I’m not in the best position to give guidance here, as an atheist. However, there are some events unfolding in the US that make me glad I am a non-believer, because at least I can see the difference between right and wrong and don’t have to invoke a god to tell me. Nor do I need a devil to explain my actions when I behave badly.

You may not have heard of the Duggar family. The patriarch of this clan of monsters is one JimBob. He’s an evangelical Christian. So is his wife, mother to a brood of 19. They have that many children because the wife sadly miscarried once, and they decided this was because she had been using oral contraception, and, God being merciful and all, had sent them a sign. They decided to let God take care of their family planning. The way I see it 19 children is a pretty good indicator of how good he is at his job, but whatever.

It now turns out that one of the sons, Josh I think he’s called, has been sexually molesting girls. Not just any girls, though. Oh no. Only the best for Josh. He’s been interfering with his sisters. Yes, the family that plays together stays together. However, he’s an equal opportunity employer, so he strayed away from home too.

Now you might expect mom and pop to whale the crap out of Josh and have him sent to the slammer to find out how much he likes being fiddled with. You’d be wrong. They’ve been defending him. There’s been a lot of blather about grace, and evil, and redemption through prayer, demons, and God’s mercy and forgiveness being visited upon Josh. If you think things are already bad, brace yourselves. Duggar Senior claims that given the chance everybody would touch up children if they thought they could get away with it. Josh is effectively blameless because we’d all do it if we thought we could ‘get away with it.’ The phrase ‘get away with it’ speaks volumes, doesn’t it? I’m not sure what they teach in evangelical churches in Arkansas, but I want no part of it.

There’s a rather surreal rider to this. The Duggar father, who would also appear to be possessed of demons, recently berated the Obamas for letting their children listen to and watch Beyonce. I can almost see their point, since I think she’s talentless, and I’m tired of her shaking her booty in her videos. But she’s pretty innocuous when you compare her to a child molester.

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