Sunday, March 7, 2010

Something to Think About...

"Fifteen thousand Africans are dying each day of preventable , treatable diseases- AIDS, Malaria, TB- for lack of drugs that we take for granted. This statistic alone makes a fool of the idea many of us hold on to very tightly: the idea of equality. What is happening to Africa mocks our pieties, doubts our concern and questions our commitment to the whole concept. Because if we're honest, there's no way we could conclude that such mass death day after day would ever be allowed to happen anywhere else. Certainly not North America, Europe or Japan. An entire continent bursting in to flames? Deep down, if we really accept that their lives- African lives- are equal to ours, we would all be doing more to put the fire out. It's an uncomfortable truth."

First, the number beginning that quote is correct. That's fifteen thousand. 15,000!!! Humor me for a moment. For all my fellow Kentuckians, let's say you wake up Monday and the first story on the news is that all inhabitants in Murray (population 15,000) had died. That would be a HUGE news story. I'm sure it would lead the national news for weeks. Only when you wake up Tuesday, everyone from Danville had died. On Wednesday, it was Glasgow. Thursday, Somerset. Friday, everyone in Berea. Dead. I am pretty certain that local, state and federal government along with churches and charities would work like crazy to solve this epidemic quickly. Yet, we are losing 15,000 Africans neighbors every day to diseases that we know how to prevent in the US. And you never hear about this. You do not hear about it on the news. You do not read about it in the newspaper. We CERTAINLY DO NOT hear about this problem from the pulpits in most of our churches. Why? Was not Jesus' greatest command to "love your neighbor as yourself?"

Secondly, you would probably guess that an American president, senator, CEO, or a minister said this. You would be incorrect. This quote is by Bono, the lead singer of U2. In an era when most "celebrities" are consumed with making more money and accumulating possessions, Bono has dedicated millions of his money and much of his time to raise awareness and slow this problem down as much as he can. I commend him for the clarity of his vision and the courage to care about people who, chances are, have not heard of him or his music.

The question is, what are we going to do about it?

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