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Linda Smith’s uncommon road

In the last decade, Linda Smith’s travels as an activist conservative Christian took her into politics, successfully for a decade and a half, through the state legislature, to the U.S. House and finally to a ran for the U.S. Senate, for which she won a tough contested primary and lost the general, to Democat Patty Murray.

Linda SmithHer path as an activist conservative Christian then took an abruptly different direction. It might have led to a comfortable job lobbying or at a D.C. think tank. Instead, she visited places like the child sex depth of the red light district in Mumbai (Bombay) and the sex clubs of Tokyo.

At Bombay, she paused to try to communicate with one of the child prostitutes, and recalled, “It was as if God himself were whispering, ‘Touch her for Me.’ I reached out to touch her shoulder. In that moment, my life changed forever. She was so utterly unloved in the world that my simple gesture overwhelmed her. God used that desperate, foul-smelling little girl to send me down a remarkable path. Out of that experience came the birth of our ministry.”

Smith apparently remains the conservative Christian she was back when, but now notes how she works with feminist organizations in mutual efforts. Her organization, Shared Home International – self-described as “Leading a worldwide effort to eradicate the
marketplaces of sexual slavery…one life at a time” – evidently makes alliances wherever useful, something probably easier to do outside of the partisan political world. Her organization has an office in D.C., but is based in Vancouver.

All of this comes up in a fine profile piece in the Vancouver Columbian, recommended reading.

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