Monday, April 10, 2006

Dealing with AIDS

In the news yesterday a critical analysis of US policy on dealing with AIDS. Reportedly more than 25 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are already victims of HIV/AIDS, 70 percent of the total worldwide. This supposedly as clear evidence that abstinence is ineffective as a prevention measure for AIDS.

The editorial talks around this issue as grounds for criticism of the US government policy on foreign aid. The current administration apparently established a rule that one third of the AIDS relief funds go support programs that promote moral principles.

The arguments against promoting morality defy logical thinking. Typically they start with the axiom that irresponsible young folks cannot be successfully restrained from sexual promiscuity, no matter what moral teachings they receive. Critics of morality always have numbers to back them up that "prove" how silly it is to believe anything but what they teach. What always seems to be the real reasoning behind their convictions, however, is a burning need to denigrate anything related to religious faith.

As far as I can remember, the idea of promoting any morality based on religion has been objectionable to the liberal-minded. There was a prolonged debate about teaching sex education in public schools when I was young. The argument never really resolved, but the proponents of "alternative" thinking and pluralism eventually won by default, as they dominated in administering public education, and were not accountable to parents of the children they presumed to indoctrinate. Perhaps this was a contributing factor in the subsequent virtual destruction of the traditional family structure of certain social classes.

I could not cast a vote on which plague is worse -- the AIDS crises in Africa, or the loss of a base for morality, and the resultant disintegration of traditional families in western culture.

Jim Cobabe

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