Found on care2.com, Americans May Hate Atheists, But At Least the Pope Likes Them by Piper Hoffman May 26, 2013 -- "Atheists have just gotten a shout-out from the last person you'd expect: Pope Francis.
On May 22nd he gave a homily saying that anyone who does good, Catholic or not, is redeemed by the "Blood of Christ."
It is unusual for atheists to encounter such open arms, at least in the U.S. "Every single study that has ever looked at the issue has revealed massive amounts of bigotry and prejudice against atheists in America," who make up between four and fourteen percent of the population. Americans believe that atheists are about as trustworthy as rapists, and less than half of Americans would vote for an atheist for President.
"The most recent data shows that atheists are more distrusted and despised than any other minority."
Why would atheists come out lower than the many other groups Americans love to hate you ask? I think it's because the vast majority of Americans have the origins of morality backwards. They think human morality comes from religion, when in fact, religion comes from human morality.
It's a perfectly logical misunderstanding. It comes from a failure to look deeper into one's own heart, but to accept the explanations codified into religious belief systems.
Looking deep into one's heart is a rigorous process that takes a bit of time and Americans don't have a lot of time or patience, in particular, for rigorous processes.
Without that deeper look, it's a short step to condemnation. And it's a lot easier to condemn than to understand. After all, if a person isn't religious and morality comes from religion, the only possibility that remains is immorality.
And even though most major religions teach "love the sinner and hate the sin," atheists seem to get a pass on the application of that lesson.
Hold on. "What's that," I ask. as my ear piece buzzes to life. A Vatican spokesman just corrected the Pope.
Rev. Thomas Rosica, announced the Pope was wrong. Atheists are still going to hell. So much for infallibility, or as they say, speaking ex cathedra.
This all reminds me of a song from a group in Austin, Texas, called the Austin Lounge Lizards. Its title is, "Jesus loves me, but he can't stand you."
This pretty much sums it up for atheists. And a good thing it is too. Another day or so and I was going to have a nervous breakdown worrying about why an atheist should get to heaven for doing nothing while I spent my life being holy. What a relief!
Robert De Filippis