Pope Francis includes Atheists

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Pope Francis includes Atheists

Pope Francis rocked some religious and atheist minds today when he declared that everyone was redeemed through Jesus, including atheists.
During his homily at Wednesday Mass in Rome, Francis emphasized the importance of "doing good" as a principle that unites all humanity, and a "culture of encounter"to support peace.
Using scripture from the Gospel of Mark, Francis explained how upset Jesus' disciples were that someone outside their group was doing good, according to a report from Vatican Radio.
[INDENT]?They complain,? the Pope said in his homily, because they say, ?If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.? And Jesus corrects them: ?Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.? The disciples, Pope Francis explains, ?were a little intolerant,? closed off by the idea of ​​possessing the truth, convinced that ?those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.? ?This was wrong . . . Jesus broadens the horizon.? Pope Francis said, ?The root of this possibility of doing good ? that we all have ? is in creation?[/INDENT]Pope Francis went further in his sermon to say:
[INDENT]"The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. ?But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.? Yes, he can... "The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ?Father, the atheists?? Even the atheists. Everyone!".. We must meet one another doing good. ?But I don?t believe, Father, I am an atheist!? But do good: we will meet one another there.?[/INDENT]Responding to the leader of the Roman Catholic church's homily, Father James Martin, S.J. wrote in an email to The Huffington Post:
[INDENT]"Pope Francis is saying, more clearly than ever before, that Christ offered himself as a sacrifice for everyone. That's always been a Christian belief. You can find St. Paul saying in the First Letter to Timothy that Jesus gave himself as a "ransom for all." But rarely do you hear it said by Catholics so forcefully, and with such evident joy. And in this era of religious controversies, it's a timely reminder that God cannot be confined to our narrow categories."[/INDENT]Of course, not all Christians believe that those who don't believe will be redeemed, and the Pope's words may spark memories of the deep divisions from the Protestant reformation over the belief in redemption through grace versus redemption through works.
The pope's comment has also struck a chord on Reddit, where it is the second most-shared piece.
More from Reuters:
[INDENT]Atheists should be seen as good people if they do good, Pope Francis said on Wednesday in his latest urging that people of all religions - or no religion - work together.

The leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics made his comments in the homily of his morning Mass in his residence, a daily event where he speaks without prepared comments.

He told the story of a Catholic who asked a priest if even atheists had been redeemed by Jesus.

"Even them, everyone," the pope answered, according to Vatican Radio. "We all have the duty to do good," he said.

"Just do good and we'll find a meeting point," the pope said in a hypothetical conversation in which someone told a priest: "But I don't believe. I'm an atheist."

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.[/INDENT]

Pope Francis Says Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed, Not Just Catholics

Check out link for some video

I see two trends in comments:

Ones like these,

Really Pope Francis??? Christ will redeemed a firm unchanging Atheist and an unbelievers who does not believe in Him??
2 Peter 3:17 "You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability".
Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. ...

"But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; ... 2 Peter 2:1-22 ESV

essentially accusing the Pope of being a false prophet (aka sinful, of the devil, etc)

And others like these

Trust me, as an atheist I'm baffled by this as well. I'm really not worried about what the Christian god thinks of me, so I don't know why he went out of his way to tell everyone.

And then a ton of "YAY, LOVE THIS GUY! THIS IS AWESOME!!!"

I get the first, and I get the second, but I don't really get the third. What do you think and why?

mom3girls's picture
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You dont get why people would think it was great?

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I don't get it either. Atheists don't care what the Pope or the Christian God thinks about their worthiness to get into heaven, because they don't believe in heaven or the Christian God. Not sure why a Christian would care if an atheist is in heaven or not either.

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"mom3girls" wrote:

You dont get why people would think it was great?

No, not really. Because I don't get why on earth an Atheist would care (in fact I know plenty who will be insulted ~ ), and I think that there is going to be a HUGE backlash from many segments of Christians who will disagree passionately that there is any sort of scriptural basis for such a notion.

I'm a unitarian so it doesn't really affect me any, but I find the whole thing a little strange. Why tell people who don't want into your club that you are letting them in?

So no, maybe you could explain why it is great?

GloriaInTX's picture
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Seems like kind of a stupid thing to say. If you are telling all the Catholics it doesn't really matter if you believe in Jesus or not you will be saved anyway than why bother following the Catholic teachings you might as well just do whatever you want.

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Not sure how I feel about it.

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"mom3girls" wrote:

Not sure how I feel about it.

Oh you seemed so shocked that I didn't get it I was sure you were thrilled or something. Hm.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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I do not follow the teachings of the Catholic church at all and obviously do not agree what this guy is saying.

I do know many though who believe that everyone will go to heaven as long as they are a good person. Basically I think that is what he is saying.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I do know many though who believe that everyone will go to heaven as long as they are a good person. Basically I think that is what he is saying.

Exactly. There are lots of people out there that believe this and these are the people in that third category who are commenting. They probably aren't Catholic and don't even believe in the pope but go the easy route that it doesn't matter what religion you are if you are a good person then we will all go to whatever place in the sky that turns out to be the right one. Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Jew, Atheist ... whatever floats your boat we will all end up together as long as you are a nice person.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Seems like kind of a stupid thing to say. If you are telling all the Catholics it doesn't really matter if you believe in Jesus or not you will be saved anyway than why bother following the Catholic teachings you might as well just do whatever you want.

I dont think that is what he is saying though. He is saying that people who do good will be saved, whether they believe or not. Now it is possible to believe this and believe that the only way to do good is to follow catholic teachings.

Personally I think this is good simply because it is inclusive. He was talking to his followers, so Im sure he doesn't care if Atheists are happy or upset about this, and I dont see why you would be if you dont believe anyways. But he is coming from a place where his predecessor basically thought non believers were horrible people. He is saying that is not true and to treat them as equals, because Jesus saved Everyone, not just you. Basically, cut the holier than thou crap people, we are all equal in the eyes of god and will be judged according to our actions. It is not Your place, or Your call.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Exactly. There are lots of people out there that believe this and these are the people in that third category who are commenting. They probably aren't Catholic and don't even believe in the pope but go the easy route that it doesn't matter what religion you are if you are a good person then we will all go to whatever place in the sky that turns out to be the right one. Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Jew, Atheist ... whatever floats your boat we will all end up together as long as you are a nice person.

I find you calling this the "easy route" dismissive and insulting. People who have a different belief system than yours - just because it may be more inclusive- doesn't make it easy. I could say its very easy to blindly say "I'm right and you're wrong period" and close your mind. Lets not dismiss anyone's belief system simply because it isnt yours, eh?

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"ftmom" wrote:

I dont think that is what he is saying though. He is saying that people who do good will be saved, whether they believe or not. Now it is possible to believe this and believe that the only way to do good is to follow catholic teachings.

Personally I think this is good simply because it is inclusive. He was talking to his followers, so Im sure he doesn't care if Atheists are happy or upset about this, and I dont see why you would be if you dont believe anyways. But he is coming from a place where his predecessor basically thought non believers were horrible people. He is saying that is not true and to treat them as equals, because Jesus saved Everyone, not just you. Basically, cut the holier than thou crap people, we are all equal in the eyes of god and will be judged according to our actions. It is not Your place, or Your call.

But Jesus didn't save "everyone" - according to the bible, anyway. So that's the niggling little issue. And in Christianity ( and Catholicism) it is by faith we are saved- not works. So there's some tricky theological issues here that I just don't get.

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"Potter75" wrote:

I find you calling this the "easy route" dismissive and insulting. People who have a different belief system than yours - just because it may be more inclusive- doesn't make it easy. I could say its very easy to blindly say "I'm right and you're wrong period" and close your mind. Lets not dismiss anyone's belief system simply because it isnt yours, eh?

I find a lot of the things you say dismissive and insulting too. So I stand by my statement.

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Religious intolerance highlighted.

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I find a lot of the things you say dismissive and insulting too. So I stand by my statement.

Yes. Okay. That's lovely of you Gloria. Thank you for providing a beautiful glimpse of how you practice your brand of Christianity. Reducing everyone else's faith as easy is lovely of you.

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"ftmom" wrote:

I dont think that is what he is saying though. He is saying that people who do good will be saved, whether they believe or not. Now it is possible to believe this and believe that the only way to do good is to follow catholic teachings.

Personally I think this is good simply because it is inclusive. He was talking to his followers, so Im sure he doesn't care if Atheists are happy or upset about this, and I dont see why you would be if you dont believe anyways. But he is coming from a place where his predecessor basically thought non believers were horrible people. He is saying that is not true and to treat them as equals, because Jesus saved Everyone, not just you. Basically, cut the holier than thou crap people, we are all equal in the eyes of god and will be judged according to our actions. It is not Your place, or Your call.

ITA with this. It wasn't a message to the non-believers; it was a message to the Catholics who had accepted Benedict's POV that any non-Catholic was basically a non-person. I think Pope Francis is saying that maybe to God deeds are more important than creeds. Wow, we have the first Unitarian Pope! Blum 3

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"Potter75" wrote:

Yes. Okay. That's lovely of you Gloria. Thank you for providing a beautiful glimpse of how you practice your brand of Christianity. Reducing everyone else's faith as easy is lovely of you.

Thank you. It is just an observation. I do think it is an easy way out. That way it doesn't really matter what anyone believes it is all good. I'm pretty sure that you have made observations about conservative Christians that were a LOT less kind than that, so pardon me if I am not so upset that you are a little insulted by a general statement that I made that wasn't directed at you in particular.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Thank you. It is just an observation. I do think it is an easy way out. That way it doesn't really matter what anyone believes it is all good. I'm pretty sure that you have made observations about conservative Christians that were a LOT less kind than that, so pardon me if I am not so upset that you are a little insulted by a general statement that I made that wasn't directed at you in particular.

You and your generalizations. Debate your problems with me when you have them. If you can't do that and need to continually bring up these vague offenses from debates past- which I don't even know what you are talking about- ignore me. It's so old and tiresome. It's like Groundhog Day. "One time at band camp Melissa said something mean about conservative Christians". Stop accusing me of things I can't defend. It's lame and its unfair debate technique and you know it.

I think it's rude to refer to people's religion as the easy way out. If you don't care that you are being rude own it. Don't blame your rudeness on these vague offenses you claim I've committed in the past. Just admit that you are okay with being rude because you don't care about other people's feelings- don't play it like "Melissa's ruder than me so my rudeness is ok". No one buys that. Sorry.

Rivergallery's picture
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Ok - maybe I am missing part of what the Pope said?
I am hearing it differently than everyone..

1- God sent his son to earth to seek and save the LOST. .. I agree.. and think most Christian faiths agree
2- We should see the good in everyone. Ditto.
3- Atheists can be good people. Yes

I think the issue I am having is I do not see the Pope saying that the good works of the Atheists are saving them.. is that what he is saying? I do not read that in the OP, cept for someones interpretation of it.

Being "good" doesn't equal salvation.. the blood of Christ alone does that.

Maybe the word "redeemed" is what I am not getting.. is he saying they can.. and may be redeemed and Jesus came to redeem everyone? Or is the Pope saying that we are already redeemed, regardless of beliefs..?

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"Potter75" wrote:

You and your generalizations. Debate your problems with me when you have them. If you can't do that and need to continually bring up these vague offenses from debates past- which I don't even know what you are talking about- ignore me. It's so old and tiresome. It's like Groundhog Day. "One time at band camp Melissa said something mean about conservative Christians". Stop accusing me of things I can't defend. It's lame and its unfair debate technique and you know it.

I think it's rude to refer to people's religion as the easy way out. If you don't care that you are being rude own it. Don't blame your rudeness on these vague offenses you claim I've committed in the past. Just admit that you are okay with being rude because you don't care about other people's feelings- don't play it like "Melissa's ruder than me so my rudeness is ok". No one buys that. Sorry.

I don't care that YOU think I am rude. There is a difference. I could say the same thing. Ignore ME if you don't like it. I was responding to the topic that you posted and stating my opinion. For the third time I DO think that saying any religion is fine as long as you are a good person is the easy way out. That is my opinion. If you think that is rude than so be it.

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And i find that it takes a lot more courage to question and sometimes change than simply believing what yer ma and pa and everyone around you in your little bubble and your little demographic and your little town and your little church that you were raised in believes. To me, that's super easy. It isn't just me who thinks that you dismissing other religions than your perfect little one as rude. Trust me.

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"Rivergallery" wrote:

Maybe the word "redeemed" is what I am not getting.. is he saying they can.. and may be redeemed and Jesus came to redeem everyone? Or is the Pope saying that we are already redeemed, regardless of beliefs..?

That is what he said:
"The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!"

To me that means that we have all already been redeemed regardless of what we believe, not that everyone can be redeemed, which I would agree with.

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"Potter75" wrote:

And i find that it takes a lot more courage to question and sometimes change than simply believing what yer ma and pa and everyone around you in your little bubble and your little demographic and your little town and your little church that you were raised in believes. To me, that's super easy. It isn't just me who thinks that you dismissing other religions than your perfect little one as rude. Trust me.

So are you not making a LOT of assumptions with the statement you just made? You just proved my point.

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Well, as someone who identifies as an atheist, I don't find it upsetting. I find it hilarious. As do the great majority of my atheist friends.

To me, it's like saying the the Polar Express is going to come get me this Christmas and take me to the North Pole whether I believe it or not.

I also agree that he didn't say it TO atheists or any other group of people, aside from those who actively listen to him, his Catholic church members.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So are you not making a LOT of assumptions with the statement you just made? You just proved my point.

It's just a general statement Gloria. Just like yours was, remember? Smile you can't okay general statements if you don't want to hear them back. I figured you gave overt permission for them when you made them then three times defended it in the face of appeals. So I guess they are okay so I will make my own. Surely that doesn't bother you or you would look like a huge hypocrite.

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"Potter75" wrote:

It's just a general statement Gloria. Just like yours was, remember? Smile you can't okay general statements if you don't want to hear them back. I figured you gave overt permission for them when you made them then three times defended it in the face of appeals. So I guess they are okay so I will make my own. Surely that doesn't bother you or you would look like a huge hypocrite.

It doesn't bother me at all I already knew how you felt from past statements calling people bigots and such. I wasn't the one pointing it out as rude and insulting, it just seemed a little odd for you to call me out and then turn right around and say worse things.

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:timeout: Melis & Gloria, please remember to debate the issue, not one another.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

It doesn't bother me at all I already knew how you felt from past statements calling people bigots and such. I wasn't the one pointing it out as rude and insulting, it just seemed a little odd for you to call me out and then turn right around and say worse things.

Worse? Same. Your opinion of easy vs. mine. Stop lying. This has nothing to do with bigots. Why are you making things up? It's weird. Your obsession with me is flattering but sometimes it leads you to abandon logic, and it's a shame because when you aren't blinded with vendetta you can be a good debater. This personal stuff is super yawney. I'm done going back and forth with you as you have no coherent point.

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"Potter75" wrote:

Worse? Same. Your opinion of easy vs. mine. Stop lying. This has nothing to do with bigots. Why are you making things up? It's weird. Your obsession with me is flattering but sometimes it leads you to abandon logic, and it's a shame because when you aren't blinded with vendetta you can be a good debater. This personal stuff is super yawney. I'm done going back and forth with you as you have no coherent point.

:shrug: I'm not the one who started down this road. I was just debating the topic.

mom3girls's picture
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I spent some time thinking about this and I too do not think this was a message to atheists. I really believe it was a message to Catholics. And I think it was a good message.

KimPossible's picture
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Well i think its great. And it really is not anything new. The Catholic Church does not actually teach that you must be Catholic in order ot be saved. Look up Baptism by Desire. I think its great for him to re-inforce it. And to the Athiests who are mocking it...well thats just silly, its not for you, the teaching is meant for Catholics and I would think you would be happy that the church is teaching its followers that we are all included, and all loved...and hopefully that would mean we catholic believers should act the same.

It doesn't matter that you don't believe in 'being saved'...within the context of someones faith, its basically a teaching, to those people, of being all inclusive. You can't complain on one hand that people are so harsh towards your beliefs and then in another breath make fun of faiths that are actually trying to say "hey...you know good people are good people regardless of their faith"

I find the Pope's message to be a far more respectable one than mocking people and making fun of them for being believers in a faith to begin with.

This seems like a you can't win situation. Maybe people just want to be mad at religious people and insist on them being divisive....you try to change the attitude of your followers and then all of a sudden people think you are joke instead.

Whatever. I think this pope is very refreshing. I like where he focuses his energy.

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I think it was a message to Catholics as well.

Also, I actually understand what Gloria means by "the easy way out". I have this conversation with my husband a lot. He believes that in order to go to Heaven, you have to accept Christ as your savior. He believes it with all his heart, although he thinks that practicing Jews also get a "free pass" as he calls it. But he would also use the expression "easy way out", not for people of other religions, but for people who just go to church because they're supposed to but don't dig any deeper, for people who are just nice people but don't accept Christ, etc.

Early on I asked him if this was a problem for him in terms of me, since I don't accept Christ, and he said that Angel there's always time (ha!) and (b) it's God's job to tap you on the shoulder.

Now while I don't share his beliefs, we talk about it often and he explains it like that to me.

And he also believes in letting our kids come to religion themselves. Nathaniel has recently started going to church with him and told me today that he's the only kid he knows who WANTS to go to church. "That's because you never HAVE to," I told him, and he agreed.

Anyway I don't think the messages were for atheists. I don't find anything the Pope says relevant to me in any way, except that he is preaching more tolerance and I have to agree with that!

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I don't think he was addressing this to Atheists only to his fellow Catholics.

Why do I think this is great? I think it's the first time someone in high religious power has come out to essentially say..accept one another. Acknowledging that too many negative actions are done to those who don't believe or who believe differently than the "norm" and that it needs to end.

Now, I will use my beliefs to explain another reason I think this is great. Now please, I don't mind debating what I put forth but I do ask for respect for my beliefs as they are totally personal and I don't expect any of you to take these on in your lives. So comments such as how I' not a "real Christian" or whatever...please just stop before typing. Thank you in advance.

I feel that the Pope is setting forth a different belief and understanding of why we are here on Earth. Every single one of us believes in the right thing as it is the right thing for us. Believers may use different names or different means to understand God and their purpose. My belief is that non believers will still end up next to me in Heaven (whether they like it or not Wink ) because for whatever reason...that is a part of their journey here. For those that are Atheists, I don't want to seem like I'm praying for your salvation..you don't want it and I wouldn't want to waste my time ;).....just that those of you who I know on here that are not believers of God....are awesome people....and I think God's good with that. So personally, I think the Pope is acknowledging a similar feeling. That those of us who are good and just....regardless of how we identify spiritually..will all get to partake in the same glory. So I personally enjoy feeling like I'm aligned spiritually with someone.

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Laurie, although we are a family that goes to church together we have never "made" our children go. We really want our children to form their very own relationship with the Lord, so far it is working for us.

The more I think about this, the more I think this is an awesome message. It should be a pretty convicting one for Christians that feel that they are better people then atheists.

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"JorgieGirl" wrote:

Well, as someone who identifies as an atheist, I don't find it upsetting. I find it hilarious. As do the great majority of my atheist friends.

To me, it's like saying the the Polar Express is going to come get me this Christmas and take me to the North Pole whether I believe it or not.

I also agree that he didn't say it TO atheists or any other group of people, aside from those who actively listen to him, his Catholic church members.

I guess i don't understand why its hilarious. Say someone believes in reincarnation....jsut as an example. Just because i don't believe in reincarnation doesn't mean i think a)that is ridiculous that anyone else does,b) nor would i find it hilarious to think that they might believe i was included in that reincarnation.

Or if there is some religion that truly and genuinely believes that their land of gods takes all the people and turns them into fairies in another land....i woudln't find it weird that they say it happens to me too even though i don't believe in their religion.

I guess i just don't see the point in treating other people's beliefs like a joke. I mean especially if you can acknowledge that he's talking to Catholics and not to you.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Exactly. There are lots of people out there that believe this and these are the people in that third category who are commenting. They probably aren't Catholic and don't even believe in the pope but go the easy route that it doesn't matter what religion you are if you are a good person then we will all go to whatever place in the sky that turns out to be the right one. Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Jew, Atheist ... whatever floats your boat we will all end up together as long as you are a nice person.

Actually a lot of them probably are Catholic.

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"KimPossible" wrote:

I guess i don't understand why its hilarious. Say someone believes in reincarnation....jsut as an example. Just because i don't believe in reincarnation doesn't mean i think a)that is ridiculous that anyone else does,b) nor would i find it hilarious to think that they might believe i was included in that reincarnation.

Or if there is some religion that truly and genuinely believes that their land of gods takes all the people and turns them into fairies in another land....i woudln't find it weird that they say it happens to me too even though i don't believe in their religion.

I guess i just don't see the point in treating other people's beliefs like a joke. I mean especially if you can acknowledge that he's talking to Catholics and not to you.

I'm not going around pointing at Catholics, laughing and calling them all adorable for being so cute with their little beliefs, in real life. I'm not rude.

This was a thread asking about what a Catholic thinks about Atheists and I thought it might be interesting to add what my honest feelings are, since part of who I am I label atheist. I'd feel the same way about any major religious organization saying what they think is going to happen to ME when I die (regardless if they are talking to me or not).

I don't mock when people say THEY are going to heaven. But include me in there and I have free reign to feel how I want about my inclusion.

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"JorgieGirl" wrote:

I'm not going around pointing at Catholics, laughing and calling them all adorable for being so cute with their little beliefs, in real life. I'm not rude.

You found it appropriate to do here though. I would never make fun of someones religion. I might disagree with someones religion here. I may point out what i think they do wrong based on their religion. But I wouldn't trivialize their beliefs.

This was a thread asking about what a Catholic thinks about Atheists and I thought it might be interesting to add what my honest feelings are, since part of who I am I label atheist. I'd feel the same way about any major religious organization saying what they think is going to happen to ME when I die (regardless if they are talking to me or not).

Guess i feel like you could have portrayed your opinion in a more respectful manner.

I don't mock when people say THEY are going to heaven. But include me in there and I have free reign to feel how I want about my inclusion.

I don't understand taking anything like that personally. I've met a few people who feel that way and it just strikes me as totally oversensitive. If i believe in a God it is actually very logical to believe that God applies to everything, not just those invidividual humans that consciously have decided to believe in him.

Thats what i don't get...i don't get what is silly or childish (which is what your analogy portrays to me)...its logical.

And it in no way affects you or your own beliefs. I mean the same applies to athiests right? If there is no god, that means there is no god...universally. Or do you think that you don't have a god, but i do? And even if your own beliefs on the subject somehow account for that you can't tell me all athiests would think that way.

I really would never take it personally or take offense to an athiest saying "I don't believe in a god...at all. There is no god over me, and there is no god over the ones who are christian" Or find it a reason to treat that belief system like a joke or childish story.

I mean sure...share your opinion here. I just think its too bad you have such little respect for someone who believes in a god and an afterlife. I mean, i guess you can hide it to their faces but its obviously there.

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

and I'm reminded why the atheists left this place. Can't have an opinion or feelings without someone getting butthurt by someone else who finds a bit of humour in religion.

I tried!

Continue on without me folks.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

Yeah i would suggest the "have a laugh at religious people" board instead.

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
Posts: 1348

"JorgieGirl" wrote:

I don't get it either. Atheists don't care what the Pope or the Christian God thinks about their worthiness to get into heaven, because they don't believe in heaven or the Christian God. Not sure why a Christian would care if an atheist is in heaven or not either.

Most religions actually want people to join in their beliefs. I mean, Mormon boys/men spend 2 years of their lives going around on a "mission", trying to lead people to what they believe. The Bible calls Christians to evangelize and "spread the good news". If you believe in heaven and hell, of course you would want everyone to be in heaven, because hell is horrible, and a true Christian wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

Gloria - et.al. - If the Pope is saying that we are all saved.. going to heaven if we do "good" it is a not Biblical. He is leaving out a huge chunk of the Bible to appease people. I am not convinced he is actually saying that.. but if he is, it is NOT a new stance for the Catholic Church, and is a large part as to why there was a Reformation. The idea of Christianity.. is that "no one comes to the father but through me". There is no other way... In fact the LORD sees "good deeds" as equal to menstrual rags if that person is not a believer.

In the days of Martin Luther, the Catholic Church taught you must do good to be saved. Then they went on with this idea and you had to pay penance for sins. You had to pay money for a piece of paper that declared you forgiven. The Pope on down were corrupting the WORD of God and getting rich. The people didn't even know it was against the BIBLE because it was in Latin and Luther, in his 95 Theses that he nailed to the door of the Catholic Church in Germany, wanted it written in German for the people to be able to access it. The majority did not know or understand Latin, and went simply on what their church leaders wanted.

Luther's thoughts were so egregious that he was excommunicated and cut off entirely. He also fled for his life.

The Catholic Church... if taking this stance is separating themselves once again from the Protestants, whose views are obviously changing also.

I am not sure the purpose if it, if he views this way why not become Bahai? Now there is an all inclusive religion.

I do think he will get away with it.. and that people will applaud him and follow his teaching. But it will be because they are then not following the Bible. Either because they do not know or understand the Bible, and the Pope sounds "good", or because they do not believe the Bible at all.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"Rivergallery" wrote:

I do think he will get away with it.. and that people will applaud him and follow his teaching. But it will be because they are then not following the Bible. Either because they do not know or understand the Bible, and the Pope sounds "good", or because they do not believe the Bible at all.

Catholics in general do not follow the bible in the same sense you do though RG. its a very different religion in that way.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

Honestly this is the first thing that has come out of Rome that I am happy with since I left the Church because of the things that come out of Rome.

I feel that the works and actions of the people on earth are far more important than the faiths we follow. There are many people whose actions would count them as "redeemed" in the eyes of a church who are not Church followers. When I left the Catholic Church it was because I could not in good conscience follow the dictates of Rome. But the words of Christ are good words and to follow them and their sentiments leads to a life of light and love (hopefully). But I don't feel that you have to be a part of a Church to follow the light. And as long as it is the light (aka God) that you are following, why does it matter which path (faith/church/etc) you take to get there?

I think the pope was reminding people that there is goodness outside of the realm of the Church and that the Church should not look at non-Catholics as second class. Because maybe their actions are in line with the teachings even if they are not part of the Church.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Vatican corrects Pope: Atheists are still going to hell - National Humanist | Examiner.com

this makes sense. What the pope said simply did not make sense from a catholic perspective. It didn't. As a Unitarian I was yay! But knowing the bible (and Catholics) I was huh????

it didn't make sense at all. Sorry atheists. You still have to burn in the place you don't believe in Wink

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

I think it really depends on what one uses to determine if someone "knows" the Catholic Church. IMO that could be open to a lot of interpretation. Especially because I think a lot of people who even claim to be catholic don't know the faith very well. Alternatively, if you think of catholicism as finding truth (as catholics do) I think that concept of truth can be sabotaged from within... Preventing those supposedly exposed, to not be properly exposed. Anyway.. I still agree with the popes statements and i don't believe them to truly be in conflict. I guarantee you that there are other authorities within the faith that would agree as well. In reality, catholicism is very much like any large governing body. There isn't as much unity in thought and belief as they need to portray outwardly. Religious organization or not, they still have human obstacles to overcome.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I guess i mean I use my knowledge of the bible coupled with the studies I've done of Catholicism (which led us to baptize our children catholic then leave the church) ...... And the fact they the Vatican agrees?

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"Potter75" wrote:

I guess i mean I use my knowledge of the bible coupled with the studies I've done of Catholicism (which led us to baptize our children catholic then leave the church) ...... And the fact they the Vatican agrees?

But that's what I'm saying... It's what the Vatican Says outwardly, i don't believe there is universal agreement among the authorities in the Catholic Church. It's the human element of the church that keeps me from leaving completely. The human element of the church is flawed. Anyway, i respect the popes outspoken opinion, and I don't think it is owned solely by him

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

So you think the Vatican is frontin? I admit I'm reading your words and I honestly don't get what you mean. At the end of the day Catholicism is based on the resurrection of Christ. That story omis told in the bible. Christ (Jesus) is clear on the subject of salvation.

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

I think the Vatican correcting the pope is just politics. The Vatican is a bunch of old men who have positions of great power and luxury. Then along comes a Jesuit pope who sits on a nice chair rather than a gold-encrusted giant throne. He washes the feet of Muslim women rather than theirs. He believes in humility and scholarship, and is setting a different tone in Rome than has ever been seen before. I think the men in the Vatican are running scared, honestly.

Do I really care that the pope thinks I can get to heaven? No. There is no heaven or hell for me to go to. I do like that he is following the tenets of his faith, continuing in Jesuit traditions despite ascending to the throne of Rome. I think this is a huge but very good first step for Rome - people in South America who can barely feed their children give money to the church and it goes to finance Rolls Royces for cardinals. That can't be very popular. I think that the emphasis on good works is a good thing, hopefully it will get more Catholics to volunteer instead of spending time blocking same-sex marriage rules.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

"KimPossible" wrote:

Catholics in general do not follow the bible in the same sense you do though RG. its a very different religion in that way.

Agreed and that is the point I was trying to make.. By trying to include Athiests they are putting a division between themselves and conservative Protestant churches.. where in the last few decades that division had been closing.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"Potter75" wrote:

So you think the Vatican is frontin? I admit I'm reading your words and I honestly don't get what you mean. At the end of the day Catholicism is based on the resurrection of Christ. That story omis told in the bible. Christ (Jesus) is clear on the subject of salvation.

Sorry that i hadn't gotten back to this. Anyway, what i'm trying to say is that there are people in the Catholic church who believe what the pope is saying, and there are people in the Catholic church who believe what the vatican has rebutted with. There isn't solid unity when it comes to a lot of beliefs...but the Catholic church has to try to portray unity, or at least feels like they do (i can see it both ways). But I'm sure they are careful about what unified message they try to say they are standing behind. So like Jen said, its politics.

So anyway i still love the Pope's message. I think it expresses the beliefs of many people in the church, not just lay people either. As a Catholic, i take his message and still value it regardless of what the Vatican feels it needs to do. Like i said, if it weren't for the fact that their are varying opinions among them, i probably would have left the church completely a long time ago.

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