We’ve all heard of the ABC plan for fighting against the spread of the AIDS virus. If you haven’t, it came out during (I think actually from but I can’t be sure) the previous presidential administration. The basic idea of the ABC plan is pretty simple.
The ‘A’ stands for “Abstinence.” In other words, the idea here is that one way to slow the spread of AIDS is to abstain from sexual activity. This part of the plan seems to be under a pretty good deal of attack, but I’ll get into that more later.
Next, the ‘B’ stands for “Be faithful.” It seems pretty obvious that one would not choose to ask married couples to abstain from sexual activity. Therefore, the next step is to remain faithful to one’s spouse rather than having extra-marital affairs, thereby increasing the likelihood of not only contracting the AIDS virus, but also passing it on to one’s spouse. This part of the plan, also, is under a good deal of attack. Again, more on this later.
Finally, the ‘C’ stands for “Condoms.” From the perspective of the ABC plan, this is sort of the “last line of defense” if you will. In other words, if you’re going to be sexually active and you’re not going to restrict your sexual activity to within a marital relationship, then at least take whatever precautions you can, which basically means to use condoms. I find it humorous that this, of the three aspects of this plan, is the one that seems to be the most accepted part from the perspective of the secular world. Ironically, it’s also the least effective.
The first, most obvious, question (to my way of thinking) is, “What’s so bad about A and B?”
The answer to that question is not quite as simple as it may seem. This is because there are two different answers. The first, which saddens me, is that A and B tend to be marketed as “faith-based” strategies by many of those who condone these two parts of the plan. It is because of this that the second answer is, those opposed to A and B view these options as “faith-based” solutions which infringe upon their secular rights and attempt to promote some specific religious agenda.
In a way, this seems to be very similar in nature to the debate about abortion. Too many Christians use their faith as the foundational argument against abortion and, in the same way, they use faith as the foundational argument for the A and B parts of the ABC plan. Any time the “religious right” does things like this, we automatically get push-back from non-believers because they don’t want “religion” forced on them.
Where I think the non-believers need to make some changes is with respect to the fact that, just because someone pushes something as a matter of faith, that doesn’t necessarily make the initiative or idea itself wrong. Most non-believers tend to be very proud of the fact that they don’t let emotion cloud their judgment and they rely solely on reason. Yet, it seems to me that reason is cast aside the moment someone brings up a potentially good idea in a way that gives it a “religious” spin.
Let’s get to the specifics, here. The fact of the matter is, C is not the best way to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms break. They are not 100% sure to prevent diseases from spreading. In fact, the very best way to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted disease is to not have sex! Would you like to guess at the next best way to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases? You guessed it! Keep sexual activity down to a minimum number of partners…like…ONE!
If the only person you have sex with is your spouse, and the only person your spouse has sex with is you and neither of you have a sexually transmitted disease, odds are, neither of you are going to get one! And if one spouse does have an STD, chances are the other spouse either does…or if known in time, they can use condoms in hopes that the other remains safe. But even then, it is not 100% certain. At the very least, however, even if both spouses end up with the STD, if they are not having sex with other people, the STD stays between the two of them and does not spread further.
Now, is that really all that difficult to grasp? If so, either I am way smarter than I ever imagined, the rest of the world is way dumber than I ever imagined OR neither of those is true and this is just a political game. I’m going with that last option.
What really gets me is when I hear about non-believers trying to tear Christians to shreds about how we are supposedly trying to get people to not use condoms. Now, I won’t say that there aren’t some out there for whom that describes their entire agenda. But, by and large, it’s not that Christians are anti-condom. It’s that we feel the focus should be on not having sex or being faithful to one’s spouse. The point is, if you’re following A and B, you shouldn’t need to use condoms because you won’t contract an STD in the first place!
They make it sound like it’s just the condoms we’re against. Like Christians are out there saying, “Go ahead and have all the unprotected sex you want!” That is the most ludicrously absurd thing I think I’ve ever heard. Talk about taking things out of context. Oh, but non-believers, atheists, “free-thinkers” and such never do such things. They are all about honesty and truth. That’s why they just reject A and B out of hand without even addressing the merits of those plans in any way, shape or form.
Now, of course, one of these anti-A & B folks will likely come up with something brilliant like, “Well, what about of someone gets raped? Not all sex is between consensual adults!” And you would be right about that. But that starts getting out of the realm of what we’re talking about here. Of course this type of thing happens. It’s a sad but true fact of living in the real world. And the ABC plan covers that, to the extent that it is possible.
It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize that in the event of rape or some such incident, if an STD is contracted by that means, than one has little choice but to resort to condom use in order to protect ones present or future spouse. From there, continuing to follow A and B will continue to keep the STD from further spreading as described above.
So, for those people who oppose A and B, please stop looking at it as a “religious” thing and recognize that these strategies are simply better than only using condoms. And for those who are against C, recognize that there are situations in which condoms must become the default solution to help slow, even if it may not stop, the spread of STDs.
OK. Rant over. Signing off.
Grace, love and peace.