When Good Does Bad
I was told I should feel good about it. He touched me. He groaned, then grinned with excitement. I knew I was supposed to feel bad, but he told me I should feel good. So I complied. I tried to feel good. I was aroused at the same time I was being sexually abused. After all he said that he loved me and this was a natural expression of his love. So he touched, rubbed, grinned and groaned some more with excitement until what should have felt bad, felt good. I was abused as a child. I suffered the helpless embarrassment of being defiled. I told no one about it. Until now Dr. Johnson when I am telling you.
This is the story I heard from one of our patients recently. He is now living with and married to a man who is thirty years his senior. This man has been with several other men before. On occasion, he has also tried women.
This man, his marital partner has just been released from prison for sexually abusing children.
This man, his spouse, is also one of our clients better designated, our patients. He has hepatitis B and C. He is HIV positive. Both of their lives are at risk for a multitude of illnesses which are sexually transmitted. The tough part is, it began with what is normal and good now hurts and goes bad.
Statistically we are witnessing a worldwide epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases. Just looking within our own borders, the new normal is hurting us. According to CDC these are the frightening statistics.
1. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) have been rising among gay and bisexual men, with increases in syphilis being seen across the country.
2. In 2014, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men accounted for 83% of primary and secondary syphilis cases where sex of sex partner was known in the United States.
3. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men often get other STDs, including chlamydia and gonorrhea infections.
4. HPV (Human papillomavirus), the most common STD in the United States, is also a concern for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.
5. Some types of HPV can cause genital and anal warts and some can lead to the development of anal and oral cancers.
6. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are 17 times more likely to get anal cancer than heterosexual men. Men who are HIV-positive are even more likely than those who do not have HIV to get anal cancer.
Being on the right side politically and socially should be a good thing. We want to protect the civil and social rights of the oppressed and exploited. We want to acknowledge our past evils in order to confess what is wrong and profess what should be right. It is good. Unless of course that good does bad.
When can we start saying that being good is actually bad? When can we say that being normal is painful and costly individually and as a society. They are hurting. The incidence of drug abuse within this community surpasses that of the ‘old normal and old good.’
Although data on the rates of substance abuse in gay and transgender populations are sparse, it is estimated that between 20 percent to 30 percent of gay and transgender people abuse substances, compared to about 9 percent of the general population.
We have not yet begun to count the health care costs of doing good or being normal. The economic burden is real. This freedom of sexual expression, to be whatever I want to be does have economic costs. We all pay it.
The total estimated burden of the nine million new cases of these STDs that occurred among 15-24-year-olds in 2000 was $6.5 billion (in year 2000 dollars). Viral STDs accounted for 94% of the total burden ($6.2 billion), and nonviral STDs accounted for 6% of the total burden ($0.4 billion). HIV and HPV were by far the most costly STDs in terms of total estimated direct medical costs, accounting for 90% of the total burden ($5.9 billion). The large number of infections acquired by persons aged 15-24 and the high cost per case of viral STDs, particularly HIV, create a substantial economic burden.
So when he or she tells me it feels good and therefore is good and natural I have a decision to make. Do I join the chorus that is redefining sexual and marital relations, or do I advocate for a return to the mandate that Jesus the Christ stated in the New Testament as He quoted the Old Testament?
Genesis 2:24 English Standard Version (ESV)
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH ‘?
This new normal, this being good is costing us more than we can begin to imagine. This new normal hurts.