I'm curious, who really gets to shape reality? Is it those who have the power, or those who want the power?
You want my personal opinion? I think it is the later. To be even more specific: I no longer think truth and control of acceptable values is as much an issue of power as it is "a need to justify before the world strange personal desires and aberrant wants." We live in a culture where most people believe we should be allowed to do what we want to do without (1) anyone telling me no, and (2) anyone pointing out that what I may be doing is dangerous and harmful.
I think we even have reached the cultural tipping point that Isaiah 5:20 warns us all about. Actually, this verse is the easiest way to tell if your society is sick:
"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,
who put darkness for light and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter."
I think we have arrived at this point - - and let me show you why.
In the past two days, I read two different articles that I believe bring to light how "those who want to justify bitter actions" are trying to convince the world to accept them as sweet.
Article One: Oliver Springs vs. Tennessee Dept. of Environment & Conservation
The city of Oliver Springs is pumping polluted water into Poplar Creek, a fresh water supply used by both the local community and livestock. One official says he found, "used hygiene products, solid excrement and unused pills flowing out of the sewer drains." Local residents near the creek claim that the sewage is in plain sight and the smell is unmistakable. After testing the water, officials claim that "they found E. Coli, ammonia and solid waste in the water. Even some livestock have birthed stillborn calves and cows have died after drinking the water."
The city has spent over $250,000 trying to solve the problem and have not yet adequately fixed it. Their delay has prompted the state to fine them $175,000. The Department of Environment & Conservation declares, "this has been going on long enough."
Do you think the Tennessee Dept. of Environment & Conservation is right to fine them? Is sewage being poured into drinking water a bad enough problem that it needs to be "targeted" and "punished if not fixed?" Or would it be better for the state to simply stop criminalizing the leaders of Oliver Springs; and stigmatizing "the act of pumping sewage into fresh water" as a bad thing? Here is a possible solution to avoid such harsh judgment: Let the city keep dumping solid excrement and pills into the river, while at the same time trying to find a medicine that will cure E. Coli and make the ammonia taste sweet?
What they need is more research dollars to find a cure so the city can keep polluting. Right? Wrong...because dumping sewage into a perfectly fine river is sick! I think most sane people would agree that the city of Tennessee is right to criminalize it. It is obvious logic. But this logic is lost when it comes to personal morals and sexual practices. Let me show you...
Article Two: World Health Organization Warns of HIV/AIDS Pandemic
A new finding by the World Health Organization last Friday warns that "we must stay vigilant in fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic because the progress gained over the past few decades can easily be lost." The article states that incidence among certain groups is putting the overall battle against the deadly disease at risk. They go on to describe the certain groups who are in the especially high risk category:
- "men who have sex with men, transgender people, prisoners, people who inject drugs and sex
workers together account for about half of all new HIV infections worldwide. This group is 19
times more likely than the general population to be infected by HIV."
- "transgender women and injecting drug users are around 50 times more likely than the
general population to contract HIV."
- "Sex workers have a 14-fold higher chance of getting infected."
This report is from an unbiased source, the UN. This is not the findings of some whacked out Christian fundamentalist group...it's the UN! And what did they find? Homosexual men, transgenders, drug users and prostitutes are the main carriers and spreaders of the disease. Again, this is the UN.
So how do we process this? What if we were to use the same logic to stop HIV/AIDS as the Dept. of Environment & Conservation to stop the dumping of sewage into fresh water? What did they do? They got mad at the behaviors and actions that produced the problem. So wouldn't you think the World Health Organization should do the same thing: warn people to STOP the behaviors and actions that produce the epidemic?
Well.. no, of course not! They can't do that...so instead, here is what "enlightened" WHO advises the rest of us to do:
"Decriminalizing and destigmatizing these groups would greatly help bring down HIV infections among them," WHO said.
"Promoting condom use, wide-spread voluntary HIV testing, treating at-risk individuals with antiretrovirals, voluntary male circumcision and needle exchange programmes figure among the other WHO recommendations for battling the disease."
In other words, keep dumping sewage in the water while we look for treatment against the E. Coli. Why aren't we allowed to say that these "listed" behaviors are dangerous and deadly to humanity? It's simple: People want the right to do these things, they are enjoyable, they are private matters and "You have no right telling me who I can and cannot sleep with or do drugs with."
Yeah, but the state can tell a whole community to stop dumping sewage into creek water.
Some of you reading this will get mad at me for using logic. Accusing me of being "homophobic and judgmental." All I am trying to point out is that "God has great reasons for telling us the moral way to live is the best way to live, the righteous way to live. Jewish Rabbis (it's cool to listen to Rabbis these days) call living under God's commands as 'Shalom.' And when we ignore him, and try to determine the right way to live by our libidos, we will reap what we sow!"
Here is my suggestion: Let's stop celebrating sewage, and we need to quit calling it sweet water. Because IF we don't, we will all get sick!