As mentioned about a week ago, I will be posting excerpts from my upcoming book, “My Hope Is Built” as well as articles related to HIV/AIDS treatment. The book deals with the question of God, the Church and HIV/AIDS, and how the church should approach those affected by HIV/AIDS. It is my belief that the church has been much too silent on the issues of human sexuality, poverty, justice and HIV/AIDS, resulting in the growing numbers of those becoming infected with HIV and a rapidly growing number of individuals unable to afford HIV treatment and medications. The focus of this posting is to speak briefly to the need for economic justice for those of us who are living with HIV/AIDS.
I have seeded an article above, which can be found at www.aidshealth.org, that relates to a letter written and signed by various members of Congress, addressed to the CEO of Gilead Sciences’, John C Martin. I am urging all that read this post to take the time to read this article as well, as it represents the economic injustice imposed upon those of us living with HIV/AIDS. One of the questions that my book, “My Hope Is Built” asks and seeks to provide an answer to is this; how did Jesus view and deal with economic injustice while here on Earth? In the book, I go into great detail related to the condition of the “least of these” identified by Jesus. In St. Matthew 21:12-13, we see a picture of Jesus dealing directly with economic injustice. Today’s lack of understanding of this passage of scripture has led many to believe that Jesus was, and still against the church becoming involved in the selling of items within the church. This passage, however, is about economic injustice, and the way Jesus chose to handle it. Money changers and those set up in the temple to sale animals for sacrifice was far from uncommon in the days of Jesus’ earthly ministry, and was, in fact, an accepted practice as those who followed the Law also obeyed the sacrificial system. Therefore, the services offered by the money changers and salesmen were necessary in the temple, however, it was the abuse of these services that caught the attention of Jesus. These individuals were using their influence and their positions to manipulate the market, thus placing an added burden on the poor. Thus when Jesus arrives at the Temple, He is compelled to act against this injustice, insuring His house operates in the manner set forth by God Himself. If this, then, is the position of Jesus in the face of economic injustice, why has the present-day body, which bears His name, been so silent in the face of economic injustice? Why have we decided to move so far away from the example given by Jesus, and instead, sit quietly in our religious corners every Sunday morning? For those who understand the example of Jesus, they have engaged this injustice in proactive ways around this country and around the world, yet there is much more to be done if we are to ever experience real justice for those who are victimized by the greed and corruption found in healthcare driven by profits alone.