Friday, October 6, 2006

Some of my best friends are...


The title of this post is one of my ever-ready jokes. I hear people talking about something unsavory or controversial, or even just innocuous, (say lazy overweight police officers), and I suddenly interject, "Hey some of my best friends are fat lazy cops!" Without fail the joke gets people's attention, if not their laughter, especially when I add an indignant edge to my voice. Imagine two people are complaining about "some freakin' idiot" they know. Then in I come, with a "Hey, watch it, some of my best friends are freakin' idiots!" Depending how incautious I am with my interjections, the looks I can get can be pretty extreme. For example, if someone is griping about dogfeces on his shoe, I'll say, "Hey some of my best friends are dogfeces!" And so forth. It's a patently absurd act on my part, because I'm simultaneously stepping to the plate for people and things non grata and defending them under their more degrading titles.

In any case, the humor of this joke collided into a real life concern of mine recently. I gravitate towards the grittier, darker areas of the world, always sniffing about for injustice and corruption. One of my pet themes in the shadows of news is the sex trafficking and human slavery (STHS) industries (or I should say industry, since the two activities frequently commingle). I keep a file of news about STHS, including Peter Landesman's NYT article, a National Geographic article, Taiwan news, etc. Maybe knowing such barbarism is still "out there" keeps my conscience awake; maybe it just gives me shocking ammo to fuel conversations. (I had a friend who once claimed the world was objectively better because "we don't have slavery anymore," at which point I pounced on him to explain just how real it still is!) And I've certainly never been cowed by the canard that "the Bible approves of slavery," since a) slavery then was radically different from what it meant in the mercantile-/ early-modern West, and b) the Bible explicitly denounces slavery as "lawless and disobedient,... ungodly and [of] sinners, for the unholy and profane,... [and] contrary to sound doctrine" (1 Timothy 1:9-10).

1:10 pornoiV arsenokoitaiV andrapodistaiV [andrapodistais] yeustaiV epiorkoiV kai ei ti eteron th ugiainoush didaskalia antikeitai

1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers [andrapodistaiV], for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

Well, I just caught wind of a four-part series by the SF Chronicle on sex trafficking and I intend to follow it here at FCA. STHS may be "fair game" on neo-Darwinian, naturalistic lines, but I expose it and oppose it as an enemy of the pure teaching (th ugiainoush didaskalia antikeitai) of God.

Even so, I don't know all my motives for following this kind of news. But at some basic level it is to be Christlike. Jesus Christ dwelt among the crooks, the wasted, the stupid of his day -- and among the whores. And he expects me to follow him. As a Christian, I literally can't refuse to befriend crooks, wastes, idiots and whores. Truly, I should feel no compunction saying, "Hey, some of my best friends are whores!" For the truth is, these people (mostly young and denationalized), need someone to call them friend. They someone to say, "Hey, some of my best friends are sex slaves!"

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