Thursday, April 2, 2009

My God, My God, What In The Hell Is Going On???

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article on the Pope’s first visit to Sub-Saharan Africa. The highlight of his visit was his decision not to lift or even soften the Vatican's ban on condom use for people living in the region – a region where the AIDS crisis is worse than any other region in the world. The article was entitled, “Pope Visits Africa, Reaffirms Ban on Condoms”. The more I reflect, the more I think that the article should have been titled, “Pope Visits Africa, Commits Genocide.”

Sub-Saharan Africa is more heavily affected by HIV and AIDS than any other region of the world. An estimated 22 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2007 and approximately 1.9 million additional people were infected with HIV during that year. In just the past year, the AIDS epidemic in Africa has claimed the lives of an estimated 1.5 million people in the region. More than eleven million children have been orphaned by AIDS.1

Mr. Pope, what have you done?

Are you that disconnected from the realities of this world that you would make such a decision? Or, do you know, but just don’t care? Is your religion more important than human lives? C’mon Mr. Pope. Grow up!! This is about more than doctrinal beliefs on pre-marital sex. This is about so much more than just ‘strapping up’. Instead of banning the use of condoms, which in a sense has become the band-aid used to cover up larger issues relating to the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa, how about speaking out against and trying to eliminate rape in regions such as the Congo, which not only demoralizes the women of Africa, but is a spreader of the disease. How about speaking out against the genocide in Rwanda - another region where rape is prevalent and used as a tool to control the weak and powerless. And how about using some of the money that the Vatican is sitting on to fund programs in African regions that provide health care and treatment for those who are both affected by and infected with HIV/AIDS.

Mr. Pope, you went to Africa to speak. And you have spoken. But what were you really saying? Were you saying that the lives of Africans are not worth being preserved and are secondary to preserving religious doctrine?

Mr. Pope, you went to Africa to connect with your people, and in doing so, you committed one of the most deadly acts that one can commit against humanity, murder. And remember….thou shall not kill.

And what really perplexes me, is that while you, Mr. Pope, used your authority to commit an act of murder against African people, the rest of the church (universal) remained silent. As much as this is your fault, Mr. Pope, I dare say that you are not the only one to blame. Maybe it is true that we have become so blinded by religion and have become so heavenly minded that we do no earthly good at all?

My God, my God, what in the hell is going on?

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