#1 By: Cory Doctorow, December 23rd, 2013 09:01
#2 By: Jason Lane, December 23rd, 2013 09:11
Usually I find that to be true. Atheists tend to do good because they want to, not because they are commanded or obliged.
#3 By: Angus M, December 23rd, 2013 09:12
That's cute. I feel the same way about Jesus.
#4 By: IMB, December 23rd, 2013 09:12
Francis's reaching out to atheists and people who belong to no religion is a marked contrast to the attitude of former Pope Benedict, who sometimes left non-Catholics feeling that he saw them as second-class believers.
Atheists aren't believers.
#5 By: Keith_Ulysses_Welch, December 23rd, 2013 09:12
OMG they replaced the Pope with an android! That's the only explanation.
#6 By: rocketpj, December 23rd, 2013 09:17
I'm sure there is a fascinating backroom political story behind this guy's selection after Ratzinger. I'm also sure the Ratz is gnashing his teeth right now.
#7 By: Nathan Hornby, December 23rd, 2013 09:18
And let's face it - if there were an all loving god he'd likely have more respect for them than those that are hassling him for favours all the bloody time.
#8 By: James_Agenbroad, December 23rd, 2013 09:22
Hmm...Now I'm picturing the Ratz coming out of retirement and staging a coup. Like a game of Junta! but with halberd armed Swiss Guards...
#9 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, December 23rd, 2013 09:29
Forget the Ratz, team sola fides is going to be Not Happy(though, they never liked Rome much, so maybe it's no additional love lost).
I've never been much concerned about it, not finding myself in need of salvation goods; but I always figured that John 14:9 left...limited...room for alternate modes of salvation.
As best I can tell, that particular needle is being threaded by asserting that (while nobody comes to the father but through him), he is a pretty chill kind of guy, and is totally OK with all sorts of riffraff coming to the father through him, so long as certain 'works' related requirements are upheld.
#10 By: Suzanne, December 23rd, 2013 09:32
I doubt the atheists were all that concerned about the Pope's approval.
Still, the new pope, on the jackass meter, measures significantly lower than the last.
#11 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, December 23rd, 2013 09:33
My last round of set theory firmly convinced me that my intuition is of absolutely no use whatsoever when it comes to transfinite objects; but I have to wonder whether omnipotent deities, possibly ones that exist outside of time, are even hassle-able, or whether any finite, temporal, entity, no matter how insufferably whiny, simply cannot generate a load distinguishable from zero.
#12 By: bobo, December 23rd, 2013 09:37
Well, I've long been a fan of Jesus. It's his dad that is a prick.
Jesus- lets do lunch after the holidays?
#13 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, December 23rd, 2013 09:38
It isn't of much use in itself; but it seems likely to puncture the cozy self-assurance (at least in the US) shared by the more obnoxious catholics and the more obnoxious protestants that they were united on god's own side on important matters of faith, like women knowing their place, homosexuals being icky, and old men with funny hats and invisible friends being the rightful rulers of society.
That has its uses.
#14 By: Joe Bloggs, December 23rd, 2013 09:38
Well it doesn't matter whether he's a believer or not, 'His' Noodly Appendages will welcome him regardless. It's obviously all true then.
#15 By: Engineer, December 23rd, 2013 09:38
It may be that when Pope John Paul II died, the cardinals, seeing declining membership in the church, wanted to select a pope that would bring back those who had strayed. Much like Republicans who think they're losing elections for not being right wing enough, the cardinals thought if they returned to the past that those who had left the church would come back. After a few years it became obvious that the new pope was driving more Catholics away rather than bringing them back in. Rather than spend decades bleeding membership, Ratzinger was encouraged to step down for the good of the church. With the new pope, they had a chance to go in the direction of humility and service rather than pageantry and condemnation. Seems to be working, at least in the US.
Of course this is all speculation on my part but to me it's what makes best sense out of what has happened.
#16 By: chgoliz, December 23rd, 2013 09:39
That's a feature, not a bug, as far as I'm concerned.
#17 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, December 23rd, 2013 09:41
Man, I know the fundamentalist Baptists say this about all the popes, but they have got to be freaking out right now, totally convinced that this guy is the Antichrist. Bob Jones University is probably full of amusing rhetoric these days.
#18 By: AbelUndercity, December 23rd, 2013 09:44
Sounds like the Pope is kickstarting the old "Faith vs. Works" debate again.
#19 By: Mister44, December 23rd, 2013 09:45
I predict Jack Chick will be selling out of some of his Chick Tracts soon.
#20 By: Suzanne, December 23rd, 2013 09:50
If I were Catholic, I'd probably be very stoked about him. And yes, for those of us who are not, he is probably going to mend some relationships. However, my own feelings about the Catholic church are not going to soften until I see Pope Francis address and find some way to make amends for the child abuse that has gone on for years and their CYA approach to that and at the very least lead the church to soften the views on abortion and birth control.
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