle Duggar is facing criticism for promoting book about the ‘assault on Christianity,’ with critics saying that Michelle’s son Josh assaulted his sisters
Mind your business! They’ve told Michelle that she should ‘clean her own house before advising others’ as Josh faces charges of receiving and possessing child pornography
In her guilt-free bubble: Michelle, 55, shared her reading recommendation on Facebook on Sunday, calling the book ‘powerful’ and ‘thought-provoking’
She shared a link to the book ‘We Will Not Be Silenced: Responding Courageously to Our Culture’s Assault on Christianity’ by Erwin W. Lutzer.
‘I just finished listening to this audiobook! This powerful book by Dr. Erwin Lutzer has been extremely helpful and thought-provoking. I highly recommended it for every Christian in America!’ she wrote, signing the message on the family Facebook account with her name.
While some fans chimed in with words of gratitude, many commenters had critical words to share.
‘There’s no assault on Christianity. But your son has assaulted children and his sisters. Maybe look for some books related to dealing with trauma and guiding children in the right manor to ask and receive help,’ wrote one.
‘I’m not 100% sure you know what assault is. There’s no assault on Christianity, but there was assault on your children under your roof. Maybe look for some audiobooks and resources for yourself, and some relating to trauma for your daughters,’ said another.
‘I really try to like them but just to brush an assault on your daughters from your oldest son I won’t be taking your advice or recommendations on anything. Are your son’s acts in the past Christian like,’ wrote a third.
‘I’m not 100% sure you know what assault is. There’s no assault on Christianity, but there was assault on your children under your roof,’ said one commenter
‘What about the assault on your daughters by your son? You are both a joke as parents,’ snapped a fourth.
Another chimed in: ‘Huh, Christianity is being silenced? But let’s sweep sins under the rug and continue to traumatize your own daughters by covering up your son’s sins and making sure to ostracize the one daughter that actually is the most Christian of you all. I’m disgusted.’
‘No one is assaulting Christianity,’ argued one more. ‘It’s people like you giving it a bad name. Clean your own house before advising others.’
On Reddit, one user called the post ‘disgusting,’ insisting that Michelle ‘is obviously trying to set herself up as a victim.’
Several also mocked the Duggars for attempting to frame their treatment at the hands of the press and the public as ‘cancel culture.’
‘Cancel culture isn’t after Christianity. It’s after pedophiles & those who helped them,’ one said, while another asserted: ‘You haven’t been canceled because of your religious choices, you’ve been canceled because of your paedophile son.’
The cancel culture criticism, in particular, seems to be in reference to comments that Michelle’s husband, Jim Bob, has made in his campaign for an Arkansas State Senate seat.
Consequence culture: Several also mocked the Duggars for attempting to frame their treatment at the hands of the press and the public as ‘cancel culture’
Jim Bob, who is running as a Republican, shared a message on his website blasting ‘fake news,’ insisting he won’t let it ‘define me and my family.’ He also slammed ‘cancel culture,’ claiming the ‘radical left’ wants to keep him from being involved in politics because of Josh’s alleged deviancy.
‘They say because our family has faced problems we should shrink away,’ he wrote, seemingly understating Josh’s alleged trove of child sexual abuse photos and videos as ‘problems.’
Josh, 33, was arrested this spring on federal child pornography charges, with one agent describing his collection as ‘in the top five of the worst of the worst that I’ve ever had to examine.’
But just weeks ahead of the scheduled start of Josh’s trial on November 30, Jim Bob, 56, launched a campaign to fill a recently vacated seat in the Arkansas State Senate.
Jim Bob, who previously served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2002, announced that he was running for a seat in Arkansas State Senate District 7 on October 29.
He promised to be a ‘bold voice that is pro-family, pro-business, pro-gun, and pro-life’ and to fight against ‘government mandates that force people to choose between earning a paycheck and violating their personal rights and beliefs.’
Woe is him! Jim Bob has complained about ‘fake news’ and ‘cancel culture’ on his new campaign website as he runs for a seat in the Arkansas State Senate
Is condemning pedophiles too woke for Jim Bob? He grumbled that ‘”cancel culture” and the radical left want to keep us from being involved in politics’
Jim Bob appears to have thrown his campaign website together quite quickly, as his announcement came just one day after current Senator Lance Eads announced that he was resigning to take a job in the private sector.
Now the former reality star has updated his website with more details on where he stands ‘on the issues’ — and seems to indicate that he doesn’t believe the charges against his son and suggest that they are part of a left-wing conspiracy against his family.
‘I will not allow the liberal left, social media, or fake news to define me and my family,’ Jim Bob wrote.
‘Like so many other families, we too have faced crises, difficulties, and heartbreak,’ he went on.
In addition to Josh’s arrest on possessing child pornography — some of which includes victims between the ages of seven and nine — Josh also confessed to molesting five minors, including four of his younger sisters, as a teenager.
But Jim Bob wrote: ‘”Cancel culture” and the radical left want to keep us from being involved in politics.
‘I will not allow the liberal left, social media, or fake news to define me and my family,’ Jim Bob wrote. ‘Like so many other families, we too have faced crises, difficulties, and heartbreak’
A time out for Joshy! Jim Bob and Michelle previously said that ‘the accusations’ against Josh are ‘very serious’ and they pray ‘that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light’
‘They say because our family has faced problems we should shrink away — this is why they are often so relentlessly unkind, but we cannot sit on the sidelines during a time when one of America’s most important battles is taking place!
‘We are devoted to doing our part and making a difference for our children and grandchildren.’
For years, Jim Bob, his wife Michelle, and their children were the stars of the TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting.
After police reports detailing Josh’s sexual abuse of his sisters were unearthed in 2015, the show was rebranded as Counting On, with a focus on the older siblings getting married and having families of their own.
While Josh’s wife Anna was on the show, he was not — and the show came to include extensive content featuring Jim Bob and Michelle and their yougner children as well.
Following Josh’s arrest, a public outcry — including a petition — resulted in TLC canceling Counting On in June.
While the show has quite literally been canceled, many of the adult Duggar children still enjoy popularity on social media.
Father of the year! Jim Bob also promises to fight for the rights of parents to ‘decide what is best’ for their children – though he seems to be focused on schooling and healthcare
Also on his newly-updated website, Jim Bob promises to fight for the rights of parents to ‘decide what is best’ for their children — though he seems to be focused on schooling and healthcare.
‘Parents know best for their children, not the government!’ he wrote. ‘I will fight for parents to get to decide where their children go to school and for their hard-earned tax dollars to follow the children, and I will fight tirelessly to ensure that parents, not the government, control their children’s healthcare.’
He also strongly comes out against Democrats and President Biden.
‘I’m not afraid to stand up to social media companies who censor conservatives and want to ruin all that has made America great. We will not be silenced,’ he wrote.
‘We must fight the Biden regime, the Democratic Party, and the establishment “RINO” Republicans who are pushing this Marxist agenda!’ he added.
‘Biden, liberals, and establishment Republicans want to control everything about our lives. Freedom matters, and I know that if we don’t stand up against these mandates and overreaches they will never stop!’
Jim Bob also promises to ‘fight 100% of the time to protect the unborn,’ ‘fight against every attempt to erode our Second Amendment rights,’ and ‘fight back against liberals using our federal government to limit our freedoms.’
One-termer: Jim Bob previously served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2002 (pictured with Josh, bottom left, John David, bottom right, and his parents)
‘I’m not afraid to stand up to social media companies who censor conservatives and want to ruin all that has made America great. We will not be silenced,’ he wrote
Jim Bob (pictured with Mike Huckabee) said he will ‘fight the Biden regime, the Democratic Party, and … “RINO” Republicans who are pushing this Marxist agenda’ – all while presumably bankrolling Josh’s lawyers in his child porn trial
Though Jim Bob was the first to announce his candidacy, he has since been joined by several Republican challengers including Navy veteran Steve Unger and the mayor of Springdale’s chief of staff Colby Fulfer.
The Republican primary is set for December 14.
The winner of that race will face off against Democratic candidate Lisa Parks, a child welfare attorney, in the special election on February 8.
Jim Bob’s campaign will run through his son’s trial, which is scheduled to being on November 30 with a pre-trial hearing on November 29.
According to the indictment against Josh, he is alleged to have downloaded child sexual abuse material online in May 2019.
When a raid was carried out on his car dealership later in 2009, Josh allegedly asked agents: ‘What is this about? Has someone been downloading child pornography?’
Josh was asked about having child porn in his possession and he allegedly responded: ‘I’d rather not answer that question.’
Heaven forbid Josh take the blame! Josh’s wife Anna, 33, reportedly blames Jim Bob and Michelle for his arrest
His computer was reportedly equipped with a dark web browser that could have let him anonymously search for child porn. The Tor browser would have allowed the him to bypass anti-porn software called Covenant Eyes that his wife Anna installed to monitor what her husband downloaded.
The files were first flagged by a detective in Little Rock before allegedly being traced to Josh’s car dealership. The IP address of the computer was also linked to Josh’s dealership.
A detective on the case claimed she was able to locate two files: a zip folder containing 65 image files of naked girls aged between seven and nine, and a two minute video of a similarly-aged girl being raped by an adult man.
Josh was arrested in April and his parents soon released a statement.
‘We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time. The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious,’ they wrote.
‘It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light, and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family.’
Josh pleaded not guilty and was released on bail a week later.
Inside Josh Duggar’s controversial past: How former reality star confessed to molesting his own sister, went to Christian rehab for sex addiction, and was accused of sexual assault by a porn star
In 2004, parents Jim Bob and Michelle — and their then 14 children — appeared in their first television special, 14 Children and Pregnant Again, on the Discovery Health Channel. The Duggars projected a wholesome image, and soon starred in three more TV specials that aired in 2006 and 2007.
In 2008, TLC premiered 17 Kids and Counting, which would go on to be renamed twice to account for the births of the youngest Duggar kids: Jennifer, Jordyn, and Josie.
During the specials and early episodes of the show, the Duggars shared details about their modesty standards and the strict rules they followed governing male and female behavior.
But all the while the family was hiding a dark secret: that eldest son Josh had a history of molesting girls that had started before their first TV special.
According to a 2006 police report unearthed by InTouch Weekly in 2015, Josh’s behavior was first discovered in March of 2002, when one of his youngest sisters went to Jim Bob ‘very upset and crying.’
The Duggar family starred in their first TV special in 2004 and went on to have three more – and their own TV show, 19 Kids and Counting
The sister said that Josh had been sneaking into the shared girls’ bedroom and touching her breasts and genitals while she slept on four or five occasions. Once, she woke up while he was taking a blanket away from her.
Josh then admitted to doing so when confronted by Jim Bob and was ‘disciplined,’ though Jim Bob didn’t reveal what the discipline entailed.
In March of 2003, ‘there was another incident,’ according to the police report, with Josh being accused by several minors of similar sexual touching. On one occasion, he was reading to a little sister on his lap and touched her ‘breasts and vaginal area. On another, he cornered one of his sisters in the laundry room and put his hand under her dress.
However, Jim Bob and Michelle did not initially go to the police, keeping the molestation allegations and Josh’s confessions a secret until a tip was made to the Arkansas State Police Child Abuse Hotline about Josh’s behavior and forced their hand.
Finally speaking to police on Dec. 12, 2006, Jim Bob said when he learned about what his son was doing, he ‘met with the elders of his church and told them what was going on.’
They suggested a particular treatment program at Vista Hospital, but Jim Bob was concerned that Josh would be ‘exposed to other offenders and other things they did not want him exposed to.
When he was a teenager, Josh admitted to molesting four of his younger sister, who were later identified as Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy Anna
Instead, they sent Josh to a Christian program that consisted of ‘hard physical work and counseling from March 17, 2003 to July 17, 2003.
Jim Bob and Michelle also told the local police that Josh had ‘apologized’ to his victims and said they had ‘forgiven’ him, and when he came home they believed the issue had been ‘resolved.’
When Josh came home from the Christian counseling program, his parents had him talk to Arkansas State Trooper Jim Hutchens, who gave him a ‘very stern talk.’
Hutchens, 75, was later imprisoned on child pornography charges of his own, and has been in jail since 2007. He was sentences to 56 years.
When the police report describing Josh’s transgressions was made public in 2015, two of his sisters — Jill, 29, and Jessa, 28 — identified themselves as two of his victims. Later, in 2017, Jinger and Joy were identified as the other victims in a lawsuit.
Jim Bob, Michelle, Jill, and Jessa all sat down for an interview with Megyn Kelly to discuss what happened — and some viewers were left alarmed by the way the parents tried to minimize their son’s behavior.
‘He was still a kid, you know, and he was still a juvenile. He wasn’t an adult,’ Jim Bob said. ‘Kids will make their own choices.
While filming, Josh got engaged to Anna Keller. The pair had strict rules governing physical contact before they married
‘[Josh] had gone in and just basically touched them over their clothes while they were sleeping,’ he went on, adding that there were ‘a couple incidents where he touched them under their clothes, but it was, like, a few seconds.
‘God can forgive [Josh] for these terrible things, I hope other people realize God can forgive them and also make them a new creature,’ he said.
He also seemed to imply that a brother molesting his sisters was common, saying: ‘We talked to other parents and different ones since then, a lot of families have said that they’ve had similar things happen in their families.’
‘The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country, I was hiding my own personal failings. As I am learning the hard way, we have the freedom to choose to our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences. I deeply regret all hurt I have caused so many by being such a bad example.
‘I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please pray for my precious wife Anna and our family during this time,’ he concluded.
Porn star Danica Dillon then sued Josh for allegedly assaulting her during sex, but the lawsuit was later dropped.
In 2015, after the molestion was reported in the press, Josh discovered to have an account on the adultery website Ashley Madison
The dual scandals led to TLC canceling the family’s show, 19 Kids and Counting. Josh also lost his job at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., a conservative lobbying group against abortion and gay marriage.
In the midst of the scandals, he and Anna welcomed their fourth child, Meredith.
For some time, Josh was absent from social media — and went away to another Christian counseling program while his wife and children moved in with his parents.
But Anna has publicly forgiven him, in the past few years has returned to sharing fawning Facebook posts about her husband.
‘Redemption is a beautiful thing!’ she told a fan on Instagram who commented on Josh’s presence in photos.
In 2017, they welcomed a son named Mason, followed by a daughter named Maryella in 2019. Anna also gave birth to a daughter, Madyson, this year.