Pope Okays Use of Condoms in “Some Situations”


Pope Benedict XVI stated this weekend that condom use will now be acceptable for Catholics “in certain cases,” notably “to reduce the risk of infection” with HIVReuters reports that in a series of interviews published in his native German, the 83-year-old Benedict is asked whether “the Catholic Church is not fundamentally against the use of condoms.”

“It of course does not see it as a real and moral solution,” the pope replies.

“In certain cases, where the intention is to reduce the risk of infection, it can nevertheless be a first step on the way to another, more humane sexuality,” said the head of the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics.

Until now, the Vatican had prohibited the use of any form of safer sex technology, even for those at risk of HIV infections or other sexually transmitted diseases, claiming that abstinence was the only acceptable means of preventing infection.  It retains the ban on contraception for those practicing Catholic orthodoxy even in cases where a woman’s life might be at risk from an additional pregnancy.  Despite the ban on contraceptive use, the overwhelming majority of Catholics in the United States, and in many Catholic countries, such as Italy, Spain, and Brazil, use contraception regularly.

The Pope’s statement allowing condom use comes a year and some months after he condemned the use of condoms even for HIV prevention in March 2009 while traveling in sub-Saharan Africa. According to coverage of that trip by The Guardian.com:

The pontiff said condoms were not the answer to the continent’s fight against HIV and Aids and could make the problem worse.

Benedict XVI made his comments as he flew to Cameroon for the first leg of a six-day trip that will also see him travelling to Angola.

The timing of his remarks outraged health agencies trying to halt the spread of HIV and Aids in sub-Saharan Africa, where an estimated 22 million people are infected.

In its coverage of the Pope’s more recent remarks, Agence-France Presse reports that:

To illustrate his apparent shift in position, Benedict offered the example of a male prostitute using a condom.

“There may be justified individual cases, for example when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be … a first bit of responsibility, to re-develop the understanding that not everything is permitted and that one may not do everything one wishes,” Benedict was quoted as saying.

“But it is not the proper way to deal with the horror of HIV infection.”

Benedict reiterated that condom use alone would not solve the problem of HIV/AIDS. “More must happen,” he said.

Catholic advocacy groups concerned with reproductive and sexual health, rights, and justice enthusiastically applauded the move.

In a statement, Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, said:

We are delighted that the pope has acknowledged that condoms can help reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections including HIV. It is a marvelous victory for common sense and reason and a major step forward towards recognizing that condom use can play a vital role in reducing the future impact of the HIV pandemic.

“The pope said that condom use to prevent the transmission of HIV is ‘a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more humane sexuality,’” noted O’Brien.  “This admission is the Catholic hierarchy’s own first step in addressing the realities about sex and sexuality.

However, while this is a game-changing statement, we acknowledge that there is still a long way to go before the Vatican’s teachings on condoms meet the needs of Catholics around the world—for contraception as well as for HIV and AIDS prevention.”

O’Brien pointed to the need for the Vatican to expand both the populations covered by the new more “liberal” policy.

“While we naturally agree that condoms should be available for male sex workers, we and millions of Catholics also think they should be available to everyone at risk of contracting or transmitting HIV—women as well as men.”

Still, he said, “Those of us who have been praying and campaigning about these issues for the past two and half decades are very heartened by this move.”

While it is not clear whether this is the first in a series of gradual shifts by the Vatican on HIV prevention and perhaps even contraception, the new position on condom use will inevitably make prevention of both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections easier. 

Condoms are a dual protection method: they can be used to prevent both pregnancy and infection. In those countries–such as the Bolivia, Kenya, Peru, and the Philippines– where the Church has had a stranglehold on policies regarding government investments in expanding access to contraceptive methods and to safer sex strategies, increased recognition by the Church of the need for condoms even in limited situations may have wider implications for access to condoms.

It also may change the politics of U.S. international and domestic funding on safer sex strategies. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, for example, has been instrumental in undermining the inclusion of effective prevention strateiges in U.S. funded international programs, and helped write legislative guidance denying HIV-positive women access to contraception.  HIV-positive women whose only access to health care is through a Catholic charity may now find they have greater latitiude for use of condoms to avoid HIV re-infection as well as to limit, space, or avoid additional births.

In a nod to the broader implications, Catholics for Choice’s O’Brien said:

“Pope Benedict is the leader of a church that receives hundreds of millions of dollars every year for HIV and AIDS treatment and prevention. We hope that this statement is only the first step on the path to making sure that people who need condoms and education about how to use them effectively can get the services they need. It will be especially significant for the many, many people who work for Catholic aid agencies and have been secretly handing out condoms while fearing that they will lose their jobs. It is also a suitable moment to recognize that taxpayer money that goes to Catholic agencies may now be used to fund comprehensive prevention programs—something that has been a concern for some time. For example, read our special report on this issue, “Seeing Is Believing.”

“At the very least, all those who work in Catholic healthcare delivery now understand that condoms play a critical role in preventing the spread of HIV,” said O’Brien.

Education about and distribution of condoms should become the norm, not the exception. We call on governments and other donors who fund the Catholic church’s healthcare and HIV and AIDS programs to ensure that they do just that.

It is clear that were this to happen, there would be vastly greater hope for reaching oft-reiterated and never-reached goals such as achieving great reductions in maternal mortality and morbidity, and stopping the spread of HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections.

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  • ahunt

    Gee thanks, Jodi. I’m just gonna go bang my head against the nearest concrete wall…

     

     

  • invalid-0

    To be clear, no teachings were reversed.  And the Pope did not just OK the use of condoms.  That’s, to say the very least, a long stretch of what the Pope stated in that interview.  

    I believe a better approach for the pro-condom people out there would be: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

    I suggest you all actually read the interview yourself.  

  • invalid-0

    If anyone is interested…

    ==========

    http://www.zenit.org/article-31024?l=english

  • colleen

    To be clear, no teachings were reversed.  And the Pope did not just OK the use of condoms.

    The Pope just OKed the use of condoms when men have sex with men, specifically when men hire a male prostitute.This is the Holy See’s response to the tragedy of so many Priests dying of AIDS. We women understand that our lives are disposible and worthless.

  • julie-watkins

    And the comfort of a repentant pedofile priest and preserving the church administration from scandel are more important than helping the abused children, and preventing more children from being abused.

    It’s an example of how refusing to accept science when it contradicts doctrine is dangerous. There’s a disconnect when being presented with psychology research that indicates abusers don’t get “cured” — without imprisonment or strict supervision recidivism rates are too dangerously high to risk believing a child abuse won’t abuse again. This, however, contradicts doctrine that through the sacrement of confession & god’s grace a sinner can (with true repentance) choose not to sin again.

    I think authoritarian religions, in general, have a problem with psychology & mental illness. Until the mindset changes, there’s going to continue to be problems. The strict hierarchy that it’s a sin to “kill” one life to save another (ie, it’s wrong to save a dying pregnant woman until the fetus has no heartbeat), encourages this mindset, despite all rhetoric to the contray.

  • prochoicekatie

    Frankly, I don’t find it that shocking that a group of people who’ve decided to forgo sex (to be fair, I’m not going to cover all priests with the cloth of pedophilia) have an unusually large investment in telling everyone else how, when, and why to do it.

    The Catholic faith – along with many others – have always suggested that ignoring the body’s natural instincts and needs – even when tempered with the ability to reason and use logic – should be ignored or resisted.

    I’m not sorry I’m human, I’m not sorry I eat when I’m hungry, and I’m not sorry that when using my brain to be smart and reasoned in my decisions I have sex when I’m aroused.

    The fundamental problems I’ve noticed with many faith traditions’ teachings stem from the idea that the end goal is to ignore your body and your brain because your physical body is inherently bad – something you’re ‘stuck’ in until you get to die.

  • arekushieru

    The last of which underlines Julie’s point even more.  :)  The fetal body is ‘innocent’ yet it inhabits a physical body?  And it is a sin to return the life to the innocence you described above as organized religions’ claim it to be, in general? Hmmm, I smell hypocrisy….  I am SO glad my own faith is far less informal and ‘organized’ than the Catholic, etc… Churches.   

  • invalid-0

    Let’s be more fair and point out that you don’t really have a problem with the fact that the Catholic Church has drawn out a line.  You simply disagree with where the line has been drawn.

    The Catholic Church teaches that the body is inherently good (see: Genesis).  But we are tempted, and sometime succumb to, sin.  To eat when hungry is good; to over-eat is wrong and gluttonous.  To achieve, and to appreciate achievement is good; but to resort to pride is bad.  To have sexual desire is good; but to use those desires in a lustful manner is bad.   Perhaps we can all agree on these general premises? 

    I can’t imagine, for instance, you advocate for men cheating on their wives simply because they sexually desire another woman.  Or you do not condone his conduct if he pursues sex from an unwilling wife?  We can both (I hope) agree on those.  The Catholic Church continues: sex is wrong outside of the sacrament of marriage at all, and must be between a man and a woman, and even in marriage it is wrong if the goal is to simply use the body of your spouse for your physical pleasure.

    Good sex exists, and the Catholic Church promotes it.  It simply does not condone sinful sex.  This makes sense.  What most people are really trying to do is to get the Church to change its definition of what is sinful, and such a thing is not up to popular vote.

    I hope that clears things up a bit.  You should really look into this more.  There’s some very interesting material on this out there.

  • arekushieru

    Hmmm, between a man and a woman who are married?  So, I can never have sex, because I do not want to get married (which is partly due to the patriarchal, religious beliefs of many organized religions)?  Wow, I guess the Catholic Church IS very discriminatory.  And the Catholic Church just condoned condom usage between two men.  Priests can’t get married, and these are two men they are talking about, not a man and a woman.  

    Methinks you doth protest too much, when it comes to the fairness of the application of the Catholic Doctrine.  They aren’t fair, at all.  EsPECially when you finally realize that the Vatican unilaterally decided how to interpret the Bible into this self-same Doctrine, as if they were God and that THAT is the reason why they do not want this to come up in popular vote.  

    Btw, the only sin ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’ committed was disobedience to God.  There is nothing about sexual sin, in Genesis.  Let aLONE about homosexuality. Since Sodom and Gomorrah were about the rape of an angel (again disobedience to God) and infidelity, whether heterosexual or homosexual.

    The sexual sin you are referring to, condemns quality not quantity, as all your other comparisons did.  That’s called changing the goal posts, y’know.

     

     

  • crowepps

    Let’s be more fair and point out that you don’t really have a problem with the fact that the Catholic Church has drawn out a line.  You simply disagree with where the line has been drawn.

    Oh, golly, I don’t have any problem with the Catholics drawing lines that they want their own laity to toe AT ALL!  I have a big problem with the whole idea that the ‘lines’ of a minority religious faith should be at all relevant to lawmakers who are SUPPOSED to represent all of us, or that their pronouncements about what is or is not ‘licit’ deserve this disproportionate amount of coverage from the media.

     

    I have no interest whatsoever in getting the Church to change its definition of ‘sin’.  I also have no interest whatsoever in HEARING about their definitions since I’m not Catholic.

  • squirrely-girl

    I can appreciate your perspective, but having been raised in the Church, I would disagree with this statement:

    The Catholic Church teaches that the body is inherently good (see: Genesis).

    Even in Genesis, women are told that they are subject to pain in childbirth for the sins of Eve. If that’s not a pretty direct way of telling 50% of the population that their bodies are inherently bad… well…

    Good sex exists, and the Catholic Church promotes it.  It simply does not condone sinful sex.  This makes sense.  What most people are really trying to do is to get the Church to change its definition of what is sinful, and such a thing is not up to popular vote.

    When the Holy See can decide that sex rape between priests and children isn’t “sex” because “sex” only occurs between men and women and within marriage… well, I will continue in my refusal to acknowledge the “moral authority” of this institution. Truthfully, if definitions of what is sinful were up for popular vote, castrations would abound. 

  • therealistmom

    … why the first example Papa Ratzi came up with was male prostitutes, who presumably have sex with male clients.  Just… yeah.

  • invalid-0

    I’m not sure if your gripe is with the Church or with Genesis itself, but the Catholic Church assuredly does not teach that the body is bad.  The Church, for example, does not state that Genesis is a factually accurate book, so I don’t know where you’re getting that, or if you were even properly raised in the Church.

     

    The Holy See claims that sex SHOULD only occur between a man and a woman, in marriage.  Not that it doesn’t.  Everything else is sinful.  Nobody’s forcing you to respect their moral authority.

  • invalid-0

    Not sure why you’re commenting on this thread then.  The Catholic Church is not trying to make condoms illegal.  However, we don’t think they should be funded by our tax dollars.  And it doesn’t matter if I’m a Reformed born-again PresboLutheran Buddhist who also believes that aliens control Hollywood; I still get to have an opinion on where my tax dollars go and make that opinion vocal on my own behalf – and to all my followers.

  • rebellious-grrl

    The pope’s change of opinion on condom use doesn’t surprise me because males are the primary beneficiary. If he would have said condoms were allowed as contraception then I would have been surprised.

    The Catholic Church is really out of touch with much of its constituency. I don’t think most american Catholics (At least born and raised Catholics I know in my family ) don’t listen to the pope whatsoever. As an ex-Catholic I don’t want the Catholic Church to make or influence public policy like they did during the healthcare debates. Catholics should NOT speak for ALL Americans.

  • beenthere72

    Not sure why you’re getting into tax dollars here, but taxpayer funding for condoms gets the biggest bang for the buck considering how expensive the consequences are of *not* using condoms.  

  • squirrely-girl

    I actually was wondering the same thing – I mean, “gay sex” isn’t exactly recognized as sex by the Holy See and homosexuals (at least those who act on their “unnatural urges”) are considered sinners unworthy of salvation. Sooooooo… hmmmmmm…

  • squirrely-girl

    The Church, for example, does not state that Genesis is a factually accurate book, so I don’t know where you’re getting that, or if you were even properly raised in the Church.

    I would suggest my “gripe” is more generally directed at major organized religion, to which the Church and Genesis certainly belong. At any rate, the Church does not have to interpret Genesis literally (e.g., Methuselah is 969 years old) to suggest that the general ideals are worthy of emulating. In other words, they don’t have to believe in specific dates to promote the idea that women are lesser than men.

     

    As to being “properly raised,” I find that comment to be not only rude but a rather poor attempt at the No True Scotsman fallacy as well. Aside from being raised in a strong Italian (Roman) Catholic family, as far as the Holy See is concerned, I’m up to date on all of my sacraments and six years of Catholic school (didn’t have a high school in my rural area) does wonders for one’s understanding of dogma. 

     

    Just because I don’t choose to tow the line doesn’t mean I don’t understand it. 

    Nobody’s forcing you to respect their moral authority.

    Maybe you should share this with the Church… they seem to have a problem separating themselves from state and national issues like the health care debate :(

  • squirrely-girl

    However, we don’t think they should be funded by our tax dollars.

    Then maybe you should consider moving to a country run by the Church, because this isn’t how taxes work. There isn’t a special pile of “Catholic money” and Catholics are afforded no more special consideration with regard to government spending than are any of the other religious groups. Crazy how that whole separation of church and state is supposed to work :/

  • invalid-0

    My point is that I get to vote just as much as you do.  My religion influences my vote.  That has nothing to do with separation of Church and state, and you can’t stop me from doing so.

    If I was part of a religion that supported gay marriage, for example, I could encourage the people of that religion to support certain ballot initiatives until I’m blue in the face.  And if I’m a religion that believes that condoms are wrong, I can support laws which stop them from being funded by tax money. 

    Your idea of church and state separation is completely wrong if you think that people’s personal beliefs, influenced by their religion, must be left outside the Congressional hall.  

  • invalid-0

    As to being “properly raised,” I find that comment to be not only rude but a rather poor attempt at the No True Scotsman fallacy as well.

    The proof is in the pudding, here, Squirrely.  If you really think that Catholics believe in an inequality of the sexes, or that the human body is an inherently bad thing, you’re either intentionally distorting the teaching you received, you didn’t understand it, or you accidentally went to the wrong school.

  • invalid-0

    Try and stop us. :-P

  • forced-birth-rape

    ~ What a smart-aleck jerk post arex. Would Jesus say try and stop us P? But you are the one who said any female who is not willing to give birth should go to jail.~

    ~ If you are anti-ADIS, you are pro-condoms. If you are pro-ADIS you are anti-condoms, another display of how the child raping catholic church is not pro-life they are pro-mass birth, so much so they get a tingle in their pants when they hear a child has been raped and is now pregnant. ~

  • beenthere72

    My religion doesn’t influence my vote but sadly your religion does.   I’ll continue to vote against the likes of you.

  • invalid-0

    But you are the one who said any female who is not willing to give birth should go to jail.

    Really? When?

    If you are anti-ADIS, you are pro-condoms.

    Awfully narrow-minded of you.  I’m pro-abstinence.  Abstinent people do not need condoms, so I guess I’m anti-condom in that sense.  I’m not sure how being pro-abstinence is being pro-… do you mean to say “AIDS”?

  • ack

    “I personally asked the pope if there was a serious, important problem in the choice of the masculine over the feminine,” Lombardi said.

    “He told me no. The problem is this … It’s the first step of taking responsibility, of taking into consideration the risk of the life of another with whom you have a relationship,” he added.

    “This is if you’re a woman, a man, or a transsexual. We’re at the same point, which is the first step in responsibly avoiding passing on a grave risk to the other,” Lombardi said.

     

    Apparently, the translations of the book varied on the masculine vs. feminine words and Lombardi, the other big dude at the Vatican, asked Big B about it. Even though I cringed a little at his use of the word “transsexual,” I was startled that he was trying to be that gender-inclusive.

     

    They see condoms as a step toward abstinence, from what I’ve read. But the fact that they’re seeing it as a step toward anything other than hellfire is a pretty big deal.

  • colleen

     I’m not sure how being pro-abstinence is being pro-… do you mean to say “AIDS”?

    She is dyslexic.

    It’s too bad that you aren’t bright enough to understand her point.

     

     

  • beenthere72

    Talk about narrow-minded.

  • rebellious-grrl

    arex – We live in a secular society where we come together to make rules we can all live by, not based on one particular religious dogma. Christianity (Catholicism) is used as a way to wield unattributed power by those who profess its theology to enforce social structures like the patriarchy. Not everyone believes in your particular dogma. Upholding everyone to your beliefs is detrimental to society as a whole.

  • forced-birth-rape

    ~ Yes sorry I have Dyslexia. I have not had sex since I was ten years old, I am thirty now. Just because I do not want to have sex ever again does not mean I want other people to get AIDS or have children they can not take care of and protect, as my aunt had many children and left them with who ever would keep them and they got raped, boys included.

    Many people in the world have sex not because they want to, but because they are bullied, harassed, and intimidated into it.

    I hope I have spelled all this right. ~

    Amendment 62 Arguments Get Stranger and Stranger.
    Arex “Nice” metaphor, a September 25,2010

    If 62 is passed, will women who leave the state to have an abortion be charged with a crime?
    If they leave the state will they be extradited to face trial?

    You responded, “I hope so.”

  • rebellious-grrl

    I agree with squirrely girl, the Catholic Church (the hierarchy) is sexist. I attended Catholic school K-12, attended church every Sunday growing up, and was confirmed. I have a good grasp of Catholicism and hence my rejecting it.

     

    An example of the church’s sexism, the Vatican’s ruling of ordaining female priests is equivalent to sexual abuse of children. I remember growing up in the Catholic church and feeling second class because I was female. I was well indoctrinated by the Catholic church and spent many years studying Catholicism in and out of school. The more I learned the more I understood the reality of rampant sexism in the Catholic church.

  • rebellious-grrl

    FBIR – I remember arex saying that. Thanks for posting! And no need to apologize for dyslexia. Your posts are articulate and from the heart. You are awesome FBIR!

     

    Amendment 62 Arguments Get Stranger and Stranger.
    Arex “Nice” metaphor, a September 25,2010

    If 62 is passed, will women who leave the state to have an abortion be charged with a crime?
    If they leave the state will they be extradited to face trial?

    You responded, “I hope so.”

  • invalid-0

    Saying it over and over doesn’t make it true.  

    An example of the church’s sexism, the Vatican’s ruling of ordaining female priests is equivalent to sexual abuse of children.

    The Vatican did not say that.  But I’m sure you’re the better authority on the Vatican’s policy than the actual Vatican is, right?

  • invalid-0

    We live in a secular society where we come together to make rules we can all live by, not based on one particular religious dogma.

    So you’re probably OK with allowing certain religious sects to marry children, and have multiple wives?  I mean, just because YOUR religion thinks it’s wrong….

  • invalid-0

    I didn’t know she is dyslexic.  I was assuming it was AIDS, but I wasn’t sure if it was some other acronym I wasn’t aware of.  Settle down, bucko.

  • invalid-0

    So, women who cross state lines to have a doctor kill their unborn child? Yes, I think that if the circumstances allow, states should be allowed to prosecute them for a crime if circumstances dictate.

    How is that the same thing as saying that any women who do not want to have children should go to jail?

    Don’t put words in my mouth.  I’ll be my own authority on what I mean or do not mean to say, thank you very much.

  • forced-birth-rape

    ~ No ones right to life gives them the right to use a females body against her will, be in a females body against her will, terrorize her with unwanted dread of future unwanted vagina pain against her will, or cause her extreme unwanted vaginal pain against her will. Are you a man or a woman arex? You are just hateful, hateful, hateful. ~

  • beenthere72

    How does one relate to the other?  That doesn’t even make sense.

  • ahunt

    states should be allowed to prosecute them for a crime if circumstances dictate.

     

    I just want to make sure I am clear here, arex…you think a state should be able to prosecute people for crossing state lines to obtain services that are legal?

  • squirrely-girl

    Yes, I think that if the circumstances allow, states should be allowed to prosecute them for a crime if circumstances dictate.

     

    You do realize this makes you sound like a Nazi right? So how could the state know that a woman left the state for this purpose? They couldn’t. Meaning they’d have to treat all women of reproductive age as potential “criminals” thus restricting their movements to in state only. I mean, unless they just did pregnancy tests on all women before leaving the state (checkpoints at roads and airports). I think the implications of your statements are disgusting and after that comment I have lost any and all respect I had for you. Thanks for showing your true colors though… saves me time debating.

  • squirrely-girl

    I have a good grasp of Catholicism and hence my rejecting it.

     

    I find the insinuations of poor raising and not knowing enough to be rather similar to the arguments made by the AC/PL side supporting biased counseling to the effect of, “well if women just really understood they wouldn’t get abortions.” God forbid some people actually know what’s going on and just not like it. Crazy talk I know!

  • squirrely-girl

    We learned that being a narcissistic jerk was an unacceptable way of living. Lessons like tolerance and compassion were emphasized and bullies had consequences.  

     

    If you really think that Catholics believe in an inequality of the sexes…

    Maybe we can continue having this conversation when women are ordained… or all parishes start accepting girls as alter “boys.”

     

    Yah know, did it ever occur to you that YOU are the one intentionally distorting teachings or the one who received a poor education? I mean, you seem to be rather assured that your ignorance is correct while plenty of other people are contradicting you. Just a thought…

  • rebellious-grrl

    The article you referred to said, “If there is an opportunity for authorities in the Vatican to shoot themselves in the foot, they do so in both feet.”

    The decision by the church codified “attempted ordination of a woman” to the priesthood as one of the most serious crimes against Church law. Even though there has been a push (at least in U.S. churches) to ordain women as priests the vatican still says “NO.”

     

    Ordaining women, a serious crime.

    That is sexist.

     

     

  • rebellious-grrl

    If abortion was illegal in all 50 states (not just Colorado where amendment 62 was proposed) you would support women to be prosecuted and jailed for abortion? Your previous comments would imply yes to that question. But feel free to reply.

    Arex, no one is putting words in your mouth. See for yourself, http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2010/09/24/amendment-arguments-stranger-stranger?page=1

     

    RG: If 62 is passed, will women who leave the state to have an abortion be charged with a crime? If they leave the state will they be extradited to face trial?
    Arex: I hope so.
    RG: Will all miscarriages be investigated?
    Arex: I don’t see why – people die everyday without there being an investigation into their death.
    RG: Will all pregnant women be mandated to give birth?
    Arex: If they can become “un-pregnant” another way without killing the child, they could do that.

  • rebellious-grrl

    Arex, a democratic secular society should make that ruling, not the church. I am a strong proponent of the separation of church and state.

  • crowepps

    The Catholic Church is not trying to make condoms illegal.  However, we don’t think they should be funded by our tax dollars.

    The Catholic Church is a tax exempt organization and does not pay ANY tax dollars, federally, to the states, or to the local municipalities which provide tax payer funded infrastructure which the Catholic Church uses (like fire fighting and police protection).

     

    In addition, most members of the Catholic Church, the Bishops, Archbishops, Cardinals and in particular the Pope are not American citizens and aren’t uniquely qualified as foreigners to an opinion on where American tax monies should be spent.

     

    Certainly individual Americans vote their personal values, including their religious values, however as the Supreme Court made clear in the various lawsuits where pacificists withheld a portion of their income tax because they didn’t wish to fund the war in Viet Nam, individual tax payers do NOT have a right to designate dollar by dollar where their monies go.

     

    If it were possible to do so, while you could withhold the 1% of 1% of  your taxes that MIGHT go for abortion, others could withhold the 30% that currently goes toward the military.

  • arekushieru

    Actually, you are just anti-sex for purposes other than procreation.  Why else would you ask that people who don’t want to get married/be in a committed relationship to not have sex and others that do, to wait to have sex when they DO get married/enter into a committed relationship?  See, monogamy is NOT a magical barrier for STIs, unplanned pregnancies, infidelity, abuse, either physical, emotional or verbal, etc…. 

  • plume-assassine

    Some anti-choicers hide behind the paternalistic facade of “women deserve better / it’s for your own good”… but the creepiest anti-choicers on this site – arex being one of them - would love to see all sexually-active women tracked, restricted, and generally treated as criminals. They always remind me of The Handmaid’s Tale. I wonder how many “criminals” are in arex’s family (or close friends) that he doesn’t know about?

  • squirrely-girl

    … as a woman, I would be afraid to be related to somebody like that.

     

    I’ve interacted with some fundies in family settings… but as a highly educated, “painted” woman who values her traditional family structure yet also regularly violates/mocks gender roles while dressing like a 40s/50s housewife… well, I’ve always been a little “insulated” and “protected” in a way that only pure contradiction can provide. And given what I teach, I get away with saying things that others perhaps could not.

     

    All this considered, not only would I not feel comfortable acknowledging an abortion around this type of person, but I sure as hell wouldn’t feel comfortable being pregnant or bearing a child to/around this type either. People who actually propose criminal consequences that ultimately amount to an unhealthy desire for knowledge and control of women’s reproductive status are just… well… creepy. And I can’t imagine they do much to hide their views. I would get myself as far away from this type, no matter their relation to me. I can imagine, on some levels, that these types have (had?) that happen a lot… which further contributes to their feelings of victimization… 

     

    Just a thought…