Christian Smallness

A Christian friend on Facebook recommended this link.

It’s written by a young missionary in India who encounters a five-year-old prostitute in India.  The piece is moving and visceral.  It ends with a scene of the missionary watching the five-year-old she befriended lead a customer down the alley.  And the missionary feels helpless.

The girl is a captive, of course.  A sex slave, like countless others, owned by the worst kind of people.  The missionary asks permission from her local contact to take some action.  He tells her to pray.

And that’s it.  The article ends.  The child gets raped.  The owner gets paid.  The missionary prays and blogs about it, hoping that God will let her go to law school so she’ll be able to help girls like Anala.  Because, I guess, they just need some lawyers to explain to the Indians that you don’t sell children as sex slaves.

What the actual fuck?

This is the exact kind of small-minded uselessness that started me wondering if Christianity wasn’t just a club.  The Christian is the strange sort of person who travels over land and sea to find the most heart wrenching stories imaginable, take a picture of it and share it at the next missionary breakfast.  The kind of person who writes a blog about rape, slavery, and pedophilia in order to get people to do more religious duties.

For all the radical, society-shifting things Jesus and the apostles said, Christians do a whole lot of fuck all.  Jesus said to love your neighbour as yourself.  What do you suppose you’d wish the nice white lady from America would do if you caught her watching while you led the next customer to a doorway where you can get a tiny bit of privacy while you were forced to suck his cock?

Yeah, pray.  That’s it.  Gosh, I hope the white lady prays for me.  And I hope I don’t get sores all over my mouth like my friend Irum.

And the funniest thing is, I can understand if the lady doesn’t want to help.  It’s awkward dealing with extreme suffering.  I get that.  You don’t want to do something rash in a scary and unfamiliar country.  Sure.  But why the fuck are you pretending that you are passionate about helping Anila and others like her?

“There is a fire in my heart, and it won’t be quenched until I see justice.”

Bullshit.  You’ll be fine.  That fire will die out after a nice nap.

Lady, you don’t know what it’s like to have a fire in your heart.  A fire in your heart doesn’t sending hoping that God will allow you to go to law school.  A fire burns!  It fucking burns!  It rampages through fields and tears down the weeded hedges that choke the life out of the world.  It doesn’t move you to ask the guy running your centre if you can do anything.  It does something!  Like the prophet Jeremiah who could not keep the illegal message bottled within, spouting out his passions knowing full well it’d kill him.  Like Christ who followed the path of love that consumed him with such passion that it led to the event we actually call The Passion.  Like Gandhi who walked to the sea to make illegal salt.  Like Martin Luther King Jr.  Like Nelson Mandela.  Like Che Guevara.  These are people with fire.  They don’t ask what they can do.  They do something.  Because they are on fire.  They have no choice.  Do you really think Jesus would have looked as Anala walked away and decided to try going to law school?

And you reply, “But I’m not Jesus.”

You’re right, you really aren’t.

I’m sorry, and I really don’t want to discourage you.  I’m sure your heart is in the right place, whatever the fuck that means.  If you’re in India at all it’s probably because you want to help.  But it’s harder to help than you thought, and the vast majority of us who fly over there to help don’t actually do much more than give hugs and sermons.  Help is not praying for Anala.  It’s not blogging about Anala.  It’s not feeling nice to have her sleep in your arms.

Back when I was shopping around for what missionary organization to join, YWAM, the organization mentioned in the post, impressed me for being wild and radical and willing to do anything to get the message of Jesus out.  Handing out tracts on the streets of oppressive Muslim countries, preaching to strangers, upsetting locals form every country.  Many were thrown in jail and kicked out of the country having earn death threats for Jesus.

But do something that radical for a child sex slave?  Naw, that’s when we gotta pray.

And you wonder why people think your message is stupid?  It doesn’t do anything.