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Thoughts Of An Atheist On The Pope's Visit

Posted on the 26 September 2015 by Jobsanger
Thoughts Of An Atheist On The Pope's Visit (Cartoon is by Steve Breen in the San Diego Union Tribune.)
Regular readers of this blog will know I am an atheist. I don't just not believe there is a god -- but believe religion (of all kinds) is an evil that has caused many problems and much violence all over the world. I believe the world would be a better place if there was no religion.
Having said that, you might think I would be upset at this powerful religious leader visiting this country -- and that I would join many of my fellow atheists in denigrating or making fun of the Pope's visit. But if you did think that, then you would be wrong.
While I cannot accept the religion he represents, I have to admit that I like Pope Francis as a person. I truly believe that he is a kind person, who loves all people-- including non-believers like myself. I like that he is most comfortable around the poor, the disadvantaged, and children. And I like much of the message he is sending around the world.
Like it or not, the Pope is a world leader, and his opinions resonate with many millions of people. And it is a good thing that he is using his "bully pulpit" to spread ideas like addressing the shortcomings of capitalism, helping the poor, protecting the planet from pollution and global warming, accepting refugees and immigrants, working to stop wars, and generally treating other humans in a loving and decent manner.
Those are good things, and you don't have to be religious to know that. I welcome his bringing that message to this country, and even taking it into the belly of the beast (Congress). Perhaps his visit will have an influence on people, and help them to have the courage to press forward on these progressive policies -- and help to change things for the better in this country (putting the welfare of the people above the desire for profit).
Pope Francis is not perfect. No man is perfect. But I believe he is sincere in his desire to help the poor and underprivileged and save the planet. And that makes him worthy of respect.

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