One point that struck me about Huckabee's statement on the Duggar molestation scandal
was its lack of interest in the girls who were victimized. Huckabee offers plenty of painfully-nuanced words on Josh Duggar's exact moral status and that of his actions, and even attacks the media for turning this rock over, but has very little to say about the victims. The same is true of the Duggar family's official statements on the scandal
, notably Josh's remark that "I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life" -- ruining his
life, not the lives of those he molested. See also this collection of pro-Duggar comments
by fans -- it's all about Josh, how he must have been tempted, the merits of his actions since, whether God has forgiven him, etc. Not a word about the victims. It reminds me of the attitudes of Catholic Church officials shielding molesting priests.
I think this reflects an important difference between secular and religious morality. From a secular viewpoint, it's only the existence of a victim that makes something wrong at all -- an action is wrong only if, and only because, it harms someone else. Religious "morality" is based on taboo systems. An action is wrong because it violates a taboo -- whether it harms anyone or not is irrelevant. The important issue is not the effect on the victim (or even whether there is one), but rather the moral trajectory of the perpetrator -- did he repent, does God forgive him, etc.
Hence I generally refer to religious "morality" by the term "taboo system". It's not real morality at all.