http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/22/pope-francis-good-atheists...

let's call this what it is - progress!  i've been a supporter of this new pope with his focus on works and dedication to the poor.  i applauded him washing the feet of imprisoned Muslims. his simple way of living and plain dress is admirable.   his talk of inclusion is refreshing from the world's foremost religious leader.  i'll forgive him the occasional quick exorcism (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/05/21/pope-francis-ex...) if it means a more liberal pope.  

but this is truly staggering.  it flies in the face of so many hard core catholics, born-agains, and evangelicals. this pope believes that good people go to heaven no matter what deity people choose to worship or even if they choose to worship no deity at all.  i feel like this is a big deal.  

of course, personally, i don't give a flying fig whether the pope thinks that i'm going to his imaginary death party.  but i do want to see attitudes towards atheists improve.  i'd like for that atheist woman who Wolf Blitzer interviewed to not feel uncomfortable answering his stupid question, or better yet, for a question like that never be asked again.  i'd like more people to feel comfortable admitting their atheism.  comments like this from the pope can help.  

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yeah, he nailed it.  one of my favorite lines:

"maybe someone should have mentioned that believing in God was optional, because - NEWSFLASH - it's ridiculous."

i heard that over the weekend, i think on Bill Maher.  whatever, the cat is out of the bag.  the pontiff himself hasn't walked back his comments, nor could he.  

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