The writers of Law and Order: SVU are dragging the Duggar family back into the headlines - and defaming Christians to boot.
Despite the obligatory warning that the show’s characters are fictional and not based on any real person, the case in “Patrimonial Burden” closely tracks with the real life story of the Duggars of 19 Kids and Counting fame. The Duggars even get name dropped as SVU detectives attempt to explain why the fictional Baker family would try to keep their 13-year-old daughter’s statutory rape and pregnancy out of the headlines.
Benson: I've got to say it is extremely frustrating. I mean, they did promise to take it up with their local PD, but it seems like they don't trust outsiders very much.
Carisi: Maybe they're just protective of their kids.
Rollins: You mean their brand. Look at what happened with the Duggars. Word gets out that one of those virgin Baker daughters is knocked up, there goes the TV show, the book deal, the multimillion dollar chastity empire.
Carisi: Rollins, these people, they take their faith very seriously, and they're entitled to their beliefs.
Dodds: All right, not to interrupt a theological debate, but given the fact that there's no evidence of an assault, no complaint from the girl or her parents, I mean, why are we pursuing?
Benson: She's 13, Dodds. It's statutory rape.
Dodds: Yeah, I know that, but I've been here before. The Hasidim in Crown Heights, these religious communities-- they...close ranks.
Benson: Which is exactly why we don't let it go.
The celebrity family’s TLC TV show was cancelled earlier this year after sexual abuse perpetrated by one of the family’s sons, Josh, became public. Josh Duggar was accused of, and admitted to several instances of molestation. On SVU, the Baker’s son, Graham, was similarly accused of raping his sisters. Both Baker and Duggar had sealed juvenile records that later became public. Both were sent into counseling programs after consulting with church elders, but that’s where the similarities end.
SVU cast member ICE T, who plays Detective Tutuola, promised a “twist” ending, and the show’s writers delivered. Not content merely to go after the Duggar family, the writers set their sights on the church instead, delivering the Baker family’s pastor, who also happens to be their lawyer, as the rapist who knocked up not one, but two of the Bakers’ virgin daughters. The pastor used his position to frame Graham Baker, telling his father that he had confessed. Graham is sent away on a mission to Ecuador as the family tries to keep him away from law enforcement.
As the detectives close in on the perverted pastor, SVU takes a turn for the truly absurd. The pastor convinces the Baker parents to let him marry their now 14-year-old daughter to make an honest woman out of her. It’s not enough that this pastor raped a 13-year-old girl. He now plans to marry her purely to protect himself from an inevitable statutory rape charge. He nearly succeeds, too, but the SVU detectives barge in on his last minute nuptials just in time to stop the proceedings and expose the truth.
(Transcript at end of post.)
Although the Duggar family has no one to blame for their fall from grace but themselves, it’s clear that when SVU says they’ve written a “twist ending,” that’s just an excuse to pile on the people the show’s writers really despise: Christians.
The Duggar story was sensational enough on its own; it held headlines for months. It didn’t need to be “spiced up” with a series of pregnancies and a devious, hypocritical pastor. Unfortunately for their audience, SVU’s writers just can’t resist the urge to shoehorn in an attack on the church.
Dodds: We’re looking for Pastor Eldon
Oh, Pastor Eldon. I'm sorry, he left early this morning.
Tutola: Any idea where?
Lane Baker: Pastor Eldon, I will love, honor, and obey you, till death do us part.
Eldon: Lane, I will love you and be faithful--
Benson: Hang on.
Judge Barnes: What's going on?
Benson: We have some questions for the pastor.
Judge Barnes: Doug? Son, what do you think you're doing here?
Doug Barnes: I'm sorry, Judge Barnes. They said--
Carisi: We have criminal evidence against Pastor Eldon.
Eldon: Well, it will have to wait. Lane and I are getting married.
Benson: Married? She's 13.
Eldon: She turned 14 today. It's perfectly legal. I have the approval of Judge Barnes and both of her parents.
Frank Baker: Pastor Eldon has stepped forward to help us.
Pam Baker: He's willing to provide for Lane and her baby. He'll make a wonderful son-in-law.
Benson: You gave consent for this marriage?
Eldon: Yes, of course she did.
Frank Baker: As did I.
Pam Baker: We're protecting our daughter. Lane is just a girl. It'll be in name only. He'll be like a father to her.
Benson: Is that what the Pastor told you?
Eldon: Okay, I'm gonna have to ask you to leave. This is a private ceremony.
Carisi: In a public place.
Judge Barnes: Is someone going to fill me in?
Eldon: You can continue with the ceremony, Elias.
Pam Baker: We are handling this, officers. Graham will get the help he needs, and Pastor Eldon will give Lane's baby a name.
Carisi: And that's fitting, since he's the father. Pretty good, Pastor, huh? You figured you married Lane, it would be pretty hard for us to prosecute you for statutory rape.
Judge Barnes: Lane, come with me.
Eldon It's legal. She's legal. You have no standing here.
Pam Baker: Wait, what are you talking about?
Benson: No doubt that your son Graham has problems, but he is not the father of Lane's baby or Summer's baby.
Pam Baker: No, no, Summer never had a baby.
Benson: Mrs. Baker, please. You're still maintaining that you're Tate's mother? We tested his DNA. There is no Baker paternal match. So you either cheated on your husband--
Frank Baker: Excuse me?
Pam Baker: I would never.
Benson: Okay, I would advise you both to stop talking here. If you did obtain Tate's DNA, it was without consent or a warrant. It's inadmissible.
Carisi: Hey, you know what's a bad sign? You making a legal argument right now.
Pam Baker: I don't understand what's going on.
Eldon: Judge, have Officer Tramwell remove these people from the building. They have no jurisdiction.
Carisi: Another legal argument. All right, but before I go, I think I have to tell you that we did test the Pastor's DNA legally.
Benson: He is Tate's biological father, and we believe that he is the biological father of Lane's baby.
Pam Baker: No, no, that can't be.
Eldon: Pam, Frank, look, they are lying to you.
Benson: DNA doesn't lie, Pastor.
Pam Baker: Frank, you told me Graham confessed.
Frank Baker: I did, just not to me.
Carisi: Did Pastor Eldon tell you that Graham confessed? You tried to pin this on the boy? You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
Eldon: No, no, no, look, that is not what's happening here. Okay, look, you two know me and you trust me.
Pam Baker: Summer and Lane? Lane, sweetheart, tell me the truth. Whatever it is, it's okay.
Lane Baker: He loves me. It's God's plan for us.
Pam Baker: What did you do to my daughter?
Eldon: I'm marrying her, Pam. I'm--I'm marrying-- We're gonna be husband and wife. A Godly marriage. The baby will be born in wedlock--
Pam Baker: She is just a child! And Summer--
Eldon: Frank, get ahold of your wife here, please.
Frank Baker: Pam.
Pam Baker: No.
Eldon: You do not say no to him. He is your husband. Your patriarch.
Pam Baker: You lied to us. You made us think it was our son. Why?
Benson: Because he knew that you would do anything to protect Graham.
Pam Baker: I'll testify. About Tate. About everything.
Judge Barnes: Gregory.
Eldon: No, no, no. Look, look, they have no case. They told the whole world that Tate was their baby. They don't want their fans to find out that they lied. And Lane, well, Lane, you--
Benson: You need to stop talking to her.
Pam Baker: Honey, sweetheart, Lane, I'm so sorry. I didn't know. I should have protected you.
Lane Baker: I'm sorry, Mama. He told me that's what people in love do.
Pam Baker: She'll tell the truth. And so will Summer. And so will I. I don't care about the damn show and neither does Frank. We want him put away.
Doug Barnes: Now?
Doug Barnes: Pastor Eldon, you are under arrest for the statutory rape of Summer Baker.
Benson: And for the statutory rape of Lane Baker.
Carisi: You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say—
Eldon: I know my rights. None of this will hold up in court. I love you, Lane.
Carisi: You really are a piece of crap.