Roland Martin commetary on condoms

Roland S. Martin says the Catholic Church’s opposition to condoms is increasing the toll of HIV/AIDS.

(CNN) – The African-American religious community deserves considerable praise for taking leadership of the civil rights movement during the first half of the 20th century.

But there is no doubt that toward the end of the 20th century, the black church, primarily because of its opposition to homosexuality, has abdicated its responsibility and totally disregarded the human toll that HIV/AIDS has had on the members it largely serves. It only has been recently that pastors have opted not to turn a blind eye to what is clearly a state of emergency.

Unfortunately, we are seeing the same kind of ignorance of reality from the Catholic Church and its leader, Pope Benedict XVI.

The church has long been opposed to the use of condoms and other forms of birth control because it strongly believes that sex is for procreation and enriching the union of a married couple. But for the church to continue to ignore the definitive research that condoms play a huge role in decreasing the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases is mind-boggling.

Pope Benedict is in Africa this week on a six-day tour, his first since his ascension to the papacy, and he made some remarks that have sparked outrage in the motherland, where Catholicism is spreading like wildfire.

In response to written questions from reporters, the pope said this about HIV/AIDS: “You can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, it increases the problem.”
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He is absolutely correct that condoms are not the solution to stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS. He is also 100 percent correct that the only surefire way of stopping HIV/AIDS, when it comes to sex, is to practice abstinence. That is clearly within the teachings of the Bible and the Catholic Church, and he will find no disagreement from me.

Now the reality.

People are having sex. Catholics are having sex. Heck, some Catholic priests have abandoned their oath and have had sex.

As a layman and the husband of a pastor, I know the difference between utopia and reality, and it is the responsibility of the faith community to deal with the real world.

And frankly, Pope Benedict clearly shows he doesn’t get it.

What we need today are our church leaders preaching, teaching and imploring their members not to go to bed with anyone and everyone. We also need church leaders who are willing to stand up and tell folks that if they do choose to sin – that’s what the church and other faith leaders consider sex outside of marriage – then you had better take the necessary precautions to protect yourself.

Folks, there is nothing in the Bible about wearing a seat belt. But it would be foolish of any pastor not to tell his or her members to use the safety device when driving. Churches all across the country trust and love their fellow members, but you can bet that an accountant is employed by many churches to ensure that no one is stealing the tithes and offerings.

Pope Benedict surely loves God and sees him as his protector and provider, but he goes nowhere without armed bodyguards. The pope has to know that murder is against God’s will. He has to believe that every person has the choice to be a moral and upstanding person. Yet not everyone abides by those religious views, and his security is there to prevent him from being harmed.

So how are condoms any different?

While Catholicism expands on the continent of Africa, we are seeing the expansion of HIV/AIDS as well. Sub-Saharan Africa has 22 million people infected with HIV.

The refusal of the Catholic Church and other religious denominations to accept the reality of the situation on the ground is doing nothing for the issue. If the church used its powerful voice – while continuing to speak out against sex outside of marriage – to also implore people to practice safe sex, it could have a major impact on slowing the spread of the disease.

This is one time where silence is not golden.

Does anyone realize that the HIV-AIDS rate in D.C. among African-Americans, white gay males, and Latinos is higher than the AIDS rate in many subSaharan African countries. What is wrong with abstinence? Why does “safe-sex” education not work? Abstinence was practiced for centuries by many people. What makes it such a horrible thing to preach now?

Why don’t all these people who care about HIV-AIDS in subSaharan Africa tackle the growing STD crisis in America? How do we know that they know anything about solving HIV-AIDS in other countries if it can’t be solved here? :eek:

Now the reality.

People are sinning. Catholics are sinning.

Heck, man can’t stop sinning, so let’s just continue sinning…

What use is the Bible and God’s word.

It’s impossible not to sin

And frankly, Roland Martin clearly shows he doesn’t get it.

Why be a pastor if you can’t tell people to stay away from sin.

No, his method is to sin another way, prolonging the consequence.

I used to think like Roland Martin does. In fact, when my son opted to start having sex at 14, I was actually happy that he was “smart” and used a condom. I thought to myself, if you are going to sin by fornicating, it makes perfect sense to also sin by using a condom to help prevent disease, pregnancy, etc. I even posted such reasoning on this forum a while back.

I no longer feel that way. It may sound crass and unsympathetic, but there are temporal punishments attached to sin. While a baby is a blessing (not a punishment), having to grow up sooner to take responsibility and/or deliver a baby that you have to give up for adoption is a trial for a person. Contracting a deadly or debilitating disease is also a trial. In both cases though, these trials were brought on as a result of sin.

Perhaps, if people stopped trying to increase the sin of birth control, more of society would see the consequence of sin and see the wisdom of abstinence. Instead, we promote birth control, and our teens think that they can avoid the consequences of their sin.

Thursday March 19, 2009

March 18, 2009

On his flight to Cameroon yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI was asked about the Catholic Church’s position on fighting AIDS. He said, in part, “One cannot overcome the problem with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, they increase the problem.”

Catholic League president Bill Donohue had this to say:

“Last year, Edward C. Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, wrote that ‘In every African country in which HIV infections declined, this decline has been associated with a decrease in the proportion of men and women reporting more than one sex partner over the course of a year—which is exactly what fidelity programs promote.’ As for condom use, Green said, ‘Many countries that have not seen declines in HIV have seen increases in condom use, but in every country worldwide in which HIV has declined there have been increases in levels of faithfulness and usually abstinence as well.’ The Catholic Church, it is well known, has been at the forefront of such programs. It also operates more hospitals and related medical centers for AIDS patients than any other private institution in the world.

“If condoms were the answer, then why is it that New York City, which under Mayor Michael Bloomberg has given away tens of millions of free condoms, has an HIV rate three times the national average? Furthermore, the promiscuous distribution of condoms in New York has coincided with a spike in sexually transmitted diseases of all sorts. Isn’t it time we learned that condom worship is irrational?

“Anyone who thinks that condom distribution, education and/or research is going to solve a problem which is mostly a function of behavioral recklessness is positively clueless. Not only that, such persons unwittingly contribute to the problem by diverting attention and resources away from that which works.”

Catholic League

I meant commentary, not commetary. I’ve had spelling issues over the last few days, is there a way to edit

Is this the Roland Martin of CNN? If it is, he has been radically anti-Catholic for a long time. I believe he was Catholic at one time. Does anyone know for sure? Whoops! I just saw the CNN above the post. Then this commentary is not unusual for Martin. He has made it very clear in the past that he bashes all things Catholic, and this is no exception. He’s one of the reasons I don’t watch CNN

I can’t remember where this post is from but I’ll post it, as it’s very important!

The Church is right and unassailable facts are there prove it, no matter what lies her enemies repeat: where abstinence and fidelity are the norm, HIV-AIDS declines, where Catholics are the majority and the Church has earned respect of people, even in the worst social and economic situations, HIV-AIDS declines. Look at the statistics.

If the hypothesis that Catholic doctrine spreads HIV and AIDS, we would expect to see increased infection rates in countries that contain more Catholics. Instead, we find decreased HIV rates in Catholic-dominated countries (although the trend is not statistically significant). The idea that Catholic teaching encourages the spread of HIV is not confirmed by the demographics.

The ten countries in continental Africa with the highest percentage of Catholics are:

  1. Equitorial Guinea (93.52% Catholic / HIV rate 3.4%)
  2. Burundi (65.25% Catholic / HIV rate 2.0%)
  3. Lesotho (53.62% RC/ 23.2% HIV)
  4. Congo (50.49% RC / 3.5% HIV)
  5. Angola (50.04% RC / 2.1% HIV)
  6. Democratic Rep. of Congo (49.45% RC / 1.2-1.5% HIV)
  7. Rwanda (47.92% RC / 2.8% HIV)
  8. Gabon (46.42% RC / 5.9% HIV)
  9. Uganda (42.28% RC / 6.7% HIV)
  10. Zambia (28.22 RC / 15.2% HIV)

This isn’t a true “African top ten” though. Some small island countries such as Cape Verde, Reunion and the Seychelles are over 90% Catholic and all have very low AIDS rates.

The ten African countries with the highest rates of AIDS are:

  1. Swaziland (26.1% HIV rate / 5.56% Catholic)
  2. Botswana (23.9% HIV rate / 4.78% Catholic)
  3. Lesotho (23.2% HIV / 53.62% RC)
  4. South Africa (18.1% HIV / 6.36% RC)
  5. Namibia (15.3% HIV / 16.78% RC)6) Zimbabwe (15.3% HIV / 8.79% RC)
  6. Zambia (15.2% HIV / 28.22% RC)
  7. Mozambique (12.5% HIV / 22.33% RC)
  8. Malawi (11.9% HIV / 21.76% RC)
  9. Uganda (6.7 % HIV / 42.28%)

Notice how no country which is over 40% Catholic has a high HIV rate with the exception of Lesotho, a tiny country which is completely land-locked by Protestant/pagan South Africa. The prevalance of HIV in a nation is determined more by geography than religious demographics. Southern and south-east Africa has far higher infection rates than the rest of the continent, including numerous highly Catholic countries in central Africa.

Of countries with high HIV rates, those with relatively high numbers of Catholics (e.g. Mozambique) are all located in the south/south-east.

Sources for statistics:

No, you did not read what he wrote. He said to preach abstinence but also to deal with the reality of what people are doing. While the 2nd part of his message may not comport with our beliefs as Catholics, he also did NOT say that telling people about their sin was something that pastors should avoid. At least be critical of what he actually said and not what you want to argue about. We can disapprove of his opinion about what people should or should not do with regards to AIDS, but lets at least read the entire thing for content before jumping to criticism mode.

I actually emailed him about this and said that the pope needed to speak the truth, regardless of the fact that Catholics (some priests included) are having sex outside of the sacrament of marriage. I said that just because those things are happening, it doesn’t make it right for the pope to give the thumbs up to condoms. He actually wrote me back and said that, “I never said it makes it right, but it is reality.”

He didn’t really answer my question. My point was that if murder became reality, the pope couldn’t recommend the most effective type of gun to use to kill since killing is wrong. The pope can’t give the thumbs up to condom use because that would be akin to giving the thumbs up to sex out of wedlock. The Catholic Church’s teachings are truth, the reality is what is corrupted.

Exactly. :thumbsup:

Yes – Mister Martin was a Catholic and is now a member of his wife’s church. To use a phrase common to Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, Martin is a bitter ex-Catholic. Just as he did over the Holy Father’s comments from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which repeated church teaching on Catholic relations with other Christians, Martin showed his arrogance again.

The fact that Martin is an ex-Catholic who obviously figured it all out on his own and decided to jump ship from the truth laid down by Christ to the truth laid down in any one of 40,000 variations of protestant-ism obviously makes him an expert to comment on the Holy Father.

BUT – the real story is CNN’s bigotry toward Catholics. I used CNNs ‘feedback’ facility to post a comment defending the Church against Martin’s commentary. My comment was not published. But a comment against the church by someone using the psudonym Father Pete O’Fyle was permitted. Ah – say that name. Hmm – pedophile. Really funny CNN. By the way – the comments are still thee. CNN refuses to delete ut.

Pray for these people!

In Christ’s Peace


It’s no wonder that CNN is steadily losing viewers to Fox news. Mr Martin has said some terrible things about the Pope in the past. What a very bitter, bitter man.

I just wish there would be something to balance the arguments. I don’t believe that Fox News is “Fair and Balanced” anymore than I believe that MSNBC is fair to conservatives. I do admire Fox for having Fr. Jonathan Morris. If a network is going to be discussing religion, they should bring in the experts. Roland Martin is no expert.

Unfortunately quite typical of the poorly catechised Catholic apostate.Have you EVER met or heard of a Catholic or has abandoned Christ’s Church for an ersatz man made faith who DIDN’T libel,slander and express hatred for his or her former Faith?I sure haven’t.There are PLENTY of them on this board.

Funny how those Catholics who were born into another Christian eclaisial body always seem to speak respectfully of their former affiliation and its adherents.

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