Ray Comfort Teaches How to Proselytize


In Ray Comfort’s latest column for the Worldnutdaily, he decides to teach people how to proselytize to gay people. He offers up this conversation he allegedly had on an airplane with a lesbian couple as the perfect example of how to do this the right way:

I was flying from Los Angeles to Miami when I found myself sitting next to two women. Sarah was sitting closest to me. She was 29, inappropriately dressed, with a ring through her nose, and she wasn’t the friendliest person I have sat next to on a plane.

After we took off I couldn’t help but notice that her friend kept kissing her on the cheek, holding her hand and rubbing her shoulder. They were “gay,” and that little revelation lifted my planned witnessing encounter up a big notch on the awkward meter. I really didn’t want an angry homosexual couple complaining to the airline (and the media) that I was a homophobic fundamentalist, imposing my “hate speech” by saying that they were going to hell because they were gay.

I waited until she had eaten, finished her movie, and simply said, “Sarah. I have a question for you. Do you think there’s an afterlife?”

She wasn’t sure, so I asked, “If heaven exists, are you going there? Are you a good person?”

She predictably said she was, so I took her through three of the Ten Commandments – had she lied, stolen and taken God’s name in vain? She had broken all three, so we then looked at whether or not she would be guilty on Judgment Day and whether she would go to heaven or hell. I then shared the cross and the necessity for repentance and faith in Jesus.

I didn’t mention her sexual orientation; I didn’t need to, nor did I want to. I simply shared the moral law (the Ten Commandments), because the Bible says that the law was “made” for homosexuals – see 1 Timothy 1:8-10. She wasn’t offended, and I kept her friendship and stayed out of jail.

Note the idiotic persecution complex at the end. There is no law against talking to someone on a place or against “hate speech.” But here’s the thing. I fly a lot and I’ve had many a conversation with people on airplanes. And if the conversation somehow veered into religion, I’m happy to talk about it. But if someone clearly struck up a conversation with me solely to convert me, I’d politely — or not so politely — tell them to drink a big steaming glass of shut the fuck up.

Comments

  1. says

    Dear Ray: Have you ever broken the commandment about giving false witness? I bet you have! Probably every time you tell one of these inane stories about “keeping friendship” with people you harass with your gotcha questions about their sins.

  2. says

    …planned witnessing encounter…

    Sounds like a personals ad category.
     

    “…a big steaming glass of shut the fuck up.”

    Sure, maybe up in 1st Class, where they’re complementary, but back in the rest of the plane a glass of that is, like, eleven bucks!

  3. raven42 says

    I never know what to make of Comfort’s “are you a good person?” shtick, since it’s insanely easy to point out that while most people have, say, stolen a piece of candy when they were little kids, no sensible being ever would permanently paint them as a “thief” for that.

    But then Comfort is the most obnoxious presuppositionalist (he *actually* said that Buddhism is inferior to Christianity because Buddhism won’t save you from God’s hell), and is still running around lying through his teeth saying no one’s ever shown him a transitional fossil.

  4. frankb says

    If it were me sitting there being asked those questions I’d ask him how little I would have to do to get sent to hell. Then I would admonish him for worshipping such an unjust tyrant.

  5. pamsmigh says

    I call bs. There is very little chance that Sarah sat there listening to him enumerate her sins. When he got to “are you gong there” she would have either ignored him, or said “yes” and then ignored him. He’s a lying liar.

  6. jolly says

    He first says ‘she wasn’t the friendliest person’ and then she sits through all his bullshit? Are you kidding? I would ask Ray whether he is a liar or really, really, really stupid.

  7. jamessweet says

    I’m torn, because on one hand it’s a good thing if Comfort and his clones would STFU about gay people, but on the other hand Ray’s little “gotcha” script is just so utterly fucking stupid and annoying…

    I call bs. There is very little chance that Sarah sat there listening to him enumerate her sins. When he got to “are you gong there” she would have either ignored him, or said “yes” and then ignored him. He’s a lying liar.

    I wouldn’t be so sure. For people with poor critical thinking skills, a vague squishy belief in the “goodness” of the Bible and in an afterlife, Ray’s incredibly fucking stupid argument can actually be effective. There are plenty of people (gay, straight, whatever) who meet those criteria….

  8. says

    John Pieret “Trapped for five hours with Ray Comfort? Oh the horrors!”
    That’s why I take the bus. Twenty hours of kindly grandmothers and drug runners. All the hard candy you can eat and a nice baggy of Purple Rauncho Mystery to take home afterwards.
     
    raven42 “But then Comfort is the most obnoxious presuppositionalist (he *actually* said that Buddhism is inferior to Christianity because Buddhism won’t save you from God’s hell)…”
    Checkmate, Buddyism!
     
    jolly “I would ask Ray whether he is a liar or really, really, really stupid.”
    Can’t it be both?

  9. pocketnerd says

    Assuming the story is true (which I doubt), I’d love to know what Ray means by “inappropriately dressed.” Most airlines have unpublished but very real dress codes — no naughty bits exposed, no clothing with profane or shocking words or images, et cetera. I suspect by “inappropriately dressed” Ray just means “She wasn’t wearing an ankle-length skirt and a thick, loose shirt that covered her upper body completely except for the hands and face. She had visible girl-flesh and that gave me the tingly naughty feeling in my pants! I was so excit— uh, I mean unsettled I had to go hug Kirk Cameron until it went away.”

    On the other hand, “inappropriately dressed” is often used in fundagelical circles as code for “obviously a total whore.” So maybe Ray’s just trying to pump up his evangelical cred in the story. “See, not only did I save a dyke, I saved a slutty dyke. Because you know how promiscuous all those homos are.”

  10. kantalope says

    It’s false witnessing about a false witnessing…double negative, so they cancel out.

    God, he’s always falling for semantic games like that.

  11. raven says

    Don’t worry.

    Their proselytizing voodoo rituals don’t work.

    People are leaving the churches by the millions a year.

    As an ex-xian, I don’t know many church goers. But do know a few here and there.

    1. They are complaining about declining membership. I asked one by how much. In the last decade or two they’ve lost 50%.

    2. One of the churches of my natal sect closed recently. It was an impressive old building from back when the churches had money and members. A few decades ago, they had 1500 members. That number just got smaller and smaller until there weren’t enough left.

    Around 400 to 500 churches close in the USA every year.

  12. says

    Oddly enough, this mirrors a conversation I had with a 15-year-old fundamentalist boy when I was 21 and flying east for my grandmother’s funeral. He told me about his family (sitting in the row behind us) and their beliefs. I told him about my life and family, letting him know I was bi and was a queer liberation activist. Then, after a few hours of making friends, I said, “So, if what your family believes is true, I’m going to burn in Hell for all eternity, right?”

    He struggled with that thought for a few moments, and then happily pointed out that perhaps that wouldn’t happen, because sometime before I die, I will accept Jesus as my savior.

    “That’s not going to happen,” I told him. “Your religion is totally against everything I am, and I’m happy with what I am.”

    We further discussed whether or not I was likely to accept Jesus, and I asked again, “Let’s just say I don’t accept Jesus, you believe that when I die I’m going to burn in Hell?”

    He said he did, but a lot more hesitantly. We left the plane friends and I’ve never seen him again. But sometimes I wonder if he is still a Christian…

  13. steve oberski says

    @raven

    Here in Canada you find more and more derelict churches being repurposed as restaurants, art galleries, night clubs, drop in centres, rehab clinics and so on which has a number of benefits including getting that property back into the municipal tax system so that cash strapped cities can actually start maintaining and upgrading their crumbling infrastructure.

    And the odd bible thumper that is silly enough to knock on my front door seems to be getting older and older (like me), it’s as if there are no young people in their churches.

    All in all it’s a situation where I can’t see any downside.

  14. steve oberski says

    @kantalope

    God, he’s always falling for semantic games like that.

    That sounds more like the jewish god, who apparently can be fooled by elevators that stop at each floor, stoves that turn themsleves off and on, etc. on the sabbath.

    In Religulous there is a hilarious segment where Bill Maher, as he put it, we went to the institute where they invent devices that allow people on the Sabbath who cannot use electricity to take an elevator or ride in a wheelchair.

  15. gertzedek says

    “lied, stolen and taken God’s name in vain”

    Lying isn’t even in the Ten Commandments (unless you’re testifying in court), and I sincerely doubt she was swearing any religious oaths by G-d’s name and then not fulfilling them. Stupid fundie Christians can’t even get their bible right.

  16. jaybee says

    FrankB said:

    I’d ask him how little I would have to do to get sent to hell.

    The answer is nothing. You could live a spotless life, but because we are born sinners, we are bound for hell anyway. According to many Christians, one must accept Jesus to erase the moral debt one inherits at birth.

  17. footface says

    Planned witnessing encounter. So this drip views every social interaction as an opportunity to pester people? I’m going to the movies tonight—I’ll preach at people before curtain time. I’m getting my license renewed—I’ll try to convert someone while we’re waiting in line. I’ve got to pick up my dry cleaning—I’ll hector the poor person behind the counter.

    What a toad.

  18. says

    @19:
    My thoughts exactly.

    As for closing churches, I long for the day when I see some. Having lived 15 years in AL and the last 10 in FL, I have never seen a churh close down (of course that doesn’t mean none of them have).
    Ah, life in the Bible Belt- banks, McDonalds, and churchs everywhere (no matter how small the town).

    I wonder if Ray would grace Pensacola, FL with his presence next weekend. Memorial Day weekend is a great big Queer celebration every year, with upwards of 100K people descending on the beaches over 4 days. Plenty of opportunity for him to proselytize. I’m sure many of us have a script just waiting for people like him.

  19. cactuswren says

    I’d ask him how little I would have to do to get sent to hell.

    The answer is nothing. You could live a spotless life, but because we are born sinners, we are bound for hell anyway. According to many Christians, one must accept Jesus to erase the moral debt one inherits at birth.

    It’s always entertaining to watch them try to reconcile this with “But God doesn’t send anyone to hell, people send themselves!”

  20. Nemo says

    Don’t miss the rest of the article, where Ray regales us with such gems as “Even the staunchest fundamentalist atheist believes in God,” and this:

    Imagine you have been asked to preach the gospel to 1,000 people on the 100th floor of the World Trade Center the night before 9/11. You know that within 24 hours every person looking at you will die a death so horrific it defies human imagination. Many will be burned alive. Others will jump 100 stories to their deaths on the unforgiving sidewalks of New York. Others will fall with the building and be so crushed that their bodies will never be recovered. What are you going to tell them – that God has a wonderful plan for their lives? You can’t say that to people who are about to die!

    Instead you would soberly tell them that it’s appointed to man once to die and after this, the judgment. You would tell them that God is holy, that He will judge them by His perfect law, that hell is very real and that they desperately need a Savior. You would tell them that they could die within 24 hours, and plead with them to repent and trust alone in Jesus.

    Actually Ray, I’m pretty sure I’d tell them not to come into work tomorrow. I mean… WTF? I guess that’s against the time-travelling-preacher rules or something.

  21. says

    At the end of the flight, Sarah was convinced. If six hours with a Christian was unbearable, she thought, just imagine what eternity would be like.

  22. imthegenieicandoanything says

    This story is classic Xian bullshit, but Ray is incapable of lying, because he’s always workin’ fer Jesus!

    No curse I might dream up in a moment of disgust would match up with the horror of being the inflated empty human skin that poses as Ray Comfort: he lives a pseudo-life of emptiness and self-deceit.

  23. raven says

    3500 — 4000 churches close their doors each year In America …
    www. godlikeproductions. com/forum1/message1747707/pg1

    Jan 7, 2012 – 31 posts – 3 authors
    2- Churches lose an estimated 2,765,000 people each year to nominalism and secularism. …. A number of churches have also been turned into nightclubs and pubs … Doesn’t surprise me the “Sunday churches” closing down …

    Well, I got the number of churches closing wrong.

    It’s a factor of ten higher.

    I keep a distant eye on ones in my local area just for fun. They seem to be stable but just barely. One shut down but now seems to house 2 or 3 smaller groups that aren’t even that similar. There are a few new small storefront churches that cater to Protestant Hispanics.

  24. hypatiasdaughter says

    Ray has been caught staging his street conversions. In one video, a woman “came to Jesus” after his 10 Commandment spiel and you could see a someone behind Ray holding up a prompting card with her lines reflected in her sunglasses.
    Ray will admit to lying and such because he is a sinner but forgiven by Jesus. If YOU do it, you’re a sinner but doomed to hell because you are not forgiven.
    If you want a good laugh, check out this video of “Ray Comfort OWNED by West Indian lady”.

  25. Nibi says

    raven42

    I never know what to make of Comfort’s “are you a good person?” shtick, since it’s insanely easy to point out that while most people have, say, stolen a piece of candy when they were little kids, no sensible being ever would permanently paint them as a “thief” for that.

    Have you ever ridden a tricycle?

    Yeah? Then you’re a tricyclist!

  26. iangould says

    For the egregiously stupid:

    1. Apostasy and blasphemy laws are are a breach of fundamental human rights and should be condemned and opposed.

    2. Capital punishment, drug prohibition, civil seizure of private property under “prcoeeds of crime” laws are also egregious violations of human rights. So is the mandatory detention of asylum seekers here in Australia. This doesn’t mean the concept of human rights is foreign to the US or Australia.

    3. The idea that human rights is “foreign” to Pakistan is pure orientalism. When I was studying Asian
    Studies back in the early 90-‘s I kept hearing that democracy and human rights were inconsistent with East Asian/Confucian cultures and that the Taiwanese, South Koreans, Indonesians, Filipinos et cetera didn’t REALLY want democracy. It was bullshit then and its bullshit now.

  27. says

    Dear Ray: Have ever masturbated? ‘Cause you’re the biggest jerk-off I’ve ever heard of.

    I had the misfortune of riding on a Greyhound bus from Los Angeles to San Diego seated in front of a Jehovah’s Witness trying to convert an Austrialian tourist. He was doing his best to be polite. She never shut up. When he asked her a question, like, “How old is the Earth?” she would say. “Well, I don’t know anything about that.” and then she would continue with her rant. I would have killed her the minute she opened her mouth.

  28. lofgren says

    Comfort’s schtick seems like the weakest of all proselytizing methods. I guess it must work on some people, but it seems so obvious to me that it’s basic flaw is that it assumes that the target already accepts the ten commandments and the existence of Jesus. For that reason I tend to assume that the primary audience is not the unbelievers being preached to but rather the believer who is being incited to preach. Converting the target doesn’t matter. What matters is reinforcing the shame and isolation of the believer. All interactions with unbelievers are reduced to off-putting speeches whose only real utility is to remind the believer of his own sins.

  29. Ichthyic says

    she wasn’t the friendliest person I have sat next to on a plane.

    she probably knew who you were, Ray.

  30. Ichthyic says

    Is “lifted my planned witnessing encounter” a euphemism?

    he encourages a wide stance in his listeners.

  31. Ichthyic says

    I never know what to make of Comfort’s “are you a good person?”

    it’s easy:

    the response is:

    “Who are you to judge if I am or not?”

    and if he says:

    “God is judging.”

    then you have him by the balls at that point, as you have just won the argument.

  32. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    the response is:

    “Who are you to judge if I am or not?”

    Mine would be:
    “Who the everloving fuck do you think you are to ask me that?”

  33. eric says

    Ed, I believe you are an exception in terms of forthrightness. The woman’s acquiesence or apparent acceptance of Ham’s bullflop was probably just a polite rebuff. Nothing more than the woman deciding it is better not to rile up the looney she has to sit next to for the next umpteen hours.

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