Friday, August 5, 2011

The Guilt Myth

via The Body, By Aless Piper

My very Christian friend won't pray for my friend with AIDS who is currently going through a rough time medically. Yes, I am pissed off. This is a person who will pray -- without hesitation -- for a man with lung cancer who smoked a pack a day (or more) since the age of 12 and is now sixty-odd. But because to my Christian friend's mind anyway, my friend had to have done something to get AIDS, s/he will not pray for him/her. Where's the logic in that one?

Now I'm not too sure if this person would appreciate prayers in the first place. S/he is an atheist, as are most of the people I know with HIV/AIDS. But that's not the point. The point is, my very Christian friend won't even offer to pray for him/her, or even to keep him/her in their thoughts.

I could continue to talk to a wall, but I want to talk it out here instead. Why is that love the sinner hate the sin mentality, which so many Christians boast, oddly absent when it comes to HIV/AIDS in America?

Subscribing to the school of thought that you shouldn't ask a question unless you have a half decent idea of the answer, I have a theory and it all comes down to this: guilt and innocence.

Edward explained it to me in 2005: "Some people use it [the knowledge of how someone was infected] to see if they can (morally/based on their value system) accept you. People who were infected through the blood system and secondarily infected are thought to be 'victims' while gay men are thought to be 'deserving' of it. No one deserves HIV. How we become infected is irrelevant."

Would you ask someone with lung cancer how they got it? More important, would it matter?

Read more.


  1. Guilt, shame, narcissism are given even greater play with the politicization of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It's just a disease. It's often easier to fight for one's principles than live up to them. The most effective protocols that have worked with other diseases haven't been in place to prevent new HIV/STDs infections.

  2. Anon, what protocols do you suggest?

  3. Get tested together before having sexual contact. Then make an informed decision.

    >"what protocols do you suggest?"

  4. Anon (or are you really the troll known to many as The ZAK???), you mentioned protocols for other diseases. What might those be?

  5. TB tuberculosis test, for one. Test positive as a kid and you likely won't be allowed to go to school with other kids.

  6. Anon/troll - interesting. So, how would that apply to HIV? Are you suggesting quarantine?

  7. Sexual rights are human rights focusing on equity of sexual expression.

              The above is not, in this writer's opinion, an unreasonable expectation in a modern democratic society. Unfortunately, biology seems to have conspired to produce some unfortunate consequences, the HIV/ADIS epidemic, which seems to have struck the gay male community, in the developed world, quite unevenly. The implication of this is that no amount of human rights legislation is likely to influence a diminishing of this consequence. So the approach must be to attack the epidemic from a biological point of view which means find a cure for the virus or isolate the virus and don't allow it to contact another person.

  8. >> A quarantine would not be allowed by Christians in this country. Their biblical mandate requires them to kill homosexuals and other deviants. A quarantine would stop that process. So the people who are dying must take it upon themselves to stop the transmission of the virus to uninfected people. That has to be done one person at a time.

    > It's not entirely clear whether or not this is tongue in cheek somewhat.

                   Do you mean to say there are no Christians who think homosexuals should be killed?  Have you read the Bible lately?


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