Guest blogger Todd Unctuous is top commentator for MSM. With a degree in Media Studies from Scranton Community College, Todd writes for many papers and websites, and is known for his incisive writing, objective reporting and razor sharp comment.
I must admit to being surprised at the choice of the Roman Catholic Church in its new Pope. They have chosen a man of the people who has taken the name of one of the most famous people in the world, the singer Francis (Frank) Sinatra. This was an excellent public relations exercise on the part of the Church of Rome.
It is clear to me that the people in charge have been listening to the clamoring voices of people like myself who have pointed out the difficulties of the former Pope of Rome–the arch conservative enforcer of doctrine, Joseph Ratzi-Nazi Ratzinger. They got tired of his red shoes, his yards and yards of lacey dresses and his continued cover up concerning pedophile priests. “Time for him to go!” could be herd echoing around the hallowed halls of the ancient walled city of the Vatican. Did he jump or was he pushed? Perhaps we will never know-just as we will never know about the mysterious death of Pope John Paul I who died when he hung himself from Blackfriars Bridge in London because of an international plot of conservative bankers and the CIA which was probably orchestrated by the Bush family.
But let that all be water under the bridge. The old Pope has retired to a monastery and we now have a new Pope who, I am happy to say, believes that all atheists will go to heaven. In an article last week he said clearly that all people are saved and this means atheists too. This is a brilliant public relations exercise. Suddenly brilliant opponents of the Pope like the British atheist Richard Hawking, the American comedian Bank Teller and my friend Ed Blanch will have the rug pulled out from under them. The new Pope will smile, embrace them and say, “It’s okay. You’re going to heaven too!”
I am not myself a theologian, but I am a man of common sense, and it seems perfectly reasonable to me that there is no reason at all why an atheist cannot also be a good person. I would not say that I am an atheist, and I am not sure whether I am an agnostic or not, however I can say that I am a good person. Not a week goes by that I don’t put my spare change in the collection box in the 7-11, and one memorable Saturday morning a few years ago I went with a nephew of mine to volunteer at the animal shelter. It has always seemed unreasonable for Catholics to preach that a person like me will automatically go to hell to burn forever in a lake of fire simply because I cannot bring myself to believe in the Immaculate Reception of Jesus Christ or the blessing of bells or the purchase of a Self-Indulgence or the wearing of the Brown Spatula which will save my soul in case of a car crash. These things are clearly medieval superstition.
Just because I don’t believe all those things doesn’t mean that I too cannot have a sacred heart. Atheists and people who are spiritual but not religious also care and do good. Of course we will go to heaven too.
I never thought I would find myself praising the Pope of Rome, but clearly the new Pope Francis has shown the world what it really means to be a good pope. He has turned his back on the red shoes by Gucci and he wears simple brown shoes. He has turned down the papal limousine and rides the bus. Rumors are buzzing around the Vatican that he likes nothing better than to play X-box with the Swiss guards while burping down some brewskis with a takeaway pizza he has popped into the oven himself. Here is a Pope who is just one of the boys!This is a Pope we can work with! At last the Church of Rome is getting up to date and I am certain that before long we will see this Pope not only endorse atheism, but he will be working alongside enlightened politicians to make abortion more available to women in need, and open the doors of marriage to all people. This Pope understands that the principle of equality cuts across all cultural and religious divides.
Here is a Pope who has turned his back on medieval superstitious belief in miracles and the supernatural. He still understands, however that it is important to conduct exorcisms and cast out the devil, which is very important in this modern world where there are so many people afflicted with demonic infestation as it can be seen in various films that have been released in recent years from Hollywood studios.
I am not myself a religious man, but I respect those who hold strongly to religious views like the Vice President of the United States and devout Catholic Joe Biden. Along with politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Arnold Swarzenegger and the illustrious Kennedy clan we find shining examples of Catholics who are able to practice their religion with strength of conviction while also showing that it is possible to do so and also be open minded about the teachings of their church and compassionate to others.
I have heard that this new Pope plans to meet very soon with the Dolly Llama in order to merge Catholicism with the Hindu faith, and that talks are also underway with the leaders of the Mormon Church, Scientology, the Bahai faith, the Unification Church and the Apostolic Church of the Four Square Gospel in Korea. This, in my view would be very helpful if all these religions could be united. Roman Catholicism is clearly a dying religion and it could be helped by an infusion of new insights and younger people from these other religions. It would also be a good thing because film personalities like Richard Gere, “Dwight” from The Office, Tom Cruise and other notable religious people would be brought on board to help the Pope with his message of peace, and liberty and justice for all people around the world.
As John Lenin sang, “Imagine all the people….imagine no religion.” What he meant was “what if there were a world where all the religions were united and everyone could just “give peace a chance”? Surely this is the mission of this new Pope–to quote the ecumenical grass roots theologian Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?” The new Pope clearly knows his place and his proper role. It is to unite all people, like myself, who may not be religious, but who are good people.
Todd Unctuous is forty-two.
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