I’d like to think that I’d be surprised, maybe even shocked, that I see this. But to be frank, what surprises me is that it took this long, if it even did, this guy is just the one to actually make it happen.
Guy in question is Noel Biderman, who frankly by the picture in the article, looks like the kind of guy who thinks he’s so clever and is actually just kind of creepy and smarmy. Reason? Mr Biderman has established an on-line company: “…Ashley Madison a website that facilitates extramarital romance and sex. ‘There are times that I have told people, and that’s the end of the conversation.'” Again judging by the tone of the article he actually seems surprised by that. (Adam Tanner Forbes Feb 9, 2015, pp 46-48).
The only other thing that actually does surprise me is the amount of revenue generated. Gross revenue for 2014 was $115 million, up from $78 million in 2013. Mr Biderman won’t be making his first billion (total personal fortune), anytime soon, but, that an on-line venture like this could generate $115 million in one year is a substantial sum and a substantial commentary on contemporary America. It’s sad to think that the state of the United States is such that there are enough unfaithful people out there to pay enough to generate this much revenue. Between Biderman’s site and a few others, there are 30 million registered users. That would be one-tenth the the population of the United States, if you exclude the under-age and over-age, you could imagine that up to twenty percent of American, one out of five American adults are actively participating in extra-marital affairs.
Adam Tanner, the author, does note: “Even in an era of ubiquitous Web porn, a site promoting adultery (after murder in the Ten Commandments) still has the power to offend…” You might want to consider that Microsoft’s Bing will not run ads for Ashly Madison, although Google will. Most television stations in the U.S. won’t. So, there is some reassuring news, but continued vigilance and integrity are necessary on the part of the rest of us. Hey I don’t want to sound like some sort of hysterical huckleberry, but on the other hand, when is enough, enough? When do we people in Christ, who live in integrity, who want what is best for all, instead of standing by while all around us continues to slide into just gross depravity?
Yea I know, getting all moralistic, heck anything goes, right? Now of course this is all cloaked with this thin veneer of “serving”,: “I understand the problems of monogamy and the people who need (emphasis mine) my service.” Really? Wow, PT Barnum was right. Any lameo excuse to make a hundred million, just take it right down to the lowest common denominator. This guy thinks he’s Dr Albert Schweitzer, serving a bunch of people who are unfaithful sneaks. I get it, I’m a man, we feel lust, we all know the drill. The answer, Mr Biderman is not to make it easier to do, to prey on others weaknesses and to boot make a lot of money out of that. Just how far have we fallen into corruption in this country. Sure this is a quiet corner of cyber space, that only wants attention to make money. But I do wonder why there isn’t more of an outcry? Oh yeah, “it’s victimless”. People will actually say that?! Sure, right, just ask innocent spouses and children of broken homes. Other relatives, friends, fellow Christians. Right, no victims. But when people lust and grasp, they will use any justification, just like a drug addict. Just get the fix, right man? It gets to be almost as lame and ridiculous as 1970’s porn.
I feel safe in assuming that Biderman is not a Christian, although with some definitions, he or others like him, might call himself that. But when you are facilitating busting the seventh commandment, you can call yourself what you want, you ain’t no Christian. But this does call into question the issue that some try to make in terms of “well I’m a good Christian drug dealer” or “I’m a good Christian porn star” etc. Are there vocations, professions, trades, practices that would by definition preclude a practitioner from presuming to call themselves a Christian. Can you be a pornstar (obviously an extreme example), but still call yourself a Christian? If we are called, guided by the Holy Spirit in all facets of our life and certainly vocation is a huge part of our life, would He call us to be a good Christian porn star?
OK, so ya I’m kind of stacking the deck, but if you want to start a discussion, bring it on.
We can also discuss it Wednesday, coffee shop corner of Beaver and W King Sts downtown York, Pa. You are welcome to park behind the church and walk about fifty yards. We meet at ten am, ya, kind of an odd time, but in the middle of the week, might be worth it for you. If you have suggestions as to other times and functions for a group to meet around the subject of living your Christian life in the workplace, I would be very interested in hearing it. I was part of a really great group in Boston, and I’d like to pull together a like group here. No charge or obligation and I will buy the coffee for first timers. God bless.