Human Trafficking, the collective cognitive dissonance over babies, Beauty, and what we say about things that should not have been said
The President of United States, Donald Trump has identified human trafficking as “an urgent humanitarian issue.” He committed his administration “to leveraging every resource we have to confront this threat, to support the victims and survivors, and to hold traffickers accountable for their heinous crimes.”
President Trump has signed four bills in recent weeks that demonstrate the bipartisan commitment to end human trafficking.
- the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (S. 1862).
- the Abolish Human Trafficking Act which strengthens programs supporting survivors and resources for combating modern slavery.
- the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act, authorizing $430 million to fight sex and labor trafficking.
- the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (S. 1312), establishing new prevention, prosecution, and collaboration initiative to bring human traffickers to justice.
Reaffirming this Administration’s commitment to abolish modern slavery, President Trump proclaimed January 2019 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. If you missed my conversation with former L.A. Dodgers GM Kevin Malone about his passion to bring an end to child sex trafficking in the United States, you can listen here.
Babies? The cognitive dissonance over babies in America
“The future of babies” is the cover headline in the January 14, 2019 issue of Time magazine. But the packet of articles is about just how far Americans will go to get the baby they want when they want it. Christians value life and babies and families. And God commands people to be fruitful and multiply. But where’s the line and what’s the moral/theological/socially good boundary to what has become the wild west of fertility treatment and experimentation/manipulation of the human germline?
As you read, ask yourself: how is it that when a baby is wanted – desperately wanted in these cases – everyone (media, scientists, doctors, lawmakers) call it a baby. But when a baby is not wanted, those same people call that baby anything but a baby? This congnitive dissonance and the scourge of abortion in America (600-800K babies/year in the U.S.) should be part of our conversations today.
There was a surprising feature article in the NYTimes magazine, “How Beauty is Making Scientists rethink evolution: the extravagant beauty of the animal kingdom can’t be explained by natural selection alone. So how did come to be?”
As Christians we know the answer to this question. We know the transcendental nature of beauty (along with goodness and truth). God delights in beauty. Need evidence? Consider all that He has made. Consider the variations of the color green or the sounds of nature singing, purring, rustling, howling, cooing, rippling, flowing, pouring down. Consider the fragrance of a flower, and the next and the next. Beauty is fragrant. Consider the taste of an orange, then an apple, then a pear, then a grape. Beauty is delicious. Turn to see the face or the hand or the foot of an infant child or the same worn folds of an ancient grandmother; a sunset; the stars of the heavens… Beauty is easily recognized. And much like joy, it is difficult for the world to explain – or explain away.
Some things were said that should not have been said and now Christians have to do clean up in the culture
- Last Thursday, Iowa Rep. Steve King ignited a firestorm when he wondered aloud: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” Senator Tim Scott, an African American and fellow Christian, answered King in an op ed in the Washington Post and GOP leaders have vowed action. King is now saying that he misspoke and should have just talked about western civilization and that’s he’s not racist. However, it is out of the heart that the mouth speaks. So, let’s be perfectly clear, it is not Christian, Biblical, nor evangelical to hold animus in your heart to people of different ethnicities. The Kingdom of Heaven is going to be populated by people from literally every tribe and tongue. Jesus took on human flesh – and that flesh was not Middle eastern. Yes, there are many great and good things about western civilization and the nation wherein we dwell, but as Christians our family is the universal body of Christ, a family of brothers and sisters from every place and time who call upon the name the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are citizens and ambassadors of His Kingdom first before any nation or civilization under heaven.
- In support of the President’s effort to compel funding for a wall at the U.S. southern board, Pastor Robert Jeffress said, “heaven itself is going to have a wall around it.” Was he just trying to be provocative or was he seeking to offer an accurate presentation of what the Word of God reveals about the nature, will and plan of God for His Kingdom? Christians have a hard enough time discussing the contents of the Book of Revelation among ourselves. To offer a loose reference to an image offered in the prophetic book on national television as justification for a political argument conflates issues and inflames debate. This is not how you sow peace and this is not how you rightly divide the Word of Truth in public. How do we respond when we see or hear God’s Word – and therefore, God – misrepresented in the public square? We clarify, we correct and we invite people to open the Word of God to see for themselves.
Jesus has a LOT to say about the Kingdom of Heaven. He tells us what it’s going to be like, who’s going to be there and how to get in. He talks about a sheepfold, of which He is both the door and the Shepherd. He talks about a house, of which He is both the Lord and builder. He talks about a garden, of which He is both the sower and the reaper. If we want our nation to reflect the characteristics and character of the Kingdom of God, it seems to me that the architecture of the perimeter wall is not God’s focus. He seems infinitely more concerned with the hearts of the inhabitants who live therein.
Today, Dr. Jamie Aten – what cancer and Katrina have in common (dealing with disaster both personal and shared)
Tuesday, Sandi Patty and Dave Pittman – finding our voice and singing the faith
Wednesday, Justin Giboney and Tim Muehlhoff – engaging the politics of the day with Christ, first
Thursday, Julie Loos and Elizabeth Urbanowicz – equipping kids to engage competing worldviews
Friday, Tricia Scribner and Michelle Tepper – women in apologetics