Action Alert!

And speaking of dogma, ...

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Mar 25, 2009

 Two weeks ago the world's opinion-makers were smug and secure in their belief that the best way to fight AIDS is by distributing condoms. It was as established tenet of secular belief: a matter of dogma. 

So naturally, when Pope Benedict had the temerity to question that dogma, the opinion-makers were outraged. How dare he question their cherished belief?! The level of outrage-- still boiling over, more than a week after the Holy Father made a casual remark-- shows how sensitive these folks really are.

And why, pray tell, are they so sensitive-- especially since they are so vociferous in saying that the facts support their view, and the facts refute the Pope? If the facts really were established, they wouldn't need to repeat them so often. If you deny the law of gravity, I might chuckle, but I won't be outraged. You'd be wrong, and everyone would know you were wrong; I wouldn't feel obliged to repeat the obvious. 

With condoms it's different. It really does require an act of faith to believe that a thin sheet of latex is your best protection against a killer disease. Think about it: Next time you visit the zoo, imagine how you'd feel if the tiger's den was closed off only by a sheet of plastic (really, really strong plastic, the zookeeper would assure you); would that make you feel secure? Only if you had an awful lot of faith in the zookeeper.

So now, thanks to Pope Benedict, people are thinking once again about how much security condoms can provide. No doubt the balance of editorial opinion weighs heavily against the Pontiff. Still, people are thinking about it. Two weeks ago, they weren't. 

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.