Another contemptible ghoul

I knew this one would come slithering out quickly: Ken Ham.

Anyone heard from Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell lately? I wonder if their handlers heard the news and rushed to slap a gag on them.

More like this

Actually, there is some news about Robertson - since Giulian is suspending his activities, he won't be speaking at Pat Robertson's Regent University.

What's the betting that the denizens of Uncommon Descent and the DI are looking for some reason to tag this guy as a 'Darwinist' and atheist?

My mistake, not the DI or UD but Ken Ham.

By Ian H Spedding FCD (not verified) on 17 Apr 2007 #permalink

Ken Ham: "That it was a result of sin."

So what he is doing about it. Blaming everthing little thing that has nothing to do about the problem, (ad hoc, post hoc argument)

Y'know, I understand that they have to say this kind of thing in order to keep the sheep from mingling with the atheist wolves. They have to lie and obfuscate and keep their flocks from seeing the "man behind the curtain."

But I don't get why they don't consider the fact that when kids get a secular education the kids will see how much of the foundation of creationism (and by extension, religion) is made of sand and reject everything they say.

This is a tragedy. Somebody snapped and did something horrible and families and friends are in pain. It's not about godlessness, it's about a bad guy with good aim. Schlussel wants a wild west campus where students can mete out vigilante justice. Ham wants a creation museum in every school so that people can be reminded of their place as a Special Creation and then not do Bad Things.

If they had any morals, they would let people grieve for a bit before trying to score points for God and the 2nd Amendment.

"That it was a result of sin."

Completely different than the escapades of Joshua, Gideon, or Sampson, then. Right, Mr Ham?

Hmmm, let's take a look at some of the good things Christianity has brought to humanity over the ages....

The Crusades, The Inquisition, anti-Jewish pogroms during the Plague, the Salem witch trials, complacency (if not collaboration) of the Catholic Church during the Nazi era..

Yup, old Kenny boy is right. Wihthout Christianity the world is a jungle!

By ZacharySmith (not verified) on 17 Apr 2007 #permalink

People create a god that reflects themselves. Whatever they hate, he hates. Their own vindictiveness is indicated. We all know that what they are discussing here is a reflection of self.

We all know that Ken Ham is a contemptible twit, with Debbie Schlussel leading the way for him on this one (i.e., "it's the Muslims! No, no wait! It's the godless evolutionists!", repeat ad infinitum.) What's most interesting is now that the shooter has been identified (the WaPo has the story) it turns out that he's a naturalized South Korean immigrant from Centreville, VA named Cho Seung-Hui. Not what many on the right were expecting, to judge from our current crop of ghouls. What's the real kicker for me in the revelation of the shooter's origins, compared to the rhetoric of the likes of Schlussel and Ham? It's all too likely that he, like the majority of South Koreans who come here (and this is not meant as any disparagement of South Koreans) was a Christian. That rather puts paid to the whole notion that this is somehow the fault of Muslims or atheists or any of the other traditional targets of right-wing propaganda. True, he's an immigrant, but he was a legal one, which doesn't even give the majority of the the anti-immigration fringe much to rant about.
The simple truth is that this was a horrible tragedy, and it's likely that we'll find in the end that this kid just snapped, that there really is no reason for this that sane people can understand except in fairly abstract psychological terms. I'd like to say that this is going to teach us something or make us better in some way, but I just can't see where it's going to do that. Maybe if it ends up discrediting the likes of Schlussel and Ham, at least some small grain of good will come out the other side. After all, hate and unreason in the face of tragedy are ugly stuff, and we can only hope that the perpetrators of that ugliness are held to account for what they've been stupid and hateful enough to say.

I bet a million dollars that if the shooter had turned out to be a Christian Fundamentalist killing for god, Ken Ham would be the first one to say that his actions don't make all Christians evil people.

All atheists on the other hand ...

...and yet shootings like this almost never seem to happen in, say, Sweden, Denmark or Switzerland. Wouldn't that be a clue that maybe these guys have their reasoning all wrong?

By Millimeter Wave (not verified) on 17 Apr 2007 #permalink

Wouldn't that be a clue that maybe these guys have their reasoning all wrong?

Their what? I do not think that word means what they think it means.

By Johnny Vector (not verified) on 17 Apr 2007 #permalink

Paul reminded me of this, "But if cattle and horses or lions had hands, or were able to draw with their hands and do the work that men can do, horses would draw the forms of the gods like horses, and cattle like cattle, and they would make their bodies such as they each had themselves." Xenophanes

While it may not be possible to improve on Xenophanes, we may be able to add a codicil:

When small-minded, bigoted and arrogant men draw the forms of their gods, they make their prejudices such as they each had themselves.

Cho Seung-Hui is South Korean. According to the expanded edition of Ronald Numbers' The Creationists, South Korea has the highest percentage of creationists per capita of any country in the world (p. 418), should anyone want to make the reverse of Ham's bad argument (not that it would be any better an argument).

And my bar-none favorite part of Ham's fucking bullshit (included in the footnote):

"This is the very campus where the modern creation movement, in one sense, was launched: it's the school where Dr. Henry Morris was teaching civil engineering when he co-wrote the classic work The Genesis Flood, which historians acknowledge as the beginning of what was to become a worldwide creationist movement."

It's becoming pretty clear that it's creationism that's responsible...if the same level of guilt by crank association is allowed to flow in both directions.

By Greg Peterson (not verified) on 17 Apr 2007 #permalink

Don't think you're out of that bet yet. It's not exactly inconceivable that this kid could have been a fundamentalist Christian. Pentecostalism is strong in Korea, as is the Unification Church. What with the hints that are starting to flow out about this kid, like the bits of a note found in his room today, it's not a weak hypothesis. What's reported of the note is particularly instructive, I think:

Law enforcement sources said that Cho died with the words "Ismail Ax" in red ink on one of his arms. It is not clear what that is a reference to. Sources also said authorities have found what has been described as a rambling note in Cho's dorm room. The Chicago Tribune reported that the note railed against "rich kids," "debauchery" and "deceitful charms." ("Centreville Student Was Va. Tech Shooter")

That sounds like some kind of inner moralistic justification for what he was about to do. A one-act play of his has already turned up over at The Smoking Gun, and not only exhibits some seriously violent and disturbed thinking, but also references to conspiracy theory, pedophilia, a little random sex, and plots of violent murder. He even excuses one of the character's murder of another by noting his "sheer desecrated hurt and anger". An interesting word choice, "desecrated".
What this all adds up to, we'll have to see, but it's not unlikely (given these clues) that our young shooter was at the least Christian and probably fairly religious if no more. I'd call that idea a good working hypothesis that awaits confirming evidence.

Now, this is downright disgusting. Ham uses one of the most tragic events in recent years as an opportunity to push his dirty - and right here completely irrelevant - agenda. I would call him spineless, but that would be an insult to invertebrates all around the world (including cephalopods).

As someone has already pointed out, South Korea is without a doubt the country in south asia which has the highest percentage of fundamentalist christians. I damn well hope someone has reminded Debbie Schlussel of this...

I doubt Debbie Schlussel could find it on a world map, much less know or understand or care that there are fundamentalist Christians there.

If there had been armed people there able to return fire, the butcher's bill would have been even bigger.

But bacon is sooooo good.

By Steve_C (Secul… (not verified) on 18 Apr 2007 #permalink

South Korea is without a doubt the country in south asia which

Ehem. Unless you want to count most of China as "south asia"...

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 18 Apr 2007 #permalink

South Korea is without a doubt the country in south asia which

Ehem. Unless you want to count most of China as "south asia"...

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 18 Apr 2007 #permalink