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Old 12-12-2006, 01:43 PM   #1
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Obama on AIDS

stirring speech from the increasingly impressive Obama ... most noteable for how it speaks to both the right and the left in the same breath, very Bono-esque:



[q]Let's talk about what these efforts involve. First, if we hope to win this fight, we must stop new infections - we must do what we can to prevent people from contracting HIV in the first place.

Now, too often, the issue of prevention has been framed in either/or terms. For some, the only way to prevent the disease is for men and women to change their sexual behavior - in particular, to abstain from sexual activity outside of marriage. For others, such a prescription is unrealistic; they argue that we need to provide people with the tools they need to protect themselves from the virus, regardless of their sexual practices - in particular, by increasing the use of condoms, as well as by developing new methods, like microbicides, that women can initiate themselves to prevent transmission during sex. And in the debate surrounding how we should tackle the scourge of AIDS, we often see each side questioning the other's motives, and thereby impeding progress.

For me, this is a false argument. Let me say this - I don't think we can deny that there is a moral and spiritual component to prevention - that in too many places all over the world where AIDS is prevalent - including our own country, by the way - the relationship between men and women, between sexuality and spirituality, has broken down, and needs to be repaired.

It was striking to see this as I traveled through South Africa and Kenya. Again and again, I heard stories of men and women contracting HIV because sex was no longer part of a sacred covenant, but a mechanical physical act; because men had visited prostitutes and brought the disease home to their wives, or young girls had been subjected to rape and abuse.

These are issues of prevention we cannot walk away from. When a husband thinks it's acceptable to hide his infidelity from his wife, it's not only a sin, it's a potential death sentence. And when rape is still seen as a woman's fault and a woman's shame, but promiscuity is a man's prerogative, it is a problem of the heart that no government can solve. It is, however, a place where local ministries and churches like Saddleback can, and have, made a real difference - by providing people with a moral framework to make better choices.

Having said that, I also believe that we cannot ignore that abstinence and fidelity may too often be the ideal and not the reality - that we are dealing with flesh and blood men and women and not abstractions - and that if condoms and potentially microbicides can prevent millions of deaths, they should be made more widely available. I know that there are those who, out of sincere religious conviction, oppose such measures. And with these folks, I must respectfully but unequivocally disagree. I do not accept the notion that those who make mistakes in their lives should be given an effective death sentence. Nor am I willing to stand by and allow those who are entirely innocent - wives who, because of the culture they live in, often have no power to refuse sex with their husbands, or children who are born with the infection as a consequence of their parent's behavior -suffer when condoms or other measures would have kept them from harm.

[...]

But the reason for us to step up our efforts can't simply be instrumental. There are more fundamental reasons to care. Reasons related to our own humanity. Reasons of the soul.

Like no other illness, AIDS tests our ability to put ourselves in someone else's shoes - to empathize with the plight of our fellow man. While most would agree that the AIDS orphan or the transfusion victim or the wronged wife contracted the disease through no fault of their own, it has too often been easy for some to point to the unfaithful husband or the promiscuous youth or the gay man and say "This is your fault. You have sinned."

I don't think that's a satisfactory response. My faith reminds me that we all are sinners.

My faith also tells me that - as Pastor Rick has said - it is not a sin to be sick. My Bible tells me that when God sent his only Son to Earth, it was to heal the sick and comfort the weary; to feed the hungry and clothe the naked; to befriend the outcast and redeem those who strayed from righteousness.

Living His example is the hardest kind of faith - but it is surely the most rewarding. It is a way of life that can not only light our way as people of faith, but guide us to a new and better politics as Americans.

For in the end, we must realize that the AIDS orphan in Africa presents us with the same challenge as the gang member in South Central, or the Katrina victim in New Orleans, or the uninsured mother in North Dakota.

[/q]
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Old 12-12-2006, 01:49 PM   #2
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I absolutely love Obama! What a brilliant speech! I will vote for him in a heartbeat if he runs for president. He reminds me also of Martin Luther King Jr. as well. It would be amazing to see such a strong, intelligent , and caring man in the White House.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:19 PM   #3
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I'm intrigued as I watch Obama's rise. I'm curious to see how his principles manifest themselves in policy.
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Old 12-12-2006, 03:50 PM   #4
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I'm excited about this guy. He's like a breath of fresh air. A democrat who's not afraid to talk about his Christian faith -- who knew.

Dangerous.
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Old 12-12-2006, 03:56 PM   #5
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Love the guy. But there was a headline on Huffpo recently that rang true: "How long with the right wing let us love Obama?"

It's already starting, too. Twice in the last week, Bill O'Reilly has devoted two segments to Obama bashing.
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Old 12-12-2006, 05:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by LPU2
It's already starting, too. Twice in the last week, Bill O'Reilly has devoted two segments to Obama bashing.
Did you see the segments? Just wondering what O'Reilly actually said in his "Obama bashing." Couldn't find much about it on the Huff Post website or the Google.

I do know that O'Reilly wants an interview, which Obama hasn't taken him up on yet. Seems O'Reilly would hold off on the badmouthing of a guy like Obama who he's trying to get on his show.
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Old 12-12-2006, 05:17 PM   #7
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I would vote for Obama. If he ran for President, who would be a good VP?
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Old 12-12-2006, 05:29 PM   #8
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Originally posted by Justin24
I would vote for Obama. If he ran for President, who would be a good VP?
I think it's Obama who is running for VP this time around.

But a guy like Bill Richardson might be a good match as a VP, a little older and more experienced.
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Old 12-12-2006, 05:30 PM   #9
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I'm ready to vote for this guy. We need someone like him because Bush has been such a divisive President.
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Old 12-12-2006, 05:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by coemgen
I'm excited about this guy. He's like a breath of fresh air. A democrat who's not afraid to talk about his Christian faith -- who knew.

Dangerous.
Don't worry. STING will be here shortly to explain to us how the Dems shouldn't even bother fielding a candidate, and how Obama has no chance.
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Old 12-12-2006, 05:58 PM   #11
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OK, that went over my head. I'm claiming ignorance. What are you saying, anitram.
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Old 12-12-2006, 06:12 PM   #12
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Originally posted by Bluer White


Did you see the segments? Just wondering what O'Reilly actually said in his "Obama bashing." Couldn't find much about it on the Huff Post website or the Google.

I do know that O'Reilly wants an interview, which Obama hasn't taken him up on yet. Seems O'Reilly would hold off on the badmouthing of a guy like Obama who he's trying to get on his show.
The first segment was mostly a media bash, questioning why they were giving him so much attention. He brought on Dick Morris to analyze his significance. They were sure to mention his middle name, Hussein, so the old people know to be scared of him. Oh, and as always with someone who, for whatever reason, isn't able to appear, O'Reilly again said he was afraid to come on the show.

The second segment was just last night. O'Reilly once again questioned why the media were giving him so much attention, but this time labeled him part of the "far left" so the old people know to be scared of him. Oh, and as always with someone who, for whatever reason, isn't able to appear, O'Reilly said he was afraid to come on the show.

He's not really bad mouthing him yet. Just setting up the play, so we know what to expect. But we already knew what to expect.
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Old 12-12-2006, 08:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram


Don't worry. STING will be here shortly to explain to us how the Dems shouldn't even bother fielding a candidate, and how Obama has no chance.

and we're winning in Iraq, too.
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Old 12-12-2006, 09:02 PM   #14
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Brilliant speech.
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Old 12-12-2006, 10:01 PM   #15
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Originally posted by coemgen
OK, that went over my head. I'm claiming ignorance. What are you saying, anitram.
If you read this board, you will see that in the last week or so, STING has repeatedly (ad nauseum I might add) asserted that there is no point to even running against McCain. And that Obama certainly has no chance against him.
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