They preach “family values” and the sanctity of marriage. But it’s in their opposition to gay marriage that their true hypocrisy is revealed.
Ashley Madison is a social-networking site that seeks to facilitate extra-marital affairs. Users pay to contact other people who are interested in having an affair and there is an option to pay $250 for an “affair guarantee” for people particularly motivated to cheat on their partners.
On Tuesday, hackers released information held by the Ashley Madison site. The internet plunged into the data and began to expose people as users through their addresses (email, postal and IP) and their credit card details.
In the rush to expose all of the apparently guilty parties, there is a group of men who appear to have been particularly impacted: conservative, Christian men who campaign about the benefits of “traditional” family structures.
Yesterday, Josh Duggar was exposed as maintaining an Ashley Madison account. He released a statement apologising for his infidelity and a porn addiction. Overnight, a source told People that his wife partially blamed herself for her husband’s sins, saying it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Anna tried to “absorb some of the blame.”
Today, another prominent man has been exposed. This time, it’s Christian video blogger (or Vlogger), Sam Rader.
He and his wife Nia shot to fame when they recorded a viral video titled “Good Looking Parents Sing Disney’s Frozen”. But it was this month’s surprise pregnancy announcement that launched them into the internet stratosphere (you’ll recall that Sam Rader collected his wife’s pee and surprised her with the news she was pregnant. A few days later they announced that their pregnancy had ended in miscarriage).
Rader quit his job earlier this month because the Raders’ Youtube channel was doing so well (Buzzfeed has estimated that it’s earning the Raders a six-figure salary). Sam has built a very loyal following on his Youtube page preaching the Bible, talking about wanting to be a “good man” to his wife of almost six years, Nia — the kind of “man I want [my daughter] to marry.”
Rader has now confessed that the Ashley Madison profile was his. He said that he has never met anyone using the site, but he opened the account “out of pure fleshly desires and just sinful curiosity” (he also says that he set the Ashley Madison account up before he got onto Youtube. He started his Youtube account in 2007. He opened his Ashley Madison account in 2013, so make of that what you will).
You can watch Sam Rader’s apology here (transcript at the end of the post):
What’s interesting about both of these men is not just their hypocrisy about their commitment to their wives – they are also united in their staunch opposition to gay marriage.
Last year, Duggar said at a Virginia anti-gay rally that gay marriage doesn’t conform to the “beautiful” design of marriage but rather represents a force of anti-Christian persecution. Speaking in Arkansas the same year, he denounced same-sex marriage as an “attack” on the family, children, “Christian values,” freedom of speech, and even the economy.
Last July, the Raders were forced to remove a video in which they convinced their five-year-old daughter that gay marriage was wrong. They defended their actions at the time by saying that they lived by the Bible’s teachings. Sam Rader explained, “We are Christians. We believe in everything the Bible says, and we believe that God created man and woman to be together.”
It seems that Josh Duggar and Sam Rader are all about man and woman being together – they just aren’t that solid on which woman.
Both have campaigned for laws that make some LGBTI+ couples miserable. Both stand behind their conservative values – and both profit from them.
This is one of the problems with the anti-marriage equality agenda. Proponents of the exclusive heterosexual model of marriage want to protect the ‘sanctity’ of their union – and yet, it seems that the loudest proponents don’t always consider their own marriage vows to be particularly sacred or valuable.
Perhaps they doth protest too much?
It is categorically untrue that non-straight couples are more likely to cheat. In fact, if the campaign for marriage equality has taught us anything, it’s that LGBTI+ couples are desperate to have their commitment to each other publicly acknowledged.
No one form of marriage is superior to another. All committed relationships should have the opportunity to be equal.
It’s a shame that people who seem to believe that their relationship is more special than others are the same ones prepared to throw it away.
It’s that particular hypocrisy that the Ashley Madison affair has revealed.
Read Sam Rader’s apology in full here:
“Hey guys. As you may have seen, my name has been associated with an Ashley Madison account, a website made for spouses who want to have an affair. I’m here to clarify some of this with you guys, ‘cause I owe it to you.
I did make the account. I made the account two years ago. This is an issue that is in our past. This is before I got onto YouTube. I brought this to my church at the time, when I first started at the church that I’m at now; this has been brought to my discipleship partner. This was brought to my wife’s attention. She has forgiven me for this mistake that I made and opening the account. I’ve sought forgiveness to God, and he’s forgiven me. So, I’ve been completely cleansed of this sin, and also, I need to be clear that I’ve never met with a single person face to face through that website, and that I never had an affair with anybody, ever, while I’ve been married with Nia. The account was opened out of pure fleshly desires and just sinful curiosity.
Some of you are questioning my faith and, um, me being a Christian and doing this. I guess what some people don’t understand is that we’re all broken — even Christians. We come to God as broken people, and he sat upon the cross to save us from those sins. And because this is in our past, and this has already been completely resolved within my family and within my church, we won’t be saying any more on this matter. I wont be talking to any media outlets. The only place you’ll hear of this out—of our mouth—is here on this video. The only time. You know, this is why we need a savior. We’re sinful by nature, and we do stupid things like this. And this is what the atonements all about: Forgiveness and second chances.”
His wife Nia continues:
“And I just want to add too, guys, you know, I have forgiven Sam and I stand behind him, and this is in our past. And it’s unfortunate that its being dug up right now, but you know, our marriage is worth fighting for. And it always will be. And I just want to encourage you guys who are dealing with any kind of situation like this within your marriage to just fight for what you have. Marriage is the real deal, and it’s been sealed, and it’s worth fighting for. It always will be.”
What do you think about the latest Ashley Madison revelation?
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