"We, as believers, must have at heart even those people who consider themselves agnostics or atheists," he said. "When we speak of a New Evangelization, these people are perhaps taken aback. They do not want to see themselves as an object of mission or to give up their freedom of thought and will. Yet the question of God remains present even for them, even if they cannot believe in the concrete nature of his concern for us."


The Pope has decided to hold a conference in Paris. Atheists and Agnostics are invited, except for those who are militant. 

Damn, and I was looking forward to see Paris...

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"We, as believers, must have at heart even those people who consider themselves agnostics or atheists," he said. "When we speak of a New Evangelization, these people are perhaps taken aback. They do not want to see themselves as an object of mission or to give up their freedom of thought and will. Yet the question of God remains present even for them, even if they cannot believe in the concrete nature of his concern for us."

The first bit
This "conference" is not a debate. It's a photo opportunity, and a slap in the face to all NonBelievers everywhere. It's the Pope pretending to extend an olive branch. Religion does not hold up under scrutiny. It's a con. In a fair battle of words, The Pope knows he would lose to Dawkins or Hitchens or anyone w/half a brain. Why is it being held in France? To give the appearance of neutral ground. He can't do it in The United Kingdom, cuz he'll be charged for harboring fugitives from justice in the child molestation cases. Joe Ratzinger is stacking the deck in his favor.

With that said, I don't want Dawkins or Hitchens "having an audience" w/the Pope on behalf of The Atheist Community. These guys ain't my pope, and neither is anybody else. To do this properly, Joey the Rat would need to "have an audience" with each atheist and agnostic as an individual, on their terms. That won't ever happen. So any olive branch less than that is futile and absurd on the face of it.

Personally I'd be more than happy to sit with Joey the Rat over a beer if he ever comes to Dallas, but I'd insist he show up in blue jeans and a T-shirt. At the very least, take off that stupid hat. We don't even wear cowboy hats in Dallas. Fort Worth is for silly hats. What I would accept as a caveat is if Joey the Rat were to invite Reverend Ivan Stang and his entourage to The Vatican and have an audience with the leaders of my SubGenius Faith In "Bob". All expense paid of course, and I'd insist Stang get first class treatment all the way there and back.

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