Ben Johnson

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Pimpin’ Soros-style: Soros-funded UN report says legalize prostitution, drugs worldwide

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson
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NEW YORK, August 1, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) –  A new report for a United Nations agency, underwritten in part by George Soros’ foundation, calls on the governments of the world to legalize prostitution and drug use, blasts “conservative interpretations of religion” about sexual morality, demands nations open their borders and state healthcare systems to AIDS-infected immigrants,  and argues that the spread of AIDS would be reduced by repealing laws against the intentional spread of HIV. Nations should end all laws against pimps, because women willingly go into prostitution for reasonable purposes, such as “a drug habit,” it claims. But leading experts tell LifeSiteNews.com the report is misguided and its prescriptions could lead to an increase in sex trafficking and deeper human misery.

Two years after its launch, the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Global Commission on HIV and the Law issued its first report this month, entitled, “HIV and the Law: Rights, Risks, and Health.”

The report insists the law “dehumanizes many of those at highest risk for HIV: sex workers, transgender people, men who have sex with men (MSM), people who use drugs, prisoners, and migrants.” This is particularly true in “governments influenced by conservative interpretations of religion,” where “people suffer and die because of inequality, ignorance, intolerance, and indifference.” It disparages laws based on “morality.”

It concludes nations could fight AIDS if they “repeal laws that prohibit consenting adults to buy or sell sex, as well as laws that otherwise prohibit commercial sex, such as laws against ‘immoral’ earnings, ‘living off the earnings’ of prostitution and brothel-keeping.”

The report’s authors attempt to distinguish willing “sex workers” from victims of sex trafficking. “The difference is that the former is consensual whereas the latter coercive,” they write. “Sex work is not always a desperate or irrational act; it is a realistic choice to sell sex – in order to support a family, an education or maybe a drug habit. It is an act of agency.” (Emphasis added.)

Making prostitutes illegal denies them the “human rights available to others,” including “the means by which others can make claims on elected officials,” such as through registered lobbyists.

The UN report suggests officials “shut down all compulsory detention or ‘rehabilitation’ centers for people involved in sex work or for children who have been sexually exploited.”

Nations, they insist, should “recognize the sexual autonomy of young people” by providing “sex education, harm reduction” – defined as condom and syringe distribution – “and comprehensive reproductive and HIV services…to youth.”

The report was underwritten by such major funders of the Left as George Soros’ Open Society Foundations and the Ford Foundation, as well as the American Jewish World Service (whose new vice president for communications, Stuart Schear, recently held the same position at Planned Parenthood), Australia’s AusAID, and such UN offices as the UNFPA, UNICEF, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the UNAIDS Secretariat.

Its commissioners include Rep. Barbara Lee, the only member of Congress to vote against toppling the Taliban after September 11, and former Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, a founding member of an internationalist organization known as “The Elders” with Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu.

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The report states its conclusions “do not necessarily reflect the views” of the UNDP. However, UN officials suggested repealing laws against homosexuality, trangenderism, and “laws that inappropriately criminalize HIV transmission” at the group’s launching in June 2010

In a seemingly counterintuitive assertion, they state laws outlawing knowingly exposing others to HIV help spread AIDS, because they “discourage people from getting tested or treated, in fear of being prosecuted.”

The world’s leaders should also distribute clean needles to drug users, give condoms to prisoners, end “bias” based on “HIV status,” and assure every “migrant” – legal or illegal – receives AIDS treatment. (George Soros has long funded efforts aimed at the legalization of drugs.)

Until this becomes reality, the agency encourages lawmakers to “creatively use traditional law in progressive ways.”

A prominent picture in the report encourages legislators to “Criminalize hate, not HIV.”

They should refrain from “shaming” prostitutes with STDs and “prohibit the mandatory HIV and STI testing of sex workers.” Instead, police should be put “to work alongside sex workers in enabling wider safer sex practices”; for example, they could “talk about improving condom distribution in venues where sex is sold.”
 
But many social scientists question whether it is possible to separate “willing” prostitutes from unwilling ones.

The British Crown Prosecution Service has found sex workers are subject to a variety of pressures, including physical and sexual abuse, and noted “strong links between street prostitution and the drug markets, particularly crack cocaine.”

Dr. Mary Anne Layden, a psychologist, pornography expert, and director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the University of Pennsylvania, told LifeSiteNews.com there is no “bright line of demarcation between prostitution and sex trafficking and child prostitution. These are all flowing, one into the other.”

“The average age of becoming a child prostitute in the U.S. is 12,” she said. “We call them a child prostitute until the day after their 18th birthday, and then we say it’s adult consenting sex.” She questioned whether someone in that position is really “making a free choice. Her brain has been raped as well as her body.”

“They way they get into this field is rape them as children. This is how you pipeline them into this.”

The radical feminist Andrea Dworkin once called incest “boot camp” for prostitutes. Israeli researcher Anat Gur believes the link between prostitution and childhood abuse calls into question a prostitute’s ability to freely choose a life in the sex trade.

“They’ve gone into this industry because it feels like home,” Dr. Layden told LifeSiteNews. “Now with the viewer taking the role of the perpetrator, we’ve got the whole cycle repeated.”

This is all too plain to the “sex workers.” One prostitute explained: “We’ve all been molested. Over and over, and raped. We were all molested and sexually abused as children, don’t you know that? We ran to get away…We were thrown out, thrown away. We’ve been on the street since we were 12, 13, 14.”

A survey of 50 young adults who are or were prostitutes conducted by UK’s Children’s Society found that half had been molested, 25 percent of them before the age of 10. Most were runaways. Two-thirds had used drugs before entering prostitution. 

The painful memories so haunt some women that they use dissociation as a defense mechanism.

The same kind of women “choose” prostitution as those forced into it: poor women in desperate straits. Melissa Farley, a psychologist who studies prostitution at a San Francisco nonprofit, wrote, “Prostitution is ‘chosen’ as a job by those who have the fewest real choices available to them.”

Yet some on the Left have hailed the UN report as a step forward for feminist liberation. Cheryl Overs wrote at RH Reality Check that the report “marks a significant advance for sex workers’ struggle,” fretting only that the very acknowledgment of white slavery “suggests that very significant numbers of sex workers are enslaved which is not borne out by  experience or statistics.” 

Dorchen A. Leidholdt, the Director of the Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services at Sanctuary for Families in New York City, wrote: “The proponents of this distinction are sending the following message: ‘Don’t pay attention to the poverty, the familial pressure, the incest she survived, the battering by her boyfriend, the lack of employment options available to her. Just ask whether there is a gun pointed at her head or whether she is being overtly deceived. No gun, no deceit; then no problem; not only is she voluntarily in the sex industry, she is a ‘sex worker.’”

Far from solving the problem of the global sex trade, Dr. Layden told LifeSiteNews that legalizing prostitution would increase sexual trafficking, rape, and abuse.

“When you increase the demand in prostitution in a country,” she said, “pretty soon there won’t be enough prostitutes, so that means we’re going to have to get women and children and sex traffic them.”

“When you send a message to your culture that sex is a product you buy – if you can buy it, you can steal it,” she said. “In this particular context, the stealing is rape.”

The British Crown Prosecution Service revealed that female prostitutes “are often at risk of violent crime in the course of their work.”  One study found 85 percent of prostitutes in Minneapolis-St. Paul had been raped in the course of their “work.”  Another discovered that 12 percent of all strippers are slapped by the manager or other male staff, and 85 percent report being verbally or physically abused on the job.

This ignores the working conditions themselves. Shulamit Almog, a law professor at Israel’s University of Haifa, wrote in The Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law: “A typical shift in a Nevada brothel runs from twelve to fourteen hours a day, every day, for three weeks. The woman has almost no control over the number of clients per day, their identity, or her working hours. One woman who has engaged in prostitution in one of these establishments testified that ‘it was like a prison.’”   

After the brothel owners take their cut, the prostitute takes home “about fifty percent of her earnings.”

Legalization has given some countries incentive to view prostitution as a jobs program.

The nation of Belize boasted in a November 1996 report to the UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) that “recognized prostitution in Belize is a gender-specific form of migrant labor that serves the same economic functions for women as agricultural work offers to men, and often for better pay.”

Justifying the trade has another side effect, as well. “When prostitution is assumed to be a reasonable ‘job option,’ women’s intense longing to escape it is made invisible,” Farley wrote.

Leidholdt agreed: “Those women fortunate enough to survive sexual exploitation emerge, usually in their 30’s, when they are no longer marketable commodities, with no job skills, traumatized from years of enduring unwanted sex and violence, and physically debilitated from sexually transmitted diseases and the substance abuse necessary to endure the sex of prostitution.

“What is available to these women?” she asked. “Destitution or a career as a madam or mama san, helping the pimps control the younger women who are marketable commodities.”

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Pope tells Girl Scouts to oppose ‘ideologies’ against God’s design for marriage

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

ROME, June 30, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis told Girl Scout and Girl Guide leaders from across the globe last week that it is essential they promote respect for marriage and family according to God’s design.

The pope’s remarks came as both the international organization, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, and Girl Scouts USA face criticism over support for abortion, homosexuality, transgenderism, and contraception.

"It is very important today that a woman be adequately appreciated, and that she be able to take up fully the place that corresponds to her, be it in the Church, be it in society,” Pope Francis said in his address on the morning of June 26, prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision imposing same-sex “marriage” on the country.

In the face of ideologies that seek to destroy the truths about marriage and family, he said, the formation of girls through Guiding "is absolutely determinant for the future."

"We are in a world in which the most contrary ideologies are spreading to the nature and design of God on the family and on marriage. Therefore, it is a question of educating girls not only to the beauty and grandeur of their vocation of women, in a just and differentiated relation between man and woman, but also to assume important responsibilities in the Church and in society," Pope Francis said.

The pope spoke during a private audience at the world meeting of the International Conference of Catholic Guides (ICCG), which took place in Rome from June 25-30.

Stressing that among educational movements Guiding has played a pivotal role in the faith formation of young women, the pope said, "Education is, in fact, the indispensable means to enable girls to become active and responsible women, proud and happy of their faith in Christ lived in every day life. Thus they will participate in the building of a world permeated by the Gospel."

“To Live the Joy of the Gospel as a Guide” was the theme for the ICCG meeting in Rome, with the stated purpose of reaffirming and strengthening the organization's 50-year-old history within the Catholic Church.

Among the participants at the ICCG meeting in Rome were Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) CEO Anna Maria Chávez and National President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan.

In a statement, Chavez maintained that faith is “at the heart of Girl Scouts, and is woven into everything the organization does to inspire girls to take action to make the world a better place.”

However, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has cautioned that some aspects of the Girl Scouts pedagogy go against Catholic teaching and doctrine.

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A report by the USCCB focused on three issues:

  1. GSUSA's relationship with groups like Planned Parenthood and international affiliate World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGS);
  2. GSUSA's views on issues related "to human sexuality, contraception, and abortion";
  3. and various materials and resources GSUSA has that have "inappropriate content."

With regard to WAGGGS, the report notes that while this group claims it does not formally back abortion and "reproductive rights," language on its website leaves no doubt that such support exists, as well as support for contraceptive use.

Numerous pro-life and pro-family groups have organized boycotts of Girl Guide cookies in protest of the organization's embrace of feminist politics and activism.

The pope's address to the ICCG meeting, translated into English by Zenit, is available on the Zenit website here.

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St. Peter Damian
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St. Peter Damian (1049): what Church MUST do in response to rampant homosexuality among clergy

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By Steve Jalsevac

June 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The rise of the power and influence of homosexual priests, bishops and cardinals, as well as influential laity, has been a major factor in the growing chaos within Catholicism over the past 60 years. This disorder within the Catholic Church has had a negative impact on the entire world because of the resulting decline in the positive influences that Catholicism has had on civilization for many centuries.

To think that what is happening now is new, however, betrays an ignorance of history. In 1049, when St. Peter Damian wrote his treatise, Book of Gomorrah (Liber Gomorrhianus), to Pope Leo IX, homosexuality and sexual perversion in general were far more openly rampant within the clergy than today.  This horrendous state of affairs is what the Saint addressed in his appeal to the Pope for urgently needed reforms.

We often hear from sleepy, comfortable, cowardly, timid or cultural Catholics, and especially from clergy who are directly implicated in homosexuality, that we should never criticize priests, bishops and especially the Pope. Supposedly, that is a greater sin than that of the heretics and sexual perverts facilitating great personal suffering and sending souls to Hell without anyone doing what is necessary to either convert or stop them.

St. Peter Damian was not so foolish as to listen to such nonsense denying God His justice at a time when the Church appeared to be in its death throes. He understood the grave duty to be blunt about the dangers and sinfulness, to not minimize the catastrophe that would come if strong actions were not quickly taken and to demand corrective actions. And yet, he also emphasized that all of this must be done with charity and Christian hope for the persons involved in the moral corruption. Their conversion was above all hoped and prayed for, rather than their condemnation for eternity.

An Italian translated version of the Book of Gomorrah has recently been published. An English version carefully translated by one of our LifeSite journalists will also soon become available.

On Feb. 11 of this year the Rorate Caeli website published excerpts from the introduction by Professor Roberto de Mattei to the Italian version.

Following are some paragraphs from that introduction that I hope will jar awake some of the faithful, especially considering what is going on now in the United States as a result of the mad Supreme Court decision and the moral chaos around the Synod on the Family regarding Church sexual teachings.
 

Excerpts from the Introduction:

St. Peter Damien (1007-1072) Abbot of the Fonte Avellana Monastery and subsequently Cardinal/Bishop of Ostia, was one of the most outstanding figures of Catholic reform in the XI century. His Liber Gomorrhianus, appeared around 1049, in an age when corruption was widely spread, even in the highest ranks of the ecclesiastical world.

In this writing, addressed to Pope Leo IX, Peter Damien condemns the perverted habits of his time in a language that knows no false mercy or compromises. He is convinced that of all the sins, the gravest is sodomy, a term which includes all the acts against nature and which want to satisfy sexual pleasure by separating it from procreation. “If this absolutely ignominious and abominable vice is not immediately stopped with an iron fist – he writes – the sword of Divine wrath will fall upon us, bringing ruin to many.”

There have been times in (the Church’s) history when sanctity pervades Her and others when the defection of Her members cause Her to collapse into darkness, appearing almost as if the Divinity has abandoned Her.

Peter Damien’s voice resounds today, as it did yesterday, with encouragement and comfort for those, like him, who have fought, suffered, cried and hoped, throughout the course of history.

He did not moderate his language, but kept it fiery to show his indignation. He was fearless in voicing an uncompromising hatred for sin and it was precisely this hatred that rendered his love burning for the Truth and the Good.

Today, at the beginning of the third millennium of Christ’s birth, priests, bishops and Episcopal conferences are arguing for married priests; they are placing in doubt the indissolubility of the marriage bond between man and woman and at the same time, accepting the introduction of laws for homosexual pseudo-marriage. Sodomy is not being thought of as a sin that cries to God for vengeance but is diffused in seminaries, colleges, ecclesiastical universities and even inside the Sacred Walls of the Vatican itself.

Liber Gomorrhianus reminds us that there is something worse than moral vice practiced and theorized. It is the silence that should speak, the abstention that should intervene, the bond of complicity that is established among the wicked and of those, who with the pretext of avoiding scandal are silent, and, by being silent, consent.  

Graver still, is the acceptance of homosexuality by churchmen, thought of as a “positive” tension towards the good, worthy of pastoral care and juridical protection and not as an abominable sin. In the summary Relatio post disceptationem of the first week’s work in the Synod of Bishops in October 2014, a paragraph affirmed that: “homosexual persons have gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community”, with an invitation to the Bishops “…are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing them a fraternal space in our communities?”

This scandalous statement was removed from the final report, but some bishops and cardinals, inside and outside the Synod Hall, insisted on the appeal to look for the positive aspects of a union against nature, going as far as hoping for “a way to describe the rights of people living in same-sex unions.”

St. Peter Damian as a simple monk, and with greater reason as a cardinal, did not hesitate in accusing even the Popes of that time for their scandalous omissions. Will the reading of the book Liber Gomorrhianus instill the spirit of St. Peter Damien in the hearts of some prelates or laypeople, by shaking them out of their torpor and force them to speak and act?

Even if abysmally far from the holiness and prophetic spirit of St. Peter Damien, let us make his indignation against evil, ours, and with the words that conclude his treatise we turn to the Vicar of Christ, His Holiness, Pope Francis, presently reigning, so that he may intervene and bring an end to these doctrinal and moral scandals: “May the Almighty Lord assist us, Most Reverend Father, so that during the time of Your Apostolate, all of the monstrosity of this vice be destroyed and the state of the Church, presently supine, may wholly rise up again in all its vigour.”

The book can be found in Italian here. 

(Note: the name of the saint is spelled Damian in English and Damien in Italian and French. In Fr. Mattei's quotes is it spelled Damien)

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Phil Lawler

So now is it ‘hate speech’ to deplore the Obergefell decision?

Phil Lawler
By Phil Lawler

June 30, 2015 (CatholicCulture.org) - The ink was barely dry on last week’s Supreme Court ruling when Father James Martin, SJ, began scolding Catholics who were, from his decorous perspective, too strident in denouncing the decision.

"No issue brings out so much hatred from so many Catholics as homosexuality," Father Martin told his Facebook followers. He repeated the same message several times throughout the day, warning commenters that they must not indulge in “homophobia” and suggesting that someone who questioned whether we were all expected to sing “Kumbaya” was illustrating his point. So is sarcasm now prima facie evidence of hatred?

In my own surfing through the internet, reading scores of posts on the Obergefell decision, I can honestly say that I did not see a single message, a single comment, that struck me as hate-filled. Perhaps Father Martin’s email traffic is qualitatively different from mine. Or perhaps—far more likely, I’m afraid—he sees “hatred” where I see only vehement disagreement.

Is it possible to be angry about the Obergefell decision, to consider it a travesty of justice and a betrayal of the Constitution, without being viewed as a hater? Wait; let’s turn that question upside-down. Is it possible to see all serious disagreement with the decision as hate-speech, without celebrating the outcome of the Obergefell case?

I ask the latter question, you see, because if Father Martin was upset by the Supreme Court ruling, his dismay did not show through on his Twitter feed. He recommended three columns reacting to the decision: one by a fellow Jesuit, recounting how his grandmother could not marry her lesbian partner; another by the gay New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, celebrating the decision; the third by the gay activist/blogger Andrew Sullivan, also celebrating.

The recommendation for Andrew Sullivan’s piece was particularly striking because of the title: “It Is Accomplished”—an explicit reference to the words of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Father Martin, who was horrified by so much of what he read on Friday afternoon, let that blasphemous headline pass without comment. His demand for the use of temperate language, and for avoiding comments that others would find offensive, was applied to only one side of the post-Obergefell debate.

And that’s likely to be the party line for politically-correct Catholics in the wake of this momentous decision. We are allowed to disagree with the Supreme Court, politely, but not too forcefully. Any strident denunciation of the ruling or its logic might be interpreted as hate-speech, which of course is unacceptable. As the secular left clamps down on religious expression—and we’ve already been served notice that the crackdown is coming-- the Catholic left will worry aloud that, yes, some strong public expressions of religious beliefs are distasteful.

The influence of this approach, with its keen anxiety to avoid provocation, has already been evident in the statements released by some American bishops in response to the ruling. Archbishop Gregory says that he disagrees with the Court, but if you don’t know why he disagrees before you read his statement, you’re not likely to be any better informed when you’re finished. Cardinal Wuerl reminds us that we must hate the sin but love the sinner; he neglects to mention what the sin is. And Archbishop Cupich gives no indication at all that he disagrees with the Supreme Court ruling.

We have a long uphill struggle facing us as we seek to restore a proper understanding of marriage, to revive appreciation for the natural law, and to undo this wretched judicial decision. We cannot expect success if we go into the battle unarmed. If we begin the debate by saying that we must not offend our adversaries—even after our adversaries have declared our most fundamental beliefs to be offensive—we are doomed to failure.

We already know how the battle will unfold, because the campaign to crush resistance to same-sex marriage is already underway. The militant left will choose vulnerable targets—a pizza-parlor here, a baker there—and vilify them as “haters.” People who have been trained to see “hatred” in any firm disagreement will nod in solemn approval as the alleged offenses are harshly punished. And so juggernaut will keep rolling, gaining momentum, until it reaches us.

There is an alternative. We can speak the truth. Yes, certainly we should avoid making unduly provocative statements. But since we are trying to provoke reactions, we cannot pull all our punches.

More to the point, if we’re going into battle—and we are—we need to know who’s on our side, and who’s working against us.

This article was originally published on CatholicCulture.org and is re-published with permission.

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