Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The flesh is willing but the logic is weak

A little more than a year ago, Pope Benedict XVI made headlines when he claimed that condoms were not the answer for stopping AIDS in Africa. The volume of knee-jerk hatred issued against the church was more than I ever thought possible.

While I was not directly involved in the issue, I did experience it in microcosm. I have a friend who for months kept up a simmering battle on the position of the Catholic Church on condom distribution in Africa. Every time I would point out that his statement was supported by facts and studies, the response was "yes but I know that they are effective, so the Pope is wrong."

Not that the studies were wrong or the science behind them was wrong, but the Pope was wrong even though the scientists were right. Huh? I'd all but forgotten about the issue when I came across this article today. The author brings up a side of it I hadn't thought of, and it goes something like this.

State that the Church says condoms are morally wrong, and the response is always "regardless of what they think is morally wrong, the Church should think of people's health first." The author takes this to its logical conclusion. Regardless of how effective condoms are at stopping AIDS, they are not 100% effective. So the safest course of action for a wife whose husband had AIDS would not be to use a condom, but to find a neighbor who didn't have AIDS and have sex exclusively with that person. "But that's..." morally wrong? Why is your "morally wrong" an acceptable excuse, but mine isn't?


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