UPDATE, 8 PM PACFIC: The Duggars have now withdrawn from the conference. Read more here.
By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator
Despite recent revelations concerning their troubling handling of child sexual abuse allegedly perpetrated by their son, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar will be speaking next week at the Rocky Mountain Super Conference on the Family.
The Rocky Mountain Super Conference on the Family is a Christian homeschool conference organized by the Christian Home Educators of Colorado (CHEC), the largest statewide homeschool organization in Colorado (reaching over 10,000 families). CHEC was founded in 1990 by Kevin Lundberg, who is currently a Republican Senator for the state and most known for his opposition to IUDs. Lundberg was replaced as CHEC director in 1999 by Kevin Swanson (now the director of CHEC’s radio program Generations Radio), whose hyperbolic rants against homeschool alumni, Girl Scout cookies, Taylor Swift’s “demon songs”, and Disney’s “Frozen” are well-documented by Homeschoolers Anonymous and Right Wing Watch. CHEC organized the 2009 Men’s Leadership Summit, where Swanson, late HSLDA attorney Chris Klicka, and male supremacy advocates like Doug Phillips and Voddie Baucham called for abolishing child protection services. CHEC is also known as the homeschool organization from which mass shooter Matthew Murray graduated.
According to their website, CHEC’s upcoming Super Conference on the Family “will explore ways to build stronger families, churches, and governments through SERVANT LEADERSHIP.” The conference features educational tracks on homeschooling, leadership, Christian worldview studies, relationships, and Christian discipleship. It is being held next week, June 18-20, 2015, at the Denver Mart in Denver, Colorado. In addition to the Duggars, conference speakers include R.C. Sproul, Jr. (a defrocked pastor who advocates extreme patriarchy), S.M. Davis (speaker and writer for Bill Gothard’s IBLP and ATI programs), and others.
Prior to the sexual abuse revelations, the Super Conference web site had highlighted the Duggars as special conference guests. Their web site said,
Friday Evening with the Duggars
Join us on Friday, June 19th, at 7:00 pm for a special evening with the Duggars . Come and hear a presentation with Jim Bob and Michelle. Entry is free with a full conference pass, and seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Seating is limited. Doors open at 6:00 pm. Although this is a first-come, first-served event, please indicate on your registration how many from your party will be attending this event.
And they featured an image of Jim Bob and Michelle prominently on the web site:
After the allegations several weeks ago that the Duggar family’s oldest son, Josh Duggar, had sexually abused five young girls when he was a teenager and Jim Bob and Michelle possibly violated state law by taking over a year to report the abuse to the authorities, many people speculated whether CHEC would withdraw its invitation to Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. However, in a recent radio program, Kevin Swanson (director of CHEC’s ministry Generations With Vision) said CHEC would wait to see what Jim Bob and Michelle wanted to do. Swanson made clear CHEC would not be withdrawing their invitation.
Today, the CHEC board announced that Jim Bob and Michelle will not be withdrawing from the conference. Rather, they will be continue as the Super Conference’s special evening guests. The CHEC board statement states that, “Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar will be joining us on Friday evening of the conference. They humbly desire that the evening be focused on how the Gospel has penetrated their lives and given them hope in the trials that Christian families face.”
You can view the CHEC board statement as an archived PDF here. An image and full text follow:
A Note from the CHEC Board on the Duggars
We have confirmed that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar will be joining us on Friday evening of the conference. They humbly desire that the evening be focused on how the Gospel has penetrated their lives and given them hope in the trials that Christian families face. We anticipate an evening of reflecting upon the repentance, forgiveness, and healing that Jesus brings as we walk meekly before Him – even through the tough times.
Given the recent events in their lives, Jim Bob and Michelle asked that Friday evening be the only time that they speak at the 2015 conference. They also decided that it would be best for their children not to attend.
The event is included in full conference registration, and we encourage families to come hear this powerful testimony of the gospel’s work in our lives, but all attendees must be registered* for the 2015 Rocky Mountain Super Conference on the Family to attend. (This includes grandparents and children attending with your full conference pass.) Register online here.
Seating is limited, and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The evening session starts at 7:00 p.m.; doors open at 6:00 p.m. We are anticipating a full house, so please plan on arriving early!
The CHEC Board of Directors
This statement by CHEC coincides today with the revelation by In Touch Weekly that the Duggar family is now under investigation by the Arkansas Department of Human Services. Police were called when the family refused to cooperate with the investigation.