Diogenes on true charity: Safe Socks

Our friend Diogenes has posted a very good reaction to the obtuse invective being poured out on Pope Benedict for his comments on AIDS and condoms in Africa.

The left is saying, predictably, that the Pope is stupid and hates women because neither nor the Church advocates the use of condoms in Africa to reduce the incidence of AIDS especially in women who are helpless and abused.  Condoms, you see, will help these women because, as you see, the abusing men are sure to delay their abuse of the women and, you see, find, unwrap, and put on the condom before continuing their assault.  Condoms will help stop the spread of AIDS in Africa, you see, because… well… they just will.

Diogenes comments.  My emphases.

The Association of Compassionate Christian Caregivers today severely criticized traditional Catholic teaching on marital "love" and called upon the churches to encourage wife-beating Africans to take the "prudent, practical steps" to reduce the risk of HIV infection when assailing their spouses.

"The science is not in doubt" says Fizzy Osbourne, spokesman for the International Planned Widowhood Federation, "all the evidence shows that bare fists used to pummel infected spouses cause skin ruptures that increase the rate of transmission to the uninfected partner."

AIDS experts advise uninfected wife-beaters to don leather bag-mitts — ideally on top of and in addition to standard latex gloves — before striking their HIV-positive wives. Knuckle abrasion and random laceration can be reduced by as much as 94%, which significantly decreases exposure of the aggressor to contaminated blood.

Pre-nuptial workshops in many parts of Africa also instruct future husbands in low-risk striking techniques (Safe-Socks). Most external bleeding ensues from straight punches delivered to the angular parts of the face, especially the eyebrows, teeth, and nasal cartilage. Hooks, uppercuts, and body-punches, on the other hand, rarely break the skin and therefore seldom cause bleeding of the kind that can spatter onto the "active" partner and put him at risk of infection.

Scientists and other specialists in AIDS transmission are dismayed that Vatican ultra-conservatives continue to ignore their findings and insist that all persons — even unlettered Angolans and even when HIV-negative — refrain in all circumstances from acts of physical violence against their spouses.

"Preaching charity will NOT solve the problem!" says Osbourne. "We need to work with the reality of where these people are. These are Africans, for God’s sake, not persons capable of understanding and following a moral norm. It is irresponsible of the Pope to teach otherwise."

The ACCC was joined by Zero Population Growth and Prof Josef Fritzl in accusing the Catholic Church of "increasing death" by its insistence on charity. "It’s about the children," sniffed Fritzl. "I believe all children deserve a father. Yet how many thousands of fathers have died and left orphans behind them — simply because they were frightened by the Church into leaving off their gloves when thumping the old woman?

South African Bishop Reggie Cawcutt was unavailable for comment.


Some people will read this and, for reasons I can’t fathom, miss the point that this is irony. 

This is not supposed to be funny. 

It is meant to shock the obtuse into seeing the flaw in their argument.

Diogenes is showing the flaw in the argument that condoms will halt the spread of AIDS.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    Surreal! Is this a send-up? Rather than encourage men NOT to hit their wives charities fund “pre-nuptial workshops” (which, no doubt, draw near universal attendance) encouraging safe techniques to do so. Well at least the condom brigade are consistent…rather than encouraging abstitence they encourage continuing poor behaviour but with safety.

    It’s all part of a discourse of victimhood. “Africans obviously can’t make their own decisions, and are bound by their passions, so let’s at least make them safe.” What condescending liberal trash.

  2. jarhead462 says:

    Oh ….My……Goodness.

    Semper Fi

  3. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    On second reading it must be a send-up. The problem is that it’s so perfectly believable!

  4. jarhead462 says:

    See what happens when you don’t read the intro?
    Must stop trying to squeeze this blog in while working!
    Diogenes is right on the money!
    Still….I feel like a dufus… ;)

    Semper Read Carefully!

  5. Diogenes is a classic.

  6. LCB says:

    Diogenes should be required reading. For everyone. Daily.

    And they should not be permitted to drink coffee while reading him, as it tends to hit the screen or (more commonly) one’s shirt. Which happens to me just about any time I read Diogenes while drinking my coffee.

  7. stgemma0411 says:


    Folks…come on…please. You can’t give into common sense. We all know that abstinence doesn’t work. And we surely must know that true love consists only in intercourse. All things being equal, it still wouldn’t make a difference because even if the egg were to fertilize, it still wouldn’t be an embryo, and what’s more….none of this has anything to do with promoting consequence-free freedom, nor does it have anything to do with stopping global warming.


    I don’t know who is more dumb, the people saying all this bunk, or the million’s of people who believe it and still voted for Obama.

  8. Corleone says:

    Andrew – you are SO CORRECT! As someone who has lived in Africa, I can tell you with all my soul that I cringe whenever I hear these liberal wannabes opining about “what’s best for Africa”. I’m not saying you need to come from Africa or have lived there to understand it. But I am saying most people simply don’t care to get enough information before basing their decisions (predictions?) on their preconceived agenda.

    There are so many reasons why “condom use” won’t work in Africa. I don’t think this is the right forum to address the issues, since some of them a quite graphical in nature. Suffice it to say, in cultures where you basically have nothing from day to day except drudgery, one of the only “escapes” or diversions (at least one of the cheapest ones) is sex. And when you know the life expectancy in your country is around 46 anyway, it is easy to adopt a “live fast, die young and leave behind as many children as you can” mentality. Add to this the fact the VAST majority of Africa does not have a long-standing Christian culture to begin with and is still trying to reconcile “traditional” (see: tribal) customs and lifestyles with Christianity, and you get pretty much the same situation that was present in mideaval Europe.

    Anyway, not to get preachy or anything, but my bottom line here is that the problems are so much deeper and complicated at the very societal level that it is both laughible and horrific when I hear the “condoms” speeches about Africa. Because I know that is like offering a “cup-and-ball” toy to a child suffering from leukemia in lieu of real medicine.

  9. Diane says:

    Oh, my goodness. This is unbelievable.

    Quick – everyone head to the adoration chapel near you and do an hour. Make it a day. Nevermind….just stay there for a year.

  10. mysticalrose says:

    I get the point . . . but this is just harsh.

  11. Sean says:

    I should not have read this in the library. My nearly uncontrollable laughter has disturbed everyone’s peace and quiet!

  12. irishgirl says:

    Diogenes is a genius! He ‘punches’ the liberals!


  13. Seminarian says:

    I have heard some pretty silly things in my lifetime, but this is the first time that I have ever heard anyone make a direct link between CHARITY and DEATH!

    It seems to me that perchance the Father of Lies, and Twister of all Truth, is in the works somewhere here. “No, you won’t die if you eat the apple…”

    Perhaps after the Holy Father’s encyclical, “Caritas in Veritate” (on the Social Doctrine of the Church), he should publish a follow-up one and name it, “Mors in Caritate” (on the Social Doctrine of the world).

  14. Mark says:

    I am extremely disappointed, however, when the Pope says that the Church “cannot offer economic solutions” and then says all we can give is vague advice about charity and not being greedy. Do the Social Teachings of popes like Leo XIII and Pius XI no longer mean anything?

    The problems are structural, and related to immoral systems and unethical ideas institutionalized in the structure of the world economy. The Vatican should know this, as they are all things condemned by the Church in the past. But, who are we to tell the secular world how to run its business….

    That is one place I think the hierarchy really dropped the ball even before Vatican II. The Church determined (correctly) that some interest could be charged on productive loans (to represent risk, lost opportunity, etc)…but then suddenly the sin of usury was suddenly relegated to just “charging excessive interest”. In reality, our whole monetary system as it exists today is usurous for a variety of reasons that treat money unnaturally as a commodity in itself, profiting merely from the possession of money, creating money out of Debt, and enslaving us all to the bankers, etc.

    And will the Vatican say anything? No! Because the Vatican HAS a bank itself, now, scandal of scandals. And while it may use all profits for charitable purposes, it is rather self-defeating considering it has investments in other banks that DO do fractional-reserve debt-money type stuff, and in all sorts of big capitalist companies which are all part of the World System core that is exploiting Africa.

  15. Thom says:

    If this is your idea of humor, Father, there is a problem.

    As someone who not only has an apostolate at a domestic violence shelter and safe-house, but who stayed in one as a child with his mother, this is one of the most perverse things that I’ve read in a long time.

    I find it ironic that your anti-spam word this time is “think then post.”

    Perhaps, in your charity, you might have done the same.

    Beating women isn’t funny. Period.

  16. Corleone says:

    Yeah, Mark, let’s just conveniently forget that the previous pope, bishops and church worldwide called on the world to forgive 3rd world debt for the last 2 decades. You should read “The Ethical Dimensions of International Debt”, because right now your statements aren’t very…factual.

  17. Mark says:

    I think you miss the point. The humor is that liberals seem to imply that men who rape in Africa (the analogue to beating in the parody)…just need to use condoms, and dont seem to care that the raping is wrong in the first place, or act as if that cant be stopped so they might as well “rape safely” as if that makes anyone’s life any better (and as if they will bother, in the heat of the moment, to use a condom). The parody is very anti-wife-beating.

  18. Mark says:

    Forgiving debt treats the symptoms, not the structural problems. The debt must be forgiven, to be sure, but that is only a small step.

  19. Corleone says:

    Thom – I think you missed the meaning of the post. Those in favour of condom-usage as a “cure” for AIDS don’t appreciate the fact that violence against women is in many instances at the base/root of the spread of HIV. And to think the perpetrators are going to simply stop and accomodate the wishes of their victim by wearing a condom is insane. I think Father Z’s tone was indicative of his exasperation with the rhetoric as opposed to any attempt at humour at the expense of any victim.

    Once again, it is the society and the accepted behaviours of it which are the root cause, not condom usage (or lack thereof).

  20. Edward Martin says:

    I get the point, but I agree with Thom. This is offensive. If you have ever seen someone with the scars of a spousal beating there is no place for humour, none.

  21. Corleone says:

    MARK – yes, it is. But it is a much greater step than any comparable secular institution has been urging for. wouldn’t you agree? And once again, the church has put out several pieces of literature on the subject. You would do well to inform yourself of them prior to claims that the church isn’t doing enough.

  22. avecrux says:

    As a woman, I consider the abuse of my femininity/sexuality through contraception pushing just as offensive as physical abuse – and it is just as, if not MORE common than physical abuse. That is the point here – NOT to trivialize physical violence, but to get people to wake up and see that abuse of women is abuse of women. People who advocate the sexual abuse of women (which is what contraception causes and encourages on a grand scale) claim a moral high ground. Well, they can’t have it. Failing to respect a woman’s fertility is abuse, and I am overjoyed that the Church does not waver in Her proclamation of the Truth.

  23. Edward Martin says:

    I would add to my post there is no place for humour, not even parody. In addition, I think Thom “gets it”.

  24. Robert says:

    I absolutely don’t think Father or Diogenes was trying to be funny. Neither of them thinks domestic violence OR AIDS is funny. They, as do most of us who read here, think it is totally unrealistic to think that abusing men are going to even consider using a condom before forcing themselves on women. Diogenes is using extreme shocking irony to make the point that the condomistas are completely disingenuous.

  25. Corleone says:

    I apologise myself. I just read the content as I was actually confusing this and another article from the same day. I also agree that the post from Diogenes is rude, offensive, unsympathetic and not in the least bit witty or funny.

    My apologies to Thom and Edward, as I agree with you now.

  26. avecrux says:

    Thom, Edward and Corleone –
    Do you think that contraception and sterilization is a form of domestic abuse?

  27. Jenny says:

    I guess yall have never read “A Modest Proposal?”

  28. Duarte Valério says:

    In case you didn’t notice, Josef Fritzl is a man from Austria who has been convicted today to life imprisonment in a psychiatric institution because he held a daughter captive in his basement during 24 years, beginning when she was 18, raped her (which he already did since she was 11), and had seven children from her. This schocking story has been in the news all over Europe since the case was found out last year.

    I agree that there are better issues to make humour about than domestic violence… though of course I fully agree with the parallelism.

  29. Thom says:

    Avecrux, I refuse to play your little exercise in philosphy. Tell me, have you ever seen cigarette burns? Scalds from coffee? Eyes swollen shut? Broken limbs?

    Now, tell me, have you seen it as a child on your mother?

    Jenny, I have indeed read “A Modest Proposal.” But Mr. Swift is no longer with us, and Mr. Swift wasn’t a priest, unless I’m mistaken.

  30. avecrux says:

    Thom – this is not an exercise in philosophy.
    Contraception use is gravely sinful – intrinsically evil – it can send people to hell. Why – because it is abuse.
    If you don’t see that, I am not surprised that you did not understand the import of this piece.

    Oh – and as I side note – yes. I grew up amidst domestic physical violence myself. That is one of the reasons I understand that respect for women is a complete package.

  31. Corleone says:

    Avecrux – are you saying it is OK laugh at domestic violence since contraception and sterilization is also evil? This doesn’t make sense.

    Duarte – yes, as I am in Italy we have been hearing about the case daily. But what I am amazed at is that this is not “front-page” smut/sensationalism focusing on the gruesome (and yes, they are horrid) details, but actually a sort of morality play showing the cause and effect of such depravity. I actually respect the media here for its coverage on it so far. Were I still living in the UK I’m sure I would not be nearly as impressed.

  32. Thom says:

    Then, Ave, you should understand that reducing domestic violence to a “witty” satirical piece to prove a point about condoms and the Pope really does no service to drawing attention to the horror that is spousal abuse. If anything, it makes light of it, which is the source of my digust.

  33. avecrux says:

    No. I don’t think we are meant to laugh at this at all. I said before – that’s not the point. This is a piece that points out the faulty logic of condom pushers by applying it to a situation that it is more socially acceptable to consider abusive.

  34. Thom says:

    It seems to me, especially given the comments here where people “burst out laughing,” that the intent behind the piece was an exercise in cleverness.

    As my lolCats would say: FAIL.

  35. William Tighe says:

    We,, Jonathan Swift wasn’t a Catholic priest, but he was an Anglican clergyman, for many years Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin.

  36. avecrux says:

    Yes, Thom – I do see your point about reactions… I didn’t laugh out loud, I shuddered – and I think the piece is more than mere cleverness.
    The shock draws people into discussion and debate and hopefully can help to put into perspective the good guys and bad guys in the AIDS war when the manipulative mainstream media turns it on its head. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us and may God bless your much needed apostolate.

  37. boredoftheworld says:

    I don’t understand why so many people are really missing the point completely.

    Consider this:

    “Would you tell a wife beater that what he really needs to do is put some padding on his hands as a solution to domestic violence?”

    “No, of course not! That misses the point completely!”

    “Why then are you suggesting that throwing condoms all over Africa will solve the problems there?”

    “The two aren’t even remotely similar, what are you talking about you stupid Christian?”

    “Oh but they are, look at it this way…(insert diogenes’ bit)”

    Now, if you don’t think that the two are at all equivalent then I see your point much in the same way that people get all bent out of shape when someone draws a comparison between the Holocaust and abortion.

  38. Corleone says:

    bored – no one is saying there is no equivalence. and if you read through the posts, you will see the point was absolutely missed.

  39. Susan Peterson says:

    I understate the point of this and the parallism,
    but I must say that it made me somewhat uncomfortable to read it.
    Susan Peterson

  40. Romulus says:

    Thom and Corleone: Diogenes is using savage irony to recall us to a truth not all are ready to proclaim — namely, that contraception is intrinsically evil no less than domestic violence. That we as individuals and as society fail to regard it with the same shock, abhorrence, and disgust reveals a profound disorder in us.

    St. Joseph, pray for us.

  41. Ed Francis says:

    I’m with Thom and Edward Martin,

    We are not to use the tools of the enemy, and “clever philosophy” is a shabby disguise for malice.

    There are explicit instructions about such things, in, of all places, the Gospels. Christ spoke on such topics, and I don’t think he was being ironic, or clever, or philosophical.

    We are specifically enjoined to a particular stance with regard to enemies, as well as each other. Recognizing our inability to hold that stance is not a permission to violate it philosophically.

  42. Corleone says:

    Ed Francis – you know, you just brought up an incredibly intelligent, theological and philisophical (sorry!) point about Christianity. In the Jewish tradition, God is often portrayed as a “great intellectual” when speaking to humans (i.e. Genesis, Exodus and Deuteronomy), and the Mohammedan texts have god as a trickster who resorts to parlour games and such with humans (they have god doing a “quick change” with jesus on the cross to put someone else who looks like him so his enemies think he’s crucified). Christianity seems to have God speaking to humans in the vulgate and forms they most relate to for their time (i.e. parables, biblical quotes and just straight talk). So, in a way, Christianity is a very unclever religion when you think about it.

    Hmmmm. I guess that copy of “The bible code” I got for Chanukah got it all wrong afterall.

  43. Megan says:

    While not supposed to be funny, being on this side of the pendulum, I find it sadly amusing. Oh, the irony indeed…

  44. Mark says:

    “A much greater step than any comparable,” etc…?!? Since when is the Church’s standard to simply stay ahead of “comparable” institutions? As if any is comparable. “Well, it’s better than what anyone else is saying…” Yes, it is. But does that make it the BEST? No. Not by a long shot. And it is the Church’s duty to proclaim the best, to proclaim the WHOLE truth. Not to compromise. Nor to sacrifice the ideal for the sake of “okay” at least not on the theoretical level. Trying to simply “moderate” capitalism/socialism (same thing, really)…is self-defeating in the end. You cant tame the beast, you have to kill it.

  45. Mark says:

    If the Pope really had the guts, he’d step in and say that Catholics (and the African nations) were absolved from any moral duty to service any more than the principles of debts, and dont have to pay any heed to the usurous interest on money the banks dont really have in the first place. Why try to get the other country’s to “forgive” debt they have no right to extract in the first place? Just say that the exploited countries should just ignore it. They only bother to pay to get new loans anyway, but that just continues the cycle. The Pope has lots of influence in that regard. I mean, imagine, what the world would do if the Pope told Catholics that they dont have to pay back the interest on their loans. That Shylock may take his pound of flesh but not spill one drop of Christian blood. It would really shake things up! But, no…no Pope is going to dare rock the boat. So it’s gotten to the point where he says any little think and people jump at him. I say, then, start dropping (verbal) nuclear bombs.

  46. Bill Smackers says:

    Well, the difference is that plenty of people can have intercourse in a loving relationship. Should we punish HIV+ people by telling them they are not allowed to introduce sex into a loving marriage? Or should we punish their partners by telling them that if they want to introduce sex into the marriage that they’re just going to have to get AIDS? Neither is acceptable. And that is where the domestic violence metaphor simply fails – domestic violence is never part of a loving relationship.

    I’m well aware I’m posting a contradictory opinion to the vast majority of posters and the Father himself here. And I’m well aware that it goes against Church teachings. But, as has happened in the past, the Church can in fact be behind the times on modern science.

    I still love Christ and worship our Almighty God, but the ban on condoms is a church policy – it was never in the Bible that contraception is evil, it’s only been derived from passages that are vague at best. Contraception (though not in any method we would know it as) has been common at all times in the world, mostly through tradition home treatments. If God found it to be so evil to be worthy of denouncing, it seems logical he would be more explicit to the Prophets and through the Gospels.

  47. Anita says:

    @Bill You DO realize that for century upon century contraception would have been considered a completely bizarre practice as having many many many children was seen as a really good thing in the vast majority of societies. Children were a status symbol, if you will… A badge of masculinity and – the ability to successfully bear and rear children the ultimate in feminine attractiveness.

    Christ warned the women of Jerusalem that such a day would come:

    “But Jesus turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For behold, the days shall come, wherein they will say: Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the paps that have not given suck.”

    One can imagine those women would have been pretty incredulous… How could anyone EVER think it a good thing not to bear children?? Hmmm…

  48. Steve K. says:

    So what is a protestant like you Bill doing here? Seriously.

    “But, as has happened in the past, the Church can in fact be behind the times on modern science.”

    This really has nothing to do with science.

  49. Susan Peterson says:

    Mr. Smackers,

    In the letters of Paul, the condemnation of pharmakeia, usually translated “sorcery” is a condemnation of the use of potions which were usually either for contraceptive or abortifacient purposes. The whole lot are condemned.

    Early church writings from not much later than the gospels, are also explicit in their condemnation.

    Contraception is clearly condemned throughout the Christian tradition, a tradition which was maintained even by Protestants until 1930.

    Modern science really has nothing to do with it. IT can provide more effective contraceptives, but it cannot say anything about the morality of their use.

    The particular situation you describe is a difficult one. But it isn’t exactly the situation that this article parodies, which was that of a violently imposed sexual intercourse, not a loving relationship.

    There is some discussion of whether condoms could be used in the situation you describe NOT as a contraceptive, but to prevent diseases. For instance, could an infertile couple use them? Could a couple practice fertility awareness, and abstain during the fertile period, but use condoms for disease prevention in the infertile period? The objections raised to this is that condoms not only act contraceptively, but they destroy the form of the marital act by preventing real contact beitween the spouses. A “real” marital act was traditionally defined as one resulting in the deposition of sperm in the vagina. A condom prevents this. By that same way of thinking, intercourse with a condom would not be considered to consummate a marriage. Now whether we as Catholics are completely tied to that way of thinking about marital acts, I am not sure. I tend to think that there is a more personalist understanding possible of marital acts than is contained in that definition, and that a legitmate way could be found for the noncontraceptive use of condoms to prevent the transmission of HIV. However I see also that there are dangers in such an approach. It could lead easily into the “I feel” school of morality. As in “I feel” the use of a diphragm is right for us in our marriage with our financial situation…. Which is simply capitulation to the world and the flesh. So one difficult situation should not make us hasten to change our moral theology.
    Susan Peterson

  50. Anne says:

    Contraception is only abuse if it’s forced on you against your will. My personal choice would be to have sex with a condom rather than to risk a greater chance of getting AIDS and/or passing it to my children, so contraception would not abuse me or people who think the way I do. Sex in the large and diverse continent that is Africa can’t possibly all be rape, and not all AIDS sufferers can be rapists/rape victims, so to say condoms can’t help at all because rapists won’t wait to put them on is incorrect and ignores the less traumatic forms of sexual contact. No, condoms can’t magic the problem away, but they can be used in conjunction with other methods, including education and abstinence, to try to make a dent in a terrible situation. The wife-beating allegory is misleading.

    @ Bill Smackers: Good point.

  51. Origen Adamantius says:

    “it seems logical he would be more explicit to the Prophets and through the Gospels”

    There are many things that the bile does not explicitly speak to or give direct prohibitions against (i.e. human cloning, nuclear war or if they are too modern Bio-terrorism–something that Rome did to Carthage). What the bible does offer is an understanding of what it means to be truly human (Anthropology). From that the Church derives her moral principles. If sex were simply self-gratification then the Church would be wrong in denying everyone that type of sexual expression. However, if sexuality is integral to the person and it is way of giving oneself completely to another then when one literally places a barrier in the sexual act, preventing the complete self-giving, then one is turning what should be a loving act into a lie.

  52. avecrux says:

    Anne – that is false.
    Assisted suicide is abusive even though the person being killed wants to be killed.
    Likewise, contraception is abusive – whether the woman wants to be abused or not.

  53. Thom and Edward:

    You’re right, it’s not funny. At all. But it wasn’t intended to be. Perhaps it is due to our own ignorance of the actual situation in Africa, but the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa is often directly tied to abuse. Not only rape outside of marriage, but even rape within marriage. There is nothing funny whatsoever about the post from Diogenes, just as there is nothing funny whatever about telling rapists to use a condom so they don’t contract and/or spread HIV/AIDS.

  54. Member of the Church Militant says:

    People who think condoms are the answer to preventing the spread of HIV, STD’s, etc. are seriously misinformed. Guess what, condoms break between 5-30% of the time!!! Would you risk your life if someone told you a few minutes of sex has 5-30% chance of possibly killing you? Really. People do not die if they don’t have sex.

    I’ve worked with the sick for many years and have witnessed many times spouses who have to give up sex for the sake of the health of the other. That’s true love. And, guess what? They don’t die from it; they live the rest of their lives happy together – celibate.

  55. MaryO says:

    Let’s inject some common sense into this. How many people here are married? I presume that most or all of the married persons here love their spouse. Now, how many folks here, if they had contracted an always fatal disease, would risk their spouse’s life on a thin piece of latex?

  56. A worthy article, on par with the shocking statements in A Modest Proposal. It is a pity nobody on the left will pay attention to the very strong message this presents about the toleration of violence against women in the “just use a condom” mentality

  57. Suzie says:

    Corleone is right. There are many reasons why, such as poverty and culture, that promoting the use of condoms in Africa will not work. Condoms are not the answer. In some parts of Africa, men infected by HIV think that having intercourse with a virgin will cure them. Many of the women who have been infected have been faithful to their husbands because sexual promiscuity among females is taboo, but the husbands have gone out and had sex with other men or prostitutes, become infected and in turn infected their wives. Sexual promiscuity by males is tolerated, and as long as there is that attitude, AIDs and other STDs will spread. Behavior must change. The only problem is, in our oversexed society, god forbid anyone should mention controlling one’s sexual impulses. It’s much easier to just use condoms (which most men won’t use anyway).

  58. LCB says:


    Is contraception sinful? If so, then it is never acceptable. We may never do evil so that good may come of it. As with most sinful things, it also has significant negative real world consequences.

    Is spousal abuse sinful? If so, then it is never acceptable. We may never do evil so that good may come of it. As with most sinful things, it also has significant negative real world consequences.

    You may disagree on none, one, or both of those points. There are many who insist that spousal abuse is not sinful at all, infact. However, morality is not determined by our opinions on matters. To reduce morality to opinion is to return to an ethos of might makes right. But might makes right is the problem in all of this, not the solution. Plenty of consensual activity may be, and indeed is, sinful. The position that consent is all that is required for morality simply isn’t a serious moral argument in any fashion. It does, however, sound strikingly similar to the temptation found in Genesis, “Eat of the fruit and you will be like the gods who decide the difference between good and evil.”

    Sin created this problem. More sin won’t get us out of the problem. The only answer is found in Christ Jesus, the solution to sin, and His Church on Earth, which proclaims the Gospel. Contraception, as a sinful activity, is indeed a major part of the problem.

  59. isabella says:


    You are absolutely right. The problem in Africa can’t be solved by condoms. Asking a man who is raping a virgin to please stop and put one on makes as much sense as asking a man who is raping a woman in her house here to pause so she can remove the trigger lock from her bedside handgun. Neither is likely to happen. And the antiviral foam somebody mentioned in the press is nonsense; if it worked, wouldn’t it be in common use here?

    I think the secular world resents the Holy Father for having a brain and being able to reason with it. I’ve started saying the Rosary for him a few times a week again.


  60. JC says:

    There are different ways to deal with evil. One is to laugh at its absurdity, especially when it is intellectual evil. I am getting the impression from certain commentors in this thread that they think that domestic violence is a particularly heinous crime, that it should not be used in this context, because they *do not* think that contraception is quite so heinous as domestic violence.

    Analogy has a long history in the Church. Read St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. Read the Bible.

    Think of it not as a satire but as a parable. The whole reason people find it “funny” at all is that the contrast is so absurd. Yet it is the very kind of thing liberals propose all the time about offenses that are just as grotesque as domestic violence.

    “We don’t want babies to suffer horrible deaths from birth defects, so let’s abort them instead.” “Nuns should carry condoms so, if they’re raped, they won’t get pregnant.” UK, somewhere in the mid-90s: “OK, we admit that fetuses feel pain. We’ll give them anesthetics before we abort them.” Supreme Court in _Gonzales v. Carhart_: “This particular form of late term abortion is very gruesome. Since there are other ways to kill the baby that aren’t as gruesome; use those instead.”

    These are the kinds of absurd arguments that liberals from Nancy Pelosi to Antonin Scalia use all the time: the subjects they deal with are no less offensive than domestic violence.

    As someone with a genetic disorder, it personally, viscerally offends me any time people suggest exterminating people with birth defects. It is a more saintly response to find such attitudes to be more stupid than evil and to laugh at them rather than be unhealthily angry.

  61. Paladin says:

    Thom, et al.,

    When you write things like this:

    Beating women isn’t funny. Period.

    …did you seriously NOT see what Fr. Z. wrote, in the original post?

    Some people will read this and, for reasons I can’t fathom, miss the point that this is irony.

    This is ****NOT**** supposed to be funny.

    [emphasis added]

    It is meant to shock the obtuse into seeing the flaw in their argument.

    For the love of all that’s holy: could you PLEASE learn to READ things FULLY, before pulling out your flamethrowers and setting them on “self-righteous burn”??

  62. Thom says:

    Paladin, there are better ways to make a point than to weave a ridiculous, hurtful tale such as this. (And I have to say, I don’t recall that disclaimer being there when the post was first published.)

  63. Member of the Church Militant says:

    Just sayin’…experience has shown me that often those who say they find such pieces as these “offensive” use that as a red herring when the real problem is often they don’t like the point that the article is making.

    I would wager the real issue for most of the commenters who are seemingly offended is that they use or advocate the use of birth control pills or condoms, so they don’t like the message in this piece. Do you agree that ALL contraception is immoral, including the birth control pill/patch, condoms, etc?

  64. Thom says:

    You assume too much, “militant.”

  65. Member of the Church Militant says:

    Thom, why don’t you answer the question with a yes or no? Are against all forms of contraception and agree that they are all immoral and intrinsically evil?

    Of course, there are always exceptions. Very few, nonetheless, there a few.

  66. Thom says:

    Because, speaking of red herrings, I will not be drawn into your argument. As a Catholic, you should assume that I follow the Church’s way on this. Now if you don’t mind….

  67. Member of the Church Militant says:

    Correction: the question to Thom, should read:

    Are you against all forms of contraception and agree that they are all immoral and intrinsically evil?

    I think maybe you are in agreement with contraception, either the birth control pill and/or condoms. Am I wrong? I think maybe that’s the real reason that you have a problem with this piece.

    Hey, I’m wrong once in a while, but my observations and experience over the years in dealing with dissenters and non-Catholics often gives me good insight into their strategies.

  68. Member of the Church Militant says:

    As a Catholic, you should assume that I follow the Church’s way on this.

    Well, since 98% of \”Catholics\” use and agree with contraception and there are non-Catholics who comment here, it makes more sense to ask you the question. Nothing personal, just a simple question.

  69. Thom says:

    I’m not going to bite- troll someone else. :-)

  70. Member of the Church Militant says:

    And now to step 2: victimization – when someone calls them on the real reason behind their offence – that being they disagree with the main point of an article – they then claim to be hurt and victimized rather than defending their position. ;-)

  71. Thom says:

    I think I’ve made my postition sufficiently clear.

  72. Martin T. says:

    That post is typical of Diogenes and the constant “I can be as ugly as I want to make my point” wore me down a long time ago. I quit reading him because I found his tenor to be poisonous in spite of his many good points.

    @ Church Mil: I agree with all the Church teaches and this post was offensive.

    @Fr. Z: The post was written to be irony, a form of humor, thus was meant to be “funny”. We are meant to laugh at how stupid the condom arguement looks on another side. Diogenes -seldom if ever- stops to think who he may hurt while making his point. A little sensitivity to others feelings goes a long way.

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