AMONG MANY CONTROVERSIAL issues that fiercely divide people, there stand a small few, at least, that ought to unite them. If we can’t agree on the myriad concerns of politics or religion, it seems we should hasten to cooperation when it comes to issues like child trafficking. Yet, behold the stupefying reality: it is not so. While children are being horrifically abused, adults are busy arguing about whether the matter is “overhyped,” or which party is more responsible. While one single child is being hurt, it seems to the reasonable mind that it doesn’t matter whether the issue is overhyped. We must not allow the callousness of a fallen world to dampen our sentiments when it comes to the protection of the littlest humans. They utterly rely on us.
Hence the ever-present partisan bog that traps anyone from making any impactful change in society. It’s the always news-worthy, all-too-public debacle of mud-slinging slander and blame game. Rather than rising to defend the helpless little ones, erring people ignorantly point the finger at “the other party,” while failing to do anything meaningful about the problem. This is not to deny that someone is responsible, or that there are groups which are particularly guilty of sins against children, some of which we need to call out. But defending little children is not a political, or even a “religious” responsibility. It’s a universal human requirement. It doesn’t need you to align with any particular church or world view. It needs you to be a thinking, feeling human being.
Before we get more specific about “who is responsible,” let’s deal with another important question. What causes child trafficking? Child trafficking does not exist without a market. Children can be passed into the sex trade because a sex trade exists, and a sex trade exists because of the hyper-sexualization and commercialization of sex. We tend to deal with things at the bloom instead of the root. Pruning a plant may temporarily get rid of the flowers, but it spawns more seed. It does not change or remove the root system that allows the weed to continue prospering.
Sex trafficking of all sorts must not be viewed as an act of sin or cruelty. It must be viewed as an economy of cruelty. It must be seen as a system or a machine that relies on its constituent parts to function. The bane of child trafficking starts long before a child is kidnapped and forced to perform on the streets. It starts in the heart of a sin-sick society that sells and glorifies illicit sex. It starts with the commodification of the human body and sexual identity. It starts with the power mongering of those who get deviant pleasure from controlling the vulnerable. It is a social and cultural issue.
This is why merely passing legislation can not fix child trafficking. It lives in the heart and thus in the culture. As long as children are sexualized in the name of “entertainment,” there is no law in the world that can stop the cultural tide from sweeping. People are conditioned to accept the dolling up of little girls with makeup and adult clothing. Popular culture, which is largely an intentional programming of our minds, acclimates us to overlook what should otherwise cause us great alarm. Those that profit from the export of sex and child abuse are winning the fight because they are winning the culture war. Culture is upstream of law. Whatever influences the culture will, in time, control the laws of the land.
Yet we are not without hope or a cause to fight. God has deemed that His greatest judgments are reserved for those who intentionally exploit the weak, but we must certainly understand how this battle is fought and won–in the collective conscience of ordinary people. There is no chance of the sex trade being eradicated or substantially asswaged without an awakening of conscience. History has given us precedents of such things happening. There must be a Revival of Righteousness–a Renaissance of Normality. To sin such against little children is a trespass against reason and instinct. It isn’t a far journey when one is returning to what is innately programmed by God and nature. This means that when it comes to the average person standing against this sin, we have God AND nature on our side.
As to the question, “Who is responsible for child trafficking?” If we understand it as the cultural phenomenon that it is, then everyone who willingly participates in the market is responsible. This isn’t a left-wing or right-wing issue. While children are being smuggled into the corners of darkness, millions are ignoring, and thus empowering, the awful reality. More importantly, by consenting to the conditions that cause it, people are directly guilty themselves. By participating in the game in which children always lose, you become a perpetrator.
Accusations are flung at various leaders and public figures regarding alleged participation in child exploitation. Many of these accusations have been proven true. Some will never be proven in this world. Yet the spirit of cooperation is a chargeable offence. You do not need to actively engage in the sex trade to be a helper of it. You merely must cooperate. The moment ordinary people rise up and stop voting for the politicians and consuming the media content that makes merchandise of children, the cultural tides will begin to turn. When the demand for a commodity ceases, the supply loses its reason to exist. You, my brother and sister, you. You are responsible for the propagation or utter defeat of this thing called child trafficking.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
– Jesus Christ