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Aug 21 2013

Ray Comfort sinks to new depths of pathos

So Ray cobbled together some heavily edited footage of people answering questions he asked, called it a “movie”, and is promoting it on the internet. I’ve seen it; it’s a terrible piece of dreck, and yeah, he lies. I’ve been over this a few times before, but I gave him evidence for evolution, and he just cut it right out of the footage since it didn’t fit his claims.

Now he’s got a new strategy for promoting it: he’s taunting Richard Dawkins to “Come out of Hiding”. It’s bizarre. Dawkins wasn’t in the “movie”, he had nothing to do with the “movie”, and Comfort is just trying desperately to attach a big name to his lazy piece of crap. You know, I have some home movies of my kids; I think I’ll try to peddle them as quality entertainment on the internet by telling Brad Pitt and Angeline Jolie to quit hiding from the superiority of my family and give me a testimonial.

A number of people have demanded that Comfort release the unedited raw footage so we can see how dishonestly he mangled people’s words. He’s refused. Or rather, he’s now attached conditions: he wants people to pay him for the full video recordings.

American Atheists Inc., have demanded that unedited footage be released, which they believe will show a USC professor giving scientific evidence for evolution. Comfort says that the USC professor didn’t give any, but that he is willing to release the interview if Dawkins pays the same amount he required for a debate with Comfort (payable to the Salvation Army). “I offered him $20,000 to debate me, and he said he would, if I gave his foundation $100,000. He knew that I wouldn’t go that high, so we produced the movie instead.”

Greedy lowlife. Recall that Richard Dawkins produced a documentary, The Root of All Evil?, in which he interviewed various religious figures, which of course had to be edited for brevity. Afterwards he released the full footage of the interviews, freely, so that there could be no argument that he’d edited them dishonestly.

Ray Comfort can make no such claim.

By the way, the article about taunting Dawkins is a disgraceful bit of creationist propaganda, but it’s posted on CNN…as something called an “iReport”, which has a disclaimer that it is not vetted by CNN. What does it take to get on there? Given that apparent creationists get a slot, the bar to entry must be really low.

38 comments

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  1. 1
    irisvanderpluym

    Well, there’s John King. So the bar at CNN is very, very low.

  2. 2
    Robert Stribley

    Literally anyone can create an iReport, mate. You just have to sign up. I’ve written a few little stories there. You can even just upload a single photo and bam, you’ve got an iReport.

    http://ireport.cnn.com/ – Click on “sign up” and you’ll see there’s no vetting process.

  3. 3
    Robert Stribley

    Wow, reading the comments on that iReport was pretty depressing.

  4. 4
    Rip Steakface

    As I recall, the bar to get onto iReport is… make an account. Seriously.

    They basically just use it to see if they can get random sources on the ground at a random event, and even so it doesn’t work especially well.

  5. 5
    grumpyoldfart

    Ray Comfort makes his money out of telling lies for Jesus? he doesn’t give a fuck what atheists think or say about him. He knows his gullible flock will buy his rubbish products and he will never, ever stop producing them. His last words on his death bed will be, “How much money have we made so far today?”

  6. 6
    DLC

    iReports are submitted by members of CNN’s iReport community. all you need to submit material is a membership and to use their upload system. iReports are cherry picked by editors for …. something… hard to tell what their criteria are. checking the other works by that author shows he likes writing about Richard Dawkins and Atheists in general.

    Going by the comments there’s a lot of creationist vacuum-heads who like his stuff.

  7. 7
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    I was going to make a snide remark about how stuff like this hurts CNN’s credibility, no matter how much they disclaim any responsibility for the content, but then I remembered this is the sort of uncritical, insipid content I’d expect from CNN anyway.

  8. 8
    garnetstar

    Comfort wants the money to be paid to the Salvation Army? They’ve been accused of using donated money to oppose gay rights. Then there’s the famous “Gay parents should be put to death” statement.

    They are techincally not a charity, but a Christian church, so that’s not surprising. That Comfort supports them isn’t either.

  9. 9
    Gregory in Seattle

    You call that movie a “lazy piece of crap.” I disagree: it must have taken a tremendous amount of work and sweat to twist reality that much.

  10. 10
    gussnarp

    In the age old question of whether tis better to ignore, to criticize substantively, or to ignore, when to we get to start ignoring Ray Comfort? The guy has been simply reiterating the same tired lies for decades now and hasn’t had a new idea since he came up with the idea of hooking up with Kirk Cameron, making him the envy of many women who were tweens in the eighties.

  11. 11
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    The fact he’s refusing to release the unedited footage has solidified my doubt that he knows full well that he has been dishonest. He knows. He’s lying, and he knows. What a shit.

  12. 12
    borax

    But if Dawkins doesn’t come out to argue with Comfort, then Comfort wins. I’m guessing that’s the way Ray sees it.

  13. 13
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    *erased my doubt / solidified my suspicions.

    Apologies for the brainfart.

  14. 14
    gussnarp

    @Thumper – Yeah, the level of self-deception that would be required for him to not be actively lying is just ridiculous. Not just about the editing of the video, but about his entire belief in creationism. I do wonder what goes on in his head, but I’ve no doubt that he’s dishonest.

  15. 15
    mikey

    “he wants people to pay him for the full video recordings.”

    Just as Jesus would do.

  16. 16
    Bronze Dog

    Is this going to lead to another instance of someone debating an empty chair?

  17. 17
    gussnarp

    I’d like to see Ray Comfort debate Clint Eastwood on the merits of bent wood versus folding chairs for imaginary debate opponents.

  18. 18
    tomtethys

    Ray Comfort, a transitional form type fossil. Please make plaster cast for future display purposes and send to Richard Dawkins.Warning! Please do not discuss transitional form whilst adults are in the room.

  19. 19
    Rich Woods

    If only there were a whistleblower in the Court of King Comfort who could make a copy of the footage and publish it for the world to see. Anyone willing to undertake such a deep cover mission? Brain scoops will be provided.

  20. 20
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @gussnarp

    I once read a quotation (I believe Dawkins quoted it in The God Delusion) that went something along the lines of:

    “He can be excused of dishonesty only on the grounds that, before decieving others, he has taken great pains to decieve himself.”

    Initially I applied this logic to Comfort, as I do to most creationist proselytising. However, no longer. He knows full well he’s lying, at least in regards to his editing techniques.

  21. 21
    gijoel

    I have this image of Dawkins standing on top of a castle, and yelling at Ray to go away, “before I taunt you a second time.”

  22. 22
    gijoel

    Also the comments in that “CNN” report smell a lot like felt, and old socks.

  23. 23
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    “Your muzzer was a’ ‘amster, and your fazzer smelt of elderberries!”

  24. 24
    Jackie

    Gussnarp,
    As one of those women who were tweens in the 80′s, I would have to disagree. While he may have been Teen Beat cover-worthy, his poster never hung on my wall. Even if it had, that would not imply I’d envy someone who spends time with him.

    I don’t think there are any readers here who would envy someone who spends time with Jenny McCarthy, either.

    **gallops away knocking coconuts together**

  25. 25
    hyoid

    Those poor people… In 2008, I finally read Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” just to see what problems the religious had with the idea of evolution, especially “Darwinian” evolution. At 53, I’d only been a cognitive atheist for about one year. Anyway…I read it, looking for what was used to demonize the man. Of course, as you well know, I simply found a well written explanation of a man’s ideas and thoughts regarding his observations of nature. I met a very kind, soft spoken gentleman trying his very best to relay knowledge to humanity.
    I am saddened his name is used dishonestly.

  26. 26
    michaelbusch

    By the way, the article about taunting Dawkins is a disgraceful bit of creationist propaganda, but it’s posted on CNN…as something called an “iReport”, which has a disclaimer that it is not vetted by CNN. What does it take to get on there? Given that apparent creationists get a slot, the bar to entry must be really low.

    Empirically, they are pretty much unvetted. Dennis Markuze was using them to host his copy pasta for a while.

  27. 27
    Eamon Knight

    Re the title: should that be “pathos” or “bathos”?

    Re Comfort: I long ago gave up trying to decide which of these people was consciously telling falsehoods, and which were fanatics with their heads stuck unextractably far up their asses. And in moral terms it makes no difference: to be stubbornly that wrong, on a question that isn’t that hard to get right, deserves to be denounced as lying, and the details don’t matter.

  28. 28
    xaurreaux

    Bottom line: Ray “Banana Man” Comfort has absolutely nothing to gain by being honest.

  29. 29
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    Okay, I’m starting to get sick and tired of people who say that Ray’s just ignorant or he’s just faithful to his religion.

    The guy’s a huckster pulling quite possibly well over 6 figures. He knows what evolution is. He knows where his arguments fail. He knows that what he’s peddling is lies and deceit. He drums up making a shit-ton of money as working for the faith. He’s making a shit-ton of money. He lives in a $250,000 house. Guy is a huckster no better than the other televangelists laughing their way to the bank.

    And still, in posts like this one (notably over on Friendly Atheist) people will still give the “oh, well he’s just ignorant” or “oh, he just really doesn’t understand it” sort of stuff.

    Seriously, I get these responses and it infuriates me.

    The guy is a huckster, a charlatan, a fraud. Recognize him for what he is and don’t give his mustachioed arse the time of day or he’ll use it in one of his pamphlets or heavily edited videos to prove how atheists are evil.

  30. 30
    Joshua

    Sounds like a bunch of he-said-she-said claims to me, PZ. I, for one, hope that Ray does release the unedited footage so that we can see who is really lying and being dishonest, either PZ or Ray. I remember the old 11-second pause of Dawkins when everyone said he was the victim of tape tricks or some other nefarious conspiracy. That turned out to be all sizzle and no steak.

    As a fellow Christian, I care about Ray and I bought the film for $5 (I figured it was less than the cost of a meal at McDonald’s, so no big deal). His work is usually more pop-culture oriented (check out his book titles), which means it can’t be too deep. (Even Dr. Nonacs noted this about Ray’s interviewing technique.) With that in mind, we can agree that “Evolution vs. God” is a relatively shallow dip in the pool of the origins issue; I think that’s what Ray intended (I don’t know). It was only 38 minutes long after all!

    But honestly speaking, I find it sadly laughable that someone would feel such outrage that Ray would “have the nerve” to ask for money (probably done tongue-in-cheek) for the unedited footage, especially since Ray and Living Waters have given away tons of DVDs and Dawkins was asking for $100,00 just for a single debate (and no outrage from atheists there). Atheists I encounter are talking about the supposed great “lost footage”, outraged, disgruntled, and even going to Ray’s Facebook page in droves to demand it. Regardless, I think the outrage is misplaced. One of the several things that disturbed me most was that an educated individual such as yourself, an individual given more screen time than everyone else, would not even say that rape was always wrong. THAT was outrageous.

    Anyway, if you haven’t done so, why don’t you just call up Ray’s organization and ask him for the footage directly yourself? I’m sure if he knew it was you on the line he would pick up the phone.

    Joshua

  31. 31
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Boy, are you naive. Take everything Ray says with grain of salt the size of Montana. Then figure he is lying weasel. You won’t go wrong….

  32. 32
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    With that in mind, we can agree that “Evolution vs. God” is a relatively shallow dip in the pool of the origins issue;

    Not really. Evolution and abiogenesis are two completely different academic disciplines. Why are you lying for Ray?

  33. 33
    Don Quijote

    Oh look! A link to a creationist site from a godbot and supporter of Ray Comfort. If I may use an expression from Nerd; WOOSH.

  34. 34
    Nick Gotts

    I, for one, hope that Ray does release the unedited footage so that we can see who is really lying and being dishonest, either PZ or Ray. – Joshua

    If Comfort’s editing was honest, why would he not release the unedited tape to prove it? Comfort is a proven, habitual liar, see , and among his favourite lying techniques is dishonest video editing.

  35. 35
    Nick Gotts

    Reposting due to an html error (actually, you can get both links from #34, but it’s unclear where to click).

    I, for one, hope that Ray does release the unedited footage so that we can see who is really lying and being dishonest, either PZ or Ray. – Joshua

    If Comfort’s editing was honest, why would he not release the unedited tape to prove it? Comfort is a proven, habitual liar, see here, and among his favourite lying techniques is dishonest video editing.

  36. 36
    chigau (違う)

    Is Joshua coming back to chat or has he fulfilled his Christian duty with a drive-by?

  37. 37
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    As a fellow Christian, I care about Ray and I bought the film for $5 (I figured it was less than the cost of a meal at McDonald’s, so no big deal).

    Another customer served dupe swindled!

  38. 38
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Is Joshua coming back to chat or has he fulfilled his Christian duty with a drive-by?

    Probably was just a drive-by.
    Joshua, only more science refutes science. Science is million papers for evolution, zero for creationism. You lose.

    Your religious idea of creationism can’t touch science, and you/Ray thinking so is a category error. Your religion is based on the fallacious presuppositions that your imaginary deity actually exists, and your babble isn’t a book of mythology/fiction. Typically presuppositionists claim god (presupposed) proves the babble is inerrant (presupposed), which proves god (presupposed), in an eternal circular presuppositional logical fallacy. You must break the circle to make any points here. Ideally, you lose the presuppositions, and show evidence to indicate both ideas, the existence of your imaginary deity, and that your babble is inerrant, are correct. For example, you/Ray show conclusive physical evidence, evidence that would pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin. Something equivalent to the eternally burning bush. Then you present the same level of physical evidence that your babble is inerrant, including all timelines, the flud by showing a one-time-all-continent discontinuity in the geological columns of all continents, that the exodus occurred and there is archeological evidence from the Sinai…etc.
    Failure to provided said evidence is prima facie evidence you lie and bullshit, like Ray lies and bullshits.
    So, either show us your conclusive physical evidence from legitimate (we make that call, not you)_ sources outside of yourself and your religion.

    Not one creationist to date has done so. Almost like they know they are evidentially deficient….

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