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Southern Religion

Faith-based condom distribution

The United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ have joined together in support of distribution of condoms and comprehensive sexual education by houses of worship and faith-based education institutions.

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Their initiative contradicts recommendations which follow from Pope Benedict XVI’s plane-board statement during his visit to Africa that “You can’t resolve [AIDS] with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, it increases the problem.”

The Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer, the UCC’s executive for health and wholeness advocacy, urges a more scientific and compassionate approach to the prevention of HIV. “The availability of condoms as part of a comprehensive approach to HIV prevention sends the right message and more importantly, it saves lives.”

Shuenemeyer said, “The message is rooted in the belief that loving carefully is a moral responsibility. The practice of safer sex behavior is a matter of life and death. People of faith make condoms available because we have chosen life so that we and our children may live.”

The United Church of Christ HIV and AIDS Network (UCAN) speaks directly to a key issue in the raging international debate over condoms and sex education, and is on sound behavioral ground, when it says:

There is no evidence that making condoms available promotes sexual activity. In fact, condoms, when distributed with educational materials and integrated into a broader, more comprehensive prevention package, have been shown to delay sexual debut among those who are not sexually active. Among sexually active youth, HIV prevention education programs have resulted in a reduced number of partners and increased condom use.

UCAN says making them available does provide “opportunities to open conversations that can save lives. In this context, condoms become educational tools.”

They are in good faith striving to follow the best available science.

March 28, 2009 - Posted by | Health, Politics, Religion | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

  1. Congratulations United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ for thinking rationally about condom distribution. Of course it is true that AIDS will not be “resolved” by condom distribution, but it is well established that condoms greatly slow its spread, despite the Pope’s claim to the contrary.

    I applaud your decision.

    Comment by F. Andy Seidl | March 28, 2009


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