Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Pope is a Moron

Last week, Pope Benedict XVI (of the Catholic Church) visited Africa and commented on the HIV epidemic that currently plagues the continent. He announced that:
You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, it increases the problem.
What a moron. This is even more moronic than usual. Typically we just get the abstinence mumbo-jumbo. Now he's making another claim: that condoms increase the problem. Nothing could be further from the truth. Condoms do a very good job, though not perfect, at blocking infection from an HIV-positive individual who has sexual intercourse with someone who is HIV-negative.

People often ask me what harm religion really causes the world. Religion kills. The Pope has blood on his hands because of teachings like this. There is a body count stacking up from followers who will adhere to what he says. He has the power to change behaviors and thus save lives, by endorsing the use of condoms if sexual intercourse occurs, yet he chooses not to.

These political cartoons summarize my sentiment:

Oh, and by the way. That whole abstinence thing as a way to prevent STDs, etc? It's a load of crap. Here's a study from 2005 demonstrating (in over 10,000 young people) that kids who take abstinence pledges get sexually transmitted diseases at the same rate as those who do not make pledges. There's no statistically significant difference. They speculate that it's likely pledgers who end up having sex are more likely not to use condoms, so they jack the rate up higher, per capita.

Religious conservatives need to stop lying about abstinence programs. They don't accomplish what they claim, and they put teens and young adults at higher risk by not promoting condom use. If only there was an STD that just affected religious people ...

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