This weekend marks the biggest football weekend of the year. On February 6, Super Bowl XLV will take place in Dallas, TX in the new Cowboy stadium. Since I live in the area, it's all over the news and you can't get away from it.
Recently, some of the news around the Super Bowl is covering the darker side of these types of events. . . human trafficking. This horrible industry is predicted to increase by 80% this week. I am sickened by the thought.
This summer I was introduced to a book called Renting Lacy by Linda Smith. Ms.Smith runs Shared Hope International, an organizataion which "exists to rescue and restore women and children in crisis. We are leaders in a worldwide effort to prevent and eradicate s*x trafficking and slavery through education and public awareness." It was one of the most disturbing books I have ever read. It left me in tears and pushed me into finding steps to get involved in helping with these changes. I can't get this fictional story out of my mind. The story was set in Las Vegas around some huge event similar to the Super Bowl (although I am sure not as big.) And in this story, there were several very young girls bus into Nevada from other states in order to fill "orders" by the pimps at the event. It was informative, disturbing, and disgusting at the same time.
On Monday, Underdog was visiting with the admininstrative assistent at our church while he waited for me to bring my younger kids to him to take home. (This was during our co-op classes and he takes the littles home while I attend a mother/daughter class with Jennabear.) He told me later that the ministry she works with has been praying that God would invervene in mighty ways to prevent some of the trafficking from moving forward. When I heard about this I found myself praising God for the sheet of ice He blanketed our area with on Tuesday. Our area is still covered and there is more coming.
What has made me most upset, though, is that the NFL will not join the effort to get the word out and encourage fans not to participate in this criminal behavior. They've remained silent when petitioned by a trafficking survivor's plea for help in a letter she sent asking them to endorse the Traffick911 campaigned called "I'm Not Buying It." They remain silent.
I don't understand except to assume that it would effect their ability to make money. It's sick and twisted to consider but it's likely that is the case. Even one of their own players and another former player have jumped in to endorse the campaign but the NFL has not responded. There is a part of me that hopes that all the snow and ice we've gotten this week is God moving His hand to prevent alot of money making this week. There have been events cancelled. I even read that a party tent collapsed at one point (don't know if people were hurt.) I have never been a fan of Jerry Jones so in my mind, this is justice at it's best. His dream is falling apart as the God who controls the weather wreaks on his parade.
So why boycott the NFL? Well they make money when we watch this weekend. They make money when we watch all the advertisements and then go vote on our favorite for the night. Their advertisers make money. They are silent by default. And they all make money off all the sick people that will travel to this area for the game and indulge their sickest fantasies with the baby girls who have been enslaved in this life. And I am really struggling with this. I usually love watching the Super Bowl. I can get into the hype of it like the next person. I can be loud when I cheer even if I know nothing of the team that is playing. But I have lost my football appetite. I have lost my fervor for the game. We don't have access to the game in our home, but my mom has gracious invited us to come watch the game and celebrate my birthday at the same time. I guess that is where my struggle comes in. I want to enjoy the company of my family but I really don't want to do it while endorse an organization so callous to the value of a human life.
I don't know what I will do. But I know that I am fervently praying that all plans for the evil one are thwarted this weekend by the power of my Holy God. He's moved artic weather into a part of the country that is normally mind in the winter. We've seen temps sit below freezing all week. Roads are still covered with ice and schools are once again cancelled for tomorrow, four days in a row!!!! It's a small consolation to think that somehow there are little girls who have escape this weekend. . at least for now. Perhaps that 80% won't be so high.
For those of you even interested in reading this, I am not saying you have to not watch the Super Bowl. I suppose my goal in this writing is that when you are watching, just maybe, you will consider that this organization that is giving you this great entertainment, also endorses a deeper and darker entertainment. The enemy loves this darkness. He loves that men enslave young girls. He loves that people are oblivious to this evil. He loves to see the church sit and do NOTHING!!!!! Remember that when your team makes a touchdown. Remember that when the half-time show is going on. Remember that when you laugh at your favorite commercial. Maybe if you remember it enough, you will feel compelled to start getting involved in fighting human trafficking. Maybe football won't be so important anymore. Maybe, just maybe, once you act, there will be many little girls saved out of exploitation.