Tracie Harris and Matt Dillahunty host a public access show called “The Atheist Experience.” During a recent episode, while debating about the morality of God, the two non-believers fielded a call that ended up going horribly awry. The individual they spoke with, a self-described Christian named “Shane,” challenged Harris and Dillahunty on a the character of God, with the discussion taking a bizarre and conclusive turn over the sensitive issue of child rape.
Raw Story sets up the painfully-awkward discussion:
Hosts of the Atheist Experience cable access show in Austin hung up on a Christian caller over the weekend after he suggested that God might not stop the rape of a little girl because the victim was also “evil.”
A Christian viewer from Phoenix named Shane called in to Sunday’s show with the hopes of convincing host Matt Dillahunty and co-host Tracie Harris that the fact that even atheists had a “moral code” proved of the existence of God.
Before the situation turned ugly (i.e. before Shane began speaking about the girl being “evil”), Harris was obviously less-than-swayed by the caller’s arguments about God and his alleged goodness. The atheist described a paradigm in which the almighty either mandates horrible occurrences like child rape — or simply allows them (obviously, both options are seen by Harris as horrific).
“I said to somebody earlier today that you either have a God who sends child rapists to rape children or you have a God who simply watches it and says, ‘When you’re done, I’m going to punish you?,’” she told Shane.
Harris went on to say that she would stop a child rapist if she had the power, drawing a distinction between herself and a God that allows ultimate free will. Her point: If God is as all-powerful as believers contend, then why wouldn’t he intervene to stop something horrible (such as child rape) from occurring?
It was from here that the discussion devolved. The Huffington Post attempts to describe the confusing manner in which Shane responded and the subsequent and abrupt end of the discussion:
Shane begins his response by saying, “First of all, you portray that little girl as someone who’s innocent, she’s just as evil as you.” Dillahunty then cuts off the call and spits, “Good-bye, you piece of [s**t].”
It’s unclear from the clip what point the caller is trying to make, and his reference to “that little girl” is confusingly specific, as it seems up until then that the conversation had been about a hypothetical victim.
Watch the intense discussion unfold, below. (caution: language and controversial subject matter):