I had not thought it possible, but it seems that we are once again entering a period of religious warfare. Religion is toxic, a virus of the human mind. While I will always continue to defend freedom of religion on a personal level, I will not relent in my battle against it on a societal level.
I have always advocated teaching the scientific method at the youngest possible age. While science may often be difficult to understand, the scientific method is not difficult at all. It all boils down to a single question when presented with a claim: how do you know that? If there is no valid answer, it is safe to assume that the claim is not true.
We have all the means at our disposal to deal with religion. All we have to do is stop tiptoeing around it. Freedom of religion does not imply freedom to lie, deceive and indoctrinate.
If the Pope chooses to believe in talking snakes, sky beings that are able to command the heavens and defeat death, that is his choice and his freedom. He is an adult, and if he refuses medical treatment for this condition, it is his right to do so, at least until he becomes a danger to society.
However, he is not to make claims for which he has no evidence. If he claims that praying to God will heal you, he'd better provide evidence for this claim. If he cannot, he is to stop making those claims or go to jail as any other charlatan.
If he claims that embracing Jesus will bring you eternal bliss after death, he'd better provide evidence for this claim. If he cannot, he is not to make those claims or go to jail as any other con-artist.
If he claims that rejecting Jesus will make you burn in the lake of fire and brimstone for all eternity, he'd better provide evidence for this claim. If he cannot, he is to refrain from making such claims and go to jail as any other swindler.
The same should be true for any religious figure. It does not matter whether the religion in question is Buddhism, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Hinduism, Scientology, Shintoism or any other religion of the past, the present or the future. No evidence, no rights.