Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, declared his support on Friday for reality television’s Duggar family after the eldest child, Josh, admitted to molesting underage girls, including some of his sisters, when he was a teenager.
In a Facebook post, Huckabee said that Duggar deserves forgiveness for his actions.
“Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, ‘inexcusable,’ but that doesn’t mean ‘unforgivable,'” Huckabee said. “He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities. No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story.”
Huckabee also said that the revelations did not diminish the Duggars’ Christianity.
“They are no more perfect a family than any family, but their Christian witness is not marred in our eyes because following Christ is not a declaration of our perfection, but of HIS perfection,” he said.
The Arkansas family’s evangelical Christianity is a major theme of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” the reality TV show about their lives.
Josh Duggar, 27, is now married with three children and a fourth on the way. He confessed to molesting the underage girls in a Facebook post on Thursday, after InTouch Weekly broke the story earlier that day.
Duggar also resigned from his position at the Family Research Council, a conservative anti-gay organization, on Thursday.
Jim Bob, the Duggar patriarch, waited over a year after Josh confessed to molesting the young girls before contacting the police, according to a 2006 police report obtained by InTouch Weekly. The police were unable to conclude their investigation before the three-year statute of limitations was up, so they did not pursue the charges further.