Bet Their Lives! Promote Condoms.

World AIDS Day was Dec. 1, and coming as it did so soon after Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to Africa, it reminded me of the old argument against Catholics. We’re supposedly so unbending in our hatred of the condom that we are condemning people to death by venereal disease.

Actually, the opposite is true: Condom promoters are so unbending in their love of the condom that they are condemning people to death by venereal disease.

After the old argument was fired against Pope Benedict XVI in his last trip to Africa, I tried to argue that pro-condom arguments are stupid and to demonstrate that research shows condoms promotions make AIDS worse, but I’m afraid that none of that phases condom promoters.

It’s like condom promoters are in the grip of some kind of insanity. And ultimately, the only hope you have for someone in the grips of insanity is to hold up a mirror and hope they recoil in horror from what they see.

Perhaps this “Bet Their Lives!” ad campaign can serve as a kind of mirror. It works even if “betting their lives” just means their health, their plans, their hopes, their relationships, or their emotional and spiritual wellness.

First: A reminder that condom use is entirely dependent on the responsibility of those who are supposed to use them. And who (in the first year of sexual activity, anyway) usually don’t.

Second: A reminder that kids, when they are out having fun, for instance with friends in their car, tend to behave even less responsibly. The heat of passion doesn’t improve their reflectiveness.

Third: A reminder that we as a society normally understand the value of attaching taboos to dangerous behaviors, even when we know a significant number of kids will still push the envelope.

Fourth: A reminder to parents that when that little voice whispers “You don’t have to worry about your kids. They’re special!” you should ignore that voice.

Fifth and last: another appeal to common sense.



  • BigDee

    The frightful result of using condoms is CONDOMONIUM.

  • John

    Frat, if a child doesnt make their bed as told, you should start teaching them not to make their bed. Great logic.

  • luvmygrndhg

    You wouldn’t tell your teen to jump from a plane at high altitude with a parachute that might or might not work, why would you then have them risk their lives with a condom that may be defective or incorrectly used?

  • Del

    And this much assumes that condoms are 100% effective at preventing disease and pregnancy when they are used consistently. Condoms never break or slip or have pinholes. Not to mention the STD’s are passed on by oral sex and foreplay that cannot be protected by a condom.

    “You taught your kids how to shut off the gas and water valves in case of a leak, and how to call 9-1-1 in case of a fire.”

    But you can BET THEIR LIVES that condoms won’t fail when used “consistently and responsibly.”

    Bet their lives. Promote condoms.

  • Maggie

    Very good. These would work with birth control pills too since they have to be taken at the same exact time every day. You can also go the route that I don’t trust the school to give my daughter an aspirin but it’s okay for them to help her get an abortion, or give her birth control etc. What about also using the fact that condoms only are effective a certain percentage of the time and then only if they are used 100% correctly and they aren’t the cheap quality. Ignoring in all this everything the condom doesn’t protect you from.

    • Fratty

      The only thing with a greater rate of failure than condoms is abstinence, which has a failure rate of 32% in the 16-18 year-old category. While I agree that these ads are effective, they avoid the simple fact that you are betting their lives when promoting abstinence as well. If you can’t even make your teens make their beds or wear their knee-pads, I suspect your failure rate as a parent in getting them to abstain from sex entirely is pretty high too.

      • Ronald J. Rolling

        Abstinence is 100% successful in preventing STDs and pregnancies. When you have sex, you’re not abstaining. And how is it you are betting their lives promoting abstinence? Apples and oranges brought by a straw man.

      • Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz

        Really? Abstinence has a failure rate of 32 percent? That’s curious. Whenever my wife and I have abstained from marital relations, she hasn’t gotten pregnant. And I’m pretty sure that’s the story for everyone else, too. (Well, except for the Virgin Mary, but she’s the exception that proves the rule.)

        The CDC seems to think the same thing, at least when it comes to avoiding sexually transmitted diseases: “That’s why the only sure way to prevent HPV is to avoid all sexual activity” ( They have that same message on all of their fact sheets about STD’s.

        What you seem to be saying, Fratty, is that kids who go through abstinence-only programs fail at abstaining at a rate of about one-third. Whether or not that is the case, I don’t know. Guttmacher has made that assertion and the Heritage Foundation has blasted it. The CDC has come out with indications that more kids are waiting (, which may indicate the programs are actually having a good impact. I haven’t read the studies and wouldn’t even know what I was reading if I tried.

        But there’s something more important going on here. When this statistic is bandied about, the person who uses it fails to consider that the culture surrounding our children — schools (public, private and parochial), peers, music, internet, sexting, easily accessible porn, television, magazines, laws that keep their parents from knowing what extracurricular activities they’re doing with their bodies (and I’m not referring to sports), easily available birth control and Plan B pills, etc., etc. — isn’t exactly supportive of a decision to abstain from sexual intimacies until marriage. If we don’t want kids engaging in premarital sexual relations, then we certainly aren’t going about encouraging them in that, are we?

        Ah, but here lies the crux of the issue. Teenage fornication isn’t the real concern for most people. Not even getting an STD is the big issue since many think it can at least be managed with drugs. The real issue is — getting pregnant. Planned Parenthood and its ilk and allies (including the culture mentioned above) want teens to fornicate because it drives up business. For them, and for way too many parents, the “failure” comes in when the girl gets pregnant, not if the two (or more) teens engage in sexual activity. But that “failure” is also good for PP’s business since abortion is the back-up to contraceptive failures and failures to abstain.

        So all in all, a 68 percent success rate for abstinence-only programs is actually pretty darn good.

      • mominvermont

        Promoting condoms for teens is the same as promoting teen sex. Abstinence is just the opposite.

        Abstinence works. My four daughters, ages 24 – 15 have never had sex. They have no STDs or regrets. My oldest is engaged to a young man who is also a virgin. My second daughter has a boyfriend who also has abstained.

        Abstinence is possible.

        P.S. Two of my kids consistently make their beds, the other two don’t.

    • ang

      And people have a false sence of security and will engage in more sex.

  • Bruce

    Those are awesome and true. It was never about “safe sex” for liberal progressives…it was always just about sex, safe or otherwise. Their mantra always has been, is now, and ever shall be “if it feels good, do it, and if someone says not to, do it some more!”



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