Let's Be Real

Judge Not

With all the animosity between religious leaders and gays, it’s sometimes tempting to dismiss religion all together. It’s imperative to remember, however, that religious organizations do a lot of good in this world. One such example comes from – of all places – Iowa, where Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr. uses his pulpit to not only spread Jesus’ word, but also educate his parishioners about HIV.

Now, he’s taken it one step further by offering HIV tests after service. While his work certainly breaks new ground, it’s especially important in his primarily black congregation.
The New York Blade reports:

Nationwide, blacks make up 13 percent of the population but account for half of all new infections of HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS. In Iowa, about 2 percent of the population is black, but they make up 19 percent of people living with HIV.

Frightening statistics, to be sure, and Ratliff wants to ensure his peers know the truth. He says:

Let me be very frank here. I’m not out to hurt anyone’s feelings…But, honey, in today’s world, you don’t really know who your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend has been with…A lot of people have that ostrich mentality. They want to stick their head in the hole, not get tested for HIV, or prostate cancer or a lot of things. But ignorance is not bliss.

Now that’s what we call the good word.