Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Columnists suggests legalizing prostitution

Savannah columnist K.W. Oxnard, in an essay published in the March 31, 2008 issue of the Savannah Morning News entitled "Let's Legalize Prostitution," says, "I've never understood why prostitution is illegal."
Oxnard's argument is that we own our bodies, and should be able to do whatever we wish with our bodies. A professional football player can auction his body to the highest bidder from the NFL, yet "according to local, state and federal laws, I do not own the right to rent my body to someone else for pleasure." Oxnard does not understand why this is the law, and she says she has "no objection whatsoever to women, or men for that matter, who use what God gave them to make ends meet."
Many people, including myself, respond to Oxnard's outrageous suggestion with a natural repulsion. Her suggestion shows what happens when morality is completely removed from our thinking.
Oxnard sees no difference between an NFL player auctioning his body for the pleasure of sport and a prostitute auctioning her body for the pleasure of sex. The reason she sees no difference is she has removed morality from the equation, and cannot see that while there is nothing immoral about playing a game of football, there certainly is something terribly immoral about sex outside of the bonds of marriage.
It is interesting that she makes reference to a prostitute's body as "what God gave them." Oxnard recognizes the creative activity of God, but is unwilling to recognize His authority to expect responsible moral behavior from us in the use of our gifts. It's as if she is saying to God, "You created us, You brought us into existence, but You don't have the right to tell us what to do with what you gave us, so God, butt out of our lives!"
What suggestion will come next? Legalizing polygamy? We already have legalized abortion, and we are headed down the path of legalized homosexual marriage. And to all those people who say, "You can't legislate morality," here's a great example of how we do and should legislate morality.
Why should prostitution be illegal? Very simple-- it's immoral.


Anonymous said...

Sorry Bucko, but the purpose of “law” is not to enforce morality. When the institutions of the state, in this case the legal system, become entwined with an individual or group’s view of morality, a Taliban type of society is the inevitable result. Consider all of the abuses that have resulted in the name of Christianity.

The purpose of the law is to serve and protect the interests of the general public, not just those with whom a presumed majority agree.

Nick Kennicott said...

The problem with legislating morality is that it's not the government's responsibility -- it's unconstitutional. While I certainly think prostitution is an unfortunate and very sad reality in this world, making laws about it don't address the real issue: the heart. Additionally, to "legislate morality" is to assume that the morality will be decided from a biblical position, which is most certainly not the case when we live in a country that was founded on principles that included a freedom of religion, whether we agree with it or not. Government's responsibility in America is to protect life (which is why abortion should be illegal), private property, and civil liberties. Everything else is an unconstitutional addition -- that's exactly what's wrong with America -- the government has its hands in everything.

As a pastor, it grieves me to see people selling their bodies for money, taking and selling drugs, or uniting in homosexual unions (to name a few), but I realize that the issue is not the law or the government, but sin. I commonly hear and read Christians who make arguments against certain issues without ever addressing the real issue, namely the depravity of man and the need for God's redemptive work in the hearts of lost sinners. If we dabble in legalities without ever going to the fact of the matter, we've failed in our responsibility and have shown the world once again that a lot of Christians are more interested in works, not grace.

Disagree with the writer on who her body really belongs to, brother, and plead with her to consider the realities of Christ and His supremacy over all things. But please consider the role of government and if you really want them that involved in everyday life... next thing you know, they'll be in your pulpit telling you what you can and cannot preach because they're simply attempting to "legislate morality."

Anonymous said...

Afraid to post comments that don't agree with you, right?

Brother Bob said...

No, not afraid at all. I've been gone out of the country on a mission trip and just getting caught up with this blog.

Brother Bob said...

I realize it is a provocative statement to say we can legislate morality, and I also realize that it is an easily misunderstood statement. So allow me to elaborate a little on that statement. Here's what I mean: all legislation is done for a value system. For example, one writer above claims that we should not legislate morality, yet says government should protect life, private property and civil liberties. That is precisely what I mean by legislating morality. I agree with him that government should have certain values and legislate them.
My point is that government will always legislate from a value system, so the question is not whether we should legislate morality; rather, the question is from what moral viewpoint will we legislate?

Nick Kennicott said...

I think you misread my point. My point is that the government has already established a rule of law called the United States Constitution. Within the constitution, as far as legislation is concerned, the only thing that the government is called to enforce in the lives of private citizens is the right to life, the protection of private property, and the protection of civil liberties. These are areas that our founders thought to be rights endowed to every human being. To go outside this rule of law, no matter the reason, is an unconstitutional addition that places a faith and trust in the government over and above and King and a Kingdom that we are called to serve.

My point is, which you didn't address, that the issue is emphatically not the laws of our country -- it is the total depravity of man and the imputed sin of Adam that corrupts our hearts and minds, leading us to cling to all that is evil outside the sovereign work of God to cleanse us from all unrighteousness through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. THAT is the issue -- sin is the issue -- a lack of passion for the glory of God is the issue.

Hearts and minds are not changed by the law. Hearts and minds are changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ and the sovereign work of God to grant faith and repentance. The legislation of morality is an exercise in futility.

Brother Bob said...

I understand your point, and I agree with you that hearts are not changed by legislating morality. I agree that only the gospel of Jesus Christ will change hearts and save men and women.
However, I think you are also missing my point. You and I are discussing two different issues. My point is simply that our laws ARE based upon morality, because they come from a value system of some kind. As you mentioned, our founding fathers believed that we had certain rights endowed to every human being. What you did not mention is that they said these rights were endowed BY OUR CREATOR. The founding fathers recognized that these rights had a religious foundation. George Washington, in his first inaugural address, called for God's "divine blessing" on "the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend." I don't think we can make people into Christians by passing laws. However, I do think that our laws should be based upon a consistent value system (a morality) of some kind, in order to avoid anarchy. I believe that legalizing prostitution, homosexual marriage, polygamy, etc. are further steps into anarchy in our society.

Bloodiest of Ladies said...

I don't think anyone intends to say that laws are not based on morality, that would require an entirely new definition of the word, or both of them...

The term 'legislating morality' has been poorly chosen. No one wants governments to stop, but the US government is historically limited to the sort of morality it is supposed to be able to legislate and for good reason.

If we throw out that bit about seperating religion from government, then we face the problem of who chooses to rule and things become very unclear.

I don't think anyone disagrees that the government should dictate behaviour that effects those who choose not to be effected (murder, abortion, theft, etc.), but there is a clear line between those things and behaviours where all engaging parties have chosen to be effected (homosexual marriage, prostitution, attendance of religious gathering).

Since we obviously have to have morality legislated to some degree, the choice becomes at what point should it stop being legislated. I suggest that point be the end of our respective noses.

You're absolutely right that these are steps toward anarchy, but laws passed concerning people's private lives are steps toward totalitarian dictatorship, and there's a whole lot of curve in between the two. Steps in a direction don't mean the extreme of that direction is coming, and the legislation of details is a larger step than is legalisation of things that effect no one who has chosen not to be effected.

As with every discussion of politics and religion, if you want to set up a ruling system that infringes on the freedoms of others so that your beliefs may be served, you should wonder who apart from yourself might also choose to rule.

By the suggested philosophy that the largest relgion in a country has the right to dictate its theology you'll soon find yourself in an unenviable position. The atheists are not a small, hidden group anymore. Who's to say you won't see one in the White House, and then, by the exact philosophy your supporting, they have every right to outlaw religious services.

Bloodiest of Ladies said...

Oh, and why on Earth would someone suggest that a delay in posting their comment was due to fear of opposition, when they're posting anonymously? Pot... Kettle...?