Posted by: Dan | July 13, 2006

Lord, have mercy

You’re God is okay, I guess, but he’s sure not part of anything I’ve been into. I sure hope he can’t see what I’m going to have to do tonight. I do have to. I don’t like it very much but I’m afraid to hate it too much.
~ From a conversation between a child prostitute and a priest in New York City

What good is all this Christian talk about the evil of prostitution? Do these Christians really think that prostitutes don’t know the evil involved in the trade? Come on. These men, women, and children bear the scars of that evil on their bodies. And everybody’s had a “bad date.” Because in the city where I live, prostitutes tend to “disappear.” A few years ago they found about thirty of them, dead, buried on a pig farm outside the city. And then there was the girl who was found cut up in Blood Alley — that didn’t even make the news. And there was the girl who was cut from her groin to her throat and then dumped naked outside a community centre. Yeah, these people know more about living with evil than all these outraged Christians might imagine.

The thing is, as far as they know, it’s the only option they’ve got. Prostitution is what so many people “have to do” in order to survive. Don’t bother telling them it’s evil. Journey with them in a way that provides them with genuine alternatives. When that’s what we do then it’ll be okay for prostitutes to start hating what they do, instead of being afraid to hate it because there is no real alternative. Of course, there are always alternatives on paper and in theory, but a lot of those alternatives don’t work in reality. They are just part of the fictional accounts that society accepts in order to live comfortably.

And God, I don’t know how you do it. Is the kid right? Are you going to see what is done to survive? Maybe you’re not looking, maybe you don’t see what happens night after night? Because I don’t know how you can go on looking without doing something. Why it’s enough to kill a person, being aware of what goes on night after night.

But I guess it did. Kill you, I mean.

And I think it’s killing me, too.

And that’s okay.

Because I’d rather learn to lay down my life for the people that I love, than learn how to live comfortably in a city so full of apathy and violence.

Not that I’m saying I have some sort of heroic martyr complex or any of that bullshit. I guess I just decided to love the wrong people and now I’m hooked. Even though everybody tells me they’re broken and ruined and wasted, I can only see beauty, and glory, and the body of Christ.

Lord, have mercy.

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