Of Jimmy Hats, the Motherland and the Pope.

(x-posted from False Hustle)
I swear — probably a bad choice of verb – that I’m not picking on The Church today. But this picture over at The Daily Dish – labeled “The Pope’s Message to Africa” —  quite obviously caught my attention.

Background: Ahead of his first trip to Africa, The Pope said the distribution of condoms is not the answer in the fight against AIDS. ” He said that “on the contrary it increases the problem.”

My thoughts about that inane statement are probably too offensive or downright blasphemous to post here. But Steve Benen handles it quite nicely:

Let me get this straight. There are nearly 22 million people in sub-Saharan Africa who are HIV positive. The pope, claiming to be a leader on morality, goes to Cameroon to argue against condom usage? He’s going to put his own religious dogma over the lives of millions?

A lot of phrases come to mind when describing all of this, but “pro-life” isn’t one of them.

Indeed. Preaching that sort of gospel will only exacerbate the problem in a place where 2 million people died of AIDS last year. Two million! Or roughly the population of Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city. All dead.

Is it too much to ask for an honest attempt at a solution rather than being part of the problem?


Joel Anderson —blackink —  writes about sports, politics, crime, courts, and other issues far beyond his competence at BuzzFeed. He has worked at media outlets in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Atlanta and contributed to a number of publications, including The Root and The American Prospect, among many others.
  • shani-o

    Sigh. I simply don’t understand it. I’ve even heard the mythology that exists in certain areas of Sub-saharan African that having sex with a virgin (the younger the better) will cure AIDS. Yet the Vatican is insisting that a PROVEN safety measure is the problem? I guess the question is: what is the Pope’s priority? It seems like physical health and education are less important than one’s immortal soul.

  • glory

    What disturbs me is that at least here in the US, general understanding of AIDS is based in facts. People understand that “raw” sex is the easiest way to get it and that drugs can help manage, but not cure it. People often have enough information to make good decisions on their own. But in Africa, it’s well known that the transmission and treatment for AIDS are highly misunderstood, sometimes due to the mis-educated opinions of the people who are responsible for the public health in some areas of Africa. It is damn near genocidal to have anyone go to Africa to spread anything but the crystal clear truth about HIV/AIDS, knowing how rampant misinformation is over there, and how ill-equipped people are to make good safe-sex decisions there. Saying that condoms are part of the problem is as irresponsible for human life as ignoring the fact that gas chambers were killing people in Nazi Europe.

  • Kia

    There are so many questionable decisions/statements being made by this pope…

    As the pp’s have mentioned, between virgins and circumcision as a cure-all, misinformation is the last thing that needs to be spread.

    I know that sexual education at home and abroad was bogged down by issues of religion during the Bush years. With all my focus on the economy I really need to educate myself as to what steps the new administration is taking in this regard.