Ashley Madison and the Moralizing Minority

by Brendan Beery

Jerry Falwell, a pudding-faced slug that once slimed the earth as a “Christian” movement leader (and who has, mercifully, been salted into the next life), invented something during Republican glory years called the “moral majority.” But the “moral majority” was neither.

For one thing, it wasn’t the majority. Republicans have long fancied themselves part of a sprawling herd with safety in their numbers. Richard Nixon, beset by vocal opposition from godless hippies, liberals, and peaceniks, invented the “silent majority” to help him sleep at night with all that noise and clatter out on Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s okay Dick, he told himself, the quiet ones love you. Falwell-2004.11.28

As to the “moral majority,” it was instrumental, to be sure, in shepherding lemmings to polling places and tipping the scales of national elections. And certainly it facilitated the dumbing of America, which after all was dumb enough to elect a caveman as president in 2004. (After Bush’s reelection, Americans could no longer use their 2000-election excuse: we didn’t do this; the Supreme Court did.) But as dumb as we have collectively been, mega-church religion freaks have never made a majority; rather, they have been one tribe in an unholy alliance among many tribes with varying (and often conflicting) goals but a shared affection for tribalism. This alliance, in turn, delivered elections to Republicans.

More importantly, the “moral majority” was never about morality. It was always about moralizing. Its adherents never committed themselves to fostering good and beneficial outcomes. They committed themselves to preaching and condemning and judging. Moralizers were and remain the very worst subspecies of the genus Homo. They serve no useful purpose and require for their survival the debasing of other human beings. They delight in the “sin” of others so as to give their own desperate lives the hue of dignity. In other words, they consume misery and produce nothing.

The voyeuristic schadenfreude of moral-majority types has arrived anew in the data dump about Ashley Madison members. Here they go again, pointing bony fingers at the poor saps who got caught, sniveling with snotty scorn, cackling and judging and rejoicing at the panicked agony of breaking lives.

I have not been married for a long time, so I’m incapable of cheating. I have no personal stake in this trainwreck, and I won’t be trolling the data for scandalous tidbits about the people I know. Nobody can be emotionally invested in the sexuality, sexual orientations, or sex lives of others without betraying too much about his own sexuality, sexual orientation, or sex life.

So if you’re inclined to moralize about those caught up in the Ashley Madison tragedy, think twice before expressing an opinion. Such opinions are mere projections. Better to be quiet so we won’t know the subjects of your own prurience.


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