None of your business
Lately, the Catholic Church here in the Philippines has been raising a stink over condom distribution efforts yet again. They seem to have a bee in their bonnet when it comes to sex and condoms, but then again, they have always taken the same position regarding the issue, which is one of extreme disgust and outrage. The Catholic Church has always been known to predict nothing but doom for people who engage in premarital sex or use condoms, trotting out the argument that premarital sex is wrong and that condoms are the work of the devil. There has even been known to be instances wherein the myth that condoms actually spread sexually transmitted diseases is being perpetuated.
That doesn’t happen here in the Philippines, thank gods, but what the Church typically says about condoms is that they promote promiscuity and immorality, and that making them widely available would only encourage young people to start experimenting with sex. Recent findings have uncovered the spike in HIV-AIDS cases here in the Philippines, which prompted Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral to launch a campaign that makes condoms more widely available to everyone. Predictably, the Church recoiled in horror at this, highly displeased that these tools of sin and depravity will be accessible to everyone.
I’ve never taken a kind view towards the Church, because I’ve always thought that they’re hopelessly out of touch with reality and that, if they had their way, they would have us all stoning homosexuals and adulteresses (but not the adulterers). But their stance on divorce and condoms particularly get my goat. Their vehemence when it comes to condoms make me wonder if they actually spend their days wringing their hands and worrying about people’s sexual preferences and activities. “Oh dear, people are having sex. We must put a stop to this. It’s immoral and an abomination unto the Lord.” And so they do everything they can to block any efforts to improve reproductive health and encourage safe, responsible sex.
Sex has truly become a filthy word and concept to the Church, and I can only assume that this is because they’re not permitted to experience it (although there are many notable examples of men of the cloth exercising their, er, rites with men, women, and even children). Not just to the Church, really, but society itself, which is pretty surprising given the number of people who enjoy it (many) and do everything they can to avail themselves of it–but that’s a discussion for another day. The Church is something special, however, in the way that they denounce the act as if simply engaging in it automatically puts you on hell’s guest list. It would be understandable if they were just reminding people not to engage in extramarital sex because they vowed to be faithful to their spouses. But the way they instruct people sounds as though they want people to stop having sex altogether and just do it every time they feel the need to have a baby.
It might be news to the Church to hear that nobody is really paying attention to them when it comes to sex. People have always done it, will always do it, and will keep on doing it even in the face of robed priests threatening to rain heavenly retribution upon us all. Of course, Catholics will always have the vague feeling of dread that God is looking down and watching you immersing yourself in sin of the highest degree, but the prospect of pleasure and enjoyment tends to dull its effects. For the most part, however, people have sex without worrying what the Church is saying about it, worrying only about a surprise pregnancy, possible diseases, pain, discomfort, and whether or not they’re performing admirably.
So instead of worrying about condoms and the supposed grime they slather all over people’s souls, the Church really needs to stop looking at condoms as the instrument of the devil. Condoms don’t encourage people to have mad, crazy sex all over the place; they do it anyway even without condoms. These just make it a lot safer for them to do whatever they want in bed. And as for young people being “impressionable” and getting swayed into sex by the availability of condoms, the Church might find it interesting that young people who have babies out of wedlock–surprise surprise!–evidently didn’t use any form of birth control.