Thursday, August 04, 2005

I’m Going To Buy A Pallet Of Condoms At Costco And Send Them To Africa

Starvation. AIDs. Both of these are a blight upon many countries throughout Africa. And, by my reckoning, these problems have a common solution:

The jimmy hat
The rubber
The love glove
The lambskin
The condom

Whatever you call it, this long-in-existence intimate apparatus is sadly not being put through its motions where it could be used most.

I feel frustrated, because I want to help end the suffering of millions. At the same time, I sometimes come to the defeatist conclusion that you can’t help those who won’t be helped.

Proliferation of these plagues is often attributed to a lack of education. But do Africans really not know where babies come from? I don’t think that’s the case. Unwise behavior and beliefs are the foundation for these tragedies.

What beliefs do I speak of? For one, the belief that having sex with a virgin can either prevent or cure AIDS. This has led to the abhorrent practice of infant rapes in some parts of Africa.

Then, there’s the notion that the use of birth control is a sin. Ask one of the many Catholic charities working in Africa if condoms are part of their relief plan; the church is officially opposed to any effective form of birth control – even in the face of overpopulation and disease. In the battle of “ideal” versus “real,” millions of innocents are the cannon fodder.

As then-Surgeon General C. Everett Koop once told us, much to the consternation of his conservative cohorts, condoms are the best method of preventing AIDS infection – barring abstinence. And I do bar abstinence; it’s just not real-life.

Condoms are also a good way to prevent children who are bound to starve from even being born in the first place.

Yep, while no panacea, condoms could help Africa for sure.

Now if we could just develop a condom that prevents civil war and genocide


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