Hambo Sees Political Threat to Religious Education

Look what we found at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

They just posted New Proposal: Deny Accreditation to Schools Based on “Science”, and it was written by ol’ Hambo himself. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Here in the United States, the Higher Education Opportunity Act protects religious colleges, allowing them to operate according to their beliefs and not be denied accreditation because of them. Given the current cultural climate of intolerance towards (largely) Christianity and the squelching of religious freedom, it comes as no surprise that one secular group, the UN-sponsored Human Rights Council, has proposed [He links to a Discoveroid article: New Proposal Could Deny Accreditation to Religious Colleges Based on “Science”] that the US Department of Education under the new administration [The Biden administration!] adopt new regulations to “Ensure Nondiscrimination Policies and Science Based Curricula Are Not Undermined by Religious Exemptions to Accreditation Standards.”

What in the world does that mean? Hambo knows, and he says:

In other words, if a Christian college doesn’t present evolution as fact, teaches the Bible as the true history of the world, and doesn’t support the LGBT agenda, they shouldn’t be allowed to be an accredited college.

That’s outrageous! Hambo tells us:

This would mean (as we’ve seen happen over and over) that secularists [The beasts!] are free to practice their anti-God religion and impose it on the culture, but Christians may not live and teach by their beliefs that are based on the Bible!

What will become of us? Hambo knows, and this is where it gets scary:

Sadly, I predict this will become a reality very quickly as those schools that don’t teach evolution as fact and who hold to a biblical worldview based on God’s Word regarding marriage, gender, etc. (like those on our Creation Colleges list [Link omitted!]) will be deemed “un-accreditable” (indeed, this already happened [Link omitted!] to a proposed law school in Canada associated with a Christian college that believes in biblical marriage).

Hambo’s predictions continue:

And it won’t be long until there will be moves against churches and Christian organizations that hold a truly biblical worldview. [Gasp!] As we’ve said all along, secularists don’t want freedom for their views: they want to shut down Christian freedoms and impose only the views they approve on the culture. [It’s an outrage!] How long before the Bible is banned in our culture? Who would have ever thought we would even be discussing such matters in this once very Christianized culture.

Hambo finishes with what seems like a call to action:

Christian — are you prepared to stand? Are you willing to cling to and stand boldly on biblical truth, no matter the cost? I pray God uses such terrible education proposals, and everything going on in the larger culture, to wake up his church and bring them back to the authority of the Word of God, beginning in Genesis.

Will this stuff regarding accreditation ever become law? Who knows. It’ll get interesting around here if it ever does.

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

32 responses to “Hambo Sees Political Threat to Religious Education

  1. This is apparently based upon a lobbying document. not any actual Biden government policy.

  2. Derek Freyberg

    @Hrafn:
    Besides, Hambo’s been crying wolf so long on his idea of religious freedom that I doubt many are paying attention.

  3. But perhaps you guys should pay attention this time.

    “It’ll get interesting around here if it ever does.”
    The Netherlands already have gone through this process. Orthodox protestant schools in the Dutch Bible Belt have to teach evolution theory in biology class and creacrap isn’t allowed. There has been at least one lawsuit of a gay teacher against such a school. He won. However the Bible hasn’t been banned.
    But look at it from another point of view. This is the cross Ol’Hambo and his soulmates have to bear. It’s a golden opportunity to demonstrate the strenght of their faith! So why pray against it?

  4. Charley Horse X

    I’m disappointed that one or more parents in Tennessee and Louisiana haven’t filed suit against their students’ schools for allowing science teachers to indoctrinate their children in creationism. A more aggressive organization such as NCSE would seek out parents willing to do that would be good for what ails this country…..constant attempts by dominionists to tear down the WALL OF SEPARATION.

  5. @CHX, I think you have confused two different issues. It is plainly unconstitutional to teach creationism in any US government school, and examples would indeed be a matter for NCSE, who would be very happy to hear of any such cases.

    The issue here, however, is accreditation, the right to have your courses recognised as qualifications.

    [I have mentioned before] There is actually an accreditation agency which requires schools and colleges to undertake not to teach evolution as true science; see https://paulbraterman.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/credit-where-none-is-due-and creationist-colleges-and-courses/. On the contrary,they are actually required to teach science within the biblical literalist framework. Bob Jones University gets its national accreditation from this agency.

    What price freedom now?

  6. ASUI, it is OK in the USA to teach religion in public colleges. There are departments of religious studies in some state universities. The idea being that the students being mature enough not to get the impression that this is being the official teaching of the state.

  7. @TomS, AIUI, it is okay to study religion in a state University, but not to present it as true, which would be promoting a religion in violation of the first Amendment as currently understood.

    But I would welcome clarification from someone who knows more about this in detail.

  8. @Paul Braterman
    I, too, would like enlightenment on this.
    I have the impression that teaching on the college level about various religions does not make a point of “this is what adherence to this religion is and I am not evaluating it”. That is in state supported schools, private non-denominational schools, and main stream denominational departments of theology or religious studies. I would expect that a fair exposition of a religion would not involve the instructor’s religion, if any.

  9. Hambo:
    “…Christian college that believes in biblical marriage.”

    Should we remind Hambo that “biblical marriage” is illegal in not only the United States, but in most countries around the world (save for the Arab states and a few others?)

  10. Gwyllm Griffiths

    I teach comparative religion courses (online) for my state’s community college system. Being as much a part of the state as K-12 public schools, the wall of separation clearly applies. I teach about religion as a human phenomenon, just as one might teach about history or geography or economics or social studies. We cover the origins, histories, sacred texts, key figures, basic beliefs and practices and so forth of various major religions; their truthfulness or correctness (or lack thereof) simply doesn’t enter into our coverage. I keep silent about my own views, since for the purposes of such classes my personal perspectives are irrelevant. It’s strictly a matter of presenting the facts about religion(s); in other words, it’s all about teaching — not preaching.

  11. Hambo again, only more ominously:
    “Christian — are you prepared to stand? Are you willing to cling to and stand boldly on biblical truth, no matter the cost?

    No matter the cost?!? Is Hambo calling for civil war? How totally Un-Christian!

  12. After laws are passed…
    Science Teacher: Creationism … gawd did it! Now that is done, let’s get back to real science!!

  13. @Gwyllm Griffiths, thanks; that of course is exactly how it should be

  14. ICR relocate[d] to Texas after California cracked down on their hokey creation science “degrees.” ICR tried to pull a fast one in Texas, but got caught. Denied accreditation for their still hokey creation science “degrees,” ICR sued Texas and lost. Bigly.

    Not to be outdone, ICR then went on to establish its own hokey “accreditation” outfit, still used by pitiful Bible colleges around the country, like Patrick Henry.

    ICR still sells degrees. Ain’t cheap, neither! About $12,000 for a Masters of Nonsense.

  15. @Docbill1351, what’s the accreditation agency you’re referring to? If TRACS, it’s US Govtrecognised – see my blogpost mentioned earlier.

    It is indeed TRACS that accredits Patrick Henry, concerning which I noted that “The College has around 450 students. With such small numbers, and such atavistic beliefs, you might imagine it to be a fringe institution of no importance. You would be wrong. The trustees include Janet Ashcroft, wife of John Ashcroft who was US Attorney General during George W. Bush’s first term as President, and the College sent seven interns to the Bush White House, as many as Georgetown University, a world-class institution with over 15,000 students.”

    Wikipedia: “On June 30, 2005, the school was officially recognized by the United States Department of Education (ED) as an institution eligible for ED programs. It also allowed students to use more scholarships and grants and made donors and students eligible for various tax benefits.[9] On April 3, 2012, the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools reaffirmed Patrick Henry College’s accreditation for a period of ten years.[10]” W was ofc President in 2005

  16. I would not be surprised if there were a Moslem teaching Islam in a Catholic university and he teaches it from the point of view that this is true. Not that he is trying to convert the students, but he does make it clear that he has a positive evaluation of Islam.
    I think that everyone would be comfortable with that. The non-Muslim students would be mature enough to accept that, just as the non-Catholic students could take a course about Catholicism without feeling indoctrinated, even though the school is officially Catholic.

  17. @Paul B

    Yes, it’s TRACS. A product of the ICR that later accredited the ICR. They created a hokey Bible school accreditation agency that looks like a Real McCoy but is actually Memorex. It’s like pasting a gold star on your fake degree to make it look offishul.

    Sure, TRACS was recognized under the Bush administration, but so what? BS is still BS no matter how you shovel it.

  18. @Docbill1351; yes indeed. I hadn’t realised that TRACS was actually the creation of ICR. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse,…

  19. For my part, coming from the study of history, I can’t imagine how one could come to an understanding of medieval, renaissance and at least early modern European history without a knowledge of the various creeds and religions involved, their structures, dogmas, ideals, and practices. It seems to me that these must necessarily form part of the substrate of a history course in any of those periods, and others also. Otherwise, anybody from the last several western generations studying, say, the Thirty Years’ War, would come to the conclusion that these people were all utterly insane. They weren’t. They simply ordered their lives according to assumptions completely different to the ones now almost invariably extant in the west. If the history is to be written, the historian needs to know and understand what those assumptions were.

    Which causes an odd thought. Possibly Ken Ham would be capable of insights into sixteenth and seventeenth century European history that would escape most current historians. Yes. That is an odd thought. Perhaps, on that principle, we should consult an anthropophage on the effects of the modern diet.

  20. retiredsciguy: My son, who is, alas, somewhat woke, made me aware of an idea that is going the rounds at present: “stochastic terrorism”. This is an extension of the “hate speech” concept, with the premise that demonisation of a group has a statistical likelihood of inspiring actual crimes against them. That is, it is not necessary to actually recommend or incite such crimes. It is even possible to (piously) disclaim any intent of doing so, and yet still increase the chances of violence against the group. There is testimony from various “manifestos” left by terrorists, that they were inspired by such material. Since it seems undeniable that increasing the chances of violence or crime against anybody is a threat to the peace (the Queen’s peace, in my case) is it not necessary to ban and sanction such speech?

    Tied up in this is the concept of the “dogwhistle”, that is, some words or combinations of words that seem innocuous enough to outsiders, but which members of a particular group or cult or demographic recognise as calls to action. Thus, even speech which to an ordinary person appears to be harmless, can inspire criminal behaviour.

    Is Ken Ham guilty of such speech? Should he be sanctioned by law?

    I can only respond, not for mine. I wouldn’t convict him on the current law, and I wouldn’t change the law. Rudy Giuliani, on the other hand, I would convict, on the current law. What’s the difference?

    Why, the difference is what a properly instructed jury would recognise.

    What, then, are we to say about this concept, “stochastic terrorism”? For certainly, it must be debated.

  21. @Dave Luckett, interesting concept. Examples of stochastic terrorism then would be expressing the view that Israel is violating human rights standards in the Occupied Territories, or publicising the operation of blasphemy laws in Pakistan, since such speech would increase the probability of terrorist attacks against Jews, or people in the United Kingdom of visible South Asian descent, respectively. I expect that among those most zealous to control our speech, some would favour banning one example, some the other, but very few would be in favour of banning both. Ask your son what he thinks.

    I am not aware of physical attacks on evolution teachers as a problem. On the other hand, physical and occasionally murderous attacks on abortion clinics are real problem in the US, and Ham’s bizarre views on embryology make such attacks more likely. But I think all of us here would agree that the cost of attempting to restrict speech for such reasons is far too high.

    Dog whistles are real and significant. Example, “international elements” for Jewish. In Hungary and I fear in some quarters in the US this is not a matter of purely historical interest.

  22. Dave Luckett:
    ” ‘stochastic terrorism’. This is an extension of the ‘hate speech’ concept, with the premise that demonisation of a group has a statistical likelihood of inspiring actual crimes against them. That is, it is not necessary to actually recommend or incite such crimes. It is even possible to (piously) disclaim any intent of doing so, and yet still increase the chances of violence against the group.”

    Thank you for providing a label for what former president Donald J. Trump is now on trial for in the U.S. Senate. It’s an almost perfect fit – not only for Trump, but as you mentioned, Rudy Giuliani, as well as Rep. Mo Brooks, Donald Jr., Sen. Josh Hawley, Sen. Ted Cruz, and many others.

  23. Oops – forgot to turn off the italics. I beseech the Great Hand…

    [Voice from above:] You tried to turn them off with an “end bold” code. Nice try. So I stretched forth my mighty hand …

  24. Paul Braterman:
    “But I think all of us here would agree that the cost of attempting to restrict speech for such reasons is far too high.”

    Not so sure. Would we have said the same in 1930s Germany? The cost of NOT restricting Hitler, Goebbels, et al. turned out to be immensely higher.

  25. Thanks, SC. Not the first time I’ve done that, and probably not the last.

  26. docbill1351:
    “…that looks like a Real McCoy but is actually Memorex.”

    Showing your age, doc (says the septuagenerian retired science teacher). Can one even buy blank cassette tapes any more?

  27. Dave Luckett

    retriedsciguy: Giuliani urged “trial by combat”, his words. I would rate that as an incitement to violence, amounting to actual insurrection. That, I believe, is already a crime under current law, and always has been. I would be interested to know of any equivalent expression from Trump.

    While I am prepared to listen to rational debate on the question, I have extreme doubt about the major premise behind “stochastic terrorism”, namely, that words that could engender hatred of a group should be criminalised because they might inspire violence against that group. Actual incitement, recommendation or approval of violence, by all means indict and prosecute. Approval or commendation of crime, the same. But mere expression of disapproval of the doctrines, practices, or supposed traits of any group, however strong, no. There are possible further specifications, mind you. For example, it might be plausibly argued that likening a group of human beings to animals or worse is an incentive to treating them as such. I’d go so far as to include that as “incitement”, and prosecute it.

    But circumstances alter cases, criminal behaviour is what a jury says it is, and free speech is an all-important value that, while not unlimited, we tamper with at our peril.

  28. Dave Luckett says one needs to take religion into account in trying to understand “medieval, renaissance and at least early modern European history without a knowledge of the various creeds and religions involved,” and that course instruction needs to include information about them.

    Yes indeed. Should be obvious. It needs to be framed carefully, though. An English professor in the state university where I got my degree started out a course in Restoration drama with a series of class sessions covering the Christian ideas of the period to provide a frame for themes treated in the plays. After the third or fourth class, a student objected, “Doctor New, I am tired of you trying to cram your religion down our throats!” He explained that he was Jewish himself, but they all needed to know these things to understand the value system that informed the plays even though nothing in them was overtly religious.

    I took that story to heart and as a literature teacher always prefaced any descriptions of religious belief or practice with the disclaimer that I am not a religious person myself, but it is important to know this stuff.

  29. @retiredsciguy, good point. My criterion would be whether the speech concerned was likely to stir up violence. Not “intended” to stir up violence, since proving intent is an impossibly high barrier. Such likelihood depends on circumstances, leading to a paradox. If you go around saying “The Jews killed Jesus”, people would probably look at you with mild distaste. But if you said it in 19th-century Russia, you could trigger a pogrom. So the paradox is that I would want to prohibit such speech if and only if there were people who were going to be persuaded by it.

    In Germany and Austria, it is illegal to deny the historical fact of the Holocaust. I am not happy with this, but would be even more unhappy if the law was repealed.

    In Scotland, deeply criticised legislation outlawing speech intended to stir up hatred on the basis of characteristics including sexual orientation, ethnic origin, and religious belief or nonbelief is making its way through the Holyrood parliament. One witty commentator has threatened, as an atheist, to lay charges under this bill against religious organisations. All those using the Westminster confession, which says that nonbelievers will suffer eternal conscious punishment in Hell and serve them right, would be targets of such complaints. We will see how this plays out

  30. Maybe we are making progress.

    In any case, there are not huge repercussions from these “colleges” not being accredited. They would no longer be in line to receive federal funding, but they hate the government anyway. They also would find their graduates having a tougher time getting into accredited graduate schools, but those schools aren’t run by Real Christians, so piss on them. The unsuspecting graduates of these unaccredited institutions would find themselves locked into having the same choices for graduate schools, which is a good thing for those schools, not so much for the students.

    They want the freedom to do what they want to do and when given that, they whine about all of the privileges they lose. Amazing.

    By the way, accrediting agencies are private companies. They are just bolstered by rules regarding governmental funding and whatnot.

  31. @Steve ruis – Thanks for the good insight, especially the fact that the accrediting agencies are private companies, not governmental agencies. Hambo delights in blaming the government for the “War against Christians”.

  32. @retiredsciguy, indeed, but whether or not to recognise that accreditation for financial assistance purposes is a government decision. Whether or not to recognise it as an employment qualification or a qualification for entry to educational courses would be a matter for the governing bodies of the professions concerned, or for the relevant universities. Many US universities are of course publicly funded, and even private organisations would undoubtedly be influenced by relevant government decisions