Jelalian: Get your own house in order


The Internet is full of people willing to opine on any given topic. In fact, I’m one of them.

There are so many Internet denizens with different groups accusing others of not meeting their standards that it gets hard to keep track of.

The problem is, no one seems to meet, let alone try to meet, their own standards. It seems like Utah isn’t exempt from this statement.

The recent Ashley Madison hack illustrates this perfectly.

Ashley Madison, a subscription-based hook-up website designed specifically for married people who want to have an affair, was hacked.

Avid Life Media, Ashley Madison’s parent company, refused to take down the site as demanded by the hackers. As a consequence for Avid Life Media’s refusal, the hackers posted the personal information of 37 million users of Ashley Madison and other scummy hook-up sites owned by the company on the Internet for all to see.

Wired Magazine later wrote a story explaining how many users are in each state.

Utah was in the top 10.

That’s right, the Beehive State known for its high marriage rate and even higher birth rate is also number eight out of 50 for secret affairs. But this is not just a Utah issue and certainly not just a Mormon issue.

The most notable person thus far exposed by the Ashley Madison hack was Christian activist and family man, Joshua Duggar from the famous TLC show, “19 Kids and Counting.” This is the same Duggar who was recently exposed for molesting multiple children, including his sisters, as a teenager.

“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever,” wrote Duggar on his family’s website. “While espousing faith and family values, I have been unfaithful to my wife. I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.”

The only person I have seen on the right to retract his earlier defense of Duggar was the controversial conservative blogger Matt Walsh.

“I’m not too proud to admit when I was wrong,” said Walsh. “So, yes, I was wrong about the Duggar situation.”

If the religious right wants to survive to see another election cycle, it must start practicing what it preaches.

It’s really pathetic seeing Donald Trump as the top nominee choice according to Republican polls. Not only that, but he’s leading by double digits.

This is a man who loves traditional marriage so much he did it three times.

But it’s not just conservative Christians who have issues, either. The left is just as guilty as the right.

They rallied to the defense of Lena Dunham, who admitted in her own book to molesting her younger sister for years and years, and then condemned Duggar.

They go out of their way to call Caitlyn Jenner a brave hero and an inspiration for putting on a dress, while ignoring the fact that he’s on trial for manslaughter for an at-fault car crash.

They stress the importance of being able to live according to the gender you identify as, but condemn Rachel Dolezal for “being black” despite her identifying as such. She even dedicated her life to fighting for progressive race-related issues.

No doubt they’ll do the same to Shaun King when everyone finally accepts that he’s about as biracial as I am.

The Left constantly cannibalizes its own voting blocs as each group tries to determine who is the least privileged and therefore deserves the most say in the party.

An open socialist looks like he might have a legitimate chance at beating Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, but every time a liberal celebrity finds a website sharing their overpriced movies and music online for free, they instantly try to shut it down to protect their wallets.

There is no party unity in either party, and it seems like there won’t be any unity anytime soon.

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Both parties have severe trust issues they need to start amending, but in reality hypocrisy can only be stopped on an individual level.

Since Utah has such a strong family-values based culture I want to focus on that side of the issue. Besides, Utah and Christian conservatives are the ones currently in the spotlight.

It’s sad that websites like Ashley Madison exist, encouraging people to cheat on their spouse, but what is even more depressing is the large customer base justifying the website’s existence. It’s even worse to think that so much of that customer base exists in this state.

I believe there are lots of people who hold others to high standards, but it’s just as important to hold yourself to the same standard. If Utah wants to be a pro-family-value state, then it needs to start acting on those values.

Stop supporting candidates who treat their own marriages like most people treat their weight-loss diets. Stop being unfaithful toward your spouses. Start doing all those things you expect others in the community to do.

You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to try.

I don’t think a community can survive very long if the individuals in it don’t actively try to meet the standards they expect others to meet. That doesn’t mean we all need to have the exact same

values. But if no one lives the values they say they stand for then there is no foundation for our community to be built on.

The Ashley Madison hack doesn’t mean anything by itself. Nor does a given divorce rate or inactivity rate. These are simply symptoms of a disease, not the disease itself.

To cure our community, we all need to do some deep introspection and start lining up our actions with our values.

Utah is like a house showing signs of termite damage. We need to act now in order to prevent the house from eventually collapsing under the weight of an uneven foundation of hypocrisy.

We can’t expect to see candidates of character or community leaders of integrity until we start acting how we would want them to act. So start walking the walk instead of talking the talk.

Or in the case of the public-shaming horde of the Internet, start walking the walk instead of tweeting the tweet.



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