Curious if this idea still exists. I heard it when I was 12 in a chat room. I cried.
How could it be when gay people, “straight” people, innocent babies etc get it? AIDS is a horrible disease that got out of control. If the idea still exists, I am sure God is crying too.
Sickness (and death and all other kinds of evil) entered the world as a result of original sin, the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve. God did not cause sickness (or any kind of suffering or evil), but He sometimes permits it in order to bring greater good out of it. For example, sickness often gives people an opportunity to draw closer to God because, in their weakness, they realize that they are totally dependent on God.
In chapter 9 of the Gospel of John (the Gospel reading at Mass two Sundays ago), Jesus addresses this question in the case of the man born blind:
"His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.’ "
While sickness or disability can sometimes result from our own sinful choices (risky behavior), in many cases it is not the result of a person’s own personal sin (clearly it is not, in the case of an infant born with a disability). But sickness always gives us the opportunity to receive and respond to God’s grace if we choose to do so.
That’s like saying it’s a punishment to black people as well, because of the prevalence in Africa. I think it may be a view of that horrible baptist pseudo-church run by Phelps, though no doubt a few more mainstream fundies have picked it up
No God does not punish this way. I do believe God is using the situation as a way to try to get people to act better, more charitable and socially responsible.
Society has failed in the control of this horrible situation. When it was first around it could have been contained or eliminated IMHO. But we failed to do the responsible things and went for the PC instead. We as society could have followed established medical protocol of isolation of those that were carriers of the virus. We chose not to do so. Now we have a grave situation that it is in the general population and if we don’t find a vaccine we will see many more deaths. The medicine we use to maintain the virus in a dormant state will not work forever then what?
We can see that personal responsibility for our actions is no longer practiced. The STD and TB situations in the news lately have proved that. We are a ME-v-YOU society and it seems to me there is never a WE or US in the mix.
The odd thing about the AIDS/divine punishment argument is the corollary that lesbians are God’s chosen people. Lesbians are the least likely group to contract HIV, therefore they must be most favored by God.
I don’t think that people who make the AIDS/divine punishment argument intend to say that about lesbians. But I do think it shows their near-sightedness.
Sickness is the result of infection by certian types of germs that enter our body (like strep, a bacterial infection, or HIV, a viral infection), or the result of cells inside our body mutating in ways that cause suffering (such as cancer). Sometimes, sickness is the result of genetic defects that were passed on from parent to child (such as sickle-cell aenemia). Sometimes, sickness is caused by our immune system not responding correctly to certian things - these are called allergies (like, say, an allergic reaction to bee stings). Sickness can also be mental in nature - such as a seratonin defiency that causes depression (the brain has certian chemicals it needs to perform well. If it doesn’t have what it needs, it can cause psychological or behavioral problems). There are a whole bunch of other things that can happen to our body.
But one thing is for certian - sickness can effect anyone. It doesn’t matter if your rich or poor, black or white, Catholic or protestant, Job or Judas - sickness happens to everyone. Certianly, it happens to *some *people more than others. People without sufficient preventive healthcare may be prone to suffer from sickness more than those in countries with lots of preventive healthcare. People who live in hot, humid, close-to-the-equator climates may suffer from malaria more - because the mosquitos there carry it, while the mosquitos here in the US don’t.
There is no reason to think that the pious are effected by sickness any more or less than the non-pious. There is no reason to think that God ever punishes people with sickness - except if you read the Bible and actually believe some of the stories in there.
EXALT: The old Testament did talk about God punishing people with plagues.:eek: But Christ’s birth and death changed all that.
The Church has NEVER taught that AIDS is a punishment from God for gay people. AIDS is a disease process, a medical syndrome. It can reach people in a number of ways having various means of transmission. Children who enter chat rooms at aged 12 yrs need supervision!
NO NO AND NO!!!
Not so long ago back here in England, we had a bit of rain that caused some flooding. Some jerk of a bishop, The Rt Rev Graham Dow, Bishop of Carlisle said the fault lay wth us mortals for our lack of respect for the planet, and quite rightly so. But then he follows it with (allegedly), saying it was also a judgement on societies moral decadence. That must have come as great comfort to all the children who had just lost all thier favourite toys and couldn’t understand why they had to sleep in a caravan with the rest of the family. Must have been words of consolation for the elderly couple who had just seen thier house collapse along with all their possessions and memories.:nope:
One notes that the author of 2 Maccabees [6:12-16] thought only the Jews were blessed with immediate chastisement for their sins; all others were allowed to build an overwhelming debt.
[FONT=Georgia]Now I urge those who read this book not to be depressed by such calamities, but to recognize that these punishments were designed not to destroy but to discipline our people. 13 In fact, not to let the impious alone for long, but to punish them immediately, is a sign of great kindness. 14 For in the case of the other nations the Lord waits patiently to punish them until they have reached the full measure of their sins; but he does not deal in this way with us, 15 in order that he may not take vengeance on us afterward when our sins have reached their height. 16 Therefore he never withdraws his mercy from us. Though he disciplines us with calamities, he does not forsake his own people.
No responsible Christian believes this. As one commentator remarked noting that hemophiliacs, children, heterosexuals etc. have also contracted AIDS, “God has a better aim than that.”
Yep, the idea still exists, but as mentioned it’s difficult to buy that notion.
I do wonder sometimes if the Almighty uses such circumstances to bend or modify our behavior, though…kinda like throwing up a challenge to we humans as a whole.
While this line of thought isn’t theologically sound…it illustrates that certain behaviors are not good for us; adultry, homosexuality, premarital sex, drug abuse etc. If we had not participated in these things, again as a human race, not necessarily as individuals, there would be no AIDS epidemic.
This line of thinking is problematic, though, when one tries to apply it to something like the black plague in past centuries…:shrug:
How do you know this?
Let’s put it this way - there is disease in the world. God gave us commands and natural law for our own good. When we go against these commands we are more susceptible to their ill effects.
How do you know this?
From following HIV news for many years (although I have fallen off in the past year). For a period of time, it was assumed that lesbian sex posed no risk. Studies seemed to indicate that lesbians contracted the disease via intravenous drug abuse or from men. That assessment has been dis-proven with a number of case studies.
In trying to look up actual numbers, there seems to a flaw in the CDC’s statistics gathering which make the exact number hard to pin down.
Many times I’ve been asked how many HIV positive Lesbians there are. The truth is, the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) does not keep a statistic as to how many Lesbians and Bisexual women have HIV. The CDC now believes that there is a small but significant number of Lesbians with HIV infection, and that woman-to-woman transmission of HIV is possible. In fact, woman-to-woman sexual transmission of HIV has already been reported in the medical literature. The risk of HIV transmission between women is lower than HIV transmission between men, and between men and women. We cannot say how often sexual infection between women occurs, but the rate is probably relatively low.
The way we keep statistics can also lead to erroneous conclusions as to the rate of HIV among Lesbians/bisexual women. If an HIV positive woman reported having sex with many women, but had sex with just one man (even just one time), for statistical purposes, she is considered heterosexual.
So the CDC has screwed up its records. Still, if you consider the nature of fluid transfer when men are involved in sex, it shouldn’t be surprising that the rate of lesbian transmission would be lower than among men, or women, who have sex with men.
HIV is transmitted by bodily fluids. Saliva may not be as efficient as other fluids, but I think it can transmit the disease. **
I’m hoping that you understand that many children and adults suffer from a variety of illnesses, (some always fatal), through NO fault of their own. To pretend that consequences land with perpetrators only is very far from the reality of illness. All of us are called to sacrificial suffering and we can often see it at work in the lives of children and adults who suffer serious illnesses.