We’ve got a religion-themed round-up this morning, and first on deck is the Pope, who is continuing to clarify his recent statement on condoms. The Associated Press reports that he meant that heterosexual couples can use condoms as well as male prostitutes:
“I personally asked the pope if there was a serious, important problem in the choice of the masculine over the feminine,” Lombardi said. “He told me no. The problem is this … It’s the first step of taking responsibility, of taking into consideration the risk of the life of another with whom you have a relationship.”
“This is if you’re a woman, a man, or a transsexual. We’re at the same point,” Lombardi said.
The pope is not justifying or condoning gay sex or heterosexual sex outside of a marriage. Elsewhere in the book he reaffirms the Vatican opposition to homosexual acts and artificial contraception and reaffirms the inviolability of marriage between man and woman.
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But by broadening the condom comments to also apply to women, the pope is saying that condom use in heterosexual relations is the lesser evil than passing HIV onto a partner.
In somewhat religion-related news, the Southern Poverty Law Center will designate the Family Research Council and twelve other gay-bashing organizations as hate groups next year. But really, it has nothing to do with their religion, and everything to do with hate and propaganda.
(A) hard core of smaller groups, most of them religiously motivated, have continued to pump out demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities. These groups’ influence reaches far beyond what their size would suggest, because the “facts” they disseminate about homosexuality are often amplified by certain politicians, other groups and even news organizations. Of the 18 groups profiled below, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) will be listing 13 next year as hate groups (eight were previously listed), reflecting further research into their views; those are each marked with an asterisk. Generally, the SPLC’s listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups.
Below is a list of the anti-gay hate groups according to SPLC. See their website for complete description of each group.
*Abiding Truth Ministries, Springfield, Mass.
*American Family Association
*Americans for Truth About Homosexuality
*Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, Calif.
Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, Vista, Calif.
Concerned Women for America, Washington, D.C.
Coral Ridge Ministries, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
*Dove World Outreach Center, Gainesville, Fla.
*Faithful Word Baptist Church, Tempe, Ariz.
*Family Research Council, Washington, D.C.
*Family Research Institute, Colorado Springs, Colo.
*Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment, Downers Grove, Ill.
*Illinois Family Institute, Carol Stream, Ill.
Liberty Counsel, Orlando, Fla.
National Organization for Marriage, Princeton, N.J.
*Traditional Values Coalition, Anaheim, Calif.
And lastly, the official Morman handbook on social issues is now available online. Previously, only church elders and clergy had access to the information, but in an effort to be more open, the LDS church decided to make the volume available to church members and the general public. On abortion, the handbook says:
The Lord commanded, “Thou shalt not … kill, nor do anything like unto it” (D&C 59:6). The church opposes elective abortion for personal or social convenience. Members must not submit to, perform, arrange for, pay for, consent to, or encourage an abortion. The only possible exceptions are when:
1. Pregnancy resulted from forcible rape or incest.
2. A competent physician determines that the life or health of the mother is in serious jeopardy.
3. A competent physician determines that the fetus has severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.
Even these exceptions do not justify abortion automatically. Abortion is a most serious matter and should be considered only after the persons responsible have consulted with their bishops and received divine confirmation through prayer.
Church members who submit to, perform, arrange for, pay for, consent to, or encourage an abortion may be subject to church discipline.
As far as has been revealed, a person may repent and be forgiven for the sin of abortion.
It doesn’t seem to me as if the LDS church wants abortion to be illegal.
Mini-Roundup: An HIV drug already on the market shows great promise at blocking infection.
- Three decades later, women’s equality treaty still controversial – Iowa Independent
- GOP Hopes To Use State-Level Gains To Propel Conservative Social Issues – Medical News Today (press release)
- Wearing white to stop violence against women – Shields Gazette
- HIV-drug study gives new hope for vaccine – USA Today
- AIDS drugs may stop HIV transmission – CNN (blog)
- Half of women in Limpopo farms HIV positive: study – Times LIVE
- Vatican Pope’s condom comments apply to women too – The Associated Press
- Concerns over cuts to womens welfare aid – Scotsman
- Pope’s controversial book hits the shelves – Times LIVE
- Thailand: Senate fights bill on legal abortion – AsiaOne
- Overcoming Disparity – Women’s health damaged by increased city living – The Guardian
- Free Birth Control – An Easy Pill to Swallow? – Public News Service
- Kiwi B-school Likely to Conduct Sex-ed Classes for Sexually Ignorant Students – MedIndia
- Are the Courts Ahead of the Public on Gay Rights? – TIME (blog)
- Annette John-Hall: Philadelphia pastor lives with HIV – and preaches about it – Philadelphia Inquirer
- £15 test for cervical cancer ‘could save thousands’ – Telegraph.co.uk
- Is birth control destroying the environment? – Grist Magazine
- Bangkok Post : Jurin: Govt acting against abortion mills – Bangkok Post
- The right prescription – Boston Globe
- New health care law is here to stay – Dayton Daily News
- Abortion foes fill Bluffs meeting – Omaha World-Herald
- Merrill school board approves sex ed recommendations – WSAU
- ‘American Idol’ winner tells court she had abortion before suicide attempt – MyFoxOrlando.com
- Toxic waste dump ruled out as cause of Kettleman City birth defects – Los Angeles Times
- Experts See Scant Progress in Reducing Violence against Women in the Americas – Pharmaceutical Processing
- Talking sex grows on schools – Xinhua
- Planned Parenthood Pushes For Free Birth Control – The Bottom Line
- NJ Assembly approves restoring $5M for family planning services – NJ.com
- NJ assembly passes bill to expand women’s health funding – Asbury Park Press
- Abortion petition won’t change Government’s stance: AG – ABC Online
- EDITORIAL: Abortion is no minor matter – Washington Times
- ACOG Publishes Guidelines on Gynecologic Care for Women With HIV – DG News
- A virtual hideout for subway flashers – Salon
- Dems again try to restore NJ family planning money – BusinessWeek
- New STD Report Finds Some Progress, High Costs for U.S. – BusinessWeek
- Symposium examines advances in HIV prevention – Guelph Mercury
- 'HIV & AIDS management is more than just giving drugs' – Vanguard
- Women seeking birth control get unneeded pelvic exams – msnbc.com
- With 14 months to go until Feb. 2012, first ad hits the Iowa airwaves – The American Independent
- Thailand: Discovery of Fetuses Sparks Abortion Debate – TIME
- Three senators plan to offer new prenatal care bill – Lexington Clipper Herald
- Abortion to autopsies: LDS Church handbook on social issues – Salt Lake Tribune
- Pope did not change on contraception, bishops say – CathNews Asia
- Pro-life Candidates to Target 2012 Campaign for Graphic Ads strategy … – Catholic Online
- AFER Co-Founder Goes From Fighting Prop 8 to Running Michelle Obama’s … – Metro Weekly
- Soften stance on family planning, church urged – Gulf Today
- DOVES works to raise awareness of domestic violence issues, services – Chadron Record
- Colorado Springs-based Family Research Institute tagged as hate group – The Colorado Independent
- SENATOR YEE CONTINUES 100% LIFETIME RECORD WITH EQUALITY CALIFORNIA – Out In America
- The Pope And The Male HIV-Positive Prostitute, Ctd – The Atlantic
- Condom conversion validates Catholic action on the front line – Sydney Morning Herald
- HIV drugs interfere with blood sugar, lead to insulin resistance – Washington University in St. Louis News
- Foetus case witness retracts accusation – Bangkok Post
- Battling HIV/AIDS and the healthcare crisis in Africa – News@Northeastern
- Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project’s executive director, Stephanie … – Dodge City Daily Globe
- Scalia: Founders Never Thought Gay Sex and Abortion Were Protected Liberties – ABA Journal
- Determinants of fertility decline – The Daily Star
- Scalia loves his gadgets, but not cameras in court – First Amendment Center
- Concern about teen pregnancy rate at CT schools – Primedia Broadcasting – Eyewitness News
- Moldovan ’11 named Mitchell Scholar – Yale Daily News
- Ahmadinejad calls on Iranian girls to marry at 16 – Christian Science Monitor
- US Ranks Far Behind Other Industrial Nations on Maternal Mortality – Ms. Magazine
- Pope OKs Condoms For Gay Porn Stars!! – OpEdNews
- Scientific findings advance HIV treatments – Private MD
- Town Hall Offers Straight Talk About Teen Pregnancy – Clarke Daily News
- Task Force Commemorates the Transgender Day of Remembrance – eNews Park Forest
- Women’s Health and Rights: Why US Foreign Policy Matters – Huffington Post (blog)
- Spain says Pope’s statement on condoms “insufficient” – Monsters and Critics.com
- Meghan McCain on the politics of Thanksgiving dinner – Christian Science Monitor
- Pro-life solons: Don’t distort Pope’s statement – Inquirer.net
- Gay sex workers can use condoms, women can’t – Irish Central
- Cayetano welcomes Pope’s comments on condom use – GMANews.TV
- Church AIDS workers have long put reality before Vatican theology. – The Age
- THE PILL OR NOT THE PILL – THAT IS THE QUESTION! – iwgazette.co.uk
- Pope comment not a birth control endorsement—CBCP – Inquirer.net
- Sen. Durbin Urges Ratification Of International Women’s Rights Convention – Medical News Today (press release)
- Bishops say Pope still anti-condoms for HIV – The Australian
- Tensions in Catholic Philippines over pope’s condom comments – Inquirer.net