I’d like to address two issues of the Josh Duggar molestation story. If you unfamiliar with what has happened, see here.
There are different ways to view hypocrisy.
One view is “If a person has done something wrong in the past they can never speak out against it in the future.” One is welcome to this view but two bitter pills must be swallowed.
First, it condemns a virtue. It is a virtue to speak out against what is wrong. Even if they do not reveal their past sins, it is still good to encourage others to do what is right.
Second, it’s unlivable and hypocritical itself. Ever lied, gossiped, or been nasty? Then you can’t tell others not to do these things or you self-condemn yourself as a hypocrite. With this view one cannot parent children because parenting involves teaching children not to act like you did as a kid. Imagine the following conversation:
Mom: Johnny, you disobeyed me.
Johnny: Did you ever disobey your parents?
Johnny: Then you’re a hypocrite – be quiet.
Another view I’ve heard regarding this story is essentially “A person should not speak out against another if their sins are or were worse.”
This view also condemns the virtue of speaking against what is wrong and promoting what is right.
In Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus tells His disciples not to judge others when they are guilty of the same thing. He even states their sins are much larger than those they are speaking against. Then He instructs them to get rid of their hypocrisy, and get this: judge their brother to help them. This view allows people to be virtuous and encourage others to do what is right. It also avoids self-condemnation.
Many commenting on this Duggar story are very upset that this ‘holier-than-thou’ family is not all that reality TV has portrayed them to be. (Since when did people believe reality TV was actual reality?) To help alleviate this misconception, Christians need to communicate that they are not ‘holier-than-thou’ – their righteousness comes from Christ. Paul wrote in Philippians 3:9, “and [to] be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.” Righteous living is meant to honor God, oneself, and to encourage others to do the same. It is not meant to put others down. Admitting the struggles and failures with sin may make Christianity more real, authentic, and approachable to unbelievers. It may help people to be more open to Christianity instead of driving them away.
The majority, perhaps upward of 80% of Christians, oppose unjust discrimination against LGBT people. Then why should they oppose the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in civil rights laws? One name: Kelvin Cochran, former Atlanta Fire Chief.
Here’s a time line of the pertinent events.
(?) Cochran gets verbal permission to write a book. Atlanta’s policy has been reported to get prior written approval from the Board of Ethics.
2012 Cochran publishes “Who Told You That You Were Naked?”, which upholds biblical sexuality for all people, not just gays.
2012 Cochran gives copies of the book to several co-workers including the mayor. He mayor does not read the book.
2013 (Nov.) Cochran gives more copies of book to several co-workers, at least one of which alerts the mayor of its contents regarding homosexuality.
2013 (Nov.) Cochran is suspended without pay for one month, ordered to receive sensitivity training, and a discrimination investigation is launched. He is told not to talk about his suspension.
2013 (Dec.) Cochran does talk publicly talk about his suspension.
2014 (Jan.) The investigation finds Cochran had not unjustly discriminated against anyone. Mayor Kasim Reed fires Cochran for the following reasons:
- He did not get written approval from the Board of Ethics to publish the book.
- He spoke publicly about his suspension.
- His actions, decisions, and lack of judgment undermined his ability to effectively manage a large, diverse workforce.
- Every single City of Atlanta employee deserves the certainty that he or she is a valued member of the team and that fairness and respect guide employment decisions. His actions and his statements during the investigation and his suspension eroded the mayor’s confidence in his ability to serve as a member of his senior leadership team.
- To make sure that Atlanta has an environment in government where everyone, no matter who they love, can come to work from 8 to 5:30 and do their job and then go home without fear of being discriminated against.
- NOT because of Chief Cochran’s religious beliefs.
Some responses from LGBT activist on Chief Cochran’s firing:
— Equality Maryland (@EqualityMD) January 14, 2015
— theGAVoice (@theGAVoice) January 15, 2015
— Equality NC (@equalitync) January 13, 2015
Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality:
“Frankly the only course of action at this point and time is his immediate and permanent dismissal.”
“It appears that his language is so extreme, so belittling of gay and transgender people that I don’t see how he could possibly lead a diverse workforce.”
So looking over the mayor’s reasons and responses from gay activists it is clear: Chief Cochran was fired primarily over his religious views.
Realizing this looks bad, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) created the following graphic:
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) January 13, 2015
Now why would the HRC be commenting on the firing of a city employee if it did not directly pertain to gay rights. Because it did.
Atlanta has a civil rights ordinance which includes sexual orientation. It has a perfect LGBT score with the HRC. Although religion is also included in both federal and Atlanta’s civil rights law, in today’s political and legal climate, sexual orientation trumps religion.
Kelvin Cochran does not believe in unjust discrimination based on sexual orientation. I don’t and neither do 80% of Americans at last count. But because the LGBT rights movement clearly does believe in punishing Christians for their beliefs (see here and here), well meaning Christians supporting legal gay rights may well be supporting their own unemployment.