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Was watching Avengers: Age of Ultron. In that Nick Fury says this about Ultron,

The guy's multiplying faster than a Catholic rabbit.

What does that mean?

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  • Rabbits are known for reproducing copiously and quickly.
    – user66974
    Nov 26, 2015 at 21:02
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    If the average female rabbit has between six and fourteen baby rabbits per litter, then a Catholic rabbit will, presumably, double that number or thereabouts, because birth control is forbidden by the church. The fact is that nowadays even devout Catholics will practice some form of birth control, so the joke's a bit dated in my opinion. P.S I have no idea who this Ultron guy is, I imagine he must be some kind of superhero who reduplicates himself, if the joke has any significance.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 26, 2015 at 21:33
  • Pope's Breed 'Like Rabbits' Remark Spurs Jokes, Anger: newsmax.com/Newsfront/francis-pope-rabbits-family/2015/01/21/id/… - (SPOILERS) Avengers: Age of Ultron Slightly Anti-Catholic? forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=958656
    – user66974
    Nov 26, 2015 at 21:36
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    Not in good taste to me. Apr 30, 2021 at 21:38

2 Answers 2

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Rabbits multiply very quickly. There is a saying that some people "breed like rabbits" which means they produce too many babies very quickly.

As for the catholic component of the joke, that's because the Catholic Church proscribes any form of birth control, so a catholic couple is likely to have more children than non-catholic couples. Now, if your rabbits happen to be Roman Catholics (and of course that's a joke) there will be a tremendous baby boom on your farm.

Edit - The truth, however, is that ever since the birth control pill and other contraceptive methods became available, a large number of observant Catholics also use birth control techniques.

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    Ah, but imagine that these Catholic rabbits reside in Southern Republican state in the US where the legislature and/or governor has made every effort to block access to birth control.
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 26, 2015 at 22:33
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    @HotLicks "every effort to block access"? Can't you guys buy condoms, or oral contraceptives? Are IUD's banned? Vasectomies forbidden?
    – Centaurus
    Nov 26, 2015 at 23:07
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    I know Catholic is a proper noun. Thus I'd say non or non-Catholics, if I wanted to be orthodox about it. thefreedictionary.com/non-Catholic
    – NES
    Nov 27, 2015 at 0:59
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    @centaurus abortion is legal everywhere in the US and every state has at least one abortion clinic, but it is very strongly opposed in certain states. There are some very large states that have only a few abortion clinics. People there who want to get an abortion may have to travel hundreds of miles to do so, and it's quite likely that they can't afford to do that (which is what the state authorities are counting on). I don't have personal knowledge of any specific efforts to make contraception difficult in the US, but virtually nothing would surprise me. Nov 27, 2015 at 2:11
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    Obligatory reference to Monty Python's Every Sperm is Sacred.
    – Joachim
    May 1, 2021 at 9:25
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Rabbits are famous for having sex practically all the time, and multiplying quickly.

Catholics are rumored to view sex only as a means of reproduction, no more.

The joke is kind of strained.

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    Catholics are formally forbidden from using contraception, and therefore their reputation for having a lot of children. Yes ... the joke is very much kind of strained.
    – Cargill
    Nov 26, 2015 at 21:22
  • Catholics are not, in this day and age, taught to view sex only as a means to reproduce, that is, have a family. They are also taught, for example, that sex is an expression of love and a means of greater intimacy.
    – NES
    Nov 27, 2015 at 0:40
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    Does the word "rumored" mean anything to anyone?
    – Ricky
    Nov 27, 2015 at 0:49

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