A Worthy Gooooooooooooooooal!
If you haven't already heard of this, prepare to be stunned.
Germany is hosting the World Cup this year, and has decided that the raging hordes of soccer fans (they're estimating over a million will show up) need the support of organized legions of legal prostitutes (to the tune of 40,000 women) to keep them from rioting. Funny how they didn't need that for World Youth Day, eh?
The argument for/against legalized prostitution for me is quite simple. They always say the reasons to legalize prostitution (which Germany did in 2002) is to lower the crime rate and to control the spread of disease.
Naturally, if you decriminalize things, there are fewer crimes to commit, and thus the crime rate lowers. The behaviour of society, however, doesn't improve.
As far as the spread of disease is concerned, it's nonsense to claim that "safe sex" will reduce the rate of disease transmission. On the surface of things, one can see how that argument makes sense, but in reality condoms fail due to unquantified human factors far more often than mere laboratory tests fail. The only way to reliably prevent the spread of disease is to encourage proper moral behaviour. In this article about the reduced rate of AIDS transmission in Uganda, the New Republic Online states that "Uganda's experience suggests that abstinence and fidelity may be the keys to whipping AIDS in Africa.... if South Africa had employed Uganda's approach from the moment the virus began showing up there roughly one decade ago, its epidemic would have turned the corner in the year 2000 and started going down."
Plus the whole "committing one sin to mitigate the consequences of another sin" argument has its faults too. Our Catechism states that every action which "proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil." Using a condom as a means to avoid disease transmission also renders procreation impossible (or at least unlikely, but the intent is the same). Plus "the sexual act must take place exclusively within marriage. Outside of marriage it always constitutes a grave sin and excludes one from sacramental communion." For the obedient Catholic, what more does one need?
But one of the primary reasons this action by the German government is so abhorrent is because many of the prostitutes there, legal or otherwise, have been forced into the trade through the machinations of organized crime, or even through ill-conceived government legislation. There is a huge problem of human trafficking in Europe that is only encouraged by this type of state-endorsed promiscuity.
My favorite monk has asked all his visitors to sign a petition encouraging the German government to reconsider the organization of state-sponsored brothels to service the World Cup fans. Please sign up!