35 iff

Psalm 90:10 in the King James Version reads, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”

It occurred to me that Matthew Sheperd would have been 35 today – half of three score and ten – had he not been crucified on October 7, 1998. The peculiar thing about his death is that it always seems to take a tragedy for attitudes and behaviors to change. There are several activities the Matthew Shepard Foundation is involved with, including support for the The Laramie Project, a play that has “become a powerful tool for communities to discuss and explore how hate impacts every part of their society.”

Just like civil rights activists were firehosed, beaten and even killed, it almost always takes struggle before a modicum of justice can be achieved. Not incidentally, it was 56 years ago today that Rosa Parks sat on a bus in Birmingham, Alabama and ended up getting arrested. This led to the yearlong boycott, that, along with court remedies, helped change the course of segregation – not all at once, but just a little bit at a time.

It’s also World AIDS Day. Here are CDC Statistics and UN data, and AVERT projects. The good news is that more people are living with, rather than dying from, AIDS, but more still needs to be done.

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6 thoughts on “35 iff

  1. Roger, thank you for commemorating World AIDS Day and for remembering Matthew. I have many friends still hanging on, and as one friend who just turned 60 put it, “I’m a 25-year survivor. If age doesn’t get me, the meds will. I wish more parents would tell their kids about condoms, because merely surviving with AIDS is torture. Constant meds, no picnic.”

    And to (hopefully) pay you back, please visit my music site, which is http://www.amybarlowliberatore.com. In the upper left-hand corner is a song I wrote for World AIDS Day, about my dear friend Jeff… whose partner was the man quoted above. Thanks again, so much. Amy
    Also a poem for you: http://sharplittlepencil.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/repairers-of-the-breach/

  2. AIDS is one of those horrid diseases that rank right up there with cancer. I hope and pray someday both will be eradicated from our lives. And it’s always hard for people to change attitudes and behaviors. Some day that will bet better too, although I’m not sure it will be this side of heaven!

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