A Royal Nod to Prostitution - 15th June 2018


A headline last week brought home the point of just how quickly Judeo-Christian values are disappearing from or being minimalized in those parts of the globe which were previously considered part of Christendom.


The news announcement was so amazing that I had to check sources to make sure it was not a false report.  But I found many confirmations, including: The New York Times (by The Associated Press), June 6, 2018; ABC News (abcnews.go.com) June 6, 2018; The Washington Post, June 7, 2018; Reuters, June 4, 2018; the UK's The Telegraph, June 4, 2018.


To understand my initial incredulity, you have to understand that in England, while the most senior cleric is the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Supreme Governor of the Church of England is the monarch, who currently is Queen Elizabeth II.  And the Church of England is the mother church of the International Anglican Communion. So one would expect at least a formal nod to Christian principles by the sovereign, since what she does sends a message to a large number of professing Christians around the world.


Queen Elizabeth actually celebrates two birthdays—a fact I was unaware of until these articles.  She celebrates her actual birthday in April and then an official birthday usually on the second Saturday in June, with all its pageantry.  She is also the monarch and head of state of New Zealand, and as such, on her official birthday, she can award honors for New Zealand.  Who did the 92 year old queen honor for this year's official birthday?  On June 4th she awarded the top honor of Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit to Catherine Healy, a former sex worker.  The award was given to acknowledge Ms. Healy's work advocating for prostitutes.


What exactly was the reason for which Catherine Healy was being honored? Ms. Healy in her earlier life had been a primary school teacher but then made a career change to become a sex worker at a massage parlor in order to have more money for travel and to move ahead financially (according to her interview with the Associated Press).  She then became the founding member in 1989 of the New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective.   No, Ms. Healy was not leading women out of prostitution, rather she was promoting prostitution.  In her advocacy work which followed, she spearheaded the campaign to get prostitution decriminalized in New Zealand, which passed in 2003, resulting in that country having some of the most liberal sex worker laws in the world. And it was for this advocacy for the legalization of prostitution and "the rights of sex workers" that Queen Elizabeth gave her New Zealand's high honor. As www.telegraph.co/uk put it, the honor was "in recognition of her services to the sex industry."


By this recognition of now Dame Healy, what message is Queen Elizabeth sending to her church, to her subjects, and to the civilized world at large?  More importantly, as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, what subtle (or maybe not so subtle) message is she broadcasting to the young women and girls all around the world?  This is not a message of compassion for those who have made a mistake in their lives and desire a way out.  This is a lauding of those who brazenly advocate for sinful behavior—behavior which will ultimately lead to the degeneration of our society, the degradation and bondage of women, and the heartlessness of men.  Godly wisdom certainly was not present in the Queen's 92nd year, nor did the Lord's Jesus' teachings on purity and holiness occupy her position in the Anglican Church.

Pastor Greg