The Vatican is reaching out to atheists in order to "improve he church’s relationship with non-believers" (i.e., convert us). Pope Benedict XVI has even ordered his minions to create some sort of foundation to encourage atheists to meet and debate some of his theologians.
Assume for a minute that the church was sincere about wanting to improve their relationship with non-believers. I don't believe this for a minute, but I want us to pretend for a moment that we do believe it. I have a suggestion for the Vatican that would truly do wonders to improve their relationship with the reality-based community...stop molesting children.
Seriously, stop raping kids that have been brainwashed into trusting you. Stop enabling these atrocities to continue by those who represent your church in our communities through secrecy and transfers to new locations. Stop passing the buck to law enforcement while hindering their investigative efforts, and take some damn responsibility. And take half of all the money that rolls into your corrupt organization each year and distribute it among those you have victimized.
This would have a "miraculous" impact on your relationship with atheists and would be an invaluable first step. Only a first step, you say? I'd also like to see you stop promoting genocide via HIV/AIDS in Africa through your absurd opposition to birth control. If you don't like birth control, don't use it. But stop trying to be the moral police and use your power to do some tangible good in this world.
H/T to God is for Suckers!
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