‘Sound of Freedom,’ Child Sex Trafficking, Conspiracy Theories, and How To Be Helpful

Earlier this month, “Sound of Freedom” hit theaters to the praise of many evangelicals. The film depicts the real-life events surrounding Tim Ballard, a former federal agent who quit his job to lead operations to free children from child sex trafficking rings in South America. Ballard is portrayed by none other than Jim Caviezel, who is famous for playing the role of Jesus in “The Passion of the Christ.”

It would seem that a movie about the fight to end human trafficking—featuring the face of Jesus, no less—would be uncontroversial, but “Sound of Freedom” has been anything but. Critics have accused the movie of misrepresenting human trafficking and how to fight it, and some have even suggested that the movie promotes QAnon conspiracy theories.

In response, some supporters of the film have suggested that those critical of “Sound of Freedom” are deep state Democrats who are involved in a sex trafficking ring of their own. (Notably, the existence of a sex trafficking ring among liberal elites is one of the more prominent QAnon conspiracy theories.)

In this episode of the podcast, we try to make sense of the mess. Are the critiques leveled against “Sound of Freedom” politically motivated, completely fair, or somewhere in between? We also talk about the importance of anti-trafficking work and how Christians can support the effort.

RELATED RESOURCES

LISTEN: Why Do so Many Christians Believe in QAnon?
READ: Navigating Relationships With the Conspiracy Theorists in Your Life
READ: 3 Things Christians Can (and Must) Do for Sexual Abuse Survivors

REFERENCED IN THIS EPISODE

‘Sound Of Freedom’ Is a Superhero Movie for Dads With Brainworms” by Miles Klee
Why Anti-Trafficking Experts Are Torching ‘Sound of Freedom’” by EJ Dickson
What Anti-Trafficking Experts Think of the Hit Movie ‘Sound of Freedom’” by Emily Belz
VIDEO: ‘Passion of the Christ’ Star Pushes False QAnon Theory
A Famed Anti-Sex Trafficking Group Has a Problem With the Truth” by Anna Merlan

ORGANIZATIONS FIGHTING HUMAN TRAFFICKING

  • Thorn fights trafficking by creating technical solutions to detect and stop the spread of child pornography.
  • Compassion International fights child poverty (which reduces the likelihood of trafficking) by empowering donors to sponsor children.
  • International Justice Mission fights trafficking by addressing broken justice systems, rescuing and restoring victims, and bringing criminals to justice

 

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