Just outside my office, a bilboard stands high exploiting the evils of sex-trafficking. “Stop modern-day slavery.”
By way of introduction, let me say that this is a clever campaign message. By finding the similarities between historic American slavery and modern American sex-trafficking, then publishing it as one in the same, is great marketing. I work in marketing. I get it.
The same thing was done in the campaign against abortion. Although I never saw a bilboard that read “Stop legalized murder,” I am sure it has been made. This is a technique that we do in marketing. Since Americans are generally okay with abortion but not murder, we refer to it as murder. People are stirred by their emotions. If you desire to provoke a response, you need to make the proper emotional connection.
The bilboard has good messaging. However, it reveals a bad point about our society.
Apparently, we are okay with sex-trafficking. This is why it has to be described as slavery. Americans have a terrible past with slavery which I need not to revisit. Slavery leaves a sour taste in our mouth and a hot temper in our head. Slavery arouses our emotions and provokes us to action. Sex-trafficking, on the other hand, is part of our debased culture. We love and worship sex. Pornography, prostitution, adultery and pre-marital affairs are things that we accept as our entertainment. And some of us will go to great lengths to be entertained. Sex-trafficking does not generally stir up negative emotions because it is positively accepted for the most part, at least in its most plain sense: sex as entertainment.
For this reason, it is difficult to start a revolution against sex-trafficking. This is why it is called slavery. Slavery imposes on the American dream. Sex-trafficking does not.
In the end, the campaign message to abolish sex-trafficking is well delivered and much needed. I hope that it helps convince people of the evil. But, if the underlying issue is not resolved first, the message will ultimately fail.
We have a problem with sin, particularly sexual sin. Sex is our master. It has made us slaves (cf: Matt. 6:24). And since it has made us slaves, we are making slaves out of young, vulnerable girls. This is sex-trafficking: Slaves to sex making slaves for sex.
I would rather the bilboard read: “Repent and Turn to Christ.” But, I have a feeling that won’t go over well (Acts 3:19).