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?

  • Rabbits are known for reproducing copiously and quickly. – user66974 Nov 26 '15 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 '15 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 '15 at 21:36

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 '15 at 22:33
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    If you are taking about members of the Roman Catholic Church, I believe Catholics should start with a capital C-. Or at least that is the convention in both scholarly and popular works, to my knowledge. – NES Nov 27 '15 at 0:44
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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 '15 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. – Matt Samuel Nov 27 '15 at 2:11
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    @Centaurus Indeed, access to contraceptives is the heart of the recent Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case. Hobby Lobby did not want to subsidize health insurance that includes various types of contraceptives to which it claimed moral objections. So while contraceptives are generally legal, various impediments are being placed on convenient or affordable access. – Andrew Lazarus Nov 27 '15 at 2:48

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 '15 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 '15 at 0:40
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    Does the word "rumored" mean anything to anyone? – Ricky Nov 27 '15 at 0:49

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