Always one step ahead of the times, the Roman Catholic church finally forgives Galileo for trying to understand the universe and not blindly trust everything the Bible says.
Editorial, stop reading here if you're squeamish about hearing heretical and differing opinions:
In 1992, Pope John Paul had the belated wisdom to suggest Galileo's heretic status and life imprisonment sentence was an "error" and a "misunderstanding". The current Pope decided to forgive Galileo for the deadly sin of questioning church authority.
I understand that religious members here take their faith very seriously, and although we will disagree on issues, I respect our honest disagreements, because you aren't attempting to try me as a heretic against your religion. The Roman Catholic church itself, however, is irredeemable in my opinion, for it's long history of crimes against humanity and it's authoritarian control of those who simply want to worship Jesus and God.
I have slightly more respect for this Pope, however the church as an organization is as stubborn and backward as ever. I am pleased that Protestants once decided that they could serve God and also disagree with the Papal hierarchy at the same time. I am pleased that progressive reforms and moral leadership have both brought us to the point where I can walk freely down the street, never once pressured to show support to a religion I disagree with, never once forced to tithe, never once threatened for trusting science and questioning religious authority. I am pleased that I can sit here in the comfort of my own home and openly defy most everything the church teaches, and without hesitation boldly disagree whenever someone clothed in holy robes delivers their opinions, and at the end of the day, shake hands, laugh it off, and respectfully and honorably coexist with these people.
In the end, what matters most is that we respect one another's rights as human beings, and agree to disagree. When in comes right down to it, we are all human beings, and if someone or something was threatening the life, liberty, or rights of religious people, I will be on the front line defending you up and down. In my opinion, the Catholic church has a storied history of ignoring such a code, and conveniently ignores the rights of man whenever someone disagrees with them. I find much of their history distasteful, their preachings hypocritical, some illogical or self-contradictory, and their wealth and power obscene.
That being said, I appreciate the fact that most people have grown beyond the hatred, both of the irreligious and towards the religious. While I eagerly anticipate further progressive reforms of the Roman Catholic church, I still hold the opinion that the world would be better off without such a Papal authority. I know many will disagree, and perhaps they need the structure and guidance the church provides. I simply contend that there are many flawed methods, arguments, and teachings such a church can do without.
I thank you for allowing me to say this without burning me at the stake or beheading me. God Bless America, from someone who believes in only 1 out of 3.