"MAGIC" JOHNSON and HIV

Steven Clark Goad

On the 7th of November we were all riveted by some tragic news. Irvin "Magic" Johnson, of the NBA Los Angeles Lakers, announced to the world that he had contracted the HIV virus which is the precursor for AIDS. It took courage for him to immediately go public. Perhaps a renewed attention to this epidemic will force us all to take greater measures in finding a cure. But this isn't my point here.

Obviously we are not Mr. Johnson's judge. We don't know how he got the virus. We were impressed with the calm and objectivity that was demonstrated during his news conference. He is a hero and role model for so many of our youngsters. We wish him well. We hope that a cure will soon be found. But the media missed a tremendous opportunity to make a major point. But then again the media never was much of a moral conscience for the rest of us (to the contrary). Why are we so afraid to tackle it? Is the world so afraid to admit that it is out of control and unable to confess it's wrongs?

What has become of sin? Not once did I hear, "Promiscuous sex (fornication / adultery / homosexuality) is a major cause in the spread of this disease." All I was able to hear was that we need to encourage our young people to engage in "safe" sex. Let me be so bold as to remind us that there is no such thing as safe sex. We can take precautions, but outside of marriage, sex not only isn't safe, it isn't allowed.

I knew it would be difficult to write about this without sounding preachery and condescending. Since that is hardly possible we felt strongly the need to make a point or two anyway. Monogamous sex as a married partner is the only way to avoid HIV infection. And, sadly, even this isn't guaranteed since HIV can be contracted in other ways besides sexual encounter. Somebody should have said it out loud while the media was in a tizzy and standing at attention: "Sexual relations outside of the bond of marriage is WRONG!"

Our prayers are with Magic and his new bride. Their lives will never again be normal. Their own marital intimacy, which should be a cause of joy and pleasure, is now violated by the ominous and deathly threat of infection for her. All of this frighteningly remX-Mozilla-Status: 0009s in the Roman letter. "For the wages of sin is death." At 32 Magic should be contemplating a brilliant and long life ahead of him instead of the nemesis of early death.

Let us teach our children that premarital sex is not only a sin but a game of Russian Roulette as well (despite the picture advertisers and movies portray). It's a matter of life and death. Some sins we will have to pay for at judgement. But there are a few we will have to pay for in premature death. Even the use of safeguards isn't foolproof.

Pre-marital / extra-marital sexual encounter is the major cause of HIV transmission. It seems to me that the only logical / sensible solution to this threat is for us all to start practicing what God introduced in the first place when He introduced Adam to his lovely wife, Eve. Beware!