An apologist for the gospel says his debate with an atheist attorney should be viewed as more than a verbal bout with a nonbeliever.
Christian apologist Dr. Alex McFarland debated Michael "Mikey" Weinstein April 11 at Colorado Christian University, where they debated religious expression in the public square.
Weinstein has described his ongoing legal attack on religious expression in war-like terms, and he's said his target is "far-right, militant, radical, evangelical religious fundamentalists" who wear a military uniform.
"If you fuse a particular version of Christianity with this tremendous power of the state," Weinstein stated during the debate, "it creates what is called an unconscionable...religious toll or an unconstitutional toll on a religious objector."
McFarland countered that Weinstein is not being forced to be a Christian yet enjoys freedom of speech in a country with a history built on religious freedom.
"If the witness of a Christian offends you, I'm sorry. Welcome to life. Sometimes things are offensive," McFarland said. "But for goodness sakes, don't dismantle, don't tear down the backdrop, the milieu, that gives you the freedom to safely walk around as a non-believer."
Weinstein leads the oddly-named Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which serves as a complaint department for service members angered by displays of religious expression.
His efforts have been hit and miss, but he is an Air Force veteran and in recent years that branch has been a favorite target. Among his complaints in recent years have been an Air Force Reserve newsletter that described an airman's mission trip and base guards who said "Have a blessed day" to drivers they encountered.
An author and speaker, McFarland is also the soft-spoken host of "Exploring the Word," a weekday program on American Family Radio.
Asked by OneNewsNow about why he debated Weinstein, McFarland says his purpose was to "build a bridge" with the atheist, creating a friendship that allows a future discussion about the gospel.