“Prostitutes Welcomed to Massachusetts State House”

by Blake Anderson

So, I’m with my family on vacation this summer and we have friends that live near Boston. We crashed their pad for a couple nights and had a nice tour of the city. It had been a while since I had been to this area not too far from where I grew up in rural New Hampshire, so it was exciting to reacquaint myself with this historic city. My children loved the U.S.S. Constitution, Bunker Hill, Quincy Market, and seeing many of the locations from the birth of our country. The Freedom Trail ends right near the Granary Burying Ground where Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams are buried and near the Massachusetts State House. However, I didn’t realize that “freedom” had progressed quite so far in the Bay State. It appears that not only do the politicians and staff at the State House occasionally engage prostitutes, apparently, they openly advertise this fact and make the logistics of this illicit business a matter of public concern. They have even installed prominent signage indicating where hookers should enter the State House. At least for the “general” type of prostitute. Others, of unknown specificity, probably enter the building somewhere else as the signage says, “GENERAL HOOKER ENTRANCE” I saw it with my own eyes!

Then I walked around the corner. Oops. Scratch that. Let’s back up and take a second look. Just inside the entrance there “just happens to be” an equestrian statue with General Joseph Hooker on the back of his trusty horse. The General served as one of Abraham Lincoln’s commanding Union generals during the Civil War. You see, a little context often brings a whole lot of clarification! The General Hooker Entrance, on second glance, is not

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advertising a state run brothel, rather it is recognizing a career military officer who served his country. When we fail to get the context we fail to understand the correct meaning. Sometimes the results are just humorous. Other times we are messing with the words from the mouth of God. As important as getting God’s word “might” be, it seems we discern the right meaning of signage, newspapers, online advertisements, and routine email messages correct more often than we correctly discern what God has spoken to us.

One of my greatest frustrations is sitting in a church service or other Christian gathering listening to a good and convicting message, when out of nowhere comes a . . . zinger. A zinger like one of these:

You see, God is here with us today even though it is a small group. The Bible says, “where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in the midst of them.” ~ Matt. 18:20

Does God disappear when you are alone? No. Does the verse quoted have any relation to God being at your prayer meeting? No. It does have a lot to do with church discipline, people in sin, and the right judgments of God and his agents. Yet, this is not something you will understand unless you dive into the context of the passage and know something about the Old Testament connections to “two or three agreeing” and “gathering in my name” and more…

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“Prostitutes Welcomed to Massachusetts State House” | Ratio Christi