This is an unexpected continuation of what we recently posted: Answers in Genesis: An Ark-Load of Nonsense, which was about a massive load of misinformation regarding American history. The creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG) seem to be waging a campaign to distort the past, and they’ve just posted something else which attempts to do just that.
This one is a reprint of something by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. It originally appeared in September of 2010, and we somehow ignored it. This time we won’t. The title is: One Nation Under . . . ? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and Hambo’s links, scripture quotes, and references omitted:
At one time in the past, the people of the United States generally knew who ruled over the affairs of men — the Creator God of the Bible. They even put His name on their coins and currency. In just one generation that attitude has changed. What happened?
Typical Hambo history. But according to the Wikipedia entry on In God we trust:
In God we trust” was adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956 as an alternative or replacement to the unofficial motto of E pluribus unum, which was adopted when the Great Seal of the United States was created and adopted in 1782. “In God we trust” first appeared on U.S. coins in 1864 and has appeared on paper currency since 1957.
The first appearance of that slogan on US coinage in 1864 was during the Civil War. Its intermittent usage since then is discussed at the website of the US Treasury: History of ‘In God We Trust’. Let’s return to Hambo’s essay:
The entire western world is changing. Whereas the West was once permeated by Christian thinking, with a predominantly Christian worldview in regard to morality, there has been a dramatic shift.
True. And thanks to that dramatic shift, we haven’t had any witch trials, heresy trials, or denominational wars in quite a while. But Hambo ignores that. Instead he discusses abortion and same-sex relationships — as if those were something new in the world which wouldn’t exist if we had remained in the theocratic Dark Ages.
Then he criticizes Obama for several paragraphs, after which he says:
In essence this change reflects a shift between the world’s two opposing religions. Ultimately there are only two religions — one starts with God’s Word and the other starts with man’s word. America — and the whole Western world — once built its worldview predominantly on the Bible. Now a shift has occurred, as the West’s worldview is being built on man’s word. This change is reflected in a shift from Christianity’s absolutes to the relative morality of human opinions.
You’ve seen that stuff before — bible good, everything else bad, blah, blah, blah. Here’s a typical paragraph:
The major way this change has occurred is through the education system and media, which teach that evolution over millions of years is fact, causing many young people to doubt and ultimately disbelieve the Scriptures. Sadly, much of the church aided this change by endorsing millions of years and evolutionary ideas, while trying to instill a Christian worldview in other areas (such as Christian morality, marriage as one man and one woman, and abortion as murder).
Darwin has made us a nation of gay abortionists! Here’s the last of it:
So What is the Solution? Whatever we once were we need to return to. The only solution for this nation (and every other nation) is to return to the authority of God’s Word as the foundation for our individual and cultural worldviews. [Bible quote.]
Only Hambo can lead us out of the darkness!
Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.
Hmm — if all relationships were same sex then there’d be no need for abortions.
Christine Janis says: “Hmm — if all relationships were same sex then there’d be no need for abortions.”
I was thinking that, but what do I know? With all the craziness in such a Darwinian scenario, there might unintended consequences.
So, ultimately, there are two religions: Christianity and Not Christianity.
Thanks for the info, Ken.
@SC we haven’t had any … denominational wars in quite a while.
Taking “we” to refer to the West … Northern Ireland. Taking “we” to refer
to the USA … the Mormon Wars.
Compared the Thirty Years War or contemporary religious conflicts elsewhere, a small thing but our own.
Isn’t God’s word just gussied up Man’s word? When exactly was the day when there were absolutes?
How about no.
I just now noticed that somehow or other my comments are appearing anonymously. My apologies.
Once again, Hambone demonstrates that he is unaware of, or oblivioius to, both history, and the fact that there are other gods. Or does he think that other countries look to their gods for guidence?
Interesting how the creation myth(s) results in so much science denial and intellectual dishonesty. Return to the authority of the bible? What authority?Scholarship also questions the historicity of Abraham, Moses, the exodus, Solomon, David, and Jesus himself, to name a few. But, none of these are talked about in public schools, leaving only evolution to corrupt the minds of kids. Reason is a much more secure foundation than myth.
I see. We should return ourselves to what we were in the days of the Founders: a nation of thirteen bickering states, in which slavery was legal and it was unthinkable that women, or even non-property holders, should vote.
Gee, Mr. Ham from Australia, when exactly did you become such an expert in US history?
You state that “The major way this change has occurred [shifting away from God] is through the education system and media, which teach that evolution over millions of years is fact, causing many young people to doubt and ultimately disbelieve the Scriptures.” Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps, just perhaps, the problem is your insistence on a literal reading of the Bible, not a metaphorical interpretation?
After all, what are the most important messages of the Bible you want “the young people” to take to heart? Surely you give more importance to the teachings of Jesus — do unto others, love thy neighbor, etc. — than you do to Noah’s Flood. And certainly you consider the Ten Commandments of higher importance than a six-thousand year-old Earth.
Your credibility suffers from the fact that you’re trying to make a buck (or a few million bucks, to be accurate) by promoting creationism and Noah’s Flood as fact rather than parable. No, it won’t be the downfall of Western Civilization if the youth of today accept reason and reject a rigid interpretation of the Bible. However, it might make it harder for you to con people into giving you their money by scaring them into thinking it’s their only chance for salvation.
I respect your intelligence, Mr. Ham. Therefore, I am certain that you fully understand the science that supports evolution, billions of years of earth history, and a universe that’s 13.7 billion years old. The fact that you rail against science so strongly, even though you must understand its validity, says to me that you are a con-man, a huckster, a modern-day Elmer Gantry.
The “western world” as we think of it today began with the Greek and later Roman empires. Greek and Roman philosophers laid down much of our modern “worldview” including ethics and morality, thoughts on civil society, rational thinking, arts of all kinds, even modern warfare. In other words, the foundations were laid before the corruption of Christianity.
When Christianity arose and was foolishly adopted by the Roman empire, everything went to hell. The Roman empire degraded and eventually fell, Europe degenerated to a every changing mix of feuding fiefdoms, scientific advance basically ground to a halt, etc. etc. Only in areas where Christianity was not dominant, such as in the various Islamic empires, was scientific progress preserved.
The west did not recover until the enlightenment, when thinkers dared see the world in ways independent of Christian dogma.
So what Ham said is true, to an extent. The west did, for a time, build its worldview predominantly on the Bible. Luckily, the west recovered from that intellectual plague, and built the modern world.
But Ham and Westie are in agreement with this statement: “Whereas the West was once permeated by Christian thinking, with a predominantly Christian worldview in regard to morality, there has been a dramatic shift.” And they long for a return to the old days of tyrannical rule by the churches and no questions allowed. Ham says so, the Wedge document outlines the process.
Nice essay, Ed. Probably not what Ken Ham had in mind.
“In essence this change reflects a shift between the world’s two opposing religions. Ultimately there are only two religions — one starts with God’s Word and the other starts with man’s word. America — and the whole Western world — once built its worldview predominantly on the Bible”
What does he mean by “opposing religions?” Christian vs. Muslim?; Christian vs. Hindu?; Christian vs. Darwinian Evolution?; Christian vs. Hambo?; Hambo vs. the real world? What exactly? We live in a world that has been at continuous war between Western Christianity and everyone else on the planet since Charles Martel expelled the Muslims from France in the 8th century. I truly believe that the Middle East is now a new Crusade or a continuation of the old Crusades to decide who will rule the Holy Land and that France and the UK are hell bent on reclaiming their old colonies and using the US as a strong arm police force to do that. This will play right into Hambo’s game in that the end result will be either the return to a Dark Age of theistic rule or all out war in the Middle East resulting in an Armageddon. Hopefully before any of that happens SETI will make contact or the aliens among us will make themselves known and bail all the sane people out of this mess and leave Hambo and the rest behind. Maybe Hambo is the anti Christ. Wouldn’t that be just ducky. Oh well we can always hope for a meteor strike.
Hambo is, in the grand scheme of things, a largely irrelevant crackpot with a genuine talent for gathering up a posse of washed-out and incompetent creation “scientists” with which to bamboozle helpless children and shake coins from their ignorant parents.
Ecclesiastes 7:10 Do not ask why the old days were better than the present; for that is a foolish question
TomS: And never send to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee!
As to Ken Ham, RetiredSciGuy wrote an observation:
>”Your credibility suffers from the fact that you’re trying to make a buck (or a few million bucks, to be accurate) by promoting creationism…
Incredibly, the last time I looked up the 501c3 report papers for Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham’s, kingdom, it showed total revenue and contributions at something like $24 million. And that doesn’t include the “Ark Park” boondoggle and some of the really big donor checks which go into various special projects.
>”a rigid interpretation of the Bible.”
Ham and others of his ilk apply “rigid interpretations” sometimes and conveniently ignore the Biblical text at other times. Whenever a YECist or Hamite preaches their “literal interpretation” superiority to me, I casually walk them through examples in Genesis where MY interpretation is much more literal than theirs—and I show them the texts that prove it. Example: There is no “poof!” instantaneous creating of ocean or land creatures. Indeed, even in the English text of Genesis it is easy to see that the associated processes required some period of time to “bring forth” in reproductive cycles. So, the instantaneous forests Ham imagines, with “appearance of age” in the form of tree rings [which would be lies in telling of climate histories which never happened], are not supported by the text.
So one might wish that Ham would be more rigid in his interpretations, if that meant better reading comprehension on his part!
>I respect your intelligence, Mr. Ham.
I made that mistake several times. Kenny always let me down. Believe it or not, Ken Ham truly is as ignorant as he sounds, at least about science and about the Bible. But he is brilliant in understanding his overly-trusting audience. Like a skilled politician, he depends upon simple soundbites, repeated slogans, and carefully worded appeals to their “common sense” and vulnerability to flattery. (Ham’s strategy is basically: “As children of God, you have ‘family insider’ access to the truth, and can laugh at those silly PhD professors and their foolishness!”)
[I’ve finally started blog-posting some of the archival notes of my many years of shredding Ken Ham and YECist claims about “creation science” and the Bible at the WordPress link on my name above. I apologize to those who clicked it in the past and found nothing but a few experimental posts. We’ve finally started storing some old notes and memories there. As an ex-YEC who back in the 1960’s and 1970’s was a C.S. speaker/debater, I have an ethical obligation to try and undo the damage I did to science education in America by foolishly pontificating outside of my fields of expertise. And if in the process of that I can tweak the ever-growing Pinocchio noses of Ken “Were you there?” Ham, Ray “Banana-Man” Comfort, Jason “Ultimate Proof” Lisle, Chuck “Peanut-Butter Jar” Missler, and the many other peanut-gallery occupants of the creation-science clown-car who don’t even have their own silly sound-bite reputation yet……..so much the better. All comments are welcomed.
Ham’s a religious entrepreneur with the usual skillset, one of the most important components of which is knowledge of his audience.
“Ultimately there are only two religions” is an assertion that can only be made to that audience. Made to any other, it will simply be laughed at, so blatantly false it is, on at least two separate grounds. That’s what happens to it here. But Ham couldn’t care less about being exposed here or anywhere like here. Like any savvy marketing man, he is pitching only to a specific demographic. The only considerations of any weight whatsoever to his mind is how big the demographic is, what works with it, and how much it’s worth.
That’s why he emigrated. It wasn’t to spread the word, but to go where the word was already spread. He went to the US for the same reason Willy Sutton is said to have given for why he robbed banks – “because that’s where the money is”.
Now, that’s not to say that Ham doesn’t believe the scam himself. Most likely he does. But it really doesn’t matter what he thinks or believes, because he isn’t operating on any sort of intellectual or conscious understanding of anything. It’s really not about values or ideas or understandings at all. Rather, it’s about pure pragmatism.
Ham knows what works, I suspect on an instinctive level, and he applies it. He knows that his audience is culturally attuned to assertion from authority as its source of belief; that it distrusts or actually scorns learning; that it is incurious and unquestioning; and that it is deeply hostile to opposing cultural values. He plays to these qualities, with moderate success. Certainly it yields him a nice living, and even better, makes him an authority within that culture.
“Within that culture”. It also makes him a figure of fun outside it, but Ham doesn’t care about that. How do you get to him, then? It won’t be by reasoned argument or appeal to fact.
I suggest the only effective strategy is to change the culture, or rather, by gradual erosion, to subvert it. But that is going to be a long job.
Dave Luckett: “I suggest the only effective strategy is to change the culture, or rather, by gradual erosion, to subvert it. But that is going to be a long job.”
We’re working on it, Dave. We’re working on it.
Dave Luckett wrote: “That’s why he [Ken Ham] emigrated. It wasn’t to spread the word, but to go where the word was already spread.”
It was also because Ham wanted to start his own empire which he could control. Even Wikipedia has a good summary of his litigation war with the people he had to fight in order to get free of them and start his own empire. Ham knew that he had a huge market he could capture in the USA which would dwarf the penny ante operation he left in Australia.
Litigation is a big part of the non-profit entrepreneur’s world today. Lawsuits are part of the path to empire. If I wrote the book of my lifestory which many have urged me to write, there would be a lot of such litigation to write about. (Of course, that is not saying that the origins ministry world is somehow unique. Just the opposite. It is as litigious as the rest of the world today. No better. No worse.)
With immigration in the news it makes me wonder, does anyone have any idea how Hambo was allowed to immigrate to the U.S.?
I remember looking into how to immigrate into Australia and Canada. I figure they’d be similar to immigrating to the U.S. They don’t want you unless you’re retiring with a heap of money.