Of Catholics and Condoms

The Church is rearing its ugly head here in Singapore - this one is about sex, morals and condoms.

According to The Straits Times, 26 Jan 2011, in the article, "Call to tweak sexuality education",

Some Catholic school principals have met Ministry of Education (MOE) officials to discuss how the ministry's sexuality education programme can be tweaked.

Among other things, they had asked for a segment on the use of condoms to be modified so that it better matches Catholic beliefs. The segment includes a video on the use of condoms.

And apparently,

A spokesman said the ministry conducts periodic reviews of its sexuality education programme, and consults parties such as parents, teachers, students, health professionals and religious leaders. [My emphasis added, in italics]

Although, it also said,

'While the presentation of information could be refined, the core messages of the HPB remain relevant and will be retained,' the spokesman said.

Needless to say, I disagree with the pseudo moral ideas of the Church. But more importantly, I think that the MOE should not compromise with religious opinion. Singapore schools, Catholic or not, should not be doling out fantastical conceptions of morality.

Let's take a look at what the religious representatives have said. In a letter to Catholic school leaders, Archbishop Nicholas Chia wrote

He acknowledged that Singapore was "a secular society where no specific religious group has the right to impose its beliefs on others".

He went on to say that "within the context of our Catholic schools, however, I would find it unacceptable if students were given a compromised message on premarital sex. This applies to all students in the school".

It is unfortunate that he thinks that it was "unacceptable" but being a "Catholic school" is not excuse. It is a school - it must teach anything and everything deemed necessary by the ministry. Should there be a conflict of interest, students' welfare and education comes first, religious beliefs second. The secular interests of all students cannot be compromised by religious opinions of one segment.

On the use of condoms, he cited Church literature and teachings

He said that the Church's teaching 'concerns marital acts, since marital acts are the only ethical sexual acts in the eyes of the Church'.

He added: 'If we present to our young people how to use the condom outside marriage, just in case you need it, it would be as though the Church is teaching us how to sin less grievously which makes no sense.'

Indeed, it makes no sense, because the very concept of premarital sex as a sin makes no sense. Granted, they do have the freedom to stick to their pseudo moral views under the pretext that it's their religious dogma.

But we're talking about teenagers here - we know that some of them, like it or not, are definitely going to fuck each others' brains out. If all we're going to give them is essentially "Say No To Sex" and stay a virgin for your future spouse or Jesus, you are going to be a grandparent.

To add insult to injury, the Catholic Church in general is also known for its stance against abortion as well. No to contraception, no to abortion? - it's almost as if the Church wants more teen pregnancies. In this respect, the Church seems uninformed about practical realities or it is grotesquely insensitive about human suffering

This is not surprising given that the Catholic Church's (I am no longer referring to just those in Singapore) involvement in the global child rape scandals and the AIDS pandemic in Africa. This corrupt organization seems more concerned  with itself and its doctrines than the people that they care for - we would be better off treating its "moral" claims with skepticism if not ignoring them completely.