President Obama signed the Ryan White Act today, a bill that will fund critical HIV/AIDS treatment and some prevention programs. The House passed it 408-9. One can only imagine the intelligence of the 9 'Nay' members- all Republicans, of course, all Christians. Four from Texas, Wyoming, Tennessee, Georgia, Arizona and North Carolina.**
During his pre-signing remarks, with Ryan's mother present, Obama spoke of the ignorance that existed at the time Ryan was diagnosed with the syndrome. He also mentioned that there were cross-burnings, just like the KKK. When Ryan tried to go back to school 151 of the 360 the students stayed home. Ryan lost his paper route as well, as his customers thought they could get AIDS through the paper. Ryan's mother recalls frequent comments like, "We know you're queer." Ugly ignorant people. The editors and publishers of the Kokomo Tribune, which supported White both editorially and financially, were also called homosexuals and threatened with death for their actions.
Right here in America, just 20 years ago, burning crosses, insulting remarks and death threats. Where did the ignorance and hate come from? Of course, it is not gone here in this nation. Bigots and hateful people still flock to church on Sunday, and write and say hateful things on Tuesday. Many call themselves Christians; Jesus is mocked.
Where are the strongest pockets of fear, ignorance, hate and bigotry against AIDS and homosexuals? Inside of the fundamentalist churches. Yes, right there, but the organ and the choir drown out the hate in their hearts.
Blogger steve said...
I'd just like to point out that ignorance and intolerance are not isolated to the USA, but more endemic to the human condition. The only antidote is education and critical thinking skills, rationality etc.
Blogger mud_rake said...
...but i live in the USA, Steve, and the wide-spread ignorance and hate here enrages me!
What is ignorant was the failure for people to see WHY Ryan White should not have been infected in the first place. It is ignorant to blame religious people for the tragedy of AIDS caused by homosexual activity. Like my Daddy always said, in jest, "A good offense is a good defense." In other words, blame somebody else for your own wrong-doing.
The blame for the tragedy of Ryan White's death doesn't belong to those who have always warned against homosexual behavior, but on homosexuals' extreme promiscuity and injurious practices like anal sex, through which HIV has easy access to the body. These infected people practiced high risk sex, then sold or donated their blood --which Ryan and many others received. Even today, people who know they are infected manage to give blood, though we are able to safeguard the supply in general.
Ryan White is a victim of sodomy's sorrowful legacy to the world.
Yes, it was shameful that anyone should make Ryan a victim --either by his blood or via hateful prejudice to anyone who has HIV/AIDS. But Obama is right --people were ignorant and deathly afraid of the infected, though contact with their bodily fluids was unlikely. It has taken time to prove and teach that casual contact could not spread HIV. Meanwhile, many health care workers, a few dental patients, babies from their mothers, spouses from unfaithful mates have been victims. We've had to make routine clean-ups in public places an elaborate routine to protect ourselves from infection via bodily fluids. We've developed elaborate and expensive privacy laws to protect the identity of the carriers from any accidental or deliberate disclosure of their status. I remember when security walls and windows went up and down in my husband's office as the clinic tried to figure out the best way to safeguard the medical records. Hospitals and schools were told to treat ALL patients and fluids as though they were infected --as any HIV status must not be revealed to those dealing with clean-ups or patients.
It is very expensive to treat and care for this 100 per cent preventable disease --and unnecessarily elaborate and expensive to protect privacy of patients so no one will know who is HIV positive. All those forms we fill out --and all those things doctors' offices have to check before they call your house --cost in clerical man-hours --as the office tries to tell you you need to see the doctor again because of something on your labwork. He dares not leave a message lest you didn't want anyone at your house to know you had lab work. It used to be families knew these things about each other and didn't have to have all this secrecy. Now we have people with STD's like HIV who don't want their families to know --secrets which drive up the cost of healthcare. Usually, secrets concerning our sex lives. So we pay a lot to cover for people's promiscuity.
As for congress-people not voting more aid for AIDS than what we already are giving? I thought we were broke. How do we keep spending for anything???
I'd be more sympathetic to the complaint, if Congress would say "wait for hetero-marriage" and "be faithful" --and advocate the avoidance of promiscuity and sodomy as the no. 1 and 2 preventative measures against this scourge. But, no, that would be too offensive --even though it would be 100 per cent effective for future generations to avoid AIDS.
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible