Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Pope, condoms and Africa

I still haven't figured out where I want to go with this blog; but something struck me so today, I just have to write about it.

On a trip in Africa, Pope Benedict XVI says condoms are not the answer to HIV and AIDS. Please tell that to the countless orphans who have lost both their parents due to AIDS.

Why is it so easy to solve a problem in theory, but not in actuality. AIDS is not the result of people not abstaining from sex, as the Pope recommends. AIDS is the result of sexual actions that occur for a variety of reasons by which merely applying the platitude to practice abstinence is not going to stop the problem. I apologize for calling abstinance trite. Abstinace can be an amazing thing, a calling in fact.

Therein lies the problem; if someone has not heard the calling to practice abstinance, why then will that resolve the problem? We all know that there is a risk of being killed while driving in our cars, but because we need to get from a to b, we take that risk. Why is the Pope not addressing "a to b"? As I mentioned earlier, people engage in sexual acts for many reasons. Why not make it a practice of first meeting people right where they are? Just as we buckle up to make our journey in our cars a little more safe, why not encourage people to be just a little safer as they travel from a to b, and from that point encourage them to maybe drive from a to c...and maybe eventually they will start walking or riding a bike.

Transformation takes time. It is easy for some to lay down the law, and traffic in black and white ideas. It is another thing all together to recognize we cannot ask people to take action based on ideas they are not surrenered to.

As I deal with people on a day to day basis, I hope I can give them grace as they use the tools they are familiar with to get from a to b. And perhaps offer them new tools along the way.

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