The conversation is still going on over at the interfaith post, and I hope you'll check it out if you haven't already (it's the next one after this). But I needed to take a moment to spread the word about a couple of things.
First, I got this via email from my cousin, and he says it very well so I'll just let his words speak:
A Grim Milestone
Twenty-five years ago today, the CDC reported that five gay men in LA were treated for a rare type of pneumonia and two died from what would later be known as AIDS. Yesterday’s San Jose Mercury News had the first of a two-part series. Yesterday’s part focused on the fact that the epidemic in the US has moved to being one of the poor and destitute: “As long as it stays hidden in the margins of society, AIDS will never be extinguished, said Dr. Willi McFarland, director of HIV surveillance for the San Francisco Department of Health.” Complete article and other coverage here.
The SF Chronicle also has several articles online at http://www.sfgate.com/aidsat25. In case you don’t have time to look at all their extensive coverage, here are a couple of highlights:
This 1982 article by Randy Shilts (author of And the Band Played On) is a tear-jerker.
The article contains a “more things change, the more they stay the same” line: “And when one gay victim of pneumocystis lapsed into a semi-coma, his relatives tried to strike his lover's name from the guest list and forbid him from seeing the dying man”
This picture is worth a quick look. It’s a heartbreaker that everybody should see as a reminder.
I humbly request that everybody take a moment to remember the half million Americans who have died over the last 25 years, the lost generation in Africa, and the continued problem throughout the world--and hope that we can solve this soon.
I am adding this article from yesterday's LA Times about the nearly-forgotten, once quite powerful AIDS quilt.
AIDS is a different sort of problem now, a worldwide problem, incredibly devastating. It's not passe. It's most certainly not over. May we not forget those who died nor those living with it and being exposed to it. May we continue to pray for - and seek and support - a cure.
Now, on a completely different note, I got this from my brother today:
As I researched this, it was like a bad dream unfolding. I didn't believe it at first. They have created a Left Behind video game - and it seems we finally have solid proof that Lahaye and Jenkins aren't Christians and that all they care about is money.
Fortunately it's not slated to release until October, so that should give time for us to spread the word and get churches to shut down the Left Behind series for good.
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not sure if you've seen it or not but there's a nascent blog up and running that is one branch of an effort to mobilize Fuller to respond in a more focused manner to the HIV/AIDS pandemic (shameless promotion alert - I'm loosely involved in some of the work) - from what I've been told they're still getting up and going but they've been putting up a lot of good info/articles lately on the 25th anniversary - worth a look.
NPR ran a wonderful segment yesterday on the initial beginnings of the epidemic - as one who did their undergrad studies at a Christian College on AIDS and how it will impact the Christian community in 25 years (this would put it between 2005-2020ish) the implications are frightening - especially when you know that there is little difference in the rate of sexual encounters between Christian teens and "secular" (I use the term lightly) teens. It was a provocative statement then for my undergrad thesis (God bless my mentor for taking a step out on a limb to ok my project!) and it still holds true today.
Thanks for the links. I'm making my way through the SFGate articles right now.
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