Category: Ethics

Hack Reveals: Out of 37 Million Users, Only Josh Duggar was Using Ashley Madison to Have Affairs

Photo: US Magazine
Photo: US Magazine

By Bridget Jack Jeffries
Disassociated Press
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TONTITOWN, ARKANSAS — A Wednesday afternoon bout of “Dark Web” dumpster-diving through leaked Ashley Madison user files yielded the timely revelation that disgraced fundamentalist reality show personality, Josh Duggar, was the likely owner of multiple AM accounts.

“I am shocked and appalled that a man who could molest his sisters and then go on to become a family values spokesman could do something so hypocritical as cheating on his wife as a family values spokesman,” wrote one distressed commentator. “Josh Duggar has lowered the high standards we’ve come to expect from creepy patriarchal southern fundamentalist Bible-thumpers everywhere.”

In the wake of Tuesday night’s Ashley Madison leak, comments across the Web had just about proven conclusively that not a single one of the 37 million users registered at AM–whose business motto is “life is short, have an affair”–was actually on the site with the intention of having an affair. Blogs, Twitter, and news articles erupted with comments from users who had joined Ashley Madison for something other than the site’s well-advertised main purpose.

“I’m a single woman and I was on the site to meet single men, because in spite of the site’s reputation, it is a DATING site,” wrote one woman. When queried as to how she knew for certain that the men she met were also single, she replied, “Why would a guy like that lie?”

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The Fall of the House of Sidef***s

Upon waking to the news that the Ashley Madison hackers had made good on their threat to release their stash of stolen personal information, my reaction was pretty much:

What_A_Lovely_Day

For those of us who had our lives ripped apart by affairs, it’s hard to not smile at the sight of Team Sidef***  getting some much-needed comeuppance. It’s hard not to chuckle at the spectacle of people who were lying to and betraying others being lied to and betrayed by Ashley Madison. (more…)

The Real Pro-Life

Constantine_BWUnless you recently dropped your smart phone into a toilet and took off to live in a cave (in which case–how are you reading this blog post?!), you’ve probably heard by now that Planned Parenthood just had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. The viral sting video featuring a top PP doctor sipping wine and eating a gourmet salad while cavalierly discussing the wee babies she “crushes” has moved the abortion debate back into the public eye.

This post isn’t about the video though, or even about the abortion debate per se. It’s about what it means to be pro-life.

Many seem to think that being pro-life means wanting abortion to be illegal. While I applaud those who value human life enough to fight for legal protections for the most vulnerable of humanity, I’m here to tell you that’s not enough. That alone does not make you pro-life; it just makes you pro-laws.

If you think you are pro-life…

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I Now Pronounce You Man and Spiritual Wife

This is old news to some, but around 7 years ago, emergent church leader Tony Jones had a dirty, nasty, filthy affair with the woman who would become his second wife, Courtney Perry. [1]

Only he didn’t. At least, not according to him and his friend, Doug Pagitt, the latter having called Tony’s then-wife, Julie McMahon, and said, “Julie, this is Doug. You and Tony’s marriage is just words on a piece of paper. You may be the legal wife but Tony has a spiritual wife now.”

(That’s all according to a comment left by Julie McMahon on a September 2014 blog post wherein Tony was, ironically enough, in the process of being wistful about the fall of disgraced evangelical megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll for his “toxic theology.” Given the lack of denial of the “spiritual wife” comment from either Doug or Tony, the intensity with which Julie speaks of the memory, and the fact that a similar idea provides the framework for Jones’ Two Marriages book, I am inclined to believe that some kind of “spiritual wife” justification was, in fact, trotted out to Julie.)

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Life Begins at Blood

I wrote a paper on this for an ethics class at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School last year. I offer this as a pro-life alternative to the “life begins at conception” position.

My paper was finished in a hurry at the last minute, so I over-relied on online sources, and it wouldn’t surprise me to find that the paper contains a number of errors. Still, the basic framework for my defense of this idea is there.

This was being discussed on a friend’s Facebook page recently, so I thought I would just go ahead and make the paper publicly available. Would love to publish more formally on this subject someday, especially if I could pair with someone with more scientific training than what I have. Feedback is welcome, though I have precious little time for in-depth argument on this at the moment.

Life Begins at Blood (PDF)

(Originally posted at Προστάτις)