January 31, 2011

Sex-Trafficking and the Super Bowl

This coming weekend, thousands of people from all across the nation will descend on the DFW area to take part in the Super Bowl.  There will be parties, and tail-gates and lots of excitement.  But hidden behind all of the glamour and fun of this football game of all football games lies something many of us will never experience.

Sex-trafficking, a form of slavery, still exists in our world.  And though many of us may never see this horrific oppression, young children and women are exploited each year here in the United states and around the globe.

We may be thinking, "there is no way that this kind of slavery exists here in America, I mean we're the land of the free, right?"  But, according to the DOJ, "In 2005, the Department of Justice reported there have been an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 sex slaves in the U.S. since 2001."   In the same document, a 2009 study is cited: "In 2009, a University of Pennsylvania study estimated nearly 300,000 youth in the United States were at risk of being sexually exploited for commercial uses - "most of them runaways or thrown-aways," said Ernie Allen, president of the NCMEC."

The shocking fact is, that many of those enslaved are in our own back-yards, literally:  "In December 2007, research by the U.S. Department of Justice National Institute of Justice based on interviews with pimps and sexually exploited children in several U.S. cities found that most pimps manage one to three girls at a time and operate as follows:

o At least half appear to operate at the local level only.
o At least one quarter may be tied to city-wide crime rings (often engaged in drug sales as well as
prostitution) and are constantly looking for new recruits.
o About 15 percent are tied to regional or national networks that are well financed and organized,
in which the pimps communicate easily with one another electronically; provide support
services such as recruitment, selection, indoctrination, and movement of new girls; and
occasionally assist in locating and disciplining girls who escape from other pimps.
o About 10 percent appear to be tied to international sex crime networks and, through them,
actively participate in the international trafficking of children. Some pimps also are part of
international drug networks and may use children to move drugs in to and across the U.S."

How can we be involved?  World Vision has some helpful resources on human trafficking, sex trafficking and exploitation.  This is something we cannot ignore.  It is a blot on society just as slavery in the 'old days' was, and abortion continues to be.  We can be their voice when they have none!



sources:
http://www.crisisaid.org/ICAPDF/Trafficking/traffickstats.pdf 
http://www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/learn/globalissues-stp

January 25, 2011

Hello!

Have you ever thought about conversations?  For instance, how we answer the phone when someone rings our residence.  At our house, some of us answer with "hello, Kautt residence, so and so speaking," while others just say "hello" or something similar. 

It seems that with the advent of social networks, such as twitter, facebook, myspace, friendster, and other similar meeting places, that our ability to hold true conversations with others has lessened.   I have found this to be true in my own life since getting on facebook and twitter, but even blogging can lend to 'capsulated' conversations.

In twitter world, you only have 140 characters to say what you wish.  In real life however, we can use as many words as necessary to convey an idea, or get a point across.  Personally, I enjoy stimulating conversations with others, whether they think like me or are of an opposite opinion.

However we converse, whether short or long, intellectual or trivial, about the weather or relationships, whatever we discuss should be done in such a manner as to edify the other participants in the conversation.  That is something hard to achieve.  So many times in evaluating conversations after the fact I realize with regret the things I could have said differently, or with a gentler tone or manner.  It's easy to fall into a sort of trap with regards to words and conversation.  We can think that what we are saying is of greater importance than how we are saying it.

Our conversations should be pleasing to God first and foremost, and encouraging and up-building to those we are speaking to or with. 

January 21, 2011

Wha???

"How do you get down from an elephant?  You don't.  You get down from a duck."

January 18, 2011

Christian Ethic of Healthcare Pt. 2

Over on my main blog, Imprimis, I am doing a series on Healthcare, and Christian ethics.  This week is sanctity of human life week here in the US, and I believe it is necessary for Christians to have a biblical worldview of Healthcare.  You can read the other posts in this series here.

Definition of EUTHANASIA

: the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy
eu·tha·na·sic adjective
εὐθανασία (euthanasia), from εὐ- (eu-, “good”) + θάνατος (thanatos, “death”)
Let’s Kill Grandma… It’s the Most Compassionate Thing to Do
“Euthanasia is a classic example of how the New Wave works.  First, wipe out the old Christian ethic of compassion in favor of a “new” ethic of convenience.  Liberally disguise this shift with old words like “compassion.”  Redefine the old words to reflect the pro-death shift.  At the same time, play on the natural human vices of greed and selfishness.  Tell us how much trouble it is to save life, and how much nicer it is for the victim to die.
What is happening is that we are being prepared to think of death as a benefit, both for the person sacrificed, for his or her relatives, and for society.
Suzanne Fields pointedly remarked in a 1985 column in Insight magazine:
The hot trendy topic on talk shows these days, after X-rated lyrics and AIDS, is “how I helped my mother, my wife, my husband (or fill in the blank) die in dignity.”
As an accomplice to an assisted suicide or as the person who actually does the deed in what is euphemistically described as “mercy killing,” the celebrity slayers seek applause and forgiveness (and maybe a book contract).
Theirs is the confession in the name of “higher good.”
“Honor thy father and thy mother” becomes “honor their death wish.”  And the vow “till death do us part” becomes a little less romantic when it means “till I give you a little push.”
Some of the confessionals are moving and tragic, but all raise more questions than they answer….
Because we hear only the survivor’s tale, we have no way to question it.  But what if these stories aren’t exactly true?
Could it be that these writers, actually persuaded their patients that it was in their best interest to die, to diminish doctor and hospital bills, to let the living get on with their lives?  Or could it be that the ill wife or father was too far gone to make a decision, and husband and daughter decided to do “what’s best”?
How would the rest of us respond to the story then?…
Today only 10 percent of all Americans believe that children should bear the burden of taking care of their parents.  In the mid-1950s, half of all Americans believed that aging parents were a personal responsibility….
Our attitudes toward death and dying, as well as our care for the elderly, become the true test of our civilization.  Those who confess to assisted suicide or call murder mercy (which is very different from defending a patient’s right to refuse treatment) are attempting a climb up a slippery slope.”
Quotation from: Unholy Sacrifices of the New Age Paul DeParrie and Mary Pride ©1988

January 13, 2011

Worldview

"Christianity is a world and life view and not simply a series of unrelated doctrines.  Christianity includes all of life.  Every realm of knowledge, every aspect of life and every facet of the universe fine their place and their answer within Christianity.  It is a system of truth enveloping the entire world in its grasp."
Edwin H. Rian