by Mikhail Bell (@bellsworld)
Frank Schaeffer’s fervide keynotes bookended the May 23-25 Trafficking in America conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Over 200 people from federal government agencies, non-profits and local churches attended the annual three-day event.
The left-leaning son of L’Abri founder Francis and Edit Schaeffer was quick to list his bona fides as a Huffington Post and New York Times best-selling author, as well as an occasional guest on Fox News. While disclosing his liberal bent, Schaeffer reached toward the center in his appeal to combat human trafficking. “This is an issue that I think holds out hope in an odd way… it’s one of those few things that [liberals and conservatives] can agree on,” Schaeffer asserted.
“The fact that we are sitting here in 2013 and discussion human slavery again is an abomination,” Schaeffer assessed. However the issue could “bring some healing to the culture wars we have raging around us,” the writer opined.
Channeling Matthew 25:40, Schaeffer posited that anyone advocating for an end to human trafficking was doing kingdom work. “That person who steps into the breach with you there is also doing the work of Jesus Christ.”
As more people advocate for protecting the sexuality of boys and girls, it is important to understand concerns through a “bipartisan” perspective. “Now is not the time to say ‘I cannot involve myself with these guys because I happen to know they are big Obama supporters or Fox News watchers,’” Schaeffer suggested.
A New Sexual Ethic
Porn has “jumped the track” from a hidden activity to mainstream status symbol. Vice however popular is not the best educator, as Schaeffer reminded. “Your average Victorian would have a better shot at giving someone pleasure than the abusive non-stop sexualized crap that’s pouring through the Internet today,” he posited.
“We need to brutally, honestly confront a culture which has completely departed from the contract that keeps people happy, that keeps people in meaningful lives, … that protects the people they love instead of continuously undermining them.”
“Speaking in prophetic and biblical terms, this is a culture that has been weighing in the balance and found wanting,” Schaeffer admitted. “We have turned our backs on our children.”
Centrally, Schaeffer argued, discussions about sex trafficking are not about Christian versus secular morality. Rather, Schaeffer explained, this is about “saving the culture” as human trafficking represents “the worst, the apex of what this society is managing to produce.”
Furthermore, the problem is not confined to “16 –year-old prostitutes” who are brought into the United States from other countries or the American children ”in these abusive relationships that spin out these tragedies by the thousands in our culture.” These merely reflect our cultural values.
Schaeffer hit out at the “ridiculous degree of sexualization of children from the earliest age,” going on to call the trend “insanity.” The commercial sexual exploitation of minors is an expected bi-product of a broken culture. “If you were designing a culture that would produce a result of not just broken homes but broken relationships and, above all, sexualized childhood at an absurd age, this would be the society you would design,” he explained.
Advocates from across the political spectrum can agree on one thing: addressing the root causes of human trafficking brings attention to paradoxes. “Here we are in a culture that can take a drone and kill somebody in Pakistan but we can’t do anything about a 15-year-old being abused on a street corner in Nashville,” Schaeffer said.
Schaeffer concluded his impassioned addressed with a simple request: “Let’s take the human trafficking issue and turn it into something that this country hasn’t seen for a long, long time. And that is something every decent human being can care about, do something about, and stop.”