Saturday, September 23, 2006

revolution, slavery, wealth.

Megan's cousin April and her brilliant husband Dave and their 4 excellent children, Taylor, India, Ethan, and the baby came to visit us over the last 24 hours. Very kewl. Dave a part time pastor at Seaforth Baptish Church. For those of you in America, Baptist apparently means something very different in Australia than it does in the usa. Dave is a very emerging church, postmodern type of guy. I think I would be able to cope with the Sunday evening get togethers at his church, which are, from his description, NOT sunday morning churchish.
I'm really excited to attend "You say you want a revolution", a conference by offthemap here in Seattle on November 3 and 4 with keynote speakers Brian Mclaren and George Barna. See here
Heard a story yesterday on NPR about Ota Benga, the pygmy from the Belgian Congo who was purchased as a slave by an American missionary and transported to the US where he ended up on dipslay in the monkey cage of the Bronx Zoo before eventually killing himself while working on a tobacco plantation. All this in the first decade of the 20th century, about 100 years ago. Feeling increasingly guilty about being so filthy rich and having so much leisure in light of conditions in the world. According to Free the Slaves ( there are 27 million people enslaved today, more than at any point in human history. According the U.S. Department of State (see here ) ~700,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, mostly for the sex industry. 80% of the these are women and girls and up to 50% are minors.
So here's an exercise for you. Open up your local yellow pages, and look under the category of escort services. Then ask yourself how many of the women who work for the companies in this category, many of them paid (or forced with little or no pay) to have sex with lots of guys in your hometown, are among the estimated 14,000 people trafficked into the United States every year?
In light of all this, what the fucking hell am I doing with all the privelege, wealth, education, and so forth that have been lavished upon me? Feels like mostly not a damned thing. Somehow this has to change.

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