The Pope, AIDS and Abstinence

The Pope has spoken.

Unfortunately, I spend more time wishing the man would shut up than anything else… but…

Still.

Most recently, Pope Benedict XVI has decided to weigh in on the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

What a hoot.

It seems the Vatican considers itself in the forefront of the battle against HIV/AIDS and as such, the Pope felt the need to express his opinion on the issue.

The epidemic, he claims, can’t be “resolved with the distribution of condoms”…

… And he believes condoms actually increase the problem.

While I tend to agree that condoms will not resolve the AIDS epidemic- at least not by themselves- I cannot imagine, for the life of me how their use actually makes things worse.

The Pope, as you might have guessed, has a solution… an idea that, like so many of his other thoughts, is at best narrow and unrealistic.

At worst, it’s dangerous.

What is it, you ask?

Why it’s the catch-all, of course… the ol’ standby!

He wants to fix this problem the same way he wants to fix all problems even remotely related to sex- be it teen pregnancy, out of wedlock pregnancy, abortion- and now AIDS.

The answer is abstinence, of course.

It’s the only way.

Tell those damn African heathens to stop fornicatin’ and…

…POOF!

No more epidemic.

Damn.

I’m certain the entire world… all the scientists, medical professionals, world powers, human rights organizations… everyone who has been working diligently to try and curb this epidemic…

… All wish they had thought of that.

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9 thoughts on “The Pope, AIDS and Abstinence

  1. When a Catholic leader speaks, you will hear Catholic thought.

    When a Islamic leader speaks, you will hear Islamic thought. ( and full of love for your fellow man to be sure! Ha! )

    When you speak, you speak your dogma.

    If hearing things you don’t like bothers you so much, then take your “enlightened tolerance” and give it a shake.

    Funny thing is, you know he’s right. The problem is nobody wants the solution.

    So we shoot the messenger.

  2. Hi DysfunctionalParrot-

    “Abstinence only” is a cop-out. Whether we are discussing STDs, epidemics or teen pregnancy, it is not an effective teaching tool.

    Even Bristol Palin, the daughter of Mrs. Abstinence-Only herself said recently that it simply isn’t realistic.

    Saying that the Pope is right on this issue is exactly like saying the way to get world peace is for people to stop fighting. Technically, that’s a true statement- if people stop fighting, there will be peace.

    Realistically, however, we all know these issues are nothing close to as simple as that.

    The issue isn’t that no one wants a solution to this problem… but rather, the “solution” the Pope has presented is laughable.

    I’m not shooting the messenger. I’m merely suggesting he get with the program.

  3. DysfunctionalParrot-

    I actually do have some ideas- so please- while I welcome all comments on my site, try to act respectful.

    At least pretend like you can appreciate opposing views, if you would.

    I think we should encourage abstinence- definitely. Abstinence, however, is only a small piece of the total equation.

    We also need to make condoms accessible…

    But most importantly we need comprehensive education.

    Lots of it.

    So many of the residents of developing nations still believe in smoke and mirrors- magic.

    Currently, in Africa, there is widespread belief that raping a virgin will cure AIDS… it’s called the Virgin Cure.

    That, unfortunately, is the kind of ignorance we are up against.

    Many of these people believe their lives literally depend on raping women and children- no matter, as long as they are virgins- they think this is the only cure for their disease.

    Obviously, simply telling these people to abstain from sex isn’t going to stop- or even lessen- this epidemic.

    I understand the moral issue this poses for some people- the Pope obviously being one of them- but I would rather save some lives than worry about the moral dilemma fornication creates.

  4. Raping and killing huh? Sounds like these people could use some morals. Maybe a Papal visit…

    Nah!

    BTW, I’m screwing with you, because I’m essentially an annoying person.

  5. Hey C-Haze

    I’ve been paying attention to Africa for a while now. Its something that is always on my mind. You mentioned the rape cure which is very disturbing. There are also some isolated areas that people are dismembering and using body parts for various cures. Pain is important for the cures so the victims are normally alive.

    I agree that telling them to abstain isn’t going to work. I believe that poverty and lack of education is the core enemy here, with poverty weighted more important in my mind than education in this case. There are many industries that have actually been harmed or destroyed by foreign aid. I can cite examples for days on this. A simple search of the damage some foreign aid is doing will net a lot of examples. I’m not saying cut off foreign aid and let them die, absolutely not.
    We do however have a problem with the governments that are in power there, they are corrupt and don’t answer to their people, not even the world. This has led to genocide and the conditions we see now. The U.N. did nothing while genocide was happening right in front of them. We pump money into those governments and it never makes it to the people. We send food and it feeds soldiers who answer to the corrupt rulers and war lords. America has been sending food, China is sending weapons and ammo. There are many examples of this, here is one http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7360438.stm

    The money for those weapons and ammo? Where is it coming from? It is coming from us. We and other well meaning countries are sending money and aid to these corrupt leaders who in turn take the food and medicine for their soldiers (if you want to call them that) while using the money to purchase ammo and guns. Why you ask? Resources are the key. China is setting up gold and diamond mines all over Africa. China keeps the warlords and corrupt governments in power in exchange for access to their resources. Contrary to what many people think, the continent of Africa is rich with resources and cheap labor.

    So it is much more of an issue than HIV/AIDS alone. Remember, when the elephants fight, the grass suffers.
    China profits from their pain, we don’t. For every step forward we help them take, there is another hand helping them take 10 steps back. I don’t think I would say there is one answer.

    Heres a few things off the top of my head:
    1. Expose China and the other countries for what they are doing.
    2. Stop blaming America for the problem. Its not going to solve anything. It makes us weaker and those actually doing harm stronger.
    3. Expose their corrupt governments and stop trying to profit off of them.
    4. Reintroduce structure to their vast society, many ways to do this. This is actually the largest one
    5. Religion is important, get rid of the Medicine man, they are the ones introducing rape cures, and mutilations
    6. Keep working on a cure for aids

    If all of these things fail, sadly plagues, war, and evil men and ignorance are self correcting problems. I hate to say that but its true. They will feed off themselves until they consume themselves. Like many plagues and diseases, they come and go throughout time. If we keep trying and don’t give up, we may stop it, if not it will kill us off and we will start over hopefully. Most of all, we need God’s help.

  6. Hey There SpiritOfTruth-

    I agree with you completely.

    What really struck me is the list you included in your comment- the ideas you have with regards to some ways to curb this problem.

    Interesting how many of the things you detailed would also be relevant in discussing some solutions to other challenges in the world- war, for example- not just theAIDS epidemic.

    Thanks for weighing in!

  7. Thanks for the comment. I don’t want to get off topic but this is related to wars and what leads to them. I’m no hippy but, I am struck by the UN and their inaction in the past and right now in regard to stopping warlords who are glorified thugs.

    There are UN troops on the ground and they let it happen, right in front of them because the U.N. would not authorize them to use force to stop it. What kind of person would follow an order to do nothing while innocent people are murdered right in front of you. It is because those UN soldiers are from those tribes. Local governments ordered mass murder, rapes and burning of entire villages. I’m not just talking about Rwanda, I’m talking about other areas of Africa also. Where are the anti war activist? I didn’t hear them screaming when this was going on. I don’t hear them now. What if the UN did send in soldiers to stop it and there was fighting. Are they then going to show photos of a destroyed building that the thugs where hiding in with a well place teddy bear in front of it? The whole thing makes me sick.

    Look at what Hitler did. Really look at the photos of piles of bodies. Look at the photos of cattle cars with a layer of dead people on the bottom or the concentration camps with human furnaces burning day and night. That happen because we did nothing. Then when we finally are threatened ourselves we act. How sad, the consequences of waiting to long, entire cities firebombed, and leveled. Trenches full of dead bodies, men using them for shields. That was just WW2. Before that was WW1 and all the other wars before that. It is always the same. Good men do nothing because they are cowards, evil men multiply and then the mass destruction begins to even things out.

    The chance to kill Osama was missed because a coward couldn’t make the call. The well disciplined soldier could not have predicted the future or 9/11 so he followed orders and didn’t kill him. We didn’t kill him because we where afraid to ruffle feathers in Saudi Arabia because he was with a prince from Saudi Arabia falcon hunting. Look what that got us.

    War is terrible and one of the worst things that can happen, we go to war because politicians are cowards, not real men. They only know talk, they will talk themselves into the grave because thats all they know. Then by the time they realize they can not reason with a lunatic, its to late and now we go to war. The U.N. thought they could reason with sociopathic leaders in Africa. The result, over 800,000 killed in under 100 days.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1288230.stm

    If people would stop being cowards and confront our problems instead of pretending they don’t exist, we would make much more progress. Even with the threat of AIDS

  8. Hey SpiritOfTruth…

    Obviously, after what you wrote, there is nothing left for me to say.

    You’re right on!

    I thank you for weighing in, and most especially you’re honesty!

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