Recently, Rachel Maddow exposed what she thought was a very clear connection between Ugandan minister Martin Sempa and American religious conservatives, stating that she believes pastors in the US were indirectly responsible for an anti-gay bill in Uganda. The bill supposedly presents an absolute ban on homosexual behavior, going so far as to give the death penalty to people involved in homosexual acts, and even punishment for those who harbor or do not disclose the homosexual acts of neighbors. What Rachel didn’t mention, however, is that the country is suffering so badly from an AIDS crisis that 50% of the population is under the age of 15.
Now, some would say that picking on homosexuals is unfair, but these “fair people” are severely and dangerously misguided. What we do know about AIDS is that in America, the AIDS infected population is comprised almost entirely and evenly of two minority groups: homsexuals and blacks, with the gay population being significantly smaller than the black population. If we can successfully argue that an incredibly small population in America comprises over half our AIDS cases, something must be done to prevent the same from spreading in AIDS-devastated Uganda. After all, your right to act upon homosexuality in the Western world is only predicated on a low correlation between your act and the probability that it will harm another person. The higher the incidence of harm, the more right others have to ban your behavior: just like with drinking and driving. Not every drunk driver kills someone, but just enough of them do to make people react. The same rule should apply to homosexuals, at least if we are treating them as equals (and not as above the same rules they apply to others).
Furthermore, it must be argued that passing HIV to a person without their informed consent has the same effect as murder. Interestingly enough, the Ugandan murder rate (in 2001) was 10.25 people killed per 100,000 (or about 3,280 people, if you consdider that 32 million people live in Uganda, and do the math). When compared with the number of people killed by AIDS in cities, the murder rate is left in the dust, leaving the conclusion that since someone is almost always killed when they contract AIDS, and AIDS can be prevented by abstaining from sex and drugs, the penalties for sex outside of wedlock should necessarily become stiff. This harshness should be for both homosexuals and fornicators, but getting one of the two isn’t exactly an imprudent step forward when villages are being left empty. After all, diseases among homosexual populations are far higher than in heterosexual ones, and not every homosexual refrains from spreading diseases to women. Add the fact that AIDS is already functioning as a death penalty, and the morality of this legislation becomes very clearly visible.
So when sex and drug use are the two main reasons people contract AIDS, 1 in 10 people have AIDS in Ugandan cities, and AIDS prevelance is still increasing despite the government’s distribution of free antiretroviral drugs, you can bet that someone in the country is going to demand a new approach to sexual liberty. AVERT (an incredibly liberal international AIDS charity) even claims that “AIDS has had a devastating impact on Uganda. It has killed approximately one million people, and significantly reduced life expectancy. AIDS has depleted the country’s labour force, reduced agricultural output and food security, and weakened educational and health services. The large number of AIDS related deaths amongst young adults has left behind over a million orphaned children.” A million orphaned children might not seem like much to a large country like the US, but to a tiny country with a population of only 32 million, the number is devastating. No child should have to be orphaned due to their parent’s inability to keep their pants on.
So in short, while it may be easy to say that Rachel Maddow needs to do her homework, intelligent people know that she isn’t concerned with orphaned children, or with hospitalized emaciated Ugandans, or a devastated nation: Rachel Maddow wants to engage in a dangerously unhealthy sexual perversion regardless of the cost, even if it means that others pay dearly for it. Rachel, leave Rick Warren alone: perpetuating murder to protect sexual urges is about as morally bankrupt you can get.