Human trafficking—and sex trafficking in particular—has become something of a Christian cause célèbre. There are prayer weekends, movies, magazine covers, Sunday school curricula, and countless church-based ministries. More unusual efforts include lipstick sold to help “kiss slavery goodbye” and tattoo alteration services for victims who say they have been “branded” by their captors. An extraordinarily complex global issue has somehow become one of the most energetic Christian missions of the 21st century.
I think we can all agree that human trafficking is horrible and fighting it is rather noble, right? We should all be able to come together to battle some of the world’s most heinous ills and get along for awhile.
Not so much for the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits.
When evangelicals picked up the issue of trafficking around the turn of the millennium, they drastically expanded the existing movement’s influence and reach. By now it has spawned major institutional efforts by nonprofits like World Relief, not to mention both state and federal legislation. According to some critics, however, Christians also changed the movement’s character. “It wasn’t until this evangelical coalition emerged that sex trafficking became this huge everyday issue,” said Soderlund. “Once the evangelicals got on board, it became a much more mainstream issue, and less feminist. You had innocent victims, and you had evildoers, and it wasn’t as much about patriarchy.”
If you’re still trying to figure out why bringing greater awareness to a global travesty merits criticism, I’ve started a club. Awareness itself seems to be a pervasive 21st century goal. The NFL spends a month every season dressing football players in pink to “raise awareness” for a disease that roughly 99% of the adult population knows about.
The desperate search for negatives in this article would be humorous if the subject matter weren’t so serious. The biggest complaint here seems to be, “Dammit, it was our issue and you’re muddying the narrative with all your kind assistance!” You can almost feel the tortured flailing as the author tries to see the bad side.
What the article is really about is the fact that leftists don’t feel alive unless they’re absolutely miserable. They want the world to perpetually be in need of saving, but only as long as it’s their brand of saving that is being done. Crazy Jesus people need not help, even if they’re a great help.
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