Ken Ham is Upset About Atheist Book Distribution

Awww, poor Ken Ham is all upset again. This time it isn’t because Pat Robertson says the earth isn’t 6000 years old, it’s because atheists are going to be allowed to distribute books in a school near the Creation Museum just like the Gideons can hand out Bibles. He quotes this from the Tri-State Freethinkers, who are doing the distribution:

Boone County High Schools have been passing out Gideon Bibles. They will be doing it again this year on the last day of school. This time however the Tri-State Freethinkers are requesting the same access. We have partnered up with Hemant Mehta The Friendly Atheist & The Secular Student Alliance for this distribution. We have raised a decent amount of money to purchase books . . .

We need volunteers to pass out the books. Boone County has 6 high schools and the distribution will happen all at the same time. We will be allowed to be present at the distribution. We are looking for 12 volunteers total (2 at each location) Be aware that the press will most likely be at some of the locations.

And then says:

As is typical of these atheist groups, they are misrepresenting the situation. The schools themselves do not pass out Gideon Bibles! Gideon policies forbid this. Rather, Gideon use volunteers, with the permission of the schools, to pass out the Bibles. School teachers and administrators are not distributing the Bibles.

Uh, yeah. That’s what the text you just quoted says, that they’re going to be allowed to distribute atheist books in exactly the same manner that the Gideons do. They’re handing out copies of Hemant Mehta’s The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide, which has Ham’s panties all in a bunch:

On his blog, Mehta states, “I suppose we should all also thank the Gideons [sic] folks for giving us the opportunity to cleanse people of whatever the Bible is supposed to teach them (though I would be much happier if they just stopped the public school distributions altogether).”

In other words, the reason for handing out this atheist book is to attack the Bible and the Christian faith—and the athesists (sic) really just want Bible distribution by volunteers to be stopped all together. And of course, atheists do not ultimately have any positive message to give. What can someone who says there is no God, and declares that when you die you cease to exist, really offer people except some subjective opinions for living in the here and now? Many atheists, though a small minority, will complain, and eventually Bible distribution at schools will probably be stopped. This of course is the ultimate aim of these atheists. As Mehta states, “If any Christian parents or administrators have a problem with that, there’s a simple solution: Just don’t give the Gideons permission to distribute the Bibles. Say no to all religious and non-religious groups that want to leave material for students.”

Well yes, we do want Bible distribution stopped altogether. You’re just so damn clever, Ken. You managed to figure out that this was our goal merely by reading our own words saying that this is what we wanted to. Nothing gets past you, does it?

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • eric

    And of course, atheists do not ultimately have any positive message to give

    Riiight. Because a book with the title The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide really can’t have any advice on it on how to prosper as an atheist.

  • http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com Gretchen

    Well yes, we do want Bible distribution stopped altogether.

    Then why hasn’t that been the goal, rather than handing out atheist books to counter the Christian books?

    I don’t understand what’s going on here. Surely anyone coming in from the outside to a public school and handing out texts for or against religion is illegal. Isn’t this just a whole lot of two wrongs not making a right?

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    What can someone who says there is no God, and declares that when you die you cease to exist, really offer people except some subjective opinions for living in the here and now?

    What does Ham have except some opinions derived from a book he subjectively believes is God’s word?

  • Alverant

    Ham seems upset that other people have the same rights to express their views as he does. Poor baby.

  • scienceavenger

    As is typical of these atheist groups, they are misrepresenting the situation. The schools themselves do not pass out Gideon Bibles!

    As is typical of Ham, he fixates on irrelevant minutia.

  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    And of course, atheists do not ultimately have any positive message to give.

    Checkmate atheists! PWNED!! Obviously, the truth of a claim rests on what it has to offer. The better the offer, the more truthiness.

  • busterggi

    If all the bibles handed out or bought by Christians were laid end to end they’d still be a load of shit.

  • LightningRose

    “And of course, atheists do not ultimately have any positive message to give…”

    Other than reality.

    Of course, I’ve heard reality defined as a crutch for those who can’t handle drugs. 😉

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    @ Gretchen

    Then why hasn’t that been the goal, rather than handing out atheist books to counter the Christian books?

    I don’t understand what’s going on here. Surely anyone coming in from the outside to a public school and handing out texts for or against religion is illegal. Isn’t this just a whole lot of two wrongs not making a right?

    In general, it isn’t illegal for people (with authorization) to come on campus and distribute information. It happens all the time on non-religious topics. It’s no different than handing out fliers for a summer camp. A law banning the distribution of religious materials, or a law banning the distribution of secularist materials would be unconstitutional. They have to allow either both or neither. Otherwise they run afoul of the First Amendment. Up until now, they’ve been favoring only the religious speech, which is blatantly unconstitutional.

    The best way to counter bad speech is with good speech, not to ban the bad speech outright. Although the goal is to get the Bible distributions to stop, the approach is to force the schools to allow competing ideas, breaking the Christian privilege here. The hope is that the Christians will take their marbles and go home, rather than try to compete (IIRC, that’s happened in a few of these situations.) Then the need for the secular distributions will go away as well.

  • D. C. Sessions

    What can someone who says there is no God, and declares that when you die you cease to exist, really offer people except some subjective opinions for living in the here and now?

    As distinct from delusional opinions for making life in the here and now miserable on the promise of virgins in Paradise. Yep, that’s pretty much it, Ken.

  • John Pieret

    Gretchen @ 2:

    I don’t understand what’s going on here. Surely anyone coming in from the outside to a public school and handing out texts for or against religion is illegal.

    Not really. Schools can set up “limited public forums” where outside groups can speak or hand out literature but what they can’t do is 1) mandate that the students attend and/or take the literature or 2) limit the groups that have access to the forum based on the content of the speech or literature. So, if a school lets Christians pass out Bibles, it would also have to allow a Muslim group to pass out Qurans, a Hindu group to pass out Bhagavad Gitas or, in this case, an atheist group to pass out atheist literature.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    Gretchen @2:

    Schools operate under a rule of “Open for one, open for all.” This means that it if they open their forum up to one group, they have to open it for all. Ironically, the Christian groups used to like it when it worked to their advantage, but now that other groups are taking advantage of it, they’re getting their panties in a bunch.

  • elpayaso

    The best way to counter bad speech is with good speech, not to ban the bad speech outright.

    THE ONLY THING THAT STOPS A BAD GUY WITH A BOOK IS A GOOD GUY WITH A BOOK…..

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    @ elpayaso

    In this case, yes.

  • Synfandel

    If they want to shut down the Gideons lickety split, they should ask a Hindu group to pass out the Kama Sutra.

  • Kermit Sansoo

    Does Boone Country require permits for concealed carry of books? A cop stopped my daughter once when she was a high school student and asking to see the contents of her pocket, demanded to know why she was carrying around a copy of the US Constitution*.

    .

    * She was taking a class on politics, but since when does a student need a reason to carry anything printed?

  • http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com Gretchen

    In general, it isn’t illegal for people (with authorization) to come on campus and distribute information.

    Well, here’s a suggestion– don’t give them authorization. Any of them.

    I guess that must be the policy of my local public school system, because I know the Gideons aren’t allowed to come and distribute bibles inside the school. They have to do it outside.

  • http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com Gretchen

    Oh, and:

    The best way to counter bad speech is with good speech, not to ban the bad speech outright.

    I wasn’t advocating “banning bad speech.” I was assuming that the First Amendment prohibition on establishing religion which prevents schools from advocating for (or against) religion also prohibits them from allowing religious or anti-religious groups from coming in and distributing their materials during school hours, on school property. Maybe it doesn’t.

    Still sure sounds like it should.

  • Pen

    @ Gretchen – I think schools have quite an odd set up in America. Some of them allow private firms in to sell stuff to the kids. Usually stuff that isn’t good for them like soda can and snack dispensers. Some of them, I’ve heard, use ‘educational materials’ that are basically advertising. And religion.

    In the UK, back in the day, we had New Testaments distributed to us by the Gideons in school. ‘We’ being about 26 miscellaneous atheists and agnostics, 3 not-very-practising Jews and 1 Methodist. The vast majority of us already had a copy at home anyway. It was a total waste of time and trees.

  • marcus

    Someday an apoplectic aneurism will call Ham home to his God. I will be so pleased for him.

  • dingojack

    theschwa – ATHEISM. 100% OFF. FREE*!!!! ACT NOW !!!!!

    😀 Dingo

    ———–

    * yourself from fear, guilt, self-loathing and other religious delusions

  • samgardner

    Today I heard a pastor on the radio tell a caller that his brother, who had recently died without accepting Jesus as his savior, was in hell.

    Someone who doesn’t believe in a deity could offer a much more positive message than “your brother is being tortured for eternity”, I suspect.