Ken Ham Thinks Pat Robertson Is Hurting Christianity

Ken Ham has taken to the blogosphere fretting that The Atheists are going after the children. (Please! Won’t someone think of the children?! *clutches pearls*)

In recent weeks I’ve been writing blogs and Facebook posts about a new atheist website that is targeting children. Interestingly, the launch of a new anti-God website that’s seeking to capture kids for atheism coincided with the release of AiG’s new ministry theme for the next two years: “Standing Our Ground, Rescuing Our Kids” (Galatians 1:4).

As a former child myself, I am vaguely offended by the term “capture.” I mean, the “atheist site” (which launched back in November) isn’t playing Hungry Hungry Hippos with kids. It’s just presenting some ideas about science and morality without a religious slant. If I remember correctly, and I’m pretty sure I do, it is certain church groups that are physically kidnapping kids.

Anyway, Ham thinks The Atheists are ruining the pure little children! What else is new?

Oh, yeah. He thinks that fellow knob weasel Pat Robertson is also destroying kids’ souls. Which is probably the first time the 700 Club host and I have ever been lumped into the same category about anything.

Ken Ham (left) and Pat Robertson. (via brightsblog.wordpress.com)

Ham takes issue with Robertson over the age of the earth because a woman once emailed Robertson for advice when her kids started to ask how the age of dinosaurs was compatible with the Bible’s assertion of an Earth that’s only a few thousand years old:

They tell me if the Bible is truth, then I should be able to reasonably explain the existence of dinosaurs. This is just one of the many things they question. Even my husband is agreeing with them. How do I explain things to them that the Bible doesn’t cover? I am so afraid that they are walking away from God. My biggest fear is not to have my children and husband next to me in God’s Kingdom.

Wow.  What a wonderful religion this woman has that leaves her afraid that the people she loves most are going to burn forever in hellfire.

Anyway, it’s a fair question. Even if you believe the Bible offers literal truth, there is a lot of stuff it misses. Like the Internet and Pluto and platypuses.

In this woman’s case, it’s dinosaurs.

Anyway, if you don’t believe the Bible is the direct word of God and you don’t believe it holds all of the information you ever wanted to know about everything, it’s easy to point out why those things were missing: People didn’t know about those things at the time the Bible was written.

To Robertson’s credit (as much as I hate saying that), this was his response:

Look, I know people will probably try to lynch me when I say this, but Bishop Ussher, God bless him, wasn’t inspired by the Lord when he said that it all took 6,000 years. It just didn’t. And you go back in time, you’ve got radiocarbon dating. You got all these things and you’ve got the carcasses of dinosaurs frozen in time out in the Dakotas… They’re out there and so, there was a time when these giant reptiles were on the Earth and it was before the time of the Bible. So, don’t try to cover it up and make like everything was 6,000 years. That’s not the Bible… If you fight real science, you’re going to lose your children, and I believe in telling it the way it was.

My goodness, Ham was not happy with this response.  

He pretty much blames Robertson for the mass exodus from Christianity that has been apparent over the last few decades. He also accuses of Robertson of mocking Young Earth Creationists and, amusingly, of not understanding the science of carbon dating.  

I mean, he is correct that radiocarbon dating only can date things back for tens of thousands of years, but hearing him accusing someone of bad science views is like a Scientologist accusing me of being in a cult. (Or a dog teaching me how to use thumbs. Or a KKK member teaching me tolerance. The possibilities are endless here, guys!)

One of the major reasons for the exodus we discovered in our research was that young people saw such biblical compromise (the kind seen with Pat Robertson) as hypocrisy. On the one hand this shepherd tells people to believe the Bible, but on the other he tells them they shouldn’t believe Genesis as written. Instead, he argues that our children should believe what the atheists and other anti-God secularists say about earth history.

Well, you know the secularists are more likely to be correct about things like history and science than those who believe the Bible is literally true. I would argue that teaching young people that the Bible is compatible with the actual physical world around them might keep them on your team longer.

So yes, Ken Ham, by all means, keep on doing what you’re doing.

About Jessica Bluemke

Jessica Bluemke grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from Ball State University in 2008 with a BA in Literature. She currently works as a writer and resides on the North side of Chicago.

  • http://twitter.com/ylaenna M. Elaine

    Please! Won’t someone think of the children?! *clutches pearls*

    Had to quickly check author of the post. The visual of Hemant clutching pearls was hilarious. Thanks.

    • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

      You too?

    • Tainda

      I did that too hahaha

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      Has to be done.

    • starskeptic

      Didn’t even occur to me to check, since it’s a well-known phrase.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    ken ham-brained is worry about losing $$$. it’s that simple. the novelty of his remarkably stupid “museum” is wearing off, and more and more people aren’t Buying it.

    • Camorris

      Yes indeed! It all comes down to protecting his financial empire. If he looses that, what other marketable skills does he posses? Where will his retirement pension come from?

  • Lagerbaer

    Wow, Robertson is spot on here. If you sell the Bible as literally true, it clashes a bit more drastically with reality than if you only sell some metaphorical feel-good bits.

  • http://twitter.com/TheBlackBot Black Bot

    It’s a sad day when Pat Robertson is too moderate for Christians.

    • Pseudonym

      Yeah, the Overton window sucks sometimes. Still, at least nobody can ever call Ken Ham “mainstream” again.

    • Jacob

      But atheists are going after the children. After all, they push for abortion, which kills a third of the children before they are born, and they push teaching that Science equals atheism when in fact it does not.

      • Dezzydez

        Abortion does not kill children since a fetus is not a child. Not all atheists are pro-choice. Science equals reality which atheists tend to go toward unlike the fantasy worlds theists enjoy.

      • pascalecake

        If someone is pro-choice, their atheism has nothing to do with it. Unlike theists, whose religion has everything to do with their political stances.

  • http://www.processdiary.com Paul Caggegi

    “as a former child myself…” ROFL!! Made my morning.

    • ZenDruid

      Heartwarming, actually. My folly is to believe that children in general have a better grasp on reality than many adults. As a former child myself, I feel it’s very important for a child to understand that there’s little to stop some grownups from being total idiots.

  • WallofSleep

    I think Ham is right about Robertson pushing people away from Christianity, but not for the reasons he suggests.

    And, um… “knob weasel”? Please, you are being far too kind.

    • ZenDruid

      The Mustelid Appreciation Society members object….;)

    • starskeptic

      “knob weasel” made my day…

    • Stev84

      I was astounded at this very reasonable response. Must have been a first

  • http://twitter.com/butterflyfish_ Heidi McClure

    I want in on this Hungry Hungry Hippos game.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

      ours never seem to work. they’re so cheaply made these days and break easily. got one for the nephew and it lasted all of three weeks. ;-(

      • allein

        I guess the hippos were sturdier back in the ’80s. Mine lasted long enough to be passed on to someone else, and we beat the hell out of that game.

      • Sindigo

        Ditto Buckaroo. We got one for Xmas a couple of years ago (because we’re grown-ups). Loaded it, unloaded, loaded it again and it didn’t ‘buck’ once. So we got liquored up and tried again. Same result. Threw it out. Maybe kids today really have it easier. Everybody wins! ;)

  • Glenn Rittenhouse

    As far as carbon dating, the article was a bit off. You can carbon date back hundreds of thousands of years. It is only accurate, however, within ten thousand years or so. But when you are talking about dating things a million years in the past, a few tens of thousands isn’t that far off.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      I think you’re thinking of radiometric dating in general, not radiocarbon dating in particular. I’m not an expert, but wikipedia is telling me that you can carbon date back to about 50K years, with accuracy in the 100s of years.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiocarbon_dating#Calibration_methods

      • Conspirator

        Yeah, there are different methods of dating that rely on different isotopes that give varying accuracy over longer periods. Dawkins mentioned those in a recent book. Depending on the period you are dating to you have to choose the appropriate method. What creationists like to do is tell their audience, who is presumably ignorant of the science, about the inaccuracy of one method but apply it to a time period where it wouldn’t be used, to show that it’s woefully inadequate and pass that off as “carbon dating”.

        I’m guessing it’s chapter 4 of “The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution” that explains it far better than I can. I don’t have my copy handy so I can’t say for sure.

        • littletrotsky

          Different isotopes have different half lives (rates of decay). When we measure in the hundreds of millions-billions of years we use potassium-argon (K-Ar) dating, which you can usually back up using uranium-lead. Basically you compare the amounts of the relevant isotopes (so with K-Ar, with 1.5 billion year half life, so if there’s an equal amount of the two, it means that about 1 half-life has passed, if there’s 3 Ar to every K, it means that 2 half-lives have passed (it’s halved, then halved again, weird but it’s how nuclear decay works), therefore the sample is 3 billion years old. We can then use different isotoeps with similar but not exact half-lives to corroborate this (one of the uranium ones have a 700million year half-life, so if you have a sample with both in you should find that, where 1 half-life of K-Ar has happened, a little over 2 half-lives of Ur-Pb should have as well). You can use a range of isotopes to make rough estimations of the age of materials from when the element would have been incorporated into the structure (ie when the sample was fossilised). It’s very useful, since without it we could only know the rough order of events from the geological column, and not the timescale.

          • Conspirator

            Thank you, that’s exactly what I was trying to get at. And what some creationists will do is present to the audience details on one isotope, one that is ill suited for a particular application, say events a few thousand years ago, and pretend that that is all of “carbon dating” and show how laughably absurd the scientists claims are. Because obviously Ur-Pb couldn’t verify the age of the shroud of turin. They just conveniently leave out the facts that scientists choose their method based on what they are dating.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              Or they’ll point to a particular example where dating was done incorrectly (Mt. Saint Helen’s) and loudly proclaim that it shows it is “deeply flawed (LOL)”.

              They usually neglect to mention the many other corroborating methods, like tree ring dendrocrhronology for more ‘recent’ dates, or GPS measurements of continental drift for older ones. So we can assume that at current rates, Antarctica, Australia and South America were all Gondwana 30-40 mya. And since we have marsupial fossils in South America (and one surviving marsupial species in the Americas), there should be marsupial fossils in Antarctica for the time period that we think the three continents were one.

              It might be an amusing to write something like Coyne or Dawkins’s book from the POV that the earth is 6K years old, and explain all the great lengths that God had to go to in order to make it look much much much older.

  • Question Everything

    Now I want to check Amazon, Etsy, and various other outlets for “pearls for clutching”, possibly in the form of a string of tiny stress balls in white/iridescent. Surely someone has tapped this market already. If not, I’m claiming it.

  • mikespeir

    The joke’s on them. Bible meant gnat years. Obviously.

  • MargueriteF

    Every time I drive past Regent University, which I do about twice a week, I cringe and think unhappy thoughts about Robertson. I am more than slightly disturbed to know that there are evangelicals out there who find him inadequately fundamentalist.

  • TiltedHorizon

    “Ken Ham Thinks Pat Robertson Is Hurting Christianity”

    You lost me right here: Ken Ham –>Thinks<—

    Jessica, the burden of proof is on you assert this positive claim.

  • lefty

    who would win in a craggly face contest, Ken Ham or Lawrence Krauss?

  • Miss_Beara

    I wish atheists would stop going to Ham’s stupid museum. They go to make fun of the place, but if it is free or 5 bucks, whatever. It is 30 dollars. It would be better to light 30 bucks on fire rather than give it to the fraud of a museum.

    • FredB

      Wow, $30? To feast your eyes on a web of lies? Please give $30 to a worthwhile charity, preferably a secular one.

  • greg1466

    “My biggest fear is not to have my children and husband next to me in God’s Kingdom.” Maybe it’s just me, but I think this statement makes it clear that your biggest fear is to not be in God’s Kingdom. If your biggest fear was to not have your family with you, you’d choose them.

  • John

    Here is what St. Augustine (SAINT!) said on the subject:

    “Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the
    earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and
    orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the
    predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the
    seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this
    knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a
    disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably
    giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we
    should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which
    people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. … Reckless
    and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on
    their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false
    opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of
    our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously
    untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even
    recite from memory many passages which they think support their position,
    although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they
    make assertion.”

    St. Augustine of Hippo (354 A.D. – 430 A.D.), De genesi ad litteram libri duodecim (The Literal Meaning of Genesis)

  • Matt

    You should try to stop starting every point with “Anyway…”. It is very distracting while reading. Good luck writing and blogging!

  • rhysjpatterson

    It’s a shame that that Ken, like many others, think their online articles should be restricted to a one-way conversation. Discuss further directly on the article itself at http://www.remarrk.com/view/answersingenesis.org/articles/au/atheists-arent-the-only-problem, I have referenced this article in the comments already.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1351473675 Matthew Baker

    A YEC and an OEC fight over how many angels dance on the head of a pin while never realizing there are no angels to fight over.

    • lestobbe

      Was expecting a stronger punchline, the set-up was so good… haha, but you’re still right.

  • Bdole
  • pascalecake

    Jessica, you are hilarious… lost it at “knob weasel”.

  • Friendly_Autist

    Quick! We must pounce while they are weakened by infighting!


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