Trouble Right Here in River City

In the Broadway musical, The Music Man, a traveling salesman convinces the townspeople of River City that they have serious trouble and the solution to their problems is to buy his musical instruments for their teenagers.  If only life were so simple.

In 2012, the citizens of River City, of Dallas, of Los Angeles, of Portland, in large and small cities in America–you name the place–have major troubles, troubles that learning to play a trombone won’t solve.  The trafficking of humans is of epidemic proportions.  It is believed there are more 26,000,000 known people who are being held against their will, most of them women and children, for the sexual pleasure of perverts.

When I think of forced prostitution, I think of far away Bangkok or old Calcutta, or perhaps border cities like Tijuana.  I was shaken to my core to learn that San Francisco holds the title for the highest number of people being held in slavery.  And Sacramento claims the dubious honor of having the third most slaves in the country.  Sacramento?  (I don’t know whether to punctuate the word with a question mark or an exclamation point.)

We’re not talking about everyday runaways or druggies alone.  One girl went to meet a guy  she’d chatted with on-line at a coffee shop.  She was kidnapped and forced into prostitution for a year before she managed to escape.  In one police raid of a brothel, a five-year-old girl was rescued after many months of being pimped out to paying lowlife “scuzballs.”  A five-year-old!

My Great Grandpa Ball fought in a war to end slavery in America.  And yet 150 years later, this venomous viper of perversion has raised it’s ugly head again.  I confess that it’s tempting to throw up my hands and ask, “What can I do?”  Here’s a few suggestions.  Get informed.  Get involved.  Fortunately organizations, sponsored by everyday people like you and me are fighting this scourge on the dignity of human beings.  They include:  “Not for Sale,” Home Foundation, A2 Campaign, Freedom for Girls in India.  To name a few.  Contact them on line to find out what you can do to clean up your community.  It’s your kids, your teens.  Several books are available on line as well including HALF THE SKY written by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

I know this blog is much different from my usual blogs.  I try to avoid politics and causes, preferring to go straight to God’s Word for wisdom.  But you can’t get any straighter wisdom than from the Master’s own lips.  “…if you give them [a child] a hard time, bullying them or taking advantage of their simple trust, you’ll soon wish you hadn’t. You’d be better off dropped in the middle of a lake with a millstone around your neck.  Doom to the world [us, we are the world] for giving these God-beliving children a hard time.” Matthew 18: 6,7 Message paraphrase.

“Dear Father, does that curse applies to those who sit back and just let such a horrendous thing happen? I don’t know what I can do, but I can’t do nothing.  Show me what I can do to rescue Your darling daughters who are trapped in this sludge pond of sin and degradation.”



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