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  • Godwin Cotter

"The Harlot's cry from street to street

Shall weave Old England's winding sheet."

William Blake(1757-1827), The Auguries of Innocence

Winding sheets were used to clothe corpses. William Blake put into words this insight. When men and nations go on trial, a trial that will determine their eternal destiny, at the forefront of the prosecution's case will be their treatment of women. In John 8, the passage about the woman caught in adultery, we have a spectrum of male responses; Jesus who rescues her, the Pharisees who want to stone her, the bystanders who stop to watch and the male sex partner who has made good his escape. In that trial the woman is forgiven but one wonders as to the outcome when the males in the story have their own trial, again with God as judge. As men and nations, how do we treat women, are they trafficked or cherished?

Our porn-riddled, my-needs-first, don't-make-me-take-responsibility culture engages in a pervasive soft sell trafficking of females from the moment they can walk. Rampant pornography consumption leads men to commodify those they should cherish: "Hey, check out the new product." Netflix and the entertainment industry tells girls at young ages the roles they should play and begins the grooming process. There was a bit of an uproar about Cuties but Cuties was only a single shot in a massive 24-7 artillery barrage directed at females, preventing them from realizing that they were "made a little less than the angels, and crowned with glory and honor" (Psalm 8:5)

Sex education programs in schools groom children, telling them the mechanics of sex acts, but never about their worth, or that their bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. (Heaven forbid, religion might be damaging to children that young!) The school system outfits washrooms with condom dispensers and the school nurse is there to hand out the same, and dole out pregnancy tests and then arrange for abortions. Schools will inform tweens on the current age window for which the state adds its consent to the child's, much like how a pimp might tell those in his stable their target clientele. In my province 12 year-olds are informed they have the government's okay, provided the sex partner they choose has only racked up between 12 and 14 years on this planet.

And if a confused or traumatized kid expresses a desire to switch their gender, the authorities rush in to ensure the voice of reason does not seek to dissuade the voice of despair in pursuing such a drastic, irreversible, and psychologically risky action. If parents have the audacity to discourage their child in trying to reverse an act of God that occurred at the child's conception, the government will go as far as to throw the parents in jail.

Our culture is too obsessed in the pursuit of personal gratification to provide a modicum of protection for the women and children made widows and orphans through abandonment. And when governments, businesses and bureaucracies exploit rather than serve the needs of the most vulnerable we have to pause at the words of Christ in Luke 17:2. "It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin." There are few things that would cause the Christ, the Lover of mankind, to advocate for the first century equivalent of cement shoes and we, as a culture, might be heavily invested in one of those things.

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