Pharyngula

The pope is an evil quack

You’ve all heard the news by now, I’m sure: the pope was traveling to Africa, a continent plagued with widespread sexually transmitted diseases adn also, coincidentally, one of the few places where Catholicism is growing, and he dispensed a little medical advice:

Speaking to reporters on his way to Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde, the Pope said HIV/Aids was “a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem”.

The solution lies in a “spiritual and human awakening” and “friendship for those who suffer”, the AFP news agency quotes him as saying.

Consistent condom use is associated with a reduction in the incidence of HIV infection of approximately 80%. It does not increase the problem. I know the Catholic church is reliant on the denial of human nature, something demonstrated regularly by the activities of its own priests, but at some point they have to recognize a simple reality: people like to have sex. You aren’t going to talk them out of it without warping their psychology in a truly pathological way (again, witness the Catholic priesthood), but you might be able to get them to practice sex in a way that protects their health.

Claiming that condoms increase the problem is disinformation and outright quackery — it’s a lie that will kill people. That is what the pope is doing on his little tour, spreading lies, doing harm, and setting back efforts to materially help the afflicted. “Friendship” won’t help the children of a woman dying slowly of AIDS, nor will gilt-robed old men whispering about “spirituality” do one scrap of good against a dangerous reality.

Comments

  1. #1 The Science Pundit
    March 18, 2009

    Fuck Nazinger!

  2. #2 Theodore
    March 18, 2009

    This explains why priests didn’t wear condoms when they f*cked 10 year old boys in the a**.

  3. #3 Mexican atheist
    March 18, 2009

    Its a shame and its really really sad that people like these have influence in the world.

  4. #4 AnthonyK
    March 18, 2009

    Wearing a bit of plastic on your willy when you have sex is wrong – even if it prevents a single case of HIV?
    Fuck that. The Catholic concept of sin is evil, and wholly absurd.

  5. #5 Facilis
    March 18, 2009

    I hate distributing condoms. Its like saying “Those Africans and children are animals without the self-control to stop themselves from having sex.”
    I agree with the pope that it would enhance the problem of promiscous sex ,which is very wrong. We should have more programs promoting abstinence and self-control

  6. #6 Mexican atheist
    March 18, 2009

    Its a shame and its really really sad that people like these have influence in the world.

  7. #7 Free Lunch
    March 18, 2009

    We can only hope that enough Catholics will recognize that the Pope and the rest of the Roman Curia are bad people and their advice must be ignored. Eventually, the RCC will destroy itself if it refuses to reform. If American and European Catholics stop giving the Church money, that will be a good start toward forcing the Vatican to confront its own (often immoral) failures.

  8. #8 The Biologista
    March 18, 2009

    Nothing much new in this. The overt reinforcement of their usual issues with contraception. They’ve even been known to unofficially spread the myth that condoms do not pose a physical barrier to the HIV virus.

    Both claims are demonstrably incorrect. It’s not a question of opinion or possibility, the data is clear. It may not be a new claim, but its reinforcement in such a public manner deserves to be refuted just as vocally.

  9. #9 Zeno
    March 18, 2009

    Catholics are required to believe as an article of faith that the pope is infallible on matters of doctrine, since his is the final word on any dispute (at least till the next pope comes along). His infallibility does not extend to matters outside Catholic religious instruction. No kidding! Still, you’d think that Benny Hex would be more careful about making stupid statements and thereby underscoring the real-world limitations (or nonexistence) of his infallibility. Not good for the franchise. But maybe good for the world at large.

  10. #10 Hoonser
    March 18, 2009

    The Catholic church is all about churning out the babies to be the next generation of little Catholics. People start using condoms and the Catholic population would start to dry up. Then where would the church be? This is the main reason the church is against condom use. Yes the new Catholics will have AIDS, but they’ll be Catholics willing to pay the church to be forgiven of their sins.

  11. #11 Janis Chambers
    March 18, 2009

    You know.. if we shave an AIDS infected monkey and dress him up as an alter boy… Yes, my evil plan shall work *muhaha*

  12. #12 Rrr
    March 18, 2009

    I’d rather say that friendship won’t help the children dying of AIDS. I’m not just talking about the virgins that get raped because of bullshit rumours of it being a cure, but also about the children who get it from their mothers.

  13. #13 forksmuggler
    March 18, 2009

    The Pope hates black people.

  14. #14 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 18, 2009

    We should have more programs promoting abstinence and self-control

    Abstinence only programs do not work.

    People have sex, have always had sex and will always have sex as a pleasurable exercise. Giving them the means to protect themselves is the moral thing to do.

  15. #15 Roger
    March 18, 2009

    What an ignorant pig fucker.

  16. #16 bsk
    March 18, 2009

    Facilis: one relevant study, of many:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6927733.stm

  17. #17 Guy G
    March 18, 2009

    This is obviously horrific, but I wonder how many people in Africa actually listen to the Pope on things like this. How many people avoid condoms because they believe that it’s wrong for religious reasons, and how many avoid them for other reasons (e.g. it’s not as pleasant)?

    I have no doubt that the Pope is an utter fuck, and is probably contributing a significant amount to the problem, but I think it’s also too easy to scapegoat him and ignore the fact that there would still be a massive problem even without this contemptible bastard.

  18. #18 Richard Harris
    March 18, 2009

    It just goes to show how thought can be corrupted by belief in a stupid ideology, a Bronze Age myth that ought to have been consigned to the scrap heap of history long ago.

    The Pope is an idiot.

  19. #19 Geoff
    March 18, 2009

    I’m sure none of us expected any better from old Ratshagger.

  20. #20 Janis Chambers
    March 18, 2009

    You know.. if we shave an AIDS infected monkey and dress him up as an alter boy… Yes, my evil plan shall work *muhaha*

  21. #21 Christie
    March 18, 2009

    *Sigh*
    It’s just too bad. The one church that firmly states that they agree, follow, and look to scientists in the matters of science and is completely anti-ID has to go and be total idiots all the time. I mean, really, if you deferred to scientists on matters such as the age of the earth and the authenticity of the fossil record, shouldn’t you pay a bit of attention to their recommendations in terms of disease? That’s still scientific forte, damn it.

  22. #22 robhoofd
    March 18, 2009

    What? The pope said something idiotic? Stop the presses!

  23. #23 Archaeopteryx
    March 18, 2009

    “Friendship” will help stop HIV? Listen, there’s been several times in my life in which friendship led directly to sex. It seems counterproductive.

  24. #24 T_U_T
    March 18, 2009

    Abstinence only programs do not work.

    Off course they work. They hurt and kill sinners at a rate much higher than the inquisition even could dream of.

  25. #25 recovering catholic
    March 18, 2009

    I wonder why PZ didn’t use comic sans for the pope’s quotes? Does he fear excommunication?

  26. #26 2-D Man
    March 18, 2009

    people like to have sex. You aren’t going to talk them out of it without warping their psychology in a truly pathological way

    I submit exhibit A: Pete Rooke.

  27. #27 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 18, 2009

    How many people avoid condoms because they believe that it’s wrong for religious reasons, and how many avoid them for other reasons (e.g. it’s not as pleasant)?

    There are many that avoid them because of falsehoods spread by tribal leaders and others.

    One such myth is that if you are infected by aids, you can rid yourself of it by giving it to another. Usually in the form of rape of a virgin. Other myths include ones common to us here in the industrialized world such as only drug users and homosexuals can get aids. It’s no surprise that myths about condoms are easily accepted.

  28. #28 Steve_C
    March 18, 2009

    God damn the muthafuckin Pope.

    Fuck that guy and his stupid hat.

  29. #29 JD
    March 18, 2009

    Amen. Maybe they could use Catho-crackers as a diaphragm?

  30. #30 Christie
    March 18, 2009

    We should have more programs promoting abstinence and self-control as well as safe sexual practices and the symptoms and science of STDs

    Fixed that for you.

    I don’t have any problem saying you shouldn’t have sex – just in the assumption that it does any good to say so. You have to back up abstinence support with how to deal with sex in a healthy manner. People who are taught abstinence only still break it, and then have no understanding of the risks they’re facing or how to best protect themselves. That’s why kids in abstinence-only programs are just as likely to have sex but are far less likely to use condoms and far more likely to get an STD or get pregnant. It’s ok to encourage chastity, just not to expect that you’ll be successful in keeping them from screwing anyway. Especially in places like Africa where you’re talking to adults – let’s be honest, it probably works even less on them. Providing means of protection and education about the diseases and safer practices are far more likely to help.

  31. #31 KAT
    March 18, 2009

    What infuriates me is that HIV/AIDS is once again being painted as a disease of morals. Arghh!!

  32. #32 Silver
    March 18, 2009

    It’s really pretty simple:

    More condom use=less little boys for clergy to fuck.

  33. #33 James Thompson
    March 18, 2009

    He should be arrested and tried at the Hague for Genocide.

  34. #34 me2
    March 18, 2009

    Fascilis@3
    “I hate distributing condoms. Its like saying “Those Africans and children are animals without the self-control to stop themselves from having sex.”
    I agree with the pope that it would enhance the problem of promiscous sex ,which is very wrong. We should have more programs promoting abstinence and self-control”

    Fascilis you’re a fuckwit, really. Distributing condoms doesn’t imply anything of the sort.
    Let me give you a brief explanation of what it’s like here in Africa. Many men are migrant workers who have to work hundreds of miles from their homes. Most only go home once or twice a year, more if they’re lucky. What do you think those men do for the rest of the time they’re away from home, remain celibate?
    Many of them use prostitutes or have second wives in the cities. That’s how HIV and AIDS is spread.
    For the pope to have said what he did has affected many years of hard work to try and get these men to wear condoms. Many are highly superstitious of being made to wear condoms, they see it as another means for the weathly west to control Africans. If you can’t see what misinformation like this does, google the AIDS statistics for South Africa and see how our rate of infection increased during Thabo Mbeki’s term as president. He was an AIDS denialist and now South Africa has the highest rate of infections in Africa. Oh, and his side kick health minister Manto Tshabalala Msimang pushed beetroot and garlic as a cure for AIDS.

    The pope is a giant twat for saying that condoms promote AIDS.
    Actually, I take that back, at least a twat is useful.

  35. #35 Felix
    March 18, 2009

    I have seen no evidence that availability of condoms and education/counseling on these and other protective and contraceptive methods increases promiscuity. Looking at what happened in ‘abstinence-only’ areas, where STD frequency and teen pregnancies increased, it appears that the Vatican (and Christianity as far as agreeing with the sexual doctrines and ‘morality’ of the Church) are trying to reform human nature. If that isn’t Social Darwinism, it comes very close. I think Marxism had the same basic idea, that a society educated in certain behavior and thinking would somehow ingrain these ideas into individual nature over time.
    The Vatican’s doctrine is on the same footing as any other unscientific ideology, materialistic or not.

  36. #36 Twin-Skies
    March 18, 2009

    @Facilis

    Please tell me where I can find the statistics you have that shows this causational relation between condom use and promiscuity.

    As a resident of a third-world country that has tried the RCC’s suggestion, I am here to tell you that abstinence-only programs do not FUCKING WORK.

    Most of the impoverished in the countryside here have up to 12 kids, and while that’s supposed to help give them manpower for working on the fields, all that’s done was give them more mouths to feed.

    This problem also damages each of these family’s chances of getting a proper education to pull them out of poverty, given that the money that could have gone to school supplies and books goes into buying food and medicine. Most of these families are chronically malnourished, relying heavily on gov’t and NGO handouts, barely able to sustain themselves.

  37. #37 Dan B.
    March 18, 2009

    Anyone else bothered by the fact that the news article just reports what the pope says, and never points out “by the way – this is wrong. Here are the facts about condoms and HIV” ?

  38. #38 Twin-Skies
    March 18, 2009

    Btw Facilis, I recall my theology professor in college once telling us that sex was a good thing. To paraphrase his point:

    “Reaching an orgasm with someone you love is like glimpsing heaven. The selflessness part of Catholic doctrines plays in when you try to pleasure your partner as much as you enjoy the act. Ergo, sex is good!”

    So who am I to believe, really? If the RCC itself can’t seem to agree on whether sex is strictly for pro-creation, or can as a means of strengthening a loving relation, who the hell gave you or the Pope the last say on what happens in somebody’s bedroom?

  39. #39 Ernesto García
    March 18, 2009

    In my country (Argentina) catlicks are a majority, but only a tiny minority within them takes the nonsense of this disgusting geezer seriously, at least when it comes to sexual matters. Virtually all couples have sex regularly before marriage and condom usage is widespread, at least within the middle to upper classes that can afford it. I’m not sure what to think about self-proclaimed catlicks who act this way. On the one hand they love to argue for the moral superiority of their faith and get all smug and holier-than-thou when confronted with atheistic and/or pro-choice positions; on the other they disregard their church’s stance on sexual abstinence and “interpret” their dogmas at their own convenience. Talk about hypocrisy. At least, the raving fundies are consistent with their beliefs.

  40. #40 JD
    March 18, 2009

    Let’s ask Bill Donohue what he *thinks*…
    Ah, meritocracy at last!

  41. #41 Liberal Atheist
    March 18, 2009

    #3

    I hate distributing condoms. Its like saying “Those Africans and children are animals without the self-control to stop themselves from having sex.”

    Which in turn is like saying they’re like humans. We have sex too, you know. We have HIV in the rich developed part of the world as well, but not nearly as much as over there. How about education (even though sex ed comes from the devil, right?), public campaigns and free condoms to teens? That’s what we do, and HIV is not widespread. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence…

  42. #42 Michelle
    March 18, 2009

    Out with Nazinger!

    Hail the fluffy Snowball I!

  43. #43 blueelm
    March 18, 2009

    Some times I think of a history teacher in the future trying to explain us to their class:

    “Well yes, they had the means to reduce the spread of the disease, we have a tendency to think of them as stupid, but really you have to imagine them in their own time. It was a commonly held superstition that condom use would increase their risk. They also believed that it offended their god. When you take that into account you can see that they weren’t ignorant, but simply unwilling to give up an important part of their cultural identity– even at the risk of their own destruction.”

  44. #44 Twin-Skies
    March 18, 2009

    @Felix

    Facilis’ Condoms=Horniness assertion is classic Slippery Slope.

  45. #45 WRMartin
    March 18, 2009

    Condoms increase the risk of HIV infection.
    Abstinence only programs actually work. (If one generation would abstain we could cure every known and unknown STD).
    Gunpowder tastes like cherries.

    How gullible are you willing to be?

    P.S. Life is a sexually transmitted terminal disease. ;)

  46. #46 bsk
    March 18, 2009

    Blueelm: that’s exactly the reason I generally disagree with the notion of judging history by its own standards.

  47. #47 Carpworld
    March 18, 2009

    Did anyone else in the UK see that insane “Catholic blogger” being interviewed by John Snow re: nazinger and AIDS last night? Absolutely nuts. I thought she was going to asplode at one point.

    Here’s the interview for those who missed it: http://blogs.channel4.com/snowblog/2009/03/18/condoms-and-aids/

  48. #48 Free Lunch
    March 18, 2009

    Anyone else bothered by the fact that the news article just reports what the pope says, and never points out “by the way – this is wrong. Here are the facts about condoms and HIV” ?

    I don’t expect most reporters to do much more than do a quick rewrite of press releases, particularly if it might offend someone in power. Maybe Teddy Kennedy will call the Pope out on his incredible, hateful stupidity.

  49. #49 Fernando
    March 18, 2009

    “a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem”.

    Oh my God (yah… quite funny! pls dont laugh :D )!

    Someone with the responsability of the Pope should think twice before he speak such estupidity!

    Condoms are essential to stop the spread of AIDS.
    If someone with great authority in the mind of religious people speaks that bullshit about condoms, they will think is true, and the problem of AIDS in Africa would be greater that it is – and is very bad the AIDS problem in Africa, because of the enormous ignorance and superstition on the majority of the population.

    The great work that some people and organisations made everyday, informing about the AIDS, and how can be prevented, could be utterly destroyed when some ignorant priest/iman/shaman speaks extremely dangerous and false afirmations about something (AIDS/HIV/prevention of the disease).

    To conclude:
    Dont be afraid of sex!
    USE CONDOMS!!!

  50. #50 aratina
    March 18, 2009

    Welcome to the modern version of the Inquisition.

  51. #51 Vic
    March 18, 2009

    I think I said it best. The Pope is a douche bag.

  52. #52 Kraes85
    March 18, 2009

    Nice to see that some things never change.

    In fact, the reason I became an atheist was that back in 2000 Pope John Paul II claimed the same thing and some missionaries in Africa were even telling the local populations that the condom manufacturers were lacing condoms with HIV in a bid to deliberately infect people. I was so outraged by the behavior of the supposedly holiest of the holy… and shocked by my own parents’ total non-reaction.
    So I decided that I wanted nothing to do with religion.

  53. #53 bybelknap, FCD
    March 18, 2009

    Facilis you non-fucking ass-hat. You make your asinine statement as if you think sex is somehow bad or immoral… oh, wait. nevermind.

  54. #54 Bill Dauphin
    March 18, 2009

    People have sex, have always had sex and will always have sex as a pleasurable exercise.

    Amen, Rev!

    The more stories like this I see, the more convinced I become that at the root of a significant fraction of the evil in the world is this notion that there’s an all-powerful god who hates earthly, physical pleasure in all its forms. Nutbags like this pope and all his fellow monotheists who preach the sinfulness of all physical pleasure are gradually turning me into something like a classical hedonist.

    I have often jokingly called Cheryl Crow a great philosopher, quoting “If it makes you happy/It can’t be that bad”… but more and more I think that’s less and less of a joke: With an appropriately mature, nuanced definition of “happy,” and coupled with the moral reciprocity of something like the Golden Rule, that little bit of pop-song doggerel turns into a fairly reasonable organizing principle for a Good Life™.

    If you’re secular, that is; if you’re religious, it becomes more like “if it makes you happy, it’ll probably get you tortured for all eternity; better check God’s (very short) list of approved happiness to be sure.” [sigh]

  55. #55 Sastra
    March 18, 2009

    Facilis #3 wrote:

    I hate distributing condoms. Its like saying “Those Africans and children are animals without the self-control to stop themselves from having sex.”

    One can both teach self-control and healthier habits in relationships and try to prevent the spread of disease. Otherwise, it’s like saying “Those Africans and children might avoid dying of disease, but they would avoid dying the wrong way. If they’re going to live, they have to deserve to live — according to my standards.”

    That’s far more paternalistic, condescending, and, if you want, racist, than a compassionate and realistic pragmatism coupled with whatever personal life therapy lessons you want to add.

  56. #56 Benzion N. Chinn
    March 18, 2009

    Fifty years ago one would have been quite justified in saying that racism was a basic part of human nature and that one just had to live with it. While racism remains a problem we have shown that it is possible to create a far more tolerant society. Similarly with sex; if we join together as a society to work toward lowering the level of focus on sexuality we can create such a world. Besides for creating a world that does not glorify the physical use of other human beings as means and not ends, this would also be a world with far fewer STDs.
    I have a serious problem with the Catholic churches views on condoms particularly if they are meant to be applied consistently on the ground as an ironclad rule and not simply as an ideal. That being said I think it is unfair to simply blame Catholicism or religion in general and leave those who have contributed to our increasingly sexualized world off the hook.

  57. #57 AJS
    March 18, 2009

    Facilis @ #3:

    I hate distributing condoms. Its like saying “Those Africans and children are animals without the self-control to stop themselves from having sex.”

    Last I checked, humans were animals.

    Please tell me why anyone should have to “stop themselves from having sex” anyway, if a cheap and effective method exists that would allow them to do so safely (or at least, less dangerously)?

  58. #58 Janine, Ignorant Slut
    March 18, 2009

    …you knew that I was a scorpion before you carried me across the river.

  59. #59 KI
    March 18, 2009

    OK I’ve written and deleted three times, ’cause I can’t stay even tempered or rationally based. Threats and name-calling are not my style, but MAN I WANT TO SCREAM.
    Can I say “Burn every fucking church” without it seeming like a violent threat? Should I care?

  60. #60 Sastra
    March 18, 2009

    Bennzion N. Chinn #56 wrote:

    That being said I think it is unfair to simply blame Catholicism or religion in general and leave those who have contributed to our increasingly sexualized world off the hook.

    Do you know what the level and type of sexual activity in Africa was 50 years ago? 100? I doubt very much that Britney Spears etc. has had much effect on this situation.

  61. #61 sjk
    March 18, 2009

    What I don’t understand: The Catholics I know are mostly nice people and disagree with pretty much everything the Pope says and does – but still are Catholics.

    How is this possible?

  62. #62 Notkieran
    March 18, 2009

    Aratina @ #50:

    >Welcome to the modern version of the Inquisition.

    Except that traditionally, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, while this garbage is all to predictable.

  63. #63 Darrell E
    March 18, 2009

    Posted by: Christie | March 18, 2009 9:51 AM

    *Sigh*
    It’s just too bad. The one church that firmly states that they agree, follow, and look to scientists in the matters of science and is completely anti-ID has to go and be total idiots all the time. I mean, really, if you deferred to scientists on matters such as the age of the earth and the authenticity of the fossil record, shouldn’t you pay a bit of attention to their recommendations in terms of disease? That’s still scientific forte, damn it.

    I understand your sentiment but, I don’t think the RCC evaluates any type of truth claim by examining the related evidences and following where they lead. I would guess that the only two criteria that are used by the RCC are, “will this conflict with the mythology that we preach (?),” and “will taking this position adversely affect our ability to continue to con enough people in order to maintain the comforts and power that we have become accustomed to (?).”

    I think that the RCC’s acceptance of the age of the earth and (sorta) evolution, or any of the findings of modern science, is simply a result of the tension between those two criteria. I think that the only reason the RCC continues to dabble in science is to gain legitimacy with a certain segment of the population and thereby increase the number of demographic profiles that may be susceptible to their con.

    Regarding the Pope. He is one sick fuck. I wonder if he knows and doesn’t care, or has no clue.

  64. #64 Free Lunch
    March 18, 2009

    KI,

    That’s not a wise approach and it is bound to fail. It is not the churches that induce stupidity, it is the leadership being stupid for its own self-aggrandizement. Speak up against their foolishness and condemn the evil claims they make. That will eventually undermine their power and destroy them.

  65. #65 AJ Milne
    March 18, 2009

    Anyone else bothered by the fact that the news article just reports what the pope says, and never points out “by the way – this is wrong. Here are the facts about condoms and HIV” ?

    A major part of the problem is that people respect this nutter at all. I’m quite confident there are any number of responsible reproductive health organizations that will not be asleep at the switch on this one: they’ll offer interviews, issue press releases, try to get that message out…

    But they won’t get front page. The asshole in the hat who claims to have a direct line of moral guidance from da Magical Sky Man, on the other hand, does.

    There is an ethical imperative to mock religion, and harshly. Eroding that attitude of deference is beyond vital. People have to get it: you should have no particular respect for anyone claiming knowledge on such basis as he does. It’s not just some abstract principle. It’s about the very real danger such thinking can do, and all too frequently does.

  66. #66 Bill Dauphin
    March 18, 2009

    Facilis’ Condoms=Horniness assertion is classic Slippery Slope.

    Yeah, but can you buy a nonlubricated version? ;^)

  67. #67 RayB
    March 18, 2009

    Both the Pope and Facilis display a deep arrogance and complete ignorance of African culture, morality, and religion. In many areas of Africa people practice ancestor worship They believe the worst thing that can happen is to die without leaving living descendants. Thus, to them, having children with multiple partners is not only acceptable and moral, but highly desirable. For the Pope and Facilis to judge them, or anyone, based on their own supernatural beliefs is arrogant and insensitive.

    People will have sex. People have different opinions about sexual morality based on deeply held beliefs. Denying the effectiveness of condoms and insisting that other cultures adopt your own morality is insensitive, immoral, and ineffective.

  68. #68 Becca Stareyes
    March 18, 2009

    This is obviously horrific, but I wonder how many people in Africa actually listen to the Pope on things like this. How many people avoid condoms because they believe that it’s wrong for religious reasons, and how many avoid them for other reasons (e.g. it’s not as pleasant)?

    GuyG, I’d be more concerned about how the Pope’s words affect organizations sending money, people and goods down to African nations to help. If the Pope was all ‘oh, for heaven’s sake, if you must have sex, use a condom, because it’s better to be sinning than sinning and having a horrible terminal disease you can pass to your family’, then you’d be able to get the massive organization that is the Roman Catholic Church (and charities run by or supported by RCC members) behind condom distribution in affected areas and education that gives all the options. That would have an effect on plenty of non-Catholics.

  69. #69 slash news
    March 18, 2009

    it’s tragic. This current Pope is such a reactionary throwback he makes the previous Pope seem like a pillar of enlightenment by comparison.

  70. #70 Julie Stahlhut
    March 18, 2009

    Next up: Drinking causes sobriety.

  71. #71 Dianne
    March 18, 2009

    Friendship could help cure/prevent AIDS if it were real friendship. The sort of friendship that makes one say, “I don’t want my friend to get hurt. I’m going to talk to him/her about safer sexual practices, such as using condoms. If s/he doesn’t have enough money to buy condoms, I’ll buy them for him/her.”

    Or the kind of friendship that leads one to say, “My friend is sick and can’t afford to buy the medications that would help him/her live as long and as healthily as possible. I’m going to help him/her buy those medications and lobby the government for health care reform so that no one is left with this dilemma again.”

    In other words, real friendship, not condemnation and fake sympathy for one’s “sinful” ways might help reduce the number of people who get HIV infected and/or improve the survival for those who are. But only if it were a friendship backed up by actions.

  72. #72 Alyson Miers
    March 18, 2009

    I, for one, think His Popeliness’s behavior is really quite fascinating. He goes to the poorest continent on Earth, the home of burgeoning HIV infections, rampant misinformation and increasing Catholicism, and he gives these people advice which will cause more early deaths.

    This is even better than his “Rome’s way or no way!” campaign in Asia. It’s like he’s trying to create fewer Catholics!

  73. #73 Free Lunch
    March 18, 2009

    The Catholics I know are mostly nice people and disagree with pretty much everything the Pope says and does – but still are Catholics.

    Tradition. Tradition and brainwashing acculturation. It’s okay to question the Pope because everyone else in the congregation laughs at some of the stupid things he says, but this is still your congregation, your people, walking away from them is a social challenge.

  74. #74 Knockgoats
    March 18, 2009

    Facilis@3,
    Fuck off and die, you murderous scumbag.

  75. #75 Tabby Lavalamp
    March 18, 2009

    Facilis wrote:

    I hate distributing condoms. Its like saying “Those Africans and children are animals without the self-control to stop themselves from having sex.”

    Others have pointed out that humans are animals, but what gets me here is that he is trying to paint condom distribution as racist.
    Nice try, Facilis. While that is vile and ignores the condom distribution that has taken place amongst adults in Europe and the Americas, it’s not enough to get me to vote for you in this round of Survivor: Pharyngula.

  76. #76 One Eyed Jack
    March 18, 2009

    “The pope is evil.”

    FYP

  77. #77 KI
    March 18, 2009

    Free Lunch
    I know, I know, buildings are just buildings and some of those churches have great acoustics for music, but on the other hand you can’t go around threatening the actual people without being a bad person too, which is what I was alluding to in the first part of my comment, so I find myself leaning to the less-offensive proposition.
    Education and enlightenment haven’t worked, as far as I can see. (Facilis, for example).

  78. #78 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 18, 2009

    Others have pointed out that humans are animals, but what gets me here is that he is trying to paint condom distribution as racist.

    I kinda blew right past that. Facilis, not unsurprisingly, is rendered completely unaware of what goes on outside his warped little world.

  79. #79 Free Lunch
    March 18, 2009

    We don’t actually care what Facilis says. He’s clearly a fool and the best we can do is warn others against his mindless foolishness. Religion-inspired foolishness is a disease that is much more easily prevented than cured. Follow the example of the Jesuits. Go for the kids. Enlighten them before the Church can lock them up in the ignorance of religiosity.

  80. #80 slash news
    March 18, 2009

    it’s tragic. This current Pope is such a reactionary throwback he makes the previous Pope seem like a pillar of enlightenment by comparison.

  81. #81 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 18, 2009

    It’s no surprise that Facilis shows no logic and reason by not looking at the facts of condom distribution, and instead looks at his fictional bible and even more fictional religious dogma for answers. Disappointing really. If he admires logic and reason, he needs to show some, and that requires questioning everything, especially dogma.

  82. #82 Voltaire Kinison
    March 18, 2009

    Isn’t “practicing” medicine without a license against the law?
    The pope is a waste of groceries.

  83. #83 Nephi
    March 18, 2009

    Most religious self-pious churches believed that suffering is a noble condition. Suffering is good instead of happiness. The soul is important while the body is bad, and should be torture and burn.

    I can?t understand the pope?s thinking, was he in some Nazi youth camp or something ? wait a minute.

  84. #84 Josh
    March 18, 2009

    Denial of human nature is right. Another proof that religious morality is a sick and often cruel joke. A killing joke, in this case.

    Religious morality? More like masochism on a grand scale.

  85. #85 Dianne
    March 18, 2009

    I’m now going to go crazy and say what I think is needed to relegate AIDS to the “lab only” status of small pox.

    1. Prevent transmission in every way known. Screen the blood supply. Use condoms for every sexual encounter. (There will be times when this advice is unnecessary, excessive, or problematic for other reasons such as when two uninfected people in a long term relationship are attempting to conceive, but I expect that reasonable people can work out the exceptions.) If you’re allergic to latex, consider polyurethane condoms (they’re thinner so more prone to breaking, but better than not using.) Anti-HIV foams are in production as well. Every person who has an exposure whether from a high risk needlestick or unprotected sex should have a prophylactic course of anti-retrovirals. All pregnant women should be offered HIV screening and, if positive, urged to take anti-retrovirals to prevent vertical transmission.

    2. Treat HIV when it occurs. HAART can increase life expectancy and reduce the chance of transmission of the virus (lower viral load=less infective.) Particularly during pregnancy. If there are barriers to a patient getting treated (from no insurance to untreated depression), break them down. I don’t think there’s a chance of eliminating HIV without universal health care–everywhere. It needs to happen. Consider bone marrow transplant for appropriate patients with CCR negative matched donors. (This is an experimental approach and may not work out in the long run, but it looks promising for now.)

    3. Research, research, research. Keep looking for an effective vaccine. Keep looking for a curative treatment.

    Note that essentially everything I suggested costs money and, with the exception of condom distribution, is quite expensive. (Ok, actually, universal health care would probably reduce the health care costs in the US, but it’d be expensive at the start.) So? The Catholic Church is rich. Among others. The US’ll have some spare money when it pulls out of Iraq. A little expense now could save lives and, in the long run, money.

  86. #86 Mike K
    March 18, 2009

    Was anyone surprised?

    If I can’t have any, you can’t either – and if you do, you deserve to die because you sinned!

    Using condoms is cheating GOD’s plan for us all.

    Plus, it’s mostly Africa, and when was the last time they wired money to the Vatican?

  87. #87 aratina
    March 18, 2009

    >Welcome to the modern version of the Inquisition.

    Except that traditionally, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, while this garbage is all to predictable. – Notkieran #62

    The pope’s message did surprise me because of its outright falsity. The only hope for the pope is that he may be ignorant and confused about the differences between HIV and other sexually transmitted infections – or he could be suffering from one himself that has made him bonkers. But you are right, I should have expected it.

  88. #88 catgirl
    March 18, 2009

    I have several friends who went to Catholic school and had surprisingly good sex education. They were taught that condoms are very effective, but it’s a sin to use them. The people who are facing AIDS epidemics need more information, not less. They could probably do without the moral judgements too, but I guess that is the Pope’s job. When you have people who think that raping a virgin will cure them of AIDS, the last thing they need is more misinformation. It’s OK for a group to promote the morality of abstinence if that’s what they believe, it’s hypocritical to lie about about basic facts since it’s a sin lie as much as it’s a sin to use a condom. The Pope should stick to preaching about morality and leave education to people who don’t lie for an agenda.

  89. #89 Transmogrifier
    March 18, 2009

    This just reminds me that the arguments atheists are having now with the religious here in the US are just a dress rehearsal. The catholic church sees Africa as its next great hope. Religiosity of every kind is on the rise in India, China and most other developing nations. The non-scientific nonsense that is being peddled by the church and leaders of other religions will have to be fought again in Africa, India, China etc. as they emerge out of poverty. The fight will likely be more difficult because these places don’t quite have the same respect for freedom of speech as the US does. Based on some precedents (1)(2) I am quite sure that a blog like Pharyngula would be censored/banned in India (which is a relatively free society as far as freedom of speech is concerned) and/or some idiots would actually try to do physical violence to the authors. Buck up for a long hard fight!!

  90. #90 Feynmaniac
    March 18, 2009

    Facilis,

    The fact that you showed absolutely no empirical evidence in your claim that condoms increase promiscuity and abstinence programs work is not out of character. Studies have shown the latter to be definitely false (see here).

    A bit of advice. Until the Survivor game is over don’t post here unless answering an immunity challenge. Up until now you haven’t been reminding people why you are on that list and it has worked in your favor. Your naïveté is not adorable and entertaining like Rooke’s. Silence is your best strategy.

  91. #91 Mike K
    March 18, 2009

    Is facilis trying to catch up to Barb?

    Such an argument can only come from a desire to win the next round of “Surviver”.

  92. #92 Mexican atheist
    March 18, 2009

    @ sjk #61:

    I think its because they did not have an option, they were born in a catholic home and they were indoctrinated as such, so no options there.

    In México, we call this “light catholic” in a funny way, meaning that they don’t go to church, they don’t care about eating meat as sacrifice on fridays on lent and they don’t pretty much give a damn about what the pope say because they use critical thinking and anybody (or almost) can realize that the pope says really, really stupid things.

  93. #93 Lotharloo
    March 18, 2009

    I read that a few days ago and my first reaction was ‘What a fucking asshole.” I still think I under-reacted. How many people have to die before the fucking Catholic church *sees* the evidence? How many children must be born with HIV, suffer and die and how many children must be raised without mothers so that the Catholic church realizes that it is wrong? BTW, these are all rhetorical questions.

  94. #94 Louis
    March 18, 2009

    So Papa Ratzi is anti the old sheath on the John Thomas eh? Colour me shocked, shocked I say. Yet another giggling fideist nutcase advocating mass murder by virtue of some magic Booga-Booga words.

    The first premise that this little nonsensical charade rests on (after of course the fact that the man in the funny dress and hat with a palace and a whole city he could sell to create good in the world, has a direct link to the really big bearded man in the sky who watches you masturbate) is that fucking is bad. Now I’m no fuckologist (nor do I play one on TV) but I’ve done some fucking in my time and, despite what the ex-Nazi youth member in the funny dress says, I know for a FACT that fucking is good. Sorry Papa Ratzi, the fucking is likely to continue.

    THIS happy horse shit is yet more sex negative joy from the people that brought you such classics as “Fiddled-With-Altar-Boy”, “Special-Fund-To-Cover-Up-Kiddy-Fiddlers”, and of course the time old favourite: “Don’t-Fuck,-Padre,-The-Boogey-Man’s-Watching”.

    If I may be so bold this is real, hard core, hate. Don’t believe the gussied up lies about christian love. They can cram their christian love directly in their…..ears. This is anti-woman, anti-man, anti-everyone. And for those of us who are heterosexual, get off your arses and support gay rights? Why? Well if nothing else (and I agree there are a lot better reasons than this) People like the Pope want to control YOUR genitals, not just homosexual genitals. Evidence, see thread title.

    Oh and Facilis (and other apologists for fuckknucklery on this issue), just one thing: Your claim that handing out condoms is racist because it implies we think Africans can’t control themselves is itself racist. Wanna know how? Good I thought you might: Handing out condoms does not imply Africans cannot control themselves it is an act of empowerment allowing them the choice to act as they will like grown up, real adult human beings. Which guess what (and this may come as news to you) they are. Shock horror! Africans = People! Dog Bites Man! Etc. (Do I need a sarcasm smiley here?)

    Abstinence only approaches are legacies of patriarchal systems that patronise people, teach them that they are unworthy to judge for themselves how best to act, they deprive them of the choice to act according to their own standards and reason. They are in effect saying “you have no ability to reason your way through an act, therefore I shall give you a commandment which, if you fail to obey it, means you are even less worthy”. It infantilises people.

    I’ve never liked the Pope, even if the Pope smokes Dope.

    Louis

  95. #95 Geek
    March 18, 2009

    The Pope is using AIDS an opportunity to evangelise and is trying to take away any alternative to abstinence: “Join me or die”. What a loathsome, evil parasite.

  96. #96 Stu
    March 18, 2009

    Ah, yes… the abstinence-only education is doing wonders!

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=101986488

  97. #97 Ian
    March 18, 2009

    Why does Facilis think condoms are unhelpful in preventing the spread of HIV?

    Because he’s immune!

  98. #98 BigZ
    March 18, 2009

    The religious groups will never change. Anti-sex, anti-intellectual, and anti-freedom is anti-human.

  99. #99 Lotharloo
    March 18, 2009

    BTW, you know what fucking amazes me? That this ass-hat rambles on and on about compatibility of science and religion. The clueless bastard has not realized that right here is a contradiction between his dogma and science. Condoms help, religion, Jesus and God don’t. I wonder how many hundreds of years we have to wait until they release an apology for all the deaths they have caused.

  100. #100 Bryson Brown
    March 18, 2009

    @Facilis: A bit of recommended reading for you– check out “Welcome to the Monkey House” by Kurt Vonnegut. Your attitudes towards sex (and being an animal) really need a bit of adjustment.

  101. #101 gma
    March 18, 2009

    Let’s educate the whole world to “abstain from unprotected sex”.

    When sexual transmitted diseases and HIV infections decrease, the religious can claim that abstinence did it but us realists will all know that unprotected sex really did it.

    Religious people and organization are founded on beliefs without evidence and abstinence from unprotected sex would allow them to continue that tradition by believing that abstinence works.

    Priests would no doubt forget about abstinence and chose for protected sex with altar boys but that is another matter: don’t do what I do but do what I say is the motto of the roman catholic church.

  102. #102 FastLane
    March 18, 2009

    I hate putting seatbelts in cars. Its like saying “Those Africans and children are animals without the self-control to stop themselves from having driving dangerously.”
    I agree with the pope that seatbelts would enhance the problem of dangerous driving,which is very wrong. We should have more programs promoting safe driving and self-control. [/dumbass Facilis]

  103. #103 Strangebrew
    March 18, 2009

    If politicians …leaders of the free world…Scientists…Artists…anyone with a pulse…declared the inanity of such a pontification as genocidal and utter bilge…maybe Benny baby would consider more carefully his words and actions.

    He can spout such utter trash because he knows no one will call him out…
    The RRC can spout about such puerile rubbish because they have brainless sheep as a congregation who would not dare question…

    It is a monolithic magisterial death club breathing its final stench of stagnant breath in the face of humanity…

    It is building its own shabby mausoleum brick by foetid brick…it is dying…these ridiculously insane rantings are the reactionary spasms of the body Jesuit entering its long awaited death throes…it is good and well…the shadow will pass…humanity will be free of bronze age myth and juvenile fairy stories…a little foot note in history…

    Soon the tap tapping of the hammer of demise will sound loud and clear…and the corpse of gross insanity will not answer!

  104. #104 Dianne
    March 18, 2009

    Maybe the next immunity challenge should involve explaining the transmission of HIV and presenting evidence, as in scientific evidence from peer reviewed studies, about the best ways to prevent its transmission. Give this week’s winner a chance to work a bit.

  105. #105 Tor A H
    March 18, 2009

    Who the fuck decided that an 80+ year old male virgin in a dress is the right person to give advice about sexual matters?

  106. #106 Sastra
    March 18, 2009

    sjk #61 wrote:

    What I don’t understand: The Catholics I know are mostly nice people and disagree with pretty much everything the Pope says and does – but still are Catholics.
    How is this possible?

    This is the horns of the dilemma all religions sit upon.

    The easiest way to gain and keep people in a religion is to turn the religion into a culture, with much pageantry and ritual. Have it permeate all aspects of life, till it becomes the person’s identity.

    The easiest way to have this religion lose hold is to make rational understanding and analysis of theology optional — and then let a person from the religious culture into other cultures.

    A lot of people are “cultural Catholics” for the same reason humanist Jews celebrate passover. It’s no longer about arriving at a conclusion. It’s about identifying with your tribe.

  107. #107 GaryB
    March 18, 2009

    Just how are these Poops elected? Is it the one who can spout off the most bible passages in a given time that gets the job or do they choose the one with the biggest hat, biggest nose or biggest dick, or perhaps they vote for the guy that gives the best figurative blow job, or do they just mellow out on a hit of acid waiting for god to give them a message?

    Maybe they just pull a rabbit out of a hat.

  108. #108 Abby
    March 18, 2009

    Can we just stipulate that the Pope doesn’t need to use a condom when he has sex and move on?

  109. #109 Jim
    March 18, 2009

    I’m getting really sick of Pope Sidious. Isn’t he up for re-election soon? Oh, wait…crap.

  110. @3: Well, I know who I’m voting for in the next round of Survivor: Pharyngula.

  111. #111 catgirl
    March 18, 2009

    It’s ironic that this guys calls himself pro-life and then spreads misinformation that will cause people to die.

  112. #112 AlexGerau
    March 18, 2009

    Word fail me to express how utterly ashamed I am that this lying piece of shit is a fellow countryman of mine.

  113. #113 Louis
    March 18, 2009

    I maintain to this day that an organisation will billions of Euros in the bank, assets that make Bill Gates look poor and a flock of a billion “faithful” could do a lot of good by auctioning off those assets, spending those billions and being humble and giving in precisely the way they claim their Zombie Jew Jesus told them to.

    I wonder why they don’t.

    It’s gotta be said that those billions could buy a lot of condoms….

    Louis

  114. #114 Alyson Miers
    March 18, 2009

    I suppose that if you use condoms the way Pope Nazinger does, they won’t do you a damn bit of good. So he’s not really wrong, if you see it from his perspective; you just need to keep in mind certain values of “using” condoms.

  115. #115 Tulse
    March 18, 2009

    It sounds to me like the Pope and Facilis both seriously need to get laid.

  116. #116 BigZ
    March 18, 2009

    *80+ year old male virgin*

    I don’t assume this to be the case at all. There is no way a human male with that much power isn’t getting some. He is just very good at hiding it.

  117. #117 Elwood Herring
    March 18, 2009

    Carpworld #47: Thanks for that link – I missed the C4 News last night. What a performance! “I am right because I can SHOUT THE LOUDEST!!!” Joanna Bogle should be thoroughly ashamed of herself for that outrageous exhibition, and she’s probably done even more damage to her church because of it (hopefully!)

    I have left a comment on that page, but it’s waiting to be moderated.

  118. #118 IST
    March 18, 2009

    KI> Don’t burn them… they could be made into fabulous homeless shelters and such once all the gilt and glitter is sold off…

  119. #119 siMon
    March 18, 2009

    Consistent condom use is associated with a reduction in the incidence of HIV infection of approximately 80%.

    two wrongs never make a right.

    you are already the slave of Sex-God. You can’t see the truth.

  120. #120 Kite
    March 18, 2009

    Tor AH @105:
    I know I sure as hell didn’t vote for him.

  121. #121 Jadehawk
    March 18, 2009

    That being said I think it is unfair to simply blame Catholicism or religion in general and leave those who have contributed to our increasingly sexualized world off the hook.

    that’s fucking rich. ever read or seen A Midsummer Night’s Dream? The Kama Sutra?

    The world has always been sexual, and the old have always complained about how horrible the youth and their loose morals are.

  122. #122 Pete Rooke
    March 18, 2009

    I must say that if people are already living in sin then condoms should not be of particular concern. I would be interested about whether or not such contraceptive devices increase promiscuity. Certainly it does not follow that the promiscuous deserve HIV/aids.

  123. #123 Benzion N. Chinn
    March 18, 2009

    Sastra
    I do not claim that things were fine in terms of sexuality fifty years ago either. I would say that things have gotten worse and that people like Ms. Spears have certainly not helped matters though, like the Catholic church, I do not want to put all the blame on her or those like her.

  124. #124 Steve_C
    March 18, 2009

    Hahaha. Yeah. We should keep Simon around. He’s really fucking funny.

  125. #125 IST
    March 18, 2009

    Pete> How would you manage to make such a study fair? Obviously, people who are having sex more are also going to use contraception more, if they have the option and education to do so. Judging how it increases promiscuity is a bit tough, wouldn’t you say?

    Simon> erm… please remove your head from your ass?

  126. #126 SteveM
    March 18, 2009

    First, I agree with all the condemnation of the pope going on here. Preaching abstinence is fine, lying about the effects of condom use is not.

    But, just for a moment, could he be “lying with facts” by not explaining the full story? Is it possible that in impoverished areas condoms are being reused and in that way could be spreading disease from one woman to another?
    So what he is distorting is that improper use of condoms is spreading AIDS?

  127. #127 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 18, 2009

    I would be interested about whether or not such contraceptive devices increase promiscuity.

    Whenever I hear this I wonder about all those people having sex before condoms that weren’t having sex before condoms.

  128. #128 Rasmus Holm
    March 18, 2009

    That man, the pope, can only spew outright lies or hot air. The sooner we get rid of that absurd institution that is the Catholic church the better

  129. #129 MS
    March 18, 2009

    Re #105, not to mention that he lives in a palace, has not, as far I as know, ever held a real job, had to support a family, or live on a budget, and has spent most, if not all, of his adult life being waited on hand and foot and having his every material need taken care of by the labor of others. Who better to tell desperately poor people how to manage their reproductive lives?

  130. #130 Guy G
    March 18, 2009

    Becca Stareyes @ #68:
    That’s a good point. I had considered similar things, but I think I missed the largest implication, being just how much money the RCC has (which it could choose to put to good use). Particularly since with Papal infallibility, I’m sure he could just change his mind on the spot and it would become doctrine.

  131. #131 Knockgoats
    March 18, 2009

    Similarly with sex; if we join together as a society to work toward lowering the level of focus on sexuality we can create such a world. Benzion N Chinn

    Why on earth should we want to, when the means to make sex safe are readily available, you joyless little shit?

    (Full disclosure: I’m heterosexual, married, and monogamous since meeting my wife 18 years ago.)

  132. #132 Thomas Lee Elifritz
    March 18, 2009

    Ree : Catholic Dicks

    We have people in America claiming they are interested in science, yet they support an extremely wealthy costumed idiot from Rome who sends missionaries en masse to poverty stricken third world countries, in order to indoctrinate illiterate impoverished children with utterly and absolutely false dogma, so as to further enrich themselves and gain further converts to their cult.

    They support religious NAZIs with no second thought to the consequences.

    Screw that. It is my duty to speak out. It’s the least I can do.

    These people are complete dicks and assholes.

  133. #133 Louis
    March 18, 2009

    BTW IMO, Dianne at #85 doesn’t just win the thread but the whole intarnetz and the universe. Base. Belong. Her. If I get a vote for the next pope, I’m voting in Dianne.

    Louis

  134. #134 John Farrell
    March 18, 2009

    Edward C. Green is the director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, where Allison Herling Ruark is a research fellow:

    Here’s what they wrote last year:
    ***
    In fact, the mainstream HIV/AIDS community has continued to champion condom use as critical in all types of HIV epidemics, in spite of the evidence. While high rates of condom use have contributed to fewer infections in some high-risk populations (prostitutes in concentrated epidemics, for instance), the situation among Africa?s general populations remains much different. It has been clearly established that few people outside a handful of high-risk groups use condoms consistently, no matter how vigorously condoms are promoted. Inconsistent condom usage is ineffective?and actually associated with higher HIV infection rates due to ?risk compensation,? the tendency to take more sexual risks out of a false sense of personal safety that comes with using condoms some of the time. A UNAIDS-commissioned 2004 review of evidence for condom use concluded, ?There are no definite examples yet of generalized epidemics that have been turned back by prevention programs based primarily on ­condom promotion.? A 2000 article in The Lancet similarly stated, ?Massive increases in condom use world-wide have not translated into demonstrably improved HIV control in the great majority of countries where they have occurred.?

    Faith communities are not shutting their eyes to evidence when they choose to emphasize the ?core recommended strategy of abstinence before marriage and faithfulness within marriage.? These behaviors have, in fact, proved far more effective than condom use in curbing HIV transmission for the vast majority of any population. A 2001 study of condom use in rural Uganda found that only 4.4 percent of the population reported consistent usage in the previous year, a rate that is probably typical of much of Africa. In contrast to the estimated 95 percent or more of Africans who did not practice consistent condom use in the past year, studies from all over Africa show a solid majority of men and women reporting fidelity over the past year, with a majority of unmarried young men and women reporting abstinence.

    Thus far, research has produced no evidence that condom promotion?or indeed any of the range of risk-reduction interventions popular with donors?has had the desired impact on HIV-infection rates at a population level in high-prevalence generalized epidemics. This is true for treatment of sexually ­transmitted infections, voluntary counseling and ­testing, diaphragm use, use of experimental vaginal microbicides, safer-sex counseling, and even income-­generation projects. The interventions relying on these measures have failed to decrease HIV-infection rates, whether implemented singly or as a package. One recent randomized, controlled trial in Zimbabwe found that even possible synergies that might be achieved through ?integrated implementation? of ?control strategies? had no impact in slowing new infections at the population level. In fact, in this trial there was a somewhat higher rate of new infections in the intervention group compared to the control group. ***

    Pretty frightening when Harvard starts feeding the Pope useful information.

  135. #135 Spiro Keat
    March 18, 2009

    There is a court in the Hague which deals with crimes against humanity.

    Now how does one go about getting Ratso arrested?

  136. #136 SteveM
    March 18, 2009

    Re #105, not to mention that he lives in a palace, has not, as far I as know, ever held a real job, had to support a family, or live on a budget, and has spent most, if not all, of his adult life being waited on hand and foot and having his every material need taken care of by the labor of others.

    As an ex-Catholic I very much despise the whole institution, but get your facts straight. He was not born Pope, unlike most monarchs. What is a “real” job? The life of a young (nay, most all)priest is pretty damn spartan and probably as much work as any social worker. They are not waited on “hand and foot” and it is a real distortion to describe living on charity as “every material need taken care of by the labor of others”. Your diatribe is actually more applicable to the British Royalty than the Pope.

  137. #137 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 18, 2009

    Poor Simple Simon the Gay Pieman. He seems to have a warped idea that belief in god somehow makes a huge difference in the number of sex partners, venereal disease, out of wedlock pregnancy, abortions, and the like. Simon, go look at some real studies done by real experts. Religion matters not, except for being stupid and doing avoidable things since you don’t wear condoms.

  138. #138 tony
    March 18, 2009

    Louis for Molly!

    for #94 & #113.

    And for being evidence based in his decision making (#133)!

  139. #139 kaangeya
    March 18, 2009

    The Vampire of the Vatican Razi is as bad as the late and thankfully departed Ghoul of Calcutta – Agnes Boiaxhu aka Teresa. These bozos who have no knowledge or experience of family, sex, and making babies have no business dispensing their ill-thought advice on such matters

  140. #140 Marcus J. Ranum
    March 18, 2009

    Who the fuck decided that an 80+ year old male virgin in a dress is the right person to give advice about sexual matters?

    Do you really think he’s a virgin??

    One guy I know is a defrocked priest (he quit because of a crisis of faith brought on by his overwhelming foot fetish… go figure…) and he said he used to be regularly shocked by the amount of sex priests were getting. And – yes – they use condoms a lot because it’s really hard for father o’grady to explain why he needs antibiotics. Of course, that’s only one data point (and I wouldn’t take anecdotes as gospel – urr, evidence) but, still…

    Here’s a more earthly dilemma – either the pope is:
    a) sexually crippled
    b) a liar
    c) all of the above

  141. #141 Free Lunch
    March 18, 2009

    Pete Rooke asked:

    I would be interested about whether or not such contraceptive devices increase promiscuity.

    Does it matter? What about the faithful wife who gets HIV because here husband was not, but he did not use a condom when he was having sex with the prostitute because the Pope was too stupid and dishonest to acknowledge that condoms save lives? Don’t let moral advice get in the way of practical solutions the way the Pope has.

    Certainly it does not follow that the promiscuous deserve HIV/aids.

    It’s nice to see that you aren’t as morally corrupt as Pope Benedict. I’m waiting for him to condemn seatbelts because they sometimes save the lives of drunks (while ignoring all of the innocent people they save).

  142. #142 Bill Dauphin
    March 18, 2009

    Catgirl (love the nick, BTW; such pictures in the mind!):

    I have several friends who went to Catholic school and had surprisingly good sex education. They were taught that condoms are very effective, but it’s a sin to use them.

    And there it is in a nutshell: “Condoms might save your life, but we’d rather you die than sin.” [sigh]

    siMon:

    you are already the slave of Sex-God

    Gee, how can I get that job? Sounds fabulous!

    BTW, to all:

    I keep hearing there’s something like 7 billion souls in this dull sublunary world, but if the rate at which I keep bumping into the same people is any indication, I think the real number can’t be more than about 2 million (i.e., the largest number I’ve personally seen in one place at one time). What prompts this rumination is the fact that Thomas Lee Elifritz (@132) is a “bad penny” from my time as a regular on a space policy bulletin board, back in what now seems like a previous life.

    If my memory serves, Greater Pharyngula is going to be vastly entertained by this guy. Still smokin’ hydrogen, Tommy?

  143. #143 CosmicTeapot
    March 18, 2009

    $orry PZ, you are wrong and the pope is correct.

    The $olution doe$ lie in a $piritual and human awakening. If you would care to help the church of the Co$mic Teapot, you will see the truth of my worm$.

    Ju$t $end lot$ of money to:

    The Church of the Co$mic Teapot.
    The Teapot.
    $omewhere between Mar$ and Jupiter.
    Ju$t behind that a$teroid that look$ like a cro$$ between George W Bu$h and a potato.

    /$nark

    Honestly, the pope needs to get out and do a real days work for once in his life.

  144. #144 gma
    March 18, 2009

    Hi Benny Hex,

    As the leader of the largest pedophilia institute in the world, you must be painfully aware that abstinence does not work. (Painfully only because of the church’s failure to keep its dirty laundry in its closets).

    The only conclusion I can make from your statement that abstinence works is that your clergy live by a different morality than what you want to impose on the rest of the world.

    If you were the CEO of a day care center, you would get more years in prison than Bernie Madoff and absolutely no one in the world would take your nonsense statements seriously.

    Your stance against condoms contributes to the death of 1.6 million Africans of Aids each year. That is 1.5 “nine-elevens” each and every day for years and years with no end in sight.

    If you believe in justice for all, have at least the decency to turn yourself in at the international court of justice in Den Hague and like Madoff plead guilty to all charges.

    PS. Your successor could always accelerate your path to sainthood. That would be consistent with church tradition.

  145. #145 goleez
    March 18, 2009

    What we, the people of the world, fail to realize is that religion is a business like any other business. It is all about money. For Christianity, it is about the power of the Vatican and it’s monetary power and the strength to influence people worldwide and to accept contributions. Ditto for United Way, the Tirupathi temple in South India. For the enlightened masses(pun intended), these messages such as the one that the pope made recently strengthens their belief in the brand.
    It is time for we, the people, to say enough is enough and look inwards to decide what is right and what is wrong.
    Only then can we expect this stupidity to stop …oh..by the way, when did you last drink your Coke/Pepsi!

  146. #146 Freelance
    March 18, 2009

    I get some sort of crazy satisfaction knowing that some pope 20-100 years from now will have to step up and apologize for the monstrous misinformation that his predecessors contributed towards today. I hope I’ll be alive when it happens so I can let everyone know that I totally called it.

  147. #147 Watchman
    March 18, 2009

    I hate distributing condoms.

    You miserable piece of shit, Facilis.

  148. #149 Interrobang
    March 18, 2009

    Promoting abstinence assumes that you have the ability to say no. Ever looked up statistics on rape in Africa, and the endemic rape culture in many parts of Africa? Rape culture is so endemic in Africa that there are cultures where women routinely put powders and preparations in their vaginas prior to sex, to swell the tissues and absorb vaginal secretions, in order to make it “tight and dry,” because women aren’t supposed to like or want sex ever. (By doing this, they also up the chances of acquiring HIV from unprotected PIV intercourse, since they are practically guaranteed to incur vaginal damage during intercourse.)

    Somewhere in my files I have a newspaper clipping from the 1980s about an incident where a group of teenaged boys broke into a girls’ school, took a group of the students hostage, and gang raped them. The headmistress of the school was quoted as saying, “The boys didn’t mean any harm. They only wanted to rape.”

    Not to mention that some African cultures are among the most patriarchal in the world, which basically means men get to say go or jump back about condom use, and women don’t get to insist on it.

    In that kind of atmosphere, I’d be very suspicious of any study that said people were monogamous and that men in particular were being faithful to their female partners.

    And no, this is not “racist” in any way. Rape culture is endemic in the western world as well; it just manifests differently, and is not the subject of this conversation.

  149. #150 J.D.
    March 18, 2009

    Facilis said: I hate distributing condoms. Its like saying “Those Africans and children are animals without the self-control to stop themselves from having sex.”
    I agree with the pope that it would enhance the problem of promiscous sex ,which is very wrong. We should have more programs promoting abstinence and self-control

    Therein lies the evil underlying philosophy of fucktards like Facilis and the Pope. Their reasoning is promiscuous sex is inherently evil and if you partake in it you should justifiably die. Aids therefor is a good thing since it makes this abominable philosophy a reality. People should fear sex on pain of death. Their fear about distributing condoms which again clearly shows through in facilis regurgitation here is that people would see through greater condom use less people dying which would mitigate what should be their fear of sex and possibly lead to more safer sex. A nightmare scenario for Facilis and the Pope. For them, more people having safer sex is infinitely worse than people dying from unsafe sex which is the will of their invisible sky daddy. For them, clumps of cells are of the holiest importance over fully developed humans especially if those fully developed humans practice sex which makes them deserving of death. And don’t even get them started on a cracker….

  150. #151 Free Lunch
    March 18, 2009

    some pope 20-100 years from now will have to step up and apologize

    That would be a new one. Even when it is clear that a pope thinks that a prior pope was a raving loony bringing problems down on the church they don’t actually apologize, they just change direction. The LDS does it even better, they get a new revelation.

  151. #152 Bill Dauphin
    March 18, 2009

    Knockgoats:

    Full disclosure: I’m heterosexual, married, and monogamous since meeting my wife 18 years ago.

    Me, too (except that my wife and I will celebrate our 25 anniversary this summer). I guess you and I are like the pep squad1 of sexual hedonism: We may not be playing the game, but we’re cheering like hell from the sidelines. ;^)

    1 For non-Yanks, a pep squad is a club of students who sit in the stands or stand at the edge of the field at football (gridiron) or basketball games and cheer for their team. This is distinct from cheerleading, which, to my befuddlement and consternation, seems to have become a sport in its own right. Kids these days….

  152. #153 SLW13
    March 18, 2009

    The healing power of friendship once cured my chicken pox too. And when I rubbed a little friendship on the blister on my heel, it went away immediately!

  153. #154 MikeM
    March 18, 2009

    From the Reuters article:

    “Kevin De Cock, director of the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS department…”

    He wins.

    Yeah, add this absolutely ludicrous Vatican stance to the long list of reasons I’m very happy I now save 10% on Sundays. I will state this as clearly as I can: Catholicism is stupid. And dangerous. And a myth. And a lie.

    Break away. Come out of the fog, people. My life has been way more satisfying when I broke the habit. Send no more money to the Vatican.

    And to Protestants, too. They’re just as bad.

  154. #155 Feynmaniac
    March 18, 2009

    Pete Rooke,

    I must say that if people are already living in sin then condoms should not be of particular concern. I would be interested about whether or not such contraceptive devices increase promiscuity. Certainly it does not follow that the promiscuous deserve HIV/aids.

    Okay there some problems with this statement (e.g, assuming consensual sex between adults is “living in sin”), but this is Pete. The fact that he is not opposing the use of condoms, actual considering assumptions, wanting to see evidence and saying AIDS/HIV shouldn’t be punishment for promiscuity I thinks shows progress. It’s certainly more than we could have hoped for.

    I think Pete has shown some capacity for thoughtful discussion lately. As long as he keeps this up I don’t think he should be banned. The statement should probably earn immunity for the next round.

  155. #156 ???
    March 18, 2009

    Fuck off and die, you murderous scumbag.

    How mature.

  156. #157 Eddie Janssen
    March 18, 2009

    Come on, the pope is only following his Boss’s opinion. I am pretty sure I read on a website that God doesnot like Africa: http://stuffgodhates.com/2008/04/2-africa/

  157. #158 Elwood Herring
    March 18, 2009

    There won’t be a pope in 20 years. There won’t be a Catholic Church. They are destroying themselves from within by proclaiming and enforcing such disgusting behaviour as this, and it won’t be long now before their own congregation start to see this rancid death-obsessed cult for what it really is, and start leaving in droves.

    I for one will be overjoyed when it finally happens.

  158. #159 Guido
    March 18, 2009

    Let’s not forget that the Archbishop Francisco Chimoio, from Mozambique, said not only that condoms don’t stop the virus, but also that the Antiretroviral therapy causes the HIV and that condoms are infected.

    This bastard was never expelled from the Church, they only expel priests who defend women and gay people.

    But I am happy he is not expelled. I can say with pride that my mother, even if still a believer, is not a Catholic anymore. Thanks to these jerks. All the feel goody attitude of the last pope was too benign. This hardliners are only alienating people. They mean the Church’s decline.

  159. #160 catgirl
    March 18, 2009

    What is it about sex that brings out all the trolls? As usual, a lot of people missed the point. The Pope can preach all he wants about sex being immoral, and you can even agree with him. You can believe that it’s immoral to hand out condoms because it stops Bad People(TM) from getting the punishment they deserve, or it ruins their souls, or whatever. But the Pope can’t lie about scientific facts to scare people into doing what he wants, even if he thinks it’s for their own good. Lying is also a sin and you can’t commit one sin to stop people from committing a different sin.

  160. #161 Louis
    March 18, 2009

    @ Bill Dauphin #152:

    You two are not the only cheerers/pep squad of sexual hedonism and equality (hetero, married, faithful…I’ll let other people work out if that means monogamous…for 8 years). Add me to the mix if you don’t mind. ;-)

    @ John Farrell #134:

    I also think that “condom only” methods are insufficient (based on the evidence), but condoms are an important plank in the bridge of sexual health we need to build. The problem, as SteveM mentioned back aways, is that the Pope and his stooges are “lying with facts”, presenting a partial case that is favourable to their prejudged view only. Condoms are part of the solution.

    This is why good education on condom use is important too, education about responsible sexual behaviour (abstinence hardly qualifies), as Dianne mentions combination with other products like foams etc. Bigger than that there are economic factors that need to be played in, as others (sorry I forget who) mentioned the effects of large number of migratory workers etc. It’s not a simple problem and certainly not one that is amenable to a simple solution: rubber sheath on cock. However, misinforming people about one plank of the bridge, a large and vital plank by the way, means that lots of people are not able to cross. The pope and chums are being excoriated, rightly, for their misinformation based on their bias. If the pope said “condoms, they be good!” I’d sit up and listen, sadly his organisation has poisoned the well so viciously over the years that any good will he might be due vanishes beneath the torrent of correct criticism.

    Louis

  161. #162 Marcus J. Ranum
    March 18, 2009

    Send no more money to the Vatican.

    I just subsidize them with the tax dollars that don’t get collected on their real estate, like everyone else.

  162. #163 Marcus J. Ranum
    March 18, 2009

    I can’t believe it: I just read the whole thread and didn’t see a single symptom of fatwa envy!!

  163. #164 C. M. Baxter
    March 18, 2009

    I have the perfect solution. Condom manufacturers could start a new line of Pope shaped condoms (with the pointy hat acting as a tickler) for distribution in Africa. Each packet as well as each shipping box could feature the Pope?s smiling face as a stamp of approval. That way, the people of Africa would come to trust the condoms as they do the Pope. It would also allow the Pope to become more * immersed * in the problem.

  164. #165 natural cynic
    March 18, 2009

    Elwood @ 158: There won’t be a pope in 20 years. There won’t be a Catholic Church.

    Dream on, Elwood. There will be a Catholic Church as long as people have a desire to be self-deluded. I see a long, slow decline with quite a few former followers following some other delusion.

  165. #166 kaangeya
    March 18, 2009

    The Vampire of the Vatican Razi is as bad as the late and thankfully departed Ghoul of Calcutta – Agnes Boiaxhu aka Teresa. These bozos who have no knowledge or experience of family, sex, and making babies have no business dispensing their ill-thought advice on such matters

  166. #167 Mu
    March 18, 2009

    Now, if Luke and John would have just been honest about which part of Jesus’s body Mary really anointed we wouldn’t have this whole hang-up about sex.

  167. #168 Scarlet Letter
    March 18, 2009

    Facilis: “I hate distributing condoms.”

    Don’t distribute condoms if you don’t like the idea. Sensible, rational people will distribute them; you can continue to agree with the pope; neither you nor the pope is sensible or rational.

  168. #169 Discombobulated
    March 18, 2009

    Pete Rooke@122:

    I must say that if people are already living in sin then condoms should not be of particular concern. I would be interested about whether or not such contraceptive devices increase promiscuity. Certainly it does not follow that the promiscuous deserve HIV/aids.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6927733.stm (from bsk@16)
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/13/AR2007041301003.html

    These are obviously media sources. Check the underlying studies for their methodology and data, if you’re inclined.

    And finally, Bristol Palin giving an interview a few weeks ago, having just gone through 8 years of abstinence-only education policy in an (arguably) 1st world country:
    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/17/bristol.palin.interview/

    Feynmaniac@155:

    I think Pete has shown some capacity for thoughtful discussion lately. As long as he keeps this up I don’t think he should be banned. The statement should probably earn immunity for the next round.

    Hear, hear. He also previously spoke out against the church’s position in the recent rape fiasco in Brazil. Certainly a long ways from his silly (creepy) analogies during Crackergate.

  169. #170 Newfie
    March 18, 2009

    Yet more sage advice from the world’s largest group of cloistered pedophiles.

  170. #171 Pete Rooke
    March 18, 2009

    Incidentally, as was mentioned on the other post, using a condom is probably equivalent to oral sex in terms of sinfulness. It is sex for the wrong reason. Oral sex however is unlikely to give one HIV/aids so if one is to satisfy their sinful desires they have no excuse for contracting the disease unless they were attempting to procreate in which case they wouldn’t have been using a condom in the first place and so they would not be sinning unless they were out of wedlock etc.

  171. #172 uppity cracka
    March 18, 2009

    I agree with that facilis guy. Distributing condoms is hard work. Maybe we could get Santa Claus to do it. Think about it, the guy is an expert in mass distribution. Does it in one night every year. Has 364 days off.

    GO! POPE NAZI! GO!

  172. #173 Ryan
    March 18, 2009

    I’m pretty religious, so I do agree with the idea that the final solution lies in changing hearts and minds, but denying simple realities doesn’t do anyone any good. Condom use and distribution programs save lives. When you oppose them you are causing death. It is sad that the more conservative branches of Christianity have decided to be anti-condom. It results in the spread of STD’s and the embarassment of the rest of us theists. Even if they had only opposed their distribution it would be bad, but they also spread false information about their effectiveness. Tom Coburn has been leading the misinformation campaign about condoms from my home state for awhile now, and people are listening. Pete Is spouting some of it here, but The Republican War on Science has a nice overview of the topic. It’s dustustiing, the people involved will go down in history as being on par with witch-burners or YECs.

    Too often religious peope try to force society to follow their plan without looking at the greater consequences. Having a blueprint for how you think life should be doesn’t mean you should go around forcing random parts of it on people.

  173. #174 uppity cracka
    March 18, 2009

    I agree with that facilis guy. Distributing condoms is hard work. Maybe we could get Santa Claus to do it. Think about it, the guy is an expert in mass distribution. Does it in one night every year. Has 364 days off.

    GO! POPE NAZI! GO!

  174. #175 Zar
    March 18, 2009

    We really should have a rabbit for a pope.

  175. #176 Newfie
    March 18, 2009

    Pete Rooke is in desperate need of a good blowjob…. Go see a priest, Pete. He’ll show you proper technique.

  176. #177 Ryan
    March 18, 2009

    @Facilis #3

    You’re a tard. Conservative Christanity in America needs to get a grip on reality.
    If he wasn’t on the Survivor list he should be.

  177. #178 Jadehawk
    March 18, 2009

    John Farrel makes it sound as if promoting condom use and promoting abstinence are either/or positions. this is not the case, and there ARE studies that state that culturally relevant sex ed (which includes both) high-risk behavior.

    interestingly, the main problem seems patriarchal culture, in the sense that, just like with micro-loans, women seem to be the more effective targets of such counseling; but of course only when women get to have a choice.

    one more piece of evidence that patriarchy is toxic, and emancipation of women helps not just women, but everyone.

  178. #179 IceFarmer
    March 18, 2009

    Not in the least suprising for a supposed-Virgin who heads a hypocrytical poverty bound yet extremely weathly organization with a history of sexual abuse, hypocracy and society control.

    They should give up the linens and gold in order to fully realize the sadness of true poverty (for which the clergy has taken a vow to live by) and AIDS in Africa. I’d wager it would take a few years but reliance on bronze age biblical teachings would start to fade and they’d embrace some real solutions to the problem.

  179. #180 Angel Kaida
    March 18, 2009

    It’s shit like this that makes me happy that our stupid little planet will eventually be nothing more than cosmic dust. Really, it’s refreshing to think that even though all life will be destroyed, this bullshit and the suffering it causes will be wiped out as well.

  180. #181 Elwood Herring
    March 18, 2009

    natural_cynic, Guido proves my point. They are destroying themselves, and it’s up to us to keep highlighting the scandals to the world at large, and to call the Church out on every evil thing they say and do.

    I’m not against anyone having a belief, and I would never advocate banning religion (which would never work), but organised religions such as the CC are the stinking remnants of dark-ages thinking that need to be allowed, nay, encouraged to rot away from the inside. And the more exposure to the light of reason we give them, the quicker they will rot.

    I say 20 years or less should do it. See you in 2029.

  181. #182 Jadehawk
    March 18, 2009

    Oral sex however is unlikely to give one HIV/aids

    not true! the chances of getting HIV during oral are pretty much the same as during vaginal sex. unprotected sex (be it oral, vaginal or anal) carries the same risks. the only thing oral and anal protect one from is pregnancy.

    –just furthering the rookie’s sex-ed :-p

  182. #183 Ernesto García
    March 18, 2009

    Pete:

    Oral sex however is unlikely to give one HIV/aids

    Not true. Unprotected oral sex *is* dangerous, for *both* partners. Not as dangerous as intercourse but why take chances with your health?

  183. #184 mas528
    March 18, 2009

    I don’t really care about ‘distributing’ condoms.

    No one except the “sloppy-seconds” was talking about distributing condoms.

    The real problem with what Joseph Ratzinburger and his predator… sorry, predecessor Karol)have done is create a massive campaign of disinformation about condoms.

    Even if they were distributed free, the Black International’s propaganda will still have created enough FUD to prevent the use of them.

    If they really cared at all, they would talk about the myth of “virgin cure” and infant rape, which actually spreads HIV, and USING condoms, which at least slows the spread.

  184. #185 AF_Comm_Guy
    March 18, 2009

    I think it goes deeper than just being an outdated, misguided religion. Who makes up the majority of the Catholic leadership? Old rich white men. You may disagree with me on the rich part because individual leaders do not have great material wealth but they have huge resources available to them. I think it comes down to white supremacy. The Catholic church knows the facts and they deliberately choose to ignore them. I can only surmise that they would rather see more brown people die off. The leadership only cares about places like Central and South America because they are a huge source of income for the church.

  185. #186 Pete Rooke
    March 18, 2009

    Not as dangerous as intercourse but why take chances with your health?

    Quite! These activities are dangerous and not necessary.

  186. #187 Discombobulated
    March 18, 2009

    Pete Rooke@171:

    Incidentally, as was mentioned on the other post, using a condom is probably equivalent to oral sex in terms of sinfulness. It is sex for the wrong reason. Oral sex however is unlikely to give one HIV/aids so if one is to satisfy their sinful desires they have no excuse for contracting the disease unless they were attempting to procreate in which case they wouldn’t have been using a condom in the first place and so they would not be sinning unless they were out of wedlock etc.

    Observe the rationalization process firsthand! You seemed so much further along in your first post @122.

    People, having evolved to be motivated to carry on their genes, also evolved to enjoy the act of procreation. The positive feelings also increase pair-bonding, which makes it more likely to lead to positive outcomes of reproduction, and the male sticking around to help raise the young. To avoid committing the naturalistic fallacy, yes, these feelings are hijackable through rational processes. However, when during the natural course of life, two people meet each other and fall in love, given that by their very nature, they will face moments of nearly insatiable urges (especially during adolescence):

    Do we:

    1. tell them No, no no! and pray that our indoctrination worked?
    2. accept the fact that they are indeed human, treat them as rational beings, and teach them facts/statistics-based self-protection and how to make good choices, along with whatever other skull-bending you wish?

    The rational question is: Which does less harm?

    (can also be rephrased as: Which does more good? but that apparently does not jive with your flavor of doctrine)

  187. #188 Geoff
    March 18, 2009

    To sjk@61, sorry if someone has already said this somewhere in this long thread.

    Otherwise nice people who see through the pope’s evil remain catholic because they were brainwashed at a very young age, with the connivance of their parents who were brainwashed themselves. The catholic church is actually proud of this and will use phrases along the lines of ‘give me the child I will give you the man’.

    Dawkin’s view that religion is child abuse looks more moderate all the time.

  188. #189 Elwood Herring
    March 18, 2009

    Angel Kaida #180: That’s a rather bleak view of humanity, if I may say so.

    My hope is that we will turn a corner sooner or later, and see our neanderthal prejudices for what they are. There are a lot of things about the Human Race that we should be proud of; we have seen out to the edge of space and the beginning of time; we have decoded our own DNA; we have traced our animal ancestry back through the millennia; we have walked on the Moon, we have probed the interior of the atom, etc, etc. What other animal on this planet can boast of any of these feats? And as far as we are aware, we are the ONLY intelligent life around for billions of miles, possibly trillions.

    We may be an insignificant dot in the universe, and we may spend far too much time blowing each other up and committing all sorts of atrocities in the name of petty superstitions, but we should be proud of our achievements nonetheless. Our potential is staggering, we only have to look up and reach for it.

    Otherwise, what’s the point of doing anything?

  189. #190 E.V.
    March 18, 2009
    using a condom is probably equivalent to oral sex in terms of sinfulness. It is sex for the wrong reason.

    There’s only one reason for sex, Petey? Dude, you have some serious issues to deal with. You’re a poster boy for for mind fuck by the church/mom&dad. Why don’t you just opt for chemical or surgical castration? It would stop you from waxing lyrically about your twisted preoccupation with sex and would guarantee you from contributing schloss to the gene pool; it’s a win/win for all.

  190. #191 cedgray
    March 18, 2009
  191. #192 Holydust
    March 18, 2009

    It’s not that he honestly believes that. The Pope’s view is clearly that there is a good reason these people have AIDS, and that distributing condoms — which will help prevent it — will go against God’s will. The Pope says “fuck ‘em”, but he can’t say that out loud. So he lies. Better that he look misguided than evil, right?

  192. #193 C.W
    March 18, 2009

    Joe the Pope strikes again.

  193. #194 Knockgoats
    March 18, 2009

    Our potential is staggering, we only have to look up and reach for it.
    Otherwise, what’s the point of doing anything?

    What a strange viewpoint. Even if we knew the universe would end next year, there would still be plenty worth doing – I mean, what an excuse for a party to end all parties!

  194. #195 frog
    March 18, 2009

    Ratzi is going to kill a lot more folks than the Islamic Fundamentalist Terrorists could ever dream of. His competence is breath-taking — no buildings destroyed, no infrastructure disruption, and no neutron bomb costs: simple cold-blooded murder without the possibility of retribution.

    Talk about fatwah envy — he’s a hell of a lot more clever than any Ayatollah. Tehran and Mecca could do some serious learnin’ from this man on how you destroy societies and apply “creative destruction”.

  195. #196 Clemens
    March 18, 2009

    What most offended me with this is that on the evening news in Germany (ZDF, heute-journal) they did not quote the guy correctly.

    In their version, the pope said that the distribution of condoms wouldn’t be the entire solution. I guess we all can agree on this, because people also need to be educated about the use of condoms and although they don’t have to be abstinent, they can never have children, which is a huge problem in Africa.

    Anyway, they didn’t quote him correctly about condoms making it worse.

    At least on their web prensence they give the true story. Grr, still makes me angry.

  196. #197 Jadehawk
    March 18, 2009

    Quite! These activities are dangerous and not necessary.

    everything in life is dangerous and unnecessary. by your logic, you should have yourself put into a permanent coma.

  197. #198 bootsy
    March 18, 2009

    Love that Pope!? Willing to tut-tut at a holocaust denier yet still re-instate him.

    Eager to defend the excommunication of doctors who helped a raped nine-year-old.

    And now, killing more victims by spreading ignorance of an ongoing viral holocaust. So worth it if he gets a few more followers and dollars!

    So Infallible!? So Loving!?

  198. #199 Michael
    March 18, 2009

    I only wish there was a hell for this asshole to burn in.

  199. #200 sjk
    March 18, 2009

    Sastra #106:

    It’s about identifying with your tribe.

    That makes a lot of sense – it also explains why my “nice” Catholics get so defensive when confronted with stuff like this. They take it personal.

  200. #201 frog
    March 18, 2009

    EV: Why don’t you just opt for chemical or surgical castration?

    Origen castrated himself for the same reason — then realized that God wanted him to suffer with the temptation, so castration was even a greater sin than the original sinfulness. So then he got to feel the double dose of sinfullness, that in his sin he increased his sin by trying to stop his sin.

    These folks are really, truly insane — and putting the insane in power is really, truly evil.

  201. #202 Felix
    March 18, 2009

    … The life of a young (nay, most all)priest is pretty damn spartan and probably as much work as any social worker. They are not waited on “hand and foot” and it is a real distortion to describe living on charity as “every material need taken care of by the labor of others”. Your diatribe is actually more applicable to the British Royalty than the Pope.

    Not in Germany. Our priests are paid for by the State from the beginning on. Their starting salary is about double that of an average social worker, and they have a progressively increasing income over time. They get additional subsidies for paying a housekeeper, travel expenses etc. From the day of ordination on, a German priest is completely materially safeguarded.

  202. #203 Nurse Ingrid
    March 18, 2009

    Am I the only one who is wondering how Stephen Colbert must be feeling about his beloved religion this week?

    Seriously, with the Brazil case and now this, you’d think at least a few prominent liberal or progressive Catholics would stand up and say “enough, already!” but they never do.

  203. #204 Elwood Herring
    March 18, 2009

    Knockgoars, I think your comment is better aimed at Angel Kaida than me. My “Otherwise, what’s the point” end comment is my way of saying to Angel that if you are blind to all of Mankind’s achievements then you probably would want to just sit around and wait for the world to end. Sure, all the “bullshit” would be wiped out, but so would all our achievements and our potential to go even further. I have hope for us, despite all this current crap.

  204. #205 Elwood Herring
    March 18, 2009

    Knockgoats – apologies for the typo.

  205. #206 MikeB
    March 18, 2009

    Re #47 – The interview with the loony on Channel 4 here in the UK basically got repeated on BBC Radio’s ‘Today’ Programme this morning. The editor of the Catholic Herald pretty much became insane trying to defend the Pope’s ideas about condoms.

    This is the kind of crap which gets people killed and pisses off the rest of us – and I was brought up a Catholic…

  206. #207 Julian
    March 18, 2009

    Given a chance to say that hacking young girls to death with machetes as witches isn’t the way to stop AIDS, Benedict decides to bad-mouth condoms instead. Heck, he could have even pointed out that, contrary to popular belief, raping a young virgin girl or boy will not cure the disease. But no, the real evil over there is latex. Its great to see that the Catholic Church is more concerned with filling its pews than with stopping the slaughter.

  207. #208 plm
    March 18, 2009

    PZ,

    So predictable…You angry atheists are so easy to predict. Hmm, the Pope was questioned about AIDS. Gee, what are the chances that a bunch of angry atheists will use this as an opportunity to spew their juvenille brand of bigotry?

    Why didn’t you include the whole quote? The Pope wasn’t dispensing “medical advice”. Pay attention next time. He was giving what his belief was as how to combat the problem of aids. Why not break down what he actually said and what you think he meant by what he said? Actually, I don’t think you are capable of honestly representing what the Pope was trying to convey.

    “Catholic church is reliant on the denial of human nature, something demonstrated regularly by the activities of its own priests”

    Actually, if you looked at the WHOLE quote, he mentions the “humanity” of sexuality.

    Is the “denial of numan nature”, a denial of homosexuality? The overwhelming “activities” you refer to involved homosexual priests.

    So, what did he ACTUALLY say? It’s not that difficult. You can throw all the condoms in the world at the problem but if people don’t change their behavior, it won’t make a bit of difference. I think most people would agree with that.
    So, I presume then that the Pope would then lean on The Catholic Churchs teaching on the proper role of sexuality as A way to address the problem. So, what then is the basic teaching of the Church in regards to sexuality? I’ll let you all butcher the teaching in a minute with misinformation and ignorant ridicule…. but it (basically) says that sex should be reserved to a married couple who remain faithful to each other. Now taking that as a starting point, how is this a bad thing as it relates to the spread of aids? Whether or not you can live up the the standard or agree with it is not relavent. How is it a bad thing?

    Somehow the sexual free-for-all attitude promoted by the secular world doesn’t seem as persuasive in comparrison when technology, “safe sex” and comdoms are the proposed solution. There is more to solving the problem than that.

    So, I guesss it’s time for the predictable angry atheist answer where I am called a bunch of names, people claim to understand theology and Church teaching at a level more than a badly catechized 7th grader…Have at it my angry atheist friends.

  208. #209 Neilo
    March 18, 2009

    Apparently Ratty was also in Africa to warn people about the “growing influence of superstitious forms of religion”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7950671.stm

    The pope has no sense of irony.

  209. #210 sjk
    March 18, 2009

    plm #208

    You can throw all the condoms in the world at the problem but if people don’t change their behavior, it won’t make a bit of difference.

    This is just plainly wrong, as the study bsk #16 linked to shows.

  210. #211 Elwood Herring
    March 18, 2009

    Superstitious forms of religion? That’s like saying “wet kinds of water”.

  211. #212 Natalie
    March 18, 2009

    Sorry if someone else has touched on this already, but I think it’s a sort of major point that Facilis, Simon, and Pete Rooke should consider:

    A substantial amount of AIDS transmission in Africa isn’t due to “promiscuity” – it’s an infected husband passing the virus on to his monogamous wife. Simple terms: in Africa, lots of women who get AIDS are married and are infected by their husband. Culturally, these women cannot refuse to have sex with their husbands. And their husbands generally refuse to wear condoms. A woman who insists on condoms may be tarred as a slut. And these women can then pass the virus on to their children.

    I’m sure one of you will say hubby should just keep it in his pants, and I’m with you there. While we’re wishing for shit that isn’t going to happen, I’d like a million dollars and a pony.

    Are you ready to condemn an innocent woman and possibly some innocent children for their husband’s/father’s sins?

  212. #213 Guido
    March 18, 2009

    plm:
    Bullshit. Pure and distilled.

    People like you were the ones that opposed Salvarsan and supported other people getting Syphilis. And the Archbishop Chimoio LIED ABOUT THE CONDOMS AND DRUGS, HE SAID THEY WERE INFECTED WITH HIV DELIBERATELY. Yet Chimoio hasn’t been ousted, but other progressive priests have.

    Do you have an answer for that?

  213. #214 Natalie
    March 18, 2009

    208,

    a) “homosexual” =\= “pedophile”

    b) pedophile priests molest girls, too.

    But thanks for playing.

  214. #215 frog
    March 18, 2009

    Catgirl: They don’t, and we have reason to suspect that is because evolving two more functional limbs was not really possibly over the course of evolution.

    Because that’s what this is all about. It’s all rationalizations for primordial prejudices — what Mommy told ‘em when they were three. And who to sex when is the most important of all organizing prejudices, and the one with the least rational basis.

    Religion is mostly a rationalization for common perversions.

  215. #216 frog
    March 18, 2009

    Catgirl: They don’t, and we have reason to suspect that is because evolving two more functional limbs was not really possibly over the course of evolution.

    Because that’s what this is all about. It’s all rationalizations for primordial prejudices — what Mommy told ‘em when they were three. And who to sex when is the most important of all organizing prejudices, and the one with the least rational basis.

    Religion is mostly a rationalization for common perversions.

  216. #217 SteveM
    March 18, 2009

    Re plm @208:

    So, what did he ACTUALLY say? It’s not that difficult. You can throw all the condoms in the world at the problem but if people don’t change their behavior, it won’t make a bit of difference. I think most people would agree with that.

    No I don’t agree, because it is not true. Condoms will indeed make a difference if people use them. Unless you meant by “behavior”, “unprotected sex”, which itself can be a problem, getting men to actually use a condom and getting women to demand that he use them.

    Second, if that was all he said I think there would be much less outrage. But like you advise, read what he actually said:

    HIV/Aids was, he argued, “a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem“. [emphasis added]

    using condoms will not increase the problem. That is an outright lie, designed to convince people to not use condoms even if offered and freely available. And even if he was basing that statement on the remote possibility people are using condoms improperly, it is still designed to deceive and so still a lie.

  217. #218 Bill Dauphin
    March 18, 2009

    While we’re wishing for shit that isn’t going to happen, I’d like a million dollars and a pony.

    Nah. Ponies bite.

  218. #219 Natalie
    March 18, 2009

    See, Bill, this is the kind of stuff I don’t know because I never got that pony!

  219. #220 E.V.
    March 18, 2009

    No plm, we’d rather laugh at you for being a concern troll who toes the Pope’s ideologically bankrupt line. Thanks for your endearing remarks and have a good day.

  220. #221 Bill Dauphin
    March 18, 2009

    Natalie, I’ve never had a pony either, but I hear things. ;^)

  221. #222 Natalie
    March 18, 2009

    Bill, are you sure those weren’t cheap ponies who ran away from home?

  222. #223 E.V.
    March 18, 2009

    Will you two just get a room!

  223. #224 FastLane
    March 18, 2009

    I’m nominating Louise for the next OM.

  224. #225 Scrabcake
    March 18, 2009

    It always irks me a little bit when people bring up the Hitler Youth thing with Ratzinger, ie. Nazinger.
    I’d really rather view him as an evil bastard in his own right without diminishing his bastardy by comparing him to such a monolith as Hitler.

  225. #226 bootsy
    March 18, 2009

    plmoron@208: “sexual free-for-all attitude promoted by the secular world”

    As opposed to the pedophilia free-for-all attitude promoted by the Catholic Church?

    Hey genius. Sex doesn’t need to be “promoted.” Morons like you have been trying to tell kids not to masturbate because they’ll go blind. And even though a kid may believe it, guess what? They’ll still masturbate.

    Sex is what we were born to do. If not, we wouldn’t be around. I’m sorry that no one will have sex with you, but that doesn’t mean that other people aren’t having sex.

  226. #227 Elwood Herring
    March 18, 2009

    I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it.

    Anybody who defends an organisation that protects pedophiles within its ranks as a matter of policy has no morals whatsoever. The CC can go to hell, lock stock & barrel. It is thoroughly and unashamedly corrupt.

  227. #228 Elwood Herring
    March 18, 2009

    Scrabcake: I have to agree. He almost makes the Nazis look good.

    And to everyone inadvertantly double-posting: when you get a message saying “Don’t re-submit your post”, then don’t, mkay?

  228. #229 catgirl
    March 18, 2009

    Catgirl: They don’t, and we have reason to suspect that is because evolving two more functional limbs was not really possibly over the course of evolution.

    Because that’s what this is all about. It’s all rationalizations for primordial prejudices — what Mommy told ‘em when they were three. And who to sex when is the most important of all organizing prejudices, and the one with the least rational basis.

    Religion is mostly a rationalization for common perversions.

    I never said that. You quoted the wrong person. I don’t know what you’re talking about anyway.

  229. #230 Tulse
    March 18, 2009

    Sex is what we were born to do. If not, we wouldn’t be around. I’m sorry that no one will have sex with you, but that doesn’t mean that other people aren’t having sex.

    Sex is natural
    Sex is good
    Not everybody does it
    But everybody should.

  230. #231 Ichthyic
    March 18, 2009

    PLM:

    So predictable…

    yes, you were.

    but that’s what happens when you work so hard to rationalize religious nonsense in your head:

    you inevitably employ projection as regular conversation, and wallow in denial otherwise.

    religion is fucking up your brain.

    just say no.

  231. #232 plm
    March 18, 2009

    “using condoms will not increase the problem”

    Are you 100% sure on that? (see below) If not 100% sure then you should be open to other solutions and ideas. Like I said before, I think the Pope was talking about more than just condom use. He was talking about re-evaluating how the secular world has downgraded sexuality to a free for all mentality and how this adds to the problem.

    “As opposed to the pedophilia free-for-all attitude promoted by the Catholic Church”

    There ya go “bootsy” let me really have it. Way to stay in character.

    Yep, because that’s what the Church actually teaches. You must really know your Catholicism. I forget where that is in the Catechism? A papal encyclical perhaps? You know that they promote the same thing with our nations teachers. That’s just a little fyi because it’s not mentioned much.

  232. #233 thedarkbackward
    March 18, 2009

    plm – In order to satisfy your masochism, let me get it out of the way and say that you are, indeed, a bloodfart.

    The leader of your merry band of baby fuckers made his statement. Own it and quit weaseling. Through his statements and because of his influence, that wrinkled asshat is PERSONALLY responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands to millions by HIV/AIDS. His statements are false and he knows it, a pious fraud from the institution that CREATED the concept.

    I AM and atheist and I AM angry because filth like Ratzinger and his army of short-eyed kiddy-diddlers are making the world WORSE, demonstrably, terribly, horribly worse.

  233. #234 DCN
    March 18, 2009

    Ernesto #183

    “Not true. Unprotected oral sex *is* dangerous, for *both* partners. Not as dangerous as intercourse but why take chances with your health?”

    I’m pretty sure there are no confirmed cases of anyone contracting HIV after receiving oral sex.

  234. #235 Ichthyic
    March 18, 2009

    PLM:

    Are you 100% sure on that?

    yup.

    and of course much more sure than you apparently were wrt to what the pope “actually said”.

  235. #236 plm
    March 18, 2009

    Oops, this is the “see below” from above post.

    Edward Green is director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. He wrote Rethinking AIDS Prevention: Learning From Successes in Developing Countries and reported that, between 1989 and 2001, the average number of condoms per male ages 15 to 49 in African countries skyrocketed. So did the number of those infected with HIV. South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe had the world?s highest levels of condom availability per man. They also had the world?s highest HIV rates.

    Norman Hearst is a family physician and epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco.

    UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, asked Hearst to do a scientific review to see if condom promotions had reversed HIV/AIDS epidemics. His review found the contrary was true. Countries with the most condoms per man tended to have the highest HIV rates. UNAIDS refused to publish Hearst?s findings.

    ?Condom promotion in Africa has been a disaster,? Hearst said.

    Nearly every country on the continent has vigorously promoted condoms to stem the tide of the AIDS epidemic there. But the epidemic has only grown larger.

    Uganda, on the other hand, has experienced the greatest decline in HIV prevalence of any country in the world, according to the Heritage Foundation. The Ugandan public education campaign against AIDS mentioned condoms, but emphasized abstinence.

    Studies show that from 1991 to 2001 HIV infection rates in Uganda declined from about 15% to 5%.

  236. #237 Ichthyic
    March 18, 2009

    Yep, because that’s what the Church actually teaches.

    for reference, see post 227.

    denial.

    not just a river in egypt, boyo.

  237. #238 Steve_C
    March 18, 2009

    Quoting the fucking Heritage Foundation. That’s rich.

  238. #239 Ichthyic
    March 18, 2009

    So did the number of those infected with HIV. South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe had the world’s highest levels of condom availability per man. They also had the world’s highest HIV rates.

    do you understand the phrase:

    correlation is not equal to causation?

    no?

    well, look it up.

  239. #240 Guido
    March 18, 2009

    plm:
    Why so silent about Chimoio?

    And Dr. Hearst does not deny the efficacy of condoms, he only says they should be used along other strategies:

    http://www.internationalrelations.house.gov/110/hea092507.htm

    “First, condoms are 85-90% effective for preventing HIV transmission when used consistently. We then looked at whether condom promotion has been successful as a public health strategy ? something very different from individual effectiveness. Here we found good evidence for effectiveness in concentrated epidemics. For example, condoms made an important contribution to controlling HIV among gay men in places like San Francisco and epidemics driven by commercial sex in places like Thailand.”

    His argument is that condoms alone are not enough.

    Finally he says:
    “Let me close with a warning regarding talk about ?ABC plus? or ?moving beyond ABC? and diverting AIDS prevention funding to whatever other good cause people are promoting. Always ask, ?Where is the evidence?? For example, I?m all in favor of poverty alleviation. But in most countries with generalized epidemics, the rich have higher HIV infection rates than the poor. Similarly, for gender equity, many of the African countries with the best records in this regard (like Botswana) have the highest rates of HIV infection. Anything that dilutes the focus of AIDS prevention in Africa from changing sexual behavior may do more harm than good.”

    I would really like to see the stats on those claims.

  240. #241 plm
    March 18, 2009

    “Yep, because that’s what the Church actually teaches.

    for reference, see post 227.

    denial.

    not just a river in egypt, boyo.”

    That’s it? That’s your evidence that the Church promotes “pedophilia-free-for-all” I wonder if I’ll be taught that when I go into the priesthood. Hmmm. I’ll let you all know if indeed this monstrous teaching befalls me.

    Aye…Stay angry my friend…stay ignorant…

  241. #242 Jadehawk
    March 18, 2009

    and one more moron claiming that “throwing condoms at the problem” is what’s going on. *sigh*

    sex-ed and emancipation of women is what gets those condoms used, and that’s what studies have shown to work; repeatedly. on the other hand, just doing abstinence-only programs doesn’t work anywhere in the world, and the disenfranchisement of women so common to religious societies makes the problem worse.

    chew on this, you idiot:55.1% to 92.7% of new heterosexually acquired HIV infections among adults in urban Zambia and Rwanda occurred within serodiscordant marital or cohabiting relationships, depending on the sex of the index partner and on location. Under our extended model, which incorporated the higher rates of reported condom use that we found with non-cohabiting partners, we estimated that 60.3% to 94.2% of new heterosexually acquired infections occurred within marriage or cohabitation.

  242. #243 Fred Mounts
    March 18, 2009

    Does anyone know why that stupid bastard Pete Rooke doesn’t stay killed in killfile? He always tends to show back up. I probably wouldn’t vote to ban anyone if 1.)They actually stay hidden 2.)no one quote their inanities.

  243. #244 Ichthyic
    March 18, 2009

    I wonder if I’ll be taught that when I go into the priesthood.

    It depends on what your proclivities are, I would assume.

    good luck wasting your life, though.

  244. #245 catgirl
    March 18, 2009

    It looks like we have a new contestant for the next episode of Survivor:Pharyngula. (Unless plm is an old troll that I’m not familiar with because I haven’t been here long enough)

  245. #246 Kel
    March 18, 2009

    We should have more programs promoting abstinence and self-control

    Yet when we look at what countries have the lowest rates of teen pregnancy / abortion, it’s those countries with a good education system. Where they promote abstinence-only education in the united states clearly doesn’t work. Why would you take an incredibly unsuccessful policy and think that it will work in another place?

  246. #247 bootsy
    March 18, 2009

    Oh, plm, are you “going into the priesthood?” Make sure you take a real honest count of the celibate while you’re there. Without a doubt, millions of years of evolution are easily defeated by the whining of men in black!

    When you touch yourself tonight, I would like you to be thinking of poor people dying of AIDS because of your disproven idiotic fantasies. I mean, I know you already get off on it, but I’d like you to picture the expression on their faces as they die!

    (A little over-the-top, maybe? But not as crazy as believing people will or should stop having sex because some old nazi says so.)

  247. #248 DaveL
    March 18, 2009

    Uganda, on the other hand, has experienced the greatest decline in HIV prevalence of any country in the world, according to the Heritage Foundation. The Ugandan public education campaign against AIDS mentioned condoms, but emphasized abstinence.

    Studies show that from 1991 to 2001 HIV infection rates in Uganda declined from about 15% to 5%.

    The decline does not seem to be due to abstinence:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/02/24/MNG2PBG3VF1.DTL

    Rather, it appears to be largely a result of the premature death of HIV-positive individuals.

  248. #249 Jadehawk
    March 18, 2009

    Rather, it appears to be largely a result of the premature death of HIV-positive individuals. cure the illness, kill the patient.

    *facepalm*

  249. #250 Alex Deam
    March 18, 2009

    Nearly every country on the continent has vigorously promoted condoms to stem the tide of the AIDS epidemic there. But the epidemic has only grown larger.

    Yeah, and without the promotion, the “epidemic” would be even larger.

  250. #251 Alex Deam
    March 18, 2009

    Nearly every country on the continent has vigorously promoted condoms to stem the tide of the AIDS epidemic there. But the epidemic has only grown larger.

    Yeah, and without the promotion, the “epidemic” would be even larger.

  251. #252 marilove
    March 18, 2009

    “So predictable…You angry atheists are so easy to predict. Hmm, the Pope was questioned about AIDS. Gee, what are the chances that a bunch of angry atheists will use this as an opportunity to spew their juvenile brand of bigotry? ”

    Gee, the Pope was questioned about AIDS. Gee, what are the chances that a question about sex and AIDS would cause the pope to use it as an opportunity to spew his juvenile brand of bigotry?

    There, fixed that for ya, plm. You’re welcome.

  252. #253 Alex Deam
    March 18, 2009

    Whoops, sorry for the double-post.

  253. #254 SithLord1969
    March 18, 2009

    The sad thing is many people in Africa will take the Pope at his word. In 10 years from now we can all read about how this statement wound up spreading the disease more and killing thousands maybe millions.

    This Pope is a madman, and wont be satisfied until the blood of billions is on his hands.

  254. #255 SithLord1969
    March 18, 2009

    The sad thing is many people in Africa will take the Pope at his word. In 10 years from now we can all read about how this statement wound up spreading the disease more and killing thousands maybe millions.

    This Pope is a madman, and wont be satisfied until the blood of billions is on his hands.

  255. #256 SithLord1969
    March 18, 2009

    The sad thing is many people in Africa will take the Pope at his word. In 10 years from now we can all read about how this statement wound up spreading the disease more and killing thousands maybe millions.

    This Pope is a madman, and wont be satisfied until the blood of billions is on his hands.

  256. #257 SithLord1969
    March 18, 2009

    Sorry for the triple post. It was my first one, and it kept timing out on me. I’ll do better next-time.

    Maybe the Vatican had some super secret hackers trying to derail me, but after thinking about it, that would require Christians who actually went to a real school.

  257. #258 jacksmith
    March 18, 2009

    Finally, the time has arrived to fix Americas Healthcare crisis, and Americas healthcare knightmare. Hundreds of thousands of you are killed needlessly every year by your healthcare delivery system in a rush to profit. And because of a rush to profit Hundreds of thousands more of you are needlessly dying from treatable illness that people in other developed and civilized countries don’t DIE! from. Rich, middle class, and poor alike. Insured, and uninsured. Men, women, children, and babies.

    Additionally, thousands more of you are driven into financial ruin, and bankruptcy just because you, or one of your loved ones got sick or injured. And all of this is happening at a time when America spends twice as much of it’s GDP (Gross Domestic Productivity) on health care than any other country in the developed world. Individual Americans spend about ten times as much on health care as any other people in the developed world. This is a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY. AND IT MUST END!

    But before we can truly fix this healthcare crisis and disgrace, everyone needs to clearly understand what the problem is. And everyone needs to clearly understand the real enormity of the problem. The problem is that HEALTHCARE AND MEDICAL DELIVERY IN AMERICA IS SEVERELY CORRUPTED AND COMPROMISED BY GREED! AND THE PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MOTIVE. And it is corrupted, and compromised IN EVERY ASPECT, AND EVERY PLACE OF HEALTHCARE AND MEDICAL DELIVERY. Unfortunately for all Americans, compromised healthcare ALWAYS results in needless suffering, injury, disability, and or death. Which is exactly what is happening now in America in shocking numbers.

    Health care is NOT! a private for profit business. Healthcare is an essential public service. Like police, and fire. And healthcare is also a human right! PRIVATE FOR PROFIT HEALTHCARE IS AN OXYMORON, AND AN IMMORAL AND UNETHICAL PERVERSION OF HEALTHCARE AND HUMAN RIGHTS.

    So how do we fix this healthcare disgrace? I believe the fix for Americas healthcare disaster is essentially the same thing that every other developed country in the World has essentially done. “NOT FOR PROFIT, TAX PAYER SUPPORTED, SINGLE PAYER, AUTOMATIC, FREE UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE FOR ALL. Essentially HR676 (enhanced, and expanded medicare for all). Just like every other CIVILIZED! country in the developed World has. There is no other way to truly fix and reform our current disastrous healthcare delivery system.

    All Universal health care systems work best when everyone participates. But I know that the healthcare lobby, and some politicians will try and undermine “Not For Profit, Tax payer supported, Single payer, Automatic, Free Universal Healthcare for all” by falsely claiming that it will limit your choice, and require you to participate.

    So, I propose that everyone be included in the national plan unless they choose to opt out. If you opt out and need medical care the national plan will insure your provider that they will be reimbursed under the rules for members in the national plan. But those who opted out, and their insurer will be responsible for the FULL! cost to the national plan for providing your care if you or your private insurer fails to reimburse the provider or the national plan in a timely manor to at least the standards of the national plan.

    Including reporting you to credit agencies, withholding of taxes, leans, and garnishment of wages for unpaid medical bills. Just like you have now under private for profit healthcare, and private for profit health insurance.

    Further, people who opted out will be required to provide proof of financial responsibility for future illness or be required to participate in the national plan. And everyone with children will be required to participate in the national plan. Or provide proof of insurance coverage on each child to the standards of the national plan. It will be against the law to report anyone in the national plan to a credit agency for unpaid medical bills.

    Frankly, only a dope would want to opt out of the national plan and opt to keep our current disastrous private for profit medical, and insurance plans. But they will be free to choose. The most important thing is that the vast majority of Americans that want the protection, benefits, and higher quality of a universal national plan have that choice.

    You see, one of the most important aspects of a universal healthcare system is easy access, and patient protection. This is accomplished by having a single payer without a conflict of interest in patient care. And by having a payer who has the power to enforce minimum standards of excellence in healthcare delivery for everyone in the plan. This is much of what Medicare does now for senors. “Aeger Primo” (The patient first). Unfortunately in our healthcare system the patient comes last. We are just a peace of meat to them. Cash cows to be slaughtered for profit.

    So this is IT! my fellow Americans, My fellow human beings, My fellow World Citizens. And my fellow Cyber Warriors. :-) The time has come. D day. H hour. HEALTHCARE REFORM THIS YEAR! Let no one stand in our way. Contact your representative and tell them you want “Not For Profit, Tax Payer Supported, Single Payer, Automatic, Free Universal healthcare for all. And tell them you want that choice now. Tell them you want President Obama’s budget passed without delay. President Obama’s budget is brilliant. And exactly what is needed now.

    President Obama, and his allies will need all the support you can give them. The healthcare lobby will try to take out his people if they can, like they did with Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer. And they will try to neutralize President Obama’s popularity, and political power. Or they will try to take him down someway. Don’t stand for it. If they attack him. Go after them ten times harder and remove them from office. We had an election. And you the people chose President Obama’s leadership, and change agenda. Let no one in government disrespect the will of the American people and remain in office.

    To President Obama, his Cabinet, the Congress of the United States, and the Supreme Court. I have noticed for some time a disturbing tendency for key members of your bodies to come down with illness, or medical problems at critical legislative times. This may just be coincidence. But I can tell you that there are a million subtle ways to medically injure someone just by doing nothing when something needs to be done. Or by doing things to someone when nothing needs to be done except to give them reassurance. I know for a fact that there are those that would have no qualms about hurting any of you to preserve our current disgraceful medical status quo.

    So, I recommend as a matter of national security that you enlist the help of a friendly power to regularly review, and oversee the medical care you receive from your local regular healthcare providers. Briton, France and many other countries have excellent medical providers. As well as Canada. Briton, and Canada may be less of a language barrier for Americans.

    Let’s get this healthcare reform done now my fellow Americans. This year. Take no prisoners.

    God Bless All Of You

    Jack Smith ? Working Class :-)

    http://jacksmithworkingclass.blogspot.com/
    (http://jacksmithworkingclass.blogspot.com/)

  258. #259 tmaxPA
    March 18, 2009

    Holy Christ, Jack. Way to bring a thread to screeching halt. ;-)

  259. #260 Elwood Herring
    March 18, 2009

    Anyone who hasn’t seen that video posted at #47 by Carpworld – go take a look. Here’s the link again.

    I nominate this over-the-top ranting behaviour on TV to be knwn henceforth as “doing a Bogle”. Apparently it’s not her first such performance.

  260. #261 'Tis Himself
    March 18, 2009

    The Catholic Church in particular and Christianity in general have always been afraid of sex. The Catholics won’t let anyone into the clergy unless they promise never to have sex. As a result, the Catholic hierarchy is composed of professional virgins. They cannot have a rational notion of what sex is about. Many if not most of them have the silly idea that sex is only for procreation. The concept of pair bonding is so incomprehensible to the hierarchy that they make silly statements like:

    …sexual pleasure within marriage becomes unnatural, and even harmful to the spouses, when it is used in a way that deliberately excludes the basic purpose of sex, which is procreation. (Catholic Answers “Birth Control”)

    Given this mindset, it’s understandable why Pope Benny Ratzi makes idiotic pronouncements about condoms. He probably believes it. Besides, a guy who believes that Jebus can infest a cracker can believe anything.

  261. #262 Drosera
    March 18, 2009

    I read somewhere that the RCC considers itself at the forefront of the battle against AIDS. Yes, that is true, only it is fighting on the wrong side.

    This pope is really nothing but a huge virus in a fancy costume.

    If some evil person murders a child and gets caught he is put away for life. If a religious leader like the pope or a head of state like Mbeki through their immense arrogance and stupidity cause the death of thousands of men, women and children they deserve at least a similar punishment. Instead they are treated with respect. It is disgusting.

  262. #263 Knockgoats
    March 18, 2009

    John Farrell@134, pml@236
    See Abstinence programmes do not reduce HIV prevalence in Uganda. This reports that the decline in infection rates in Uganda, often attributed to abstinence programmes, actually results primarily from the death of many infected early in the epidemic; and coincided with a decrease in reported abstinence/faithfulness and an increase in condom use.

    It’s worth noting that both Edward C. Green and Hearst favour the use of condoms as part of the (more-or-less standard) ABC (Abstain, Be faithful, Condomize) public health prevention strategy. While the best combination of public health measures will vary between countries (condoms are most effective where commercial sex is important), the Pope’s theologically-motivated lies show the traditional Catholic priority for maintaining its power over its flock (what an apt word that is!) rather than reducing human suffering.

  263. #264 astrounit
    March 18, 2009

    You know, that guy mocks and disgraces cephalopds with that mitre he wears.

  264. #265 Paliban Mom
    March 18, 2009

    I had so hoped that you’d all join me in celebrating Pope Nazinger being right. It’s so rare that he is . . . but no, you attack him with the usual vigor.

    Come on, it’s a matter of urgent importance that African Catholics continue to reproduce faster than African Muslims. Why? Well, Catholics are almost Christians. Besides, condoms are a form of birth control, which is preventing pregnancy!

    Jesus weeps at your lack of consideration for all those poor potential fetuses which will never be conceived because of condom abuse.

  265. #266 Ryk
    March 18, 2009

    Jacksmith AKA festering spam monkey.

    The pope being an evil quack is in no way related to universal health care.

    Knightmare is not a word, and if it were it would refer to a cavaliers mount not something frightening.

    Providing some evidence of your claims regarding the virtues of socialized medicine might make your case more appealing. You are big on adjectives, capital letters and talking points, but pretty light on evidence.

    There are merits and drawbacks to single payer plans but they merit discussion not blind faith and rhetoric. The fundies vomit enough of the latter on a regular basis.

  266. #267 JamesR
    March 18, 2009

    The entire world is responding to this with shock and condemnation. Good News

    In North and Most of South America condom use is promoted by many Catholics and accepted for all reasons by about 70+% of all catlics. Good News.

    Noone is trying to stop this ignorant loon. The damage has been done. Possibly sentencing millions of undereducated superstitious Africans to an early death. Due to AIDS Africa has an average life expectancy of about 35. BAD NEWS

    The Pope is a dangerous asshole.

  267. #268 Angel Kaida
    March 18, 2009

    Knockgoats and Elwood (more to Elwood),
    Its bleakness doesn’t make it any less true. Anyway, I think it’s nice to know that no matter how badly we screw it up, in the long term, the universe will go on in all its uncaring magnificence. Everything will be beautiful even without us, even without the meaning we derive from its beauty. As KG pointed out, the relative brevity of our lives and Life’s life makes it all the more important to try to be happy, but it also shows our own fragility and unimportance; when humans show themselves to be hideously stupid and evil, it’s nice to know they’re not representative as collections of atoms go. And the fact that the universe doesn’t care serves as a good mental balance for the fact that we, inevitably, do; we can’t change our own investment in our own world, and we shouldn’t, but it’s good to add another perspective, so to speak. It makes it all less overwhelming.

  268. #269 MS
    March 18, 2009

    Responding to #136, itself response to my # 129:

    My original comment (sorry I haven’t figured out the cool shaded box thing):

    Re #105, not to mention that he lives in a palace, has not, as far I as know, ever held a real job, had to support a family, or live on a budget, and has spent most, if not all, of his adult life being waited on hand and foot and having his every material need taken care of by the labor of others.

    His response:

    As an ex-Catholic I very much despise the whole institution, but get your facts straight. He was not born Pope, unlike most monarchs. What is a “real” job? The life of a young (nay, most all)priest is pretty damn spartan and probably as much work as any social worker. They are not waited on “hand and foot” and it is a real distortion to describe living on charity as “every material need taken care of by the labor of others”. Your diatribe is actually more applicable to the British Royalty than the Pope.

    Me again:

    I didn’t say he was born pope, nor is that a reasonable implication from my comments. A “real job” is one that, at a bare minimum, contributes in at least some small way to human betterment, and doesn’t involve placating imaginary sky deities, laying guilt trips on people for being human, or lying about condoms to desperately poor people and/or those with HIV.

    While I do not doubt that many, even most, priests live lives of only modest physical comfort and do work hard, I would point out that most of them have a level of job security that few others enjoy. Further, few priests have ever had to support a family or worry about the roof over their head or the food on their table, even if it was not a fancy roof or sumptuous food. Note I say “few,” not “no.”

    Moreover, I would point out that my comment was specifically about the pope, not priests in general. He has been at a high level in the hierarchy for many, many years, even if he started out modestly, and has, indeed, been waited on hand and foot for most, if not all, of his adult life. Unless I have missed something in his bio he has never supported a family. He does, in fact, live in a palace. When do you suppose was the last time he prepared a meal, or washed the dishes, or did the laundry, or scrubbed the toilet, out of necessity, because if he didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done? When, as an adult, did he EVER worry about his next paycheck or his kid’s college tuition bill? I suspect this can be reasonably be said of anyone at the level of bishop or higher. I am NOT saying it can be said of a parish priest in a poor district of Tegucigalpa or even Queens.

    And living on donations extorted by threat of eternal punishment isn’t really my idea of “living on charity.”

    I stand by my remarks, reiterating and underscoring the fact that I was talking about the pope in particular (and by extension the upper levels of the catholic hierarchy), not priests in general. FWIW I lived in El Salvador for a couple of years in the mid 70s, and the late archbishop Romero is a real hero of mine, as is Daniel Berrigan. I can’t for the life of me understand what they saw in the RCC, but in their way they worked very hard to do some good in the world.

  269. #270 Monado
    March 18, 2009

    The Toronto edition of Metro News, which is an international group of newspapers, had a better headline: “Pope makes anti-condom visit.”

  270. #271 Ragutis
    March 18, 2009

    Abhorrent.

    But what do you expect? What’s most important to these lunatics is what they imagine happens before birth and after death. As for really, truly, doing good, showing compassion, or alleviating suffering, that’s a minor concern. It’s so depressing to think what an immensely rich, billion-strong organization like that could actually accomplish if they concerned themselves with people’s actual lives, instead of pre-life or their fantasy afterlife. And the ridiculous thing these dogmatic dipshits and douchebags don’t realize is that if they put the people first, they’d be converting them by the millions! Religion preys on the weak, needy, desperate, and the fearful. (Hence they’re all concentrating on S. America and Africa. They know they’re losing in the northern hemisphere.) A little bit of “Well, let’s forget about the rules and take care of You first.” would go a loooong way in recruitment numbers. You think a bowl of rice puts butts in the seats? Try, keeping their asses from contracting fatal diseases and a bowl of rice.

    The thing the Vatican is so scared of is that every change they make, every admission of error, is another chip in the facade, another tear in the curtain hiding the man pulling the levers. Maintaining their grasp on power is more important than reaching out a helping hand.

    And for many years now, nearly ever bit of news about the RCC surprises me more and more in a way. The Catholicism I was raised with was bad enough, but it’s becoming more and more evident that that dreck was actually extremely liberal. Anyone here that knows if the Passionists are traditionally/generally liberal in relation to the rest of Catholicism or was it just my parish?

    Pete Rooke, your post @ #122 was so promising. Surprisingly mature and thoughtful compared to what we’ve seen from you in the past. Don’t backslide as you already appear to be doing in subsequent posts.

    And some food for thought for our sexually uptight friends. For all the talk we hear from y’all about homosexuality, oral, anal, kinky, etc. being perversion, if you take a good look around, you’d notice if any sexual practice really is unnatural or perverse, it’s abstinence/celibacy. There’s nothing wrong with sex. We don’t have dowries or try to improve our social status by arranging who our daughters marry anymore, so virginity just doesn’t have the value patriarchal societies used to festoon it with. It’s natural. It’s healthy. It’s a hell of a lot of fun. It’s part of being well-adjusted and fully human. It just needs to be done consensually, responsibly, and preferably with people one cares for. Really simple, actually.

    Oh, plm, good luck in the seminary and priesthood. But if you wanted a career in fantasy, why didn’t you go into writing or game design?

  271. #272 WTFinterrobang
    March 19, 2009

    Proof that abstinence works. NOT!!!!

  272. #273 Gallstones
    March 19, 2009

    Herr Ratzinger is guilty of genocide by proxy.

  273. #274 VentureFree
    March 19, 2009

    What seems weird to me is the fact that so many religions seem dedicated to sending as many people to hell as possible. Sinners, they say, should be killed or in this case allowed to die as soon as possible, eliminating any chance that they could redeem themselves in the eyes of the lord and be saved. Meanwhile the faithful should be allowed to live as long as possible, giving them as much time and opportunity as possible to be corrupted and become sinners themselves (presumably at which time they too should be killed or allowed to die). Somehow, I don’t think saving souls is the real goal. Frankly, I’m not sure what the real goal is.

  274. #275 taliesan
    March 19, 2009

    Part of what makes the Pope evil, is not only does he oppose the use of condoms, he opposes the use of condoms by married couples – even where one of the partners has AIDS.

    So not only is he treating a deadly disease like it is a well deserved punishment for the partner in the marriage who is unfaithful, he is in favour of the spouse getting it too.

    That is actually what flashes through my mind as an African, born in Africa, answering to an African government, whenever one of those first world wankers talks about how much of a “help” the religious have been to my continent.

  275. #276 Taliesan
    March 19, 2009

    So did the number of those infected with HIV. South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe had the world’s highest levels of condom availability per man. They also had the world’s highest HIV rates.

    South Africa, has the highest rate of rape in the world. We have people who, due to their religious beliefs, engage in “corrective rape” when it comes to lesbians. “Dry sex” is often considered cultural by a big chunk of our largest tribes. Condoms are widely available, but usage is not that widespread.

    Zimbabwe, has a failing infrastructure defined by high rates of political violence. Starvation is prevelant due to the collapse of its infrastructure, leading to a lot of Zimbabweans jumping the border to South Africa – despite the xenophobic violence that hit my country last year. Cholera and Malaria have hit crisis levels as the water and sanitation of Zimbabwe have fallen apart.

    These conditions have led to the rise of prostitution rates in Harare and in towns bordering Zimbabwe, leading to higher infection rates.

    So plm, you do not fucking know shit about my continent, and your sick little campaign to use MY people’s suffering to further YOUR fucking agenda says all that needs to be said about your cause.

  276. #277 Bambi
    March 19, 2009

    The Vatican just last year officially expressed a willingness to entertain the notion that there might be intelligent life on one or more of the millions of planets in our universe.
    The next step will be insuring that none of the beings on those planets use condoms!

  277. #278 Ray Higgity
    March 19, 2009

    The Vatican just last year officially expressed a willingness to entertain the notion that there might be intelligent life on one or more of the millions of planets in our universe.
    The next step will be insuring that none of the beings on those planets use condoms!

    Marklar?

  278. #279 nick nik bobick
    March 19, 2009

    Instead of just bitching about how sick Joey Ratz (thank you, whoever started that nickname) and the Vatican are, why don’t we do something about it?

    I know a lot of Catholics and I am sure many of you do as well. Given the fact that many of them I know have been married for up to 35 years, and have only between 1 and 4 children, one has to suspect that they have used some type of contraception to limit their family sizes.

    I plan to contact them and ask them to contact their parish priests with copies to the local diocese and Vatican to protest this papal bullshit (I’ll try to phrase it differently.) All they have to do is state that they will not continue their monetary support for the church if it continues with this genocidal decision, i.e. no condoms for Africa.

    It would be unconscionable hypocrisy for any Catholic who has used condoms or the pill to not respond positively to such a request. (I know: religious hypocrisy is an oxymoron, and I might be naive, but it is worth a try.)

  279. #280 nick nick bobick
    March 19, 2009

    (pardon if this is a duplicate post)

    Instead of just bitching about how sick Joey Ratz (thank you, whoever started that nickname) and the Vatican are, why don’t we do something about it?

    I know a lot of Catholics and I am sure many of you do as well. Given the fact that many of them I know have been married for up to 35 years, and have only between 1 and 4 children, one has to suspect that they have used some type of contraception to limit their family sizes.

    I plan to contact them and ask them to contact their parish priests with copies to the local diocese and Vatican to protest this papal bullshit (I’ll try to phrase it differently.) All they have to do is state that they will not continue their monetary support for the church if it continues with this genocidal decision of no condoms for Africa.

    It would be unconscionable hypocrisy for any Catholic who has used condoms or the pill to not respond positively to such a request. (I know: religious hypocrisy is an oxymoron, and I might be naive, but it is worth a try.)

  280. #281 Kitty
    March 19, 2009

    I don’t know if this has already been mentioned – no time to look today.
    We’ve just had Comic Relief Day here in the UK. It raised almost £60 million for practical projects which can really make a difference to people’s lives at home and around the world.
    Some of the most active participants are school children who get to dress up for the day and do silly things to teachers to raise money – great fun and a huge learning curve when they watch the TV and see where their money goes.
    Unless it’s a Catholic school, of course, or your teacher is catholic. They are so paranoid that some of the money raised might be used to further the use of condoms or promote abortion many would rather not participate at all just to be sure.
    Great way to teach children to love your neighbours and feel you are part of a global community.

    nick nik bobick – nice idea but don’t be silly. Catholics listen to the pope, he doesn’t listen to them. It is not a democratic organisation it’s a dictatorship. :)

  281. #282 SEF
    March 19, 2009

    More accurate Facilis:

    “Those Africans and children are animals just like Catholic priests and are similarly without the self-control to stop themselves from having sex.”

    Fixed it for y’all.

  282. #283 Zetetic
    March 19, 2009

    flaccid Facilis farted…

    I hate distributing condoms. Its like saying “Those Africans and children are animals without the self-control to stop themselves from having sex.”
    I agree with the pope that it would enhance the problem of promiscous sex ,which is very wrong.

    *facepalm*

    My apologies in advance if some one already used the following analogy…

    Facilis…. that warped position makes about as much sense as saying the car makers should be forbidden from providing seat belts and airbags in order to reduce reckless driving!

    It’s especially ridiculous to try and portray yourself as some kind of “hero” concerned about the dignity of the people of Africa, when you are so wiling to trivialize the death of innocents. BTW… condoms are also being distributed in every other continent for the exact same reason, so how is condom distribution a slight against the people of Africa?

    What kind of pathetically twisted mentality would rather have people die a slow painful death for having fun? Especially when many of the victims are innocent even by the warped standards of your own religion based morality.

    What kind of perverse mindset deliberately tries to make something that is pleasurable (and normally relatively safe) into something dangerous, just so you can smugly sit back and tell yourself how wonderfully moral you are?

    Absolutely repugnant…

  283. #284 Sean
    March 19, 2009

    Here in South Africa, we’ve gone all out for condom distribution. They’re everywhere! Education? All condoms, all the time! Aids awareness? More than anywhere else in the world! Infection rate? Not so hot.

    Once again, the Pope and the Catholic Church are going to be made the scapegoat, because “people take him at his word”. How convenient that he is only taken at his word on the issue of condom usage, rather than say, er, fidelity?

    Point is, if you’re out there screwing around or however you choose to characterise it, you’re probably off the pope’s radar…you’re not listening to him. Cool…the Pope speaks primarily to Catholics, and he’s not the only ‘respected person’ speaking to the people of Africa or anywhere else. Probably the only voice not endorsing condoms, in fact. (BTW, my own experience tells me that condom usage CAN exacerbate risk…when you’re used to having it off, and are caught without a condom…aah, what the hell?)

    Condom distribution is a failure in South Africa. This has nothing to do with Pope or Church, neither of which has much influence beyond social services in SA. People are choosing not to use condoms, for other reasons.

    If the Pope were fully obeyed, and sex was reserved for marriage (incidentally, sex is the sacramental part of marriage, and is considered sacred rather than dirty), AIDS would not be an issue. Evidently, few people have bought that message. But they’re not buying into the condom message either? So, what now, bright ones? Just keep chucking the condoms until the big crunch?

    You’re a nasty bunch. Bye.

    Full disclosure: revert Catholic

  284. #285 the chiggler
    March 19, 2009

    Ah, Facilis. If only your parents had practised abstinence and self control.

  285. #286 El Guerrero del Interfaz
    March 19, 2009

    @Peter Rooke

    I seems that you are showing signs of getting more human and compassionate. Al least more than the current Catholic “sumo sacerdote”. That’s good. Life is change :-)

    But why is it that you and other fundies keep advocating for a purely *animal* use of sex? I know, we are animals too. But we are also something else than animals. And one of the things where we differs from most animals (all except our close relatives the bonobos) is precisely the use of sex. Animals do it only for procreation. But we humans also do for other reasons like to give pleasure to the one(s) we love.

    That’s much better than the mere utilitarian reproductive-only use that religious fundies want to limit the human sexual activities. Why do you want us to be mere beasts in our sexual activities? Are you even conscious that this is what you are doing?

  286. #287 me2
    March 19, 2009

    Here’s an article from 2004 about a document published by the vatican on the effectiveness of condoms.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/3845011.stm

    In it Cardinal Trujillo says that condoms do not work because they have holes in them that allow the HIV virus through. The document suggests that condoms may be the main reason for the spread of AIDS.

    @plm

    You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. Abstinence will never work here, because your church sees to it that impoverished people are never able to lift themselves out of poverty. How can people ensure that their children receive an education when many families can hardly afford to feed themselves? Many women here don’t have the choice of opting for abortions of unwanted pregnancies, so condoms would also be a help for them.
    Abstinence is a fairytale in an ideal world, one which we don’t live in.

    Many cultures here are highly superstitious, they still prefer using traditional “witch doctors” to cure all manner of ills even though they have access to world class medical hospitals and doctors. A couple of years back some of these “witch doctors” said that AIDS could be cured by having sex with a virgin, rape statistics went up and the horrifying new phenomenon of baby rape made it’s appearance.

    Organisations like the Treatment Action Campaign have been fighting an uphill battle here to educate people about protecting themselves, so when a moronic old virgin in a funny hat comes along and bleats an outright lie, it does a huge amount of damage. The pope should be hauled before an international court and charged with genocide.

    sean@284

    There has been very little education in South Africa on HIV and AIDS because :

    1. Mbeki was an AIDS denialist and therefore refused to allow free distribution of ARV’s. As far as he was concerned AIDS was not a problem.

    2.With a moron and Mbeki arse licker for a health minister, practically zero was spent on AIDS education.

    3. In case you haven’t been reading the newspapers, catholicism is one of the fastest growing religions in Africa, so yes those new catholics would listen to what the Poop says.

    And seeing as you’re South African you’ll understand this – Sean, you’re a doos.

  287. #288 Zetetic
    March 19, 2009

    @Sean…

    Oh yes… so the problem that AIDS didn’t go away in a culture where people are being deliberately fed misinformation by much of society, obviously makes it just fine for the Pope to be adding to the ignorance. Who cares if even more innocent people die, as long as nobody says anything bad about his “holiness”, right?
    Next up everyone…Sean here will defend an arsonist throwing gasoline on a burning orphanage with children trapped inside! After all it’s OK as long as a the building was already on fire and a lot of people think the arsonist is special, right Sean? /sarcasim

    If the Pope were fully obeyed, and sex was reserved for marriage (incidentally, sex is the sacramental part of marriage, and is considered sacred rather than dirty), AIDS would not be an issue. Evidently, few people have bought that message

    Yes, Sean let’s also just ignore the fact that never in human history has any human civilization done exactly as the Pope endorses. STDs have always been a problem for humanity, even in cultures dominated by Catholicism. Let us also ignore the unfortunate people that catch HIV through no fault of their own. After all it’s “God’s will”, right?

    While we’re at it, tell us Sean… how well have the Catholic church’s own priests been following the rules regarding sex?
    So Sean, do you also support the church’s attempts to silence the victims of priestly pedophilia, and the its attempts to shield the guilty? I’m curious just how deep your desire to defend the church (no matter what it does) will go.

    If the Pope had just stuck to advocating abstinence outside of marriage, there would be little complaint about what he said, and it might have even had a small positive effect. Unfortunately, he instead chose to add to the culture of misinformation and ignorance surrounding AIDS, and thereby cause more harm than good.

  288. #289 Elwood Herring
    March 19, 2009

    Angel Kaida: Please read Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot.

    Make sure you read it all.

  289. #290 Taliesan
    March 19, 2009

    Sean

    Evidently, for a South African you have had your head buried in the sand for the last, oh, ten years.

    Thabo Mbeki was and still is an AIDS denialist of note – he hired a health minister who thought that the disease could be cured with the correct application of beetroot and garlic.

    It is ultimately one of the major issues that led to the ANC rejecting Mbeki and going with someone who is standing trial for corruption as their party president.

    It is such common knowledge that I wonder how you could pull off being a South African, and not know it.

  290. #291 Taliesan
    March 19, 2009

    Sean

    As a South African, I would expect you to know all of this, I wonder what rock you have buried your head under to not know any of this:

    Thabo Mbeki was an AIDS denialist of note, who refused to believe the disease existed.

    He hired as his health minister a woman who thought the symptoms could all go away with the right application of beetroot and garlic.

    Manto, a sticky fingered drunk (She was convicted of theft in Botswana) also believed that traditional medicines should be accepted without bogging them down in pesky medical trials.

    One of the chief reasons why the country got fed up with Mbeki? His stance on AIDS. So the ANC picked Jacob Zuma, who knowingly had unprotected sex with an HIV positive woman and thought that a cold shower would prevent its transmission, as its president. Despite the fact that he is still facing corruption charges.

  291. #292 Ernesto García
    March 19, 2009

    Jadehawk@121:

    that’s fucking rich. ever read or seen A Midsummer Night’s Dream? The Kama Sutra?

    The world has always been sexual, and the old have always complained about how horrible the youth and their loose morals are.

    Or, for that matter, read the Song of Songs:

    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/sofs/1.html

    Do these kooks ever bother to actually *read* their “sacred texts”?

  292. #293 SteveM
    March 19, 2009

    I know: religious hypocrisy is an oxymoron, …

    no, an oxymoron is self contradictory, you are looking for “tautology” or redundant statement.

  293. #294 Werner H Baur
    March 19, 2009

    For an old take, and still very funny, on this whole business see:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f72CTDe4-0&feature=channel

  294. #295 Werner H Baur
    March 19, 2009

    For an old take by Tom Lehrer, which still is very funny, on this whole business see:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f72CTDe4-0&feature=channel

  295. #296 Angel Kaida
    March 19, 2009

    Elwood,
    Can I ask why? It’s on my reading list, but it’s something like eighth from the top and I’ve got very little time for my own reading, so I’d like a summary of what it has to do with this and what the arguments are.

  296. #297 frog
    March 19, 2009

    Here’s the simple question of condom use: why are AIDS rates so low in the Jewish community, as opposed to African communities? Every study I’ve ever seen says that the highest rates of premarital sex are in the Jewish community, while the African diaspora has low number of partners before marriage.

    Maybe it has something to do with access to condoms? Maybe it has something to do with male/female power balances? Maybe it has something to do with the structure of sexual networks, flat versus highly nodal?

    It’s funny how people who behave sexually the exact opposite of the Catholic model (with their nominally chaste women and sinning husbands) are safest from sexually transmitted diseases. Maybe God hates Catholic culture?

  297. #298 simon
    March 19, 2009

    #297
    It’s funny how people who behave sexually the exact opposite of the Catholic model (with their nominally chaste women and sinning husbands) are safest from sexually transmitted diseases. Maybe God hates Catholic culture?

    No, God hates the sin, immorality. Two wrongs never make a right.

    You never be safe in this world, you are going to die sooner or later.
    To allow condom, is to allow free-sex.
    This is a tragedy of civilization, this disease caused by human’s fault. It’s a model where morality is abused.
    If there is no prostitution and free-sex and homosexual, there is no one infected by sexual-Aids.
    If today those people who infected take abstinence of sex, they will be safe, otherwise they will be vanished even with condoms.

    You should not think you are safe now, you have cancer which can’t be cured as well.
    Why can’t the scientists invent the medicine until today ? The motivation of today scientist is money and popularity, not love. That’s why they can’t get any vision nor grace.

    Look at you, just an evolutionist, nothing you can do to help the sicks with your theory, none !
    What is the benefits for people if you can prove human came from ape ?? NONE ! except immorality.

  298. #299 DeadCat
    March 19, 2009

    @ facilis

    The assertion that condom use will result in an increase in promiscuous sex is tantamount to saying that the existence of HIV/AIDS along with other STD’s is a good thing, as it reduces such promiscuity. That is (as well as being inherently evil) just plain incorrect.

  299. #300 Natalie
    March 19, 2009

    Sean, I don’t believe for one second that you are South African. This statement:

    BTW, my own experience tells me that condom usage CAN exacerbate risk…when you’re used to having it off, and are caught without a condom…aah, what the hell?

    is an incredibly American/W. European approach to safe sex.

    Safe sex education here in the States has always been tailored to teenagers and young adults that are sleeping with their partners, friends, etc. Once a person gets married, we don’t talk about safe sex much, because culturally and statistically their isn’t much risk.

    That’s not how it works in most of the world. New AIDS infections are largely the result of rape, sex with a prostitute, or marital sex between an infected and uninfected couple. Tell me, how does your idea that condoms make people somehow expect sex apply to these situations? (Hint: it doesn’t.)

  300. #301 Discombobulated
    March 19, 2009

    Simon the Simpleton@298:

    Look at you, just an evolutionist, nothing you can do to help the sicks with your theory, none !

    Meet “Optimization of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 envelope glycoproteins with V1/V2 deleted, using virus evolution.”

    In simple language, the production of more effective HIV-1 vaccinations using EVOLUTION:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18922866

    (thanks, ERV)

  301. #302 Natalie
    March 19, 2009

    Does simon’s bizarre use of dashes in #298 remind anyone of Onion “publisher” T. Herman Zweibel?

    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/25776

  302. #303 Simon
    March 19, 2009

    #301
    Meet “Optimization of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 envelope glycoproteins with V1/V2 deleted, using virus evolution.”

    In simple language, the production of more effective HIV-1 vaccinations using EVOLUTION:

    from a virus to another virus, is it an evolution ?

    and a vaccinations is not a new invention.

  303. #304 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 19, 2009

    Simple Simon the Gay Lieman, still bleating for your morally bankrupt religion. Another +5 points for stupidity toward your plonking. Keep it up and you win!

  304. #305 me2
    March 19, 2009

    Natalie @300

    “Sean, I don’t believe for one second that you are South African. This statement:

    BTW, my own experience tells me that condom usage CAN exacerbate risk…when you’re used to having it off, and are caught without a condom…aah, what the hell?

    is an incredibly American/W. European approach to safe sex.”

    Unfortunately, it’s also a typically South African male approach too.

  305. #306 Discombobulated
    March 19, 2009

    from a virus to another virus, is it an evolution ?

    and a vaccinations is not a new invention.

    Oh, here we are with Micro vs. Macro/argument from ignorance.

    Simon: Where is the arbitrary line?

    My forehead hurts from the constant headdesking. I wonder if PZ will allow a superposition of siMon and John “Stuyvesant” Kwok for my vote.

  306. #307 SEF
    March 19, 2009

    Since it’s relatively routine for Catholic priests to have consensual sex with female parishioners (even going off with them elsewhere) or to rape (or sexually molest) children of either sex, I wonder what a comparison of their sexual contacts against those of Africans would actually be like. It’s possible the only thing keeping the priests and their victims from similar levels of STD problems is the far superior starting point of first-world health-care combined with more careful selection of innocents to victimise.

    Has anyone seen any reliable estimates of the rate at which Catholic priests have sex, ie total number of partners/victims divided by total number of priests within some area or other?

  307. #308 kryptonic
    March 19, 2009

    simon #298

    To allow condom, is to allow free-sex.

    Wrong. Sex is perfectly normal. Access to condoms = Safe sex. Reading many of your comments, I get the impression that you are at a stage where you like to experiment with sex. Given your proclivities toward what some might call “deviant” sex, I sincerely hope that you (and your partner(s)) wear condoms when you have sex.

  308. #309 DaveL
    March 19, 2009

    No, God hates the sin, immorality.

    God doesn’t really hate anything, since he’s a fictional character.

    Two wrongs never make a right.

    I have yet to hear a reasonable argument as to why the use of condoms would be wrong.

    To allow condom, is to allow free-sex.

    What the smeg is “free-sex”? Extramarital sex existed long before condoms.

    This is a tragedy of civilization, this disease caused by human’s fault. It’s a model

    where morality is abused.

    That some people go hungry when there is food available elsewhere to feed them is a tragedy caused by human faults. Crime is caused by human faults. Simply telling people to knock it off does not solve these problems, just as it will not solve the problem of AIDS. This has been proven throughout the centuries that the Catholic Church and other authoritarian organizations have been pursuing the “tell them not to” solution. The point is it the makers of public policy have an obligation to promote policies that do work.

    If there is no prostitution and free-sex and homosexual, there is no one infected by

    sexual-Aids.

    Assuming “sexual-Aids” refers to AIDS and not some sort of erotic device…

    First, HIV probably first entered the human population via bushmeat, not sex. Second, many people early in the pandemic contracted HIV through tainted blood products. Third, Medical personnel still risk infection through exposure to blood and accidental needle-sticks. Fourth, sharing needles amond intravenous drug users remains a vector for transmission. Fifth, a large proportion of new infections were caught from the patient’s infected spouse. Sixth, there’s the problem of HIV transmission from mother to child.

    If today those people who infected take abstinence of sex, they will be safe,

    otherwise they will be vanished even with condoms.

    And if everyone jogged to work, we wouldn’t be worrying about global warming or the price of oil.

    It’s not a realistic solution. Find one that is.

    You should not think you are safe now, you have cancer which can’t be cured as well.

    Who are you speaking to? I’m fairly certain I don’t have cancer, let alone an incurable form. You do know many people have been cured of cancer, right?

    Why can’t the scientists invent the medicine until today ?

    What medicine? Scientists have been inventing medicines for some time now, actually.

    The motivation of today scientist is money and popularity, not love.

    If they wanted money and popularity, it would be easier for them to become preachers. Real scientists do hard work for relatively little money when you take into account the investment they put into their education.

    What is the benefits for people if you can prove human came from ape ?? NONE

    !

    How about validating primate animal models for medical research?

    except immorality.

    How does common descent with other apes entail immorality?

  309. #310 Natalie
    March 19, 2009

    me2:

    Unfortunately, it’s also a typically South African male approach too.

    Fair enough, although I was actually thinking of our approach to sex education, rather than people’s attitude towards sex itself. That is, US sex education largely works from the assumption that the risky behavior is consensual sex between unmarried people. And for all I know it’s true that this is the most common disease vector in the US as a whole.

    Sean does not strike me as likely to be South African because he seems to be assuming that most STD transmission happens between unmarried couples. I suppose he could just be embarrasingly ignorant about his own nation.

  310. #311 MsMisery
    March 19, 2009

    Interrobang @ #195 …. umm you made a rather lot of very unpleasant assertions about my continent with a rather knowledgable attitude. I would appreciate any evidence (other than hearsay) of this so-called “rape-culture” that we poor Africans suffer through…

  311. #312 MsMisery
    March 19, 2009

    Interrobang @ #195 …. umm you made a rather lot of very unpleasant assertions about my continent with a rather knowledgable attitude. I would appreciate any evidence (other than hearsay) of this so-called “rape-culture” that we poor Africans suffer through…

  312. #313 MsMisery
    March 19, 2009

    As an “African” I have just a simple request to all those who keep referring to statistics about “Africa”. Whether you’re aware of it or not, Africa is actually an entire continent! Yes! its true! A pretty big one. So (if possible) try to be a little more accurate about exactly WHERE your statistics are coming from. In the last 10 years the rates of new AIDS infections has declined in every country in AFRICA except South Africa and Swaziland. (Yes even Zimbabawe). This is largely been attributed to the fact that the South African government was one of the last to implement AIDS awareness campaigns… suprise suprise.

  313. #314 Elwood Herring
    March 19, 2009

    Angel Kaida: You don’t have to read it, I was only making a suggestion. It’s a good read though, and it covers my earlier point but in much more detail. This will give you the gist: http://www.herring.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/pbd.htm

  314. #315 Knockgoats
    March 19, 2009

    from a virus to another virus, is it an evolution ? – Simon Supermoron

    Yes. You clearly show that you haven’t the slightest idea what evolution is.

    and a vaccinations is not a new invention.

    No-one said it was. However, this vaccine was developed using evolutionary science. Moreover, the entire science of virology, as well as many other medically relevant aspects of biology, would be impossible without the insights modern evolutionary theory has produced. You, Simon, are a loathsome, brainless, shit-obsessed bigot.

  315. #316 Your god
    March 19, 2009

    You are truly a complete imbecile Zak.

  316. #317 god again
    March 19, 2009

    …and I know imbeciles!

  317. #318 Zetetic
    March 19, 2009

    Simon @ #298

    No, God hates the sin, immorality. Two wrongs never make a right.

    Dodging the question…you never answered why there is evidence that contradicts the presumption on the part of theo-drones like yourself.

    To allow condom, is to allow free-sex.

    If people can have sex without the risk (or at least a reasonably small risk)…this would be bad how exactly? Oh! That’s right, because you think that an imaginary being that you can’t prove says so. Right….

    If there is no prostitution and free-sex and homosexual, there is no one infected by sexual-Aids.

    Funny how you ignore the other means of HIV transmission, and how some people can be innocent victims even by your own warped standards.

    The rest of your post Simon is mostly a barely coherent rant that only demonstrates your own ignorance. Others have already addressed it.

    ———————————————————

    Just like with Facilis… Simon seems to think that if reckless driving is bad, that cars shouldn’t have seat belts and airbags, or you’ll be encouraging bad drivers. He expects people to ignore that the lives saved far outweigh the increase in risky behavior.
    Why am I not surprised?

    I guess that there’s just something about the perverse mindset that religious fanaticism encourages, as opposed to more moderate religious views. It invariably seems to want to promote preventable death and suffering, just so the fanatics can tell everyone else how “moral” and holy-than-thou they are. It tries to validate itself, by promoting the very problems that it claims to be against.

    I think that people like Simon & Facilis really do tend to “get off” on the suffering of others in order to convince themselves of their own self-righteousness. It’s like schadenfreude, but where they actively want to stand in the way of helping others. To be fair to Facilis though, Simon seems to be more prone to that perverse mindset.

    Thanks Simon for changing my vote back to you again… you’re both boring and repugnant at the same time. Quite the feat!

  318. #319 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    March 19, 2009

    God hates the sin, immorality.

    *shrugs* Hey, he’s your imaginary friend. You can decide what he does and doesn’t hate all you want.

    Anyway, Batman can outsmart God, so nyeah.

  319. #320 Facilis
    March 19, 2009

    And as for those people who linked me to studies saying that abstinence did not work. NEWS FLASH!! Studies show that condoms aren’t working either.
    http://catholiceducation.org/articles/facts/fm0046.html
    “Sanny Chen and Norman Hearst noted that, “In many sub-Saharan African countries, high HIV transmission rates have continued despite high rates of condom use.” In fact, they continued, “No clear examples have emerged yet of a country that has turned back a generalized epidemic primarily by means of condom distribution.” ”
    And I beg to differ in saying that abstinence does not work. Check out Uganda
    http://www.heritage.org/research/africa/bg1692.cfm
    “Studies show that from 1991 to 2001, HIV infection rates in Uganda declined from about 15 percent to 5 percent. Among pregnant women in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, HIV prevalence dropped from a high of approximately 30 percent to 10 percent over the same period”

  320. #321 Facilis
    March 19, 2009

    Just like with Facilis… Simon seems to think that if reckless driving is bad, that cars shouldn’t have seat belts and airbags, or you’ll be encouraging bad drivers. He expects people to ignore that the lives saved far outweigh the increase in risky behavior.

    Never mind the facts that no-one here has shown that increases in condom distribution leads to decreases in AIDS.
    A seatbelt does more that cover for a dangerous driver. It protects you from accidents caused by other dangerous drivers or natural causes for accidents.
    Imagine a group of people handing out free low-tar cigarettes(which has lower rates of causing lung cancer than other cigarettes). Their reasoning is that “people like to smoke” so the smokers should get free low-tar smokes.
    Of course this is silly. While it would be better to smoke one that has lower tar, the way to prevent the disease is to stop smoking altogether and have programs to help people overcome their addictions.

  321. #322 Twin-Skies
    March 20, 2009

    I won’t deny that abstinence-only is among the more effective means of controlling the disease. However, my problem is that the church denies all other means of sex education that runs against their own agenda, even when said methods are proven to work.

    They can teach abstinence to the people there Facilis, but how many will actually follow the Church’s advice on such a difficult choice?

  322. #323 Twin-Skies
    March 20, 2009

    Btw, Faclis, your latter link on The Heritage Foundation was dated 2003.

    Here is a more recent update on the situation there:

    http://www.talk2action.org/story/2006/5/25/101656/916

    Uganda was once an HIV prevention success story, where an ambitious government-sponsored prevention campaign, including massive condom distribution and messages about delaying sex and reducing numbers of partners, pushed HIV rates down from 15 percent in the early 1990s to 5 percent in 2001. But conservative evangelicals rewrote this history–with the full-throated cooperation of Uganda’s evangelical first family, the Musevenis. As one Family Research Council paper put it:
    “Both abstinence and monogamy helped to curb the spread of AIDS in Uganda…How did this happen? Shortly after he came into office in 1986, President Museveni of Uganda spearheaded a mass education campaign promoting a three-pronged AIDS prevention message: abstinence from sexual activity until marriage; monogamy within marriage; and condoms as a last resort. The message became commonly known as ABC: Abstain, Be faithful, and use Condoms if A and B fail.”
    This warped version of the true Uganda story became the mantra in Bush’s Washington, with the “C” reduced more and more to an afterthought as time went by. For example, in piling on against a 2002 pro-condom comment by then Secretary of State Colin Powell, Focus on the Family’s James Dobson wrote condoms out of the story entirely: “Secretary Powell seems to be ignorant of the fact the Uganda has made great progress against AIDS by emphasizing abstinence, not condoms.” Soon, players connected with the Christian right, from Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse to Anita Smith’s Children’s AIDS Fund, cashed in to the tune of millions of dollars in federal grants to spread the abstinence message in Uganda, the Christian rights’ new showcase for a morality-based approach to AIDS. In the case of Smith’s outfit, her proposal was shot down by a scientific review committee, but politics prevailed: the head of U.S. AID overruled the experts and demanded that the program be funded.

  323. #324 simon
    March 20, 2009

    #309
    First, HIV probably first entered the human population via bushmeat, not sex.

    the infected men had sex with a hooker and she spread it.

    that happened in Papua, Indonesia. Thailand fishermen brought HIV to local hookers. Now it is a pandemic.

  324. #325 Feynmaniac
    March 20, 2009

    Simon,

    I am a prophet. By the end of this day you will be banned from here.

  325. #326 Jadehawk
    March 20, 2009

    the infected men had sex with a hooker and she spread it.

    that happened in Papua, Indonesia. Thailand fishermen brought HIV to local hookers. Now it is a pandemic.

    wow, that’s pure, weapons-grade stupid right there. not a single claim is factual

  326. #327 Jadehawk
    March 20, 2009

    facilis, could you please stop skipping over all the posts with actual answers? it would save us the trouble of having to constantly repeat ourselves!

    1)Most infections in many African countries happen within your precious marriages, not during some kinky orgy

    2)Uganda is a massive questionmark, as the research has identified 3 possible causes for the results: ABC (abstain, be faithful, condomize), vast improvements in hygiene in the medical field (not reusing needles, preventing contamination of supplies etc.), a massive die-off. there’s so far no way of telling what was the primary cause, or whether there even was one (as opposed to a combined effect); lastly, note that even ABC promotes condom use.

    3)the patriarchy your religion brings with itself is victimizing women because they can’t demand faithfulness from their partners. if women were emancipated on the other hand, they could insist both on condom use and faithfulness. partners in equal relationships are more likely to not cheat (because you can only cheat on a person, not on property)

    4)Places where religiosity is lowest are places where HIV infection-rates are lowest as well. what does that tell you, facilis?

  327. #328 Klokwurk
    March 20, 2009

    I found an interesting webpage about the history of HIV and AIDS in Uganda which has more information on ABC and some theories about the decline in infections that took place there.
    HIV and AIDS in Uganda

  328. #329 Taliesan
    March 20, 2009

    Natalie

    That he isn’t familiar with what has been part of every political argument in South Africa since Thabo Mbeki took over from Nelson Mandela kind of sealed that deal for me.

    It isn’t like this is a “South Africans might not know this” in order to not know it, you would have to have plugged your ears, and avoided every single newspaper in the country for about eight years.

  329. #330 simon
    March 20, 2009

    #325
    I am a prophet. By the end of this day you will be banned from here.

    banned ? interesting, unable to defend ?

  330. #331 Feynmaniac
    March 20, 2009

    simon,

    Defend against what? Your fantasies involving feces, penises and anuses. I could only think of one reason someone would post dozens of graphic descriptions of coprophilic, homosexual acts…..

    Get it out of your system while you still can. You are currently in the lead.

  331. #332 siMon
    March 20, 2009

    Your fantasies involving feces, penises and anuses.

    isn’t it scientific words ? it’s better rather than f**k

    banning is not a solution.

  332. #333 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    March 20, 2009

    banning is not a solution.

    Nothing wrong with improving the signal-to-noise ratio, though.

  333. #334 DaveL
    March 20, 2009

    the infected men had sex with a hooker and she spread it.

    It’s highly unlikely the initial chain of infection went Bushmeat->Man->Hooker for the simple reason that prostitution tends to be concentrated in urban centers while bushmeat consumption tends to be more prevalent in remote areas.

    Seriously, where do you come up with this stuff? Does it come printed on the side of your pill bottles?

  334. #335 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 20, 2009

    Simon, banning you and your idiocy is a solution. We remove stupidity from the world, and more importantly, this blog. You never had a cogent argument, just feces.

    Facilis the Fallacious Fool fails again. Life is normal and good.

  335. #336 plm
    March 23, 2009

    http://www.ilsussidiario.net/articolo.aspx?articolo=14614

    Here’s just one article( there are others) that seems to give some credence to what the Pope said. Of course this is just dealing with one aspect of the AIDS problem. The Pope alluded to other avenues that also need to be actualized in the fight against AIDS. The answer isn’t found in science alone. So, rather than merely going into attack mode of the Pope and the Church why not give an intellectually honest listen to what he has to say?

    So, are you all going to dismiss this Dr. as a quack too? As long as you continue to view a confirmed bigot like PZ Myers as an authority on matters related to the Catholic church or Theology many of you will remain blind. I ocassionally take a peek in on this site. All I can say is that the level of clear understanding of the Catholic Church, Philosophy, and Theology is pretty low. For all the insulting many of you participate in, you would think you would actually understand what it is you are attacking. BTW, doesn’t that ever get old? It did for me somewhere around 15 years old.

    Curious. PZ. Would you be interested in a debate with Dr. William Lane Craig if the opportunity presented ?

  336. #337 CJO
    March 23, 2009

    doesn’t that ever get old? It did for me somewhere around 15 years old.

    The overall tone of your response belies this glib dismissal of outspoken atheism as childish: you care enough to make what you seem to believe is a serious counter-argument, therefore it is reasonable to think that you perceive more of a threat here than you let on.

    All I can say is that the level of clear understanding of the Catholic Church, Philosophy, and Theology is pretty low.

    We hear it all the time, and it’s bullshit. Talk specifics. Show somewhere that PZ or a serious commenter displayed ignorance of philosophy, show a grasp of philosophy yourself, or admit that you’re talking big with nothing to back it up. As for theology, the subject matter is imaginary, so “clear understanding” is problematic in its definition. As regards its history, though, or knowledge of textual criticism and the like, you will find that many of us have a better than passing familiarity with the subject. Was there a specific theological point of which you intended to demonstrate superior understanding, or are you just another bluffing moron with nothing but empty rhetoric?

  337. #338 aratina
    March 23, 2009

    Agenda Alert! Agenda Alert!! Amazing how nobody has ever heard this crap before!

    Besides, the Pope said condom use increases the rate of HIV, which is a big fat fucking lie. It’s not condom use, it’s condom misuse that Green is trying to wash over this whole awful claptrap that the Catholic leader spewed forth.

  338. #339 Ichthyic
    March 23, 2009

    So, rather than merely going into attack mode of the Pope and the Church why not give an intellectually honest listen to what he has to say?

    not only did we listen to what THIS pope had to say, we listened to what the LAST pope said on the issue, namely the same thing, and watched in horror as millions died because of it. Just as inroads were being made in Rwanda and other areas to try and promote safe sex, the Pope spoke and destroyed 10 years worth of work in one day. Result? In the areas where the Pope destroyed that work, HIV infection rates rose from 2% to 28% in the subsequent 15 years. FACT: condom use reduces risk of infection by HIV by 90% (souce: WHO). FACT: The current CC has no clue how migrant workers and family structure work in Africa, nor do they really fucking care. The end result? Death, and a lot of it.

    If you want to support the pope’s stance and lay those deaths on your own ignorance, so be it, but you’d be far better off just shutting the fuck up.

  339. #340 Thomas Lee Elifritz
    March 26, 2009

    Pope Retard Lies And Kills For Jesus :

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7967173.stm

  340. #341 Mike
    March 29, 2009

    Today in the Washington Post, Edward Green says that the Pope made evidence based statements about HIV and condoms in Africa. And that everyone who criticized the Pope was waging war on science in order to get in political/religious pot shots.

    What is your take on this article?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/27/AR2009032702825.html

    “In 2003, Norman Hearst and Sanny Chen of the University of California conducted a condom effectiveness study for the United Nations’ AIDS program and found no evidence of condoms working as a primary in HIV-prevention measure in Africa. UNAIDS quietly disowned the study. (The authors eventually managed to publish their findings in the quarterly Studies in Family Planning.) Since then, major articles in other peer-reviewed journals such as the Lancet, Science and BMJ have confirmed that condoms have not worked as a primary intervention in the population-wide epidemics of Africa. In a 2008 article in Science called “Reassessing HIV Prevention” 10 AIDS experts concluded that “consistent condom use has not reached a sufficiently high level, even after many years of widespread and often aggressive promotion, to produce a measurable slowing of new infections in the generalized epidemics of Sub-Saharan Africa.” “

  341. #342 acitizen
    April 23, 2009

    First the references.
    UNAIDS. 2004 Report on the global AIDS epidemic, page.72
    Preferred sources of condoms among young men in Kampal, Uganda. KamyM, Kapiriri L, Kamy S, Biryabarema C, Kajubi P, Hearst N, McFarland W, International Conference on AIDS.

    Now the analysis.
    In 1995, sexually experienced teenage men ages 15-17 had a sexual activity rate of 33%. In 1995 the 18 and 19 year-old men who were sexually experienced had a sexual activity rate of 58%. Then the barriers to condom use were lowered. Perhaps co-incidentally, the rates of sexual activity among sexually experienced teenagers rose to 120% or 125% of the pre-intervention levels.

    The only group that benefited from the lowered barriers was married women and men, who used condoms more, but that may have been because the proportion of married men with MULTIPLE PARTNERS increased among some age groups.

    Now the conclusion.
    The pope was not only telling the truth about what he believed, he was right.

  342. #343 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 23, 2009

    Now the you are wrong asshole rebuttal. And the pope is always wrong to preach to anyone other than his faith, and to try to sway government policy. Both are immoral activities on his part. End of story.

  343. #344 Rorschach
    April 23, 2009

    acitizen talking about shit he doesnt understand @ 342,

    In 1995, sexually experienced teenage men ages 15-17 had a sexual activity rate of 33%. In 1995 the 18 and 19 year-old men who were sexually experienced had a sexual activity rate of 58%

    What exactly is a “sexual activity rate of 33%” ? You sleep with 33 out of 100 women you look at? The the rate of 125% mentioned later is really,really impressive !!

    Now the conclusion.
    The pope was not only telling the truth about what he believed, he was right.

    Now the conclusion.
    acitizen has absolutely no idea what he is talking about,