Thursday, May 12, 2005
Kristof, Catholics and AIDS: The New York Times has printed five letters on last week's Nichloas Kristof column castigating the Catholic Church for its condom prohibition -- a prohibition that I, for the record, don't personally support. Since my letter wasn't selected by the Times, you can read it here, exclusively.
I must confess that I'm always somewhat puzzled when the Catholic Church is criticized for its policy prohibiting condoms vis a vis AIDS. Church teaching also prohibits sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage. If you consistently follow church teachings, then there is little danger of contracting AIDS. If, on the other hand, you choose to take part in extramarital sex, then why is the Catholic Church the target of outrage when those same individuals choose not to use a condom?
The truth is simple. The Catholic Churchs teachings are irrelevant to the problem at hand. People are having extramarital sex because they want to have extramarital sex. Theyre not wearing condoms because they dont want to wear condoms.
Nicholas Kristof's complaints are misplaced. If he wants to reduce the number of AIDS deaths, then he could argue for people to consistently follow church teachings. Or, if that offends his liberal sensibilities, he could send some money to Planned Parenthood and get them to distribute condoms in the Third World.
A couple of letter writers made similar points without the challenging tone that my letter contains, so it's not as if the Times letters editor was only presenting one side of the story as it seems happens too regularly on political issues.