Fights About Words

Becky and I are re-watching “The West Wing” on Netflix.

One thing we enjoy is the two-decades-earlier perspective on important issues. We’ve had some lively discussions about what’s progressed and what hasn’t.

One episode touched the topic of sex trafficking. In 2001, the issue was scarcely a blip on the radar. An advocacy group lobbied White House staff concerning language in a proposed UN treaty. They objected to the phrase “forced prostitution.”

Apparently the word “forced” was controversial.

All I could think was THAT’S what you’re arguing about? Woman and girls (and boys) are being trafficked and sold, and you’re having political fistfights about the word “forced?”

I suppose we’ve made progress in two decades. We know about the horrors of modern-day slavery. We know human trafficking is the fastest-growing source of revenue for organized crime. We know millions of human beings are forced into sexual bondage. Two decades later we’re not arguing about the word “forced.”

Because we know it’s wrong to buy and sell human beings. Because we know people were created to live in freedom. Because evil is evil and we ought to be concerned about more than the words used to describe it.

We know 22 kids in a HOME OF HOPE. They were born in a brothel and destined for lives of sexual bondage. Now…they’re free. That’s worth celebrating.

Use any words you want.

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