The Inquisition, what a show!
The Inquisition, here we go!
We know you’re wishin’ that we go away
You better change your point of views today
’cause the Inquisition’s here and it’s here to stay!
– Mel Brooks, “History of the World: Part 1”
(Chuck Muth) – Nevada’s decades-old legal brothels have been under a withering assault by the Morality Police for the better part of the last two years, led by a creepy Reno lawyer named Jason Guinasso.
Aiding and abetting this home-grown gaggle of crusaders has been a national group calling itself “Exodus Cry.”
Exodus Cry, like Guinasso, intentionally misleads the public with their incendiary propaganda by conflating voluntary prostitution – including in Nevada’s legal brothels – with “slavery” and “human trafficking.”
It’s despicably dishonest – and the group’s arguments should be dismissed out of hand on that basis alone.
But a new development reveals why this new-fangled group of sex puritans – and as you’ll see, I mean that literally, not figuratively – shouldn’t be given the time of day by anyone wanting to have a serious discussion of this issue.
However, before I get to the explosive Exodus Cry “Chapter Application” that was uncovered and publicized this past weekend, let’s set to rest once and for all the true motivation of these people, as explained by Laila Mickelwait, the group’s “Director of Abolition,” in a tweet on June 14…
“It’s not the legal status of prostitution that causes the harm, it’s the prostitution itself. The longer a woman is in prostitution – legal or illegal – the more she is psychologically damaged and physically harmed. The only way to make her safe is to get her out of prostitution.”
As you can plainly see, Mickelwait’s focus isn’t on “slavery” or “human trafficking.” She’s a commercial sex-work abolitionist. A religious puritan bent on forcibly “saving” consenting, adult women who don’t buy into her pop psychology and don’t want to be “saved.”
But let’s say you share Laila’s “savior complex” and want to join her modern-day Inquisition crusade. Well, first you have to fill out an application.
Or, you DID – until the “Chapter Application” itself was “outed” last weekend by Dr. Gemma Ahearne (@princessjack). And boy, is it ever a revelatory doozy!
“Thank you for your interest in working with Exodus Cry to see the ending of human slavery,” the organization declares in its opening statement on the application. “As you start a chapter in your city, you are committing to host a weekly prayer meeting focused on the ending of slavery and to work to bring awareness in your community on the issue of human trafficking.”
Got it? “Slavery” and “human trafficking.” Who can argue with that, right
Ah, but later on we get to the group’s “Mission Statement” which adds “the outlawing of Prostitution worldwide” – which is decidedly NOT the same as “slavery” and “human trafficking.”
Funny how that wasn’t included in their opening statement, huh?
Applicants wishing to start an Exodus Cry chapter in their city have eight “requirements” they must fulfill to join the Inquisition – including a commitment to the Exodus Cry “Purity Covenant” and “Statement of Faith.”
Hmm. Sounds a little more like a religious crusade than an effort to end slavery, but maybe that’s just me. Let’s see…
“Jesus taught that when we go out into this world, our primary focus should be to reconcile others to God,” reads the “Values” statement applicants must agree to. “Our social justice methodology is fueled with a desire to see the salvation of both the oppressed and the oppressor.”
Nope, I was right. This is Evangelism 101.
But if you’re still not convinced, let’s move to Exodus Cry’s chapter application “Questionnaire”…
Question #1: “What are your past church/spiritual affiliations?”
Odd. Does this mean only actively practicing religious people can fight slavery and human trafficking?
Question #2: “Were you the victim of any kind of child abuse?”
Well, Mom made me eat broccoli. Does that count?
OK, sorry. That was flippant.
Real child abuse is a serious matter – and anyone who hurts an innocent, defenseless child should be drawn and quartered.
But this still seems like an awfully personal question for an employment-like application to fight slavery, doesn’t it?
Question #3: “Are you currently in a relationship, outside of marriage, which involves ongoing sexual activity.”
Seriously? You can’t join the crusade against slavery, human trafficking and even prostitution if you’re having pre-marital sex?
Question #4: “Do you have any non-sexual compulsive behaviors?”
Uh-oh. I guess my friend and UNLV sex researcher Christina Parreira’s compulsion for Christian Louboutin shoes is a disqualifier, even though the word “Christian” is in the name!
Question #5: “Have you completed an inner healing program/ministry of any kind?”
Um, no. Guess I’m out, too. Christina, let’s go shopping!
Question #6: “Are you currently or have you ever been in professional counseling?”
So I guess if you’ve ever been to a marriage counselor to save your marriage – and the permissible married sexual activity that comes with it! – you can’t be a soldier in the Exodus Cry crusade against slavery and human trafficking.
Question #7: “Do you use alcohol, illegal drugs or other mood-altering substances?”
Well, there goes Homer Simpson and the gang at Moe’s Tavern!
Also, all the Catholics who drink wine with communion at mass on Sunday.
Question #8: “Are you currently taking any prescribed medication?”
So much for diabetics and folks suffering from high blood pressure.
Seriously, what the Hades do these questions have to do with fighting slavery and human trafficking?
But if you want to know what REALLY pushes these folks’ buttons, check out the next two questions…
Question #9: “Are you or have you struggled with homosexual thoughts, feelings or behaviors?”
Question #10: “Do you believe that homosexual physical contact or inordinate emotional closeness with the same sex is sinful?”
OK, this isn’t as bad as the Westboro Baptist Church’s “God Hates Fags” campaign, but the sentiment sure sounds similar.
In any event, why can’t gays join Exodus Cry’s crusade against slavery and human trafficking?
And, um, by the way…what’s the definition of “inordinate emotional closeness”? Does it include the guys in the “I Love You, Man” Bud Lite commercials?
Oh, wait. They’re already disqualified for drinking beer. Bad example. Onward…
Question #11: “Do you believe heterosexual sex outside of marriage is sinful?”
OK, this one is kinda redundant redundant. See #3 above.
Question #12: “Are you currently struggling with pornography?”
Question #13: “Have you struggled with pornography in the past?”
Um, does that include the Victoria’s Secret catalogue? What about the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition? Inquiring minds wanna know.
OK, kidding aside, these people aren’t out to eliminate “slavery” and “human trafficking.” Their true agenda is revealed in the group’s “Purity Covenant” that applicants must sign…
“The Purity Covenant is a personal commitment to wholehearted sexual purity. One of the great battles facing our generation is the battle for sexual purity.”
What exactly does that mean, you might ask?
Well, clearly these folks are committed to eliminating sex entirely unless it’s between one married man and one married woman – as long as they’re married to each other, of course.
And, I’m guessing, you can only do it “missionary style” for the sole purpose of making a baby – and the woman may NOT enjoy it.
Anything else is considered by this group to be “licentious sexual activity” which puts you “into agreement with Satan” and “releases demonic energy into the realm of the spirit.”
Lord, I hope South Park does an episode on this!
Then there’s the group’s “Statement of Faith,” which is immersed in extreme religious dogma only a tiny minority of people ascribe to.
I’m not even going to get into that. If you want to read the entire thing yourself, click here to see the series of screen shots Dr. Ahearne took before Exodus Cry removed the application from their website.
Personally, I find the entire document to be absurd. However…
I’m a live-and-let-live kinda guy. If this is what some folks choose to believe, fine. As Thomas Jefferson so eloquently put it…
“It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”
But when it comes to using the power of government to enforce their brand of morality on those who don’t share their beliefs, that’s where we need to draw the line.
The fact that Exodus Cry has gone to such great lengths to mislead the public – hiding behind “slavery” and “human trafficking” to promote their “sex purity” crusade – demands they be called out.
Which I just did.
Now…it’s Miller Time.
Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a limited-government grassroots advocacy organization, and government affairs counsel to the Nevada Brothel Association. His views are his own.