Saturday, March 5, 2016

Trump and Trafficking--Enough Already!

"The Bridge to Nowhere," photo credit Katie Martinez
What does the current Republican front-runner have to do with modern-day slavery? Everything.

Both Trump and trafficking are a reflection of our culture. It's mainly because of moral degeneration that a candidate as vulgar, disrespectful, bigoted, and shameless as "the Donald" can garner enough support to be the top contender for the Republican nomination. It's mainly because of moral degeneration that our neighborhoods have become breeding grounds for human trafficking.

Behind traffickers and Trump, lie strategies for winners and losers. Some people win (traffickers and currently Trump), while others lose (victims and Americans committed to common decency). Some of the underlying contributors to these divisive and corrupted realities in our society are that human dignity has been buried along with all the aborted babies. Human rights have been sold (trafficked) as fetal tissue by Planned Parenthood  Yet many people (including Trump and evidently those who support him) still think Planned Parenthood "does a lot of good."

In terms of trafficking, once human life has disintegrated into body parts for sale, how can any young girl or boy believe their lives have value if they're not wanted by their parents? And tragically far too many girls and boys are not. The breakdown of the family has dramatically contributed to this problem and a Trump presidency can't offer much hope of a strong role model for family values. Little can reflect an untrustworthy character better than repeated adultery, however, Trump's supporters don't seem to care about his indiscretions. These are powerful indicators of how far our culture has fallen.

And, oh what a vision Trump offers in terms of greed. Perhaps as bad as the traffickers who make on average $35,000 per week! Other billionaires like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett are known for their works of compassion. Yet Trump and traffickers seem to consider little besides themselves as they rake in their fortunes. Rather they fixate on their power and sexual domination and that leads us to pornography.

We were warned about the damage pornography does in society when Dr. James Dobson served on the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography in the 1980s. But media ridiculed his involvement and society refused to pay attention. Instead television shows such as The Bachelor/Bachelorette, video games and all sorts of entertainment bring this trash right into our homes where any 8-year-old can access it. And, we wonder why we increasingly hear on the nightly news about the sexual exploitation of children. Could it be because we applaud and elevate the vulgarities epitomized by the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City instead of condemn them and refuse to cry "Enough?" (Yes, I'm aware he declared bankruptcy there, refusing to pay his debts and yet he claims to be without sin. After all that's good business, the kind of business Americans have become accustomed to. Evidently Trump wants to disassociate his name from this "resort" that offers Atlantic City's first strip club in a casino, but his legacy is a powerful one.)

With Trump epitomizing the disintegration of strong biblical values in our society, are Christ-followers yet ready to start being the light in the darkness; the salt that seasons our culture with goodness and integrity instead of making it fertile ground for human trafficking? The kind of people who abhor modern-day slavery so much that they'll demand a candidate with strong family values, character-building influence on entertainment, and a role model for integrity?

Christ's love and the personal transformation of His followers can have such a powerful impact that even political candidates like Trump and those who delve into human trafficking (both buyers and sellers) can be overcome with God's goodness. In turn, numerous transformed lives will begin transforming our communities and our country. Still that requires a desire to change and I wonder--are we ready yet?

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