Worthy Christian News » Christian » American Atheist's Spokesman Agrees To Debate Christian Author At National Convention
By Michael Ireland - Chief Correspondent for ASSIST NEWS SERVICE
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (ANS) -- Earlier this year, Ron Barrier, the national spokesman for American Atheists, Inc. asked if author Ray Comfort had the courage to face him in a debate in front of 300 atheists in Orlando, Florida, at their national convention.
Comfort told him that he would be delighted, and said that he would even pay his own airfare from Los Angeles to Orlando. A short time later, Mr. Barrier said that he had read his book, "God Doesn't Believe in Atheists," and immediately withdrew the offer.
After that happened, the author was bombarded by mail from professing atheists. They had heard that (in the book) he offers $1,000 to anyone who can prove to him that there is even one mistake in the Word of God. When he explained to atheists that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16), and that any "mistakes" were their mistakes, he was threatened with a lawsuit. That didn't worry him. However, it did worry him was that he was called "chicken." He responded with the fact that it was American Atheists Inc., who had challenged him to a debate, then chickened out. They demanded to know the name of the guilty culprit, and then they got on his case.
A short time later, a general letter was issued from the office of Ron Barrier, stating the following (his use and non-use of caps): "Without going into detail, the answer to the burning question on everyone's lips is, YES, I DID INITIALLY ASK HIM TO DEBATE AND, YES, I DID WITHDRAW THE INVITATION AFTER I READ HIS IDIOT BOOK 'gOD DOESN'T BELIEVE IN ATHEISTS.'"
Barrier was embarrassed by the incident and "sweetened the pot" by offering to pay Comfort's round trip airfare from Los Angeles to Orlando for a debate.
When the author asked if he could make books available, he was told, "We do not allow any marketing of Christian literature at our convention." Comfort then told them that he wanted to give books away, and asked if they were into "censorship." AA are strongly against any form of censorship, so they gave him permission. The same scenario happened with videotaping - after the mention of censorship, they also gave permission to videotape the debate.
The debate will be in Orlando, at 3:00 P.M. on Friday, April 13 (Good Friday). The topic is "Does God Exist?" Comfort says that this is a God-given opportunity because he knows how to prove the existence of God, absolutely, without the mention of faith or even reference to the Bible.
"God Doesn't Believe in Atheists" has been published under a new title. It is now called, "How to Make an Atheist Backslide" (Bridge-Logos). Across the top of the book it boldly boasts the words: "'[That] idiot book!' Ron Barrier--American Atheists, Inc." Mr. Barrier kindly gave permission to use his commendation.
Ray Comfort will also be speaking on the subject of "How to Make an Atheist Backslide" at the Long Beach Veteran's Stadium in Clark Street, on National Atheist's Day April 1(April Fool's Day), at 6:00 P.M. along with music groups "The Kry" and "Plumbline." Admission is free.