Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Follow up to SEE ME! HEAR ME! - Performances at St Paul's Cathedral, San Diego Oct 8-10
What can we do about the 'demand'?
The audience was in a contemplative silence in the great Roone Arledge auditorium at Columbia University in 2009 as SEE ME! HEAR ME! concluded it’s U.S. premiere performance. The applause then broke out and I stepped with, not a little, anxiety to the lip of the stage as the applause faded to begin the Q & A. A moment of anticipatory silence ensued before a man (typical professor type) in the back row rose to his feet and thoughtfully asked his question: “ You have addressed the subject of supply quite well in your production. Could you address the ‘demand’ portion of your equation for human trafficking?”.
I had a ‘deer in the headlights’ moment as I thought; ‘Well, nothing like jumping into the deep part of the pool first’. I considered my answer for an interminable couple of seconds. Do I give this man a true but innocuous answer that covered social counseling like twelve step sex-addiction programs, criminal procedures for predators, legislative lobbying attempts, etc. or do I address the core problem with demand for sex slaves.
I elected at that moment to tell the hard truth. That truth is that we are not really going to make a noticeable and effective dent in this cavernous container of demand until we change the way we are mentoring young people in their understanding of sexual activity. Intimate sexual encounters are not a recreational event but a divine sacrament - a physical expression of a deep spiritual truth. Sexual intimacy within our covenant unions is a gift of God to us which includes pleasure, a sense of being loved and valued, a wholeness, a mystery of oneness and fascination.
In lieu of experiencing this fulfilling sexual intimacy within a promised monogamous relationship, our society has bent the knee to the idol of sex any where, any time, with any body. Promiscuous sexual encounters promise a false pleasure, fool’s gold, whose allurement is like a glittering distraction object that the fool turns our head with while the enemy targets the knock out punch to our soul, robbing us of the God’s intended condition of wholeness and fulfillment.
In our current cultural stream of sexual attitudinal behavior we have an environment which treats sexual relationships as simply a ‘hook up’, often without even formal introduction. Sexual parts are sold by advertisers in the culture as bonafide credentials for intoxicating pleasure and a valid identity card that we are a desirable person. The problem is that this card is forged and bogus and quickly discovered as phony. The holder of the false identity is left without entrance to the land of God’s intended delights in this divine sacrament.
The true answer, in my opinion, to defeated this horrendous crime industry is to dry up the demand by uncovering the glorious treasures experienced in God’s gift to us of intimate sexual relationship in a promised union - a type that points to the ultimate union of each believer with God.
For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. II Corinthian 11:2