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Cover story articleRay Comfort

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Ray Comfort, leading the charge against Swedish atheist cat eating.
The divine comedy


Icon creationism.svg
Running gags
Jokes aside
Blooper reel
Ray Comfort is disappointingly a creationist, not a soft-core porn star or at least the owner of a chain of casual restaurants inevitably located off interstate exits.
—Scott Lemieux, Lawyers, Guns, and Money[1]

Raymond "Ray" Comfort (b. 1949), also known as Banana Man, is a Protestant Christian author, video producer, street preacher, and liar for Jesus.

Comfort is a young Earth creationist and opposes evolution. His arguments for a young Earth are entirely unfounded in science, demonstrate basic misunderstandings of both evolution and science in general, and often aren't even based on reality. For example, he is well known for his banana argument, which claims that the banana is so perfect that it must have been intelligently designed in nature, despite the fact that the banana is a product of human artificial selection. He also really likes linking Hitler and evolution.

Comfort frequently attacks atheism, humanism, and the lack of God-worship as the sources of modern sins, such as homosexuality and school shootings. He frequently discusses supposedly iron-clad proofs of God (which generally rely on "common sense" and Pascal's Wager) and methods of evangelism (which generally rely on spamming out a list of pre-written loaded questions).

He has written dozens of books and Gospel tracts on these subjects through his Way of the Master McDojo ministry, operated as a part of his Living Waters Publications.


[edit] Background

Comfort was born on December 5, 1949, in New Zealand.

He was a minister at the Calvary Chapel Fellowship, as was his son-in-law, Emeil Zwayne. The Calvary Chapel,[wp] founded by Chuck Smith,[wp][note 1] teaches the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Ghost) and that the Bible is inerrant. Calvary Chapel espouses a premillenial[wp] eschatology in which Christ's Second Coming and thousand-year reign as King of the Earth will occur prior to the rapture and tribulation.[wp]

Despite lacking any formal training in theology or ministry,[2] Comfort moved his family from Christchurch, New Zealand to Southern California in 1989 to begin his Way of the Master ministry. He based 'Way of the Master' on insights and lectures originally published at some point between 1982 and 1984 in "Hell's Best Kept Secret".[3]

Comfort often provides the following biography in his books and websites:

Ray Comfort is a best-selling author and co-host (with Kirk Cameron) of the award-winning TV program "Way of the Master". Comfort was a platform speaker at the American Atheists Inc. Convention and, along with Cameron, debated atheists on ABC's “Nightline.” He is the author of more than 60 books, including The Evidence Bible (a Gold Medallion Award finalist), God Doesn't Believe in Atheists, and The Way of the Master. He and his wife, Sue, live in Southern California, where they have three grown children.

[edit] Influence

Comfort's YouTube channel, "Living Waters", had 140,000 subscribers and 36 million views in January 2016.[4] As of January 2016, Comfort's Facebook, which he often uses, had 515,000 likes,[5] and the Living Waters / Way of the Master Facebook had 325,000 likes.[6] Comfort's book You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, but You Can't Make Him Think was a #1 bestseller in the "Atheist" and "Apologism" categories on Amazon in February 2009, when it debuted, pushing Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion to #2 in "Atheist".[7]

Comfort's Living Waters Ministry is a 501(c)(3) organization and so has public financial records; its most recent public 990 form, from 2014,[note 2] states that LWM had a $3,476,215 revenue and $3,390,970 expenses. It lists Ray Comfort as having $128,200 compensation, Emeal Zwayne (Comfort's son-in-law) as $129,018, and Daniel Comfort as $109,163. In the past and possibly the present, other family members received some money, but less than $100,000.[8]

[edit] Criticism of evolution

If there is ever conflict between Science and Scripture, the problem must be on the science side.
—Ray Comfort[9]

Comfort is a Young Earth creationist (YEC),[10] stating categorically, "there is no such thing as evolution". A large portion of his objections against evolution are argued for the "common man", and are non-scientific, including argument from ignorance, god of the gaps and argument from incredulity.

Interestingly, for a YEC, he is totally evasive about the age of the Earth and threatens to block users from his site for asking.[11] Even when it was pointed out to Comfort during a debate with the Atheist Experience[12] that modern-day medicine depends on the theory of evolution (e.g. creating more effective vaccines), Comfort will say it does not matter - God's word is God's Word. In other words, he's about as receptive to reason as the average brick.

Alternatively, he's an effective salesman who knows how to get the faithful to fork out money buying his products and supporting his comfortable lifestyle Godly ministry.[13] While most of his anti-evolution arguments are run-of-the-mill, a few have been so incredibly feeble and outright ridiculous that some commentators wonder if he is actually a Poe.[14]

It is clear that Comfort knows little about science:

  • He has no formal education in science, much less biology (or even theology).
  • He constantly pipes up the old one liner: "there are no transitional fossils" and asserts that all animals were created by God according to their "kind".[15]
  • Many of his anti-evolution arguments show a profound misunderstanding of evolutionary theory. The same goes for several other branches of science, for example he doesn't seem to understand that according to modern scientific thought, the comets and the water came before life. "[I]f you believe the oceans came from comets, can you tell me where whales, dolphins, porpoises, plus the 28,000 different species of fish came from? I don’t want links to rabbit trails (I will delete those). I want you to tell me in your own words—do you believe that there was life in the rocks/soil waiting for water to come from space? Did the fish come on comets? Or, like the professor, you don’t know?"[16]

Comfort's most-often-repeated attacks on evolution appear to be the Playground-Tested™ method of name calling:

  • Comfort has repeated the quote-mine that "Evolution is a fairy tale for grown ups."[17]
  • "[C]hurches that are celebrating "Evolution Sunday" this weekend [should] consider having other fairytale celebrations[, such as] [...] "Cinderella Sunday".[18]
  • "The only thing scientific about the theory of evolution is that it is science fiction."[18]

That said, the tone of Comfort's arguments is not their main issue. Instead, it is the rampant pseudoscience, documented below:

[edit] The banana

See the main article on this topic: Banana fallacy

Comfort set out to prove that God designed bananas; in reality human plant breeders "designed" bananas. The wild bananas do not have the design features that Comfort points to in cultivated bananas and neither do some other fruits like pineapples and coconuts.

However, he's now expanded his fruity teleological article to other fruits such as the orange and coconut[19], which makes you wonder how he's going to explain fruits like deadly nightshade (poisonous to humans but sometimes mistaken for blackberries), the durian (thorny and stinky), that God-designed grapes are fine for humans, but toxic to God-designed dogs, or that God-designed coconuts falling from the tree may cause injury and even death (surely coconuts could be designed to grow from a low and safe bush?)

[edit] "Street" evolution

Comfort claims to know the difference between what the theory of evolution really is and what the misunderstandings and fabrications (which he claims are the average persons belief) about it are. And he admits that he chooses to argue against the fabrications instead of the real thing.[20]

The average person on the street who believes in the theory of evolution isn't as sophisticated as the staunch believers on his blog. You have your "scientific" definition—"The gradual change and diversification of life on earth," and other people (the great majority) have theirs. I’m interested in reaching the average person with the message of everlasting life, therefore I speak their language and address their beliefs.
Steven, I have in the past explained that I address the "street" understanding of Darwinian evolution. You are a sophisticated and committed believer in the theory. You have no doubts at all. The average street believer doesn't believe as you do and it’s easy to make him doubt. He knows nothing of mutations, bacteria, populations, that he is supposed to be an ape, and a cousin of bananas. All he believes is that man evolved from apes, and is quick to add, "But I'm not an expert." [While Comfort, of course, is.] So I address him where he is at, and show him that evolution has no scientific basis, and that it's an idea—a fairy tale that he can only receive by faith (as you do). It is not observable in the slightest. I ask where he thinks males and females came from, and why there are male and female in all of the 1.4 million kinds, why fish would evolve lungs while under water, and other questions that make him think about his beliefs. If that offends you and other atheists because you don’t think I have the "right" facts about your beliefs, so be it.

This shows that Comfort has no intention of having an open and honest discussion with scientists regarding the evidence for evolution. All Comfort is concerned with trying to convince the lay person that special creation is the only answer, and he will sell them any lie he can to convince them.

[edit] Quote-mining

Every substantive discussion I have had with Ray has been either "lost" or ended up on the cutting room floor.
Peter Nonacs, "An Interview with Creationist, Filmmaker, and Banana-Enthusiast Ray Comfort"[21]
See the main article on this topic: List of fallacious quotes by creationists

Comfort is also known for deliberate quote-mining, with many instances able to prove it. In his book Evolution: A Fairy Tale for Grownups, he openly admitted in the introduction that he knew he was quote-mining but went ahead anyway because lying for Jesus is justifiable. Comfort repeats the old and refuted creationist quote mines, perhaps the one constantly reused: Charles Darwin on the eye. Comfort is a big fan of the argument from design, and loves to talk about how amazing the human eyes are and does not accept that the eye evolved. Comfort does not even accept that the human eye has a blind spot. "I don’t have a blind spot in my eye. Both of them see very well and I am thankful for the 137 million light sensitive cells that make sight possible. Do you have a blind spot in your eye? If you do, I suggest that you see an optician and see if he can either fix it, or get you another eye."[22][23] Unfortunately for him, we all do have a blind spot. Here's a simple exercise see for yourself where your blind spot is.

[edit] Evolution vs. the origin of life vs. the big bang

To this day, Comfort falsely links the Big Bang theory and the origin of life (abiogenesis) and evolution as if they are one or as if they are dependent on each other, but the fact is they are separate fields and do not require the others to stand on their own.

Okay, here's then what evolution folks think. They think that evolution has no intelligence. It is responsible for the making (oops! I blew it again, by using the word "making," when evolution doesn’t make anything)… it is responsible for the ever so slow development of the human eye, the brain, the blood, the heart, kidneys, liver, the perfect mix of oxygen in the air, the positioning of the sun and the planets, the seasons, male and female of all animals, birds, fish and insects, gravity, the amazing seas, the succulent fruits, beautiful flowers and massive trees.[24]

Evolution only deals with biology and explaining biodiversity. It does not comment on anything outside biology, and thus does not make any claims about the origin of the universe, galaxies or the Earth. Evolution certainly does not claim that "Everything came from nothing." Evolution does not attempt to explain the origin of life. Creationists habitually misdefine their terms, and commonly insist that evolution means "life from non-life". But of course that’s not right either. Evolution explains how life diversifies, not how it began. Since evolution at every level is—by definition—limited to the variation of allele frequencies inherited over generations of living organisms, then it obviously can’t operate where no genomes yet exist. The evolutionary process that Comfort argues against starts with genetics. How the first self-replicating molecules (and later genes) came about may seem similar to evolution, and may even involve a form of natural selection in some way, but it is in fact a very different question called abiogenesis.

[edit] Make a rose for me

In his "faith-shaking" documentary Evolution vs. God,[25] Comfort asks skeptics to whip up a rose from nothing. According to his argument, if the rose is not intelligently designed, anyone should be able to make it. Comfort appears not to understand the distinction between an all-powerful, universe-spanning being and mere mortals.

[edit] Evolution of sex

Another favorite of his is trying to disprove evolution with the evolution of sex. He used the dog as an example on Pat Robertson's show:

There is a big bang, life forms, and after millions of years a dog evolves. It is the first dog. He has got legs, tail, teeth, eyes—and it's good he has eyes because he has to look for a female, he has been blind for millions of years but now he can see. He has got to find a female. She has got to be evolved at the right place at the right time with all the reproductive organs and a desire to mate. Because without a female, he is a dead dog.[26]

Is that how Darwin described it? Is that how any evolutionary scientist ever described it? Absolutely not. What Comfort fails to understand to this day is that animals certainly do not live for millions of years and then suddenly grow features along with a mate that comes from nowhere. There was no first dog, there were carnivores, males and females able to reproduce together and gradually over millions of years evolving to become more dog-like.[27]

It seems that Comfort thinks that evolution claims that a dog can exist and live for millions of years. Not only is he so old, he is without eyes or sight. This entire time he is alive, there happens to be no female dog, but then how was he even born if not from a female? The biggest piece that reveals Comfort's vast ignorance regarding the theory of evolution is that the theory does not claim that individuals evolve, but that populations evolve, so there would already be males and females present at all times.

Comfort then "quotes" from Ask a Scientist: (quotes in text mark Comfort's quotes)

Darwin theorized that mankind (both male and female) evolved alongside each other over millions of years, both reproducing after their own kind before the ability to physically have sex evolved. They did this through "asexuality" ("without sexual desire or activity or lacking any apparent sex or sex organs"). Each of them split in half ("Asexual organisms reproduce by fission (splitting in half).")

Darwin "theorized" no such thing. Humans reproduce sexually, as do all primates, as do all mammals, as do most vertebrates, as do a great many animals (and plants). There was no period where males and females evolved separately. The nice quote from Ask a Scientist refers to single-celled organisms[28] — no human being has ever reproduced by splitting in half. We evolved from precursor populations containing both males and females.

And yet Comfort is perfectly fine to believe that the wives of Cain and Seth just appeared out of nowhere and certain biblical figures (like Adam and Noah) lived for several hundred to thousands of years.

In response to PZ Meyers, who wrote a blog explaining the evolution of sex and elephants, Comfort responded with the following:

Let’s go back even further (100 million years ago) to pre-pre-elephants that also contained males and females. At what point of time in evolutionary history did the female evolve alongside the male? And why did she evolve? Then explain, if you would[,] professor, why horses, giraffes, cattle, zebras, leopards, primates, antelopes, pigs, dogs, sheep, fish, goats, mice, squirrels, whales, chickens, dinosaurs, beavers, cats, human beings and rats also evolved with a female, at some point of time in evolutionary history. Professor, I know you believe, but please, give us who are healthy skeptics some empirical evidence. Remember, stupid people like me want good hard evidence before we, like you, become believers in Darwin’s theory.

For starters, why does Comfort insist that the male came first?

Second, if we all share a common ancestor whose population consisted of male and female, and given varying genetic frequencies among reproductive populations (leading to (usually subtle) changes in their morphological or physiological composition, which—when compiled over successive generations—can increase biodiversity) and the fact nothing can’t outgrow heredity (due to Dollo's law of irreversibility),[wp] it is no surprise that horses, giraffes, cattle, zebras, leopards, primates, antelopes, pigs, dogs, sheep, fish, goats, mice, squirrels, whales, chickens, dinosaurs, beavers, cats, human beings and rats all have male and females. How hard is that to grasp? On top of that, the scientific evidence heavily supports this is exactly what happened.[29]

[edit] Chicken-or-egg questions

Comfort has many "which came first" questions, supposed to stump evolutionists:

First: Blood or heart?

As blood began to evolve, it couldn't get around the body, so he evolved a heart to pump it around. The heart would take a long time to evolve, and it also needed a complex system of blood vessels to evolve. So survival was impossible for the first pre-human primitive life form. But that doesn’t matter to an atheist. It just happened. Evolution-did-it."[30]

It is obvious that Comfort did no research of the earliest living organisms. Some animals and organisms are alive without blood, such as the jellyfish, bacteria and plants. Some animals have blood but no heart.

How did the blood transfer through the body without a heart? Every organism has some muscle-like functions to spread things inside the body, such as digestion. The first veins may not have been veins as we picture them, but as some form of muscle that would assist in blood flow. After many generations when the species grow in size, it makes sense that a device that would help move the flow of blood (like the heart) would be very advantageous so those without it would tend not to compete well.

Second: Gills or lungs?

Cause I'm trying to think...here is this sort of animal who's coming out of the ocean without lungs, so he comes out with gills, goes [gasping noises] runs back to water and just keeps coming out until lungs develop?[31]

Comfort is now using a straw man against Lamarckian evolution, not Darwin's theory of evolution. Lamarck's concept pre-dated Darwin. Under Lamarckian evolution, physical traits were passed from parent to offspring (i.e. the muscles of your left arm were particularly strong from constant weight lifting, therefore your offspring will have a more muscular left arm).

Again, it is clear that Comfort is completely ignorant of several facts. Gills pre-date lungs; however, several fish have modified gills to exchange atmospheric gases. One such group is commonly referred to as lungfishes. The lungfish is a freshwater fish that is best known for retaining primitive characteristics within the Osteichthyes, including the ability to breathe air with lungs, thought to be modified gas bladders. Fossil evidence and the swim bladders of some modern fish support the lineage from gills and gill-like features to lungs in the earliest amphibians. Comfort, in attempting to make this sound as absurd as possible, relies on our inherent inability to properly conceive of large spans of time, portraying one individual creature, at one point in time. This oversimplification of speciation doesn't accurately reflect scientific explanations.

Several transitional fossils possess four pseudo-limbs, lungs, and internal gills.

[edit] Transitional fossils

See the main articles on this topic: Transitional fossils and Crocoduck
A real fishapod fossil.
Drawing of a fishapod, based on fossil evidence such as the above image.

Comfort has written twice about a National Geographic article regarding seven "missing links" that have been found since Darwin and then immediately stated that the fossils in the article are missing and completely imaginary.

In 2009, the National Geographic News reported that leading scientists were asked for their picks of the most important fossils that show evolution in action. They headlined "Seven Major 'Missing Links' Since Darwin," and the number one missing link was a "Fishapod." They don't have empirical evidence for the Fishapod, but they do have a painting. This is an artist's rendition (his mental image) of what the Fishapod may have looked like. He did a good job.[32]

Then a few months later, despite all the corrections he got the previous time, repeats the same line again:

What Comfort genuinely thinks evolution would produce.
So there you have it. The "Fishapod" is a crocodile head and a fish body. Another name for the fishapod is "Tiktaalik." I don't believe that this crocofish is a missing link. But many do. The article then said, "The discoveries of these and other 'missing link' species have helped dispel what Darwin called perhaps 'the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory' of evolution—the former lack of transitional fossil species. But they haven't helped in the slightest. These seven missing links aren't found—links at all. They are just more wild imagination (lies, lies) from the minds of speculators who can't find anything to back up a theory that has to be believed (received with blind faith), and one that has no basis in true science.[33] (emphasis added)

Comfort asks for hard evidence, but when given some literally hard evidence, he can with a wave of his hand pretend it imaginary.

Not once in this entire blog or any other material does Comfort give any valid explanations or any form of scientific inquiry to explain why he does not accept Tiktaalik as a transitional fossil. All he has in response to the evidence presented to him (the very hard evidence he constantly demands for) is basically "I don't believe it," an argument from incredulity.

[edit] Kinds

Ray Comfort is not exactly an expert on taxonomy.[34]
See the main article on this topic: Baraminology

Comfort loves to talk about "kinds", an unscientific label that creationists invented to make the Global Flood easier to explain:

"Kind," in creationist jargon, generally refers these days to groups larger than a species but still thought to be related by common descent, such as entire genera or families (e.g. the "cat kind"). There are "species-to-species" transitions in the fossil record (e.g. Stephen Gould described a sequence of transitional fossils between two species of the snail genus Cerion), but presumably if you bothered to consider that rather than simply regurgitate your standard list of slogans, you dismiss this example as "they're still snails" (which of course is on some other creationist's list of standard slogans). Since "kind" is undefined, it's difficult to find a good example of a "kind-to-kind" transitional series… The fault isn’t with the definition of the word "kind." It hasn't changed in the slightest. One more time; here’s the definition: dog-kind, cat-kind, horse-kind, snail-kind, human-kind, etc. The atheist's difficulty is with the so-called evidence for evolution. There isn't any."[35]

In this quote, Comfort admits transitional fossils do exist (contradicting himself) but he is either ignorant or willfully ignorant of the transitional fossils between two distinct animals such as land animals and whales. There are numerous transitional fossils between genera and families, however, Comfort's faith demands that he willingly dismiss them outright. Although, if Comfort accepts that transitional fossils exist between snails, but still calls them snails, then he must accept that transitions exist among apes and he should call them human apes. No matter how much Comfort will deny it, the fact is human beings are apes just as tigers are cats.

[edit] Creation requires a creator

You can’t have a creation without a creator. Show me a building that didn’t have a builder. Show me a painting that doesn’t have a painter.
—Ray Comfort[36]
See the main article on this topic: Argument from design

Here, Comfort's argument is structured as "A painting had a painter, a watch had a watchmaker, therefore creation must have a creator." What Comfort is doing here is simply asserting and assuming that we live in a creation without any verification or justification:

  • Have we seen a building been made without a builder? How about a bridge? Actually, yes we have seen bridges form without a builder. Look at this one or this one.
  • Likewise, we have seen traps form on their own. Ever heard of the Venus fly trap[wp]? It's a plant that traps flies, and we know how it evolved without a creator.
  • How about a motor that was made without a motor engineer? Absolutely, behold the bacterial flagellum. The Matzke Model explains and demonstrates the steps to how the flagellum naturally evolved without a designer.[37]
  • How about artworks of lines and patterns. Take a look at the designs in sand dunes.
  • Forget paintings, have we ever seen a sculpture form without a sculpture? Look at the rock formation in Maui's Iao Valley State Park that bears a striking resemblance to President John F. Kennedy in profile; the eroded mountain on Mars that under coarse-grained resolution looks like a face; the eagle rock off the 134 freeway in Southern California that overlooks the town Eaglerock; or the "Elephant Rock" in Heimaey, Iceland.
  • Have we seen other human-like faces pop up naturally in nature? Sure, Christians love to cheer every time they see Jesus' face appear on grilled cheese sandwiches. Same thing with Mother Teresa or the Virgin Mary. It's called pareidolia.

Overall, all of these things occur naturally without invoking an intelligent designer. Since the human brain is hard-wired to detect patterns, we base nature as designed based on our experience of human artifacts. We see patterns in clouds, crystals, and snowflakes, but we already know that they all manifest naturally without a designer. We can test and prove that snowflakes, while having many geometrical patterns, form naturally in the clouds under certain conditions. We also know that evolution of living organisms can develop characteristics that give the illusion of design. The point is, all these things were made naturally without a designer. Comfort presupposes that everything around him is designed, particularly life. The issue here is that there Comfort does not distinguished between naturally made objects versus artificially made objects, rather he seems to insert they are all the same thing. This is why he compares man-made buildings with naturally living things that does not need a designer. This is going way beyond comparing apples and oranges (or perhaps bananas).

[edit] Who created God?

Comfort's logic fails when you ask certain questions; like if everything requires a creator, who created God? Comfort's response to this question can be seen in his book The School of Biblical Evangelism:

No person or thing created God. He created "time," and because we dwell in the dimension of time, reason demands that all things have a beginning and an end. God, however, dwells outside of the dimension of time." However, when Ray states that "reason" demands that everything had a beginning and end, and yet Ray presents something that does not have a beginning and end, then clearly reason never did demand such a thing, or that God is indeed a created being.[38]

Again, this puts God into the realm of special pleading.

[edit] Ex nihilo

While the laws of physics state that matter cannot be created, Comfort goes a bit further into absurdity by reasoning that since the smartest person in the world cannot make anything from nothing, then God must have been responsible for creating everything. Basically, since we cannot demonstrate that matter can come from nothing, then Comfort says God made it magically out of thin air. Assuming God or gods made the universe is not a good explanation because it leaves unexplained how deity/deities complex enough to create the universe exist. And Comfort maintains - without giving a reason - that it has to be the god of the Bible, not any other god or gods.

This is not true. Science has demonstrated that the universe does not require any creator or divine/supernatural entity to start things.[39] The universe comprises matter and energy, and science reveals that energy and matter cannot be created (though they can be transformed into each other), and this fact alone dismisses Comfort's presupposition that there must be a creator. The evidence thus far points to the Big Bang Theory, which does not say that the universe was created from nothing ex nihilo—that is a common straw man constructed by creationists like Comfort.

[edit] Arguments for Christianity

No, really.[40]

Comfort lays out many arguments for Christianity.

[edit] Anti-evidentialism and "common sense" proof of a god

See the main articles on this topic: Anti-science and Common sense

Comfort's approach to proving the existence sometimes consists of anti-evidentialism similar to presuppositionalism:

I don't have to prove anything to you. I would never be so foolish myself as to put God to the test.
Ray Comfort in response to atheist James D. Franz, page 12[41]
God gave us six senses. The sixth sense is common sense and that’s what the atheists and evolutionists lack.
—Ray Comfort[36]

Despite refusing to engage in evidentialist apologetics when inconvenient, Comfort believes that God can be scientifically proven. However, the scientific method is a way of discovering truth by repeatably testing, making accurate predictions, and engaging in peer review. What Comfort repeatedly fails to do is actually test and produce empirical data or a testable model that proves his narrow version of God.

Comfort claims that a person cannot know if something exists until they feel it. For example he has said that people who get an electric shock no longer believe it is harmful, but now know it is harmful.[42] Comfort argues that one knows who God is the way one knows a spouse (and therefore, one supposes, knows there is a god, in some backwards logic handstands); that is, personal experience.[43] You feel the love you have for your spouse or child, and you feel the love you have for God. Your spouse or child exist, therefore, God exists. Many, many people talk of their love and experience of God; how could they be wrong?

However, personal experience is not sufficient both because it cannot be empirically tested, and personal experiences can produce countless feelings that seem real but are, in fact, not. For example, many people are convinced they experienced alien abductions. Many of these experiences have been tested several times over the years. The reason why these experiences seem real is because the area of the brain (amygdala, hippocampus, limbic system, etc.) produce feelings near the frontal lobes (the area that determines what is real via touch, smell, taste, etc) and often produce vivid experiences that seem very real. However, Comfort has not ever produced any model or method to distinguish what is real or not, whether his experiences are natural occurrences in his brain or some supernatural interference.

Furthermore, even a verifiable personal experience may only apply to certain circumstances; if I experience illness as the result of eating a particular food, for example, it's not necessarily the case that that food is universally harmful (e.g., I may have an allergy to that food).

[edit] Are you a good person?

—Ray Comfort[44]
See the main article on this topic: Pascal's Wager

Comfort's most popular argument is the "are you a good person?" tactic. Hardly a program, book, or interview goes by where Comfort does not use this argument. It is also presented in practically every gospel tract printed and distributed by Way of the Master.

Usually the argument proceeds as a list of questions:[45][46]

Comfort: Do you think you are a good person?
Heathen: [Does not matter whether they answer yes or no or anything in-between, or even point out the errors in the question or present their own views on how to identify a good/bad person]
Comfort: Well, let's find out if you are a good person. Have you ever told a lie?
Heathen: Well yes, everybody has at some point...
Comfort: What are you called if you tell a lie?
Heathen: A liar.
Comfort: Have you ever stolen anything, regardless of its value?
Heathen: A little thing when I was young.
Comfort: What do you call a person who steals?
Heathen: A thief.
Comfort: Jesus said that anybody who looked at a women in lust is guilty of adultery in his heart. Have you ever looked at a woman with lust?
Heathen: Well, yeah.
Comfort: Have you ever used God's name in vain?
Heathen: Yes.
Comfort: You've taken the name of the God who gave you life as a cuss word and that's called blasphemy.
So, by your own admission, you are a lying, thieving, adulterous, blasphemer, and when Jesus comes again on judgment day, how do you think he's going to treat you? Would you go to heaven or hell?
Now imagine you are in a court standing before the judge. You plead with the judge to have mercy and you point out that you have done many good things in your life, but since he is a righteous judge and you have violated the law, he must punish you. You are found guilty, but then suddenly a man you do not know walks in, approaches the judge and pays your fine. That is what Jesus Christ did for you. He died on the cross, and paid the fine for your sins.

There are several problems with Comfort's argument:

First: The argument uses the Ten Commandments as a model for sin. Comfort asks you if you have ever lied, stolen, committed adultery in your heart by looking with lust, or taken God's name in vain. Once a person is found guilty of one or all of these, Comfort declares this is why the person should turn to Jesus. Comfort is either ignorant or deliberately dishonest: there is no Commandment anywhere that forbids lying (the Commandment is "Thou Shall Not Bear false Witness Against Thy Neighbor" deals with misrepresentation in courts, not lying in the broad sense). Comfort is also wrong in regards to taking the Lord's name in vain. To Comfort, that means saying things like "OMG" or "oh my God!" This is incorrect, the Commandment forbids taking the Lord's name "Yahweh" under a false oath or a promise not kept, thus making it in vain.

Comfort believes that all forms of lying is prohibited:

The dictionary defines a lie as a false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood; something intended to deceive or give a wrong impression. People often claim that they have told only a “white lie.” But there is no difference between a white lie, a half-truth, a fib, or an exaggeration. All are lies in the sight of God. How many murders does one have to commit to be a murderer? Just one. In the same way, if they have told even one lie, no matter what color or size, that makes them a liar. The Ninth Commandment requires the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. God is a God of truth and His Law demands absolute honesty from the heart. Yet the human heart is deceitful above all things. It has been well said that taking the easy path is what makes rivers and men crooked.
—From The School of Biblical Evangelism: 101 Lessons : how to Share Your Faith[47]

So all forms of lying is wrong. God deems it just and righteous to send you to an eternal damnation if you lie to your spouse that they look good in their jeans. Apparently, if you lie to a Nazi that you are hiding a Jew in your home, you are just as guilty as if you murdered 100 people, despite you just lied to save a life. Comfort claims he knows the Bible and read it every day without fail for many years, and yet he misses the story of the biblical prostitute Rahab was considered virtuous because she lied to protect Israelite spies (James says Rahab was "righteous" in James 2:25).

Second: As for stealing, Comfort includes even children are held accountable (going against the Christian doctrine Age of Accountability, which holds that children are born in sin, they are not accountable for their actions). In the Book of Genesis, Jacob steals from his brother, lies to his father, and is continually rewarded by god. Jesus himself is fine with stealing where he tells his disciples to go into town and take a horse without paying for it, regardless if the owner is willingly or not to give up the horse (Mark 11:2-4, Matthew 21:2-3, and Luke 19:30-31). Is stealing always bad? Don't we consider Robin Hood a folk hero?

Third: This argument is a perfect example of begging the question: the argument needs God to exist, to prove why you should believe in God. It is no better than using the Eight Fold path to prove reincarnation

Fourth: It's all rather hypocritical, as Comfort has been caught lying and stealing on more than one occasion. In his book Evolution: A Fairy Tale for Grownups, he openly admitted in the Introduction that he knew he was deliberately quote-mining but went ahead and published the book anyway because lying for Jesus is justifiable. He also plagiarized Stan Guffey's work, and recognizes that plagiarism is a form of stealing (see the plagiarism section on this page)

Fifth: This argument starts with asking "are you a good person?" This is misleading. According to the religion Ray Comfort follows, the Ten Commandments were given by God to Moses to give to the Israelites (the Jews) — the Chosen People. God did not tell Moses to give the Commandments to the Egyptians, the Canaanites, the Greeks, the Chinese, or anyone else. So if anyone is going to examine whether another person has broken the Ten Commandments, the first question should not be "are you a good person?", rather more accurately the question should be "are you a good Jew?" If this argument was rewritten to examine if someone have broken any of the Five Pillars of Islam, and a person failed to uphold a single tenet, that would not make them a bad person, it would make them a bad Muslim. The point is, religious laws do not determine if a person is ethical or good in general, it only determines whether a person is worthy for the reward offered by said religion. And that is Ray's goal, not to see if a person is good or not, but to draw people into his religion by making them feel guilty for breaking Jewish laws, claim they will face punishment, then offer them salvation (Jesus) and reward (Heaven).

[edit] Parachute analogy

The parachute argument is a reworking of Pascal's Wager. The premise is that there are lots and lots of good things out there, like famous art, money, a new iPad … but when push comes to shove, only some things can actually save you. If you were on a plane that was crashing and were handed a Mona Lisa, you would cast it aside—it's nice, but not when your life is on the line. The same applies with cash or a new car. But if someone hands you a parachute you take it, cause it will save you. God is the parachute. We're not sure why we are supposed to believe the analogy to a crashing plane, much less know it, but Comfort asserts it's true.[48]

[edit] Christian views

When men don't fear God, they give themselves to evil.
—Ray Comfort[49]
This society in which we live is radically changing. What previous generations saw as evil is now embraced as being good. It is a dangerous and slippery slope upon which we stand when we reject what Solomon called the beginning of wisdom — the fear of God.
—Ray Comfort[50]

Comfort appears to derive most of his views on the world from his interpretation of the Bible. This leads to some ... interesting and ... creative ... conclusions.

[edit] Gravity

Comfort, exercising his common sense. Later: "My apologies. I was wrong about gravity not existing in space. [...] Up until today I was one of the many who believed that there is zero gravity in space. We live and learn — thanks to the many atheists who kindly corrected me."[51]
The Bible says that the earth is immovable. It cannot be moved. So now is your chance to prove your point. Run outside and move the earth. Perhaps you and your friends could jump on it, or find a rocky outcrop and push it together. Maybe after that little experiment you will concede that the earth is immovable.
—Ray Comfort[52]

Interestingly, you can actually move the earth: by jumping. This will move the earth about a hundredth of the radius of a hydrogen atom.[53] If you want the earth to move a full hydrogen you'll need 99 friends. This is due to Newton's third law of motion, which is often phrased as "every action has an equal and opposite reaction". When something of appropriate mass—say, an appropriately sized asteroid—happens to jump on the earth, the earth may be so moved that it changes its orbit. Speaking of which, isn't orbiting around the sun sort of like moving? Or what about the entire solar system orbiting the center of the galaxy about every 225 million years; plus, the milky way galaxy itself—with everything containing it it, including the Earth—is moving.

[edit] The afterlife

In yet another variant of Pascal's wager, Comfort tells his followers to accept increased suffering in this life in order to avoid greater pain after death; you've got to be miserable for Jesus:[54]

But there is no Biblical precedent for a message of life improvement upon conversion. None. In fact, the Bible says you will have trials, tribulations, temptation, persecution.

[edit] Lust

Christians of the Comfort type are made to feel guilty and to fear God's wrath if they glance at another person and think "Isn’t he/she attractive?" According to Comfort (and Jesus himself[55]) looking at another person with lust is equivalent to adultery.

Most modern psychologists disapprove strongly of the "Endless Love guilt" game. Psychologists have long argued that these feelings of random (but unacted upon) lust, feelings of curious sexuality, or even feelings of desire that are acted upon if no one is hurt (the same feelings that Comfort denounces as filthy and sinful), are natural and involuntary. Trying to suppress those feelings is nearly impossible and can cause psychological harm as can blaming yourself or laying guilt on yourself.[56][57]

[edit] Homosexuality

See the main article on this topic: Homosexuality

Like any decent fundamentalist Christian, Comfort is a homophobe. Given his other views, we would be shocked if he wasn't. On his Living Waters ministry website:[58]

Romans 1:26-32 is seen by many as a description of a civilization that eventually gave itself to homosexuality and changed "the natural use" into what is "against nature" (vs 26), "leaving the natural use" of the woman (vs 27)...

Homosexuality is unnatural, and homosexuals are said to be "without natural affection" (Vs 31, italics added). In this passage scripture calls the affection they had for each other "vile" (vs 26) and a burning "lust" (vs 27). The phrase "without natural affection" means that they were without the natural affection that manifests in families made up of one man and one woman. There is no "kindred" affection between men.

He then goes on to quote Scott Lively, Janet Porter, and Tony Peirce on how this is somehow going to lead to the end of the world. Avid readers may recognize the logical fault in the line of reasoning Comfort uses.

More recently, Comfort's movie, Audacity, is a mix of scripted scenes where bike messenger "Peter" comes to understand that gays will go to hell through a series of contrived metaphorical events and decides to bring them the Gospel, and Comfort's typical shock-and-awe (and quote-mined) street interviews with passers-by. Corinthians is quoted to suit Ray Comfort without explaining translation uncertainty. The film is aimed not at gays but rather at Christians who are urged to harass gays bring gays to repent and feel bad about themselves.[59]

Comfort also expressed his support for Kim Davis:[60]

I believe Kim Davis is a woman of courage, who should be admired for her convictions rather than vilified. This issue stands or falls on whether or not those who are homosexual are born that way. Here now is the conflict for the Christian. We believe that the Bible is God's inspired Word, and it puts homosexuality alongside adultery, fornication and theft as moral choices. It makes it very clear that homosexuality is as much a choice as adultery, fornication or theft.

Truly, the Bible is a more trustworthy source than modern genetics and sociology.

[edit] School shootings

Comfort stooped to his usual tiresome pretzel logic (on the sympathetic forum of WND, of course) in order to explain the shooting spree by James Eagan Holmes in Aurora, Colorado. According to Comfort, it's "the humanistic worldview" that "says that no one is born with a sinful (evil) nature" which makes mass murder "normal", not the fact that Holmes was probably batshit crazy when he perpetrated his crime.[61]

Comfort said the Sandy Hook massacre happened because America has apparently "lost its fear of God."[62]

[edit] Child beating

In Cults, Sects and Questions (1979), Comfort praises the corporal punishment of children to promote discipline. Comfort states that an unbeaten child is no better than a "bastard" and that withholding the rod "is to put your child in the hand of Satan and co-operate with him in sending your child to hell!" In the same book, he describes how he regularly "canes" his children and that his own mother would "turn grey" if she knew how he treated her grandchildren.[9]

Comfort is famously quoted as saying, in the context of the story of Abraham and Isaac: "I would kill a thousand children if God asked me to, that's because I have faith. [....] If the Lord commanded me to rape and kill my own children tonight, it would be done by morning." This is a hoax created by an atheist,[63] and Comfort has rejected the statement.[64]

[edit] Environmentalism

Comfort seems to subscribe to the view, popular among fundies, that since everything will be destroyed and "made anew" in the End Times, environmental destruction is not a bad thing:

The reason atheists and skeptics get so upset when I say it’s good to cut down trees is that this world is all they have. If it gets completely wrecked, it’s all over for them. That’s what they believe . . . that life then ends. That’s unless Mother Nature or Father Evolution (whoever they believe made everything) makes some more trees, etc. Of course if it has to start all over again, they have to wait for around 4.5 billion years. That’s what they believe, and I guess that’s a little too long for them to wait. So they get antsy when Christians are a little flippant about creation. But we can’t help it. We don’t value creation as though our life depends on it. That’s because we know and trust Him who made all things, and if humanity wrecks this earth, we have His immutable promise that He is going to make all things new.
—"A blogger's confession"[65]

But don't worry—according to the same blog post, he likes trees.

Relatedly, Comfort claims to have run over his dog while riding his bike because his dog refused to follow his warnings about running in front of his bike.[66] He also claims that, without Judeo-Christian ethics, the atheists of Europe would happily consume "fresh cat casseroles" and "tasty little kitten fingers".[67]

[edit] The apocalypse

Comfort firmly believes that the Bible (particularly Ezekiel 38) prophesies that Russia will attack Israel at the End Times (or "the latter days"[68]). Comfort interprets the reference the "Prince of Rosh" in Ezekiel 38 as Russia (using Smith’s Bible Dictionary, p. 584 as proof). Comfort says the Bible prophesies that Russia will combine with Iran, Libya (in Hebrew called "Put"), and "communistic" Ethiopia (in Hebrew called “Cush”) and attack Israel.[69] Comfort claims, "This will take place after an Israeli peace initiative has been successful.[70] The Bible even gives the Russian reasoning for and the direction of the attack,[71] as well as the location of the battle (Armageddon—Revelation 16:16)."

Apart from Russia attacking Israel, Comfort believes that the end of times as predicted in the Bible is coming. And when it comes, he will be free from punishment and enter Heaven. Comfort compares himself to a man at court, where the judge asks to see evidence of his sin, where his lawyer gets up and says "there is no evidence of his sin. Jesus washed it all away." Comfort says the signs reveal the coming end of days, which are (you can listen to Comfort list them off here):

  • There will be false Christs and many false prophets who will deceive many. False Bible teachers will have many followers, be money-hungry (Comfort himself of course is not money-hungry), and slander the Christian faith.[72]
  • There will be blasphemy; cold-heartedness (there was cold-heartedness in the past for example when child labor was tolerated); intemperance; brutality; rebellious youth; hatred of those who stand up for righteousness; ungodliness; pleasure-seeking; much hypocrisy (even within the Christian church).
  • Wars and rumors of wars; Nation rising against nation and intimidating each other. People will be fearful of the future and people will cry for peace. (Was this ever not so?)
  • Famines, disease (pestilence), increases in cancer and heart attacks, and there will be earthquakes in various places
  • Lawlessness (forsaking of the Ten Commandments)
  • The Gospel will be preached in all the world.
  • Knowledge and science will be greatly increased.
  • Signs from heaven (in the Sun, Moon, and stars) and the sun shall "darken" (which could be that dark smokes block all sunlight)
  • Persecution against Christians in all nations
  • Men’s hearts will fail them for fear of the future; humanity will be selfish, materialistic, arrogant, proud.
  • Homosexuality will increase. The institution of marriage will be forsaken.
  • Increase in occult activity (astrology, horoscopes, Satanism and perhaps Halloween) as well as an increase in cults.
  • Vegetarianism will increase (we're a bit puzzled by this one too).
  • Men will scoff at the "fact" that God once flooded the earth (as well as Noah). Their motivation for hating the truth will be their love of lust.[73] Comfort says "The Scriptures tell us that they make one big mistake. Their understanding of God is erroneous. They don’t understand that God’s time frame is not the same as ours. They think (in their ignorance) that God’s continued silence means that He doesn’t see their sins. In truth, He is merely holding back His wrath, waiting for them to repent and escape the damnation of hell. Jesus warned that the sign to look for was the repossession of Jerusalem by the Jews. That happened in 1967, after 2,000 years, bringing into culmination all the signs of the times. (These are combined from Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; 1 Timothy 4; and 2 Timothy 3.)"

When people say that these things have always happened, Comfort jumps on them saying, "What you said is is exactly what the Bible said you would say, therefore you prove the Bible yet again!"

[edit] Salvation

"Either you are lying or God is lying, and it's impossible for Him to lie."[74] (*cough* Genesis 2:17 *cough*)

Comfort's view on salvation changes with the wind at times.

First: He distills his doctrine of salvation to:

[O]nce and for all and the moment you trust in him [Jesus Christ], you are completely justified and made right with God, you are made perfect by God's grace. That has nothing to do with living a good life, pleasing God because you can't because you a lying, thieving, adulterer at heart. The only thing you can do is repent and trust in him. The minute you do, in a heartbeat God justifies you. God cleanses you of your sin and you are born again. God gives you a new heart with a new set of desires and you know you are going to escape death and damnation.[75]

Other Christians disagree with this.[76] He admits that any person can be saved and cleansed of sin the second they repent, making Christianity a get-out-of-jail-free card. Comfort believes that the Bible says that we are saved by grace alone,[wp] and not by works. Hitler, murderers, rapists, or anyone else, can be just as wicked as they want their whole life to their last minute, but that's clearly fine with Comfort. Comfort fully buys into this, and when questioned about it during a debate on Nightline with the Rational Response Squad he had nothing to say except silence. Some Christians condemn him for that.[77]

Second: At other times, Comfort puts a serious emphasis on repentance. If you don't manage to stop sinning and to do good works, (like evangelizing and bringing Comfort's message to other people) your conversion may be a false conversion and you will go to Hell after all:

Merely being sorry for your sins, or confessing them to God won't help you. You must turn from sin (repent)…[78]

A different group of Christians condemn him for that,[79] but his followers apparently overlook the contradiction.

Third: So what does the Bible say about salvation? Is it by grace alone and not by works? Comfort quotes Titus and Ephesians 2:8-9, which says that souls are saved not by works of righteousness, but according to God's mercy. But Psalm 62:12 disagrees: "For you render to each one according to his works." Matthew 16:27 spells it out nicely: "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works." That does seem as if the Bible has no idea what it thinks.

[edit] Medical woo

See the main article on this topic: Faith healing
Comfort's thong book. By "more than", he presumably means the placebo effect (or, perhaps, improved blood flow when you pray really really hard).

In 1979, Comfort published More Than Just Comfort: An Answer to Cancer. In this book Comfort displays more than ever that he is a snake oil salesman, starting with the quote on the dust cover that cancer is the "modern day leprosy."[9][80]

Other gems included in this book include:

Therefore you should never take medicine to relieve pain. You should never consult a doctor or go to a hospital for treatment, because you would be interfering with the work of God in your life. If Cancer is the chastening tool of God, then doctors who are fighting cancer are fighting against the work of God. If a preacher or a Christian believes the sickness is a means of chastening, then he should never pray for relief from the sickness, but rather pray that the cancer will continue to grow until the chastening is completed.
There is absolutely no point in being healed in our bodies, then dying in our sins and spending an eternity in hell. It would be better to die of cancer and go to heaven because of that cancer, than to live in perfect health and end up in hell.
If doctors were asked to diagnose that woman's case, not one spine specialist in the world would say "Satan has bound her". Doctors would call it arthritis of the spine, or vertebrae out of place, or some other medical term, and they would be right as far as medical terms are concerned. But if you get to the real source of the trouble you will discover that source is Satan.

When the subject of the book was raised on Comfort's Facebook page, he defended it by saying:[81]

Here is my response: In the book, I am arguing for cancer patients to seek medical treatment, and not to mistakenly believe that God gave them cancer as some sort of punishment/lesson, because if God had done that, then they shouldn't seek treatment until He has finished teaching them their "lesson." You and other atheists have numerous times attempted to make it look as though I'm saying the opposite, by taking it out of context. Any quote that begins with "Therefore" should be a clue that it is quote-mined.

So cancer is just God teaching you a lesson. And Comfort complaining about quote mining detonated irony meters across the globe.

[edit] Media presence

[edit] Way of the Master

See the main article on this topic: Way of the Master

Together with actor Kirk Cameron (a.k.a. the inventor of the "Crocoduck"), Comfort produces the Way of the Master series including TV shows and internet articles. The masterly way is based on converting evangelists with scare tactics around issues of salvation and Hell. It's worth noting that though they frequently pontificate about the nature of God, and the path to morality, neither Comfort nor Cameron has any formal education in theology.[82]

The Comfortable message[note 3] amounts to:

  1. You have broken the Ten Commandments.
  2. You will go to Hell if you die just now.
  3. You cannot be forgiven unless you do exactly as Comfort tells you.

[edit] Words of Comfort

If we go to his blog and extend an invitation, he will simply delete it, thus enabling himself to continue claiming that we just aren’t inviting him, or maybe we’re scaaared of him, or whatever sustains the deluded fiction upon which he has constructed his life. Ray Comfort is a liar. The proof’s in the proverbial pudding.
Martin Wagner, "Ray Comfort: pathological liar", The Atheist Experience[9]

Comfort blogs at "Words of Comfort." Most of the site's arguments against the theory of evolution and atheism are not worth debunking; he'll just keep coming back with more (or maybe even the same ones). This, however, hasn't stopped many atheists from flocking to the blog for a laugh. Comfort got so many of these readers that for a time he named the site "Atheist Central."[83] He used material posted by atheists on the site to help him write quite a bit of very profitable Godly material, including his book You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, but You Can't Make Him Think.

On the blog, Comfort forbids foul language (however he interprets "foul") and links to other websites. Either of these, or failure to capitalize "God" and "Jesus", will cause an immediate deletion of their comments. The most irritating part of the rule is no links to other site or articles, especially for people who can provide the evidence Comfort demands. It appears Comfort loves to dwell in his ignorance.

More recently, Comfort has focused less on atheism, saying in 2012: "So, the good news for me is that I will start daily blogging again on January 1st, 2012. However, there will be a big change. The blog will be called “Words of Comfort” and it will have a much broader content than just atheism."[84]

[edit] Million Dollar gospel tracts


Comfort has been printing Bible tracts that look like a million dollar bill. As of 2009, 9 to 11 million have been distributed;[86] they currently sell for $2 per 100.[87] The tracts were quite clearly not government-issued:[86]

[Front:] 1,000,000 / One Million / This bill is not legal tender for all debts, public and private / Department of Eternal Affairs / JN 316777AZ [more recent versions have "JN 316RU4GOD]
[Reverse:] The million dollar question: Will you go to Heaven? Here’s a quick test. Have you ever told a lie, stolen anything or used God’s name in vain? Jesus said, ‘Whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart.’ Have you looked with lust? Will you be guilty on Judgment Day? If you have done those things God sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart. The Bible warns that if you are guilty you will end up in Hell. That’s not God’s will. He sent His Son to suffer and die on the cross for you. Jesus took your punishment upon Himself – ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’ Then He rose from the dead and defeated death. Please, repent (turn from sin) today and trust in Jesus, and God will grant you everlasting life. Then read your Bible daily and obey it.

Reply from PZ Myers:

Every little thing that you feel guilty about is treated as a sign that you deserve to go to Hell. Did you take two mints after dinner at the restaurant, instead of just one? Did you accidentally break the handle off one of the teacups in Aunt Tillie’s favorite set? Did you get a glimpse of a naked breast as you were flipping through the cable channels? Then your loving god thinks you should be flayed while swimming in a lake of fire for eternity! Because he’s promising to torture you forever, you better get on your knees and love him right now. And also send Ray $7 for a piece of worthless paper, thank you very much.

After being contacted by a North Carolina bank at which a customer had attempted to cash one of these tracts,[89] US Secret Service agents arrived at Great News Network, an evangelist organization linked to Comfort and Cameron's Way of the Master ministry,[90] and seized their stock of 8,300 "Million Dollar" gospel tracts, on threat of arrest. This spawned a massive uproar among right-wing media, whining about a government misstep fearful of their persecution by the Feds.[85][86][91][92][93][94]

The Department of Homeland Security should be tracking dangerous criminals instead of harassing innocent people of faith for handing out religious tracts.
—Steve Crampton, attorney at Liberty Counsel and not overreacting[89]

Right-wing legal organization Liberty Counsel successfully (and rightfully) argued that the agents violated the Fourth Amendment by conducting a warrantless search and seizure and that the bill doesn't actually resemble existing currency.[89] Their arguments that the seizure violated the First Amendment right to free speech were not ruled on.

[edit] $10,000 challenge

Comfort had a standing $10,000 challenge to anyone who could show him a transitional fossil.[95] However, not just any fossil would do, and Comfort demanded that someone show him a lizard producing a bird, a dog producing a cat or, even stranger, a sheep producing a chicken. The deafening silence to his throwing down of the gauntlet (outside the sound of a million face-palms) only went to prove to Comfort that evolution is false and that transitionals do not exist.

[edit] Bibliophilia

Comfort has a Facebook page—not that we would recommend anyone to spend long periods of time on it—where he once threatened to ban anyone using the term "bibliophile" as he thought it meant "cross between pedophile and Bible".[96] Obviously, this is not the case; apparently Comfort is not a bibliophile as it seems that he has never opened a science book or a dictionary.

[edit] Bibliography

See the main article on this topic: List of Ray Comfort publications

Comfort manages to churn out about 5 books a year, but they are typically lightweight in both size and intellect, so this is not really much of an achievement. A lot of his "work" is public domain material that he has taken from elsewhere, collated and published. For example, his <Some dead guy> Gold: Pure. Refined. series of books are just collections of that person's writings or speeches with no serious commentary, analysis, or other additional text.

Comfort's most notable compilations of word-spew:

[edit] Plagiarism

See the main article on this topic: Origin of Species (2009): Accusations of plagiarism

Comfort has faced accusations that he copied the work of Stan Guffey without giving credit.[97][98] Remember, Comfort is the very same guy who likes to frighten people telling them they will go to Hell because they told one or more small lies or stole anything. Even having stolen something small as a child makes somebody a hell-bent thief according to the Comfortable system, yet Comfort stole another man's intellectual property.[99] Comfort knows that was naughty, and said so himself.[100]

[edit] Notable debates

Comfort is quite the attention seeker. Apart from the constant street preaching in Los Angeles and confronting hundreds of laymen in public areas, Comfort has challenged Richard Dawkins, Eugenie Scott, and Bill Maher to debate the theory of evolution and intelligent design.

Comfort is not interested in any intellectual debates; rather, he is more interested in a large audience (the bigger, the better). However, his tactics and methods of getting a debate are rather immature and despicable. For instance, once Comfort debates someone, he announces he is somehow on a equal intellectual playing field as scientists like Prof. Dawkins (even though Comfort does not have any degree of any kind). However, whoever Comfort challenges (and often offers thousands of dollars for the person's time) but declines or ignores the offer, Comfort replies in a rather immature whining manner by taunting them and calling them scared. Comfort twists disinterest into fear. For instance, when Comfort challenged Bill Maher, Comfort made the following comment:

I am beginning to suspect that some men may have evolved from chickens, or at least that’s the impression I get when it comes to evolutionists standing up for their convictions,” notes Comfort. “Mr. Maher can choose the place of the debate. I don’t mind if he has it in front of his audience. He can bill it as ‘Another simple-minded Christian being thrown to the lions.’[101]

Comfort looks like an intellectual "big shot" either way; he is smart enough to debate a qualified scientist or the scientist is scared of Comfort's arguments. The simple truth is that Comfort is a nobody who uses faulty logic and numerous illogical arguments that have already been refuted a thousand times and has proven to be impervious to reason, so debating him is practically pointless. All he wants is an audience to preach to. Perhaps the biggest audience he ever has was the debate with the Rational Response Squad on Nightline television, where Comfort revealed he could not prove God scientifically (which he had promised to do) and that his whole argument relies on faith and belief.

Scientists like Dawkins and Eugenie Scott don't waste their time on people like Comfort, a man who has no intention whatsoever of changing his mind or actually acknowledging valid scientific evidence. Comfort's presuppositionalism and blind faith in his religion demand that he believes, regardless of proof, whereas scientists are interested in honest discussions and an honest approach to discovering truth. So instead, Comfort usually debates positive atheists who have a remarkable audience, such as leaders of atheist groups, radio hosts, and vloggers.

Debate with Ron Barrer at the 2001 Atheist National Convention
On April 2001 in Orlando, Florida at the American Atheists' National Convention, American Atheist national spokesperson Ron Barrier debated Comfort. Within the debate, Comfort used the banana as an argument for design and proof for God.
Debate with the Rational Response Squad
See the main article on this topic: Rational Response Squad debate with Way of the Master
On May 5, 2007, RRS co-founder Brian Sapient and RRS member Kelly O'Connor participated in a live debate aired on Nightline with Comfort and Kirk Cameron. Comfort and Cameron claimed they were able to show the existence of their god without the use of the Bible and faith.
Debate with Thunderf00t
See the main article on this topic: Thunderf00t debates Ray Comfort
On July 24, 2009, Comfort and YouTuber vlogger Thunderf00t had a recorded debate (eventually they met a second time and had another discussion). There was no moderator or audience, just the two of them sitting down and freely addressing any topic they wished.
Debate with the Atheist Experience
On 27 March 2011, Comfort was a call-in guest on The Atheist Experience, with hosts Matt Dillahunty (a former Baptist seminarian turned atheist and founder of Iron Chariots) and Russell Glasser.[102]
Debate with Matt Dillahunty
On 7 February 2014, Comfort and Matt Dillahunty of The Atheist Experience debated the existence of God on the KKMS.FM radio show On the Way with Ridgeway. Owing to Comfort's insistence on preaching rather than actually engaging in debate, Matt avowed after the show never to have anything to do with Comfort ever again.[103]

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Notes

  1. Chuck Smith was a student at Life Bible College, founded by Aimee Semple McPherson — a female Pentecostal preacher, faith healer and outspoken anti-evolutionist. McPherson was sued by the families of people who died after the evangelists told them to ditch the medical care they needed. Aimee McPherson died of a presumed accidental sleeping pill overdose.
  2. 2014, 2013, 2012
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YMPAH67f4o

[edit] Footnotes

  1. http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2011/11/wanker-of-the-day-8
  2. http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=1735434&page=3
  3. Comfort, Ray, "The Way of the Master," p. 3, 5
  4. https://www.youtube.com/user/thewayofthemaster/about
  5. https://www.facebook.com/official.Ray.Comfort
  6. https://www.facebook.com/lwwotm
  7. http://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-evangelist-s-book-ranked-bestselling-atheist-item-36969/
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmvyBhCDrGA
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ray_Comfort
  10. http://www.brianathomas.com/archives/2009/03/02/kirk-camerons-and-ray-comforts-way-of-the-master-series/
  11. http://www.wearesmrt.com/wiki/index.php?title=Questions_Ray_Comfort_Won%27t_Answer&oldid=2505#How_old_does_he_think_the_earth_is.3F
  12. Ray Comfort on The Atheist Experience - Full Debate. 29 March 2011. youtube.com. Retrieved on 20 December 2015.
  13. What do I think of Ray Comfort?
  14. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJ-DawQKPr8
  15. Comfort, Comfort Food, p. 173-174. "The reason that "many 'species to species' transitions are known though they are not as abundant as the general lineages," is that there aren't any. There are no transitional fossils (species to species transitions)."'
  16. https://www.facebook.com/official.Ray.Comfort/posts/732642600089549
  17. The School of Biblical Evangelism: 101 Lessons : how to Share Your Faith: "Evolution is a fairy tale for grown ups." quote
  18. 18.0 18.1 http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/is-your-church-having-a-cinderella-sunday/
  19. Ray Comfort makes a Fruit Salad, Dispatches From the Culture Wars
  20. http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/2010/07/not-completely-ignorant.html
  21. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/08/20/an-interview-with-creationist-filmmaker-and-banana-enthusiast-ray-comfort/
  22. Defender's Guide, page 87
  23. http://www.fstdt.com/QuoteComment.aspx?QID=67928&Page=4
  24. http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/2010/07/evolution-of-stupidity.html
  25. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0u3-2CGOMQ
  26. http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/2008/12/sexs-without-sex.html
  27. Elephantine error from Ray Comfort refutes a similar claim over elephants.
  28. Ask A Scientist, Biology Archive, [1]
  29. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB350.html
  30. http://web.archive.org/web/20110510122030/http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/2011/04/genesis-on-trial_27.html
  31. http://atheism.wikia.com/wiki/Evolution_(Way_of_the_Master)
  32. http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/2011/02/what-evolution-believes.html
  33. http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/2011/04/atheists-stand-up-for-what-you-believe.html
  34. https://www.facebook.com/official.Ray.Comfort/posts/575792439107900
  35. http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/2011/04/genesis-on-trial_26.html
  36. 36.0 36.1 http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2009/02/ray-comfort-pat-robertson-on-evolution/
  37. https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~matzke/matzke_cv/_pubs/Pallen_Matzke_2006_NRM_origin_flagella.pdf
  38. The School of Biblical Evangelism, Lesson 72: Atheist Questions Part 1
  39. Spontaneous creation of the Universe Ex Nihilo
  40. https://www.facebook.com/official.Ray.Comfort/posts/571785966175214
  41. http://tinyurl.com/6lsxkcr
  42. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRQcexn5Pdk
  43. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Thunderf00t_debates_Ray_Comfort
  44. https://www.facebook.com/official.Ray.Comfort/posts/540811522605992
  45. Iron Chariots definition
  46. http://gphhawkinsrationalistsociety.weebly.com/letters.html
  47. The School of Biblical Evangelism: 101 Lessons: how to Share Your Faith: lying is prohibited quote
  48. http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Parachute_analogy
  49. Ray Comfort quote from God’s Message to the World By Neale Donald Walsch (2015). Jaico Publishing House, ISBN 8184957947.
  50. https://www.facebook.com/official.Ray.Comfort/posts/752142268139582
  51. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/07/27/ray-comfort-apologizes-for-saying-theres-no-gravity-in-space/
  52. www.goodreads.com/quotes/482207-the-bible-says-that-the-earth-is-immovable-it-cannot
  53. http://www.livescience.com/33383-everyone-on-earth-jumping-at-once.html
  54. You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think, Page 95
  55. Matthew 5:27-30
  56. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sex-dawn/201004/sexual-repression-the-malady-considers-itself-the-remedy
  57. http://recoveringcultist.blogspot.com/2011/08/sexual-repression.html The case history is from a former Christadelphian but can be generalized to other religious people who try to suppress sex.
  58. http://www.livingwaters.com/articles/homosexuality%E2%80%94a-sign-of-the-end-of-the-age
  59. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/06/29/ray-comforts-anti-gay-film-audacity-is-a-ludicrous-caricature-of-self-righteous-evangelism/
  60. http://www.charismanews.com/us/51740-evangelist-ray-comfort-homosexuality-is-a-choice
  61. Ray Comfort Explains Aurora Shootings, Dispatches from the Culture Wars
  62. Connecticut School Shooting… Why???, Way of the Master (just after 3m mark).
  63. https://atheistforum.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/that-ray-comfort-meme/
  64. https://www.facebook.com/official.Ray.Comfort/posts/938823586138115
  65. https://web.archive.org/web/20080402045803/http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/2008/03/bloggers-confession.html
  66. http://www.onthebox.us/2013/03/words-of-comfort-megaphone.html
  67. https://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/19ipow/ray_comfort_does_it_again/
  68. Ezekiel 38:16
  69. Ezekiel 38:5-8
  70. Ezekiel 38:11
  71. Ezekiel 38:5-10
  72. 2 Peter 2:1-2
  73. 2 Peter 3:1-7
  74. https://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/19i6pu/ray_comfort_just_called_me_a_liar/
  75. http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Mormonism_%28Way_of_the_Master%29
  76. https://s3.amazonaws.com/Website11/Comfort.htm
  77. https://s3.amazonaws.com/Website11/Comfort.htm
  78. [2]
  79. http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Wolves/ray_comfort.htm
  80. Ray Comfort claims to find a Cure for Cancer.
  81. In which Comfort shows he really is a despicable human being
  82. http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=1735434&page=3
  83. [3]
  84. [4], posted December 22, 2011.
  85. 85.0 85.1 85.2 http://www.metrovoice.net/www.metrovoice.net/2006/0706_stlweb/0706_articles/secret_service_seizes_tracts.html
  86. 86.0 86.1 86.2 http://www.religionnewsblog.com/23583/million-dollar-gospel-tract
  87. http://store.livingwaters.com/gospel-tracts/million-dollar-bill.html
  88. Also for sale by Ray Comfort
  89. 89.0 89.1 89.2 http://www.christianpost.com/news/million-dollar-bill-gospel-tracts-are-legal-judge-rules-44580/
  90. PrayerStop.org, about us. Great News Network was formed by Darrel Rundus in 2002. At the time of the Secret Service raid in 2006, Great News Network was heavily involved in spreading Comfort's propaganda. The organization is now known as PrayerStop.org. Retrieved on 20 December 2015.
  91. http://www.wnd.com/2006/06/36466/
  92. http://www.worthynews.com/952-secret-service-agents-seize-thousands-of-ray-comfort-s-million-dollar-bill-gospel-tracts
  93. http://www.christianexaminer.com/article/secret.service.agents.seize.thousands.of.1.million.bill.gospel.tracts/42835.htm
  94. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1642777/posts
  95. 2010 archive of "The $10,000 Offer"
  96. "If you call any other Christian on this page a ‘bibliophile’ I will ban you." The Daily Dolt
  97. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/12/it_couldnt_happen_to_a_sleazie.php
  98. http://aigbusted.blogspot.com/2009/11/ray-comfort-plagiarist.html
  99. Stealing intellectual property is also theft, see What is intellectual property?.
  100. Plagiarism and lust. wikia.com. Retrieved on 20 December 2015.
  101. http://www.wnd.com/2006/05/36099/
  102. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyzF8SMQOxU&feature=channel_video_title
  103. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOlD0d3dAh0
  104. http://blog.leagueofreason.co.uk/reason/ray-comfort-is-180-degrees-from-reality/ See here for counter-arguments.

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