We took note a couple of weeks ago of an upcoming conference at the Denver Merchandise Mart organized by the Christian Home Educators of Colorado, ambitiously titled the Rocky Mountain Super Conference on the Family–and featuring as their special speaking guests and musical entertainment the entire family of religious right superstars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar:
Including, at least as of then, their son Josh Duggar, who recently resigned from his position at the far-right Family Research Council after incidents of child molestation in his past resurfaced in media reports. Given that these allegations had been freshly in the news for some weeks, we were surprised to see the Duggars given such prominent billing for this conference. As recently as a couple of days ago, the image you see above still dominated the homepage for the event’s website.
But as Salon’s Jenny Kutner reports today, the Duggars won’t be coming to Colorado after all:
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar announced on Wednesday that they would no longer appear as special guests at a major homeschooling conference in Colorado next week, which would seem understandable given that the “19 Kids & Counting” stars are currently under intense scrutiny for their handling of sexual molestation in their family. But, despite ongoing controversy, the Duggars still planned to speak at the Rocky Mountain Super Conference on the Family — until reports surfaced that the family is once again under investigation by Arkansas officials.
Within hours of an In Touch magazine report indicating that Jim Bob and Michelle failed to cooperate last month with Arkansas Department of Health and Safety officials — who reportedly made a 9-1-1 call after the Duggars refused to let them evaluate a child — the pair withdrew from the homeschooling conference, which is put on by the Christian Home Educators of Colorado. According to Homeschoolers Anonymous, the group was founded by Kevin Lundberg — the now-Colorado legislator who recently worried that an IUD might prevent “a small child from implanting” inside a woman’s uterus — and later run by conservative radio host Kevin Swanson, who is convinced Girl Scout cookies are going to turn everyone gay (or something).
On Wednesday, as Kutner reports, organizers of the Rocky Mountain Super Conference on the Family announced that only Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar would be attending the conference in Denver next weekend, and that their only appearance would be to speak on Friday–no musical performance by the Duggar Family Orchestra. Yesterday, that was changed to a full cancellation of their appearance, presumably in response to these fresh reports of them failing to cooperate with Arkansas Department of Human Services investigators looking in on the well-being of their children.
It appears that even the Christian Home Educators of Colorado have realized the Duggars are not very good role models for homeschooling. Or, for that matter, parenting.