Thursday, October 25, 2007

Religion Harmless? Tell AIDS victims in Latin America

According to a United Nations official, the Catholic Church's demonization of condom use has caused the AIDS epidemic in South America to be far worse than it would be otherwise.

"The rapid spread in Latin America of the virus that causes AIDS is made worse by the Roman Catholic Church's stand against using condoms, a U.N. official said on Monday.

Some 1.7 million people across Latin America are infected with the HIV virus or full-blown AIDS, and the epidemic is spreading swiftly with up to 410,000 new cases in 2006, up from as many as 320,000 new cases in 2004, according the UN AIDS program, UNAIDS.

'In Latin America the use of condoms has been demonized, but if they were used in every relation I guarantee the epidemic would be resolved in the region,' said Alberto Stella, the UNAIDS Coordinator for Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

The Catholic Church, which holds sway in Latin America despite the rise in evangelical churches, opposes all forms of contraception and instead promotes abstinence as a way to avoid spreading AIDS."

So once again we learn that ignorance and abstinence kills. The next time someone talks about how important it is to have faith (ie, belief without evidence), think of all those infected people. Had they based their views on the science instead of bronze age myths, many of them would still be alive.


Anonymous said...

The Catholic Church position on birth control is not having an effect on AIDS in Africa or South America.
It’s pretty well known that the Church is against all sex outside of marriage. If someone is committing adultery, engaging in premarital sex or homosexual sex, it’s not likely that in the middle of the act he/she is going to say to him or herself “Well it’s immoral to wear a condom because the Church says so.” They are not already listening to the Church in the first place, so it stands to reason that if he or she is committing adultery, engaging in premarital sex or homosexual sex he/she doesn’t care what the Church has to say about condoms.
So religion isn’t harmful to AIDS victims. Not listening to the Church is harmful.
This is a red herring for people who don’t agree with the Church when it comes to sexual morality. Hey if you don’t agree that’s fine, but please don’t make up nonsensical lies like this UN official is.

ScienceAvenger said...

Your argument presumes that people either listen to 100% or 0% of what a church says, which is absurd. Does the term "cafeteria Catholic" ring a bell? People are far more likely to accept what the CC says with regard to not using condoms, because that is the easier, more desired (from an ignorant standpoint) route anyway. Abstinence, on the other hand, is not the sort of thing people are going to enact regardless of who tells them to.

The Catholic Church lives, as do so many others, in a fantasy land when it comes to sexual issues, pretending people are going to stop having sex if the church tells them to. Thus, by demonizing condoms, they put everyone under their umbrella in danger.