A city has a duty to "protect" its citizens — and in New York City, government officials took that idea literally.
The city distributed 150,000 free subway-themed condoms, and employed city workers to hand them out on the streets on Wednesday. Eventually, 26 million condoms will be handed out, in order to boost safe sex, reduce HIV infection and unwanted pregnancies, according to city Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg believes this initiative will save lives — New York City currently leads the nation in HIV cases. However, the Catholic community objected to the program, with Cardinal Egan and Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio saying its "tragic and misguided," and has created an immoral "anything goes" policy that degrades society.
The $1.5 million condom program is a new twist on previous condom programs enacted by the Heath Department. The new condom has a "NYC CONDOM" emblem, with lettering that resembles subway-line letters. READ MORE
What do you think about NYC distributing 26 million free condoms? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you think!
Here's What FOX Fans Are Saying:
“My response to the church leaders is this: Church leaders fail to protect the moral tone of our community when they tolerate inappropriate sexual activity by priests with innocent, defenseless children. Until the church takes a vastly harsher approach to the sex abuse crimes committed by its priests, none of them can speak to ‘inappropriate sexual activity.’” — Baylor
“There is no consequence for bad behavior in NYC. Why not use a little punishment for any one who becomes a victim of STD? One penalty could be a tattoo on the forehead. It would save money.” — Tony
“I applaud the Cardinal and Bishop for speaking out! I think it’s a total disgrace that they are giving all those condoms out.” — Carol
“I don't understand why a city can spend $1.5 million on condoms so people can continue to be irresponsible. I am sure the city of N.Y. has children who are homeless, who are undernourished, and could really benefit from $1.5 million.” — Michelle
“The Cardinal is absolutely correct! The reason the condoms are being distributed is a testament to the moral decay that is permeating our society. You can't fix a moral problem with condoms. They will only make it worse by encouraging the behavior that made them seem necessary in the first place. ” — Walt
“People like Egan are still living in the ‘stone ages.’ I just usually ignore the views and opinions of people like him. We must roll with the changes. ” — Nanette
“The Catholic Church has no business telling other people how to keep their house clean, when the Catholic Church's house is as dirty as can be.” — Chris
“If I was a tax paying citizen in New York, I’d be angry that the money from the program was coming out of my pocket. It does promote safe sex and I’m all for that. But why should the citizens of New York have to pay the bill?” — Nancy
“The Cardinal and Bishop do not raise these poor unwanted babies. They forgive the ones that use abortions as birth control. HIV patients should start checking in to the Catholic Churches for medical care. Get real guys. This is a good thing.” — Carol
“I commend the Cardinal and Bishop for their courage in confronting this policy. They are certainly going to be lashed in the press for it, but they are doing the right thing by standing up for what is morally right.” — Christopher
“It's like putting a band aid on a large bleeding wound. It won't do the job. We need to wake up. Parents, media, Hollywood, we have a problem and we are contributing to it. Our children are suffering the consequences for our lack of moral guidance.” — Cheryl
“Just another step toward total socialization. The general public is too stupid and poor to take care of themselves, so the government needs to. I agree with the Cardinal on this one, but for a different reason” — Rob
“If a person can’t afford a condom, then they certainly can’t afford the consequences when they fail. It doubly penalizes those responsible citizens who must pay for these condoms and then the expenses of irresponsible sex.” — Mark
“Condoms do not equal safe sex. This is a campaign of misinformation to promote the liberal do what you want agenda. They have no concern for kids safety. It is just a way for them to feel better about themselves.” — Mark
“NYC should not be involved in personal and moral issues. Further to that, condoms are not expensive. If someone wants protection from whatever, he or she can easily purchase them. Will this program really make a practical difference for those who want protection?” — Ray
“I think to use tax dollars to fund something like this is an outrage! Not only are they giving approval for immoral conduct, they are charging the tax payers for it.” — Bonnie
“I think that the Cardinal and the Bishop are seriously misguided if they think that someone about to engage in sex is going to stop and say, ‘Whoops! Hold it right there! No condom!’ People who are going to have sex WILL have sex; at least this way they can be a little bit safer. The unavailability of a condom is not going to make anyone sit down and change their morals or values.” — Mike
“As a Christian, I feel that abortions are wrong, but preventing a pregnancy is not wrong! Since many people will not take the personal responsibility of having a child, once conceived, and thus want a free state sponsored abortion, then condoms for prevention is good.” — Samuel
“Parents have the responsibility and moral obligation to teach their children morality — this program won’t change that.” — Alvin
"I feel this is a good idea — so many people are having unprotected sex and unplanned pregnancies. It maybe goes against certain religions, but many religions are not helpful when it comes to teaching people about safe sex and the diseases that are out there. We need to be more open and educate people especially about the diseases that can kill." — Michelle
"I think passing out "free" condoms continues to erode the values of self control and personal responsibility. There seems to be no end to the "Do whatever you want anytime you want" attitude." — Bob
"The Cardinal and Bishop need to pull their heads out of the sand. People are always going to have sex -- it is better to be protected and try to promote safe sex, than living in some sort of fantasy world. They need to be more concerned with what the Catholic church has let happen with priest molesting children -- now that is what is truly 'Tragic and Misguided.'" — Kara
"What a waste of taxpayers money. I do not think this is what the founding fathers had in mind for us to use taxpayers money for. Would this money not be better spent to have programs to teach children that there are physical, emotional and societal problems when people have sex indiscriminately. Condoms may help prevent HIV and other STDs, but self-respect and self-control are more important attributes to strive for." — Pam
"It is a sad state of affairs when the Catholic church professes to totally ignore reality and continues to preach ignorance about STDs and the tragedy of unwanted pregnancies." — George
"Perhaps it is time the Catholic Church tried getting in touch with the real world, instead of living in some simulated world of a half century ago. People tend to be sexually active, and if the small cost of providing condoms can prevent the spread of disease and unwanted pregnancies and the costs associated with them, namely medical care and deaths paid through our taxes, abortions, abandoned and abused infants and children, then it is well worth it." — John
"I agree that handing out condoms degrades the values of the American citizens. Wouldn’t it be better if the Mayor took a stand against promiscuity? Wouldn’t life bring joy and satisfaction to millions who practice celibacy until married? We all know that it is true, that real joy comes from loving one person for one lifetime, why keep that hidden from the youth of today?" — Vicki