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The NHS ‘safe sex’ video is tawdry and sad

Why isn’t abstinence suggested occasionally?

By on Monday, 15 November 2010

A screenshot of the video, entitled Condom No Condom

A screenshot of the video, entitled Condom No Condom

You don’t need to have read George Orwell, brilliant writer that he was, to know that the meaning and usage of words is critical. Since Orwell’s time there have been many examples of Newspeak, the mendacious language he invented in 1984, such as “collateral damage” for the killing of innocent civilians caught up in a war zone.

A recent item of news brought Orwell straight back to my mind. It seems that the NHS has made a short film to try to encourage teenagers to practise “safe sex” (whatever that means in Newspeak). Called Condom No Condom, the clips show teenagers preparing for a party. Watched by an unseen male character, the group visits a corner shop where they have the option to buy condoms. They proceed to a party where the male character meets a girl, flirts with her and then takes her upstairs where she lies back provocatively on a bed.

In some scenarios the couple have unprotected sex. If the male character tries to ignore using a condom, he is rejected by the girl. If the characters have unprotected sex, the male character ends up in a clinic with a sexually transmitted disease. (Don’t young women get STDs, then?)

YouTube states that parts of the film are suitable only for over-18s, yet there are no effective controls to stop children from viewing the explicit images. Apparently it can’t be shown in Whitehall as Government computer filters deem it too pornographic.

In this tawdry story what caught my attention was the opinion of the producer, Rachel Drummond-Hay; she said the film was intended to be “titillating rather than pornographic”. Tell that to the Government computers. According to the dictionary “to titillate” means “to tickle or excite agreeably”. It is invariably used in a sexual context, as the computers understand and as the producer, for some inexplicable reason, doesn’t. “Pornography” means “explicit description or exhibition of sexual activity intended to stimulate erotic feelings.” The pictures accompanying the news item looked explicit enough for me, even without seeing the film itself. They also – though this might be my own moral and aesthetic filter operating – looked dreary, unexciting, disagreeable and sad. So is the whole idea behind this film. It is a waste of taxpayers’ money as well as a shocking message to give young people at a time when they are most confused and vulnerable.

As Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, commented, the NHS should not be sending out a message that casual sexual liaisons “leave no regrets”. A question: why doesn’t the NHS suggest abstinence occasionally?

  • paul

    So when teenagers are confused and vulnerable it is best to NOT advise them to use a condom? Realize that although you may think otherwise, some teenagers have, and always will have sex from the beginning of man on earth basically. Like some of the Catholic Church's teachings its contraceptive and sexual health ideas only increase pain, suffering and death.
    Pain – stigma of using contraception, sexually transmitted diseases; suffering – dealing with an unwanted child; death – some sexually transmitted diseases can reduce lifespan and also the death of fetus's after the woman gets pregnant due to lack of protection.

  • alison fi

    It is horribly sad that the NHS needs to be so provocative to compete in our overly sexualized society. They clearly have had to cope with the fall out for them to be promoting this issue even wrong headedly. They feel they need to compete and yell harder. I don’t know what the answer is neither would I like to pretend that I do but surely after years and years of sex education if it isn’t working then we need to address the fundamental issue of just how free we as a society want to be in promoting raunch culture. thinking we can always plaster over the cracks that emerge with more of the same. There is a place in society for a better approach to relationships. In the 70s Libertines wanted this free open easy going relaxed no holds barred society – what we wound up with is aggressive, ugly, brutal, cultural bullying and …sleazy.

  • jmaplin

    How amazing that you can write such an in-depth article without even watching the film….and I quote….”'The pictures accompanying the news item looked explicit enough for me, even without seeing the film itself'.

    How utterly judgemental and disappointing that you are unable to form your own opinions without copy pasting and regurgitating other articles.

  • paul

    watched the film and it is barely tawdry. If in a movie it would probably make the film a 15 which is the age it is targeted at. It is an honest portrayal of sex that does not over glamorize like Hollywood does (how often do you see a condom used?).

    You say abstinence is not promoted, but this is one of the choices in the online video. The MTV 'staying alive' campaign is also a good example of all options being promoted, protected sex or abstinence. Currently it features a guest writer extolling the virtues of celibacy and the value of respect and marriage.

  • Robert

    > So when teenagers are confused and vulnerable it is best to NOT advise them to use a condom?

    Yes. Absolutely.

    Honestly, to do otherwise is to tell the teenager that he or she is nothing more than an animal, that when momentary feelings happen, one has no power other than to submit to them. This message is far more damaging to a teen. It means that a faithful marriage is impossible, that the teen is a slave of his emotions, that true caring is a myth because it's likely a rouse to get something out of them and there's nothing they can do to avoid getting hurt since lust conquers all. It extends beyond sex into anger, drunkenness, depression, overeating, and general trust.

    The best thing you can do to a teen is precisely not to focus on the condom and instead focus on the person they were meant to be as the image of God at to teach the child to stop feeding the fire by focusing on higher things that bring them to greater ultimate fulfillment and joy.

  • Diffal

    No abstinence is not promoted, when you “Say no and Stop” the video progresses to the point where you go back to her place where there are some condoms. This is objectification of young people, it seems to suggest that everyone is having sex all the time and the only choice you make is whether or not to wear a condom. this is hugely damaging and puts massive pressure on young people.

  • paul

    I respect the ideals you put forward, and likely they have some merit. If it was the case that you could get teenagers to behave in this way then I would be able to take your thoughts more seriously. However in all observable studies it is abstinence-only sex education programs that result in more pregnancies, basically because teenagers ignore the advice to abstain and have sex without knowledge or warning of what protection is needed.
    I also don't see how relatively innocent teenage sexual exploration prohibits a faithful marriage later on, you talk about it reducing people to impulse driven beings, but most teenagers do think long and hard before having sex. Also married couples are just as likely to give into this 'animal urge', so I think this is not what bothers you specifically – it is the act of sex before marriage.
    I do respect your position, but as a moral pragmatist in the knowledge that your son or daughter was soon going to have sex and there was nothing to do to stop them, surely you too would advise condom usage?
    Also just to dispel a myth, modern sex eduction DOES focus on the personal relationships and abstinence is also discussed as a solution instead of sex and it is highlighted that it is by far the safest option. Sex is not purposely 'promoted' it is just accepted that you can't stop teenagers pumped full of hormones from having sex.

  • paul

    Well at least you watched all the film unlike the author of this article!
    I agree to some degree that an official body should not be adding more pressure than teenagers already might feel to have sex.

    However, if you watch some of the other NHS videos in the series, you find the tagline 'Want respect? Use a condom' videos in which the protagonist will either brag about his sexual experience without a condom and then is rubbished by his friends for taking risks with his girl friend, (ie – pregnancy and STDs) or alternatively he brags about his sexual experience with a condom and he gets the respect of his friends. These adverts (you have to watch them to know), do not objectify the woman but show that they must be treated with respect.

  • Ohayo

    Sex is pushed by secular popular media. It's also pushed by health care. I agree that abstinence is not pushed enough, especially to combat the pervasive influence of the media (Hollywood especially but everything else), teenage hormones, lack of parental interest and many other issues. As is, sex is seen as an inevitable thing, teens are almost expected to have sex before stable relationships (not even marriage). The standards are pretty low these days but then the secular world doesn't really see them as low. As long as the kid does not pick up an STI or get pregnant, the issue is long past the point of acceptability.

    Now abstinence programs alone without parental, religious and cultural inputs won't work. When everyone else tells you to have sex, why should you listen to a boring suit preach to you about abstinence? When religious teachers are seen as having ulterior motives and the whole church as a corrupt organisation (as the secular media and some other religions promote – the whole nonsense of spirituality alone) why listen to abstinence. When parents think lowly of the church, why shouldn't the children? Bring your children up well, reinforce that with religion (giving also insightful reasoning) and finish it off with cultural and media reinforcement – i.e. have Hollywood et al. make less money on promiscuity promoting programming. Sex sells and at the end of the day the pop culture promotion of sex is shaping the modern social consciousness. At any event children should know about condoms and the government should educate them but it should really be a last form of protection, the way we keep nuclear arsenals but don't expect to use them because we hope to solve our political problems with diplomacy and economic pressure first.

  • louella

    Parents should assume responsiblity for their children….instead of supplying them with condoms …or agreeing to it. In effect they are allowing the depravity of their children.

    What kind of utter irresponsibility is that?! What kind of parents allow this?!

  • Ratbag

    When it comes to the crunch, advertising agencies and the NHS shoot themselves in the foot time after time after time when it comes to the subject of contraception.

    When a Cardinal claims that condoms have a habit of bursting, he is met with vitriol and viciousness and invalidation from the liberals.

    Cue another advert which controversially advertised the morning-after pill. Boyfriend's condom bursts, woman goes to the chemist to buy morning-after pill…

    NHS 'lets talk about contraception' campaign. One speech bubble states “Oh! I've forgotten to take my pill!” …

    …and another a young woman talks to her 'partner' about using an 'implant'. The 'partner' says 'urgh! I don't like the sound of that!' and she says “what do you think about becoming a dad?' and he then changes his tune without much thought then agrees that an implant sounds good. Most of the speech bubbles concerned women – no speech bubbles from men in the pub talking about condoms etc. Advertising standards should have had a field day with the claim that 'everybody's talking about contraception'.

    Yes, as far as I'm concerned, the conversation is about the tragedy and fallout from lack of respect, responsibility, crisis and crumbling values.

    Abstinence is about self control and respect for one another and the place of conjugal love within a loving relationship of husband and wife. It places value on the full person and not objects of lust and a fallout of embarrassment and rejection.

    Actually, in these financially stringent times, abstinence should be promoted more and more coupled with self respect. If abstinence was practised more, the NHS would save millions of pounds in the long run…

  • EditorCT

    Spot on, Ratbag. Spot on.

  • EditorCT

    “At any event children should know about condoms…but it should really be a last form of protection”

    This comment – from someone who seems initially to recognise that “the standards (of morality) are low” -serves to underline how successful the brainwashing has become.

    That God's gift of sexuality to the human race and His plan for it, are now associated with disease and fear (of children – the ultimate purpose of sexual intercourse) says it all.

    No wonder, these days, promiscuity and drug taking go hand in hand.

  • EditorCT

    If you have any idea of the kind of explicit sex education going on in schools – especially, and I do mean “especially” Catholic schools, you'd know that abstinence is not promoted, at all. Lip service is paid to it, as a fob to those fuddy duddies who think sex outside marriage is wrong. You say the guest writer extols the virtues of celibacy and the value of respect and marriage but that is a fob-off. The whole mentality, the signal being sent out is that young people will have sex, let's help them to “protect” themselves.

    But they're not being “protected” from eternal damnation – that is the big problem. They're being led astray by immoral adults teaching them to do evil. Because sex outside marriage is evil. That is the teaching of the Church. Not that it's “inappropriate” or not in keeping with the Church's “vision” as the Catholic sex education programmes teach, but that it falls very far short of the good that is expected of the use of God's gift of sexuality. St Thomas Aquinas teaches us that when something falls short of the good that we can expect from it, that, by definition, is evil. Not just murdering someone, or terrorism – they may be easier to identify as “evils” but the current promotion of promiscuity – which is what, by definition, we are talking about (equipping children to have sex with whoever, whenever…) is evil, pure and simple and all those involved in promoting it, share responsibility for the outcome.

    I once had a lunchtime meeting with a school nurse, enthusiastic about the sex education message she was promoting. She spoke in school assembles about having a stock of “your condoms” for anyone who wanted to call in and see her. In our lengthy lunchtime meeting I gave her a stack of facts to ponder about the damage caused by sex education. She laughed. Three weeks later she dropped dead. I wondered, at the time, how she would have dealt with the questions posed to her at her judgment, because it is a very serious thing, indeed, to set young people on the road to sin. That's what sex educators do.

  • EditorCT

    Paul, nobody needs to watch the NHS film to know it's the same old same old. Any meaningful change in government or Catholic Education Service policy on sex education would be Breaking News – trust me.

    And don't, please, fall for this baloney about “respect.” It's not about “respect” – it's about right and wrong. You don't say to a young person: “as long as you respect the bank manager, and yourself, and do it carefully, you can rob the bank at a time when nobody will be around, to make sure everyone is safe.” You say “don't rob banks – it's wrong.”

    We tell them not to smoke, drink or take drugs. Why on earth do we allow them to be sexually active as long as they show “respect”?

    Because, Our Lady, told us at Fatima, more souls go to Hell through sins of impurity than through any other sin. The Devil is hard at work. Wisen up.

  • EditorCT

    See my comment to Paul above – and stop falling for the propaganda.

  • EditorCT

    Paul, you are every propagandists dream. I'm heading out now so don't have time to respond to every one of your errors in detail. Just remember the dangers of being a “useful idiot” as the Communists used to call people to promoted their cause without understanding the issues.

  • EditorCT

    Just one fact before I disappear, Paul. The younger a girl has sex, the more likely she is to contract cervical cancer in her forties. Might this illness alone, “prohibit” a faithful marriage? Who wants to marry someone who might die in her forties? Through earlier sexual activity?

    By the way, no such thing as a “moral pragmatist”. There's morality and there's evil. Heaven or Hell. Take your pick.

  • EditorCT

    Spot on.

  • Ratbag

    Thank you. I am very heartened by your reply.

    I grew up with those skin-crawling condom and contraception ads during the 1980's and they continue to make my skin crawl and my stomach retch!

    The whole sad, tragic saturation of a contraception and abortion culture in society is not only down to empty promises (which, at our baptism, we vow to reject because it is part of the devil's manipulative mind games leading us to temptation – all his works, charms and empty promises).

    It is all down to profiteering, greed and big business – all in the name of what is laughingly called 'reproductive health'.

    A former American abortion clinic owner recently lifted the lid on the 'industry' in a documentary. Will we see it here on any of the normal TV channels? I wouldn't wager on it.

    The only thing the pill is good for is regulating endocrine disorders; the only thing condoms are good for is keeping the sand out of gun barrels in desert combat…

  • Stevieactionmanjackson

    attention all Catholics out there… you still believe in Santa Clause

  • EditorCT

    “… gun barrels in desert combat…” Ratbag – I love your fighting talk! The really sad thing is that so many people not least in Catholic educaiton, have fallen for the notion that we need to be talking to children about sex or there's something wrong with us. Very few seem to know that explicit sex education is forbidden by the Church. Teaching about purity and offering role models of young Catholic saints like St Gemma Galgani and St Maria Goretti are all the “sex education” any child needs.

  • Stevieactionmanjackson

    The Catholic religion is a disgrace…..Popes covering up EVIL going ons!!!! Go on call me names but don't prey for me because I'm fine. If history has taught us anything, it's religion is a bad thing. Believe in yourself not false gods.

  • paul

    When I say children, I am referring to teenagers 15 plus, so close to and in adulthood legally speaking. These parents are honest enough to know that sex is a possibility for their children whether they want them to do it or not. Teenagers are independent human beings, when you say parents should assume some responsibility, how? (are you meant to keep them locked in their room all day?!)

    Knowing that sex may be a high possibility they provide them with condoms to keep them protected from STIs and/or an unwanted pregnancy. Under your parenting your child could go out and catch a infection that could make them sterile or create an unwanted child that might very likely end in an abortion. (ask yourself, you wouldn't like that would you?)

  • paul

    I would also suggest and advise abstinence from sex as the safest option to my teenager.
    I would simply be honest enough with myself to know that I can't directly control their actions whilst their out, so I would simply equip them with the best information

  • paul

    Oh and I suppose this increase in cervical cancer is a punishment from God for her immoral behavior, is that what you think? If so God puts sexual morals in teenage years above the greed of bankers, the corruption of fraudsters and tax-evaders, the corruption of politicians. He needs to get his priorities straight.

    Your point is a good one and I could take it seriously if I knew it was not religiously motivated. Cervical cancer later on in life might be a perfectly good reason to discourage your daughter from teenage sexual contact. 'AIDs, STIs, lack of respect for own body, possibility of rape, lack of experience at creating lasting relationships, loss of childhood innocence'…etc. are all topics that I would discuss and perhaps agree with you on,

    but whereas I judge what is right and wrong by the emotional and physical wellbeing of the person(s) involved to inform my decision, you on the other hand are motivated by the Church's irrational intolerance to non pro-creative sex.

  • EditorCT

    You know, paul, when everybody and their granny preaches about the dangers of smoking, nobody ever says “Oh and I suppose this increase in lung cancer is a punishment from God?”

    It's a simple fact that if we abuse our bodies, we suffer. Our government and society want to acknowledge that in any and every sphere except sex.

    The fact is that the truth about the consequences of early sexual activity are being kept from us. Don't you think it odd that, when these controversies arise, the NHS doesn't publish reassuring statistics to prove that all is well with these sexually active youngsters.

    I once worked, for a short time, in the Sexually Transmitted Diseases unit in a hospital, where the Consultant once told me that when he had to break bad news to someone with an STD, they never EVER asked him if they would be able to have sex again. They only wanted to know if they would live, get better. On those occasions where he had to tell them to abstain, whether for a period of time or, in some cases, for good, they couldn't care less. Just relieved that they would live or become better again.

    If only the idiotic adults would stop throwing the wrong message, pills, balloons etc at them and tell them instead to NOT engage in sex until they are married, not only would they have healthy bodies, but they would have peace of mind as well.

    Don't talk about the Church being “irrational” – there's nothing more irrational that pushing young people into early sexual activity when they are neither physically or emotionally prepared for it.

    I take it you are not a Catholic, so there's no point in me elaborating on the Church's entirely rational – divinely revealed – teaching on the moral use of sex, but allow me to say that we have around us, the dire consequences of divorcing sex from procreation, not least in the now widespread practice of (taking it to its logical conclusion) homosexuality. Non-pro-creative sex par excellence!

  • paul

    lol you are so fun to argue with, if only you wouldn't go in for the monologues, it takes me around 5 minutes to type an answer. You also seem to be on this website all the time, maybe given enough time I'll convert you to my way of thinking:) I used to be like you actually, so it can't be that hard

  • paul

    useful idiot? If I was listening to propaganda to spread on that would be the case, I don't buy the guardian or hang around liberal message boards, I don't talk politics or religion with crazy lefties. I make up my own rational mind up on issues, to create moral answers that do the least harm and the most good in my opinion, I am barely spreading propaganda

  • paul

    marriage does not stop sexually transmitted diseases it is simply making sure that you are faithful to one partner, this is just the science of it.
    I am as it happens a Catholic, I was raised that way and went to a catholic school, I still go to mass I just make sure I go to the right Church. Through all the nice sermons and religious lessons in school never would I have thought that the Church at times could be so self delusional, so hypocritical and so intolerant of natural difference. What a shock when I found out! However I want to work for a more liberal Church and that's why I'm staying here as I know that a great many Catholics have major misgivings about the Church's official messages on certain issues.
    What keeps me in the Catholic Church is its tremendous compassionate spirit, its major charity donations, its social doctrine, its references to the utilitarian philosophy, the spirituality that can transform peoples lives and its agreement with the war on climate change, opposition to war and support of the fair-trade movement.

    Something else that keeps me going is that I know it isn' t just me, CAFOD had enough guts to be moral pragmatists and distribute condoms in Africa which will stop people dying of AIDs as part of its ABC program – Abstain, Be faithful, use a Condom.

  • paul

    Serious question – Tell me Jesus said that the thought was as bad as the deed, right? That it is what is in your heart that really matters. Bearing that in mind, if you decide to have sex using the aid of monthly cycles of coitus interruptus as the Church advises in order to avoid having children.
    In using this natural contraception how is this any different from artificial contraception if your aim is the the same?

    Surely the Church's policy on natural contraception is exactly what you are railing against – deliberately non-pro-creative sex, am I right?

  • paul

    If I had any idea? I was attending a Catholic School 5 years ago i should know

  • Ratbag

    I agree with you 100%. When I was a teenager at school, the science teacher told us one afternoon: '… for your homework, read and answer the questions about the human reproduction system. I stress that this is NOT a practical exercise!'

    Childhood is short and precious enough without burdening young minds with sex and the mechanics of the same.

    I'm surprised at those involved with Catholic education today are doing the wrong thing with their 'if you can't beat them, join them.' attitude. They should know better, actually. What's happened to valuing yourself, self-esteem, common sense and how to exercise self-control? That marriage between a man and a woman is the bedrock of a good, decent society? Or to aspire to greater and more satisfying goals than be a WAG, a caterwaul on the X Factor … or a single parent when the 'other partner in the tango' (i.e. fumble) has long gone off the radar!

    To be a saint requires faith and courage – St Gemma Galgani and St Maria Goretti are great examples indeed. So are Saint Gianna Mola, Saint John Bosco, St Dominic Savio, St Mary McKillop, Saint Rita of Cascia, the Martyrs of England and Wales and other saints and blesseds who have overcome many obstacles in their lives and/or gave their lives for the Church.

    The time can't come quick enough for a husband and wife to be canonised together – like the parents of St Therese of Lisieux.

    It is an eye opener that Catholic school teachers are not clued up with the teachings of the Church that are widely available… if they were, they would be more than galvansied and prepared to answer those awkward questions…

    Purity is a positive thing for all kinds of reasons. The Roman Catholic Church is way ahead of the times with their teachings on the subject of the body and dignity of the person. Universities and other institutions are only now begining to wake up and smell the coffee.

    It is the NHS and those 'reproductive health' cash cows that are stuck in a timewarp and behind the times. They behave as though there is still 'flower power', 'free love' and that everyone's still wearing Terylene. When will they wake up to the fact that all 'free love' and sexualisation came at a high price for future generations?

  • paul

    You know I find it very offensive that you characterize the attraction to the same sex as some kind of sexual perversion. Heterosexual couples are attracted to each other physically, but it doesn't mean that they take all their time thinking about sex. If your problem with homosexuality is sex without pro-creation then condemn coitus interuptus as it is the same intent exactly. Yes, even the Catholic Church couldn't survive if it told married couples they couldn't have sex unless they wanted a baby!

    You talk about the widespread 'practice' of homosexuality, as if referring to the term as a sex act and not a relationship. Also as far as homosexuality 'growing' as if it is some new phenomenon, it obviously is not as Greek homosexuality was part of the culture over 2000 years ago. The only reason it may seem to be growing it is that the wider community (not the Church) has become accepting enough of this difference in sexual attraction, and people have felt confident enough to come out.

    Would you tell a child of 15 (the average age of coming out under the age of 18), that they are sexually perverted and are headed for hell? Or might you instead question your own beliefs and ask why so many other Churches don't have an issue with homosexuality

  • EditorCT

    The UK seems to be full of people who can't see the propaganda for the trees. Get your facts straight about the child abuse scandals and don't believe the wholly biased news reports.

  • EditorCT

    Tell me this – have you blogged on any Islam sites?

    Thought not.

  • EditorCT

    paul – I've been inundated with Disquis alerts to your posts addressed to me, so I am dedicating the next half hour to responding to each one to keep it simple and try to address all of your comments.

    Five years ago? Try two days ago, when I checked out the sex education material for pupils in Catholic schools in Scotland. They're now in the possession of two horrified parents, who will comment in our newsletter, in due course, about these lessons. Given your views expressed in other posts below, however, you have no trouble with contraceptive, explicit sex education for Catholic pupils, so I doubt if you'd think there was anything wrong with the scenario for First Year (Year 7) pupils who are set to discuss whether or not two newly introduced pupils, boy and girl, should “go upstairs for some privacy”.

    Some of us are old fashioned enough to think God just might not approve of that being up for discussion in a Catholic school, especially since the teachers are taught to be “non-judgmental” and their only task is to let pupils “think things through.” And that, of course, without teaching them sound doctrine and certainly not teaching them about the doctrines of mortal sin and Hell.

    So, five years ago – nope. Try two days ago.

  • EditorCT

    paul, you don't need to read particular newspaper to fall prey to propaganda. It is all around us. The very fact that you, like so many others, swallow the propaganda about “safe sex” which they now call “safer sex” is proof positive that our sex-obsessed society is doing immense harm to all these people with “rational” minds.

    But reflect on the truth that nobody's mind is more “rational” than the mind of God.

  • EditorCT

    Well, now, paul, I'd much sooner offend you than offend God, whose “rational mind” is much, much more than merely “rational” – God created us and therefore nobody knows us better than Him. He made it so that a man and a woman would come together to work with Him in being pro-creative and bring new lives into the world. He made their bodies to “fit” together for this purpose, so to speak. Therefore, it is, of course, a perversion – a wrong use – of the human body to try to “fit” two people of the same gender. You don't get more “rational” (or natural) than that, paul. The Church condemns ALL means of deliberately trying to prevent conception, including the example you give.

    You are right in that the ancient Greek societies were infected by homosexuality – but they collapsed. Obviously. Where would the people come from if homosexuality is the norm? Don't make silly distinctions between sexual activity and relationships. We all have friends of the same gender but there is no issue because there is no question of sexual activity. The Church condemns the expression of friendship between two people who are unmarried or two people of the same gender sexually, because in both cases they contradict God's law, God's plan for His gift of sexuality.

    I would tell a child of 15 who asked for my advice or opinion, what I've said above and yes, in the context of speaking about God's laws I would speak about the consequences of going against God's laws – in cases of mortal sin, it takes only one unrepented mortal sin to take us to Hell. It was only one mortal sin, remember, that caused God to become man, live, work, suffer and die on earth, to enable us to attain eternal salvation.

    There ARE no “other churches” paul. Christ only founded ONE Church – He founded it on Peter, the Rock, and established it as a hierarchal community, guaranteeing to guide it and to guide Peter, the first Pope in a particular way.

    Not long ago, Cardinal Ratzinger (before he became Pope Benedict) issued a document to emphasise this and said we should refer to these “other churches” NOT as “churches” but as “ecclesial communities” – that is, “church-like communities.” As a courtesy we tend to say the Church of England/Scotland in conversation but – in fact, it is a theological nonsense to speak about “churches”. the Protestant ecclesial communities were set up by bad priests, dissenters like John Knox and Martin Luther. Both unfaithful priests. They've split the Christian community down the middle and caused utter confusion in the Christian world and beyond. It won't be until the General Judgment at the end of time that we'll find out the full consequences of their actions. And ours, of course, she said humbly. (I do pride myself on my humility…)

    So, to conclude, these “other churches” don't have a problem with homosexuality because they do not have the guarantee of divine help given to Christ's Church. The Church will never teach that homosexuality, contraception, women priests etc. are acceptable, because of that divine guarantee. No truth that is essential for salvation will ever be formally denied by the Church, nor any error that would take us to Hell taught as true by the Church, even if individual bishops and priests err and even if in his private writing or speaking, a pope errs. Never.

    ps when I realised I'd have to edit this because I'd omitted a word, I mistakenly clicked on “Like” for your post above, so don't get ideas above your station!

  • EditorCT


    First of all, the Church only permits the use of Natural Family Planning where the married couple abstain during the woman's fertility days. Nothing else is permitted. And this NFP cannot be used as an alternative to contraception. The Church stipulates that couples my avail themselves of this natural period of infertility (by abstinence) only in the most serious of circumstances and for a limited time.

    Now the NFP instructors tend to omit that information when they are teaching it so many couples and pupils in Catholic schools are given the impression that NFP is OK for general use. Not so. We are all called to make sacrifices in our lives and married couples are no exception. We are all called to discipline our sensual appetites, and married couples are no exception.

    So, yes, using NFP IS different from artificial contraception, firstly because it's natural – merely using our “rational” minds (!) to note the workings of the body and to educate ourselves to recognise those days when God has decreed conception will more likely happen, in order to avoid – by self-sacrificing abstinence – conceiving a child. Secondly, the difference is that this is not an ongoing situation. This is not to be used until we have the two cars, another holiday and enough money to send wee Johnnie to Oxford. It's only to be used temporarily and for very serious reasons.

  • EditorCT

    In my post below, I forgot to answer your thesis that “it is what is in your heart that really matters.”

    Only if what is in your heart is in conformity to God's law. Nobody really knows what is in the heart of anyone. Take a mass murderer like Hitler, for example. For all we know he had a good heart, was misguided, all sorts of things might explain his evil deeds.

    He'll still have to pay for his evil deeds. In any court of law, where the judge may recognise mitigating factors, a sentence will be handed down to fit the crime. Same with the Supreme Court of Heaven.

  • EditorCT

    paul, will you please give that “rational mind” of yours a simple task. Tell it to THINK!

    Nobody who obeys the teaching of the Catholic Church on sex, is ever going to contract a sexually transmitted disease. That's as you would say, the science of it. That's an indisputable fact.

    I am surprised to learn that you are a Catholic because you betray – with respect – an incredible ignorance about the nature and purpose of the Church. The Church, by nature, is both human and divine, with a guarantee straight from Christ Himself, that He will be with His Church until the end of time. The purpose of the Church is to save souls from Hell. That you have to search for the “right church” and yet do not know any of this, is tragic in the extreme. The priests who are not teaching you the Faith, and those schoolteachers who have confined your education to collecting money for CAFOD, will pay a heavy price at their judgment.

    You say you are working for a “liberal” Church. So were John Knox and Martin Luther.

    The trouble with this concept of a “liberal” Church is that there is absolutely no foundation for it in Scripture. The only talk in Scripture, is of fidelity. God praised His chosen people for their fidelity and punished them for their unfaithfulness. Not a word about “liberalism” – indeed, liberalism is a very grave sin. Google “liberalism is a sin” and see what comes up. I'm in a big rush or I'd find something for you.

    As for the list of things that are “keeping” you in the Church – WHAT????? Goodness, the Salvation Army has a “tremendous compassionate spirit” and any number of organisations, including successive government give “major charity donations.” And I've no idea what you mean by the “spirituality that can change people's lives”. I'm guessing that you misinterpret the Church's social teaching to be akin to “socialism” – the Church actually condemns socialism as an evil. Catholic Social Teaching puts Christ the King at the head of every nation, meaning that His laws, God's law, must rule everywhere.

    And that will put an end to all the immoral legislation, where evil is being made out to be good; when Christ the King rules, there will be a number of bad laws repealed, including the Abortion Law and the Equality Laws that have made sodomy legal.

    CAFOD is NOT a Catholic organisation in the true sense, if they are defying the above Catholic Social Teaching. Informed Catholics have long been concerned about CAFOD. I wouldn't dream of giving them a penny and no truly informed and educated Catholic would.

    Given that you were (not) educated in the Catholic school system a mere five years ago, paul, you are proof-positive of my comments at the outset about the dire state of Catholic education today. God help you.

    Please read up on your Faith. Visit our links section at and see the publications listed there. Find a sound book about the Catholic faith – because once you really know the Faith properly, you will love it.

  • EditorCT

    Well, “fun” is my middle name, paul. It is not kind to describe my posts as “monologues” because it is always easy to make a wrong statement. It takes a bit of work to correct error, and – allow me to say in my own fun-filled way – your posts are full of errors. I can't, therefore, respond to you in a sentence.

    I am most certainly NOT on any website all the time. Thankfully, I am a very fast typist and where it takes you around 5 minutes to type a comment, you say, I can do it in two. Or so.

    You'll never convert me to the errors of liberalism, paul, so don't waste your time.

    Indeed, I have to point out that my time is very limited and I have a number of commitments pulling at me right now, so I will be unable to respond in any detail to future posts from you. I have corrected the basic errors found in your posts on this thread to date, and I've suggested you read up using sound literature, on the Faith. By the way the blog at Catholic Truth while no longer open to comments, has fantastic information available on just about every topic under the sun, if you take the time to trawl. Sign up and trawl. You'll be amazed at what you learn.

    You have a duty to educate yourself in the Faith, paul. If you wanted to learn about Islam, you would want to read the truth about it, not what some dissenters from it say and believe. Same with Catholicism. You must read the truth about Christ and His Church, not the views of dissenters.

    God bless you.

  • Stevieactionmanjackson

    As a matter of fact YES i have, you really need to stop assuming. I didn't mention ''child abuse scandals'' that was you. I watched a movie recently it's called The invention of lying, comical but tells a story.

  • EditorCT


    Would you please post a link to any Islam blog where you have commented. I'd be very interested to read your posts. Thank you.

  • Nesbyth

    The NHS clip is indeed raunchy and what amazes me is that if any adult conveyed that sort of sexuality to a teenager in advice or in a story they would be accused of abusive behaviour; likewise for most of the Sex Ed lessons which seem to be GROOMING children for sex. They are not neutral lessons and they can easily titilate, as a pupil I was helping out with (I was a classroom assistant at the time) said “Ooh Miss, I feel funny.” i.e he was having an erection watching the teacher put a condom onto a courgette!

    Chastity is not often talked about seriously but it really should be and I can't believe responsible parenthood can be encouraged without it.

    And a last thing…I've noticed a marked rise in teenage mothers, STDs, mothers with babies by different “parteners” SINCE this more aggressive Sex Education joined the syllabus in the last twelve or so years. It has had the opposite effect and put ideas into children's heads to try it all out.

  • Ratbag

    I'm speechless, Nesbyth, by your account of what happened in the classroom. Good grief! The more sex education is presented like this,it becomes more trivial and the crisis increases at an alarming rate. It's playing with fire. You are so spot on.

    If this happened in a private environment or via the internet, expect the vice squad, social workers and child protection breaking down the door, a court appearance and the offender visiting the local cop shop to sign the sex offender's register!

    It smacks of double standards, brainwashing and hypocrisy.

  • Nesbyth

    Indeed Ratbag. Thank you for picking up on the double standards and the real abuse that goes under the name of Sex-Ed (sexed!) which if demonstrated by any adult to any child (the boy in my story was 12 by the way) would have them arrested for grooming or perversion.

    I just wish parents realised what exactly goes on in these lessons and take appropriate action. I was shocked but it was a temporary class appointment for one day as I was employed to help with English and Maths on a regular basis….otherwise I'd have had to resign.

    By the way this took place in 1990 in a Comprehensive in SW London. Twenty years on from there, these lessons are probably a great deal more explicit….as the casual attitude of the NHS advert demonstrates.

  • Joshmaplin

    ….and the times they are a changing:

  • Alex

    Sex is pretty cool though, Have to admit.