I we look at the world today; We will undoubtedly see that the world is not at peace. If the situation were to be summerized using a simple quote; I would quote the bible. "Wars and rumors of Wars".

If we look at who it is that is fighting these wars we would see, for the most part it is theist that are waging these wars. I am not saying that the official reason for the wars is religious but I am saying that for many religion plays a major role in desire to fight. For many religion is the main or predominate reason for fighting. Given the history of the Catholic church and christianity in general are we suppose to believe that a single prayer or all the prayers of the pope and his followers will bring peace to the earth.

Why would we Atheist join hands with the Catholics in praying for peace? In fact by joining the Catholics in any fashion only perpetuates the prominence of an extremely ruthless and criminal franchise. We Atheist do not gain anything by giving winks and nods to the Catholic church. Perhaps the Catholics should join the Atheist by renouncing their faith and working hard to bring real and lasting peace to the earth by promoting the very things they do already everyday minus the divisive god concept and instead embrace humanity for humanity sake.

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Comment by kent l thompson on December 31, 2013 at 6:30pm

Yep! My feelings exactly........thanks............................

Comment by matthew greenberg on December 29, 2013 at 11:37am

Kakumei - exactly.  that's the best part about Francis.  maybe he will make changes to the church.  i'm not sure i give a shit, although it would be good to have a saner more reasonable church.  it's how he's exposing the religious to their hypocrisy that gets me excited.  

Comment by Kakumei on December 29, 2013 at 11:32am

To the degree that the pope is pissing off The Gospel of Wealth crowd and upsetting the fundamentalist theocrats I'm all for him.  I think it should be our mission expose and obstruct them whenever possible. If the pope is causing them discomfort and helping to turn the spotlight on their hypocrisy then great.

The truth is the truth no matter who speaks it. I can take it for what it's worth without endorsing his other views or supporting the institution he represents. 

Comment by matthew greenberg on December 28, 2013 at 10:13am

Loren, as always, you bring much needed history to the story.  perhaps i'm being naive.  i don't think so, but again, we'll see in time.  the good news is there is room in the tent for all views.  your skepticism and hostility are understandable.  i share your wish to see him right many wrongs that he has yet to address.  

Comment by Loren Miller on December 28, 2013 at 10:05am

Matthew, I remember when Joe the Rat first came to town, and he talked about wanting "dialog."  I also remember when Karol Wojtyla got the post and everyone was so agog about a non-Italian pope and all the marvelous things that would come of that, as  surely as I remember Paul VI and his brilliant little monograph, Humanae Vitae.  I find that I'm growing tired of WORDS, Matt.  I feel a bit like Eliza Doolittle of My Fair Lady, when she sings, "Don't talk of June, don't talk of fall, DON'T TALK AT ALL!  SHOW ME!"

And in all of this, nothing demands action so badly as the child abuse scandal which I first saw reported on CBS News 60 Minutes back in the 1970s!  This is a travesty which has been going on, not just for decades but indeed for centuries.  Wojtyla did nothing constructive about it, any more than Ratzinger did, and Bergoglio has yet to even mention the matter, to my knowledge.  Yet it remains the single most glaring issue I'm aware of as regards the RC church.

So no, I'm not willing to play nice-nice with Jorge.  All the cutesy stuff with going out of the Vatican incognito and not accepting all the pomp and circumstance of the position is fine, but in the final analysis, it's nothing more than window dressing.  Oh, by the way, I DO remember where he said that "that door is closed" as regards women in the priesthood.  If you have a news story which states the contrary, I'd like to see it.  As for an outreach to atheists, what MIGHT impress me is a sit-down between him and someone like Richard Dawkins or maybe Daniel Dennett.  His offers of heaven for us are foolish and specious and not worthy of our notice, particularly considering that There Ain't No Such Place!  Conversely, were he to make a statement that atheists are not the fiends which too many people wish to characterize us as, again, that could get my attention.  Finally, he could at least contradict that despicable lie promoted by his predecessor about condoms actually increasing the spread of AIDS.  Yet he remains mute.

I make no apologies about being hostile, Matthew.  I'm tired of the same old song and dance.  I want substance, far less for myself than for the millions of people the RC church has wronged and wronged grievously.  Jorge will get a tip of the hat from me when he's earned it and not until.

Comment by matthew greenberg on December 28, 2013 at 9:22am

Loren, you won't be terribly surprised to hear that i disagree with you.  for starters, the dude has only been on the job for 9 months.  how much change can you expect so soon?  he has to change attitudes first.  if he went all doctrinal in his first year in the vatican he'd face so much push back that it would all fall apart.  then there's his outreach to atheists, which is way more of a departure from tradition than anyone could have foreseen.  he's not asking us to convert, he's asking to support his call for peace.  how could that be taken so negatively is beyond my understanding.  he recently said in a speech that he expects women priests, bishops, and cardinals, and even dared to suggest that there could be a woman Pope.  i think the change you want to see will come - in time.  

Comment by Dustin Roy on December 28, 2013 at 1:05am

I would rather disestablish the Vatican instead of joining Christians.

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on December 27, 2013 at 11:25pm

No, it is highly unlikely rational Atheists would fall to Franks calling to join Christians, Sam Harris sums it up in his books and videos.



Comment by Loren Miller on December 27, 2013 at 4:25pm

Indeed ... why would we join hands with any religious group and indulge in what amounts to a useless gesture?  Even their own book says that faith without works is nothing, and yet I know of very few organizations that actually work less at the matter of peace than Vatican City.  They talk and perhaps jawbone heads of state about the matter ... but work?  Don't make me laugh.

Then of course, the Vatican is built on unreality, on dreams and myths and stories over-exaggerated with the passage of time.  It is about as practical an outfit as a hole in the head.  Therefore, it should be no wonder that any efforts it makes in the pursuit of peace are ineffectual at best and counterproductive at worst.

What may be worst is that Pope Francis gives the appearance of being a departure from the norm of the Holy See.  Let me say that again and emphasize it: The Appearance.  He makes a lot of unusual noises for someone in his position, noises which depart considerably from those of the last three predecessors (not counting JPI, as he wasn't in the saddle long enough to leave any kind of substantial mark).  To date, none of his noises amount to anything serious by way of a change in how the RC church does business, nor may it be meant to be so.  However ... if Jorge / Francis can be bothered to do something MORE than make noise, if he can be bothered to foment action, and especially if that action is aimed at at least turning the church away from the 16th century and a bit closer to the 21st, then maybe he's something more than a show horse who would be utterly out of his element doing real WORK.

Personally, to date, I'm not horribly impressed.  His outreach to atheists is laughable; his gesture to the GLBT community may have somewhat more impact, as may his focus on the poor.  Still, all we've gotten from him to this point are WORDS.

And to rephrase an old bromide I've known a while: their inaction speaks so loud, I can't hear what they're saying.



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