"Condoms" by Oregon State University is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

As STI Rates Soar, Trump Is Funding Clinics That Don’t Believe in Condoms

Oct 11, 2019

By Marie Solis

Amid record rates of sexually transmitted infections, the Trump administration is handing out millions of dollars in federal funds to religiously affiliated health centers that don’t believe in condoms and refuse to supply them.

Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its annual report on STDs in the United States, announcing that, in 2018, the total number of cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis reached an all-time high of 2.4 million. It’s the fifth consecutive year of record STD rates. In the report’s foreword, Gail Bolan, director of the CDC’s division of STD prevention, noted that it wasn’t long ago that “gonorrhea rates were at historic lows, [and] syphilis was close to elimination.”

“That progress has since unraveled,” Bolan wrote.

CDC officials say one factor contributing to the ballooning STD rates is a lack of access to preventative healthcare services. Therefore, curbing the spread of STDs requires federal, state, and local programs to expand access and promote “sexual, reproductive, maternal, and infant health,” according to the report.

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10 comments on “As STI Rates Soar, Trump Is Funding Clinics That Don’t Believe in Condoms

  • My very first comment after joining RDF this evening; sorry I’m late. The late great Christopher Hitchens led me on this path – oh grief, that sounds religious; I’m a devout atheist for the record. I was appalled to read the Trump administration is funding religious organisations that actively discourage condoms, with the consequential rise in STDs. This illogical anti-social practice was/is echoed in countries dominated by Catholicism. Strictly no protection despite HIV certainty – I continue to despair. You know all this, but as I said, I’m just getting started here and I will endeavour to make waves where it counts, hopefully with as much articulacy and intelligence as I can muster. Happy days 🐳

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  • Apart from anything else the blanket ban on condoms is bad theology.  In RC and other Christian moral theology, the key to a thing’s being sinful is intent.  Thus if the intent of using a condom is to avoid conception, which is a sinful intent, then its use is a sin.   However if the condom is used as a prophylactic against disease or harm, then its use is not sinful, as avoidance of disease can only be categorised as a moral good, on a par with vaccination, or I suppose the wearing of a helmet when riding a bicycle.

    On the other hand yer moral theologian would say that bonking outside wedlock is always sinful, and the prophylactic use of a condom is assisting in the perpetration of sin, by mitigating the consequences of the evil act, and therefore it acquires sinfulness by association.  Dubious logic that!

    There is also another permutation.  Within Christian marriage the refusal of sexual relations by one partner has always been considered sinful.  Suppose one spouse was carrying an STD, then the only way the other could avoid infection, and fulfil his/her sexual obligations safely, would be by use of a condom. Charybdis and Scylla: how would the Doctors of the Church sort out that one?

    Just proves that the whole thing is a load of baloney.

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  • I have never heard that “refusal of sex” is a sin, but rather that having sex for any purpose OTHER THAN PROCREATION is the sin.  In either case, it is ridiculous, and commonly ignored in the US.  I don’t believe in “sin” any more than I believe in magical sky wizards.  I used to drive religious folks crazy pointing out the inconsistencies they preached, and the idea that married couples are the only people allowed to have sex, and then only for purposes of procreation, struck me as ridiculous early on.  I wouldn’t argue the former until I was old enough to be having sex myself, but as a child I frequently objected to the latter.  My question was, so if one partner is known to be infertile, or when a woman has passed menopause, then there is no sex allowed any more even within a marriage if the “procreation only” idea had any validity at all.

    Naturally this didn’t go over big with those folks who subscribed to their and convoluted (and hypocritical) religious ideas about whether or not the magical sky wizard cared about humans having sex.

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  • Marco, thank you for your welcome note – appreciated.  Regarding comments by Eejit and Pye I agree with everything they have said, but herein lies the problem I mentioned in my virgin posting (have I just sinned?).  That in general terms we are in agreement, therefore posting between ourselves has limited value.  Trouble is people are dogmatic particularly where religion is involved, but I still try to punch outside the ring as it were.  As an example I was incensed by a Papal statement made months ago concerning global sexual child exploitation by members of that elite club, the Catholic church, so I sent this polite enquiry direct to the Vatican on 24 February 2019 (a reply has not been received)-

    The Pope has spoken of the human frailty of priests, with regard to their ‘submission’ to satanic actions against children entrusted to them.  I was puzzled that he also stated these ‘consecrated’ men were chosen by God to ‘guide souls’. Can you please explain exactly how God made these appointments, the selection process and interviews?  Thank you. 

    Don’t hold your breath……… 🙁

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  • The whole pedophile-priest thing is absolutely reprehensible, but why is anybody surprised that the RCC doesn’t give a crap about its parishioners? They’ve been telling women for YEARS that any sexual thing that is done to them is THEIR fault, and they should be ashamed (which they already are).  I know of more than one former Catholic woman who left the church after being raped and told it was her sin, in at least 3 cases in different parts of the country a woman raped by her father was told by (different) priests that she MUST OBEY her father EVEN IF HE IS DEMANDING SEX and that his demands are HER fault and HER sin.

    Also it should be understood that this sort of abuse is NOT relegated to the RCC only, but is in fact rampant wherever grown men have unsupervised access to children, especially amongst the religious.  We are no less likely to find pedophiles among Methodist (or any other religious sect, xtian or not) ministers as among Catholic priests.  I had a friend (note “had”) who was constantly ranting about how all Catholics are pedophiles.  I have no idea why he was so angry about it – he was not a Catholic himself so its doubtful he or his brother (he had no sisters) were ever abused by a Catholic priest.  He also insisted that all pedophiles are gay, so – double whammy on the bigotry thing.

    Regardless, I have little use for bigotry even when there is some basis for anger, as there is when we talk about pedophiles in ANY segment of our populations.  I’m not stupid – I do not for a second think these guys should be allowed to get away with their predations – but its an issue that affects ALL humanity, not just xtians, not even just religious people.  A pedophile or other sexual abuser could be ANYBODY.  Even Buddhists aren’t free of this particular perversion.  Recently riots were set off in India when a guru was arrested on charges of rape.  Sai Baba, a wealthy and powerful religious charlatan who is dead now (and not a moment too soon) was also guilty of sexual abuse of teenage boys.  Look at all the coaches who have been “found out” in recent years. It’s not a catholic, or xtian, or even a religious, thing.

    People are people.  No group is free of its share of bad people, broken people, selfish people, etc.  Save some of that anger for the pedophiles who are NOT Catholic priests – which is the vast majority of them.

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  • Pye Wacket says:

    People are people.  No group is free of its share of bad people, broken people, selfish people, etc.

    Save some of that anger for the pedophiles who are NOT Catholic priests – which is the vast majority of them.

    We should, but secular organisations take disciplinary action against abusers, while the RCC, just moves them around to keep them ahead of their reputations as they seek out new victims, and then hides the leading ones who organise cover-ups in the Vatican, giving them sanctuary and  diplomatic immunity!

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  • I hate to tell you this, but “secular” organizations are not innocent of the same tactics.  Not, perhaps, “moving around” so much because they don’t have that option, by and large – but they spend considerable resources covering up and hiding things for DECADES.  A school in the school district where my son was going to high school (an elementary school in that system) hired a known pedophile and did NOTHING about complaints from parents (about new abuses) until someone went to the paper and the shit hit the fan.  That was in the ’90s.

    Catholics do not have a lock on this.  They’re not even the worst offenders.  They’re in the top 10 for sure, possibly even the top 3.  But it is NOT a catholic problem.  And it IS par for the course for how they have ALWAYS treated women and children.

    Definitely, hold them accountable. But I am pretty sick and tired of people beating the anti-Catholic drum when it is more often than not just an excuse for anti-Catholic bigotry. Like my former friend, who insisted that ALL Catholics are pedophiles – not all priests, even but ALL CATHOLICS.

    I’ve got no use for the catholic religion any more than any other religion, and probably in all honestly, less. But there is an awful lot of anti-Catholic bigotry out there even today. I still remember a (Catholic) friend who had a coworker find out that her husband was a Buddhist. Her (eventual) response was “Well, at least he’s not a CATHOLIC”. She thought Buddhists were devil worshipers, but Catholics were still worse in her world view.

    (Clearly she did not realize to whom she was speaking LOL)

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  • Pye Wacket says:

    A school in the school district where my son was going to high school (an elementary school in that system) hired a known pedophile and did NOTHING about complaints from parents (about new abuses) until someone went to the paper and the shit hit the fan.

    Hi Pye,
    That is so in some unfortunate cases.

    Fortunately, where my children went to school, I was a member of the board of governors and chairman of a disciplinary panel which sacked one one of them!


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  • Point is that this happens all over the country and officials of all sorts cover this crap up, “mandatory reporting laws” notwithstanding. If a kid reports abuse to a teacher and that teacher doesn’t pass it along, or if the school administrators block and cover it up, that kid is unlikely to report it ever again.  They can get away with this stuff for decades, often until the original perpetrator is dead.  And that kid will most likely never trust an authority figure ever again.

    There is no way I could have been elected to the school board in that area of the country (especially not at that time).  Everybody liked me and my son, but we were “not xtian” so … considered “less than” in all areas.  I was without a doubt the most highly educated parent in the school system, including the teachers, but I could not have gotten a position on the school board because they considered me “immoral”.  Only once did someone ever try to lecture me on how I was dooming my son to hell.  Nobody ever brought the subject up again. Sometimes gossip is helpful, LOL!

    Trust me, in these rural areas there’s a lot of bigotry against not just non-xtians but also brown folks – my son used to get called a “mexican” on a regular basis, and actually lost a “friend” because he (jokingly) told her, “Why YES, I AM a Mexican, what of it?”  Because she didn’t want to associate with brown people.  His true heritage wouldn’t have helped much since his dad is from India and I am 1/8th Native American and I look like a whole slew of different types of brown-folks-that-white-folks-don’t-like.  He was voted “Most likely to be accidentally shot as a terrorist at the mall” which I know was INTENDED to be a joke, but sadly it was frighteningly true in that area.

    I think the saddest day of my life was when I had to explain to my son the concept of the n-word-that-we-know syndrome.  That is where some bigot makes an exception for the brown person that he actually knows – THIS brown person is a-ok, but all OTHER brown people are (long list of pejorative terms).  He knew he was personally liked by lots of his cohort, but most of them were obviously bigoted against all the other brown people except him.  And sorry, but we have to slight you in this or that instance because even though we like you, you are still an inferior subhuman.  Mostly the latter came from adults, but it was still hard on him.

    Anyway, point is, it isn’t just the catholic priests.  Sexual abuse by xtian “ministers” of all sorts is RAMPANT throughout xtianity, and its not limited to xtians, either.  EVERY religion that has a patriarchic priesthood is full of men who think they have a god given right to do anything they want to women and children.  It’s right there in the bible/other magic book of nonsense.  I think when we focus on just the catholic ones we are doing a disservice to the vast majority of victims of sexual abuse who don’t happen to be catholic.  Don’t forget all the coaches and swim teachers and teachers in general and on and on and on.

    NONE of them should be ignored.  An awful lot of xtian types that I know REALLY BELIEVE that it is only a problem among catholics, because they already think catholics are worse than devil worshipers. The exact same situation exists in every religious (and non-religious, actually) hierarchy – only without the media coverage.

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