left biblioblography: When The Religious Rule The Religious, Part The Deus – Childhood’s End

Monday, May 11, 2009

When The Religious Rule The Religious, Part The Deus – Childhood’s End

"The most religious nation in the world is India, the most irreligious nation in the world is Sweden. We are a nation of Indians ruled by Swedes." – Jerry Sutton

I was on a stationary bike at the Y, when I saw this ugly little tidbit:

Official: More than 1M child prostitutes in India

NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- Around 1.2 million children are believed to be involved in prostitution in India, the country's federal police said Monday.

Ashwani Kumar, who heads the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), told a seminar on human trafficking, that India occupied a "unique position" as what he called a source, transit nation and destination of this trade.

India's home secretary Madhukar Gupta remarked that at least 100 million people were involved in human trafficking in India.

"The number of trafficked persons is difficult to determine due to the secrecy and clandestine nature of the crime.

"However, studies and surveys sponsored by the ministry of women and child development estimate that there are about three million prostitutes in the country, of which an estimated 40 percent are children," a CBI statement said.

Prostitution in pilgrim towns, exploitation through sex tourism and pedophilia are some of some of the "alarming trends" that have emerged in recent years in India, it noted.

Authorities believe 90 percent of human trafficking in India is "intra-country."

Now, no, I’m not going into a diatribe blaming religion for this. India is a culturally diverse country, but it’s about 80% Hindu and 14% Muslim, the other 6% a variety scaling from Christianity to Jainism and Buddhism. Rather, this incredibly horrible set of statistics comes from an extremely religious country, which has over a millennia of history of superstition. Of course, it’s a Third World country, which means living in it is tantamount to scrabbling for a livelihood by any means possible. The point here, is that religion does anything but improve folks.

Now, I could go on at length about how religion tends to overvalue innocence, ergo making said innocence a commodity, but that would be simplifying the matter to the point of violating Grossman’s Law. But there are some simpler methods by which this sort of activity could be minimized.

A. Reduce poverty (people are far less likely to be selling off their children if there’s food and a roof over their heads), and
B. Legalize prostitution.

I’ve made myself fairly clear on this matter – the major problem most people have with this is that 1. Prostitution is conflated with sexual slavery (which it isn’t always), and 2. it becomes conflated with child prostitution, which really is a separate matter. Consenting adults, and all that.

Because, like it or not, when you (and/or your family) is starving to death, and you’re young and attractive, there’s always going to be that option available. But keeping a thriving industry illegal and underground is going to allow all the evil people (the predators, the sociopaths and pedophiles) to take advantage of the weak, the innocent, and the desperate.

Anyone have thoughts on this?

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