Mike Pence claims condoms are too modern, and too liberal.
Donald Trump’s running mate is a dangerous Christian extremist who wants creationism taught in public schools and believes the government should pay for gay conversion therapy.
In addition, in 2015, as Governor of Indiana, Pence allowed an HIV outbreak to spread, choosing prayer over a clean needle exchange.
But perhaps one of the most idiotic claims made by Pence is that condoms are too “modern,” too “liberal,” and offer a poor defense against sexually transmitted infections and diseases.
Pence’s bizarre and unsubstantiated claims concerning condoms came in 2002, in response to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell saying in an MTV forum that sexually active young people should protect themselves with condoms.
At the time Powell said:
I think it’s important for young people, especially, to protect themselves from the possibility of acquiring any sexually transmitted disease, but especially to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS, which is a plague that is upon the face of the earth.
In an interview with CNN, while advocating for abstinence only sex education, Pence said Powell’s call for condom use could mislead millions of young people and put their lives at risk.
Pence told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that it was “a sad day” because Powell had suggested condoms over abstinence:
Well, Wolf, I think it was — given the enormous stature that Colin Powell rightly has, not only in America but in the world community — it was a sad day. I don’t think any administration has had a worse day since boxers and briefs on MTV. And the truth is that Colin Powell had an opportunity here to reaffirm this president’s commitment to abstinence as the best choice for our young people, and he chose not to do that in the first instance, but — and so I think it’s very sad.
The other part is that, frankly, condoms are a very, very poor protection against sexually transmitted diseases, and in that sense, Wolf, this was — the secretary of state may be inadvertently misleading millions of young people and endangering lives.
Pence then went on to suggest that condoms are “too modern,” and too “liberal,” for him:
The problem is it was too modern of an answer, Wolf. It was — it truly was a modern, liberal answer to a problem that parents like me are facing all over America, and frankly, all over the world.
Of course Pence is wrong. His claim that condoms are a “very poor protection against sexually transmitted diseases” is easy to debunk. The CDC reports:
when used consistently and correctly, condoms are highly effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV infection and reduce the risk of other STDs.
As for condoms being “too modern,” reports indicate many ancient cultures used some form of condoms, and a famous cave painting in Dordogne, France, shows a man practicing safe sex circa 11,000 B.C.
In more contemporary times, rubber replaced animal intestines in condoms around the mid 1800s, and latex replaced rubber in the 1920s.
Needless to say, there is nothing modern about condoms.
Bottom line: Pence is an ignorant and dangerous religious extremist. By disseminating false and misleading information about condoms, Pence demonstrates that he is willing to endanger the health and welfare of young people in order to promote his demented, right-wing, conservative Christian, puritanical agenda.
Mike Pence (Image by Gage Skidmore)