Ray Comfort’s film called “Audacity” could better be described as “patronizing.” Comfort’s film contains several scenes of rescue and then compares the rescues to efforts to use the Bible as an excuse for putting others down, to neglect human rights, and to treat those promoting bigotry as victims. Unfortunately, the danger behind Ray Comfort’s candy and gingerbread may not be obvious.
For example, at one point in “Audacity,” Comfort compares love for people of the same gender to desires for adultery. Comfort’s demeaning comparison overlooks crucial differences. Adultery does not necessarily involve an act of love but does involve the failure to honor a commitment. Adultery can cause harm and involves doing things that people would not want done to themselves. In contrast, love among consenting people of any gender can enhance people’s lives and operate on fair, relationship building principles.
Comfort reiterates demands to “have no other gods before Me” and goes on to suggest that people must think of this god as Comfort does. At no point does Comfort question whether a demand to support specific beliefs would violate human rights standards of both the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Nor does Comfort question whether he’s given adequate reasons for his own beliefs.
The meaning and relevance of anyone’s scripture are debatable, but regardless of intentions or sources, a message may negatively impact people’s lives. Ironically, much of “Audacity” is dedicated to the idea that other people may be trying to warn of something important. Comfort mentions that people have warned him about hate speech and intolerance. Rather than trying to understand the negative effects of his comments, Comfort ignores the warnings and implies that his allegedly loving intentions are misunderstood.
Regardless of intentions, there’s nothing loving about putting others down without good reason, failing to give others the freedoms demanded for oneself, and remaining oblivious to the impact on other people’s lives. Behind the patronizing candy and gingerbread of “Audacity” are the familiar cages and discrimination. Fortunately, Humanists have the audacity to call “Audacity” into question.
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