Hannah and Papa J

Hannah and Papa J

Friday, September 22, 2017

RIP Ken Ham

Dear Hannah,

Ken Ham isn't dead at the moment I'm writing this, but he can't last for too much longer, and for all practical purposes of his ministry he has been dead for nearly a decade.  Mr. Ham may be rightly said to be the center figure of the movement, found in Baptist churches and other bastions of quackery all across the United States, insisting that the book of Genesis is literally true, and that the entirety of Christianity may be staked upon the entirety of this most indefensible book.  His non-profit, Answers In Genesis, currently hosts a mega-million dollar Creation Museum in Kentucky, and may be said to be gaining momentum at a time when the culture wars may safely be said to have been lost by him and everyone else who believes strongly in Noah's Ark, that sharing Bible verses on Facebook is an effective method of evangelism, and that gay people are responsible for America's natural disasters.  Their facilities are growing but the country to them is lost.

Mr. Ham was always underrated by his opponents and this is why he was able to build the museum.  They were so busy laughing at his cause that they were incapable of seeing he had a sense of humor.  His videos, circulated around churches and the internet and full of interesting facts about genetics and little arguments for Christianity, were not convincing to the majority of Americans, but they were to me and other fools in the late 2000's, and they were full of conviction and purpose.  He spoke to people who had had their backs against the wall for a century and made them feel like science and Christianity could be made reconcilable at last.  The truth is that they couldn't, and the harder he clung to Genesis the more difficult he made it for intellectuals and other people who took tenth-grade biology to be Christians.

The idea that the whole Bible as we know it today is inspired by God is stated nowhere in the Bible, certainly not in the beginning, alluded nowhere except feebly and vaguely by Paul near the end (2 Tim 3:16), and tacitly denied by the apostle in 1 Corinthians 7:25-28.  Yet Ken Ham clung to this dogma and refused to concede an inch of it in the face of overwhelming evidence that a worldwide flood was impossible, that tree rings show the world is older than the genealogical record in the Bible, that nowhere do fossil layers show deer and velociraptors together, and that fitting the whole gamut of animals and insects on the ark is impossible.  That he had many ingenious arguments to the contrary and made them entertaining was his strength, and we wish that Mr. Ham had spent his talents on something more useful to the country, like selling vitamin water, or teaching the cha-cha.

This isn't to say that a loss of genuine Christianity has been beneficial to America at large, or that men such as Mr. Ham did not serve an overall purpose.  The few people of conviction in this country are either evangelical Christians or psychos, and beside this Christians represent the few respectable natives who are actually breeding.  The several-centuries-long crusade this country has gone on was never derailed by science but merely took on a different direction, and these spiritual descendants of Plymouth Rock Puritans have only traded one form of spoil-sporting for a worse one.  Our Christian ethics are still suicidal but without the payout at the end of eternity; and the egalitarian teachings of Jesus still flow through the veins of our most obnoxious children, but in wildly perverted forms that make you miss arenas and lions.

Our loving the stranger and the widow has turned into open borders and the hatred of success, and Christ's command to visit Christians in prison has turned into nearly unlimited advocacy for black criminals and sympathy for terrorists.  The early Christians were said by Tacitus to hate humanity and their children are not interested in quitting the tradition.  They hate everything really beautiful in the world, including actual beauty, which they say is a construct.  They preach incessantly against lust and call all lusting by males rape; they think that men and women are inventions and we are capable of getting rid of the distinction and being (as Christ said) "like the angels"; that winning at life is proof of damnation and happiness is a complicit acceptance of oppression; that "hatred" in your heart is the same thing as murder and that all disapproval of minorities is hatred; and that hurricanes that devastate red states are God's punishment for not voting for Democrats.  We have made fun of Ken Ham for not liking gay people and replaced him with people who don't like straight romance, or white people, or babies.

Mr Ham represented the last gasps of a people on the decline, who failed to capture the culture because of one irremedial part of their culture, and beyond this an unwavering hatred of or total incapacity for making any good art, saying any notable comedy, or writing any good stories.  They were fine Americans but too sturdy and conservative to inspire the rest of the world to be like them; and truth be told I love them -- but there comes a time to kiss even lovers goodbye.

As Ken Ham aged and saw he was losing the fight, the most regrettable direction his ministry took was that he tossed aside his winsome sense of humor and replaced it with a stodgy, stale, ornery, fire-and-brimstone condemnation of American sodomy -- hardly inspiring, even after the gay rights movement became oppressive.  But we can expect little less from a man who sees the ominous and creeping arrival of eternity, and has spent a lifetime watching heretics and infidels drag the majority of his countrymen toward damnation -- and threatening beyond this to take his grandchildren along with them.  

Your father,

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