For a season I traveled abroad with an international human rights agency, based out of Washington, D.C. We posed as customers in the brothels, where 12-16 year-old girls had been abducted and forced into child prostitution. These girls were forced to provide sex to “customers” 4-5 times a day, 6 days a week. We also posed as investors in child slave-labor camps where boys of the same age were forced to roll cigarettes all day, and beaten with electrical cords or burned with a hot poker if they did not reach their daily quota.
Let me ask you a question.
Do you think Jesus would have walked past these brothels and slave camps and done nothing? Would he have gone to the top of a mountain and prayed or meditated that things would get better? Do I need to even answer these questions? If someone had approached the Buddha and asked him if this was all well and good and no action necessary, would the Buddha have said, “Don’t judge the rapists and abusers; if you look at this a little differently you’ll see everything is at it should be.”??? I won’t answer that question because the truth is self-evident. Of course Jesus and the Buddha would have not responded this way.
What if it was your daughter being raped five times a day? What if it was your son getting his eye scorched with a red-hot poker? Would you walk away? Would you allow it? Would you go off somewhere and meditate when it was in your power to stop it? Would you refuse to “judge” the situation and conclude it was okay for your daughter to be raped and son burned? I sure hope not.
The point is that IT IS IN OUR POWER TO STOP IT… and many other beliefs, mindsets, narratives, ideologies, systems, structures, and hierarchies that abuse, victimize and oppress people.
You might say, “Well , what can I possibly do about child prostitution in SE Asia?”
Here’s what you can do… challenge, confront, undermine, subvert any belief, mindset, narrative, ideology, system, structure, hierarchy, or message that promotes the objectification of women. This is a very significant way of dealing a blow against the conditions that result in Western sex tourism and the rape of young girls around the world.
Some of the most spiritual, sacred and holy deeds in our world is the scrappy, courageous and assertive actions of challenging, confronting, undermining, and subverting victimization, injustice, abuse and oppression. This sacred work in SE Asia involved a brothel raid in which the doors of the brothel were kicked down by force. The young girls were rushed and rescued out the back door and placed in aftercare NGO’s, and the brothel owners were arrested, prosecuted, held accountable, and began the process of rehabilitation toward wholeness.
Sometimes I think people get lulled into a type of spirituality that doesn’t even pass the test of common sense. Authentic spirituality is of course being aligned with our higher awareness. It acknowledges that we are ALL one, but that doesn’t mean we turn a blind eye to the ideologies, systems and actions of abuse, injustice and oppression in our world.