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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Vatican considering condoms to prevent spread of AIDS

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Author Topic: Vatican considering condoms to prevent spread of AIDS
wobblyheadedjane
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Article here.

A fellow student told me this morning that Pope Benedict and his cardinals were opening discussions on the use of condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS, especially in countries where it is rampant. After making this face for a few minutes --> [Eek!] I went searching on the net.

While the news isn't as good as I'd hoped (seems the discussion is *very* preliminary, and calling condoms 'the lesser of two evils' indicates something evil about them), I'm stoked that events are moving in a direction in which misrepresentation by clergy about AIDS may change. Often, a priest is the sole and infallible authority in the global South about matters of faith and sex, and the Colombian cardinal did no one any favours when he made the charge that condoms actually make the spread of AIDS worse.

I'm also rather cynical about the part where a woman is not supposed to reject her husband's advances, but is allowed to make him put on a condom because "thou shalt not kill." On the other hand, it is again a reality for many strict Catholics and I'm glad that the opportunity for that much security may become a reality in time.

It drives me crazy that it's taken the church this long to come up with a viable discussion on condoms and AIDS (and other diseases, I'd hope) but I am glad that Pope Benedict seems amenable to the discussions occuring, along with others like stem cell research. So I'm hoping that this dialogue will move the church in a good direction, and potentially save many lives.

What say you?

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Djynnjah
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Definitely a case of small moves being better than none. I didn't get the idea from the article that a woman is 'not supposed to' reject her husband's advances but rather that they expect she won't be able to or that her rejection doesn't matter. If a woman is not regarded well enough in a relationship to have her refusal of sex respected, what's to make her refusal of unprotected sex in particular any different? It's right back to the old "She can kick and scream all she wants but it's going to happen" idea.

I'm definitely glad there is thought going into it. I don't think the conditions being considered are going to be too effective at helping anything to the extent it needs to be, but it's hopefully some kind of start.

[ 04-29-2006, 08:04 PM: Message edited by: Djynnjah ]

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Paradoxical Enigma
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hmm...I must say, this is quite interesting to me. Somehow this doesn't seem particularly surprising to me. It seems that the Catholic Church has a history of doing too little too late (think Council of Trent in response to the Reformation). Still, I must say I AM pleased that some progress at least being made.

I admit that I am still classified as Catholic, though I'm not exactly enthusiastic to say so at the moment and I'm fairly dissatisfied with the Catholic church (and what a time, too, what with my impending confirmation). Anyways, I digress. I think this is looking somewhat promising for the future of the Catholic Church, but it seems that, as expected, it's going to be a long road to progress. I think if we're lucky and things don't suddenly tighten up down the road we may even see a bit of lightening up of the Catholic church's sexual policies in a couple decades. I'm hesitant to count on it, though.

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Irm
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Yeah, I saw that on the news. I was actually pretty thrilled. "Lesser of two evils", whatever you want to call it... it's opening up a gateway for the sorts of people who bow to the church's every command, be it life-threatening or not. I enjoy that the new Pope has that some moderate-liberal twinge as his predecessor (sp?). The last Pope even promoted Civil Unions which, though far off from what pro-gay-marriage activists/supporters are fighting for, is pretty deliciously open-minded for a CHURCH, if you ask me.

And Djynnjah, regarding this:

"If a woman is not regarded well enough in a relationship to have her refusal of sex respected, what's to make her refusal of unprotected sex in particular any different? It's right back to the old "She can kick and scream all she wants but it's going to happen" idea."

Not quite. I know it sounds hard to believe, but there are a HUGE number of Christians (not just Catholics--and probably not just Christians either, though I wouldn't know about that) who believe that God decreed for women to always welcome their husbands' advances so that he is not left open to "temptation". This is something that many treat as an integral, religious principle, as necessary to "obey" as the other commands they adhere by, and follow whole-heartedly even in relationships where there is much mutual love and respect (though rather misguided, if you ask my not-as-religiously-tollerant-as-I-should-be-by-a-long-shot-in-hell self). Try http://themarriagebed.com/ Though still rather sexist, the couple who runs it try to promote the idea of MUTUAL sexual responsibility, though if you go visit the message boards and just read a few threads here and there, you'll get the idea pretty fast about this whole wife-obligated-to-husband thing. You'll find statements like, "I know that God wants me to always give my husband sex when he wants it so that he is not mislead by Satan". But... I'll shut myself up now.

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Djynnjah
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I know about the marital obligation belief, having seen it come up in both the religions I've grown up with. I was just being nitpicky over the grammar, "can't" not being the same as "shouldn't". As far as the phrasing of that particular article goes, to me it looked more like not acknowledging marital rape rather than actively and directly promoting the 'marital duty of a wife' idea. As far as the difference between what was said, what they actually think and what's believed and practiced, I'm in no position to say and it was just the one article.
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twentysix
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quote:
Originally posted by RedGoddess:
Try http://themarriagebed.com/ Though still rather sexist, the couple who runs it try to promote the idea of MUTUAL sexual responsibility, though if you go visit the message boards and just read a few threads here and there, you'll get the idea pretty fast about this whole wife-obligated-to-husband thing.

EEK! THREADS LIKE THIS SCARE ME :

http://www.themarriagebed.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=4264

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DarkChild717
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That makes me sick, frankly. Using a "pediatric speculum" on virgins? Stretching exercises?

No. Just...no.

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twentysix
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quote:
Originally posted by DarkChild717:
That makes me sick, frankly. Using a "pediatric speculum" on virgins? Stretching exercises?

No. Just...no.

I think what scares me most is the fact that grown adults think that it's a good idea. I'm only SIXTEEN YEARS OLD, and I know better! Partly because of this website. (Thank you, Scarleteen.)
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Paradoxical Enigma
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Well, just out of curiosity, I looked at the main site for a bit, and found pretty much all of the things I don't like about Christian dogma as it pertains to sexuality. Above all, the thing that bothers me is that they insist that sexual feelings (usually worded as "lust") are inherently wrong outside of the context of marriage. In addition, I just find a lot of blanket statements which really are not entirely rational or realistic. Often times, they insist that certain adverse circumstances which CAN result from certain tendencies they do not support ALWAYS DO. The problem is that they insist everyone has to interpret the Bible the same way and that every part of it has to be absolute. Sometimes I think people just need to step back and realize that, when it comes down to it, the Bible was written by imperfect human beings, and ones from an archaic society at that, and that naturally you have to take into account the context in which it was written. Besides, who can honestly say that they really know what exactly was meant by everything?

[ 05-08-2006, 04:37 PM: Message edited by: Paradoxical Enigma ]

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Irm
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quote:
EEK! THREADS LIKE THIS SCARE ME :

" target="_blank">http://www.themarriagebed.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=4264[/QUOTE]

Yeah, it makes me sick. I mean, if I lived home alone, I would seriously scream and tear at my hair and beat the monitor--THAT'S how much it upsets me. I feel SO SORRY for these poor people. It feels sick to me that in this modern day where information is SO available, anyone who can afford the internet would still unnecessarily hurt themselves and suffer poor sex lives and sexual experiences... for no other reason that religious misinformation!

Edit: Huh, the code is being weird with the quote UBB there. And rereading this post, I realize it sounded highly patronizing. I'm just emotional about it. -.-0 It's frustrating.

[ 05-08-2006, 08:56 PM: Message edited by: RedGoddess ]

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kitka
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Instead of having lots of foreplay/manual sex, with a real, caring partner before they have full on intercourse, women are being advised to "prepare" themselves for sex, alone?

Wow. That definitely kills any chance they will learn to enjoy themselves. No clitoral stimulation, no orgasms, no pleasure... just "stretching."
*shudder*

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