Last week I wrote a column objecting to the premise of a campaign being pushed on our community by Victoria’s sole daily, The Times Colonist. This premise asserts that selling sex—prostitution—should be treated just like any other business regulated and protected by government. I can see it now—El Gordo benevolently smiling as B.C. balances its books with the HST windfall generated by the sweating backs of its whores.
But it seems that I wasn’t the only one unhappy with the newspaper’s favoured position. On Friday, Feb. 5, the newspaper published their riposte, “Time to reduce sex-trade risks,” in order to counter the objections they received. The TC editorial board thinks:
Many people object to the trade [euphemism] based on personal views on the role of sex in life and relationships. While those views should be respected, so should the right of adults to make their own choices and to be either customers or suppliers in the trade.
Further, on Feb. 9th, the newspaper chose to publish a letter to the editor entitled “Film fest offered tremendous riches.” That letter writer quotes “Mia Bella,” a self-acknowledged prostitute, as proposing after the screening of the Brothel Project documentary, “The exchange of money changes everything. It means that I am not a slut.”
Now, I am flattered the TC editorial writer should assume that what I wrote last week was strictly my, Jeff Patton’s, point of view. But the editorial writer wasn’t calling objections to the “trade” as being “personal” in order to flatter or praise me. He/she wrote it in order to dismiss me—and to dismiss my objections about transforming prostitution into: 1) acceptable human behaviour 2) a legitimate business model/profession for our community’s young women and men.
Our present culture of materialism and meaninglessness believes all opinions weigh the same. This assumption makes it easy for a media gatekeeper like the Times-Colonist to dismiss whatever opposes its harm-increasing editorial policy. However, being an ordained episkopos (elder/bishop/guardian) for the Church of God, what I wrote last week and this week are far more than my mere personal opinion. It reflects the stated position of the One who defined at the very beginning what role human sexuality should play in our lives. Heaven’s official policy statement, as it were, says this about sexuality and prostitution:
There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for?
….Remember that your bodies are created with the same dignity as the Master’s body. You wouldn’t take the Master’s body off to a whorehouse, would you? I should hope not. (1 Corinthians 6:16-20a, 15 Message trans.).
I find it extraordinarily sad that the editorial board of the Times-Colonist wants to downgrade our whole community into a second-class society of sexual materialism and meaninglessness. Forsaking the moral logic of the universe and our Creator-given ideals for a happy society will bring neither justice nor good in any real sense of these words.