Thursday, August 17, 2006

A little more

Aha, the joys of blogging, or posting things that annoy and then dashing off to make tea and such like. Ok, the main reason why this annoys me is that it's badly written and I think that the Guardian's move towards 'news blogs' and 'comment is free' sections undermines what the paper is trying to do. Ranting about things and posting half-baked opinion pieces thinly disguised as news is something that people like you and me should be doing, not the Guardian.

I'm not sure what the author means by 'backers of a Christian fundamentalist persuasion' - people who back Christian fundamentalists? Christian fundamentalists who back the Bush administration? Christian fundamentalist backers of abstention? But regardless of who she specifically means, it's a mistake to suggest that abstention is simply the method of Aids prevention advocated by the Christian right (or Christian wrong as they should perhaps be called) in the US. It's also the method advocated by many Anglican and Catholic churches across Africa (and people of other religions). In the absence or scarcity of Aids education, prevention or treatment, I don't think it's wrong for those churches to encourage people, wherever they are in the world, to try and limit their number of sexual partners and drug use. It's wrong when it's used in preference to other more effective means of Aids treatment and prevention, and when abstention receives more attention and funding than medical and social programmes and treatment. It's horrible to think of Bush and his cronies pandering to their CRF voters by ploughing money into Aids programmes that emphasise abstention and when that doesn't work to hell with the consequences. It's ridiculous to say use condoms in rich countries but just don't have sex in the developing world. Not just ridiculous, but racist, unfair and ineffective. The problem with this article is that it misunderstands the strength of religious faith (and the dodgy science that often accompanies espousals of that faith) in many parts of the developing world, and how closely related that faith and its manifestations are to certain Christian beliefs in America. The article has a liberal leftie agenda, unsurprisingly for the Guardian, that would be far more alien to people in certain parts of the world where the Aids rate is high than Bush's CRF approach would be.

Argh, this has turned into a bit of a rant and the annoying thing is I agree with the message of the article and I think we should be very wary of how Aids prevention information and education is shared with people who need it, and try and ensure that people understand why condoms and microbicides are the only effective and realistic way of preventing people dieing from Aids, rather than suggesting that pretending to abstain and going to church and being a born again virgin will help as well. And we should also try and ensure that when we give money to Aids charities at the money isn't deployed solely or even primarily through local religious organisations.

I just think that anyone who suggests that the majority of the planet's population find it hard not to inject drugs hasn't thought through their article sufficiently before posting it.

Maybe all she needed was a good sub. ;-)


Blogger quietlybreathing said...

Glad to help you get that out of your system!
I think you're right that there's more pressure for "content" i.e. newspapers doing blogs and perhaps you're right that journalists can splurge out opinions in a much looser way than they could get away with in print.

7:45 AM  

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