I have been reading with interest various responses to the Pope’s Christmas outreach to atheists.
Watch courtesy of NBC News:
As described by Rueters,
“Peace is a daily commitment. It is a homemade peace,” he said.
He said that people of other religions were also praying for peace, and – departing from his prepared text – he urged atheists to join forces with believers.
“I invite even non-believers to desire peace. (Join us) with your desire, a desire that widens the heart. Let us all unite, either with prayer or with desire, but everyone, for peace,” he said, drawing sustained applause from the crowd.
Of course, as Sarah Jones reported here on Tuesday, three out of four Americans agree with the Pope’s “Marxist” message, which renders all the more glaring the inability of the Religious Right to cope with Jesus’ good news boggles the mind. This is a group allegedly completely dependent upon that message, yet they have proven themselves without even a passing familiarity with it.
One of the most humorous reactions was found (where else?) at World Net Daily, the watering hole of right wing dinosaurs. At the end of a piece reproduced from Reuters, WND’s editorial staff appended a poll which says a great deal more about the Religious Right than it does the Pope (or atheists).
If you put aside the several reasonable responses, “Sure, he’s fulfilling Christ’s command to be a peacemaker,” “Yes, if any pope can succeed in doing this, Francis can,” “Yes, peace is a common desire of all people, whatever their faith or lack of faith,” and “Yes, even if it only resolves some conflicts or prevents them from getting worse, it’s worth it,” what remains is clearly designed for the WND audience:
Since atheists see religion as a force for ignorance, and even evil, in the world, ‘believers’ are the enemy — it won’t work
This could as easily be rephrased as “Since Christians see atheism as a force for godlessness, and even evil, in the world, ‘pagans’ are the enemy – it won’t work
Fine sentiment, but be warned … the devil’s in the details
See how they did that? Clever…A monotheistic invention has to be behind the lack of religion. This answer got 7 percent of the WND vote.
I’m no prophesy expert, but this sounds like someone laying the groundwork for a one-world religion
Oh dear, the one-world government meme converted to religion. Um….unless I misread the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20), that’s what Christianity is designed to be:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of he Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
Presto! One world religion!
Well, really, you don’t expect these people to actually READ the Bible, do you? And of course, 7 percent of the WND audience selected this answer.
This is silly — it sounds like something Oprah would say
Considering Oprah has shown herself to be not exactly, shall we say, atheist friendly (remember her comments about atheists being unable to feel awe) um, no? But of course, the WND crowd is sure Oprah is secretly running the Obama administration so go figure…
I have to wonder why he doesn’t call for atheists to join Christians in stopping abortion or ending ‘gay’ marriage
That would be because it is your exclusivist biblical law that legislates against gay marriage and that you incorrectly imagine legislates against abortion, whereas unlike you, atheists are not opposed to the Enlightenment principles contained in the U.S. Constitution. This got 10 percent of the WND vote.
Bad idea — Paul’s second Corinthian letter warns Christians not to be yoked with unbelievers
The Constitution has yoked you to us. Get over it. It is hardly a surprise that this garnered the most votes – 30 percent of them.
No. Romans tells Christians, as much as it depends on them, to live peaceably with all men – that can be done without joining together with atheists
You don’t see the implicit contradiction in this answer at all, do you? ‘Nuff said.
No — Christianity’s unique and exclusivist claim on absolute revealed truth would have to be compromised to pursue the pope’s goal
How is revealed truth compromised by working with so-called unbelievers? Yet of course, this option attracted 26 percent of WND respondents.
Those sane answers at the beginning? No surprise here but they garnered a combined mere 7 percent of the vote total, with two of them “Yes, even if it only resolves some conflicts or prevents them from getting worse, it’s worth it,” and “Yes, if any pope can succeed in doing this, Francis can,” each getting 0 percent of the vote.
You might want to note that the Pope did not reach out to Pagans, only going to reinforce the fact that the Pope knows very well the difference between atheists and Pagans. The Pope is able to reach out to atheists, but 2,000 years of entrenched dogma stand between the Catholic Church and the Paganism it wiped out in brutal centuries of repression and genocide.