Did you know that the global sex slavery market generates a $39 billion profit annually? That selling young girls is more profitable than trafficking drugs or weapons.
Except for some celebrities who have gotten on the bandwagon, this abominable practice must be OK with a lot of God-fearin' Christians. All those Christians who are lobbying to make it legal to discriminate against gay couples by businesses. All those Christians who traveled to Uganda to help them set up the "kill the gays" bill which was just signed into law, after softening the language from "death" to "life imprisonment." Did you know that if you have gay friends and don't tell the government you can be put in jail for seven years?
[In fairness I know this does not represent the views of ALL Christians and that there are good Christians who are appalled as I am at the situation in Uganda and the treatment of gays in this country and around the world, but the vocal Christians unfortunately put a face on Christianity when it comes to this subject]Did you know that in Uganda, in 2005, 600,000 to 800,000 men, women and children are sold into sex slavery and that about 50% of those are children. Sex trafficking is one of the most lucrative and fastest growing crime and generates about $10 billion (in US dollars) a year.
To put it in perspective, the population of Davis is about 65,000 so this is more than 10 towns the size of Davis. Five of those towns being entirely populated by children.
In Uganda children are commonly taken from rural areas to big cities, where they become bartenders, prostitutes, and a host of other activities, ultimately ending up on the street. They contract HIV, become teenage mothers. Many die.
But this is what the newspapers print.
And here is what we see in this country
I remember seeing those signs and hearing the angry curses hurled at school children who tried to march to the capitol in Sacramento to talk about their concerns as gay youth in California. We were marching with them, keeping the protestors from getting too close to the kids.
I don't see massive demonstrations country-wide protesting sex trafficing, selling children into prostitution. It's probably the media's fault. I'm sure there are good Christians all over the country who are protesting Uganda's new anti-gay bill and the media just isnt even showing it. Right?
And if you believe that, let's talk about that bridge I have for sale.
I am in such a difficult place because I have a sponsored child in Uganda, a 19 year old woman who is on her road to getting her teaching credential. I want so badly to talk with her about how I feel about the lies that are being spread across her country, especially if she is going to be teaching small children in the future, so that she understands that not everybody agrees with her President. But Compassion International is a Christian organization (which does work against trafficking, at least!) and for all I know some of its members may have been part of that conservative Christian delegation who advised President Museveni to come up with this odious bill in the first place.
I tossed out a trial balloon on the social media site for Compassion sponsors. In very careful chosen language, using a lot of comments about the inclusion that Jesus believed in and love for all of God's children and asking if it might be appropriate for me to write to Shallon to just let her know my feelings. I certainly wouldn't wave rainbow flags or anything. Well...predictably I got lots of feedback about sin and loving the sinner but hating the sin and all the same old crap, some of it ugly. (How can you say "I have a lot of gay friends, but I do tell them that they are going to hell..." and still have "a lot of gay friends"?)
The two people who agreed with me mailed me privately so they wouldn't let their feelings be known among the group. Ultimately, someone did convince me that should Shallon be found with such a letter from me, no matter how carefully it was worded, it could be politically dangerous for her even if Compassion would let her get the letter in the first place (which nobody thought they would do). So I won't write to her about it but maybe use a lot of "inclusive" language in my letters (since she does read English).
But, I don't know. Priorities in this country are so screwed. I look at how long it has taken the gay community to recieve a modicum of legal acceptance as equal to others in this country and now three states are trying to pass that damn "it's OK to refuse service to the gays" law but no large groups are marching to say "it's not OK to buy a 10 year old girl for your sexual pleasure."
Just like at one time blacks couldn't sit at lunch counters and Jews had to be first collected in ghettos, and then sent to death camps and Japanese had to be rounded up and sent to internment camps, actions that most of us are appalled to read about today.
I keep saying that one of my favorite quotes is still, to this day, by Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?"