Last week I met what I call a Christ like ATHEIST, although he himself and many other atheists might not be comfortable with the term Christ like atheist.

I’m sure MMM will have something to say about that?

This good atheist is a barman in a local hostelry I occasionally visit for Sunday lunch.

His name is Peter.

He has always made his atheism clear to me – but always in a very friendly manner. In fact we joke with each other as atheist and bishop.

But he did something really good and honourable recently.

His pride and joy is his long hair and pony tail.

When I met him last week I was shocked – he had a very, very tight hair cut.

I asked him what happened his hair.

He told me that he had donated it to a charity that makes wigs for cancer patients. The minimum hair length they accept is 17 inches.

What a wonderful and generous action – to sacrifice something you love so dearly – to help another human being going through probably the worst time of their lives.

Its a perfect example of how religious people do not have a monopoly on goodness and generosity.

In fact many church goers have little or no goodness about them at all.


It also shows that atheists are just as capable as religious people of having a strong moral and ethic as religious people – and are just as capable of doing great good in the world.

Peter did his good deed for another human being – and not for God.

Of course I believe in God – and in the end atheists will be just as welcome, if not more welcome, in “heaven” as religious people.

There is a massive difference between SPIRITUALITY and RELIGION.



49 replies on “A CHRIST LIKE ATHEIST”

I have debated many, often incredulous, (and usually, in the end, unconvinced) that believing in the Eucharist, believing in the Immaculate Conception, believing in the Assumption, believing even in Christ will not save a soul.
In 1 Cors 13 Paul is eloquently clear: if we have not love, we are ‘nothing’, regardless of how deep our understanding and sweeping our knowledge. (And for ‘nothing’ read ‘damned’.)
But there are certain Catholic mindsets that, for whatever reason, prefer to set their own bar for salvation, people I call ‘latterday Pharisees’. Most of those I’ve debated, like Michael Voris, are American, but similar mindsets post on this blog. They cannot, like Voris, be reasoned with, even when presented with solid scriptural evidence.
They will listen one day, for God has an annoying habit of winning arguments with the stubborn.


Poster at 3:04AM!!!!!

This poster is at it again, he thinks that his intellect is so superior to everyone else. No matter who he debates with they are wrong and the poster is right! Pride goeth before a fall, as this poster will find out. He will have to listen one day, and that day will be when he stands at The Judgement Seat awaiting the sentence prepared for this ‘latterday Pharisee’, on that day this poster will Listen.
Evviva Maria!


Atheists have a better moral sense because they are not doing things with one eye on pleasing the father substitute in the sky.


In my experience, most Christians are running from Hell rather than towards Heaven.
Christianity, for all its fine evangelical sentiments and aspirations, has made self-interest the the seminal force in people’s lives, not altruism.


A highly pertinent point Magna.
Norn Iron Christianity is remarkable for its pervasive ideology of “salvation” from the perils of Satan.
Those ‘red lettered on white background’ signs adorning everything from telegraph poles to prominent rocks! Is there a secret army of born again painters working away to “convert” we miserable shinners…..ooops “sinners”!” Or maybe it’s only one hyperactive nutter with OCD let loose in Co Down? Are they elsewhere throughout the North ?
The very best examples are the megaphone, sober suited “witnesses” to the power of their Holy Bible bemusing bystanders on the Co Down seaside promenades.
The Presbyterian Calvinist preoccupation with sin seems to me a cover for discrimination between “sheep and lambs” with the selected few “chosen ones” self satisfied and tucked up in the pens of the righteous.


Faith is a gift like a good ear for music. I have both. I play the
Violin and enjoy a good spiritual book. The spiritual book has the same effect on me as a good piece of music. It triggers a response in my brain. Not everyone has it. It was very noticeable when my husband was in a bad car accident that it was my pagan atheist friends who came round to help. My “friends” from the Church took the opportunity to do a dawn raid on a group I was running. I don’t go to church now.
There of people with God who aren’t in the Church and people in the Church who aren’t with God.


We meet people in our lives who may surprise us with their humanity. Did not Christ say: “Love one another as I have over you: treat others as you would like them to treat you: be compassion are as your heavenly Father is compassionate…”. St. Paul outlines the qualities of that love: it is not arrogant or rude; it is not resentful; it us not deceitful; it is not boastful or healous; it takes no pleasure in other people’s sins; love is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes…When any of us by way of gestures of kindness of heart makes a difference for the good in another’s life, we can say we are l8ving good human lives, being the Good Samaritan. However, for those of us who proclaim loyalty to Christ, he is the example par excellence we seek to emulate each day. No one denomination or non faith person has a monopoly on morality or goodness but for me, Christ is my source for the TRUTH of how to live a morally good life that calls forth all that is best within me. After my sister died some years ago, two of her friends did exactly what Peter did: they had their hair, so precious to them, cut for cancer research. All such small acts if kindness to others, irrespective of the belief or non brief of others are the are noble and commendable.


Pat, you have an aversion to having religious nuts in your business!! Why, may I ask, do you possess a few in your Oratory, all overseen by you, nut supreme, a man who has carved the Word of God and the gospel of Christ to suit himself and his lifestyle. You have taken away the real challenge of the gospel: to become and to be other Christs. You despise many gentle, “simple faith” people who are very close to God. You have a disdain which you clearly demonstrate again and again in name calling and condemning those who don’t live up to your expectations. (such poor expectations!!). It is to CHRIST and him alone THAT WE SEEK.


I’m sure he is a dacent man hi. As a believer do you feel comfortable with God being referred to as it or an unknown force or whatever. I’m sure this fella Peter is proud of his name and would not like to be called hi you or fella or whatever but


+Pat: As an atheist, albeit I prefer the term humanist, I’d be quite happy to be referred to as a Christ like atheist. In saying that I incorporate the qualities of compassion and care of Christ portrayed as in the New Testament. And I’m also quite content identifying with the examples of righteous indignation Christ allegedly displayed with the injustices of the time, Pharisaical behaviour etc.
In essence, the blog opens up the contentious matter of whether or not atheists are more or less moral than religious believers. Rather than simply rely on my own views here, I will acknowledge that while research indicates there is widespread “belief” (emphasis on belief) that atheists are less moral than religious believers, research also shows that that there is no essential discrepancy in the moral behaviour of atheists and ‘believers.’
It’s obvious from the comments of some comments to the blog, that “research” for some, is based entirely on personal experiences: you know, the “my dog likes bones so all dogs must like bones” kind of thing!
So for those interested in considering the issue more fully, I’ll simply refer to a few selected articles. There’s lots more online.
“Are religious people more moral? The Conversation 23/10/17
Can you be moral without God? Word on Fire Blog 6/1/18
Myth: Atheists have no reason to be moral. Learn Religions
Religion doesn’t make people more moral; Study Finds. Eliz Palermo in Live Science 11/9/2014
etc etc.
I’ve said it before on the blog: “Good without God” for I certainly don’t need a supernatural “Overseer cum Heaven Gatekeeper” to police my sense of morality and corresponding behaviour.
I agree with Voltaire’s comment: “If God did not exist, we would have to invent Him”


Well, I doubt whether humanists / atheists would be spending $77 million on renovating a cathedral in Orange County USA, would they ? Good thing too. What a conspicuous and wasteful use of money by a Church that has better things to concentrate on and to spend its money on. Have a look at this:

You know, this stuff is very much in the Brandsfield, McCarrick, D&C tradition of spend, spend, spend. It is enough to drive me to becoming a humanist. To be honest, what I’m more interested in is the way people live and act. “By their fruits you shall know them”. And I’m not seeing that in the extravagant spending and lascivious luxury of the Catholic Church.


Thanks for the link.
Yes, renovation of this ostentatious, architecturally kitch monstrosity, at $77 million (rendering it even more ostentatious, to a stupefying degree), did take place.
As for interior design, God’s humble home here is fitted out with 11,000 sail-shaped quatrefoil window shades, a Carrara marble altar all the way from Italy, and a 1000 IIbs black-steel crucifix encrusted with jewels. All very reminiscent of the ostentation and splendour of the Last Supper, and its sumptuous surroundings.
In fact, Bishop Vann, whose modest cathedral this pile is, enthused: ‘I would hope that when people see that steeple, they will think “God is here!”…’.
No. Most people will probably think: Bishop Vann is here, for this worldly monument to personal vanity, and self-glorification, is a stranger to the Nazarene. And he, in turn, would undoubtedly find it strange.
‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.’


1.02: Magna, more of the same old cliched arguments you make by way of your faux disgust at all things Catholic. One really has to ask serious questions about your raison d’etre outside the anonymity of this blog. So much of your essays are from Wikipedia. We can read that ourselves. You will never inspire with your words: they are destructive, debasing and corrosive. (Of course the time of day gives us good insights!!!). When you have anything really worthwhile to say or anything you may have done that is significant, worthwhile, uplifting and inspirational, you might make a difference beyond forever screeching like a broken record on this blog….


I suspect that you would prefer Jeff Bezos to be still selling books out of the trunk of his car.


Your post is full of begrudgery, Nagna Cartax. If such an attitude had prevailed in medieval times, we wouldn’t have Notre Dame, St Peter’s Basilica, St Paul’s Cathedral, Stephansdom in Vienna etc. You needn’t worry. You wont be asked to contribute a penny. Against the critique at the link below, your reaction, it doesn’t deserve the name analysis, is irrational verbiage.


Bishop P. , the poster at 1:33 does sound very like Bellarmine. I know that he/she has posted anonymously before. Is there any technical way you can confirm this?

I did give my word on a previous blog that I would ignore the ‘drivel’ posted by this person, and I don’t want to break it.

Bellarmine’s mindset is so inflexible it is incapable of seeing the many flaws in its posts; incapable, or it simply refuses to.

The pharisaical outlook seems a form of psychosis, which deprives of self-insight those affected.

Bellarmine lacks self-insight, as (apparently) does the poster at 1:33. Are they one and the same?


Probably not Bella Magna.
His OCD wouldn’t let him post without his signature Ev Ma., and anyway the sentence construction too complex for his limitations.
And that’s surely saying something!


Begrudge that so-called ‘men of God’ should spend such colossal sums on human vanity projects? Now whatever gave you that idea?

Economists speak of the ‘opportunity costs’ of every act of expenditure; in other words, ‘because human wealth is finite (limited), there is ALWAYS something…or someone…that loses out’. And what is spent on the swings, alas, cannot also be spent on the roundabouts.

What the Normans, French, and others built were monuments to self- projection: God as they preferred him to be (entirely in their image, of course, with their values, ambitions, and conceits). I should have thought this obvious, even to you.

The fact that these buildings are magnificent works of human endeavour is really neither here nor there: after all, the Golden Calf fashioned at the foot of Mount Sinai (another monument to human self-projection) must have been beautiful, too.

The actual dwelling places of God are human hearts; at least, Paul thought so. Come to think of it, so, too, did Jesus: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is within.’ The Greek here is not a precise translation of the Aramaic, since in the latter, the expression means ‘God’s sovereign presence’. ‘God himself’, in other words.

Hidden in plain sight. ‘Jesus’, I mean. In everyday human temples that are far from being glorious works of human endeavour. Temples that are of little value in the eyes of such bishops (you, too, I should imagine), since there is no glory for them in feeding the poor, housing the homeless, and tending to the neglected. No lasting colossal monument in their honour. They would rather be remembered on earth than in Heaven.

You, too, I expect.


Bluff and bluster. Give the Greek and give the (speculated) Aramaic and readers will be able to judge for themselves. But of course Wikipedia doesn’t provide that detail. How would you know what the form of expressions in either language is! One thing is for sure, such claims are not the result of primary research.


Thank you Magna.
You serm to share my perceptions that much “church building” is, in essence, clerics seeking to leave behind them a testamonial to their own efforts, and of course it enhances their current significance, meanwhile currying favour with superiors.
I wonder to what extent the RC belief in the “Real Presence” of Christ in the Eucharist adds to their justification in building such ostentatious “suitable repositories,” ie magnificent churches? If that belief was consigned to the dustbin of misunderstood beliefs then could buildings suitable both for communal faith expression, and other community secular uses become a more sensible and appropriate use of resources?
The real presence/transubstantiation issue was previously raised here. I continue to maintain it is an utterly ridiculous farrago whose origins lie not in the Christian “Last Supper”, but in pre Christian Mithric religious beliefs.


If you knew Aramaic, and Koine Greek, you would know that my information is correct and wouldn’t need to ‘ask for’ liguistic evidence.
The fact that you ‘asked for’ this evidence is proof that you know nothing of these ancient languages; so my producing evidence for you would be pointless, wouldn’t it? Because you wouldn’t have a clue.
You’re more than a little confused, aren’t you?
But to confusion you add absolute and utter bewilderment, since you clearly believe that I cannot read these languages at all:
‘How would you know what the forms of expression in either language is?’
Hence my placing the words ‘asked for’ in inverted commas.
Maybe you’re not confused, after all; maybe you’re just stupid. Envy and anger do tend to have that effect on people: they make them post exceedingly silly comments.


M. Carta, you were challenged at 11.19 to produce the evidence you can deal with primary sources and are not relying on secondary literature. So far, you have evaded summons.


Thank you for that comment Anon@10:57.
While I acknowledge some RC church representatives, clerics and lay, do some good, I do question to what extent their motivation is always entirely altruistic. It seems to me that it can often be self promotion albeit concealed in a veneer.
Politicians too have the same mindset: “I councillor ‘Dogo
odery’ hereby open this new residential home” (with my name on the plaque!), despite the professionals advocating instead for the money to be made available for care in the community. Edifices are important memorials!
Yes, some good comes from religious believers, but it’s moot to consider to what extent their motivation is religious or simply true altruism.
And what waste religion causes! Apart from the horrors of the Inquisition, Crusades and similar “Christian ” tragedies and the Hindu/Muslim massacres, elsewhere and perennially worldwide, religious beliefs have laid wast countless lives. And all that before we consider the vast finances used to build mostly empty “temples” to an illusory God.
And all the while the Princes of the Holy Catholic Church live in luxury urging the laity to “give to the poor.”


I wonder if we will have a summer special, Bp Pat, a juicy scandal involving priests and/or seminarians. It’s been a while.


MMM : you’ve become the new voice of orthodoxy! You seem to have an umbilical connection to Catholicism. I appreciate your views but at times you are just too atheistically dismissive of Religious minded people. And – most unfair.


Kindly explain with examples and more detail Anon @ 7:54.
In asking can I make it clear to you that any comment I make is neither designed nor intended to give automatic respect for religion, religious beliefs, or the proponents of such, simply because of what in my view is a pervasive misguided historical deference to religion and its beliefs.
I hold that religion is owed no more deference or credibility than any other system of beliefs. It should be able to defend its position just like any other philosophy.
The fact that I find its followers continually unable to justify their beliefs with any semblance of credibility adds to my belief, that as has been said, “It’s all smoke and mirrors.”


8.45: MMM: I don’t need to verify or explain my religious beliefs to you. Religious systems go back centuries, even millennia. If I inherit a particular view of life, in my case a view hugely influenced by study of philosophy, theology, scripture, arts, the humanities, I am entitled to hold that deeply ingrained religious belief. It doesn’t make me feel superior than that of your atheistic or humanist view of life, but I hold to my perspective of seeing a Divine dimension to life. Your atheism or humanism is your view: I respect
that. There is a richness in diversity. I don’t see why you would want to denigrate my religious beliefs or why you would want me to prove my insights, gained through thought, study, philosophy, theology, poetry, art snd music! All these disciplines have enriched my faith without the need to undermine the life, vision or humanistic understanding of others.


Anon@ 9:34 & 7:54, assuming you are the same:
I did not ask you @ 8:54 to verify or explain your beliefs even though at 9:34 you then attempt to do just that: emphasis on ‘attempt’, which you say comes down to “inheriting a deeply ingrained religious belief.” I’m thinking ‘cradle catholic indoctrination’ here!
I asked you (kindly) to explain your comment @7:54, that I am “a new voice of orthodoxy with an umbilical connection to Catholicism.” I think that hardly likely in view of my often repeated criticisms of catholicism on this blog. I acknowledge that I am atheistically dismissive of religion, but not, as you claim of “religiously minded people.” I have regularly acknowledged peoples entitlement to their views, but at 8:45 I clarified that I give no automatic respect or deference to religious views just because they are religious. Do you understand the difference? I don’t think that is unfair.
Strawman logic is as ineffectual as the house of straws that is religion.


Hi Pat. A blogger mentioned the other day that Paisley Diocese have published Parish by Parish accounts on line in the interests of transparency. Fascinating reading. One small Parish spent over £45k on cleaning (presumably of Presbytery) which is more than half their yearly collection. Another spent thousands on furniture and fittings. Who holds these people to account? I suspect that the Parishes with high housekeeping costs are those with live in housekeepers that are special friends of Fathers? Cant they do their own cleaning and washing?


8.02: If you live in the real world of priestly life, you’ll find that most priests do not have a housekeeper. Most. Fact. It’s too expensive to pay for a full time housekeeper but most priests are well Able to look after their domestic responsibilities. Also, to pay a wage that is just and reasonable means registering a housekeeper as an emoyee and that will not suit any housekeeper. Some priests pay a stipend for having their house cleaned in a fortnight basis..But – full timebhoysekeepers is a thing of the past. So, stop imagining situations that do not exist. I once had a “bousekeeper” and was delighted to given her a weekly offering (agreed between us) as a help to her own domestic responsibilities. So, don’t be so stupid in talking such shitty nonsense.


Again we have a keyboard wizard who just wants to attack and not ask questions.

Housekeepers are well in the past as very few if any have live in housekeepers however some parishes have staff who made clean or cook for a few hours a day.

If a Priest want to purchase anything is has to go to the parish finance committee and over 10K to the diocesan finance committee.

As for furniture and fittings come on into the real world and ask your self would a 30 year old guy like the same fixtures and fittings as someone in their 70’s and in reality that is NO but remember the fixtures and fittings may have been with the previous clergy for years and years.

Some parishes clergy cannot get anything from these finance committees and Good and caring parishioners and family donate.

As an example one kitchen had the old double sinks well roll on 2019 and most now have stainless steel sinks.

This is the clergy’s homes and they do need fixtures and furnisher at least its not millions like Down and Connor as for the 45k cleaning that will not likely happen again and that would have to have been approved by the diocese.


I see the Polish Catholic Church’s bishops are dong the usual, “we love the LGBTQ community as people worthy of respect, but we hate the sin that they represent and are” !!!!!

What a load of hypocritical tosh. Firstly, they should be concentrating on the much more significant vile sins that have been committed by their priests in Poland which are coming to the fore. And, it is ironic that this kind of condemnation of the LGBTQ community is coming from a group of men of whom at least 50 % will be gay themselves, tormented, frustrated, embittered, in denial, and acting out of all of that in making their decisions about people who are open and honest about what they are ! What hypocrisy and cant.

When will the Catholic Church realise that the sexual morality agenda that they pursue is based on outdated and unscientific premises, and that the world has moved on as we understand more about human sexuality and relationships. They are stuck in some erroneous biblical state of mind, which they back up by tradition, and are just not able to see the error of their ways. Everything for them has to be viewed through the prism of the loins. No surprise, I guess, coming from a group of men who are in denial and for whom the loins is an obsession. It is such madness. And as a result, people are driven away, hurt and damaged by this warped and idiotic attitude to sexuality and anything that doesn’t fit perfectly in to their erroneous vision.

The more these idiots do condemnation about sexuality, the more I know that they themselves have issues with their own sexuality. The angrier someone is about gays, the more it is the case that they themselves are gay. Simples !


you may remember, I posted here before in regards to a friend of ours who visits late at night. she would come around 9:30pm and leave at 2am or possibly later. This continued on a less regular basis but she seems to be going back to her old habits. This week she has been here 3 nights and stayed late. We have no objections to visitors but the frequency and long hours is very exhausting. We like to be in bed for 11 and its hard to entertain her until the early hours.

our grandson has taken a job and will be staying with us from the end of August. he will need to be up at 6:30am for work and we are worried that this lady will continue to visit late. He knows about her late visits and says we need to be a little more direct with her. I don’t want a situation where he is stressed from being kept awake late at night and we are so delighted he is coming to stay.

would anyone have any advice. I have told my wife that come 11:30/12 that she should say ”oh look at the time, I’m dead tired, I’ll have to get to sleep before I nod off on you”, and make it light hearted. my wife doesn’t want to offend her or be direct. It’s not like this lady doesn’t have other places to visit. All her brothers and sisters live near her as do her grown up children. I’m thinking that we are a soft touch as no one else would tolerate being kept up until the early hours. I just want this situation to be resolved before the end of august. I’m stressing about it already.


9.13: S.D. : Go and phone Dr. Phil. What an utterly inane and stupid comment and concern. You are NOT FOR REAL. This blog does not deal with such bizarre concerns. You are joking! Most of us woukd just be honest and tell her to go away. Your kindness is misjudged.


This must be a send up at 10:24. I can imagine you are rolling around laughing at your own sense of humour.


Pat, why has the former member of a religious congregation in Galway been given an appointment when he is still under investigation for alleged abuse? Moycullen Parish has four primary schools. Someone would want to warn them. They have re-created a curacy for him, as the parish hasn’t had a curate for some years. Apparently, he has told people he is unhappy because he thinks he should only be a PP. He also thought he should be appointed to the Cathedral where he has been hanging out since leaving the hospital. Does the actual PP there know what he’s getting into? Please investigate Pat.


Are you talking about the firey little gay priest that said the secretary in Mervue cast an evil spell on him by putting a broken wooden cross in his wardrobe?!!!! He should be locked up for insanity to save him from himself. AS for his sidekick, the housekeeper, I worked in Digital with her years ago, and to say she had a reputation would be an understatement. Lies, blackmail, married men, all were ‘within’ her ‘skill set’. On his own, yer man is bad and mad enough, but, with her, they are dynamite.


So, if the ‘Changes’ in the Galway Diocese haven’t yet been announced by Brendan Kelly/Martin Whelan, how does the former Redemptorist already know that he will be CC in Moycullen?
IF he is still being investigated for SAFEGUARDING ABUSE ISSUE(S)
WHY ‘IN PERSONA CRISTI’ has he been in active ministry in the Galway Cathedral and in several places around the Galway Diocese and the Archdiocese of Tuam (Athenry, for example)?
He shouldn’t be complaining, in public, that he is very angered by his future appointment and thinks that he should/would be made PP in the Cathedral, or elsewhere.
I do hope his next PP knows about the above. Please, please investigate, Pat.


You couldn’t make this up, could you? Has the church learnt anything, Pat, anything at all? Apart from the investigation at hand of the most serious nature, the guy is certifiably crazy and is notorious for dumping his fellow clergy in it with spurious claims. He is a narcissist and has major anger issues. The priest that reported him is in exile and has been banished the dogs on the street say here in Galway. So, all laypeople like myself see is report a safeguarding concern and you’re run out of town, and the person who is the subject of the complaint, instead of being made to stand aside, is given a plum appointment. I give up, I really do.


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