Why are Kirk Cameron, a preacher, and two self-proclaimed atheists coming together in a church this weekend? Because Cameron and preacher Ray Comfort claim that they "can prove the existence of God."They'll take on the atheists in the first "Nightline Face-Off," a debate to be moderated by "Nightline" anchor Martin Bashir.
The Way of the Master has a weekly television show for which Comfort and Cameron literally hit the streets in the name of Jesus, challenging nonbelievers that their sins against God will lead directly to hell.
"On the Day of Judgment," Comfort tells one man on the streets of New York, "God will see you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart. You have sinned against God. You need his forgiveness."...
What's wrong with God? "What's wrong with the tooth fairy?" asks Brian. "There's nothing wrong with something that most likely doesn't exist."
"Atheists are completely vilified. And it's OK," says Kelly, an atheist who works alongside Brian and also asks that her last name not be used.
"It's actually OK to hate atheists," Kelly says. "We are like the last group that people overwhelmingly agree it's OK to hate, because there's an absurd caricature of atheism out there."
While their theological views differ from the Way of the Master, their approaches are similar -- brash and in-your-face. The Rational Response Squad challenges people to take the Blasphemy Challenge in which they make videos of themselves denouncing or blaspheming the Holy Spirit, and then post them on YouTube.
Reading this article got me motor running.
Now, for those of you who don't know who Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron are, I'll fill you in. Ray Comfort is a wannabe-minister from New Zealand and Kirk Cameron is known for his work in Growing Pains (an 80's-sitcom) and Left Behind (action/sexless evangelical porn-film). In a way, Kirk Cameron is to evangelical Christianity what Tom Cruise is to Scientology (the major difference being that Cruise is an actor).
They both host the TV program The Way of The Master, which I feel I should warn you contains absolutely no ninjas nor anything else even remotely related to martial-arts (which is really disappointing considering how much I was looking forward to seeing Kirk Cameron get kicked in the face by Jet Li, but what ya gonna do?).Ray and Kirk are both known as Christian apologists (defenders of the faith) due to the work they've done arguing for the existence of God and on their show. In the same way, Kevin Federline is known as a musician because of his work on Playing with Fire. Long story short, another evening of shame and remorse for Miss Good Intentions.
And in the other corner, wearing the black shorts, we have Brian Sapient and his girlfriend Kelly, who chose not to give out her last name in order to protect her identity despite appearing live on-camera with her face clearly visible, maintaining what I like to call "porn-star anonymity".
Brian and Kelly are two of the founders of The Rational Response Squad, a group promoting free-thought and enlightenment, liberating people's minds from the religion mind-virus through the use of the most logical and well-reasoned arguments the human brain can form while under the influence of marajuana.
Sapient: If I have free will, why can't I fly?
Because I can't fly, God clearly has placed restrictions on free will, and since he has why did he not restrict free will in such a way so that evil didn't have to exist?
He restricted us from flying, but didn't restrict us from murdering? Loving? I think not.
The group also exists to challenge religion's, especially evangelical Christianity's, perceived monopoly on certain actions and activities in our culture, like caring for the sick and needy,
Sapient: I lost my mother to Jesus, and vow to conquer those who have led her to harm, yeah... no bullsh*t. Well, I should clarify, she is still alive but her brain has been melted down to a non functioning level where synapses wont connect, known as born again christianity... she has become Christarded. I hate theism, I do not hate theists"
If I could get a mental health clinic (I couldn't) to admit someone for fervent belief with no evidence specifically Christianity, and I could get my mother to go (I couldn't), I'd take her, pay for it, support her, be there for her, whatever.
...getting a group of people together on a beautiful day to all wear the same t-shirt and pose for a photo under a tree (EAT IT! CAMPUS CRUSADE FOR CHRIST!),
...asking for money, obsessive evangelism, "Us vs Them" paranoia (emphasis mine),
With the help of an investor who wishes to remain anonymous the Rational Response Squad is in the process of purchasing a large home to run RRS operations for the next 30 years and beyond. Satisfying a desire to help humanity overcome theism Kelly, Rook, and Sapient have committed to each other to work and live together in a single house so that we can become more efficient and more productive. Rook will be moving to full time status and while Kelly will continue to work part time, it's our goal that at some point she'll be able to work on nothing else other than Rational Response Squad related business alongside of Rook and myself. Words can't express how thankful we are to have helped start such a large, thriving, and helpful community. Although we may be at our computers a little less in the short term as we coordinate the logistics of purchasing a home, moving into it, furnishing it, and outfitting "the bunker" with the highest level of security the industry has to offer,* we promise to bust our butts for you in the long term. Your continued support will become more important than ever. A special thank you to our anonymous investor, you have gone beyond the call of duty and we will be forever indebted to you for all of the help and support you are offering us, without you, this wouldn't be possible.
...and producing rap music with lyrics so cheesy you won't be able to shit for months:
Who? Pascal's wager. Who? Pascal's wager.
Now that's a fool's bet
And against the intelligent it's used less
Really? You bet
This aint nothing new, they use it on kids
But for those who don't know it goes a little like this
Wouldn't you rather believe in God and be wrong
Then to not believe in God and be wrong
If you believe in God and your wrong you've lost nothing
But if you don't believe and you're wrong its all suffering
The problem is you can try it on anything
Switch the Gods around and apply it to anything
The Flyin Spaghetti Monster, Zeus, Amin, Ra
Krishna, Odin, Baal and then Allah
Which one of em's our God?
None of em all false
And blame it on the Atheists its always our fault
Except it never is
So don't get mad at us we just showin ya'll the evidence
Belief in Gods, we can fix that
Irrational thoughts we get dispatched
It may be hard be we'll get back
In the position to just to end that
Grand Unified Theory
Rational Response Squad
I'm a make the fundies hate me
They gon' need a new reason to shut down rap
But they wont shut down rap that degrades women though huh.
They wont shut down rap that talks about sellin crack though huh
Its all good...
Rational Response Squad vs. Way of the Master. A battle of the minds I personally found too close to call. Fortunately, I found footage of the debate on Youtube. Which group reigns supreme? YOU, THE VIEWER, DECIDE!
*If anybody from RRS is reading this, I highly recommend the 0ld Spencer place.