Penn Jillette just got born again – but don't fortify the gates of heaven just yet, because it's his atheism that he's renewed, to account for blanket religious vilification and hate politics. Jillette's latest book is "Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales"
About three years ago I came in to Big Think and I talked very strongly and very passionately about atheism, how I did not believe in God. And over the past three years I opened my heart to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit filled me. And all of a sudden I realized that everlasting life is possible by following in the ways of Jesus Christ our Lord. I have since then dedicated my life to Jesus Christ. I have joined the Church and I will live the rest of my life and die as a Christian in service and in joy with Jesus Christ Our Lord. I’m just fucking with you. For a minute, just for a minute did I – just for a second did I have you going? Just for a minute? Can you imagine how much money I would make if I could just convert to re – I don’t have to convert. If I just pretend to convert. Can you imagine if I just took and threw away my atheism, if I threw away my morality and said I was religious and went out and started preaching? Can you imagine the amount of money I would make. But what good if a man gained the whole world but lose his soul. No. I’m still an atheist. I’m still doing fine. I just spoke at a Young Americans for Liberty conference, you know, a lot of conservatives, a lot of people that are too young to be wearing suits were wearing suits.
I liked them. And afterwards a man came up to me probably 20 years old and he was slight in build, very dark complected and he said to me I wanted to talk about this during your lecture but I was very, very frightened that there were cameras there. And I said well there were cameras there so at least you’re not frightened by UFOs. You’re frightened by spiders, something that’s real. I can respect that. I made this kind of light of his wording there. And then he shut me up because then he said my family is from Pakistan and everybody in my community is a devout Muslim. And my mom and dad are devout Muslims. And I’m an atheist. And if I said that while you were speaking, if I raised my hand and said that with the cameras on, said that declared a statement I’m an atheist. My mom and dad would not kill me but they would disown me and they would never speak to me again. And I would be an apostate and it is not unlikely that someone in my community would kill me.
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