Last week atheists were all over the news and social media. But in a world that frequently focuses on conflict, it seemed like we were hearing a different -- and to many, surprising -- story about atheists.
For those of us outside the institutional Church, who nevertheless hope for it to grow out of the era of scandal and focus on its great good works, Francis is fast becoming a beacon of hope.
Pope Francis reiterates ordinary Catholic thought in a way people can understand. This may be the new playbook on how Catholics can spread the Gospel in today's culture.
The pope made waves when he said in a sermon last week that Jesus Christ redeems all: those who are Roman Catholic and those who are not; those who believe, and those who don't.
Whatever possessed you to give nice atheists a one-way ticket to Heaven? According to Vatican Radio you said: "The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics."
Pope Francis reassures me, an atheist, that the "good" that I do will lead me to meet someone along the way -- but what about the fact that I'm a lesbian? Is doing "good" enough for only one divergence from the faith?
If life couldn't have happened unless God had stepped in and intervened at crucial points, such a view makes an infinitely wise God look something like an incompetent inventor who has to keep correcting his mistakes or constantly fixing things that aren't working as he intended.
A convincing argument against religion is not necessarily an equally compelling one for atheism. Between religious certitude and atheism lies a more suitable ground for truly open and skeptical minds: agnosticism.
Some weeks, not much happens in political news, and other weeks it seems like almost too much happens. This was one of the latter types of week.
Pope Francis went farther than just acknowledging that atheists aren't going to be tortured for all eternity. He also said that if we live virtuous lives, we will be "redeemed" by Jesus just like Christians. That last part goes a little too far for me.
It's the right thing to do. And here's the bonus: Once the Boy Scouts open up to non-believers, they're going to discover they have a lot to contribute -- just as they've been contributing all along.
I have to let the loudness of God take me away to wherever I need to be. I'll still go to seven different churches and read through the piles of religious of books I've hoarded in my room, but they can't tell me anything compared to what God can tell me.
I feel more convinced than ever that interfaith efforts should include LGBTQ voices; if such work is intended to bring together people with different and sometimes contradicting convictions and identities, then it has to.
I am an atheist because I tend to not believe in things I have no evidence for. Yet New Atheists believe scores of myths, with no evidence, about Muslims and Islam.
Just like Judaism is a religion that can exist independently from Jewish ethnicity or Jewish culture, Islam is a religion, and even though Muslims are ethnically and racially varied, there really is such a thing as a Muslim culture that can exist separately from Islam.
We all know, or think we do, what religion is. Nor is there any question in anyone's mind regarding the finality of suicide. But regardless of all the ranting against secularism by churchmen or religionists, there seems to be quite a bit of confusion on the subject.