May 30, 2006

More Christian sadism?

When I wrote this post over the weekend, I wondered if Katha Pollitt's statement: "Ah, Christian compassion! Christian sadism, more likely" was too harsh. But the evidence continues to mount that the same people who elected Bush and are the vocal representatives of conservative Christianity in this country--Dobson, D. James Kennedy, and Falwell--really prefer their own sense of self-righteousness to even basic common sense.

See, I was brought up Baptist. I remember watching Dobson video tapes in our church on adolescent sexuality. But I was also taught a bit of common sense. I understood that blind faith was not really faith. See, faith is for those things that we can't readily explain in our own limited way--or that was my understanding. Science was part of using our brains to explain those things within our grasp. Science couldn't explain our soul and couldn't explain prayer and couldn't explain heaven--and it didn't have to. Faith, on the other hand, didn't explain molecular process or thermodynamic bonds.

But now, faith is simply a substitute for ignoring inconvenient facts. Don't like evolution (what little you understand)? No problem, just invoke your faith. And that is fine at a personal level. Everyone has a right to ignore things they don't like. We can choose our own ignorance--and sometimes it may be a defense mechanism to address anxiety. But now it is public policy. I am still shaking my head that christians would prefer that women die of cancer than have sex. What in the world could ever lead someone to that conclusion?

Yet it is only one example of many. Take this story on abstience only policy.
"Crushing news out of Uganda last week. The Bush administration's $1 billion experiment in using abstinence messages as the basis of HIV prevention has born its first fruit: In a public speech on May 18, Uganda's AIDS Commissioner Kihumuro Apuuli announced that HIV infections have almost doubled in Uganda over the past two years, from 70,000 in 2003 to 130,000 in 2005. And despite this chilling wake-up call, Bush has empowered Christian right activists to continue to push their abstinence-only agenda at a UN Special Session on HIV/AIDS, to begin next week. According to a State Department email I obtained, the official U.S. delegation is stacked with some of the very people who contributed to the debacle in Uganda."

You can see where this makes my head spin and makes me want to call myself anything other than Christian to distance myself from policy like this, can't you? Christians prefer that more people die of AIDS than admit that EVERY STUDY OF THE PROBLEM firmly suggests a complex response. Abstience can certainly be part of that, as can monogamy. But addressing a public health problem like this requires more than quoting verses. But no, the people who lecture the rest of us on when life begins will ignore every bit of evidence that suggests that their policies endanger people. Or they treat us to pictures of Bush in prayer with Abraham Lincolnd and George Washington "laying on hands." The most rabid among them admit that they don't care if these policies work or not. They don't care if people die. They only care that their view of the Bible is the accepted one.

This really makes my head spin. I will be ok. I also understand that this doesn't represent so many of the Christian community. I also firmly believe that many conservatives don't share this viewpoint. But in the meantime, I think I will be just a little sick.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Will abstinance solve the AIDS problem? Certainly. Will be abstain? No.

It seems to me that these Christians want to punish people for having sex rather than deal with the AIDS problem in any realistic manner.

kgp