Most atheists have read much more of the holy books than theists think. They are surprised when an atheist is able to quote a passage from holy scripture. So, atheists thank them very much for their concern, already know about the gods, but just don't share their faith in those gods. Can atheists have a dialogue with theists, then? Yes, if theists can agree to remove two hurdles.
Immediately after Pope Francis became the leader of the world's 1.2-billion Catholics this week, he prayed for guidance. And it's little wonder. He is the newly elected CEO of the Vatican. The United States, despite a currency mantra of "In God We Trust," has also been forced to undergo serious soul-searching following its 2008 fiscal catastrophe.
This edition of Vatican Idol -- brought to you at a cost of many millions by nearly every media outlet in the world -- is, thank the lord, finally over. Much sound (hymns, sermons and endless journalistic platitudes), no visible fury, and in the end, no significance except the name of the next chief executive officer of this exclusive and dysfunctional men's club.
Last month the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith scolded the Leadership Conference of Women's Religious for subscribing to "radical feminist themes" like social justice and poverty, while being silent about abortion and same sex. It simply looks bad. Many feel that nuns represent the strength and mainstay of Catholic Church.