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.
Not sure where I’m going to go with this post as I start it, but I’m motivated and inspired by the Republican political candidates and what passes for their political campaigns, and sex is the reason why. A major portion of what they call a political platform, not to mention the questions that follow them from debate to debate, revolve around sex. Sick Rantorum, that frothy gentleman from Pennsylvania, is personified by the topic, given his stance on gay marriage, homosexuality, abortion and contraception. Newt Gingrich has made the earmark of his campaign a promise to never indulge in the pleasures of adultery again, because of his three marriages and the circumstances of his spousal selection process, though at the age of 68 that seems like a safe, and therefore empty, meaningless promise from him. And, of course, the rest of candidates, both those still in the race and those who have dropped out, have had various yet consistently judgmental opinions on the subject.
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.
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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.