Sex Trafficking and Super Bowl XLVII Plus Wade Burleson Weighs In on the Big Event

"The Super Bowl attracts tens of thousands of fans to the host city, and millions of television viewers, making it the most watched broadcast each year. But it also attracts a sector of violent, organized criminal activity that operates in plain sight without notice: human sex trafficking."

The Washington Post

The Dome New Orleans

The Dome New Orleans

While New Orleans is preparing for the biggest U.S. sporting event of the year, those who operate human trafficking rings are converging upon the city.  This dirty little secret is at long last getting attention in the press.  As a case in point, The Washington Post featured a story called Sex Trafficking and the Super Bowl.  The article states:

"Human trafficking is defined by the United Nations as the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of threat, use of force or other forms of coercion, for the purpose of exploitation.”  Sex trafficking is particularly heinous: Young women are abducted and sold into an underworld network where they are forced to engage in sexual activity for no pay, and from which it is extremely difficult to escape.  There is evidence that human trafficking increases where major sporting events are held."

Exact numbers are hard to come by, as trafficking is an underreported crime, but host cities, law enforcement, and civil society are becoming increasingly more aware of it. They are promoting educational campaigns and strengthening laws against trafficking to send a strong message to traffickers: You are not welcome here. If we find you, you will be prosecuted. There is a message for trafficking victims as well: If we find you, you will not be arrested; you will be rescued."

Christian news outlets are also addressing this tremendous problem that plagues society.   The Christian Post recently featured an article entitled Why is Sex Trafficking at the Super Bowl?

It sheds some light on just how prevalent sex trafficking is at these big events by stating:

"The Super Bowl and other large sporting events like the Olympics and the World Cup are increasingly being recognized as magnets for sex trafficking and child prostitution. The 2010 Super Bowl saw an estimated 10,000 sex workers brought in to Miami, while the 2011 event resulted in 133 prostitution-related arrests."

TWW was excited to read the following headline:  Christian Group Launches Social Media Campaign Against Sex Trade During Super Bowl. The article explains:

"A Christian advocacy group against the commercial sex trade and human trafficking has launched a social media campaign to coincide with the millions of people who will be interacting online during this Sunday's Super Bowl in New Orleans.

Shared Hope International says there were 12.2 million Super Bowl related posts on social networking websites during and after the game. "As a matter of fact, the halftime show alone garnered 862,000 comments," officials stated.

The organization said that these types of large numbers related to the game means there is "a chance for us together to get in the game and create awareness for the fight against human trafficking, through online advocacy."

Shared Hope International is also using its pledge group, Defenders USA, to fight the commercial sex industry.

"We're guys who take a pledge and take action. We educate, equip, and empower other men to fight against the sex industry and protect their families," the group states on its website."

Utilizing the social media is an excellent way of getting the word out to masses of people.  Dee and I are also trying to shine the light onto human trafficking.  Late last year Dee wrote about it in a post called  Profession or Obsession?

One of our goals in 2013 is to bring attention to the horrors of human trafficking.  While Super Bowl XLVII will soon be history, we hope that our online community can make a difference by drawing attention to this HUGE problem in society.  Please join with us in praying for the victims of human trafficking.

Wade Burleson has written a thought-provoking post on the Super Bowl, which we have received permission to share with our readers.


Nike Ain't No Shoe: The Super Bowl and the Worship of Sports, Sex, and Stardom (link)



This post needs a one paragraph disclaimer to be properly understood by readers, so here goes.

One of the complaints leveled against me as a pastor and writer is that I'm too free. My grace theology, say some, possesses too much liberty and too little law. I plead guilty. Whether it is loving homosexuals to Christ rather than lambasting them at church, or leading wine collectors to Christ over a glass of wine in their homes, or strongly advocating that institutional churches must change methodologies or die a slow death of traditional irrelevancy, my message is one of Christ's grace and love toward sinners and a repudiation of institutional church authority, control and extra-biblical laws. This Sunday our church will participate in our annual Souper Sunday emphasis where we will share in a fellowship meal after our morning services and take a collection for a new food ministry in our community called Loaves and Fishes.  Several of our small groups will be meeting on Sunday night for Super Bowl parties. We respect churches who have Sunday night corporate worship services, but we do not.

The title of this post might make you think that I am about to write something condemning of those who watch the Super Bowl, those who cancel Sunday night services for Super Bowl parties, or those who purchase Nike goods. I am not. The fact is, one of my favorite cousin's wife is a high level executive of Nike, and the charitable work they do is fantastic. I like the Super Bowl as much as anyone else. This post is simply a caution to all Americans, not just Christians, that not all that glitters around the Super Bowl is gold.

This Sunday is the second annual Pray for the Johns Day.  A "john" is a one who pays for sex. In recent years, those involved in putting a stop to human trafficking have reported that use of children and teenagers prostituted for paid sex has been on the upsurge during athletic contests in America, particularly the Super Bowl. Did you ever think we would come to the place in America where people are encouraged to pray for "johns" on Super Bowl Sunday? Probably not. Yet, there is an axiom about our world that the ancient Romans used: Historia non facet saltum – History makes no leaps. America has not arrived overnight at the place where young girls and boys are being taken to the city which hosts the Super Bowl so that "johns" can pay to have sex with them. The problems in New Orleans this weekend during the Super Bowl are outgrowths of America's decades long fascination with sports, sex, and stardom.

The closest event to compare our modern day Super Bowl with is the ancient Greek Olympics. When most Americans hear the word Olympics, they think of a world-wide athletic competition that the modern Olympics represent. But the modern Olympics didn't begin until 1896. The ancient Olympics began in 776 BC and ended in AD 393.  For centuries, the Olympics were Grecian games, open only to free-born Greeks athletes. Much like the American Super Bowl, the rest of the world paid scant attention to the ancient Olympics. However, Roman Emperor Theodosius the Great decreed in AD 393 that the Olympics should end. Rome had conquered Greece in the second century BC and had adopted Greek culture and language. Yet Emperor Theodosius, most likely a genuine believer in Jesus Christ and not just a politically expedient Christian like Constantine,  thought the Olympics had become a detriment to Greco/Roman culture and civilization. The athletes at the Olympics had become professionals. Those who won their events were granted free food and lodging for life and were admired by all. Theodosius opined that young people knew more about Olympic athletes than they did Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato. Even worse, Theodosius felt that the Olympics had become a playground for sex and worship of the human form. Olympia, the only site where the ancient Olympics were held during their 1170 year existence, was a city dedicated to the gods. The ancient The Greek aphorisms "Know thyself" and "Everything in moderation," had been lost in the collective consciousness of society. People were indulging themselves in all kinds of excess and immorality, and the Olympics had become almost a celebration of that indulgence



From the start of the Olympic Games until the beginning of the 5th century BC, there were just a few buildings in Olympia, including the Temple of Hera (wife of Zeus) and a crude athletic stadium. However, the Temple of Zeus was built between the years 472-457 BC, and this magnificent structure stood as the centerpiece of Olympia for the remainder of Olympic history. The Temple of Zeus was designed to accommodate the 13-meter-high gold and ivory statue of Zeus, dedicated and placed in the Temple in 435 BC. The Statue of Zeus in Olympia was considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It remains to this day one of the largest statues ever raised within an enclosed room. The figure depicted Zeus, seated on a throne, with a scepter in his left hand and Nike (winged victory) in his right hand. Grecians who visited Olympia considered their pilgrimage to Zeus's most sacred locale as a highlight of their year. As time went by, the people would walk out of their religious worship of the philandering and mythical Zeus and live out their sexual fantasies in Olympia as they cheered their athletes to victory.

Sport, sex and stardom. Olympia, Zeus, and Nike. History makes no leaps. This Sunday the Super Bowl is in the Super Dome in New Orleans. Mardi Gras begins the next week in New Orleans. After this Sunday, we will have a new team of American athletic heroes. Our country is very similar to ancient Greece. Our gods just have different names. Before anybody gets too excited about the Super Bowl, remember that in the grand scheme of human existence, measured in millenia (776 BC to AD 2013) or eternity, this weekend's big game amounts to very little. What counts is that we do our a small part to put an end to the exploitation of children and young people in America. Pray for the johns this Sunday, and pray for those in authority who will be arresting those johns.

And keep your eye on the big picture.  Our civilization and our culture, including the Super Bowl, will one day be gone. Only Christ and His Kingdom never end.

Lydia's CornerDeuteronomy 16:1-17:20   Luke 9:7-27   Psalm 72:1-20   Proverbs 12:8-9


Sex Trafficking and Super Bowl XLVII Plus Wade Burleson Weighs In on the Big Event — 161 Comments

  1. I had no idea. Absolutely no idea that sex trafficking went on at sports events. Now I am sitting here wondering where this is happening over here, and what can be done about it

  2. @Lynne T – a closer one to home is Summernats – buses head out to Fyshwick. There have been attempts by local parliamentarians to stamp out sex trafficking to Fyshwick and Mitchell.

    I can supply more links and information if you are interested. Government has been proactive about advertising publically to catch the eye of ‘johns’ who may visit a trafficked person. There seems to be peaks and troughs in interest about the situation. During a previous ‘peak?’ in maybe 2006 I remember reading a media article about how it is not difficult to identify at Customs, yet we choose to abstain from action at that crucial area. Customs is having a wee bit of a (necessary) shake-up at the moment, so perhaps there will be future action in this area.

    Have you heard of the factional movie “The Jammed” ? It’s a heartbreaking account of how sex trafficking happens through the eyes of three women. The director spoke at the launch about six years ago which was well attended by government, concerned Christians and the Eros Association.

  3. Thanks for the info — this is something I knew nothing about. I will follow up the link to the movie when I have time. There must be something we can do about this in our own backyard

  4. I didn’t know this either but I’m not really surprised.

    “The title of this post might make you think that I am about to write something condemning of those who watch the Super Bowl, those who cancel Sunday night services for Super Bowl parties, or those who purchase Nike goods.”

    Thank you – because my ex-pastor strongly implied on his FB the other day that if you watch the Superbowl when “your” team isn’t in it, you’re backsliding.

    Of course, he interprets the world through the paradigm of Don’t Waste Your Life, so basically anything fun that you did instead of praying/Bible study, at any regular interval or for any length of time and that wasn’t done for church, was “frivolous.” He never called them sins, but would try his best to guilt you about them and repeatedly talk about the many things he enjoys that he no longer does because he doesn’t want to “waste his life.” (Binding the conscience, anybody?) This also applies to paying jobs, because he told my dad he should get another job without travel – when he has to go on extended trips he can’t be home to do family worship (a pretty laughable mental image to anyone who knows my dad).

    He missed the fact that if you added up all these tiny “frivolities” and replaced them with prayer/Bible study, you would get something very close to the monastic life…which he would reject out of hand. Cognitive dissonance.

  5. Pray for the johns? What about the victims? The omission was probably not intentional but still, it sounds like SGM to me. Sympathy for the perpetrators and none for the victims. I have no sympathy for the johns. Most of the the sex slaves are underage and the johns know it.

  6. And it being New Orleans, there is no telling how much of the sex trafficking is being swept under the rug. Many of you just don’t realize how corrupt the New Orleans area is…
    The church I attended is moving forward their church services in the evening so the people can be home for the game….Why? Neither Dallas nor Houston are playing?
    Once again, we are like ancient Rome, bread and circuses.

  7. J. Terry – I can understand your statements.

    Its hard at times for some people to pray for them, and yet that is what the bible asks us to do. What it doesn’t ask for is for you to believe in some spiritual pixie dust conversion the way to many say will happen if you do it right. No doubt you know what I speaking about there. Their key focus is ‘if you do it right it will happen’. You have to wonder where they draw that from.

    I will be praying for both to find a way out of that life, and find the life that God intended them to have. Yes, that could include a 1/2 way house for some, and prison for others at the beginning. I pray that is only part of the equation of life.

  8. “pray for the johns day” How do you pray for someone who doesn’t have a conscience. If you don’t have a conscience, you’re done.

  9. “Pray for the johns” caused me to think along the lines of Stormy and J. Terry. The johns? What about the victims.

    I think the organizers, many of whom are in the trenches pulling the victims out of prostitution, have come to understand that if there were no johns, there would be no victims. Even so, I added in my post that we ought to pray for those in authority who will be arresting the johns that they do their job well.

  10. Hannah, I don’t believe that the Bible tells us to pray for these type of people in such a way that they’ll become a Christian. Many Christians think that these type of people(pathological,evil who have no conscience)) CAN change but in fact, they don’t. The Bible says that “men love the darkness.” Many Christians lack an understanding of who these people really are and some would rather stay in their “christian bubble” and believe that anybody can be saved. The Bible doesn’t even say that everybody will come to know Him.

  11. @ Wade Burleson:

    Pastor Wade, thank you for the interesting historical perspective in your essay – fascinating!

    I do think that prayer for both victims and johns AND (regarding the latter) law enforcement is in order.

    I first became aware of the issue of trafficking around massive sporting events during the lead-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. There was a lot of media coverage around this issue but I do wonder about its ultimate effectiveness.

    Is anyone aware if the NFL itself is assisting with any of the educational efforts in advance of Sunday’s big game?

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that I am a HUGE football fan! My beloved Washington Redskins … well, we won’t repeat the trauma of THAT playoff game here. 🙂

    So I’ll be kitted out in black and purple and yelling for Bawlmer, hon. 🙂 GO RAVENS!

  12. Thy Peace,

    That article you linked to was very disturbing. We Christians need to teach our kids to avoid porn and using prostitutes because it encourages more trafficking like this. I think the churches that only talk about lust in relation to porn are missing the big point. Most men think the women like these jobs, so what’s the problem? If they knew how many were abused and enslaved, it would be much easier for them to resist temptation.

  13. Let me clarify: Most churches seem to say that porn is bad because it incites lust. The treatment of the people involved isn’t mentioned.

  14. @ HoppyTheToad:

    Hoppy, I recall reading several years ago about a small ministry in CA that was doing outreach to women and men who were involved in the “adult entertainment industry.” *

    IIRC, these Christians were really really strategic, i.e. realistic and compassionate, in providing their support, understanding that there were so many issues involved including drug abuse. I remember thinking that theirs was a really unique and blessed calling for sure.

    * I hate this term, I really do – it contributes to the awful phenomenon of making the “genre” sanitized and culturally normative. But I don’t wish to tempt the internet spam/tracking bot devils by typing out —–graphy. Paranoid, I know.

  15. I just watched a very interesting TV episode, “Prophet or Predator” on “Dangerous Persuasions” on ID.
    Eagle will especially like. A gullible Mormon woman met and *eternally* (not legally) married the man of her dreams, who convinced her he’s the next Prophet, working on translating the final Testament. Since gOd’s work requires an income stream, eventually she ended up a sex slave, thinking the money was helping widows and orphans. Of course, the predatory pimp/prophet pocketed the profits.

  16. @ Stormy:
    How do you know they don’t have a conscience? And even if they don’t, shouldn’t we pray for them anyway?

  17. Dave A A wrote:

    I just watched a very interesting TV episode, “Prophet or Predator” on “Dangerous Persuasions” on ID.

    Dave, I just saw that program this morning and I hope I’m not being too harsh here by saying I couldn’t believe how naive that woman was to go to the extremes she did. 🙁 Very sad indeed.

  18. Human trafficking is a terrible thing and should be vigorously prosecuted when discovered. However, there have also been some false alarms concerning trafficking allegations. Just over a year ago a task force visited a number of Asian-owned massage establishments in Northern Virginia. Total number of arrests for human trafficking and prostitution: zero. A few establishments were cited for minor licensing violations, but nothing more serious was discovered. There is a large Asian population in Northern Virginia, along with a number of Asian-owned businesses of various types. I hope they weren’t the target of racial stereotyping.

    I’m concerned that too many false alarms will lead to indifference when actual cases of human trafficking occur, similar to the boy who cried wolf in one of Aesop’s Fables.

  19. “Let me clarify: Most churches seem to say that porn is bad because it incites lust. The treatment of the people involved isn’t mentioned.”

    Good point. This is a statement worthy of a deeper convo. I am noticing this in many venues more and more. The focus seems to be on personal sin as in pray for the Johns was above. Let us worry about the Johns when they are behind bars. Let us pray they are caught! In fact, what am I to pray for them? That they change their hearts? Then what? Will they turn themselves in and serve time? (I think some of this is part of the determinist god paradigm. Johns have volition. They chose. They know right from wrong…but many Calvinists do not believe they do because of total depravity/total inability thinking and that makes it harder to hold people accountable both those saved or not saved when you think about it)

    What is missing is how sin affects others. Our responsibility to others. Porn devalues other humans. Sex trafficing ruins the victims life is cruel and heinous and a form of slavery.

    It is getting old to be asked to feel sorry for cruel brutes, molesters, etc. We have time for that when they are caught and serving time.

  20. “How do you know they don’t have a conscience?”

    Oh, I am sure rapists, sex trafficers and murderers all have consciences. Perhaps we should define what we mean by conscience? Perhaps they feel real bad about what they do but then plan for doing it again?

  21. @ singleman: I don’t know about now, but when I lived in NoVA, there *were* serious problems – brothels in private homes run by Thai gangsters and the like. Some very near where I lived, just streets away.

    There is such a thing as bribery, and there are ways to hide people who are being abused by organized crime.

    Don’t kid yourself about it. (Obviously, I have no idea what was going on in this case, but those “facts” sound highly suspect to me.)

  22. @ singleman: I won’t for a second deny that there might well be a racist agenda here, but at the same time, there *are* women and girls in the metro D.C. area who are there for the reasons I just stated.

    To believe otherwise is naive at best.

  23. @ numo:
    I’m aware there have been past problems with massage parlors, not just in Northern Virginia but in the District and the Maryland suburbs as well. One of the local daily newspapers used to print numerous ads for such parlors. However, authorities began cracking down in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, closing numerous establishments. I’m not denying there may still be a few illegitimate massage businesses operating under the radar, but the local situation is much different from what it was 10-15 years ago.

  24. I had no idea how widespread sex-trafficking was, nor it’s connection to sports events. But I think some people would be surprised at who some of the “Johns” might be. CNN did an article on August 23, 2012 on the strip clubs in Tampa preparing for an influx of customers with the arrival of the GOP convention. I hesitate to put the link on here, but this is a quote from the article:

    ‘A strip club with a spaceship on the roof seems an odd place to expect Republicans. At first blush, one might not equate lap dances with the political party that wraps itself in buttoned-down family values.
    But at convention time, even upstanding men seem to seek out undressed women. When the Christian group Promise Keepers held a convention in Tampa a couple of years ago, attendees flooded the 2001 Odyssey, co-owner Jim Kleinhans recalls. They had such a good time that “they kept their promise to come back the next night.”‘
    I was naive enough to be shocked. So, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that illegal sex-traffickers also cash in on these venues.

  25. @ singleman: I meant brothels – in houses, so that they were not “obvious.” (of course, the neighbors all knew…)

    I used to get calls for some of those women, and had to have the phone company put call trace (and other legal surveillance methods) into effect for my line.

  26. @ singleman: please see this article (from the New York Times) which was posted by someone else, above –

    There were – and likely still are – SE Asian organized crime syndicated operating in NoVA. I doubt that has changed.

  27. @ singleman: In my city, prostitution seems to be well hidden and mostly ignored. Mormons are very influential here, FWIW. I can't think of seeing even one obvious streetwalker ever. So I searched the local news for prostitution arrests. The ONLY stories which came up were Asian spas. Last summer police conducted a one day sting after "citizen complaints" and arrested 6 women, ages 47-60. As far as I can see, the spas remained open. According to the police spokeswoman, "The unit that enforces this also enforces major drug crimes, and, quite honestly, they've got their hands full with that," she says. "[Prostitution] could be out there and could be happening on a daily basis, but officers go where the problems are that attract citizen complaints." I looked back further and found a story from 2010, VIRTUALLY IDENTICAL except the names. The city where I used to work was a little different. There was an "Avenue" where the streetwalkers were always out in force. I parked not far away, and one evening a desperate woman folllowed me as I walked to my car after work. She called to me, asking how I was doing. "Fine!" (quickly got in car and drove off) I felt so sad for her– was she in need of drugs? Would her pimp beat her if she didn't make a quota? At this same time, a serial killer was working the "Avenue" and had made over a dozen women disappear… 🙁 🙁 Turned out the women had trusted him because he was a regular (and a *good* family man, to boot)!

  28. anon 1:

    It is getting old to be asked to feel sorry for cruel brutes, molesters, etc. We have time for that when they are caught and serving time.

    My thoughts exactly.

  29. Dave, You had me worried there for a minute! But you have posted here enough that I knew the faces had to be a typo!

  30. At the federal level and in most states, a vehicle used in a crime, such as drug transport, can be seized and forfeited. Since a lot of “john” activity occurs in vehicles, I believe that this would be an effective deterrent if it were used and publicized. While some females are working on their own, that is fairly rare, except forthe high end.

    What is more disturbing to me are those who traffic children and teenagers under age 18. We need to change the law so that a parent must carry an ID for their child, which could be a notation on the adult’s driver license or ID. That way it would be easier for a police officer to determine whether a particular child belonged with that adult.

  31. @ BTDT:

    I have heard before that many hotels have some of their highest numbers of “pay-per-view” porn rentals during Christian conventions. I wish I could be shocked.

  32. @ Deb:
    That man can only do one thing which might put a smile on my face (probably not even then), and it involves a gurney and a needle.
    It was supposed to have happened in 2008, but a judge decided to give the defense a few more years to file appeals (he confessed, BTW).

  33. @ Hester:
    I don’t know how many people here will read that article that Thy Peace and Numo linked. It’s long, and hard to stomach. But this was just one of the most distressing stories:

    “Andrea told me she was transported to Juarez dozens of times. During one visit, when she was about 7 years old, the trafficker took her to the . . . Hotel, where there was a john waiting in a room. The john was an older American man, and he read Bible passages to her before and after having sex with her.”

    I think it’s too easy to think of the johns as being miscreants of society. They may likely be the kind, family man who lives next door. Or one who sits next to you in the pew at church.

  34. @ BeenThereDoneThat: yes, it *is* hard to stomach.

    I read it when it 1st was published because of the presence of trafficking in my neighborhood… (They even interviewed a couple of people I’d met, who were trying to bring the issues to the attention of the media and general public as well as law enforcement.)

    As for D.C. metro-area police, I think there is a lot of hypocrisy and corruption on this … probably because a fair number of officers are johns. (Just speculating – and sorry if I sound cynical; the reality is likely worse than what I’m imagining…)

  35. @ numo:
    I was thinking exactly what you’re speculating. The Mexican authorities are very forthright in pointing out the corruption in their government. But I suspect it’s not just Mexico.

  36. Re: praying for “johns”
    The first “john” recorded in the Bible (in great detail) was Judah, in Gen 38. The story is edifying on SO many levels, time does not suffice. For now, his classic statement “Let her be burnt!” will have to do.

  37. @ BeenThereDoneThat: I think it’s a bit of a joke (a bad one), really. Mexican government and law enforcement is extremely corrupt, but then… so is much of ours. How else can the Mexican drug cartels – the most lawless and murderous – be so well-established in both Mexico and in the US?

    People taking money and turning a deliberately blind eye is how.

    And not just near the US-Mexico border, either.

    the same is true in the case of people who are being used by traffickers and their “people” in the US. (Also in the many, many cases of horrific abuses of people who are trying to enter the US – cf. the Golden Venture and operations that go on all the time down on the US-Mexican border, where so many trying to cross the border end up suffering terribly; dying is a given there and in too many other cases.)

    And yes, I really am sympathetic toward illegal immigrants. Most are trying to get here to take jobs Americans don’t want… trying to escape desperate poverty and ensure a better life (including decent health care and education) for themselves and their families.)

  38. @ BeenThereDoneThat:
    I was at a Child Protection training event the other day, & we were all joining in a discussion from the front about how paedophiles operate & how they get access to vulnerable young people…one of the points that came up was how we could not, ever, consider anyone totally above suspicion (one of the problems with Jimmy Saville here in the UK). Such s dreadful thought, & then you hear stories like the one you repeated. Disgusting, scandalous behaviour, almost beyond belief in its sheer wickedness.

  39. @ numo:
    “People taking money and turning a deliberately blind eye is how.”
    Exactly. America has become an “enabler” for drug and sex trafficking.

    I live in a state bordering Mexico. My husband employs three Latinos, two of which were raised here. One just returned from Mexico to bring his mother back to live with him. He’s worked with CPS to regain custody of his three boys (long story) which entailed anger management classes, Alcoholic Anonymous, a breath analyzer device in his car . . . A lot of people probably wouldn’t go through what he has to try and pull his life together. I have nothing but respect for them. They have been so generous to us. (One man’s mother makes the best tamales you have ever tasted!)

  40. @ BeenThereDoneThat: So many immigrants (legal and not) save so much of their very hard-earned cash to send to their families. I honestly don’t know how they’re able to pull that off, but they do.

    I lived in a neighborhood (right outside D.C.) where there were *many* immigrants – in the early 80s, the population was primarily Vietnamese and Thai. By the early 00s, most were from Central and South America, with some Arab North African and Middle Eastern immigrants, along with a handful of West Africans. (There were many Sudanese, Ethiopians and Eritreans nearby, but they were in other ‘hoods.)

    Very hardworking people all, and VERY dedicated to their families and getting the best education possible for their children. (I did some ESL tutoring in the area, though not with folks from my ‘hood – still, the drive and dedication were the same.)

  41. @ BeenThereDoneThat: Way back in the early 80s, I was an assistant to a “survival english” teacher. We gave lessons at an apple farm that employed migrant workers, most of them Mexicans who had come here illegally and who followed the various harvest seasons around the country. (A lot of them went to FL for the vegetable harvests during the winter.) Some were Puerto Rican, but they were in the minority.

    This camp was far better than most, but still, the conditions were pretty primitive. (Though they did have indoor plumbing and flush toilets.) This is FAR better than most camps.

    We have been involved long-term in a kind of virtual slavery/peonage re. migrant farmworkers from Mexico and the Caribbean. It’s all too easy for farm owners to bribe officials; in many cases, officials are owners/part-owners of the farms that exploit migrant workers.

    I believe that our country has a lot to answer for before God and man. Sadly, the exploitation of migrant laborers is largely ignore. (It goes on in urban areas, like NYC, as well – though there is a large illegal Chinese immigrant component to that; people sharing bunk beds in flophouses and sleeping in shifts, mostly employed in restaurant work.)

  42. @ numo: Few of the Puerto Ricans were truly literate, and they did not know their basic rights.

    The fact that they could not speak, read or write English made things much worse for all of them, PRans, Mexicans, Haitians…

  43. @ Beakerj:
    The Jimmy Saville story was just heartbreaking. And those poor victims probably felt voiceless to speak up.

  44. @ numo:
    We will indeed have much to answer for. Most of us decry the evils of sex-trafficking (and rightly so), but eat at restaurants and buy produce with little consideration of the labor that gave us such luxuries. Bless you for being the hands and face of Jesus to these people.

  45. @ BeenThereDoneThat: Oh gosh, thanks – but that was a while ago! (Too long, really.)

    I am grateful for getting to know the late Sister Benita Repasky back in the early 1970s. She was raised on a small farm and went into social work. When I knew her, she was working with a city population, but she spent years going to migrant labor camps in the Erie, PA area – really, REALLY horrible ones.

    A lot of my awareness of these issues came from her, as well as from some other lay folks whom I knew and worked with back in the early 80s, right after I graduated from college.

  46. @ BeenThereDoneThat: One other thought: I am PA German, and many of my ancestors came here as German-speaking immigrants, likely with very little money and few skills (with the exception of being able to farm and all that that entails). I seriously doubt that any of them were literate.

    They were so much like the immigrants and migrant laborers of today…

    Also, fwiw (a lot, as you already know), I have seen and experienced the kindness and generosity of more than a few of these folks. They were – and are – lovely people.

    Who am I to deny them a place at the table?

  47. @ numo:
    That’ article is a very touching tribute. Was Sister Benita one of the nuns that you wrote about on a previous thread? The Catholics in my city are instrumental in running the soup kitchens here. Their efforts have provided services to a lot of needy people.

  48. @ BeenThereDoneThat: Yes, she was. And thing is – she had been officially retired since the early 1970s.

    A lot of these folks work well into their 80s, even 90s if they are able, because the needs are so great (and because they bring so much to the work).

    The sad thing is that lay people aren’t always picking up the ball in the way we need to. Vocations in religious orders have dropped dramatically, and most of the women I knew are either up there or have died.

    Sr. Benita was a wonderful woman, and very scrappy – quite an advocate for those she worked with!

  49. @ numo:
    And isn’t that really the heritage of most Americans, though we often forget? Most of our ancestors were immigrants at some point. How easily we forget . . .

  50. @ BeenThereDoneThat: If you read further, you will see that a *lot* of local churches – both Protestant and Catholic – work with that soup kitchen.

    That’s also one of Sr. Benita’s legacies.

  51. @ numo:
    That makes her all the more amazing to be able to bring various believers together like that. I think that’s how the church should operate.

  52. @ BeenThereDoneThat: It literally was part of what she believed to be her mission. All of the nuns with whom I lived were very ecumenical (at that time, Vatican II was fairly new and many peoples’ ideas were changing as a result).

    Benita took it out there, right into the field. But she’d been working with Protestants before that, as clients at the social services agency, and, likely some of the migrant workers as well.

  53. @ BeenThereDoneThat: As for “how the church should operate,” I couldn’t agree more!

    And Sr. Benita had to fight hard to be allowed to go to the Sharon, PA area and start that soup kitchen in the 1st place. Her order (Sisters of St. Joseph) was/is diocesan, which means that at that time, all missions and new ventures had to be approved by the bishop or by his assistants.

    The Erie diocese was VERY conservative (might be still) and I do not think they liked the idea of a woman like Benita proposing a mission AT ALL. It was hard for the sisters to be able to make any changes at that time, even much-needed ones, because the final appeal – and approval – was in the hands of whoever was bishop.

    Many religious orders are papal, which means that approval ultimately comes from Rome; also that they’re much, much freer to start projects like the soup kitchen. orders that taught in schools, did/still do hospital work and the like are largely diocesan in structure and administration.

  54. @ numo:
    Wow! Not knowing all the hierarchy, I struggle to follow all of this. But one thing I do take away from it- she was dedicated! And she obviously had a huge impact on your life and probably others. I think Beakerj was right. Numo and the nuns sounds like a story that needs to be told.

  55. I don’t mean to disregard the horror of sexual abuse and crime that is always happening in our culture, but the “10,000 sex worker’s brought into cities in connection with large sporting events” is really gross hyperbole, and has not been proven by hard data–it just get’s a lot of readers to buy copies of newspapers and magazines. I fear that elevating this issue, sans hard data, will simply make it what it appears to be: a cause de jour; simply this year’s popular Christian issue, soon to be forgotten when the next “shocking issue” comes along.
    Portland, Oregon was cited as a hub of sex-trafficking a few years ago, and became the focus of attention in the churches, and through justice conferences, etc. Our own mayor claimed it was so, esp. after Dan Rather did a special piece in which Portland was referred to as “Porn-land.’
    But in actuality, the Portland Police stated that the numbers cited by news reporters (and Dan Rather, and our mayor) simply did not add up to the actual police enforcement statistics, which found a very small number of people who were actually being “trafficked” according to the definition provided by the United Nations. The hype, and inflated numbers, I fear, will cause the loss of credibility in fighting this crime in the long run. The law enforcement agencies of other cities, particularly one’s that have hosted a Superbowl, have reported the same. We need to be clear, honest, and have our facts straight if we’re really going to be effective in addressing sexual abuse and crime.
    For more:,

  56. OOps…meant to ask Hester for the source…

    Her quote: I have heard before that many hotels have some of their highest numbers of “pay-per-view” porn rentals during Christian conventions. I wish I could be shocked.

  57. It is ironic that Americans are glued to their boob-tubes to watch grown men engage in activities that result in massive brain damage, while the young women are trafficked to supply American men’s sexual needs.

    Delusions galore.

    Maybe we all need to have the brain damage done to us personally, so that we can no longer feel any pain.

    We are almost there.

  58. ” is ironic that Americans are glued to their boob-tubes to watch grown men engage in activities that result in massive brain damage, while the young women are trafficked to supply American men’s sexual needs.”

    Thy Peace, Are there any such inconsistencies in your native culture or is it just America that has them?

  59. I have lived in US for over thirty years. Only a month ago, I moved to India. Yes, India has lots of delusions. But Americans have the most of the delusions and they are consistently sold lies in the main stream media (MSM). And this is organized so that the people are kept in the dark.

  60. “I have lived in US for over thirty years. Only a month ago, I moved to India. Yes, India has lots of delusions. But Americans have the most of the delusions and they are consistently sold lies in the main stream media (MSM). And this is organized so that the people are kept in the dark.”

    Very glad to hear such things are not happening in India.

  61. @ BeenThereDoneThat: You know, I’m not a kid anymore, and it was all a long time ago. There are big gaps in my recollections, and i think I could only put things back together if I was able to spend some time talking with others who lived there.

    As for Benita – translation = her proposal was un-heard of at that time. Nuns were not supposed to make waves, let alone go to a deeply entrenched hierarchy (all-male) and say that they felt God was calling them to do a specific thing in a specific place – and ask not only for permission to go there, but some funding and their blessing.

    It was hard for her – and it took its toll on her, back then. (Keep in mind that she was in hear early 60s.) In the end it did work out, but not without some times of dashed hopes, needing to regroup and much more.

  62. anon 1 wrote:

    Very glad to hear such things are not happening in India.

    On the contrary. All these things happen in India and everywhere. It is all a question of degree.

    BTW half of my immediate family members are US citizens and this also extends to our extended family. For lot of Indian professionals who have settled in US, their families are evenly divided of Indian and US citizens. For lot of us (Indians), we have one foot in US and the other in India.

  63. Thank you for replying, Wade! I’m not cynical, and care very deeply about this issue, living in the middle of downtown Portland. I simply want to avoid the charge that our claims don’t stand up to the truth, but were instead used to gain attention to the issue, that’s all. Blessings to you, and may your church have a GREAT worship and Souper Bowl tomorrow!
    @ Wade Burleson:

  64. "It's all a question of degree" So this makes India better because of the "degree" of it. India HAS a lot of problems and it's delusional to think that India's problems are less worse than America's.

  65. Ken

    Thank you for your comment and welcome to TWW. Since we will be focusing on this issue off and on in the coming year, we will definitely be looking at the statistic more carefully. Sex trafficking is a problem but we do have to be careful to vet sources. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness. 

  66. dee wrote:

    Sex trafficking is a problem but we do have to be careful to vet sources.

    I agree with Ken. The 10,000 number makes no sense. Unless we assume that 1/2 of the people at the game are buying sex somewhere. And I doubt that no matter how bad it is it is not THAT bad.

    But sex “workers” are attracted to things like the Superb Owl. And conventions. Anytime you have a large male population away from home (and their families), especially if the event is high cost then the statistics say there will be a better than normal supply of “johns” to be found.

    BUt I have to wonder how many men travel to the Superb Orb without their families?

    Anyway, sex trafficking and forced (most of it I think) prostitution is a bad thing. And treating the “johns” to public display is a big step to solving the problem.

  67. Lynn wrote:

    Superb Orb

    Don’t want to attract the NFL lawyers by using their trade marked term without permission. 🙂

  68. @ Fontyla:

    I was told this by a Christian dad we know, who got it from the manager of the hotel he stayed in when he went to a Christian men’s conference. The manager said their porn rentals skyrocket during those events.

  69. Thy Peace on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:40 PM said:

    “I have lived in US for over thirty years. Only a month ago, I moved to India. Yes, India has lots of delusions. But Americans have the most of the delusions and they are consistently sold lies in the main stream media (MSM). And this is organized so that the people are kept in the dark.”


    “it’s a question of degree”

    I probably don’t outright disagree with you, but where I take you to task is your subjective statement, “Americans have the most of the delusions”. That’s your perception only. What other countries and continents have you lived in? Truth be known, I think we’re all pretty deluded globally, including being drip fed social media that now counts as reportage. The dearth of investigative reporting is a loss to all of us. I apologise for Mr Fox News Rupert Murdoch but he’s not ours now – he changed citizenship.

    America has a caste system possibly – but I would think the division is by money
    Australia has a class system possibly – and for similar reasons
    India’s caste system – perhaps you would care to explain? I take it you’re not Dalit?

    So Bollywood, or Hollywood – take your pick but the delusions abound on both sides of the continents.

    And it was all a question of degree with this poor woman and her companion

    The National Crime Records Bureau says 94 per cent of rapists are known to the victims — family members, friends, co-workers. “The Indian family hides terrible secrets,” wrote Samar Halarnkar, a Bangalore-based journalist.

    @numo – if I’ve gone too far with this comment tell me to pull my head in, but I feel like I’m answering a certain Scottish chap.

  70. @ Haitch: No, I hadn’t seen it! Good one.

    I do not believe Thy Peace is the person in question, though I can see why you might think so…

  71. Hmmm…. this is a bit of a tough topic for me. I’m glad you you’re taking it on, Deb.

    @ Thy Peace:
    Hmm….well, I’ll only say this; the US has New Orleans, India has Calcutta. The ‘Black Hole of Calcutta’ is horrible and I would not even recommend Googling it.

    @ singleman:
    The bulk of sex-trafficking takes place outside the ‘stereotypical’ massage parlor setting. These people (the traffickers) are not stupid. They know to switch up how they do business. What goes on under the surface of any given town in America (or the world, for that matter) would be hard to believe…which is why so few do believe….

    @ J. Terry:
    @ Wade Burleson:
    This was my first thought, as well. Thank you.

    @ HoppyTheToad:
    Hmm…yes. I was never sold into sex-slavery, although it was a fear that was present in my mind and prevented me from running away. However, my childhood did include a good deal of sexual abuse which included a babysitter forcing my best friend and I to have sex while her and her friends watched and she had a movie camera (before the days of camcorders – it was an 8mm) – I was 9. And when I was 10, my primary abuser had a friend who was getting ready to join the Navy ask him for a favor….and they came and got me and took me to my grandfather’s camper, got out the Polaroid and took pictures. I have no idea what was done with these and if they still exist. I still get a panicky sick feeling if I think about it too much. I have envisioned myself, in my stronger moments, standing in front of a church full of men and talking to them about the porn issue. I hear myself saying this, “Next time you are tempted to look at porn, tempted to view it as a ‘victimless’ crime, I want you to think of me, see my face and know that every picture you look at is of someone’s daughter who is not there because that was her career dream. Every person in one of these movies or pictures is a victim and every time you look at it YOU are re-victimizing them.”

  72. Jeanette, My God! I pray for you, dear one. I pray for God to heap courage, love, peace on you. And I pray for justice to be done.

  73. “So, that’s Thy Peace’s fault?!”

    Why would you jump to such a silly conclusion? No, it might be one of India’s delusions? A very serious one?

  74. Fast, Furious, N’ Flushed?

    16.4 trillion? Forget da Johns, Wade -Isn’t the American ‘Super’ bowl party ‘ really’ about over?

    Evil getz a ‘winged victory’?


    bring in the clowns?

    oh!  …their already here.


    Da proverbial ‘Rapture’ prior to ‘Rupture’ ?!?


    letz rock N’ roll!…




  75. @ anon 1: For one, it is clearly stated in that article (and in other sources I’ve read in the past) that it is illegal. there are more than a few Hindus trying to stop it.

    Second, that source makes clear (as do others)that the girls and women who end up as devadasis are primarily Dalits (“untouchables”).

    This is as much about the tremendous poverty in the subcontinent as it is anything else. And it is by no means a universal practice.

    India is enormous, and its cultural variety is great. it has social problems that are of a magnitude that I frankly cannot understand, not being from there and not being accustomed to seeing the huge disparity in wealth/poverty between the tiny upper class, the small but steadily growing middle class and the poverty of many who make their living as farmers, artisans, fishermen, caravaneers and more.

  76. @ anon 1: Poverty and desperation are quite visible in India, unlike in the US.

    So… although I can’t speak for Thy Peace, I would have to say that Indians are likely far less “delusional” about poverty, suffering, and much more.

    I’m sitting in a nice house as I type – one that would seem unimaginably luxurious to most Indians, even those who have good housing. The appliances, plumbing, etc. are light years ahead of what most people in the developing world can ever hope for.

    It is easy to assume that others in this world have a similar standard of living, and that they are not trapped in a grinding cycle of poverty.

    But that would be – is – a delusion.

  77. Hey all

    Been out of pocket last night and today. Will catch up in a couple of hours. Sorry-family birthdays, church ,etc.

  78. "It is easy to assume that others in this world have a similar standard of living, and that they are not trapped in a grinding cycle of poverty." Who do think is assuming this. There are a lot of people who know what it is like in other countries. I am aware of the poverty in other countries and have been to one myself. But poverty doesn't mean that they are less delusional.There delusion is just placed somewhere else.

  79. Thank you Deb/Dee for tackling this issue in 2013! This is such a huge issue, that many are simply unaware of. The more awareness the better!!

    I have used the following website as a resource to learn more about this issue and connect with other organizations who are at the helm of trying to put an end to this very serious problem.

    When you click on “learn” on the website, it illustrates many of the organizations who are trying to put an end to human slavery.

    One of the websites through that link that I found interesting was this:

    Looking forward to you bringing this situation to light!

  80. @ Stormy: We all make these assumptions, I think – that the world is like Us, that it should be like Us.

    Those who are poor – no matter where they live – have no such luxury.

  81. It’s interesting you mention India & temple prostitutes, one of my old Youth Group guys married a girl saved from this trade by Amy Carmichael’s group (Donavur?)…I used to look at her in church & think how amazing it was that she was saved from that, wonder who her parents were, what her life would have been like otherwise…

  82. There is grinding poverty and desperation in the United States. In my city of over 100,000 people, almost all of the school children are eligible for free or reduce price lunch and breakfast. Most of the jobs are minimum wage, a small house or two bedroom apartment will cost $500 a month rent, plus utilities. There is a bus system that runs from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm every hour, which does not accommodate getting to and from work. The food pantries will provide once a month for a family and usually run out, b/c over 1/4 of the households qualify, and the constabulary, district attorney, and courts seem intent on getting a felony conviction for almost any offense, imagined or real, which prevents people from qualifying for most jobs and bars any benefits for themselves or their family, unless they abandon the family. And for many who have left the family, child support will take 1/2 of their earnings.

    That makes for extreme poverty and desperation. And the State is in the process of cutting out much of the education and reentry programs for convicts, is blocking the expansion of medicaid, and cutting school and social services budgets.

    For many, unless you can get and keep a job, while missing work 2 days a month to go to the probation office, probation is only a temporary delay on way to prison. Many probation staff see their job as getting a revocation on as many people as possible.

    So. Desperate people do desperate things. It is a dangerous way to treat people.

  83. If you want to know what is worse in the U.S. than what I wrote in my previous comment, look up “colonia”. The wiki definitions whitewash what really happens in the border colonias, which are worse by several orders of magnitude than the old mining industry company towns of the late 19th and early 20th century.

  84. @ Arce: I agree, Arce. I live in a rural area, and a thread or so back, there was a fair amount of discussion on rural poverty.

    the thing is, I can’t go out on the street and actually see poverty and its effects here in the way that I might in Bolivia or Haiti or India.

    We try to hide it; there, it’s ubiquitous and there is no escape.

  85. In this town, you can’t miss it unless you drive with your eyes closed. Or spend all of your time in the burbs or at the U.

  86. @ Arce: I think that’s exactly what people do – avoid and also go everywhere with (to steal a film title) eyes wide shut.

    Me, too…

  87. @ anon 1:
    Thank you. Truly. This topic is always a rough ride for me. When this stuff happens to you, it never goes away. Even when you begin to heal and grow and learn the truth about who God really is, this stuff is always still there. You read or hear a story and the memories flare and you can find yourself right back in the middle of it.

    I am so grateful for Dee and Deb’s prime directive. It is, in my experience, so rare. I know these stories are difficult to hear. But if it is difficult to hear, it is a hundred times more difficult to tell. But I’m not sure healing can even really come until the story is told. Getting it out of the dark recesses, looking at it squarely, acknowledging it and losing the fear of it.

    I am not fully there yet. I am still afraid, every time a tell a piece of my story, that I am going to be shut down, called a liar, mocked….pitied. But I need to tell it – for me and for others who haven’t found their voice yet…or may never have a voice. I’ll be honest, when I read about these stories and I start to think about the realities of it, I can get overwhelmed very fast.

    Thank you all for your understanding and allowing me to have a voice here.

  88. Thanks for your criticisms. I tend to push hard on sore buttons. All your comments are valid and I will admit that India has LOTS of major delusions too.

  89. Thy Peace

    All of us have our delusions. For me, it used to be that the church was a place and refuge and love for everyone. I had some great church experiences early on in my life and I thought my experience was standard. And then I was exposed to the underbelly. We are all sinners. No matter where we live in the world, we struggle with tthe effects of sin. It is our common lot.

  90. “It is easy to assume that others in this world have a similar standard of living, and that they are not trapped in a grinding cycle of poverty.”

    How do you know I do not come from horrible poverty? Speaking of the US, why is it that people think there is no way out? Are there are NO opportunities which our government spends a ton on if people have the will to seek it out and do the work?

    What I see is an terrible arrogance toward the poor in the US from many quarters that people think is “helping”. I saw it on another thread when it came to sex…that we should not judge because that is what these people do and we should expect nothing less. As if they are animals and we should treat them as such and pay for the consequences. not that they are image bearers and CAN love themselves as God loves them. The arrogant subtle discrimination is sad.

    That they are not capable of improving their lives. That attitude is what keeps them in that cycle because that attitude is in our schools and institutions. It is nothing less than the subtle discrimination of low expectations. The “help” becomes a life long prison sentence and more people who get to feel good about themselves for “caring” enough to keep people there.

    We all have delusions.

  91. “All of us have our delusions. For me, it used to be that the church was a place and refuge and love for everyone.”

    That was also a big delusion for me.

  92. Jeanette, My opinion which is worthless is this: Stick only with “safe people”. I am big into victims sticking with safe people IF they can find them. I hope you have found that here. I have seen what “well meaning” people can do with blowing such heinous things off because they do not want to deal with it or face truths. It infuriates me. History is full of people who “looked the other way”.

  93. @ anon 1: You know, I have been saying “let’s agree to disagree” re. potentially contentious issues since I 1st started commenting here.

    It’s not a new thing for me by any means.

    But I’m glad that you do see that.

  94. “It’s not a new thing for me by any means.”

    My experience is that you are passive agressive with it.

  95. Word: “Jesus Promised”

    “All of us have our delusions. For me, it used to be that the church was a place and refuge and love for everyone. ” -Dee

    Bad churches not withstanding…


    Yet, how wonderful it is that:

    Jesus fully satisfies the Father’s requirement for righteousness.  It means the full requirement (or penalty) has been made on behalf of those who believe Jesus’ words.

    That the Father has sent His Spirit for all those who abide in Jesus.

    That Jesus promised to return for us.

    That in the mean time Jesus has gone to prepare us a place in His Father’s house.

    All because He wanted to; because He cares.

    The degradation of Christianity in this country is a stark reality. To those who are acquainted with the entire influence of superstition over the minds which it once pervades, and the ingenious policy of interested pastors and para-church organizations in supporting and propagating it. 

    Never the less, Jesus is the vine. Only he can bring life.

    don’t forget that where ever you are!

    You Mater!

    He is mighty to save you!
    He has conquered the grave.
    His body was broken for us.

    He offers the ‘best’ hope in a fallen world.

    “I came thy they might have life…” Jesus said.

    Please, please, stop listening to those who say otherwise. Unfortunately, it is they who are ‘suffering delusions’…



  96. There is an interesting article on wealth and poverty at Rachel Evans site today. It’s written by a woman who has served as a missionary.

  97. Anon 1–YES YES YES to remarks re the subtle put downs among those dedicated to “helping” at times. There is so often the assumption those who are poor can do absolutely nothing to improve their lives, and the corresponding assumption those helping are so noble and Christian.

    Maybe. Sometimes. But many times it is just so much rot. We get lots of short term mission trips here in my town. Folks send their teens to paint or clean or help out since we have so many trapped in poverty and drugs and gangs.

    You know what would really help? Send the money for supplies and to pay hourly wages and let us hire the poor to do the work on their facilities.

    Same assumptions re the porn and sex industries. Some indeed get forced into it by extreme poverty. But for others it is simply a choice among many choices.

    The “help” we give needs to recognize that and help realistically.

  98. “The Brutal Truth”

    It’s a challenge to market ‘Sympathy’ during a Superbowl game.

    Last time I checked, the Super Bowl is was not about bad people doing bad things. It is a national televised sporting event. (when there is power)

    Bad as the sex trade may be, ‘johns’ do these things they do, on any given Sunday, in any given environment suitable.

    For example, men grope women in large metropolitan areas in broad daylight these days. However, I do not associate this very bad behavior with any shopping Mall I may do business with. 

    Important as this ‘issue’ is, Wade and Wartburg may have fumbled the ball with the timing of this important issue.

    The Super Bowl is a one day event.

    Sex slavery in this country is  a monstrous 365 1/4 day problem.

    Please try again.


  99. Sopy,
    There’s lots you and I probably won’t agree upon, but with this one (sex slavery), I’m on board.

  100. I know I may rattle a few cages and ruffle a few feathers with this one, but so be it. Like the failed war on drugs, I believe that a reasonable & pragmatic approach to the sex industry is decriminalization along with strict regulation and oversight.

    Perfect? Not by a long shot, but in my opinion I think it would go a long way in cleaning up the worst abuses of the trade.

  101. Muff

    It is decriminalized in Nevada. However, how do we deal with the many who are sold into slavery,undersage girls and boys who are forced into this due to perverted tastes of others, and some who are purposely given drugs to addict them and make them dependent? 

  102. Sopy,

    I am not Deb or Wade, but I respectfully disagree with some of what you said above.

    I DO agree that this problem is a daily occurrence all year in many different areas of society—-However, if what the article Deb cites is true, then there were a lot of desperate, hurting people last night whose “demand” just went up due to a major sporting event.

    (A little graphic ahead)

    I read a similar article, (different from the one Deb cites) in which a victim of this described the abuse that takes place at these kind of events. They are given a number of men they have to “go through” at this event, and if they don’t, they are beaten, raped, tortured.

    If these reports are true, than this is atrocious. Plan and Simple. These victims need nationwide attention to shine a spotlight in their direction because NOT ENOUGH is being done about it! And how exactly are we going to get that attention to them if we don’t start speaking up about it? (Frankly, I wished someone would have paid big money to draw attention to the problem last night in an commercial instead of commercials about vehicles and beer)..

    What you see as drawing “sympathy” from the Superbowl I see as a timely tactic to bring justice to a major problem that needs to end! And if that sympathy can help save at least 1 victim from that horrible abuse, then I say bring it on!

    Personally, I love the Superbowl. I watched the game last night and enjoyed it…I also enjoy football…I don’t feel guilty about watching the Superbowl or football…But last night, these desperate, hurting people were on my mind as I considered the horrors that they may have faced.

    I have been praying for the victims of Human Trafficking for sometime now..I have been researching/looking to see how I can help to put an end too it, but last night, I was able to pray specifically for the victims in this specific situation due to the awareness brought too it. I also prayed their abusers will come to a swift justice..I am hoping some found their justice last night in NOLA.

    I think this is a step in the right direction, but one thing I DON’T want to see happen is for the attention to fade away due to the superbowl ending. You are right that this is a daily problem all year, and I hope these Superbowl articles on human trafficking will be a spring board to launch attention in that direction all year.

    I am thankful Deb/Dee are tackling this issue, and I appreciate this introduction to the problem!

  103. VoiceOver: “Plan and Simple?”

    “What you see as drawing “sympathy” from the Superbowl I see as a timely tactic to bring justice to a major problem that needs to end! ” – Seeker


    Bringing Justice! Amen!
    Bringing Sympathy that rescues! Amen!
     Bringing awareness to this type of sex trafficking! Amen!

    Just don’t blame the SuperBowl. They just play football in a nationally televised event.

    If someone was to ask nicely, maybe Oprah may/would do a public awareness presentation of this disconcerting issue next year. (or sooner!)



  104. Eagle wrote:

    I mean consider…I would suggest that when Hustler or other porn compnaies make porn they are producing something more healthy than what Mark Driscoll or CJ Mahnaey have said or taught. Many guys will know that porn is fanatsy and that its made by consenting adults in southern California.

    Eagle, I have debated about answering on this. Please don’t take this as a personal attack on you – but here goes. WARNING: This may get a little graphic.

    This concept that it is between two consenting adults makes me want to cry. I have thought about this all afternoon, and am actually fighting back tears as I write this. For me, What celeb hypocrites, I mean preachers, say and do is not even the issue. I have no verses to throw at you because this is not about the Bible or religion.

    This is coming purely from someone who has been on the receiving end of the camera lens. Those involved with this industry in front of the camera are not all there because they want to be. I am going to be blunt. To suggest that it is between two consenting adults is like slapping me in the face. I did NOT want to be filmed like that. Of course, I was not an adult and I will concede that is different, however, many of those women (and young men in the gay stuff) got started as children…under coercion. How do you know which ones are of ‘consenting’ adults and which ones are those being coerced? They don’t label them. Are you absolutely sure that what you are looking at is of someone who did it willingly? What if you found out they didn’t? How would that affect how you look at it? I guarantee that there is no woman who likes having a picture taken of her crotch. I can’t even describe to you what it does to her.

    I understand that it can be ‘fun’ and even addicting. I’ve seen addictions to this stuff devastate marriages – consume lives. But from someone with experience, I cannot let the statement stand that it is consensual. Most of it is not and there is no way to tell which is which. For me, it has no redeeming value. There is nothing good about it that I can see. I can only see the lives that are devastated by it.

  105. Lots of people (usually adult victims of child sexual abuse) are recruited and otherwise trafficked into the porn industry (another form of sexual abuse) and need help escaping the abuse and destructive lifestyle. I must link to ex-porn actress Shelley Lubben and her life-changing foundation that helps both addicts and sex workers rebuild their lives.

  106. Sopy,

    Thanks for your clarification! I think I did not fully comprehend your point from earlier… Personally, I don’t blame the Superbowl…It is a nationally televised event like you say and a good one at that! I don’t think anyone should feel guilty or shame in watching the Superbowl—I agree with Wade that we need to keep our eye on the big picture, but I believe one can watch the Superbowl and still be focused on the big picture (I don’t think Wade would disagree).

    I think the thrust of Wade’s message rings true—We need to be cautious at our big celebrations in America and realize there could be some ugliness that lies underneath….The Superbowl rings of fun and entertainment, but desperate/hurting people could be exploited moreso than normal due to a sporting event such as this..

    Not really the Superbowl’s fault, but awareness at what may be happening may give us pause to the sobering reality behind this fun event, and hopefully, turn us to prayer and action to end it.

    I would love to see some big name people like Oprah take a bigger stand toward this…They could influence these matters in ways that you or I could never dream of…As I said earlier, I wish some money could have been given towards a SuperBowl Commercial to reveal some more “serious” issues like Human Slavery/Sex Trafficking. The Paul Harvey commercial about farmers was on the serious side and it gained a lot of attention. I think a simple add revealing Sex Trafficking in America and around the world could go a long way to help matters!

    Thanks again for the discussion!

  107. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    For me, it has no redeeming value. There is nothing good about it that I can see. I can only see the lives that are devastated by it.

    That is because there is nothing good about it. Most people are uninformed about what really goes into making porn, what really happens on the set etc. Upset with you, Jeannette.

  108. Dee,
    Respectfully, it is my opinion only and I could very well be wrong. There will always be sickos and people who have no moral compass whatsoever, and who will do anything to make money. That’s what I meant by the worst abuses. But it is still my opinion that the darker underside of the industry could be minimized by international treaty and by strict and vigorous international law enforcement.

  109. “Sports Game Absence Makes For Better ‘Sex Trafficking’ Awareness?”

    “…awareness at what may be happening may give us pause to the sobering reality behind this fun event, and hopefully, turn us to prayer and action to end it (sextrafficking) .” – Seeker


    This article implies that Super Bowl is not really a fun event for 10,000 alleged victims of this heinous sex trafficking crime of which it speaks.

    I will more than likely limit my viewing of these types of televised sports games in the future.

    (Just because the association is so gross.)

    Guilt by association?


    …johns paying for sex from someone who was abducted against their will to perform this act?


    (are sports viewers indirectly paying for this type of behavior to occur? 


    Maybe this is what the sponsors of such events, where these monstrosities occur, need to hear, i.e. those limiting their sports game involvement because sex trafficking is present. Moral responsibility would dictate that not attending or viewing these events is possibly the responsible citizen’s only real option to getting some type of point across, i.e. ‘stop this madness’.


  110. @ Oasis:
    Thanks, I knew what you meant. 🙂

    This subject – and sticking my neck out and speaking about it – have me pretty unsettled. I know I need to talk about it, but my stomach is still in knots and I have been on the verge of tears all evening. I wish there was a way I could adequately express what this stuff does to people. I wish there were words to use that would adequately convey the emotion, the hurt, the confusion, the shame, the feeling of being ruined. And (most of the time) I know that God forgives and doesn’t see me that way….and right there it is, the feeling that it is something I need to be forgiven for…..and I know that ‘I didn’t do anything wrong.’ But there’s the thing, that doesn’t go away, that feeling of being dirty. And it is not a religious thing….it is a physical thing…an emotional thing…it is a psyche thing…..when I hear people trying to legitimize this stuff, whether its films, magazines or live and in person, I want to scream, “Your pleasure is not more important than their pain!”

    Okay, I better quit….

  111. “And it is not a religious thing….it is a physical thing…an emotional thing…it is a psyche thing…..when I hear people trying to legitimize this stuff, whether its films, magazines or live and in person, I want to scream, “Your pleasure is not more important than their pain!”

    Jeanette, You are right. Please know that you are right.

  112. Jeannette,
    Please forgive me if I have caused you emotional pain or made you ill at ease with my views on this issue. It was not my intent, I only wanted to express a reasonable and pragmatic alternative view.

  113. Jeannette,

    There is so much I want to say to you and I have no idea how to say any of it. There are many times when I can relate to your comments and feelings… Your stomach and mine…and the hurt, shame, feeling of being ruined. Yes…ditto. God may not see us that way…but I still feel like a whore, like no one could ever love me.

    I may never have been photographed or filmed, but porn was a factor in the abuse I went through starting at age three. From then on, no pornographic video tape or magazine that I came across around the house ever survived my wrath. I cut or tore them right up with no regrets. Then in my teen years, before even learning the truth about porn, seeing or hearing it automatically sent me into a quiet rage, a world of intense emotional pain. The mere mention of porn hurts, it hurts like nothing else!

    I am told sex is supposed to be an expression of love, or mingled with love. Call me cynical but that seems like nothing more than a naive and imaginative fairy tale, fabricated to sell wedding rings, Valentine’s Day cards etc. Yet, even if I could somehow understand that to be true, when it comes to porn, the facts remain the same. There is no love in porn, only abuse. It does not matter if one “consents” to porn or not, abuse is abuse. It’s an abuse of women, men, and is very often used as a tool to further abuse others.

    There is no such thing as a mentally healthy person in the porn industry. To watch porn is to watch mentally ill, diseased people, usually victims of abuse in childhood, acting out their previous traumas for the cameras. This is after they’ve been fed enough drugs and/or alcohol, of course, to help them actually get through the scenes. Do not be fooled by their smiling faces or lies to interviewers. Those who have been there know those things are part of the money-making scheme.

  114. Sopy,

    “Sports Game Absence Makes For Better ‘Sex Trafficking’ Awareness?”

    Makes you wonder huh? I think there are far less “radical” ways that have not even been touched when it comes to drawing awareness to this issue, but what you have said would sure bring a statement across…However, I don’t think this is the only real option available.

    I believe awareness can take place, and I don’t think we have to shutdown the Superbowl to get there:

    If a Christian Conference of College Age Students can give over 3 million dollars towards organizations who seek to bring these abusers to justice and give the victims a new chance…just because they were educated on it…what else can be done?

    If we can educate people on the possible “darkness” that lies underneath Sporting Events and other areas of society…could that lead to something else?

    This blogging community is an educated bunch, but how many Americans (and others) really know about human trafficking here and around the world?

    There are SO many things that can be done, that need to be done, and I am so glad deb/dee are at least starting the conversation on here..Education is the first step, and I think it can spark some to action..

    I am no idealist…I know how incredibly complex this situation is…but I like to look at it this way:

    The early abolitionists began with education, which led to action (often at great sacrifice), which ultimately led to change…

    I guess the question for us as responsible American citizens is to ask ourselves how well are we educating others about this? What action, if any, have we done to help the victims in this situation, and do we really believe an impact can be made?

  115. I watched the movie “the whistle blower” on Netflix streaming. It’s about sex trafficking in Bosnia after the war. It is not for the faint of heart. It will make your blood boil.

    Dee and Deb, once again you tackle issues that matter. You shame the so called gospel movement, who ignore all manner of abuse. Well…it’s hard to care much when people’s misery is a pre-determined course ordained by God. After all, just because God has a “plan” for everyone, doesn’t mean it won’t involve sex trafficking for some underaged minors. At least they aren’t getting what they really “deserve”. No, that will come later for the ones who aren’t elect. Then they’ll long for the days of some slave sex, right?

    Wade, you are too rare a breed. It is wonderful…and yet appalling.

  116. Oasis/Jeanette

    Thank you  both for sharing your heartfelt stories. It is vital for people to understand the human element behind all of this. You both have doen that,

  117. “Sudden Impact: Shaken But Not ‘Stirred’?!?”

    “What action, if any, have we done to help the victims in this situation, and do we really believe an impact can be made?” -Seeker


    …shocking apathy?


    …shocking behavior?


    …shocking corruptions in the church?

    …shocking corruptions in society?


    When face to face with corruptions in the church along with the corruptions in society, one might find them a bit overwhelming to say the least…

    Try harder?


    If first you don’t succeed…

    try, try, try, try, try, try, try, again?

    Apparently, they have legalized ‘insanity’ in all fifty states…

    What more do you want?




  118. An SGM connection via the Super Bowl and a confession by me:
    I want to begin this comment by saying that I am not minimizing the hideous evil of sex trafficking. Except perhaps in the self-protective sense that I can’t really make myself think about it in depth. It hurts too much. I am the same way about the Holocaust, the worst evils of Jim Crowism in the South, and any form of cruelty to animals.
    But as I was catching up here and on SGM Survivors after a couple of days completely offline with the flu I saw an ironic connection. As many know, CJ Mahaney fancies himself quite an athlete and an expert on the sports scene (he may actually be both of those – don’t ask me.) And also a moral arbiter. Accordingly, in 2008 at Super Bowl time he published Super Bowl viewing tips (about how to watch the Super Bowl in a holier-than-Jesus manner.) Lest anyone should think that he has disavowed or forgotten these, they were republished as though new this year on the blog he now shares with his son , Chad.
    Against this backdrop, then, here is a newly revealed story of rape at an SGM-sanctioned and controlled event—during a Super Bowl party.
    I’m trying to limit my commentary so that the juxtaposition of these things stands for itself. Also, I think I may still have a fever; so my commentary might not make sense.
    And now a confession by me. Years before I was part of SGM in the 90’s, I was in a little, nondenominational , charismatic church in my little military town. No delusions of grandeur there, just a little church that met in a converted Sears warehouse. I loved it. I felt so safe there that I let my babies run around the building with other children. That was very, very irresponsible of me, I realize now; and I’m deeply grateful that nothing happened to them. Because, of course, I know now that my sense of safety was at least in part an illusion. I hasten to say that I have absolutely NO reason to think anything ever happened to a child in the entire milieu of that sweet little church. But it was still wrong and selfish of the naïve, little mama I was then. I plan to confirm with my adult daughters that I’m correct in believing that they went unharmed and to ask their forgiveness.

  119. The best preventative measure to curb and minimize the sexual exploitation of grown men and women is to first protect them as children. A significant proportion of those exploited as adults were first abused as children. When the perpetrators are the ones who receive the protection, it is no wonder the subsequent unprotected victims may end up abusing drugs or alcohol and as adults living out the risky self damaging/degrading behaviors they were never protected from to begin with. Protect the children – protect the future.

  120. Jeanette–

    My heartfelt care and love towards you. Your story was difficult to read. I am so sorry that happened to you.

  121. Sopy,

    You said,

    “When face to face with corruptions in the church along with the corruptions in society, one might find them a bit overwhelming to say the least…

    Try harder?


    If first you don’t succeed…

    try, try, try, try, try, try, try, again?

    Apparently, they have legalized ‘insanity’ in all fifty states…”

    Yes, I believe it is overwhelming to look at how deep this problem goes in our churches and society, and I am well aware there is no quick and easy fix to any of this…but we have to try, we have to pray, we have to hope. Maybe that is insane, but I rather be called insane and try than sit back and do nothing at all (I am sure you are not saying we should do nothing, but having a hard time following (again) what you are really trying to say)..

    I know that full restoration is coming….I look to a future hope, a future promise, a New Heaven and a New Earth where Human Trafficking will be buried in history forever. Thank God that day is coming, yet if we can do a small part to help the least of these, then I say we do it. We can’t save the world (Jesus has done that), but we might can give some money, offer some prayers, or educate others to try to put an end to this problem. Maybe this has the implication of being too radical, maybe the “ultimate end” will never arrive until New Heavens and New Earth…However, instead of looking at ALL the statistics, I put my hope that one or two girls can be saved from this nightmare…and for me, that is worth it!

  122. Eagle

    You are awesome!

    I would take the Ron Jeremy’s and the other’s in the industry and love them. I would love them in a way (forgive me for saying this Matt Redmond if you’re reading…) that is radical. No strings attached 110% full grace…just basically pure unadulterated love. I would love people in such a way that they do not expect it. And I would do it in a way that wears down their resistance and love. I would love them in such a way that they ask themselves, “where does this love come from? And why haven’t I encountered it before?”

  123. Eagle, there is also a lot of illegal stuff going on in the industry. But legal or not, there are people trapped in porn and prostitution etc. who need help escaping and starting over in life. They need to know they are loved and made for better things than porn. They need help breaking the patterns they were taught earlier in life.

    Could not agree with you more about the approach to take. In fact, many people involved in porn only begin to see beyond the horizon once they are shown that love. That is why I linked to Pink Cross. Shelley and her gang are doing just that, stepping out into the fire, loving both addicts and sex workers, helping them rebuild their lives.

    I was lurking back when you were in the hospital and had no idea who you were, but was still so compelled to pray for you. I do remember how our glamorous blog queens showed you such genuine love, and I am so proud of them, so incredibly happy that they were there for you when it really mattered. I hope nothing I said made you feel condemned, that was definitely not my intention. And I understand why you became frustrated with the focus. Porn addiction is for sure not anywhere near being the only vice.

  124. @ Eagle:

    “I’m assuming you read the news…but in the past few days it was reported that porn actor Ron Jeremy was admitted into the hospital in Los Angeles for a critical illness. What I ask? Or how will Christians respond to this news? Will many Christians just throw rocks from a far or condemn him? Will Christians demonize and denounce him?”

    Not sure if anyone here remembers when prominent abortion doctor George Tiller was gunned down in his church on a Sunday morning…but the response from certain sectors of the Christian community was very telling. I will never forget Vision Forum’s headline the day after Tiller was murdered:

    “Tiller the Killer Is Dead – Whom Should We Mourn?”

    Personally, I suspect God mourned both for George Tiller AND the babies he helped abort. But in a contest between God’s word and Doug’s, you know whose word usually wins. These are patriarchs, after all, closely connected to the folks who brought us imprecatory prayer.

  125. Eagle, you’re probably right…and glad you’re not angry! I’m used to ticking people off, but they’re usually Piper or Driscoll fanboys, come to think of it…which means you gave me a great laugh. Thanks! 😀

  126. Tiller was targeted because many of the abortions he performed were second or third term, usually on pre-teen and early teen mothers for whom the pregnancy carried great risk. He was about the only one who would take those cases. Also women at great risk of death if the baby were taken to term. We have a friend who almost lost her life b/c she could not get someone to perform a late abortion even though the pregnancy had turned septic and she was dying as a result.

  127. @ Muff Potter:
    @ dee:
    @ Trina:

    Thank you.

    @ Oasis:
    It was a factor in my abuse that started around 2 1/2. I understand. There really are no words adequate – consider yourself hugged….

    @ Eagle:

    Thank you. I appreciate your words and your offer. 2000 miles, though… 😉

    As to your other comments: I wholeheartedly agree on the approach you outline. That is the only way that will work – and it isn’t easy. It’s gut-wrenching. I’m glad Oasis posted about some groups who are doing exactly that.

    I also agree that the Christian Industrial Complex that arrogantly calls itself the church handles this issue with a level of hypocrisy that can leave you dumbfounded that no-one inside the bubble sees it.

    I also agree that the other things you listed can become addictive behaviors that destroy lives. Here’s the thing, though, for me. Let’s leave the addiction element aside for the moment. The thing that stabs in my heart the hardest is the ‘casual’ viewer with the attitude that ‘its legal and no one is getting hurt, what’s the big deal?’ Back to one of the things I said in an earlier comment…many (if not most) of these things are produced using people in front of the lens who really don’t want to be there. There is absolutely no way to know if the movie being watched didn’t have someone off camera with a gun to keep the ‘actors’ in line.

    This is a general question to everyone: How can you know that the movie you’re watching isn’t of someone actually getting raped? If you did know that it was, how would that affect how you felt about it?

  128. @ Eagle:
    Eagle, thank you. Truly.
    I think highly of you and care about you, as well. From the first time I read your comments over at iMonk about your father, you have been in my thoughts.

  129. Eagle,

    What a touching comment.  Thanks for your kindness to Jeannette.  You have come a long way since you first showed up here.  🙂 

  130. An Insightful Ballance: “The Rescue Of A Single Sparrow From Death’s Fateful Grip.”



    You have taken time out of your day to give this grave issue “thought”.  You have brought balance and positive practical suggestions. You have suggested support of agencies and or organizations that are dedicated to the aid of sex trafficking victims.  

    Sex trafficking, like the pornography industry, is big $$$, and as such hold the possibility of providing the incentive -of looking the other way.

    To suggest, …to anticipate future articles from WartBurg Watch was insightful as was your inference of identifying those organizations in which the average American citizen could safe contribute, is in itself commendable.

    Committed to prayer?


    God’s door is always open to hear our heartfelt cries.da righteous need not beg for bread…

    (His eye is ever upon da sparrow.)

    b bless’d.


  131. Hester wrote:

    Personally, I suspect God mourned both for George Tiller AND the babies he helped abort. But in a contest between God’s word and Doug’s, you know whose word usually wins. These are patriarchs, after all, closely connected to the folks who brought us imprecatory prayer.


  132. Argo wrote:

    After all, just because God has a “plan” for everyone, doesn’t mean it won’t involve sex trafficking for some underaged minors.


    At least they aren’t getting what they really “deserve”. No, that will come later for the ones who aren’t elect. Then they’ll long for the days of some slave sex, right?

    Amazing the effect of a Get-Out-Of-Hell-Free Card signed by God Himself before the foundation of the world (with bonus front-row tickets to catered box seats watching the Damned in Hell) has on the personality and attitude…

  133. @ Eagle: One thing that jumped out at me in reading the comments – the number of posters who believe that women in porn are, basically “consenting adults” who are being “well-compensated.”

    I’m stunned by these kinds of assertions. (No offense, Eagle, but…)

  134. SOME people pictured in porn are actors, actresses, and models who are paid for their services and are not prisoners nor slaves of other people. That is particularly true for the SoCal porn movie and video business. And there are laws that attempt to protect them, including a permit requirement, inspections, etc.

    Other people pictured in porn pictures and videos are not free and do not receive full compensation for the use of their image. That is particularly true of the children seen in such pics and vids, but it is also true of many of the young women and some of the young men. The older the young person is, the more likely they have been exposed to drugs and the drugs are used to control them into posing or performing.

  135. “God’s door is always open to hear our heartfelt cries.da righteous need not beg for bread…

    (His eye is ever upon da sparrow.)

    b bless’d.


    Amen! You as well!

  136. I also recommend visiting for further education.

    numo wrote:

    One thing that jumped out at me in reading the comments – the number of posters who believe that women in porn are, basically “consenting adults” who are being “well-compensated.”

    Agreed. As I said earlier, many people are incredibly uninformed.

  137. @ Eagle: Hey, I was referring to some of the male commenters on imonk who are convinced that nobody’s being abused in the porn industry. (In the link you posted.)

    the thing is, even if a person is doing it of their own free will, it’s degrading. And there is very often alcohol and drug abuse involved, partly to numb the physical and emotional pain…

  138. @ dee: I thought so… it’s an evil “trade.”

    I’ve actually seen some young guys (not here!) saying – and believing – things like “Prostitution empowers women.”


    The amount of stupidity and self-deception out here is just staggering.