Let Them Have Condoms

(Originally posted 12/01/05, this post has been edited to include new links.)

South African Bishop Opposes Vatican's Ban on Condoms

Can anyone tell me what's wrong with this story? Anyone? Perhaps it's this:
A Catholic bishop in South Africa has become a leading opponent of the church's ban on the use of condoms.

Bishop Kevin Dowling presides over Rustenburg, an impoverished mining town that has been ravaged by HIV/ AIDS. With so much suffering caused by the virus, Dowling considers the Vatican's ban morally unacceptable.

The Bishop works with young single mothers and their children who have HIV/AIDS. The women live around the mine to sell themselves to the men who work in the mines. Presumably when these men go home to their wives they infect them as well. No mention was made of teaching these women some life skills so that they don't have to make a living by selling their bodies. Nope, let's just push condoms at them (getting mad at those who challenge the world's dependence on condoms) and leave them to continue in a lifestyle that devalues them and will lead to their deaths.

Relaxing the Catholic Church's stance on condoms will do nothing to help the thousands of women, children, and infants who are regularly raped in South Africa. Nor will it do anything to change the attitudes of the rapists or those who pay poor women for sex.

This story gets more and more disturbing with every read and I'm having a hard time putting it into words. The sexual exploitation of women all over the world won't be alleviated by condoms. This Bishop, a person of authority in the church, essentially wants to enable these women to continue in sin and suffering. He seeks to help them avoid the consequences of sin not by helping them to go and sin no more but by offering them the flimsy false protection of a little piece of latex.

Depending on who you ask the failure rate of condoms is anywhere from 3% to 17%. It's all well and good for secularists to scoff at the idea that there's a better solution to the scourge of AIDS than condoms. Their skepticism can even help keep Christians on the straight and narrow. But Christians should really be able to expect more from those who shepherd the flock.


Popular Posts

Theology quiz

Treating autism as traumatic brain injury

No you're not a meth head if you take Adderall