Pagan Views of AIDS

“In the ghoulish second story, Denys (Shawn Ashmore), a Canadian pornography actor, conceals his H.I.V.-positive status from his producers by substituting blood drawn from his dying father for his own in required tests. When his mother, Olive (Stockard Channing), a hard-bitten waitress from whom Denys has concealed his occupation, discovers what he does, she concocts an insurance fraud scheme involving tainted blood taken from her son while he’s asleep.”

I noted in my own comment to this post that this writer, Thom Fitzgerald, probably had an idea about the different perspectives he wanted to suggest, but ran out of religions that matched them. Or didn’t look that hard. I mean, he could have used Satanism and even if the Satanists complained I doubt that anyone would have paid much attention. But this isn’t about the crappy movie or its alleged use of religion. The article got me thinking about what the Pagan views of AIDS actually are.

Paganism itself is probably more diverse than any other religious category, so the views expressed are likewise varied. Since we can’t even agree on the number of gods, we tend to be a scattered bunch; there’s also a strong aversion to dogma that discourages any kind of cooperative development of beliefs. But I gave it some thought and have come up with a few likely Pagan views of AIDS:

  1. AIDS affects people as a repercussion of the Threefold Law.
  2. It is a deliberate attack developed by men, in their desire for power and lack of foresight.
  3. It is Gaia’s wrath descending upon all of humanity.
  4. It is a cosmic opinion about the appropriateness of homosexuality.
  5. It is an opportunity for enlightened behavior, for we have a real chance to act in a painfully selfless manner to help our fellow human beings.
  6. It is the fusion of silly putty and the pineal gland.
  7. AIDS exists only as long as we believe it is relevant.

I don’t agree with all the views I’ve laid out here, and I’m sure there are quite a few others that I haven’t even considered. Essentially I see Pagans as approaching such a disease as karmic, scientific, natural, dharmic, and/or inevitable. The balance of power between the sacred and the profane (i.e., mundane) worlds can vary, and that will affect the individual’s perspective.

I’m not being fair, though. This isn’t supposed to be about Paganism as a whole, since that really doesn’t exist; it’s supposed to be about me, and my own views, which I haven’t offered.

Well, I think it’s a damned shame that AIDS hit gays early and hard, because it would have done a much better job of whittling down the population had it arrived initially through the heterosexual population. I do believe it was created by humans, albeit accidentally, and Nature to it as her own and evolved it into a killer for her own purposes. I think it doesn’t work that well, because it sustains its victims for a long time and causes physical and financial hardship rather than ending life. But I’m confident that sooner or later we will unwittingly give the forces of nature a better tool with which to strike at our teeming masses. As long as we’re monkeying around in the genetic code without having a clue what we’re doing, we have no choice but to serve the true master of this planet.

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