Recently anointed Pope Francis just shocked the religious world by announcing that atheists, like Catholics, can be admitted to Heaven.
This column salutes the Pope's decision, although I'm not going to be bashful about pointing out that I made a similar pronouncement back in 2011
, proving that if you want cutting edge, outside-of-the-box, pushing the envelope or any other cliche that means new and cool, theology, you've come to the right place. Furthermore, I will explain here the exact metaphysical mechanism by which atheists sprint past Saint Peter and into eternal bliss.
First off, the Pope and I are both using the word 'atheist' to describe not only atheists but the whole motley crew of nonbelievers and semi-believers, including atheists, agnostics, apathists, Deists, humanists, rationalists, existentialists, Buddhists, Baha'is and Jews. The true atheists are merely our leaders. They don't mind pissing off religious humanity by suing to get Bibles, crosses and prayers removed from classrooms, hills and graduation ceremonies, whereas the rest of us just sigh and ignore them. While we root for the atheists, we realize they tend to be angry people. Here's a link to a guy who has already replied to the Pope's invitation to the eternal hoe-down by saying, in effect, We don't want to go to your stinky old Heaven
Most of us, though, are pretty tickled at the Pope banging open the Pearly Gates for us, although we're not surprised. We knew it all along. Not only do we go to Heaven, but we get the best spots There. Let me illustrate by means of two hypothetical cases: