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Heaven for atheists? Pope sparks debate
Pope Francis greets the faithful as he leaves St. Peter's Square at the end of his weekly audience April 10 at the Vatican.
May 23rd, 2013
03:59 PM ET

Heaven for atheists? Pope sparks debate

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) -– American atheists welcomed Pope Francis’ comments that God redeems nonbelievers, saying that the new pontiff's historic outreach is helping to topple longstanding barriers.

“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone,” the pope told worshipers at morning Mass on Wednesday. “‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!”

Francis continued, “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.”

Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, said that although he has been skeptical of Francis' outreach to the nonreligious, he welcomed Wednesday’s comments.

“I gather from this statement that his view of the world's religious and philosophical diversity is expanding,” Speckhardt said. “While humanists have been saying for years that one can be good without a god, hearing this from the leader of the Catholic Church is quite heartening."

He continued, “If other religious leaders join him, it could do much to reduce the automatic distrust and discrimination that atheists, humanists, and other nontheists so regularly face. “

Francis’ comments received a great deal of attention on social media, with a number of people asking whether the Catholic leader believes that atheists and agnostics go to heaven, too.

On Thursday, the Vatican issued an “explanatory note on the meaning to ‘salvation.'"

The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Vatican spokesman, said that people who aware of the Catholic church “cannot be saved” if they “refuse to enter her or remain in her.”

At the same time, Rosica writes, “every man or woman, whatever their situation, can be saved. Even non-Christians can respond to this saving action of the Spirit. No person is excluded from salvation simply because of so-called original sin.”

Rosica also said that Francis had “no intention of provoking a theological debate on the nature of salvation,” during his homily on Wednesday.

Although the pope's comments about salvation surprised some, bishops and experts in Catholicism say Francis was expressing a core tenet of the faith.

"Francis was clear that whatever graces are offered to atheists (such that they may be saved) are from Christ," the Rev. John Zuhlsdorf, a conservative Catholic priest, wrote on his blog.

"He was clear that salvation is only through Christ’s Sacrifice.  In other words, he is not suggesting – and I think some are taking it this way – that you can be saved, get to heaven, without Christ."

Chad Pecknold, an assistant professor of theology at the Catholic University of America, agreed with Zuhlsdorf, pointing out that the pope’s comments came on the Feast of Saint Rita, the Catholic patron saint of impossible things.

“The remarks about atheists show that there is even a saint for atheists,” Pecknold said. “Including all of humanity, on this day especially, remarks like that are almost called for.”

“To stress that the gospel redeems all people, including atheists, is the teaching of the church,” he added. “This is an objective fact that the church believes.”

Greg Epstein, the humanist chaplain at Harvard University, said Francis' comments reflect “the interfaith and inter-community work many of us nontheists are dedicated to.”

That said, Epstein hopes that lay Catholics are listening.

“I hope Catholics, and all people hearing the pope's statement, will recognize that his words about atheists need to symbolize much more than just a curiosity or an exception to the rule,” Epstein said. “If someone thinks there are only a few atheists out there doing good just like Catholics do, that's a major misunderstanding that can lead to prejudice and discrimination.”

The pope’s comments come a few months after he told worshipers that Catholics should be close to all men and women, including those who don’t belong to any religious tradition.

"In this we feel the closeness also of those men and women who, while not belonging to any religious tradition, feel, however the need to search for the truth, the goodness and the beauty of God, and who are our precious allies in efforts to defend the dignity of man, in the building of a peaceful coexistence between peoples and in the careful protection of creation,” Francis said shortly after his election as pope in March.

Even atheists like David Silverman, president of American Atheists, who has had an antagonistic relationship with the Catholic church, welcomed the pope’s remarks.

“While the concept of Jesus dying for atheists is wrong on many levels (especially given that Jesus himself promised hell for blasphemers), I can appreciate the pope's `good faith' effort to include atheists in the moral discussion,” Silverman said.

“Atheists on the whole want no part in Catholicism, of course, but we are all interested in basic human rights.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (3,731 Responses)
  1. Adam

    Oh boy, I can't wait to not go there with everyone else when I die.

    May 24, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Buck Rogers

      Adam, just like the first Adam, who is now dust, no one goes anywhere but in the grave when you die. God is the "God of the Living, not of the dead".

      The entire world lies in wait for the resurrection of the dead, voiced by Christ who is "the resurrection and the life". No one lives without Christ, because we are all just dust.....

      May 24, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Adam

      ?

      May 24, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
  2. Mark B.

    Really, Mr. Pope. Atheists get to heaven. I am not sure which Bible you are reading. Mine tells me you must Believe and Confess Christ as your only salvation. Of course, you bleieve mary can get you there to and there is no scriptural support of that notion either. Very strange and erroneous comment.

    May 24, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Buck Rogers

      Mark, every man will be judged. So where does judgement take place? Not "Sodom and Egypt" (i.e. old Jerusalem, Rev. 11:8), it clearly takes place in the Kingdom (Mathew 19:28) as this Earth will be burned-up and dissolved.

      May 24, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Angel Moronic

      Mark: You better toss your bible away because the Pope is reading from the real Xtian bible. Your copy is not the real one.

      May 24, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Please take your religion and shove it up your a$$.

      May 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Charles

      If being like Jesus is the key to being accepted into Heaven, then a lot of atheists really would get in before many Christians I know personally.

      Matt. 7:21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.22“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’23“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

      May 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Charles

      Buck Rogers
      Jesus will reign here on Earth for 1000 years before the Earth burns, right?

      May 24, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  3. Krishun

    I think the main point here is not whether or not atheists/non-Catholics care if the Pope believes they can go to heaven, but the fact that the Pope is making an effort to show tolerance for diversity, coming from the background of a religion that historically condemns all people whose beliefs go against it. Maybe, just maybe, this will be a step toward ending all of these ridiculous wars over something as completely subjective as religion.

    May 24, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Mark B.

      The Bible said this would happen in the end times. The Church itself would be filled with charlatans and people who would tell you what you wanted to hear and not what you needed to hear. This is the most glaring example of that to date.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @mark, the end times. lol! the dark ages called looking for you.

      May 24, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • sam

      That's right, Mark. The WORLD IS ENDING. Again.

      May 24, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      The difference Mark is that the pope did tell you what you need to hear. You heard what you wanted to hear.

      May 24, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Mark B. – The Bible said this would happen in the end times. The Church itself would be filled with charlatans and people who would tell you what you wanted to hear and not what you needed to hear. This is the most glaring example of that to date'

      Now? you dont think that ealier in history when you had popes that murdered, had mistresses, or staged o rgies would be considered more of a charlatan?

      May 24, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Charles

      Mark B.
      What makes you think that the charlatans won't be the very people judging that everyone, except them, will be going to Hell?

      May 24, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  4. Target

    To all the atheists who have posted messages: I can understand that it is confusing for you to know which, if any, religion, is correct (or the most accurate even if it has flaws). What I can't understand is how you can make fun of believers because you see their beliefs as silly and childish, when you yourself believe something very silly and childish itself: that life arose from mere chance. You naively believe that given enough time, anything can happen, such as the formation of something from absolutely nothing, the creation of intelligence (DNA) from non-intelligence (inert matter), etc. If you can't at least admit that this existence we find ourselves in is highly unlikely to be the result of random chance, then you are a hypocrite for mocking believers while at the same time believing the silly idea that stuff sprouts up out of nowhere without any causation. Even those who believe that aliens "seeded" us make more sense than you do, because at least they in some way realize how infinitely unlikely it is that all of existence is the result of nothing.

    May 24, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Jim

      I love your comment. Seriously – Its mind boggling.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      Was that meant to be a serious post? anyone know?

      May 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Shaun

      You believe in a universe from nothing too. Except where I use natural processes you create an all powerful, all knowing, super being 9created from what?) that creates the universe from nothing

      May 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • kenny

      You aren't very bright are you? Did you study science and HOW THE UNIVERSE WORKS? the bible is literally fairy tales and you would believe that over seeing an apple fall from a tree and hit the ground? That's what you believe over something YOU SEE with your own eyes.

      May 24, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • sam

      I think he's kidding – there's too much blatant logic fail. I vote poe.

      May 24, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Charles

      Target
      Are you saying that you don't believe in "chance"?

      Anyway, it's entirely likely that the universe simply had to come into existence. We've already seen that particles just seem to pop into complete vacuums. If anything, it's vacuums that appear to be silly.

      May 24, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • KB

      Oh goodness. Atheists don't "believe" in one thing or another, except for the one idea that there is no god (or is likely no god). That is not a positive affirmation of any" in anything at all when it comes to the origins of the universe. Science doesn't say "why" science says "how". And for myself, as a agnostic atheist skeptic, when science simply does not know the answer, like what caused the big bang, or at what point amino acids combined to make the proteins of life, we admit it as such and say, more research is required. We don't invent an answer, like "god did it". And if it is found that the evidence conflicts with the theory of something we did think we knew, we scrap the theory and start again.

      May 24, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
  5. Buck Rogers

    Since the Bible confirms that in the last days there will be "scoffers of God" as well as a "great falling away from the faith" prior to "great tribulation" before the return of Christ when He raises the dead and burns up Earth, then indeed we can know that there will be two resurrections of the dead, judgement, and separation. Heaven (the Kingdom of God) and Hell are both real, albeit no one is in either domain.... yet.....

    May 24, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Where is your God now?

      You are 16 years old and taking swimming lessons with your aunt. You don’t know where the changing rooms are and your aunt points you in the wrong direction. You end up in the birthday party room. It is empty so you change there. You come out for your lesson and discover that the glass you were surrounded by is one way. Everyone on the outside could see everything you were doing on the inside. Where is your God now?

      May 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      And you have NO evidence that anything in your fairy tale is true. NONE!

      May 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Charles

      Buck Rogers
      There have always been "scoffers". Didn't the apostles encounter some?

      1 Corinthians 1:23
      But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

      May 24, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      You're a looney.

      May 27, 2013 at 1:42 am |
  6. Where is your God now?

    You wake up feeling amazing with Marie next to you. She finally spent the night. You can make out the curve of her buttocks beneath the thin sheet. Your groin reacts and you press against her, fitting neatly in the begging crevice. She smells like flowers and honey. You throb with anticipation and she moans in anticipation. You reach for a condom, but realize to your dismay that your dog is busy chewing and has something stuck in his teeth…

    May 24, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • exred

      Your god will soon be screaming in indignation at being squeezed out of Marie's warm uterus.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Jesusistheanswer

      no! not every human will be saved but ONLY those who will receive and believe that Jesus is Lord. now that you are still alive, you need to repent and let Jesus be the King of your life. Jesus cares for you and He wants to give you an eternal life in His kingdom.

      May 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  7. Atheist Victory

    The religious lost the war a long time ago. Atheists are nice people and we tolerate their sad refusal to let go. You are welcome Christians, etc.

    May 24, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  8. Doc Vestibule

    It was so much easier to get into heaven back when the Vatican was selling brand name indulgences at discount prices.

    May 24, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Angel Moronic

      They were the eBay of that time: heaven to the highest bidder

      May 24, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Or you could just go to the Mid East and slaughter entire villages and get absolved of all sins for eternity.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
  9. The Eternal Satyr

    Since Jesus never existed, I find this entire subject a horrible waste of time and resources.

    I don't need to be saved from anything, except maybe from the atrocities perpetrated by my fellow humans, that is (including the Catholics).

    May 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • retarded person marker

      Yes, you're very smart.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Tim

      There's no reason to disbelieve that Jesus existed. Lots of men just like him around that area back then. What's hard to believe is that he was this Christ character. Jesus and Christ are two different things entirely, and there's zero evidence that such a thing as a divine Christ is even possible. Stop assuming that they're one and the same. That's a Christian mistake.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  10. Where is your God now?

    Your husband takes you to the company Christmas party. You have long been jealous of his very attractive co-worker Genevieve, and your jealous imagination suspects there is a spark between them. You dress to the nines and look great. The moment comes to say hello to her. She is beautiful, charming and smells intoxicating. You break a heal just as you reach to shake her hand. You spill your drink on both Genevieve and your husband. They look at each other and giggle, holding the gaze a bit too long.

    May 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Jim

      Where is your God now? Thats what you rely on God for? He gives you the ability to make choices – He doesn't just fix stuff in a blink of an eye.. Try learning about him before you actually just speculate the truth.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Tim

      Jim
      Actually, God is supposed to be able to fix things in a blink of an eye ... if you believe in miracles, yes?

      Also, if he gave us the ability to make choices, why does he get so upset when people choose to accept that he's probably not real? It makes him sound absolutely sadistic.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Jesusistheanswer

      no! not every human will be saved but ONLY those who will receive and believe that Jesus is Lord. now that you are still alive, you need to repent and let Jesus be the King of your life. Jesus cares for you and He wants to give you an eternal life in His kingdom.

      May 24, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  11. Atheism is a form of SEVERE mental illness

    I think the Pope got it wrong here. If you've heard of Jesus then believing in him is the only way into Heaven. Not all can enter Heaven.

    May 24, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      repeat to me please what the pope said

      May 24, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Doltun

      Well us atheists believe that religion is a severe form of brain wash. So I guess we are even.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Science

      This works better Cap'y you to Bill !

      http://www.ted.com/talks

      May 24, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Angel Moronic

      If SANITY is a form of severe illness, I'll take that over delusion, ignorance. I don't have to depend on the drug call Religion.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Athy

      What about people (babies for example) who've never heard of jeebus? Are they forever excluded from heaven?

      May 24, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • retarded person marker

      Hey everyone, look who's closer to God than the Pope!

      May 24, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Jim

      You act like you're 100% sure your way is right. Clearly you are not able to prove it. So before you make DIRECT statements of assurance you should get your facts and have supporting cause. Which you don't, you're working off of theory.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Not all can enter Heaven.'

      no wheelchair access? dress code? have to be in your 20s and hot?

      May 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
  12. Doris Lomack

    Only 144,000 are going to heaven, and that's a lot of people scheduled for the "plane" enroute to hell. One has to live righteous . Comprenday? righteous? and hardly nobody is "right" these days let alone righteous.

    May 24, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      and hardly nobody uses good grammar neither

      May 24, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Darryl J

      No my friend. The Scriptures say 144,000 of the House of Israel will be spared the great tribulation. So far more than 144,000 will be saved. Let's not forget the millions that will be rejoicing in heaven, and that's not speaking about the angels.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      You mean righteous like Lott? As Jesus said in 2 Peter 2:7.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Angel Moronic

      Wow, there were only 144,000 good Jews in all of history. If God were really that picky on his chosen ones, there is no chance for any outsider. Catholics included.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • SCOTTA.

      no doris there will not only just be 144000 going to heaven. there is no set amount because anybody who accepts CHRIST into their hearts and turn from sin can go to heaven. because the bible says whosoever that means you or anybody can insert their name in place of whosoever.whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved. and it also says GOD is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Gotta love watching one sect attack the other, except on this one I do give the christians some credit...at least they're not coming to my door.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
  13. Heretic

    God doesn't prevent terrible things because:

    A) He can't
    B) He doesn't want to
    C) He causes them
    D) He doesn't exist

    Please vote now.

    May 24, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Athy

      D wins. By a landslide.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Paul

      "God doesn't prevent terrible things because:"
      This will blow your mind but what if God is both good and evil... right and wrong... alpha and omega.
      God doesnt prevent terrible things because he also doesnt prevent glorious things.

      He is both, all, neither, at the same time...

      ( and so are we 🙂

      May 24, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Science

      Heretic

      What about the red horn-y thingy ?

      May 24, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • OMG

      E) The answer you didn't want is the real one. It is up to us.

      I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, Deuteronomy 30:19

      May 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Dena

      Or, F: Because he's respecting our free will and not interfering, much the same way a loving parent might allow the hard knocks of life to teach a lesson to their growing or grown children knowing that in the end they'll be better and more capable people for it.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Dena – Or, F: Because he's respecting our free will and not interfering'

      why do killers get the freewill to commit terrible acts but victims dont get the freewill not to be murdered?
      where was the freewill of 250,000 tsunami victims not to be victims?

      not to mention that if god knows everything that has, is and will happen, then freewill is really just an illusion.

      May 24, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  14. Honey Badger Don't Care

    This is just a simple reaction to the fact that the numbers of xtians worldwide are dwindling. Catholics even more than the other nutters.

    Someday down the road there will be a majority of people who don’t believe in these ridiculous things and we can finally advance as a society.

    May 24, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Dan B

      I hope I am around to see that day.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • .

      bull sh it !

      May 24, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Absolutely and thank you mass media for making it easier. Less and less children are growing up in the church, they're not talking about it amongst their friends, their parents are 60's & 70's kids-we're the generation of some of the most amazing bands in history; the generation of the first home computers; these kids no longer have to go knock on their friends door for entertainment...so of course if it's not in their face it will slowly go away. I'd love to see the look on face of the last christian standing...that would be priceless :-).

      May 24, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
  15. Dan B

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHbYJfwFgOU&w=640&h=390]

    May 24, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • .

      for those that need captain kangaroo and utube to do their thinking for them

      May 24, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Dan B

      No name, you are the one that can't think for yourself.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Science

      Hey no name this works too.

      http://www.ted.com/talks

      May 24, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  16. Fred8680

    I redeemed my green stamps.

    May 24, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Fred8680

      Does this mean we're not friends?

      May 24, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
  17. William Hudson

    The Pope's statements are very ambiguous and confusing. However, his spokesman's statement–"He was clear that salvation is only through Christ’s Sacrifice. In other words, he is not suggesting – and I think some are taking it this way – that you can be saved, get to heaven, without Christ."–is key. Salvation IS available to everyone, including professing atheists, however, the atheist would have to confess his sins, repent and accept Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord in order to receive salvation. In other words he must be born again with a changed heart.

    May 24, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Bob

      The whole Christian gambit is founded on false premises, and is all a fairy tale made by humans. How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      May 24, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'however, the atheist would have to confess his sins, repent and accept Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord in order to receive salvation.'

      which means he is no longer an atheist and makes the pope's comment invalid.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • exred

      In other words, a person would have to subscribe to the theology, philosophy, worldview and political view of the Catholic church to get into heaven. There is a word for this and it isn't "salvation", it is coercion.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Patrick in Wisconsin

      Sorry Will, but I don't think that's what my Pope meant. Did he stutter when he said Salvation is for all? Didn't think so.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Patrick, when did the pope say that salvation was for all? What I heard him say was that redemption was for all. Those are precise and distinct terms.

      May 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
  18. John R.

    People simply don't understand the meaning of the word "redemption" in Catholic theology. It's not the same as going to heaven. It means that people have the CHANCE to go to heaven because of Jesus' sacrifice. Atheists who reject the church and its teachings are not going to heaven.

    May 24, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Athy

      Good. Then I won't have to spend eternity with a bunch of religies.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Bob

      What Athy said. Definitely.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Angel Moronic

      Which church's teaching must one reject in order to not go to heaven ? the XTian one, the Muxlim one , the Jewx one, the Hindux one , the Buddix one, the Wixca one, the Morxmon one, the Orthodox one, Sikx one ????????

      May 24, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Evil Church

      The Catholic Church or the Pope is irrelevant when it comes to God. they have been peddling Jesus for 1700 years and its gotten them wealthy and powerful. I don't need an old man in a woman's dress to tell me what i should do. Murder and intrigue have been part of the Vatican since its very beginning. This pope is no different.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Dude

      And you say that because you know more than the pope.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      do we accept the catholic church or the protestant one? does this also mean then that none of god's chosen people get into heaven as well then?

      May 24, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Patrick in Wisconsin

      Just like Christians who go against the teachings of Jesus (Adolf Hitler, Fransisco Franco, Benito Musilini, James Dobson, etc.) will definitely not go to Heaven.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      That's fine, I'd rather be around the fun people.

      May 24, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  19. Dan

    If we got to this point through evolution, what exactly did we originally evolve from? Since nobody knows the answer, what makes that more believable than the existance of God?

    May 24, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • kenny

      ALL people are agnostic... NONE of us know. YET some pretend to and that's where the problems start. Follow these rules from this book and you go to heaven and if you don't you burn in hell... if everyone left it at that we'd be fine... but NO.. you religio nuuts wanna impose YOUR b s on everyone else and since NO ONE KNOWS why the eeefffffff would i believe in your B S????? so we fight and die about it...

      May 24, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Athy

      Because a god making the universe is totally preposterous.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Joey

      because there is evidence that all life on earth evolved from single celled organisms, and there is no evidence for the existence of god

      May 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Dan B

      Things evolve. There is a mountain of evidence for that. To think that people were created from a magical rib 6000 years ago by an invisible guy in the sky is absurd nonsense.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      It is biblically written that, "The kingdom (domains) of the Godly is lain within (inside) us all". We, as all celestial life manifestations are all formations of God's kingdom domains. We are Gods' living buildings made in the likeness of God's onward generations ever living in multiplied abundances deeply inside all mannerisms of celestially based Life augmentations. My belief in Godly kingdom domains being the internal dominions of spatial relationships does not go against the Biblical Scriptures but magnifies them! Mankind has become blinded by its scientific ordainments of adherent sanctimonious literature excluding the rationalisms of a species we call upon as being Gods when such godly beings are as mortal as the next species.

      Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, “My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also [is] flesh”.

      The "Celled-in Time Continuums" are vortices of inner toward outer spatial relationships whose relativities coagulate and congeal in spasms of physiological longevity. Our bodies are as singular cosmic universes of atomized cosmologies within cellular relationships of passionate bimolecular magnetisms!

      Any whose Christian religion cannot lay claims that the kingdom domains of God reside upon our bodies' insides isn't really of any worthiness to be followed! Likewise, any science that cares not to fathoming the very insides of atomized relativities being the very first cosmos of spatial relationships isn't worthy of scientific concernments. Even our sciences' astronomies can say that the outer dimensions of spatial relations are very similar to the inner dimensioned but Science stands aloof and afar off from such Truth! Go Figure!

      Gods of the Inner Worlds in Atomic Proportions,
      Reaching ever Outwards wanting solutions,
      Atomized Beings We All Are In Celled Manifestations,
      Creations of God’s Kingdom Domains are All of Celestial-Life Propagations,
      Eternally Inward,- Life Marches On In Mortal Congregations.

      Panic drives the emotionally driven and stress hinders those spiritually blinded on both sides of the fences. Let go and let God's unknowable wisdom be one's spirited guide: provided one can see the clarities of dumbfounded vainness tripping ever upon one’s own mindedness shadow of doubtfulness. A soberly righteous man might not ever have imbibed of the drunkenness but a drunken man knows well the 12 drinks drank in drunken revelries of their long owned 10 fallacies of dirtied emotionalisms.

      Envisioning outwardly past the great beyond boundaries of yet unfathomed celestial perceptivities lays God's Domain. Inside all issuances of Life's Celestially Governed and upon the Atomized Chasms of Bimolecular Physics lays all of God's Children being but inwardly dwelt sons and daughters of all inner-cosmologic atomic dwelling spaces. We are all but atomized buildings of celestially woven inter-cellular cosmologies within triangulated miniaturizations of inner-spatial relationships of which all celestial cosmologies are attempting to replicate. Go Figure!

      May 24, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Dan B

      lionlylamb, you can't use a fictional book for evidence.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      because one involves science and logic, the other involves supernatural beings and magic?

      May 24, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Reality

      From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_human_evolution and the supporting references to the review:

      Common name Millions of years ago

      Cells with a nucleus 2,100
      Animals 590
      Vertebrates and closely related invertebrates 530
      Vertebrates 505
      Tetrapods 395
      Amniotes, tetrapods that are fully terrestrially-adapted 340
      Mammals 220
      Mammals that birth live young (i.e. non-egg-laying)
      Placental mammals (i.e. non-marsupials) 125
      Supraprimates, bats, whales, most hoofed mammals, and most carnivorous mammals
      Supraprimates (primates, rodents, rabbits, tree shrews, and colugos)
      100
      Primates, colugos and tree shrews
      Primates and colugos
      79.6
      Primates 75
      "Dry-nosed" (literally, "simple-nosed") primates (apes, monkeys, and tarsiers)
      40
      "Higher" primates (or Simians) (apes, old-world monkeys, and new-world monkeys)
      "Downward-nosed" primates (apes and old-world monkeys) 30
      Apes 28
      Great apes (Humans, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans)
      15
      Humans, chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas 8
      H-omo and Australopithecina 5.8
      Members of the genus H-omo[this appears to be identical with the genus]
      3
      Humans, neanderthals, h-omo e-rectus, and their direct ancestors 2.5
      Humans 0.5

      May 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Dan B,

      Our spiritualized egoisms bound within all of our embodied mainframes being as atomically ordained physiologies momentously built contrivances needs our celestial bodies to have at their helms, helmsmen. Those of God's inner-dimensionally chosen perhaps to run and control all of the Celestially Constrained Organisms of Life Manifestations via many augments of liberally freed Life diversities from the most small issuances of Life Matters to Life's most Grandiose Augments of Celestially Fomented Relics of Human Variables rising up from the atomic vestiges of Godly Places Inside Races of God?

      May 24, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  20. peachesforjesus

    Here is what the Pope actually said, if any of you are interested....

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-says-everyone-can-do-good-regardless-of-belief/

    Not that atheist are saved, but that they are created in the image of God.

    May 24, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.