$64 000 of my very own money if he will join me before a live audience to answer a single question about my little poem. I’ll read the story aloud and pose the mystery query. He’ll answer and walk away with the loot. Simple as that.
There are very good reasons to be skeptical about whether it is possible to collect on these “challenges,” given the likelihood that goalposts are greased up and ready to shift at a moment’s notice. As for whether Dawkins himself will ever take up Rzeppa’s challenge, you do have to bear in mind that he’s been lied to by Christians before. And let us not be sucking each others’ jagons here: who doesn’t look at a “challenge” like this and think to themselves that the author might as well have written, in the subject line of the mass-email, “CONGRATULATIONS!! RICHARD DAWKINS MIGHT ALREADY HAVE WON $64,000!!!”
Still, Rzeppa assures us that his gauntlet is being thrown down in good faith:
My offer to Dr. Dawkins is essentially a speaking fee. ANY response he cares to give to my question at the public event — even “No comment” — will be acceptable and will result in his collecting the $64,000.
Which causes me to wonder. Richard Dawkins is doubtless a wealthy man by now. If Rzeppa has a small fortune that he’s willing to just give away, can’t he find a more worthwhile use for it than to deliver to a man who probably doesn’t need $64,000 to begin with? That kind of money could go a long way in one of the 63 villages devastated in the Burmese district of Labutta last weekend. It could help deliver sanitation, hygiene education and safe water in Africa and elsewhere in the Third World. Wouldn’t something along these lines be a more productive investment than the opportunity to preach to Richard Dawkins? That’s all I’m saying, and I don’t care if you’re Gerry Rzeppa or David Coube Larry. As long as you’re prepared to give away tidy sums of your cold hard cash, there have to be more worthy causes out there than preaching in public to celebrity atheists.
So here’s my challenge to my readers. Suggest a more worthwhile use for Gerry Rzeppa’s money.