A Great New Book from Ol’ Hambo

We found this at the website of Answers in Genesis, the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo). As you know, he’s the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

Their article says it’s a press release, so you know it’s important. It’s titled America’s Culture Divide Examined by Ken Ham in New Book. [Ooooooooooooh! A new book by Hambo!] Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

With America fracturing even more across political, racial, cultural, and even religious lines, Ken Ham’s latest book Divided Nation shares how the Church can regain a position of influence in reaching people with truth. Whether it’s racism, gay “marriage,” abortion, climate change, evolution, etc., Ham presents biblical answers.

This is really exciting! Hey — we found the book at Amazon: Divided Nation. Let’s stay with the press release, which says:

With the subtitle “Cultures in Chaos and a Conflicted Church,” Ham’s book recognizes that an accelerating division is happening throughout America. [Gasp!] Western culture, he writes, is becoming more secularized and anti-Christian, with religious persecution [Persecution?] against Christians on the rise.

The world needs this book! The press release tells us:

With a new administration in Washington, Ham declares that Christians must now be bolder than ever in engaging the culture regarding hot-button topics like abortion and gay “marriage.” He also urges believers to learn how to communicate in a loving way so that teaching from the Bible does not come across as hate speech. [Hee hee!]

The press release continues:

Ham offers Christian families and churches a biblical mandate to awaken and become major influencers in today’s turbulent culture. [A biblical mandate!] He urges the Church’s next generation to take a bold stand regardless of increasing religious persecution and encourages families and churches to train young people in biblical truth. Ham ultimately calls for a new Reformation [Egad!] that will get Christians back to the authority [Authority!] of the Word of God beginning in Genesis.

Hambo is so courageous! Let’s read on:

Ham is well known outside Christendom for the highly popular Ark Encounter themed attraction (with a full-size 510-foot-long Noah’s Ark), the high-tech Creation Museum, and his famous debate in 2014 with Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” watched conservatively by at least 25 million people. Ham is the author or co-author of more than 25 books, covering such varied topics as dinosaurs, racism, raising a godly family, and evolution vs. creation.

Verily, Hambo is the greatest man alive! Here’s our last excerpt:

Heavily illustrated with colorful artwork, Divided Nation is published by Master Books, a division of New Leaf Press, and at 160 pages retails for $15.99. The book’s illustrations are free for the public to use and can be retrieved at [link omitted].

Okay, dear reader. You know what you gotta do. Get yourself a copy of ol’ Hambo’s book. And when you place your order, tell ’em the Curmudgeon sent ya!

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

Animal Rights and the Discoveroids

This just appeared at the creationist blog of the Discovery Institute: New York High Court to Rule Whether Elephants Are “Persons”. It was written by Wesley J. Smith, whom they describe as a “Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.”

We’ve written a few times before about animal rights cases — for example: Oook, Oook — Chimps Lose in Appellate Court. Wesley seems to have made the subject a specialty of his, and in his article he cites a great many cases — more than we can study for this article, so we’ll do the best we can. Here are some excerpts from his post, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

The greatest threat posed by the animal-rights movement is an advocacy thrust known as “animal standing” The idea is to have animals declared “persons” and treated akin to human beings with developmental disabilities so that “they” can bring lawsuits in court directly, which of course would actually be brought by animal-rights zealots. That would grant “rights” to animals — first, those sometimes called “higher” mammals, chimpanzees, elephants, dolphins, etc. — but eventually all fauna.

Then he says:

When I bring this up in speeches, the usual reaction is eye-rolling, “Ha ha. It will never happen here.” Never mind that it already happened in Argentina, where a judge declared an orangutan a “nonhuman person.” Never mind that a federal court ruled that animals could be granted standing under the U.S. Constitution. [Really?] Never mind that Judge Eugene M. Fahey — of the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court — wrote that chimps should be given rights in a non-binding opinion (dicta). And never mind the money and intensity of the animal-rights movement to shatter what they call “the species barrier.” Complacency rules the day.

There were several links in that paragraph. If the topic interests you, click over there and dig in. After that ark-load, Wesley tells us:

The New York Court of Appeals has taken a case to determine whether an elephant, and perhaps other animals, should be deemed “persons.”

He quotes extensively from something that mentions a lot of cases, but without linking to them. The one he’s talking about seems to be In the matter of Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. v. Breheny, Case No. APL-2021-00087. Anyway, Wesley continues:

Does this mean the court will necessarily grant personhood to an elephant? No. But it does indicate that a number of high court judges believe the case is of sufficient substance to rule upon rather than — as the court should — laugh the case out of court.

Then he says something that’s difficult to disagree with:

Of course elephants should be treated properly according to their capacities and needs. But animal-welfare regulations and laws are very capable of accomplishing that. Animals should not be granted rights.

Animal welfare and animal rights are not the same. Rights ideology claims that “a rat, is a pig, is a dog, is a boy,” meaning there is no moral distinction between humans and animals. In contrast, animal welfare properly holds that humans have a higher moral value, and, that as we benefit from their use, we have a concomitant duty to treat animals humanely.

Wesley elaborates on that:

That distinction is crucial. Animal welfare is an expression of human exceptionalism. Animal rights, in contrast, subverts human exceptionalism — the backbone of universal human rights — and threatens our thriving. Because if animals are persons, by definition, they cannot be owned, nor used for human benefit. That means no medical research, no food animals, no leather, and eventually, pet ownership made a formal legal guardianship complete with enforceable fiduciary duties — that is, if we can have pets at all.

He’s got a point there. It’s uncomfortable to be in agreement with so much that a Discoveroid is saying. Wesley ends with this:

Let’s hope the Court of Appeals rejects the animal personhood notion out of hand. Until they do, I will be holding my breath. Because we live in culture-destroying times and this is as subversive of Western civilization as it gets.

We should point out an earlier post of ours from-2014 regarding abuse of an elephant: A Gruesome Tale of Elephant Abuse. In that post we mentioned our own concept for dealing with such cases, which we’ll repeat here because we still like it:

[Y]our infinitely compassionate Curmudgeon opposes cruelty to animals, so we’ve struggled to find some way to logically defend our desire to punish animal abusers, even if their victims have no rights. If an idea has value, there must be a way to justify it that doesn’t rely on merely our feelings. After rejecting the notion that animals have rights, we decided that it was nevertheless justifiable to punish abusers because their behavior constitutes conduct unbecoming a human (a concept that has potential, but which requires a bit of work). Inhuman conduct offends us, and we’re the ones with rights, so we can punish the wrong-doer.

We’ll end with that. Make of it what you will.

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

Eclipses and Intelligent Design — for Children

We posted seven different times about the Discovery Institute’s claim that eclipses of the Sun are rock-solid evidence for their “theory” of intelligent design. The last time was a year ago — Eclipse Mania — The Discoveroids, Part 7 — and it links to our earlier posts on the subject.

The “science” for the Discoveroids’ claims about this usually comes from Jay W. Richards, a Discoveroid senior fellow, and his co-author Guillermo Gonzalez, or “Gonzo” as we call him. He’s also a Discoveroid senior fellow Together they wrote the classic creationist book, The Privileged Planet, a “fine tuning” argument applied to Earth.

Today at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog they just posted Eclipse Miracle — An ID Book for Children. [Ooooooooooooh! An intelligent design book for children!], and it was written by non other than Gonzo himself. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

I received a pleasant surprise in my office mail last week. The author and illustrator of a children’s book, Eclipse Miracle: The Sun Is the Same Size as the Moon in the Sky [Amazon link], sent me a complimentary signed copy.

Creationist professional courtesy — how nice. We went to the Amazon link and discovered that the publisher was something named Hole in the Rock Publishing. We can’t find any information about them, so we’ll just continue with the Discoveroid post. Gonzo says:

In the enclosed letter, Sand Sheff [the book’s author] explained that he had just watched The Privileged Planet DVD with his family. [Thrilling!] He wrote, “It was the first scientific public mention I have ever heard of the profound reality of the sun/moon alignment.” Sand completed the book a few months prior to the great American solar eclipse of 2017. [Great timing!] He drove to towns along the path of totality to promote the message in his book.

It’s good to see an author so committed to his work. After that, Gonzo tells us:

It is encouraging to me that someone else came to the same basic conclusion about eclipses as I did following my observation of a total solar eclipse in India in 1995. [He may be the only one!] There aren’t very many children’s books about intelligent design. This is a welcome addition.

Verily, it’s an intellectual avalanche! Gonzo continues:

This week would be a good opportunity to discuss the “Eclipse Miracle” with your own children; sending the book as a gift would be a good idea too.

Why this week? Gonzo explains:

On June 10 an annular solar eclipse will be visible from parts of Canada just north of the Great Lakes. [Annular?]

Gonzo explains that term, and it’s the end of his post:

An annular eclipse occurs when the Moon is a little too far away to completely cover the Sun in the sky. It’s called a “ring of fire” when seen at sunrise or sunset on the horizon.

Hey — wait a minute! If it’s not a perfect eclipse, then it can’t be evidence that we were designed to live on a perfect planet. In fact, it’s evidence that things aren’t perfect. What’s going on here?

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

Kent Hovind’s Latest Lawsuit Is Dismissed

Our regular readers know who Kent Hovind is — he’s one of the all-time great creationists. The last time we wrote about him was a year ago: Kent Hovind Again, and He’s Amazing! Having been released from prison for income tax violations — related to his creationist activities — he returned to the creationism business and filed suit against the United States for half a billion dollars. Besides suing the US, he was also suing the judge, the prosecutors, and his own attorney.

Today, dear reader, we have some news about that litigation. It appears at the Forbes website, and their headline is Kent Hovind Half Billion Dollar Lawsuit Dies With A Whimper. It was written by Peter J Reilly. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

The drama that commenced just over a year ago when Kent Hovind and Paul John Hansen, as trustee for Creation Science Evangelism, filed a lawsuit in the US District Court Northern District of Florida has come to an unsatisfying though predictable conclusion. Judge T. Kent Wetherell, II approving the recommendation of Magistrate Michael J. Frank ruled that “All the claims in the second amended complaint are DISMISSED with prejudice, and the Clerk shall close the case file”. (emphasis in the original)

Forbes gives us some background:

Kent Hovind is an Independent Baptist minister best known for his advocacy of Young Earth Creationism (YEC). YEC is the notion that there is scientific support for a hyper literal reading of Genesis. Sum up all those begats and you get a world that is about 6,000 years old. One of the implications of YEC is that people and dinosaurs must have coexisted. Hence his sobriquet Doctor Dino and the creation in Pensacola of Dinosaur Adventure Land (DAL).

In 2006 Hovind and his then wife Jo were convicted of a variety of tax related crimes – failure to withhold on DAL employees, who were characterized as missionaries [Hee hee!], structuring – systematically making withdrawals of less than $10,000 to avoid bank cash reporting – and interfering with the administration of the tax law. They were also found civilly liable for millions of dollars in income tax including fraud penalties.

We’re skipping some details about Paul Hansen, who was also in business with Hovind. Then Forbes says:

After his release Kent went to work building a new ministry. There is a new Dinosaur Adventure Land in Lenox, Alabama. And Kent has a pretty strong YouTube presence with over 25 million cumulative views. You can learn there almost daily that:

The Bible is true and evolution is dumb. Dinosaurs always lived with man. They did not live millions of years ago. And evolution is the dumbest and most dangerous religion in the history of the world!

That sounds wonderful, but let’s get back to the news. Forbes tells us:

Hovind has also devoted a good bit of effort to overturning his conviction and being compensated for all the harm it caused him. This lawsuit was the most recent and arguably most spectacular attempt given the damages claimed.

Forbes continues:

Paul Hansen’s theory [Hanson is co-plaintiff with Hovind] that he based the case on is that the jurisdiction of the federal government is extremely narrow. As far as I can tell the idea is that since the Constitution gives the federal government exclusive jurisdiction over what would become the District of Columbia and land where there are forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards and other needful buildings, it has no jurisdiction anywhere else except by contract. Judge Rodgers et al never established that Hovind was subject to the authority of the federal government, so taking his stuff and locking him up was criminal. … Hansen claims that attorneys know that he is right, but are afraid to say so because they will get disbarred. He told me that when judges and prosecutors realize that he is on to them they will usually fold.

Brilliant legal work! We’re skipping several paragraphs that quote Hansen. If you like that kind of thing, click over to Forbes and have a ball! Ah, then they quote the judge’s opinion tossing out the Hovind lawsuit:

Indeed, the objections demonstrate the frivolous and delusional nature of this suit when, among other things, they assert that plaintiff Hovind and his ministry were beyond the jurisdiction of the United States and the the obligation to pay income taxes is tantamount to being conscripted into involuntary servitude as a “tax collector for the United States”.

But Forbes doesn’t think that’s entirely crazy. Their author says:

As Robert Baty pointed out to me the second part of that is an unfair characterization of Hovind’s argument. He was convicted of failing to withhold from employees not for not paying his own income taxes. Not that he did pay his own income taxes, but that remained a civil matter. So the servitude argument is not quite so delusional.

Okay. We’ll give one point to Hovind. Oh, then they talk about Baty. He visits this humble blog occasionally, so we’ll give you that material:

Robert Baty runs the Facebook site Kent Hovind’s Worst Nightmare. He is one of the few Hovind critics that Kent will sometimes mention by name. Baty is a retired IRS Appeals officer and Hovind and others believe that he has been brought out or retirement to harass Hovind.

The remainder of the Forbes article is a bunch of quotes from Robert Baty. Here’s a bit of that:

I was pleased to see that the Court did not waste time in providing a legal analysis to the many “frivolous & delusional” claims made by Hansen & Hovind; just 2 pages to dismiss. … Kent Hovind has pledged the rest of his life to such antics. Will he continue? What will be his next step? I don’t know.

So there you are, dear reader. The latest chapter in the apparently endless saga of Kent Hovind. If you like this sort of thing, be of good cheer. It’s almost certain that there will be more.

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