The Catholic Church continues to dwell in the dark ages. Chillin’ in Rome on Saturday, Pope Benedict has again, and very adamantly, praised Humanae vitae, the 1968 Catholic document that declared the sanctity of human life in all its forms, including sperm and eggs, and thus issuing a Church-wide opposition to use of artificial birth control.
When choosing a new pope after John Paul II’s death, the Church decided against some of the more progressive thinkers who are wondering if, in the face of the epidemic spread of AIDS in Africa, it might be wise to begin using condoms to stem the spread of the disease. After all, Humanae vitae was written and enacted long before AIDS was either discovered or understood. Who could have conceived of a sexually-transmitted virus wiping out an entire generation of Africans in just 25 years after its “discovery”?
Today’s pope would have you believe it’s an act of courage to live according to the values espoused by Humanae vitae, but I say it’s an example of uncourageous Church that fails to see that we’re fighting against a horrendous virus that can, and may, mutate, making it even harder to prevent or even eliminate in the years ahead. But a condom is essentially the best weapon we have against AIDS. We can fight it now. Who’s to say what a future strain or mutation of AIDS might have the ability to do against us? Am I scare-mongering? No, but sometimes I get a little scared in the face of such dangerous ignorance.
The Church would rather an HIV-infected spouse have unprotected sex and risk infecting their partner than be safe and still share love without as much fear of death and disease.
JP II actively campaigned against the use of condoms to fight AIDS– in Africa!– by doing a series of speaking engagements throughout the continent in the years before his death, when Africa was already being labelled a hotbed of AIDS that had to be doused. The Church would have you believe that abstinence should be sufficient.
The powers that be in the Catholic Church have lost their grip on reality.
I was raised Catholic and went to both Catholic elementary and high school… Until, that is, it became known that my diocese had knowingly allowed a teacher to continue teaching at my Catholic high school for more than four years after they had discovered he had been molesting boys.
The spring of the year I learned that, when I was in grade nine, a girl committed suicide. The priest then told the school she would go to hell as suicide was a sin. You should have heard the heaving sobs and pained cries emitted by the student body as their grief became uncontrollable with the words “…to hell.”
That September found me going to public school. After three years of arguing with my parents about going to public school, they both were disgusted by the hypocrisy of the Church and I never was made to attend mass again.
So, I’m obviously a little biased.
Still, I am disgusted by the hypocrisy of the Church now. First it claims it’s the sanctity of human life, in all its possible forms, that drives it to fight for its protection by way of declaring all artificial contraception to be sins. Yet it’s the demise of human life they spread when all that’s needed to prevent more than 90% of the sexual transmissions of HIV & AIDS is the use of a little itty-bitty piece of latex. An entire generation has been wiped out and the Church STILL campaigns against a known way of preventing this horrific endless parade of death.
I mean, they’ve not declared the use of condoms as a sin then quietly looked the other way, like they seem to do to a greater extent with adultery and white-collar crime and other things that actually are sins committed against others. No, they’re out there banging that fucking drum and fighting it on a regular basis, with a microphone and camera, and in places where the education and savvy maybe could use a little helping hand. “Condoms are a sin, don’t wear condoms”?
That’s fucking obscene. That’s a fucking sin. Sanctity of life? Waste of life!
I think it’s a crime to do what the Church is doing. Not only that, it breaks my heart. It really does. When I was a kid, I was absolutely passionate about the Catholic creed. I had a comic book volume of the Bible, seven books I read again and again and again, dog-eared to shit, and I’m still angry at my dead mom for getting rid of ’em on me. I’d preach to the kiddies in the ‘hood about God’s good word. Thought about being a nun. Enjoyed going to mass before school every day, by choice, till I was in grade 5 or so. I was hardcore, just loved my Church.
I’m not religious, not anymore. The Church has disillusioned me time and time again. I dig Jesus. I dig Buddha. I dig Mohammed. They all have beautiful messages, and I believe in much of the values and ethics espoused by pretty much every major faith in the world. I live an honest life. I’m a good person. I’m charitable. I’m everything you should want to be. I just choose to believe that men keep fucking up faith by putting too much of man’s bullshit into something that doesn’t need to be as complicated as we have managed to make it.
Do I believe in something bigger than me? Yeah. But I don’t believe that saving my life when I choose to express the passion that lives in me as a sexual being by using a simple condom that I am being immoral. I refuse to believe that following my heart and libido and enthusiasm for life is wrong. I refuse to believe that using something created to make the act of loving someone else safe from disease and contagion should be a sin.
No moral code in the world can make that make sense to me. Anyone who believes it, I really don’t care their level of intelligence, education, or social importance; they’re a fucking nimrod. Seriously. Welcome to a little place I call Earth, where we have things like “spontanaeity”, “accidents”, and something apparently given by the Creator called “free will”.
Centuries from now, when we’re all dead and buried, and funky new people walk this plane instead of us, they’ll look at the history and say, “Okay, the Bubonic Plague… I get that, they had no plumbing, hygeine was hard, cities were overcrowded… but, AIDS? A guy in a fucking funny hat says using condoms was a sin ‘cos he thinks God told him that, so Africa doesn’t use condoms and AIDS wipes out entire generations? Fuck, man. That’s just moronic! How dumb were these people?”
Because that’s what it is. These Popes, man. I love how the first pope, St. Peter, was actually on a first-name “wanna get some wine?” basis with Jesus, but Jesus somehow forgot to mention to Pete that he thought popes should be “infallible” — ie, he “is preserved from even the possibility of error” according to the First Vatican Council of 1870, more than 1800 years after Christ apparently walked our world*. Funny how it’s not really until the Church began amassing more and more riches and power (during the middle ages), on its way to becoming the wealthiest organization in the world (think of all the art and real estate) that they decide Popes are to never, ever be wrong. That’s an awfully convenient thing to lay on one of the most powerful men in the world.
Never wrong? Gotta be kidding me! What a fucking joke. Somebody’s been lacing the sacramental wine with LSD again, man.
Fuck the Pope. Fuck the Church. Wear condoms. It’s the new rebellion. And it’ll save your life (most of the time, but not always).
*That’s when it was first written into the Catholic doctrine, 1870, but there was a good many who believed it as far back as the Medieval times, so about a thousand years or so, but a thousand years after Christ still.