Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Papal bull

The Pope has reiterated his opposition to the use of condoms in AIDs ravaged Africa. The inhumanity of the Pope's position is self-evident. My basic comment - how can anyone take anything this man says seriously?

22 million people in Africa have HIV. In three Southern African countries the prevalence of AIDs exceeds 20% of the population. The Pope advocates abstinence as a God-driven policy stance. As is well known telling randy men and women not to have sex won't work and this failure (in the absence of condom use) can kill. The God-driven abstinence policy will inflict a horrible death on millions when the use of condoms is a cheap and effective way of avoiding this problem. 2 million people died in 2005 - 6000 people per day.

The difficulty is accentuated by the growth of Catholicism in Africa - numbers have trebled since 1978 to nearly 150 million in 2004. This is about 17% of the total population. Worldwide over this period Catholicism has its fraction of total population falling but voodoo still apparently sells in Africa.

The Pope's reason for sprouting this nonsense? Apart from his obvious expertise in matters of sex and human relationships I assume that this is because God told him what to do on his personal hotline. It is a 'deficit of morals' issue you see. Sex is something intrinsically evil unless you seek to breed and this should only occur between a heterosexual couple who remain monogamous forever. Break this law and you deserve to die. It is God's retribution for being randy and not listening to the Pope's bull.

Words can't express my contempt for these damaging, stupid views. Tolerance for callous stupidity has its limits and hopefully recognition of the stupidity here will have general equilibrium effects of denting this man's powerbase among the gullible in Africa and, indeed, around the world.

Update: The Pope's representative in the blogosophere is a cretin CL who posts anonymously under the distinguished label Currency Lad. In the past he inferred I had questionable sexual preferences because I defended some photos of Bill Hensen. I thought of suing this toad but he is anonymous and most people treat him as a joke. His comments are over at the sewerage blog LP.  The more bigotted and stupid the Pope gets the more his nitwit supporters see him as defending principle.


Anonymous said...

Yep, it's a pretty wacky suggestion alright, but then, I guess that's why he was chosen as the Pope.

Steve said...

Harry, you defended Bettina Arndt when feminists rushed to interpret her comments on women "just doing it" in the worst possible way, but you are doing pretty much the same exercise when it comes to the Pope.

I would agree that the Church's attitude to condoms is hard to defend in its entirely (eg if it has told a wife of a HIV husband that she should not use a condom with him), but I think you are just being obtuse if you can't see that there is some logic in the Pope's point.

What's more, there was an interesting article in this Catholic site, which I am sure you would like to add to your blogroll (ha ha) that argues that the Pope's point is correct from a practical point of view too, not just a moral one. You should read it before having another spray:

hc said...

As the NYT article cited suggests the claim that condom use increases the spread of AIDs is unsupported by evidence.

Consistent use of condoms is effective in controlling HIV and AIDs.

Edward Green seems to be a Catholic ideologue using science to back up strongly held religious convictions. Of course abstinence is more effectiove than inconsistent condom use.

The Pope's cremarkls seem to be motivated by his views that sex outside marriage is a sin and that the use of artificial contraception is morally wrong.

The moral hazard argument seems to be an ex post rationalisation. It was advanced I agree by one of his Cardinals.

If people believe such things then good luck to them - I do not - but I dispute the right to suggest such views as sensible public policy when the overwhelming evidence is that this stance will condemn millions to a needless death.

Anonymous said...


In his own words, Edward Green states, "I am a liberal on social issues and it’s difficult to admit, but the Pope is indeed right." So, yes, he is indeed an Idealogue, but he is hardly Catholic.

Professor Green (of Harvard, incidently) has a lot of evidence to support that widespread condom use can be severely damaging to a population.

You, sir, don't have ANY that it helps. Show me a single study in which a country's rate has gone down as a result of the West's Imperialistic Condomizing of the African Continent.

Where is this "overwhelming evidence." I have looked and found none. And meanwhile, many people are dying.

Anonymous said...

Edward Green gets most of his funding from the Templeton Foundation which funds a variety of wacky right wing causes including creationism via the Discovery Institute.

And yes, CL is a sicko pervert and LP is a sewer.

Kathy Farrelly said...

"Edward Green seems to be a Catholic ideologue using science to back up strongly held religious convictions."

I'm tired of incorrect assumptions about Green's supposed Catholic religious convictions.

He is in fact a bloody agnostic!

The information is at your fingertips, if you can be bothered to look.
Ah, but it bolsters your argument when you present Green as a biased religious nut, does it not?
In reality, he is an unbiased agnostic research scientist dealing in facts that may be unpalatable to some.

hc said...

I said 'seems' as he was educated at the American Catholic University. I searched and found one article claiming he is agnostic. Maybe - if so I recant.

Whatever his religion convictions his views are wacko and dangerous.

Kathy Farrelly said...

Look Harry, Green is most definitely not a catholic, nor is he in league with the Pope.
Green's positive and approving stance on condoms does not tow the Catholic line.
He believes that condoms do make a difference.
The Pope does not sanction condoms under any circumstances!

ps Thanks for your reply, I know I arrived somewhat late in the game.

Kathy Farrelly said...

Btw Harry, Green's "views" are grounded in scientific research, mate.
Having read what he says I do think that he makes a cogent argument.
Certainly not "wacko" imho.