About a month ago I saw a trailer for Christian Evangelist, Ray Comfort’s new film called the “180 Movie.” In the trailer, Comfort claims that he can change someone’s mind on abortion in seconds but then he doesn’t tell you how. Instead he directs you to his website so that he can ask for money.
Atheist and science blogger PZ Myers called him out on this by pointing out that if Comfort really believed that abortions are murder then by holding off on telling people this secret that can change people’s minds in second he is condemning countless babies to death. It would be a moral duty to present this secret as quickly and widely as possible if Comfort really believed his rhetoric.
The interesting thing is that this secret that can change people’s opinions 180 degrees on the issue of abortion in seconds actually is a thirty-three minute long film which doesn’t really give an argument that can be made in seconds as promised in the trailer.
The first third of the movie has nothing to do with abortion at all. It is a poor and inaccurate biography of Adolf Hitler. Comfort tries to distance Hitler from Christianity when the fact is that Hitler was a vocal Catholic who had the support of the Pope at that time. This isn’t to say that all Catholics bear responsibility for Hitler, they obviously don’t. However, there are parts of Christianity which really resonated with Hitler such as the idea that the Jews were responsible for killing Jesus. This is a belief which is prominent in lots of anti-Jewish propaganda even today (i.e. Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ”).
Then Comfort goes on to ask embarrassingly ignorant people (mostly young people) complex and leading questions equating women who have abortions to Hitler and then equates fetuses to the Jews. I should point out that he doesn’t stay on one person at a time, but edits the conversations in a montage in which he cuts back to the same people over and over again. The audience has no idea of how the conversations actually went down, what got edited out of the conversations, or how long he actually spent with each person. In fact, we don’t even know how many people he interviewed and decided not to put into the movie.
The last third of the film, Comfort falls back on his signature, “Where do you go when you die,” line of questioning in which he pushes the idea that if you lie once, you should be tortured for all eternity unless you are a Christian by Comfort’s definition of the term. Then presumably, you can lie to your heart’s content. That might explain why Comfort has no moral reservations about this film.
At the end, Comfort makes an appeal to only vote for anti-choice candidates (i.e. Republicans) for political office and then pimps out his website and book. We never really get the secret to changing a person’s opinion on abortion 180 degrees in seconds. Plus, it is unlikely this line of questioning would work on anyone with half a brain. Most of the people Comfort questioned didn’t even know who Hitler was when he initially asked. I have to believe that our education system isn’t quite that bad and that Comfort picked the handful of interviews that he did with the ridiculously uneducated people to keep in the film.
Over all, this movie should get negative stars. Watching it may have actually killed brain cells. Still, since Comfort has posted his magnum opus on YouTube, I have included the full film in the sidebar so that you too can have your brain cells killed. Warning, don’t watch without an ice pack handy. You will need it after all the face palms you will be doing while watching.
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