Wilberforce Act Worth Consideration

By Doug Carlson
Dec 3, 2008

President-elect Obama is filling up his cabinet, President Bush is now considered a lame duck, and incoming members of Congress already know which offices they’ll soon occupy. But this Congress is still expected to return to work next week, and it ought to give consideration to that which is achievable and matters most.

The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act (H.R. 3887) is one such bill that merits attention. The act’s beneficiaries deserve freedom—the untold millions of men, women, boys, and girls around the world, thousands of them here in the United States, who are trafficked and trapped in an industry of forced labor or sex servitude. Its malefactors deserve punishment under the force of the law—the pimps and traffickers who enslave their victims and beat them to a pulp for any hint of insubordination. This modern-day slavery demands a response.

As we have recently reported, the Wilberforce Act breezed through the House one year ago with only two dissenters, and has since been bottled up in the Senate Judiciary Committee. But we have made progress on it. The Senate is now talking to the House Judiciary Committee on language that they would prefer. The bill is very close to being passed. Language differences Senate negotiators are holding out for will make it more difficult to end the modern day slave trade occurring right here in our own nation. The House-passed bill, H.R. 3887, has the right approach to the problem. Countless lives could be liberated under this bill.

The Wilberforce Act takes particular aim at the savage sex slavery that has reached our shores and crossed our borders. Many victims are lured by the promise of a job as a waitress or maid, only to realize too late that they’ve bought into a lie. Their lives are shattered and their hopes snatched away. Routine beatings and threats of harm to their families to keep them submissive are standard fare in this so-called “business,” as their purveyors seek to satisfy their lust and greed. The Wilberforce Act has the real potential to choke this vice and rescue thousands of women and girls from the slavery in our own backyard.

One means is allowing the Justice Department to prosecute pimps and traffickers in the states. Currently, federal law enforcement can only get involved if a pimp is prostituting an underage girl or he brings a woman across state lines for sexual purposes. It has become increasingly clear that states simply do not have the resources to address the trafficking industry.

The Wilberforce Act would be a gift of justice and of mercy this Christmas season. Those who are entrapped in this horrifying industry can ill afford for Congress to wait another year. Congress should end its squabbling and act.

If you agree, please contact your congressman and senators immediately to insist that Congress agree upon the William Wilberforce Act (H.R. 3887) before adjourning for the year.

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission works to fight against sex trafficking in America and around the world. If your church would like to purchase materials on this important issue, bulletin inserts are available at our online bookstore.

Further Learning

Learn more about: Family, Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Citizenship, Legislation,


1 On Dec 4, 2008, at 8:06pm, James Reeves wrote:

Is our passion directed at the correct industry? Should christians passion be more directed toward the education of our children by the government programs, such as alternate lifestyles, abortion rights, and the date method change from AD-BC to BCE-CE being pushed by Jews, and Arab americans.
While the Wilberforce Act is valid it is only the symptom of an illness bred in judical decisions we must reject as tyranical to all Christians.

Very Sincerely
James Reeves

2 On Dec 9, 2008, at 4:28am, eric wrote:

James: your “an illness bred in judical decisions we must reject as tyranical to all Christians.” seems to indicate that you would favor legislated Christianity, which America has rejected as being a far greater tyranny.

Just what SPECIFIC tryanny do you suffer?

There are NO bad judgements; only those with which you disagree.

Let me guess; your background isn’t in constitutional law.

3 On Dec 11, 2008, at 7:48am, James Reeves wrote:

eric: I would never suppose that faith in Jesus as Lord could either be forced or legislated but the illness I plainly noted can be diagnosed as sin,wrong,ugly, shameful,or ambigious.
The ” Bill of Rights ” given in the constitution was thoughtfully written and understood by and for the people living at that time. By the way if Christian thinkers of that time who signed the Declaration of Independence could have foreseen that judges would dictate what the law says instead of interpret the law they may have installed another branch.

James Reeves

4 On Dec 11, 2008, at 8:00am, James Reeves wrote:

May I correct the symptom in my statement to ( treating the symptom) as it makes clear what I was trying to say. I am sorry if I orchestrated a different paradigm.

James E Reeves

5 On Dec 12, 2008, at 4:41am, eric wrote:

James: “..the illness I plainly noted can be diagnosed as sin,wrong,ugly, shameful,or ambigious.”

So? What does that have to do with judicial decisions?

Courts decide matters of LAW.

It is my understanding that your God will make the call on SIN, at the end of your mortal stay.

There are areas of overlap, enacted for social, not religious reasons. e.g. murder.

If you write LAW that punishes SIN, you have created a theocracy.

Your coulda-woulda-shoulda maybe if point on courts is immaterial. Deal with the law as written.

Without divergent ‘interpretations’ of the law, no court would be necessary. You’re just ticked because yours was ruled wrong. Get over it.

You still haven’t explained what SPECIFIC tyranny you suffer.

6 On Dec 16, 2008, at 5:43pm, James Reeves wrote:

Eric: The 7th ammendment listed in the original “Bill Of Rights” encourages that the right of citizens to go to court in civil cases should be “preserved”. I had been working with AIG (American General) for 28 years but I could not follow the guide set forth to install forced arbitration without objection so I brought a copy of the bill of rights to work for all my peers to read but only after I had presented my ethical problem to all the appropreate management including the state of alabama insurance department head David Parsons. I was fired. Now I can tell you that all actions of law breakers are punished by God and sometimes by government as His insturment. This is not theocracy it is judgment imposed.
The wrong I saw is, I was being asked to not preserve the right of other citizens. When the blood of soldiers protecting and atempting to preserve the 7th ammendment call out can you tell me who hears?

7 On Jan 5, 2009, at 8:22pm, James E Reeves wrote:

Eric: I have personal ethics and some measure of dignity but the attacks on me came because I refused to sell out for profits.
My own lawyer could not understand that the principle of maintaining my ethics while working should be the real crime.
I am not over this but I trust in one who can see me through it.

The comment thread for this article is now closed. Please use our contact form.

You May Also Like

Arkansas enacts earliest abortion ban in U.S.

By Tom Strode - Mar 7, 2013

The Arkansas legislature has overridden a veto to enact the earliest ban on abortion in the United States.

The state House of Representatives voted 56-33 Wednesday (March 6) to override Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto, thereby providing final approval to a measure that bans abortion of unborn babies whose heartbeat has been detected by ultrasound at 12 weeks or later.…

Read More

The Last Evangelical Hipster

By Daniel Darling - Dec 20, 2013 - (1)

Yes, here is one more blog post opining on the Duck Dynasty kerfuffle. Like the man I work for, Dr. Russell Moore, I’m not a fan of reality TV. And as a child of suburban Chicago, I don’t really fit the Duck Dynasty demographic, though its widespread appeal clearly shows that the show resonates with more than bearded backwoods hunters.…

Read More

NYC church policy challenged in court filing

By Tom Strode - Apr 24, 2012

The New York City ban on religious worship in public schools violates both the free exercise of religion and the prohibition on government establishment of religion, a Southern Baptist entity and other groups contend in a friend-of-the-court brief filed in federal court.…

Read More

Kermit Gosnell and the gospel

By Russell D. Moore - May 13, 2014

NOTE: Today marks one year since Kermit Gosnell was convicted.

I was typing the name “Kermit Gosnell” and my phone auto-corrected the name to “gospel.” I shuddered momentarily. After all, what could be more contradictory than the name of a notorious abortionist on trial for child murder, and the good news of the mercies of God in Christ.…

Read More
Bush: AIDS goal reached early Women find compassion in Russellville