Peter Tatchell has had his mistakes, but I'm with him 100% when he says the Pope himself is responsible for 100,000s of deaths with the Catholic Church's reluctance to say condoms could save people aganst AIDS. It's a disgrace.
But saying that people should not use condoms is simply freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and if people then choose not to, I think that the responsibility is on them.
Their = Catholic Church
Them = Christians
Okay... so I still don't get it. The Catholic Church tells Christians not to wear condoms, and when they don't, it's the Catholic Church's fault?
I disagree. Anyway, I think "Their" would equal the Pope, and "Them" would equal Catholics.
Do we really have to decode Uncle Skinny's post?
The Catholic Church, from what I see, is not just a newspaper stand for many Christians, and perhaps even more so in Africa. The pope is not just a strange guy in a white cape.
He's also not just "speaking his own mind", but rather "instructing" people to act in a certain way.
There's a "chain of command" structure in it - and yes, he is responsible since he's at the top of the command chain.
And I agree that ultimately, religion aside, it's also everyone's private responsibility - but unfortunately that's not how this type of religious communication works: they set out rules and procedures you're supposed to follow in order to be a good christian.
And if the Church really believed it was up to everyone's private state of mind to decide whether or not contraception and condoms are an option, why don't they say so?
Why is it worth pointing out these basic facts? Not in order to defend the Catholic Church, which clearly has a sexual abuse problem, or to minimise the suffering of those individuals who ‘only’ suffered being verbally abused, shown dirty photos or fondled over their clothing by Catholic priests - all of those acts are abhorrent and potentially punishable in a court of law. No, it is worth pointing out the reality of the extent of allegations against the Catholic Church in order to expose the non-rationalist, anti-humanist underpinnings of the current fashion for Catholic-baiting amongst the liberal, opinion-forming classes in the US and the UK. The wildly inaccurate claim about thousands of children being raped by the representatives of an institution which actively ‘protected and financed child rape’ suggests that modern-day atheism, this New Atheism, has zero interest in applying the tools of rational investigation and critical questioning to the problem of certain religions’ infrastructure, and instead is hellbent on using the politics of fear to invent a fantastical rape-happy ogre, in contrast to which it can pose as the pure defender of childlike innocence and societal integrity.
It's just easier to blame the Pope. That doesn't make it logical or true.
If you agree with me that ultimately it is everyone's private responsibility, then I'm not sure what the difference is what authority the Pope claims.
I never said the Church believes it's up to everyone to decide for themselves. I said that people should decide for themselves anyway.
1. Pope says don't use condoms.
2. Use them anyway.
None of this matters by the way. I'll tell you what's happening. This group that wants to stop the papal visit is basically calling the pope a killer, based on the AIDS deaths, because they think that is more effective charge. It doesn't matter that it's not logical. What's stopping the rest of the world from giving condoms to Africa? Why aren't they (we) there saying that what the Church is teaching is unhealthy and based on faulty science?
Remember too, this inconvenient fact. Condoms are only 90% effective against AIDS according to the WHO. That's a lot better than 0% but still, not really great odds. That's one out of ten failures.
As I said, they have a much better argument. The Pope, as has been well-documented, protected priests that molested children and gave them the opportunity to do so again.
The Church also, as I said, created this false study that AIDS seeps through condoms. That's just not true and that's irresponsible. That is the charge the anti-Pope brigade could legitimately make, but it's too complicated. They want a red top headline, "POPE KILLS MILLIONS!" "POPE CAUSED AIDS DEATHS!"
They're using misinformation and media to combat misinformation and media. I understand people wanting to disrupt the Pope's visit. I am just looking at the tactics they are using to do it.