Thoughts on the Boston College condom controversy.

You may have heard the news:

A bunch of Boston College students might be disciplined by administration at the Catholic university for passing out condoms on campus. The controversial move, made by school officials and supported by Catholicism, sparks the sort of debate that kind of makes my blood boil.

This is for reasons including but not limited to the following (in very random order).


2. Fact: The Catholic Church is opposed to contraception. Awhile ago, I watched a set of Catholic college students (that is, students who attend Catholic colleges, not college students who are Catholic) give impassioned speeches about lack of access to contraception at Catholic colleges on C-Span. One student said what she expects is access to free contraception on her Catholic campus. To quote a woman who recently wrote an op-ed about Boston College’s current debate, I can’t believe “this is even a thing,” (although she and I can’t believe it for different reasons).

3. I saw a news clip earlier in which a woman all but said that Boston College’s policy — which I haven’t seen in print, but assume says students can’t widely distribute condoms on campus — implies students of Boston College can’t use condoms. But there is no such rule. This is not about a Catholic campus saying you can’t use a condom on a Catholic campus (a Catholic campus would be silly to try). It’s about a Catholic campus saying condoms can’t be distributed on a Catholic campus. Which makes sense, because it’s Catholic. (Refer to line one of point 2.)

4. I see a lot of “being mad at the Church” because it doesn’t validate definitions of love or sex that don’t align with what it says about them. But I promise: the Church isn’t mad at you for doing the same thing.

5. What bothers me most about the debate is the presumption that because “86, or 99, or whatever percent” of Catholic women use contraception, the Catholic Church’s teaching on it is bad, and the Church ought to change what it teaches (God forbid being part of the Church changes you). This is evidence of the Church misunderstood. Of the misinformed expectation that the size of a faction of the Church determines whether the Church alters what it teaches.

The Church is what it is. You love it or you don’t (but that you don’t isn’t going to change the Church).