The pro-family community was rocked yesterday with the resignation of Josh Duggar from his highly visible post with the Family Research Council, a resignation triggered by revelations of sexual indiscretions on his part when he was a young teenager.
Every indication is that his repentance for those deeds was sincere, and there has been no hint of sexual impropriety on his part in the intervening 13 years. Nevertheless, his resignation from FRC was appropriate. His ability to be a spokesman for family values has been compromised, and it was wisdom on FRC’s part to recognize that.
Critics immediately began to blast FRC for “moral hypocrisy,” and to insist it has forfeited the right to speak on matters of sexuality. These critics are wrong.
In fact, if anything, FRC’s immediate and swift resolution of the matter is a demonstration of its values, and a validation of its sincere commitment to those values.
The news broke yesterday morning, and by the afternoon FRC and its president Tony Perkins had acted decisively and fairly.
No one at FRC, nor anyone else outside the Duggar circle, knew before yesterday about these incidents from 2002 and 2003. Certainly FRC was unaware of them when the decision to hire Mr. Duggar first arose. Mr. Perkins can hardly be faulted for not acting on information he did not even have.
We live in a fallen world, and sin affects us all. None are immune, and the weakness of our flesh can in time snare a David or a Solomon or a young Josh Duggar. For those who know the Scriptures, such failures, as disappointing and heartbreaking as they are, should not come as a surprise. They graphically illustrate why we all need a Savior.
I have only a casual relationship with Tony Perkins, but have always found him to be a man who is above reproach and carries himself with the highest ethical and moral standards in character and conduct. These revelations came as unexpectedly to him as they did to us all.
He certainly is not to blame for what a teenage boy did 13 years ago, and not to blame for only finding out about it yesterday. He can only be faulted if he had failed to act with wisdom and strength when the news broke.
But Mr. Perkins acted in accordance with FRC’s values in dealing with this situation just as he does when dealing with legislation on Capitol Hill. There’s no hypocrisy here whatsoever. Instead, what we see is fidelity to FRC’s abiding principles, and a commitment to apply those principles without partiality.
Certainly Mr. Perkins should have had this information at the time the hiring decision was made. Why he didn’t is a matter for another day, but in point of fact he didn’t have it, and when he did get it, he acted quickly and correctly.
The public revelations of what happened over a decade ago will certainly rock the Duggar family for years to come and will unsettle the folks at FRC and in the larger pro-family community for a time. But whatever failures led to this, none of them can be laid at Tony Perkins’ feet.
Heartbreaking? Yes. Hypocritical? Absolutely not.