Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I've mentioned before that I'm reading one of Matthew Paul Turner's books, Churched, and by sheer "coincidence" ;) tonight my friend, Tricia, retweeted one of Turner's tweets that had a link to his blog with THIS post.

Posted below for your convenience. I highly recommend reading it. That Turner sure knows how to tell it like it is, and you all know how I like to keep it real. ;)

Dear AIDS,

As you probably already know, today is World AIDS Day, a day set aside by the media to remind us that you exist, that you infect, that you kill.

I was very young when I first heard your name spoken by my current events' teacher in middle school. He made you sound like one of God's pet apocalyptic monsters sent to scare gay people away from being gay. I believed him. Then, a year later, a rumor began spreading around my Christian school that you killed somebody in my church, one of the ushers, in fact. The man wasn't gay, so everybody figured your involvement in his death was an unfortunate rumor. But shortly thereafter, a news story reported that you'd been infecting drug users who shared needles with other drug users. The usher had been drug user at one time, and so the rumor spread again that perhaps you were his killer.

You began killing a lot of people. And you were rumored to have killed many more.

You killed Rock Hudson. And my father said you also killed Liberace.

I was afraid of you. I was afraid of blood because of you. I was afraid to sit down on a toilet seat because of you. I was afraid to get my haircut at a barber because of you.

I remember the day that Magic Johnson held a media conference to announce that you had infected him. He was sad, yet also hopeful that his name and influence would help find a cure to beat you.

In college, I went to see the movie Philadelphia. I left the theater in tears.

In 1996, I started a new job and one of the first people I met was Bo (name changed). A few weeks later, while he and I wrapped silverware into cloth napkins, Bo told me you infected him. When the words came out of his mouth, the hairs on the back of my neck stood upright in fear. I was afraid of you then, but because of what you were doing to Bo, I also hated you. I stood up from the table and I hugged you and Bo for the first time. I held both of you for several minutes. But then I stopped... because I was afraid. Bo taught me that you weren't a gay disease or a drug users' disease; he said you didn't care who you infected.

Many years later, Bono witnessed what you were doing to men, women, and children in Africa, and lots of people--famous and non-famous people, Christians and non-Christians--joined his crusade to put an end to you. I was the editor for a Christian magazine during that time, and me and the other editors made sure to include stories about what people were doing to combat you.

During Bono's crusade, I gave some money to his cause. I even wrote a couple editorials about you and him.

But I must confess, I've mostly done nothing to beat you. Oh, I cringe when I hear the statistics of what you are doing in places like India or China or among minorities in large cities like Chicago... but cringing doesn't help defeat you... it's just my superficial way of letting people know that I think your work is awful and should be stopped. But I'm not doing anything to help stop you. And I'm ashamed of that...

In January, I am going to Uganda. Many people who have been to Uganda say that I will see you there. Those people seem to think you're everywhere in Uganda. I've been told that, if I want to, I will be able to hold you again.

And this time, I will not fear you. I'm sure I will hate you more than I do now. But will I do anything to stop you?

I don't know.

(to be continued)

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