I read an article from Christianity Today yesterday that reminded me of a few things about our world. The brief piece highlights the new documentary The Road We Know, a film about the AIDS crisis in Botswana. The infection rate there is the second highest in the world, and some have turned to abstinence as the only sure way to arrest the problem:
In this life-and-death context, The Road We Know profiles seven Botswanan college students who teach that abstinence before marriage is the safest way to prevent the spread of AIDS.
Abstinence? Yes, we’ve heard of this. Especially us youth ministry types. The author reminds American evangelicals that we too have
urged young believers, by way of youth-group talks and paper pledges and purity rings, to abstain from premarital sex. The program and others like it root their argument for abstinence in the logic of payoff: “If you wait for marriage, your future sex life will be hot.”
Ah, yes. Marketing spiritual discipline by–in a lot of cases–patently lying. According to the article, it gets even worse: “Unlike True Love Waits, their [the Botswanan] payoff logic has less to do with hot married sex and more to do with not dying at age 24.”
This devastating difference in perspective reveals a lot about our society and the larger world: the realities of disease, global population growth, economic inequality, and the like.
The Occupiers have constantly raised the spectre of “the 99%” of average Americans being overrun by “the 1%” with all the wealth. Maybe that’s true. But on a global scale? According to the calculator at The Global Rich List, even the median American income of $26,364 puts one in the company of the top 9.28% richest people in the world. Imagine that. The current poverty line in the United States for a single person is $10,890. That person is amongst the top 13.12% of the world’s richest. Astounding.
Try typing in your yearly salary. A lot of you (myself included) will find yourselves amongst the 1%. What, then, do we do with THAT knowledge?