Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dogma, the Dark Ages, and Plague

I have written in the past about the archaic and deadly positions taken by the Catholic Church regarding HIV/AIDS, prevention, and condoms. I guess I have to do so again.

I have written in the past how infuriating the Chursh's positions are around safer sex and the prevention of HIVAIDS, and I have to do so again.

Last time, it was John Paul and his policies. Now it is Benedict. Evidently progress and change are not concepts that come easily to the Catholic Church.

As the Pope traveled to Africa this week, he released positions on condom use for HIV prevention. It is the same tired, lame, pathetic, and life-threatening policy that has been in place for three least this organization is consistent in its backward thinking.

Benedict says that condoms are not the solution to AIDS, that indeed condoms can make the situation worse. He needs to stick to pomp and ceremony and incense burning. Let public officials, doctors, and outreach workers deal with reality.

More then 21 million people around the world are lying in graves because of AIDS. Millions more are sick and at risk of death from HIV infection. Millions more could get infected over the next few years.

There are more than 11 million children who have been orphaned by AIDS.

The Pope says that abstaining from sex is the only solution to the epidemic. Easy for him to say, as he is forced to stay celibate by his religion. Whether he is indeed celibate or not matters not to me. We all know that a large percentage of his priests have unmarried sex with women or men, and sometimes little girls and boys....I wonder if THEY use condoms.

The Catholic Church has always been sex-phobic as well as hypocritical. But they feel a need to stick with such unhealthy and inhumane policies. Sickness, death and disease must be less important than following their ancient sexual taboos.

Condoms, like abstinence, are critical, inexpensive and successful methods to stop HIV from infecting more people. Condoms are very important at reducing risk for HIV and other STD's for people who have sex, including married couples where one partner is HIV positive. Safer sex techniques are proven effective at halting HIV in its tracks.

Exhaustive studies in the U.S. show that abstinence-only programs actually result in higher rates of risky behavior and sexually transmitted infections as well as increased pregnancies than for youth taught the full variety of choices and safer behaviors.

There is only one upbeat angle to this sorry story. Most people disregard the Church's teachings on matters that are sexual, including most Catholics. At least some folks have brains as well as hearts. I just hope the Pope finds it in his heart and brain to understand the human toll that his ignorant and false admonitions exacerbate.


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