Polly Toynbee of the Guardian has leveled one of the most serious (and irresponsible) charges against the Catholic Church: that She's to blame for millions of dead Africans. In a 2005 article for the Guardian, she wrote:
How dare Tony Blair genuflect on our behalf before the corpse of a man whose edicts killed millions? [...] With its ban on condoms the church has caused the death of millions of Catholics and others in areas dominated by Catholic missionaries, in Africa and right across the world. In countries where 50% are infected, millions of very young Aids orphans are today's immediate victims of the curia.
This is a common meme. Arch-atheist Richard Dawkins used this same argument to argue that the Catholic Church was in the running for the major institution that "most deserves the title of greatest force for evil in the world." So let's tackle this argument head-on: Is the Catholic stance against contraception responsible for the AIDS-related deaths of millions of Africans?
Well, why not see what the data says? After all, these are the same atheists who routinely crow about being interested in real knowledge and reason, rather than faith. So let's put their faith to the test. If the Catholic Church's teachings against condoms are causing millions of Africans to contract AIDS, we should expect to see heavily-Catholic countries with far higher AIDS rates than their non-Catholic counterparts. So I decided to compare the rates by region and by country.
- Joe Heschmeyer
What Impact Does Catholic Teaching Have on AIDS in Africa? (Shameless Popery)
ALEMUSH (Flickr/CC 2.0)