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Author Topic: World AIDS Day  (Read 3780 times) Average Rating: 0
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The young fogey
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« on: December 01, 2004, 12:47:23 PM »

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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2004, 01:44:44 PM »

 Instead of that very unChristian post above, let us rather pray for those who have died of HIV and those who suffer from it all over the world!  Lord have Mercy on us and let us see our own sins! :'(
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2004, 01:47:50 PM »

I understand your feelings, bripat22, but Serge's message is most valid, even if crude.

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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2004, 02:08:56 PM »

Umm, what are you talking about?  All I see is a red 'x' in a box (i.e. a broken pic) and when I click on the link, I see an article which addresses in a MUCH more Christian since, the proper solution to the AIDS crisis as opposed to secular society's 'solution'.  Is the pic crude?
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2004, 02:17:40 PM »

Yes.
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2004, 02:23:17 PM »

Elisha,

The pic posted in Serge's post is a rather crude, ignorant t-shirt that propagates the fallacy that AIDS only affects homosexuals.  The article it links to is right on, but the image is most definitely crude and beneath this board.
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2004, 02:24:32 PM »

Elisha,

The pic posted in Serge's post is a rather crude, ignorant t-shirt that propagates the fallacy that AIDS only affects homosexuals.  The article it links to is right on, but the image is most definitely crude and beneath this board.

OK.  Thanks.

Bad Serge, Bad!
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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2004, 02:39:00 PM »

Agree with Shultz on this one.  I'd like Serge to show someone dying of AIDS that picture.
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« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2004, 03:09:38 PM »

That picture is absolutely SICK AS HELL.  AIDS does not exclusively have to do with homosexuality. What about all the people infected by blood tranfusions, etc?  Even when occuring because of illicit sex, since when do we revel in the results of someone's sin?

Sick. And not Christian.

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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2004, 03:43:09 PM »

I read recently that the main causes of the spread of AIDS is:

Homosexual / Bisexual contact     60%
Drugs, dirty needles     30%
The remaining 10% can be attributed though blood transfusions and heterosexual contact with bisexual partners.
The World AIDS groups have refused to accept the use of abstinence as a 100% means of preventing the spread of this disease. They claim that condoms are the ONLY effective preventative measure.  

And the reason people dont pay too much attention to AIDS in this country is that the vast majority of people will never be affected at all.  

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« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2004, 03:54:08 PM »

JoeS gets it. Of course not all AIDS cases are caused by homosexual practice but most are. It's a shocking picture - therefore it works. And it doesn't 'revel' in people suffering from diarrhoea, sarcoma or pneumonia. Quite the opposite. It simply points out something quite charitable in intent: if you don't want to get or spread this disease, don't do that! (Per Leviticus and Romans.)

Something I'm sure every observant Eastern and Oriental Orthodox agrees with.

Better than the secular world's dodge of reality: lies about condoms and one's actions not having a natural payback/consequence.
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2004, 04:34:48 PM »

Serge misses the point. Of course every observant Orthodox agrees that 100% abstinence is the only way to go. But he falls in with the secular world's philosophy of "you get what you deserve."

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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2004, 06:18:14 PM »

<pokes his head up>

All right, I feel like I need to bring something up here...this is World AIDS Day, right?  What about all the thousands upon thousands in Africa who are dying of AIDS in an epidemic whose numbers trump anything seen here?  If you were to tell them that AIDS is primarily a disease among homosexuals, they'd laugh in your face!  The vast majority of African AIDS patients got AIDS through heterosexual contact.

Abstinence still, admittedly, being the way to go...but the t-shirt has a very blunt message that isn't necessarily based in reality.  And that's not good, imo.

See y'all on the 25th.

<ducks head back down>
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2004, 06:32:44 PM »

//The vast majority of African AIDS patients got AIDS through heterosexual contact.//

AIDS and HIV doesnt affect the average American in the same way it affects, say those in Africa.  I dont see the percentages moving in "favor" of the AIDS "epidemic" in the U.S.A. either.  Should we be concerned about our fellow human beings in other countries? Absolutely we should.  I have attached an article which may explain fully how I feel about this disease as it affects us here in North America.

Please take note of the third paragraph.
________________________________________________

"HIV, AIDS Cases Rise Among U.S. Gay, Bisexual Men

Dec 1, 1:47 PM (ET)

By Paul Simao

ATLANTA (Reuters) - A rise in new cases of AIDS and HIV infection among gay and bisexual men in many U.S. states, reported in a federal study on Wednesday, has given support for concerns the disease is resurgent in the country.

The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released in connection with World AIDS Day, said new HIV and AIDS diagnoses in 32 U.S. states rose 11 percent among gay and bisexual men between 2000 and 2003.

Rates were stable among most other population sectors, and the overall infection rate rose to 19.7 cases per 100,000 people in 2003 from 19.5 per 100,000 people in 2000.

AIDS, which destroys the immune system and leaves victims vulnerable to an array of opportunistic infections and cancers, has killed about half a million Americans and 22 million people worldwide since 1981.

Gay and bisexual men are believed to account for a majority of the estimated 850,000 to 950,000 Americans living with HIV, the virus that causes the disease.

In the United States public health experts have been warning of a possible resurgence of the epidemic, which eased in the early 1990s following the development of antiretroviral drugs targeting the disease.

Since the late 1990s, when U.S. deaths from AIDS stabilized at 16,000 per year and new HIV infections stabilized at 40,000 per year, the disease has shown signs of a comeback, particularly among gay and bisexual men.

Between 2000 and 2003, a total of 125,800 people were diagnosed with HIV or AIDS in the 32 states, according to the new report.

Forty-four percent of these cases occurred among gay and bisexual men. "Men who have sex with men continue to constitute a substantial proportion of HIV/AIDS cases," said the CDC.

It said blacks, who represent about 13 percent of the U.S. population, made up 51.3 percent of all HIV and AIDS cases diagnosed in the same period.

New York, California and other states that had not used confidential, name-based reporting of HIV and AIDS cases for at least four years were excluded from the study.

A number of health departments across the nation also have reported a worrying surge in syphilis and some other sexually transmitted diseases among gay and bisexual men. Sexually transmitted diseases are known to increase the likelihood of contracting HIV.

To combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in America, the U.S. government decided last year to emphasize programs that focus on testing and counseling people who are already infected.

Some AIDS activists, however, fear the new approach will lead to reduced funding for many programs that emphasize condom use and other safe-sex practices for uninfected people.

The CDC, which hopes to cut the number of new annual HIV infections in half within five years, also has recommended routine HIV testing be expanded to include pregnant women, intravenous-drug users and anyone who engages in unsafe sex. "

JoeS

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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2004, 08:28:17 PM »

In the world, the fastest growing segment of the population being infected with HIV is women.  In the United States, the majority of HIV cases are in practicing homosexuals, but even in the US, the number of women affected is growing much quicker.

As Christians, we are not called to judge our brothers and sisters!  A person suffering with or dying of HIV deserves as much compassion, whether he contracted it from homosexual sex or from a tainted blood transfusion, or whether it's a woman suffering as well.

Some of the postings here remind me of that evangelical preacher who said that AIDS was God's revenge on homosexuals (can't remember who it was).
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« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2004, 10:29:59 PM »

//Some of the postings here remind me of that evangelical preacher who said that AIDS was God's revenge on homosexuals (can't remember who it was).  //

oh really!

JoeS

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« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2004, 10:40:56 PM »

Amen to Gregory2's post -- and to that of Bripat22, which hit the nail smack on the head.  We should be praying, not casting stones.

AIDS may primarily afflict homosexuals in the US, but the simple fact is that the vast, vast majority of the world's AIDs sufferers are heterosexuals in the developing nations of Africa and Asia.  Take Africa, for example, with its "lost generation" of AIDs orphans (see www.uccf.org).  One shouldn't have to be an Orthodox rocket scientist to figure it out.

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« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2004, 11:28:02 PM »

I agree with BJohn.

Keep in mind that AIDS can be transmitted through any kind of sexual contact, with any sex. There are bigger and better things at stake with the battle on AIDS than placing blame.  That sort of Tshirt is something a teenager would get a rise out of, not something that a mature Christian should be wearing (or passing on for more people to see).

How about a STOP AIDS! Tshirt with a picture of a baby born with AIDS on it? That is much more meaningful and likely to achieve something than the crude and ignorant picture above.
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« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2004, 07:02:53 AM »

There was an article about AIDS in my hometown paper today (Greenville, SC).  It shocked me. It said that 83% of the newly diagnosed AIDS cases in South Carolina are African American women.  I had no idea the rate was so high.  A doctor was interviewed in the article and asked to explain the numbers.  He said that many people still think of AIDS as a disease only white, gay men get.  And he further said that many women seem to think that females cannot get it - or at least the risk is very low - so they don't take precautions against it.  On an even more sobering thought, this doctor also said that while the newer drugs can often keep a person who tests positive for HIV from developing full blown AIDS - as long as he stays on the medication - the average cost of AIDS drugs to the patient is a incredible $20,000 a year.  I had no idea but this doctor said that many people with AIDS are reduced to bankruptcy in a very short time.  And in Africa, where they have the highest rates of death from AIDS, hardly any of these medications are available. Very sobering indeed.
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« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2004, 09:12:47 AM »

Well, if people would just stop sinning (pre-marital/extra-marital and homosexual sex) we'd reduce the problem of AIDS enormously.  

Some of the posts here strike me as absoultely pacifist.  You seem to think problems like AIDS will go away on their own.  The fact of the matter is: we've brought this upon our selves by living in a society that promotes the disgusting practice of open and rampant sexuality with many partners.  There is nothing about AIDS that is "natural."  It was proliferated and first found in the US among GAY men in 1981.  There is no casting of stones here..just presentation of the facts.

Luckily, as you may have read, a potential vaccine for AIDS is progressing near completion.  However this doesn't alleviate our moral responsibility to live chaste lives.  There are a plethora of other sexually transmitted diseases out there.  But the fact of the matter is, you really don't have to get these diseases as long as you live chastely! Therefore, if you somehow manage to contract one of these illnesses chances are very good that you DESERVE it.

Robert
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« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2004, 09:22:01 AM »

Robert,

I don't think anyone is denying that moral turpidude is a major factor in the spread of AIDS. But to suggest that stopping sodomy would stop AIDS is just silly, and the intent of that picture was just to piss people off. It's funny, the people who rail against this stuff are not usually the ones volunteering at their local abstinece educational center.

As far as your point that if you live irresponsibily you deserve to contract a disease, I highly disagree from a Christian point of view. People make sinful mistakes all the time. To say they then deserve to spend the rest of their lives with AIDS strikes me as wordly.  In a sense sometimes God does punish people for sin but that is God's prerogative; our job should be to comfort those people with the disease and show them God's love, not pontificate on why they deserve it or push stupid t-shirts that are just offensive and sophmoric.

Anastasios
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« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2004, 09:22:27 AM »

Yep, the problem with HIV and antiretroviral medication is that the virus is so easily mutated and can become resistant to any single drug very quickly.  A person with HIV or AIDS will never get treated with a single med.  They need some kind of "cocktail" of meds to prevent resistance.  That makes the drug regiment pretty confusing which means compliance is a problem as well.  On top of that, they're all insanely expensive, and insurance companies are not always obliging.  It's a wonder people who can make steps to avoid it, don't.
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« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2004, 10:11:39 AM »

They need some kind of "cocktail" ...

Hey! Isn't that what STARTED this problem in the first place!

(pardon!)  Grin
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« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2004, 10:44:28 AM »

Quote
Therefore, if you somehow manage to contract one of these illnesses chances are very good that you DESERVE it.

What's your snail mail address, Robert?  I have a box of stones here that I don't think I'll ever be able to use, but it sounds like you're in the position to start chukking them.
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« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2004, 10:50:41 AM »

1810 AVENT RIDGE ROAD APARTMENT #202
RALEIGH, NC, 27606

Thanks
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« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2004, 11:01:10 AM »

Look for the next week, me bucco!
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« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2004, 02:17:45 PM »

Well, if people would just stop sinning (pre-marital/extra-marital and homosexual sex) we'd reduce the problem of AIDS enormously.  

Therefore, if you somehow manage to contract one of these illnesses chances are very good that you DESERVE it.

Robert

Do the babies born with HIV from infected mothers "deserve" it?  If a woman has sex with her husband (who she thinks has been faithful) and contracts it from him, does she "deserve" it?

There are so many sinners here posting on this board!  Why do you post here as well?  I think there are some internet boards for those who don't sin...... maybe you can find one?  

Or possibly focus on the Prayer of St Ephraim we pray during Lent... "let me see my own sins, and not those of my brother."  

"If people would just stop sinning".....  then I guess we wouldn't need confession.  Sin (of all kinds) will be around as long as man is around, until Jesus's second coming.
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« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2004, 02:31:22 PM »

Did you know that marriage is the major risk factor for women becoming infected with HIV?

Also women are more likely to be infected then men.  

How does a woman who has sex with her husband deserve to become infected?
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« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2004, 02:54:25 PM »

Look, Bobby knows that it's not up to us to pass judgement on the sins of others and to say that someone "deserves" what they get.  He's being a troublemaker, and in bad taste at that.  

Taking into account that HIV can be contracted in other ways besides sexual contact, abstinence is still one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of disease, along with making sure the person you choose to sleep with has been properly tested.  Hopfully that's one of the points that Bobby was getting at.  People can have lifelong treatment through medication, and there are medications (ie. nevirapine) that work well at preventing the virus from crossing the placenta so that it will not spread from a pregnant woman to her child.  If the spread of the disease to future generations can be stopped, then (I know this sounds cruel, but) when the generation with AIDS dies, if they haven't spread the disease, it will have successfully decreased.
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« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2004, 03:01:45 PM »

As an aside, I don't remember where I heard this, but is it true that if a person who knows they have AIDS has sex with someone without telling them (s)he has AIDS, they will be in some sort of legal trouble?  What is the sentence for someone giving another person a terminal illness??
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« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2004, 03:44:28 PM »

If everyone stopped the buggery and illicit sex, and remained abstinent if they had the disease, then it would disappear in a life time..
It wouldn't be in the blood donor supply...
It wouldn't be anywhere else...


And to reiterate to the folks who didn't read my post.  I didn't say EVERYONE deserved it, I said MOST deserved it.  If you're going to engage in SIN, prepare for the consequences.

And Gregory2, you seemed to insinuate that I was without sin.  I certainly didn't mention this in my post, so perhaps you can point out where this is displayed.

Robert


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« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2004, 03:47:08 PM »

And to reiterate to the folks who didn't read my post.  I didn't say EVERYONE deserved it, I said MOST deserved it.  If you're going to engage in SIN, prepare for the consequences.

Agreed!
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« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2004, 03:54:54 PM »

Quote
And Gregory2, you seemed to insinuate that I was without sin.  I certainly didn't mention this in my post, so perhaps you can point out where this is displayed.

"If everyone stopped sinning..."

It's quite obvious that you've never met anyone who was literally wasting away due to AIDS.  I've met people who contracted the disease because of one mistake, one night of lust.

I know I've experienced dozens of them myself.  I'm no virgin.  I've had sex with a number of women.  If anyone deserves to die horribly due to AIDS, it's someone like me who for the longest time didn't give a rat's ass about God or His Commandments.  But here I am, quite healthy and STD free.

I don't know what the state of your soul is, but unless it's completely and utterly spotless, you have absolutely no business saying anyone deserves to die from AIDS, period.  There's a difference between wanting a person to accept the consequences of his or her actions, as everyone who suffers with AIDS that I've ever met has, and saying that a child of God deserves to die.  

The prodigal's brother felt that way about his errant sibling.  After all, he stayed at home and did all that his father asked.  His brother was the one out there carrying on, having licentious sex and spending his inheritance.  He deserved to be a beggar.  

And everyone who makes a mistake like the prodigal, even if its countless mistakes, deserves to die horribly because, after all, they deserve what they get.

I suppose that young women, in the midst of confusion, who kill their own baby, should not receive our compassion at all as they go through the horrible aftermath of abortion.

After all, they deserve what they get, too.

I pray that Bobby...er...God doesn't give me what I deserve on the way home tonight, but I'll be ready to accept the consequences if and when they come.
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« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2004, 04:05:40 PM »

Receiving punishment for an action is entirely different from receiving the consequences of that action.  Death, disease, and suffering are not in the world as a punishment. That is not Orthodox teaching. It is a consequence of living in this fallen world that we contract diseases and live through suffering to finally arrive at death.

If some lives promiscuously, they should be prepared for the consequences thereof, which can include any number of STDs. But it is not in line with Orthodox teaching that that person received their disease as a punishment; that they somehow deserved it.  What sin was the man who was blind since birth guilty of (or his parents?)

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« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2004, 04:46:22 PM »

I wish we could discuss AIDS withouth the insane emotionalism of self-righteousness, emotionalism, and finger-pointing. I liked what Schultz said:

     It's quite obvious that you've never met anyone who was literally wasting away due to AIDS.  I've met people who contracted the disease because of one mistake, one night of lust.

When we start saying that anyone one 'deserves' a disease or affliction we are really committing idolatry, because we are usurping the place of God to judge their soul.  One thing to me that distinguishes the Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions from the Protestant fundagelical religion is that the former is always more merciful and compassionate, especially merciful to those who have sinned and then repented. Perhaps there is a bias on my part, but it seems like there is something in the fundagelical mind (esp. in its more Calvinist manifestations) that hates the entire idea of forgiveness, period.  Forgiveness seems to be only for a certain "class" of people, namely, the "elect." And if you aren't "elect" (and no gay people could possibly be elect), then you are outside of the grace, mercy, and, love of God and DESERVE to get AIDS so that God can be glorified in punishing your wickedness.  
     I think this difference comes from the fact that in the Orthodox Catholic tradition we see sin differently from most of the Protestants. It seems to me that in the Orthodox Catholic tradition, sin is something you DO.  In much of the Protestant tradition, sin is what you ARE.  That's a big difference. You can't change who you are.  But you CAN change what you do.  The fundagelicals tend to give me the creeps because I sense in them that they want to make gay people (even celibate ones) into a separate class of reprobates who are entirely excluded from the grace of God and His mercy, and deserve EVERYTHING evil that befalls them in this life: disease, prejudice, violence, and outright homophobic behavior.
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« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2004, 05:57:17 PM »

Bobby, it was your tone.  It reminded me of a (comedy) movie my wife rented recently about a Christian high school (evang prot), where a lot of non-christian activities go on.  The lead actress (playing a teenager) got so mad at her classmates, threw a Bible at them, and said "why do I have to hang out with all these stupid sinners?"

See what's also been said above.  Judging others is a heinous sin because, as I understand it, you take the place of God when you judge others.  God alone is the judge, not men.  He commands us to love one another.  If our mind is telling us that "so and so deserved this because of such and such a sin," our minds can be deluded and wrong.  Orthodox teaching is clear that the mind can be as deluded as the heart.

So if we "reason" our way into something, it's quite possible that we're wrong.  Smiley
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« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2004, 06:10:22 PM »

I agree.  If we got justice, we would all be in trouble.  None of us deserves God's love or His salvation.  If we pray for God's mercy on ourselves, is it right to wish for justice for those who we feel are doing wrong things?  As Gregory and others have pointed out, many more heterosexuals are now getting AIDS, including spouses whose mates have cheated on them (with a person of the opposite sex by the way) and contracted AIDS from their spouses.  Anyway, even if they obtained AIDS by their own behavior (sexual or drugs), they are dying and need our love and mercy.  Maybe we can at least help lead them to Christ before they die.  If not, at least we have given them the love of Christ before they died.  Again, none of us has God's love and mercy because we are "good" and deserve it.  We only have it due to His love and mercy.  If God gave us what we deserved, we would all be going to Hell.
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« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2004, 07:31:56 PM »

Quote
Bobby, it was your tone.  It reminded me of a (comedy) movie my wife rented recently about a Christian high school (evang prot), where a lot of non-christian activities go on.  The lead actress (playing a teenager) got so mad at her classmates, threw a Bible at them, and said "why do I have to hang out with all these stupid sinners?"

hehe.....You must be talking about the movie "Saved" that poked fun at evangelicals. I saw that recently & thought it was so funny also.

Quote
See what's also been said above.  Judging others is a heinous sin because, as I understand it, you take the place of God when you judge others.  God alone is the judge, not men.  He commands us to love one another.  If our mind is telling us that "so and so deserved this because of such and such a sin," our minds can be deluded and wrong.  Orthodox teaching is clear that the mind can be as deluded as the heart.

I'm not sure if what Bobby was saying was "judging" in a strict sense. I think we have to make an obvious distinction between those who are at no fault of contracting aids & those contracting aids by dangerous behavior. I think what he's saying has much merit. Aids has been around for so long now that we are all educated enough to know that there's a good chance of contracting it or some other STD by engaging in certain sinful actions. What's the big deal by simply stating that someone gets what's coming to them by being very stupid with they way they live thier life?? That's not making a judgement, but a common sense observation based in reality. What would be wrong in my opinion is to say these people are being punished by God and have ill feeling towards them. I will always pray for people like this, but on the other hand I will make the distinction that people have to live with the consequences of thier behavior.
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« Reply #38 on: December 02, 2004, 08:24:58 PM »

Anyone want to take bets on how long it will take until this thread will be locked?  Wink
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« Reply #39 on: December 02, 2004, 11:21:37 PM »

Damn straight, that's exactly what I was saying Nacho.

Thanks for your support.

R
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« Reply #40 on: December 03, 2004, 01:14:42 AM »

Well, the time has come :-)  LOCKED!
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Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
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