There is not much worse than drugging your own children and using them as props, unless it would be to rent them out for others to use likewise. What on earth can be done for intergenerational abuse of the sort that takes place throughout Afghanistan:
The Afghanistan Human Rights Independent Commission (AHRIC) estimates there are 60,000 child addicts in the country. Opium is the most common drug.
Zainab in her fifties is a self-confessed addict and beggar for the last nine years since her return from Pakistan. She says she has seven children between 5 and 28 years, and the three youngest are addicted to opium. She tells IMC that she gives them "on rent" to beggar gangs. "I give them opium," she explains. "The youngest stays with me, while the other two are given to women who give me half their earnings in return," she adds. It is for the children that people give arms, Zainab thinks. "Otherwise no one will help us," she says despairingly.
Nearly half of Afghanistan's estimated 27 million people live on less than 1 USD a day, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has calculated.
Karima, a mother of seven, is both a street food seller and beggar. What of her husband? He's addicted to narcotics and jobless, she says. "I cook Bulani and sell it in the bazaar. Later in the day I take along two or three of my children, and seek alms near Ashiqan and Arefan shrine, or next to Pol e Kheshti mosque," she says. She admits to giving her children opium, and giving two of them to two other women in her group of beggars who don't have children. "We are 12 women in this area. I take one child and two other women take my 8-year-old daughter and one and a one-and-a-half-year-old son. In the evening, when we are going home, we divide whatever food and money that we have got."
Karima says she earns at least 400 Afs (7 USD) on her own. "I get some money from renting my children," she adds.
Najibullah Babrakzai, a coordinator for child rights at AIHRC, says: "That children sleep from 8 am to 4 pm is evidence they are being given narcotics. It is really a crime." The Commission has raised the issue with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in meetings on beggar children, but "they have paid little attention", he says.
With the mothers' addictions having affected the babies in utero, the children's health was probably already severely compromised, and yet they bear the face of Christ -- each one. Jesus mercy on these poor souls, and let's pray for some sort of intervention that would make a difference.
While Americans are in a lather over the HHS mandate to provide "free" contraceptives to all who want them (paid for by all, despite the moral objections of many) such policies have long been in the making on an international level.
The Yogyakarta Principles are a set of principles on the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity. The Principles affirm binding international legal standards with which all States must comply. They promise a different future where all people born free and equal in dignity and rights can fulfil that precious birthright.
If sexual expression is a birthright, then it joins the fundamental rights of life and liberty, and must be provided for everyone on the planet, no matter what obstacles cultural norms create. That means that there is no difference between the Muslim endorsement of child brides and polygamy and the Christian call for chastity and fidelity within marriage. Both would be wrong if a young girl wished to express herself as a lesbian, as a prostitute or as a mymphomaniac. No one can tell her "no."
Ubiquitous, sterile sex is the panacea for the left, and is foundational to those who support the Yogyakarta Principles. It will only work if there is:
sex without babies
sex outside of marriage
sex with whomever we want
sex at any age
sex without commitment
sex without any ties or bonds (and babies ruin it!)
This has been the mantra of the UN population control people for years, and this has been the mantra of the SEICUS people who have been corrupting our children's education for decades.
Once people assume they have a right to sex without any restrictions, then it creates a market for abortion, which is lucrative ($$ billions annually).
The only thing better than sex without any commitment or restrictions is making it free -- i.e. making the taxpayers foot the bill. This has been in the works a long time. Pope Paul VI knew this when he wrote Humanae Vitae, and the Catholic Church has been holding the line (alone!) on this for years.
While the HHS manual is primarily a question of religious liberty, it is also a teaching moment to show how contraception has been an integral part of sexual license, promiscuity in all realms of society, and the destruction of the traditional family. Please inform yourselves of the link between contraception and divorce, abortion and sex trafficking. Pope Paul VI was right:
We take this opportunity to address those who are engaged in education and all those whose right and duty it is to provide for the common good of human society. We would call their attention to the need to create an atmosphere favorable to the growth of chastity so that true liberty may prevail over license and the norms of the moral law may be fully safeguarded.
Everything therefore in the modern means of social communication which arouses men's baser passions and encourages low moral standards, as well as every obscenity in the written word and every form of indecency on the stage and screen, should be condemned publicly and unanimously by all those who have at heart the advance of civilization and the safeguarding of the outstanding values of the human spirit. It is quite absurd to defend this kind of depravity in the name of art or culture (25) or by pleading the liberty which may be allowed in this field by the public authorities (HV, 22).
Today, we honour the Sudanese woman who was snatched as a child by Arab slave traders. At roughly the age of seven, she was so traumatised that she couldn't even remember her name, and thus was called, "Bakhita," meaning "lucky one." That perverse attempt at humour held a kernal of truth, for she found the One True God through her ordeal.
I offer here a couple paragraphs from my own book, which included a section on Sister Josephine's amazing journey:
It was her fifth owner, the Italian consul at Karthoum, who first showed her kindness and ultimately brought her to Europe, where she discovered Christ. While taking care of the young daughter of a family there, she was introduced to the Canossan Sisters with whom she eventually found a home as a religious sister. Fifty years of quiet consecrated life allowed her to witness to others the deep abiding peace that faith and forgiveness can bring. Seeing God’s hand even in the difficult path of her life, she noted, “If I was to meet those slave raiders that abducted me and those who tortured me, I'd kneel down to them to kiss their hands, because, if it had not been for them, I would not have become a Christian and religious woman.” At her beatification, Pope John Paul II praised her as “Our Universal Sister,” pointing out that she offers us “a message of reconciliation and evangelic forgiveness in a world so much divided and hurt by hatred and violence.” Note that Bakhita didn’t say that what the slave traders and her owners did to her was right – it most certainly was not. But she recognized that through her wounds she found salvation, which she could not ignored.
There are many forms of slavery, including those that do not have visible chains or leave outward marks. We suffer from them as long as we cannot name them, claim our own dignity which comes from being created in the image and likeness of God, and renounce them from holding us captive. The liberation that forgiveness can offer is as stark as the sundering of iron fetters and the opening of a prison door—it is for the one who suffers to choose freedom and wholeness of heart, despite her surroundings. The graces of God are available to all even in the darkest hours and each cross bears within it the seeds of Easter for those who cling to Christ.
Sadly enough, slavery has never ended, but has only grown and adopted new disguises:
Slavery still exists today. Whether it is called human trafficking, bonded labor, forced labor, or sex trafficking, it is present worldwide, including within the United States and, increasingly, in your local community.
An estimated 12 - 27 million people are caught in one or another form of slavery. Between 600,000 and 800,000 are trafficked internationally, with as many as 17,500 people trafficked into the United States. Nearly three out of every four victims are women. Half of modern-day slaves are children.
That all may find this peace despite what they've suffered, and that we all find ways to shed light on this ongoing tragedy. Saint Bakhita, pray for us!