Oh sure, there were the Crusades, the Inquisition, the destruction of science (Galileo), silence during the Holocaust, coverup of pedophiles, and the direct responsibility for millions of deaths to AIDS due to opposing safe sex practices (particularly in third world countries).
But NO, that’s not nearly enough for the Vatican. Surely there’s more evil that they can promote, more people they can kill in the name of God the Pope.
Oh yes, how about drug users. Let’s kill some of them, too.
You see, the United States finally, finally, finally, came to its senses and the Obama administration sent a new message through its representatives to the United Nations — that needle exchange as a harm reduction approach would be acceptable. While that was not even close to addressing all the harm reduction approaches that are needed, it was at least an opening, and even the most rabid global drug warriors agreed that needle exchange was now probably a sure thing to be included in the new global drug policy.
But then, guess who intercedes?
The Vatican has been accused of putting the lives of thousands at risk by attempting to influence UN drugs policy on the eve of a major international declaration.
The Vatican’s objection to “harm reduction” strategies, such as needle exchange schemes, has ignited a fierce debate between the US and the EU over how drugs should be tackled.
A new UN declaration of intent is due to be signed in Vienna on 11 March. However, there are major disagreements between member countries over whether a commitment to “harm reduction” should be included in the document, which is published every 10 years.
Now the Vatican has issued a statement that claims that using drugs is “anti-life” and “so-called harm reduction leads to liberalisation of the use of drugs”. The Vatican’s last-minute intervention appears to have led to Italy withdrawing from the EU consensus on the issue and thrown the talks over the declaration into confusion. [Guardian, UK]
Now, just to be clear, is there any doubt as to the actual truth about Needle Exchange Programs? No.
Seven federally funded studies during the 1990s, conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the CDC and the National Academy of Sciences among others, all reached similar conclusions that NEPs work in reducing HIV’s spread among IV drug users, their partners and children, and that they do not encourage increased drug use. Furthermore, a more recent study by the World Health Organization compiled the results of over 200 such reports from around the world and came to the same conclusions. [emphasis added]
The Vatican knows this, and yet they oppose needle exchange. Dr. William Martin, Professor Emeritus of Religion and Public Policy at Rice University says:
When the science is clear, when we know that something will help save lives and choose not to do it that is not only pigheaded, it is immoral.
There is no doubt that the Vatican is immoral.
I am no stranger to spirituality. I was raised in church (my father is a minister). But religion does not own, beget, nor bestow morality. And some of the most moral people I’ve known are atheists.
In fact, when a group of people claim to be the holders of religious truth and use that ill-gotten power for destruction rather than for the good of the people, then they are terrorists, whether they reside in caves in Pakistan, or high in the Holy See.