The Royal Law: Love Thy Neighbor
By Angela Wittman
If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: (James 2:8 KJV)
This essay is written to encourage Christians to get involved with the homosexual community, specifically, the black homosexual community. Do I have your attention? Good. Now, please hear me out.
I recently read the report HIV/AIDS among African Americans/AIDS in 2003 written by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) which documents cases of HIV/AIDS among African Americans. The report begins with this startling statement:
The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a health crisis for African Americans. In 2001, HIV/AIDS was among the top 3 causes of death for African American men aged 25–54 years and among the top 4 causes of death for African American women aged 20–54 years. It was the number 1 cause of death for African American women aged 25–34 years.
The CDC then gives these statistics in the same report:
- According to the 2000 Census, African Americans make up 12.3% of the US population. However, they have accounted for 368,169 (40%) of the 929,985 estimated AIDS cases diagnosed since the epidemic began .
- By the end of December 2003, an estimated 195,891 African Americans with AIDS had died .
- Of persons given a diagnosis of AIDS since 1995, a smaller proportion of African Americans (60%) were alive after 9 years compared with American Indians and Alaska Natives (64%), Hispanics (68%), whites (70%), and Asians and Pacific Islanders (77%) .
- During 2000–2003, HIV/AIDS rates for African American females were 19 times the rates for white females and 5 times the rates for Hispanic females; they also exceeded the rates for males of all races/ethnicities other than African Americans. Rates for African American males were 7 times those for white males and 3 times those for Hispanic males .
What does this report say is the leading cause of HIV infection among African American men? It is from sexual contact with other men. The disease is then spread to African American women who engage in heterosexual activity with the infected men. And sadly, the disease is then being passed on to infants.
How can we break this deadly cycle? Is it by ignoring or excusing this deviant sexual behavior? Do we just throw more condoms at the black community, and hope STDs will go away? Do we ignore the clear teaching of Scripture to love our neighbor as ourselves in fear of offending them? Or do we speak the truth in love that the homosexual lifestyle is really a “death-style” and it is killing them?
What is the answer? I believe it is taking a stand together for righteousness by putting aside racial differences, and coming together as Christians united in Christ. We must teach others to submit to the clear teaching of Scripture that marriage is between one man and one woman only for life; this is the best protection against HIV/AIDS.
Dear friends, let us do well by obeying the Royal Law, speaking the truth, and loving our African American neighbors as ourselves. Amen.
1. Anderson RN, Smith BL. Deaths: leading causes for 2001. National Vital Statistics Reports 2003;52(9): 27–33. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/ nvsr52/nvsr52_09.pdf. Accessed December 23, 2004.
2. CDC. HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, 2003 (Vol. 15). Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2004:1–46. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/ hiv/stats/2003surveillancereport.pdf. Accessed February 2, 2005.
3. CDC. Diagnoses of HIV/AIDS—32 states, 2000–2003. MMWR 2004;53:1106–1110.