Tom Hoopes is Vice President of College Relations and writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has written for the Register for more than 20 years and was its executive editor for 10. His writing has appeared in First Things’ First Thoughts, National Review Online, Crisis, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside Catholic and Columbia. He has served as press secretary for the Chairman of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. He and his wife, April, were editorial co-directors of Faith & Family magazine for 5 years. They have nine children.
It’s wrong to make fun of people. But it’s good to make fun of stupid ideas. The idea that promoting condoms will prevent AIDS is not only stupid; it is killing people.
So here is a “mad lib” game you can play at home to ridicule the inanity of condoms promotion.
Suggestions in italics, as an extra help.
1. “Oh no,” said the government official. “Our country has a terrible problem. People are dying because they keep
[lethally dangerous activity]
Ideas: playing with guns, playing with matches, playing the “choking” game, playing circus knife-thrower, playing on the Interstate, climbing over the rail at the Grand Canyon, swimming in rip-tides, putting bags over their heads, locking themselves in old refrigerators, trying to get high off of industrial chemicals, seeing if they can fly off a tall building if they really really believe they can; having extramarital sex.
2. “I know what we can do,” said the Catholic. “Let’s tell them to stop.”
“Whoa!” said the government official. “That would be funny if it weren’t so dangerous. People won’t stop. The only way to save them is to distribute
Ideas: bullet-proof vests, fireproof gear, oxygen tanks, astronaut suits, suits of armor, parachutes, scuba gear, pearl-diving “hold your breath” training manuals, antidotes for poisons, jet packs; condoms.
3. “But that would give a false sense that the activity is okay,” says the Catholic. “If you remove the taboo, you will get more dangerous behavior — and more instances where people forget to wear the protective device or it fails.”
“Your insistence on your religious dogma is killing people,” replies the government official. “Taboos only cause repression and make problems worse. Just look at the abject failure of the taboos that tried to get people to stop
[safety issue the government addressed]
Ideas: drinking and driving, smoking inside (or smoking at all), putting lit candles on Christmas trees, swimming in dangerous rivers near cities, keeping guns in places kids could find them, driving around stopped school buses, leaving chemicals in reach of babies.
4. “Well, actually, that’s a point for me,” says the Catholic. “That effort worked. The taboo took. We should do that with extramarital sex, which is bad for people emotionally, morally and in terms of STDs.”
“No, wait!” says the government official. “What I listed were safety issues. Taboos on personal interaction, moral issues and personal entertainment are more to the point, and those don’t work. Just look at the taboo on
___________________________________________ ... um ... “
[a politically correct taboo]
Ideas: racial slurs, terms of disparagement for homosexuals, terms that demean the handicapped, dog fights, cockfights, jokes about disadvantaged peoples, bloodsports, street racing.
5. “But that’s just my point,” says the Catholic. “Those taboos worked, too, for the most part. And research shows that where you make extramarital sex taboo, STDs including AIDS, decline. When you promote condoms, the research shows that AIDS gets worse.”
“Well the research is wrong, then,” says the government official. “And so is the Pope. In fact, I’m going to start sending tax money to the Society for Safe
[repeat No. 1 with initial capital letters]
Ideas: Playing With Guns, Playing With Matches, “Choking” Gaming, Playing Circus Knife-Thrower, Playing On The Interstate, Climbing Over The Rail At The Grand Canyon, Swimming In Rip-Tides, Putting Bags Over Our Heads, Locking Ourselves In Old Refrigerators, Trying To Get High Off Of Industrial Chemicals, Seeing If We Can Fly Off A Tall Building If We Really Really Believe They Can; Extramarital Sex.