Odious Christianity

I woke up to Ken Ham testifying to his faith…and demonstrating why I hate Christianity.

Hate is a strong word, but not strong enough for my feelings. Ken Ham might be a decent human being if he weren’t so thoroughly poisoned by this toxic faith he professes, and insists on infecting others. Christianity is the rot that corrupts minds.

I reject his notion of sin — the idea that there is some kind of divine law against which we can transgress — but humanists do not deny that we can do wrong and we can do harm. We think we should do better, not to appease some vengeful deity, but because it improves our lives and helps make those around us happier and better able to live up to their potential. We certainly do accept that death is inevitable, but not because we are wicked — the wicked often seem to flourish while the good may die young. Are we to measure the virtue of human beings by their longevity? Charles Manson is 82, and surely destined to join the saints in heaven, while every infant death must open a chute directly to hell for its wicked soul.

What enrages me most is the implicit condemnation of every human being who had the effrontery to die, which by the Christian doctrine so clearly stated by Ham is every goddamned human being ever.

So my father, a good man, died quietly in his sleep on Christmas years ago — of heart disease. But in Ken Ham’s filthy mind, his death was the bite of an angry god against whom he’d transgressed.

My sister, a good woman, died suffering in a hospital bed of a massive systemic infection, leaving behind two young children. To Ken Ham, she deserved her death because she’d transgressed in some unknowing way against his mighty, vengeful god.

We all have people we’ve loved and lost to accident, to disease, to old age. To a Christian, their god willed this loss, and to Christians like Ken Ham, those deaths were a punishment for “sin”.

Some day, Ken Ham will die, and remember — it will be because he is struck down by his capricious god for his wickedness, and every moment of his dying, if it be long and agonizing, will be deserved. At least, that’s what he should believe.


  1. madtom1999 says

    I’d never wish anything other than a peaceful painless death on anyone. But Ken is quite convincing sometimes.

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I know (not):
    Ken Ham: but ultimately there’s only one cause [of death]–sin!
    Bible: [paraphrased]Because Adam Sinned, all men shall die forevermore!!!!
    Jesus: eh Dad, how ’bout I die instead?
    Gawd: No Deal
    my point is that Ham is only “technically” correct in his first tweet quoted in the OP. Adam’s sin is the cause of death, before he sinned Adam was immortal, like God himself

    except for knowing good from Evil which god forbade him from learning so God set him up to fail. Gee, what a merciful god X-(

    still. to keep throwing this BS around to deceive people into giving him money is bigger sin than most. [note BS can also be acronym of Bigger Sin as well as that bovine excrement]

  3. jerthebarbarian says

    This is the thing that Christians like Ham just don’t understand. If I honestly believed that there was some entity out there responsible for torturing people to death if they did things the entity didn’t like I wouldn’t grovel before it and do whatever it wanted – I’d figure out a way to fight it. Because it would be a kind of evil worse than any human-level evil we’ve ever seen on this planet. Especially when the only justifications that folks like Ham have for it not being evil is essentially the Nixon defense – “it isn’t evil if it’s God that’s doing it”.

  4. says

    I feel similarly about the issue of faith, and really anything, that tries to deny us agency or responsibility for what we do. Be it some magic imaginary friend in the sky, aliens, or ancient mysterious powers that somehow made everything possible… these things seem to all diminish us and what we are capable of.

    I reject that we are broken, just as much as I reject that we are incapable of the leap from bronze and stone a few thousand years ago to exploring our (very local) little section of the galaxy and stepping on our own moon. The idea of sin, and with it, an afterlife, cheapens and diminishes us all. It allows people an easy escape route from dealing with this life and this world and this reality. Christians like to talk about how “hard” it is, but they’ve taken the most disingenuous and easy route… why bother improving today when it’ll be all great after we die? Why work for forgiveness from those around you when you can just ask your imaginary friend, cause that’s what’s really important?

  5. Ogvorbis: A bear of very little brains. says

    It’s worse than that, PZ. Ham’s sin, my sin, your sin, all of y’all’s sins, are because our (fictional) ancestor fell for the (fictional) trap set by (fictional) god. We will all die because (fictional) Eve (fictionally) ate the (fictional) apple. Which is convenient — all bad things on earth can be blamed on (fictional) Eve.

    “In Eve’s fall, we sinned all,” — from a 17th century school primer.

  6. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Sometimes I wonder if religion is just an imaginary piece of armor to protect the ego from reality: shit happens randomly to people. They can’t/won’t deal with random. So they invent something, like deities and sin, as a way to protect themselves from random.
    Which is why they hate evolution and its random mutations. Ham won’t deal with random. It must all be stupidvised by an imaginary thing.

  7. peterchapman says

    So now , that paragon of scientific literacy is denying the other pillar of modern biology. Developing the germ theory of disease was a triumph of human thought. Because no one individual claims first in line, it is sometimes overlooked by the general public. But a triumph it was! It would be impossible to calculate the total number of people ( and don’t forget animals) that survived a disease that 300 years ago would have killed them. Ken Ham, a Maroon in extremis ( as everyone is, as they say in Baseball injury reports, “day to day”). Read a scorchingly apt article in NYT about Palliative care and dying.
    Best In Sin,

  8. Artor says

    I wonder what sin cats and dogs are guilty of, since they die too. What transgressions against Gawd are hamsters guilty of?

  9. says


    Dogs, probably pooping in the house. Poop is dirty, after all.

    Cats… plotting to murder all of us while tricking us into making us love them.

    Hamsters… distracting the cats holy plan.

  10. quotetheunquote says

    Awww. PZ, you didn’t include the tweet that came after, we don’t get to find out what Ham’s “good news” turns out to be! The suspense is killing me (whoops) making me all anxious!

    Hmmm, let me guess, it includes something about “redemption” and “accepting our Lord Jesus Christ™” and “ever-lasting life” (and leaves out the part about you having to go into the ground with all of the others first.)

  11. DonDueed says

    Slithy @2 raises an interesting paradox. In Ham’s worldview, prior to the Fall there was no death (for humans or animals, although apparently plants don’t count). Death happened as a result of a single “sin” — Eve’s, or maybe Adam’s.

    Then, according to Ham’s doctrine, Jesus came along and atoned for that original sin, thereby canceling it out.

    So why do people (and animals) still die? Shouldn’t that have stopped on the first Easter?

    I suppose the fundie answer is that we don’t, that we live on after death (as long as the Big Guy is satisfied with our level of pre-death faith and worship). But that’s not symmetrical. The original “sin” produced physical death in this world. So why didn’t Jesus’s sacrifice undo that, and produce physical immortality as existed before the (fictional) Fall?

  12. Joey Maloney says

    Ken Ham might be a decent human being if he weren’t so thoroughly poisoned by this toxic faith he professes

    Lots of people are indoctrinated in Christianity (and other faiths) and yet grow up to be decent human beings whether or not they reject that faith. My strong suspicion is that even had be been raised by scientific rationalists of the most loving nature, Ken Ham would still have grown up to be a garbage person.

  13. DonDueed says

    @Me above: TL:DR — the Hammian universe suffers from an acute lack of logical consistency.

  14. robro says

    Artor @ #8 — I believe the answer is that all death is the result of (fictional) Eve’s and (fictional) Adam’s original sin. Their (fictional) just god, punishes everyone (real) and everything (real) for some (fictional) people’s (fictional) boo-boo.

    (Thanks, Ogvorbis, I liked the idea. It should really be emphasized again and again that religious people are harming real people based on fictions.)

  15. rietpluim says

    I wonder how this works. Sin causes death… how? When I steal an apple, does it automatically turn poisonous when I eat it? When I hit an innocent child, does s/he turn into a powerful avenger, just like that, and kill me? Is there some undiscovered law of nature at work?

  16. Nes says

    “the” @ 10:

    The “good news” in that second tweet is referring to the Bible quote in the image above it, as it actually appears below the tweet if you view it at Twitter. For some reason, embedded tweets always put images at the top, which doesn’t make sense in some contexts (like this).

  17. anchor says

    “but ultimately there’s only one cause – sin!”
    I thought it was that god-thang, arbiter of sin and death, who as the kreator was the responsible ultimate cause of all things. Ham can’t even identify the true culprit (according to his own kozmology)…he has to blame people for being alive and imperfect with all their horrible flaws and penchant for sinning instead of the perfect god-thang he insists created them and their faults.

  18. blf says

    I wonder how this works. Sin causes death– how?

    The mildly deranged penguin used to have a hypothesis that each sin or act of sinning destroyed a few grams of cheese, or possibly turned it into a pea. Either way, the amount of cheese would decrease, and if it was peaised, then there would be another horrible nasty tasteless monster to jump out at you (possibly from under the bed).

    Lack of cheese is a serious problem (perhaps especially if that means that only the tongue is in cheek), said to often cause derangement. Not necessarily mildly. As an example, a deranged cheese-deprived creature might wipe out a few extra villages when applying the flamethrower to the members of the Evil Equine Empire. That, of course, is very sinful, and typically wipes out kilotonnes of cheese. The brownie points from roasting a few horses does not, alas, result in moar cheese, only marshmallows and hot chocolate around an open horsefire.

    The process is self-perpetuating,: Now there is even less cheese, so there will be other and perhaps larger cries of frustration and for cheesemakers and help, expressed in a manner which is sinful, destroying more cheese, starting yet another round of fried horse…

    Therefore death is caused by cheese deprivation, possibly directly but much more likely indirectly or even accidentally, such as failing to get out of the way of, say, an evil equine or an empire exterminator.

    She eventually realised some flaws with this hypothesis: (a) Eating cheese “destroys” it yet is clearly not a sin (excepting stealing the cheese first and things like that); (b) Cheese dated after a known sin is available, so cheeses are still being caught or harvested; and (c) Ken “piglet rapist” Ham is stoooopid enough he might actually believe the hypothesis, in which case it cannot possibly be correct.

  19. Jessie Harban says

    More than the smug dismissal of real suffering you mentioned, I’m struck by the sheer arrogance of Ham’s beliefs.

    He’s basically saying that humans are/were entitled to a literally perfect world purpose-built to make us happy. That the universe revolved around us because that’s just the way things are supposed to be. That this perfect world (for us) that was purpose-built solely to make us happy was destroyed because of our actions alone.

    In short, we made the universe. God was just the handyman who assembled the pieces.

  20. busterggi says

    G’wan, even a believer should know better. In Genesis god (who isn’t the Hebrew god Yahweh yet but rather one of an assembly of gods) threatens Adam with death before he even has an opportunity to do anything wrong. Death had already been invented and eating from the Tree of Life (reserved for the gods) was necessary for immortality.

    The gods never can be trusted.

  21. says

    This is the kind of theology that only a fake degree from a Florida diploma mill can buy.

    I assume his total incompetence with Christian moral teaching is why he doesn’t actually work as a pastor or spiritual leader and has turned to grift. We are once AGAIN given an example of how someone’s dependence on Twitter is in inverse proportion to their competence.

  22. says

    Some day, Ken Ham will die

    And prior to that day, like most devout xians, Ham will avail himself of every possible medical intervention and fight for every last breath.* They are rarely keen to get to that “final reward”.

    *IVF, against god’s will. Abortion, against god’s will. Contraception, against god’s will. Medical intervention to keep the devout breathing longer? Oh, that was god’s plan all along.

  23. says

    God’s will is such a variable power. One moment everything that happens is God’s will. The next moment supposedly omnipotent God can’t make a 99 cent condom break so Jane in Brampton gets pregnant when he wants her to.

    Ask Ham about someone like Fidel Castro, who outlived many believers Ham liked, and he’ll either use the God’s will excuse again(God kept Fidel around so long to teach or punish somebody), or he’ll blame Satan for it. Satan, who God created, but apparently a little bit too well I guess.

  24. shadow says

    I usually say that there is a fine line between Love and Hate. I prefer the term “Loathe” as in “I loathe Ken Ham.” Fairly direct and difficult to obscure.

  25. call me mark says

    The thing I find weird is that Hamster is using Bibble quotes in lieu of an actual argument. So many Christians do this to non-believers.

    Like, dude, we don’t accept that your “holy” texts have any authority, If we did, we might already agree with you…

  26. matthieu says

    Here, in France, there’s a scandal because a politician leader said that he was a christian. Another world, far far away…

  27. Matt Cramp says

    I appreciate I’m a little late to the party here, but from what I understand, saying Ken Ham making arguments based on the Bible is rather like saying that Deepak Chopra is making arguments based on science.

  28. KG says

    Matt Cramp@26,

    Not really. The Bible is such a mass of inconsistencies and absurdities you can reach just about any conclusion you want by cherry-picking the right bits and some creative “interpretation”. Thus we have hate-filled liars like Ham alongside thoroughly admirable individuals such as Desmond Tutu, and both have, in my view, an equal claim to be basing their positions on the Bible.

  29. Silver Fox says

    Fuck sin. What they call sin is just people making choices that don’t turn out so well. (First marriages anyone?)

    Was it a sin on my part to go all Grinch at a bell ringer’s cheery “Merry Christmas” when I exited the ABC store loaded down with ‘holiday’ cheer? Maybe. But I don’t think it will have any affect on my cause of death. The holiday cheer might.