If you’re seriously thinking that Santorum is a viable candidate, you need to have your chucklehead examined. This guy is a major financial backer of the candidate, yet his ideas about women are from the 1950s. Birth control consisted of women keeping they legs pressed tight against a Bayer aspirin? How enlightened of him! Of course, the Pill had not been invented and commercially produced by then, so I guess that was the only pill available for birth control when Mr. Chucklehead was playing hide the salami.
We all know that the “official” position of the Catholic Church is against any form of birth control, other than the rhythm method. And surely we’re aware of the current controversy (and when I say “controversy” I mean bullshit created by the Republican party to stir up trouble for Obama) involving the health insurance requirement being imposed on Catholic employers mandating coverage of Birth Control, even for the Catholic Church. Yes, the Catholic Church will be required to provide medical insurance for its employees, except in certain circumstances, primarily involving employees of the religious edifice itself, as opposed to incidental employes not providing religious functions, such as hospitals, clerks, secretarial etc. Oh, the horror. It’s been the law, however, since 2000, all during the Bush years, with nary a peep from conservatives – until now.
One of my addictions is coffee, and Starbucks is what I usually drink. My wife hates it, can’t stand the taste, prefers something …lighter…but taste is subjective, so I can’t fault her on that. But I like it. I even have the app on my iPhone, tagged to my bank account, so I don’t even need to have any cash on me to buy a cup of coffee. Yeah, I’m a sorry fellow. The only downside for me is that it’s a major corporation, and sometimes I feel I should be giving my business to local coffee shops. Actually, occasionally I do, but I still frequent Starbucks the most. Shoot me.
I have a good friend who I’ve known for about 25 years who died the other day after losing a long bout with cancer. He won the early rounds, but ultimately his opponent wore him down and bested him. I’ll be attending his service later today, and I know it will be a mixed-emotion day, with lots of tears and lots of laughter – tears of grief and the laughter of remembrance. He was not much older than me, which at my age means that he died far too young. But he has a large and loving coterie of family and friends, incredibly supportive of each other, all who will ensure that his wife and children come away with far more positive than negative emotions. They are not having a religious service, but if they did, and they had asked me to give the sermon, here is what I would have said:
One of the most egregious Catholic policies of late (aside from boy buggering) has been the refusal to allow the use of condoms in sexual relations. Indeed, all birth control is proscribed, but condoms have collateral benefits, such as restricting the spread of disease. Of course, aside from the procreational aspect in a world where over-population is a significant problem, you also have the fact that Catholics in countries where AIDS runs rampant have to make a choice between obeying the teachings of their church, or dying. And many choose death because that childhood Catholic indoctrination is so hard to shake.
A local district justice was charged with … what was it?… oh, yea, disorderly conduct, for passing out nuts in public. Nuts, you say? Well, yes, nuts. Acorns to be exact. The seed of the mighty oak. So what’s wrong with passing out nuts? Well, as it turns out, these particular oak seeds had been hollowed out, and the contents replaced with condoms. How that was accomplished isn’t clear, but the good Judge provoked the ire of some typical Central Pennsylvania blue hair who complained, and he was promptly cited for disorderly conduct.
There’s some sobering information in a story in today’s local paper about the rise of sexually transmitted diseases in the state. The incidence of syphilis and gonorrhea, two diseases that are both perfectly treatable and preventable, are increasing, especially among the young. Seems like, statistically, people are getting stupider. I know this is the 21st century, but one would think that we would be better at this by now, given the advanced state of our knowledge primarily in the areas of science and medicine. The appearance of AIDS and HIV in our medical experience seemed to have had an early dampening effect on the population, but that’s wearing off. The apparent answer to this, for some Christians, is to stop having sex outside of marriage.
It’s quite apparent that one of the hallmarks of devout religions is willful ignorance. This is especially true in the area of science versus religion, most notable in the creationism/evolution debate. Creationists choose to believe what is written in the Bible, willfully ignoring the facts of science. They do this because to accept those facts, they would have to jettison their beliefs in the inerrancy of the Bible, especially Genesis and the theistic explanation for the beginnings of life, man and the universe.
I knew that would get your attention.
I was sitting in the doctor’s office today, waiting for my friendly medical vampire to suck out a small sample of my blood, and of course I picked up an old copy of Newsweek. (I’ve always wondered: Do the doctors take them home to age, before putting them in the waiting room? ) The last page had a column by Anna Quindlen, who’s writing I’ve always admired, with a topic “Let’s Talk About Sex“. Very good column, and not too old. It was published in March. It’s a handy little example of rational, critical thinking, and a rejection of faith, even though it only peripherally deals with religion, if at all.
It’s bad enough that the Pope -you know, the guy that heads that little church in Rome – seems to be having his problems with Holocaust denial, now it turns out he also has a problem with medical science. He has declared today, on a trip to Africa, that condoms are not the answer to the AIDS epidemic. In fact, he’s gone just a bit farther than that, throwing his medical expertise around, by claiming that the use of condoms will actually make the aforesaid epidemic worse.