T.D. Jakes Challenges Black Churches to End Silence on AIDS

Nationally renowned pastor, Bishop T.D. Jakes, in a strongly worded commentary written exclusively for the Black Press of America, appealed to black churches around the nation to join a unified strategy to deal with the pandemic of HIV/AIDS in the black community.

“We are on the roof again,” stated the pastor of more than 30,000 at the Potter’s House in Dallas, recalling the long wait of African Americans to be rescued during Hurricane Katrina. In that crisis, blacks largely had to save each other and themselves as many died.

Jakes called for black churches to join with other caring organizations to force the federal government to release tax money to help end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in which blacks are dying at least seven times faster than whites.

“I realize that as Sen. [Hillary] Clinton stated, if this were killing whites in the way it is killing blacks, it wouldn’t be their pastors who would have to take on such a daunting task and it would not be tithe money but tax money that would be used for resource.”

The Congressional Black Caucus has committed to drafting a bill that would help fund programs to end the AIDS epidemic in black America.

“These funds would include all of our tax dollars that have been directed elsewhere while we die,” Jakes wrote.

The commentary, released by the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service, is part of a series of 25 all-star op-editorials written exclusively for the Black Press as part of the Center for Disease Control’s “Heightened Response” to HIV/AIDS in the black community.

“This time we must not wait,” Jakes wrote. He commended many churches for having spent thousands of dollars to address the rising rate of HIV/AIDS. But he calls upon those who may have resisted involvement due to long-held stigmas and prejudices about the disease that once appeared to predominantly plague homosexuals. Stats outlined in the commentary shows that HIV/AIDS is now ravaging black heterosexuals—particularly black women—at astronomical rates.

“We must work to get all groups to a healthy condition,” wrote Jakes. “We cannot care just for those we agree with. We must help all hurting people to safety and then debate later the many complications of our times.

The first two were written by Phill Wilson, executive director of the Black AIDS Institute, a partner in the op-ed series, and actor/activist Danny Glover.

Source: Frost Illustrated


Filed under activism, african american, aids, black, church, religion

5 Responses to T.D. Jakes Challenges Black Churches to End Silence on AIDS

  1. Nigel Boag

    If the Reverend Jakes wants to eliminate the AIDS ‘epidemic in the US, why is he not preaching about lowering the level of promiscuity within the Black community.

    We Black people could help solve this problem ourselves by practicing a little self-control, but instead look to some other scapegoat as a reason for our problem.

    We should stop whining for ever more government handouts and start to take responsibility for our lives.

  2. Chris

    Well now it’s kind of too late to try to “take responsibility for our actions” in the sense that, it’s already an epademic in the black community that simply can’t be erased by trying to NOW exercise self-control. I think the point that Mr. Boag is trying to get accross is that black communities need to promote abstinence , protection, and common sense. It’s far too late to try to go back on the whole “well, we should’ve done this and that.” We already know that. Be appreciative that the man is trying another means of “ridding” the community of this problem. He realizes that not everyone has faith that God is able to deliver them from that particular ailment, sooooo, considering that so many black people tend to look to the government for answers rather than God, he’s found a way to incorporate the “church and state” in order to make a difference and provide the community with a greater sense of hope.

  3. There will always be an argument about what should be done or what should have been done. The question is what is being done today to help us overcome our problems. I dont think that these challenges are limited to Africans, they are also a problem in other societies. Maybe what this needs is an approach that migrates from excessive personal wealth, creates a more equitable society where people regain their sense of self respect…and not a society driven by material sophistication. When we begin this path the problems of the worl will be disengaged an disintegrated.

  4. David Thomas

    Bishop Jakes does preach about self control but that has not stopped the spread of this disease…It is not too late to take action. It is an epidemic but it will be worse if we do not act quickly. This is NOT just a matter of sin and promiscuity. 505 of the black wommen who contracted the virus caught it from their spouses. It is just like the church to over simplify a complex issue. the reality is many of our young men have been incarcerated, come out of prison HIV+ and have NOT been tested. anxious to rresume thier lives, they spread the disease unknowingly. Secondly, we have the first generation of children who were born HIV positive and are now old enough to be sexually active and they didn’t do ANYTHING to get HIV+ positive except be born. Yes there is the down low issue and the needes from drugs and other factors that are morall issues. but if preaching against sin stopped it, we wouldn’t have any problem at all by now. This country is full of preachinng, we need action steps for a healthier life.

    Why is it no matter who tries to do anythinng postive, they get critcized. If they don’t do anything, they get critcized. If they do something, it isn’t enough, or it is too late. sometimes we have to learn to be thankful for any help we can get to thwart this pandemic crises.

    The problem with the money is taht it is largely being ditrbuted to white gay man which at the onslaught of this disease, they were the highest group of new infections. So the info was distrubuted to gay bars and clubs etc etc… Now they have gotten the message out and decreased new infections… But the money to get help,. treatment and information is still going to them more than blacks though we do not congregate in the same places and need more info.

    1 in 4 black men in DC are HIV+ positive and do not know it… I think we should stop fighting each other and tackle this before we are extinct!

    I will take help from Reverend Jakes, Flake, Blake and anyone else who will help get more info, better treatment, etc.

    Blacks are 7 times more likely to die from this disease than whites as they do not have adequate treatement or knowledge how to get help. That is hwere the funding comes in. It is not for preachers. It is not for churches. It is money to get CORRECT information out to stop our children from dying. You know we were not all virgins as teens either…. so please realize that salvation came to many of us after we had made mistakes.
    How soon we forget……..

    Thankfully we had a chance to change. Many will not, if we don’t do more than preach. we have to fight!

  5. William Green III

    We as a people must begin educating our young people before they reach the age of uncontrolable homones. Many of our youth have no training or exposure concerning sexuality other than from the media. We must start to equip our children with tools to withstand the challenges of sexual promiscuity before they become youth. HIV/AIDS prevention must first begin in the home….

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