The revelation of Josh Duggar's infidelity and child abuse is no reason to "jettison" biblical morality, says Tony Perkins, president of Duggar's former employer, the right-wing Family Research Council, which has been designated an anti-LGBT hate group by the progressive Southern Poverty Law Center.
Thursday night on Fox News Channel's The Kelly File (watch below), host Megyn Kelly said to Perkins, "It really rubs people the wrong way when the person who sinned is somebody who espouses family values and lectures others about their lifestyles. You've said you believe that if you make this your profession, your life's calling, you are held to a higher standard."
Perkins responded that the Bible says we have all sinned, "but we cannot use that as an excuse to live in sin." It's a continuing battle, he said, to overcome sinful urges (which Perkins regularly notes to include same-sex attractions), through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Perkins received praise for his performance from Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump via Twitter, as Towleroad noted, and Perkins responded with gratitude:
Meanwhile, a former Family Research Council employee has written an article for LGBT blog The New Civil Rights Movement analyzing Duggar's hypocrisy. The oldest son in the 19 Kids and Counting family, Duggar was recently revealed as a user of the Ashley Madison website, which facilitates extramarital affairs, just four months after news surfaced that he had sexually abused young girls, including some of his sisters, when he was in his teens.
"As an ex-member of the religious right and former policy analyst for Family Research Council, I was not surprised that Josh Duggar was involved in this sort of duplicity," writes Yvette Schneider, who was also once involved with the "ex-gay" group Exodus International.
"Josh, like the rest of us, was likely taught to hide whatever 'evil stirrings' he had. To do things in secret was how he learned to handle his urges. Feelings of shame and inadequacy arise in response to sexual sublimation and being told constantly that sexual feelings are dirty and of the devil. At the same time, to feel inferior isn't manly. To show weakness isn't a 'good witness' for the Lord. The mixture of inadequacy and the pressure to appear superior is a potent concoction that often leads to acting out."
She further notes that "people in positions of Christian leadership also tend to feel privileged," and Duggar likely believed that God would "wink and nod" at his transgressions.
"Josh Duggar isn't the first conservative Christian who has lived a hypocritical double life," Schneider concludes, "and given the toxic mix of Christian shame, sexual denial, image and privilege, he certainly won't be the last."