Friday, December 14, 2007

Church logic

A survey shows that 77% of Filipino Catholics found nothing wrong with using condoms, especially in preventing the spread of STDs. How will the Catholic Church leaders respond? By spewing stupidity. First there's the non sequitur of citing moral law.
“Surveys favoring contraceptives will not alter the Church’s position and insistence in teaching the objective moral laws regarding the dignity of human life and family,”
like moral law has ever stopped anyone determined to sin. Then they tried to poison the well.
"Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, the CBCP spokesperson, called the survey “deceptive,” saying that it was done to “fit their own agenda.”"
So what? As Senator Osmena answered when asked if he commissioned the Pulse Asia survey that labeled President Arroyo as the most corrupt President of the Philippines ever, "Yes. Any problem?" Or as the Executive Director of Pulse Asia responded "The results are independent of who commissioned it,". If there are any criticisms, it should be specific to the survey itself. Were the questions asked leading questions? Were the distribution of the respondents random? etc.

Then theres this bizarre quote position
"“Life begins in the womb. How can you become pro-life if you kill a baby?” said Quitorio."
I just don't know how to begin answering this statement. Should I point out that according to Catholic teachings, God forgives so that one may kill a baby and still be pro-life. Or that according to the bible, God has commanded many babies to be killed, which makes God pro-choice? There is also the problem of sin of omission and commission, if you can prevent the death of someone but did not act, that is still a sin, and a sin that according to Catholic doctrine is on par with abortion. Of course, according to my theology teacher in high school, just thinking about a sinful act is the same as committing the act itself. :)

But the worst part is the outright lie.
"Quitorio said condoms could not stop the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus which causes the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS.

He cited the case of Thailand, where the widespread use of condoms did not stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.

“Like in Thailand, they’re using it but AIDS is still proliferating,” said Quitorio."
Ok, let's be generous and say it was a misinformed statement. But he is the spokesperson for the largest religion in the Philippines, he should at least read something on the mater before pontificating on it. According to
"There are very few developing countries in the world where public policy has been effective in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS on a national scale, but Thailand is an exception. A massive programme to control HIV has reduced visits to commercial sex workers by half, raised condom usage, decreased the prevalence of STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) dramatically, and achieved substantial reductions in new HIV infections. 1

Thailand, though, is also a reminder that success can be relative. Its well funded, politically supported and comprehensive prevention programmes have saved millions of lives, reducing the number of new HIV infections from 143,000 in 1991 to 19,000 in 2003. 2 Nonetheless, more than one-in-100 adults in this country of 65 million people is infected with HIV, and AIDS has become a leading cause of death. 3

Unless past efforts are sustained and new sources of infection are addressed, the striking achievements made in controlling the epidemic could now be put at risk. Factors such as an increase in risky sexual behaviour and a rising number of STI cases have led to concerns that Thailand could face a resurgence of HIV and AIDS in coming years. The government has decreased funding for AIDS prevention programmes significantly, and there are signs that public awareness is waning. Complacency - among both the government and the public – poses a real threat to the fight against AIDS in Thailand. 4"
So, condom use is not the problem why AIDS cases are again rising in Thailand, its complacency by the Government and the the people themselves. The anti-HIV program in Thailand has been so successful that people seem to have forgotten the lessons learned in the 1990's. This assessment is echoed by Time Magazine.
"Several factors have contributed to the worsening trends. "We have become complacent," says Mechai Viravaidya, (a.k.a. Mr. Condom), a senator and the principle architect of Thailand's successful anti-AIDS program of the 1990s. "People think because they can't see HIV anymore that we have it kicked, and they are taking risks again." Following the Asia-wide economic crash of 1997, successive Thai governments have slashed budgets for prevention programs to less than half their 1997 levels. Condom funding is down, education programs in schools have ended, and the media campaign has all but disappeared. Meanwhile, other avenues of infection—such as drug users sharing needles and men having sex with other men—have been largely ignored.

And in an understandable but no less ironic twist of fate, the advent of effective anti-HIV drugs has lulled folks at all levels of society into dropping their guard against HIV—just as it did in the U.S. and other countries. "This government has done a good job on treatment and care," says Dr. Praphan Phanupak of Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. "But they have to get back into prevention. There needs to be a balance [between treatment and prevention] if you want to contain this virus.""
HIV/AIDS has been largely contained. The new AIDS drugs can prolong the life of an infected person, we can also say the same thing for some cancers, but we still would not want people to be afflicted with them. Condom can prevent a young person from contracting AIDS, not approving it's use is a sin.


The Nashman said...

Wow, stupid Cardinals and Bishops are really coming out of the woodwork....

Roy C. Choco, FCD said...

Hi Nashman,

Merry Christmas!