There’s probably not an American to be found who was not influenced by the media barrage to fear the effects of the alleged swine flu epidemic. Doomsday scenarios were constantly being painted, with an urgent call for mass immunizations against this raging killer. All of the hype, however, did not translate into the predicted devastation. Yes, thousands were hospitalized and many died, but far fewer than suggested. Last August a White House report suggested that as many as 1.8 million may be hospitalized in the coming months with possibly 90,000 deaths. In reality, according to the CDC, there were probably about 11,690 deaths due to the swine flue from April 09 through February of this year.
In an article in yesterday’s The Washington Times, Cheryl Wetzstein documents a much more serious epidemic that is essentially being ignored by the same media and government watchdogs that engineered the swine flu scare: sexually transmitted diseases.
Both syphilis and gonorrhea were once nearly eradicated but have returned in epidemic numbers due to the licentious lifestyles of many Americans. A 2004 study published by the American Medical Association indicates that every year 20,000 Americans die of diseases associated with risky sexual behavior. In Wetzstein’s words, “a tsunami of sexual disease is flooding our population.”
And the future appears to be even grimmer. According to the CDC, gonorrhea is threatening to grow into an epidemic that is largely untreatable. The bacteria have developed resistance to many available treatments. Indeed, there is but a single class of antibiotics that remains effective, and resistance is growing even to these treatments.
But, of course, in our relativistic society, the thought of applying the divine solution to such threats is anathema to most journalists and government officials. The Apostle Paul provided the remedy in three words: “Flee sexual immorality.” But preaching this message involves condemning the plague of deviant forms of sexual behavior and all forms of sexual activity outside of monogamous, heterosexual marriage. (E.g., Peter Sprigg, of the Family Research Council, has noted that the resistant types of gonorrhea tend to appear first in men who have sex with men.) And so our civil and medical authorities choose to expend their energies hyping other threats of lesser consequence.
America is reaping a devastating harvest of “the wages of sin.” The answer is not ultimately to be found in some new strain of antibiotic treatment but in humble repentance from our perverted lifestyles and intentional submission to the moral law of God.