Michael Seewald, father-in-law of "19 Kids & Counting" reality TV star Jessa Duggar, has written a long blog post supportive of the Duggar family, following reports that as a teen, eldest son Josh Duggar had reportedly molested five underage girls.
Saying he wished to provide context, Seewald, an Arkansas auto-glass technician, wrote on Sunday that, "Josh's parents [Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar] acted in a way that godly parents should. They did not turn a blind eye, but earnestly sought help from the church, counselors, and eventually the police. Maybe they didn't do it in a way that pleases everyone, but they acted decisively to confront the sin, to call a penitent son back from his errors, and to seek to aid the hurting victims."
Josh Duggar, a 27-year-old father of three with wife Anna, said last week without detailing specifics that 12 years ago he had "acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry."
Addressing public criticism of the Duggars' parenting, Seewald wrote, "Josh didn't sin because he was repressed, he sinned because like all of us he is a sinner." Seewald added, "There are many of you that are reading these words right now having had thoughts and deeds no better than what Josh had and did."
Several online petitions and a numerous social-media posts have called for TLC, which on Friday pulled "19 Kids & Counting" off the air, to formally cancel the program. Despite a report on Sunday that Josh and Anna Duggar had taken down their official website, it remained online at ja20.com as of Sunday night.
Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, on Friday expressed his support for the Duggar family. He lashed out at the "bloodthirsty media" for chasing the story.
The magazine InTouch published a report Thursday that included a 2006 police filing detailing an investigation into allegations that Josh Duggar had inappropriate conduct with minors.
The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which obtained the offense report before it was ordered destroyed last week, reported Duggar was accused of fondling five girls in 2002 and 2003. After issuing his apology, Duggar resigned as executive director for FRC Action, the tax-exempt legislative action arm of the Washington-based Family Research Council.