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May 01 2012

Barton: Can’t Cure AIDS Because God Wants It

David Barton’s cavalcade of crazy and repulsive declarations continues. On his radio show recently he declared that the reason we haven’t been able to find a vaccine or a cure for AIDS yet is because God wants it that way, because it’s the Biblical punishment for being gay:

There’s a passage that I love in Romans 1 – I don’t love what the topic is – but it talks about homosexuality and it says that they will receive in their bodies the penalties of their behavior. And the Bible again, it’s right every time, and studies keep proving that and that’s why AIDS has been something they haven’t discovered a cure for or a vaccine for, because it’s the fastest self-mutating virus known to mankind. Every time they just about get a vaccine discovered for it, it transmutes into something new and they have to start over again. And that goes to what God says, hey you’re going to bear in your body the consequences of this homosexual behavior.

And he loves that verse. That’s about as twisted as it gets. And of course, he seems not to have noticed that we haven’t been able to cure the common cold or influenza either. Why? Because those viruses mutate very fast too. We have around 100 types of each one that have been sequenced, and probably far more that we haven’t sequenced. I’m sure Barton can find some Bible verse that explains why those viruses haven’t been cured either.

44 comments

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  1. 1
    tommykey

    Then why do heteros and drug users also get it?

    I can understand that Christians believe it is a sin because of what it says in the Bible. Fine. But lots of other things are considered sins too, but these people get particulary unhinged about homosexuality over so many other things. You would think that God has a furniture smashing tantrum in his celestial living room everytime he sees two guys getting it on with each other.

    “Look at that! Adam is giving Steve a blow job! I am soooooo angry right now!”

  2. 2
    ccarr

    Notice that this is a falsifiable hypothesis. If scientists some day find a cure, we can conclude that God doesn’t like AIDS, or that God isn’t as powerful as medical science, or that God doesn’t exist.

  3. 3
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    But but but I thought mutations that improve fitness were unpossible because of an irreducible watchmaker in a 747 hangar!

  4. 4
    imrryr

    And that goes to what God says, hey you’re going to bear in your body the consequences of being born in sub-Saharan Africa.

    “Fixed” it for him.

    Also, fuck this guy.

  5. 5
    tacitus

    By that logic, I guess God must have wanted measles around for most of the last 2,000 years too — killing millions of children around the world — not to mention all those other killer diseases — polio, for example — that ravaged the world before vaccines were invented.

    Perhaps vaccines in general are thwarting God’s will?

  6. 6
    teawithbertrand

    Two words: Ryan White.

  7. 7
    Blueaussi

    So, AIDs is all about stopping teh Gey Secks?

    Does that make God Timothy McVeigh; and all the hemophiliacs who were infected before the blood screening test, and those infected through heterosexual sex and the children of women infected by heterosexual sex, and those infected in areas so poor they reuse disposable needles, and far too many others collateral damage?

  8. 8
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    I wonder what the common cold is punishment for. Not properly honoring your father or something? Maybe the shingles are punishment for having impure thoughts.

  9. 9
    The Lorax

    The score so far:

    Barton – 0
    Medical science – *ERROR STACK OVERFLOW*

  10. 10
    richardelguru

    imrryr
    “Also, fuck this guy.”

    Using the logic of ‘the laddie doth protest too much, methinks” that may well be what the bugger’s hoping for, and literally.

  11. 11
    barbrykost

    The reason we don’t have a cure for the common cold is that it is God’s punishment for people picking their noses. If we were to start using orifices only in the manner God intended, there wouldn’t be any diseases at all.

  12. 12
    Reginald Selkirk

    Barton said this couldn’t happen:
    Man ‘cured’ of AIDS after getting bone marrow transplant from donor with ‘HIV immune’ gene

    Timothy Ray Brown, 45, claims to be the first person in history to be completely cured of AIDs…

  13. 13
    garnetstar

    Naturally God, in order to appropriately punish gays, had to do it in a way that millions of heterosexual people, especially in Africa, had to suffer and die as well.

    He punishes gays for a crime that he caused them to commit: “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves….For this cause God gave them up unto vile affection…God gave them over to a reprobate mind” (all also in Romans 1)

    He also waited for millenia before causing AIDS to descend on us, I suppose he was mulling over which punishment would be horrible enough.

    And of course all of that is moral and just, because God did it, and everything he does is right.

  14. 14
    slc1

    Apparently, god likes lesbians then as they have the lowest HIV+ rate amongst the population.

  15. 15
    Gregory in Seattle

    I am on the Community Advisory Board for the Seattle HIV Vaccine Trials Unit; as such, I keep pretty up to date on the state of HIV research.

    An actual cure for HIV… probably not going to happen any time soon. Retroviruses are very difficult to remove, and even if you could burn out all of a person’s helper T cells, there are a number of other possible reservoirs where the virus can linger.

    However, there are several promising avenues being pursued for an effective cure. One of the most interesting is “zinc fingers“, a synthetic protein-like structure that might be able to reprogram human cells into an HIV-resistant form. There is also the promise of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, which is the use of antiretroviral drugs in HIV- people to prevent the virus from gaining a foothold in the first place. And, of course, steady progress is being made towards a vaccine, which would help the body to fight off the virus before it can become established.

    And anyway, if disease is God’s judgement against sin, it must logically follow that vaccines and other preventative measures like antibiotics and hand-washing must be the very instruments of Satan. Therefore, Mr. Barton has not had his children immunized and will praise his deity if they die of pertussis or measles, correct?

  16. 16
    Reginald Selkirk

    Apparently, god likes lesbians

    Well, who doesn’t?

  17. 17
    eric

    I’m astounded. Barton’s epidemiology chops are as good as his history chops? I truly didn’t think that was possible. :)

  18. 18
    Gregory in Seattle

    @garnetstar #13 – An excellent point that I usually make: worldwide, the vast majority of HIV cases are in heterosexuals. As of the end of 2010, there were an estimated 34 million people worldwide with HIV, including an estimated 2.7 million new HIV infections. Of that total, about half — 17 million — are women. Of the total, about 10% — 3.4 million — are children under the age of 15. The total does not include the estimated 1.8 million people who died in 2010 because of HIV/AIDS related complications.

    Anyone who thinks that HIV/AIDS is a gay disease is abjectly ignorant.

  19. 19
    Cliff Hendroval

    Apparently, god likes lesbians

    Yahweh, the ultimate frat boy.

  20. 20
    raven

    The large majority of HIV+ worldwide are heterosexuals.

    Well over half of the HIV+ are women and children.

    This is the classic signature of a Deity Smiting.

    1. Lousy aim.
    2. Huge amounts of collateral damage.
    3. Large numbers of innocent dead people.

    Even if the fundie xian god existed, why would anyone bother to worship it? It’s just an incompetent monster whose best feature is that it doesn exist. Barton’s god is his sockpuppet.

  21. 21
    raven

    Barton has accidently done at least one huge service to humankind.

    With all his god babbling and mindless repeating of fundie xian mantras and his proficent and consistent abilty to hate, lie, and be a hypocrite, he has vaporized his credibility among anyone who is educated and intelligent.

    Xians, making atheists since 33 CE.

  22. 22
    Anri

    And anyway, if disease is God’s judgement against sin, it must logically follow that vaccines and other preventative measures like antibiotics and hand-washing must be the very instruments of Satan. Therefore, Mr. Barton has not had his children immunized and will praise his deity if they die of pertussis or measles, correct?

    Perhaps not in Barton’s case in particular, but the answer to this for some people can be depressingly predictable. Or predictably depressing.

    Or maybe just grotesque.

  23. 23
    Area Man

    Notice that this is a falsifiable hypothesis. If scientists some day find a cure, we can conclude that God doesn’t like AIDS, or that God isn’t as powerful as medical science, or that God doesn’t exist.

    This neatly explains why Phillip E. Johnson, he of intelligent design infamy, is also an HIV/AIDS denialist. According to him, AIDS is caused by “bad behavior” and not by a virus or anything else that those damned materialists in the scientific community might one day conquer.

  24. 24
    Akira MacKenzie

    Then why do heteros and drug users also get it?

    Because the Abrahamic god works in horrifying cruel ways.

    Whenever there is a natural disaster, say Hurricane Katrina, that the Christards blame upon one sort of so-called immorality or another, they always claim that the calamity also took the lives of the innocent to impress upon the survivors their deity’s judgement that the “sin” in question will never be tolerated.

    Of course, in the Christian Right’s informed opinion, unrepentant IV drug-users are automatically going to Hell, as are heterosexuals who contract the disease while having dirty sex outside of the holy sacrament of marriage. What of those who die from AIDS through no “fault” of their own? Oh well, “…deus suos agnoscet.”

    Besides, since we are all allegedly born sinners, how can anyone be truly “innocent?”

  25. 25
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    … there are several promising avenues being pursued for an effective cure. One of the most interesting is “zinc fingers“,

    Sorry, I need all of mine.

  26. 26
    Akira MacKenzie

    Barton has accidently done at least one huge service to humankind…he has vaporized his credibility among anyone who is educated and intelligent.

    I’m sorry, raven. Considering that intellect and education are in very, very short supply in this world, much less the United States, I fear that you have little cause for celebration.

  27. 27
    Captain Mike

    Perhaps vaccines in general are thwarting God’s will? – tacitus

    There are apparently some people who believe exactly that. I personally find it difficult to believe that the omnipotent creator of the universe could be outsmarted by a flu shot.

  28. 28
    dingojack

    Have said it before, will say it again:
    Rampant: How Junkies, Poofters and Whores stopped a plague.

    Get a copy if you can find it.

    Dingo

  29. 29
    unbound

    Wow. AIDS is because of gays who need to be punished by gawd. I am have a severe 80s flashback on that one.

    Maybe I don’t need a machine to travel back in time after all…just let the religious wackos recycle very old and tired nonsense…

  30. 30
    naturalcynic

    All you people mentioning that AIDS is a heterosexual problem in Africa and South Asia simply don’t understand what Barton is all about. All those Africans and Asians really, really just don’t count since they’re not Americans. Since god has given his extra-special grace to us ‘Murrikanz and we are his snowflakes, then the rest of the world can be ignored.

  31. 31
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Why the crazy blaming, Ed?

    You do this all the time, but this one is particularly repulsive.

    crazy =/= evil. What Barton is doing is monstrous, but by acting in such ways he gets attention and, ultimately, wealth and influence. He is being a jerk. The problem isn’t mental illness — it’s a horrible person exploiting the weak, sick, deluded and crazy (yes, I mean crazy) to get his face on TV and single malt scotch in his limo.

  32. 32
    kagekiri

    Romans 1 is a particularly disgusting chapter in a particularly disgusting book, basically justifying the idea that homosexuals and atheists actually being cursed by God into having those sexualities or beliefs.

    So yeah, apparently, all those child atheists and adolescents realizing they’re homosexual somehow rejected God and thus are punished with “unnatural & evil” beliefs and sexual desires.

    It basically is the source of all those tired and terrible Christian arguments that “Atheists just choose to say God doesn’t exist when they know he does, but they just want to sin”, “Atheists and atheism are a source of all types of evil”, “homosexuals are cursed by God and can be changed back if they repent”, and so on.

    Barton saying AIDS is God’s punishment and we won’t find a cure reminds me of people saying we shouldn’t put up lightning rods, because lightning is punishment from heaven, or other idiotic claims that we deserve everything horrible nature throws at us.

    You’d think the story of Job, where hundreds are killed for God’s glory in front of Satan despite no sin being committed, or the various genocides that specifically command killing non-virgin women and their children (unless the children are rape-able virgin girls) would show them that God in the Bible really can be a dick for no good reason, and his version of “justice” is an utter sham.

    If he exists and was the cause of AIDS (or all those other horrible diseases and disasters which seem to lack any actual target, but then again, God does kill indiscriminately in the Bible for the sins of a few…), then it’s just another item in a long list of reasons to despise and oppose him.

  33. 33
    pacal

    As per usual Barton forgets about Lesbians. I guess God finds Lesbian sex really hot!1

  34. 34
    jeremydiamond

    FYI, Barton is going to be on The Daily Show tonight.

  35. 35
    Gregory in Seattle

    @naturalcynic #30 – You think you are joking. Unfortunately, I have actually gotten that argument: In the US, HIV is largely a disease among gay males; God only cares about the U.S.; therefore, AIDS is God’s punishment against homosexuality.

    Nevermind the fact that straight African-American women are the fastest growing demographic of HIV+ people in the US. Presumably, God doesn’t care about women, either.

  36. 36
    D. C. Sessions

    And therefore obviously God hates breastfeeding too — that is, after all, how Eliza Jane Scovill contracted HIV as an infant.

    Ewwww, ick! One female sucking on the tits of another!

  37. 37
    d cwilson

    FYI, Barton is going to be on The Daily Show tonight.

    I guess I’ll be going to be early.

  38. 38
    birgerjohansson

    “Apparently, god likes lesbians then as they have the lowest HIV+ rate”

    There is even an entry in “Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal” about that.

  39. 39
    Ace of Sevens

    So God has kept us from curing AIDS, but turning into a manageable illness for people in the first world is acceptable.

  40. 40
    imthegenieicandoanything

    Soon enough, Barton will be making a living riding the rails collecting the greasy dollar bills of the proudly ignorant and irredeemably stupid for a living (if an unreasonably decent one).

    In other words, he’ll be just another travelling geek conservative.

    That he will die after having lived such a useless, unloved, truthless and mean-spirited life is justice enough for me, even – or especially – if he never realizes the fact.

    Of course, his becoming an honest human being would please me many, many times more. But this sort of Xian seems incapable of, and entirely uninterested in, honesty. Think of Twain answer to his question about his town elders as a boy: “How could they lie so?”

  41. 41
    Michael Heath

    jeremydiamond writes:

    FYI, Barton is going to be on The Daily Show tonight.

    Thanks for the heads-up! I’m simultaneously hopeful Jon Stewart the comedian will reveal Barton’s a fraud while remaining aggravated the press fails to even try.

  42. 42
    Dr X

    Apparently God likes homosexuals, because no matter how much people like Barton want their own homosexual impulses homosexuals to disappear, they just won’t go away.

  43. 43
    Nemo

    … because it’s the fastest self-mutating virus known to mankind. Every time they just about get a vaccine discovered for it, it transmutes into something new and they have to start over again.

    Incidentally, that’s called “evolution”.

  44. 44
    Gregory in Seattle

    I missed this bit of Barton’s idiocy:

    Every time they just about get a vaccine discovered for it, it transmutes into something new and they have to start over again.

    Actually, the problem is that HIV — like most retroviruses, it should be noted — has two shells: the ordinary viral capsid, and then an outer envelope borrowed from the cell it budded from. The envelope has a few HIV specific proteins on it, which are highly subject to mutation, but by and large it looks like a tiny version of the cell that spawned it. This “disguise” helps to throw the immune system off-track, and is one of the reasons why retroviruses have been so successful. It is also one of the reasons why development of a vaccine has been so slow: it is difficult to penetrate the disguise and get to the stable parts of the virus. But this is true of all retroviruses, not just HIV.

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