Why won't my school make condoms available?

Dear Heather,

I admire the chastity efforts, but let’s face it, you can’t stop some of my friends from having sex. If safety can help them avoid disease, I don’t understand why you and the Church won’t provide condoms for sexually active teens.

Sincerely, Baffled

Dear Baffled,

I understand your concern for teens. I too hope that sexually active teens are not contracting diseases. However, more than my hope for less disease is my hope that teens receive and give true love—which can only be authentically done in chaste relationships. And, even if less STD’s is my first concern, I wouldn’t advocate condoms because too many STD’s are transferred through condom usage (some even with “proper” condom usage). To provide condoms would be against my heart’s desire (and the desire of Christ and the Church) that teens honor one another in truth, respect and real love. Hopefully this analogy will help…

*Imagine a father and son driving to school everyday. The father notices that the son is checking out a motorcycle on display on a car sales lot. The son looks very seriously at the bike—as if he wanted to steal the motorbike. The father mentions that the son shouldn’t steal the bike. The son keeps checking out the motorcycle, everyday. Then the father notices that the son is checking out the security system at the car sales lot to possibly carry out his plan. The father once again says, “Son, I don’t think you should steal the bike. It’s a really bad idea.” But, the son continues to look very intensely at the motorbike. Finally, the father doesn’t know what else to do, so he hands his son a box. Before opening, the father again says, “I don’t think you should steal the bike.” Then the son opens the box to find a motorcycle helmet. And the father concludes, “But, if you’re going to do it anyway, at least be safe.” By having the helmet, the son becomes very confused. Even if the father waits to give the helmet until after he knows his son has stolen the bike, he is still giving his approval.

When we tell teens that we’d rather they not be having sex and then hand them condoms, we are doing the same thing—sending a very confusing message. The Church is clear and that is why I am clear and encourage everyone to let teens know we care so much more for you than just “damage control.” We don’t want any damage what so ever, especially in the area of your sexuality. That is why we won’t “settle” and hand out condoms.

Heather Gallagher
The REAP Team