By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
An advisor to President Barack Obama’s who serves on the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships has reiterated his belief that the Pope is “hurting people in the name of Jesus” because of his stance on condoms.
CNSNews confronted Harry Knox, who advises the president on the government’s Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships program, at a National Press Club event on Tuesday and asked if he still believed the pope was “hurting people in the name of Jesus” because of the Pope’s belief that the distribution of condoms only exacerbates the AIDS problem in Africa.
Knox answered, “I do.”
Knox, who serves as the director of the faith and religion program at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a homosexual activist group, first made the comment last year after the Pope explained the Church’s humanitarian efforts to help people with AIDS during his trip to Africa.
“I would say that this problem of AIDS cannot be overcome merely with money, necessary though it is,” the Pope said at the time. “If there is no human dimension, if Africans do not help [by responsible behavior], the problem cannot be overcome by the distribution of prophylactics: on the contrary, they increase it.”
In response to these remarks, Knox is quoted in an HRC statement as saying: “The Pope’s statement that condoms don’t help control the spread of HIV, but rather condoms increase infection rates, is hurting people in the name of Jesus.”
Even when the CNSNews reporter confronted him with research by Edward Green, a Harvard researcher in AIDS Prevention, which agrees with the pope’s assertion that condom use aggravates the spread of HIV in Africa, Knox refused to back down.
“He is simply incorrect in his assertion,” Knox said, alleging that the evidence proves otherwise.
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