Tag-Archive for » Christianity «

Theological Humanism? A solution to the divide?

OK, tablets so I was reading a post on Prop 8 Trial Tracker where the following quote was rendered which spawned the creation of this post:

There’s two lenses here. One’s a biblical world view and the other is basically more of a secular humanist world view, prescription and that’s why there never seems to be agreement, sale ” said the Rev. Pastor Brad Cranston, of Burlington’s Heritage Baptist Church. “They’re not going to be reconciled with one another.”

Iowa – One Year Later (Proposition 8 Trial Tracker)

Now, my recent post A problem with conservative religions is that Dogma and tradition is more important than People really touched upon this, but having read that quote I realized that I realistically could take this a step further. I have stated before quite a bit, perhaps not specifically on this BLog, that modern (fundamentalist and Conservative) Christianity is not really “Christian”. They have lost their way. Jesus’ teachings were about love, compassion, mercy, and acceptance and many of the contemporary Christian teachings, especially fundamentalist and conservative Christian teachings, have nothing to do with these ideals, and in some way are antithetical to them, which saddens me greatly. In that post I also state flatly that for them dogma is more important that humans which is something that they need to move on from, especially if they are to remain relevant and not part of the problem.

Now, the above thought brought me to the create the idea of Biblical Humanism. Fortunately, I am not the only one to ever have considered this possibility. It was first (as far as my currently limited research shows) was thought up in the late 1400’s with Erasmus of Rotterdam’s’ writings. Erasmus was a monastic Catholic priest of sorts and was heralded in his time for his enlightenment and writings. He was, shall we say, the father of contemporary Biblical/Christian/Theological Humanism.

A more humanistic approach to religious practice and teachings less zealous, blind, irrational, and tyrannical. The heaven hell model and the extreme religious tyranny are why Christianity is slowly dying and why people for many years have been defecting from Catholicism and other orthodox religions to other more humanistic faiths. These conservative or fundamentalist faiths enforce their dogma with fear – fear of going to hell, fear of sinning, fear of not getting presents on Christmas, fear of not being saved. This sort of fear based propaganda stresses the psyche and emotions and eventually there is going to be a break down, and we are seeing that, especially in Europe an Asia, and also here in the United States. These religions are killing themselves and they are too proud and arrogant to see it. Historically they have changed only when they see that they have had no real choice, but perhaps this time… they may not be able to fully recover, unless they embrace a more humanistic view of Christianity – a view that is more “Christian” than what is being taught in many churches today. A Humanism Theology may be the only way to save contemporary Christianity.

Resources

Charter for Compassion

I originally published this on Google’s Knol quite a while ago. Some have liked what is written here, ailment some have not. I did have a little help with this, allergy so it is not solely my work.Since my original article this has undergone quite a few changes, reorganizations, and additions so it is a little bit different than the original.

This is by no means complete or the end-all-be-all of polyamory tutorials or introductions, since it is such a diverse lifestyle that you could not really hope to encompass it all in one readable page, but this should give you a good starting point from which you can do your own research and form your own opinions. Good luck and enjoy.

Sections

Infinite Heart

Infinite Heart

Dr. Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof

About Polyamory

This is a broad overview of polyamory from compersion, jealousy, and relationship agreements with a helpful list of references and definitions.

Polyamory: definition

Polyamory (or the more British spelling ‘polyamoury’) is also referred to as ‘responsible non-monogamy’ or just ‘poly’. It is the state of having, or being oriented to having, multiple concurrent intimate relationships with the full knowledge and consent of all concerned.

Polyamory does not necessarily imply that the relationships are sexual, but many times they are. Some poly relationships may be non-sexual (platonic) romances, with an intimate emotional, psychological, and/or intellectual connection beyond what would merely be called “friendship.”

Successful polyamorous relationships generally require a high level of self-awareness, honesty (especially with oneself), introspection, self-security, and communication among all concerned. Polyamory is not for the faint of heart or wussies.

Origin of the Word

The word ‘polyamory‘ is derived from the Greek poly-, ‘many’, and the Latin amor, ‘love’. The word was invented independently in 1990 by Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart (in the adjectival form ‘poly-amorous’) and in 1992 by Jennifer L. Wesp. (Reference: Polyamory Enters Oxford English Dictionary)

Forms of Polyamory

Poly relationships can take a wide variety of forms. A person may have two lovers who having only passing knowledge of each other, or lovers who are close friends, or lovers who are also romantically and sexually involved with each other (an “equilateral triad”). A married or otherwise life-bonded couple (‘primaries’) may have less-involved relationships with other lovers (‘secondaries’). The commonest poly formation is probably the ‘vee’ (three people with two of them not romantically involved); a vee may be called a “triad” if their lives are deeply intertwined, sex or no. A ‘full’ or ‘equilateral’ triad involves romantic relationships between all three — but the three relationships need not be ‘equal’. In fact, it is a piece of poly wisdom that no two relationships are exactly the same, and trying to force them to be equal is asking for trouble. Larger groups may be ‘quads’ of four with various degrees of interconnectedness, ‘quints’ of five, or ‘intimate networks’ of more people with more complicated geometry.

“The Poly Mantra”

Since the 1980s, and especially since the 1990s, the poly community has grown enormously and shared many hard-won, trial-and-error lessons within the community, both in person and, especially, online. The most often-cited lesson is the so-called poly mantra: “Communicate, communicate, communicate.

A habit of open and honest communication, experience has shown, is almost always required to enable everyone to understand what is going on with each other’s emotions and thoughts — and in the absence of such openness, problems in a poly group are almost guaranteed. Communicating your thoughts and emotions (positive and negative) sooner rather than later helps avert hard feelings and difficult situations, or forces them onto the table. Your partners cannot ‘read your mind‘ and will not ‘just understand or know‘; such romanticized ideals are quickly put aside by successful polyfolks. When a problem arises, be open, honest, calm, and understanding, and all may eventually work itself out. Some poly people and groups hold regular ‘family meetings’ to promote the early airing of nascent problems. If serious problems do not resolve, you might seek the help of a poly-friendly counselor. The books Radical Honesty, Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, and Nonviolent Communication may help give you perspective and effective communication tools.

Compersion or Frubble

‘Compersion’ (or the British ‘frubble’) is the state of feeling joy at the joy of another loved one, specifically, when applied in the poly context, is when a loved one is relating to another person intimately; such as a husband feeling joy at seeing or knowing that his wife is enjoying time with her new boyfriend.

Compersion is the complete opposite of jealousy. Compersion is a goal to which polyfolk often aspire in order to break negative cultural (and/or evolutionary) programming and increase their satisfaction and happiness in their poly relationships.

See Wikipedia’s Compersion article and A Crazy Little thing Called…

Relationship Agreements

Poly relationships are wide and varied in their form, assumptions, and ideologies. What one person takes for granted and assumes may not be true for the others in the relationship, so many find it useful to form a relationship agreement. These agreements, when done, are generally written, but can be completely oral; many are setup as a relationship contact that is agreed and signed by all so there are no misunderstandings. Relationship Agreements can be a very useful tool, especially to those that are new to poly, to help verbalize and work through their thoughts, assumptions, and ramifications of the agreement, as well as to solidify a joint definition of their relationship and acceptable practices.

It is important to remember that relationships are not static, especially poly relationships where people can come and go as time goes on, and you will need revisit this agreement, and bargain and change the agreement to reflect the change in the relationship and your needs. The document should be a living breathing extension of your relationship changing as much as you change.

The book Pagan Polyamory: Becoming a Tribe of Hearts has some good info on this.

Adultery or Cheating

Polys define cheating as the breaking of an viceral agreement or understanding within the relationship. Most married or bonded couples have an agreement, either explicit or culturally implied, and most times includes not having sex with other people (i.e. sexual exclusivity). Polys have a wide variety of agreements and understandings (which, some believe, are best put in writing in order to prevent later confusion, evasion, or wishful thinking).

In sexual terms, cheating can be defined as engaging in an intimate relationship with an outside person without the consent and/or knowledge of your existing partner(s). This usually involves lying, deceiving, or omission of important facts. Cheating is antithetical to polyamory and is usually is as fatal to it as it would be to any relationship. Polyamory requires informed consent and knowledge from all parties involved — and, experience shows, consistently high integrity overall.

Adultery is a legal term referring to sex with an outside partner while married, and the word normally implies cheating. A more extensive treatise on adultery from the Christian perspective is handled in the book ‘Divine Sex‘ (see below).

Jealousy

Jealousy is the big ‘monster-in-the-closet‘ for many relationships regardless of their form. It is a special issue for polyamory, since participants have to face personal fears and insecurities (the roots of jealousy) that monogamous couple may mostly avoid. The righteousness of feeling jealous is supported by our culture in movies, cultural values, religion, and laws, but jealousy something that is learned and therefore can be unlearned. Many couples battle with it (in and outside of poly), and is a common reason for emotional turmoil and breakups in poly relationships, especially near the beginning. Defeating jealousy in your life may require a tremendous amount of soul searching, introspection, honesty, communication, as well as trust and faith in your relationships and partners.

See below for some sites that deal with this issue.

Marriage

Polyamory, in-and-of-itself, does not assume marriage is the goal or a desired outcome. Polyamory and Marriage, however, are not mutually exclusive either, since they both deal with relationships at various levels.

Polygamy is explicitly a type of marital state involving plural partners, whereas monogamy is explicitly a type of marital state involving single partners and that is it.

Polyamory is referring to an open and honest relationship model involving plural partners.

Polygamy is specific to marriage, whereas Polyamory is not. However, since marriage is a type of relationship and so is polyamory, they can and do meet.

Polyfidelity within polyamory could mirror a ‘traditional’ polygynous (MFFF) or polyandrous (FMMM) marriage exactly. You could have a polyamorous quad (MFMF) that is married polygamously via Group Marriage (polygamy). You could also have a Polygynous Quad (MFFF) that was polyamorous. You could even have a monogamous marriage that was polyamorous or more commonly – just an Open Marriage.

New Relationship Energy (NRE) or Limerence

NRE (resulting from limerence) is the honeymoon phase of the relationship when everything is new and exciting and brain chemicals keep you in a potentially blind emotional high. It typically lasts 6 months to 2 or 3 years. This ‘high‘ can have you doing things that you would not do while in a normal and objective frame of mind. When you are engaging in a new relationship you will want to guard yourself and your relationships from this as best you can. Enjoy the ride, but be careful.

Once the ‘love-struck‘ or ‘blinded-by-love‘ condition wears off some find themselves, in retrospect, having made bad decisions, hurting and neglecting those that they love and have committed themselves to. NRE can be seen as a sort of a not-so-short sickness that one has to deal with and monitor for fear of negatively impacting your other relationships with emotional and love-struck decisions.

See Wikipedia’s articles on New Relationship Energy (NRE) and Limerance.

Swinging

Swinging is not polyamory, and the difference is often a sore spot when poly people are speaking with non-polys about what polyamory is. Swinging is generally recreational sex with little emotional involvement. Swinging is typically done by couples attending special swing venues or parties together. Swinging communities often have rules, explicit or implied, against falling in love with others in your swing group.

Sometimes people who swing tire of sex for its own sake and wish for more personal and intimate connections. Two or more couples who swing together frequently may simply grow to become close life friends and/or desire more. In either case, people may find themselves drifting away from swinging and into the wonderful and challenging world of polyamory.

Conversely, polyamorists can be swingers too, happy to enjoy an occasional no-strings fling at a party or sex club. But the two circles tend to be different in terms of sociology, class, philosophy, and intellectual background. Many polys shun swinging because of negative connotation associated with it. The mainstream attitude is that swinging is wrong and immoral; the mainstream attitude toward polyamory is similar, but polys usually resist being stigmatized as caring only about sex.

A group could be an open triad with a relationship agreement stating that swinging is OK, and one or more of the participants engages in swinging. The triad relationship would still be polyamorous, but the relationship with the outside swinging partners would not necessaily be.

adultery or cheating
see the Adultery or Cheating section
closed
not open to new relationships; see polyfidelity
compersion
see the Compersion section
duogamy
a newer term I encountered that refers to a bisexual person maintaining relationships with 1 person of each gender with the belief that if the 2 relationships are with people of different genders and are mongamous with respect to the specific genders, then it is still ‘monogamy’. This might be kind of a transitional label or used to specifically deny or avoid the polyamorous label while still respecting their choice for a plural partner arrangement.
dyad
an intimate committed relationship with two people
golden unicorn
slang term for the bisexual female that is generally desired as a intimate and/or sexual partner for both members of a Dyad, most likely with the intent to form a Triad. In most cases this is for an established MF Dyad whose female is also bisexual.
group marriage
a subset of polygamy
a general term which refers to a marriage which includes more than one person of each gender. While polygamy, in current contexts. tends to have connotations that assume a main spouse of one gender and then multiple spouses of the other gender as in polyandry and polygygy (see below); group marriage generally connotates a marriage which includes more than one person of each gender which may be further defined as open or cloaed, etc…
HBB
and acronym meaning ‘Hot Bi(sexual) Babe’; see Golden Unicorn
limerance
see the New Relationship Energy (NRE) section
monamorous
loving only one other person
monogamy
marrying only one other person
new relationship energy (NRE)
see the New Relationship Energy (NRE) section
open
an relationship formation that is open to intimacy from outside their primaries, such as an Open Dyad
open marriage
a marriage in which the spouses have agreed to have intimate partners outside their marriage
pod
within polyamory a pod has been described as ‘a committed network of lifelong intimate friends’. More generally a pod is a collection of people who are intimate at varying levels. Some may be permanent parts of each others lives like the primary/secondary arrangements or may be only part of the pod for small parts of times.
polyandry
a subset of polygamy
the state of a woman having more than one husband
polyandry, fraternal
a subset of polygamy
the state of a woman having more than one husband that are brothers related by blood
statistically, this is commonly the most successful form of polyandry
polyfidelity
polyfi‘ for short
a relationship with multiple committed partners that is closed to new intimate relationships
polygamy
the state of having more than one spouse
polygyny
a subset of polygamy
the state of a man having more than one wife
polygyny, sororal
a subset of polygamy
the state of a man having more than one wife that are sisters related by blood
statistically, this is commonly the most successful form of polygyny
primary
Refers to the most committed relationships, which are also most likely the most important relationships such as a husband, wife, life partner, or others whom a person has committed relationship with. The most time and energy is spent with a person’s primaries. Some do not like this terminology, but others find it fitting and precise.
quad
an intimate committed relationship with four people
romantic myths
Romantic socio-cultural beliefs that when stoically held onto may potentially hinder a person’s ability to find happiness in relationships. Their belief in these myths, may have them holding out for an impossible romantic ideal for a future partner or have unrealistic expectation for their current partners. Western Romantic Myths tend to reinforce the starvation model of love as well.
see starvation model of love and ‘the one’ for more information; there are links below on this topic
secondary
Refers to relationships that are secondary in importance, time, and/or resources, etc to their primary relationships, such as new girlfriend or long term casual long distance love. Some do not like this terminology, but others find it fitting and precise.
see: Successful Secondaries, Taking Care of Secondaries from Xero Mag
scarcity model of love
starvation model of love
starvation economy of love
Believing that love is limited and that if I love this one person romantically then I cannot love another romantically without loving less or not loving the first person. Love is limited and therefore I can only romantically love one person at a time. This seems to be at odds with our ability to love more than one parent, child, friend, etc. This phenomenon is greatly fed by the romantic myth of the ‘the one’ or ‘your one true love’, as well as by movies, literature, and our conservative laws and social views.
sex negative
The pervailing attitude of Western culture finds sexuality and all things sexual negative, sinful, guilt ridden, and distasteful. Sexuality is not something to open about or to enjoy, since it is only for species perpetuation – reproduction. It is something to be repressed and ignored unless necessary.
see Wikipedia’s article on Sex Negativity
sex positive
Sex positive people see their sexuality as a natural part of who we are and not afraid of or ashamed of enjoying it, or taking responsibility for their own satisfaction.
see Wikipedia’s article on the Sex Positive Movement or The Language of Sex Positivity (The Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality)
sexual dimorphism
Sexual Dimorphism is term from biology that refers to the size difference in the genders of a species. Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between the level of sexual dimorphism in a species to the level of monogamousness of a species. The greater the size difference the less monogamous a species is.
sexual monogamy
This comes from the world of biology and refers to the state of a creature that maintains a sexually monogamous relationship with one another mate, but this does not assume social monogamy. Generally a creature that is sexually monogamous will also be socially monogamous other wise there will not be much reproductive benefit.
social monogamy
This comes from the world of biology and refers to the state of a creature that concentrates on acquiring food, shelter, defense, etc for only one other mate. A socially monogamous creature can can be does not also have to be sexual monogamous. Socially monogamous creatures are often sexually polygamous (seeking sexual partners outside their primary partner). There is only a small percentage of creatures that are mostly socially and sexually monogamous.
squick
a psychological source of discomfort (see wickionary’s definition)
swinging
see the Swinging section
‘the one’
‘the one true love’
‘you complete me’
This view assumes that as soon as you have met ‘the one’ that you cannot and will not love another, and that you will need no one or anything else because this one person will fulfill you in all ways. You will also find no other people physically, sexually, intellectually, or emotionally attractive or desireable. This is one of the most destructive romantic myths in Western culture by putting the responsibility for your happiness in someone else, and not yourself.
triad
an intimate committed relationship with three people
tribe
intimate network
pod
a set of words to describe the collection of poly and/or potentially non-poly people having relationships with poly people. Each word has its own set of connotations and nuances depending on the group.
trouple
A trouple is 3 people involved in a romantic relationship; whereas two people in a romantic relationship are referred to as a ‘couple’. a dyad that is dating a third would be referred to as a trouple.
v
a relationship form where there is a single person (at the V’s hinge) to which both other members are sexually intimate with and are not intimate with each other, which is a typical formation for a FMF or MFM triad

References and Resources

Articles (Individual)

Audio and Video

Books

Discussion Groups, Meetings, Mailing Lists

Many of the sites mentioned through out this article have forums as well. You will most likely want to search for a group that is local to you as well. Many major cities have poly lists, meetings, and support groups.

Sites, Organizations, and Professionals

OK, Sildenafil
so as many of you already know Tanya gave birth to our Daughter via C-Section on June 30th after 24 hours of not-very-fun and quite painful labor. I am going to write in more detail than you probably really want to know about this, resuscitation
but here it is. Better 4months after the fact than never! =O =)

Labor Starting (Monday, June 29th, 2009)

16:00
On Monday, Tanya called me at about 16:00 (4:00pm) saying that she thinks that she is starting to have contractions, and I will mention that in our previous doctor visit the week before Tanya was about 1.5 cm dilated already. We were told that women can be dilated at 1.5cm for weeks before giving birth and I said oh, no this is happening soon. I recommended that Tanya finish getting the Birthing Bag finished and we will see what happens after I get home at 17:00 (5:00pm).
17:00
I came home and I worked with Tanya on our thoughts about her contractions and if we should go. I also timed the contractions. She called our friend Laura, who was a pro at this. She has two beautiful children and a level head. Laura has been a great helping us in dealing with this process – advice, baby clothes, and all. Laura arrives at about 19:00
19:00
Laura arrives
20:15
3-5 min apart @ 30-40 seconds

Recorded Contraction Times
Start Time End Time Duration (sec) Between (min)
Start Time End Time Length Between
17:56:10 15:56:43 33 sec
18:00:53 18:01:17 20 sec 4
18:07:35 18:08:12 47 sec 6
18:19:30 18:20:01 30 sec 11
18:24:53 18:25:35 38 sec 4
18:36:47 18:37:13 26 sec 11
19:21:34 19:22:00 26 sec
19:25:39 18:26:17 37 sec 3
19:30:50 19:31:30 40 sec 4
19:34:26 19:34:46 20 sec 3
19:36:47 19:37:34 45 sec 2
19:38:00 19:38:28 28 sec 0.5
19:41:38 19:42:30 50 sec 3
19:45:24 19:45:58 33 sec 3
19:47:09 19:47:41 30 sec 1
19:51:33 19:52:08 35 sec 4
19:54:48 19:55:34 40 sec 2
19:58:19 19:58:46 26 sec 3
20:02:33 20:03:16 45 sec 3
20:07:39 20:08:22 40 sec 4
20:10:30 20:11:00 30 sec 2
20:12:15 1

During this time Laura is working with Tanya to help ease the contraction pain and do as I can. Tanya is breathing deeply and grunting and whimpering lightly through the frequent contractions. By 20:15 Tanya has had enough and we all pack up and go to the hospital. I call my parents and let them know. They say they will be to the hospital in a little bit.

The weather was a little misty or a very light rain. On our way there we saw a rainbow. Tanya is the one who noticed it through the breathing amazingly enough.

20:35
We get there and the nurses take her to a room and hook her up to the heartbeat monitor and something else, as well as start to check her out. She is still at 1.5 cm so not much has changed there. Since things were still early they gave us the choice to stay or go home and hopefully get some sleep in our own bed, which will be more comfortable. It could easily be early or late in the next day before things really start to get going. So, we left to hopeful

21:00 left hospital

11:40 returned

01:40 4cm

About 02:00 she was finally dilated to 4cm and she was more than ready for the epidural.

03:20 she finally received the epidural. Slept throught the night until about 09:00

03:20 Epidural

05:00 5cm

08:50 9cm
OK, neurologist
so as many of you already know Tanya gave birth to our Daughter via C-Section on June 30th after 24 hours of not-very-fun and quite painful labor. I am going to write in more detail than you probably really want to know about this, store but here it is. Better 4months after the fact than never! =O =)

Labor Starting (Monday, website like this
June 29th, 2009)

16:00
On Monday, Tanya called me at about 16:00 (4:00pm) saying that she thinks that she is starting to have contractions, and I will mention that in our previous doctor visit the week before Tanya was about 1.5 cm dilated already. We were told that women can be dilated at 1.5cm for weeks before giving birth and I said oh, no this is happening soon. I recommended that Tanya finish getting the Birthing Bag finished and we will see what happens after I get home at 17:00 (5:00pm).
17:00
I came home and I worked with Tanya on our thoughts about her contractions and if we should go. I also timed the contractions. She called our friend Laura, who was a pro at this. She has two beautiful children and a level head. Laura has been a great helping us in dealing with this process – advice, baby clothes, and all. Laura arrives at about 19:00
19:00
Laura arrives
20:15
3-5 min apart @ 30-40 seconds

Recorded Contraction Times
Start Time End Time Duration (sec) Between (min)
Start Time End Time Length Between
17:56:10 15:56:43 33 sec
18:00:53 18:01:17 20 sec 4
18:07:35 18:08:12 47 sec 6
18:19:30 18:20:01 30 sec 11
18:24:53 18:25:35 38 sec 4
18:36:47 18:37:13 26 sec 11
19:21:34 19:22:00 26 sec
19:25:39 18:26:17 37 sec 3
19:30:50 19:31:30 40 sec 4
19:34:26 19:34:46 20 sec 3
19:36:47 19:37:34 45 sec 2
19:38:00 19:38:28 28 sec 0.5
19:41:38 19:42:30 50 sec 3
19:45:24 19:45:58 33 sec 3
19:47:09 19:47:41 30 sec 1
19:51:33 19:52:08 35 sec 4
19:54:48 19:55:34 40 sec 2
19:58:19 19:58:46 26 sec 3
20:02:33 20:03:16 45 sec 3
20:07:39 20:08:22 40 sec 4
20:10:30 20:11:00 30 sec 2
20:12:15 1

During this time Laura is working with Tanya to help ease the contraction pain and do as I can. Tanya is breathing deeply and grunting and whimpering lightly through the frequent contractions. By 20:15 Tanya has had enough and we all pack up and go to the hospital. I call my parents and let them know. They say they will be to the hospital in a little bit.

The weather was a little misty or a very light rain. On our way there we saw a rainbow. Tanya is the one who noticed it through the breathing amazingly enough.

20:35
We get there and the nurses take her to a room and hook her up to the heartbeat monitor and something else, as well as start to check her out. She is still at 1.5 cm so not much has changed there. Since things were still early they gave us the choice to stay or go home and hopefully get some sleep in our own bed, which will be more comfortable. It could easily be early or late in the next day before things really start to get going.

21:00 left hospital

So, we left to the comfort of our own home
23:40
returned
01:40
4cm
~02:00
she was finally dilated to 4cm and she was more than ready for the epidural.
03:20
she finally received the epidural. Slept throught the night until about 09:00
03:20
Epidural
05:00
5cm
08:50
9cm

Karen Armstrong, try
a former nun, sickness gave her speech called A Charter for Compassion (TED)” to Ted Talks on Feb 2009. I watched this speech and it is quite inspiring. This speech was given as her TED Prize Wish for 2009. She now has a website of for it as well: Charter for Compassion

Related TED Talk:Lets Revive the Golden Rule

New Examiner Article: “Christianity’s Heaven/Hell model not conducive to altruism?”

I have posted a new article for the Milwaukee Examiner titled “Christianity’s Heaven/Hell model not conducive to altruism?

Preface

For the purposes of this article I have ignored the fact that Christians are rewarded in the afterlife for good deeds and therefore there is technically a reward, visit web albeit spiritually. I am also choosing to ignore the fact that feeling good about doing a good deed is a reward in and of itself. I am choosing a definition of altruism that relies on an purely external and Earthly reward system to negate the existence of altruism in an individual’s action, however in the context of this article the former will be seen as a challenge to the existence of altruism in Christians.

If we take into account the above two arguments it would mean that only people who do not enjoy helping others and whose belief systems does not have a reward for good deeds would be technically capable of altruism – which, in both cases, potentially negates the possibility of altruism in Christianity and most Americans. These arguments might be a bit pedantic or annoyingly philosophical, but I am mentioning their place for completeness…. and now on to the article…

The Article

Christianity’s preaching potentially teaches the individual to be very self-serving and selfish – do good deeds so you can get into Heaven. Now, keep in mind that this is a really broad and sweeping generalization that most assuredly does not apply to all Christianity. It might not even apply to most, but this is just an observation on my part.

Some sermons go on about fire and brimstone and how being sinful will send you to eternal immolation in Hell, or that being virtuous will send you to the white and pearly gates of paradise in Heaven. Christianity seems more concerned with keeping itself from Hell and trying to get itself into Heaven than purely teaching that doing a good deeds with a level of self-sacrifice because it is the right thing to do.

Some people do the right thing just because they are trying get past the big pearly gates by ‘attempting to keep score’ and not because it is necessarily what they really want to do, potentially fostering a begrudging insincerity in their actions, or even self-contempt, guilt, or feeling a lack of worth at not being able to live up to Christianity’s idealistic and virtuous lessons. This guilt driven methodology is counterproductive to the individual and society in general, because it is driven by a negative by emotions – guilt and fear.

Does fear as a motivator get results, especially in the short term? Yes it does, but it is not necessarily one that can continue to get results without significant emotional and psychological breakdown, and is very, very hard to sustain in the long term due to a results in the forms that I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

The way that Christianity is sometimes taught puts its followers at odds with altruism, which I find an interesting paradox due to the virtuousness they espouse. Now, I am not saying that no Christians exhibit altruism, but it seems to me that Christianity’s preaching and motivational methodology being based on a punishment/reward system is not conducive to altruism being a cornerstone to its adherents’ primary internal motivations – gaining reward in the afterlife and preventing damnation is.

In some ways I think that the reason we do things is almost more important than the action itself. Now, I did say almost. If someone does a good thing then they could have done it because if they did not then they would be punished (later in Hell), or if they did it they would be rewarded later (in Heaven), or they did it because they wanted to and it was the right thing to do without consideration of potential positive or negative spiritual rewards. To me the later is the most pure and preferable form of altruism.

I do not want to necessarily say that Christianity and altruism are mutually exclusive, because I don’t believe they are, but I think the emphasis in teaching needs to shift to doing the right thing because it is the right thing, and not because you will be punished or rewarded with damnation or salvation. Such a shift might help to breed more tolerance and acceptance allowing us to potentially work more quickly through contentious civil rights issues such as same-sex marriage. Grass-roots movements as ‘random acts of kindness’ or ‘pay it forward’ are not punishment/reward based altruistic movements, and the action is its own reward are great examples of what could be done.

For more info see:

Conservative Christian Vitriol with Reverend Manning

I started writing this post one third of the way through his vitriol laden rant fully expecting not much was going to change by the end, buy and nothing did change.I did watch the whole thing before finishing this post.

The Louisiana Gun: The Manning Bar (on YouTube as well) with Reverend Dr. James David Manning (author of the Oblation Hour) speaks out against Obama and claims that white people are going to riot because they are tired of being pushed around. *shakes head* I was not aware I was about to revolt? Perhaps I did not get his script? *shrug*

I just had this video forwarded to me and it is really disappointing to hear how such influential people can be so lost and bigoted (calling Obama a man-lover, ask homosexual, malady half-breed, Muslim, illegal alien, usurper). I fully expect these words, especially from a man of his background (conservative Christian Southern preacher), but it is still sad to hear.

Dr. Manning’s words were vacuous at best, and he is attempting naught but fear mongering and fomenting unrest and rebellion (where there is none) via sensationally and emotionally charged words, which is a southern preacher’s talent. Move the congregation with fear and emotion; reason and dignity be damned.

Dr Manning claims matter-of-factly that his view is the state of things with nary a hint of evidence evidence or reasoning. He incorrectly assumes that everyone in America is his version of Christianity (Southern and Conservative), when in-fact, we all are not, and I am pretty sure the fact that Obama was elected shows this clearly as well.

Obama made no illusion of trying to cater to the Southern Conservative Christians (even though he seems to be leaning that way a bit) as Republicans are want to do with their platforms. The Republicans are currently struggling with this and trying to  reinvent themselves to stay current and not lose themselves in the morass of uber-conservatism, which is obviously not the direction that American socio-cultural values are headed. Gay marriage anyone?

He is just a conservative southern Christian rallying against a liberal president using the traditional conservative vitriol in an attempt to maintain the status quo. Social progress is the bane of conservative religion because change means that they need to change to remain relevant; if they have to do that then they were not “correct” to begin with. They will have to change as a religion or die out as a religion and lose face in the process

In our increasingly progressive and aware society, uber-conservative and controlling religions are fighting tooth and nail to hold on to their stagnant social values to maintain face as well as to maintain control of their flock. Without that the sheep may become disillusioned and wander off to greener and potentially more enlightened pastures.

His speech appears to be an attempt to appeal to the homophobic conservative Christian African American by attempting add credence to his views by saying the that  white people felt that way too. His racist and bigoted words do not stop there. He calls Obama a homosexual to try to cement his lack of a real case. =(

These uber-conservative Christians are a huge part of what is wrong with America today and it saddens me to the core. Let us please have a moment of silence for Dr. Manning and may God have mercy on his soul.

Debate: Is Religion a Force for Good or Evil in the World?

A little about me: I am a 35 year old white married male of the Unitarian Unversalist and Centrist persuasions. I have never been a prostitute, for sale used the services of a prostitute, nor known or known anyone who knew a prostitute.

I am writing this post in a response to a debate I am participating in just a little bit at Change.org titled “Prostitution and Trafficking: A Policy Debate. In putting this together I am hoping to distill, formulate, and solidfy my opinion and position on this controversial topic. Most of my discussion will revolve around the topic of Prostitution itself, and a some about the Human Trafficking issue.

It is important to understand that it is not only males that are frequenting prostitutes. There are females as well, but males are, by far, in the majority. Some of it has to do with males, in general, having a higher sex drive and being far less selective in their sexual partners than women. Keep in mind also that they are not all heteroesexual, some are homosexual as well.

For most of my discussion I will assume that “prostitutes’ or “sex workers” are adults who choose their profession. I will cover those who do not qualify as such, but are involved with prostitution, in the ‘Legalization and Regulation’ portion of my discussion.

There are a lot of things to take into consideration when discussing the issues of prostitution and human trafficking and I will try to cover a lot of it here so we can put it all into perspective and discuss it as objectively as possible. Not everyone is going to agree with everything I have to say here. Some of it is definitely solely my opinion, some of it is not. I still have to gain quotes, fact, and examples for this to support my work, but any how, here we go:

Prostitution and Human Trafficking Are Separate Issues

Prostitution and Human Trafficking while seeming, and in some cases, definitely related are not visceral to each other. You can (and do) have prostitution that does not involve Human Trafficking, and vice verse, Human Trafficking that does not involve Prostitution. They are distinct and seperate issues and need to be treated as such. The existence of one does not intrinsically invoke the existence of the other.

Consensual Prostitution

Topical Background

Choosing the Profession

Many who discuss this topic speak of prostitution as a necessarily slave based profession, as if there are not people that choose to be prostitutes, and that all are brought to this occupation by human trafficking.

Many do choose to be prostitutes because it is a lucrative profession that generates a lot of money. Some choose it because of the extremely low barrier of entry. Some choose it because they really, really, really enjoy sex. Some for power and influence over the opposite sex. There are other reasons I am sure. Some strippers in Florida make in excess of $100,000 a year. Imagine what someone who was actually a sex worker would make there.

Something which is also related to prostitution is those in the porn industry. They do similar work, but the method of pay and client base is considerably different. Porn is one of the largest and most profitable businesses to be in. Again, most choose this profession and it involves having sex with others while getting paid for it.

Prostitution is a Consensual Crime

Prostitution is a Consensual Crime, and this is also key to many of todays civil rights movements such as gay and poly rights, drugs, and so on. Work towards the abolishment of the criminalization of consensual crimes may see a sort of a rennaisance in the coming decades or so as gay rights and polyamory/polygamy soldier on.

The book “Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do: The Absurdity Of Consensual Crimes In Free Society” covers this topic in great detail. While I do not agree with everything the book says about consensual crimes it is a great read and very applicable to this discussion.

Prostitutes choose to engage in a sexual act with someone in exchange for money. It is their choice to have sex with a person on their terms, be it dating, for cash, or as a one night stand, or serial monogamy.

In any case consent and terms are given and, hopefully, adhered to. Why does having a direct money transaction soil the consensual act of sexual interecourse with another human being?

Consent, as is applicable to this discussion, does not involve coercion or duress. Either they really do have a choice and are legally able to give consent, or they cannot. People that are forced into prostitution by slave trade are not there by their choice and therefore do not give consent. People who are raped do not, by definition, give consent. Anyone who is not legally able to give consent by virtue of being underaged or mentally unfit to do so, cannot give consent. People who are in fear for their personal safety and acquiesce are not giving consent for there is duress and/or coercion present.

Because Something is Illegal Does Not Mean It Is Wrong

There are so many laws that have been passed in our country’s (and others) history that have propagated gross civil rights violations and have been repealed because their unconstitutional nature has been recognized. Part of this is due to evolving cultural values, and an increase in understanding in civil rights and the very nature of our humanity.

Just because something is currently illegal, does not mean that it should be. African Americans and women not having rights, interracial marriages and so on are all things that have been limited or illegal in America’s history, and, in the face of cultural evolution and greater understanding of civil rights these gross violations, have been corrected, but the historical damage done to those is these demographics still remain, as horrible vesitges of the past.

Separation of Church and State

When discussing the topic of prostitution it is faulty to assume or imply in your arguments, no matter how emotional or vehement they may be, that all sex workers are slaves, emotionally scarred, abused, crime ridden, would never choose the profession, or that it should patently be illegal purely for morality’s sake.

In much of the discussion there are many who espouse conservative Christian views about sin and morality, or saying that no woman would do this, or no woman would want that. I do not necessarily want to tell them to stuff it, because that would not be appropriate. I appreciate their zeal and passion for their spiritual path and morality, but not everyone belives as they do. Believe it or not, there are other religions out there that do not have similar beliefs. My favorite phrase when talking about this topic is, and it is very important to remember:

Keep your religion out of our government.

James E. O’Neill, IV

Religion, spirituality, or aspirituality is a personal choice and our government is not. The government governs over all of us regardless of what our personal beliefs are. Unless you want to start a Conservative Christian Theocracy (and maybe you do) I would suggest keeping in mind that there are other religions out there and your religion is not the only choice, and to impose it on others is wrong and a violation of our Consitutional rights. To want to do so is a step back to the heretical days where the church burned people at the stake for asking questions or thinking.

If you base all laws off of conservative Christian morality you are automatically descrimintating against other religions. Due to the nature of the topic. If you do not like it, you do not have to do it. You do not have to support it and you can teach your children likewise, but others have the option to do the exact opposite. Legalizing is does not mean that we are going to force you to participate or support it. It is wise and better for society in general if you are able to separate your personal views from your politcal views, and to be able to know when one should be different from the other.

There are some religion or spiritual paths that revere sexuality such as Tantra or Paganism or other similar paths. In all cases, as long as the prostitution is consensual and does not harm anyone then what business does the government or you have in telling them what they can and cannot do with their sexuality. It is their personal choice what to do with their sexuality, not yours. Because your deity tells you that this is wrong does not mean that their deity (or deities) says it is also.

Evolution

You are probably going to ask “What the hell does any of this section have to do with prostitution?”. Well, I am really working to establish humanity’s proclivities towards extra-pair coupling, or more simply, their desire to seek sexual release outside of their primary relationship (if they have one) or to seek variety in sexual partners to establish that prostitution, perhaps, provides valuable service that caters to our evolutionary and baser instincts.

Birth Rates

The average birthrate for humans is 55% males to 45% females, of course it differs from person to person, depending on evolutionary advantages the couple bears, but this is the average, so there is always going to be a surplus of males who do not have an acceptable mate and may choose a prostitute to vent their sexual energies. Prostitution is a natural and safer vent for these sexual energies than kidnapping and rape.

Sexual Dimorphism

If you also take into account scienctific studies which have shown that the level of sexual dimorphism (size difference between the genders) is directly proportional to the level of non-monogamousness of the species. The larger the difference iin size between the genders the less monogamous the species is.

Take, for example, Silverback Gorilla’s whose males are much larger than the females (~50%); they practice harem gaurding. The alpha male takes and protects the females that he wants and the other males get the left-overs.

Puffins, a species of flightless bird, whose genders are the same size, and they mate monogamously for life.

Humans, where males are larger than females, but not by a large amount, are definitely not completely monogamous. Our infidelity stats and the existence of prostitution as one of the oldest occupations tend to speak to this as well.

Morality

Evolutionary psychologists bascially are out to define exacly what humanity is at its most base level. They look for the traits and characteristics that are similar to all humans regardless of culture, and some of this encompasses moral values.

Some would say that morality is given to us by our religion. I will say that religion will offer a cultural/religious specific implementation for our base evolutionary morality that oft times is colored or stained by current cultural values and biases. There are too many moral commonalities between dissimilar religions and cultures for religion to be the sole peddler of morality to humanity.

Sociocultural Values

This little section will not be quite in the same genre as the others in this section, but it is similar.

The sociocultural values of the United States have been continuously evolving as we gain a better understanding of morality, ethics, and our humanity. Our values are strongly rooted in the conservative European Christian tradition which tends to be quite closed minded and opposes change in sociocultural values especially when it undermines current church teachings.

Most every civil rights movement is championed by a vocal minority and definitively opposed by the conservative religious majority. People have fled from the oppressive and stagnant yoke of theocratic rule to the United States all throughout history. Conservative religions promote maintenance of the status quo resulting in stagnancy and punishing the thinking man who questions the unquestionable religious majority, often to their detriment.

The United States has worked through such civil rights movements such as slavery, womens suffrage, and interracial marriage. All of which have been opposed by conservative religions in one form or another, and decried as the downfall of civilization as we know it, but it has come to pass to the betterment of society as a whole, and our world has not fallen into chaos and brimstone as they have portend.

Our morality and sociocultural values continue to evolve and change with our understanding and exploration of our humanity and our (a)spirituality, and will continue to do so. Some will champion these causes and some will oppose them. This is the way that it is, but still civil rights keep moving imminently forward, advancing our knowledge of our values and our humanity. Hell, even the Bible had changing and evolving laws and standards.

Sex Is Not Just For Procreation

Contrary to what some may say or think, the act of sexual intercourse for most humans is not done solely and specifically for the intent of species perpetuation. Humans, as well as some primates and dolphins, if I remember correctly, are the primary species that engage in sexual play or intercourse for recreational purposes as well. Sex is not just for generating progeny. It is also for pleasure, bonding, and social interaction.

What To Do About Prostitution? Make Prostitution Legal.

As you may have already guessed that I belive that we should legalize prostitution. It is the oldest profession in the world, and arguably provides a valuable service. I do not have all of the answers or sides of the story, and I will never claim to, but I will put forth my ideas and suggestion here so you can see what I am proposing.

You will find that a lot of what I propose here is also viable when talking about polygamy as well. The licensing/Taxation parts, of course, does not really apply, but you get the picture.  Currently you will see some of it being implemented in Utah for polygamy refugees.

Decriminalization

Decriminalizing prostitution will allow those who wish help to come forward and get it. Many do not go to the police, psychologist, or hospital due to being afraid that they will get in trouble, or lose their children. A very similar case exists for those involved in non-consensual polygamy. If they want out or if they have been raped, robbed, abused, or whatever else, much of it goes unreported and damage to them continues to mount as the current law treats them as a criminal even when they are victimized. Decriminalizing it will also work towards changing the public’s opinion towards this occupation. Majority public opinion will always have a negative opinion towards anything that is currently illegal.

Another aspect of the criminalization, and most assuredly, the stigma associated with, prostitution makes it really hard for those who are in prostitution to get out of this job or enslavement. If they have a criminal record with prostitution then they are probably not going to get hired for many jobs and therefore have to resort to prostitution again as the only other option, and in seeing no way out, depression sets in and then eventually drug use and crime. Decriminalization will help those who want to get out to get out, and stop this vicious cycle.

Social Support and Preparation

Name Change

Perhaps one of the more basic things we can do is change the name of the profession: words such as prostitute, hooker, and whore have severe negative connotations and thousands of years of religious baggage associated with them. Perhaps changing the base name to sex worker and then sepecific implementations or common usage to companion, liaison, escourt, consort or others shall also give the profession a new image and feel, as well as to help to alleviate the negative baggage that comes with the current labels.

Create A Sex Positive Culture Through Training and Public Education

America has a negative opinion of sex and all things sexual. The attitude towards sex and engaging in it is distinctly negative and not something to talk about. Because people are positively having sex does not mean that society’s attitude is positive towards it.

Currently, cheating on your partner is significanly more socially acceptable than an open and honest polyamorous relationship. Sex negativity is a pervasive American attitude and our laws most assuredly support that.

We are not teaching our children responsiblity in sexual matters or even relationships skills, and part of that is because of the negative attitude we have towards sex and fear of intimacy or inadequacy, or perhaps even inadequate positive role models.

It is a difficult topic to talk to our children about, and many parents have no idea or are ashamed to broach to subject with them. Our schools still teach abstinence or nothing at all, and we do not have good curriculum in place to help children to cope with their raging hormones and all of their questions, rumors, and insecurities about their changing bodies and feelings, and their desire to explore their new feelings and urges.

Teaching sexual education in a positive and healthy light will help to change people’s attitudes towards it. Our sexuality is a beautiful thing and not something to be ashamed of. Many Unitarian Univeraslist congregations have great sex education curriculum. Perhaps their work is a good starting point for this.

A change in the public attitude towards sex and prositution will also help to prevent violent crimes towards sex workers. Sex workers are strongly stigmatized and many aggressors feel vindicated in their violent behavior just because they are ‘just a filthy prostitute’, as if the sex worker, or any person, is not deserving of dignity. Conservative views, strong stimatization, and sexual repression in our society all lend itself towards the acceptance of violence towards sex workers.

Training of Professionals and Public Service Workers

Currently, the pervading attitude culturally, and for many healthcare, social work, and legal professionals, is very negative towards sexually liberated people, and specficically to prostitution. Public service people such as doctors, police, psychologists and so on need to be taught or need to study the needs and situations that prostitutes face so that they may be better prepared to be able to be objective and to truly help prostitutes in their times of need, and to be able to prevent themselves from potentially victimizing a victim.

Prostitutes need to be assumed to be innocent and/or a victim as should anyone who would be seeking help. An environment of protection needs to be established and not an antogonistic one, otherwise they will not be able to find, or feel that they can find, appropriate help if they have been harmed by someone. Police brutality is partially fostered due to the negative attitude towards them due to prostitution being illegal and having a sex negative culture.

Support Groups

In our current sex negative culture, and with the possibility of human trafficking, rape, and negative socioeconomic conditions – support groups, rehabilitation, sanctuary, relocation, or retraining needs to be offered to them to allow them to get a fresh start and start over in a more positive way if they are victims and are able to get out. Similar programs are currently being setup for those fleeing from fundementalist polygamous marriages as well. These sorts of things can benefit both groups.

Legalization and Regulation

Part of the legalization process will change the parameters for entry into this profession so as to increase the barrier to entry, increase the health, safety, and tracking of the profession as a whole, as well as raise tax money for increased law enforcement and social support. Social support will be very important until as such time as the profession becomes acceptable, as well as having the active and positive support from the law enforcement community.

Minimum Age

Setting a minimum age to 18 will be an important, regardless of the age of consent within the state, since some states go from 16 – 18. This will protect children before they are ready to perform work of a mature nature such as this. The ability to serve alcohol serves a similar function.

Licensing

First, we institute a licensing model. I first mentioned the real estate model – broker/licensee simply because it models the current method of prostitution well. However, perhaps it is also important to have it so that individuals can work alone too, and not have to deal with others if they do not wish to. Either way, I do not care which model is implemented, or something different, but I recommend them as a starting point.

One benefit of licensing is increasing the barrier to entry, as well as associated costs which will generate revenue for the government which can also go towards support for prostitution support programs and increased police work to protect them, and working towards clamping down on human trafficking violations and so on.

Prostitutes will need to get a license to practice and this will allow us to track who is a legally practicing as well as institute taxation on their practice. Having licenses will also allow us to determine who is potentially working legally, illegally, consensually, or non consensually as well.

This will make it harder for those involved with human trafficking in prostituion to do as such.

Training Requirements

The next part of this program shall be training and testing. Training in a licensing program shall include topics such as:

  • health risks and concerns, and methods of protection, safe sex practices
  • psychological effects of the job for the sex worker, and for their clients
  • rights, support programs, legal protections and obligations
  • health testing requirements for worker and clientele
  • sex worker code of ethics
  • taxation and licensing requirements
  • disclosure requirements for human trafficking, disease, abuse, etc..

All of these will be important to not only change the public opinion of the profession, but also to educate and protect the sex workers and their clientele.

It will be a requirement that all professionals report any suspected human trafficking or abuse in a similar manner that doctors or lawyers would have to do or face loss of license, fines, and prison time due to ethics violations.

Required Medical Testing for Sex Workers

Mandatory medical testing should be required for licensing to ensure that they are drug and STD free. They should also require periodic drug and health testing to maintain their license. Perhaps weekly, monthly, or every quarter or so.

Their code of ethics should also include in which cases you should have to get a additional medical tests done like if you find out that a client was recently diagnosed with something and so on.

Clientele Medical Testing

I know with the current attitude towards prostitution that there will be quite the stigma associated with this possibility, but those who partake of their services should give similar protections to their service provider as they would give to them. A standard suite of tests run on clients as well as a survey of their sexual history so that the sex worker can decide whether or not to accept the client for services. This will also serve as gounds for lawsuits and prosectution in case they rape or abuse the sex worker. This will be harder to pass and to put into effect, but of much value to enforce protection for client and sex worker, as well as instilling the importance of personal responbility for our sexuality.

Other Legal Measures and Other Issues

For much of these issues there will need to be changes made to existing laws, or enforcement of the laws will need to be increased. The options I listed above will also combat some of these issues as well.

Rape: When a person does not consent to a sexual act then then is called rape and there are laws for that. People can be convicted of raping their spouse, as well. Just because there is an assumed relationship, it does not assume consent. A prostitute can most definitely not consent to a sexual act, just a much as general contractor can not agree to a contract for work.

Children: Again, there are laws regarding this. A child cannot give consent. A person who believes otherwise is committing, at least, statutory rape. If a person gives this child money and then engages in a sexual act that is still rape, since consent cannot be given. The presence of money is not relevant.

Human Trafficking: Human trafficking laws need to be reevaluated and perhaps made more severe. Police will want to make this a priority to combat and engage in mystery shopper/quality assurance type work to ensure that all the rules and regulations are working as well as to look for abuse, human trafficking, and other violations. The more this is done, the more dangerous it will be for these criminals, and will decrease the cost/benefit for the crime.

International Socio-Economic Issues: Another part of the Prostitution/Human Trafficking issue is socio-economic in nature. Many are out-right abducted into sexual-slavery and taken to other countries. Some are told stories of a better life and the possibility to be independent and free from their current squalorous and oppressive life and country. Many that are tricked into it are there because they hope that this opportunity that they are being sold will help them and their familiies. If their socio-economic situation or politcal climate was conducive to freedom and safety these situations would be far less likely to happen.

Immigration: Immigration will really need to be looked. If immigration controls are stronger and more thorough then it becomes harder to traffic humans. We do, however, have issues with that since we have a massive about of coastal lands as well as weak border security with Mexico and Canada where human trafficking could be conducted from. This needs to be very much looked at and improved.

Infidelity: Infidelity is not the problem of the sex worker. It is not the job of a sex worker to be a relationship counselor, therapist, or fidelity checker. If someone comes to a sex worker (without their partner’s knowledge and consent)  then that is a symbol that either there are unresolved issues with themselves, their relationship, or that they have an open relationship. In either case it is not an issue with sex work as a profession. It is an issue with the and very strongly –  our sex negative culture with which there is a heavy stigma placed upon sexually liberated people, and those who take care of their sexual desires in a non-violent and mutually beneficial arrangement.

International Support for Human Trafficking Laws
Since a lot of the human trafficking involves taking people across national borders, we will need to work with those countries to help garner support for existing Human Trafficking laws and have them put this issue as a priority, and start to combat it, not only in law enforcement, but on a cultural level as well. PSA’s about how human trafficking is wrong as well as having known human trafficking organization crushed, will be a good start.

References

Michael Shermer and Dinesh D’Souza go toe-to-toe on some of the greatest issues related to science and religion: is there evidence for God’s existence, order
what is the proper relationship between science and religion, mind
and has religion been a force for good or evil in the world?: Is Religion a Force for Good or Evil in the World?

I have not had a chance to watch it all yet, but I am really looking forward to listen to their debate.