home
RSS
November 7th, 2013
12:30 PM ET

Even atheists love this Pope

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - With his penchant for crowd-pleasing and spontaneous acts of compassion, Pope Francis has earned high praise from fellow Catholics.

Hell, even atheists love him - as amply demonstrated by the surprising displays of affection tweeted after the Pope publicly embraced a severely disfigured man on Wednesday.

MORE ON CNN: Why the pope's embrace of the disfigured man is so powerful

Here's what some atheists had to say on Twitter:

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Internet • Nones • Pope Francis

soundoff (756 Responses)
  1. Marla

    Everyone believes in the "uncreated," the eternal. Theists believe in an uncreated, eternal God. Atheists believe in uncreated, eternal matter and energy.

    November 9, 2013 at 7:45 am |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawkins

      Atheists believe in reality, theists believe in myths.

      November 9, 2013 at 8:32 am |
      • Marla

        Saying that matter has always existed explains nothing. The fathers of the scientific revolution (Newton, Copernicus, Galileo) believed in a knowable, ordered universe because they first believed that a rational God created it.

        November 9, 2013 at 11:34 am |
  2. Marla

    Atheism is different than not believing in santa. It is a philosophy of life, a world view, an all encompassing view of man (where he comes from, who he is, and where he is going). Fyodor Dostoevsky said, "If there is no God, then everything is permissible." Maybe this explains why Mao and Stalin (both atheists) had no conscience killing more people than all the wars combined throughout history.

    November 9, 2013 at 7:43 am |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawkins

      The logic of your argument does not hold. George Bush took us to a war in Iraq – he should have been impeached for his actions. Hitler, Stalin, Bush – the actions by people such as this are only possible when good people decide to stand by and watch instead of doing something to stop it.

      November 9, 2013 at 8:31 am |
      • Marla

        Atheism was central to Stalin and Mao's political philosophy. That's why they attacked religion in all forms and shut down churches and sought to silence religion. Bush was just dumb.

        November 9, 2013 at 11:21 am |
        • Observer

          Maria,

          The Bible says that when God got done with his killing spree, there were only 8 people left on the face of the earth. No atheist ever came REMOTELY close to that.

          November 9, 2013 at 11:27 am |
        • Real Deal

          Marla,

          The power of the Church (and religion) was the threat to Stalin, Mao, and other totalitarian dictators - they banned / censored / persecuted labor unions too, and books, movies and the media and **anything** that got in their way.

          November 9, 2013 at 11:36 am |
      • Marla

        Real Deal: I agree with your statement.

        November 9, 2013 at 11:47 am |
        • Real Deal

          Then you know that this was simply **one** tool in their nasty kit. They did not try to conquer and rule in the name of atheism, although that was their personal philosophy. They did not want people organizing in any way to counter them.

          November 9, 2013 at 11:57 am |
  3. A Candid Look

    Of course the message of Pope Francis will be lost in the un-ending flotsam spewed here. Not one of them have the courage to even look beyond them selves to see of there is indeed something bigger. It is far easier to heckle from that comfortable chair than to even wonder if there is something besides them selves.

    November 9, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • Observer

      A Candid Look

      "Of course the message of Pope Francis will be lost in the un-ending flotsam spewed here. Not one of them have the courage to even look beyond them selves to see of there is indeed something bigger."

      Was that foolishness directed at non-believers?

      November 9, 2013 at 12:33 am |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawkins

      As an atheist, I'll agree with you that some of the atheist posters here are sociopaths at best. Another reason we need the ACA!

      November 9, 2013 at 6:23 am |
    • Science Works

      A Candid look

      Here is a NEW case.

      Minnesota Se-x Abuse Scandal Entangles University of St. Thomas ...

      http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/.../Minnesota-Se-x-Abuse-Scandal-Enta...‎

      Oct 23, 2013 – The University of St. Thomas in Minnesota has found itself in the middle of the ongoing se-x abuse crisis in Minnesota, according to Inside ...

      They should not keep secrets !

      November 9, 2013 at 6:50 am |
    • Science Works

      And they all leadership too, should be prosecuted !

      November 9, 2013 at 6:58 am |
  4. Maddy

    What does this guy have to do with Jesus?

    November 8, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • Comment

      Nothing, but it's pretty easy to prove the pope exists.

      November 8, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • faith

      Jesus never existed.

      November 8, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
      • mirror

        You are looney.

        November 8, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
        • faith

          No u r

          November 8, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
      • lngtrmthnkr

        Not for you faith ,but for many others he exists.

        November 9, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
  5. Lance

    Atheists don't love. It is just a chemical reaction in their brain.

    November 8, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • mirror

      You are looney.

      November 8, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
  6. Lee

    Well if the twitter atheists' tweet whatever character limit some rich white man randomly made up, then it must be so!

    Oh conformity...glad to know even if you bypass the God delusion, you still do whatever modern society commands thee!
    Now tweet away sheeple, both Christian and atheist: y'all are on either side of the same low IQ coin.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Comment

      I would think a high IQ would mean an understanding that it's not appropriate to tell others they have a low IQ.
      Maybe that's E.Q.

      November 8, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • lngtrmthnkr

      Lee, at last we finnaly found someone with all the answers. Please tell us of all the mysteries of life and the universe.

      November 9, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
  7. L

    Atheism is like a religion. They think they are correct and everyone else is wrong but they will hate you if you state your correct and their wrong. This thinking makes them hypocrites as they already think their right but can't stand when others think the same. "God doesn't exist" is your opinion and belief not a fact.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Write? Wrong.

      Well, I know that you don't know the correct forms of "your" and "you're" and "their", "there", and "they're".

      November 8, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Well Duh

      @L
      "Atheism is like a religion."

      Just like not believing in Santa is like a religion.

      "They think they are correct and everyone else is wrong but they will hate you if you state your correct and their wrong. This thinking makes them hypocrites as they already think their right but can't stand when others think the same. "God doesn't exist" is your opinion and belief not a fact."

      As an atheist, I don't claim that a god doesn't exist, I have just so far rejected any claims of a god based on the lack of convincing evidence. I'm not claiming I'm right, I'm just saying you and the other god believing people have not convinced me that you are right, therefor, I do not believe what you do.

      I would believe as you do if you could provide convincing evidence for your god, so please, do share.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
      • L

        It's a belief, because you lack the evidence to convince mankind you're right so atheists aren't any different from any religious person.

        November 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • Well Duh

          @L
          "It's a belief, because you lack the evidence to convince mankind you're right so atheists aren't any different from any religious person."

          Do you have a reading comprehension problem?

          I never said I was right, and never said I had evidence for not believing. What I said is I don't believe due to YOUR lack of evidence.

          November 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
        • L

          I don't believe you due to your lack of evidence.

          November 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • Well Duh

          @L
          "I don't believe you due to your lack of evidence."

          Do you have evidence for a god, or do you believe in a god because I don't?

          November 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
        • L

          Do you disbelieve in God because of what YOU think and how YOU view life? I have my own reasons for believing. None have anything to do with the typical reasons atheists think all believers have. Without proof to convince all of mankind you are right, you have NO room to talk about lack of evidence. Atheism lacks it the most because you rely on a hunch much like having faith does which means you are in the same boat as the rest of humanity is, no matter how much you deny it.

          November 8, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • Well Duh

          @L

          "Do you disbelieve in God because of what YOU think and how YOU view life?"

          No. I disbelieve because claims were made, I evaluated the claims, and did not find the claims to provide sufficient evidence.

          "I have my own reasons for believing. None have anything to do with the typical reasons atheists think all believers have."

          If you have something to share, something that could change my position, please do share.

          "Without proof to convince all of mankind you are right, you have NO room to talk about lack of evidence."

          Again, I am not trying to convince anyone I am right. What I am asking for, is for you to convince me that you are right, otherwise I'll just put the claim into the same place I put Santa, Unicorns, and Fairies. Are you going to ask for my evidence of why I don't believe in those?

          November 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
        • L

          If you state there is no God you just stated a claim.

          November 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
        • Well Duh

          @L
          "If you state there is no God you just stated a claim."

          Do you remember reading me saying this, "As an atheist, I don't claim that a god doesn't exist,"?

          November 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
      • Madtown

        It's a belief, because you lack the evidence
        ----–
        Is my refusal to collect stamps considered my hobby? Is NOT-collecting stamps a hobby?

        November 8, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • L

          Typical. It's what YOU think isn't it? It's not like a hobby. It's what YOU think. Atheism isn't any different than any belief. It still requires you to BELIEVE it because you do not know it. Excuses, excuses.

          November 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
        • Madtown

          Typical is right. Typical empty-headedness from people who actually think this is an argument.

          November 8, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
        • L

          So people should leave all religions behind and follow what you claim without witnessing or seeing the proof? How is that not following a religion? It's blind faith with a hunch that is based on false hope.

          November 8, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
        • Well Duh

          @L
          "So people should leave all religions behind and follow what you claim without witnessing or seeing the proof? How is that not following a religion? It's blind faith with a hunch that is based on false hope."

          Again, no claim being made on our side. We are not asking you to follow us, we are asking why we should follow you.

          Why do you have such a hard time seeing that logic?

          November 8, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
        • Dippy's Aide

          Do you believe in Santa? No? Same concept. Just replace Santa with God an you have the atheist position. Simple.

          November 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
        • Marla

          Dippy: wish it were that simple..Atheism is different than not believing in santa. It is a philosophy of life, a world view, an all encompassing view of man (where he comes from, who he is, and where he is going). Fyodor Dostoevsky said, "If there is no God, then everything is permissible." Maybe this explains why Mao and Stalin (both atheists) had no conscience killing more people than all the wars combined throughout history.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:42 am |
        • OTOH

          Marla,

          And warlike religious zealots and dictators say, "If it's done in the name of "God", all things are permissible." They massage their consciences to fit their fantasy goal.

          November 9, 2013 at 11:47 am |
  8. Bootyfunk

    he seems like a nice guy.
    but he's done ZERO to affect change in church policy.
    women aren't equal to men and can't be priests.
    g.ays aren't equal to straights and can't be priests.
    the church is still infested with child molesters, many of which the vatican knows about

    when the pope stops paying lip service and actually changes policy, then i'll be impressed.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • L

      Atheism is personal religion someone creates with their own mind which isn't supported by science. Atheism loses once again.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
      • mrsinned

        @L
        It's too much work to address every problem with your numerous posts. You don't listen to the words written by others, you make up your own terminology, and you stand on completely incoherent statements like "Atheism is personal religion someone creates with their own mind which isn't supported by science." What in the world do you intend to imply when you suggest that Atheism – i.e., the lack of belief in God – is NOT supported by science? Are you seriously suggesting that the existence of God IS supported by science?

        Are you familiar with the scientific method by chance? It's fundamental purpose is to DISPROVE a theory–never to PROVE it. It is axiomatic according the scientific method that you can never "prove" a theory (like "there is a God"). Theories merely become more trustworthy, for lack of a better term, the longer they stand without being disproved. So acting as if "science" is on the side of those who believe in truth of the theory that there is a God is perfect evidence of how misguided your statements are (I'm not saying you–I'm saying your statements; don't want to make this a personal attack).

        November 8, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
      • TC

        Athiesm is simply a lack of belief inany God. Religion is a belief in a God.

        Not hard to understand the difference

        November 8, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
      • alexarata22

        re·li·gion–noun
        1. the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods
        Atheism is not a religion because it is, by definition, the lack of religion. Yes, it is a belief system. You do not (yet) believe god exists. However, a belief system and religion are two very different things. I belief the moon exists. My belief in the moon is not a religion because I do not worship the moon.

        November 8, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
  9. Rynomite

    He's not going to convert any atheists, but yeah he seems like a decent fellow.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  10. DaveM

    This simple and loving man of God has come at a point of unprecented crisis for the Catholic Church. I believe only he can save it...

    November 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  11. bostontola

    He may or may not be a Hu ckster but he's selling tolerance and either way we should be buying.

    November 8, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      too bad he's not actually changing church policy.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  12. guest

    Revelation 13:3 "One of the beast's heads looked like it had sustained a mortal wound, but its fatal wound was healed. Rapt with amazement, the whole world followed the beast."

    some Bible comentators belive this to mean the Papacy.

    November 8, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • Well Duh

      There is certainly no shortage of interpretations and speculations when it comes to the bible.

      November 8, 2013 at 9:44 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Amen to that. The Bible has been used to support and condemn pretty much everything at some point.

        November 8, 2013 at 11:08 am |
      • Fan2C

        It's like a Rorschach doodle.

        (...thanks to today's Google art)

        November 8, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      "Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books".[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he "considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [31]

      Martin Luther once"found it an offensive piece of work" and John Calvin "had grave doubts about its value."[32]

      November 8, 2013 at 10:40 am |
      • Collective Humanity

        Who cares what a bunch of guys from centuries ago thought?

        November 8, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • Reality # 2

          You talking about the author and translators of the Book of Revelation or Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding Fathers of the USA? Or Martin Luther and current Lutherans?

          November 8, 2013 at 11:50 am |
        • Rimshot

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oShTJ90fC34&w=640&h=360]

          November 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • JC

      "the ignorant and unstable distort [the scriptures] to their own destruction" – 2 Peter 3:16

      November 8, 2013 at 11:04 am |
      • Well Duh

        That is just cult speak there. "Don't listen to them, only listen to us, we have you in our best interest."

        November 8, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
      • Observer

        JC,

        Everyone picks and chooses from the Bible, especially Christians.

        November 9, 2013 at 10:45 am |
  13. guest

    "One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast." Reve;ation 13:3
    Many Bible comentators think this may refer to the Papacy.

    November 8, 2013 at 9:26 am |
  14. Fred

    It's unrealistic to expect all Christians to be Christ-like 100% of the time
    They are only human, after all.
    Just like an archer can't be expected to hit the bull's eye 100% of the time.
    Is an archer a hypocrite whenever he misses the bull's eye?
    Please be more fair.

    November 8, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • Madtown

      The archer is a hypocrite, if he criticizes other humans for not shooting at the same target as he, when in fact those humans have no access to this target.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  15. Sara

    Without a formal survey, the ti.tle of this story should be "Even many atheists love this pope". I certainly don't hate him, but I didn't hate any of the other popes either. He seems nice enough, but in reality his views on hom.ose.xuality and birth control and abortion are exactly the same as the previous pope. He's downplayed the anti-gay stance, but that could be viewed as much as deception as openness. The one good thing he has done is focus on poverty, and that shouldn't be ignored. However, unless the church accepts that its policies on women and birth control help fuel poverty and disease around the world, it's really just an organization trying to fix problems of its own making.

    November 8, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • Well Duh

      "Even many atheists love this pope"

      I think the word many suggests a majority, or at least a very large number of them, which without data, who is to say that either condition is true. How about "Even some atheists love this pope."?

      November 8, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • Science Works

      Well sara he knows how to sway people (a car saleman that sells over 30 units a month can too) I will give him that.

      But love is a strong word and with all the secrets they are holding from the masses love should not be used maybe.

      November 8, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • bostontola

      He may or may not be a Huckster, but he's selling tolerance and either way we should be buying.

      November 8, 2013 at 11:28 am |
      • Sara

        It depends how low your bar is for tolerance. "I will welcome you with sympathy and pity while teaching that you are a sinner who's love is unworthy and who doesn't deserve haeven" is a pretty low standard for tolerance.

        November 8, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  16. Dave Green

    Gee a religious icon with integrity? I'm surprised he hasn't been assassinated yet.

    November 8, 2013 at 4:36 am |
    • WTH

      Does not look ethical does it ?

      Shunned, then fired: a priest’s tale of what happened when he shared story about se-x abuse

      Rev. Andre Samson says he was reprimanded and fired for sharing with other priests the story of a young man who told him in confession he had been se-xually abused by a priest.

      http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/10/30/shunned_then_fired_a_priests_tale_of_what_happened_when_he_shared_story_about_se-x_abuse.html

      November 8, 2013 at 7:42 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Integrity? If integrity includes continuing to shelter criminals within the RCC then I guess he is a man of great integrity. More likely a criminal himself though.

      November 8, 2013 at 9:31 am |
  17. Realist

    ******************************

    Is it too moch to ask for a "Non-Belief" option?

    ******************************

    ... http://www.GODisIMARINARY.com ...

    ... and thank goodness because he emanates from the ...

    ... http://www.EVILbibe.com ...

    ******************************

    November 8, 2013 at 4:24 am |
    • fyi

      Did you misspell your links on purpose for some reason?

      November 8, 2013 at 4:28 am |
  18. Eric

    Love... Well, I don't know about that. Tolerate, sure. He is a breath of fresh air, and is attempting to lower the hate level of organized religion.

    On the other hand, damn him.

    After 2000 years, we are "this close" to being rid of organized religion. Why does he have to come along and be reasonable?

    November 8, 2013 at 3:02 am |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawkins

      No, we are not close to religion disappearing from this country – what ever could have given you that idea?

      November 8, 2013 at 5:29 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Advertisement
About this blog

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.