This is essentially a follow-up to my earlier post on this subject. Michael Zimmerman has responded to Ken Ham’s denial of his own hypocrisy. I’ve decided to just reproduce what Michael has to say on the subject, since he was there!
Dear Members and Friends of The Clergy Letter Project,
Wow, Ken Ham, the head of Answers in Genesis and the impetus behind the creation museum-cum-theme-park in Kentucky, has more gall than even I imagined. Either that or he is fully delusional. Last week I sent out a note accusing him of participating in a radio ambush of me a year or so ago – an action that appeared to exactly parallel a situation in England he railed against in one of his blog postings. Well, he’s upset by my charge and has opted to rewrite history – but, oddly enough, even if one were to believe every word he writes, he still doesn’t make any sense!
Let me explain. He doesn’t deny that we ended up in a radio debate on a fundamentalist radio show. Instead he says a number of things: 1) “I did not know that he was not told I would be on the program;” 2) “I assumed he would be on after my interview with the host, but I was confused as to when;” 3) “It was no big deal for me to do a radio debate. I do radio debates all the time; so, I was still willing to go on with it;” and 4) “all I knew is that sometime during the program, a professor from Indiana–known for his anti-creation activism–was also to be on.” (You can read his full post here).
So, Ken claims that he knew that some unnamed professor was going to be a radio show but had no idea that it was to be a debate, indeed, he claims he wasn’t expecting a debate but since he does so many of them that he was willing to go forward and debate this person even though he, Ken, wasn’t prepared. Here we have Ken Ham casting himself as the victim, but willing to move forward because he’s so very good.
In fact, however, off the air, at the first break, I addressed both Ken and the host. I asked Ken directly if he knew that I was going to be on the show with him. He said he did. It was also very clear that Ken knew exactly who I was and, as I said before, the response to my question about whether or not this deception was appropriate was that since the debate was to further God’s wishes, a minor deception of this sort was acceptable. Additionally, as I reported last week, I was told that they assumed that had I been told that it was to be a debate I wouldn’t have agreed to go on the air.
Please remember what started all of this! Ken complained that a member of his staff was terribly mistreated when this happened to him recently in England. You can read his whining about the situation here, in a piece entitled “BBC Radio and Ambush Journalism.” Indeed, my ambush occurred over a year ago and I’d not made a big deal of it until now. But when I read Ken’s complaint, it was exactly what happened to me. Here, read for yourself what he had to say:
“That’s why it was not too surprising that when Dr. Lisle went on the air to be interviewed by the BBC, he quickly found out the BBC had not told us the truth—it turned out to be an attempted ambush—not an interview (as we had been led to believe), but a creation/evolution debate. On the other line was perhaps America’s best-known evolutionist defender, Dr. Eugenie Scott, whose organization has as its sole purpose to counter creationist efforts wherever they can and to uphold evolution. Of course, the BBC didn’t happen to tell us that it was to be a debate, and they didn’t happen to tell us there would be a debate opponent, and they didn’t happen to tell us who the debate opponent would be!”
The amazing Mr. Ham doesn’t stop there, though. He goes on to attack me: “What he’s charging is not even close to the truth. It is absolutely untrue—but then again, when a person is not known for checking out the facts and is in the habit of going on the attack against creationists, we are not at all surprised with the false charge. If such people use the same standards in their evolutionist research, you certainly would know you couldn’t trust what they say. Then again, they do use the same standards!!”
Nothing specific there just a great deal of name-calling of exactly the same sort that I mentioned in my last note by Robert Bowie Johnson, who, in his self-published book entitled Sowing Atheism: The National Academy of Sciences’ Sinister Scheme to Teach Our Children They’re Descended from Reptiles called all of the signers of The Clergy Letter “morons.” Turns out that Johnson wrote to me in response to my note to all of you. He clarified his position: “As you may know, the NT was written in Greek, and the Greek word for stupid is moron. Any so-called Christian pastor or minister who denies the teachings of Christ and Paul in favor of your ‘teachings’ and the ‘teachings’ of the atheistic hierarchy of the National Academy of Sciences is a moron. He or she is also metaphorically a serpent and a progeny of vipers (Matthew 23:33).”
So, there you have it. Ken Ham denies what he told me and he claims that what I said happened “is not even close to the truth,” even though his inaccurate account depicts exactly what he charged the BBC with doing. And then, to top it off, he goes off on aside of name-calling accusing me of being known for not “checking out the facts” and for being “in the habit of going on the attack against creationists.” Moreover, Robert Bowie Johnson felt the compulsion to again call Clergy Letter Project members morons.
I have the very strong suspicion that these folks are nervous about the network we have created. The Clergy Letter Project has clearly become too big to ignore. Thanks for making that happen.
Let’s not stop, though. If you haven’t yet done so, please sign up for Evolution Weekend 2010 (12-14 February 2010) now – in the last week alone, we picked up over participating congregations. To sign up, just drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll post the growing list in a couple of months, but the more participants we have early on, the easier it will be to reach out to new participants around the world.
Additionally, please encourage fellow clergy to sign one of our three Clergy Letters and your fellow scientists to join our list of scientific consultants.
Many of you wrote to me this week to say how proud you were to be considered a “moron” in this context. Let me assure you that I don’t think any less of you given your designation by Mr. Johnson!