I recently watched a television documentary on the legalization of prostitution in the United States. Several things were shocking to me about the program including especially the interviews with legal prostitutes in Nevada, but one thing stood out: the moderator and his former prosecutor-anti-prostitution advocate were unable or unwilling to address the principal fault of legalized prostitution: prostitution is morally reprehensible to a civilized people.
I know of few people who understand this issue in depth for two principal reasons: few have lived in a country where prostitution is legalized and regulated by the government as I have and few have an accurate and in-depth understanding of the moral context of prostitution throughout human history. The country to which I refer is France, and the moral context is the 5,000 year old Judaeo-Christian ethic represented to us in the Bible.
I was struck by the social and moral legitimacy with which the prostitutes from the Nevada brothel portrayed themselves. One of my many questions for them would have been the following:
● Visualize in later years a conversation with a daughter in which she asks you about your life as a young woman and you have to look her in the eye and say, “Sweetheart, your mommy was a prostitute. I had sex with strange men for money, sometimes ten times a day.” Would you honestly feel no shame? Would you not see that you had morally compromised a little girl whose decency, character and virtue had been entrusted to you? Are you going to look me in the eye and say to me, “I would love for my daughter to follow in my footsteps?” One can be a bad mother years before having a child.
● Visualize that same confession with a young man who one days proposes marriage to you. Do you honestly believe that any decent, self-respecting man would want a whore for a wife? How would the introduction to his family play out? You can try to fool yourself all you want, but neither one of these encounters with people you love will have anything but a tragic and shameful outcome.
● Now comes a relationship that is even more weighty, relevant and important: the prostitute’s relationship with God. Prostitution is a trade plied through adultery and fornication. Is there anyone today who has really lost sight of Christian moral codes to the point where the concept of sexual sin has to be established? Sadly, the answer is, “yes;” there are many Americans who are as poorly educated religiously as they are academically. Few that I have ever met or heard interviewed qualify for this level of moral illiteracy any more than Nevada’s brothel prostitutes. They are like the adulterous woman described by Solomon:
“Such is the way of an adulterous woman;
she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith,
I have done no wickedness.”
We in America and most of the Western world have an understanding of the relationship of personal rights to the good of society that is backward from the one represented in the Judaeo-Christian tradition. In that system of beliefs and practice, the rights of the individual are always subordinated to what is in the common good. Our culture, however, has moved dynamically in the opposite direction.
It could certainly be seen as patently unfair in the Jewish wilderness wanderings 1500 years before Christ to exile someone from the camp because of a small blemish that could prove to be evidence of a contagious disease. Yet, this was a common practice under the leadership of Moses. This principle is well illustrated in the decision made to exclude a floundering survivor from a lifeboat already beyond its capacity because one more person would swamp it and all would die. Certainly every floundering passenger has personal and civil rights and we hear much about them every day, but these “rights” can never be allowed to be met if the safety or lives of the group would be at great risk as a result. In the hegemony of Scripture, group rights trump individual freedom every time. This is an important part of the framing of the sin of adultery in the Bible. Adultery has always had a highly corrosive and damaging effect on the basic component of the fabric of any successful society: the family. God is always a champion of the innocent, and the innocent victims of adultery are always the children.
Whenever anyone advocates for more permissiveness in a society, one has put self on the altar. This is always the first step toward the eventual goal of many Humanists: moral anarchy. The truth of the matter is that this penchant always clearly reflects more of a heart problem than a head problem. It is not because the anarchist or the moral truant cannot wrap his intellect around a moral code, but simply because religion is authority-based they just do not like being told what to do! Jesus Himself said it best: “Men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.” You may have heard the saying, “What is right to have you pay for first and have later. What is wrong to have you get now and pay for later.”
To my critics:
Whenever moral principles are expounded upon, the critics howl, and this will be no exception. What I normally do is keep the comments open for a time, selecting who best represents an opposing view. The vast majority of responses I do not even read in their entirety, and they certainly never are posted. That is because a personal, insult-laden response is intellectually vacuous, and I will not be lowered to this intellectually inferior method of “debate.” Ad-hominem attacks are intellectually bankrupt and the last gasp of a small mind incapable defending an opposing view. Honestly, those who engage in this method (95% of respondents) may as well hang a sign around your necks that reads: “I have no sound, empirical argument against your truths, so I will spit on you in my anger and rage.” In fact, what these unfortunate and angry souls cannot stomach is simply the mirror that is held in front of their faces.
My position is in fact anything but “extreme,” or “fringe,” or “radical.” My position IS mainstream in the America I have known, as it derives from the heart and soul of the Judaeo-Christian ethic that has been the moral compass of the human race for over 5,000 years. You are free to rant against this moral code, but it would be so refreshing if those of you who do could come up with something other than the standard talking points of the Humanist fringe Left: “racist, bigoted, homophobic, repressive . . . . “ blah, blah, blah, blah. . . .
Lastly, I would like to add a word of personal testimony from my own life. I understand Western culture. I was born in the culture capitol of the world: Paris, France. I know its architecture, culinary excellence, museums, monuments, people, language, and lifestyles. I have had an up-close look at the very best that all of European culture has to offer and was long immersed in the center of it. I attended school there for several years, spent many vacations there, and returned to Europe as a professional skier in my adult years. I was also one of the “original Hippies” in Haight-Ashbury in the 1960’s. I knew Timothy Leary and followed his mantra: “turn on, tune in, drop out.” I studied eastern mysticism ardently and most seriously for three years under some of its most highly trained “masters.” Simply put, I know the values, minds and hearts of my critics far better than they do in many cases. My decision to see the Christian faith as the pinnacle of spiritual expression, inspiration and direction is then anything but the simplistic expression of an inexperienced soul. I have been around the block, flown over it, sifted through it, invested 21 years in its halls of learning, examined it, tasted it, digested it, and regurgitated it. I guess you could say that it just makes me sad when I see others scrape up that vomit, bake it in a dish topped with an appealing topping of appealing delicacies and serve it up with a sprig of parsley under another name. That dish represents to me the great lie of Secular Humanism: man needs no redemption and he can build his own heaven. Eating it will make you sick and condemn your soul.
I turned my back on all of that in 1983 in Southern California when I became a Christian. The testimony that I offer having known both of those worlds is this: I have an indescribable peace, an inner contentment, and spiritual confidence that is rock-solid and that has brought to my life more blessings than I am able to count, much less explain, fully understand or describe. On April 25th, 1983, “He set my feet upon a rock,” and that rock was Jesus Christ. I know what the world offers, and I can honestly say that the world at one time gave me the very best that it could: a Caribbean bungalow, sailing yachts, power boats, fast cars, two villas on the French Riviera, financial freedom, Alpine luxury resorts for months on end, world travel, adulation, being paid to do what I loved best in all the world, and more. (You can hear my life story as a radio drama that has gone all over the world on my website: http://jerrykbooks.com )
On that day in 1983, I faced one fact honestly for the first time in my life: one day I would stand before God. Could I expect Him to look at me in my sin and say, “Don’t worry about it.” Hardly! I needed an atonement with God (at-one-ment). I finally understood the only viable path to that place of inner cleansing: God’s own sacrifice for my sins in the person of His Son on a cross. I realized that I could not go one more day doing the dumbest thing that a human being could do: betting my eternal soul that the Bible is not true. That is what everyone does who derives their moral standards from the crowd and thereby rejects God’s appointed path to atonement. I leave you with one simple thought:
betting your soul that the Bible
is not true is an exceedingly bad bet to make.