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12 February 2010

Comments

D

SIGH.here we go again blaming black churches for everything. they didn't cause HIV and AIDS!

CC

D- truly you have missed the point of the article. Its called reading comprehension, and you failed!

Derrick from Philly

I don't know, D. If low self-esteem is a factor in black gay folks having risky sex (everything is just for the moment--you don't care whether you live or die) then certainly the evangelical black churches played/play a role in the spread of HIV among black folks (gay & straight). You make someone feel like filth then they will have low self-esteem (even when they cover it up by either lying, or being a pompous choir queen). Unfortunately, when thousands of heterosexual black women begin dying of the disease then the Chuch might pay attention.

They'll still try to blame the sin of homosexuality (the down low bullshit)for the mass infections of heterosexual black women, but we'll have ask a question of the Black Church: if God is still punishing gays by letting straight women die, why do gay women rarely come down with the disease. A homosexual woman has to have heterosexual sex to get the Virus, or somewhere down the line of her sexual contacts there's been some woman who has had sex with a man. Why would God punish homo men, hetero women, while he blesses homo women? Don't make much sense, Black Evangelicals.

If all homosexual women STAYED totally homosexual they would never get HIV. Explain that, Black Evangelicals...and white ones too.

Diva1961

Let the church say AMEN!!! It is so true that the church condemns those in the black community who have contracted this disease instead of being at the forefront of fighting for drugs that are affordable, and helping to erase the shame associated with it.

The black race is the one hit hradest by this, but is the one that is surrounded by the most silence. If the church is still the center of the community, as it was for hundreds of years, it has a responsibility to it's people to watch out for their care regarding HIV/AIDS, as much as they watched out for our care regarding escaping slavery.

D dear, that's what this article is about. The care of the entire community as it always has.

James M

D- HUGE EPIC FAIL. Please do not comment anymore without reading the article.

William Doan

Rod, even President Obama has called out Black churches for their attitude towards homosexuals more than once, before and after he became president. In most places, the Black church is mostly more than middle-aged and overwhelmingly female, which might be the reason so many black preachers - male and female - feel free to denegrate their LGBT community.

Cindy Birdsong the Good Supreme

I know of many black churches that don't condemn people who die from HIV and AIDS or who live with the virus. There was an organization called Who Touched Me located in Boston that was organized by a black woman of faith who became HIV+ and eventually died. WTM did much to educate, support and comfort people affected by the virus. Healing Our Land is another organization that that does a similar thing. HOL is organized by a Black pentecostal. Yes, there are many churches that do what the article says;some are pentecostal and some are not.
There is diversity within the church just as there is diversity with the GLBTQ community. To lump all gay folk into a box is wrong and it is just as wrong to dod the same to black churches.

Brian QTD

The problem I see is that too many people think they can throw a Bible verse at something and the problem will be fixed. And if that's not working, there must be something wrong with you, not the theology. There has to be a way to assert some critical theology in the black church. I am interested in a dialogue on that because I have been in exile from the black church for some time and have no intention of going back anytime soon.

If homophobia kept AIDS down, blacks should have pretty low rates of HIV. And yet, the homophobia continues and the stats keep rising. Obviously, Lev 18:22 or Romans 1:26-27 is not a solution. If there were ANY benefit to homophobia and holier-than-thou theology, we would have seen it. Yet, the stats speak for themselves.

The other issue that affects HIV rates is racism. Our living patterns, our lack of access to resources--including health resources, our prospects in finding potential sex partners, all play a role in the numbers and that's not even including the psychological damage of "minority stress syndrome". And in my view, the black church has dropped the ball on that too. They are completely clueless when it comes to dealing with the reality of racism in 2010. Sure we can point to some local solutions that some black churches have done to help put Band-Aids on some social problems. But the overall numbers for black America continue to be bleak. Where is the outrage over that? Where are the protests over that? Where was Harry friggin Jackson when we found out the black unemployment gap rose to a 13 year high last year?

Izzy

I find myself agreeing with D. I think that the Church is guilty of promoting a culture of unacceptance but it cannot hold the responsibility for the propagation of HIV/AIDS infection. The Church didn't stay anybody's hand from putting on a condom. Nor did it stop people from educating themselves on the transmission of HIV/AIDS and how to protect themselves.

The Church probably should have done a better job of acknowledging the problem but they're certainly not to blame for peoples' individual activity or lack thereof.

Observer

*sigh*
The black church is only mimicking what the black community as a whole portrays when it comes to HIV/AIDS. While its easy to expect a difference between the church world and the black community outside of the church, unfortunately the same attitude that is portrayed in the pulpit is the exact same attitude that is portrayed in the streets. Is it right? NO! What should we do? Continue to educate. Generally speaking, it should not come as a surprise that "the undeducated black community" still think HIV/AIDS is a gay disease. Furthermore, when you look at the fatherless homes, teenage pregnancy, and the high percentage of blacks incarcerated, this is proof that we have some major issues that need to be resolved in our community and it starts with being open to education and not being close minded to subjects that you might perhaps not understand. If we can get the black church to start to educate using scripture AND secular advice, we would see change start to trickle down into our community as a whole.

DbARR

The wheels on the bus go round and round....is change ever going to come?

Mr. FAMU

How can Churches fight HIV/AIDS when they won't even admit that their members are having sex outside of marriage? And how many churches wanna do that?

They have to operate under the belief that all Christians are saving themselves for marriage that's why they don't want condoms being given to kids because they believe it PROMOTES them to have sex outside of marriage.

If they give up control on sex and marriage who knows what other control they will have to concede and unfortunately power over people's bedrooms is one of the last strongholds the church has.

The church couldn't care less about HIV/AIDS and the harsh reality of the disease. That black women make up most churches, that AIDS is the leading cause of death in African American women aged 25-34, that Black women make up 60% of newly diagnosed HIV cases in the U.S., That Black women are 21x more likely to die from HIV/AIDS than non-hispanic white women, all of these things are of no consequence.

The church has more important things to worry about like maintaining power.

Chitown Kev

@Mr. FAMU

Thank you.

I see a lot of red herrings being thrown out here but of course the church is responsible for those that catch AIDS.

But being that the church is also the primary POLITICAL force in the black community, they do have a special responsibilty to address the problem in the context of the black community.

And they failed at the job.

Former COGIC

What Diva, Observer and FAMU said.
And daps to FAMU.

I'm surprised some people are even trying to debate this on this page. The black church didn't cause AIDS ... but SILENCE=DEATH and their silence, lack of action and scorning of black gay men with HIV surely helped kill thousands.

Twenty something years and many black churches are just getting around to discussing it? And most churches running programs only for women and children? Pastors saying gays were going to hell and AIDS was God's revenge? Over at Blackvoices, more than a hundred comments slamming that beautiful SGL couple and saying they should get AIDS and died? If that isn't the a legacy of the church, what is?

And yes, not all black churches were silent or antagonistic. Most were there. And the silence around sexual issues has spoken volumes. Teen pregnancy is out of control in our community and blacks have the highest HIV rates.

Some of you church queens can g'head and defend your pastors and what not, but the legacy speaks for itself. Even Rev. Jesse Jackson admitted as much in the ABC special on HIV in the black community. "The bible didn't mention AIDS or how to deal with it."

Former COGIC

One more thing...
I've seen too many black churches in my lifetime that REFUSED FUNERALS and REFUSED TO BURY gay men who died of AIDS. Especially in COGIC, Pentecostal churches and Missionary Baptist churches, which are packed to the rafters with church queens in the choir. Even saying your son or nephew died of "pneumonia" or "cancer" back in in the 90s would still not get them a church funeral in many cases.

Sell that bs to someone else who wasn't there. I've lost many, many friends to AIDS who were too afraid to tell their family they were gay, too afraid to leave their gay bashing churches and ultimately their church refused them even the dignity of a funeral. smh

Chitown Kev

"I see a lot of red herrings being thrown out here but of course the church is NOT responsible for those that catch AIDS."

Had to make that correction.

Zambos27

The church may not have caused it, but at the churches I have attended, they never mentioned it. The pastors were too busy promoting prosperity and asking people to make sure they were putting money in the collection plate because "if you starve the pastor, you starve the church".

FQ

Black churches being responsible and talking about sexuality. homosexuality or HIV/AIDS?

Haha! As if!
Too many hypocrisies. The deacons and pastors are sleeping around with the married women and the single women... and too many pastors are on the DL an creeping their own selves.

It would be easier to have a more liberal and progressive view of sexuality (Episcopal, etc) but we usually don't "do" churches like that. smh...

Generic  viagra

Most, if not all of these deaths were the effect of specific and harmful behaviors that were nurtured in the hetero-self-hating and homophobic society of the black Pentecostal church.

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