Tag Archives: William Wilberforce

The seedier side of the Super Bowl*

Worldwide it generates an estimated $32 billion a year! In the U.S. alone it produces an estimated $9.5 billion annually!

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world. It robs people of their human rights and freedoms, it is a global health risk, and it fuels organized crime.

The U.S. State Department estimates that about 12.3 million adults and children are forced or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. Domestic sex traffickers particularly target vulnerable young girls, such as runaway, homeless, and foster care children.

In the United States, the average age of entry into prostitution is 13.

So, what does this have to do with the Super Bowl?

Large sporting events like the Super Bowl are prime targets for sex traffickers because of the high demand generated by thousands of men pouring into an area for a weekend of fun. The 2010 Super Bowl saw an estimated 10,000 sex workers brought into Miami. Despite efforts to crack down on sex trafficking at the 2011 Super Bowl in Dallas, there was still a tremendous number of women and children sexually exploited.

In the past, attempted crackdowns by law enforcement have missed the mark by treating prostitutes as criminals to be locked up rather than victims to be rescued, but new efforts are gaining traction: a new bill just got passed here in Indiana to toughen the state’s sex-trafficking law before the Super Bowl.

What can we do?

1. Learn more about it and get involved.
2. Join a local anti-trafficking group
3. Support organizations fighting trafficking

4. Share this information with everyone you know!
5. Pray!

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
~ William Wilberforce

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* Adapted from a blog article by Justin Holcomb

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Filed under Human Trafficking, influence with the world, Justice, Loving others

Sorry Thor, we love you but you’re just a pet!

Do you own a pet? Wait! Don’t answer yet. How you respond will say a lot about your view of life.

You see, according to Professor Andrew Linzey, director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, we shouldn’t even use the word “pet,” because the phrase is demeaning to animals. Instead, we should call a Labrador Retriever a “Companion animal.” And please, don’t use the word “owner.” That’s a demeaning term as well.

Of course, such language has its downsides. If some guy is reaching out to a canine with a temper, instead of shouting “Don’t pet the dog!” we’d have to warn, “Don’t manually stroke the companion animal!” But by the time we spit that out he could be missing a finger!

As reported by the U.K. Telegraph, Professor Linzey and his colleague, Prof. Priscilla Cohn of Penn State are quite serious. Linzey and Cohn say “We shall not be able to think clearly unless we discipline ourselves” to use appropriate language that reflects our proper “moral relations with” animals.

And what is that proper moral relation? Linzey and Cohn give us a hint. The word “owner,” they say, “whilst technically correct in law, harks back to a previous age when animals were regarded as just that: property, machines or things to use.”

Silly semantics or word games? I don’t think so. What Linzey and Cohn are suggesting is that humans and animals are equals. All of this is the result of a humanistic worldview. If we are not created by a loving God but rather evolved out of some primordial slime, then, yes, we are no more valuable than the common slug.

But we are not all equal. Humans alone bear the image of God. And animals cannot have “rights” in the way we humans do.

Should we care for animals as part of God’s creation? Absolutely! Christians have long recognized this. It was William Wilberforce, a Christian, who founded the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. But to treat them as equals or even near-equals? I don’t think so!

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Filed under Animals, Life in General, Worldview