Learn Why Hambo Is Happy Today

We often encounter rage and rants from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. That often surprises us because this country has been so good to him. He’s had remarkable success in building his creationist empire in Kentucky, which consists not only of his mind-boggling Creation Museum, but also his exact replica of Noah’s Ark known as Ark Encounter.

But today, Hambo is happy. He just posted this at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), his creationist ministry: Good News in the Fight to Keep Religious Freedom in America. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Most of what we hear and see on the news is bad. That’s certainly true for issues regarding freedom of religion and the free exercise of religion (Christianity) in America. [Gasp! In America?] It seems every week there’s a new attack on Christian freedoms (including around the world, often in very horrific ways). But there was recently some good news on this front [link omitted], and it’s right here in Kentucky, the state where we’re located.

We’ve got your curiosity aroused, so let’s find out why Hambo is excited. His news link is to a religious website. Here’s the news from NBC: Kentucky Supreme Court dismisses gay pride T-shirt case. Hambo says:

The Kentucky Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of the Christian owner of a T-shirt print shop, Hands On Originals Christian Outfitters. He had declined to print T-shirts for a “pride” festival in Kentucky because of his religious beliefs. Unsurprisingly, the group that requested the T-shirts sued for discrimination. This case has been in the courts for seven years and has finally been settled by the state’s Supreme Court.

Hambo is thrilled. He tells us:

One of the justices wrote this opinion about the case,

Hands On was in good faith objecting to the message it was being asked to disseminate . . . forcing free and independent individuals to endorse ideas they find objectionable is always demeaning.

Fair enough — although printing up some T-shirts isn’t quite the same as “endorsing” the message on the shirts. Or is it? Anyway, Hambo continues:

As is often the case in these situations, the owner of this print shop does not discriminate against homosexuals themselves (he even has homosexual employees). [That’s interesting.] But he will not violate his conscience by printing a message he disagrees with.

Okay, we get it. Let’s read on:

Christianity isn’t just something you believe. God’s Word shapes not only our thoughts and beliefs but also our actions and attitudes. It impacts how we live!

It certainly impacts how Hambo lives. Here’s another excerpt:

Many LGBT activists are trying to change the definition of religious freedom so that it no longer applies to the public sphere, something like “you can believe whatever you want, but you can’t act on what you believe.”

That’s fuzzy. We’re not sure what Hambo has in mind regarding the public sphere. Does it include government? They’re not supposed to get involved in religion — one way or another — but we get the impression that Hambo would like them to be actively supporting his beliefs and enterprises, and preventing criticism. Sorry, Hambo, it doesn’t work like that. Anyway, here’s a bit more:

What we believe determines how we live, and we should have the freedom to live out our convictions.

Not without limitations, Hambo. You can’t violate the rights of others — even if you think your religion tells you to do so. And now we come to the end:

We’re thankful for this good news in the courts and continue to pray for more good news as Christians, and Christian groups fight to protect the precious liberties we enjoy here in America.

So there you have it, dear reader. The T-shirt guy wins, the gays lose, and Hambo is happy. Make of it what you will.

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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35 responses to “Learn Why Hambo Is Happy Today

  1. Interesting that Hambo doesn’t find it very hard to support Trump.

  2. Michael Fugate

    Where in the Bible or any of the Christian creeds does it state that one can’t print t-shirts for gay pride events? The only text they try to use from the Gospels is Jesus’ comments on divorce – which are about protecting women who were mere property at the time from the prevailing divorce laws. The post-Gospels went right back to misogyny, but that has nothing to do with marriage equality.

  3. I’m with Ham on this one. I don’t think the shirtmaker, or anyone else, should be legally forced to print a message that they disagree with

  4. Paul Braterman says: “I’m with Ham on this one.”

    Yeah, but it gets tricky. Today it’s a T-shirt printer. Tomorrow, maybe it’s a hotel or a restaurant that says “We don’t do business with your kind.” Customers have their civil rights, but so do the people who sell goods and services. I don’t have any answers.

  5. How about printing pro-Nazi material? Or supporting child abuse?

  6. Eddie Janssen

    Or a physician…

  7. Michael Fugate

    So… the T-shirt said “Lexington Pride Festival” – how could any Christian not be offended by that! I am clutching my pearls as we speak – it is so shocking! I can’t believe anyone would propose it for a t-shirt to be worn in public. Hide the women and children, now.

    Last time I looked being LGBTQi+ was neither illegal nor promoting anything illegal nor discriminating against anyone.

    In the case the judges ruled that the plaintiffs lacked standing – so not really much of victory if any.

  8. @SC, it is crucial that the discrimination was against the message, rather than against the customer. Taking your restaurant example, IMO the restaurant would be wrong to deny service to an individual because he was known to be a Nazi, but completely within its rights in forbidding the display of Nazi regalia, and in refusing to host what it regarded as a Nazi organisation. Or indeed Republican, or Democratic, organisation, come to that.

  9. Richard Staller

    it is crucial that the discrimination was against the message, rather than against the customer. Paul Braterman

    Yep the t-shirt message was truly very offensive to all godly Christians. It read: “Lexington Pride Festival” on the front.

    Funny, you just know most of these evangelicals are Trump supporters and they are cool with his affairs and hi-jinks with pron stars. Slippery slope you have just under taken my friend.

  10. @Richard Staller, wha t’s your point? However unwarranted or insincere the claim may be, you have not produced a counter argument to my suggestion that people should not be forced to print a message that they dissent from. And I find your justification, in terms of the beliefs of the dissenters, frightening. Do you think that I am on a dangerous slippery slope because I want freedom of speech or not-speech on behalf of people with whom I disagree? If so, you are not on a slope but way over the edge

  11. Richard Staller

    Clearly I meant porn stars but it also dawned on why then couldn’t a bigot deny printing a t-shirt that read “Black Pride” to an African American claiming it was offensive to his belief system? Somehow how racial prejudice trumps (pun intended) sexual orientation prejudice and hate?

    If what they wanted printed was patently offensive or sexual in nature I believe the t-shirt shop owner would have a better case.Then it’s a matter if they printed similar vulgar material for heterosexuals in the past. In any case it makes for a particularly poor litmus test for a judicial ruling.

  12. Karl Goldsmith

    The Ark income minus expenses shows $9,000,000 less than the first year, figure from the 990.

  13. Michael Fugate

    Why? It is not their speech nor would it be construed as their speech. It is a business transaction. Do t-shirts have printer IDs anywhere on them?
    Could WordPress ban LGBTQi+ blogs? Could the copy center refuse to print a LGBTQi+ banner or flyer?
    Does this help anyone? Will they get a seat upgrade closer to God when they die?

  14. Richard Staller

    Will they get a seat upgrade closer to God when they die?
    Lol, sorry I had to laugh being a lapsed Roman Catholic and having been taught a virulent anti-homosexual message from a church that has so many gay clergy. So much irony in gay hate.

  15. Stephen Kennedy

    What I have never understood is why someone would give their business to someone who is hostile towards them? There are plenty of tee shirt printers and wedding cake bakers who harbor no ill will towards homosexuals or might even be homosexuals themselves. I do not patronize businesses like Hobby Lobby or Chik-Fil-e due to their hostility towards non-believers. I would rather give my business and money to vendors who I believe are worthy of it.

  16. Richard Staller

    What I have never understood is why someone would give their business to someone who is hostile towards them?

    Your first assumption is that people are already aware of the identity of the bigots in a given locale. Also, using your logic and thereby not challenging the status quo of apartheid, African Americans would still segregated in this country. Neither the Constitution nor the Bible gives a person the right to be discriminatory. Simply put, you are allowed to be hateful but acting on that hate infringes on the rights of another person and therefore is not a right.

  17. @Stephen Kennedy
    About Chik-Fil-A – my understanding is that there has been a change in their policies recently.

  18. @Richard Staller, your “Black Pride” example has convinced me that distinguishing between prejudice against a person (clearly wrong) and prejudice against the slogan (IMO acceptable) is much more difficult than I had imagined.

    @Michael Fugate, you have raised a whole load of new questions regarding the rights and duties of electronic platforms. For example, we expect Facebook to remove posts that contain hate speech, but who is to define the limits between, say, hate speech towards a group and legitimate criticism of that group’s beliefs or actions?

  19. Richard Staller

    @Paul Braterman, this is an internal debate and journey we are all undertaking in our ongoing evolution of true democracy. Considering that at one point there were many different Homo species alive at a given time one of the oldest questions still remains relevant and yet to be answered by many of us: “Are you one of us?”

  20. @Richard Staller, given what is currently happening in both the US and the UK, including in the UK the introduction of PhotoID for voting, and in the US the Senate’s obstruction, first of Obama’s nominations and now of the impeachment process, to say nothing about the use of weaponised online mendacity in elections, I take your reference to “our ongoing evolution of true democracy” as ironic.

    And your final question bites hard, whether the “us” is self-styled sapiens, or self-styled Aryans, or self-styled real British, or self-congratulating liberal-minded groups such as those I belong to (interesting phrase), looking down on all those not-us fools and bigots

  21. Paul Braterman speaks of “the Senate’s obstruction.”

    That’s their job. The Founders, who knew about the history and the problems of “pure” democracies, intended the Senate to act as a break on the sometimes excessive passions of the House of Representatives. George Washington described the relationship of the House and Senate as that of a cup and saucer — where the cup might sometimes overflow, and the saucer would prevent it from spilling out onto the table.

  22. @SC, “excessive passions”, As in, refusing Garland among other Obama nominees, a hearing? Re impeachment, I don’t hink it’s “excessive” to be concerned about the Ukraine affair, but I’ll leave the details to others better informed.

    I have heard said that the Founding Fathers wisely foresaw a President like the one you now have, but not a Congress like the present one

  23. @Paul Braterman
    It takes no deep knowledge of Roman history to be familiar with examples like Caligula.

  24. @TomS, I think he also managed to avoid scrutiny by the Senate

  25. Richard Staller

    I have heard said that the Founding Fathers wisely foresaw a President like the one you now have, but not a Congress like the present one

    Paul Braterman I think you hit the nail on the head with that observation.

    As to the Senate and the Curmudgeon’s observation of tempering excessive passions, it was observed that a majority of the country’s population is represented by just 18 senators—that …. elect a Senate majority—the people of the smallest 26 states, in effect—has never been smaller, and is now down to just 17 percent of Americans.

    Sadly states with more cattle than people are dictating the future course of this country, if only they matched that representation clout with matching Federal tax dollars. In fact, two of the largest states California and New York contribute almost 23% of Federal revenue and yet combined only have 4 Senators or a mere 4% of the Senate. Equitable? Hardly and this gulf in representation will only worsen in the decades ahead and may finally lead to the dissolution of our Republic.

  26. Michael Fugate

    Many people are troubled by uncertainty; they believe that if everyone is like them it validates their belief and subdues their doubt. So many look at their childhood when blissfully ignorant of the world concluding that everyone was like themselves and if they weren’t they were locked away in a closet or ghetto. Out of sight out of mind. But now there are minorities out in the open demanding equality. Change is a challenge and it is coming ever faster – all I can offer is empathy, but not acceptance of their views.

  27. @SC: “the problems of “pure” democracies,”
    Yeah, the Grand Old Designer forbid that non-millionaires get elected.

    @PaulB: “the Founding Fathers …. foresaw …. not a Congress like the present one”
    Disputable. The Founding Fathers all belonged to the social-economic elite of their time and to protect that status they wisely designed a stagnating political system that only allowed nouveau riches newbies like Donald the Clown. Too much Enlightenment is dangerous, you know.

  28. @FrankB, true. Also remember that the constitution had to protect the special interests of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and others slaveowners

  29. Michael Fugate

    The White House just admitted that Republicans are only able to win via suppressing democracy…

  30. @Michael Fugate, explain

  31. TheCurmudgeon: “Paul Braterman speaks of ‘the Senate’s obstruction.’

    “That’s their job. The Founders, who knew about the history and the problems of ‘pure’ democracies, intended the Senate to act as a break on the sometimes excessive passions of the House of Representatives.”

    As @Paul Braterman implicitly asks, how does this explain the Senate’s hyper-partisan handling of Presidential appointments, a process in which the House plays no role?

    And not just Merrick Garland — only 20 federal judges were confirmed in Obama’s last two years, after Republicans regained the Senate majority.

    That’s as compared to over 180 federal judges confirmed in Trump’s first three years (with over 30 nominations currently pending confirmation). How many rankly partisan, racist, chauvinist, anti-LGBTQ or otherwise incompetent Trump nominees has the Senate confirmed?

    How can you with a straight face accuse House Democrats of “excessive passion” when surely even you can clearly see that for the last three months it has been House Republicans who have been the lying, screeching, “excessively passionate” poo-flingers?

    The reality is that the Senate Republicans are currently FAILING to act as a brake on the “excessive passions” of the House Republicans — instead, they are enabling them, and some Senators (Graham, Kennedy, my own damnable Blackburn, eg) are even doubling down on them.

    WaPo: “Regardless of whether you think President Trump’s conduct with regard to Ukraine is impeachable, it’s objectively true that defending him means entertaining his evidence-free conspiracy theories.”

    Sad.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/11/25/lindsey-graham-john-kennedy-marsha-blackburn-preview-an-extreme-senate-gop-defense-trump/

  32. I am not sure either party has a monopoly on hyper-partisanship when it comes to judicial nominees. http://volokh.com/2003_04_27_volokh_archive.html#200225219

  33. @TomB, your link is to a 2003 article. Mitch McConnell’s manipulations are unprecedented