Will These Hands Never Be Clean?
As a society, we have blood on our hands. There are 5 women dead in Ipswitch, and there is one dead in Gatineau. These deaths come barely a week apart, and the victims are prostitutes, or in the case of Gatineau's murder, a suspected prostitute (her family denies the claim). With BC's Pickton case now coming to trial (I believe they have divided the victims into separate trials, there are so many), there are calls from Sex workers for better legislation in Canada, and elsewhere. It is damn near time the government smartened up on this score, in my opinion. If anyone is under the illusion that restrictive laws will make sex as a commodity disappear, let the record show that as an institution, prostitution is older than democracy. Like death, taxes, and really stupid people, prostitution is an inevitability.
From an economic point of view, the sex trade exists to satisfy a demand (as do all industries). And let's face it: the demand for sexual gratification is going nowhere fast. What is so offensive about prostitution? Is there a line somewhere that I am not seeing? Look at the tags on your shoes, and tell me that the conditions under which the poor Cambodians, or Vietnamese who made those shoes are any better than the streets of a wealthy nation. I dare you! Unless slaves or children are involved, why shouldn't a person be allowed to sell their body as they see fit? It is not a happy world where one may be forced to make such a decision to feed themselves, but would you rather these people starve? Before you raise the inevitable “prostitution degrades women” argument, consider that if proper legislation were put in place, the women involved could ensure their own terms and safety far better than they can presently.
The same problem exists with drugs: instead of saving bundles of money by simply promoting caution, safety, and responsibility, governments make a poorly informed decision to try and remove the offensive practices altogether. This creates the opportunity for lucrative black markets, a source of income for organized crime. Considering the cost of paying policemen, bringing offenders to trial, and paying for their incarceration, is it really cheaper to fight a war against drugs? No! By waging this war, we indirectly fund drive-by shootings, and gang wars. Of course, politicians are able to sweep these inconvenient facts under the rug come election day. Similarly, instead of helping pimps and gangs, by making them the only perceived recourse to some, allowing sex workers to set their own standards would take money away from the perpetrators of evil.
I do not buy sex, nor do I use drugs, but there will always be a demand for both. If we are willing to condemn hundreds to die by gang shooting, or serial murder, because we believe that making either available is 'Wrong', what does that say about us as a society? That we allow ethical conjecture to blind us to the logical truth? As a civilization which prides itself on being rational and enlightened, that seems a tad contradictory. Holland gets props here, because they've already realized the truth in what I am saying to you now. HUP HOLLAND!
A letter writer to the Citizen expressed contentment that the Church has refused to change with the times, saying that materialistic culture should be opposed by said institution. Of course, it becomes readily evident that I should not be angry at this writer's presumption that my distance from the church weighs upon my soul. Why? Because she has no mind of her own. “When the Catholic Church speaks”, she says “It is speaking truth”. I am sorry if this sounds heartless, but I only regard the very religious as true human beings if they are capable of entertaining dissent and discussion. If they cannot, or will not, how are they different from common herd animals? In fact, I would argue lower, since they have the capacity for rational inquiry, but choose to squander it. Luckily, recent campaigns by churches to spread the message that the church cares for your soul, and can help you find meaning, yada, yada...have me convinced that if the church is indeed fighting against current values, it is loosing ground that it desperately wants to hold.
If the message of love and tolerance from religion cannot be separated from the potent and arbitrary hate which is also part of Dogma, then I could not be happier about this. The world could very well be a better place when goodness comes from the desire to be good, not the need to go to heaven; When you love your neighbour, man or woman, straight, gay, bi, trans, white, black, or any shade in-between; when you question what you are told; when robes, crosses, and funny hats don't signify ultimate authority; when Al-Qaeda and its ilk are no more; when sex can be for fun, and masturbation isn't sinful. I could go on, but I think the existing list will suffice. Am I being too optimistic? Would a secular society fill itself with unguided abuse? If that is the price of being free from abuse disguised as the saving of souls, so be it. Also, our primate friends, Binobos, are known to be very peaceful (and bisexual, but I digress), and I doubt they have religion. By contrast, humans and chimpanzees are violent by nature. I know I am in danger of being repetitious in my denouncement of the church, but in the light of calls for social progress, it seemed fitting to throw a little vitriol towards the largest inhibitor thereof.
Another letter writer praised Stéphane Dion as being open-minded, for his willingness to question our mission in Afghanistan. I've got news for this guy: It's not called open-mindedness, it's called demagoguery. Stéphane Dion, now leading the opposition wants to take every opportunity to gain votes, and that means making the Conservatives look bad. So what if it means taking a contradictory position to pre-defeat Liberals? People are quick to forget, and equally expedient in claiming that the man or woman who wants our troops out of harm's way is the champion of the people. This is all politics, and all bullshit. But then, what do you expect from these dry, conniving types? If sending you to your certain death for whatever reason would put either of these two ahead even 1% in the polls, they'd do it, and they would sleep well that night. Read 'The Prince' by Machiavelli sometime, if you haven't already. Then see just how much you trust people in power...
Only a little bit of work left to do before the holidays. Hopefully tonight will see the end of it, as I would like some free time to write a little more of my serial.