In the news: heartbreak on tap

Or rather, heartbreak online.

In yesterday’s London Evening Standard there was a ‘news’ item about a guy who is setting up a dating website…specifically for people looking to have extra-marital affairs.  Apparently he already has this site running in nine countries, and is now making it available to Londoners.

I won’t link to it, because the article is pretty graphic in places, and totally gut-wrenching.

The journalist writing the article does, thankfully, make the point that he knows from bitter experience that having an affair is a really bad idea and, oddly enough, won’t make your problems go away, but simply add to them, but the (married) owner of the site is totally blase about it.

He takes the line that ‘people are going to have affairs anyway, why not just make it easier for them?  I’m not responsible for their infidelity, just making an honest buck out of meeting a demand.’

That’s not a direct quote, though this is:  “You can’t blame the bookie for the guy who blows his pay cheque” .

I’m not pretending this is anything new, it’s just the technology that is, but it’s a great reminder to pray for the broken lives and hearts in our cities, towns and villages, and to pray for Godly editors in our newspapers who will no longer allow ‘services’ like this to get free advertising to millions of people, and Godly journalists who will refuse to write the stories in the first place.

The deeper point, though is that many people, while they may feel that affairs are wrong, will agree with the site-owner that there is nothing immoral in him simply providing the means for people to do what they were inclined to do anyway.  Their actions may be wrong, but are his, as facilitator?

When is an action so wrong that one who aids it is equally (or at least significantly) culpable?  In law there is the crime of ‘accessory to’ or ‘accessory after the fact’, meaning that a person can be prosecuted for actions which may not have directly caused the harm, but which they committed knowing the harm would result, or that it would go undetected as a result.

It is not, of course, a crime to commit adultery, but most people would agree that it was not a morally upright course of action.  So is this man’s website morally acceptable?  What do you think of his example of the bookie?

And what should we as Christians, even as responsible citizens do? How do we respond?  Obviously in prayer, but is there anything practical we can do to change the perceptions that allow such ‘services’ to go unchallenged?

Any ideas?

5 Comments On This Topic
  1. Peter P
    on Oct 4th at 4:02 am

    Great article, Jennie, and some great questions.

    The idea that facilitating someone’s adultery is not in itself ‘wrong’ immediately seems to me to be ludicrous.

    This man is throwing up huge temptation, by way of making it easier for people to have an affair. He is, in my opinion, a tempter.

    What then do we say to hotels though? Many people use hotels or motels as the venues for their affairs. Are the hotels facilitating adultery by not checking that people sharing a room are married?

    Truly, they are as complicit in this as the website guy is.

    So do we look at hoteliers in the same way?

    Interesting questions.

    Thanks, Jen.

    Oh, and by the way, adultery IS a crime, it’s a crime against God a.k.a. a sin.

    Reply
    • newsong40
      on Oct 4th at 8:47 am

      Thanks Pete.

      Although your point about hoteliers is true, their purpose in setting up and running a hotel is not so that they can facilitate affairs (at least, for most of them it is not!), I think the difference here is intention. There is, of course, the tricky issue of responsibility for what happens in your hotel (or through your website) that you didn’t intend, and I think if one turns a blind eye to illegal or immoral activity, then one starts to share in the responsibility for it, but if we banned or condemned everything that could potentially be used for evil, we’d be pretty stuck!

      And yes, you’re right, adultery is definitely a crime against God – and against the spouses and children involved.
      Jen

      Reply
  2. Jojo Agot
    on Oct 4th at 4:27 am

    Thanks for the Facebook link Peter.

    Jennie, I’m stunned, I don’t even know how to react. This is a new low; it’s heart breaking.

    Reply
    • newsong40
      on Oct 4th at 8:49 am

      Thanks Jojo,
      Yep, ‘stunned’ pretty much summed up how I felt, too. I think the only possible reaction is lots of prayer.

      Nice to ‘meet’ you
      Jennie

      Reply

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