Posts Tagged ‘human rights’

During the holiday season we need to keep in mind those less fortunate than us. And Dec. 1 is a day to wear red ribbons with pride as you bring awareness to HIV prevention on World AIDS Day!

World AIDS Day was started in 1988 and is held every year to unite the world in supporting those living with the disease. According to the World AIDS Day website, there are more than 33.3 million people living with HIV globally and, between 1981 and 2007, an estimated 25 million have died from it.

More often than not, when we hear about someone who has HIV/AIDS, we assume the worst. But, as a previously mentioned, millions of people are living perfectly normal lives with the disease.

And that’s part what World AIDS Day is all about: Educating. According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 250,000 people in the U.S. are living with HIV/AIDS  and don’t even know it!

Something else people don’t know is homosexual men do NOT have the highest risk of contracting the disease. In fact, straight African-American men are the most likely to get the disease.

The point of World AIDS Day is to raise awareness and show support. And what else are the holidays about? This year, keep in mind the millions of people living with this disease, urge those you know who are showing symptoms to get tested and treated, and get yourself tested as well. With the right treatments, it is possible to live a healthy life like anybody.

Wear your red ribbons with pride.

~Happy Holidays~

It is the commonly statement amendment in the United States Consitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The problem is, even though our country allows the freedom of religion, they do not protect those who attempt to practice their religious beliefs freely.

The perfect example of this occurred last year, when Pastor Terry Jones decided to have a public burning of the Quran to protest the building of a Mosque near Ground Zero in New York City. Believe me, I can see where the controversary with this idea arises, but to go to the extreme of burning the Islamic holy book is too far. This barbaric protest is not different than a Muslim burning the Holy Bible. You can’t tell someone what they believe is wrong, and, supposedly in our country, you are not allowed to torture someone just for believing something other than the majority.

I understand the harsh feelings our country has toward the Muslim nation, but you cannot blame what happened in 2001 on every single person who believes in the Islamic religion. Do African-Americans still blame whites in the south for their enslavement for hundreds of years?

Our country pressures us to stay with the majority to the point where anything else is considered blasphemy. Christians are no more entitled to practicing their religion than anybody else. The sooner our country opens their squinted eyes and embraces the diverse land we live in, the better off we will be.

While casually walking around campus today I encountered one of the things I despise most:  Religious Soliciters.  Though I am a huge advocator for the rights of ALL humans to be equal, I do not believe in publicly forcing your religious beliefs down others throats.  Religion is something that should be used to better your mind, body and soul, not a tactic to force fear down the throats of others.

As I walked past this standoff between a overwhelming “preacher” and a mob of college students, I overhear the words, “God hates…”  Need I say anything else?  I’m taking back my previous statement.  If there’s one thing I despise more than religious soliciters, it’s IGNORANT religious soliciters.  I don’t claim to be someone who is overly religious, but if there’s one thing I know, it’s that those two words should never exist simultaneously when referring to religion.  Especially when the words to follow are “homosexuals”.  He then goes on to explain how women should always be submissive to their men and that our troops are going to Hell.  Suddenly, I began to understand why this man was surrounded by police officers.

Religion is something people should take comfort in, not something to frighten them.  Why would someone preaching about a God who loves ALL people, also preach about hatred?  Religion should be a personal discovery for a human being.  Your beliefs should be something that define YOU, not Richmond’s resident looney toon.

The part that upsets me the most about this concept is the practice of it on college campuses.  College is supposed to be that time of self-discovery and finding your own comfort zone.  How can you be expected to do so, when you have a man preaching about you going to Hell?  There’s a reason some college students don’t continue to live at home, and that’s to make their own decisions.

I understand that religion is a touchy subject for a lot of people, and a lot of people take comfort in believing in a higher power.  But, that does not given you any reason to force it down everybody else’s throats.  Let us discover our own beliefs.  Regardless of what they may be.  If I decide to be a Buddhist, then I’ll be a Buddhist.  If I decide to be a Muslim, then I’ll be a Muslim!  And if I decide to be an Atheist, well then, that’s alright too!

No matter what a person’s beliefs tell them, it doesn’t give them the right to discriminate against any type of person.  First and most importantly, we are ALL humans and we were ALL created equal!