Recently I watched a documentary on the African AIDS crisis. In the documentary they spent some time focusing on Bono and his efforts to reform the American Church’s response to AIDS. He basically confronted evangelical leaders and politicians with Jesus’s own words on helping the suffering. It was quite powerful and convicting.
It made me reevaluate my own attitude towards those with AIDS. Basically I was of the opionion that a death sentence was pretty much a just punishment for sexual promiscuity. To be sure, what God wants for our sex lives is fidelity within the bounds of marriage. But AIDS is not a judgment from God, it is a result of the fall. The punishment in no way fits the crime. God grieves for those who must die as a result of their sin, why don’t I?
What a sad way for us to respond to those who are in pain and facing death because of sexual sin. Instead of offering love and grace we do our best to prevent policy for funding a cure because we already have the answer. Yes, abstinence is the best way to stop AIDS, but no one will listen to what we have to say if we are content to let people die because they weren’t righteous. If we aren’t righteous in our response to a death causing disease, then our sexual righteousness is filth in the eyes of the lost. (and since when is our example to only offer compassion to the righteous)
There is a ongoing debate about giving every 12 year old girl a vaccine against cervical cancer. There are some who oppose this vaccine because they think it will encourage 12 year olds to have sex. I get it, they don’t want teenagers having sex. But if the threat of cervical cancer is the only reason we can give young girls for purity, then I’m afraid purity doesn’t hold much allure for the next generation.
Our priorities are messed up if we think it’s more important that someone remain a virgin than if they die from preventable cancer.
I’m considering participating in the local AIDS walk this year. I think the Christian silence on AIDS has been deafening for far too long.
God says there is none righteous, no not one. Not even us Christians because we all have sinned and fallen short of His righteousness. Yes, compassion and love is how we must respond because God is love.