The defenders of Josh Duggar seem to me to be in the same vein. When confronted with the staggeringly wrong idea that if evolution is true, then somehow molesting one's sisters is ok, it's kind of hard to accept that people "guided" by religion have any idea what morality is at all. I am a product of evolution, and I would certainly not find that my being molested would be acceptable to me--and I would therefore not find it acceptable for others to be molested. The idea of reciprocity in this manner is called "the Golden Rule". Most major spiritual moral systems came up with something very like it. I find it hard to believe that a person supposedly educated in theology is unaware of this concept. But I can easily find that someone who just has an economic axe to grind against evolution will bullshit on the subject. Because why worry about bearing false witness when mad creationist park scrilla is on the line? Eric Hovind is a little G in his world. He figures that the Big G in the sky will have his back.
So take the screed of Michael Seewald, the father-in-law of one of Josh Duggar's sisters, for what it is in invoking "grace".
So, what is the ultimate answer? The answer is what Josh found and millions like him. He found forgiveness and cleansing from Jesus Christ. There are many of you that are reading these words right now having had thoughts and deeds no better than what Josh had and did. You are a sinner. You are a sinner by birth and choice. It is because of that corruption that is common to all that you have violated God’s holy commandments.
I have a younger brother and he's precious to me--I wouldn't have touched him against his will for the world. It wouldn't cross my mind to. I might be a sinner in the eyes of Seewald's church because I am attracted to women and I think the Bible is just a just-so story, but let's talk about choices--I choose to believe that I don't have an imaginary friend who wipes my slate clean. I'm a person, which means I have preferences. But I choose whether I do the right thing on the basis of whether other people are harmed by what I do. And I don't think I can say I prayed on something and now it's all good. It isn't--because life.
When does one ever confront the consequences of one's actions with this brand of grace? I killed this SOB, but I repented. I stole like millions of old ladies' pension checks--but it funded my ministry. And we might even do something good with that money eventually. After I put in the food court, the stage for my praise band, and the heliport. I might have cheated on my spouse with a same-sex partner after being a virulent homophobe for years, but you know. It was the meth talking. I staged a reality show pretending my family was a good example for others, but we have serious problems I would rather not deal with.
It's cheap grace--cheap because making things up is free. The Duggar defenders use grace as an excuse for things but also seem to imply this is how it goes in their family, also. And some of what I read about the Duggars makes me really concerned about how things truly are in their family, for real.
The dynamics of homeschooling and the avoidance of allowing outside intervention seems like independence, but in a lot of ways, it looks like great ways for abusers to hide their abuse. The adherence to the teachings of Gothard and Pearl really indicate that child abuse is normal for families in the Quiverfull movement. The Pearl bullshit advocates beating infants.
There is no godless doctrine that equals that kind of full throated endorsement of child abuse. I look at the Duggar defenders, and wonder just how common child abuse--even sexual abuse--really is.
They can take their version of grace and shove it.