Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Beyond the laundry.

Just when I thought the church would stop and leave me to practice passive heresy in peace, the pope goes and opens his mouth. Condoms contribute to the spread of AIDS now. I, as a white middle class American male, never felt the urgency of the church's disdain for prophylactics. I knew it was frowned upon (having never been married and all), but we were never talked at about birth control, and especially not about condoms. Abortion, yes, but condoms and birth control pills were simply an accessory to sex. That is, sex is wrong, but if you're ok with that you should probably use a condom.

Now, I think it's safe to surmise that the pope doesn't actually oppose the policy I just stated: if you're not worried about eternal damnation he probably prefers that you at least have some consideration for others and try not to spread sexually transmitted diseases. The problem, of course, is that he did not say this. He said that the distribution of condoms actually hurts attempts to fight the spread of AIDS. Meanwhile the Vatican's talking heads gushed about recent increases in membership.

Hooray for increases in membership! It's like the old days, but without the galleons and heavy artillery.

illustration by AD McCormick, in The Land of the Golden Trade, by John Lang

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