Accepted Wisdom


Written on 11:25 PM by Jack B.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." - Joseph Goebells, Nazi Head of Propaganda

It is fast becoming accepted wisdom among the media intelligensia that the fault for AIDS in the 3rd World (Africa, Asia, South America) is the fault of the Catholic Church's refusal to accept (and help distribute). Therefore this makes the Catholic Church and particularly the Vatican/Pope who can change the rules of the Church any time he wants basically responsible for millions of dead people. The fact that the Catholic Church provided roughly 25% of all care for AIDS sufferers in the world (according to John Allen at the liberal National Catholic Reporter) doesn't matter. The Church (actually the Vatican because thats easier to dehumanize) has blood on its hands. This information which has no basis in verifiable facts or statistics, upon which there have been no studies done and is largely conjecture by people opposed to the doctrines of the Catholic Church in other areas (abortion, euthansia, women priests, celibacy) has been repeated over and over again. When Pope John Paul II I counted at least a dozen articles I read on the web that were specifically about this and called the late Pope something close to a killer (don't believe me? Read some Christopher Hitchens on JP2). With the election of the man progessives hated most, Joseph Ratzinger, as Benedict XVI this "Big Lie" has continued.

Nicholas Kristof in the NY Times (where else?) continues taking this opinion as accepted fact in his op-ed column The Pope and AIDS (use for registeration). Kristof knows he can get away with a column like this because the claims he makes - that the Vatican is responsible for the spread of AIDS - is now the accepted wisdom of the media and the intelligensia despite the fact they can never offer conclusive proof of their claims - just opinion and conjecture with a smidge of vitriol and a little old-fashioned anti-Catholicism mixed in.

The only way to respond to this myth is not with something by a Catholic who supports the Church (and thus will be accused of bias) but by an Ex-Catholic like Brendan O'Neil, who is, in his own words, "implacably opposed to the Vatican's utterances on contraception and abortion (and everything else, for that matter)" in his article written right after John Paul II's death, Did the Pope spread AIDS in Africa? Read it, then reflect on Kristof's so-called accepted wisdom.

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1 Comment

  1. Peter Sean |

    Tom Smith at Right Coast did a righteous smack-down on this at his blog. You can locate the link on my blog - Lex Communis.


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