Pope Francis: Atheists Can Go To Heaven And Priests May Be Able To Marry

230px-Pope_Francis_in_March_2013Since his elevation to the head of the Catholic faith, I have become a fan of Pope Francis — a pontiff who has become truly revolutionary in his faith and his lifestyle. As someone raised in the Catholic Church, I have never seen his equal. He has washed the feet of a Muslim female prisoner, declined the pomp and formality of past popes, and remained a humble priest in his lifestyle. Now, Pope Francis has written a long letter to a non-Catholic saying that he believes that even atheists can go to heaven and that God cares more about your heart than your profession of religion. At one time, such views would have gotten you burned at the stake. Even today, conservatives in the Catholic Church, like those associated with Opus Dei, are grumbling about this new Pope. Mark recently discussed the same view of the Pope on non-believers and now there is a report of a possible consideration of dropping celibacy for priests.

What is interesting is to see the continued effort to make Pope John Paul a saint when Pope Francis may be the most truly revolutionary man to ever hold that religious office. In his letter to the founder of La Repubblica newspaper, Eugenio Scalfari, Francis stated that non-believers would be forgiven by God if they followed their consciences. He said “You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience. . . . Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.”

It is a remarkably tolerant and enlightened view of faith at a time of extreme orthodoxy and religious intolerance. It is all the more remarkable given the increasingly antagonistic language directed against non-believers. There is obviously a rising concern among political and religious leaders that faith is declining in society. Thus, even though the non-religious is now a majority in places like England, politicians are ratcheting up such rhetoric. The Pope’s words are in stark contrast to those of people like Tony Blair with his comparisons of atheists and agnostics to terrorists.

The Pope’s reforms also now include the possibility of allowing priests to marry — a major change in religious doctrine. Italian Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s second-in-command, told Venezuela’s El Universal newspaper that celibacy is not dogma. As such, it is not unchanging divine law. Many have argued for years that marriage could bring a broader array of people to the priesthood and reduce the sexual scandals that have plagued the church.

193 thoughts on “Pope Francis: Atheists Can Go To Heaven And Priests May Be Able To Marry”

  1. David,
    Your argument falls into the logical fallacy of “begging the question.” The motives of the KKK or white power groups is irrelevant. As were the Jim Crow laws. The result of those repressive laws were the point. An identifiable segment of the population were made second class citizens. That is in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, and parts of other amendments, such as the freedom of association clause.

    Again, your opinions are just that. Opinions. As opinions, they are not fact and they are not laws. Everything you have tried to argue here has been addressed by state and Federal courts of competent jurisdiction and found to be either unconstitutional or irrelevant in the eyes of the law.

    David, you and those who are like minded are going to find themselves relegated to the dustbin of history. There is precedent for that too. How many Klan rallies do we see these days? Homos? Really? Is your self-hatred that bad? You know what I see when you make statements like this: “….governmental stamp of approval for sexual immorality will lead to bad public policy and the greater social ills that are associated with sexual immorality.”

    I see a man who fears his own impulses, and being a law abiding citizen, he has a government prohibition to hide behind. The law protects him from himself. Lift that legal prohibition and there is no cover or excuse to keep him from following those urges.

    1. OS wrote: “How many Klan rallies do we see these days? Homos? Really? Is your self-hatred that bad?”

      The POINT for using the word “HOMO” was to highlight the fact that you do NOT see this kind of discrimination being expressed in society. Such is as rare as the Klan rallies.

      It is truly amazing that you present all this signage illustrating Black discrimination. Your point was that these signs were evidence of Black discrimination. Then your argument is that homosexuals are discriminated against in exactly the same way. So I ask you, where then are all the signs in regards to homosexuality that would likewise illustrate discrimination?

      Can you not see this logical connection? You make a point that has NO EVIDENCE, and now you pretend that I am a bigot for using the word “homo” in hypothetical signs that do not exist? A sign that says, “No Homos Allowed” would certainly be evidence of homosexual discrimination. You presented this evidence for Black discrimination. You claimed that Homosexuals suffer the same discrimination. The only problem is that this discrimination only exists in your head and not in reality.

      You have not seen me refer to homosexuals as homo except in the hypothetical signs which would indicate discrimination. Please stop the false defamatory language for which you and Gene H are so well known.

    2. OS wrote: “Lift that legal prohibition and there is no cover or excuse to keep him from following those urges.”

      Interesting admission here concerning your prediction of the effect of changing public policy to approve of homosexual behavior.

  2. DavidM,

    Why are you against people like you? Not all can live in denial for long. You’ve already admitted that you have gone to groups with other homosexuals….. Why such a long discourse in what’s right in the eyes of god… Legally.. Etc…. You think you know what’s right…. Do you? You are worse than a reformed smoker…. Because that urge to smoke Lyes deep inside… You feel that it’s your right to be judge of mankind… Guess what… I quit that role or at least try…. Is that the same with you?

  3. Outstanding OS! You are on fire tonight.
    I am not sure that bleach would be strong enough to do the job!!

  4. OS,

    lol … that was really good! I want some of your brain bleach and I don’t care if it’s been approved by the FDA or not.

  5. It all makes sense now. Gay marriage and marijuana being legalized at the same time. Leviticus 20:13 says if a man lays with another man, he should be stoned.

    We were just misinterpreting it.

  6. leejcaroll,

    Why not just get all the unmarried pregnant women and put them in camps? Only if they’re white and “appropriately Christian” of course. That ought to regulate procreation enough to suit David. We could call the program something suitably Germanic. Like Lebensborn.

  7. OS thanks for all the examples to David, can’t think that fast myself.
    And as for Michigan let’s not forget those who are infertile. I guess he then wants all who apply for a marriage license to be tested to make sure they are fertile then sign a pledge in blood that they will have children.

  8. Michigan State Attorney General Bill Schuette has been on the front lines of the battle against gays and lesbian unions, defending the state’s right to discriminate against same-sex couples. A lawsuit was filed by a lesbian couple Schuette filed a brief opposing a motion for summary judgment in the case of Deboer v. Snyder.

    In his brief, in so many words, he claims the state has a compelling interest in regulating the sex lives of married couples so they will be sure to procreate. He fails to mention men who have had vasectomies or women who have had a tubal ligation. Or that are too old to have kids.

    Shorter Bill Schuette: 1. Responsible procreation and childrearing are well-recognized as legitimate State interests served by marriage.

    He goes on to say, “One of the paramount purposes of marriage in Michigan [snip]…is, and always has been, to regulate sexual relationships between men and women so that the unique procreative capacity of such relationships benefits rather than harms society.

    Emphasis mine.

    After reading his brief, I think I may need some brain bleach. If any readers have the stomach for it, here ’tis:


  9. OS/RWL,

    Gentlemen, facts only upset David and thwart his agenda of oppression.

    Good show.

    (insert polite clapping here)

  10. David,

    I am trying my best not to call you a racist or bigot, but you keep making statements, suggesting otherwise:

    David said: “Well, some people might be shocked by a society where some 40% of the people suffer from AIDS. Then consider the economic conditions, dirt floors, no running water… well, yeah, I would say horrendous in comparison to America.”

    Where did you get the number of 40%? Did you just qoute a percentage out of your head? According to the CDC and the WHO, there are least 23-34 million (known and an estimated unknown) Africans carrying the AIDS/HIV virus in Africa. Did you know that there are an estimated 1.033 billion Africans in Africa? If you do the math, this is less than 4% (and your figure of 40%) of the population (and I hope that you can do the math with person(s) per square mile, and it is not even close to your 40% infected-ratio).

    Due to our (America) past and on-going imperialism, colonialization, genocidalistic, etc. of Africa, most Africans live in poor conditions (see articles about the past and on-going psychological, physical, and cultural effects of colonialism and genocide by US Corporations, involving Africa). Did you know that the US is not to far off? Almost half of our fellow Americans live near, at, or below the poverty line (according to FoxNews, and estimated 147 million people).

    Did you take any anthropolgy courses in undergrad, highschool, etc.? If you did then, you would not make those comments. Why would compare a continent (Africa) to a nation (USA)? If you compared North America to Africa, then the numbers/percentages become similar. Their are a few ‘wealthy’ African nations, such as Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Botswana, and Mauritius.

    However, I will give you credit about homosexual and polygamist relationships occuring (past and present) in Africa.

    Your last comment is similar to what the KKK and their
    supporters made toward interracial dating and marriages:

    “You are not just allowing a minority to marry. You are destroying the understanding of marriage for everyone. You are creating a culture accommodating sexual hedonism and promoting a culture that leads to less productivity, more crime, more drug abuse, more sexually transmitted diseases, more unhappy people, etc. It is all connected.”

    You have no proof that same-sex marriages will lead to any of this. Do you know how homophobic your comments are?

    1. RWL wrote: “Where did you get the number of 40%? Did you just qoute a percentage out of your head?”

      I did not invent the statistic, but I did quote from memory. The statistic is on the high end for particular tribes, not for an entire continent like you are trying to do. If you remember, my comment was about African tribes and not the African continent. This is why you asked me to name a tribe or two. Unfortunately, this forum does not allow me to put more than two links, so I can’t fully document and reference everything I say. Following is one link that should satisfy you that I have not invented the statistic myself.

      Almost 40% of sexually active adults are HIV-positive in Botswana

      As for your other comments about poverty, it seems rather clear to me that you have not travelled the world very much. The way the U.S. measures poverty is not even close to the way poverty is measured in other countries. The poor here have televisions, DVR’s, cell phones, air conditioning, running water, electricity, and do not have dirt floors, etc.

      Percentage of households below poverty level that had the following items:

      Clothes washer: 68.7%

      Clothes dryer: 65.3%

      Dish washer: 44.9%

      Refrigerator: 97.8%

      Food freezer: 26.2%

      Stove: 96.6%

      Microwave: 93.2%

      Air conditioner: 83.4%

      Television: 96.1%

      Video recorder/DVD: 83.2%

      Computer: 58.2%

      Telephone (landline): 54.9%

      Cell phone: 80.9%


      And as regards my last comment, they are nothing at all like what the KKK or other bigoted groups made in regards to interracial marriage. Their argument there concerned racial purity, an argument that had been made for thousands of years but not enshrined in law until recent times. Being religious, you might remember that the brother and sister of Moses had the same grievance against Moses for marrying outside his race, and we know what side the Lord God Almighty was on in that case.

      Although I have no proof that gay marriage will lead to these things, there is scientific evidence that we should be concerned about it because there is a significant scientific correlation between male homosexual behavior and these other detrimental effects. If the correlation is actually caused by societal stigma rather than immoral sexual behavior as the homosexual propaganda alleges, then gay marriage would not lead to all these problems. The opposite would happen. It will get better for everyone. However, I think the problems are a result of sexual promiscuity and hedonism so that the governmental stamp of approval for sexual immorality will lead to bad public policy and the greater social ills that are associated with sexual immorality. I see it as a step backward toward decivilization.

  11. “homos”???? “HOMOS”????? You went there. Really!

    David, your problem is that you believe that your opinions, and your prejudices, are facts.

    Then there is the matter of projection. When you are called on for making bigoted statements, you project the bigotry onto the person calling you on it. Deal with it. In fact homosexuals and transgender people are discriminated against all the time. Be gay and get turned away at the prom. Girl in Mississippi wanted to wear a tux instead of a dress to the prom and was told she had to wear a dress or not come to her senior prom. Gay and lesbian kids cannot bring their date to the prom. Get fired from your job if the boss finds out you are gay. Parents disinherit their own kids and try to erase their memory from the siblings and relatives. Get beat up or killed because you are gay. Get beaten up because you are transgender, maybe killed.

    Of COURSE gays are not discriminated against, David. Whatever could have made me think that.

    Oh yeah, one other thing. There was the matter of Lt. Choi and Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach. Lt. Col. Fehrengach has five (5) Air Medals and many other decorations, as well as being a top gun F-16E fighter pilot….who was trained to the tune of a few million dollars….was drummed out of the Air Force when somebody complained about him. All his buddies and his own commanding officer knew. but some busybody (David, do you know any busybodies?) blew the whistle on him to the top brass.

    1. OS wrote: “…you believe that your opinions, and your prejudices, are facts.”

      No, I am just one of the few here who actually supports his opinion with facts. This is why you get confused and erroneously think that I consider my opinion fact. Rest assured, I understand that I express my opinion.

      You listed all manner of discriminatory signage, none of which we have ever observed in regards to homosexuality. Have there been people to frown upon homosexuals? Yes, of course there have. Many have considered homosexual behavior to be criminal, so they have looked upon homosexuals in the same light as criminals. However, this is far different than the bigotry, prejudice and hatred under which blacks have suffered. Now that homosexual behavior is recognized as legal, the stigma toward it has greatly subsided.

      OS wrote: “When you are called on for making bigoted statements, you project the bigotry onto the person calling you on it.”

      When a person does not provide a factual basis for their opinion, and all they have is their accepted dogma, it is clear that their reasoning is based upon prejudice and the belief in their dogma. When people call me a homophobe or bigoted or religious, it is not because I reason from prejudice and dogma, but because their own dogma tells them that this is what I am doing. The propaganda that they have accepted is that anybody who disagrees with gay marriage being equivalent to monogamous heterosexual marriage are evil bigots and homophobic haters. It is like readers are carefully scrutinizing every word I say so that they can point their finger of judgment at me and yell BIGOT!

      The truth is that my paradigms differ from their paradigms and they do not know how to deal with that. Most people are not use to rational thinking. They believe what somebody tells them to believe, and then they attempt to make the facts they observe fit with that belief. So when someone claims I am bigoted, I point out to them that no, they are projecting their own bigotry onto me. They are bigoted because they do not provide facts and rational thoughts for their arguments. I then present known facts and my reasoning based upon those facts. When a person does not acknowledge established facts and instead parrots his ideology in an attempt to outshout his opponent, that is bigotry. It is reasoning from emotions and prejudice rather than logic. This is why the response often becomes, “but you won’t let people love one another” which is so far away from anything I have said that it hardly deserves a response.

      You mention some examples of how people are hurt by certain dress codes for prom or how people are disinherited or get beat up and killed. Welcome to humanity. This happens to everyone whether they are gay or not. I could give you countless examples very similar to these you mention that have nothing to do with homosexuality. I could point out the fact that more homosexuals are killed by other homosexuals than by bigoted heterosexuals. The problem is that this would not matter to you one bit. Your thinking is not changed by facts but by how you feel about the subject and how evidence lines up with your already accepted dogma that homosexuality is a good thing for society. Anybody who disagrees with embracing the homosexual agenda is an evil hater and you just search for evidence to confirm your bias in this regard.

      OS wrote: “There was the matter of Lt. Choi and Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach. Lt. Col. Fehrengach has five (5) Air Medals and many other decorations, as well as being a top gun F-16E fighter pilot….who was trained to the tune of a few million dollars….was drummed out of the Air Force when somebody complained about him.”

      Somebody complained? You mean that somebody accused him of rape. Fehrenbach had to admit to investigators that he was gay, and that he had met his accuser through a gay chat site. They met up for some of that anonymous sex for which homosexual gay men are renowned. Again, these kinds of problems happen to heterosexuals all the time also. This is not specific discrimination against gays. His accuser was another gay man. Why do you omit this fact from your report? I could list many examples of false allegations of rape in the military that involve a man and woman.

      Check out some examples here:

      The interesting thing is that you tout Fehrengach’s credentials, which is evidence that homosexuals are not some depressed class of people who are not given the same opportunities for advancement in society as heterosexuals. How could he have achieved his medals and other decorations?

      What you fight for is not relief for a discriminated minority, but rather you fight for special protections for a specific class of people engaged in sexually promiscuous behavior. For most people, if gay sex is all okay, then there is hardly any kind of human sexual activity that is not okay. That is the real objective here. Sexual liberation and sexual hedonism. Let’s be honest about it.

  12. You seem to have some confusion about sexual orientation being a choice which is only natural considering you choose to deny your own sexual orientation and are now seeking to impose that choice on others by denying them equal protection and equal rights under the law, David.

    And you still aren’t grasping that homosexuality is a naturally occurring behavior in a small but statistically significant portion of the human population.

    Natural law as it is properly understood and applied to legal theory, as has been previously illustrated, actually demolishes your stand against equal rights and equal protection. As a legal proposition, a marriage is a contract, and the genders of the parties are irrelevant and their orientation is a strictly private matter.

    But please keep repeating yourself as if that will make you less wrong.

    The blog needed a bad example for this topic and Bron wasn’t stepping up to the plate.

  13. Yeah, raff. You’ve got to be tolerant of David’s (hypocritical) intolerance. Being bigoted against bigots isn’t what the cool kids are doing.

    But it is a virtue.

Comments are closed.