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The pope?? GRrrrrr


Frenchie

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I'm mad after reading that the pope in Africa said once again  that he is against the use of condoms...

When you think about all the suffering AIDS has caused there,  broken families, millions of orphans..

It is criminal.

Religion should promote life OK, but not death and suffering..

 

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Back in the 1970s, the US AID (Agency for International Development) invested millions of US dollars in promoting free distribution of male sheaths, then in an endeavour to reduce birthrate.

I picked up a dear friend at Heathrow returning from a meeting with AID in Washington: she was then the Executive Secretary and co-founder of the ICM (International Confederation of Midwives) which was welcomed in places that many international aid organisations were not.

Aid had just funded the ICM with another $1 million.

Over a celebration luncheon, she produced a small case and opened it: out fell loads of different coloured condoms! Which rather discombobulated the waiter............

The problem was getting Africans and Indians (e.g.) to use them.

In their typically naive style and approach, AID and other agencies believed making condoms in pretty colours was all it would take!

The causes and spread of HIV and other STDs in Africa is rather more than might be cured by condoms I fear.

 

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Of course free condoms won't solve the problem of AIDS in Africa, but anything that helps a bit, can't be wrong, imo.

I was talking about this to somebody last night who was brought up a Catholic, and was led to believe that she would rot in hell for ever more if she used contraception.  Thus the only way she could avoid having loads of kids (which she and her o/h could not afford) was to refuse to have sex with her (atheist) husband.  Needless to say it was a doomed marriage and divorce (but no chance of re marriage for her) was the eventual outcome. 

These poor s*ds in Africa have enough problems - poverty, disease (and yes, in some places, corruption also) without adding Catholic guilt to their lot in life.

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Boring I know, but let's examine what the Pope actually said.........

[quote]The spread of HIV and Aids in Africa should be tackled through fidelity and abstinence and not by condoms, Pope Benedict XVI has said.

Speaking to African bishops at the Vatican, the Pope described HIV/Aids in Africa as a "cruel epidemic".

But he told them: "The traditional teaching of the church has proven to be the only failsafe way to prevent the spread of HIV/Aids." [/quote]

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4081276.stm

The trouble with most of Africa has been the way that the European colonisers ran away: particularly post McMillan's famed "Wind of change" speech in 1957.

In Kenya, for example (The Kikuyu and the Masai are particularly badly affected by HIV as well as most of the other main STDs such as Syphillis and Gonorea), the breaking up of their traditional societies, led to many diassafected young men, leaving their agrarian life with its cultural stability and balances and taking to the cities where they became "Spivs". Young women as so often became whores; and ghettos rapidly grew up on the periphery of all main towns and cities. In these ghettos, HIV is rife.

Most if not all of the problems with Africa can be traced back to a total lack of sensible transition between government by colonial powers (here include France, Belgium, Portugal, Germany and particularly, Great Britain).

Zimbabwe is the classic example.

Unfortunately, the process really started with Victorian surveyors, who invariably agreed synthetic state boundaries (a rift; a river etc) with an adjoining power's state surveyors and cartographers.

These synthetic borders made no alowance for animal migrations: and perhaps worse, the peripatetic nature of African tribal life: and have created most of the droughts and famines, de-forestation and dust bowls from what was once decent arable land which merely needed a period of fallow state.

African tribes migrated continually over many thousands of miles, burning their huts, driving their cattle before them before they had exhausted the land.

Once synthetic borders were in place this ceased by force.

The prototypical African relied on many children to keep them in their dotage: there was no old age pension. Growing simple food crops and raising cattle were their wealth and survival.

The West took away their ability to self-provide and now wishes to impose its own socio-economic value set on their society which simply cannot work.

The Left Wing Ivory Tower Dwelling Bleeding Heart Do Gooding Liberals screamed for African independance: with no thought for the process of transition:  self-rule was the universal mantra and the Rubicon. With no real thought for the consequences of allowing  African politicians (Who were possessed of no regard for humanity and the sanctity of life), and were even more corrupt and venal than the colonial masters, to seize power.

The colonies were to most Western governments an embarassment and a mounting cost: the FCO couldn't wait to run away at great speed!

And then standing by as Big Biz corrupted the new leaders further for its own wholly selfish and pecuniary ends.

No regard was taken or considered of and for tribal hatreds and disputes which had been festering in many cases for many thousands of years.

South Africa is the prime example and will become the next blood bath.

Just think Yellow Cake........................................................................................

As Dr David Livingstone (Who probably knew and loved the African people more intimately than any other caucasion), "Oh my poor African! He now has to come from the Stone Age to the 20th Cent. in less than 100 years!"

 

 

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Well, maybe , but a fact remains, one has to advocate condoms in Africa, through prevention campains, information, ...

Of course it won't eradicate the virus , but it can save lives...

I don't understand how the Catholic church ( and I was born in a Catholic family, and christened ) can spread such ideas that the only remedy would be loyalty and abstinence...

And in the meantime, children and adults die.... [6]

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[quote] don't understand how the Catholic church ( and I was born in a Catholic family, and christened ) can spread such ideas that the only remedy would be loyalty and abstinence...[/quote]

The massive epidemic spread, Frenchie, has been caused by the destruction of the earlier stable societies.

I am not a Catholic, BTW, I'm Anglican.

In Britain, for example, the effective destruction of a stable family-based society, the pill and a morally bankrupt society has led to a massive current epidemic of STDs including Chlamydia, Vaginal Warts, Genital herpes, as well as more worrying massive rises of both Gonorea and Syphillus, to the point that many strains are rapidly becoming Anti-Biotic Resistant. Plus of course, rising incidence of HIV.

Often in large towns and cities with significant deprivation components (Liverpool is a major problem) young people are presenting at GU clinics with their third and fourth incidence of serious (i.e. Syphillus and Gonorea) infection.

"White Slavery", in particularly from Eastern Europe, compells young women to offer unprotected sexual services for extra cash.

Thus providing free condoms is again not the answer.

It is one of those nice fuzzy warm theories which fails to work in practice.

As I stated before, empirical evidence from AID in Washington and the ICM shows that merely providing free condoms and education fails in a majority of Third World areas.

Cynically, I would suggest that such as Mugabe would arrange a contract with an Asian entrepreneur to re-package them and sell back to Western markets.................

I have had too much to do with Africa, perhaps!

 

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  I once read that the Kenya army was 40% infected with HIV / Aids  ....that was along time ago...I have no idea what it is now  but I doubt if it is lower...How many other african armies are also infected ...how long will it be before they can not act in defence of their countries ? What happens then ...war lords ... every man for himself..? I have seen how tribes can hate and what they can do to each other ..

 

I watched red nose day and applaud the money raised for the malaria prevention in children...I do hope they get the nets . I hope they get to keep them ..but ...I also know the first opportunity some guy with big stick  or more likely an AK 47 gets he will take the new mozzy nets off the women and children that were  given them  and sell them in a market for what ever he can get....
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The problem is making people use them: how can this realistically be achieved?

Perhaps the first step is to prevent Big Biz bribing and subborning political leaders so shamelessly, which provides the funds which allow them to perpetuate their corrupt régimes.

What the West currently does is ignore Africa: until there is a humanitarian disaster: then hugely emotive knee-jerk PR campaigns leap into gear and try and flood the continent with aid.

And the foodstuffs and medicines are invariably ripped off by corrupt leaders and their buddies: and sold on the Black Market.

And this process has been going on since the earliest days of Oxfam: if anything, it is now far worse, as far too many aid agencies are tripping over each other's feet and often their efforts are contradictory.

Perhaps the next step might be to prevent the flood of weapons: African revolutions and fascist leaders always seem to find cash for these....................

Even when there is no food.

I don't claim to have the answers: to suggest so would be the very height of arrogance and cupidity.

Flooding the continent with condoms, however, might make Western Do Gooders feel marginally better: however, perhaps a more humanitarian step might be for those large corporations exploiting massive profits from the continent to co-operate with the equally venal major drugs companies to make even more generic versions of HIV drugs cheaply available.

The West owes a huge and incalcuable moral and ethical debt to Africa and its people: who are in the main ignored and forgotten.

Perhaps it is high time we started settling that long overdue bill.

 

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A HUGE debt as you say.  With your experience of Africa - how would you start? As far as you know are British companies currently selling arms to Africa? I realise how little I know about the real situation. I have recently read 'Half a yellow sun' about war torn Africa- harrowing reading. How do we  a/ stop ringing our hands and hearts  b/do not fall into Western style unrealistic solutions/'naive' aid programs?

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How?

Only by people pressure: currently, Western governments ignore the electors and do precisely what they wish.

The illegal invasion of Iraq is perhaps an excellent ready example.

Study such as De Beers and the Central Selling Organisation, Anglo-American, and BaE, as a start.

 

 

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When I was a student I shared a house with a girl from Ghana.  She told me that adultery was accepted as the norm in her society.  To the point where the Ghanaian language didn't distinguish between brothers / sisters and cousins because many men slept with wives, sisters of wives and extended family as well as those outside the family.  Women are very much 'items to be used' in Ghanaian culture.  As a consequence AIDS and venereal disease were rife and considered 'normal' by most women. This isn't a recent change but a cultural heritage that goes back many many generations.  The aspirational and, may I say, western European views of the pope seem rather useless here and encouraging the acceptance of barrier contraception would seem a more practical approach.

As an aside I always find it hard to reconcile how the coil is seen as ok in some eyes whereas abortion is not.  A coil only removes (or prevents from implanting in the walls of the uterus) an egg that has already been fertilised.  To me there is no difference between the two.

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The idea that a fertilized ovum is a "baby" is relatively new. Until about 150 years ago the view of the Roman Catholic Church itself was that the soul didn't enter the embryo until about the 40th day following conception.

It should not be forgotten that homo sapiens is a relatively infertile species and that a significant quantity of conceptions end in spontaneous abortion and are passed off by the woman as a (possibly) delayed period.

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[quote user="Scooby"]  The aspirational and, may I say, western European views of the pope seem rather useless here and encouraging the acceptance of barrier contraception would seem a more practical approach.

[/quote]

However, back to the central plank, Scooby.

Which is very much getting native Africans to actually use them.

Or indeed, as I suggested before, any Third World male, since the empirical evidence flowing from abortive attempts by AID and the ICM showed huge resistance to the whole concept.

The "Western European" views of the Holy See, have of course, vast experience and cultural knowledge built up over many centuries by such as The Society of Jesus (Jesuits), who were amongst the first to live, learn the language in places as far away as Japan, China and South, Central and what is now the Southern parts of US America.

In many places, I would suggest that the Vatican's cultural knowledge base is far better informed than that of the FCO!

 

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[quote user="Clarkkent"]

The idea that a fertilized ovum is a "baby" is relatively new. Until about 150 years ago the view of the Roman Catholic Church itself was that the soul didn't enter the embryo until about the 40th day following conception.

It should not be forgotten that homo sapiens is a relatively infertile species and that a significant quantity of conceptions end in spontaneous abortion and are passed off by the woman as a (possibly) delayed period.

[/quote]

Maybe a different thread should be started as it is a very interesting subject. But I fear it may end up in bullying ..

 

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What is perhaps interesting in the context of this discussion, is that yesterday, US Head of HIV/AIDS Administration, Shannon L. Hader announced that Washington DC is suffering an AIDS/HIV epidemic which is worse than many parts of Africa!

Apparently > 15,000 people (one in 33 residents) are HIV-Positive.

A rise of 22% in three years.

Black men are the worst affected, at one in fourteen.

Hader said, "Our rates are higher than West Africa!"

Which makes one think.

 

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I was thinking there today, that you never hear about dogs getting sexualy transmitted diseases, and they don't use condoms do they?  I wonder if they refuse to use them on religious grounds or if it's because they have difficulty putting them on? I suppose they could easily pierce them with their claws. Me own pug was a  lapsed Zoroastrian. Poor owl Father Brennan used the same condom for three years till he had to get a new one. He must have saved  himself a good few bob, and in the current economic climate, who can blame him?

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