According to the New York Daily News, the government of Brazil plans on handing out 19.5 million condoms by the end of Carnival. Carnival, or Mardi Gras as it’s known here, is the Catholic celebration of Jesus’ death culminating in Ash Wednesday. This begins the period of Lent, which ends with Easter. This year Easter is on a Sunday.
Carnival (pronounce kar-nay-vahl) is a raucous celebration that makes New Orleans’ Mardi Gras look like a Thanksgiving Day parade. The revelry typically includes oodles of sex. And why not, everyone is drunk and Brazilians are gorgeous. Free condoms seem like a really, really good idea. But, even ideas that seem like good ideas have detractors. Brazil is a largely Catholic country and Papal Catholics are not supposed use birth control. A prominent bishop, Bishop Antonio Augusto Dias Duarte, argues that providing these condoms is encouraging dangerous behavior. A poll suggests that 80% of men use condoms during Carnival encounters. It’s a tough argument to suggest that people would not engage in sex without the free condoms. C’mon, they’re Brazilian. They’re the world’s best-looking people. And they’re full of religious fervor and booze. It’s like saying that a designated driver program on St. Patrick’s Day is only encouraging Irishmen to guzzle whiskey, boyo.