As you know, Ken Ham loves to respond to people.
Of course, when I say “respond,” I mean “pull a few quotes out of context as an opportunity to trot out the same two or three tired arguments he has been using for years.” Which is sort of like calling the pre-recorded catchphrases of a Chatty Cathy doll a “response” simply because they occur as the result of human activity (in the case of Chatty Cathy, the pulling of a string; in Ham’s case, the public expression of any opinion with which he disagrees).
And when I say “people,” I mean “anyone to whom Ham is philosophically opposed, but particularly scientists, atheists, agnostics, Catholics, writers and Christians who have the audacity to follow the lead of most all legitimate theologians and Bible scholars in reading Genesis as theology and metaphor rather than literal history.”
Yeah. Ken Ham has a lot of enemies.
But even though Ham’s diatribes are about as unusual and infrequent as a horse’s bowel movements (which is not to say that their predictable timing and regularity is all that those two subjects have in common), this most recent one — aimed at Butler University religion professor James McGrath — is even more strident and off-putting than his usual posts.
I suspect the reason is that McGrath’s words struck a little too close to home. McGrath’s post had suggested that the view of Christianity prescribed by Ham and his fellow createvangelists — one in which the precious good news of Jesus is yoked to a childish reading of the Genesis creation accounts and a simplistic and easily disproved cosmological model that became obsolete several centuries ago — does more harm than good, and is ultimately responsible for turning people away from the faith.
I agree with James McGrath. Ham, not surprisingly, disagrees. Too bad the evidence, as usual, is against him. Both statistically and anecdotally, the results are clear: Lying to young people about science is not the way to instill in them a healthy, growing faith. In fact, it tends to do just the opposite.
That’s why an outspoken advocate for atheism recently thanked Ham for all his wonderful work. And that’s something Ken Ham really doesn’t want his vast legions of fans to know or think about. That’s why he has to come out swinging against a blogger like James McGrath. The longer such a claim goes unchallenged, the longer he risks people realizing that, “Hey, maybe basing the gospel message on terrible science rather than, well, the gospel isn’t such a great idea after all.”
In my opinion, a commenter on this site a couple weeks ago got it exactly right: