Sunday, May 22, 2005

Yes, but what does Benedict say about Viagra?

Scott's away this week on a crooooooze, hopefully soaking up lots of sun instead of getting soaked by the rain that he told me was predicted. I'm here to humbly take his stead. He asked for a controversial topic so I figured I'd turn this into a gender-and-religion thing of sorts for the day. I'll hopefully have time to do at least one other post before Scott gets back on Saturday. I think that's when he's back. Not sure. Anyway, enjoy!

There is a turn of phrase in "Much Ado About Nothing" where Beatrice plays a pun on Benedick's name as it relates to the male anatomy. 'Tis true that Shakespeare was an admirable wordsmith. I had that in mind as I was drafting this last night since our new Pope is aptly named Benedict and this post is about Viagra. If you still haven't gotten the joke then here's a hint: "bene" means "good" in Latin.

I saw a spoiler on the evening news last night saying that Medicaid is apparently happily reimbursing sex offenders' prescriptions for Viagra in New York State. And, finally, thankfully, Alan Hevesi, state Comptroller (who invented that word, anyway!?) has wised up and is banning the practice. I have a couple of questions about that:
-First of all, aren't these people under house arrest of some sort? And don't they have to disclose their sex-offender status? I think they need to take pills to cure their sociopathy before even THINKING about getting laid.
-And next, it seems to me that most people who are sex offenders don't tend to suffer from impotence. They have the opposite issue of being incapable of keeping it in their pants. (Insert reference to Catholic priests here.)
-Finally,'ll pay for Viagra but not birth control? That is just so rich. So freaking rich! But I'm not going to get into that here, except to say that it would be a fairly safe assumption that most of America is run by men over the age of 45 and I guess we know what state their sex lives are in...

The Catholic Church, as well as a growing number of evangelical congregations, does not condone birth control of any kind. (Ok, so PJP II approved the rhythm method, but everyone knows white people can't dance, which pretty much negates the efficiency of that means of keeping the stork at bay. Evidently the previous Pope was not as clueless as we all thought.) The idea being that sex should be intended not for mere sexual pleasure but rather procreating, thus ultimately extending the church membership. So where does that leave Viagra and Levitra? Or their French cousin, Cialis? (The drug is referred to as "Le Weekender" in France since it lasts 36+ hours.)

I did some poking around on Lexis-Nexis and Google to try to see if the Church had indeed come out with a mandate about Viagra and its ilk. While it doesn't appear there was ever an ammendment made to Vatican II about this whole thing, most holy speculation says the Church approves Viagra so long as it's used by a man and a woman who are married to one another. No funny business outside of wedlock. Other than that, you're golden! The rationale being that the ultimate goal of intercourse must be that the man ejaculates into the woman and potentially fertilizes her and using an unnatural means of blocking that potential life (i.e. the Pill, a vasectomy, sponges, condoms, diaphrams, etc.) is sinful. But, if he needs a little help from a little blue pill to sew the seed, well, that's ok by God because it happens to lots of guys. And because at least those crazy kids were most definitely trying to make a baby. And since God created the Heavens and the Earth and said it was all good, then I'm pretty sure that just behind the pomegranate and the serpent, there was a prescription bottle hanging from the tree of knowledge. So, you know, it's only natural!

I just love it when religious groups truck along yarping about "natural this" and "God-like state that" and then don't seem to have a problem with advocating modern medicine as something God gave us. No He didn't. Don't even ACT like he did. Pfizer gave it to us. And if God is in the habit of creating exorbitantly wealthy pharmaceutical companies who are in bed with the insurance carriers, all of which is highly questionable and base, then he's a no good jerk to begin with!

Furthermore, there is a gross inconsistency in the ads for these drugs featuring 40-somethings. That set is usually well past prime baby-making age and they appear to do a tremendous amount of flirty frolicking (c'mon, bathtubs in the sunset?!?!), which would frankly bother me were I Pope Benedict XVI. Those people have NO intention of making a baby, they just want to get it on. Face it, Viagra is a recreational drug and that notion is reinforced by the Viagra parties that became so popular in the late 1990s when the drug was introduced. It is about one thing and one thing only: improving your sex life. Which is just fine. I don't have a problem with Viagra, etc. but is the Church really buying the suggestion that Bob Dole wants more children as opposed to being motivated by a strong desire to once again be a stallion in the bedroom? Because I'm pretty sure Liddy is post-menopausal which means that if Bob IS looking to sire more kids then he's going to have to do so with his secretary, thereby committing adultery and breaking God's heart. In summary, Viagra is clearly a very dangerous drug that will make men lust in their hearts, leave their wives and consort with prostitutes. But hey, who knows...maybe we'll get another Messiah out of this modern miracle.


sideshow bob said...

Well, Miss Factor, it didn't take long for you to screw Scott's blog up in your own trademark way;)(i think instead of the winky/smiley thing I'll just say, "HAHAHA, kidding I am!)

sideshow bob said...

I saw an ad for Cialis soft'd think they'd want the "soft" out of there...

And I saw a pamphlet recently that said the rhythm method is 99% effective at delaying pregnancy. Of course, if you do it once w/ the RM and don't get pregnant, the RM was technically effective at delaying pregnancy, even if you get knocked up next time. Stats are fun. You can prove anything with statistics. 14% of people know that.

ORF said...

HAHA!! Bob, there you go. Cracking me up again. How do you do it?!?! Yeah, those statistics are funny. Evidently, this post wasn't as controversial as Scott had hoped...ok, I've got another one up my sleeve but it probably won't be here til Thursday at the earliest because I have to synthesize several different articles.

Mike said...

Ok I'll stir things up for you. I'm reminded of a joke I heard in a sermon one time. (yes, we're allowed to have jokes in sermons)

A man was on the roof of his house to escape a flood. The water was up to the first floor. A boat came by and the man in the boat said, "Get in. I'll take you to safety." The man on the roof said, "No thanks, I have faith that God will save me." Soon the water rose some more and another boat came by. Once again the man was offered rescue and he turned it down saying, "No thank you. I have faith that my God will save me." Soon the water rose some more. A helicopter came by and threw down a rope. He waved off the helicopter because he was sure God was going to save him from this flood. Well, the water continued to rise and eventually the man drowned. When he went to heaven he asked God, "God, what happened? I had faith in you and you turned your back on me." God said, "I sent two boats and a helicopter. What else did you want?"

The point of the story is we have to look at all creations on earth as God's creations. All inventions come about through divine intervention. So my faith tells me that God created birth control and viagra so therefore they are ok to use as long as your intentions are to use them within a monogamous (heterosexual) marriage.

I must say I object to you continuously referring to "the church". "The church" tells us this and "the church" tells us that. My church doesn't tell me a lot of the things you claim "the church" tells us. So perhaps you should criticize specific denominations and stop lumping us all together into one entity you call "the church". There are a lot of screwed up churches out there that have radically different beliefs from my church and myself, and I kind of resent being lumped in with them.

Shannon said...

I'm always struck by the hypocracy of the Catholic Church's approach to sex and women. It turns a blind eye to molestation of children and insists that women be asexual baby machines. They are sluts if they are sexual. They are whores if they give in to their boyfriend's sexual pressure. They are shameful if they get pregnant from that event (b/c they of course couldn't use any birth control and they had no sex ed. to teach them that they could have done "other things" to relieve the sexual tension). They are killers if they have an abortion. In the eyes of the Catholic Church, where is the accountablity for men? None. They get their viagra and altar boys.

BTW-since I'm trying to stir things up (hence the abortion comment)- I heard about this book, Freakonomics , which asserts that the legalization of abortion coincided with a drop in the crime rate, while the death penatly doesn't really deter crime. It's always interested me how many right wing Christians are against abortion, yet pro death penalty and supportive of stances which are "tough on crime." If this assertion were true, that abortion (not the death penatly) reduces crime, which how would people react?

sideshow bob said...

You realize, Mike, that they say the same things about your church. That's the thing about church, apparently...every one is screwy but yours (not yours specifically, Mike, just a generalization).

Mike said...

Why is it acceptable to generalize about "the church"? If I were to generalize and say Muslims are terrorists, you would all be quick to point out it isn't fair to make such a conclusion. So why should I accept you guys saying Christians are egotistical judgemental hypocrites bent on inflicting our will upon the rest of the country? Can someone tell me the difference here?

ORF said...

The difference is that Christians have a tool even more powerful than a couple of 747s and some jet fuel: Tom DeLay and the butt load of other evangelicals who hold public office and are using it to rewrite laws to suit their Biblical tirades. DeLay is one scary, scary bastard and between him and Karl Rove (who, to my knowledge doesn't espouse a particular religious view but I'm lumping him in here because he applies to what I'm about to say) the country is being led down a very dark path.

Mike, as for lumping "the church" altogther, you are right. I was doing so somewhat unfairly but most of what I was saying was directed at The Church. As in The Catholic Church. And while what your church says might differ in a lot of ways from the CC in terms of ceremony, the doctrine is pretty much the same: love thy brother by providing him with loads of Viagra and preventing his daugthers from learning anything about sex by denying them access to education and birth control. Perhaps I should have more overtly stated that I tend to find organized religions (all of them, Islam in particular) fairly oppressive in their attitudes towards women.

As for why I am only addressing Christianity in this post, well, I believe Bob mentioned this in a comment on my site: Christians are in the majority. Here in the US, everywhere in the world. They are historically oppressive and antagonistic towards other religions and they proselytize at an alarming rate. Christian leaders have no one to blame but themselves for the notoriety they receive. Seriously, I cannot think of a single well-known Christian-oriented leader whom I would not consider a polarizing figure. For that reason, a lot of people are scared of Christianity as a whole.

What I'm saying is, talk to your leadership. I think it's important of you that you visit this site and mine and I really enjoy the opportunity to talk/listen to someone with whom I differ in my opinions very greatly but feel that you are willing to hear me out. We are working together on this and my patience for what the Right has to say is changing (don't do a victory dance just yet tho...I'm thinking something about snowballs and hell with regards to my becoming the C-word). However, as long as Christians who wield their power on behalf of the Almighty are in control and do so in a perpetually maniacal manner to the exclusion of anyone who doesn't think like they do, well, they are going to get bad press from everyone who's not in their camp.

Furthermore, I realize that certain sects of the Muslim faith are highly antithetical to the Western way of life and for that they should be despised. However, that issue must be dealt with with kid gloves for sure. Islam is not particularly well-understood by most Americans and certainly not by the Administration. And although 95% of the world's Muslims do not condone Wahabism, the Taliban, Osama bin Laden or any others of that ilk, if we go around punching out their kid brother, well, they're going to defend fellow members of their faith, no matter how radical they may be, before they thank us for annihilating their way of life.

canis lupus said...

I stepped away for awhile and alas, Miss Factor blogging style claimed another. My, my, Clarice.
You'd be surprised at how many Protestant churches out there have a very open minded view towards contraception (except abortion) especially in a monogamous setting.

Yes, I live in NYC, and I practically spewed my breakfast over the television set when I saw that bit with the Viagra/ex-con deal. Sort of like giving a gun to a paroled bank robber. I'm happy that the guv'nor acted fast, but this is going to be a "Saul pay for Paul and Paul pay for all" scenario since it will affect law-abidding citizens that benefit from the system.

Mike said...

"Talk to my leadership?"

I do that quite often. Except I don't talk to Pat Robertson or Billy Graham. I talk to God.

You shouldn't perceive Christians to be these blind sheep who just do what the Pope tells us to do. Unlike the political left who takes their talking points right off the NOW and website, most Christians understand we answer to God for our sins, not the people you consider to be our "leaders."

Mainline Mom said...

Most protestant churches, including mine, are very much in favor of birth control and teach that God did indeed create sex for pleasure.