The tagline of the Ashley Madison website reads: "Life is short ... have an affair."
In light of the site being hacked and the subsequent release of names, many are finding out that life, according to this mantra, turns a few moments of selfish pleasure into a life unfulfilled yet full of regret.
Regardless of our culture's license with regard to sexuality and relationships, most people acknowledge that trust is of great value and they desire a marriage that lasts their whole life. It takes a lifetime to earn and nurture trust, but it can be destroyed in a few moments of passion fueled by empty self-gratification.
Ashley Madison is often referred to as "the cheating website." Shouldn't that tell us something? Or are we so desensitized to our harmful actions that we pay no attention to what we learned in our youth: "Cheaters never win."
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Perhaps that should be the site's new tag line, though it probably would not net them much profit.
Speaking of money, it has been reported that they are offering half a million dollars to expose the hackers. Someone certainly has the company's attention.
What do we expect? A sophisticated, digital brothel is still a brothel. And a culture that encourages individuals to satisfy their selfishness and indulge their lusts, always at the expense of others, will ultimately be a broken and depraved one, reflected in every sector of society — education, media, government and more. We are there.
What is done in the dark will ultimately be exposed in the light. Reportedly, the hackers' next targets are porn-site visitors. It is highly likely that most, if not all, who are involved with Ashley Madison were first involved in pornography. They almost always go together, hand in glove.
If illicit affairs are simply the choice of the individuals involved, then why the need for anonymity? If affairs (and pornography) harm no one, as some falsely claim, then why is everyone so secretive about engaging in it and so worried about getting caught?
Is this really what we want? Is this the world we want our children to grow up in?
"Consensual" may sound good, but the path of destruction left in the wake of this false sense of individualism and distorted "rights" has only harmed lives, families and society. Life may be short, but trust, integrity, purity and real love are much too valuable to waste on selfish pleasure and lust.
We can be better than this.
Even in the worst of situations when willing complicity in moments or seasons of weakness come full circle, there is still hope and help for marriages. Trust can be rebuilt and marriages can last "until death do us part."
"Life is short ... build a marriage that lasts!" No worries if hackers expose this relationship.