Answers in Genesis: An Ark-Load of Nonsense

Take a look at this foul mass of misinformation from the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG), the online ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo).

It’s a reprint of something they first posted in September of 2008: The Stealing of America. It was junk then and it’s junk now. The thing was written by Mike Riddle, a new name for us, but he has this biography page at the AIG website.

This is going to be difficult for us, because virtually every one of Riddle’s sentences is wrong, and it would take far too much time to debunk it all. Besides, we’ve already done a lot of that in one of our favorite posts, Is America a “Christian Nation”? But we’ll do what we can. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Though not all of America’s Founding Fathers were Bible-believing Christians, the United States was nevertheless founded on biblical principles.

Beep — wrong! Riddle should read the Constitution and the Federalist Papers. Hint: there’s no mention of God, the bible, or Christianity. Riddle’s whole essay is like that — it’s one false statement after another. Next he says:

These Fathers declared that our rights come from God, the Sovereign Creator. For example, the Declaration of Independence reads:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Beep — wrong! In the immediately preceding sentence, Jefferson (no fundie) defined the Creator as Nature and Nature’s God — a Deist expression. Let’s read on:

The U.S. Founding Fathers recognized that our rights come from God and that government should exist to protect our rights. However, if there is no God basis, then our rights can only come from the generosity of the state and its leaders. If the state gives us our rights, then the state can take them away.

Beep — wrong! The Founders believed that our rights come from our nature — an Enlightenment idea they got from John Locke. We continue:

In addition, if there is no God, then men are not “created,” and they are not necessarily “equal”: Charles Darwin declared that man evolved and was not created and that some are more evolved than others. The state in essence can become the new god. Darwin wrote:

Riddle then quote-mines Darwin. We won’t bother to copy it, but if you read his article, note the ellipsis. It’s very crude work. We discussed that specific quote in WorldNetDaily — Worthless Creationist Rag!, so we won’t bother to repeat ourselves. Here’s more:

America has always recognized the existence of a higher authority than the state (based presumably on Genesis 9). This accountability is expressed in all three branches of the U.S. government:

President’s oath of office: “So help me God”;
Congressmen and Senators’ oath: “So help me God”;
Witnesses’ oath in court: “To tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God”

Beep — wrong! The President’s oath is in the Constitution, along with a separate oath for all other government officials. The phrase “so help me God” isn’t there. See Article II, Section I:

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: — “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

An “affirmation” is a secular oath. The witness’ oath isn’t in the Constitution, but the God phrase is entirely optional in every court. Further, as you know, Article VI provides:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Has Riddle ever read the Constitution? It doesn’t matter. He writes for ol’ Hambo, and that’s all we need to know. Moving along:

Many of our rights are being taken away. The state has been systematically stealing the rights of individuals and groups.

He gives some examples. No, he doesn’t mention things like taxation and regulation. He mentions only the “social conservative” issues like abortion (the unborn have rights) and displaying the Ten Commandments in public places. But his big example of a stolen right is:

The right to question evolution (academic freedom) in many universities is forbidden and persecuted (see the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed).

No comment necessary. Then he asks:

How Did This Happen? Over decades of systematic training, our children have been bombarded with the secular humanistic worldview in public school systems in many countries. They have been taught that there is no God, there are no moral absolutes, they are products of evolution, and there is no clear meaning/purpose to life.

You knew he’d get around to evolution eventually. Then he spends a few worthless paragraphs claiming that secularism is a religion. Here’s one final excerpt from near the end:

The Christian worldview begins in the book of Genesis with the words “In the beginning God created. . . .” The key to returning America to a biblical base is to build from that solid foundation of Genesis 1:1. In other words, the strategy is to build from the bottom-up.

So there you are. Those wicked evolutionists have stolen our rights, which the Founders say come from the bible. The solution is to ram ol’ Hambo’s view of things down the kiddies’ throats. At least Riddle got one thing right — he’s starting at the bottom.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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13 responses to “Answers in Genesis: An Ark-Load of Nonsense

  1. michaelfugate

    Why oh why would anyone want to return to a “biblical base?” Do these idiots really want to follow all the laws in Leviticus? I think that is rhetorical or should be any way.

  2. Ah, yes, the traditional sport of Lying For Jesus. Glad to see it’s alive and well at AIG.

    Hm. “AIG”? Accuracy Is a Goner?

  3. If folks like this ever gain full control, teachers not teaching evolution in science class will be the least of our problems.

  4. …but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

    Actually I think there are a number of states and other elected bodies that require an affirmation to a belief in a deity, and efforts to null elected persons in that regard have been tried, though I don’t know how successful. A good source is:

    The Myth of American Religious Freedom (Sehat)

  5. The first three points Curmy raises in answer to Riddle’s ridiculous screed (supportinig the US as a “Christian Nation”) are coincidentally covered in Ed Brayton’s post today. See:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2014/11/19/video-of-my-debate-last-week/#more-31638

    I haven’t watched the debate yet (that’s what weekends are for, aren’t they?), but the commentary at that site before the video summarizes just what all the historians say (since David Barton and his ilk don’t qualify for that honorific), which is, to paraphrase, “they’re spouting’ BS!”.

  6. DavidK, if what you say is true, it’s a lawsuit (or set of lawsuits) waiting to happen. Such requirements would almost certainly be found unconstitutional.

  7. Here I go again. Complaining about the fallacies of composition and division, in particular the difference between being born and being in a population which evolves, the difference between being an individual in a
    personal relationship with one’s Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer (which nobody sees as threatened by the sciences of reproductive biology) and being a species (which, after all, may just be a human-constructed abstraction(*)).

    And to that point: Charles Darwin declared that man evolved and was not created and that some are more evolved than others. Darwin concluded that “man”kind (that is, the collective) evolved. He had nothing new to say about the origins of each “man”.

    (*)After all, it was the man, Adam, who gave the names to the animals, not God.

  8. Article VI [of the U.S. Constitution] provides:

    The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

    People almost always focus on the First Amendment when they address the relationship between religion and the state in the U.S., but Article VI is at least as important, since it establishes, among other things, that one doesn’t have to be a Christian, of Ken Ham’s or any other kind, to be elected to public office–even the presidency.

    There was (and still is) a lot of hoo-ha about President Obama secretly being a Muslim. To his discredit, he grovelingly assured people that yes, he really was a Christian, when what he should have done is say out loud that Muslims are as entitled to serve in the White House as anyone else, provided they meet the explicit and rather basic constitutional qualifications.

  9. I used to think that Bodie Hodge was the dumbest member of ol’ Hambo’s clown posse, but this article by Riddle shows him to be not only dumber, but lazier as well. It must be stuffy down there in the bottom of the intellectual barrel in Kentucky — the land where brains go to die.

  10. Charles Deetz ;)

    The scary thing is that millions of conservatives would read this post by Riddle and wouldn’t find a thing wrong with it. They’d only be disappointed that it didn’t end with chorus of ‘Obama is an evil non-christian’.

    Good survey science on cognitive dissonance at Wired today. “When confronted with solutions that challenge deeply held values, people may be inclined to disbelieve the problem.”

    Interesting that it is the ‘solution’ that is disliked. In the creationist’s thinking, they see the solution as discrediting the literal bible, so they just refuse to see a problem with the creation story. Or in Riddle’s case, the solution of a secular/fair/even government is too much for him, for whatever reason, so goes opposite-land with the problem, seeing God everywhere in government.

    I thank god 😉 that I’m not looney that has to think like this.

  11. The oath, including no reference to deity, though added by idiots taking said oath, is contrary to the federal Constitution. As noted before, states can have their own verions of an oath of office.

  12. @Mark G

    Aptly put, the Heinlein story If This Goes On springs to mind.

  13. Our Curmudgeon notes

    This is going to be difficult for us, because virtually every one of Riddle’s sentences is wrong, and it would take far too much time to debunk it all. … But we’ll do what we can.

    You do it very well, Sir.

    And we understand: so much Creationist BS, so little time…