While perusing unmasked down various Walmart isles, I happened to notice for sale, a whole section of contraceptive devices for men. Other shoppers were shocked, dismayed and sickened at the sight of my naked and unprotected cheeks and mouth, but no less shocked, dismayed and sickened as I was at the sight of so many boxes of condoms.
My brain immediately made the obvious connection between the image of the helmeted Trojan Soldier on the outside of the packages and the reality of the products inside.
There is no clearer representation of masculinity than the image of a soldier, especially one with a helmet on. And everyone knows the most famous thing about the ancient city of Troy was the Trojan Horse, the trick the Greeks used to finally destroy Troy, after ten long years of bloody battles.
As we all know so well, toward the end of the Trojan War, the invading Greeks simulated a retreat, and left the Trojan Horse for their enemy as a trap. It was a clever trick to get Odysseus and his friends inside the walls of Troy. They left it as an offering to the goddess of Athens, “Athena”, who was considered the goddess of war, and often represented by, among other things, a snake.
Of course, not all the Trojans fell for the trick. Their priest Laocoön warned the people saying,
“Trojans, don’t trust this horse. Whatever it is, I’m afraid of Greeks even those bearing gifts.”Wikipedia
Unfortunately, the Trojans rejected his warnings, and he and his two sons were strangled to death. Some of the women in the city also rejected the idea of receiving this “gift” of the enemy. Helen, and even the king’s own daughter, Cassandra, suspected it would be a bad idea to bring it into the city.
But as we know, the ignorant Trojans foolishly brought the Trojan Horse into their own city walls. The Greeks, hiding inside, climbed out during the night and opened the city gates for the rest of their army to enter in and completely destroy the city.
“Here were men lying quelled by bitter death, all up and down the city in their blood”.Posthomerica by Quintus Smyrnaeus, translated by Neil Hopkinson
First, the boxes don’t show victorious Greek Soldiers. The big word in all capital letters on the side doesn’t say “GREEK”. No, it says “TROJAN”. And as we all know from the Iliad, the Greeks were the winners. The Trojans were total losers. So obviously, to wear and to use a condom, you’re saying “I’m a total loser.”
Second, the image on the box is that of a strong soldier wearing a strong helmet. The idea is to show confidence, strength and healthy masculinity. It’s saying, this product is for strong, fearless, manly men, who are ready to face and destroy any enemy. Except, if you think about it, the whole purpose of it is based entirely on fear and weakness – fear of getting sick; fear of pregnancy and fear of another’s opinion of you. It’s also based on weakness, weakness in the flesh that renders you incapable of controlling your own selfishness and lust.
Third, just as the Trojan Horse was dedicated to Athena, goddess of war, and represented by a snake, so these devices are specifically inspired by the devil (the snake), for a sinful and perverted purpose. The very word “Trojan Horse” has come to mean “someone or something intended to defeat or subvert from within usually by deceptive means.”
Condoms themselves are a trick of the devil. Just as the Greeks hated the Trojans, so the devil HATES procreation. He loves fornication and adultery, but he hates pregnancy, because pregnancy means new immortal souls and new immortal souls are created in the image and likeness of God.
Just as the Greeks feigned fondness for their enemies, and left them a gift toward their own destruction, so too the devil gets the couple to feign concern for each other, encouraging “protection”, but which actually results in the loss of innocence, virtue, virginity, sanctifying grace. It results in the the weakening of the will, the confusion of the intellect, the deformation of the conscience, the stunting of growth in the spiritual life, the turning of the attention of each in toward themselves, and the focus on one’s own happiness rather than the other’s. All of this ultimately ends in anger, resentment, retaliation and depression.
Fourth, just as the women of Troy objected to it, so too does the very nature of the female body. God designed the female reproductive system to react favorably to the male intrusion so as to encourage conception and pregnancy. This “Trojan Horse” tricks her body, making it think it’s being impregnated, which is natural and good, but it’s not. Therefore, her feminine nature rejects it. And just as the city was completely destroyed at the whim of the Greek Soldiers, so too the women of “protected” men become nothing more than barren objects of pleasure. Is it any surprise then that their friendship tends to end so quickly?
Fifth, the priest also strongly objected to it. He preached heavy sermons, warning the people, but they refused to listen to him. Isn’t that how it is when people refuse to listen to Holy Mother Church? Doesn’t this sound familiar? They silenced him, strangled him, and as they strangled him, they strangled their own consciences.
Pope Pius XI warns us how truly evil contraception is in his encyclical Casti Connubii, saying:
“…the Catholic Church, to whom God has entrusted the defense of the integrity and purity of morals, standing erect in the midst of the moral ruin which surrounds her, in order that she may preserve the chastity of the nuptial union from being defiled by this foul stain, raises her voice in token of her divine ambassadorship and through Our mouth proclaims anew: any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.”Casti Conubii
As evil, perverted and twisted as contraception is, using the image of the Trojan on the box gives away the whole lie that it is. It’s a “Trojan horse” in both literal and figurative ways. Just as a helmet covers the head in battle, so does a condom, but not as a brave, valiant knight, but as a Trojan Horse, designed to deceive and destroy, and this is exactly what it does.
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This post was originally posted in 2020.