Pentecostal Preachers Tell HIV Patients to ‘Rely on God’ Instead of ‘Take Your Medicine’

We know how bad things get when Christian Science practitioners fail to take their children to doctors because they believe God will heal them. Curable problems become death sentences.

Now, according to BBC News, we have a new problem to deal with: Pentecostal preachers who tell HIV patients to stop taking anti-retroviral drugs. The Children’s HIV Association surveyed 19 doctors and health professionals who work with children and babies and what they heard was shocking:

Not a cure for your HIV

Among 10 doctors who said they had encountered the problem in the last five years, 29 of their patients had reported being put under pressure to stop taking medicine and at least 11 had done so.

The healthcare workers also reported that some patients had been told by their pastors they would be healed by prayer or by drinking blessed water.

We’re only talking about a few churches affecting a few people, but when you’re battling a disease that serious, why wouldn’t you want someone who has it to take all possible precautions? How deluded do you have to be to take health advice from your pastor over your doctor?

Dr Steve Welch, who is chairman of the Children’s HIV Association, said it found it difficult to engage with the faith leaders of churches where healing was an integral part of the worship.

Of course it was… you’re trying to talk to people who think you’re disobeying the will of God.

It’s not just Pentecostal preachers who are the problems, either. Last fall, BBC News reported on evangelical Christian pastors who had the same problem:

Last year, BBC London identified three people with HIV who died after they stopped taking antiretroviral drugs on the advice of their Evangelical Christian pastors.

I remember once going to a Vineyard Church service where the pastor suggested that members of the congregation with back problems could be healed by others whose arms were tingling (because that was a sign God was giving us power, she said, and not just a response to sitting in the same position during a long, dry sermon). At no point did she suggest that anyone with a back problem should see a doctor. The Christian I was there with later told me the “seeing a doctor” part was implied.

It’s easy to see how some people would never know that. We’re talking about the same people who preach abstinence-only sex education because actually talking about sex would be too “hypocritical.” If they’re telling the congregation that God will heal them, then why bother mentioning doctors, right?

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Bob for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Gunner Miller

    There’s a show in Canada called Dragons’ Den where people come with an idea to get financial backing for their products. One guy had a drink, that I will NOT name, that could cure pretty much everything including cancer. The judges became so upset at his claims that they demanded he get off the set at once and called him a charlatan and a danger snake oil saleman. The sad part is that there is an implied protection that people will not stand up to preachers like this as they would snake oil salesman and call them what they really are…dangerous and a threat. We need to treat them as we do snake oil salesman with derision, mockery, and outright anger at the wrongs they do to their victims.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      We have that here, it’s called Shark Tank. It’s highly watchable because so many people come in with innovative ideas, but they also put up people with poor ideas and rarely with pseudoscientific ones. Unfortunately, four of the five “shark” investors seem to be gullible on that count, which is weird because they will shred anyone else with flaws in their plans or pitches.

      • viaten

        I wonder if they really are gullible or do the show producers push for that kind of thing like the pseudo scientific shows on paranormal stuff.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          I thought about that. Obviously there’s some planning involved with the show, and heavy editing, but these guys invest millions of dollars in the prospects on the show. They have money and serious reputation on the line. Pretending to fall for the guy with the stupid magic rubber healing sports bracelet seems unlikely. Actually falling for his snake oil? Sure, why not, given the automatic, undeserved deference that people often give pseudoscience like they do religion.

          • WallofSleep

            Or perhaps they are just savvy enough to see the broad appeal of mystical mumbo-jumbo, and just cynical enough to exploit that for profit.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              That’s a possibility. It doesn’t quite fit with what I’ve seen of them, but I won’t discount my being fooled.

              • Kodie

                They just want to make money and they know what makes money. They are not just there to back an idea that needs to get out in the world that might fail. I have watched a few segments (very few), and really all they care about is, can this venture make money. Mystical shit is pretty lucrative.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Google Mark Cuban, Shark Tank, and “Power Bracelets” together.

                • Kodie

                  It seemed to be all the rage for a while. They’re still in business and endorsed by several professional athletes, even after the lawsuit. Here, I found this article that has itself a little rant about what a scam these bracelets are, what fools people are for wearing them, and then points 2 links to alternative energy products the reader will probably find more effective. It seems the savvy consumer is not impressed with a plastic bracelet with a sticker on it, but you put some metal and/or magnets and/or stones, it is worth looking into.

                  I never heard of them before or the lawsuit, but I guess around the time it was popular, I can recall a person I knew then, an engineer, started wearing some kind of rubber necklace that was supposed to reduce stress. We kind of mocked him but he still wore it. It had Red Sox insignia on it and he said some of the players wore it. This is the first link that comes up when I googled “energy necklace”. That’d be the one.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  and then points 2 links to alternative energy products the reader will probably find more effective.

                  *facepalms* OMFFSM, why do people fall for this so hard. Dungeons & Dragons magic jewelry actually does more than this junk; at least the D&D stuff makes your character stronger. :P

                  If only we had “Guest”, above, to demand that people be forced to abstain from wearing these things before they cause Africans to have sex.

                • Kodie

                  Yeah, reading along and getting to the part where the author cut a bracelet open, and it didn’t even have so much as a magnet embedded in it! What a ripoff! Anyway, reading at the power balance bracelets website, they embed something in the plastic layers, that is “negative ions”.

                  Q: Is there any other material besides silicone and a hologram
                  composing these bracelets? Is there some magnet/precious metal within
                  the silicone?

                  There are no metals or magnets in the bracelets. The Pro Ion wristband does contain negative ions.

                  Q: What is an ion? What is a negative ion?

                  Ions are odorless and tasteless charged air particles
                  produced in nature. Good or negatively charged ions are produced by
                  certain naturally occurring minerals and Power Balance has incorporated
                  a special blend of these into the inner white layer of the Pro Ion™
                  bands. These can be measured with a simple ion meter.

                  They also disclaim that the powers work on everybody, and offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you’re one of those people. According to the FAQ’s section, the design of the hologram is “based on Eastern philosophies.”

                  Q: What is Power Balance Hologram Technology?

                  Power Balance holograms are created using a proprietary
                  process featuring cutting edge three-dimensional imaging, which makes
                  the hologram truly unique. The hologram is designed based on Eastern
                  philosophies.

                  Q: What are Eastern philosophies? Many Eastern philosophies
                  contain ideas related to energy. These are commonly referenced as Chi
                  or Chakras. There are a number of well known practices like acupuncture,
                  meditation and Feng Shu, which are believed to affect these energies.
                  The hologram is based on some of these same ideologies.

                  Vague. It is also funny and weird to me that some Christians will believe these claims and fear it is the symbol to attract satan, while others will compartmentalize their own beliefs as real and this thing as junk, while some others like to mingle random beliefs while maintaining their identity as a Christian, thus the popularity of astrology, feng shui, and healing juice*.

                  *One of the late-night infomercials I come across if I am still up features a panel of Christians talking about Christian stuff while selling some kind of juice. I think it’s this one: http://www.naturalnews.com/028415_health_freedom.html

      • phantomreader42

        They might realize that the woo products don’t actually work, but think enough suckers can be fooled to make them a lot of money.

    • Larry Meredith

      Sadly, the Dragons and Sharks of those shows aren’t always so good at detecting junk science. Remember the guy with the crystal rock crap that was just looking for a handout? Got 2 of the Dragon’s to give him money. One of them actually believing it helped cure cancer.

      • Gunner Miller

        Outside of that one part of an episode, and the knowledge of the premise of the show, I have never watched them. There is very little TV that I do watch.

    • SeekerLancer

      Did he also have a time machine for when he traveled here from the 1800′s with his cure-all tonics? That probably would’ve sold better.

  • Regina Carol Moore

    These preachers should be jailed.

    • badgerchild

      It’s not just preachers. My mother died because she resisted treatment for her breast cancer for a long time. When she went into remission the first time, before the cancer came back from a place they couldn’t irradiate, her church friends said that she was really healed by their prayers and if she persisted in believing that the medical treatment she received had anything to do with it, the cancer would recur. When it did recur she did accept treatment, but wasn’t completely compliant. Her friends brought her noni juice, essiac, prayer groups, aloe, vitamins and supplements, any crazy crap to stuff into her. It became a fight between Mom and her doctors. When her friends showed up at her funeral I wanted to kick them out but my family made me shut up.

      • LizBert

        I am so very very sorry that you had to experience that. This is why pseudo-science/religionist medicine is not ok, it kills people.

  • viaten

    How is it that medical treatment couldn’t continue with any religious treatment? Oh wait, the patient’s faith is a key factor which the patient has to prove, or they’re accused of not having any, or having enough. Superstition has such a powerful influence on some people. I suspect it’s very hard for some of the patients to go back to medical treatment if they do. So messed up. People who desperately want things to be true and those that want to control such people.

  • ORAXX

    Faith has always seemed to me to be a poor way to repay the gift of reason.

    • Artor

      The “gift” of reason? I learned my reasoning ability through years of education and training. Nobody gave it to me.

      • Jeff See

        Your ability to reason may have been honed by time and environment; but having that muscle to flex, was granted to you inherently, not earned or learned.

        • trj

          Yes, he was born with a brain.

        • spookiewon

          Not so much granted as inherent, I would say.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Metaphor…

        Apart from which, you are not an island.

      • ORAXX

        I was merely speaking of the capacity to reason. We all have it to varying degrees, although many do not employ it at all.

  • Guest

    Meanwhile, after 30 million victims of AIDS and tens of millions more infected, secularists and progressives continue the mantra: take drugs, have sex, just use condoms and you’ll be safe 99% of the time (of course where millions are concerned, that 1% can add up* – but no worry, it’ll just be some other poor slob who gets it, not you). 30 million AIDS victims: a small price for progressives to pay to keep our libidos satisfied.

    *If 100 million people have sex using Condoms (assuming perfectly using them, as we all know people are capable of when in the midst of sex), that would be 1 million chances of failure for the mathematically challenged. Again, hardly worth worrying about as long as someone else makes up the statistics – the promise of all modern progressive morality.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      You are complaining about FEWER people contracting AIDS than otherwise would. It’s a pity that you’re too dimwitted and obsessively sex-negative to realize that.

      That you don’t realize that humans are going to have sex, and that planning around that fact is simply realistic and compassionate, is a problem with your thinking, not with millions of other peoples’ bodies that you are so creepily obsessed with and judgmental about, and so willing to do harm to if it supports your ideology.

      Millions more people have contracted AIDS than would have if not for your sick, twisted ilk and your scare tactics, lies and superstitions. Congratulations on the murders you’ve abetted.

      • Guest

        No, I’m complaining about promoting the very things that lead to AIDS with a moral justification that 1% will likely lose, but it will probably be someone else. Just like promoting smoking in an age of cancer (hey, people are going to smoke, we know that from the stats – which, by your reasoning, is why we should only try to make smoking safer). The old ‘humans will always have sex’ is, of course, lame and known to be overplayed. We know from anthropological and historical studies that various cultures can be quite controlled. We just don’t want to be. That’s right. We just want a sex loose society so we can indulge. Sure, millions of lives will be wrecked. Sure, society may unravel. Sure, millions will die of AIDS. But it’s those clever lies and justifications we tell ourselves that show how valuable a college educated generation can be: just enough education to convince ourselves the most ignorant and heinous rationalizations are credible, and all for the convenience of our genitals.

        • RobMcCune

          We know from anthropological and historical studies that various cultures can be quite controlled.

          Which is what this is all about for you, control. Your contempt for changes in western society that have nothing to do with the third world problem of AIDS. This is a lame attempt for you to justify hatred of people at home while shamelessly attempting to exploit the suffering of people abroad.

          and all for the convenience of our genitals.

          And the genitals, you seem to have a hard on for hating the genitals.

          • Guest

            No. If I hated them, I’d do what modern liberal society does. Fling condoms at the problem, pat myself on the back for “solving” the problem in a way that happens to satisfy my own sexual desires, and basically ignore the fact that millions will continue to become infected here and abroad. That would be hatred. Attempting to point out the obvious, to the slings and arrows of those supporting this sex fantasy of death, is not hate. Nor do I think everyone who buys into the modern take are bad people. My guess is, they’re mostly good. Fooled, perhaps even to the point of embracing the lie for convenience. But not bad.

            After all, it is awfully convenient to know that those of us in the West, who have far less chances to die by the bucket full, can continue our little playgrounds of drugs and sex, while it’s those others who pay the price. I’d just like to think when this is pointed out, at least one person stops and says, “Gee, you know, we’ve been doing this for almost half a century, tens of millions have died, millions more have been infected, and while someday we might have a cure that helps most people, I’m not sure this was a great moral stance to take in the first place. Maybe we should have pursued other options, even if it meant giving up some of the party we had promised ourselves. Maybe it’s not too late!” If even one person is willing to kick it around, I consider that a diem carped.

            • RobMcCune

              Attempting to point out the obvious, to the slings and arrows of those supporting this sex fantasy of death, is not hate.

              You believe that the sex lives of people who have never had sex with an HIV positive person infects others with AIDS, you’re the one who is living in a fantasy.

              Fooled, perhaps even to the point of embracing the lie for convenience.

              By which you mean individuality and autonomy.

              Maybe we should have pursued other options, even if it meant giving up some of the party we had promised ourselves. Maybe it’s not too late!

              This shows you’re a complete idiot, changing the behaviour of someone whose behaviour is not the problem has no effect on the behaviour of someone whose behaviour is the problem. It’s not as though westerners filled a magical sin calderon till it overflowed and splashed Africans.

              • Guest

                What a pointless series of statements. At this point, you’re putting words in my mouth and then trouncing me for saying things I didn’t say. But you did admit what I’ve been saying: it’s all about individuality and autonomy: mine. And if millions of [other] people die, you’re more than willing to shrug your shoulders, say you’ve done all you can do, and live happily with a moral standard that puts you front and center. Nice. I think I’m done here. The comments have proven my point. Modern secularism and liberalism promises the great narcissism and hedonism. Ethics that conveniently center around me and give me everything I want, no matter how disastrous the impact on humanity in general. Create a world view that unleashes a pandemic that kills millions, and then embrace a solution that reduces but doesn’t eliminate the impact. And be happy with the results, since it’s all about individualism and autonomy. Statistics will happen. Just like a guy said years ago when they raised the speed limit to 70. Interviewed by the press, he was asked if he supported it. Sure, he said. He can get places faster. They reported then asked if he was concerned about a possible rise in fatalities. ‘I guess’, he responded, ‘Hopefully it won’t be me!’ That pretty much sums up the modern cult of the individual autonomous self. Embrace whatever is convenient, and as long as someone else does the dying, pat yourself on the back for being oh, so morally superior. May future generations look at us with more mercy than we deserve.

            • spookiewon

              Dude, read what you just wrote. How can you hate that much?

            • decathelite

              Let me summarize the situation:

              Problem: Billions of people are having sex, and 1% of them are contracting HIV.

              Secular solution: Provide condoms for people so that fewer of them will contract the disease. Educate people about the risks of having sex and possible contraction of HIV.

              Guest’s solution: Tell people to not have sex thus avoiding transmission of the disease, which totally works.

              Hey Guest, when you try to stifle someone’s sex life, they actually tend to have more sex just to spite you! So fark off.

          • islandbrewer

            Why do people like Guest seem to equate “Use a condom if you have sex,” with “go and have as much sex as possible!”?

            And why don’t statistics about STDs and teen pregnancy under “Abstinence Only Education” ever sink in with these people?

            • RobMcCune

              Because their view of life is that people must have their individuality, autonomy, intellect and will subordinated to the rules of their god. And they have nothing but bitter contempt for rule breakers.

              They see bad things happening to people who trespass as a vindication of their beliefs. Mitigating the risk of STI’s is seen as shirking one’s responsibility. It’s like they cut in god’s line and got a free lunch for their trouble.

            • spookiewon

              More to the point, why not have as much sex as possible? Or at least as much as you want to?

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            And the genitals, you seem to have a hard on for hating the genitals.

            A fetish for other people being forced to not have sex? Goddamn Internet, I swear, it brings out the serious creepers.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Societies that have strictly controlled human sexuality A) actually failed to do so, but rather made it illicit, because B) they did so by imprisoning, mutilating or murdering offenders and warping minds.

          Your arguments leave no room for you to have any opinion except that you believe that people who have sex not sanctioned by the government should be imprisoned, mutilated, or murdered.

    • pRinzler

      Here’s what the CDC says:

      “Abstinence (not having sex) is the best way to prevent the spread of HIV infection and some other STDs. If abstinence is not possible, use condoms whenever you have sex—vaginal, anal, or oral.” (http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/living/index.html)

      • Guest

        Of course, if you *must* have sex. But it’s still a risk. A 1% chance of losing. And while apparently some of our good commentators have concluded that sex is like oxygen and water, many admit it’s bull, but it’s bull we believe for convenience. Millions dead? Millions more infected? A small price to pay for an era of narcissism and hedonism. Let’s face it, we know it’s bull, but it’s bull that aids us in our own little pelvic universe, so we’re fine as long as it’s someone else who dose the dying.

        • RobMcCune

          Millions dead? Millions more infected? A small price to pay for an era of narcissism and hedonism.

          What era of narcissism and hedonism is taking place in Sub-Saharan Africa? Oh well, facts don’t matter so long as you can justify hate.

          • Guest

            The one that hit in the wake of European powers pulling back and letting a culturally brutalized continent have to scramble to regain itself while over the following half century, Western liberal Democracies ran in to fill the gap with our key values, commercialism, hedonism and promise that if they just focus on themselves like we do, everything will be just fine. Spend some time with Africans if you want the skinny on the disastrous effects of European Imperialism that extended far beyond colonial times.

            • RobMcCune

              Your contempt of the West, liberals, and the individual is noted, and has been obvious since your first post. The question is why are you using it to defend faith healers?

            • islandbrewer

              How do the disastrous effects of colonialism equate with narcissism and hedonism (as opposed to, say, resource scarcity and political instability)?

              When I was living and traveling in East and Central Africa, the places most devastated by colonialism were also usually the ones with the greatest number of christian churches. Are you going to draw the connection between christian missionaries and HIV/AIDS, now?

        • pRinzler

          The infected and the dead are not worth narcissism and hedonism, but there’s nothing wrong with sex in-and-of-itself, beyond whatever risks that vary greatly according to one’s circumstance.

          What strawman thinks that it’s fine as long as others are dying? Exactly who are you talking about?

          • Guest

            Of course there’s nothing wrong with sex, in and of itself. Duh. Who said there was? And it’s not a straw man. The whole idea that a virus that was dormant for almost a century, and then suddenly exploded on the world in the 70s, that happens to be passed largely through sexual promiscuity and intravenous drug use, and that happened to hit the world after that lovely generation that said ‘hey everyone, let’s take off our clothes, take tons of drugs and have tons of sex – what could possibly go wrong!’ is all just cosmic coincidence is one of the greatest con jobs in human history. We know it’s bull. But it’s bull that helps us gratify our libidos, and for that, we’re willing to take a little from the playbook of Ebenezer S., only it’s not the prisons and the workhouses we’re willing to let others go to. It’s the AIDS clinics and the funeral homes, as long as we get laid and someone else ends up being the stat. Pointing this out is hardly a straw man. It’s a sad, ugly fact of our age.

            • RobMcCune

              You’re right, your position is not a strawman, it’s a non sequiter. You’re exploiting the death and suffering of millions just to find another reason to hate people who don’t subordinate themselves to your belief system.

              You have a very sick way of getting your kicks, but then given your beliefs you don’t have a lot of options.

            • pRinzler

              “that lovely generation that said ‘hey everyone, let’s take off our clothes, take tons of drugs and have tons of sex – what could possibly go wrong!’ ”

              *That’s* who you’re railing against?! Jeez, we – and they – have all moved on, so should you. What significant part of society *today* is promoting that? I hope you don’t say the CDC or condom promoters.

              • RobMcCune

                Yup, that’s Guest’s petty, selfish, motivation the desire to punish the hippies and impose order and discipline.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  What did hippies ever do to him?

              • C.L. Honeycutt

                Not really surprising in hindsight though, is it? They’re always fifty years behind the times at best.

    • JohnnieCanuck

      That’s some projection there, worrying about people making up statistics.

      • Guest

        Exactly which stats were made up?

    • WallofSleep

      “… secularists and progressives continue the mantra: take drugs, have sex, just use condoms and you’ll be safe 99% of the time…”

      The fuck?!?! Clearly, I’ve been hanging out with the wrong group of secularists.

      • Guest

        You must be new. Just read the comments and be enlightened.

        • RobMcCune

          Yeah, all WallofSleep has to is look around to be enlightened about how hateful you are.

          • Guest

            You mean how enlightened those are defending the morality that let loose a pandemic that killed more than Stalin ever dreamed of, all so we could enjoy our Woodstock morality of self-indulgence and hedonism? Yeah, that’s what thousands of years of human evolution has brought us to: let millions of others die, as long as I can get laid and someone else is the statistic! Nice.

            • RobMcCune

              Comparing the flower children at Woodstock to Stalin, why am I not surprised. Stay classy hater of all humanity, stay classy.

    • smrnda

      Sex, like driving, eating, traveling, working and living, comes with risks. There are means of reducing risks in all of those areas. Religion singles out one area (sex) and seeks to suppress information no risk management techniques or provide inaccurate information. Nothing religions do actually reduces the amount of sex people have, it just reduces the likelihood that it will be done safely.

      And on AIDS, given the remarkable strides we’ve made in treating the disease, AIDS is no longer a death sentence. It’s a huge problem in developing nations where effective drugs are not available, but people who become infected can live long, healthy lives if properly treated. Lots of diseases are like that these days.

      • Guest

        Lame. And excuse. A justification for indulging in a moral stance that has led to the deaths of tens of millions, and witnessed the suffering and loss of endless millions of others. You believe such bilge not because you believe it or know it to be logical (which it isn’t), but because you want to, and millions dying is the price you’re willing to pay.

        • RobMcCune

          Really what has smrnda done to kill millions? Besides not imposing your vision of moral world on others, supporting the subordination of all humanity to your god, etc.

          • Guest

            And you think you know me or what I believe how? Is that a canned answer when you have nothing else to say? Is that how you deal with ugly truths? Simply through out an accusation with nothing more to go on than the outrage that someone called a spade a spade? Pretty unimpressive.

            • RobMcCune

              You’re in no position to criticize accusation as baseless.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              Does Jesus love it when you project your faults onto others? Is He proud of that beam in your eye?

            • spookiewon

              I know your moral position because you keep stating it. You believe sex is immoral. That is what we are all taking issue with. Sex is not immoral.

            • baal

              “Simply through out an accusation with nothing more to go on than the outrage”
              So I’m guessing Guest that this snippet of your words is something people have posted in reply to your inanity and so you think it’s ok to throw at others? I’m not sure you’re getting the meaning right.

        • pRinzler

          Your non-reply doesn’t address what smrnda said, you just offered invective and no substance.

          • RobMcCune

            That’s Guest in a nutshell.

          • Guest

            Sure it is. We’ve made long strides on treating a pandemic that never needed to be one in the first place? How does one reply to that other than pointing out the obvious: it was a pandemic we were willing to wait to cure rather than do what it would have taken to prevent it – as long as it was someone else doing the dying. Truth, as they say, hurts.

            • pRinzler

              You still don’t get it. I don’t want to go around in circles with you. So long and thanks for all the fish . . . .

            • spookiewon

              Your argument seems to be that people in Africa are dying from AIDS because secularists in America want to have sex. Having trouble making the connection.

        • spookiewon

          Come again? My having sex is killing people on another continent?

    • Artor

      I guess we should never, ever cross the street then, because there is a significant statistical chance that we could get hit by a car. It’s immoral anyway, all this slutty street-crossing. Crosswalks are a progressive plot to destroy America.

      • LizBert

        Don’t let everyone in the plan!

      • Guest

        And the winner of the lamest comeback is: Artor! Congrats. Never has there been such a stupid defense for letting millions die for our sex lives. Oh, and congrats too for the ludicrous notion that sex is like crossing streets: you just can’t avoid it in life. Tell me, is this level of idiocy what modern secularists and liberals have been reduced to?

        • Artor

          When you post shit-stupid comments like you did, don’t expect to get great responses. The fact is people will continue to have sex. No amount of Bible-thumping has ever changed that one iota, and it never will. But people can take steps to reduce the risks associated with sex, and using condoms is one of the best, cheapest, and most effective methods available. You pretend that you’re concerned with saving lives, but the reality is that using condoms saves millions of lives. Take your death-cult moralizing somewhere else; that shit doesn’t fly here.

          • Guest

            Nothing I said was stupid. It was true. Reducing the risk is the same as saying some poor slob is going to be a statistic, and that’s a price we’re willing to pay. Just admit it and stop stomping your feet and getting all indignant because someone pointed out the bleeding obvious. For our sex lives, we’ll let millions more die before we’ll compromise our sexual gratification.

            • RobMcCune

              For our sex lives, we’ll let millions more die before we’ll compromise our sexual gratification.

              You don’t understand how disease is spread do? You seem to think if enough sin happens people magically become infected out of the blue.

              • Guest

                Uh, yeah I understand how it’s spread because of the CDC, WHO, AMA and just about every other credible agency that admits condoms reduce, but there is still a failure rate. And sometimes, according to WHO and others, reliance on condoms can be counterproductive (I have a condom, I can have sex, Sex, SEX! and all will be well, thereby leading to upticks in HIV infections and other sexuality based problems). All I’m saying is, we know it’s BS. We know they don’t’ work, we know what causes AIDS, we know there are other approaches…and we don’t care. As long as someone else does the dying, it’s an ethic of convenience we can live with. Your statement was somewhat meaningless to be honest.

                • spookiewon

                  Can you provide a link to WHO saying that condoms sometimes increase the incidences of HIV infection that you are claiming, please? Or even that condom use can be “condom use could be counterproductive?”

                  You entire argument is predicated on the idea that sex is somehow immoral and/or that it is somehow “optional.” (“I have a condom, I can have sex, Sex, SEX!”) Sex is a bodily function. There is absolutely nothing immoral about having all the sex you want.

                • baal

                  ” but there is still a failure rate.”
                  Numbers please. And you still have to show that condom use (even with failure) leads to an increase in disease and death rates due to “wild orgies and sex with strangers” going up from condom use.

            • Artor

              Sorry, but what you said was indeed stupid. Really really stupid. There are not enough faces or palms in the world to express how fucking stupid your commentary is.
              No, reducing risk factors is not the same as condemning a “poor slob” to be a statistic. It’s saving millions of people from being statistics. The price I’m not willing to pay is the millions of lives that would be lost if ignorance like yours is let to run rampant.
              Get this through your thick skull; using condoms saves lives. It’s really simple, it’s supported by real-world evidence, and whining against it does nothing but show you to be an asshole.

              • Guest

                Yeah, because we’re reducing factors that result from a moral stance we actively promote. Promote a sexually promiscuous and drug laden culture – they’re the main cause of AIDS! Just throw condoms at it and that will reduce the numbers. Promote an ethic that has led to the pandemic in the first place, and then put a bandage on it by a solution that will ‘reduce’ the impact of the ethic, knowing full well that millions will still become infected even in the best conditions. Instead of, you know, taking other approaches like reining in the ‘get high and get laid’ morality of the age. Nah. Millions dying just isn’t something that’s going to make us give up a good orgasm with a stranger.

                • Artor

                  Oh, I guess you’re right. Sub-Saharan Africa is one big sex & drug-fueled party. The sexual revolution is in full swing over there, it’s like the 60′s all over again. Oh, wait. No it isn’t. It’s full of conservative Xians and Muslims.
                  AIDS is running rampant in Africa, condemning whole generations to miserable death. Why? Because amoral assholes like you fight tooth and nail against the use of condoms. The epidemic has largely been brought under control in the Western world. Why? Because here, we teach safe sex practices, and condoms are readily available.
                  So here are the facts; condoms save lives. Period. This has been shown over and over again. By arguing against it, you are arguing in favor of millions of men, women, and children dying from easily preventable causes. How can you be such a revolting piece of shit like you are, and imagine that somehow you hold the moral high ground? The mind boggles.

                • spookiewon

                  No, we’re not. There is nothing “immoral” about sex.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              Your argument here is that people should be forced to not have sex to protect them from disease.

              You’re a pissy fool, and you yourself told everyone that. Deal with it.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              It’s funny how you go all quiet whenever someone points out that your argument equates to legislating against sex.

              Here’s another one: your arguments here today are pro-colonialism and display a belief in the “White Man’s Burden”.

              Thanks for the tacit admission of your totalitarian, bigoted, unChristian ethos.

            • Mira

              Gee, I get to enjoy sex without having horrible consequences because I’ve educated myself (despite gawd) and know what is safe sex and what isn’t. I’m not a walking disease factory or a whore because I choose to have sex with whom I will (WITH CONSENT). There’s nothing depraved about my sexual actions. Nothing whatsoever. Just because a bunch of narrow minded narcissists insist that sex THEIR way is the BEST way doesn’t make risk of contracting STIs vanish. Having sex safely does. You can get an STI from having sex with one person…you can get sick from what you don’t know as much as from what you do know. I’d prefer to be knowledgeable than not.

            • baal

              “For our sex lives, we’ll let millions more die before we’ll compromise our sexual gratification.”
              Abstinance only public policy leads to increased disease transmission and prevalence, increased unwanted pregnancies, increased poverty and increased abortions. This isn’t a maybe or we’re not sure. This is proven science and public policy. Just ask Texas.

        • islandbrewer

          Actually, it was a pretty spot on analogy for the principal by which you are decrying the most effective and rational means to combat HIV.

          If we did things your way, which I’d assume means destroying all condoms and anti-viral drugs, the HIV/AIDS epidemic would be an order of magnitude greater.

          • Guest

            Nobody said it won’t reduce the numbers. But in the best of days, there is a failure rate. And where hundreds of millions of uses are concerned, that failure rate is in the millions. And it doesn’t have to be so. Would you promote safer smoking in a world of lung cancer? I’d like to think not. And yet, when it comes to sex and drugs, it’s exactly what we do, patting ourselves on the back, and being content as long it’s the other poor dumb slob who becomes a statistic. Oh, and there’s no correlation between one way or another working, that much has been showed through serious studies time and again. Likewise, there has to be a reason that a virus known a hundred years ago got nowhere in Africa or anywhere else until the 1970s, when it exploded across both cultures, and it probably wasn’t the invention of 8 Track tape recorders.

            • pRinzler

              “Likewise, there has to be a reason that a virus known a hundred years ago got nowhere in Africa or anywhere else until the 1970s”

              Citation?

        • Pattrsn

          No you sad sack of shit. Using the death and suffering of victims of the religious need to gain power and control of others through sax hatred is not an opportunity to promote your diseased and fucked up dogma.

          So please take your religion of hate and shove it up your fucking ass.

          • Guest

            No oh refined and eloquent one, promoting a sex and drugs culture cuz I just want to get laid and get high, knowing that it is the cause of a pandemic that has killed more than Stalin, and continues to infect millions, is the problem. The fact that you can’t handle that obvious fact is the problem. The fact that you buy into the lie and the BS, knowing full well that millions of [other] people will become infected and die is the problem. And the fact that you reacted the way you do, shows you know it’s true. How nice.

            • Pattrsn

              Again guest, you’re in the wrong place if you think you can hide the blood on the filthy hands of your religion behind its puerile dogma.

            • baal

              “cuz I just want to get laid and get high”
              This quote is you fantasizing what we’re saying. Please go re-read with that in mind.

        • spookiewon

          Still not making the connection. How does my having sex here kill someone halfway around the world!?

          • Guest

            You are making an absurd statement. I never said ‘Sex Kills!’ I said promoting sexual promiscuity (you know what that is, right?) and drug use in an age where a pandemic that has killed tens of millions that is largely spread by sexual promiscuity and drug use, is the height of moral irresponsibility at best, if not downright evil. Don’t try to change the terms.

            • spookiewon

              No, actually, I don’t. Sex is a bodily function. There is nothing wrong with engaging it it whenever you and a consenting partner choose to. Other people don’t die because I have sex. Your arguments make no sense.

            • Kodie

              It’s not promoted, it’s dealt with. Nobody is promoting drug use by handing out sterile needles. Nobody is promoting promiscuity by handing out condoms. People shouldn’t have to die of AIDS, no matter what they do, and no matter what they’re going to do anyway. Your way is judgment and fear and stigma. Your way is the evil way, that doesn’t promote anything but letting people die if they don’t do what you say.

              While we’re on the subject, abstinence is the least effective form of birth control. People are going to have sex, no amount of stigma and shame is going to stop some people from doing what they’re going to do, and there is not even a reason to feel bad about it. You come from a backwards time when there is no solution to a problem but to shame people into modified behaviors. You equated murder with having sex. Shame seems to be your best idea. Threat of execution, shame, force – and nothing else. That’s why you need god – this makes no sense unless you can pull out the biggest threats, eternity + torture. What about a little piece of rubber you can buy at the drugstore? Why so drastic in your solutions? Are you Hitler?

            • baal

              ” sexual promiscuity and drug use, is the height of moral irresponsibility at best, if not downright evil.”

              And we have told you guest that stopping condom and needle exchanges will not slow down the ‘pandemic’. Your ‘morality’ gets people killed. Our ‘morality’ (use condoms! have needle exchanges! Get tested!) stops disease spread.

        • spookiewon

          You still have not explained how people having sex in one place can cause STIs in another place halfway across the world. How is me having sex with a condom in America causing “millions of Africans” to get AIDS?

    • phantomreader42

      Meanwhile, christianist scum continue to lie through their teeth and spread suffering and disease in the name of their monstrous imaginary god.

      • Guest

        Weak insult. Pointless statement. Ignoring the obvious. Refusing to deal with the facts. Next meaningless statement.

    • Scott_In_OH

      I can’t imagine this will convince you of anything, Guest, but I want to put this out there on the off-chance anyone else is thinking, “Hey, he’s got a point.” Your posts in this thread are wrong in a number of ways:

      – The pandemic started in Africa, not the sexually liberalized West. It had nothing to do with Woodstock.
      – The sexual liberation of the ’60s and ’70s in the West paid VERY little attention to safer sex compared to what we do now.
      – The increased use of condoms and testing for HIV has dramatically reduced the number of new HIV/AIDS cases in the West.
      – Meanwhile, the Catholic Church and other Christian organizations continue to preach against the use of condoms in Africa; the disease continues to spread.
      – As an aside, your criticism of colonialism is a great example of a conservative criticizing something liberals have long criticized but throwing in a ridiculous “It was all the liberals’ fault!” The problem with colonialism was not all those lefties showing up and telling the indigenous population that pre-marital sex was awesome…

      • Claire

        To add on, HIV/AIDS was also spread via blood transfusions.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Well, clearly hemophiliacs deserved that, because Original Sin.

          God, I need a shower now.

          • Guest

            You can leave your bigotry at the door if you actually care about solving a problem. Let’s talk about the obvious, Of course some can get AIDS in other ways, but almost always from someone who got AIDS from sex/drugs. Now, back to the topic.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              You need to go Google a dictionary, Pissums. “Bigotry” does not mean what you want it to mean in your poor wittle persecuted world.

            • Spuddie

              The only one displaying bigotry here is yourself. Not even going into details of the patently racist notions concerning colonialism, you are characterizing all AIDS victims as licentous perverts whose fate should be condemned and scorned. If that isn’t an example of a generalized irrational hatred of a group of people, I don’t know what is.

              The responses to you aren’t bigotry. There is nothing irrational about it. You deserved the scorn being heaped upon you for dishonesty and lack of basic humanity. As far as anyone can see it is very specific indeed. Purely directed at you.

        • Guest

          In cases, sure. But they are almost always first generation from behavior. If you get AIDS from a blood transfusion, it is 99.99% likely the individual you got it from came about AIDS through the usual way – sex or drugs.

          • 3lemenope

            God: Worst aim ever!

            • EvolutionKills

              Worse than Stormtroopers?

              • 3lemenope

                Way worse. The stormtroopers actually managed to kill one or two of the many thousands they were aiming at, and their stray shots miraculously don’t seem to find anyone else. Even extras.

                Besides, they have a tough and thankless job.

      • Guest

        Africa was recovering culturally and socially from generations of European Imperialism and colonization that had stripped it of its traditional values and norms. A complete moral breakdown.

        Of course the liberalized West didn’t do safe sex. The promise of the sexual revolution was that since sex is natural (we could tell since animals do it), who needs all those stupid rules and regulations (like waiting until marriage). Which is why it’s now such a joke to anyone paying attention (just use condoms and get blood screenings – it’s how the animals do it!)

        The use of condoms is not foolproof. Even if they were always used and used perfectly, there is a statistical guaranteed that failure will occur, and where hundreds of millions of people are concerned, that still leads to disastrous effects.

        There is no clear correlation between one approach or the other to reducing AIDS and other sexually based difficulties. Time and again serious studies have shown that places that promote abstinence have high rates, and in other places low rates, likewise places that take a more comprehensive approach including condom use can show reduced rates, but can also have high rates. The solutions are more complex than ‘use condom, eliminate AIDS’.

        And I didn’t mention liberal this or conservative that. I know many conservatives willing to exploit the finer benefits of our sex laden culture. That’s my point. If lung cancer was all the rage, would we think it good to promote smoking? Probably not. Condoms, at their best, don’t always work (and let’s face it, one problem with condoms continues to be that anyone in his right mind would rather not use one – the natural way). You’re ensured a failure rate of at least 1%, meaning millions of failures in the best of situations. And yet, we tell ourselves a lie (just use condoms, and it probably won’t be you) and promote the very attitude that set the stage for the explosion of AIDS in Africa and the West and other countries that had adopted that modern ‘just get high and get laid’ ethic that has had other negative effects as well – but that’s for another post.

        You seemed a decent person, thought I would answer in kind.

        • Rachel Warner

          You keep repeating the point that condoms sometimes fail. Did this happen to you ?

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            I’m pretty sure it resulted in “Guest”.

          • baal

            Since something bad happens 1/100,000 uses we should skip 99,999 good events. It’s a right wing talking point meant to hide reality.

        • spookiewon

          Yes, animals do it. Humans are animals.

          And there sure as hell is a correlation between STI rates and condom use and the teaching of abstinence only. STIs are highest where condom use is lowest, and highest in places where abstinence only is taught. Teaching abstinence only and preaching against condom use is irresponsible. It demonstrably does not lead to lower rates of STIs and is correlated with increased incidence of STIs.

        • baal

          Learn the difference between broken governance / colony infrastructure tuned only for export and ‘broken morals’. Morals are morals, governance is governance.

      • Guest

        Oh, and I should clarify. I know I said secular and progressive. I realize on the internet where nobody knows me, one could think I mean ‘MSNBC as opposed to FOX NEWS!’ No. I believe we live in a secular and progressive era, and there are many called conservative who indulge in the finer benefits of values they otherwise condemn. We have been a secular civilization with progressive leaning attitudes for quite some time. Pure traditionalists being so rare as to be virtually irrelevant to the picture. Mostly people trying to get what they can out of values most of us, in out better days, know to be BS.

    • Obazervazi

      “The solution isn’t perfect, therefore it’s terrible and evil”

      Wow…

      • Guest

        No. It’s terrible and evil that we continue to promote a lifestyle attitude that is largely responsible for the pandemic in the first place. Sort of like actively promoting smoking in a cancer laden world. Condoms don’t always work, everyone knows it, everyone admits it, but rather than change, we promote an attitude that helped unleash the pandemic that killed tens of millions, and continue to do so. That’s pretty darn bad in my book.

        • TheBlackCat13

          What we are promoting is not brushing stuff under the carpet and pretending it never happened. What we are promoting is facing reality rather than wishing for a “good old days” that never existed.

        • Obazervazi

          You… don’t seem to understand exponents very well. Or herd immunity for that matter. Or the difference between allowing and promoting something. Please read up a bit more before commenting again.

        • baal

          Stopping condom distribution is what unleashes pandemics. Stop lying about the science of disease transmission and what is actual good public policy. Your fucked up version of morality does not help people.

    • Pattrsn

      So you think aids is a good thing?

      • Guest

        Uh no. Read again and give it another shot, paying close attention to what I actually said. The whole ‘there is no other option’ is a lie and a myth and we know it – we just don’t want to give up our sex culture despite the fact.

        • TheBlackCat13

          There is a simple problem here: people don’t abstain. Abstinence simply does not work. It never has and it never will.

          That is the only myth here: that in the past people didn’t have sex out of marriage. The only difference today is that it happens in the open, and people who get caught aren’t forced to marry, shipped off somewhere, or killed (at least not in the U.S., they are in some other countries).

        • Pattrsn

          I know, I’m just winding you up , but why not when your argument is just rehashed dogma from that lying sack of hate you call a religion.

        • Spuddie

          You mean the fiction that people were less horny back in the mythical good old days? The one whose evidence of support is just you saying so?

        • baal

          No, the other option of be on a moral high horse fails to stop, reduce or treat disease or disease transmission.

    • Rachel Warner

      What about the folks that have blood transfusions or are accidentally stuck by contaminated needles ? Would you deny them potential life-saving meds because you think they may participate in an orgy ?

      • Spuddie

        Of course he does. Somehow the compassion of Christianity is only reserved to people like himself. If he can’t use his religion to be a smug jerk, it serves no purpose.

    • baal

      And yet its the ‘good christians’ at the forefront of stopping needle and condom programs. Those two things drop AIDS and other disease transmission rate dramatically. Preaching morality simply doesn’t have the same positive impact.

    • Nilanka15

      This guy’s a 57 year old virgin.

  • JET

    Can someone explain why this is not considered practicing medicine without a license? It’s one thing to pray in addition to medical treatment, but quite another to countermand the orders of an actual doctor.

    • Tom

      I’m no lawyer, but I’ve the horrible feeling that they could likely get away with a heck of a lot of that just by preceding it with “I’m no doctor, but I think that…”

      Yes, I’m aware of the irony in this post.

    • http://www.weyrcat.com/ Janna Ellis Kepley

      They seem to be protected under some Religious Freedom idea. In the USA it’s illegal to commit suicide, but you can refuse medical treatment (including life saving operations and blood transfusions). Refusing to take your antiretrovirals because of “faith” is the same thing. Why don’t we address the preachers who talk people into this suicide? Probably because the rational pro-science folks are still outnumbered by the religious anti-science folks who believe that ‘God is Enough’. People have prayed over their children while they died of easily curable illnesses, and only then, after the child dies, do we call them out on their madness.

      • JET

        If a lay person told cancer patients to stop their treatment and use his snake oil instead, he’d be faced with a restraining order at the very least. And regular people have gone to jail for aiding in a suicide. Religious privilege at its finest. Persecution my ass.

  • WallofSleep

    Fuck! INCOMING!!!

  • Dave

    If you are an alternative medicine sales company you have to put a disclaimer to say that your product/service is not intended to treat disease, and that you should contact your health practitioner. If you don’t do this you can be prosecuted. Why is a preacher faith healing different? Money is exchanged in the form of tithes and the preacher speaks from a position of authority to his congregation.

    • decathelite

      I used to work doing regulatory/compliance for an alternative medicine company.

      Homeopathic medicines do not have to bear that disclaimer, due to a crafty legislation in DSHEA. However, homeopathic manufacturers are still liable for the harm they cause their consumers (You thought that was. Arsenic 30X, whoops our bad it was actually undiluted Arsenic)

      I do not think faith healing will ever bear any such disclaimer either (for first amendment reasons), and it is unlikely that they will be liable for harm because faith healing does quite literally nothing (no good nor bad), and won’t begin prosecuted unless it directly interferes with life saving care.

      The solution is not crafty legislation,to marginalize faith healing, but to continue our fight in educating people about being skeptical about the things preachers say in the pulpit.

  • Alice

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist, and I know some Christians really do believe in faith healing, but considering how a number of Christians view HIV/AIDS, I have to wonder.

    • Keyra

      Not all do

      • Alice

        That’s why I didn’t say “all.”

  • trj

    You’re a fucking spammer who attempts to profit on other people’s misery. Fuck you, you lowlife piece of shit.

    Flagged.

  • LizBert

    Boy, it sounds like we’ll being hearing about this Dr. Agabadi winning the Nobel Prize in Medicine any day now.

  • observer

    If God wanted people cured of diseases, why did he create them in the first place?

    • observer

      …the diseases, not the people.

      • Obazervazi

        [Insert something about a fallen world and how infectious pathogens must have had some other purpose before magically being transformed into horrible diseases by sin/Satan]

        Obviously…

        • Scott_In_OH

          As opposed to an actual loving father, who would hear (or just sense), “I’m sorry” and say, “Here’s why what you did is a problem. Let’s do better next time. In the meantime, don’t hang out with that Snake character. He’s bad for you.”

          He wouldn’t kick the kids out of the house unless something absolutely horrible happened (probably several times), and he would NEVER kill his kids’ kids for it.

          (I know you were being sarcastic, but the whole excuse of “The Fall” is making me angry right now.)

        • Pattrsn

          I’m a little suspicious. Did it fall or was it tipped over?

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Works either way, oddly enough.

  • DougI

    Now, now, we don’t want to persecute Christians so we should respect their beliefs to spread disease and kill people. Or so I’m told. If Atheists going around saying we should eradicate diseases like AIDS, treat those suffering from disease and work to save lives then we’re just as intolerant as those Christians who want to see people die.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      It’s surely a pity that the vast majority of Christian visitors to this site lack the conscience to be shamed upon reading this.

  • Mick

    Preachers are control freaks. At first they are happy to control people in small ways (when to pray, what to pray, how much to put in the collection plate) but eventually some of them start to wonder what it might be like to have control over who lives and who dies – so they start handing out medical advice…

    But they are good, honest, Christian folk so nobody judges them too harshly.

  • LesterBallard

    Had dialysis today and took off fluid, which drops my blood pressure, which is a good thing; I expect it didn’t go quite as high as it might have on a non-dialysis day after reading just the headline of this story.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Gah! On a bad day I can’t handle this stuff, and I only* have anxiety attacks. If it was worse, I’d end up a hermit.

      *Yes, I know, “only”, but it could easily be far worse.

    • Artor

      Hey, did you hear? Pray to Gawd, and your kidneys will be healed!!! Fuck that dialysis, you don’t need it.

      • LesterBallard

        Ain’t worked so far, but I heard Jesus personally built the dialyzer.

  • Guest

    OK folks, one from the top and I’m out of here. I can’t keep responding all day. I have places to go and people to see; a whole big, beautiful world to enjoy. Clarification. I know the link to AIDS and Africa. I also know the link to Africa’s moral plight and the impact of European colonialism, then and now. I also know the link to the sex culture that went mainstream in the 60s and 70s, and I’m not one that looks at that, looks at the explosion of AIDS in the 70s, and says, ‘Gee, that was bad dumb luck.’ I believe most people are smart. Most of us know that there is a link between the timing of AIDS and the moral fabric of the decade in which it hit. I also know that we know, as every major health and infectious disease think tank has affirmed, there are really only a few sure fire ways to eliminate it. But, we don’t want those ways. The promise of the sex revolution was that sex could be shorn of rules and regulations. Sex was natural. Animals do it without rules, why can’t we. Just take drugs, get laid, and all will be well. As youngsters say today, epic fail.

    Now condoms do not automatically reduce anything. Study after study has shown that there is a variety of results from different approaches to the problem, and in most cases, the results are based on a complex set of factors that go beyond ‘to condom, or not to condom.’ Plus, of course, you have the dirty little secret that no man in his right mind would rather wear a condom than not. Which is it’s own problem.

    Despite all of this, we continue to actively promote the ‘get high/get laid’ lifestyle of Woodstock; we merely say drop condoms on it and it will all be better. We don’t say that it will be fine. We know better than that. We aren’t stupid, and can’t lie. So we convince ourselves that this get laid/high ethic is like oxygen, food or driving: we have to. Why, maybe we can live without oxygen or water, but never without get laid/get high! So that validates the fact that we know even in the most perfect world of all, where everyone uses condoms with the precision of a computer processor, there still will be failures. And where hundreds and hundreds of millions of uses are concerned, that little guaranteed 1% failure rate suddenly looks pretty bad. So we lean on ‘but I have to have get laid/get high! It’s more important than food!’, so this is the best we can do.

    Of course we know from study after study that is isn’t true. Sex is not bad in itself. But sex without boundaries (beyond use condom, be [mostly] safe) is disastrous, as the last 50 to 60 years have shown. Plus, nobody denies what the solution is. We just don’t want it. And our progressive, secular society (which includes many ‘conservatives’ I know, BTW), is more than happy to tell ourselves the BS, ignoring inconvenient data, while millions die and millions become infected, hoping that a cure will be around the corner, and happily accepting the carnage that has come before as sad, but inevitable, collateral damage from an ethic that just couldn’t be avoided. That’s pretty bad if you think about it. And I have a feeling that the world in ages to come will look at us with less understanding and forgiveness than we give to Medieval inquisitors. And you know what? It will be better than we deserve.

    Now, ciao folks. Gotta go. Think it through. Resist the usual childish retorts and ad hominems, and ask yourself: do you believe everything you’re saying that just happens to be for your convenience because you believe it is true? Or do you accept it because, well, it is an ethic that benefits yourself? My apologies to Mr. Mehta for taking up so much space in the comments for this post.

    • TheBlackCat13

      We most certainly do deny the solution. It is a “solution” that depends on something that never has, never will, and never could actually happen. As we keep explaining but you keep ignoring, the idea that there was ever a period where people actually abstained from pre- or extramaterial sex is a myth.

      It is pretty telling that you have responded to every other point people have made, but despite this point being brought up repeatedly, you have never once event attempted a response to it.

      • trj

        Don’t expect the fervently religious to concern themselves with reality. In theory, we could minimize AIDS (at least to a certain degree) if people were actually celibate or monogamous, so in that sense Guest’s point is consistent. Naïve, but consistent.

        Of course, we in the real world know abstinence on any large scale is utterly unrealistic. It never worked, and it never will. But rather than consider being pragmatic about it, this just gives Guest the opportunity to point out the moral failings of all the sinners. Why deal with the complexities of reality when it’s so much easier to live in a theological ivory tower where you can condemn those failing to live up to your purity standards.

        It’s not that he particularly cares about the millions of AIDS victims; they’re just a convenient justification for an argument he was going to make anyway. He’d rather watch them die needlessly than compromise on his own holy doctrine. Why give a fuck about reality and the suffering of others when you know you’re ideologically right.

        • 3lemenope

          Yeah. Someone joked above that ‘guest’ regards AIDS as a good thing. Only, I think he actually *does* think it’s a good thing. Without AIDS, there would be no convenient bugaboo to use to argue for his regressive insanity and he would laughed out of more rooms more quickly than he already is.

          • Guest

            Getting desperate with the whole ‘bet guest loves dead people, probably worships Hitler and molests teddy bears, too!’ response. Go ahead and stand by while millions die, ignoring the obvious for your convenience. I guess if I was doing that, I’d have to make up insults about others who pointed out the bleeding obvious, too. But alas, I can see the quality of the retorts is about Fred Phelps level at this point, so no sense hanging about. I stopped by to see if, against hope, someone had a decent response. So far, there have been a couple (Blackcat being one, and Scott in OH being another (that comes from being a Buckeye)). So goodbye again. I wish all the best, and some good sex in the meantime. Perhaps that will help you ignore the horrible price you’re willing to let others pay. I hope nobody here ends up being one of those hapless ‘others’.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              You forgot to stick the flounce. That beam in your eye must be throwing your balance off.

              Think about it and try to avoid your usual childish retorts.

            • Artor

              We, the progressives of the world, are not standing by and watching people die. We’re working to help, by providing things like condoms and sex education in places that desperately need them. If you don’t want people to accuse you of being a horrible, close-minded piece of shit, then don’t be one.

            • baal

              What have teddy bears ever done to you to deserve such molestation?

        • Guest

          By the same argument, laws against murder, rape and theft are naive as well, since we all know that people have always done it. Except, of course, regarding sexual promiscuity, we know that they haven’t, and that at different times and in different cultures, people have gotten by with pretty tame sexual standards. Again, it’s a lie we tell ourselves because it is a convenient lie that just happens to conform to what we want in the first place. And don’t turn the tables. I would rather everyone live. Those who fling condoms at it are the ones who say ‘the “facts” say there is nothing we can do (we know that’s not true, but work with me), so we’ll just fling condoms, knowing that many will die but at least the rest of us can get laid and get high.’ I would say that’s the worst of the two ethics-wise.

          • 3lemenope

            Yeah, except sex is a good thing, while murder, rape, and theft aren’t. You’re continuing insistence to list all these things together is why we accuse you of thinking sex is bad. That a good thing comes with risks and requires precautions apparently is too much for you to handle. Tell me, do you wash your hands before you eat? Why?

          • trj

            It must be frustrating when reality refuses to conform to your sacrosanct ideals. So yeah, fuck reality. Why distribute condoms to save lives when you have a solution that is sooo much more morally superior?

            Never mind that your solution can’t be made to work except in your fantasy. I guess you can’t make a Christian omelette without breaking a few tens of thousands of eggs. That’s the price of dogmatic ideology, but at least others are paying it for you.

          • TheBlackCat13

            Care to name these societies? What is your basis for saying they were different? I mean actually different, not just keeping quite about it.

        • Spuddie

          “It’s not that he particularly cares about the millions of AIDS victims”

          Actually its more like he is making excuses why he doesn’t have to care. Any notion of Christian compassion going out the window for excuses to use religious belief to be an asshole to others.

      • Guest

        That’s false. Either you are ignorant of the facts, or you spread lies on purpose. Several years ago, the news ran with a story: People born in the 40s had premarital sex! It was supposed to shock, because of course we think 40s, and we think WWII generation. Norman Rockwell and all. It was based on the release of a study researching the sex habits of people based on the year they were born: 1980, 70, 60 all the way back to 1920 or so. The intention was to show what you said: folks have always done it (of course we know in studying various cultures that’s not true, but let’s leave it at Western culture in the US). Well, what the research found was that the number of people engaged in premarital sex plummeted in the decades before 1940. Those born 1930 or before showed a staggering drop. Of course those born in the 40s were of that age sometimes called the Baby Boomers and slightly before, in their 20s in the 1960s. And that was the joke for anyone with brains. The hope had been validating ‘they’ve always done it’, but the data didn’t support that – as it never has. So the press went full blown damage control with headlines like ‘people born in 1940 had sex before marriage! (you know, like Mick Jagger and John Lennon and others born at that time). Once again, the desired excuse “we have no choice, people have always done it” runs into the brutal wall of facts and data – no they haven’t. Once more, it’s a lame excuse that we tell ourselves. Besides, even if they had, so what? Are we incapable of controlling ourselves even if others never had? Or, let’s be brutally honest, is it we just don’t want to, and don’t give a flip about the cost, as long as it’s someone else making up the statistics?

        • 3lemenope

          And the link to this massive cross-generational study nobody has ever heard of is…?

          • trj

            He just said it was in the news, ‘nope. Aren’t you paying attention?

            • 3lemenope

              Several years ago, at that. I can’t imagine why I can’t find it.

        • TheBlackCat13

          Even if we assume that you are accurately reporting the study (hard to say since all you have read are news reports, and you don’t even link to those), and even if we assume that the study is accurate and not reflecting self-reporting bias (people who were raised in a time when premarital sex was more of a taboo would be less likely to talk about it), there are still two critical problems:

          1. You don’t tell use how big of a change it was in percentage terms

          2. It was still non-zero before that.

          If you can provide a link to the study it might be more convincing, but “somebody on the news said that this study said there was a big change” won’t fly here.

        • Spuddie

          It was based on the release of a study researching the sex habits of people based on the year they were born: 1980, 70, 60 all the way back
          to 1920 or so.

          No link = bullshit. But assuming it isn’t for the sake of argument:

          So how did they gather this information back in the day? Do you really think there would be full honest disclosure back in a period when birth control and abortion could carry jail terms? When “bastard” children were denied basic rights under most family laws?

          “Well, what the research found was that the number of people engaged in premarital sex plummeted in the decades before 1940.”

          Hmm the economic turmoil Great Depression coupled with lack of legal access to birth control doesn’t seem to spring to mind. Marriages were at an all time low for the nation. Divorce rates skyrocketed between 1929-40.

          Its just people were magically less horny, right?

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Don’t forget to ask Jesus to forgive you for your deceits and infantile projections while at church.

    • Michael Harrison

      “OK folks, one from the top and I’m out of here. I can’t keep responding
      all day. I have places to go and people to see; a whole big, beautiful
      world to enjoy.”

      You have time to post your ideas, but not to listen to any criticism of them; this makes you come of ass an arrogant twit. Did it ever cross your mind in all this back-and-forth that you might, in some way, be wrong, and would therefore benefit from listening to people who disagree with you? If not, you meet one of my criteria for utter stupidity: an absolute refusal to reevaluate your beliefs.

    • observer
    • Spuddie

      So essentially your whole spiel is to pretend people were less licentious sexually during the mythical nostalgic period more 60 years ago. Untrue. They just didn’t talk about such things as honestly and openly like they do now. A sure sign of a stupid argument is mistaking media portrayals of society with its reality.

      You deny the efficacy of birth control despite generations of reduced unwanted pregnancy improving lives in general.

      Then you top it off b y blaming it all on God’s will punishing those nasty sinners and whatnot. That is merely a loathsome, self-serving notion made to make you feel better at the expense of others. Plus you get to absolve your horrific indifference to the plight of others in a very unchristlike fashion and blame your religious belief for it.

      Wow I bet you think the entire world smells like your crap. You obviously have your head stuck far up your sphincter.

    • baal

      Guest (if that’s your name), you do know that humans have been having about the same amount of the same types of sex for like ever? The only part that changes is how open people are about it.

      Which means this: “Most of us know that there is a link between the timing of AIDS and the moral fabric of the decade in which it hit.” is utter BS.

      AIDS hit when it did due to the timing of the initial disease cases spreading out.

  • SpyPlus

    when i was going through cancer treatments i was told that i needed to eat these “blessed” eggs and God will cure me.

  • Tobias2772

    The doctors in these congregations should just get up and bitch-slap these dark aged morons.

    • 3lemenope

      I imagine the doctor contingent of these congregations is very small. Like ‘zero’ small.

      • Tobias2772

        I know nothing of pentecostal congregations in Britain, but here in the US they are not as backward (except in their thinking) as some people seem to perceive. They have running water and electricity and TV and everything – even doctors. I worry that some of us, without any experience with such people, like to create our own, uninformed steroetypes of them. It gets in the way of our progress.

        • 3lemenope

          No, what I mean specifically is that it is extremely rare for doctors to attend congregations that deprecate medicine and tell people not to use it. How many medical doctors do you think attend Christian Scientist or Jehovah’s Witness congregations?

          • islandbrewer

            My new favorite pastime when JW’s come around is to lie to them and tell them I’m a phlebotomist for the Red Cross, and ask if they have a problem with that.

  • bickle2

    Every single one of those church pastors should have attempted murder charges coming Their steeple are too mentally ill to make adult decisions, and by commanding them to stop their meds its a death sentence.

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    • FTP_LTR

      Please don’t.

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