Super Bowl Guilty in Sex Trafficking?

Is the Super Bowl responsible for encouraging child slavery and prostitution?  Some believe the Super Bowl is particularly effective for drawing pimps and prostitutes to its mass gathering of maleness.  So, hats off to a group of Southwestern Seminary students who have started “Lose the Chains,” an advocacy group to (once again) fight against slavery in America.  This time, of course, the slavery is sexual slavery (the kind that a Planned Parenthood employee was willing to facilitate in New Jersey).  Lose the Chains became especially active leading up to the Super Bowl because of the claim that this super sporting event is a particularly lucrative lure for the pimps who “own” these girls.

Other media outlets doubt the veracity of the claims that the Super Bowl causes a spike in sex trafficking.  As the Legalblogwatch points out officials in Tampa (2009) and Phoenix (2008) have stated that they saw no increase in sex trafficking while their towns hosted the Super Bowl.  Nevertheless, this same post points out a couple of notable factoids.  First, Legalblogwatch states that the media who are writing articles skeptical of the presence of sex trafficking have themselves been investigated for it.  Apparently, there was an incident in which a website owned by Village Voice Media Group (the media outlet behind skeptical reports) was accused of running an ad in which a 13 year-old was sold into sexual slavery. Second, the writer at Legalblogwatch does not mention Miami—the host city from the 2010 Super Bowl.  According to this report from Time, officials in Miami reported as many as 10,000 additional prostitutes were brought into the city during Super Bowl week.

In addition, the skeptical writer cross-checked the arrests records for the World Cup and found there were “just 5 arrests for forced prostitution.”  I wonder, is that an argument for or against the point that super sporting events encourage sex trafficking?  Is the fact that there were “just 5 arrests for forced prostitution” at a major sporting event a good reason to stop fighting sex trafficking?  What exactly is our comfort level with regard to enslaving teenagers in prostitution?  For my part, I’d say even “just 5 arrests” is too many.  Five cases of sexual slavery is five too many, but we all understand that these five arrests say nothing about how many traffickers there actually were.  How many got away without being arrested?

The Time Magazine blog offers a more balanced look at the figures and reports that Christian groups staged a preemptive strike against sex trafficking in the Dallas-Fort Worth area leading up to this Super Bowl.  Thank God for Christians working as salt and light in the world to be a witness to what is good.

Good work has also been done in Cincinnati and, now, in Atlanta.  Sadly, Atlanta is proving to be a hub for human trafficking and, especially, for child prostitution.  What this means, of course, is that the Super Bowl is not the problem; it is only the opportunity.  The problem is sin in the heart of those who would enslave needy children for sex and for profit.  The problem is in the heart of those whose lust would lead them to use and abuse girls and boys.  The perverts, the pimps, the pornographers, and the Planned Parenthood-types who prop them up are the problem.  The Super Bowl is not the problem.  Sin in the heart of men is the problem.

“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.  These are what devil a person…” Jesus in Matthew 15:19-20.



Super Glory (Don’t Miss It) « Doc Cochran’s Weblog

Super Glory (Don’t Miss It) « Doc Cochran’s Weblog.

It is Super Bowl Sunday, so, we have to be reminded of what is true glory.  The Super Bowl is a glory-filled event, but…

Super Glory (Don’t Miss It)

For some, the Super Bowl will slip by with barely a notice.  For the uninitiated, the Super Bowl seems to be the epitome of a hyped-up overemphasis of testosterone in tights.  For others, the Super Bowl is the crowning achievement of the glory of sports.  In the favor of the latter group, fans are paying $200 or more to watch the game from OUTSIDE the stadium and up to $80,000 to watch the game from a suite INSIDE the stadium.  More than 100,000 fans will attend this glorious spectacle.  And it is glorious.

From the story of Clay Matthews’ perseverance to Donald Driver’s determination, the Super Bowl showcases the triumphant.  These are the best athletes America has to offer slugging it out on a global stage to earn the right to say: We are #1.  We (alone) did it.  The glory of triumph is alive on Super Bowl Sunday (which is not the real Super Sunday, of course, that would be Easter).

So, I thought it would be helpful for us to think about how we might watch the Super Bowl to the glory of God.  I think we do that by, first, not dismissing the glory that exists in the game.  There are countless chess matches being played out between receivers and defensive backs, between quarterbacks and linebackers, between blockers and tacklers, and between all the coaches who are working with all the players at all these positions.  There are mind games at work, and there are muscle games at work.  Sometimes, the smartest player or shrewdest coach will win the battle.  Other times, the strongest man closest to the ball will claim the crown.

At the end of the game, one team will take the trophy to the locker room.  The other team will ponder what might have been.  To the victor go the spoils—it is as true in football as it is in war.  Happily, in football, the losers don’t bleed to death.  They just go home.  All the agonizing workouts, the unceasing repetition of pushing 300 lbs. or 400 lbs. up and down and up and down.  The leg stretches and the running—sprints, distance, endurance—all the agony of off-season, pre-season, mid-season, and post-season training—all come down to a 60 minute survival-of-the-fittest slugfest on Sunday night.  One team will overcome the sacks, the fumbles, and the injuries.  The other team will not.  There will be 1 winner and 1 loser with no one in between.  For one team, the glory will erupt as the last second ticks off the official game clock.  Glory, indeed!

Watch the Super Bowl for the glory that is in it.

But even more, watch the Super Bowl for the glory that is beyond it.  The sacrifice of these players and the agony of their endurance will only fit them for victory against another team of roughly equal men.  Yes, it is mortal combat, but it is merely mortals in combat.  Though the Super Bowl will display the greatest glory of sports, including the storied histories of 2 fabled franchises, this game’s limits are obvious when compared to Christ.

Christ—the king of all glory—has triumphed over the grave, over death itself.  Forget taking a block from a lineman, Christ did real battle with sin, with Satan, with every evil in the world—and he won the fight.  Christ stretched out his arms while Satan hurled false accusations; he stretched out his arms while Pilate and the Jews enacted execution; he stretched out his arms while the Father poured out his wrath against sin; he stretched out his arms and swallowed death.  And death was not enough to stop him.  Being the resurrection and the life, Jesus Christ arose victorious over sin and over death so that any who would flee to his outstretched arms would find for themselves eternal life in his name.

There is true glory well beyond that of the Super Bowl.  Think of it as you watch the game.  Apparently, some of the players have run to the outstretched arms of Jesus to find forgiveness for their sins.  They see both the glory of the game and the greater Glory of life in Christ.  The story linked here speaks about Aaron Rodgers and the glory he sees in Christ (and the way his teammates respond).   And, on the other side of the ball, there is true glory in view for some of the Pittsburgh Steelers, too (see here).

So, enjoy the game to its fullest measure of glory with the players who know the difference between the perishable nature of the Lombardi trophy and the imperishable crown of life.

Pro Choice Advocate Agrees with Tebow

This article highlights the commentary from Sally Jenkins, a pro-choice sportswriter from the Washington Post.  Her comments are certainly fair and demonstrate that there can still be civil disagreement in America.  Though she does not agree completely with Tebow’s pro-life advocacy (she is pro-choice), she does understand how critical it is for him to have a voice.  Even more, she seems to get the point that feminists miss:  Tim Tebow has a very high regard for women and is not serially abusing them like many athletes tend to do.  The outrage from groups such as NOW only betrays the lack of concern these groups actually have for women.  Their goal is not to support women but to encourage abortion.  Hats off to Sally Jenkins for her insight and courage in pointing out their duplicity.