Condoms are not the solution to AIDS

Of course, “Condoms save lives,” theoretically, just as “fidelity within heterosexual marriage and sexual abstinence” (Pope Benedict) also may.

Re. March 19 editorial by Lee Giles, headlined Condoms save lives, in which he criticized the Pope for urging Africans and other people not to use condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS:

Of course, “Condoms save lives,” theoretically, just as “fidelity within heterosexual marriage and sexual abstinence” (Pope Benedict) also may.

The Pope’s message is faulty, infers the Advocate piece, because it isn’t realistic!

Oddly, this is something I’ve had thrown back at me over the years, even by someone I’ve loved, a devout Christian, that to quote Scriptures as an ideal is one thing, but you have to live in the real world.

It is a heartbreaking statement. Therefore, it is no surprise that a seeming agnostic like Giles can so easily dismiss the pontiff’s teachings of abstinence versus condoms.

Obviously, the old gent’s fault is not so much faulty reasoning as it is bad theory, and that religion doesn’t work.

What a message to be preaching from the pulpit of a city’s daily newspaper, that religion isn’t applicable in the real world!

Worse, the editorial laments that only “a few brave Catholics” ever publicly question the Pope’s views.

Is this a hint that the faithful ones are gutless? Isn’t Church policy best left for the Church to decide?

Here is a philosophical question for the Advocate: If condom use reduces AIDS by 50 per cent, while their increased availability doubles the rate of licentiousness, where does victory hide in that balance?

With the number of teen pregnancies in our local schools, one has to wonder where in the devil did the message go that condoms prevent disease and pregnancies? Are condoms not readily available locally?

Why do condoms not work here?

Travel a few miles on Red Deer Transit and enjoy a revelation: see young moms with loaded baby strollers everywhere, and notice how few also are blessed with a gold ring on their finger.

I dare guess that the province’s Social Services Department would quickly back up that observation, as the amount of money they dole out to unwed mothers every month is no doubt staggering.

Consequences teach us that common sense can’t be forced on anyone, and wisdom cannot be manufactured, packaged, and inserted into each package of pretty ribbed condoms. This too, an editor should note, is living life in the real world.

Therefore, perhaps there is a worthy message in what the Pope advocates, that health and saved lives may be furthered by sharing a bit of spiritual truth. Why not?

The fact here is that there is room in society for two messages.

One is practical, today’s world type of reality, and the other is the simple truth of righteousness that also works extremely well, if practised.

Let the real-world philosophers, such as Giles, preach to the secular, and let church leaders speak to the believing faithful.

Then let every individual decide for themselves what best suits their own conscience, and let every yardstick be allowed their full 36 inches of balanced truth.

Isn’t that the way it should be?

Tammy Pettitt-Burton

Red Deer