Thursday 7 April 2005

Doing what you're told.

Various people, unsurprisingly, have decided that the death of the Pope is the perfect opportunity to slag him off. (In polite society, you don't speak ill of the dead until they're buried. That's not a long wait, but some people don't have that much patience.) Now, I've got plenty of criticisms of Catholicism myself, but I can spot bullshit when I see it, and this idea that John Paul created or helped to create the AIDS epidemic in Africa by refusing to condone the use of condoms is bullshit of the first order.

Not being a Catholic myself, it's possible that I've missed some recent doctrinal development, but, last I checked, the Catholic Church was preaching that each person should have a maximum of one sexual partner per lifetime. Follow that advice, and your chances of getting any STD are virtually nil. The African AIDS epidemic has not, therefore, been caused or exacerbated by Catholics doing what the Pope tells them to. In fact, if everyone in the world had followed the Pope's advice, AIDS would be an unknown disease.

Ah, say the idiots, but you can't really expect people to have enough willpower to stick to that rule, can you? Perhaps not, but if people can break one rule, they can break two. If you don't expect people to follow one of the Pope's instructions, why are you convinced that they have no option but to follow one of his others?

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