Atheists are praising prominent Christian filmmaker, author, evangelist and apologist Ray Comfort after his plan to hand out Subway gift cards at a weekend gathering of atheists in Washington was stymied by police restrictions, and he then confirmed plans to give the $25,000 worth of food to homeless.
“Good for Ray! Hurts to say it, but it is the right thing to do,” wrote one commenter identified only as Statis, on a prominent website for atheists, Patheos.
“He’s a liar and a manipulator, and kind of an idiot, but I can’t fault his values when it comes to human kindness. Anyone who ever met him will tell you, Comfort possesses plenty of that,” added Jared James.
And another commenter, NathairHimheil, added, “This was a ‘What should we do with all this free food?’ decision, and it’s a good one. Credit where credit is due.”
WND had reported just days ago that Comfort, whose common-sense attitude toward atheism is evident in his books “Nothing Created Everything,” “You Can Lead An Atheist to Evidence, But You Can’t Make Him Think” and “God Doesn’t Believe in Atheists,” was canceling plans to give copies of his new book and gift cards for Subway sandwiches to atheists at a rally planned in Washington on Saturday.
Police forced him to cancel, he explained to WND, because of the size of his contingency.
More than 1,000 Christians had volunteered to help hand out the gifts to atheists who will be attending this year’s Reason Rally on the National Mall in Washington on June 4.
The event, by its own description, is to “showcase the presence and power of the nonreligious voting bloc, and to demand that reason be put at the forefront of our public and political discourse.”
“Not only are we celebrating our secular, atheist, agnostic, humanist, freethinking, and nonreligious identities, we are preparing to exercise our power at the voting box to bring good sense back to government,” the event’s promoters say.
See Ray Comfort’s works at the WND Superstore.
Comfort, whose programs, books, movies and outreaches are online at the Living Waters site, said there will be an estimated 20,000 atheists meeting at one end of the National Mall, and he is planning to film open-air preaching for his TV program, “The Way of the Master,” the same day near the Washington Monument.
So he proposed giving away 5,000 copies of his new book about atheism, along with Subway gift cards totaling $25,000, as a gesture of Christian love. The book is called “Fat Chance: Why Pigs Will Fly Before America Has an Atheist President.” It’s a direct counter to one of key objectives of the Reason Rally.
But there were complications, especially when 1,000 people volunteered to help him, he told WND.
“The police said that the only way we could gather a thousand Christians in the National Mall was on the condition that we didn’t approach atheists, saying that we would be arrested if we did. So, we canceled the invitation for people to help us. That meant that our small film crew didn’t need a permit to gather, and we were no longer were seen by police as a ‘protest,'” he said.
“We then told the thousand Christians that if they came of their own initiative, they too didn’t fall under the need of a permit. They were not only free to share their faith, but they could join us for the filming of open air preaching at the Washington Monument at 1:00 p.m. on June 4,” he said. “Our hope is that atheists will come and heckle us. The incentive for them to do so is that they may get on an award-winning TV program that airs in 190 countries.”
He explained that he was delighted by the comments from atheists regarding his plans to give the $25,000 in Subway gift cards to homeless.
Comfort confirmed he will be giving away copies of his book to those people he meets.
“The same blog kindly publicized that I will be standing by two six-foot caricatures of Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, giving away books,” he said. “Those who won’t be going to the rally but would like a copy of the book can get it on Amazon.
He said his message to atheists is that, “54 million people die every year, and that if there was one chance in a million that the Bible is right when it says ‘Jesus Christ has abolished death,’ they owe it to their good sense to soften their hearts and at least listen. That’s all I ask.”
Comfort explained the gift cards had been provided by a donor.
Comfort uses humor, reason and logic to challenge the faith atheists have that there is nothing out there.
Comfort is the founder and president of Living Waters Publications. After relocating from New Zealand to Southern California in the 1980s, he introduced a long line of pastors and churches to a biblical teaching he called “Hell’s Best-Kept Secret.”
“The Way of the Master,” with actor Kirk Cameron, is broadcast in 70 nations, and he has written more than 60 books.
With such topics as Hitler and the Bible, the Beatles and the Bible, and changing minds about abortion, Comfort regularly finds himself in conflict, even if friendly conflict, with an increasingly secular American society.
He recently disputed with YouTube over a trailer for one of his movies. The trailer promotes Comfort’s film “Audacity,” which challenges the belief that homosexuality is unchangeable.
According to Comfort’s Facebook page, YouTube explained in a message: “This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube’s policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content.”
Comfort invited the public to view the trailer on the movie’s website and “see if it’s spam, a scam or has commercially deceptive content.”
The trailer is also available here: