Uh oh, I've been watching Fox at the gym again...
The big thing they were talking about was Harry Knox, a White House advisor, having said the Catholic Church was "hurting people in the name of Jesus" by forbidding the use of condoms. Fox pundits of course were outraged, their arguments being that scientific consensus was agreeing with the Pope that condoms weren't preventing the spread of AIDS and that the Catholic Church was saving a lot more lives through its charities than Knox's organization, HRC.
Let's look at these claims.
The claim that science agrees with the Pope probably comes from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_C._Green. But Green says "I believe condoms should be made available to everyone. It should be, and as you say, the ABC strategy: Abstain, Be faithful, use a Condom." If his findings are correct, they only show that condom distribution pushes people to more risky behavior, but condom usage is perfectly efficient. As often, there is no silver bullet and a multi-pronged approach is often preferable. But this kind of subtlety totally escapes Fox and the Catholic Church, which promotes abstinence as the only acceptable contraception. What they forget is that abstinence has been demonstrated time and again to be terribly inefficient and counter-productive: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080916143912.htmIn that case as well, the distribution of the contraceptive method is harmful, although the usage obviously works. Except that using the pill or a condom is much easier to achieve than abstinence.
And of course, there is the motivation. The reason why the Church prohibits contraception methods is not disinterested, nor is it to apply good science or to limit the spread of diseases. They couldn't care less about that. The subtext is that extramarital sex and of course homosexuality are considered by them as sin, and they don't really mind sinners dying from their sins. When they don't explicitly wish for it to happen.
Then there is the claim that the Church saves more lives through its charities than Knox's organization. That is probably true and clearly something that should be praised, but how the hell is it relevant? If you are a brain surgeon AND a serial killer, does the surgery excuse the killing if you save more lives than you take? This is just irrelevant.
On other news, I heard some tea party idiot on NPR saying that "people who can't spell 'vote' elected Barack Hussein Obama" (emphasis on Hussein of course). This is wrong on so many levels. So wasn't what triggered the original Boston tea party "no taxation without representation"? That implies that immigrants should have a right to vote where they pay their taxes.
Oh, and I also heard Bill O'Reilly ask why Obama's birth certificate had never been produced. Seriously. Wow. Incredible that a channel that claims to be a news channel couldn't do the very basic fact checking that I just did in less than ten seconds: http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html
People, when you are proven wrong, it's OK to say "I was wrong". It will actually make you more credible the next time you're right (whenever that may be).