Just a few weeks ago, box offices around the globe hit shattering records with the release of a blockbuster film celebrating sex as a form of submission and entertainment.
But on Saturday, Feb. 21, Regent University’s Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law along with the Regent Journal of Global Justice and Public Policy, hosted the fourth annual Global Justice Symposium: Human Rights and the Sexualization of Culture.
The symposium featured panel discussions of leading experts who delved into the hyper-sexualized topics of the foundation of human rights; areas where there are certainly more than fifty shades of grey.
“It was incredibly relevant and timely content for the world today,” said Ernie Walton ’11 (School of Law), administrative director for the Center for Global Justice. “The world is talking about these issues, but not in the right way.”
Walton explained that though these topics — such as pedophilia, and sexual slavery — are oftentimes taboo in the Christian sect, that shouldn’t prohibit those with a biblical worldview from engaging in these important discussions.
“As soon as you change your sexual ethic and you have an ‘anything goes’ attitude toward sexuality, you don’t know where the line is,” said Walton. “We have to look at these issues from God’s perspective.”
Three panels explored topics in human rights: the sex as a business panel was led by Scott Alleman, assistant Commonwealth’s attorney at the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office; and Laila Mickelwait, manager of Policy and Public Affairs for Exodus Cry.
The foundation of human rights panel was led by Matthew Franck, director of the Willam E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution; and Jeffery Ventrella, senior counsel/senior vice-president of strategic training for the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Finally, the children as property discussion was led by Naomi Cahn, professor at George Washington University Law School; Jim Dwyer, professor at William & Mary School of Law; Arina Grossu, director for the Center on Human Dignity; and Lynne Marie Kohm, professor at Regent’s School of Law.
The highlight for Walton, however, was learning that all is not lost in the battle of sex-trafficking from speaker Benjamin Nolot, founder and president of Exodus Cry. Nolot’s anti-trafficking organization is dedicated to abolishing modern-day slavery and assisting survivors through their acclimation to life after being rescued.
“My primary goal is about the students,” said Walton. “As they sit there and listen to the same topics but from different speakers, they’re able to think about these issues critically. We want them to realize our worldview and how we look at these issues matter. It’s all interconnected.”
The discussions brought forth from the panel illustrated that though there is still major work to be done in these fields, there’s hope for the future.
“There is a lot of legal work to be done, but first and foremost the battles we face regarding sex in today’s culture are spiritual battles,” said Walton. “Certainly something that everyone can do is to start praying to create long-term change.”
Learn more about Regent University’s School of Law and the Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law.