Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Hypocrisy or Natural Order of Things?

On a thread at Pharyngula (, a commenter ("caerbannog") wrote a very interesting comment, ascribing the existence of the two described behaviors within a same person as hypocrisy. I believe, on the other hand, that the two behaviors are two sides of the same coin, both resulting from one's Strict Father upbringing. You decide. Here is the complete stolen story:

Heh heh… that reminds me of a trip we made last year to
visit some somewhat distant relatives. Said relatives are very rigid
fundamentalists; the father is a youth-minister and teacher at their church and
church-run school, and the daughters have been kept away from public schools
(both are enrolled at the church school). Even innocuous DVD titles such as "The
Little Mermaid" (objection: daughter fails to "honor" her father) and the "Harry
Potter" series are right out. The bookshelf in the den sports a bunch of
religious titles, including a few anti-evolution tomes and some of the "Left
Behind" books. The kids are not permitted to watch network television — even
"family-safe" shows — because the parents are concerned that the kids might see
some inappropriate commercials (daddy, what’s Viagra?). They do have a PC hooked up to a broadband internet connection, but it’s primarily dad’s toy; the kids
can use it only under direct adult supervision (which is a pretty sensible
policy no matter what your religious persuation). More about that PC below.

Well, we ended up spending the night at their house, sleeping in the den. The next
morning, I awoke before anyone else did, and noting that the PC had been left on
overnight, I decided to kill a bit of time by surfing over to a few of my
favorite "subversive" web-sites.The first web-site I decided to visit was
"". But as soon as I typed the letters "ju", the browser’s
autocomplete feature offered up ""! I soon realized that the
browser’s history buffer was just chock-full of all manner of XXX web-sites. In
fact, a large majority of the web-sites URL’s that popped up were of the XXX
variety, and some of them appeared to have embedded userid/password information.

Very quickly, I realized that it would be in my interest to keep my distance
from that PC, so I shut down the browser and hunted up a day-old newspaper to
read instead.So, yes, a few letters typed into a URL bar can tell you more than
you’d ever want to know about the PC’s owner.

Needless to say, I haven’t breathed so much as a word about this to anyone in my family. If dad wants to put down his Bible from time to time to visit a few racy web-sites when no one is looking, then that’s his business. But I just can’t help but think about the hypocrisy of it all.

It should also be noted that Larry Flynt didn’t get his start in a "sinful" place like Miami Beach, Hollywood, or Las Vegas. He got his start peddling hard-core porn in rural Ohio. And I wouldn’t be suprised if he sold his very first copy of Hustler to a religious fundamentalist.

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