“How Much Do You Have to Hate Someone to Not Proselytize?”

This is an amazing little video commentary from comedian Penn Jillette (from the act Penn & Teller), a profane, outspoken atheist who has been vicious at times in his public attacks on religion. Even so, this video clip is worth watching. He speaks candidly about a post-show encounter he had recently with a Christian audience member who gave him a Bible. He asks rhetorically a very important question that makes perfect logical sense, coming from an atheist. I just wish more Christians were in a position to answer it.

It may well be that, down the road, according to God’s merciful providence, Penn Jillette will come to believe in God. You never know. 

(With thanks to Jeff Miller for his earlier blog post about this.)


  1. Paul, just this guy, you know?

    I’m surprised to see that Gillette finds being “nice” and courteous to be such an agreeable virture. By his own treatment of Christians, Mother Theresa included, I had not expected that he would value people who are “nice.”Perhaps it only matters when the person folks are nice to is… Penn Gillette.

  2. Dorothy

    This is a truly, truly important comment. Deep down everyone recognizes goodness and somehow appreciates it. We are so created that we resonate when we see holiness in action. No, we cannot hate anyone so much that we refuse to pray for them and love them with God’s love.

  3. jzepi

    What I don’t understand is what atheists are talking about when they say, as Penn did, that “religion does a lot of bad stuff.”I mean, it would seem to me that any objective person who is reasonably intelligent would have to admit that, on balance, religion is very good for society: caring for the poor, giving people hope, telling them to follow the commandments…So I really am at a loss as to what he’s talking about.But I am glad he met a good representative of the Christian faith who he could sense really loved him.I know we should all do better. I just don’t understand the atheists’ position intellectually.

  4. Mike

    Penn reminds me of the Apostle Paul before his encounter with Jesus. Very antagonistic and opposed to God. However, Penn is typical of many in our society who see some of the “misunderstandings” about the Bible and church history. Many of our great apologists, such as Josh McDowell, author of EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT, were set out to disprove the Bible and Jesus. The bad things in “christian” church history were acts made by FALSE CHRISTIANS. The battles with Muslims during the crusades were 99% defensive battles – NOT offensive acts. The jihad in those days were slaughtering Christians for being “infidels”, just like they would like to do today. Penn is right. Many horrible things have happened in the name of “religion”. HOWEVER, Jesus came to abolish religion. He has provided for our forgiveness (as Sinners, which we all are) and granted us eternal life. Religiosity is men seeking to please God – We Can Not! IT WAS A LEGAL TRANSACTION. WE BROKE GOD’S LAWS. WHILE WE ARE GUILTY BEFORE A RIGHTEOUS JUDGE, JESUS HAS ENTERED THE COURTROOM AND PAID OUR FINE IN FULL, 100%. NOT RELIGION, BUT JESUS HAS GIVEN US ETERNAL LIFE. *** The shell around Penn’s HEART seems to have gotten a crack in it. I hope that He will be receptive to God’s moving in his life. Because of this, I can hope that we will get to know Penn someday in Heaven. Pray for Penn to be receptive to God’s Word which is accurate, reliable and sufficient.Mike Owens http://www.AskTheRightQuestions.org

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