The Pope responsible for spread of HIV

I hold the pope personally responsible for the HIV and AIDS related deaths in much of Africa and developing nations such as the Philippines. 

His ‘no condom’ stance (excepting male prostitutes) does not help prevent the spread of STI’s.  No more than not wearing seat belts prevents injury in driving accidents. 

Even though people like Mother Theresa also promoted such dangerous practices, I saw her as a poorly educated woman who sincerely believed in the authority of the Catholic church.  To me, that belief was her main crime.

The pope?  He is the authority.  He owns more blame. 

He is educated and intelligent – he must have the capacity to grasp the dangers of overpopulation, the strain of continual pregnancy and deaths caused by that, the personal and relational stresses of such unhealthy teaching about sex. 

Let alone the vast numbers of women and children who are infected with AIDS because their husbands don’t wear condoms.  

 I won’t talk about the belief, common in countries such as India, Thailand and other African countries, that sex with a young virgin (as young as three in some cases) will cure a man of HIV.  The Pope, as far as I know, says nothing there but prefers to condemn the use of condoms instead. 

Hitler is often used as the personification of evil.  I think it an unfair gimmick to remove ourselves from the hideousness of what happened – we all have capacity for monstrosity in us.  However, people rallied around his monstrous ideas and carried them out.  The pope is just as guilty as Hitler.  The Catholic church has the same role as the Brown Shirts in enforcing these ideas.

And yet, the British government paid for the Pope’s last visit to England.  

I can find a lot in Catholicism that is beautiful in spite of some traditions and teachings, but a government should not sponsor a organization that makes its money off the poorest of the poor and ensures they stay that way through guilt, high birth rate, and extra taxes. 

The Pope should be tried as an accomplice to the deaths of many Catholic AIDS victims and the overpopulation issues in many developing nations.

14 thoughts on “The Pope responsible for spread of HIV

  1. Ahab says:

    It disgusts me that the Magisterium hold tradition above the well-being of millions of people. Their positions on contraception and condom use are unacceptable, period.

  2. Their position on a great many things could use bringing up to the 21st century. But then so do a lot of other religious organizations. and if we do away with the externalities how are we going to tell them apart?

  3. theo(il)logical says:

    1) Blog Fodder says that the Vatican could use some updating. Interestingly, while the British recently opposed hosting the Pope for various reasons — including outrage over Vatican cover ups of abuse and disapproval of the Vatican’s position on birth-control — the public also indicated strong agreement with the Pope’s social policies in other areas when questioned: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11180862 Perhaps the Vatican is more modern than we sometimes assume. Or maybe not.

    3) PN, your comparison of the Vatican to Nazis is absurd to say the least. The significant difference between the two (in the context of this discussion) is the fact that Nazi’s had an explicit policy to exterminate certain groups of people and acted directly and concertedly to do so; though its policy against the use of condoms is morally deplorable from a certain perspective, the Vatican does not actively withhold condoms. Indeed, in spite of the Vatican’s policy, individual Catholics are still left with a choice. And many do choose to use condoms.

    2) Don’t forget that you are part of political community, which, during the recent G8 Summit in Toronto, was criticized for its maternal child health policy. Canada does not currently include contraception and abortion services in its aid to developing nations in places such as Africa. Why not criticize Canada? Why not attack a government in which you are not only represented but also in which you are implicated by virtue of your citizenship? I wonder if more Canadians went after their government for bad policy rather than an institution like the Vatican (especially if such Canadians are not Catholics), something on the ground could actually be accomplished.

    • prairienymph says:

      1. The fact that the Pope talks about treating the earth with respect is great! That doesn’t absolve him of his deleterious stance on birth control.

      3. In some communities, the Pope is seen to have the power to condemn people to hell – whether that is part of Catholic theology or not does not matter. That can be seen as worse than killing someone’s body. In that sense, the comparison is apt. Disobedience to one could lead to loss of bodily life, disobedience to the other is seen to lead to loss of the soul. Whether the Pope has this power or not, he is seen to. Of course many Catholics use birth control with no fear! Many Catholics think for themselves.

      2. So now I’m being criticized for not criticizing enough 🙂 You are right, I could have just as easily written about Canada’s maternal and child health policy. It upsets me also. The proper action there would be to write my representative. One of the reasons I write more about religion on this site is because of the mind control associated with it that I am recovering from. Of course, that is not absent from political circles either but there is no ‘god’ to bully people with there. I was criticizing the Pope for the horrible ramifications of his policy. It wasn’t because he is Catholic- but because of his influence on the peoples I was writing about. It could just as easily been another religious leader with wide influence.
      Also, you seem to think I am not qualified to write about a religious group that I wasn’t born into. Please note that I did live Catholic for an entire year and continue to read Catholic theologians. I did not do catechism, but I did do pilgrimages.
      I categorize religions, not by their title, but by their level of fundamentalism. I think a fundamentalist Pentecostal has more in common with a fundamentalist Sunni than with a liberal Anglican.

      • theo(il)logical says:

        Continuing along with the screwed up numbering I started:

        1) I agree. Just thought I’d point out something interesting (even if partially motivated to remind ourselves that the Vatican isn’t completely backwards).

        3) I still disagree. There is a qualitative difference between making a threat and systematically committing acts of violence. This is not to downplay the Pope’s “mind control.” It is to understand the different ways that power is exercised (as well as the opportunities for resistance and subversion that are available).

        2) No. no. I didn’t mean to insinuate that you were “unqualified.” My point was to further point out the absurdity of your comparison of the Vatican with Nazis: If you think that denying condoms to Africans is equal to what the SS did to Jews, Roma, and homosexuals, let’s see you get enraged about someone who you can legitimately lobby for a similarly despicable policies. Or will you just condemn one supposed Nazi’s actions in the void of cyberspace, while doing nothing concrete to stop an other supposed Nazi-like actor whose actions you do have potential to change by virtue of your membership in a political community. In other words, do you really think denying condoms to Africans is as morally deplorable as you’re saying it is; or is your problem really just with the fact that Pope’s authority is religious in nature?

        PS. I know sometimes I can sound harsh by being so direct (i.e. “you’re absurd!”). But I figure: you know where I’m coming from; you that I respect you and husband; and you’re looking for some opposition to grind your axe against.

      • prairienymph says:

        3) All metaphors break down at some level. However, the threat of eternal hell vs the threat of physical harm … I still think that for some people these are analagous. For the record, I did not call the Pope a Nazi. I used the name Hitler to invoke a feeling of disgust and also want to point out that we all have the capacity to that level of degredation.

        2) I am going to understand that by this, you mean that my energies are better placed in lobbying government than writing here. Perhaps I am not after policy change alone. Perhaps I am hoping to change the way people think, including myself. And I have a problem with authority being used to promote harmful practices.

        PS: I didn’t know that you respect me. I wouldn’t have gotten the tone of respect from “you’re absurd!” without you telling me, since I don’t really know you.

      • prairienymph says:

        Ok. Your point is that birth control practices are not at the same level as genocide. Agreed.
        We still can’t dismiss these issues as they have larger issues behind them.

        And I come from a family that is quick to argue and become defensive. It is easy for me to fall back into that pattern.

      • theo(il)logical says:

        3) The tick is not to have one’s metaphor break down too quickly, I guess. ; ) But more importantly, comparison is tricky business. In any case, I’m not sure if substituting Hitler or Nazi or SS as the point of comparison to the Pope makes much of a difference.

        2) And changing how people think is commendable as well.

        re: PS. I figure I should just get to the point and not mince words. Oh the lack of subtlety in internet communications! In real life I’m sure you’d find me to be much more tactful. If I didn’t respect you, I certainly wouldn’t waste my time typing away here! : )

      • prairienymph says:

        Thanks. It is really hard to know tone in text 🙂

  4. theo(il)logical says:

    PN, I don’t know if you’re aware of the Pope’s recent pronouncement on the use of condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS. You didn’t mention it in your discussion. Nor do I see any discussion of it by any of the other commentators in this thread. Check it out: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2033266,00.html and http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/liveit/article/1326705

    • prairienymph says:

      I had mentioned the Pope’s condonement of condoms for male prostitutes. That is what had promped the tirade in the first place. When I heard it on a news byte, it was posited as the only exception. It is great that it is being broadened to an example of moral use instead of the exception! I guess that is a lesson to look up more sides of a story. Perhaps the Pope has been making clarifications based on pressure.

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