Jessa Duggar's Father-in-Law Breaks Family Silence on Josh Duggar's Molestation Charges

Jessa Seewald (née Duggar) doesn't exactly have a father-in-law who's shy about sharing his opinions. Ben Seewald's dad Michael has always been uber supportive of the Duggar family, but sometimes his "defense" goes way over the line of propriety. He's finally made a statement about controversy surrounding Jessa's big brother Josh Duggar's molestation scandal.


In case you've missed it, news broke this week that the eldest child of the 19 Kids and Counting crew, Josh Duggar, sexually molested five young girls back in 2002 and 2003, when he was 14 years old. Four of those unnamed victims identified Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar as their parents, which means that Josh not only inappropriately touched just any girls, but his own sisters.

On Sunday, May 24, Michael Seewald took to his blog to slam critics of Josh's past sins, saying it grieved him to see the family reliving the tragedy once again.

"There is blood in the water and the sharks are in a feeding frenzy,"he wrote, in a blog post titled "Grace Greater Than Our Sin." He went on, "Finally, the Duggar family’s opponents have found what they have been eagerly waiting for: shocking revelations of scandal by Jim Bob and Michelle’s firstborn son, Josh."

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Jessa's father-in-law explained why he felt the need to speak out on the scandal, as opposed to staying mum as the family has mostly done. "I would rather not discuss something of this nature on my blog, especially since it is dredging up past sins that have been painfully grieved over once already by all involved," he wrote. "It pains me to see that they are now having to relive the nightmare that had been laid to rest well over a decade ago with Josh’s repentance and reformation, but I feel compelled to bring some context and reason to the bloodletting that many are engaging in and to come to the aid of our dear friends and family."

Michael also defended Jim Bob and Michelle's attempts to rectify the situation on their own. "As it stands criminal charges were not brought against Josh but I believe that Josh's parents acted in a way that godly parents should. They did not turn a blind eye, but earnestly sought help from the church, counselors, and eventually the police."

Side note: The "police" they sought help from was Cpl. Joseph T. Hutchens, who gave Josh a "very stern talk" sometime in 2005. He later went to jail himself on child pornography charges.

The elder Seewald continued, "Maybe they didn’t do it in a way that pleases everyone, but they acted decisively to confront the sin, to call a penitent son back from his errors, and to seek to aid the hurting victims. In the end Josh sought forgiveness from those he wronged, repented of his sins, and came to trust Christ as his Savior. He has to the present day attested to the reality of his repentance and faith by living above reproach. In their efforts to salvage the wreckage that these transgressions brought, and bring healing to all involved, Jim Bob and Michelle are to be commended."

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At least he had the decency to tell the victims (one of whom may even be his own daughter-in-law) that sexual abuse is never their fault.

"The victims of Josh’s actions should not be lost in all of this," he wrote. "Sadly, this type of thing is all too common. Victims of sexual abuse of any kind often suffer greatly for many years as a result of these sins. We should not downplay the seriousness of these offenses particularly, nor gloss over the pain and confusion they often bring, sometimes for a lifetime."

"No matter what the abuser may have said, you are not the one to blame," Michael continued. "Do not keep silent if you are being abused, tell someone you trust, a parent, a teacher, a friend, anyone is better than silence. You are likely not the only one who has been abused. Tell someone so that they will be stopped. If the person you tell doesn’t contact the right people to help, tell someone else. Stay away from the abuser if at all possible, or avoid being alone with them. If the abuser is in your family, you may feel conflicted. You may love this person and can’t understand why they are hurting you. No matter how much you love the abuser you must tell someone. Remember, it is never okay for someone to treat you that way even if they are a parent, a sibling, or a friend. There are many people who will help you if you just break the silence."

He also believe that people shouldn't be "shocked" that this happened in the Duggar family. "There are many who seem shocked that a child from a Christian family would do such things. While it is always alarming when we find out about our children’s sins, we should not be surprised. Christians (and many other reasonable people) believe that we are all born with a sinful nature," he wrote. "We should not be shocked that this occurred in the Duggar’s home, we should rather be thankful to God if we have been spared such, and pray that he would keep us and our children from falling."

And through everything, he supports the Duggar family. "I want to say that the Seewald family stands with the Duggar family in solidarity. We stand with the unnamed victims of these incidents," he wrote. "Our thoughts and prayers are for you. I want to say to Josh, hang in there, the shame you feel is legitimate, yet Jesus took your shame as he was punished in your place. Rest in his forgiveness and grace. Remember that he gives you his righteousness as a covering for your shame. Let this trial in your life build humility and grace. Don’t be angry at the world for their hatred of you. Show them through your love for them that it is Jesus Christ that made all the difference in your life. I'm rooting for you."

The thing I don't understand about everyone supporting Josh Duggar is this -- Who's supporting the five girls who were violated? Where are their rights? Of course they've been told to forgive and move on, but have they really? And it just seems awful that with his past, Josh went on to become a lobbyist for the Family Research Council to combat LGBT legislation. Why the heck would he choose that career path when he had a record as an alleged child molester? It just doesn't make any sense to me.

This is a sad situation, but my heart mostly goes out to those girls. Whether or not Josh is a deviant, or he made a sinful mistake, it doesn't change the fact that they were hurt in the most intimate of ways, by someone whom they were supposed to be able to trust.

Are you surprised by Michael Seewald's support of Josh Duggar?


Image via Ben Seewald/Instagram

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