In the world of politics, there are perhaps fewer psychological weapons better disguised than a so-called charitable cause. For though at first some causes appear to be rooted in goodness, in empathy, and in mercy, they can oftentimes be vehicles not only to safely advance causes which many find morally offensive, but also tools to silence opponents without the perils of argument. And in this brand of political warfare, there perhaps exists no greater weapon than the fight against AIDS.
It is easy to proclaim one’s support for what leftists call an AIDS victim. Cursed with an oftentimes fatal disease, financially burdened with excessive medical bills, and left with a social stigma, those suffering from the disease are certainly worthy of pity, as yesteryear’s leper. And because the triumph of medicine is overwhelmingly positive, signaling further advances of mankind against an oftentimes merciless nature, men are naturally conditioned to view any sort of technological breakthrough as almost a moral cause in itself. The human race was not meant for such suffering; our souls proclaim it, as CS Lewis once wrote, with an inner cry that recalls our exile from the heavenly, and presses us forward, day by day, in search of immortality, in search of the God whose physical advent was marked not solely with wisdom, power, grace, and mercy, but of triumph over the seemingly insurmountable onslaught of nature.
But mercy upon the suffering is not entirely the purpose of AIDS campaigns. If the alleviation of pain was the sole goal, then perhaps such advocates could imagine another cause more worthy of attention; for most Americans have lost loved ones, and are currently threatened by loss because of other more prominent maladies. This is not to say that a cause is only worthy supposing it affects a majority, but rather that the cause of AIDS receives a radically disproportionate share of publicity, all its effects considered, and so that there must herein lie other motives.
In an article about the leading causes of deaths in America, the Center for Disease Control reports that heart disease — to which I lost my grandfather, and by which my father is threatened — killed 616,067 Americans in 2009. Cancer — to which I have personally lost my grandmother, and by which my mother lost her thyroid — killed 562, 875 Americans the same year. Strokes — by which my in-laws have suffered greatly — have killed 135,952 Americans in 2009 as well. Chronic respiratory diseases, accidents, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, unfluenza and pneumonia, and nephritis and septicemia (diseases of which I had never heard before writing this article), top the rest of the list. AIDS nowhere receives mention, excepting that one burrows through the full 51-page report.
But even supposing that AIDS advocates were to shift their focus globally, a responsibility secondary to the defense of one’s own countrymen, The World Heath Organization still does not disclose a great necessity to fight against AIDS. Amongst high-income countries, AIDS is not listed as a leading cause of death. Among middle-income nations, it comprises only 3% of all deaths. In low-income nations, it comprises 7.5% of all deaths. In all nations, it is drastically eclipsed by heart disease, respiratory infections, and in the two higher income brackets, many others.
When one looks beyond the plain numbers, the backwardness — or, one might say, the leftwardness — of the cause increases drastically. Since the overwhelming number of all AIDS cases result from consensual, immoral, single-act behaviors, an effort to redistribute public funds and resources toward its cure is a denial of responsibility, like paying for the calamities of the drunken driver. Since homosexual men and blacks comprise the overwhelming majority of its carriers, though they comprise a minority amongst the American and world populations, it is a statement of solidarity in preference of leftist-preferred races and classes. When accomplished through taxation, it is a forceful denial of property rights for illegitimate purposes. When done voluntarily, it is a public disregard for natural law and traditional morality, favoring with one’s limited capital the safe debauchery of those who not only flagrantly violate the honor of matrimony and family, but who also deny their duties in gender. It is a venomous cocktail of leftism, an utter rejection of all principles conservative, and something not just to be avoided, but publicly opposed by sensible and honest people.
This is not to say that those suffering from AIDS are to be left in the gutter to die without any charity or pity whatsoever; let such a statement never be said of any of us, as we are all created in the image of God, and those suffering for their wrongdoings can oftentimes be found open to repentance. And let Americans not forget the plight of innocents affected by AIDS, whether by actual infection or orphanage, though children with AIDS comprise only a minute portion of the total AIDS population. I personally know a Christian man who was approached by a closeted gay coworker years before, and was asked what God thought of homosexuality. The closeted fellow was given the Gospel message, that all men — including this once disreputable writer –, though sinful, are invited into relationship with the Almighty, and that because of Jesus Christ, no man’s past denied him a chance at salvation from the wrath of God, and a future in eternity. Shortly thereafter, the closeted man died of AIDS; but having responded to the Gospel message, he died a Christian, and I will see him again not as an AIDS sufferer nor a homosexual, but as my heavenly brother. This honesty is charity, and kindness, and love; love is not ensuring with limited resources that people can engage themselves in reckless and immoral behavior, in implicit statements of leftist solidarity. There is no such thing as a loving way to support wrongdoing.
Undoubtedly, there will be many personal attacks made against those who adopt the above truths, and so one must be prepared to endure every unfair, slanderous epithet employable in such a case. But if one is brave enough to label himself a conservative, he should expect nothing less than the appearance of coldness in the eyes of every fool, as the conservative takes his stand for principles which fools would wish they knew, if only they knew what they will not to know. The rejection of AIDS campaigns should result no differently, but it is a battle worth fighting; it is time conservatives dug their trenches.