Good news, fellow atheists! We’ll go to heaven, too, according to Pope Francis. He must surely be God himself to stand against the ignorant, intolerant conservatism that is quite common in Catholicism (sorry for the blasphemy—except I’m not really sorry).
What Pope Francis said is for all people, regardless of belief or disbelief, to be good. Do good things, and you will go to heaven. This is a refreshing view of the Christian faith, as opposed to the view of blind obedience or an eternity of torture. Accepting evolution and at least being open to the thought that animals actually do possess what we often call “human” qualities (feelings and self-awareness) are huge steps in the right direction, too.
It is much more logical that a good and almighty being would care whether we’re good rather than whether we blindly worship it. Demanding that people believe in you even though there’s no evidence that you even exist and requiring that people worship you and follow your stupid, arbitrary rules are not qualities of an eternally wise and good being. Blind obedience is not the hallmark of morality Christians sometimes make it out to be (and yet condemn when speaking of totalitarian governments).
Pope Francis actually seems like an okay guy. It’s odd, but this theist may be one of the people doing the most to normalize atheism, making it okay to be openly secular. And it is about time right-wing Christians accept that atheists are people just like them and that disbelief in their specific fantasy (and many others) is not discrimination or “war on religion” as they like to say.
Everyone is allowed to believe as they wish, but they cannot use the state to push unfounded beliefs on others. People must accept that others will not believe as they do and have the right to explain why they don’t. In other words, it is necessary for a free society to have free speech and thus allow people to argue against whatever belief they disbelieve.
At any rate, it is always nice to see religion and religious people take steps in the right direction. While religion is pretty much just a massive lie, it is conservative religion that causes the most problems, not progressive religion. I don't expect to actually go to heaven (as heaven would need to exist for that to happen), but it is a welcome change to be seen as a human being.