Pope Wrong Again17 March, 2009
The Catholic Church does not like birth control. If a man gets his vas cut, cauterized, folded and stapled, he is sinning. If a woman takes the pill, she is sinning. If a teenage boy shows that he is not a pig by using a condom, he is sinning. This is the churches position: abstention, unless you are trying to create a baby (which brings up the question of whether abstention is birth control). Because we should always take sexual advice from septuagenarian virgins wearing silly clothes. Of course, when people with no experience in reproductive health jump in, bad things happen.
Two week ago, we learned of a 9-year-old girl in Brazil, pregnant with twins after being raped by her stepfather. Though there are strict restrictions on abortion in Brazil, doctors concluded that the girl’s immature hips made childbirth exceedingly dangerous. Catholic Church leaders unsuccessfully fought to force the girl to carry the baby to term and then have a cesarean. What’s more, as part of the debate, church leaders condemned a judge for following the law, lashed out at the doctors treating the victim, and even excommunicated the young girl’s distraught mother. (Quote from Steve Benen’s The Washington Monthly (because, quite frankly, I really couldn’t say it better)).
Now good old Pope Benedict has taken things even further. He visited Africa (Cameroon) to show that the Catholic Church is right up there on the front lines fighting AIDS.
First, before I get into Benny’s remarks, how about a couple of facts (remember, kids, faith means you can ignore facts): 22 million men, women and children in sub-Saharan Africa are HIV positive; and condoms help prevent the spread of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
(From the Associated Press):
ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) (because they couldn’t all fit in the Popemobile) — Pope Benedict XVI says the distribution of condoms is not the answer in the fight against AIDS (Because something that actually stops the virus moving from one person to another couldn’t be the answer).
Benedict insisted that the church is in the forefront of the battle against (the prevention of) AIDS in Africa. He spoke Tuesday aboard the papal plane on his way to Africa, his first trip to the continent as pontiff.
Benedict said “you can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms.” He said that “on the contrary it increases the problem.” (How in the Nine Billion Names of God could condoms increase the problem?)
The Vatican encourages sexual abstinence to fight the spread of disease. (Conveniently ignoring that fact (there’s that pesky idea again) that people are animals, and the biological imperative is to breed, which is achieved by having sex. How many times do we need to cover the fact that abstinence-only sex education does not reduce the likelyhood of sex. It does, however, reduce the chances of safe sex.)
[ . . . .]
He says he wants to bring a message of hope to a continent suffering from poverty, disease and armed conflict.
Hope for what? more disease? more poverty? more conflict? Overpopulation, limited resources, incompetent governments, minimal health care and non-existent infrastructure create disease, poverty and conflict. AIDS orphans provide ready fodder for revolutionary and insurrectionary armies (in Congo, half the population is under 18 years of age) and the brothels serving the soldiers. Removing (or, more likely, minimizing) the ravages of AIDS will allow the people to deal with the underlying problems.
A bunch of old virgins holding tight to faith-based dogma and faith that human nature has no power will insure that AIDS will continue to ravage sub-Saharan Africa. I know I’ve said this before, but faith-based solutions do not work! Never have, never will.
Posted in Abstinence, abstinence-only education, Authoritarianism, Christianity, health care, medicine, poverty, prostitution, religion, Religious Abuse, sex, sex education, sexually transmitted disease, war |