Monday, 2 February 2015

Take Comfort in Moral Bankruptcy

If you want an example of the moral bankruptcy and the abdication of moral responsibility of fundamentalist Christianity you'd be hard pressed to find a better one than millionaire Ray Comfort's bloodcurdlingly inhumane celebration of the malevolent and vindictive personality of the god he worships, in his astonishingly brutal response to Stephen Fry.

Stephen Fry, TV personality, actor, author and Atheist Humanist, and one of the most respected and trusted people in Britain, was replying to a question from RTE chat-show host, Gay Byrne on Irish television. Byrne had asked, should Fry ever find himself standing in front of the Christian God, what he would say to him.

His reply can be seen in this video. It is typical of Fry's eloquence, candour and humanity, and incidentally, he says much more than Ray Comfort says he said:

Comfort's probity can be judged from his recent attempt to fool his scientifically illiterate fans into thinking that the 'fact' that there is no gravity in space (sic) proves his god inspired the Bible.

Comfort's anger can be gauged from the fact that he defensively brags that he believes his god is even worse than Fry paints him. There is no attempt to defend the indefensible. The only way is to go onto the attack, throw insults and ad hominems and try to present it as a good thing. He actually boasts that the object of his worship actively kills and abuses innocent children and lists several of the worst and most callous ways in which he does so! But don't take my word for it, read it for yourself:

How he relishes listing all those obscene ways in which he believes his god casually kills innocent children. Note too the way he casually mentions the fact that Stephen Fry is a Homosexual as early as possible in his piece. It's completely irrelevant to what Fry said, of course, but best to get the homophobic bigots interested and on board as early as possible when it's hatred for people you're trying to engender.

This is what my magic friend will do to you and your children if you don't shut up! And of course there is the traditional bigot's hand-washing blaming of the victims. There is no compassion, no sympathy for the victims of his vindictive little god and their families. It's all our fault.

Why is it all our fault that Comfort's malevolent bully-boy god randomly kills children in such sadistic ways? Well, apparently, according to Comfort's favourite book, it once rigged things so that a supposed ancestral couple committed a 'sin' and it then decreed that we would forever be held responsible for this 'sin' and should forever beg forgiveness for something we didn't do and for which it arbitrarily assigned guilt to us. When it kills children it's doing it to teach us a lesson - the lesson being that this god will randomly kill children, presumably.

Can we do anything about this guilt? Of course not! We're born with it. We don't need to actually do anything wrong; we're hogtied from birth and can lead a blameless life but we're still guilty sinners needing to beg forgiveness. Neat, eh? If you're a psychopathic protection racketeer, that is.

And so Ray Comfort, and people who share his morbidly paranoid theophobia, can look at suffering children, celebrate the capriciously evil thug in the sky whom they like to imagine makes them suffer, and tell themselves that, because they regularly mutter protective magic spells and give lots of money to preachers like Ray Comfort, they can feel smugly superior and safe in the knowledge that this thug holds them in special regard and will protect them from it's capricious whim - maybe. But just to be sure you have to keep chanting the spells, giving the money and telling other people how morally inferior they are.

But perhaps the most glaring example of Comfort's moral bankruptcy is in his thinking this god behaves that way because it loves us!

LOVE!? If that's what a loving god behaves like then I can't think of any way I could tell it from an evil one and just about anything can be classed as 'good'. But Comfort isn't bothered about that. He's so afraid of his imaginary friend that whatever it does and no matter how badly it behaves, that's okay with Comfort, just so long as it doesn't do it to him. Randomly killing children must be 'good' because Ray Comfort's god does it.

Comfort doesn't need to bother with things like empathy for other people, which is the origin of Stephen Fry's horror and repugnance at what its followers claim this god does. He has a handbook to look up right and wrong in, and whatever his magic friend does or orders others to do, is right, by definition. So much easier than working this out for yourself and you get to feel smugly superior whatever the effects of your actions on others. As William Lane Craig tells his adoring fans, genocide and infanticide are just fine if his god tells you to do it, and of course Ray Comfort and William Lane Craig can be relied upon to tell you which is the right god - it's the one who agrees with them, obviously.

A complete abdication of moral responsibility and personal integrity. Anyone who is not prepared to stand in judgement at such a thing and find it evil, who can't look at a religion and say, "If that's what your religion tells you, your religion is wrong!", has no claim to moral authority, no moral right to lecture us on morality, and no moral right to tell us their religion is right and all the others are wrong.

And of course, as is the usual with moralizing, sanctimonious, judgemental bigots, Comfort concludes with the traditional threat that his magic friend is going to get us if we don't believe what he says. Why bother with logic when threats work better?

And the money is good too because other morally bankrupt people will pay good money to be told their repugnant creed is perfectly okay, as is any bigotry or hate you can blame on it. Ask millionaire Ray Comfort; he has a handbook that you can justify almost anything with if you're creative enough and not bothered about truth.

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