Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remember the Excitement of New Development

My pleasant 5-minute drive to work takes me past the botanical gardens every morning. This morning I spotted a new sign that confirms the changes that the gardens have been undergoing for a few months now. There's a signboard from the Dept of Environmental Affairs advertising an upgrade of the facilities at the gardens, which like most facilities of its type, could really use an injection of support.

At this point I find it way too easy to fall into the usual pattern of thinking, imagining misallocation of funds, discriminatory tender selection, bureaucracy, backhand bribes, etcetera. Then I remembered that sense of excitement I used to feel when I was young and saw new development on the go.

I'm sure I speak for most of the white population in South Africa when I say that we need to give our scepticism a break sometimes. I recall the recent statements from the ANC that the whites "want the 2010 World Cup to fail". I'm not sure it's a case of "want", but rather "expect". Even so, I'm as much in danger of allowing all that scepticism to replace the fact that our country will host one of the world's two biggest sporting events. After the corruption that saw Germany steal the hosting rights from us, we've finally got our chance. While I will probably always view the ANC with justified concern, if the present government can pull it off, then hats off to them.

When 2010 comes around, we will have a glistening set of new stadiums, staging a world event on one of the best international stages. We might not have a team to compete, but there will be plenty of competition, foreign accents, local enthusiasm and world attention. It would be a mistake to miss out on the festivity, and for once I intend to remember the enthusiasm that has been the sole domain of children for far too long.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Why We Reject Legalised Prostitution

Having just seen a billboard headline for the Natal Witness that suggests we should possibly legalise abortion, it's perhaps a good time simply to set out the main points of our considerable dislike for prostitution. This is of course a growing issue with the suggestion of red light zones for the World Cup, particularly in Durban.

First up, while the ACDP does base its policies in Biblical principle, we do believe that each of these policies is plausible in their own right. We believe in a God who has good plans for our lives and who sees at a level higher than we do. Where a policy of His seems to run against contemporary thinking (especially a set of thinking espoused by the athiests), we are confident that a little further analysis will show God's policy to be the best, without exception.

First of all, prostitution runs completely against good family values. We believe that healthy citizens are best raised in a stable home, with parents of the opposite sex who love each other and remain in loyal covenant. It doesn't take a scientist to realise that visiting a prostitute would create a serious wedge in a marriage that would harm the trust between a couple, with that tension feeding through to the children.

Prostitution fosters a culture of sleeping around that heads in the opposite direction of a healthy family structure. It undermines the notion of stable family and it potentially leads to unplanned pregnancy, where children grow up with the knowledge that they were an "accident". Furthermore, it places emphasis primarily on the physical and away from the value of the soul, emotions and personality of a person.

It can lead to significant health problems, notably the spread of AIDS and STD's.

Prostitution has a strong association with crime and with cultures where drug-use thrives. Among those who become prostitutes, many have done so owing to other societal failures, including drug use, living on the street and human trafficking. Legalisation of prostitution is a failure to deal with the source of the problem, and is in its own way an endorsement of the state of society, rather than attempt to remedy the situation.

Prostitution generally harms the identity of the prostitute. As we regard intercourse as a special bond between a loyal couple, the prostitute has customers partake of this intimacy with no intention of giving anything but money. There is very little reciprocal love and commitment involved, and research shows undeniably that the restoration of a sense of appreciation in a prostitute's life is a slow and difficult process.

Those arguing that prostitution be legalised in order to regulate it need only look at the state of the abortion industry, which is hugely out of control.

As a last thought, some would say we are showing no love for people by preventing them from persuing their natural desires. Given the very serious repercussions of prostitution, how can you possibly say you love a prostitute when you choose not to try lead them away from a life that will destroy them? Equally, those who believe that prostitution is a serious career path truly need to have their hope in the beauty of life restored.

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