Tuesday, December 05, 2006

What A Pleasant Perspective!

E.J. Dionne, writing about Barack Obama's visit to Rick Warren's megachurch to speak about AIDS:
When it came his turn to speak, Obama took on the moral message of evangelical AIDS activists -- and then challenged them.

"Let me say this and let me say this loud and clear: I don't think that we can deny that there is a moral and spiritual component to prevention," he declared. "In too many places . . . the relationship between men and women, between sexuality and spirituality, has broken down and needs to be repaired."

Then Obama got to what "may be the difficult part for some," as he put it, that "abstinence and fidelity, although the ideal, may not always be the reality."

"We're dealing with flesh-and-blood men and women, and not abstractions," Obama said, and "if condoms and potentially things like microbicides can prevent millions of deaths, then they should be made more widely available. . . . I don't accept the notion that those who make mistakes in their lives should be given an effective death sentence."
What an total breath of fresh air. To not be so absolutely hung up on the ideal that we lose sight of the reality. I heard an abstinence speaker once negate safe sex teachings with the following argument: "We don't say 'Don't drink and drive -- but if you do, then stay on the right side of the road and don't speed." I disagreed. True, we don't say that. But what we do say: "You shouldn't drink. But, if you do, then make sure you have a designated driver. Do not get behind the wheel. Call someone to come pick you up."

Yeah, by all means, fight for the ideal. But don't ignore those suffering the reality in the process.


Blogger ~m2~ said...

steph, i agree with this 1000%. i especially like what he said about men and women being "flesh and blood" and not "abstracts."

there has got to be a middle ground. there has to be. thank you for this.

12/05/2006 3:38 PM  

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