Last week, I mentioned that Bill Gothard, one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right, was forced to go on administrative leave from his Institute in Basic Life Principles in the face of charges from 34 former female employees that he sexually harassed and molested them. The women, some of whose claims go back as far as the 1970s, claim Gothard played footsie with them, touched them and petted them, and even peeked in them while they were wearing their nightgowns during retreats. At least one of the women claims Gothard molested her when she was 16 years old.
Well, yesterday, only a week into the investigation, Gothard dropped a bombshell--he's resigning from all of his posts, effective immediately.
Gothard told the Board of Directors he wanted to follow the New Testament command to listen to those who made accusations against him, according to an email sent from David Waller, administrative director of the Advanced Training Institute to families involved in the ministry.Recovering Grace obtained a copy of the full email. Read it here. Incredibly self-serving, I say. No word of sympathy to the victims or anything. It has the air of someone who is only sorry he got caught.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus directs his followers to “go and be reconciled” if “your brother or sister has something against you.”
“To give his full attention to this objective, Mr. Gothard has resigned as president of the Institutes in Basic Life Principles, its Board of Directors, and its affiliated entities,” Waller’s email said.
Gothard was one of the pioneers of the Christian homeschooling movement, and has rubbed noses with the likes of Sarah Palin, Sonny Perdue, Rick Perry and Mike Huckabee. He's also a proponent of the Quiverfull movement--indeed, the most famous Quiverfull family of all, the Duggars, have been big fans of his for years. To put it mildly, all of that is in tatters now.
No word yet on where the investigation will go now. But the only acceptable resolution is for the police to get involved. I said last week, and I say again--I don't care if Gothard is 79 years old. If this is true--and thus far, there is nothing that indicates that these women aren't telling the truth--he needs to GO TO PRISON.