Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Listening to the endless radio "coverage" of the Pope's death, it's remarkable how unbalanced it is. They have priests, saying we all know deep inside the Pope was right about everything. Hello. Earth to Catholics. The Pope was a good PR guy, but come on, he was against birth control. The Catholics actually burned condoms in AIDS-plagued Africa.Leaving aside the obvious assumption that birth control is good and therefore anyone opposed is wrong or bad, I think the bolded sentence reveals an even more deeply hidden assumption.
- Scripting News (emphasis added)
Without arguing the merits of birth control in general (I've often been very appreciative of its existence) or even the propriety of condoms in Africa, I'd be willing to bet a paycheck that the AIDS rate among truly monogamous non-condom wearing Catholics is much lower than for promiscuous condom wearing anybodies. Assuming the Catholics in Africa that were burning condoms weren't randomly breaking into people's homes and stores and burning all the condoms in town, it seems clear that the action was done in conjunction with the Catholic church's other key teaching on sex, namely that it is restricted to marriage and then only practiced in monogamy. It is only in the unstated, unrecognized assumptions of the author (assumptions, incidentally, not uncommon) that the event described seems to represent a disregard for AIDS or those suffering.
UPDATE: Jim Geraghty, via Hugh Hewitt, tracks several CNN "yes, but..." moments in the coverage of the Pope's death, including these gems:
many people have been hurt terribly by ... the notion that the pope will not allow the use of condoms, ... even to stop the spread of deadly diseases, such as AIDSThis, presimable said with a straight face, never recognizing that condom use to "stop the spread of AIDS" is completely unnecessary in the context of monogomous, married sexual relations, the context from which the Pope was most certainly speaking.
A pope who embraced AIDS victims and who went to Africa and talked to them, and there are pictures of him being embraced by young AIDS victims, and yet who refused to sanction the use of condoms to stop the spread of AIDS.
After all, if you're going to commit the sin of adultery already I seriously doubt the Pope's position on birth control will effect your decission to use a condom or not.