The story about the Pope's discouraging condom use while in Africa, in the face of the massive AIDS crisis, has continued to bother me. So I've been thinking of what I would say to him if i could.
Dear Pope Benedict:
You are, it seems, convinced that God condemns the use of birth control. Let me suggest an alternative view of God to you. Perhaps she (I am pagan, after all) cares for all of her creation. Perhaps she cares for the people who are dying horribly of a disease that could be for the most part prevented by the use of condoms. Perhaps she cares for the animals driven to extinction because there are too many humans crowding the planet. Perhaps she cares for the trees that produce the oxygen we breathe, cut down for farmland and living space for the TOO MANY PEOPLE on this planet.
There's an old story about a man forced on the roof of his house by floods, with the water still rising. A rowboat comes and offers to take him to safety. He says, no thanks, the Lord will provide for me. Another boat comes by some time later and offers to save him. He says no, thank you, the Lord will provide for me. Some time later, a helicopter comes by and offers to take him to safety, and he repeats the same mantra. Shortly thereafter, he drowns. After death, he meets God and starts berating him, asking why God didn't save him from drowning. God looks at him in amazement, and says, "but I sent you two boats and a helicopter!"
Perhaps, sir, condoms are God's helicopters. Perhaps affordable, reliable birth control happened at the very time human populations started to overwhelm Earth's resources for a reason. Please, think about it.