Should Prostitution Be Legal?

It is referred to as the oldest profession in human history. For as long as there has been civilizations, there has been prostitution. Whether legally or illegally, it has been something that has been apart of societies for centuries. Currently Nevada is the only U.S. jurisdiction that allows prostitution to happen legally, but that soon may change. There has been much talk about prostitution lately in our country as there has been some political movement to get it legalized in other areas of the country. Just about a week ago a bill was introduced in New York State to legalize prostitution. The health committee chairman Richard Gottfried, said, “trying to stop sex work between consenting adults should not be the business of the criminal justice system.” Other states and Washington D.C. are also reviewing if they should make prostitution legal.
It seems to be that the moral argument for the supporters of this is consent. As long as the people involved agree, there is nothing wrong with it. It does not matter how many or what gender or if it is free or not, as long as everyone involved is ok with it. It is this type of moral thought that lead to a recent article in Teen Vogue. The article is titled “Sex Work Is Real Work” by a Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng. In the article Tlaleng argues that prostitution is just like any other job or service that people pay for. I will do my best to speak to the doctor’s arguments as I will not be able to quote a lot of the article. That in it of itself should be alarming about this piece. An article was written in a publication for teenage girls and I don’t even feel comfortable in quoting most of it.
She justifies prostitution by stating, “ between consenting adults may include companionship, intimacy...dancing, escorting [etc.]. These roles are often pre-determined, and all parties should be comfortable with them. Many workers take on multiple roles with their clients, and some...interactions...could evolve into emotional and psychological bonding. The idea of purchasing intimacy and paying for the services can be affirming for many people who need human connection, friendship, and emotional support.”
So her argument has to do with filling people’s emotional and relational needs. If a prostitute helps people with that, who are we to say that it is wrong? Yet this thinking is the consequence of placing the moral boundary for sex to just consent. This is also the consequence to the belief that there is no God. If our society doesn’t believe that there is a God who objectively gives us what is right and wrong, then our society is free to define morality however they see fit!
We as humans have emotional and relational needs. Intimacy is a real desire that we long to fulfill. But it is harmful to just fulfill it in anyway we see fit. God in His infiite wisdom defined for us healthy boundaries for sex to have our needs met and to protect us as well. The intimacy that is developed between a married couple is sacred for a reason. And the emotional and physical turmoil and baggage that is created when we go about it in any other way is why God says it is wrong.
The fact that we seek out relationships, fellowship and connection with other people proves there is a God. This need/desire is not seen in the animal world. This is because humans are the only creation made in His image. Part of what it means to be made in His image is the relational connection we have with each other. For He has a perfect relationship and is in perfect community in the Trinity. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit have an intimate, deep, relational fellowship with each other and thus we have that desire being made in His image.
Ultimately what we have here is the reason for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These relationship needs that Dr. Mofokengd is referencing here are real. But your spouse, church, coworkers or friends could never perfectly fulfill those needs. Only God Himself can! This is why in the Gospel we are not just saved from hell. Nor are we just given a ticket into heaven. We are brought into a relationship to commune with the God of the universe. And it is in communion with Him that we will ultimately have all of our relational needs met. The human need for this fulfillment proves our need for God. For it is in Him and Him alone that we will ever get those needs perfectly met. Not from any prostitute.
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