Freedom

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com (4)

Gentle Reader,

On this, the day we celebrate our independence, I am thinking about books.

Yes. Books.

I support intellectual freedom. The only kind of censorship that works is self-censorship. I don’t want the government to tell me what I can and cannot read. Just because I’m all about the freedom to access information does not mean, however, that I like every item that comes across my desk at work. It doesn’t mean that I think they’re all worthwhile or even appropriate.

Lately we’ve been getting requests for books that glamorize prostitution, the drug trade and kidnapping. People do have the right to read…stuff  like that.  And I have the right to respond. So, take a look at these facts (list found here, my comments italicized):

  1. Globally, the average cost of a slave is $90.

You can buy another person just buy setting aside your coffee money for a month.

  1. Trafficking primarily involves exploitation which comes in many forms, including: forcing victims into prostitution, subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude and compelling victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography.

The woman on the screen? The one standing on the corner? She’s probably forced to be there. Her pimp as threatened to kill her family, has beaten her into oblivion repeatedly, has forced her into a drug addiction. What she’s doing isn’t her choice.

  1. According to some estimates, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation.

4. There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today.

5. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year. More than 70% are female and half are children.

6. The average age a [person] enters the sex trade in the U.S. is 12 to 14-year-old. Many victims are runaway girls who were sexually abused as children.

Considering that the “sex trade” includes pornography, those who view it or visit prostitutes are very likely committing a crime against a child.

7. California harbors 3 of the FBI’s 13 highest child sex trafficking areas on the nation: Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.

8. The National Human Trafficking Hotline receives more calls from Texas than any other state in the US. 15% of those calls are from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

9. Between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year.

10. Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry (behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking). It reportedly generates a profit of $32 billion every year. Of that number, $15.5 billion is made in industrialized countries.

11. The International Labour Organization estimates that women and girls represent the largest share of forced labor victims with 11.4 million trafficked victims (55%) compared to 9.5 million (45%) men.

Men are using women and children to gratify their lust. Using them. Stripping them of their names, their identities, their families.

Listen up: THERE IS NOTHING “GOOD,” “ROMANTIC” OR “GLAMOROUS” ABOUT HUMAN TRAFFICKING. IF YOU THINK THERE IS, YOU ARE SADLY DELUDED.

And, yes, I meant to shout.

Christian men and women, it’s time we came clean. It’s time we stopped hiding sin behind the term “addiction.” Certainly one can be addicted to sin, but let’s at least call it what it is. Every time we click the link, flip the page or pay the john, we are exploiting someone. A person. Made in the image of God. It is nothing short of evil for anyone to abuse another in this way.

We are not helpless. We do not “have” to watch the porn or have sex with the prostitute. It is entirely, 100% a choice.

Exercise your intellectual freedom and think about it.

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