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Pope: “Agnostics are closer to the Kingdom of God than believers whose life of faith is 'routine'”

I have often posed a question to Christian thinkers that follows the Pope's line of argumentation. It goes like this:

Imagine on the day of judgment you are made to stand in one line or another:  line #1 is for people who faithfully attended religious services and prayed every day but they lived a sinful life (love of God: yes; love of neighbor: no). Line #2 is for people who did not go to Church or pray but lived exemplary lives (love of God: no; love of neighbor: yes).

Which line would you want to stand in? Would either or both merit a place in paradise?

Given that we are obliged to fulfill both commitments of love if we wish to obtain paradise, I have always believed that the best option is line #2. It seems that B16 might agree with me!

Pope: “Agnostics are closer to the Kingdom of God than believers whose life of faith is 'routine'”


  1. Isaac Asimov told the story of discussing Leigh Hunt’s “Abou Ben Adhem” in class. Ben Adhem, whose name is not in the angel’s tablet as one who loves the lord, asks to be written as one who loves his fellow man, and the poem ends with “And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.” Isaac was ready for the teacher’s question: “Why did Ben Adhem’s name lead all the rest?” “Alphabetical order, sir!” Isaac volunteered. He was sent to the principal, Isaac recounted, “but it was worth it.”



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