Annie Lennox Criticizes Pope

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.

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”.
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."

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.


  1. One day, public figures may understand just how short-sighted they are, and how unchanging truth is.

    The tragic thing is that we westerners often believe these ridiculous solutions.

    I was able to study abroad in Africa with a professor who'd been in the Peace Corps in West Africa-- one of his fellow Corps members conducted studies. I don't remember the figure, but a majority of people she interviewed thought that western condom distributors were actually putting AIDS into the condoms. I doubt it's true but the Pope didn't have a thing to do with it.

    Another person on the trip had worked in Africa and had personal evidence (a son) that condoms distributed there weren't particularly effective in their original intended use.

    And even besides these facts, there are a lot of supersticions and folk lore around HIV/AIDS now that often involves more sexual activity. So I guess we can put Africa on the same carousel we're on- sex, pregnancy and the spread of STDs means we should encourage more sex.... which tends to result in pregnancy and the spread of STDs... so we need to give more education about sex...

    Patently ridiculous and illogical but I guess if you can say it in a complete sentence and it gets liberal support it must be the right thing after all.

  2. Yes, how dare the church tell me to control my sexual appetite. Condoms are the fat pills that promise you weight loss without exercising.

  3. You're practically echoing what Chesterton found out for himself in his journey to rediscovering Christianity. He said, "What again could this astonishing thing be like which people were so anxious to contradict, that in doing so they did not mind contradicting themselves?"

  4. Saddest of all are the individuals who would actually allow a "celebrity" with no real connection to the real world to formulate their opinions and beliefs for them. Ironically enough, one of Annie's biggest hits was the song called 'Would I Lie To You?' Yes, Annie. Yes, I believe you would.

  5. How 'bout criticizing the guy in the White House, Annie? Truly its just like having teenagers running the country. How can anyone be respectful of someone who contradicts himself from day to day & says his critics 'wee-weed'. Geez.

  6. Harvard Researcher agrees with Pope on condoms in Africa

    Prominent Ugandan AIDS Activist Thanks Pope for Opposition to Condoms
    Says, "when you look at many of these so called AIDS activists, they are simply in it for the money"

  7. Because nothing says "I'm a celebrity and I care about your right to 'get it on' more than I care about your health" than endorsing a position that's not 100% successful in spreading HIV/AIDS.

    Especially when that attitude is expressed toward Africans and other racial minorities. They can die so liberals like Lenox feel good about defending the right to free sex...

  8. 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."

    Good analogy.

  9. "She also condemned the media’s obsession with “celebrity culture” for keeping the Aids pandemic off the front page."

    Isn't the only reason her view on this was reported is because she's part of the celebrity culture?

  10. Why does anyone, anywhere, care what rock stars think about anything except rock music? The funny thing is, that Annie is directing this tirade at the Pope which could be labeled "charity without truth," right after this same Pope wrote the encyclical "Charity in truth." Perhaps she didn't read it. More's the pity.

  11. "Hey darling, before we commit the sin of sodomy that the Church absolutely forbids and says "cries out to heaven for vengeance", would you mind putting this condom on your 'old fella'"?

    "Oh no, sweetie, don't you know that the Church strictly forbids the use of artificial birth control, in all circumstances, including when engaging in sodomy?!?!"

    You'd have to be absolutely freakin' nuts to believe that people actually think like that.

  12. It all comes down to elitism, my opinion. The only way you could believe that people don't use condoms but eagerly break all the other sexual rules is assuming that Africans aren't able to think rationally and think things through.

    Assuming that only you are "smart" enough to be a good Catholic or person is one of the most serious "mindset" sins to me.

  13. I liked that AA analogy, too.

  14. anon - Yep, I've suffered horribly by the unrealistic expectations of AA. I haven't had a drink in 19 years and it's all their fault. Just think - I could be dead instead! ;-)

    Aids research? How about they keep their zippers up. One generation = no more aids. Sounds pretty simple to me.

  15. I love how stupid quazi celebrities are. They give us something else to laugh at other than the president.

  16. What David said.

    If someone is ignoring the Church and engaging in the promiscuous behavior that facilitates the spread of AIDS in the first place, why would they be willing to listen to the Church if it were to "promote" condoms?

    And furthermore, the Church has done a lot more than Annie Lennox to serve and aid the victims of AIDS in Africa.

  17. Adrienne - that was a stupid and rude comment. AIDS is a fact of life in many 3rd world countries. Regardless if we now have procedures in triplicate for blood transfusion and organ donation to detect HIV in patients, this is simply not the case in the rest of the world. You can come into contact with contaminated blood in a fist fight, nursing an infant, an autowreck and even while searching for weapons on someone (I personally know a police officer who was stuck by a syringe in the pocket of a suspect while frisking him).

    By taking that simplistic "Oh, all they have to do is stop having sex" attitude you are being uncharitable and absolutely unchristian. Yes, HIV is predominantly and primarily spread by sex, but reducing and eventually stopping HIV involves changing behaviors on many fronts. and obviously the subject requires a lot more education, as witnessed by your comment.

  18. I'm shocked. Shocked!, to find that a Leftist criticized the Pope.

    Seriously, it's ridiculous to blame any one person or the Catholic Church for the spread of AIDS in Africa, or anywhere else for that matter. There are factors like culture, beliefs, economics, and personal choice. Besides, it's not like some priest is standing by preventing the sale or purchase of condoms. In the end, the choice is on the person.

    And, how does Lenox's criticism explain those evil, moral idiots who rape virgins in the belief that having sex with a virgin will cure them of AIDS. Some of these rape victims aren't even a year old! Is that the Pope's fault, too?

    Whether we like it or not, Jesus came to make us holy not comfortable.


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