This is part 2 of my book review of Ray Comfort’s book, Fat Chance: Why Pigs Will Fly Before America Has an Atheist President (2016). In part 1, we reviewed the poll results showing that Americans won’t vote for atheists (unfortunate but true), explored the reasons why (Christian bias according to Ray, which was a surprising admission), and reviewed some of the church/state separation lawsuits by which Ray thinks atheists cross the line (but are justified pushback against Christian excesses).
I emailed Ray with a link to my critique but got no reply. That’s odd—he’s usually so responsive. . . .
Ray has positioned his pig book as an evangelistic tool, a book that is supposed to convince atheists of the rightness of the Christian position. Let’s push forward to see how well Ray meets his goal.
Ray Comfort, mind reader
Ray acts as psychiatrist and psychic as he tells us what makes atheists tick:
The hatred that many atheists have for Christianity is very real. In part, this is because the idea of a God to whom we are accountable threatens every sinful sexual pleasure for which most atheist males live.
So it’s all about the hedonism? It couldn’t be about there not being a God?
With no God, the idea of sin goes away, but the idea of harm doesn’t. Sexual pleasure is a problem when it hurts someone. If the only person hurt is a nonexistent God, then it hurts no one.
Ray sees Christianity as the Big Answer to life’s problems, but there have been many civilizations besides the predominantly Christian West, including many that came before and did just fine without Christianity—Egypt, Mesopotamia, Indus Valley, China. If you point out that those civilizations were imperfect, that’s true, but remember that Christian Europe had issues as well (more here and here).
Back to Ray:
Atheism gives them license to feast on porn, indulge in fornication, engage in homosexuality, and commit adultery without any sense of guilt. It means that they can lie to meet an end, love money, blaspheme God’s holy name, and steal if they think they can justify it. They believe there’s no absolute right or wrong, so if something makes them happy, then it’s fair game.
That’s a lot of different things lumped into a single confused list. Some things can be fine when done consensually and without harm, such as premarital or homosexual sex. Some can be fine but can also become unhealthy obsessions—porn or money. Some hurt people, such as adultery and stealing. And some only hurt a thin-skinned god that Ray hasn’t bothered to show exists like blaspheming “God’s holy name.”
Atheism removes any sense of guilt. For a sin-loving sinner it’s a delirious dream come true, so he will say anything to defend those pleasures, including deny that which is as obvious as the nose on his face: the existence of God. We all have enough light to see that He exists.
Ray cites Romans 1:18–20 (“people are without excuse”) as his proof. He’s citing a book that he hasn’t bothered to show is either correct or inspired by a god, a book that non-Christians think is a manmade book just like all the rest.
The pig book hits this hedonism thing a number of times. Reading so much about sinful pleasures makes me wonder if Ray’s working out some frustrations or wrestling with temptations. It was like hearing someone talk too much about their own personal sexual interests, like I want to wash my hands afterwards. Maybe some therapy, Ray?
Stop being mean to Ray
Ray complains about the “disgusting lies” spread about him, but don’t feel too bad. He cites Matthew 5:11–12 to argue that this verifies that he’s on the right path. And to show that he’s truly a good Christian, he turns the other cheek and insults atheists back. (Oh, wait—that’s not what “turn the other cheek” means. Unless I’m confused and it’s not cheeks on the face that he’s thinking of.)
[Atheists] are proud, untrustworthy “haters of God.”
Atheists hate Christians for the same reason criminals hate the police…. The policeman stands for what is right, while the criminal loves to do what is wrong. Atheists, like criminals, are similar to creatures of the night that scatter when light shines.
[An atheist] is someone who has willfully turned off the inner light that God has given to every man. . . . [That] is a fearful state in which to be, because it leads to a “reprobate mind,” where God gives us over to darkness. This is what we often see in contemporary society. Women are viciously raped and murdered and the perpetrators have no remorse. Teenagers kill their parents, gunmen shoot down schoolchildren . . .
Now that he’s charmed us with his flattery, Ray points out the one-star reviews of previous projects, the book You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can’t Make Him Think and movie Audacity. Must’ve been atheists just being mean—those bad reviews couldn’t have been deserved.
But I was inspired by Ray’s example to leave a one-star review of this book. And—what a privilege!—I was the first one. So here was Ray’s pig book after I left my review:
Continue with part 3.
but never by an atheist.
— Bishop John Shelby Spong,
AHA Conference 2016
(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 6/23/16.)