Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Ragemonkey Red Alert 2: Living in the Age of Disposable People

I was listening to NPR (don't hate me if I like more commentary on the news than the 10-second blown-dry Barbie heads provide) and on "Fresh Air" which comes from one of my favorite cities, Philly, the hour was dedicated to a story that had run in the New York Times Magazine. The story was about sex slavery in the U.S. Apparently young girls and boys from around the world, but mostly for Latin America, are being run into the country for the use in sex trade. It was very sad and very disturbing. Yet another place where we need to secure justice for the less fortunate.

Then on the Drudge Report, there was another article about slavery, but this time is was wage slavery. The article dealt at length with how immigrants, again mostly from south of the Border, were treated as wage slaves, earning well below what is needed to live.

Apart from the slavery angle, these two stories carry a common thread. They both have to do with disposable persons. Think for a moment about that coffee mug that practically flies into your hand each morning. At the end of that delicious cup of java, does it ever, EVER cross your mind to discard the cup. No? Why? Because the cup has value to you. It evokes a pleasant memory, you love the Far Side cartoon on the exterior, whatever. But if the value disappears, say the handle breaks off, guess where that cup is headed. Right into the garbage.

Human persons should be worth more to us than cheap labor or as a fully interactive sex toy. They are created in the image and likeness of God. Because they can fulfill some intermediary good, a good which more valuable than the one providing it, they are as disposable as a Dixie cup.

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