Archive for June 23rd, 2008

23
Jun
08

Pro-Con(traception)

Dear Pope:

I realize that running the Roman Catholic Church, a global entity with millions upon millions of members, is a frightfully massive task. I understand that you are an elderly man with some old-fashioned standards. I know that you have issues with sexual immorality in the world. I’m sure that you love the sound of newborn babes uttering their first cries before putting their heads to their mothers’ bosoms. I sympathize with you, truly.

But, with all due respect—where contraception is concerned—please get your head out of your ass. Particularly about this condom thing.

How can you and the rest of your Vatican hoard be against something that prevents rampant overpopulation in struggling nations and can greatly slow the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, not the least of which is HIV/AIDS?

Jesus might not have been in favor of premarital sex, and in his day having as many kids as you could was a good thing. But he’d be ashamed of your short-sighted dogmatic habit of clinging to an outmoded notion that condoms promote immorality and that preventing pregnancy is by its very nature a slap to God’s face.

The Vatican has had some 2,000 to get its act together. On this issue, I tell you simply:

Grow the hell up.
                                                                                                      

I realize that many Islamic leaders and many on the conservative Christian right also seem to equate contraception with contravention of God’s will. And they think that for government agencies and others to spend money condoms for disease prevention and pregnancy prevention (and other forms of birth control just to stem the tide of unwanted pregnancies) is somehow the same as advocating immorality.

They are also full of shit. But there are many of them, and only one pope, so it’s easier to write a fictional pissed-off memo to him. Besides, the Vatican has been one of the most prominent evildoers when it comes to anti-contraception bullshit, having spouted off around the world even in recent years that condoms are bad. C’mon! Pulling out early is acceptable and using the “rhythm method” is OK, but physically stopping the sperm from getting near the ova is a sin. I’ve heard some talk from Vatican folks more recently that suggests condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS is the “lesser evil” but that isn’t much of an improvement. I understand if they want to speak out against premarital sex but to talk of a barrier form of contraception as evil is so mind-numbingly idiotic my brain just wants to shut down even writing about it.

I’m willing to concede that none of us really knows when life begins. I’ve heard arguments that birth control pills and IUDs aren’t simply anti-pregnancy measures but also sometimes abortive measures. Some of the reasons given for that seem a bit specious scientifically, but I’m willing to entertain the possibility, at least, that they sometimes may be interefering with the formation of life at a stage that is after conception (the fusion of sperm and ovum).

Personally, I’m not entirely comfortable with the concept that a small human isn’t yet a true life—and thus open season for abortion—simply because he or she has no possibility of survival outside the womb. Seems to me at some point before it has a chance to be a legit preemie in a hospital  incubator, a baby in the womb has organs and the beginnings of a mind and deserves more than a casual brush off on a scientific technicality. But that doesn’t really come into play with contraceptives from any reading I’ve done on the subject. I don’t know of any half-formed fetuses dead with IUDs in their chests. And condoms and the pill and foams and the rest likewise have no effect on an actual embryo or fetus.

And still, what gnaws at me most of all, even if you can come up with some slim argument against chemical means of birth control or the IUD: How can you speak out against condoms?

What kind of absolute moron do you have to be to oppose condoms? Are we to believe that the moment a man ejaculates, a soul is deposited into one of his sperm—the exact right sperm to do the job? If God is that freakin’ precise, he wouldn’t have given us men millions of swimmers and given them such an overall shitty chance of impregnating a woman.

I swear that if someone ever tells me a condom is evil because it subverts God’s will, I am probably going to smack that person across the mouth. I won’t be proud of it, but may just lose my cool. Because it is such idiocy.

Men’s sperm die in the testicles and get reabsorbed all the time. St. Paul commented on how wonderful it would be if more people could simply be celibate and focus on spreading the gospel instead of splitting their heart between a human lover and Jesus. So God apparently doesn’t mind if sperm or ova go unused in the body.

Yet we have numbnuts who want to go on about how bad condoms are because they prevent a sperm and egg from ever meeting up. Oh, I’m sorry. So, every husband and wife should be saddled with as many kids as fertility allows, even though their finances, time or even sanity (and society’s) might not be able to handle that many kids. Everyone who engages in premarital sex should be required to have the very real and high-level risk of a unwanted pregnancy that might lead to an unhappy union, a neglected child or an abortion. Everyone who engages in sex, married or otherwise, should be exposed to the risk of contracting a potentially lethal sexually trasmitted disease.

Yeah, very forward-thinking, you religiously extreme contraception fascists.

I’m not very comfortable with abortion overall. I’m not pro-life in the sense that I would take the choice away from women, but I freely admit the idea of abortion just doesn’t sit well with me personally. But contraception? I see not one problem with it. If we can stop the process before a human being is formed—in cases where a couple doesn’t want a baby—I’m all for it.

And for those who would rail against the use of contraception, and condoms in particular, I feel like saying you should all pull a damn condom over your head until your brain starves from lack of oxygen and you relieve the world of one more irredeemable idiot.

But I’m against suicide, so that won’t work. Oh, well.

(Photo by Ian Britton, from http://www.freefoto.com)




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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