I've heard the Church criticized so often as being all about money. You've heard it. I've heard it. They say that the Church's prohibition against birth control is only because it callously wants Catholics to have many babies to grow up to sit in the pews and fill up the collection baskets.
But many of the same people also suspect that the Church's stance against birth control is equally callous in the case of HIV/Aids, because the Church's stance, according to the Church-haters, is killing its own people.
So it seems to me the Church haters shouldn't be able to hate the Church for both things at once. But ironically, the holding of two mutually exclusive ideals comes easy to some.
You can't say that the Church is against condoms because it wants to fill the collection baskets and then claim that the Church is against birth control even thought they're callously killing their own people.
I raised this because I read about another "attack" on the Church today. I know you're going to be shocked. But a "rock star" criticized the Pope. Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics fame opened up a can illogical whoop-ass on the Pope. Press reports called her words "stinging" and "passionate." CMR calls them stupid. Well let's try to be nice. CMR calls them "half thought out." (And we're rounding up.)
She said that the Pope’s denunciation of condoms on his recent tour of Africa had caused “tremendous harm” and criticised the Roman Catholic Church for causing widespread confusion on the continent.This kind of shallow compassion is the equivalent of throwing change to some unfortunate alcoholic on the street and criticizing Alcoholics Anonymous for pushing their unrealistic agenda of "No drinking, no exceptions."
She also condemned the media’s obsession with “celebrity culture” for keeping the Aids pandemic off the front page.
In an emotional address, in which she was at times close to tears, the former Eurythmics singer said that churches could be a force for good. “They are directly connected with the community at large, so of course churches can do a tremendous amount. I know many do.
“Or then again they can do tremendous harm, because when the Pope goes to a country in Africa and tells them that they shouldn’t use condoms, when we know that HIV is a sexually transmitted disease — I don’t think that makes any sense at all. It is very confusing.”
During his tour of Africa earlier this year Pope Benedict XVI said that Aids “cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems”.
But this thinking is so rampant among the "I-feel-like-really-really-bad-about-Africa-so-I'm-better-than-you" crowd.
The Church does more to help those suffering from AIDS than any organization on the face of the planet. So I get a little tired of the criticisms of verbose musicians who attempt to Bono-fy themselves back into social relevance.
Note to Annie Lennox: Folks in the U.N. have been shipping condoms out there like it's the answer to all problems. But here's the thing - condoms are not safe. There's so such thing as safe sex. You're encouraging bad behavior by lying to the people most at risk. And then you blame the Church which has the 100% fool-proof solution to the AIDS epidemic and which does more to alleviate the suffering of AIDS sufferers around the world than any other organization.
Annie Lennox and her ilk assume that AIDS is rampant because the Church tells the African people not to wear condoms. But the Church also tells them not to have sex outside marriage. One would have to assume that the African people are very religious and subservient to the authority of the Church when it comes to condoms but not sexual behavior. That, to me, doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
There is a clear correlation between the distribution of condoms and an increase in sexually transmitted infection rates. Condoms therefore are part of the problem not the solution as the Church often says. But it doesn't seem everyone's listening.