Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Trafficking, Trump, and the Truth

Sometimes I feel very small when it comes to the issue of human trafficking. That's one reason why it's been so long since my last post. There's been so much going on that I had to let go of something and this blog was it. Now, though, I have updates and what I think is an important message for the Church. First the updates.

Every ONE Free (EOF) has been developing the "Do ONE Thing" online guide as a resource for individuals and churches wanting to get involved in the fight against trafficking. It's an easy-to-read resource and will include additional components as time permits the writing of them. With the table of contents on the right rail, you can easily skip to the section you are most interested in. Right now I'm researching a new section addressing the problems with porn and how it increases demand. This section will also include resources for dealing with porn addictions, which puts potential victims of trafficking at high risk because the more one uses porn the more violence and the younger the children involved. And, yes, the problem with porn is as huge in the Church as it is outside of it. One of the biggest concerns for Christians is that the parents of boys need to be aware of the potential for their sons to become victimizers because addiction to porn actually changes brain chemistry just like other drugs.

In addition, partnered with CARE 18, EOF has also embarked on an effort to open a resource center on Holt Blvd just west of Gary in Pomona, CA. It's right on one of the busiest tracks in the nation. If you've followed this blog, you may remember that last January pinstripers put on an auction at the National Roadsters Show featuring their work. All the proceeds--$36,000--were donated to EOF. There's a tremendous amount of work to be done on the existing building. Funds need to be raised, programs need to be developed, and partnerships need to be built with churches, nonprofits, and businesses. This God-sized project will require His power, grace, and mercy to build the relationships necessary to make it successful. That's why I'm currently building a team to bathe every aspect of it in prayer.

Fighting human trafficking is one of the most effective ways the Church can reach out to their neighborhoods in the name of Jesus--bringing light into the darkness and truth into the lies in ways that can transform a city. My article on that topic and what we're doing in Pomona ran in Facts and Trends magazine last spring.

So what does Trump have to do with "trafficking." Well, his ongoing pattern of objectifying women is certainly not a role model for raising young boys. It also validates the current behavior patterns of men who think of women as commodities to purchase for sex. To be honest I believe Hillary did the same in a more subtle way. By not strongly denouncing that problem in conjunction with her husband's escapades and by not reaching out with compassion to those he victimized, in my opinion, she condoned the exploitation of women. Unfortunately these leaders are not alone and that's why the sexual exploitation of women and girls is the second largest criminal enterprise in the world and the fastest growing.

That's where people desiring truth on both sides of the political aisle can find unity if they'll get involved. Especially if they are Christians. This past Saturday CARE 18's Faith Initiative Against Trafficking pulled together men and women from various denominations--Catholic, Methodist, Baptist and more; various ethnicities--Asian, Hispanic, African American and White--young and old, rich and poor--more than 140 people came to learn more about how to fight trafficking within their communities. Working together we are denouncing the objectification of women and promoting respect for women and girls. Some of these quarterly events even have workshops tailored for fathers, who want to protect their daughters. The correlation between father/daughter relationships combined with a culture of materialism and sexual promiscuity contributes dramatically to the sexual exploitation of women and girls.

And, here we are back to the underlying problems with human trafficking. Due to the cultural lies fostered among some of America's most visible leaders, our entertainment and media (including video games for children), women and girls have become commodities to be sold. Trying to wrap our minds around a $150 billion a year industry is mind boggling. When I first got involved in 2010, the number was $9 billion.

But there are more of us, than there are of those participating in this travesty. More of us who say we believe women and girls are precious and worthy of respect. So how long will it take before every church gets involved and starts working toward solutions? How long before every individual is doing at least one thing to make a difference? What about you?

To comment just click on the "No comments" button. I'd love to know your thoughts, what you are doing or what one thing will you do to stop the sexual exploitation of women and girls.