It's hard to go to Africa and not talk about AIDS. It's a continent that is being ravished by the spread of the disease, and most people don't know anything about it. I heard one analyst say that 60% of the population of Africa is well under 40 years old. It's a problem, and I believe it should be of some concern to believers here in the U.S.
Unfortunately it kicks over another taboo of discussion in evangelical circles. Of course it's gotten better in the last 10 years or so, but there's still a hidden social wall of non-discussion that keeps us from trying to help people that are dying from something they may know nothing about.
I've heard people say, "Well, I'm not a doctor, what can I do?"
Or they slide to, "It's God's judgment on a nation that has turned their back on Him."
Maybe the worst of all are the population advocates who adhere to the, "Finally we're going to level out global population levels and live on a sustainable planet."
Are we ready to resign the deaths of millions of people away to our narcissistic, un-educated, form of religious judgment? These are human beings we're talking about, not a chicken farm on the outskirts of Fayettville, Arkansas.
So when the news ramps up stories about Pope Benedict commenting on the use of condoms in on the continent, we need to be aware of what's going on.
When the musicians begin rallying together to raise money, we need to know what they're raising money for.
When we see the U.S. government pledge 48 billion to fight AIDS in Africa, we need to be able to account for the money and see the results of the cash flow. (I know that's a difficult assignment in lieu of the current trillions that are flowing out of the government right now to save failed banks, sketchy insurance giants, and car dealerships that can't turn a dime.) But nonetheless, we need to know and be aware.
One of the greatest parts about working with teenagers is that I get to see the one's who are going to be the next Doctors, Lawyers, Statesmen, and Relief Agency Leaders. I have the chance to educate students to see the absolute necessity in talking through hard issues. Whether it's sexual disease, abortion, or the use of capital punishment in our justice system, we owe it to the students to be able to stand on Biblical principles to go and make the world a better place. Right? I mean, isn't that what we're doing here.
I guess the honest reason I'm writing about AIDS today is to just continue to fan into flame the ideas that help people get over the taboos of culture so we can identify, and care for, those in need today.
I saw first hand how the U.S. is helping Rwanda in it's fight against HIV/AIDS, and I'm telling you it was an incredible moment to stand and be an American.
(if you want to read more, check this out in the recent Christianity Today Article)