One must wonder then, if the act of doing nothing is all it takes these days to be a person of the year. Sure the Pope has said some really nice things:
Atheists can go to heaven. That’s nice, but atheists don’t actually believe in heaven, so really, it’s just a kind gesture. Lets not forget though, church officials quickly said he was wrong. (Infallible?)
The Catholic Church should back off from the fight against homosexuality. Again, this is nice, but he only suggested it, and did not change a single church policy or endorse same-sex marriage or for that matter announce the church would recognize such unions.
Capitalism cannot solve poverty. He is right, it cannot, and hearing the Pope criticize capitalism was awesome. Too bad he did it sitting on a pile of billions of dollars.
What the Pope has not done however is prosecute a single child rapist priests, or even come up with a plan to do so (he talks about making a plan, but again, this guy is all talk). He hasn’t used the churches billions to make real change. Hell, IKEA donated more money to the Philippines disaster than the Catholic Church.
The Pope has also not ended the churches stance on condom use, he mentioned it once or twice, but did nothing to change it and help curb the continued spread of HIV and AIDS.
All this Pope has done is spew PR jargon. He keeps saying all the right things and making all the Catholics love him while actually doing absolutely nothing. He is selling a product less and less people are buying these days, so they are changing their message, but only their message, they have not updated their product. You are getting sold on one thing, and delivered another.
This Pope is no person of the year; he has done nothing to earn such a title, even from a failing and irrelevant magazine. Though what should we expect from a magazine that has chosen Adolf Hitler and twice chose Joseph Stalin as Person of the Year.
This article originally appeared on Examiner.com on December 12, 2013
Dan Arel is a freelance writer who writes Op-Ed pieces for Salon, AlterNet and The Huffington Post. He is also a Special Correspondent for American Atheists, has a column called Danthropology in American Atheists Magazine and has also contributed to The Richard Dawkins Foundation. He writes on atheism, religion, science and politics.
Dan's book Parenting Without God, How to Raise Moral, Ethical and Intelligent Children, Free from Religious Dogma will be out in late 2014 on Dangerous Little Books.
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