Friday, April 28, 2006

A brief announcement from the Vatican... a huge deal for mankind. Even the Pope has recognized that the policy of abstinence to fight AIDS in Africa (or everywhere else) is criminally irresponsible.
So now the Catholic Church is thinking of making some kind of dispensation allowing married people to use condoms to prevent an infected partner from spreading the disease. These are extremely important news that will affect the behavior of millions of people in the developing world.
Of course it's not enough to narrow it down to married couples, but the gist of it, that condoms can protect you from death and disease, is extremely significant to huge numbers of practicing Catholics and Christians. Hopefully, even people who are not married will think that if the Vatican says you can use them to protect yourself, your civil status is a technicality. This may save millions of lives.
However, it is the policy of the Bush administration to give financial aid to NGO's that promote abstinence only.
Yesterday, Martin Amis spoke about the perils of Muslim fundamentalism and some people asked about American fundamentalism. To me the obvious response is that we have not started killing people in God's name yet. But then I thought about the abstinence policies of Bush and although we may not be killing people violently, to discourage the use of condoms given the current AIDS crisis in Africa and other countries amounts to murder directly attributed to some cockamamie religious belief.

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