It seems you can get away with saying homosexuals should not be judged for being gay, while stating secular governments that try to allow gay couples to adopt are allowing child abuse, and in league with the devil. That (only) having gay sex is wrong, while actively campaigning to prevent equal marriage being law. That life is sacred, while preventing the widespread availability of contraceptives means people end up dying of sexually transmitted diseases. Denying abortions in life threatening situations to women – let alone the audacity that the church should tell women to listen when it will not even empower women to speak with authority in the clergy. Check your privilege, that you dare to lecture on family values with the thousands of children abused under your auspices.
A picture paints a thousand words. So photos of Pope Francis kissing disfigured people, kissing prisoner’s feet, make him a harder target. Leaks that he goes out at night to help the homeless anonymously, make him so much softer compared to his predecessor. Even some of my fellow atheists, wooed that he says we can do good and should join with the faithful to find world peace, are in awe of a man that Time called Person of the Year 2013.
Pope Francis is hailed as a reformer – but disfellowships a priest who was pro women being ordained in the church and gay marriage should dispel this notion. Atheists may be able to do good, as if we took seriously those who say we cannot, but without that sprinkle of water and accepting of the church we are still dammed. No good shall save us for rejecting the Vatican.
Pope Francis has made himself, rather than the Vatican and the Catholic Church, the story. We do not have to question his sincerity, the source of his influence in the media age, which makes him not just the ultimate public relations man and salesman, but the right man at the right time for the papacy. He inspires, he says the right words, and it is lapped up by people who would look up to other mammals for motivation to be good, rather than think for themselves that maybe what is actually being promoted by the Vatican is killing and harming millions.
Regarding asking atheists to join in the pursuit of peace with the religious – as if we were all too busy watching Christopher Hitchens on youtube to play a part – an answer comes from fifth grader Zachary Golob-Drake:
The world’s major religions all have messages about coexisting. But oftentimes people have found a way to bend that rule; sometimes people even use religion as an excuse to take each other’s lives. The three major religions on the earth include the Eastern religions, Islam, and Christianity. About one billion people live by the Eastern religions; about 1.4 billion are Muslim; and about 2.3 billion are Christians. Religious differences have always sparked conflict, even leading to warfare and mass murder. [Source]
Zachary was very nearly denied the prize his speech was awarded because it was contentious to suggest that religion fails to live up to the rhetoric of peace, but seems more concerned with telling people how to live – and to hell with the suffering that ensues.
Hence the meme I created in response to the Pope’s invitation to join him in finding peace:
The issues are too serious, and the suffering too widespread, to bury the hatchet because someone says nice things, posing piously while it is business as usual as people die because of the doctrines of the Vatican. For the sake of humanity, leave the world free from your doctrines to reach the best medical decisions, women to make their own choices and the voice to speak out, and for consenting adults to be able to practise safer sex.
Then I assure you, the world will be more peaceful.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog