(Photo: The Athens Review)
Open-air preacher Ray Comfort said he will purposefully begin evangelistic campaigns in areas of the U.S. where atheist organizations file or threaten lawsuits in their attempt to remove Christian references from public property.
After reading about the demand by the atheists group Freedom From Religion Foundation to have a nativity scene removed from a Texas courthouse lawn in Henderson County, the Living Waters ministry founder from Los Angeles said he began learning about the group’s other actions around the nation on its website.
In addition to asking for the removal of nativity scenes from places such as in front of city and county halls, the Madison, Wisc.-based FFRF has been active in attempting to remove crosses from government property. Christians argue that it is their constitutional right to express their faith in the public square. The claim by most atheists that religious expressions tied to the government are not allowed based on separation of church and state has been proven by some historians to be a false assumption.
Comfort, who is never shy about confronting atheists about their non-belief, has taken the opportunity during a seemingly escalating cultural battle over Christmas symbolism in the U.S. to make sure he is heard.
“This isn’t a war on Christmas. It’s much deeper than that. They want to do away with Christianity for the same reason criminals would like to do away with the police,” Comfort told The Christian Post. “Their motive for being anti-God is moral not intellectual.
“They deny God’s existence because if they admit He exists, they are admitting that they are morally responsible to Him. This isn’t a pleasant thought for a guilty sinner,” he explained
Comfort said he contacted the lead pastor of the “Rally for the Nativity” event planned for Saturday at the county courthouse located in Athens, Texas. He offered to send an evangelistic team and teaching material based on his anti-abortion film, “180.”
Pastor Nathan Lorick of First Baptist Church in Malakoff “loved the idea and was delighted that we wanted to help,” Comfort said. Lorick has become the public voice for a coalition of more than 70 pastors in and around Henderson County that helped organize the rally.
Comfort said he believes that now is the time to stand up against the atheists around the country who try to counter the public sentiment of Christians celebrating Christmas.
“The moment that someone says, ‘I’m an atheist,’ you have to keep in mind that you are dealing with someone who doesn’t think too deeply,” he said. “This is never so evident as when they threaten lawsuits about nativity scenes. It’s important to stand up to them in the same way that it’s important to eventually stand up against the school bully.”
FFRF co-president, Annie Laurie Gaylor, recently told CP that the group’s office has been flooded with “harassing” phone calls from Christians after the group’s threat of a lawsuit against Henderson County became known through national media coverage.
Gaylor said the phone calls were harassing in nature because Christians are repeatedly calling back “over and over again.”
“They think [that in] the month of December the government should simply lend its grounds (property), its power to promote a manger scene,” she said. “Why don’t they put that manger scene on private property?”
Although Comfort believes Christians should love atheists, and gave several examples of his own acts of kindness toward them, he said “they are rather annoying-like bugs at a camp fire.”
“Whenever these people see the light of Christianity, they swarm to it and try and inject a little poison,” he said. “When I started a blog called ‘Comfort Food,’ hundreds of atheists swarmed in and stayed for three years, so I had to change the name to ‘Atheist Central.’ They have nothing else to do than annoy Christians.”
Comfort vows to “make some phone calls” whenever the FFRF tries to remove crosses, nativity scenes, and other Christian symbols from the public square.
“Whenever they try and bully people with their anti-God agenda, we will make that place ground zero for an evangelistic campaign,” he said. “The majority of Americans believe in God, and many of them have had enough of intolerance toward the things of God.
“Atheists may use the law to make a mayor remove a cross from a water tower, but we will then make it our business to take the cross to thousands.”