Ken Ham Opposes Black Lives Matter

This is unquestionably the most sensitive, delicate, and controversial topic we’ve ever written about. It was brought to our attention by our clandestine operative in Kentucky, code-named “Blue Grass.” We never would have touched this subject were it not first raised by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

At the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), his creationist ministry, he just posted Should Christians Support Black Lives Matter? As most of you know, Black Lives Matter is, according to Wikipedia: “is an organized movement in the United States advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality against African-American people.” There’s more to it than that, and Wikipedia’s article is a large one.

This is an extremely sensitive subject, and we’ve very surprised to see Hambo blogging about it. Perhaps your Curmudgeon is being too cautious. Anyway, here are some excerpts from Hambo’s post, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

There is intense cultural pressure right now for everyone — believers included — to support what is called Black Lives Matter. And not just the slogan — there’s an entire organization by the same name. Of course, Bible-believing Christians believe that the lives of those with a darker shade of skin (what our culture usually calls “black”) matter as do lives of every shade. And as we share in our book “One Race One Blood,” racism, discrimination, and prejudice are very real problems, but that ultimately, they are rooted in sin. So should we use the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter and thus support the group behind it?

Hambo has indeed been clear about his advocacy of non-discrimination, so why is he now venturing into this volatile area? We’ll soon find out. He says:

Our friends over at Living Waters [link omitted] recently released a short video answering that question. It includes on-the-street interviews with Black Lives Matter protesters, shares the gospel, and reveals — from Black Lives Matter’s own website — just some of the things this group is fighting for.

Living Waters? That’s the operation of Ray Comfort, the former street preacher. He’s best known for his starring role in Ray Comfort’s “Banana video”. Is Hambo looking to that guy for leadership in this very sensitive area? He tells us:

I believe many Christians don’t understand what the group is truly about and, if they knew, they wouldn’t support the organization and what it stands for. I encourage you to invest about 10 minutes of your time to watch and then share this video:

There’s a video embedded in Hambo’s post. We never bother with such things, but you can click over there to watch it if you want to. Hambo continues:

We are thankful for like-minded ministries like Living Waters that are pointing people towards the only solution to racism: the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Hambo then says he’s opposed to reparations and that the bible is the only solution to the problem. His post goes on about that for a few more paragraphs. You can click over there and read it if you like, but this is where we leave him.

We’re amazed at the boldness of Hambo’s post, but your Curmudgeon won’t venture into the good or bad features of this political movement — too many people seem eager to be offended. We judge people on their values and their work, and that won’t change.

One final note: we urge you, dear reader, to be careful with your comments.

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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52 responses to “Ken Ham Opposes Black Lives Matter

  1. Jim Roberts

    As the kids say, the TLDR: Black Lives Matter supports LGBT, single parent families, is pretty darned socialist, and may or may not be funded by conservative boogeyman George Soros.

  2. “This is an extremely sensitive subject”
    I wouldn’t know why – police brutality always is a bad thing and when one specific group is systematically targeted it’s simply even worse. This is only sensitive to white supremacists and no matter all the political clashes I’ve had here, there are no such people around here.

    “I encourage you to invest about 10 minutes of your time to watch and then share this video”
    So I looked for a few seconds. And sure enough, a white guy explaining what should and what should not be important for Afro-Americans. Btw it lasts 20 minutes and that’s 20 minutes too many.

    “We judge people on their values”
    Well, BLM value their lives, they value equal rights and that sort of things. You could call them Enlightenment Values. So once again, I don’t see the problem.

    “We’re amazed at the boldness of Hambo’s post”
    I’m not. Ol’Hambo never flinches back from abusing other people’s mysery to push forward his particular message.

  3. Michael Fugate

    Why? It is because of BLM’s support of LGBTQ+ lives. In our hierarchical society Black Trans Women are pretty near the bottom. Ham and Comfort don’t have the needed empathetic capacity to understand BLM even as a slogan. They don’t have the self-reflection capacity to understand their obsession with sex is due to fear – still thinking like they did at 13. If only they could listen and not judge, but what else can authoritarians do? Their only answer to anything is an out of context Bible verse. If they were to act biblically, they would be backing jubilee years. Forgiveness is a word unknown to Ken and Ray.

  4. Prediction: Ham will find a way, while carefully avoiding specifics, to be critical of anything that, directly or indirectly, is anti-Trump.

    Corollary: he will play down the importance of Covid, and the need to wear masks.

    Looking good so far, I think

  5. Does the hambone mean the gospel where jesus says …DON’T go teaching among the gentiles…! Right not racist dimwit at all!!!

  6. @L.Long, ISTR a bit about the children of the house having first go, but the outsiders being allowed the crumbs. Something to do with miraculous healing I think. Can someone jog my memory?

  7. There is a neat parallel with the “controverse”, “sensitivity” and “offense” our dear SC fears so much in my native country: Black Pete. Let’s see how some Londoners react (it’s not 20 minutes but less than three – moreover it’s kinda funny).

    Still it’s only very, very recently that white Dutch began to realize that this tradition should change (and yes, George Floyd’s fate helped). So I’d like to ask especially our dear SC (but other non-Dutch can react as well of course):

    what’s exactly conterversial, sensitive and potentially offensive about “Black Pete is the product of a colonial hangover (it made me, a white male, laugh)?

  8. There is an opinion piece the The Guardian about authoritarianism:

    which references an analysis of polling on Vox<a?

  9. For tens of thousands of years, isolated groups of humans have evolved on different continents with different climatic conditions — specifically, different degrees of sun exposure.

    Consequently, the separate groups developed different physical traits as they adapted to the different amounts of ultraviolet. Groups living in the tropics developed more melanin, which protected them from skin cancer, while those living farther from the equator had less melanin, allowing more ultraviolet through their skin to form vitamin D.

    It wasn’t until the Eighteenth Century that humans really began to travel, which brought the heretofore isolated groups (which we mistakenly call “races”) into contact with one another.

    As more mingling of the different groups occur, there is less and less distinction in physical appearance between the groups. Therefore, there should be less racism in the future. But then, there will always be insecure individuals who have a psychological need (perhaps psychotic need?) to feel superior to some others, so discrimination will probably always be with us, no matter how much we all start looking alike.

    Ken Ham rejects evolution. He could never accept this explanation.

  10. @retiredsciguy, actually I don’t think he would have any difficulty with it whatsoever. Creationists have long since accepted microevolution, of which this is an example, and Ham has now joined the baraminologues, who accept extremely rapid evolution within a kind to explain how we got from the restricted number of kinds on Noah’s Ark to the full variety already in existence by Abrahamic times, so this is trivial. After all, Neanderthals were descended from Adam and Eve, and had attained the form we find in the fossil record before they were all wiped out in the Flood

  11. Michael Fugate

    “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

    This statement does not necessarily mean all humans are related by common descent. It depends on the number created. Were there only 2? It is not clear from the text. The next chapter is a very different story – unless everything happened on day 6 while God was creating other land animals. How could Gen 1 know males and females were a requirement and Gen 2 act as if females were an afterthought?

    What is it exactly about sex that so upsets Ham and other social conservatives? The RCC view that Mary was not only a virgin, but remained one forever, is troubling. Why is not having sex good? Who said life shouldn’t be enjoyed?

    Of course, Ham can claim that we are all equal, but that is not reality. Until he is willing to acknowledge and act on those inequalities, his talk is empty.

    Here is some more biblical thinking for Ham-
    “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
    I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
    Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
    Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
    And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

  12. @TomS, Nothing new about American authoritarianism. Think of Joe McCarthy, or the 1930s America First, a slogan that I notice has been recently revived. Notice that I’m not suggesting that America is unusual in showing this kind of behaviour, although I do suspect that authoritarian religion may be a contributor

  13. @Paul Braterman
    What l find interesting is that
    these researchers have found a method
    of measuring authoritationism.
    As far as the relation to religion, is religion the cause or the effect? Also, is racism the cause or the effect?
    And what in general is the cause, more nature or nurture?

  14. What you forget, I am assured on another site by a very prolific commenter, is that BLM is ALL about destroying utterly all American values and THE CONSTITUTION 11!1111!!!!. They are identical to the Maoist Red Brigades!!!!!1111. We are talking paragraph after paragraph after paragraph of impassioned argument.

    The mind boggles. 🙂

  15. Didn’t no less an authority than J Edgar Hoover, late of the FBI, subscribe to the idea that Martin Luther King was influenced by the Commumists?

  16. @TomS, Confession: I haven’t actually read the research article, though I should do so, in order to answer your very interesting question. I’m very suspicious of claims to measure attitudes.

  17. And here, from the Vox article, is your answer:

    “Feldman developed what has since become widely accepted as the definitive measurement of authoritarianism: four simple questions that appear to ask about parenting but are in fact designed to reveal how highly the respondent values hierarchy, order, and conformity over other values.

    Please tell me which one you think is more important for a child to have: independence or respect for elders?
    Please tell me which one you think is more important for a child to have: obedience or self-reliance?
    Please tell me which one you think is more important for a child to have: to be considerate or to be well-behaved?
    Please tell me which one you think is more important for a child to have: curiosity or good manners?”

    To me, the right answer to each of these questions is obvious, and the authoritarian answer is the opposite. Though even that is context dependent. Obedience for example may be very important when being told how to navigate actual physical danger. The most surprising thing for me in the article Is the claim that any of this is new, since it seems to correspond to Eysenck’s tough-tender dimension in politics, from way back in the 1950s.

  18. Michael Fugate

    It good that people are finally asking why do police have tanks – what’s next bombers? (and why do we have so much “surplus” military equipment?) It is also good people are asking why police show up en masse in riot gear – is it merely to provoke, to menace? It is also good people are asking what the role of police should be. Cities have piled on duties officers are not trained to handle – they aren’t mental health professionals or social workers. And of course, why we have so damn many people in prison.

  19. Michael Fugate

    This another one relevant in the Guardian today
    The professionally cancelled pundit is a genre of primarily center-right contrarian who makes their living by deliberately provoking outrage online, and then claiming that the outrage directed at them is evidence of an intolerant left run amok. Usually but not exclusively white millennials or Gen X writers, the cancelled pundit has a sheen of faded patrician prestige, like a stack of unread New Yorkers in a basket beside a toilet. They believe themselves deserving of deference and they think themselves brave for complaining when they don’t get it. They’re beloved by white boomers, Romney Republicans and those who use the word “woke” derisively. Their work is meant to appeal to people uncomfortable with social forces that challenge the established hierarchy of power.

  20. @TomS: “As far as the relation to religion, is religion the cause or the effect?”
    My bet it is neither; in the right circumstances they reinforce each other. See, the two Dutch authoritarian parties, PVV (Geert Wilders as the Great Peroxided Leader) and FvD (Thierry Baudet as the Guide of Boreal Culture) are authoritarian and secular.
    The same for racism, which for PVV and FvD mainly is cultural and only indirectly biological.

    @basenjibrian: “BLM is ALL about destroying utterly all American values”
    Well, as far as ideas of biological and or/or cultural superiority are American values this is completely correct.

    @MichaelF: “why we have so damn many people in prison.”
    As I’m always willing to rub inconvenient facts into all kinds of faces:

    The USA is the proud leader, well ahead of beacons of freedom like Saudi Arabia, Cuba and of course China.

  21. There is a recent opinion piece from The Econmist, “The Mark of Cain”

  22. Unfortunately, that article in the Economist needs a subscription. It references a book, which I have not seen:
    White Too Long
    Robert T. Jones

    It is more rlevant to the topic of tis thread, so I will go on. From the article:

    “In survey after survey” white Christians are much likelier than non-religious whites to express negative attitudes towards minorities and complacency about the rough treatment of African-Americans, among other indicators of racism. Asked whether police killings of black men were isolated incidents, 71% of white evangelicals said they were, compared with 38% of non-religious whites.

  23. Michael Fugate

    What amazes me is that incarceration is used as a means of denying basic Constitutional rights.
    Here is the 15 Amendment.
    The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude
    Yet states routinely deny voting rights.
    It is as if the courts are reading a different Constitution.

    The recent rediscovery by religious conservatives of “freedom of religion” is telling. As long as non-Christians and non-Mainstream Christians were denied freedom to practice their religions – few cared. Why couldn’t the LDS practice polygamy? Why did Jehovah’s Witnesses need to pledge allegiance to the flag? Why couldn’t the Native American Church smoke peyote?

    I love the irony of the last one; if Scalia were still alive, would he be claiming that bakers needing to sell cakes everyone? In 1990, he claimed that the 1st Amendment’s protection of the free exercise of religion wasn’t violated when a state passed a “neutral, generally applicable law” that just happened to make it harder for some people to practice their religion. Selling a cake doesn’t make it much harder to practice Christianity, does it?

  24. As BLM is about police brutality, this is what many progressive Americans are going to vote for:

    Some more accomplishments of the other nearly senile uuuhhhh senior candidate:

    opposing Medicare for All and Green Deal;
    co-writing the 1994 Crime Bill (he still defended it in 2016), which expanded the crimes to which death penalty applies (I hope Afro-Americans realize this the next elections);
    co-writing the forerunner of the Patriots Act (ao giving law enforcement permission to search a business or home without the occupant’s or owner’s knowledge or consent);
    voted for bills that aimed to restrict abortion as much as possible;
    voted for softer bank regulation (because the crisis of 10+ years ago went so nice, I suppose).

    Thank the god I don’t believe in that I’m not a liberal American style (neither European style, btw).

  25. Pope Retiredsciguy notes:

    It wasn’t until the Eighteenth Century that humans really began to travel, which brought the heretofore isolated groups (which we mistakenly call “races”) into contact with one another.

    Not to get too pedantic–and still less to challenge Papal Infallibility–but your statement here needs qualification: there was an enormous amount of interaction among the Mediterranean peoples in antiquity, and the populations of urban Roman settlements (including our own Londinium) were highly cosmpolitan and ethnically diverse.

    Which is not to say–as was long generally taught–that ‘racism’ was unknown in the ancient world–but it was not ‘racism’ in the modern sense: see Benjamin Isaac’s book on racism in antiquity for an interesting take on the subject.

  26. Michael Fugate

    This is classic – Mike Huckabee on “US History” a man whose only degree is in religion. But wait there’s more.

  27. Michael Fugate

    Just found this review of Huckabee’s “History”
    I wonder if he covers the Scopes Trial?

  28. I might suggest where the forty year work of Prof. Bob Altemeyer resides. He wrote a book that was distributed via pdf for free which I read ten years ago. It’s quite interesting and you can either read summaries or download the book at the site. He’s not much of a capitalist as it’s free. Always has been.

  29. @GreenPoisonFrog, thanks. No comfort there!

  30. From MichaelF’s Huckabee’s link: “Dutch historian Diedrich Knickerbocker is missing.”
    Aha, so many American kids will think that we Dutch have German sounding names (in Dutch the name would have been Diederik Pofbroek).

    From GPF’s link: “most of Trump’s backers are authoritarian followers—people who submit too much to the leaders they consider legitimate”
    What saddens me is that so many leftists (and I am one, in case somebody missed this) are also authoritarian followers. The authority differs somewhat though: the authority they follow strongly tends to be a messias look-alike.

  31. Some light-hearted entertainment: according to ligers are evidence for Noah’s Ark. They translated an article at CMI:

    “This leaves the secular understanding of what exactly is a species in disarray.”
    Yes, my dear fellow-atheists (meaning that even if you call yourself a christian you’re still an athiest as long as you believe in evilution), hybrid-species also are evidence against evilution and for Young Earth Creacrap.

  32. I am not going into any particular personalities, but I wonder why it is so often the object of a personality cult is such a loser.

  33. @TomS, because it is only then that we call it a personality cult.Otherwise we call it well-deserved admiration. And as long as you are doing the admiring, you will not think of it as a cult; it seems to Europeans, but not to most Americans, that Ronald Reagan is the subject of a cult

  34. Paul Braterman says: “it seems to Europeans, but not to most Americans, that Ronald Reagan is the subject of a cult”

    But not Clinton or Obama? Strange. It’s almost as if it’s a partisan phenomenon.

  35. Indeed I’m willing to maintain that the admiration (including our dear SC’s) for that former B-actor fallen upward to presidency has way too much in common with a cult. Still I would not call him a loser, on the contrary. Even Ol’Hambo is not a loser in my eyes

  36. @SC, I largely agree with you about Obama. The high point of his presidency was to my mind his first inaugural speech, and his being given the Nobel Peace Prize was utterly ridiculous. I don’t have the impression that Bill Clinton ever got similar emotional loyalty. You might also want to read what Christopher Hitchens had to say about him.

    @FrankB, are they actually saying that lions and tigers are the same “kind”, because of marginal interbreeding? If not, what are they saying?

  37. I am thinking of people who are thought of highly in many fields, who are 100% correct.

  38. @PaulB: except “evilution is false, the Great Flood is true” I’m doubt if the author, one Joel Tay, understands himself what he’s saying, so I’m not even going to try to answer your question.

  39. This just appeared on

    “Study links attraction to ‘tyrannical’ leaders to dysfunctional family dynamics
    Adolescent family conflict could play a role in the types of leaders people follow as adults

    “Ever wonder how some leaders in business or politics who appear selfish, manipulative and domineering still manage to amass a following? A recent study in the Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies by San Francisco State University Assistant Professor of Management Dayna Herbert Walker found a connection between a person’s childhood family environment and the types of leaders they’re drawn to as grown-ups.”

  40. Journal of Leadreship & Organizational Studies
    Who Might Support a Tyrant? An Exploration of Links Between Adolescent Family Conflict and Endorsement of Tyrannical Implicit Leadership Theories
    Show all authors
    Dayna O. H. Walker, Rebecca J. Reichard, Ronald E. Riggio, …
    First Published June 8, 2020

    “This research takes an exploratory approach to shed light on the paradox that negative leader characteristics, such as pushy, obnoxious, and manipulative, appeal to some individuals.”

  41. Michael Fugate

    This is a great article on flat earth conspiracies – and it mentions ID…

  42. What is it – is Nieuwegein (63 000 inhabitants) a city or a town?

    From the FET article (a must read indeed):

    “Flat-Earthers seem to have a very low standard of evidence for what they want to believe but an impossibly high standard of evidence for what they don’t want to believe.”
    You can replace “Flat-Earthers” by lots of “theories”, including a few that now and then are promoted on this very blog. The lesson that should be learned is obvious – try make sure that the standard of evidence for what you want to believe is at least as high as the standard of evidence for what you don’t (want to) believe.

    ““It does work to push back against science deniers”
    How stimulating!

  43. @FrankB
    In the case of the creationists, it is a matter of “If a theory claims to be able to explain some phenomenon, but does not generate even an attempt at an explanation, then it should be banished.” (Michael Behe, Darwin’s Black Box, p. 186). We do not even get to the question of evidence, but what is the evidence supposed to be for – “there is no there, there”. This was pointed out by Herbert Spencer in his 1852 essay, The Deveopment Hypothesis
    “Should the believers in special creations consider it unfair thus to call upon them to describe how special creations take place, I reply, that this is far less than they demand from the supporters of the development hypothesis. They are merely asked to point out a conceivable mode; on the other hand, they ask, not simply for a conceivable mode, but for the actual mode. They do not say — Show us how this may take place; but they say — Show us how this does take place. So far from its being unreasonable to ask so much of them, it would be reasonable to ask not only for a possible mode of special creation, but for an ascertained mode; seeing that this is no greater a demand than they make upon their opponents.”

  44. Dave Luckett

    I’m afraid that mine is the classical dilemma of the moderate. I dislike Trump, his utterance and opinions. Dismissing police brutality as general and therefore somehow unexceptional is disgusting. I am glad that I can say with truth that he is not my President. However, that he is President is a matter for Americans alone.

    Of course death and injury in police custody is an abomination. Of course if it is caused by police assault, as was the case with George Floyd, it is homicide. If there was an intent to kill, OR if a reasonable person know the risk AND there was no commensurate threat – as was also the case with George Floyd – it’s murder.

    Of course it is reasonable to consider whether the incidence is commensurate. Black people are killed and injured by police out of proportion to their incidence in the population. But is that exhaustive? Are they killed or injured out of proportion with their arrest and conviction rates? That is, if arrested or detained, is a black person more likely to be injured or killed by police than a white person who is arrested or detained?

    Can the high US rate of death and injury at the hands of the police be entirely caused by a police culture of whiteness, white authority, white privilege and brutality? Is it true that at least in larger US cities, black police officers are in proportionate numbers? What about that in the US, police must necessarily assume that a suspect is armed, given the peculiar Second Amendment?

    To the extent that racist and institutional factors are present – and I have no doubt at all that they are, as they are in my country’s police forces – they must be rigorously pursued and removed, and offences prosecuted. But abolish the police?

    No. Just no. Reform, certainly. Redress, of course. Retribution, yes, here and in America. But abolition, no. And that applies to America itself.

    I can hope that Americans themselves will come to recognise that their homicide, incarceration and recividism rates, and their sentencing regimes, including the death penalty, are grotesque by the standards of other advanced western democracies. I can hope that they will come to a consensus themselves that what they suffer for general gun ownership is far out of proportion to any possible good it does, and that the “war on drugs” is of a piece with Prohibition for its funding of organised crime, criminalisation of the population, and its utter futility – an attempt at an overtly military approach to a social and health problem.

    Hell, while I’m at it, I can hope that the US closes Guantanamo Bay, and applies the Nuremburg principles to the torturers, and their bosses, and their bosses’ bosses, to the very top, and that it fully implement the Geneva Conventions. I can hope that there will dawn a day in the US where uncontroversial, cheap, safe and lawful abortion can be the recourse of any woman, on her demand alone. I can hope, can’t I?

    And I can hope for all those things, while wishing prosperity, peace and freedom for all the people of a nation that I greatly admire.

  45. “But abolish the police?”
    Nobody advocates abolishing the police. There are some protesters – I’m not necessarily one of them, because a) I’m not an American and b) am not informed enough – who advocate abolishing some specific police departments and replacing them by others (eventually rebuild from scratch).

  46. @FrankB, exactly. And as the Mayor of Minneapolis has bitterly complained, existing police structures in the US have evolved to serve the police, not the public

  47. Dave Luckett

    FrankB. Here’s one who does advocate abolishing the police, writing in the NYT, no less.

    “I’ve been advocating the abolition of the police for years. Regardless of your view on police power — whether you want to get rid of the police or simply to make them less violent — here’s an immediate demand we can all make: Cut the number of police in half and cut their budget in half.”

    That is, all people should demand halving the police numbers and budget; but the writer would abolish them entirely.