Tag archives: Human Sexuality

The Regressive Cult of Transgenderism

by Lisa

November 18, 2019

*Editor’s Note: This true account is Part 5 of a 6-Part series. Read Part 1Part 2Part 3, and Part 4.

Our country understands that Scientology is a cult. But we still don’t seem to understand how much the transgender movement mirrors cults like Scientology. Scientologists call people who seek to “impede the progress of Scientology” suppressive people. Likewise, my brother and his wife deem people who don’t fully embrace Melissa “unsafe.” This would include both sets of their children’s grandparents. Why are these sweet, loving grandparents being called “unsafe”? Because they refuse to affirm my brother as Melissa and use she/her pronouns. In other words, they are impeding the progress of the transgender movement.

Calling everyone who doesn’t support the trans movement “unsafe” or worse yet, “transphobic” is beyond ignorant. People like me who strongly disagree with trans ideology do not have a “phobia.” I am not afraid of trans people. I love them. I am related to them. Anyone who mocks or threatens someone whose lifestyle they disagree with is obviously wrong. Trans people should never be made fun of or bullied in any way. They are dealing with enough as it is.

But all of America is now blindly embracing the trans cult and silencing those who won’t get on board. They tell us we’re guilty of “hate speech” if we “misgender” someone. I am told I am hateful even though I have nothing but love for my brother. I am sad that he believes this is the answer to his identity crisis when any thinking person can see it’s another dead end.    

A girl recently commented to me in an email how unfortunate it is that I’m not “getting along with my sister.” I do not have a sister. I have not had a sister during the 40 years I’ve been alive on this planet. Yet a few years from now, if we continue on the same track we’ve been on, I will likely be considered the mentally ill one for refusing to acknowledge I have a sister named Melissa.

My brother, on the other hand, will be sitting pretty. Quite literally. In his dresses, with his heels and makeup, playing the part of some old, outdated female stereotype that you would think had been long since eradicated from such a progressive, forward-thinking, equality-minded country.

Transgenderism reinforces everything feminists have spent their entire lives fighting against. It promotes ridiculously outdated gender stereotypes (being a woman means putting on a skirt and heels). Yet now, even life-long feminist icons are having their social media accounts suspended for saying things like, “A man cannot be a woman.”  

Sheila Jeffreys, a lesbian feminist scholar and former professor of Political Science at the University of Melbourne writes in Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism that sex reassignment surgery is actually “an extension of the beauty industry offering cosmetic solutions to deeper rooted problems.”

Amen to that.

Jeffreys argues that the “vast majority of transsexuals still subscribe to the traditional stereotype of women” and that by transitioning medically and socially they are constructing a “fantasy” of what a woman should be and are inventing “an essence of womanhood which is deeply insulting and restrictive.” Jeffreys believes trans woman are either “homosexual men who don’t feel they can be homosexual in the bodies of men” or are “heterosexual men who have a sexual interest in wearing women’s clothes and having the appearance of women.” (For more details on the latter, read Dr. Ray Blanchard’s work on autogynephilia.)  

Feminists have fought their entire lives to help real women who are being oppressed, tormented and abused by men. Now they’re being told to roll over and let a bunch of men join the group.  

This is part of why the original LGB community held off as long as they could before allowing the “T” in. Transgender individuals have a far greater likelihood of being diagnosed with mental illnesses when compared to their gay and lesbian counterparts. It was only after the trans lobby grew large enough to have a financial impact on LGB efforts in Washington that they were invited into the fold. Now even some gay and lesbian leaders are speaking out against the trans movement. They’re deeply troubled by what they see happening, especially as it concerns children being told to transition at increasingly younger ages after just a few visits to a therapist. Of course these gay and lesbian dissenters are having their voices silenced by the mainstream media and have had to join forces with conservatives to sound the alarm.

No empowered female could ever champion transgender ideology. It’s an insult to women the world over to suggest that because someone who has a penis puts on a dress and heels, it automatically makes him a woman. Any real woman knows we are not our clothes or shoes. We are not our hair or makeup. Outer beauty has nothing to do with us being female.

The Cultural Power of the Transgender Movement

by Lisa

November 15, 2019

*Editor’s Note: This true account is Part 4 of a 6-Part series. Read Part 1Part 2, and Part 3.

Telling a gender-confused person to transition is like telling someone with bulimia, “Look, we see you’re only 90 pounds and wasting away…but since you still think you’re fat, I guess you could get your stomach stapled if you think it’ll make you feel better.”

James Shupe, the first person to obtain a “non-binary” sex classification in America, has a lot to say about the evils of trans medicine. After taking cross-sex hormones for six years, he says it left him with an “eternally scarred psyche” and countless physical health issues. James’ therapist recommended he start on estrogen and testosterone blockers in 2013 because he was convinced he was a woman. In an article for The Daily Signal, James says, “I believed wearing a long wig, dresses, heels and makeup would make me a woman … The best thing that could have happened would have been for someone to order intensive therapy. That would have protected me from my inclination to cross-dress …  Instead, quacks in the medical community [said], ‘Your gender identity is female.’”

When James began the transitioning process, doctors and therapists told him he’d soon experience a boost in mental health. “It was just the opposite,” he says. “It destabilized my mental health because I was living in a false reality … I perfectly understand why this kills people and why there’s such high suicide rate … it’s the program itself that’s killing us.”

When becoming a woman didn’t provide James with the happiness he sought, he convinced a judge to declare him non-binary. As America’s first legally recognized non-binary individual, he shot to fame in the LGBTQ community. Their leadership rushed in to provide him with the money he’d need to fight additional legal battles (changing his name, changing the sex on his passport, etc.). Before long, millions of taxpayer dollars were being used to add a third “non-binary” sex option to driver’s licenses in 11 states.

But when James came out against the sterilization of gender-confused kids in 2017, the LGBTQ community immediately broke ties with him. He later de-transitioned and currently speaks out against trans medicine. He now admits, “All of my sexual confusion was in my head. I should have been treated. Instead, at every step, doctors, judges and advocacy groups indulged my fiction … the medical community is so afraid of the trans community … Trans men are winning in medicine and they’ve won the battle for language. Think of the word ‘transvestite.’ They’ve succeeded in making it a vulgar word, even though it just means men dressing like women. People are no longer allowed to tell the truth about men like me. Everyone now has to call us transgender instead.”

And James is right. Much as the language around addiction has been purposefully changed to absolve people of personal responsibility, the vocabulary around gender dysphoria has shifted too. It’s no longer politically correct to say a drug addict makes a choice to ingest opioids. We must instead say the person has a disease. We hear about the opioid “epidemic.” Language like this removes choice from the equation. Likewise, we can no longer call men who want to dress like women “transvestites” because that would imply they have a choice as to whether or not they cross-dress. The new lexicon demands we use the word “transgender” instead. This word implies that it’s not up to the person whether or not he cross-dresses. In fact, he has zero choice in the matter. His brain was born in the wrong body after all.  

As a 40-year-old female, I spent the last decade of my life after having children trying to get my hormone levels back on track. The ups and downs of estrogen and progesterone wreaked havoc on my body. Yet my brother is being prescribed these same dangerous and unpredictable hormones in large quantities. The host of health problems this can cause has been well documented and includes a reduction in fertility (and often sterility), plus increased risk of cancer, etc. Yet trans activists are now recommending that children start taking puberty blockers to stop their bodies from naturally producing any hormones beginning around age 8.  

One day hormone treatments and sex re-assignment surgeries will be recognized for what they are: the lobotomies of our time. We can now look back and see how insane it was to lobotomize thousands of Americans, but at the time the procedure made sense. Everyone was doing it. Read more about how the current transgender craze is like the lobotomies of yesteryear.

Read Part 5.

The Lies and Money Behind the Transgender Movement

by Lisa

November 14, 2019

*Editor’s Note: This true account is Part 3 of a 6-Part series. Read Part 1 and Part 2.

If we really believe that supporting others on their path to uncover their True Self is the best route for us to go as a society, what do you suppose our country will look like a decade from now?

Well, the number of “otherkin”—people who identify themselves as half-human, half other species—is growing. Men and women who believe they are half dragon, lion, or dog are popping up all over the globe. A man named John who identifies himself as a fox is requesting special legal rights that will accommodate him as an animal. A tech company employee who identifies as half cat recently filed an HR complaint with his employer for not providing litter boxes in the restroom.

If you support transgender rights and believe everyone should be allowed to self-identify as whatever they “feel” like inside, you must support otherkin rights. After all, who are we to say what someone’s subjective reality is?

Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly), a significant percentage of “otherkin” also identify as transgender. And just like transgender individuals, many otherkin are having surgery to look more like the animal or entity they identify with. Eva Tiamat Legion Medusa (formerly Richard Hernandez) is a transgender woman (born a man) from Texas who also identifies as half-dragon. Eva has spent over $60,000 on surgeries to look more like a dragon. This includes having his ears removed, his nose removed and most of his teeth removed. He’s had eight horns implanted into his forehead, his tongue bi-furcated and the whites of his eyes permanently stained green.

Eva says on his Facebook page, “I smile and I look in quiet contemplation and I say goodbye for good for the man I used to be …” He goes on to explain that he is posting the final photo from his old life, his life when he was still a man and a father to his young son. He says, “In shedding this part of my life that makes me human, I swing the pendulum even more towards my goal of becoming 100% my true self as a reptilian.”

Sound familiar?

Like Eva, my brother will likely have countless surgeries to modify his body to better represent his True Self. But instead of a reptile, he’ll morph into the more socially acceptable female. Trans women often seek out breast augmentation surgery, facial feminization surgery, a tracheal shave, voice feminization surgery, and last but not least, a vaginoplasty.

Because personal identity is now deemed “fluid” (thanks in large part to transgenderism), you can bet that more animals and mythical creatures (like Eva) will start appearing and seeking more legal rights in years to come.  

And if you can legally change your biological sex just because you feel like it, logic follows that you must be allowed to legally change anything about yourself since you and you alone determine your personal reality. This is how we end up with people like Martina Big and Michael Eurwen from Germany—the couple has received melatonin injections for many years in order to make their skin darker. Why? Because although reality would tell us they’re both Caucasian, they personally identify as African. 

If you google Martina Big, you will immediately notice a few things… namely, that she, like Eva, may have some mental health issues that have gone unaddressed. Not only has she spent many years attempting to transform herself into an African woman, she has also had 23 breast implants. Body modification is once again a common theme. So the real question is: Should we all play along with Eva and Martina’s delusions because only they can tell us who they really are? Or should we try to get people like this the help they so obviously need?

Even as American culture continues to spout a message of “body positivity,” my brother’s therapist (in conjunction with the trans medical industry) insist that his body is his problem, not his mind. They tell him that he must modify his body beyond recognition in an attempt to move deeper into his delusion.

Why would my brother’s therapist (and therapists all over the country) tell men who have a history of cross-dressing to take their compulsive behavior to its furthest extreme by ingesting dangerous cross-sex hormones for the rest of their lives?

Part of the reason is because there’s big money driving trans medicine.       

After trans medical research became popular in Europe in the early 2000s, doctors gained a new understanding of how they could make a financial killing by peddling a new “treatment” for the psychiatric problem of gender dysphoria.  

It’s not that these doctors weren’t genuinely trying to help people with gender dysphoria. It’s just that once money came into the equation, the trajectory of the industry changed. If you study the history of trans medicine, you’ll quickly discover that, as the machine grew bigger and people realized how many millions of dollars could be made off of people’s mental health struggles, those who opposed the idea of sex reassignment were silenced. This includes well respected Ivy League professors and medical industry leaders like Dr. Paul McHugh. McHugh was the Johns Hopkins doctor in charge of the first sex-reassignment surgery program in the U.S. Once McHugh reviewed the data and realized that going along with a patient’s delusion was proving more harmful than helpful, he shut the Johns Hopkins program down.

By that time, it was too late. What began as two clinics (one on either coast) that recommended sex reassignment surgery to people experiencing gender confusion had already begun to expand. Now there are clinics in almost every state offering these surgeries, and at least 13 states cover transition surgeries under Medicaid.

The sex reassignment surgery market is estimated to reach $968 million by 2024. The country of Thailand alone attracts 2 million transgender people each year to undergo sex reassignment. As a result, the country has a $4 billion medical tourism market. Packages that include medical and surgical expenses plus hotel accommodation start at $9,770.

In When Harry Became Sally, Ryan Anderson explains that when they followed people who had sex reassignment surgery over 30 years in Sweden (a culture that is strongly supportive of transgender people), those who had the surgery still claimed to struggle with severe mental unrest. The suicide rate of those who underwent surgery was 19 times higher than their comparable peers. He concluded that transitioning to the opposite gender does not produce the happiness people seek. Perhaps this is because their problems go much, much deeper.

More than 100 follow-up studies of post-operative transsexuals done by the University of Birmingham concluded none of the studies showed evidence that gender reassignment was beneficial. Even the Obama administration came to the same conclusion in 2016. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services conducted a thorough review of clinical studies and concluded there was not enough evidence to show that sex reassignment surgery benefitted its patients at all.

Read Part 4.

The Damaging Delusions of Identity Obsession and Erasure

by Lisa

November 13, 2019

*Editor’s Note: This true account is Part 2 of a 6-Part series. Read Part 1.

Now in American culture, instead of applauding people for showing restraint, we applaud them for throwing off restraint. Hence the thousands of Instagram followers now telling my brother things like “You go girl!” and “You’re going to make one beautiful woman!”

The logical problem with all this is that if a man is to be “supported and celebrated” as he embarks on the journey to his True Self, shouldn’t everyone be celebrated as they allow their true selves to flourish? If we do away with the concept of sin and human weakness and simply concede that everyone is inherently good, there is really no impulse that needs to be fought against. Ever. The porn addict may as well explore his True Self via his fetish of choice. The opioid addict too. And of course the married woman should be celebrated when she finally finds her True Self in the arms of another man. Then there’s the pedophile. What do we do with the man who claims (as many have) that their True Self is attracted to small children?

My brother and sister-in-law would immediately sayof course pedophilia is wrong.” Because, they argue, any behavior that would cause direct harm to others is automatically out of bounds. My brother would argue that the trans person, however, is not harming anyone by simply switching genders.

So let’s consider his argument. Would my brother—who has been a man for 37 years now—suddenly changing into a woman really not be harmful?

I suppose that depends on your definition of “harmful.”

Is it harmful to disrupt the mental, emotional, and physical health of dozens of family members and hundreds of friends for years and likely decades to come? Is it harmful to raise five young children in a state of psychological confusion in which the person that they thought was one thing (a man) has morphed into another, causing all of reality to lose any permanence? Is it harmful for five small children to try to comprehend how their parents—who were previously a heterosexual couple—are apparently now a homosexual one as their mom now refers to her husband as her “wife” and their dad refers to himself as a lesbian? Is it harmful for a husband who promised to love and cherish his wife to abandon all responsibilities as the man she thought she married? Is it harmful to deprive five children who previously had a father of any sort of father figure going forward? Is it harmful for a husband/father/son/brother to commit a slow form of suicide and then demand everyone accept some random woman take his place in the family?  

American culture currently says none of this is harmful. Why? Well, for starters they’d argue that the random woman who’s now asking to be part of my family has all the same likes and dislikes as the brother I knew before.

Is that what makes a person who they are? Their TV show preferences and favorite sports teams? If so, then most of my friends are interchangeable with millions of other people.

Ok, so maybe that doesn’t entirely work. Then, they’d say, the reason Melissa and Josh are the same person is because they share the same memories. It’s definitely a stronger argument. But once someone switches genders, they often attempt to erase a lot of their past history to some degree. They associate the person they were before (the person who wasn’t living as his/her “True Self”) with someone who was weak. My brother posted on social media that being Josh for 37 years was like one long “April Fools joke.” He called it the biggest joke of his life. So while Josh may share the same memories as Melissa, Melissa has made it very clear she would prefer not to ever think about Josh.  According to my brother’s wife, even hearing the name Josh makes them feel like they’ve been “punched in the stomach.”

This is why when you Google Bruce Jenner, you only get articles about Caitlyn. There is no Bruce. Bruce is gone. This is the story of everyone who falls under the spell of the trans cult. Their old life along with its past memories slowly disappear—first online and then everywhere else. I cannot find a single trace of the years my brother Josh spent on social media, even though he had a decade’s worth of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts. He’s gone.

This is why my mother looks through photos from my brother’s wedding 18 years ago, lamenting, “He was such a handsome man.” That man has made it clear to us that he is no longer alive. Only Melissa and whichever memories she chooses to incorporate into her narrative are living now.

Read Part 3.

The Cult of Transgenderism: My Brother’s Crisis of Identity in an America Gone Mad

by Lisa

November 12, 2019

The Abandonment of Reality and the Embrace of the “True Self”

*Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 of a 6-Part Series. The author of this true account, a wife and mother of three, wishes to remain anonymous. All names in this account have been changed.

Last year, my brother Josh, a 37-year-old married father with five kids under the age of 9, announced he was becoming a woman.

His wife, in turn, announced that she not only plans to stay married, but that she is “more proud of him” than she’s ever been. Actually, she said she is “more proud of her than she’s ever been.” That’s because my brother Josh changed his name to Melissa and now requires everyone to use “she/her” pronouns when referring to him. If the grandparents refuse to do this, they have been threatened with limited access to their grandchildren.

My brother and sister-in-law claim that through several years of therapy, they came to realize the truth: that Melissa was Josh’s “true self” all along.

Thus, my tall, handsome, muscular brother began taking strong female hormones that transformed him into a different person. His facial hair stopped growing. He grew breasts instead. As part of his “social transition” he began wearing dresses, wigs, heels, and makeup in public. He will have to stay on female hormones until the day he dies. He refuses to answer to the name Josh now—the only name anyone’s known him as for almost four decades. He says Josh is dead. There was even some type of symbolic “burial ceremony” to say goodbye to Josh once and for all. Unfortunately, I didn’t get invited to that. Nor did my parents. No one sent us flowers. No one dropped off a casserole.

Basically, the best way to describe what happens when a loved one decides to swap genders is this: It’s as though someone murders your loved one and then the murderer gets extremely angry if you won’t let them take the victim’s place in your family.

My family and I are now called “transphobic” for not embracing Melissa with open arms.

When I told my brother, “I’m sorry…I love Josh, but I cannot move forward with this new Melissa girl,” he simply texted me: “So long then.” So long to almost 40 years of relating as siblings. So long to weekly dinners at my parents’ home. So long to our kids growing up with their cousins. But I do not fault him or his wife for this. They are victims. They have been brainwashed by the trans cult. It all began with a therapist’s advice and ended with lifelong payments to the trans medical machine. There’s lots of money to be made in telling people to become the opposite gender. Lots. (More on that later.)

Oddly, even in this #MeToo era, American culture now tells me that my brother—who’s spent 37 years as a Caucasian male—now deserves the same rights and respects that I, an actual woman, deserve. I’m a woman who’s been sexually harassed hundreds of times in my 40 years of life. My brother was a star high school athlete who had his pick of girls to date. While I was fending off unwanted stares and groping hands of males in my 20s, he was enjoying all the perks of being just such a male in the 21st century. While I was giving birth to three babies who will grow up to be women in my 30s, he was joining the fight to get legal access to their public restrooms.

See, if my brother was claiming to be an alien or a time traveler instead of a woman, our culture would never support it. But since it’s 2019 and the denial of reality when it comes to biological sex is en vogue—countless people are blindly embracing Melissa as my brother’s “True Self.” Even though reality clearly proves my brother is male, people unabashedly deny reality out of fear of being called “intolerant.” They’re terrified of being lumped in with all the “Trump-supporting, LGBTQ haters.” They say things like, “If Josh tells us that this Melissa is actually his ‘true self,’ who are we to argue?”

The “True Self” has become the final measure of all things. Every book we open, every show we watch, every internet meme we read suggests we can all attain greater levels of health and peace through a deeper understanding and expression of our “True Self.”

It sounds so right. How can it be wrong?

In his book The Road to Character, David Brooks explains that back in the day, there was something called moral realism—a worldview that put an emphasis on human sin and human weakness. Biblical figures like David and Moses were seen as great leaders who were also deeply flawed. Augustine and the early church fathers talked constantly about the depravity of sin and the need for grace. Then around the 18th century, moral realism found a rival in moral romanticism. Romantics like Jean-Jacques Rousseau emphasized the inherent goodness of man and rejected the concept of sin.

Fast forward to the 20th century when books like Rabbi Joshua Liebman’s New York Times best seller Peace of Mind (published in 1946) urged people toward a new morality based on the idea that you should never repress any part of yourself as sinful. Instead, you should “love yourself” and not be afraid of your hidden impulses. Humanist psychologists ran with this idea. They began arguing that the primary problem for humans was no longer sin, but rather the fact that we weren’t fully accepting of ourselves exactly as God made us. This line of thinking led to the advent of the self-esteem movement in 1969, and the core of that movement morphed into what Charles Taylor calls “The Culture of Authenticity.” That’s the culture we’re contending with today.  

The central belief of the culture of authenticity goes something like this:

At the center of every one of us is a Golden Figure known as “the True Self.” The True Self can always be trusted. You know that what you’re doing is right when you feel an inner peace inside your True Self. You know that what you’re doing is wrong when you do not feel inner peace inside your True Self.

Because the True Self is inherently good, there is no sin to be found in it. Thus, sin is now found only in the external structures of society that seek to repress the True Self or stop it from fully emerging.

Previous generations believed the development of character and the road to salvation came by struggling against the desires of the True Self. This is why traits like selflessness and self-sacrifice were considered most admirable. But not anymore. Our culture now has a new “salvation”—with the True Self playing the role of redeemer. 

The steps to this “new salvation” are as follows:

  1. Relinquish any previous struggle you had against your True Self.
  2. Allow your ego/shadow self to fall away so your True Self can fully emerge without any guilt or shame (both of which are constructs of old, outdated religious systems).
  3. Adopt a new lexicon in which words like “sin” and “evil” now refer to the external constructs of society that caused you to doubt your True Self was good and perfect in the first place. (Thus, the only real sin a man is now capable of engaging in is the sin of intolerance.)

Yet many influential thinkers of the past, including John Stuart Mill, believed the point of life was to struggle every day to sacrifice the True Self on the altar of care and concern for others. This is done by achieving a series of small, inner victories against your own desires because you know that acting upon those desires could result in dire consequences for others.

Because we are all bound together through our good and bad choices, the smallest decisions we make today can negatively impact everyone in our sphere of influence, even reaching forward into generations to come. Thus, we build character by a thousand selfless acts of restraint every day that no one ever sees or applauds.  

Our society once believed this sort of self-restraint was the best way to live. Men and women were encouraged to exercise self-restraint in building a life of integrity. But the ideals of selflessness and self-restraint are now seen as hopelessly outdated and must be discarded in favor of the True Self.

Read Part 2.

Women Deserve Better (Part 5): A Smarter Way to Fight Prostitution

by Patrina Mosley

November 1, 2019

This is the final part of a series on prostitution. Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

Some advocates who recognize persons in prostitution for who they really are—victims of sexual exploitation—support a position between legalization and decriminalization, called “partial decriminalization.” Under this legal model, the act of selling sex is no longer criminalized, but the buying of sex still carries heavy penalties in an effort to disincentivize demand.

This approach of criminalizing only the buying of sex is based on the Nordic model, which correctly understands prostitution to be sexual exploitation and asserts that criminalizing sex buying reduces the demand that drives sex trafficking. The name Nordic model refers to Sweden’s 1999 legislative change. Countries such as Norway, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Canada, France, Ireland, and Israel have followed in Sweden’s footsteps.

Just recently, Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) introduced the bipartisan Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act, which contains a proposal—based on the Nordic model—that would amend the minimum standards of combatting sex trafficking (contained in the current Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000) to include language prohibiting the purchase of sex.

For a long time, our legal system penalized persons in prostitution, while mostly letting the purchaser (“Johns” ) go free. This imbalance has begun to change as our country becomes more aware of the issue of sex trafficking and how various forms of sexual exploitation are interconnected.  

Persons in prostitution are often not consenting, as the evidence shows. They are frequently the victims of abuse and manipulation. Many are minors (which is legally considered child sex trafficking) or persons who believe they have no other financial options.

The partial-decriminalization model treats both consenting and non-consenting persons as victims and only penalizes the buyers who are exploiting them. However, this approach still does not satisfy the “sex work” activists who believe that treating all persons in prostitution as victims stigmatizes consenting women. The “sex work” lobby (supported by liberal billionaire George Soros) demands society accept the buying and selling of sex as a legitimate profession for consenting adults.

Yes, some persons willingly sell sex for money and are not forced by a pimp to do so. Some treat it like a normal job, even asking for references from sex buyers before agreeing to engage! But the Chair of Demand Abolition, Swanee Hunt, says it best: “establishing exactly who at any given time is in the minority of adults ‘willingly’ selling their bodies is not a pragmatic or reliable exercise, and it is an insidious distraction from stopping the abuse of the great majority.”

Full or partial decriminalization of the sex trade would only further complicate the distinction between those who are “voluntary” versus the vast majority who are forced, coerced, manipulated, groomed, abused, and controlled with drugs to perform.

New Laws Will Not Solve the Problem of Sin

Although there is much is to be explored with partial decriminalization, neither it, full decriminalization, or legalization preserves the sacredness of sex nor acknowledges the inherent sinfulness of humanity as a barrier to eliminating sexual exploitation. Partial decriminalization may reduce the demand, but it will not eliminate sex buying. Partial decriminalization says sex is a commodity to be sold, and it is not. We must not take the elitist position of thinking that prostitution is “okay” for “some” people.

We agree with Nordic Model Now on this point: “We do not accept prostitution as the answer for the poor and disadvantaged, for recent migrants, for single mothers, for women and children. Or indeed for anyone.”

In the Vita Nostra in Ecclesia blog post, “Trading in Human Bodies and Lives,” the author articulates a biblical sexual ethic that should be at the foundation of combating sexual exploitation:

The trading in sex is objectively and inherently contrary to the dignity and truth of the nature of the human person, as well as the truth of the sex act itself.  It advances the lie that sex is for personal satisfaction alone, and instead of a positive sexuality that is authentically human, it fosters a negative sexuality that is utilitarian and mechanistic.”

Laws encouraging wrong behavior never lead to the right outcomes. No country that legalized, decriminalized, or partially decriminalized sex buying has seen sex buying eliminated. Neither have the persons in prostitution enjoyed the protections and order such policies were allegedly supposed to bring them. No matter how you slice it, the sex industry is a business that thrives off the sinfulness of humanity, and there is no cure for that sinfulness except the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which has the power to change people from the inside out. As humanity exercises free will, it is inevitable that evil things will continue to happen in this world. Until Christ returns, we are called to act with justice, love, mercy, and to walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8). In applying that principle to our justice system, an attainable goal is to create a system that can benefit as many victims as possible and prosecute as many perpetrators as possible.

Working Toward Restorative Justice

As we pursue mercy and justice, a legal model that will benefit women and society is a model that not only supports the non-commodity of sex but also emphasizes restorative justice.

Our laws should recognize the procuring or pimping of any individual as the facilitation of sex trafficking. Penalties for such actions should reflect the gravity of the injustice. Family Research Council supports the bipartisan Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act. We affirm that prostitution and sex trafficking are inseparably linked, and one cannot be serious about combating sex trafficking if one is unwilling to go after the buyers that drive the commercial sex industry. (Learn more by reading Reduce the Demand for Sex Trafficking by Going After the Buyers and Sting Sex Trafficking at the Source… Its Buyers.)

Persons in prostitution are often accustomed to a lifestyle of addiction, acts of crime, violence, and homelessness. They often do not see themselves as victims due to the successful grooming and manipulation of their pimps/traffickers. Such individuals would benefit from restorative justice efforts like Ohio’s “CATCH (Changing Actions to Change Habits) Court” in Franklin County. Adults charged with prostitution have the option of entering this two-year restorative program. If participants complete the program, the charges against them are dropped—an essential component for starting one’s life over again. Persons with a criminal record face many obstacles that prevent them from re-establishing themselves into society. A paper published by the Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation at Villanova University, titled “Relief from Collateral Consequences of Prostitution-related Convictions: A Blueprint,” explores this in greater depth.

CATCH Court is changing lives by helping women who have been arrested for prostitution rather than condemning them. “The court views them as victims, not as criminals.” These women are getting clean, finding sobriety, escaping their exploiters, and starting over. More practical alleviations should be introduced to restore those in prostitution back into normal society, thereby lowering the recidivism rate and their risk for being exploited all over again. We need more programs like CATCH Court.

Restorative programs for convicted sex buyers, called “John” schools, have also been instituted across multiple cities. These programs are designed to teach offenders how their behavior is both dangerous and exploitative. According to Demand Abolition, “There are now over 60 separate john school programs in the U.S. that serve well over 100 cities and counties.” You can see a full list here.

A Better Way Forward

In conclusion, we should not enable the sexual exploitation industry in any way. Instead, Christians should bear witness that the buying and selling of human bodies for sex is outside God’s design and carries destructive consequences, seen and unseen. We need more Christian-based programs that rescue, advocate, re-educate, and restore those harmed by sexual exploitation.

Legalizing, decriminalizing, or partially decriminalizing the selling of sex is not a good way forward, nor a way forward at all. The better way forward is teaching the culture to value human dignity, applying a biblical sexual ethic, inspiring women to see themselves as made in the image of God—with strength, worth, and dignity—and for our laws to apply practical alleviations to victims of sexual exploitation.

Pornography: America’s Hidden Public Health Crisis

by Worth Loving

October 30, 2019

Many public health crises are clear and easy to detect, manifesting themselves in the form of disease, food contamination, or biological warfare. At one time or another, the United States has faced similar crises head on and overcome them with swift action. However, for several decades, there has been a growing health crisis that is far more subtle but with devastating effects. It begins within the privacy of one’s home, but its effects reach across the nation. 

Not too many years ago, pornography was often difficult and costly to obtain. In fact, pornography use was so frowned upon that people went to great lengths to conceal it. Laws strictly controlled the sale and display of pornography. People would have to go to XXX stores or order through the mail to obtain it. Today, however, we face a far different scenario. With the advent of the internet, pornography is available for free to anyone at the click of a button. Untold millions have been enslaved by addiction to pornography, and many others have been indirect victims of its effects. The negative effects of pornography have reached a point where legislative and prosecutorial action is needed. It’s time for Congress and the DOJ to step up, acknowledge the obvious effects of pornography, and enforce the obscenity laws that were put in place years ago to protect the American public.

The statistics are overwhelming. A recent study found that in the United States, approximately 98 percent of men and 73 percent of women between the ages of 18-35 have viewed pornography in the last six months, for a total of 85 percent. In 2018, porn videos were watched over 109 billion times on one porn site alone. These statistics are just a sampling of the growing pornography epidemic in the United States.

Proponents of pornography often argue that it should be protected on the grounds that it harms no one, but research proves otherwise. One study found that “when men consume violent pornography (i.e. depicting rape or torture), they are more likely to commit acts of sexual aggression.” And as FRC has written about previously, there is a strong link between porn, sex trafficking, and abortion. In addition, porn “fuels child sexual abuse, compulsive sexual behavior, sexual dysfunction,” and more.

There is more than enough evidence to warrant action. In fact, pornography and its destructive effects have become so widespread that many states are moving to declare it a public health crisis. In fact, 16 states have passed resolutions declaring pornography a public health crisis. While these resolutions are non-binding, they do serve to raise awareness and educate the public about the dangers of pornography. Furthermore, the goal of such resolutions is to curb the pervasiveness of pornography and provide resources to those who are struggling.

Contrary to popular opinion, the First Amendment does not automatically protect all pornography. In fact, federal obscenity laws passed by Congress prohibit the distribution of hardcore pornography in print and digital form. However, since the Clinton administration, the Department of Justice has failed to enforce these laws and prosecute those guilty of distributing hardcore pornography.

With enough evidence now available to the public, it’s time for Congress and the DOJ to take action. Pornography is not a free speech issue. In fact, it takes away the voices of so many who are silently screaming for freedom. It is harming individuals by fueling addiction, destroying families by increasing sexual dysfunction and aggression, and ruining countless lives by exploiting victims of sex trafficking. It’s time that we demand President Trump direct Attorney General Barr to enforce existing obscenity laws and that Congress pass stricter penalties for those who illegally distribute or produce pornography.

In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville brilliantly describes the secret to America’s greatness with this simple statement: “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” There is nothing good or wholesome about pornography. Granting so-called “freedom” to one group, knowing that it could lead to the violation of other’s rights, isn’t freedom at all. Let’s work together to protect our homes, our local communities, and our great nation from this scourge. 

Federal Court Ruling in Texas Is a Big Win for Religious Liberty

by Katherine Beck Johnson

October 16, 2019

An Obama-era regulation went to court recently at a U.S. federal courthouse in Texas. In Franciscan Alliance v. Azar, Judge Reed O’Connor issued an opinion striking down a Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate requiring doctors to perform gender transition procedures. Judge O’Connor held that the Rule violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

In May 2016, the federal government, through HHS, issued a mandate that would require a doctor to perform gender transition procedures on any patient, including a child. The Rule required doctors to provide these procedures even if the doctor believed it could harm the patient. In addition, the mandate required virtually all private insurance companies and many employers to cover gender reassignment therapy. If the insurance companies or employers refused, they would face severe penalties and legal action. While HHS exempted Medicare and Medicaid, they expressly prohibited religious exemptions. The Plaintiffs asked the District Court to vacate the Rule and convert its previously entered preliminary injunction to a permanent injunction.

Judge O’Connor held that the Rule violates RFRA. The Rule substantially burdened Plaintiffs’ sincere religious beliefs without a compelling interest. In addition, the Rule expressly prohibits religious exemptions.

The Plaintiffs’ refusal to perform, refer for, or cover transitions or abortions is a sincere religious exercise. In order to follow this sincere religious belief, the mandate requires extensive expenses. The Rule places significant pressure to perform and cover transition and abortion procedures, it forces Plaintiffs to provide the federal government an extremely persuasive justification for their refusal to perform or cover such procedures, and it requires them to remove the categorical exclusion of transitions and abortions. Judge O’Connor found that the Rule makes the practice of religion more expensive in the business context.  

Judge O’Connor ruled that the Defendants did not provide a compelling interest that would justify the burden on religious exercise. Those advocating in favor of the mandate argued that a compelling interest was specified in the preamble to the Rule, which states, “the government has a compelling interest in ensuring that individuals have nondiscriminatory access to health care and health coverage.” Judge O’Connor found that although that could arguably satisfy a categorical application of strict scrutiny, it cannot satisfy RFRA’s “more focused” inquiry. He said that even if those in favor of the mandate had provided a compelling interest, they failed to prove the Rule employs the least restrictive means.

The Rule was vacated (as opposed to a less severe permanent injunction) because it was found to be arbitrary and capricious. The Rule was found to be “contrary to law” under the APA due to its conflict with Title IX, its incorporated statute.

Judge O’Connor’s ruling is a huge win for religious liberty. HHS under President Trump is also working to take strides that further protect religious liberty. In May 2019, HHS proposed bringing its regulations into compliance with those decisions and ensuring that the government did not interfere and require a person to go against their convictions to provide gender transition procedures. The win in Texas coupled with the new rules from HHS provide optimism for the future of religious liberty.

Women Deserve Better (Part 3): How Legitimizing Prostitution Empowers Exploitation

by Patrina Mosley

October 16, 2019

This is Part 3 of a series on prostitution. Read Part 1 and Part 2.

Prostitution. It is a profession allegedly as old as time. Since it will always exist, why not make it better? Or so say the “sex work” advocates and progressive politicians who push for either the decriminalization or legalization of prostitution. But both approaches are misguided.

To most of us, decriminalization and legalization might sound like the same thing. But in this context, decriminalization refers to removing government penalties for prostitution, while legalization refers to removing government penalties and imposing a regulatory structure on sex work (while something can be legalized and unregulated and also remain illegal, and civil penalties—as opposed to criminal penalties—can apply, that’s not what we are talking about here). While decriminalization and legalization are not the same thing, they are alike in that they hurt the very people they claim to protect.

According to Villanova’s Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation, the decriminalization of prostitution “decriminalizes the sale of sex, decriminalizes the purchase of sex, and does not impose a legal scheme to regulate the commercial sex industry.” To decriminalize something means that it is no longer a crime to do that thing. Simply put, the decriminalization of prostitution means it would no longer be a crime to participate in the buying and selling of human beings for sex.

The District of Columbia is currently considering legislation that would fully decriminalize the sex trade in D.C. This means pimping, purchasing sex, and operating brothels would no longer be crimes in the nation’s capital.

Yes, you read that correctly. The Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019 would decriminalize the sex trade, thereby enabling exploiters of women and youth and exacerbating sex trafficking within the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia metro area (locally referred to as the DMV area). Law enforcement would have no right to interfere with acts such as pimping, purchasing sex, and operating brothels, further isolating victims who are under pimp or trafficker control.

Rhode Island experimented with decriminalization in 1980 but eventually reversed course in 2009. Why? Because the state had transformed into a sex tourism destination and a hub for trafficking, violence, and crime. “The lack of law criminalizing or regulating commercial sex acts allowed for the growth of sex businesses in Rhode Island. By 2002, Providence was known as ‘New England’s red-light district.’ The lack of laws controlling prostitution impeded police from investigating and stopping serious crimes and prevented officials from arresting pimps, traffickers, and sex buyers.”

As our friends at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation encapsulate it:

Full decriminalization of prostitution, in which the laws regulating the activities of pimps, sex buyers and sellers are eliminated, represents the most egregious response to the commercial sex trade. Such an approach transforms pimps into entrepreneurs and sex buyers into mere customers. While decriminalization may redefine deviant and criminal behavior, it is incapable of transforming pimps into caring individuals who have the best interests of prostituting persons at heart, or metamorphosing sex buyers into sensitive, thoughtful, and giving sexual partners. Decriminalization of prostitution is powerless to change the essential, exploitive nature of commercial sex, and tragically grants it free rein.

The legalization of prostitution, on the other hand, “legalizes the sale of sex, legalizes the purchase of sex, and creates a legal scheme to regulate the commercial sex industry.” Like decriminalization, legalizing something means it is no longer a crime to do that thing. Unlike decriminalization, such acts would be regulated under the law. Several counties in Nevada have made prostitution legal and have laws that regulate the trade. These regulations cover brothel inspections and STD testing, among other things. New York recently considered decriminalizing certain statues related to the sex trade and legalizing other parts of the sex trade to, as they saw it, “bring [persons in prostitution] out of the shadows and ensure that they are protected.”

How does empowering the business of exploitation “protect” anyone? With everything we know about the abuse and violence that characterizes the commercial sex trade, equating unobstructed exploitation with victim protection is just as absurd as saying, “since many of those who endure rape feel the stigma of shame, let’s remove all penalties for rape and legitimize it so they won’t feel shame.”

No sensible person would say such a thing. “Protecting” victims by removing the stigma of exploiting them makes no sense whatsoever. Not seeing persons caught up in prostitution as what they are—victims of sexual exploitation—will misplace the application of justice. Legitimizing the buying and selling of human beings only makes it easier for pimps and traffickers to groom vulnerable women, boys, and girls into thinking that sexual violence is normal and acceptable.

Prostitution in the Netherlands is legal and regulated. The Dutch government legalized prostitution in 2000, and the entire community has felt the negative impact ever since. You can read numerous articles about the objectification and crowding prevalent in Amsterdam’s red-light district, known as “the capital of prostitution.” Prostitution has become so mainstream there that women stand in brothel windows like products to be bought. Yes, they are attracting customers, but now the district has become “the biggest free attraction park in the whole of Amsterdam,” as tourists come to gawk and snap pictures of the women for sale. Amsterdam is continually breaking up the organized crime that the business of the sex trade often attracts. The dehumanization of women, paired with the lack of effort to provide women with better options, has created problems on top of problems.

[ Watch: The Failure of Legalizing Prostitution in The Netherlands ]

One article put it bluntly: “The Dutch approach to prostitution is largely practical: sex work will always exist, so better for everyone to legalise, control and tax it.”

Persons caught up in prostitution will admit, “I don’t like it (selling my body), but I have to.” Kristina has been working in the red-light district for a decade. She was persuaded to come by a Hungarian friend who had found her fortune in Amsterdam’s seedy sex industry. “I’m saving for my two kids. For their future. They’re with my mother in Hungary. My kids don’t know what I do.”

So now, by legalizing and regulating the sex trade, the presiding government functions as Kristina’s pimp by exploiting an exploitation business for tax revenue—a never-ending cycle of exploitation. Advocates for sex trafficking victims in New York told CBS News that “Most often [legalizing prostitution] increases sex trafficking…If you legalize, you are condoning brothels to become businesses and pimps to become business managers. That’s what we’ve seen around the world. The argument about safety is false.”

Seeking to protect vulnerable individuals by either decriminalizing or legalizing prostitution is a misguided notion. The laissez-faire approach to protecting human dignity will always create more problems, not solutions.

Stay tuned for Part 4, which will examine whether or not decriminalization or legalization would make the prostitution industry safer and healthier.

Introducing Lecture Me! - A New Podcast from FRC

by Family Research Council

October 15, 2019

We all need to be lectured sometimes.

Family Research Council’s new weekly-ish podcast Lecture Me! features selected talks by top thinkers from the archives of the FRC Speaker Series. Our podcast podium takes on tough issues like religious liberty, abortion, euthanasia, marriage, family, sexuality, public policy, and the culture—all from a biblical worldview.

Listen with us to the lecture, then stick around afterward as we help you digest the content with a discussion featuring FRC’s policy and government affairs experts.

The first three episodes are now available. They include:

  • Nancy Pearcey: Love Thy Body

FRC’s Director of Christian Ethics and Biblical Worldview David Closson joins Lecture Me! to discuss Author Nancy Pearcey’s lecture about her book Love Thy Body, in which she fearlessly and compassionately makes the case that secularism denigrates the body and destroys the basis for human rights, and sets forth a holistic and humane alternative that embraces the dignity of the human body.

  • Military Mental Health Crisis

Currently, an average of 21 military veterans are taking their lives each day. FRC’s Deputy Director of State and Local Affairs Matt Carpenter joins the podcast to discuss Richard Glickstein’s lecture as he shares the compelling evidence that proves faith-based solutions reduce suicides, speed the recovery of PTSD, and build resiliency.

  • Repairers of the Breach

How can the conservative movement help restore America’s inner cities? FRC’s Coalitions Senior Research Fellow Chris Gacek joins the podcast to discuss Robert L. Woodson, Sr.’s lecture on how the conservative movement must identify, recognize, and support agents of individual and community uplift and provide the resources, expertise, and funding that can strengthen and expand their transformative work.

Lecture Me! is available at most places you listen to podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and Castbox.

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