Janet and I want to affirm our support for the Duggar family. Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, 'inexcusable,' but that doesn’t mean 'unforgivable.' ... Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things.... he confessed his sins to those he harmed, sought help, and has gone forward to live a responsible and circumspect life.... It is precisely because we are all sinners that we need His grace and His forgiveness.If you believe that the desire to commit any sin at all can be prayed away, then you don't treat pedophiles as people who are always a danger. You tell yourself that they can purge their inappropriate desires if they seek God's help, and you leave it at that. That's why so many Catholic priests just got ineffectual counseling, or merely a stern talking-to. That's all the backers of Josh Duggar think he needed to transcend this.
Another aspect of social conservatives' worldview is that they utterly reject the notion that it's hypocritical for Duggar and his family to have engaged in anti-gay moralizing. To social conservatives, gay sex is sinful, and people who continue to engage in gay sex are sinning on an ongoing basis and not repent and asking forgiveness. To them Josh Duggar sinned and asked forgiveness. So, to social cons, Josh Duggar is unquestionably a better, less sinful person.
And now for the next phase of this story. It will include a lot of pundit pronouncements that include the words "liberal hypocrisy" and "Lewinsky." That's already starting in right-wing comments sections:
I will note, however, that even some conservatives aren't buying that line of argument. Here are the responses to that comment (from a thread at Glenn Beck's Blaze):
So if you're wondering whether Huckabee's rush to back Duggar will actually help him in the presidential race, my response would be: with some people it will help, but with others, including people who might have been backers, it will seriously tarnish him.