Saturday, March 17, 2012

ways to combat slavery. part 1?

I have reflected much recently about human trafficking and how to stop it.

(maybe it's wrong to call this "part 1" because I have written on this topic before. Well, I've been wrong once or twice before.)

It's comforting to know that this isolated Quaker is not alone in this quest - in my community, I have found allies in a Christian church, and in a Republican state senator who I usually disagree with strongly. It is wonderful to have allies!

Allies told me about a neat app for Iphone or Android called Free2Work, which gives a scorecard to companies and specific products. Divine Chocolate gets an A, by the way. Hershey's gets a D. How sad, considering the honorable history of the company when it was founded. Ditto Cadbury, which hurts me more because that's a Quaker company. Or, was. has a survey to help identify the slavery in the supply line of what you buy. They have an app too - Free World. It requires Facebook to log in, however.

The Christian group is on fire. Full of Christian zeal. The group is called FREED. You can find it on facebook, of course. More on this later.

The troublesome truth God gave me during the prayer part of the last FREED meeting is this: Slavery can persist in a free and democratic society. 21st century United States proves this, since there are labor slaves and sex slaves in this nation.

That means - and this is hard for me -- Peace is NOT the answer to fighting slavery. Sure, it helps, because peace allows people to get on with their business and not be displaced, for example. And peaceful societies are less likely to conscript children for their wars.

Peace's sister Justice is the answer to slavery. Slavery is unjust. Therefore Justice is the answer.

I have dedicated much of my heart and time and self-identity to peacemaking. This is not wrong, but it won't end slavery, which is something I care about deeply.

If you want peace, work for justice - Pope Paul VI
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere - Martin Luther King
And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness and to walk humbly with your Lord ? Micah 6:6-8

So, God has been suggesting this to me for some time.  It took more focused prayer with the FREED group (in Quakerese, it was a popcorn meeting).  The humble part is hardest for me.  

I have more work cut out for me.

Peace (and Justice!), y'all


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