The Ashley Madison scandal has brought at least one fact to light that was previously nearly buried and rarely talked about...
The Ashley Madison scandal has brought at least one fact to light that was previously nearly buried and rarely talked about. Clergymen, pastors and other spiritual and religious leaders are no better than the rest of us when it comes to tamping down those lustful urges. While much attention has been given to the sexual abuse of Catholic priests when it comes to boys, there has not been as much of a spotlight on a scandal that brews often in churches and other houses of worship across the country -- sex outside of marriage. Just because a man takes on oath to be a spiritual leader does not mean that he can control his sexual urges any more than anyone else.
Many Are Turning Away From The Church
In this day and age of religious turmoil with so many people turning away from traditional churches, this latest scandal does nothing to draw people and welcome them back to the fold. In fact, many people wonder just how they can become more spiritual if their spiritual leaders cannot even be honest and transparent. When you throw in people like Josh Duggar, many lost souls might wonder if there is any hope for religion at all.
These leaders are held in high esteem. Not only do their followers back them in placing them on a pedestal, clergy members exploit it as well. It is likely that no one expects these men to be void of any sexual urges, but it is safe to say that they are expected to uphold the morals that they themselves preach and berate others over. The fact that these men are not only fallible but actually underhanded about the way they get their sexual thrills means that many people will never turn to churches for spiritual support.
Members of the clergy are supposed to be the moral compass of society and the backbone of upholding its values. With their sermons of hell fire and condemnation of all things related to sex -- besides the good old missionary position, of course -- these men are great at doling out guilt and judgment. Like so many others in power, though they hide a seething well of sexuality that cannot be denied no matter how hard they try. This comes out in ways that mirror many of the behaviors of the people that follow them.
Will Religious Leaders Rise To The Challenge?
The hypocrisy of these so-called leaders of the spirit of the the United States is not surprising. It is, though sickening. It also leaves us wondering what will happen next. Will religious leaders rise to the challenge, admit their faults and seek to build a new and transparent form of their teachings? Or will they continue to be shrouded in cult-like power, secrecy, judgement and darkness that hides the sexual abuse of those who are most vulnerable and the lure of easy sex via the internet?
There is a silver lining in all this Ashley Madison mess. It brings to light what most people have always known -- at least in the backs of their minds. Now that the infidelities of many men including religious leaders are out in the open, healing can begin and a new chapter in spiritual awakening can be opened. For those of us who are spiritually adrift, we do not have the answers.
It will be interesting to see how this is handled as it is important to stop persecuting followers who have many of the same feelings and sins of those who are supposed to be of better character and more pure of thought. With honest dialogue and more growth, perhaps other issues that exist within the church such as sexism, racism and classism, can be effectively addressed as well. After all, even though sex is a hot topic -- and it seems like we now have proof that everyone is looking for it -- the subject is still pretty taboo within most religious circles. If the barriers that surround discussions about sex are lowered, isn't it safe to assume that others will follow?