Saturday, September 18, 2010

Shooting the Perp's PR Man

I believe in scouting out the enemy when convenient, so I'm on the list for e-mailings from, President Obama's clearinghouse for political activism. I can't remember any time I have agreed with any of their suggestions ("Demand that private security corporations raise professional standards for security officers to keep America safe"), but one this week got me going enough to forego a possibly remunerative assignment to comment here: "Sign the petition demanding that Craigslist fight human [sex] trafficking on all of its sites."

Obviously human trafficking in any form is immoral, a violation of people's bodies and property, so I'm no friend of Craigslist's trafficking customers. However, going after Craigslist is precisely the wrong way to fight the problem. If the authorities were really serious about saving present and future victims of trafficking, instead of forcing Craigslist to shut down their "adult services" sites, they would send undercover agents to answer suspicious ads, gather the evidence needed to get a warrant, and arrest, prosecute, and execute the traffickers (Ex 21:16). That they go after Craigslist apparently without going after the traffickers is yet more proof that the various wars they whip up hysteria over are about protecting and expanding their power, not protecting us Mundanes.

Government policy regarding the sex industry is completely off any biblical base.

While the only sexual expression that truly pleases God is that between a man and a woman in a monogamous marriage, the Bible doesn't criminalize all suboptimal activities: Polygamy carries no stated penalty, and all women in plural marriages are always called wives. Further, while the Old Testament would have used the word harlotry to describe what we in the sixties called dating, only in the case of the daughter of a priest was there any civil sanction called for. Homosexual actvities call for the death penalty in the Old Testament, but in today's US, homosexuals are joined only by abortionists in the glow of politically correct rights. Meanwhile, prositutes (and their customers) are subject to arrest and jailing.

Given the nature of men and women—the typical woman will not consent to sex without a good reason, while the typical man needs only an opportunity—there is a certain quid pro quo in all heterosexual activity. Wise women put out only for their husbands (who, if they are wise, make their wives' happiness their number one priority); others will settle for dinner and a movie, others just for the thrill, and others for cash. I would guess that the Fantines who are reduced to reluctant prostitution ("Don't they know they're making love to one already dead?") outnumber the Xaviera Hollanders who consider it the ultimate profession about a hundred to one. I see no justice, let alone Christian discipleship or even compassion, in putting such women in cages and later releasing them to the same destitution that reduced them to prostitution in the first place. But this is a minority view.

If we were to go for a government solution to the sex trade, we could straighten out the system without increasing government spending: the money and manpower we spend on the unbiblical war on drugs could be used instead to fight sex kidnapping, a biblical mandate we are ignoring. Think about it.

We spend billions of dollars every year searching for and jailing marijuana growers. This includes aircraft and land vehicles equipped with equipment that can distinguish marijuana from surrounding vegetation. The porno-scanners coming to an airport near you are also coming to your street to strip you as you walk on the sidewalk and to see everything that goes on in your house; it doesn't take a cynic to hypothesize that these devices' "anti-terrorism" functions will be augmented with add-ons for the drug warriors and that the data gathered and stored might contain tidbits of, shall we say, nonprofessional interest to those with access to it (and their friends, and their friends' friends). All this comes at a high price to both our wallets and our privacy. And again, there is no biblical justification for the war on drugs, and the terrorism we face is a response to our government's evil, not to our freedoms.

So, one would think that a people who revere the Bible and are filled with the Holy Spirit and speak of their zeal to defend freedom would latch on to the idea of abandoning an unbiblical pursuit that helps no one and taking up beneficial activities the Bible supports. But one could be wrong.

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