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Ken Ham is Not Happy With Me

Last week when lightning struck a zip line attraction at the creation museum, I wrote a post making fun of the fact that we’re always hearing how such incidents are God’s message for something, usually The Gay. So what message was God sending then? Ken Ham scurried over to the Christian Post to express his displeasure and to say absolutely nothing that engaged with my point at all.

A number of secular bloggers took the opportunity to poke fun at the news story, suggesting that the incident was “God’s message to Ken Ham.”

“The Christian right is constantly telling us that natural disasters, storms and personal tragedies are examples of God sending a message to us that we’re not doing his will. So what will the message be now that God apparently struck an employee of the Creation Museum with lightning on the job?” Ed Brayton of FreeThoughts (sic) Blogs wrote.

“Hmmm. Is God telling them that the non-religious zip lines are an abomination? Or maybe the whole museum is?” the blogger continued.

Hey, they got something right. I did indeed say that. And now for Ham’s entirely pointless response:

Responding to that post, Ham explained that disasters and personal tragedies happen due to God’s judgment stemming from the sin of Adam, as found in Genesis in the Bible.

“Romans 8.22 makes it clear the whole world groans because of our sin. The fact we get sick and die is because of God’s judgment on sin! But praise the Lord, God had a plan from eternity to save us from the consequence of our sin – He paid the penalty for our sin and offers us a free gift of salvation (Romans 10:9),” the Creation Museum president added.

He also clarified that the injured worker was an employee of the company that runs the zip lines.

“Violent storms are a reminder we live in a fallen world – and a reminder we are sinners – and a reminder we all need salvation,” Ham concluded.

No, Ken. Violent storms are a reminder that we live in a natural world, one with an atmosphere and weather patterns.

Comments

  1. Anthony K says

    He paid the penalty for our sin

    To whom was the penalty paid? Who set the price? What if the penalty weren’t paid?

  2. Ze Madmax says

    No, Ken. Violent storms are a reminder that we live in a natural world, one with an atmosphere and weather patterns.

    You say po-tay-to, Ken says Jesus.

  3. says

    He also clarified that the injured worker was an employee of the company that runs the zip lines.

    See? That changes everything. Bet you fat socialist poopyheads didn’t see that one coming, didja?

  4. Doug Little says

    Romans 8.22 makes it clear

    Let me stop you right there, I though one of the redeeming features of the bible for fundies is that it is not clear so they can keep moving the goal posts.

  5. imrryr says

    The fact we get sick and die is because of God’s judgment on sin! But praise the Lord, God had a plan from eternity to save us from the consequence of our sin

    Hey, you know, a simpler plan would’ve been to just not create sin in the first place. That way, billions of people (including innocent children) wouldn’t have had to suffer.

  6. Kaintukee Bob says

    @Randomfactor: Now I know you’re talking mythology. What kind of bank will confirm that a check bounced after only 3 days? Most take a week just to acknowledge they GOT the damn thing.

  7. Doug Little says

    He paid the penalty for our sin and offers us a free gift of salvation

    With conditions. You have to read the fine print.

  8. Doug Little says

    When you put this

    offers us a free gift of salvation

    and this together

    Violent storms are a reminder we live in a fallen world – and a reminder we are sinners – and a reminder we all need salvation

    It makes it seem like it’s a protection racket.

  9. skemono says

    Responding to that post, Ham explained that disasters and personal tragedies happen due to God’s judgment stemming from the sin of Adam, as found in Genesis in the Bible.

    How can you say that’s a pointless response? He just told you why the guy got struck with lightning: because Adam sinned! Surely I don’t have to draw a line between that event and God electrocuting this other guy six thousand years later.

  10. oranje says

    I’ve never understood how some deity made rules no one knew, humans broke them, then after a few thousand years, he incarnated himself so he could be tortured and then we got a Get Out of Jail Free card. Sheesh. Changing the rules would have been far simpler. And saved us from Mel Gibson’s torture porn.

  11. Randomfactor says

    What kind of bank will confirm that a check bounced after only 3 days?

    Why, ANY bank where you were counting on the float to make the check good. Obviously god knew he couldn’t cover the amount until after Easter.

  12. eric says

    “Romans 8.22 makes it clear the whole world groans because of our sin. The fact we get sick and die is because of God’s judgment on sin! But praise the Lord, God had a plan from eternity to save us from the consequence of our sin – He paid the penalty for our sin and offers us a free gift of salvation (Romans 10:9),”

    Once upon a time, an omnipotent, omniscient being chose to use collective punishment for an act of disobedience even though it’s perfectly obvious that – being omnipotent and omniscient – collective punishment was entirely unnecessary. After many thousands of years of more collective punishment visited upon various descendents of the disobeyers (who could not have had anything to do with the original act, as they weren’t yet born), this omnipotent omniscient being decided to use an odd form of sympathetic blood magic to stop souls going to hell – even though, as omnipotent, he could’ve stopped that at any time, and didn’t need any sympathetic blood magic before doing anything at all. What’s more, this entirely unnecessary sympathetic blood magic only stops hell-going – not any of his worldly collective punishments – and only for humans who worship him before death. All this despite him not needing to do any gesture at all or limit his magic fixes at all. The end.

    Well, there is one positive: it’s a once-upon-a-time story.

  13. says

    So, if death is the wages of sin, but Jesus’ death paid the penalty for our sins…does that make his death a sin tax?

    And if he didn’t really exist at all, as seems likely, does that mean belief in this “died for our sins” business is a sin-tax error?

  14. says

    Right, so people who haven’t done anything get indiscriminantly punished for things some other asshole did. Awesome. God’s a frakking Drill Sergeant.

  15. Randomfactor says

    There’s a substantial penalty for that.

    Equivalent to the one Onan paid for early withdrawal.

  16. eric says

    Ed, you forgot one thing. Given God’s spectacularly bad aim with every natural disaster before this one, the smart money is that the creation museum wasn’t his target either. To believe it was, you’d have to think the big guy actually hit what he was aiming at – which he never seems to do.

  17. D. C. Sessions says

    I want to make sure I have this right, Ken, so check me on this:

    If Bad Things happen to me, it’s because I’m doing Bad Things. And if Bad Things happen to you, it’s because someone else did Bad Things.

    Pretty much sum it up?

  18. Kaintukee Bob says

    @eric: To be fair, God only developed really bad aim after the advent of lightning rods.

  19. Kaintukee Bob says

    @D. C. Sessions:

    Hmmm…So if we want bad things to happen to Ken Ham, we have to do bad things?

    This is the happiest day of my life! Now I have a REASON for my traditional August 30th Baby Roast in the VIP room of the strip club! Now to score some smack for it!

  20. sinned34 says

    I’m very tempted to write an email to Ken, saying something along these lines:

    “Dear brother Ken,

    As we both know, the Lord our Saviour can and will use anyone and anything he wishes to get his message across. I believe that Jesus is attempting to speak to you through this atheist Ed Brayton of Free Thoughts Blogs, must as He was trying to use the lighting strike against the zip line to indicate his displeasure about decisions being made at the Creation Museum.

    The zipline and other ‘secular’ attractions recently installed at the Creation Museum are a distraction from the real reason the Museum exists: to proclaim the Gospel Of Jesus Christ to the nation. The zipline waters down that message, and therefore is an abomination to the Lord. Much as Jesus cast the moneychangers out of the temple, Jesus is trying to get you to reconsider adding these moneymaking attractions that prevent people from focusing on the message of Salvation.

    Please consider removing these unGodly attractions, and return your focus to proclaiming the truth of the Bible over the fallen ‘wisdom’ of man.

    Sincerely,
    sinned34″

    Think he’d even bother to address it?

  21. D. C. Sessions says

    sinned34:

    I think it’s a marvelous experiment. It would go a long way towards settling the question of whether Ham is knowingly and cynically milking the Faithful, or whether he’s just deluded and lucky.

  22. sinned34 says

    D.C.:

    I figure he’ll try to find some unrelated scripture to use as a loophole or just come up with some personal justification like “Trust me, I prayed over this. Jesus told me and the board of directors to proceed because without the extra cash flow the museum would shut down and then how would we be able to fleece the rubes spread The Word?”

    From what I saw in my days in the church, God always told people to do whatever it was they wanted or thought it was most appropriate thing to do. For instance, Jesus would say buying that too big house that they probably couldn’t afford and definitely didn’t need was a good idea because they could hold Bible studies there. Or that they didn’t want to alienate all their family, but the Lord was just pressing it upon their hearts to constantly preach at everyone at their summer family reunion. They don’t want to “look stupid” in the community, but somebody must stand up for Jesus and get creationism taught in the schools.

  23. freehand says

    eric, you’re right as far as you go, but there are a few salient points you didn’t cover.

    The original sinners were forbidden to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They didn’t know right from wrong until after they disobeyed, for which they – and all of us – are punished.

    We have free will, and are punished for making the wrong choices. But the bible says “All have sinned”. What are the odds that of the 20 billion or so of us that have ever lived, none of us would choose to not sin?

    “Great love hath no man than this, that he lay down the life of his only son…” Really? He was “dead” for two days. What tin pot dictator would have turned down the opportunity to be tortured for a few hours then sit on a throne as #2 of the universe forever? Attila the Hun would not have turned down that offer, nor Napoleon, nor Alexander. And atheists have given their lives for society – Pat Tillman for instance.

    It almost seems as though God doesn’t want to give us clear signals of she/he/its* existence, nor his intent.

    * Pronounced…

  24. Lofty says

    Ye shall Know the Sinner by the pattern of Burn Marks on his Skin!!!11!! (=what did Rigger Man do wrong to earn god’s displeasure? Must be guilty of something unlike Lilywhite Me and my Merry Men.)

  25. bobcarroll says

    Spiritual:
    Jesus died to save us from sin.
    Glory to God, we’re gonna need him agin!
    As sung by the Weavers, circa 1955
    Well, approximately. It’s been a while.

  26. dingojack says

    bobcarroll -
    “… oh someday he will die to save this world….”
    Poor Little Jesus [track B7] – On Tour. The Weavers. (1957).

    Is that what you were thinking of?

    Dingo

  27. abb3w says

    Ken Ham in some sense might potentially have half a point. From what my Google-fu turns up, he’s not one of the nuts on the religious right who goes around claiming that some particular earthquake, hurricane, tornado, or whatnot is God’s punishing the United States for homosexuality, abortion, prurient Hollywood movies, shrimp cocktails, and so on. (If anyone can turn up an instance of such from Ken, please point out the link or provide verbatim quote.) Rather, he’s blames disasters in general on the Fall — as he does here. It’s a nuance to his position, symptom of how the right is less monolithic than both right and left like to pretend. As such, though loons like Rick Joyner still have some explaining to do, Ken Ham’s defense of the incident is perfectly consistent with his own flavor of Right-Wing lunacy.

    Otherwise, it seems somewhat like trying to accuse Ed Brayton of being a sexist pig via pointing to the response given by Richard Dawkins to Elevatorgate; or pointing to Greg Epstein’s (humanist) Harvard chaplaincy as being somehow inconsistent with extreme Randite philosophy: “wrong sub-faction, dude”.

    There are still difficult criticisms possible for Ham’s position; for example, asking why his allegedly Omnipotent™ and Omniscient™ deity does not make finer gradations in his view of sin nor distribute such worldly smiting to be more reciprocal to worldly sins. Contrariwise, some of the more superficial criticism has relatively facile responses within the worldview of the Inerrant Word Of God whackos.

  28. bobcarroll says

    Dingojack; I don’t think so. Possibly from The Weavers at Carnegie Hall? or At Home?
    Thinking about it, the line was more like “Jesus died to save our sins”: Ronnie
    Glory to god, we’re gonna need him again”: Lee. I tried to check the LPs; but didn’t find them yet.

  29. David Marjanović says

    You say po-tay-to, Ken says Jesus.

    Thread won.

    And if he didn’t really exist at all, as seems likely, does that mean belief in this “died for our sins” business is a sin-tax error?

    O hai! I maded you an Internet, and I did not eated it.

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