Good thing she didn’t call him a pedagogue

Another item for your personal Ray Comfort trophy collection via the Global Secular Humanist Movement Religion Is A Joke Facebook page. [Updated: or even better, via fredericksparks]

In a Facebook thread screen capture, Ray Comfort thinks 'bibliophile' is 'another atheist insult, a cross between pedophile and Bible'


  1. Holms says

    Holy shit, he actually took a correction! Though on reflection it is probably only because this particular one didn’t challenge any cherished worldview, ah well. My tiny optimisms for him didn’t last long.

  2. glodson says

    Yes, I know that my first thought when I saw bibliophile was that it meant the person is an underage Bible fucker.

    I don’t know if Comfort’s reaction is funny or tragic.

  3. Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff says

    She might have called his wife a thespian.

    Or asked if he had ever matriculated.

    Or . . . what an astoundingly ignorant douchebag!

  4. otranreg says

    He said ‘phile’. [Butt-head chuckling]

    I also hope that Bible pedos don’t squirt in Ray’s eye.

  5. beardymcviking says

    Oh this I love. Especially Leonie’s subtle extra jab about not casting that ‘particular aspersion’ upon him. That apparently going over his head is just perfect.

  6. Gregory Greenwood says

    That is some spectacular ignorance – any word with ‘phile’ in it must relate back to paedophillia in Ray’s eyes? Has he never heard the term ‘anglophile’ ? If he has, what the heck did he think it meant? What about ‘haemophilia’? One assumes that Ray must think that this is someone who touches blood in a bad place…

    The snarky bit at the end of Leonie Hilliard’s second post – that Ray must know she never intended to cast ‘that aspersion’ (that he is a lover of books and the knowledge to found therein) – was just perfect.

  7. markr1957 says

    If she’d accused him of bibliolatry it wouldn’t have been far from the truth either – he sure does worship that book of Bronze Age mythology! I did notice how the subtle jab about ‘that particular aspersion’ went straight over Ray’s head too.

  8. PatrickG says

    Ah – I see that beardymcviking got there ahead of me.

    He got there ahead of me too. That cracked me up. What a well-crafted insult!

  9. robro says

    “Just another atheist insult”? What is that idiot talking about? Atheist insults are much more direct than that.

    @zinc #5 said, “There’s only one book he loves, and he’s never cheated on it by opening another book in his life!” You’re probably on target with that one. The Bible and perhaps some approved reading about the Bible…Bible study blah blah, you know. Oh, a some books on how to live the Christian life in these trying times. A church youth director once told a group of us teenagers that if gospel music was available to us on the radio but we listened to pop music instead, we were sinning. I think that’s when I knew it was time for me to get out of it, that and the “Give me a J” cheer for Jesus in church one Sunday night.

  10. Alverant says

    I think he knew what it was. He just brought it up to avoid talking about the biblical contradictions to his claims (ie John 1:18, Genesis 32:20, etc).

  11. shouldbeworking says

    Them atheists always gotta use those big words no decent gawd-fearing person would ever think of using.

  12. mothra says

    People have seen him masticating (and with bananas) in public. When a child, other kids ridiculed him for philately. He was likely kicked out of a christian college for his seminal thoughts, but still embraced by republicans for his homeopathic stance.

  13. Rob Grigjanis says

    Chris Clarke: Now I see that a commenter at blackskeptics provided the same link. I am suitably chastened (i.e. not at all, ya desert-dwellin baastid).

  14. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I think he knew what it was. He just brought it up to avoid talking about the biblical contradictions to his claims (ie John 1:18, Genesis 32:20, etc).

    Good point, did he ever address the points being made?

  15. says

    Ahh, arrogance and stupidity, all in the same package. How efficient of him.

    (Sorry, this just felt like it needed a Londo quote.)

  16. says

    If you allow a little biblophilia, what’s next? People marrying books??

    (asks the guy who sleeps with his “philosopher’s mistress” (i.e.: books occupying the other half of his bed) every night….

  17. butchpansy says

    Likely, he ignored the remarks about cognitive dissonance due to his own cognitive dissonance. That, and a total lack of exegetic proficiency and, probably, curiosity.

  18. cicely (mumblemumble-SomethingHalf-Witty-mumblemumble) says

    PS – if I could marry my library, I would.

    So there.

    But can it give meaningful consent?

  19. says


    This reminds me of the brouhaha that erupted after a Caucasian Aide to a former D.C. Mayor used the word “niggardly”. Sigh.

    Said aide was a fucking idiot not to have seen that coming and avoided the word like the plague. And since then it’s basically used as a way for racists to taunt African-American people grade-school bully style. “But I’m not touching you!”

  20. robro says

    Marcus, “PS – if I could marry my library, I would.” Well, now, according to Bill O’Reilly, once we have same-sex marriage then you might just have an opportunity to do that. Or your goat. Whichever.

  21. Trebuchet says

    I have it on good authority that Ray may in fact be a homosapiens. There’s no proof of that, however.

  22. cicely (mumblemumble-SomethingHalf-Witty-mumblemumble) says

    But would Marcus’ goat want to marry his library?

  23. Koshka says


    Can you not see that the term ‘black hole’ can be used in a racist way? Surely if the person who used it, when pulled up on it, could have simply said they did not intend to use it in a racist way and apologised. The person in question later went on to use mental health slurs. My impression is that this is someone who just does not give a shit about how other people feel.

  24. grumpyoldfart says

    On more than one occasion I’ve heard people (either disorganised people, or those with a widely scattered range of interests) refer to themselves as scatological. I never let them forget.

  25. chigau (not my real name) says

    Why would ‘pedagogue’ be bad?
    What’s a ‘gogue’?
    *wide eyed blink*

  26. dmgregory says

    Anyone have a link to the full thread? (Apologies if I’ve overlooked it)

    The way he begins, “One other thing,” and the broken borders on Leonie Hilliard’s reply below, suggest that some replies in between were spliced out to focus on the comedic part of the exchange.

    Like Rev. BigDumbChimp @24, I’m rather curious what, if anything, he had to say to Hilliard’s initial question.

  27. madarab says

    Koshka, the term “black hole” is a cuss word in both Hindu and Russian and a few other languages. The approved term is “hypermass”.

  28. chigau (not my real name) says

    dmgregory #42
    The whole thing is still up on Ray Comfort’s Facebook page.
    You don’t need to sign-in, just go and read.
    (it’s a busy page, use ctrl-f)

  29. Joy Lynskey says

    Hi Chris. I tried to find an email for you but I can’t so I am posting this here. You have the Global Secular Humanist Movement listed as credited with this photo. In fact, it was created by an admin on the Facebook page Religion is a Joke as you can see in the tag on the bottom right. It was shared from that page to Dawkins and Gervais’s Twitter accounts and GSHM shared it without credit, as is common.

    I would appreciate if you would update the link at the top to reflect that.

  30. thumper1990 says

    In fairness, he took the correction. Not everyone can be expected to understand words with four or more syllables.

    What do you think his reaction would be if you informed him he was a Hominid? I think he’d probably start accusing you of being both homophobic and racist.

  31. Ben Wright says

    Notice that when he was confronted with a word he didn’t know (which happens to the best of us) he didn’t look it up anywhere, he just forged right ahead with whatever he assumed it meant.

    It’s as if it never occurs to him to seek out knowledge. That’s telling.

  32. Don Quijote says

    It doesn’t matter if Comfort knows the word or not, because he sure doesn’t understand English. Leonie Hilliard called him/herself a bibliophile not anyone else.

  33. alkisvonidas says

    To Ray’s defence, the use of the greek suffix ‘-philia’ (friendship) to denote all kinds of sexual fetishes baffles me.

    And I’m Greek.

    As for ‘pedophile’, there is a way out: a pedophile is someone who is sexually attracted to children. A pederast is someone who has sex with children.

  34. says

    I occasionally find Comfort grotesquely amusing. A little like watching one of those cringe-inducingly bad movies the MST3K people lampooned.

    I’m not saying I’m proud of it or nothin’.

  35. voidhawk says

    Reminds me of the hillbilly who asked Bill Hicks:

    “Watcha readin’ for?”

  36. Alverant says

    He only took the correction because 1) it was blindingly obvious to everyone else he was wrong 2) it didn’t contradict his current views and 3) it allowed him to dodge the other questions and set himself up as the victim if pressed on it.

  37. abelundercity says

    Why think up new insults, Ray, when “idiot” continues to provide sufficiently?

  38. blf says

    Not knowing what a word means is not stupid per se.

    What is stoopid is reading the work on the ‘Net but not using the ‘Net to find out what the word means.
    And then illustrating the lack of research is such a spectacular car-crashing fashion.

    Albeit, as others have said, bananaman did accept the correction.

  39. thumper1990 says


    The first two I’ll give you, but the third? I doubt very much it was a cynical attempt to dodge the questions. I don’t like the guy, but I hesitate to take than dim a view of his motives when in reality we have no idea why he reacted like that.

  40. Christoph Burschka says

    “It means lover of books, as I’m sure you know, and I never meant to cast that aspersion on you.”

    POW! =D

  41. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says


    You honestly doubt whether the profoundly dishonest man is being dishonest?

    It’s not like he hasn’t usd bullshit derailing and hand waving before. its what he does.

    He knew the word

  42. David Marjanović says

    Oh this I love. Especially Leonie’s subtle extra jab about not casting that ‘particular aspersion’ upon him. That apparently going over his head is just perfect.


    Why would ‘pedagogue’ be bad?
    What’s a ‘gogue’?
    *wide eyed blink*

    Compare pedagogue and demagogue… apparently agogos is someone who leads or misleads… But that’s all beside the point: I’m sure the idea was that The Amazing Banana-Man would misread pedagogue as pedophile.

    It doesn’t matter if Comfort knows the word or not, because he sure doesn’t understand English. Leonie Hilliard called him/herself a bibliophile[,] not anyone else.


    To Ray’s defence, the use of the greek suffix ‘-philia’ (friendship) to denote all kinds of sexual fetishes baffles me.

    Euphemism. *whisper* “S/He… likes… stuff… a little too much.”

    He knew the word

    Does not follow. See comment 53.

  43. blf says

    apparently agogos is someone who leads or mislead

    An Agogô is a type of bell, apparently “used in the ceremonial music of religions in Yorubaland” and also “used for congregation or heralding the coming of a dignitary”, so there is something to that…  </snark>

  44. left0ver1under says

    Chris Clarke (#32)

    Said aide was an idiot not to have seen that coming and avoided the word like the plague. And since then it’s basically used as a way for racists to taunt African-American people grade-school bully style. “But I’m not touching you!”

    The case of the professor at the University of Wisconsin has to be seen in context. The word came up in a class on Middle English literature and Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” (written in the 14th century, pre-slavery and pre-conquistadors) where that word along with many other words was thought to have been printed for the first time.

    Did the word come up only once or twice in the context of discussing the story and a student overreacted? Or did the professor say it repeatedly, intentionally baiting the one black student in the class? Different accounts of the story have said both things happened.

  45. left0ver1under says

    Back to the point of Ray Comfort, I have no doubt he would have flipped out at the Smothers Brothers. For those who never heard, a one line joke is reportedly why their show was cancelled in 1968:

    “Ronald Reagan is a known heterosexual.”

    Comfort’s arrogance makes me laugh more than his ignorance. Instead of opening up a dictionary and checking what the word meant, he ignorantly assumed a definition. It was an exchange on facebook, not face to face, so he could have hid is ignorance from the world, getting his Webster’s out without being seen. It’s what I do when I encounter a new word, and I’m sure most reading this do.

    Instead, Comfort chose to display his ignorance for the world to see and laugh it. It seems the less educated someone is, the less likely that person is to fact check. But we are dealing with one of the fervently religious, so that shouldn’t surprise. (I doubt Comfort knows what “fervent” means either; he probably thinks it has something to do with the flu or infections.)

  46. says

    @ #43

    That the term ‘black hole’ is offensive in other languages should be off no concern when speaking English.
    The advantage of black hole over hypermass is that it doesn’t require a footnote.

    @ #50

    Modern Dutch in official use seems to prefer pedosexual.

  47. randay says

    The remark about pediatrician is real. A couple of years ago in a British community there was a pedophilia scandal. Someone defaced and maybe tried to burn the house of a doctor that had a “pediatrician” sign outside.

  48. arakasi says

    Not only was Reagan a known heterosexual, but it was an open secret that both of his wives were thespians.

  49. Portia says

    Leonie talks about his butchering of English:

    Ray’s misinterpretation had me giggling all day Sunday but in fairness, after 4 hours (and plenty of joking at his expense), he apologised and left the post here. I award him very small levels of kudos for that.
    On a serious point though, this mistake has become a bit famous. Not quite Bananagate yet, but it’s gathering a bit of steam. While I am really amused by it, I’m also a bit conflicted by the whole thing. What I find more disturbing than him jumping to the wrong conclusion is that he asserted:
    ‘I know that you will come back at me with more mistakes, but they are your mistakes, not God’s’
    when I presented him evidence of contradictions in the text of the bible. This comment effectively denied me the right to use evidence, reason and logic when debating with him.
    I would be far happier if he held himself accountable and apologized for the misuse of the English language. He is peddling his Unfossilised Bovine Coprolites for profit by twisting meanings of words to suit his end. He is not just an Evolution Denier, he is an English Language Denier. I’m going to try and fight UBC on two fronts…reason…and correct use of the English language.

    Xe got piled on, and did really well from the glance I took. Loved this:

    Leone Hilliard Response about women remaining silent and not teaching Judges 4:4 ‘Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came to her to have their disputes decided.’


    Oooh. Another contradiction in the bible and it ties in beautifully with my original point. Thanks Karen for pointing that one out. I hadn’t noticed.

  50. says

    Wouldn’t you think that having studied the Bible he would have run across the Greek “-phile”? Does he actually not know that the Theophilus in the Book of Acts had a name that could be construed as meaning “One Who Loves God”?

    I suppose Comfort would think it a compliment to be called bibulous. He does not come across as very bright or well-read.