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Ken Ham: Children Are Belongings

After an incalculable (because I’m lazy) amount of time, I’m back to rant more about nonsense that fits under our umbrella!

For those who are unfamiliar with the name, Ken Ham is an Australian young-Earth creationist who markets creationism to children by way of picture books, the Creation Museum, and presentations to groups of very young kids. He espouses a belief that dinosaurs and humans lived alongside each other, justified by somethingorother in the Bible. He’s the president of Answers in Genesis, a ministry devoted to Christian apologetics and young-Earth creationism.

Then there’s this Christian school in South Carolina, which has risen to infamy thanks to a Redditor whose friend’s child attends the school. You may have seen the pictures of this awful “science” quiz from r/atheism buzzing around the intertubes.

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A lot of people who value science-education were understandably indignant at this garbage being taught to kids. The quiz is over material covered in “Dinosaurs, Genesis & the Gospel,” an Answers in Genesis DVD. Naturally, Ham took notice of the online outrage and wrote a big long post thingy about how atheists fuming on the internet is a “vicious attack,” “aggressive,” and “intolerant” toward Christians who want to teach their children about “biblical creation, science, and dinosaurs.”

In the sidebar of this post is a bullet-point list of all the ways atheists are “becoming more aggressive in America.” PZ Myers at Pharyngula actually tipped me off to this part of the post and displayed how it’s incredibly hypocritical. Let’s take a look!

How Are Atheists Becoming More Aggressive in America?

  • Billboards promoting atheism and attacking Christianity have popped up across the country.
  • The American Humanist Association has launched a special website for children to indoctrinate them in atheism.
  • An atheist rally in Washington DC last year had a special promotion to encourage kids to attend their atheist camps.
  • Atheists have been increasingly using terms like “child abuse” to describe the efforts of Christians who seek to teach their children about creation, heaven, and hell.
  • Many atheists claim that children belong to the community, not to their parents.
  • Atheists have actively opposed any effort in public schools to even question a belief of evolution or suggest there are any problems with it.

Okay, so this list of things is pretty stupid to begin with. As in, the existence of this list of things is fundamentally ridiculous; not to mention there are obvious stretches of truth, hypocrisy, and blind ignorance.

There is one thing in particular that really gets my goat, and that is bullet point number five:

  • Many atheists claim that children belong to the community, not to their parents.

What the fracking frack. I’m fairly certain no atheist ever said that children belong to the community. Frankly, I’m offended at the idea that children belong to anyone! Kids are human beings, not belongings to be possessed or controlled. In fact, the idea that any Christian still believes children are belongings really sheds some light on how parents will allow their children to die by praying rather than taking them to the hospital.

If we change the language to be less de-humanizing, then yes, I would agree (as would many other atheist activists, I’m sure) that children shouldn’t be solely controlled and confined by their parents. Kids growing up in insulated communities, being sheltered from the truth and not taught how to think critically means that we’re going to end up with a taxpaying, voting chunk of the populace that’s conditioned to be close-minded and to take everything they hear at face value. Those are not the people I want alongside me in the voting booth.

Kids brought up to believe in creationism are being short-changed on lifelong skills. Critical thinking should be primary to a child’s education and raising, but instead we end up with these adults who are willing to turn their noses up at hard evidence. Of course they can learn those skills later in life, but I think they’re really missing out on the opportunity to be truly inquisitive and to parse out the truth for themselves.

Yes, Ken Ham, when those children grow up and leave their parents homes, they will be members of the community. They’ll be voting for presidents and local government officials and paying taxes. Don’t you think we should be giving them the best tools we can to help them make good decisions as adults and as voters?

But no, Ham cares more about making sure as many people as possible believe in his garbage view of the Earth’s history. He cares more about striking fear into kids’ hearts by teaching them about hell than about helping them live the best life they can here in the physical realm. Ken Ham believes that children are the property of their parents. Remember that the next time some kid dies from medical neglect because no one could step in before ey died. Ken Ham, someone who tries to be a leader within his religious community, vicariously supports the ‘right’ of parents to allow their children to die by stating that children belong to their parents.

 

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Lux

Lux

Lux is a female genderqueer weirdo, writing from Kansas. They happily identify as a militant atheist(+), feminist and liberal. Their time is consumed with Doctor Who, reading, and playing WoW with a cat on their lap. If you're lucky, you might catch them smithing jewellery or cleaning something.

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