A headline recently caught my eye. It read, “Why even Amsterdam doesn’t want legal brothels.” As I read this article I found a link to another one in a different publication with the headline, “How Dutch legalizing of prostitution, drugs and euthanasia is working out.”
It just so happens that the Netherlands is one of the most liberal places on earth. They legalized prostitution, drugs and euthanasia because they believed doing so would eliminate many of the social problems that existed in the country. They believed legalizing prostitution would eliminate pimps and create a situation where the prostitutes would no longer be exploited – and that it would also increase tax revenue. They felt legalizing drugs would do away with drug addicts using dirty needles and lead to fewer people ultimately becoming addicted. They believed that legalizing euthanasia would eliminate end of life suffering to a large degree.
But these policies have had an entirely different effect than the political leaders expected. Rather than eliminating pimps and exploitation of prostitutes, they have created a situation where those things exist at and even higher level as pimps bring in more prostitutes (many of them sex slaves) to meet a higher demand. With zoning restrictions removed, pimps now ply their trade out in the open all over the city, rather than being restricted to a red light district. And they continue to intimidate their women into silence to keep from having to pay taxes. On the drug front, rather than doing away with drug problems, they have created a drug tourism industry which has radically increased the drug problems in the culture. And rather than eliminating end of life suffering, the euthanasia policy has created a death tourism industry where people from all over the world come to the Netherlands to end their lives. On top of this, there is increased pressure on the elderly and infirm to end their lives unnecessarily in order to “reduce their burden on society.”
Rather than solve problems, these liberal policies have created even bigger ones. The reason for this is that the worldview beliefs which promote this kind of thinking do not correspond with the way human beings actually experience life.
The laws and policies of liberal societies, like the Netherlands, are based on a naturalistic worldview. Naturalism is the belief that only the natural universe exists – there is no such thing as God or any supernatural reality. Since they don’t believe in a God who can reveal right morality, it is left to the individuals in society to create their own morality and make law. And the people who use this worldview platform, do so based on beliefs which value the collective above the individual and the survival of the species over morality. Thus, anything which society’s leaders deem to provide the best possibility for survival can be considered good morality.
With this foundation, it is easy to see why the leaders in the Netherlands chose the path they did. They really believed that legalizing prostitution would make things better. Ditto with drug legalization and euthanasia. They considered that these policies would promote greater survival possibilities for society.
Obviously, they were wrong. And the best evidence that they were wrong is that they are now looking for ways to reverse some of the policies. Things are getting uglier, not better.
So, why is this happening? Why are things are turning ugly this way? The reason is that human beings are not essentially “good” as Naturalists presume. In fact, quite the opposite. Human beings are essentially bad based on the sin nature which exists because of the Fall of man. Human beings incline toward doing evil, not good. Left to themselves, without moral restraints, humans do bad things. And the less restraints the more evil they will do. The Netherlands is a perfect example of how this works.
But that is the Netherlands. What does that have to do with the US? Plenty! America is heading down that exact road. More and more states are attempting to legalize drugs and physician assisted suicide. Additionally, the sexual mores of the nation are such that any kind of sexual activity at any time and for any purpose is the norm, not the exception. There are even places where prostitution, itself, is legal.
And the result of this? Is it a more civil society? No! All of this is leading to an increasing breakdown of the individual, the family, and the culture at large. The result is more crime, more addiction, more homelessness, more prostitution, more sexually transmitted diseases, more pornography, more orphans, more divorce, more sex trafficking, more illegal gambling and the list could go on.
What is the cure? The cure is for society to turn back to the foundation which represents actual reality. Human beings really are sinners and need to be redeemed in order to counteract the sin nature within. The morality that God revealed in the Bible really does correspond to reality, and people who follow it will have more meaningful and productive lives.
To turn the tide, Christians must begin getting serious about countering the naturalistic trend in the US. This requires that we put forth the effort to learn how to share Christ in ways which will break through to modern culture. The gospel message never changes, but our approach to sharing must! Until we take a step to the next level of commitment and action, things will continue down the road to Amsterdam.
© 2013 Freddy Davis