"We are not fighting against flesh and bone. We are fighting the forces of spiritual darkness. It doesn't matter what people's intent are. I will tell you: that was there for a reason."
Atheist Alert! Both the Pope and Obama want you to know that atheists are actually normal - and moral - human beings!
It must be very cold in hell today. Freezing, actually. Because it's official: atheists can be as good as Christians, meet the pope and possibly go to heaven! There is, of course, much wailing, gnashing of teeth and rending of garments among the echelons of the Christian Right who have been linking all atheists to Stalin and Pol Pot for decades. And the enemies of Catholicism (like Cindy Japan-is-shaped-like-a-dragon Jacobs) will be out in full force to tell the world that the new pope is not a true (atheist-hating) Christian.
Atheists don’t like our happiness. They don’t want you to be happy, they want you to be miserable. They’re miserable so they want you to be miserable. - Pat RobertsonTwo incidents: first off, the new pope, Francis I, gave a homily about the duty of everyone to be good, not just Christians, because Christ died for everyone's sins and that killing in the name of God may be the ultimate blasphemy:
“This ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy … The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!
We all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there,” – Pope Francis I
Of course, that statement didn't exactly make some people (like me) forego their suspicions. Doubts still remain; but the statement has substance: it takes on the Christofascist world and lays it on its ear. The bedrock of its righteously arrogant world is its belief that only "believers" will go to heaven because only "believers" can be righteous. The feeling that Christians have cornered the market on goodness is reflected in the practices of hiring only Christians and declaring heretofore unknown "wars" (e.g. the "war on Christmas") to perpetuate the image of persecuted martyrs.
The second incident occurred when Wolff Blitzer's interviewed a tornado victim: when asked by Blitzer if she "thanked the Lord" for her family's survival, she replied: "Actually, I'm an atheist...But we don't blame anybody for thanking the Lord."
This prompted the King of Conspiracy Theorists, Glenn Beck, to immediately smell something foul: "I tell you that was there for a reason." And we don't need a convoluted blackboard pitch to know that he's telling us that Obama is behind it all: the "forces of spiritual darkness" are telling us that atheists are OK people - and they're doing it with a sweet mother and her darling little boy! The effrontery!
The Great and Glorious Reaction
As Leader and First Conspiracy Theorist, Glenn Beck has now given his imprimatur to those who need to react to Francis and the Blitzer incident: "Well, it seems to me.." will emanate from a confused Pat Robertson, Bryan Fischer will fume that Francis is not a real Christian and must be a secret Muslim sympathizer as well, Southern Baptists everywhere will ask "How can you go to heaven if you don't believe in it?" and the rest of the Christian Right will scream "demon-inspired political propaganda!"
The last reaction may be the loudest, since more youth are becoming atheists, causing church pews to go empty as congregations die off. The idea that atheists could be as good as non-believers comes as a slap in the wallet, especially to prosperity gospel preachers.
Poor Joel Osteen.