Hot links!

Super super busy with other writing projects lately, but I don’t want to let the site languish. Here are a bunch of things that caught my eye lately, but that I haven’t had the time to write about:

Fr. Barron’s reflections on our beloved John Paul II.  He really was a hero.

A gently searing reflection on being useful and being sick. Lots to think about. Oh, lots. 

And old but lovely story about a group who helps dying people achieve their last wishes. The woman in the top photo wanted to see Rembrandt one more time. 

Hoop de doo, a Catholic school that is no longer going to let parents claim they can’t vaccinate because they’re Catholic! Because it’s just not Christian to give immunocompromised people the measles for no good reason. 

Something about sex work that I am reading because I need to understand things I don’t understand, and I won’t if I only read things I know I’ll like. It’s long, and I’m not done reading it yet.

A couple of dumbass laws by us, God’s dumbass people: Let’s have no pointy knives, because roast beef is a social construct; and also now how would it be if you can go to jail for calling someone a bitch, even if they totally are a bitch? Because goodness knows we can count on government to only take away a little bit of your free speech, and also the only way to discourage bad behavior is through the legal system YOU DUMB BITCHES.

A printable coloring page of the Trinity, just in case you needs one. 

Bernadette Carstensen is the one who painted that lovely picture of toddler Jesus putting a crown on a doting Mary’s head. I love how she’s at his feet and looking up to him, but also has her arm around his little bum, holding him steady. Raise your hand if you think I need to get in touch with Cerstensen and get my Catholic artist interview series going again.

And then I need to get in touch with this gal at Akathist Art. Eh? Eh?

And finally, back to John Paul II. This stupid video resurfaces every couple of years and I always cry like a dumb bitch when I see it. “Perhaps I love you more!” 

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5 thoughts on “Hot links!”

  1. Thinking of that article on sex work – Since millions of people enslaved in human trafficking situations didn’t choose to be there in the first place, this officer gives suggestions for staying safe if you are a woman traveling alone during the holidays – or even with others, it can take just a few seconds out of sight to become drugged and kidnapped – so the officer has tips for staying safe:

    And for those who are being trafficked if you get a chance to phone or text, contact the Polaris Project’s National Human Trafficking Hotline, or contact the hotline – by phone or text – if you suspect someone is being trafficked – Phone: 888-373-7888 | Text BeFree (233733). The text number seems especially easy to remember, but the phone number is pretty easy also.

  2. Simcha, I did take a look at the article about sex workers. Good that you make the effort to read things to “understand things I don’t understand.” So here is another link – This is a scholarly article by Dr. Laura Lederer and Chris Wetzel (2014) on the health effects of being tafficked. Although it is a research article, I think a non-medical person would find it understandable. Dr. Laura Lederer is an international expert on human trafficking and has worked in high levels in the U.S. government, initially involved with the legal aspects of trafficking, and now in the public health aspects. She surveyed women who had escaped from trafficking – survivors – and was able to document the horrific physical, sexual, and mental abuse they experienced. More than half the women had PTSD, with 68% reporting flashbacks; 88.7% of the women reported experienced depression during trafficking and 41.5% had attempted suicide. In all, 98.1% had mental health problems. But almost all had physical medical problems also. For example, 91.5% had neurological symptoms such has headaches, memory and concentration problems dizziness – many of these from being punched in the head and slammed around. “Nearly nearly 70% of victims reported physical injuries, most commonly to the head or face.” Nicole, a survivor stated, “I’ve been hit, punched, kicked, beaten, whipped with a belt, forced to have sex, threatened with a weapon, shot at, and had my head split open. . . . ” One survivor was whipped and had bleach poured on her. These types of things were not exceptional; extreme violence was commonly experienced by the women during. One other thing is that trafficked women do get pregnant while trafficked, and many have multiple abortions. One woman in this study said she had 17 abortions, some of them forced, though if a person is enslaved and controlled by violence, it’s difficult to think that there is truly any free choice about any of the abortions. In any case, there were many pregnancies and abortions, many of them very clearly forced, revealed in this study. These things were not exceptional but common place among the trafficking survivors. As a mental health professional, I have treated a number of formerly trafficked women, and it has not been empowering for my patients. Many are disabled by their severe psychiatric and neurological injuries and other health problems that have arisen from being trafficked. It’s important to realize that many, many sex workers are in fact enslaved, and are in trafficked situations. The majority are not doing this as a career choice. Formerly trafficked women who become well and find their voice have written books about their experiences, have started ministries and non-profit organizations to help women to escape trafficking and to help women with their recovery through halfway houses, counseling and rehab programs etc. Some trafficking survivors speak publicly about their time in trafficking to educate others on how to help, how to prevent, etc., and some formerly trafficked women have testified to Congressional subcommittees. Trafficking is big business and very lucrative – with drugs, you can only sell once and then one has to get more to sell, but if you enslave a human person, you can sell them over and over again, so it’s big money for those who enslave sex workers. Lorelei Lee speaks for herself, but does not speak for the majority of sex workers including the millions who are trafficked. This is an important issue to understand well because of the terrible effects on so many, in our own country, not just foreign countries – our own daughters could go missing and be enslaved for sex work. It does happen.

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