Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pope Benedict: Condom use acceptable in certain cases

Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times, is a book based on a series of interviews with Pope Benedict.  In it, Benedict appears to be changing his tune on condom use.  According to an AFP story:

In a series of interviews published in his native German, the 83-year-old Benedict is asked whether "the Catholic Church is not fundamentally against the use of condoms."

"It of course does not see it as a real and moral solution," the pope replies.

"In certain cases, where the intention is to reduce the risk of infection, it can nevertheless be a first step on the way to another, more humane sexuality," said the head of the world's 1.1 billion Catholics...
To illustrate his apparent shift in position, Benedict offered the example of a male prostitute using a condom.
"There may be justified individual cases, for example when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be ... a first bit of responsibility, to re-develop the understanding that not everything is permitted and that one may not do everything one wishes," Benedict was quoted as saying.

Let that sink in for a minute.  The pope is saying condom use may be acceptable if you are a male prostitute...  What exactly is this example supposed to illustrate? 

I would love to say that maybe this is a first step toward the Catholic Church becoming a bit more progressive, but I suspect something else completely.  It seems as though the pontiff is trying to seem more reasonable about condom use, while the only instances where it would be acceptable are obviously immoral to the church for other reasons (unless they're about to claim that male prostitutes are doing god's work).  He's trying to appear willing to compromise, while actually making no effective change to the church's stance at all. 

Until the pope, or some other senior church members, recants the ridiculous things said about condom use in Africa to reduce the spread of AIDS, it is impossible to thing anything but the status quo of the Catholic Church.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

International Day of What Now?!

This is just disturbing:
International Day of masturbation on the Qur'an
Description: 
What you DO: Do the Nasty on the Quran, send us a pic of the results.Blur our Nudity, if you can. If not, we will handle it and post it on a site off of facebook, to be viewed by all! Have Fun. Wank on the Quran, Male or Female! EVERYBODY MASTURBATE ON THE QURAN, EVERY DAY! 
Let me be clear about this:  I think the Qur'an is a ridiculous book filled with mostly nonsense, just as I do about the Bible, and every other holy book I've come across thus far.  And I don't particularly care what anyone does to a book they own, regardless of the supernatural significance someone else gives to said book.  And I don't particularly care if an action offends a religious group, particularly if you have a positive message (such as the message sent by Draw Muhammad Day earlier this year).

However, this is offensive, for the sole sake of offending.  There is no message here.  Part of the reason I like Draw Muhammad Day was because it was about creating, rather than destroying.  This is the exact opposite of that.  I think of it this way: if this was supposed to be a day of masturbating on any other book, a book not regarded as holy, for example, I would still be offended by this.  It's childish nonsense, completely uncreative and without any rational message.

So while I support everyone's right to do whatever they wish to a Qur'an, or any other book, it doesn't stop me from also finding these people to be complete morons.

(via Friendly Atheist)

I'm employed again!

Unfortunately, I didn't get the position at Google I interviewed for a couple of weeks ago.  But I was offered a position working on mental/behavioral health software, and I accepted it last week.  I'm looking forward to getting started (which should be Monday).  It feels good to be a contributing member of society once again!

As I said before, I felt like I was busier being unemployed than I was when I was working, so hopefully I can get my schedule back to a more predictable day-to-day routine.  That should also mean more regular posting again.  I know you've all missed me :-).