Most of you by now have seen television advertisements from a group of right wing fanatics called “MyMarriageMatters.org” founder Ryan Hill. The advertisement’s only apparent purpose is stopping the website AshleyMadison.com from existing. Since many people have no idea what AshleyMadison.com is – at least until Mr. Hill’s advertisement, wherein he explains that AshleyMadison.com guarantees its members a discreet affair (in truth, the “guarantee” only applies to the most expensive membership option), Mr. Hill is doing what so many right wingnuts do. He is calling attention to something that many people aren’t aware of, and so in trying to stop something actually serve as its best promoter. Congrats, Mr. Hill! Welcome to hypocrisy!
The ad, if you haven’t seen it, features scenes from the Ashley Madison webiste in the background with Mr. Hill, looking like the stereotypicl politician, in the foreground. When Mr. Hill speaks of his site, WhyMarriageMatters.com, the background images change to the American Flag waving in the breeze. To point out that the ad is an oversimplification of the issues is to proclaim the massively self evident. However, I am sure his advertisement will raise some money from his target audience, the simply minded, conservative, reactionary masses.
At issue here is not Ashley Madison. Extra marital affairs have existed since marriage began – and at different points in history were considered a man’s perogative. He didn’t even have to hide his concubines! That means affairs have existed before Ashley Madison and will continue after “she” is gone. In fact, Mr. Hill’s campaign isn’t about marriage at all. Rather, it is about the culture war that so much of what passes for Conservative Institutional Christianity spends all of its resources attempting to conduct. Mr. Hill’s campaign is all about censorship and gaining control over the freedom of expression on the Internet.
You see, the truth is that nobody who is happy in their primary relationship cheats. Nobody otherwise not inclined to have an affair is going to have one just because they heard about a website that offers “guaranteed discreet affairs” any more than somebody who doesn’t eat chicken is going to eat chicken because they saw an advertisement for the local fried chicken restaurant. The biggest problem with simplistic, black and white morality like Mr. Hill’s is that the world is not a black and white place. The problem with the “culture war” that so many conservative fundienuttalists battle is that it is completely contrary to the life, ministry, and teachings of the very Jesus whom they claim to follow. In fact, such campaigns much more resemble the behavior of the Pharisees, the only group that Jesus was directly critical of while he walked on Earth!
In a country founded on freedom, I find it curious that there are so many members of the morality police who would love to convince us to surrender as many freedoms as they can, as quickly as possible. Who would they put in charge of the decisions we now make for ourselves? No doubt moral midgets like Mr. Hill. That should scare the hell out of all of us.