A California evangelist is challenging an advertising campaign offering " praises" to evolutionist Charles Darwin by countering with a publicity effort of his own.
In honor of Darwin's 200th birthday on Thursday, Ray Comfort--author of the forthcoming book You can Lead an Atheist to Evidence but You Can't Make Him Think--posted a billboard near the Los Angeles airport emblazoned with the words, "Atheist: Someone who believes that nothing made everything. A scientific impossibility!"
A similar billboard will be posted in Chicago for a year. And Comfort is making his designs available for free through his Web site, Pull the Plug on Atheism, for Christians nationwide to place billboards in their cities.
Comfort's efforts are in direct response to a Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) project to post billboards nationwide with message such as, "Imagine No Religion" and "Praise Darwin-Evolve Beyond Belief."
FFRF, which claims 13,000 members, has placed billboards in cities such as Dayton, Tennessee, where the 1925 Scopes Trial was held, and Dover, Pennsylvania, where the local school board was sued for attempting to allow intelligent design to be taught in science classes.
Comfort said the FFRF campaign is one of at least 350 organized efforts to celebrate Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of his book, On the Origin of Species.
"We want to make a statement that we've had enough of this minority in a country [where] 90 percent believe in God, where there's a tiny minority who's drilling holes in this great ocean liner, and we're going to plug it up," Comfort said of his Los Angeles billboard, which cost roughly $5,000 and will remain in place for the month of February.
He said a new crop of militant atheists not only believe there is no God, but also want to remove all references to God from the culture. "They're not just pushing their right to be an atheist, but they're pushing an anti-God agenda, where they're trying to take God off our money and stop Gideons from distributing Bibles," Comfort said. "In 1963, it took one atheist to take prayer out of school and God out of textbooks."
Comfort has produced dozens of evangelistic tracts, including his popular Million Dollar Bill, and co-hosts with actor Kirk Cameron a weekly TV show about personal evangelism called The Way of the Master.
His booklet The Atheist Test sold more than a million copies and led to debates with atheists at universities and even on ABC's Nightline.
Today, Comfort said, atheists routinely visit his blog, Atheist Central, and Pull the Plug on Atheism, a site he launched last month where readers can find articles and video clips "that show evolution and atheism to be both unscientific and, for want of a better word, stupid."
His book, You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence but You Can't Make Him Think, releases on Darwin's birthday and offers questions and answers drawn from his blogs.
He said the book, whose forward was written by an atheist, is meant to help Christians defend themselves against atheists' claims. But he said intellectual arguments ultimately aren't what draw atheists to Christ.
"We put a biblical principle into the hands of Christians, where you learn to swing from the intellect, the place of argument, to the conscience, the place of the knowledge of right and wrong," Comfort said. "If you can learn to speak to the conscience, you speak to where they're at-every single person, no matter what tribe or race has a knowledge of right and wrong. Romans 2:15 tells us that."
Comfort is making copies of The Atheist Bible and The Charles Darwin Bible available for $3.99 so Christians can give them away to atheists.
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