During last month’s Democratic presidential debate, the Freedom From Religion Foundation aired a commercial featuring Ron Reagan. The son of the former president said he’s a “lifelong atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.”
Even though that ad’s been around for years, and still appears during random episodes of The Daily Show or 60 Minutes, the fact that it played during the debate led to outsized attention, including criticisms from the likes of evangelist Franklin Graham.
Christian hate-pastor Steven Anderson got in on the action yesterday, too. During a sermon, he offered his own theory about why Reagan would bother saying he’s not afraid of burning in Hell.
… he literally, at the end, just, “Oh, and by the way, I’m not scared of going to Hell.”
Why say that? You know why? ‘Cause he is scared…
I’m not scared of heights, no I’m not! I’m not scared of the dark! No not at all! I’m not scared of the bogeyman! There’s an infinite number of things for you not to be scared of. Why bring that up? Oh, I’m not scared of going to Hell. But isn’t it interesting he didn’t say, “Well I’m not scared of being reincarnated as something stupid.” You know what I mean?
All of the atheists’ anger is directed at Christianity! Right?…
He brings out Hell. And, look, he’s not thinking about Islam. He’s not thinking about Hinduism. He’s not thinking about Buddhism. He’s not thinking about Scientology or something…
This is only the latest example of Anderson talking out of his ass about something he doesn’t understand.
The commercial is about the intrusion of Christianity into our government (and why supporting FFRF is a way to push back against that). Reagan doesn’t believe in those other forms of nonsense either, but Hindus aren’t trying to take over the White House. Right-wing evangelicals are. Saying they need to be stopped — and that you’re not afraid of their biggest threat — is a reasonable response.
But Anderson’s Persecution Complex is so large that he can’t envision any reason for Reagan to dismiss Hell other than trying to convince himself of it because, in private, he knows he’ll burn forever. That’s some serious Christian wish fulfillment for you.