One can only be rescued from a group fantasy the moment such a fantasy begins to fundamentally conflict with one's core beliefs and values. To that end, I offer the following two quotes:
Bill Clinton made a plea yesterday for a new emphasis on monogamy as a key element in the battle against Aids.
The former US president, not noted for his ability to keep his own marriage vows, said it was very important to change people's attitudes to sex.
In an interview with the BBC recorded in Africa, Mr Clinton said that increasing support for monogamy was not just a problem for the continent worst hit by Aids but for the world.
"To pretend we can ever get hold of this without dealing with that – the idea of unprotected sexual relations with unlimited numbers of partners – I think would be naïve," he said.
Experts believe that the nature of Africans' relationships may help explain the continent's high rate of Aids. Research suggests a higher frequency of overlapping sexual partnerships.
Compare this quote to the following:
Clinton says Africans must change sexual behaviour
Former president Bill Clinton told Africans last night that they must practice sexual responsibility in order to solve the AIDS crisis.
Clinton, who has become an unofficial AIDS goodwill ambassador since leaving office, spoke to an estimated 20,000 trade unionists who had gathered in the Rimping Amphitheatre in Lagos, Nigeria.
"In this, the greatest crisis to ever affect Africans, I call on you to help us win the war against AIDS. You can start by being faithful to your wives," he said.
"It is absolutely essential that you always wear condoms," he remarked....
"We of the richer nations want to help you Africans defeat this terrible plague.... Working together, we can triumph over HIV/AIDS...."
One of these is an excerpt from a "health news" article published this morning in a prominent British newspaper. The other comes from a piece of satire written seven years ago. Can you tell which is real and which is satire?
Let me help you out by filling in one of the dot-dot-dot's for you:
"It is absolutely essential that you always wear condoms," he remarked. "Not only do they protect you and your partner from AIDS, they will also prevent semen stains from getting on your partner's clothing. Ruined clothes can plunge a woman deeper into poverty because she has to spend food money to buy replacements."
"You must not have affairs with young girls and come in their mouths without a condom. This is the height of irresponsibility....