Well this post doesn’t have a good title.  It does have an important thought though.  Tonight I read a story from Nigeria in which an organization representing sex workers objected to Anglican Archbishop Orombi’s call on the Nigerian police to arrest men who solicit for sex and not just the sex workers.  The organization had an argument that I hear all the time that is astonishingly persuasive.  That the argument works makes me despair about the future of mankind.  Let me breakdown the argument.

It goes like this: “You didn’t give me Apples; so now you must give me Oranges.”

They argue that because the Church has not effectively alleviated the unemployment that leads to prostitution, the church should not take a position and that society should decriminalize the sex trade to make it safe for prostitutes and the people who hire them.  Here is the Story.

Think that through for a moment.  By their logic no one who did not effectively address the perceived reason for a thing may comment on it regardless of their motivation.  It is the end of the informed opinion.  This is not a particular surprise.  This is the logic of revisionism applied to people not in their camp.  The logic begins with the Victim card and progresses to a demand.  Its simple and astonishingly effective.  And it eliminates the prophetic voice of the church.

So what does the church do?  I think there are two responses that need to be made in the face of such an argument.  They need to happen at the same time.  One is to accept the critique and examine it faithfully.  Has the church tried to address the causes that lead to prostitution?  Is the Church working to help prostitutes leave the trade or never enter it? The second response is to reject the logic that limits the discussion to the convenient framework of the critique.

The Church’s critique of prostitution is rooted in a belief that God intended sex to be enjoyed in marriage and not turned into a commodity.  The church needs to respond theologically and with kindness.  The Church, to be faithful, must keep God’s will in the debate.  It is logical.