Photo: Divine daughter of God
Yesterday morning the national pastor of my church, Reverend In Jin Moon, Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s daughter, directly took on this issue in her sermon. Mrs. Moon pointed out that although most of us feel empathetic about the tragedy of human trafficking, we don’t do anything about it. There seems to be a kind of fog around this crime that keeps us from facing it.
However, the effect on girls who are sold, forced or enticed into sex trafficking, some as young as four years old, is devastating. For a child treated this way, her ability to ever lead a decent life is usually wrecked. Mrs. Moon described seeing a documentary in which journalists posing as “Johns,” visited a sex slavery business. They were ushered into a dimly-lit room where they were approached by little girls who seemed eager to engage in sex acts. They had been conditioned, perhaps by lack of food, to think that this was a normal way of life. This is not a normal way of life for children!
Although efforts by a number of nations’ governments to stop the problem have so far met little success, Mrs. Moon says the root of it can be attacked most effectively by changing the moral conscience of society. We need to teach our children first of all, to be able to see people of the opposite sex as “divine sons or daughters of God,” rather than a sexual object. Boys should learn to think of girls in terms of their own sister. No young man with a grain of conscience would want his own sister to become a sex slave.
Moreover, we need to teach our children that even activities such as viewing pornography on the internet can be extremely harmful. For one thing, using pornographic web sites puts more money into the hands of businesses that exploit and often enslave vulnerable children. For another, when one develops the pornography habit, he or she begins to look at other human beings not as God’s precious, unique children, but as “body parts.”
For young people who have begun to delve into pornography, the first step after realizing it is wrong is to forgive oneself. Genuine repentance can always lead to healing. Young people also need to learn how to “think through” their initial physical desires in order to go beyond them and follow a healthier path. This is a matter of conscience over physical impulse, and it can indeed be learned. Sex is a wonderful thing when used in a loyal, committed husband-wife relationship, but it can damage or ruin lives if it is used thoughtlessly.
Can such a seemingly impossible problem as the sexual trafficking of children ever be solved? Every man and woman is created with a conscience, and as long as this is so, there is hope. Maybe as Mrs. Moon suggests, part of the solution lies in educating young people to recognize the rights, the value, and in fact, the divinity of every other human being.
Read more of Clark Eberly's Stories of Faith in the Communities at the Washington Times.