Letter to the Editor
As an Atheist I have to say thank you to the new Catholic Pope Francis when he said, “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics,” the Pope said, according to Vatican Radio. “Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!” Francis went on to say that “we all have a duty to do good.”
Of course we Atheists don’t believe in Heaven or Hell, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate the spirit of the statement. Up until now the official position of the Catholic Church was that we Atheists were subhuman, evil, and that we deserved death and eternal damnation. And of course we in the reality based community didn’t like that; and who would like that?
But now a paradigm has been established. The new message is that everyone who does good goes to Heaven regardless of what they believe and that we all have a duty to do good. I too believe we all have a duty to do good. Now Realists and Catholics have more in common.
I have always thought that Christians were cheating the system with judgment being based on what you believe rather than what you do, and that they claimed divine forgiveness for merely confessing very bad behavior. I always thought, “Really, you think God is that stupid?” Now I think that God is smarter than he used to be and I have more respect for the story.
I see this as a significant step forward for both Catholics and Realists, and with the Dalai Lama also moving towards an all inclusive world view I see new respect happening between Realists, Catholics, and Buddhists. Now if we can get the Protestants and Muslims on board maybe we can all work together as one world and make this reality a better place to exist in.