Contraception in Africa and the third world, the Pope and the United Nations
The Anglican Conference at Lambeth in 1930 was the first major break in Christendom on social morality. The "Eugenic" movement was the pressure group spearheaded by Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger, that pushed it through after being defeated in 1908 and 1920. This is pertinent to our discussion of Africa. The following quotes from their journals show their ill founded reasoning.
"Before eugenicists and others who are laboring for racial betterment can succeed, they must first clear the way for Birth Control ... to assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit..." (Margaret Sanger. "Birth Control and Racial Betterment." Birth Control Review, Volume III, Number 2, Feb. 1919, page 11.)
"Parenthood should be a licensed profession and only those fully equipped should be allowed to become parents ... Dr. Hart believes that the race has deteriorated and that this deterioration can be stopped only by scientific methods of reproduction..." (Birth Control Review, Volume VIII, Number 12, Dec. 1924)
In the 1968 document "Humanae Vitae," everybody felt like a bomb hit society. The Catholic Church was reaffirming its stance on contraception. In Section 6, Pope Paul VI makes several predictions. He said we would see:
- Lowering of morality,
- Disregard for physical and emotional well being of women by men,
- Government would use contraception for coercive purposes,
- Women would begin to treat their bodies as if they are machines.
Why is the Church against the use of condoms in third world nations?
The Church does not pretend to have full answers to all the problems of our "first world" selfishness that deprives "third world" countries of development but it would say that the solution is not condoms. That's the "band-aid" solution we want to throw at those countries so we don't have to give up any of our luxuries. It would be better if we practiced generosity and self sacrifice as a solution to third world problems. But then we would have to take responsibility for teaching them about morals, which is something North America knows little about. What we are basically saying to them is "hey we don't want to look at our moral behaviour so we'll send you condoms so you don't have to look at your moral behaviour." We are also saying "we won't fix your real problems but at least we'll let you have 'fun' and have sex and that way you can stay spiritually unconscious."
We have been dropping condoms on Africa for years and there is not any sign of increased economic benefits, except to the condom companies. Nor has there been significant changes in HIV infection levels. It also seems to have actually torn families apart because the men have been unfaithful to their wives thinking they could have safe sex.
Abstinence Campaigns have been much more successful than the Safer Sex campaigns in Africa. In Uganda they reduced STD's by over 50% since 1992 through abstinence campaigns. On the other hand, in Botswana and Kenya, where safer sex programs have been implemented, statistics show a rise in HIV transmission. The statistical rise ran parallel to the rise in condom sales.
Our North American problem is that we don't think humans can live without sex. But we can. Sex is optional. It's not like food. (Chastity is defined as no sex outside of marriage)
Many have criticized the Church for not supporting "population control" schemes that advocate wide spread use of contraception. The UN denies aid to countries that don't adopt an aggressive contraception campaign and planned parenthood is trying its best to include abortion access in that package of necessary qualifications. But the emaciated children on TV are not caused from a lack of contraception, the situation is caused from corrupt governments, natural disasters, tribal conflict and a host of other factors.
Pope Benedicts comments on condoms in Africa
Very few media outlets printed the Pope's entire comment and even changed what he had said to make their sound bite.
‘I would say that this problem of AIDS cannot be overcome with advertising slogans. If the soul is lacking, if Africans do not help one another, the scourge cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem. [The media changed the word "risk" to "are"]
‘The solution can only come through a twofold commitment: firstly, the humanization of sexuality, in other words a spiritual and human renewal bringing a new way of behaving towards one another; and secondly, true friendship, above all with those who are suffering, a readiness - even through personal sacrifice - to be present with those who suffer.
A full discussion is in a separate article.
But what about overpopulation?
We in the "First World" look at the population control problem from the eyes of a first world country. We have old age security. They do not. Their children are their security in their old age. That is who takes care of them in their old age and when they are sick.
Some sociologists, environmentalists and economists have demonstrated that the entire population of the planet could live on an area the size of Texas. (if people weren't so selfish.) There would be 1000 square feet per person, which is a slightly higher density than San Francisco but a slightly lower density than the Bronx in New York City.
Overpopulation is not the problem, under population is our problem. The replacement birth rate is 2:1. Many countries are well below that. John Pacheco writes:
This reality is well known by the US government which predicts that the current situation with social security which has four people working for every person receiving social security, will shrink to 2 to 1 by the year 2030. It is unlikely that the economy can support such an arrangement. Italy is burying more people than are born. Russia has lost 500,000 in total population every year since 1989. Europe will shrink to a fraction of its current population by the end of the 21st century, which has negligible immigration, will lose 25% of its population by 2050. Not only have we disobeyed God by ceasing to multiply, we have not filled the earth. Australia, a continent nearly the size of the United States only has 19 million people versus 280 million for the US. Most of South America is so sparsely populated that telephones do not exist except in major cities.
North American culture is dying. In Quebec the French language is under serious threat because they are having so few babies. We use contraception and abort our babies and then travel half way around the world to adopt a baby because there are no babies available for adoption in North America.
- Catholics and Contraception
- Contraception in the Bible
- The Early Church Fathers and contraception
- Why are Catholics against gay sex?
- Pope Benedict's comments on condoms in Africa
- Gay Sex in the Bible
- African man commits suicide after being ridculed for having too many children