Rev. Franklin Graham lamented the recently published findings of the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing that over the past two years, the number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have set new records in America.
“@CDCgov announced yesterday that our nation has set another record, but it’s not one to celebrate,” Graham tweeted Wednesday. “Last year, nearly 2.3 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases were diagnosed in the U.S. That broke the record set in 2016 by nearly 200K cases.”
A moral and physical epidemic?
The president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) stressed the critical nature of the epidemic that many Americans often discount as nothing to worry about.
"An STD expert says that President Trump should declare this a public health crisis,” Graham informed in a second tweet. “I believe what America has is a moral crisis and a spiritual crisis, [a]nd it manifests itself in many ways, including this public health crisis. Sin always has a cost, a consequence. God loves us and wants to protect us. His Word tells us what to do: 'Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body [1 Cor. 6:18].”
He ended his series of tweets by giving the solution to the moral and spiritual decay into which America continues to fall.
“[The Bible says] that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved,” the globally recognized evangelist posted on Twitter. “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation [Romans 10:9-10].”
Diseases proliferating while spirituality declining
Three major STDs were highlighted in the CDC’s recent warning that more and more Americans are putting their health at risk by engaging in promiscuous and irresponsible sexual activity. And the epidemic is actually much larger than today’s numbers show, as many who are infected are unaware of their diseases – and as STDs continue to develop resistances to modern treatments.
“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday a ‘steep and sustained’ increase in syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia – adding that the diagnosed cases are likely only a fraction of the actual number of people infected,” CBN News reported. “Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are curable with antibiotics, however, gonorrhea has become resistant to all but one of them, and experts fear it's only a matter of time before even that one is no longer effective.”
Shocking stats sustained by sin
Having established itself as one of the most contagious STDs in the U.S. for decades, Gonorrhea continues to be a major health risk for sexually active men and women – including adolescent boys and girls.
“Gonorrhea diagnoses increased 67 percent overall – from 333,004 to 555,608 cases, according to preliminary 2017 data – and nearly doubled among men (from 169,130 to 322,169),” the CDC announced in its latest press release. “Increases in diagnoses among women – and the speed with which they are increasing – are also concerning, with cases going up for the third year in a row (from 197,499 to 232,587).”
Syphilis – which died down for decades – is making a comeback in the U.S. – primarily because of increasing homosexual activity, as public education has presented the homosexual lifestyle in a positive light, revering the LGBT community as forwarding a new so-called “civil rights” movement.
“Primary and secondary syphilis diagnoses increased 76 percent (from 17,375 to 30,644 cases),” the CDC release revealed. “Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) made up almost 70 percent of primary and secondary syphilis cases where the gender of the sex partner is known in 2017. Primary and secondary syphilis are the most infectious stages of the disease.”
A Chlamydia epidemic also continues to rage across America, where most public educators continue to promote “safe sex” instead of abstinence.
“Chlamydia remained the most common condition reported to CDC,” the government agency divulged. “More than 1.7 million cases were diagnosed in 2017, with 45 percent among 15- to 24-year-old females.”
CDC National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention Director Jonathan Mermin, M.D., M.P.H., acknowledged that America is in a national health crisis as a result of its rampant and irresponsible sexual practices.
“We are sliding backward,” Mermin insisted in the press release. “It is evident the systems that identify, treat and ultimately prevent STDs are strained to near-breaking point.”
It was warned that some of the most prevalent STD are silent killers, as many who are infected with them are often unaware of the disease they are carrying.
“Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are curable with antibiotics, yet most cases go undiagnosed and untreated – which can lead to severe adverse health effects that include infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth in infants and increased HIV risk,” the CDC release informed. “Prior studies suggest a range of factors may contribute to STD increases, including socioeconomic factors like poverty, stigma and discrimination; and drug use.”
Another alarming concern was brought up about gonorrhea, which has developed a resistance to antibiotics.
“The threat of untreatable gonorrhea persists in the United States, and reports of antibiotic resistant gonorrhea abroad have only reinforced those concerns,” CDC noted. “Over the years, gonorrhea has become resistant to nearly every class of antibiotics used to treat it, except to ceftriaxone – the only remaining highly effective antibiotic to treat gonorrhea in the United States.”
Modern medicine indicates that man cannot escape the consequences of sin by merely receiving medical treatment, as diseases such as gonorrhea are no longer curable with treatments of the past.
“In 2015, CDC began recommending health care providers prescribe a single shot of ceftriaxone accompanied by an oral dose of azithromycin to people diagnosed with gonorrhea,” CDC explained in its release. “Azithromycin was added to help delay the development of resistance to ceftriaxone. Emerging resistance to ceftriaxone has not been seen since the dual therapy approach was implemented, and there has not yet been a confirmed treatment failure in the United States when using this recommended therapy.”
Yet today, STDs are coming back with a fury – despite the advances of modern medicine – and ceftriaxone could likely go the same way as azithromycin.
“New CDC findings released today, however, show that emerging resistance to azithromycin is now on the rise in laboratory testing – with the portion of samples that showed emerging resistance to azithromycin increasing from 1 percent in 2013 to more than 4 percent in 2017,” CDC continued. “The finding adds concerns that azithromycin-resistant genes in some gonorrhea could crossover into strains of gonorrhea with reduced susceptibility to ceftriaxone – and that a strain of gonorrhea may someday surface that does not respond to ceftriaxone.”
CDC STD Prevention Division Director Gail Bolan, M.D., said that gonorrhea is winning the war in the field of medicine and on the streets.
“We expect gonorrhea will eventually wear down our last highly effective antibiotic, and additional treatment options are urgently needed,” Bolan warned in the news release. “We can’t let our defenses down – we must continue reinforcing efforts to rapidly detect and prevent resistance as long as possible.”
War on STDs won in the heart, not the laboratory …
It is argued that the proliferation of STDs in America is not a battle that will be won in medical research labs – but rather one that can only be won as hearts are surrendered to Jesus Christ and His brand of sexual morality … inside of marriage.
When asked if he agreed with researchers who argue that the increase in STDs has resulted from decreased condom use and dwindling STD Prevention funding, Scott Phelps of the Abstinence & Marriage Education Partnership consummately disagreed.
"The CDC deserves much of the blame for the STD epidemic,” Phelps responded to Christian radio host Julie Roys, according to The Christian Post (CP). “Every year they call for more money and more condoms – but these are not the answer. There is only one way to reduce STDs, and it's the one thing they refuse to say: Reserve all sexual activity for marriage. I say they deserve much of the blame, due to their stubborn refusal to say what is true."
The Christian leader – who is the creator of five popular abstinence education programs – stressed how the increase in the number of dating apps being used by Americans on their cell phones in recent years has only added to the problem of rising STD infections … along with progressive sex education programs in schools.
"They perpetuate and promote non-marital sexual activity in just the same way that Planned Parenthood and government funded sex-education programs do," Phelps contended. "Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in America, and the largest provider of sex-education in American schools. That is your problem right there. Call it Tinder in the classroom. No one should be surprised that STDs continue to soar."
More funding to prevent consequences of sin?
Instead of looking at the root of the problem, medical professionals insist that more funding and programs – which ultimately allow for promiscuity continue without suffering the physical cost – are the solution to America’s current STD epidemic.
“Rob Stephenson – a professor and director of the Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor – argued in an interview with CNN that ‘it's not a difficult jump’ to see how funding cuts for sexual health and STD prevention programs in recent years at state and local levels is ‘preventing us from winning the fight against negative sexual health outcomes.’" CP’s Samuel Smith noted. “David Harvey – executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors – told CNN that declaring a national health crisis would entail ‘emergency access to public health funding to make a dent in these STD rates.’"
Yet, as STDs continue to develop a resistance to modern medical cures, such arguments for more funding – devoid of programs promoting abstinence and biblical sexual behavior – will continue to hold less weight.