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Vatican: But seriously, atheists still get tortured forever

Hemant Mehta already mentioned this last week, but it bears repeating. We’ve been getting a lot of email asking us if we heard the exciting (?) news that Pope Francis said atheists don’t necessarily go to hell. A few days later, the Vatican hastened to assure us that — yes, ha ha, that infallible pope, he’s a kidder all right.

Vatican spokesman Thomas Rosica has now issued an “explanatory note” stating:

…they cannot be saved who, knowing the Church as founded by Christ and necessary for salvation, would refuse to enter her or remain in her.

[...]

Got that? Atheists can do good, but they still can’t be saved (from hell) except by becoming Catholic.

So wait a sec, is the Pope infallible, or isn’t he? Well you see, says Rosica, it’s like this:

Always keep in mind the audience and context of Pope Francis’ daily homilies.  He is first and foremost a seasoned pastor and preacher who has much experience in reaching people.  His words are not spoken in the context of a theological faculty or academy nor in interreligious dialogue or debate.

I mean, yeah… surrrrre he’s… kind of infallible. But let’s not overlook the context, because he was really just speaking to make the masses happy, and not trying to be accurate or anything.

Before the Vatican issued this correction, I was wondering why I should be interested in Pope Francis’ claim. I mean, after all it’s not like we were previously worried about hell and can now stop worrying — hell is a ridiculous idea. I suppose in the grand scheme of things, it would be nice to have a friendly, accepting, multicultural pope instead of a jerk (like the last Pope).

Then again, one benefit to having a pope who said such a thing is, it eliminates Pascal’s Wager for Catholics. “What if you’re wrong?” they’d ask, and we’d say “Then I’ll go to heaven anyway if I’m good, according to the pope. Don’t you believe the pope?”

Of course, if that’s what you want to say, then… there are all kinds of religions and religious people out there in the world. With 33,000 divisions of Christianity, I’m sure some of them still preach salvation without conversion. So if you want to pick a religion that says you can go to heaven just for being good… take your pick! That’s what people already do anyway! Since there’s no objective standard against which to decide which religion has it right, you’re free to make up your own version. Where do you think those 33,000 sects came from, anyway?

So no, you still can’t go to Catholic heaven without turning Catholic. Then again, in reality, you probably can’t go to Catholic heaven if you are Catholic either.

Comments

  1. says

    The Catholic Church doesn’t teach that the pope is infallible. That’s a popular Protestant misconception. He’s only only infallible when speaking ex-cathedra, which has only happened twice: once to declare the ex-cathedra doctrine in a question-begging way and once to establish the immaculate conception doctrine.

  2. Ulysses says

    As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, papal infallibility only counts if the Pope is making an ex cathedra (from the throne) pronouncement. The last time that happened was in 1950 when Pius XII proclaimed the Assumption of Mary, i.e. that Mary didn’t die but was bodily “assumed” to Heaven.

    In the case of Francis trying to make nice to atheists, he was just giving an opinion, not making an infallible pronouncement. Like all theological opinions, another theologian can say “nope, he’s wrong, atheists can be good people but they’re still damned.”

  3. Christopher Lowe says

    It is a good thing that here in North America, Papal pronouncements are largely ignored by American and Canadian Catholics, or are at the very least cherry picked to suit personal lifestyles, but there are vast swathes where the clergy holds sway and in a very authoritarian and muscular way. In these areas uneducated and credulous people do the will of Rome and do so unquestionably. Many don’t even have options. Imagine the harm done when misinformation is distributed to those who are in their thrall. One example, in one word; “condoms”. Before you Catholics get your backs up, consider what you think of some Protestant consolations who are forbidden to allow blood transfusions to their young charges by dogmas in their sects. Now do you get why you’re getting blasted from almost all sides? About time you put humanity into your religion instead of putting religion into your humanity.

  4. Lord Narf says

    … and necessary for salvation, would refuse to enter her or remain in her.

    Kinky.

  5. Alex2 says

    No misconception my lovely friends. Sorry. Ex Cathedra is just fancy lingo to impress the sheep. According to catholic theology, the pope is in Ex Cathedra mode when: 1. His intention is to TEACH his flock, and 2. He speaks about MORAL issues. The trick is that Popeman and his minions never say clearly whether they are really engaged in that powerful and amazing mode or not… so win/win for them! (This clever ruse is called High Theology).
    Sorry again :-)

  6. Lord Narf says

    The last time that happened was in 1950 when Pius XII proclaimed the Assumption of Mary, i.e. that Mary didn’t die but was bodily “assumed” to Heaven.

    Was he there?!?

  7. Lord Narf says

    Before you Catholics get your backs up …

    I was raised Catholic, so I have the authority to officially give you permission to say whatever you want about the Catholic church. I say for worse things about them, on stage.

  8. Lord Narf says

    Eh, so do I. You just do it a dozen or two times, and you eventually get it out of your system. It only lasts about the first minute, now, and I can cover that up a bit, with the material.

  9. Christopher Lowe says

    Popes are far more interesting as political pundits than moral pronouncers. JP2 got this right away, hence his popularity.

  10. Ulysses says

    The Assumption of Mary came about when in 451 Emperor Marcian told Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem, to produce some relics of Mary. Juvenal couldn’t so he told Marcian there weren’t any because Mary’s body went to Heaven. The Assumption was invented because some guy needed to give the guy with the torturers and executioners a reason for not killing him.

  11. says

    He is first and foremost a seasoned pastor and preacher who has much experience in reaching people

    Yet all the people he “reached” understood him to be saying something that’s counter to actual Catholic doctrine. So, is he unaware of what the doctrine is or is he just really bad at properly explaining it?

    Never mind the infallibility crap. What I want to know is whether the pope is competent to speak on what the Catholic church teaches. And if he isn’t, who is?

  12. mooniekate says

    Inanimate objects don’t have gender. ‘It’ would be the proper pronoun, no matter how attached to the idea you may be. Methinks he doth project too much. I wouldn’t enter her if she said she didn’t want me in her. We call that rape.

  13. Lord Narf says

    Nah, that’s just the proper medical procedure for giving a raped woman an abortion. How can we be sure she was “legitimately” raped? We rape her before giving her an abortion.

    Makes sense, in today’s Republican party.

  14. michaelbuchheim says

    I think that calls for a Vatican Rag!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvhYqeGp_Do
    Seriously, with all the sins of the catholic church that have come to light in recent years, I think perhaps the clergy needs to check if they themselves would qualify to go to heaven before they argue who else can.
    Of course the whole point is moot, given that we might as well argue about Superman’s susceptibility to red kryptonite.

  15. Alex2 says

    You don’t know what you are talking about. Red kryptonite is a myth, pure luteran superstition. Everybody knows that green kryptonite is the real thing.

  16. says

    I was going to mention that whole Ex cathedra nonsense, but it looks like the rest of the thread has already explained that lovely little invincible escape hatch multiple times over.

    Now, if the new Pope actually wants to do some real good for once, he can demand that Beatriz in El Salvador be given the abortion she needs to survive. Given the apparent religiosity of the Salvadoran government, that might actually work.

  17. Christopher Lowe says

    Because I’m an atheist I’m going to Hell? Oooooooo….I’m shivering in my boots! Better fake it and put a cross over my bed. No cross? Oh well, I’ll sleep fine anyway.

  18. MGP says

    Well, if the story of the original Passover teaches us anything, it’s that God needs some sort of physical sign to tell him who not to kill. He’s still all-knowing and all-powerful; He’s just *way* too busy to keep track of such minor details. So put a cross over your bed and go straight to heaven. He won’t care that you don’t really believe.

  19. dickspringer says

    A nonbeliever can get to heaven only if he or she is “invincibly ignorant.” If you know about Catholicism and don’t accept it you burn.

  20. pianoman, Heathen & Torontophile says

    33,000 sects of christianity. you’d think Pope Frankie would maybe try to straighten that stuff out before making comments on atheists.

  21. changerofbits says

    Maybe this explains their anti-choice stance, all of those tithers could just choose to abort themselves from the church.

  22. changerofbits says

    Maybe Catholics and Atheists go to heaven and all of those protestants worshiping false gods go to hell? But, assuming they would like it to just be the Catholics, this whole protestant movement is creating a bunch of Atheists, so they’ve got some work to do.

    Following up on one of Jen’s points, having some heated arguments with some friends about which xtian flavor was best was another whack in the wedge that eventually forced out my god beliefs. If there were some sort of coalescence of xtianity, I’d think we would want to work to make sure it stays fractured. But, their “perfect” book seems to be doing as good of a job as any strategy we could come up with.

  23. Christopher Lowe says

    PF wants to keep the door open (maybe to persuasion? Good luck with that) for atheists, but what about all those billions of fine folks who happen to be born under the wrong theology? Is he just going to sit on those keys he thinks he has to his Celestial kingdom? Guard it jealously? One would hope he would concentrate on his day job, which he states is to raise the floor on poverty. Hint; the best and proven cure for poverty is to raise womanhood to the equal level of the men in society. To stop subservience and obedience being the requirement of half the population. It works every time. This is the antithesis of Catholic and indeed most religions. Pope Francis has to round that peg to fit in that hole before he can even begin to pretend he is serious.

  24. mooniekate says

    I find it astounding and hilarious that he would refer to the church as a she, and then to make an analogy about ‘entering her’. It’s just…wow. I can’t even put my reaction into words.

  25. says

    I just…I wish I had words. Pope is the voice of god–until he ISN’T the voice of god or his words of inclusion upset the Catholic marketing campaign…wtf???? Anyone who still subscribes to this religious nonsense after so grand a faux pas needs to be pimp daddy smacked–hard! But history has all but shown us that the devout will cling even more white knuckled to faith even when the man behind the curtian has been ceremoniously revealed.

  26. CaptRon says

    Hey guys, while you are having fun kicking around the hazy ideas about the pearly gates, sincerely believed by Catholics and other Judeo/Christians, just remember that they and humanists got together to make the most ciivilised nations on earth. There nations are asleep and do not recognise the enemy in the camp. Right now Christians and Atheists are being persecuted and are dying in unprecedented numbers (around 100,000 a year) by Islamist Jihad.
    Their medieval political, legal, religious ideology and hatred of all non-believers in Allah has killed more people than Communism and Fascism combined in the last 1400 years. The extremists are in control and we are debating the nuances of the Popes declarations, and feeling guilty about religions’ past errors. This is happening now, we need to stop the advance of Islam.

  27. says

    again I just have to shake my head–I read what was posted above three times and still can’t wrap my brain around 1) the idiocy of it 2) the fact that believers will explain thisglarign gaping hole in “policy” all away to their satisfaction enough to hold true to their faiths.

  28. Raymond says

    Beautifully said. Just 2 problems. 1) If you are going to make a call to arms, you better have a plan. Just claiming we should focus on this threat instead of that one is useless unless you have some realistic way in which we can go about it. 2) It is extremely unlikely that we, as a society, would drop every other cause to devote all our time to one. It is possible, in fact probable, that, even if you convince us to follow you in your crusade, we will keep fighting the other fights we think are necessary.

    Also, it may seem like unproductive fun to criticize the catholic church and the pope, but you would be wrong. In reality, showing the ridiculous nature of something is one primary way to enact positive change. Will this blog change the world and get rid of the catholic church . . . probably not. But it’s much like voting. If everyone thinks their vote doesn’t count, the result will not be representative of the population. So if you want your government to represent your values, you have to vote. If we don’t speak up about these issues as they arise, the values we hold won’t be represented.

  29. Lord Narf says

    You can tell if the Pope is infallible at any given moment, based upon which way he has the hat turned.

  30. says

    I think his hat was completely off with that one and his fellows were scrambling around madly trying to find an old one to dust off that fit properly…lol

  31. Lord Narf says

    If it wasn’t for the enlightenment, Christianity would still be oppressing its nations as badly as the extremist Muslims are. Don’t try to feed us that line of bullshit about Christian doctrine being responsible for Western liberalism.

    Anyway, it’s sort of a two-step problem. You have to deal with the extremists at home, before you can concentrate fully on the extremists abroad. If the Muslims affected us more directly, on a more frequent basis, we’d spend more time talking about them.

    Volume of protest is usually dependent upon proximity. You’ll hear more about Islamic extremism from European atheists, since they have more of a problem with them, over there. We only have Christian extremists affecting us on a daily basis, here in the States. When we have Islamists in Congress trying to pass laws based upon Sharia, we’ll complain about them just as much as we’re currently complaining about our Christian nuts in Congress who are attacking the First Amendment on an almost daily basis.

  32. Christopher Lowe says

    Your best bet is as with bullies. Show them and their ideas no respect. You got to stand up to their nonsense. They don’t know how to handle “no” when they want it there way. Those opposed to their overreach have been caving in with sickening frequency. Cartoonists, authors, apostates. Just tell them to fuck off. You’re not going to infuriate them any more than they already are. They are dangerous, but so are we in the West. The big thing here is “no respect”. Respect isn’t automatic, it needs to be earned. They’ve earned shit, and it isn’t their Allah given right to expect it.

  33. says

    You know, even when they are trying they just aren’t very clear in their communication.

    they cannot be saved who, knowing the Church as founded by Christ and necessary for salvation, would refuse to enter her or remain in her.

    By a strict reading of that quote I’m just fine. I don’t know either of those things. However I suspect that he really meant,

    they cannot be saved who, having heard claims of the Church as founded by Christ and necessary for salvation, would refuse to enter her or remain in her.

  34. Raymond says

    Yea. I was thinking something along those lines too. No one alive today can possibly know that christ is necessary for salvation. They may suspect it to be true based on a book and what they have been taught; but no one has ever given any evidence to support a god that interacts with our reality. Since there is no evidence for a god that interacts with our reality, there is no way anyone can know what requirements an entity that doesn’t interact with our reality would want. It, after all, doesn’t interact with our reality. So doesn’t that mean everyone alive today is going to the catholic heaven?

    Phew!! It is nice to know I will be going to some heaven, especially since I am definitely going to Islamic hell. Wait! Can I go to both heaven and hell at the same time? Or maybe I’ll spend half of eternity in one, then the other half in the other. How do you measure half of eternity? Maybe I’ll spend one day in one and one day in the other. But wouldn’t that lessen the blow of both, knowing that tomorrow I’ll be somewhere else? It certainly wouldn’t be eternal suffering knowing that tomorrow I will be in heaven. And heaven wouldn’t be that enjoyable knowing that tomorrow I’ll be in hell. Or maybe . . .

    This is making my brain hurt.

  35. Raymond says

    Do you seriously think it’s that easy? That is incredibly naive. Even with bullies it’s not that easy. Usually you have to punch them in the mouth to get them to leave you alone. We’ve done that to these people over and over again. We’ve been killing their soldiers at a (approximately) 100 to 1 ratio. We’ve taken down hundreds of their political and military leaders. Pretty much the entire world despises them. But they never back down. They aren’t bullies, they are terrorists.

    I appreciate your point, but it just doesn’t work. If there were a simple or easy way of doing this, it would have been done by now. That doesn’t mean we should stop looking for a solution; but let’s not kid ourselves that there is some easy answer to this problem.

    No, the way I see it, there are only three options.

    1) Wipe them all off the face of the earth. Very difficult. Insanely expensive. Certainty of collateral damage, including the loss of millions of innocent lives. But if even one person who believes that doctrine survives, it could spread again. Then all the books that contain their doctrine would have to be destroyed. All data on all computers related to that doctrine destroyed. All artifacts must be destroyed. You get the idea.

    or

    2)Have the world unite in a political and economic stand against their ideology. Very difficult. Very low chance of success, since individuals could disappear into other societies. High chance of “relapse” in the future. Very improbable that the countries of the world could see their way past their petty differences to unite for any cause.
    We already have a very difficult time telling the innocents from the insurgents when we fight them: it will be neigh on impossible if we force them to hide other societal roles.

    or

    3)Deal with them on a case by case basis, dealing with the mayhem they cause until their ideology dies out naturally. Huge time investment (thousands of years, probably). Guaranteed collateral damage, including women and children, over the entire time span. Undefined chance of success. Huge financial toll over the duration. The most likely course of action.

    The first option has the best chance of success. Cordon them off, drop nukes, institute military rule to kill off any stragglers. But there are serious moral considerations. Just imagine nuking ten’s of millions of women and children. Are we any better than them at that point?

    The second option is so impractical that it’s difficult to even imagine.

    The third option is what is probably going to happen. We don’t even know if their ideology will ever die out, but I, personally, am hopeful. I think for this to work, religion in general will have to go by the wayside. If that happens, I would guess there is a good chance of success. If religion holds strong, this problem will never go away.

  36. Christopher Lowe says

    I seem to have come on a bit strong, even for a militant atheist like myself. I meant that religious bullies and religious bullying should be faced down. Not tolerated and to let it be known you can not be intimidated. It need not end in fisticuffs or gunplay or thermonuclear war. The best you can hope for is to set boundaries as to what you’ll put up with. Religion will never be eradicated. I wouldn’t be naive to even hope for. As long as we fear death, and fear the unknown, there will always be religion. We can only try to make the theist behave well. You can undercut arrogance, religious or other wise. For example when it is demanded of Britain to condemn the writing of a fictional novel and its author just say no. And maybe add that you have no right to demand it. It should be pretty obvious the most Islamic aggression is political, and manipulating a population as pious and credulous as this is more than any power hungry thug could ever dream for.

  37. James McMullen says

    The “her” and “she” thing is because the church is the “bride of Christ” or something like that. Why else would ol’ Popey and his merry band of Cardinals wear dresses?

  38. James McMullen says

    What I want to know is when us atheists’ll be allowed to join the line up to the front for refreshments with the rest of ‘em after one of those long, boring services. And seriously, you’d think they’d be rich enough to hire some caterers to walk around with trays rather than just serving everybody one-at-a-time.

  39. AhmNee says

    It only makes sense. Everything in the bible was made up hundreds of years after the fact by people who weren’t there. Why change?

  40. dean says

    “…around 100,000 a year)”

    This number is constantly tossed around. Strangely enough, it never comes with any proof – nobody tries to support it. Would you happen to have any REAL proof of it?

  41. Raymond says

    I would argue about one point. I do believe that religion will someday be either eradicated completely, or so inconsequential as to be non-existent. I have had this discussion on a number of occasions, so I won’t get into the nitty-gritty unless you really want to. Does this make me naive? It may. But no one has ever shown me a convincing case for how religion will face down the ever-increasing mountain of evidence against those beliefs. I believe we are seeing the beginning of the end right now, in fact. The evidence is mounting so high even now, that people are fleeing religion in never-before-seen numbers. I agree that it will be several generations before the non-believers even match the believers; but I am hopeful that when I am old, I can tell my grand-children about the silly superstitions so widely held today.

  42. Christopher Lowe says

    Raymond, can I assume you are American? ( I’m Canadian). What we see when we look at your fair country is a groundswell of religious revival and a parallel denigration of scientific assertions of reality. This is kind of alarming to us up here being a neighbour of such an overwhelmingly powerful and influential country. There appears to be a power grab by the righteous and the holy by sneaking through customs that which your 1st Amendment forbids. It seems your right flank is willing to challenge, and if they can, rewrite the constitution and throw in a heaping shovelful of social redesigning into the mix as well. I’m happy to note there is also an uptick in freethinking realists and atheists, but there seems to be a reluctance and a holding-back, whereas the religious right are playing full tilt, damn-the-torpedoes hardball. You are coming from behind and we are hoping that the preponderance of evidence in our skeptics’ favour will eventually win the day. But you (we!-atheists) need momentum. The trouble as you wisely pointed out is we are linked to an ideal, but it is an ideal of individual free thought based on the best determination of reality that evidence permits, and is not given to organized movements or political homogeny.

  43. says

    Here’s something that should give you comfort Christopher — The religious-not-so-right is losing even it’s youngest members; Check it out:

    Report slams GOP’s reputation with millennials

    http://images.skem1.com/client_id_32089/Grand_Old_Party_for_a_Brand_New_Generation.pdf

    For all the right wing vitirol, people are already getting it; the young folks, who are the nations future, THEY are getting it. Reason, fairness and the ability to see across divides is winning out over fear mongering and bigotry…

    What we have been doing, quietly inserting logic into debates, letting our voices be heard, standing up against inhumanity, sexism, racism, prejudice and bigtory–it is working..we just need to keep doing what we are doing so we continue to swell in numbers and shout down the powers that be…

    Ours is a quiet and clever revolution and it is working.

  44. Lord Narf says

    Yeah, let’s see if there’s enough country left for them to salvage, by the time enough of them are of age to affect the elections.

  45. Christopher Lowe says

    You are one GOP double majority away from having to roll that boulder right from the base of the mountain to the top. However that seems only possible in FOXNEWS world. Am I permitted to say Thank God here? May 4th be with you!

  46. unfogged says

    They tried to indoctrinate me into Catholicism as a child and it was very frequently called the “holy mother church”. References to the church as ‘her’ or ‘she’ were so common that they stopped sounding strange to me. Luckily I was heavily into reading early and loved Greek and Roman mythology, Aesop’s fables, and other folklore. I give that a lot of credit that for inoculating me against what was obviously just another set of myths.

  47. Lord Narf says

    I’ve always wondered about that. I technically made my First Communion, so I should technically still be allowed.

    It wouldn’t be worth sitting through an hour of mass, mind you …

  48. Lord Narf says

    Greek and Norse mythology, here. I suspect my father was an atheist, and he was trying to sabotage my indoctrination without tipping off my mother, by introducing me to other mythologies.

  49. Lord Narf says

    We’ve already got the state congress in North Carolina trying to pass a resolution declaring that they can legally establish a state religion, because the first amendment only applies to the federal government. Freaking morons. Like we have the tens of thousands of dollars to throw away on the lawsuit that the state is guaranteed to lose.

  50. Christopher Lowe says

    Alicia links to a next generation, what I would call worksheet for GOP youth, which on the surface, seems to tack the boat’s sails away from the right and back to the middle of the political spectrum. Good luck with that. For one thing it reeks of political strategy rather than political reform. Shouldn’t a political party put themselves out there as a choice based on the merits of their vision, for the people to decide rather than to trick them into getting the endorsement by modernizing and rewording the same old (and rejected) screeds used by the party in the past? The Tea Party seems to be solidifying their hold on the GOP brand and at the same time making the Republicans younger. It appears they are driving the bus now. This pretty well flies in the face of what the young Republicans hoped to achieve for their party’s future. The ultra right wing is now the tail that wags the dog. The libertarian wing seems to hold the largest appeal to these youth, and I can, in a way, see why. The foreign policy, combined with personal freedoms advocation have their genuine appeal, but their economic proposals are downright ghastly. It should read as a manual in how to turn a nation into a Banana Republic in x easy steps! Jeez, go to these GOP youth workshops and start handing out the smelling salts. If you young people start pulling away from these folks, you might have a fighting chance at having a safer, saner, calmed down future. The good news is the trend overall IS heading away from these people, so don’t let them “trick” you through smoke and mirrors that theirs spots have changed. And don’t let them fuck around with your Constitution, the most enlightened national document the world has ever known. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

  51. Raymond says

    Sadly, I am not particularly politically minded. So I rely on a broad base of opinions to try to get to the bottom of every election. I read in several different sources after our last election, that the GOP is not likely to ever hold any real political power ever again. I wish I still had the articles so I could share them, they made some interesting points. Even now, the GOP seems to mainly be playing the role of spoiler. They play their role well (the “do nothing congress” anyone), but the party has finally pushed their religious affiliation to the point where people are uncomfortable with it. Dam I wish I still had those articles.

    It may or may not be true, but it is exciting to think about. Now if only we could get an honest politician who only wants what is best for the country and the world.

  52. Lord Narf says

    Sadly, most of the electorate doesn’t vote based upon the issues. They vote for the candidate who looks more presidential … or whichever position the given candidate is running for. Most people don’t even know the stances of the candidates they vote for, on the basic, core issues.

    I know people who are pro-choice, in favor of gay rights, poor (so the Republican tax plan will completely screw them), not gun owners, and vote Republican every time, because their parents were Republicans. The political ignorance in this country is shocking.

  53. Raymond says

    But I think that you may have just put your finger on the reason the GOP may never hold real power again. The people who are shockingly ignorant are starting to become overpowered by the youth that have new ideas. The youth of today are far less likely to just follow in their parents’ footsteps than previous generations, so the trend will only continue. It is this same trend that I think will also spell the end of religion. By 2020 we will likely know for sure.

  54. Raymond says

    @Alicia

    Great report. I read a lot of the same type of thing just after the 2012 elections. This isn’t one of the articles I mentioned below, but those articles are very similar to this report.

  55. Raymond says

    Actually, since you have no specific reason not to, why not just bring your own “refreshments.”

  56. Lord Narf says

    It’s definitely going to take until 2020, because the district maps are completely fucked. The GOP gerrymandered the living hell out of them. I can’t believe we haven’t had more court activity over them. In some states, the Democrats got about 60% of the votes and about 30% of the state congressmen.

    It’s also going to take another decade for the current batch of teens and 20-somethings to bring enough numbers to bear to outvote the older, ignorant voters.

  57. Christopher Lowe says

    Ignorance can be passed down too. For way longer than you think. Or we wouldn’t have this blog site or a reason to use it. Reason and scientific method should be there to shine a light into the dark places.

  58. says

    You know, that may have made me red flag a bit of the bible as well. I love Greek mythology and center many tales around it’s premises. My reseatch made me go “what the hell”; in particualr where the bible references Hades in the NT…

  59. says

    Oh, I am well aware of the trickery, I just think that many are waking up and just like religious de-conversion it takes baby steps.

    “So, uhmkaaay, I think I’ll go liberterian–middle right–moderate….ack no–NO! Left–faaaar leeeft away from these crazy mofos!”

  60. Christopher Lowe says

    I was making more of an economic statement than a feminist one in this instance. Having said that, the Late, Great Christopher Hitchens once pointed out that religions are not only man-made, but MALE made,so the cultural memes that grew out of that have continued along that path for millennia and have denied woman a way to attain there full height and dignity in all but a tiny fraction of societies. Where this has come close to this ideal, guess what? Cultural health is in full blossom! I’m contrasting this in what the Pope guy wishes to try to do about poverty. Coming from a rigidly patriarchal regime and how can he even conceive of a solution. Wag his finger at it? All you get out of a fantasy belief system is a fantasy solution. Vive la Belle Sexe! Go girls.

  61. Christopher Lowe says

    @ Alicia….. Did you know that in Canada a political candidate’s religious, or non religious affiliation doesn’t even come up in their campaign? Mostly, to whom they bend the knee (or not) matters not. You’d be hard pressed to find a voter who knew or cared about a politicians theology. (HaHaHa….. My auto correct mode tried to spell it as a “pelicans theology” ). So you are very right in saying it is possible (eventually) to extricate your selves from the goo that sticks your politics to your metaphysics.

  62. says

    Oh, one can only hope, but only recently a lass in the local news was touting some football player up as a shining example of humanity because he loudly professes his faith. Heifer even hinted that this fact alone ( his loud declaration of loving Gawd) meant he should get endorsements and such, this in spite of the fact that most think he is a terrible football player. Of course, I let her know just what a hypocrite she was via the news site…

  63. Christopher Lowe says

    Only in America….Are you familiar with, or have you read any biographies of Marjoe Gortner? That basically wraps up the point you just made and puts a little bow on it.

  64. says

    He is first and foremost a seasoned pastor and preacher who has much experience in reaching people.

    We can’t criticize his dishonesty and doubletalk because he’s good at being manipulative? What should we call this — a “not-even-wrong-sequitur?”

  65. says

    Yes, my point was that if the tool used to cure poverty is feminism (“raise womanhood to the equal level of the men in society” = feminism), then the Catholic dogma would have yet another contradiction. The two most obvious contributors to reducing poverty are women’s education and reproductive control. You can see in the US, where educated Catholic women use contraception at a staggeringly high rate (I don’t recall the exact number, but IIRC it’s in the high 90s as a percentage), even though it’s a direct contraction to Catholic dogma.

  66. Christopher Lowe says

    There is no mention of Hell in the Old Testament. Probably because the Big Guy was busily perpetuating hell on earth. No, it took an eccentric 1st century rabbi and his followers to come up with that one! Meek and mild? Give me a break! The apple indeed doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

  67. doublereed says

    But in the Passover story God sends the angel of death to do the killing. He doesn’t bother with that himself.

    But I guess that would still work, because apparently God is reliant on middlemen for some reason.

  68. doublereed says

    Can someone explain to me who the pope actually is?

    I get that he’s elected by the cardinals in a pretty democratic process. I get that he’s the head of the church. But exactly what theological authority does he have? Because it seems pretty goddamn arbitrary to me. What does he do all day????

  69. Lord Narf says

    And the angel couldn’t have been given an accurate map with the list of children to be taken out? God had to have the Jews slaughter a million or so sheep to mark their doors?

    We have GPS and computer listings, now. The omnipotent, omniscient creator of the universe, who is timeless and unchanging, doesn’t have a better system in heaven?

  70. Christopher Lowe says

    What does he do all day? Well there are definitely TEN THINGS he cannot do. Maybe eleven if you include the injunction to keep his hands away from his pud.

  71. says

    I know right; is it coincidence that hell manages to shamelessly mimic Hades and that the Israelites were at this time mingling with the Greco-Roma cultures…?

  72. says

    Okay you are both wrong, everybody knows that it’s the aqua blue super secret batch o’ Kryptonite that Lex Luther created in his underworld labs–duh!

  73. Paulo Costa says

    Jokes aside, in Latin-derived languages, all objects have a gender, and in Spanish, the word “Iglesia” is feminin.

  74. Grainger says

    In theory, the line of popes has been unbroken since Peter, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. The pope is supposed to spread Christianity, solve doctrinal disputes, unite different christian groups, co-operate with other religions, promote charitable works, and defend human rights.

  75. says

    “defend human rights” like, I dunno; ensuring people do not die from AIDS by permitting the use of an inexpensive contraceptive in spite of ones own personal beliefs on said contraception….?

  76. Grainger says

    Yeah, like that. That is what he is supposed to be doing.

    I was told directly by a couple catholic priests that contraceptives will not reduce AID’s. This is obviously false. I assume what they meant was that contraceptives would increase sexual immorality which would in the long-run cause more damage to society than AID’s is.

    Again, that’s nonsense. But they’re not thinking about these things rationally. Their scripture gives them moral statements, which they then have to rationalize.. God says sexual promiscuity is unacceptable, therefore it must be really bad for society.

    It’s another problem of accepting things without good evidence.

  77. says

    I know many catholics who understand Science, so it cofounds me to no end that they would say that condoms wouldn’t reduce AIDS. One person even said why don’t they just stop having sex? ? How in the world are you going to tell millions of folks to overirde their biological drives? Might as well ask them to stop eating. And when one is in a dire situation the drive to procreate INCREASES–it is a no win for a dying culture…

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