apparently i'm not the only one who has noticed.  so what's going on here?  i don't think he wants to win us back to the faith.  i think he relates better to us than he does his own followers.  he has condemned most of what current Christianity is all about.  yet over and over again he calls to us.  why might that be?

his followers are largely intolerant, dogmatic, and indifferent to the needs of the poor.  meanwhile, pews are empty and the flock has been leaving the pasture.  young people in particular are turned off to what the Christian religion has to offer.  any sane and smart person would recognize the need for change given the current landscape.  

so who can best support his mission?  certainly not the current flock.  they are so far gone from what their religion supposedly teaches that it will take a generation to bring them back.  but atheists - well, we despise what the church is about and so does the Pope.  while we may differ in our thoughts on heavenly beings, we share many of the same values.  

so here's what i'm thinking.  while Francis has several goals for his Papacy. his number one goal is to do something about income inequality and to help the poor.  frankly, i don't think he cares where the support comes from.  if he is indeed a smart man, he no doubt recognizes that we are a growing demographic that will only get bigger.  we also tend to hold humanistic views which aren't so incompatible with the traditional Christian teachings.  why not align yourself with a group that can help advance your agenda, even if it is people who don't believe in God.  

ok, so i know that most of you are deeply skeptical of the Pope.  and i know that i'm A/N's chief Papal rah rah guy.  my opinion is that the guy doesn't give two shits about all the religious crapola that most Christians hold dear.  i think he's on a mission to make the world a better, more rational place.  as we are.  if i'm wrong we'll know in time.  for now, Pope Francis is asking, over and over again, for us to join him in a mission that most of us share.  i think it's one of the most surprising developments that i've seen in my lifetime.  

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I'm with you and Mel.  He's trying hard to get people working with him.  And he seems to mean all people.  He's included us,gays,homeless, etc...Major plus, he's shunned the trappings of the popehood.  No fancy homes or,cars.  That's damned sure a first.

I'll never believe in his god but I'm starting to believe in this pope. And I was never catholic.

Maybe someone will start an atheist Catholic church, then. 

i'm sensing snarkiness.  

right?  i have no problem with reasonable objections to my line of thinking on this.  frankly, i expect it.  people like Loren bring valid criticisms about the things that the Pope isn't doing.  i don't know what snark does to advance the conversation.  but that's just me.  

Gotta agree with you and mel again. Maybe the three of us should start our non catholic atheist church.

lol, i'd rather just be friends :)

That works too!

i'm sensing snarkiness. 

You are sensing a playful comment. 

No offense intended. 

ok, good.  hard to tell over the internets.  

Actually I like it as an idea to play with.  There are Unitarians, which are sort of atheist religious people ...  So what would an atheist Catholic church look like?

Catholicism is said to be very esthetically appealing, with the rosaries, the beautiful stained glass, the chanting, the chalice, the robes.  As long as the service is in Latin, an atheist might enjoy it.

Or perhaps it could be therapy for ex-Catholics:  an atheist church with all the Catholic paraphernalia, a liberal social philosophy, where you can go stoned and nobody will give you any trouble :)

I suppose since you're going against the grain here, you're sensitized to the possibility of Snark.  But I'm not that anti-religion, and avoid cheap derision. 

thanks for understanding.  

i grew up Catholic, and i can tell you Catholic mass is the most boring thing you can do with an hour of your life.  i used to pass the time by counting yawns.  i still do if i happen upon one for a funeral or wedding. the people are lifeless, the mass is 55 minutes of the same thing every week (although they do change the awful songs most weeks) with 5 minutes of editorial.  not to mention lining up for the pleasure of eating a tasteless wafer, or having to kneel, sit, and stand constantly.  or figuring out who's hand to shake when it's time to say "peace be with you".  the whole affair is beyond tedious, although it's possible to find some humor in the pageantry of it all.  

But a science museum or whatever, doesn't have that beautiful so-resonant symbolism.  


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