Ken Ham — The Dark Side of Freedom

This is disturbing, but there’s nothing to be done about it. Take a look at this recent post from from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. It’s titled Gear up for the Coming School Year with Answers Education Online. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Our children are growing up in a world that is increasingly hostile to the message that the Bible is authoritative in all areas — including morality, theology, history, and science. They need to be equipped with answers to defend the faith, the gospel, and the authority of God’s Word, especially as they finish high school and plan for higher education. Well, with one of our Answers Education Online [link omitted] classes, you can bring some of AiG’s best resources into your home for your high school student.

These online classes equip your young person to think biblically and defend the truth of God’s Word. Classes focus on topics such as

• the authority of Scripture
• the creation/evolution debate
• how science confirms the truth of Scripture
• a biblical worldview
• apologetics
• sharing the gospel with boldness and love

Here’s what disturbs your Curmudgeon. There are undoubtedly thousands — probably millions — of drooling parents who will take advantage of the opportunity to expose their children to Hambo’s material. Kids raised on that stuff will grow up to be idiots — the kind who write those letters-to-the-editor that we find so incredibly doltish.

In the US, the Food and Drug Administration enforces laws about selling harmful or worthless products. But because of Constitutional limitations, there are no laws prohibiting the sale of false or worthless “educational” material. The promoters of such things are protected by the freedom speech and freedom of religion, so they can peddle any intellectual snake oil they can produce — without even a warning label.

Let’s get back to Hambo’s post. He says:

Summer would be a great time in particular for students to keep their mind sharp with this self-paced course and be prepared to take on the challenges of a new academic year when summer vacation ends. In the near future, we’ll offer specialized classes looking at creation apologetics and the Bible, biology, geology, and astronomy.

Imagine what a concentrated exposure to such material does to a child’s mind. Creepy, isn’t it? Hambo continues:

But these courses aren’t just for high schoolers. They are a great resource for any believer who wants to be equipped with answers. We’ve found that pastors, Sunday school teachers, public and Christian schoolteachers, and parents benefit from the solid answers they can pass along to their congregation, class, or family. Perhaps consider taking one or more of these courses with your high schooler — you’ll receive 20% off enrollment when you sign up other family members from the same household.

Okay, that’s enough. Hambo provides links to where one can obtain more information about his materials. Go ahead and explore his creationist wonderland, if you like.

Your Curmudgeon is a strong supporter of the Constitution, and of all the freedoms it protects. Therefore, albeit reluctantly, we support Hambo’s freedom to peddle his creationist material. But it’s wrong to warp the minds of children. It will make them intellectual cripples. Nevertheless, if that’s what parents want to do, they’re free to do it. This is probably why the US is not only the freest country in the world, it also has a population with one of the highest percentages of creationists in the world — see NCSE’s Polling creationism and evolution around the world. They say, with our bold font:

The “evolutionist” view was most popular in Sweden (68%), Germany (65%), and China (64%), with the United States ranking 18th (28%), between Mexico (34%) and Russia (26%); the “creationist” view was most popular in Saudi Arabia (75%), Turkey (60%), and Indonesia (57%), with the United States ranking 6th (40%), between Brazil (47%) and Russia (34%).

So there you are. Some of the countries that are even more creationist than the US aren’t what we would call models of freedom, but in the US, freedom and creationism go hand in hand. Unsettling, isn’t it? Well, we’re free too, so we just have to try harder.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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23 responses to “Ken Ham — The Dark Side of Freedom

  1. Just consider creationism in all its flavors as an intelligence test that can’t be given to people. Try it… you are in need of science workers, you ask…how old is the universe? They say 6000yrs…you say he will be considered with the others…..he is not hired….suing for religious discrimination in …5-4-3-2…..

  2. Saint Hambo proclaims

    Our children are growing up in a world that is increasingly hostile to the message that the Bible is authoritative in all areas

    Indeed. And that’s the fault of all the negative press covfefe

  3. Michael Fugate

    Has any world ever thought the Bible authoritative in all areas?

  4. So, can Ham not list the world-famous biblical literalist scientists who are renowned for their barrier-breaking findings in the past thirty years? Any Nobels, perhaps? That would impress those children far more, wouldn’t it?

  5. “the Bible is authoritative in all areas — including … and science.”
    That’s what I like about Ol’Hambo – delightfully honest that he’s antiscientific.

    “But because of Constitutional limitations, there are no laws prohibiting the sale of false or worthless “educational” material.”
    Time for changing the Constitute in this respect then? In The Netherlands a committee of relevant scientists determines the content of educational material and that includes homeschooling. An example:

    https://www.examenblad.nl/examenstof/biologie-vwo-3/2016/vwo/f=/examenprogramma_biologie_vwo_2015_2016.pdf

    Domain F. That means that state sponsored orthodox protestant schools in the Dutch Bible Belt have to teach evolution as well. How they do it is up to them, but the end results are not negotiable in any way. Further on they are specified: selection, speciation, biodiversity and the origin of life.

    Note: VWO means “Preparing for Scientific Education” – it prepares for an academic study.

    “The promoters of such things are protected by the freedom speech and freedom of religion.”
    Freedom of speech and religion are not restricted. In religion class those Dutch orthodox protestant schools can promote their creationism as much as they like. After school they can read creationist websites as much as they like. But at the final exams the pupils doing biology have to demonstrate a basic understanding of Evolution Theory and Abiogenesis. It’s exactly what the IDiots from Seattle claim to strive for: teach the Controversy. In the right classes.

    “we support Hambo’s freedom to peddle his creationist material.
    So do we Dutch think. Just on the right place at the right moment.

    “This is probably why the US is not only the freest country in the world ….”
    I don’t think so.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Press_Freedom_Index

    Suriname, where I live, ranks considerably higher than the UK, France, Italy and the USA.
    The USA doesn’t do that well on the democracy index either.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index

    Regarding Civil Liberties and Political Rights the USA belongs to the top.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_in_the_World

  6. Now I’ve got that song in my head, didn’t it go like
    The lunatics are on the Net
    The lunatic is on the Net
    And if your head explodes, you know this is a sham
    I’ll see you on the dark side of the Ham

    Or something like that.

  7. Michael Fugate asks

    Has any world ever thought the Bible authoritative in all areas?

    Calvin’s Geneva, maybe?

  8. Paul Schoeckel

    mnbo, I dispute the freedom index. Although ranked high, Denmark, Finland and France are among the many EU countries with blasphemy laws. No country with blasphemy laws can be considered free.
    Also note the secret nature of the democracy index.

  9. There are certain limitations on speech in the USA:
    Giving advice on legal, medical or financial matters.
    You cannot legally sell food which claims to be “no fat” if it really is fatty.

  10. @Paul Schoeckel: the blasphemy law in .dk is on its way out: http://nyheder.tv2.dk/politik/2017-05-30-v-giver-groent-lys-flertal-for-at-afskaffe-blasfemiparagraf
    (flertal=majority; afskaffe=abolish)

  11. @TomS

    Exactly, And it should be illegal to purvey information that has been proven scientifically wrong. The only “worldview” should be *reality*.

    Throw his/their asses in jail.

  12. Paul Schoeckel

    Draken, that’s good news. Hopefully it will give the others pause to consider removing them as well.

  13. Do anti-blasphemy laws also apply to non-Christian blasphemy? Or for non-popular forms of Christianity?

  14. @ TomS: UK blasphemy law, in effect from the 16th century, protected Christianity only.

    But it was abolished in 2008–by a Labour government.

  15. Don’t forget the blasphemy law in Ireland. We wrote about it last year — see Update on Ireland’s Blasphemy Law.

  16. Michael Fugate

    how science confirms the truth of Scripture

    Not even wrong. Its like trying to open a bottle of wine with a potholder – an inappropriate tool for the job.

  17. Holding The Line In Florida

    Now who pay $159 – $179 for a load of total BS? I liked the $20 extra fee for making it a Continuing Education Course. What the heck does that mean? Same course only $20 extra. Which Institute of higher learning would accept that course? Or is The Hamfest opening his own college? Imagine that Ham’s College of THE Truth (trademarked of course) What a collection of gifted professors they could get.

  18. Eric Lipps

    Some of the countries that are even more creationist than the US aren’t what we would call models of freedom, but in the US, freedom and creationism go hand in hand.

    Not for long, if fundamentalists have their way and manage to turn their argument that “the First Amendment protects freedom of religion, not freedom from religion” into law.

    Oh, but Darwinism is a religion, right? so I guess the First Amendment should be read as protecting only the right religion.

  19. I keep seeing this fallacy by the religious: The Argument From Freedom. I believe x because I am free to believe x.

    Corollary: I believe x because some others are not free to believe x.

    If you don’t use your freedom to doubt and question then you aren’t really free.

  20. “Here’s what disturbs your Curmudgeon. There are undoubtedly thousands — probably millions — of drooling parents who will take advantage of the opportunity to expose their children to Hambo’s material.”

    Don’t despair, my dear Curmudgeon.

    After a year of reading your blog, relevant articles from RNS, and a handful of blogs from the Patheos Atheist Channel, I have made these observations:

    a. a near-universal experience common to almost all atheists who address it in their comments is that the more they learned the Bible, the more they came to disbelieve; and

    b. conversely, the most ardent Believers seem to be the ones most ignorant of what is actually in the Bible — they’re Thumpers, not Readers.

    Imo, the more one knows the Bible, the likelier one is to become aware of its internal inconsistencies as well as the myriad points at which it is non-congruent to experienced reality.

    So, I tearfully take exception to your glum conclusion —

    “Kids raised on that stuff will grow up to be idiots — the kind who write those letters-to-the-editor that we find so incredibly doltish.”

    — and cheerfully urge you to “Buck Up!” You, me, hundreds here and hundreds of thousands world-wide have not only survived a religious up-bringing, but have actually thrived.

    (Otoh, there’s this:

    http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/rural-america-understanding-isnt-problem )

  21. “Our children are growing up in a world that is increasingly hostile to the message that the Bible is authoritative in all areas — including morality, theology, history, and science.” Clearly, if Hambo’s worldview is correct, we ALL need to become goat shepherds and write magical stories.

  22. all areas
    If we take that literally, then here are a few areas which I find it difficult to see anything in the Bible which touches on them, let alone claims to be authoritative:
    music theory
    the novel
    art history
    calculus
    chemistry