I was browsing Michael and Debi’s blog for new articles and came across one post that I had read previously, but today it kind of inspired me. (http://nogreaterjoy.org/articles/safeguarding-your-children/)
The article is about children, prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and everything else that’s evil. What struck me was the tale of the prostitute. Let me quote:
Once during a trip to Memphis with our family, I recalled seeing on a downtown street a half-dressed woman being jerked around and slapped by a man in a pink suit.
“She’s a prostitute,” Dad told us. “He’s a pimp. She works for him, selling her body to lascivious men who will burn in hell, so that she can continue to buy drugs to satisfy her addiction. God hates prostitution and pornography, kids. It destroys lives and families.” We kids stared in horror at the man and woman who were now stumbling into a building with neon signs and blacked out windows.
Apart from the fact that apparently, pimps have a thing for pink suits, what struck me most was how Michael, the Command man, reacted to this. Hate the sin, love the sinner, they say. Women and children must be protected, they say. So, let me ask you this: What would you do if you witnessed a woman getting beat up on the street by a guy? I certainly hope you would call the cops. I would. Apparently, Michael doesn’t think that’s necessary. Why? Let’s read on:
“Do you know what pornography is?” Dad persisted. We stared at him, still shaken by what we had just seen. “It is photographs of naked men and women… and other things I won’t even tell you about.”
“Why do those women let people take pictures of them when they are naked?” we asked.
“Most of those women were molested when they were kids, by their uncles, their brothers, friends, or even by complete strangers. They have no self-value. They feel worthless, and so they don’t guard their bodies. Instead, they sell their bodies for money to other worthless men who are molesting other women and girls.” We all swallowed hard and shuddered.
“God hates this kind of sin so much, that when the children of Israel went into Canaan, he told Joshua to kill every man, woman, and child because they had all been involved in sexual sins.
Right, because obviously they are sinners engaging in perversion and since God commands to kill them, well, why bother calling the cops? Right? Right?
This part of the article contains another piece of important information: All prostitutes and porn stars were molested as children. Now, I looked this up and I found that this is, in fact, true to some extend. Depending on the study you consult, you will get around 50% of all prostitutes have been sexually abused as children. Interesting additional info: Over 80% of them have experienced physical violence during childhood (Hello Pearl Family!).
Of course, many prostitutes did not choose to do that job. There are various reasons why women get into the red light scene (drug addiction and abuse being two factors, but not the only ones). Does that give us the right to sit here, judging them for their possible addiction, their possible background and experiences? The fact that the woman may simply be a single mom with no chance to feed her kids otherwise? According to Michael, it does. Sitting by watching people getting physically abused is perfectly fine if that person is a “sinner”.
But what does that, in the end? We get to sit on our high horses watching the misery of others, and what we really do, what we really do in that moment, is contributing to their abuse. We allow it to happen. We enforce it. Michael Pearl, by leaving the supposed prostitute alone with a man who is physically abusing her, has sanctioned further abuse.
Christian communities speak of healing and getting over past traumas. How is that going to work if we watch the abuse, if we sanction it as self-imposed choice?
What would really help is decriminalizing the victims, giving them the legal means and ways to defend themselves, to join groups and really change something. Help doesn’t mean watching and preaching how awful it all is. Helping means getting out of your car and helping victims leave the cycle of abuse – more abuse. That doesn’t mean that abuse wouldn’t happen, but it certainly would help those affected by it. So all that talk of protecting the “weaker vessel” would finally make sense in a social reality that is, in fact, reality for many.