An Epic Expedition to Hambo’s Ark

We wish this item were longer, but it’s all we have to work with so we’re going to make the most of it. It’s a post by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. The title is From California to Kentucky for the Ark Encounter.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] As you know, Ol’ Hambo is famed not only for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), but also for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum, and for building Ark Encounter, an exact replica of Noah’s Ark.

Here are some excerpts from Hambo’s post, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Several dozen members of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa (CCCM) made their way from California recently to visit the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] They “made their way.” What a heroic journey! Think of the hardships they endured. Hambo says:

Pastor Jim Kuehnert of their Vintage Life Seniors Fellowship led the 48-member tour group.

Their preacher led the vintage seniors all the way from California! Isn’t that wonderful? How courageous they were, and what a great leader that preacher must be! After that, Hambo tells us:

This large group flew here to Northern Kentucky from Southern California, some 2,000 miles away.

Huh? They flew? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! No covered wagons? No dangers along the way from outlaws and Indians and grizzly bears? They just went to the airport and got on a plane? But Hambo says they “made their way,” and their preacher “led” them. There’s probably more to it that he isn’t revealing.

Hambo’s next paragraph is about the preacher’s church, and how close they are to him. He’s spoken to them “on a number of occasions.” They’re so fortunate! Let’s read on:

Pastor Jim Kuehnert of CCCM was amazed by the inspirational, professional exhibits and grounds he saw at the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter.

The preacher was amazed! And now we come to the end:

He plans to show The Building of the Ark Encounter DVD [link omitted] to his church and drum up support for more tour groups to travel to our world-class attractions.

That church seems like a great source of business for ol’ Hambo. No wonder he’s all excited.

Well, dear reader, that’s all there is. We told you it wasn’t much, but we did what we could with it. Feel free to use the comments for an Intellectual Free Fire Zone.

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

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32 responses to “An Epic Expedition to Hambo’s Ark

  1. Charles Deetz ;)

    My son purchased candy cigarettes and handed them out for halloween tonight. What a snarky guy.

  2. Derek Freyberg

    You can still buy candy cigarettes?

  3. You’ve obviously never been to LAX, Anyone who escapes that place can be said to ‘make their way’ to their destination.

  4. I wonder why the name of the church is a mix of Spanish and English. Oh wait, because Mesa in English is Plateau which would make their letters CCCP. These are undercover communists trying to infiltrate US (pun intended). No wonder they had to “make their way” when traveling, fake ID’s and all.
    I think Ham needs to be outed as the Russian coconspirator that he is. Not sure of the reaction Ham’s parishioners and the local Kentuckians will have to having a commie in their midst…

  5. Dave Luckett

    “Vintage Life Seniors Fellowship”? Or to put it another way:

    “Some old religious folks in California don’t believe in evolution. News at eleven.”

  6. Dave Luckett

    “Mesa” in English is “table”. The takeover of a common Spanish word for a far more specialised use is typical. Who was it said that English doesn’t so much borrow words as mug other languages in dark alleys and rifle their pockets for loose vocabulary?

  7. Is it really necessary write such infantile criticism. If you don’t like the project, just say so. Have you any idea of the magnitude of this undertaking? Come on show just a smidgen of praise. I doubt if Ken Ham makes much money from this exhibition. Have you ever considered the maintenance costs? I don’t suppose you have since you sound like you have never done anything practical in your life barring a keyboard warrior, living off a cosy teaching job or more probably a social grant. Why don’t you also cut out the schoolboy oohs & aahs. It adds nothing to bolster your argument.

    I challenge you find out really how much Ken makes from this. Do something useful for a change.

  8. Dave Luckett

    bluebriant. WCPO-TV Cincinnati has answered this question, from AiG’s tax returns. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/danthropology/2015/12/answers-in-genesis-pays-ken-ham-and-family-nearly-500000-a-year/

    The money quote, for those who don’t want to read the whole screed:

    “Ham himself, who is the organization’s CEO, had $193,361 in total compensation that year.”

    That is, of course, from AiG’s various enterprises, not just the Ark Park. But Ken himself does quite well, and so does his family, who are also on the payroll. “The labourer is worthy of his hire”, y’know.

    We don’t like the project, and have repeatedly said so, because it is fraudulent, and more specifically a swindle against the local community, which has been taken to the cleaners. Despite every tax dodge it has been handed, despite the free grant of land and roadworks, the Ark Park is losing money fast, and the day is not far distant when the receivers are called in. Ham will fold his tents and depart into the night, and he won’t owe a cent to anyone – he’s made sure of that. The investors and the local community will be left holding the bag.

  9. Heck, I’d probably “believe” in creationism for $200,000 a year.

  10. @Bluebriant requests: ” If you don’t like the project, just say so.”
    We don’t like the project. Happy now?
    We do like to mock the project. Not happy now?

  11. Mark Germano

    Given that I hope I die before I get old, if I do get old, I hope that no one calls me “vintage.” Seems at once condescending and patronizing.

  12. It would be wonderful, for this IFFZ, if the current WH Chief of Staff could put in an appearance, and expand on his historical insights. Perhaps, following his version of the American Civil War, he’d like to go on to say how the Second World War could have similarly been avoided by finding ‘compromise’ with Hitler.

    …Oh wait, I think Chamberlain tried that.

  13. THIS JUST IN from Haaretz (“breaking Israeli and Middle East news, analysis & the latest reporting from the region”):

    Report: The Bible Is False – No Evidence For Creation, Adam, Eve

    https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/1.818795

    Someone should gift Hambo with a subscription.

  14. Brian Tinniswood

    @Dave Luckett: Firstly let me state that I have no affiliation with AiG or their associates. All I want is to get to the truth. Having done a quick google scan of CEO salaries, the ratio of CEO salary to the median worker salary is 204 (see glass door). I haven’t the time to describe the calculations, but this means that Ham’s remuneration is way below the average CEO. So it may be disingenuous to criticize him on this count? Just because he is a religious leader doesn’t imply that he should not be compensated fairly. It is not implied anywhere in scripture ( that I know of) that a Pastor should not be compensated for his abilities.

    That Ham employs familily members, does not mean anything either, as this happens in secular organizations as well as religious everywhere. I don’t think this can be regarded as a “sin”.

  15. Ahh! so nice to see the oldsters making the “Boatie Hajj” before God calls them home.
    I suppose this can be thought of as a commercial to make the Ark (which is a mere road side attraction) seem worthy of a transcontinental visit.

    Re: “infantile criticism”. Perhaps you could explain why creationism deserves anything better? It has been thoroughly discredited so all that is left is to point and laugh and the fools who continue to preach and profit from it. To make an intellectual criticism against Hambo would be absurd.

    Re: Hambo’s compensation (and the color of his parachute) While Hambo’s enterprise is small potatoes compared to a real corporation, he (and his family of course) do pretty well. Creationist outfits (Ray Comfort as well) are notorious for hiring family with generous pay and benefits to do pretty much everything. In addition, Hambo won’t give you a job if you aren’t in his cult. As others have pointed out despite getting all kinds of public handouts, when the thing goes belly up he won’t be on the hook for any of it. It’s called a golden parachute and Hambo will be sitting pretty, even if the dilapidated ark encounter finds a new owner. (Hopefully not a church, let the deluded fools of Williamstown Kentucky catch a break and get a tax paying business there!)

  16. I, too, do not think it is a “sin” for Ham to employ his family members. It’s common – in small businesses. However, in large ones where the CEO is responsible for the performance of the business, if only to its other employees, nepotism on this scale is ethically dubious. Are Ken’s son-in-law, daughters and wife really the best available people for the salaried positions they hold? Bit of a coincidence, wouldn’t you say?

    Ham is not the proprietor of what amounts to a small family business, like, say, a small restaurant. The various Ham enterprises turn over about $19 million dollars pa. Hiring his own relatives is therefore questionable. And isn’t Ham supposed to be running a Christian ministry? Didn’t Jesus say something about not having any brothers or sisters or mother, except his disciples?

    Is Ham’s personal salary and benefits out of the way for the CEO of an enterprise of this size? I wouldn’t know. Maybe not, if we are to consider Ham as merely the CEO of a business. But Ham will tell you with great sincerity that this is not just a business. So why should he pay himself as if it were?

    Jesus told Ken Ham to give everything to the poor, and follow Him. He certainly didn’t have much time for the equivalent of a six-figure salary. He certainly didn’t think that being a leader of His church should be like running a business.

    As with his taxation and hiring policies, Ham wants it both ways. For some purposes, he’s a church. For others, he’s a business. He shuttles between them depending on what advantages are offered him. I won’t use a term like “sin” for this. It isn’t specific enough, and it drags in implications like “offensive to God”. No. For Ham’s behavior, I think “hypocrisy” will have to do.

  17. Michael Fugate

    @bluebriant
    Are you joking? What is there to like about Ham’s enterprise? As both science and theology it is pure rubbish. He is leading people astray on all fronts, while telling those who disagree they are going to hell. As if he knows anything about what any god might know or desire.

    Rush Limbaugh sums up a worldview he shares with Ham:
    We really live, folks, in two worlds. There are two worlds. We live in two universes. One universe is a lie. One universe is an entire lie. Everything run, dominated, and controlled by the left here and around the world is a lie. The other universe is where we are, and that’s where reality reigns supreme and we deal with it. And seldom do these two universes ever overlap. …

    The Four Corners of Deceit: government, academia, science, and media. Those institutions are now corrupt and exist by virtue of deceit. That’s how they promulgate themselves; it is how they prosper.

    Says Rush, media maven.

  18. I shouldn’t have criticized Hambo for his nepotism. It is common for employers and employees to coordinate by word of mouth and personal endorsement.
    Requiring a religious test is absurd, especially when you’re getting a tax rebate that is supposed to support employment opportunities for all Kentuckians.

  19. Epic pilgrimage is epic.

  20. @Random
    Interesting article. Thanks for the link.

  21. Thanks for all the comments. Very interesting. I would like to investigate AiG in more detail, especially their science and theology. Any pointers/links that would give me an unbiased overview?

  22. bluebriant, an unbiased view of a carnival barker? They have no science and their theology is based on a literal interpretation of genesis, except where it conflicts with Ham making money.

    Use your google-fu, there are tons of articles about Ham and his big gay boat. (That’s a reference to his use of the LGBT rainbow color floodlights to illuminate his landlocked “boat”.)

  23. @bluebriant
    This site offers critiques of AiG theories that are as balanced as any I have found (while remaining science based). The author is a biologist and seems to have an extensive knowledge of their positions.
    https://thenaturalhistorian.com/category/blog/

    For detailed discussions of their various theories in nonbiological fields (e.g. physics, mathematics) I like:
    http://www.talkreason.org/index.cfm

    But I am just a medical doctor so if others know of better resources please correct me.

  24. @bluebriant
    It’s hard to suggest anything without knowing more of your background and previous knowledge. However, if you haven’t done this already, I urge you to carefully read Genesis 1 to 11. By all means use the AV aka KJV if you like that version (as I do), but supplement your knowledge by reading at least one modern translation, because English has changed a lot in the last few centuries, and if you aren’t well familiar with late 16th century English, KJV may mislead you.

  25. Michael Fugate

    Jason Rosenhouse hung out with creationists for long periods of time to write his book: “Among the Creationists: Dispatches from the Anti-Evolutionist Front Line”
    https://global.oup.com/academic/product/among-the-creationists-9780199744633?cc=us&lang=en&

    As for theology:
    Gordon, B. 2014. “Scandal of the Evangelical Mind: A Biblical and Scientific Critique of Young-Earth Creationism” in Science, Religion and Culture, 1(3): 144-173.

    Or simply stop by Biologos for all kinds of information from a Christian perspective.

  26. Godon, “Scandal of the Evangelical Mind” is available in open text
    http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/critique_of_young_earth_creationism.html

  27. Ross Cameron

    Think of the Ark tripping as Disneyland For The Deluded. Both involve mythical creatures. Both make a hole in your pocket. Both are commercial enterprises.

  28. Tom S – interesting title, because Mark Noll wrote “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.” Godon’s had a continuation of that title.

  29. bluebriant – You’re here by choice. You can chose to leave if you dislike the content. If you decide to go, will you sell us that poorly working crystal ball of yours? We could used it to start a trophy room.

  30. @Mary L: I have enjoyed the conversation/debate here very informative and interesting and I would like to return if I am allowed. The people above have generously given me a lot of amazing links for further study and I thank them all for that. I don’t understand your crystal ball comment though?

  31. bluebriant – “…since you sound like you have never done anything practical in your life barring a keyboard warrior, living off a cosy teaching job or more probably a social grant.” THAT inspired the remark about a poorly working crystal ball. If you want to insult someone, base it on facts, not on what you want to be true.

  32. to Mark Germano

    When I am eighty you can call me anything you want. If I am alive and with it enough to understand the potential insult, I will be happy. Just do not call me late to dinner or breakfast.