An Open Letter to Melinda Gates

Thomas J. Euteneuer
Volume 01, Number 30
August 25, 2006
Reproduced with Permission
Human Life International

Dear Mrs. Gates:

For many years the world has paid close attention to the foundation that bears your name. No one faults you or your husband for funding excellent programs to keep kids in school and assisting with the advancement of healthcare for the Third World, but the real concern of people of faith has been how the Gateses will use their money when it comes to fighting AIDS, something your husband has called "Public Enemy #1." If there had been any doubt about it up to this point, your recent address to the 16 th World Conference on AIDS in Toronto settled that question. You are using your high-profile position and extreme wealth to push condoms as a solution to this deadly disease, and that, quite frankly, is irresponsible.

For the moment, we'll overlook the fact that your opinion is clearly at odds with the defined teaching of your own Church, and we'll focus on the latex "solution" to AIDS from a purely pragmatic point of view. If you are so sure of your position then please show us any actual success of the condom as a solution to the AIDS pandemic in the last quarter century -- any. The tidal wave of ideological rhetoric delivered at the World AIDS Conference does not constitute real proof that condoms have worked to stop the spread of AIDS. In fact, all the evidence is against you.

Show us, Mrs. Gates, how the condom prevented the deaths of the twenty-five million people who died by the irrepressible furor of this disease -- or the forty million who are presently living with the disease. You have written about the women and children who are true victims of this disease, but you have not recognized the role that the flawed piece of latex has played in their infections or deaths. I'm sure that the majority of these people were told that the condom would keep them "safe," only to be given a death sentence for their naive trust in that deception. There are 5 million new cases of AIDS every year, and please don't tell us that all these people were practicing irresponsible "unprotected" sex. It's easier to blame the victims for their deaths than to find real solutions to prevent more deaths.

We will never hear that the condom has left a string of victims on every continent. I remind you that our own government in 2001 recognized a 15% failure rate of the condom in preventing pregnancy which can be contracted only a few days a month let alone sexually transmitted diseases which are communicable 24/7. Even the population controller's "bible," Contraceptive Technology, admits an 11% failure rate! Your own people have documented the recklessness of this method, and you continue to tell people that it is "safe." Now who is irresponsible? Every infection contracted through the use of a condom was entirely avoidable with the right behaviors that condom promoters refuse to preach.

Show us the evidence that condoms have worked, Mrs. Gates. You will have to contend with some heavy hitters like Kofi Annan who publicly admitted in June that the present approach to stopping AIDS (i.e., the condom solution) has been an abject failure. Last year there were more deaths and greater expansion of the pandemic than ever before, a fact which just fuels the criticism that maybe condoms are adding to the problem, not solving it. It is not an exaggeration to say that a minimum of twenty billion condoms have been thrown at AIDS in this quarter century, and despite $8 billion a year being invested in this problem there is no moderating the aggressive march of this plague. If your husband ran his business like the condom bosses have managed this disease, Microsoft wouldn't exist and you would never have been given a platform in Toronto to advocate continued failure.

There is a way to stop AIDS, Mrs. Gates, but your advisors may not have informed you about it. The only program that has shown dramatic and consistent success against this enemy is that of the government of Uganda which for twenty years has applied a humane, chastity-based message throughout its society geared to altering the disordered sexual behaviors that lead to the disease. In 1986, the prevalence rate of the disease in Uganda was about 30%; today it's down to about 7% in the general population. This is real and verifiable success, not rhetoric or wishful thinking. The government of Uganda believes its people have the human capacity to change their risky behaviors. That's the humanitarian message that needs Gates Foundation funding.

It's time for the cabal of elitist westerners with huge bank accounts and American tax dollars to stop the irresponsible program of condom genocide, Mrs. Gates. Continuing partnerships and coalitions, declarations of commitment to combating AIDS, fierce evangelical language denouncing the disease mean absolutely nothing if you use the wrong methods to fight the enemy! How many more people must die while population controllers in New York and London sketch out failed five- and ten-year plans when the only plan that has worked is ignored? Organizations and people who mindlessly parrot failed rhetoric actually become part of the problem -- and they will be judged accordingly. Heed well the words of the Gospel: "To those who have been given more, more will be required."

Now, as to the question of the Catholic position on this issue, I really wish you would preface your statements about condoms with the following disclaimer: "The position I advocate is not the actual position of the Catholic Church, and I am not speaking as a Catholic." That would be more honest than allowing people to think that the Catholic Church endorses condoms as a solution to AIDS under any circumstances. Cardinal Lopez Trujillo of the Pontifical Council for the Family has dismissed any notions of the sort even in the face of recent challenges by disingenuous church officials. If you need a copy of that document I will be happy to send you one.

Having money does not qualify a Catholic to publicly contradict the Catholic Faith; in fact, it makes her more accountable to God and to the truth that the Church proclaims. If you wish to continue to promote the condom, kindly leave the Church so that you will not be judged accordingly and refrain from scandalizing those of us who really want to stop AIDS.