Pharyngula

Ken Ham spits on Steve Irwin’s corpse

My baby sister (she was in her thirties and had two kids of her own, but she’ll always be my little sis) died a few years ago of one of those sudden, massive infections—the kind of unexpected reminder of bacterial dominance that killed Jim Henson. When I attended the funeral, I was reminded of another lower life form that afflicts humanity: the minister was an ecstatic Jesus freak who, rather than talking about the young woman we’d lost, or trying to give words of reassurance to a grieving family, instead tried to turn the affair into a revival meeting, asking people to TESTIFY FOR JESUS!!! and otherwise making her superstition the center of attention, rather than Lisa and loss. It galled me no end, as you might guess, and if it weren’t for my respect for members of my family I would have grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and thrown her into the street.

Maybe I should have anyway. Goddamn all preachers, pastors, and priests.

My anger was rekindled by Ken Ham’s “eulogy” for Steve Irwin. The sanctimonious prat uses it as an excuse to babble rationalizations for his religion, throw a little fear at readers to proselytize for his false promises, and use death as a threat. He doesn’t come right out and say it, but the implications he makes are clear. Irwin wasn’t a creationist. Ham knows that people tried to reach out to him with creationist literature. For all his wealth and popularity, Irwin died—and you will too. Repent or burn in hell for all eternity. We’re left to guess where Steve Irwin is right now…except you’d better accept Jesus or you’ll end up in the same place.

Ham is a vile little man, but his sentiments reflect standard Christian tropes. The promises and fears of an afterlife are used to herd the flock into the approved norms of behavior—norms that include respect for and gratuities to the shepherd, naturally—and death becomes an opportunity for reinforcing ‘spiritual’ authority rather than a time for reflection and appreciation. They don’t even use it as a reason to emphasize the importance of living well—death is a reason to waste your time in worship of a phantasm.

The life and death of Steve Irwin reminds us of mortality and enthusiasm and danger and passion. The life of Ken Ham reminds us of how low and despicable and worthless our lives can be if we let religion leech our minds away. Just remind yourself that someday death will whisk Ham away, too, and all he’ll leave is a legacy of lies.


Speaking of insensitive jerks, I’ve been told that Scott Adams also did a little corpse-spitting, had second thoughts, and deleted the entry. The episode has been archived, though.

Comments

  1. #1 Ichthyic
    September 6, 2006

    Atheism is a religion and the history of it and its violence dwarfs the errors of Christianity by a factor of about a million.

    Each one of you seems to want to impose atheism on others. Why? BECAUSE IT’S TRUE!

    Oh, and so is evolution.

    what separates a troll from an intelligent comment is often evidence.

    you have none to support your contentions, so you are correct in labeling yourself a troll.

    at least you recognize the weaknesses in your own argument.

    You could try again after your bout with your own dissonance dissipates a bit.

    good luck with that.

  2. #2 Ichthyic
    September 6, 2006

    hmm, seems the code is performing strangely.

    put and end italic after the word “evolution.”

    haven’t got a clue why it isn’t recognizing the end tag in the right place.

    I tried a couple of times to figure out what is going on there to no avail.

  3. #3 Ichthyic
    September 6, 2006

    Man, I completely left the three post decorum. He totally had one more post. Shucks.

    oh, I think you’re safe. he admitted he is a troll himself.

    fair game after that.

  4. #4 Ichthyic
    September 7, 2006

    I am confused about the popular perception and the media’s insistence that Steve Irwin died because he was a thrill seeker.

    rest assured, it’s not you who is confused. The media like to play up to what they think are “object lessons”.

    just like Ham, the typical media outlet promotes the angle of the story they think will generate the most “buzz” for the most folks.

  5. #5 Ichthyic
    September 26, 2006

    “If you are standing before God and He askes you, ‘Why should I let you into MY heaven,’what would you say?”

    I’d say he’d have to sell me on why I’d want to hang at his crib to begin with.

    sounds pretty dull based on what I’ve heard from the “born again” types over the last 30 years or so.

  6. #6 Ichthyic
    September 26, 2006

    But you all ARE going to hell. That’s a point you all seem to have missed.

    really? should be a great party, then!

  7. #7 RavenT
    September 26, 2006

    Hey, Ichthyic–

    Look for me when you get there. I’ll be in the back, with all the other hoods–just like high school all over again.

    We’ll even let you pick the crappy SciFi movies to make fun of.

  8. #8 Ichthyic
    September 26, 2006

    [quote]We’ll even let you pick the crappy SciFi movies to make fun of.[/quote]

    oh, perfect. I’ll start off with “Day of the Triffids” (’cause the hero is a marine biologist), and we’ll go from there.

    shouldn’t take more than, oh, 2 or three years to get through my list.

    muahahahahaha!

  9. #9 RavenT
    September 26, 2006

    Sounds like fun, Ichthyic–“MST3K Goes To Hell”. I’ve got you pencilled in for it.

  10. #10 Ichthyic
    September 27, 2006

    I miss Joel.

    *sniff*

    ’nuff said.

  11. #11 Tom Johnson
    April 24, 2008

    Dr. Myers:
    Your post captures my feelings about exploitative funerals conducted by evangelicals. I struggled with this world view for years until I found the cure: reading the entire Bible. Thank God for the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, and the separation of church and state. I extend my condolences for the loss of your sister. I am grateful for those, like you, with the courage and integrity to stand up and speak out against the lies and propaganda that, among other things, have made evolution and science heresies in the minds of many.
    -Tom Johnson

  12. #12 Graham Rogers
    October 23, 2008

    How full of hate some of you people are. Obviously in your eyes as a creationist I am sort of on a par with a child molester. What is the great crime? Actually the crime is wanting us to admit to students that some scientists do not believe in Darwinian evolution. Come clean, admit that macro-evolution has never been observed and stop using Ken Ham as a scapegoat using words like “vile” I cannot believe how low some of you sink.

  13. #13 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 23, 2008

    How full of hate some of you people are. Obviously in your eyes as a creationist I am sort of on a par with a child molester. What is the great crime? Actually the crime is wanting us to admit to students that some scientists do not believe in Darwinian evolution. Come clean, admit that macro-evolution has never been observed and stop using Ken Ham as a scapegoat using words like “vile” I cannot believe how low some of you sink.

    Ken Ham is a liar. Period. He spends his days trying to make children dumber and taking away the tools they will need to function above the knuckledragging stupidity he espouses as a creationist. A lying creationist.

    There is exactly zero science that supports creationism. Zero. The fact you ignore the mountains of research, data and observations that support evolution is further proof of the need for creationists to lie.

    liar

  14. #14 Brownian, OM
    October 23, 2008

    How full of hate some of you people are.

    “How full of hate some of you people are. Obviously in your eyes as a creationist I am sort of on a par with a child molester. What is the great crime? Come clean, admit that macro-evolution has never been observed and stop using Ken Ham as a scapegoat using words like “vile” I cannot believe how low some of you sink.”

    We’re full of hate? Ever met your average, garden-variety, gays-arabs-and-jews-hating Christian?

    And you’re wrong, at least with respect to me. I don’t hate creationists; I pity them for being willfully ignorant, and I despise them when they become malignant and actively work against the rights of others to not have to believe and follow the arbitrary rules of their petty little deity. (Yet the average of your two-faced ilk claim to want the same treatment: “Actually the crime is wanting us to admit to students that some scientists do not believe in Darwinian evolution.” Oh, you poor fucking downtrodden souls.)

    On par with child-molesters? Probably not. But you are the social equivalent of a drunk driver: you insist on foisting your lack of responsibility and your poor thinking on an undeserving public. And, like drunk drivers, if you were only content to restrict your stupidity to your own driveways, no-one would take issue.

    But you assholes insist on swerving all over our highways and main streets, taking swipes at the rest of us without a care with blatant and willful disregard with respect to the effects of your actions (abstinence-only sex-ed ring a bell?), all the while demanding that we accept your assertations at face value that a few swigs of Theology Lite (slogan: “Tastes Okay; All Empty Calories!”) make you a better driver than anyone else.

    And you exemplify this type of thoughtless douchebaggery perfectly Graham, with your stupid, smug, holier-than-thou comment. Christian-style shaming hasn’t shown itself to be at all effective in coercing Christians to follow their own rules; only someone so divorced from evidence as to be a creationist would show so much hubris in assuming it’s gonna work on atheists.

    So from now on, Graham, keep your stupidity to yourself, and you’ll find that we don’t have any problems.

  15. #15 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 23, 2008

    Yeah, what he said.

  16. #16 Nerd of Redhead
    October 23, 2008

    I think Brownian covered all the bases very well. Definitely a Molly worthy rant.

  17. #17 Brownian, OM
    October 23, 2008

    Yeah, what he said.

    Thanks, Rev.

    I also think it takes a special breed of clueless narcissist to express genuine shock that the people that s/he gleefully threatens with eternal torture might express anger or hate at him.

    But don’t let that bother you, Graham. After all, you’re just a poor Crusader beset on all sides by the Forces of Darkness, aren’t you?

    I’ll be sure to light a candle for your suffering, Warrior.

  18. #18 phantomreader42
    October 23, 2008

    Graham Rogers, death-cultist troll @ #169:

    How full of hate some of you people are. Obviously in your eyes as a creationist I am sort of on a par with a child molester.

    Not a child molester. A piglet rapist. :P

    The creationist troll lies, not that that’s a surprise:

    What is the great crime? Actually the crime is wanting us to admit to students that some scientists do not believe in Darwinian evolution.

    No, the crime is fraud. Lying to children and the gullible, and getting rich off those lies. Slandering scientists. Using a tragic death as an opportunity to Lie For Jesus?. Isn’t your imaginary god supposed to have some sort of problem with bearing false witness? Because it’s obvious you and Ham don’t.

    Graham Rogers, closet evolutionist:

    Come clean, admit that macro-evolution has never been observed

    “Macro-evolution” is a made-up term. It has no meaning. Though the very existence of the term testifies to the amount of evidence for evolution. Creationists speak of “macro-evolution” when they want to pretend there’s some magical threshold beyond which evolution does not work. Which means even Ken Ham’s brain-dead drones admit that evolution happens.

    Evolution is real. It has been observed in the real world. You would probably rather die than even look at the evidence. But even you know that evolution happens. Becasue if you didn’t, you wouldn’t need to pretend there’s some magical barrier keeping it below some ill-defined level.

    Graham Rogers, brain-dead enabler of piglet rape:

    and stop using Ken Ham as a scapegoat using words like “vile” I cannot believe how low some of you sink.

    You are defending a man who used a FUNERAL as an excuse to advertise for his idiotic beliefs. A man who turned a tragic death into an opportunity to insult the deceased and spread fear and hatred. Your hero Ken Ham spat on the corpse of a dead man. And you defend him. YOU “cannot believe” how low some of US sink?

    LOOK IN A FUCKING MIRROR YOU UNBELIEVABLE BASTARD!

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.