Liquid Ink

The official website of Gint Aras, Finalist 2016 CWA Book Award

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Teen pregnancy epidemic

Today’s True Community article deals with teen pregnancy, an issue that’s very important to me, and not merely as an educator. I’m using an extreme word, epidemic, in the title of this blog post perhaps unfairly; efforts to bring down the teen pregnancy rate have been working, and currently we’re at historic lows for all US ethnic and racial groups.

Still, in my environment I see it all the time, and it causes problems we’re all familiar with. I really think we need a shift in the consciousness surrounding our concept of sex education. We have to get over our puritanical point of view and give people information that can keep them from making poor decisions.

This week I profile a pair of students that I had some time ago. Their stories are sad but important. I hope you’ll check it out.



Photo by Mike Baird

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Questions for Pope Benedict XVI

Dear Pope Benedict:

It seems that God has changed His opinion on the use of rubbers. Therefore you, His right-hand man on Earth, have now changed the church’s position on prophylactics, or so I read in the Telegraph. I must admit, having read God’s new position carefully, that I am quite confused by this, His latest mystery.

Condom usage “could” be “responsible” when used to halt the spread of disease, but remains immoral when used to prevent life. I am not sure about the meaning of the words “could” or “responsible” in this case. Are we to assume that there is sometimes a case when it is irresponsible to avoid spreading illness? Or do you mean that those sexually active men who know that they are infected with an STD, AIDS for example, should now, according to God’s will, use a condom when having sex? What if the infected person is a woman? Should we ask her, “Are you infected, or do you think you might be infected?” Some clarity on this position, Your Excellency, would aid me in my investigation of God’s ever-increasing mystery.

Of course, as happens with all theological positions and edicts from God, the human mind immediately considers particular situations. (Even one of God’s greatest servants, Abraham in Genesis 18, demanded clarity from God when He stated He would smite Sodom and Gomorrah, history’s first recorded gay tea party.) I am struck now by my situation. Having earned decent grades from diligent study at two of the Lord’s most holy Catholic schools, I learned that I should not have sex with anyone but my wife. It should only be in the missionary position, and then only when we intend to procreate. We cannot procreate during Advent (four weeks), Lent (forty days), on any Holy Day of Obligation (six more days) or during the Sabbath (53 of them this year). In His love for His children, God has left us about 244 days of the year, give or take a Sunday, when we might procreate; of course, we must, for practical reasons, subtract the 20 or so days when my wife has a headache and the 30 or so days when I am either drunk, ill, bloated, exhausted from work or unfortunately limp. So great is God’s love for his children that He has left us about one third of the year to procreate in the missionary position, preferably in a dark room, woe to us if we imagine the neighbor’s spouse (or, so horrible is our lust, members of the Australian Men’s Swimming Team) in the middle of the act.

However, given God’s new opinion, the following theological questions arise: If I have reason to suspect, for example, that my wife might have contracted an STD from a Ukrainian toilet seat–I have in mind the kind available in the задница train station near the Polish border–must I wait until she is diagnosed, or could I potentially have sex with her prior to the doctor’s visit, condom on as a precaution, provided it occurs during one of the legally sanctioned 194 days? Yes, I understand that this would not be sex for the purpose of creating life; however, I *would not* be using the condom to prevent life! Would this situation fall into the category of those when I “could” be acting in a “responsible” way? Which sin separates me further from God? Is it worse for me to be having sex with my wife doggy style on a Wednesday afternoon in November without a condom, or with a condom in missionary position starting on Mardi Gras, the climax accidentally occurring several minutes past midnight, technically already Ash Wednesday?

Please help!

Confused about our Lord’s most Holy Laws, I remain nevertheless His humble student,

Gint Aras