Monday, May 16, 2005

Blame it on the Church...

To all those out there who would blame the problem of AIDS in Africa on the Church's refusal to promote condoms as a way of preventing AIDS:

1. If a couple were following the Church's teaching on sexuality, they wouldn't need condoms to prevent AIDS because neither of them would be having sex outside of marriage.

Find me ONE person, just ONE person who can validly say: "I should never have followed Church teaching on sexuality, if my wife/husband and I hadn't both followed Church teaching on abstinence and fidelity, I would not have AIDS today."

2. Either you are following Church teaching or you are not following Church teaching. If you decided to have sex outside of marriage and didn't use a condom and got AIDS, that is YOUR fault, you are the stupid one. Don't blame the Church.

Find me ONE couple, just ONE couple in this world who have decided not to follow Church teaching on abstinence and fidelity, (or Muslim teaching or Jewish teaching for that matter) yet have agreed between themselves that they must however follow Church teaching on contraception. Puh-lease!! If they are not using contraception, it is highly unlikely that they were influenced in any other way than by their own laziness, lack of money, lack of care, or some other reason, NOT by Church teaching.

Anyway, I don't have official quotes here, but I did read an article somewhere that 20 years ago, when the AIDS crisis started, Uganda promoted fidelity and abstinence while most other countries promoted use of the condom. Apparently, Uganda now has a lower rate of AIDS than most countries around it, along the AIDS highway.

I do however have some verifiable although undetailed stats on the Philippines and Thailand that I got from my brother Cecil:

Facts are stuborn things, aren't they?

AIDS victims in 1987: Philippines 135 / Thailand 112

In 1991 the WHO predicted the Philippines would have 80 000 to 90 000 cases and Thailand 60 000 to 80 000 AIDS victims.

Thailand promoted the use of condoms in massive campaigns where Catholic Philippines promoted "Abstinence" and "Be faithful".

The prognosis of the WHO was wrong for both countries:

1999: Philippines 1 005 / Thailand 755 000 AIDS victims

Source: British Medical Journal, volume 328, April 10th 2004.

Mark Shea comments succinctly: "The West's commitment to sexual promiscuity is a religion that people will both kill and die for." (via Jeff Culbreath.)

Unfortunately, I wouldn't know where to find stats actually verifying how many philippinos actually claim to follow the abstinence and fidelity rule, without which one can't know for sure if the government's campaign was actually successful, or if the population is using condoms and having sex outside of marriage like everyone else, despite the government's campaign, and just happens to be a lucky exception to the spread of AIDS.

Somehow, I doubt that the latter is true, because why would the Philippines constitute such an exception if it were doing exactly the same thing everyone else was? Why would the condom rule work so much better there? Are their condoms better than everyone else's? Or is it that the Philippinos the only ones capable of using them properly?

Then there is the theory that "you can't change the mentality of a country". That there is no point in trying to promote abstinence and fidelity (even if that is the best way to avoid AIDS) because noone would listen. Yeah right. Like our own mentality hasn't changed in the last hundred years. Tell me, in Canada in 2005, what are the chances that at their wedding, both partners would be virgins? 1 in 1000? 1 in 10 000? Where are the stats on that one? I don't think we need stats, look around at the people you know. Now go back a hundred years, what were the chances in 1905 that both partners were virgins at their marriage. (Not counting widows and widowers re-marrying of course)

Not to mention the fact that if you read any material from that time (this is still common knowledge today) it was considered immoral and unacceptable to have sex outside of marriage (even if it did still happen) Whereas today in most circles it is considered morally acceptable to have sex outside of marriage, and inacceptable to "prohibit" it. According to the world's standards, the Church is the bad guy,... again.