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Christians led with truth and love on DC's plans to decriminalize prostitution

Christians led with truth and love on DC's plans to decriminalize prostitution

Nicole D. Hayes, MPA, is area director for Washington D.C. Christian Medical & Dental Associations.

We prayed. Some of us made phone calls. Sent emails. Wrote a letter.

We all can do something with what we have.

Last month, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations of Washington, D.C., stood with other concerned citizens residing in and outside of our nation’s capital. We and CMDA’s Commission on Human Trafficking, responded against a bill proposed by the D.C. City Council that would decriminalize prostitution. 

The bill, cited as The Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019, sought to improve community safety and health by removing criminal penalties for individuals 18 years of age and older who engaged in sex work voluntarily, without force or coercion. 

The CMDA Washington, D.C. ministry contacted D.C. City Councilmembers with pragmatic and biblical responses in our concerns on why the bill should not be passed—largely that its passage would make D.C. a magnet for sex traffickers to prey upon and exploit the vulnerable, and would result in undue public health issues, violence, trauma, and other harms and the degradation of mostly women and children. 

We learned on November 8th, that the bill did not have sufficient votes to be moved forward this year. We are pleased with this outcome.  

Per my colleague and Chair of the CMDA Commission on Human Trafficking, Jeffrey J. Barrows, DO, MA, “The Washington D.C. City Council demonstrated wisdom by not moving forward with The Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019, thereby preventing the exposure of innumerable women and girls to the inevitable increased sexual exploitation that would have resulted if this legislation had passed into law.”

Read our news release here.

Personally, I was more shocked and disheartened that our public servants who serve as community stewards would promote such “wisdom” without truly preserving the most vulnerable from harm. Sadly, we’ve seen the damage resulting from the folly of man’s “wisdom.” As referenced in James 3:15, “Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic (New International Version).”

I am truly grateful for the body of Christ, my colleagues, our ministry partners and citizens for responding in opposition to this bill. Not only did we respond, but we offered to come alongside the council and those engaging in prostitution to offer life-honoring pathways; pathways that honor God’s creation rather than to dishonor and destroy their dignity.

Saints, it is our time to be intrepid — not tepid. Evil has not yet reached its full capacity. We haven’t seen anything yet. We can’t back down.

As the body of Christ united, we can serve as the tip of the spear, guided by His hand. In contrast to the world’s wisdom, we can provide reliable, biblical, ethical, informed and pragmatic responses to amoral policies.

We can impact the culture for good, with the Lord leading us. Through Christ Jesus, we can truly love our neighbors by seeking what is best for them. Love requires empathy to understand but not endorse. May we be such a refuge of love and truth to our neighbor.

We are the tip of the spear. God is raising up a standard among His People to boldly confront and foil Satan’s plans as we pray and labor to transform hearts and cities. May we be that city on the hill (or Hill). God has positioned us right here and now to be light in darkness. We have the opportunity now, praise God!

We celebrate this victory in being part of stopping the bill’s passage. The council may revisit the bill in the near future. We will be ready. As a dear brother in Christ often says, “Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.”

I am excited by what God is doing as we equip and encourage our healthcare professionals to engage biblically and ethically with our immoral culture on bioethical issues. I am delighted to serve with transformed doctors, transforming our nation’s capital and greater Washington, D.C. area.

For more information on the Christian Medical & Dental Associations of Washington, D.C., please visit https://cmda.org/student-chapters/cmda-washington-dc.

Nicole D. Hayes, MPA, is area director for Washington D.C. Christian Medical & Dental Associations.

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