Report: Jim Bob Duggar ran on platform that incest, rape should be punishable by death

Arkansas state Rep. Jim Bob Duggar of Springdale front center, and his wife Michelle, right, lead twelve of their thirteen children to a polling place in Springdale, Ark., in this Tuesday, May 21, 2002 file photo. Duggar was running for the U.S. Senate against incumbant Tim Hutchinson in the republican primary election. Dugger's sons Jason, 2, is pictured left, followed by Josiah, 5. (AP Photo/April L. Brown)

(MEDIA GENERAL) – A storm of controversy has rocked the Duggar family, stars of the TLC hit show “19 Kids and Counting,” after a 2006 police report was leaked last week that accused a member of the Duggar family of molesting at least five young girls, possibly including his sisters. Details surrounding the Duggar family continue to emerge, feeding critics of the family and the Quiverfull movement of the Christian faith to which the family belongs.

Josh Duggar, the oldest of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s 19 children, reportedly was accused of molesting several underage girls, but was not properly turned in to authorities. By the time a police report was filed in 2006, the statute of limitations on the alleged actions, reportedly occurring in 2002 and 2003, had passed.

Many commenters have criticized the Duggars for how they handled the alleged situation, saying the parents supported and protected their son to the detriment of the victims, all while coming up short to seek the proper therapy to help both parties. Others, however, have stood by the Duggars, including Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee and Jessa Duggar’s father-in-law, Michael Seewald, who said Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar “acted in a way godly parents should.”

New details, first reported by Gawker Media’s Defamer, continue to call Jim Bob Duggar’s actions into question. According to Defamer’s report, Jim Bob Duggar, while campaigning for U.S. Senate in 2002 in Arkansas, ran on a platform that rape and incest should be treated as capital offenses, calling for the death penalty.

According to Duggar’s old campaign web site, which was preserved via web cache, Duggar said “rape and incest represent heinous crimes and as such should be treated as capital offenses.”

Here is the full context of the quote, answered in a “Q&A” format:

“Q: What is your abortion position, and specifically, where do you stand on rape, incest and threat to a mother’s health?”

“A: If a woman is raped, the rapist should be executed instead of the innocent unborn baby. Adoption is an option. Many couples would love to adopt and are waiting for a baby. Abortion has been and always will be the destruction of an innocent child. Rape and incest represent heinous crimes and as such should be treated as capital crimes. The developing infant committed no crime and should be allowed to live.”

A screengrab of Jim Bob Duggar’s former campaign web site when he ran for U.S. Senate in Arkansas in 2002. Duggar’s platform included treating rape and incest charges as capital offenses and calling for the death penalty. (web.archive.org)
A screengrab of Jim Bob Duggar’s former campaign web site when he ran for U.S. Senate in Arkansas in 2002. Duggar’s platform included treating rape and incest charges as capital offenses and calling for the death penalty. (web.archive.org)

Both Josh Duggar and his parents have issued statements that have addressed the incident though refused to give specific information. Josh Duggar apologized for the incident in which he “acted inexcusably.” Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar referred to the incident as “one of the most difficult times of our lives.”

TLC has pulled “19 Kids and Counting” from its schedule. No public decision has been made on the show’s fate.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s