Dec 242015
 

It has become a habit of mine. On Christmas Eve Day, I like to offer my best wishes to all my friends, members of my extended family, and indeed to all good people on this Earth with the words of the first three human beings in history who left our planet and entered orbit around another celestial body: The astronauts of Apollo 8, who accomplished their historic mission at the end of one of the most tumultuous years since World War 2, 1968.

And as they emerged from the dark side of the Moon and reestablished radio contact with the Earth, they greeted their fellow humans by quoting from the Book of Genesis. They then finished their broadcast with these unforgettable words: “And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas and God bless all of you – all of you on the good Earth.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm
Nov 292015
 

Everyone, meet the early 5th century saint, Christian theologian and philosopher, Augustine of Hippo. This is the oldest surviving portrait of him:

Why am I so impressed by Augustine? Well, some 1600 years ago he gave the perfect answer to anyone attempting to read science into holy texts. In his opus, The Literal Interpretations of Genesis, Augustine wrote:

Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about [science] and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking non-sense on these topics […] The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of the faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and […] the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men.

Of course, you could replace the word Christian with, say, Muslim and [Holy] Scripture with [Holy] Koran, and the meaning remains exactly the same.


As a curious footnote, when I checked my blog to see if I might have written about Augustine before (I haven’t) I noticed that the only other occurrence of “Augustine” here is in the context of the US space program, which was reformulated under the Obama administration in response to the recommendations by the Augustine Commission. Even more curious is that there were two Augustine Commissions, set up 20 years apart, chaired by the same Norman Augustine, former CEO of Martin Marietta and Lockheed Martin. Nothing to do with St. Augustine, of course.

 Posted by at 9:52 am
Oct 022015
 

Today, I left the “Atheist” group on Google+.

south-park-s10e13c08-kill-the-wise-one-16x9

Not really sure why I joined the group in the first place. I do not believe in supernatural friends. It is not the wrath of a make-believe entity that makes me refrain from doing evil. I am not necessarily happy about, but I am comfortable with the thought of a finite lifespan, followed by the same oblivion that also preceded my existence. I grieve for lost loved ones but I do not feel compelled to imagine that they are somewhere in a “better place”.

That said, while I reserve the right to mock religion (even as I feel it is my duty to defend, risking life and limb for if necessary, the rights of others to believe!) I certainly do not go out of my way to offend the faithful.

Nor do I need peer support to maintain my convictions. My conclusions concerning the existence of deities are a result of a great deal of thought and I feel secure in my views without the need to have them affirmed by others.

And I most certainly do not need to equate specific religions with the worst stereotypes, nor do I feel compelled to call religious people “religitards”, “fucktards” or other, even more obscene epithets that are used routinely in the aforementioned Google+ group.

Indeed, reading some of the conversations there I was suddenly reminded of a dystopian vision of the future that once was shown in the South Park cartoon series: centuries from now, a devastating world war being waged between the Unified Atheist League and the United Atheist Alliance… (who are then both attacked by the Allied Atheist Alliance of sentient sea otters.)

 Posted by at 8:54 pm
Sep 272015
 

There is an unforgettable line in one of my favorite movies, Cloud Atlas: “You have to do whatever it is you can’t not do.” Or another quote from the same movie, same character: “Just trying to understand why we keep making the same mistakes… over and over.”

I am reminded of these lines regularly these days as I feel compelled to respond to the occasional (but sadly, ever more frequent) hateful, xenophobic memes, videos or articles shared by friends or family online, mainly on Facebook. Shares that perpetuate the message that the current (truly unprecedented) wave of immigrants in Europe represents an existential threat to European civilization; that the migrants themselves are frauds, uncultured, unruly, uncivilized subhumans. Untermenschen.

No, my dear friends and family members, it is not my intent to insult anybody but when I am confronted with such propaganda, I just cannot stay silent anymore. I will not be a silent accomplice. I can’t not speak up. I do not wish to anger you, but these thoughts must be challenged.

These propaganda pieces are becoming ever more sophisticated. Whether they ridicule the immigrants’ religion (let them it pork cracklings!) or their mysery and exhaustion (they are dirty! They leave trash everywhere!) the basic message remains the same: these people are somehow lesser human beings, who should be feared, despised and shunned but better yet, turned back to wherever they came from.

The memes and videos are reminiscent of the Nazi-era propaganda masterpiece, Der Ewige Jude, a full-length “documentary” movie from 1940 that similarly dehumanized Jews, presenting them as a threat to Western civilization. The message must have had some traction: after all, it was enlightened Western nations who turned away ships carrying Jewish refugees, ultimately sending them back into the arms of the Nazis.

I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind, no matter how carefully I craft my words. But I cannot stay silent. I hope I am not losing any friends, but if it happens, happens: I reached the point where staying silent is no longer an option.

Another friend (one I haven’t lost yet!) told me a while back that unless I am ready to welcome refugees into my own house, I should keep my mouth shut. Well… nope. That’s like saying that back in the 1930s, the only Germans who earned the right to speak up against the regime were the ones who were sheltering Jews. This is an obviously phoney argument. I will not keep my mouth shut.

Yet another friend suggested that this is all the Hungarian government’s fault, that their propaganda is indeed far-reaching if it can jeopardize friendships on another continent. If only… but no, xenophobia and hate propaganda are not a uniquely Hungarian thing. Long before the present migrant crisis, I was already engaging in lengthy arguments, e.g., with American friends who told me that any apparent racism I see is the blacks’ own doing, they’re the ones who perpetuate racial conflict for whatever nefarious reasons. Or that Islamophobia is justified as Muslims would oppress us with Sharia law if only they were given the chance. Needless to say, I could not possibly agree.

Go ahead, think what you want. Conclude if you wish that I am just being naive, blinded by political correctness or confused by drinking too much from the jar of liberal kool-aid. That is your prerogative. Still… I can’t not speak up.

Again, forgive me. I am not trying to be a contrarian. It is not confrontation that I seek. It is my conscience that compels me to react: some thoughts just cannot go unchallenged, even if I have no real hope of achieving anything.

 Posted by at 11:55 pm
Aug 082015
 

So here is what some devout Muslims do in the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful, if you happen to hold and make public views with which they disagree: They hack you to death. All in the name of compassion and mercy, I am sure.

The latest victim of Islamic extremism is Niloy Neel, an atheist blogger from Bangladesh, who was hacked to death by a machete-wielding gang yesterday.

And Neel is not the first victim of this religion-inspired violence: He is the fourth victim this year, the fourth person killed for speaking out in favor of secularism, women’s rights, LGBT rights. No perpetrator has been charged yet in these murders, which indicates possible complicity on behalf of the authorities.

But my question is… why kill him? Did someone convince you that you will get 77 virgins in heaven or whatever if you did this? Is your faith (or is it your sexual identity?) really this unsecure that you must eliminate dissenting voices through murder? Or are you simply murderous thugs who use whatever excuse you can find to get your “fix”?

 Posted by at 9:18 am
Jan 222015
 

I am so done with tribalism. So frigging done.

In recent days, weeks, months, I had many arguments with friends and acquaintances.

Some assured me that they did not have a racist bone in their body, but that this or that minority (typically characterized by a darker skin color) is nonetheless inherently evil and should be dealt with accordingly.

Others were doing their darnedest best to convince me why their religion is less f**ked up than other people’s religion (the other religion being, usually but not exclusively, Islam.)

And repeatedly, they argued that the solution to war is more war; that the solution to violence is more violence; and that the answer to hate is more hate.

Is this really the second decade of the 21st century? Nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, have we still learned nothing from history?

Sometimes, I am ashamed to be a member of the species that calls itself homo sapiens. I wonder if I should perhaps just give up and stick exclusively to cats when I pick my future friends.

 Posted by at 11:54 pm
Jan 182015
 

Tonight I came across yet another cartoon questioning what some see as Western hypocrisy, manifested in our response to the Charlie Hebdo massacre vs. the lack of a strong response to the massacre of civilians by Boko Haram in Nigeria.

But it’s not hypocrisy. Part of it is pragmatism, part of it is something much worse.

The pragmatism part is this: When people kill each other in gruesome ways in a far-off country, we feel sorry, we sympathize, but that’s it. It does not threaten us, does not threaten our values, and other than (perhaps) donating to our favorite charity, we don’t really want much to be done about it either, as we don’t like either body bags coming home with soldiers inside, or paying taxes for expensive toys to be dropped on other people’s heads on another continent (and if we did that, we’d be blamed anyway.)

In contrast, when people from a foreign country, or people acting on behalf of a foreign power come to a Western city and go on to commit a politically motivated act of murderous terrorism, it is a direct attack on us. Our lives and our values. So yes, we respond en masse. We don’t expect people in India, China, or for that matter, Nigeria to carry signs with “je suis Charlie”, because it’s not their problem; it’s ours.

But there is another problem. Both those praising and those questioning the response to Charlie Hebdo often speak of the “world”. But what is this “world” of which they speak? A few million people marched on the streets of Western Europe, with a population of some 400 million. New organizations in North America, broadcasting to another 400 million people or so, made a big deal of this event. But… 800 million people is not the world. It’s barely more than 10% of the world.

Was there any media outrage over Charlie Hebdo in China? Any large protests for the freedom of the press in India? Or any mass demonstrations elsewhere in Asia (population: 4.4 billion)? What about Africa (population, 1.1 billion)?

Not that I’d expect them to be outraged. The attack clearly was not targeting them: it was targeting the West, and one of the West’s core values. Of course we are upset. But “we” are not the world. We are only a small part of it, and just because we have bigger guns and louder media outlets does not change this fact. All who are critical (or, for that matter, supportive) of the Charlie Hebdo reaction are well advised to keep this in mind.

 Posted by at 10:44 pm
Jan 182015
 

I am listening to Fareed Zakaria’s interview with former CIA director Leon Panetta.

I just heard Panetta utter the sentence, “But we also have to work with the moderate Arab countries as well. Countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, others that maintain a good intelligence, Egypt.”

WTF? Saudi Arabia? Moderate? Are we talking about the same murderous thugs who think that beheading a woman on a public street is legitimate “justice”? The same Saudi Arabia that already carried out 10 executions in 2015?

And don’t even get me started on el-Sisi’s thinly veiled military dictatorship, which has kept Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy in jail for the crime of, well, being a journalist, as an example of “moderation”…

 Posted by at 10:30 am
Jan 152015
 

I have enormous respect for the current pope, Pope Francis. This does not mean that I don’t disagree with him from time to time.

Reportedly, Pope Francis said that although free speech is an important right, there are limits: “Every religion has its dignity. I cannot mock a religion that respects human life and the human person.”

I am certainly not into mocking other people’s religion gratuitously. What’s the point? To prove that I am ever so smart that I don’t believe in their imaginary friends? To make them feel bad?

However, I absolutely claim the right to mock. Just as I am willing to risk life and limb, if it ever comes to that, to defend other people’s right to their faith, I demand the right to ridicule said faith. And I expect nothing less from my more religious friends: they can mock my lack of faith all they want, but they should be willing to risk life and limb, if it comes to that, to defend my right to mock them. These are the core values of our Western liberal democracies, and there is no room for compromise, not even in the name of tolerance or political correctness.

In any case… if your faith is strong, pure and genuine, surely some crass attempts to mock it will be ineffectual. Just as my genuine respect for Pope Francis is not diminished by the digital art of Italian artist Cristina Guggeri.

And just in case anyone thinks Guggeri was after Pope Francis in particular, that is not the case: she is an equal opportunity offender, she also portrayed Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama, among others, on the can.

 Posted by at 9:46 am
Jan 132015
 

Some commentators, like Mehdi Hasan of the Huffington Post, accuse the world (in Mehdi’s words “free speech fundamentalists” in particular) of hypocrisy: we are defending Charlie Hebdo’s right to publish Mohammed cartoons, yet the same Charlie Hebdo fired a well-known cartoonist seven years ago for drawing a supposedly anti-Semitic cartoon.

Well, but here is the rub: he was fired. Not murdered. Moreover, after he was fired, he filed a wrongful dismissal lawsuit and he won. And the editor (a close friend of former French president Sarkozy, who was the target of Siné’s supposedly anti-Semitic cartoons) lost his job.

Had Charlie Hebdo fired a cartoonist or two for drawing anti-Islamic cartoons, nobody would have cared a damn other than the cartoonists themselves and their close circle of supporters or fans. It’s not like Charlie Hebdo is a household name outside of France. Had some offended Muslims chosen to sue Charlie Hebdo in court accusing them of hate speech, they may have won; or they may have lost; but our core values would not have been threatened either way.

The reason why we are upset is because members of Charlie Hebdo’s editorial staff (not to mention police officers, a maintenance worker, and last but not least, some Jewish shoppers halfway across town) were murdered in what was a direct, openly declared attack on one of our fundamental values: the right to freedom of expression, even when said expression offends someone else’s beliefs.

Meanwhile, I continue to be astonished by the cowardice of many Western media organizations when it comes to publishing tomorrow’s Charlie Hebdo cover. CNN at least were honest about it: Jeff Zucker basically said that they’re too afraid to do so.

And speaking of hypocrisy, I just came across the illustrated transcript of Rush Limbaugh’s rant concerning CNN’s decision. A well illustrated transcript; it even has a stock image of some child on a sled. But, predictably, no Hebdo cover. To see the actual cover, you have to follow a link to another news organization’s Web site.

Congrats, Rush, for showing us just what a brave and proudly courageous American you really are.

 Posted by at 8:16 pm
Jan 132015
 

In response to the Paris attacks, many supposedly responsible American politicians point at the US visa waiver regime as a potential threat to American security. “We cannot let these Europeans enter the country with no scrutiny,” they scream at the top of their lungs to an ignorant electorate that has been taught to see terrorist shadows everywhere.

Meanwhile, talking heads on American TV also talk about how dangerous Europe has become, because of its open internal borders. I wonder if they would also advocate shutting down interstate borders within the United States. After all, there is no such thing as too much safety! And while they are at it, perhaps they can also institute random police identity checks, a mandatory national ID card system, and perhaps mandate that everyone must have a permanent address and a place of work.

Oh wait, this has already been tried before. It was called communism.

And just in case anyone had the impression that followers of Mohammed are the only ones who can go berserk, here is the front page of an ultra-orthodox Israeli newspaper, showing the row of world leaders marching in Paris on Sunday:

There is only one problem: they photoshopped out all the women. After all, an ultra-Orthodox Jew cannot maintain his sanity if he happened to see the face of a middle-aged female politician like Angela Merkel!

This world is frighteningly full of idiots.

 Posted by at 2:00 pm
Jan 132015
 

The Moroccon-born, Muslim mayor of the city of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, has a message to Muslim extremists:

“But if you don’t like freedom, for heaven’s sake pack your bags and leave. If you do not like it here because some humorists you don’t like are making a newspaper, may I then say you can fuck off.”

He reportedly said this on live TV, and it wasn’t bleeped.

Thank you, Mr. Mayor.

 Posted by at 1:47 pm
Jan 122015
 

The cover art of the upcoming issue of Charlie Hebdo has been leaked. Unlike many of their cartoons that were deliberately gross and provocative, this one depicts a grieving Mohammed:

I have a suspicion (make it a hope) that even among Muslims, few will find this cover offensive, especially in light of last week’s events.

But even if I am wrong… I said it before and I will be saying it again: as a citizen of a liberal democracy, it is my fundamental right to ridicule other people’s beliefs. At the same time, it is my fundamental duty to defend, risking life and limb if it comes to that, the rights of other people to believe, no matter how ridiculous those beliefs appear to me. After all, Ahmed Merabet, the Muslim policeman who was first at the Charlie Hebdo scene, died defending the magazine’s right to ridicule his beliefs.

 Posted by at 6:27 pm
Jan 072015
 

Cartoonists are frustrated. Muslims are frustrated. A collection of fresh cartoons express the frustration of a world, hijacked today by extremism. Here are two that illustrate these feelings most profoundly.

This drawing by Sudanese political cartoonist Khalid Albaih from Doha, Quatar depicts how many Muslims must feel today:

And the anger of cartoonists (and journalists and, well free people) around the world is captured by Manjul, Chief Cartoonist at the Mumbai-headquartered Daily News and Analysis:

Thank you and all other cartoonists for not letting yourselves be intimidated by murderers. I just hope that the rest of us have the courage not to blame all Muslims for the crimes of a demented few.

Kind of funny, by the way, in the wake of the SONY/The Interview farce how there is a common theme between religious zealots and atheist despots: they both hate humor and freedom of expression.

 Posted by at 7:16 pm
Dec 302014
 

German author Jürgen Todenhöfer recently returned from an incredible visit to the Islamic State.

His experiences and his conclusions are sobering. He believes that the threat represented by ISIS (which he considers a legacy of George W. Bush’s illegal war in Iraq) and the strength of the Islamic State are greatly underestimated. He also believes (and I tend to agree) that ISIS cannot be defeated by bombs; that unless a viable, credible alternative is offered to the Sunni population, ISIS will prevail.

I disagree with his conclusion, though, that ISIS is the greatest threat to world peace. It is a threat, to be sure, but apart from random attacks by ISIS sympathizers (which, thankfully, are few and far between) I don’t think ISIS represents a serious security challenge to the West. If I went looking for the greatest threat to world peace, I’d be more concerned about a potential conflict between nuclear-armed adversaries in Asia, or about a Putin presiding over a failed Russian oil state, whining to the world that because he has so many nukes, he must be taken seriously and be treated with more respect.

 Posted by at 10:01 am
Nov 092014
 

Earlier today, someone I know shared a video on Facebook. The video is just a text slide show, retelling a story that, according to snopes.com, has been around for almost a century.

Condensed version: an atheist university professor keeps ridiculing religion year after year in his class, “demonstrating” that God does not exist by dropping a piece of chalk, which shatters into pieces as God fails to intervene. When finally, just as a young man stands up to him, the demonstration fails (the chalk slips from the professor’s fingers and does not break), the humiliated professor flees the classroom, leaving the young man sharing his faith in Jesus with his fellow students for the next half hour. The video version then laments on people’s lack of faith and how everyone wants to go to heaven but so few are willing to do what it takes.

I felt compelled to reply to the post of my Facebook friend. I told him that as a committed atheist, I would call the professor of this story a much bigger fool than he thought his religious students were. He basically turned his atheism into a matter of faith… a religion, in other words, with himself the firebrand preacher.

The chalk story reminds me of the joke about a deeply religious person who is caught in a flood. When rescuers come to his door, he refuses the help, “God will help me”, he says. When later, he had to climb to the top floor of his house to escape the waters and rescuers in a boat arrive at the window, he once again rejects their assistance. Finally, when a helicopter tries to rescue him from his rooftop, he again says no. Needless to say, he dies and finds himself in heaven before God. He asks, “God, I feared you, loved you, prayed to you all my life, why didn’t you help me in my deepest need?” God answers, “I sent you rescuers on foot, I sent you a boat, I even sent you a bleeping helicopter, what more do you want?”

The morale of the story is not that God does parlor tricks, as in the chalk story. (That just kind of ruined it for me, to be honest. Is the Christian God really just a stage magician?)

The morale of the story is that if there had been true believers in that classroom, and I mean true believers, not just timid, half-committed people practicing a form of Pascal’s Wager in the vain hope for a better chance in the afterlife, one of them would have stood up and caught the chalk long ago. And then, perhaps even the half-hour sermon would not have been necessary afterwards to convince others of the purity and depth of his faith.

And yes, I am a committed atheist. It does not stop me from respecting, even defending other people’s right to their faith, though I have no use for it. And no, everyone does not want to go to heaven. I have no need for an imaginary kindergarten afterlife. I just want to make the most of this one life here on Earth, as a decent (I hope) human being. Which includes not ridiculing others for their faith, even if I myself find the subject of that faith somewhat ridiculous.

 Posted by at 9:26 am
Jul 272013
 

I was watching RDI’s coverage of the memorial ceremony that was taking place last hour in Lac-Mégantic, the location of the horrific derailment a few weeks ago that claimed so many lives.

I was impressed by the size and beauty of Sainte-Agnés church where the mass was taking place, so I went to Google to find out more.

It was, of course, unsurprisingly difficult to find background material, as search results were dominated by recent articles about the disaster. But, after wading through some directory entries and such, I came across a true gem: the story of the “Electrical Priest”, Father Joseph-Eugene Choquette.

When he was not attending to his priestly duties, Father Choquette spent a fair bit of his time as an amateur scientist. And what an amateur he was!

Bringing a player piano to his church (and drawing the ire of his parishioners when they found out that it was not their vicar who was in secret a talented musician) was just one of his many pranks (perhaps an unintended one in this case). Apparently, he also liked to play with electricity, to the extent that visitors to his house were often shocked by a jolt of current when they touched a doorknob or sat down in a booby-trapped chair.

But Father Choquette was interested in more than mere pranks. He also experimented with telephony and electric lighting. Having installed a personal lighting system (powered by a dynamo hooked up to a windmill) that proved to be a success, he proceeded with a more ambitious plan: a generating plant to light the whole town. He remained directly involved with this project until his death; parishioners often found their vicar strapped to a pole 25 feet in the air, working on a faulty transformer.

When Father Choquette died, he left much of his equipment and collections to the Sherbrook and Saint-Hyacinthe Seminaries and to the Convent and College of Megantic. That was nearly a century ago. I wonder if any of his belongings still survive somewhere.

 Posted by at 1:10 pm
Jun 202013
 

OK, so gay-curing is officially off the table. Exodus International, the Christian ministry that was dedicated to “curing” homosexuals is shutting its doors. (Whether or not it will be resurrected under some other name, now that’s another question.)

I think they failed, in part, because they started with an irrational premise. Homosexuality is no more an illness than, say, pedophilia. (No, I am absolutely not trying to draw some moral equivalence between the two. But I am planning to make a point, which will be clear shortly.) Nor is it a matter of choice: people do not intentionally choose their personal preferences.

So in what way, exactly, are pedophilia and homosexuality different? No, it’s not because one is “abhorring” or “criminal”; in many societies (including our very own Western societies in the not too distant past) both are considered abhorring and criminal.

There is a crucial difference, though. Homosexuality is between consenting adults. Pedophilia involves children who are brutalized and victimized.

Our enlightened society basically came to the conclusion that what consenting adults do with one another in the bedroom is nobody else’s business. On the other hand, we certainly do not condone the abuse of children for sexual gratification.

So here is an argument religious folks who are opposed to homosexuality could have made: that in their view, while it may be a victimless crime, homosexuality is just as immoral as pedophilia. We expect people to restrain themselves and not commit immoral acts, even if they are unfortunate enough to have been born with desires and preferences that would otherwise compel them to act immorally.

Of course the problem is that enlightened societies have, in recent decades, moved in the opposite direction: we stopped labeling homosexual acts immoral and became more accepting of the fact that homosexual people can be just as loving and caring for each other as heterosexuals.

But it does leave open a difficult question. If there is something that you consider deeply immoral, which is increasingly tolerated by the society in which you live, what do you do? What should you do? Should you simply accept the will of the majority? Obviously that’s not the right answer, as illustrated by plenty of historical examples when the support of the majority made horrendous atrocities possible.

But if people with a deep moral opposition to homosexuality feel compelled to act in what they believe to be is their good conscience, how can we convince them not to?

I don’t think “gay pride”, especially in its most visible forms, helps; in-your-face activism is much more likely to alienate people.

I came to accept homosexuals when, still in my teenage years, I learned that a teacher I knew has been living in a harmonious, deeply loving relationship with his homosexual partner for many years. I realized that their “marriage” (though it was not yet called as such; homosexual marriages were still decades away) was a healthier and more loving one than many heterosexual relationships (indeed, many decades later, they are still together, a lovely elderly couple). This teacher also loaned me his copy of Stefan Zweig’s Confusion of Feelings, a collection of short stories that contained, among other things, the eponymous novella.

Making people understand how deeply homosexual people care for their partners, how strong and long lasting their relationships can be… that might help. At the very least, it will make it harder for people to defend their homophobia by arguing that they are acting in the name of a loving God.

 Posted by at 8:59 pm
May 242013
 

How about this: some 700 years after Dante placed virtuous pagans in the outermost circle of Hell, beyond the reach of Satan, and free of any punishment save the fact that they are not allowed in the presence of God, we now have a Pope who says that it’s okay to be an atheist so long as you do good. And Jesus redeemed every human being, not just faithful Catholics.

Wow. Thank you, Pope Francis.

 Posted by at 11:35 pm
Mar 232013
 

This used to be a subject of many jokes, like this one: “When two popes meet, how do they greet each other?”

Not anymore. Two popes met today, prayed, and had lunch together.

I’d still like to know how they greeted each other, though. And what did they have for lunch?

 Posted by at 1:10 pm