Ken Ham’s Crusade Against the “Nones”

It’s time for another visit with Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG) and for the mind-boggling Creation Museum.

A few months ago we wrote You’re Either For Ken Ham or Against Him, in which we expressed our growing concern for ol’ Hambo. His post today doesn’t ease our worries. It’s titled America Is 21% “None”. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

I often point out in my talks that America has the most Christian bookstores, Christian colleges and universities, Christian radio and TV programs, and the most churches of any nation in the world. I then ask my audience, “Is America becoming more or less Christian everyday?” My audience always replies with “less Christian.” Even with the unprecedented number of Christian resources, America is increasingly becoming less and less Christian with each passing day as the foundation of biblical authority has been replaced with man’s word.

Oh, how horrible. What’s happening to us? Hambo explains that it’s worse than you think:

Sadly, this trend is only increasing. Reportedly, the latest General Social Survey was recently released. Apparently this multimillion-dollar analysis of the American population determined that “since 2012, the U.S. has about 7.5 million more Americans who are no longer active in religion.” Now 21% of the US population is considered a “none.”

This link to the outfit that conducted the survey is the best we could find: General Social Survey: Chronicling Changes in American Society. You’ll have to scroll down about half-way to find a chart with the data. Let’s read some more from Hambo’s reaction:

But those who claim to be “nones” really do have a religion! They have a man-made religion of secularity. They have developed a worldview through which they view and interpret the world.

Jeepers, he’s right. Everything you see, everything you think, everything you do — it’s religion! He continues:

Now, everyone has a religion, but ultimately there really are only two religions: for Christ or against Christ [scripture reference]. There is no neutrality!

Yup — that’s the only way to look at it. You’re either for Hambo’s religion or you’re against it. Here’s more:

Sadly, the number of those who falsely think that they have no religion only keeps growing in America. And it will only keep growing, if the statistics are any sign. But what should Christians do?

All sorts of things have been tried in the past — inquisitions, witch burnings, slaughter of infidels. What does Hambo recommend? He tells us:

Preach the gospel!

Yes — of course! Then Hambo elaborates:

We need to reach out to these nones and this dying culture. Chances are you live beside, work with, or are friends with some of these nones. We need to be bold in sharing the gospel with them and be prepared with solid, biblical answers to the questions that they have about the Christian faith. [Etc., etc.]

So there you are. And while you’re at it, send those wicked nones some tickets to the Creationism Museum. That’s guaranteed to do the job! Or better yet, make a generous contribution to ol’ Hambo. He knows what to do.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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33 responses to “Ken Ham’s Crusade Against the “Nones”

  1. And of course, every follow-up poll shows that the majority of the “nones” aren’t really converts so much as people who simply decided they no longer wanted to identify with their Christian religion-of-birth. The problem isn’t with the lack of preaching, the problem is with what’s being preached.

    They should consider themselves lucky that they’ve sown hate and so far have only reaped apathy.

  2. I believe Ken Ham is the type of person who if asked to read a science book would comment that everything has been explained in the bible. What an idiot this fellow is.

  3. As an outsider, I’d say Kanny Humbug is desperately raging against his own escalating irrelevance.

  4. Here’s a way to win people to Christianity:
    Let it be understood that to be a Christian it is absolutely necessary to believe the most incredible things – that all of today’s land animals are the descendants of pairs taken on Noah’s Ark a few thousand years ago, just for starters.
    That’s a sure shot.
    And don’t spend any time on unimportant things like love thy neighbor.
    Remember whenever anybody asked Jesus what was a ticket to heaven, he always said, first of all, take your Bible literally!

  5. Kenny’s “preach the gospel” and “…be prepared with solid, biblical answers to the questions…” remind me of my reply to a born again neighbor who, when she learned I was an atheist asked if it was OK if she prayed for me. I said “I don’t care what you do on your own time”. Oh, and Hambone thinks “…there really are only two religions…”. That pretty much sumarizes his grasp of reality, since there must be at least 10,000 or so religions throughout the current and historical world.

  6. This sounds insane. You’re either for Christ or against him. It feels like my head may come off if I give the wrong answer.

  7. @abeastwood
    I understand that some people are upset to learn that their dead ancestors have been “baptized” by Mormons.
    I wonder whether there is a ceremony of de-baptizing people in absentia? Maybe that could be a source of revenue?

  8. michaelfugate

    Tell me it isn’t so! I assumed one advantage of being dead was that the LDS and JW would no longer knock on my door.

  9. I fear Hambo is approaching Hovind levels of insanity.

  10. Mike Elzinga

    If anyone has any doubts about what the Ken Hams of this world would do if they were in power, just look at the Rick Scotts and Scott Walkers of this world. We would be right back into the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem Witch Trials; nothing as inane as being forced to lose one’s job and be required to submit to a “psychological evaluation” for using forbidden words like “climate change.”

  11. Somewhat off-topicish, but pretty cool: a significant artefact contributing to the expansion of numbers of ‘the Nones’–and dating, significantly before Darwin’s work, from 1815: William Smith: Seminal geology map rediscovered

  12. Mike Elzinga

    @Megalonyx:

    Now that is just awesome!

  13. Pete Moulton

    Kenny ponders: “But what should Christians do?”

    Shutting up and going quietly away comes to mind.

  14. I went to the article and read the section Hamm is concerned about and found nothing to indicate any grounds for his fear at all. What it indicates to me is that more and more people are getting very tired of having “ole time religion” crammed up their a–es and down their throats by backwoods hillbilly preachers who are only interested in saving souls while cleaning out peoples bank accounts. Tax free by the way.

  15. Mary L. Mand

    He needn’t worry about me – I have NO questions about the Xian faith.

  16. Jason Caulfield

    Does he not realise his Biblical worldview of Christianity is probably what puts most people off? Which is just reiterating what Tom S said earlier. but needs to be repeated.

  17. This observation by Augustine can be found many times:

    Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]

  18. I can’t decide whether Ken Ham is pulling a scam by equating “worldview” with “religion” or he really doesn’t see the difference. But I love Tom S.’s quote from First Timothy. Fundamentalists beware: live by the Word, die by the Word.

  19. Dave Luckett

    I truly loved the exposition of the worldview here: Ham writes, “everyone has a religion”.

    “Everyone has a religion.” Secularists have a religion: secularity. So secularity is a religion. Those who don’t believe in God have a religion: atheism. So non-belief, atheism, is a religion. Since this religion requires not worshipping anything, not worshipping anything is therefore a religious practice. Every person who denies religion thus actually affirms it.

    But if practices, modes of thought, ideas and beliefs completely opposed or orthogonal to religion are nevertheless religious in nature, then every practice, every thought, every belief, every idea is religious in nature. Religion covers everything. Corollary: everything is religion.

    Everything is religion, so ideas opposed to Ham’s are merely religious ideas opposed to his religious ideas. Evidence from nature is not only not privileged over Ham’s religious beliefs, it doesn’t actually exist as evidence at all. It is nothing more than a religious belief different to his, and therefore wrong. Wrong by definition, because it is different to his.

    And there we have the mind of Ken Ham. Religious ideas are the only ideas. Evidence doesn’t exist as a class separate from religious ideas. Religious ideas different from his religious ideas are simply wrong ideas. Reality cannot intrude into this construction. Since it can’t, it doesn’t.

    This explains much, but it doesn’t explain how a mind came to be so floridly deformed, and yet still function, after a fashion. It’s clearly a disfunctional mode of dealing with reality, and yet Ham functions.

    Weird.

  20. Someone once said that if atheism is a form of religion, sobriety is a form of drunkenness. Ken Ham would beg to differ, I guess.

  21. RSG: “I always thought of nuns as being very religious.”

    Voice: “No — Ham’s referring to “nones”, not nuns.”

    RSG: “Oh. Never mind.”

  22. As a lifelong atheist, when speaking with other freethinkers I have discovered quite how diverse I may find the “worldview through which they view and interpret the world”. Surprisingly for Ken Ham, atheists do not have a religion and do not even tend to agree with each other regarding sometimes fundamental ideas about life and the universe.

    It may also be a surprise to Ken Ham that “sharing the gospel” unsolicited proselytizing tends to make my militant atheism become more rageful and militant, not less!

  23. @Eric Lipps
    I was lazy in giving the quotation, which may have given the wrong impression. My apologies. It is from:
    Saint Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354-430) The Literal Meaning of Genesis (De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecimo) Book 1 chapter 19 Paragraph 39; translation by J. H. Taylor in Ancient Christian Writers, Newman Press, 1982, volume 41, pages 42-43; and Augustine was quoting the 1st Epistle to Timothy in the last words of the passage.
    The quotation is cited in fuller form in many places on the web, and I borrowed it from:
    http://www.pibburns.com/augustin.htm

  24. @tiffany267
    There are many less-than-positive reactions to the “sharing the gospel”. There are those whose find it boring, or amusing. There are those who are familiar with the Bible who find it arrogant in its ignorance. There are those who recognize when people are just plain making stuff up. There are those who think that Bible-thumping is idolatry, as if the essence of Christianity were found a book, rather than in Jesus, or that waving a book would act as a magic spell.

  25. Mike Elzinga

    @ Dave Luckett:

    This explains much, but it doesn’t explain how a mind came to be so floridly deformed, and yet still function, after a fashion. It’s clearly a disfunctional mode of dealing with reality, and yet Ham functions.

    If I am recalling correctly, you have expressed some chagrin over the fact that Ham was Australian; however, we here in the US should probably be more chagrined over the fact that he has found such a lucrative market for his”disfuncionality” over here.

    Perhaps we should be viewing him as a crude infestation in the US; much like the cane toad in Australia..

  26. Dave Luckett

    I think disfunctionality is supervened by environment. Consider the human backbone. It is certainly somewhat disfunctional – practically everyone has back problems sooner or later – but it does allow human bipedality and hence specialised manipular forelimbs, which were apparently favoured by the environment of a drying savannah and developing tool use.

    Similarly, Ham’s intellectual disfunction may be a specialisation actually favoured by a specific environment. In Australia, that would be an extremely narrow niche. Religious loons we certainly do have, but religion simply isn’t so important here. I believe at least 45% of Americans are still fairly regular religious service attenders. In Australia, it’s said to be about 7%, and the truly lunatic expressions of religious fervour are in proportion to that.

    It follows that one explanation for Ham’s emigration is instinct: he recognised a more secure environment. Possibly so. Me, I would follow the trail of the power and the money. But that amounts to much the same thing.

    Nevertheless, I feel guilty. Ham would do far less harm preaching in Ipswich, Queensland, than running a museum and internet raree-show in Kentucky. By breeding him and in effect exporting him, we have done harm to the world.

  27. “By the year 2050, 41% of Americans believe that Jesus Christ definitely (23%) or probably (18%) will have returned to earth.”

    Pew survey from July 14, 2010

    http://www.pewresearch.org/daily-number/jesus-christs-return-to-earth/

  28. Ken Ham refuses to accept that there are any true atheists out there; EVERYBODY supposedly believes in God. Some just pretend to others — and maybe even to themselves — that they don’t believe.

    Ham bases this on a rather preculiar interpretation of Romans 1:20: “For the invisible things of [God] from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (for not believing, that is).

    However, Paul does not say that there are no unbelievers, he just claims that unbelief has no excuse, since in his view the existence of the Creator _should_ have been evident from creation itself.

    Other scriptures flatly say that some do not believe (e.g., 2 Thessalonians 3:2), and Psalms 14:1 informs us: “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”

    According to Ken Ham’s preferred exegesis, this ought to read: “The fool hath said with his lips, There is no God, but in his heart he knoweth that there is a God.”

    The Bible may present unbelief as foolish and without excuse, but it does not claim that sincere atheists don’t exist at all, like Ken Ham insists.

    I guess we could counter that NOBODY BELIEVES IN GOD. _Everyone_ is really an atheist! It is just that some feeble-minded individuals can’t find the courage to give up the concept of the ultimate fantasy friend, so they keep pretending to themselves and others that they are believers.

    But I’m sure Ken Ham would find such a claim offensive. As if individuals don’t have the right to define their own belief structure without having others insist that they aren’t sincere!

  29. Of one thing I am certain:

    If there is a god, he/she/it/them wouldn’t believe Ken Ham…

  30. I’m not sure why atheism bothers folks like Kenny-boy so much. After all, we only believe in one fewer god than he does.

  31. Eric Lipps, to be a fundamentalist Christian is to believe that your religion IS your worldview. Everything that happens – everything – is to be seen in the light of the idea that all things that happen are God’s planned and were ordained by him and through him. Weather patterns, what you had for dinner, your cat dying of cancer, the falling price of gasoline, finding a quarter in the couch cushions, all part of The Plan.

    If you think that way – especially if you were raised that way – it’s hard to consider that there might be another way to understand the world.

  32. One thing that I’m sure bothers Hambo about the “nones” is that their apathy flies in the face of the Christian theory that atheists are so venomously against religion because of a hatred for God. Many of the “nones” don’t care at all. From the context I see Hambo thinks “nones” are potential converts…possibly but the laughable, literal Genesis and culturally discordant world view isn’t going to convert any of them.