Righting America

A forum for scholarly conversation about Christianity, culture, and politics in the US
A Pinched Social Ethic | Righting America

William Trollinger

Answers in Genesis (AiG) CEO Ken Ham blogs daily, commenting on American culture, politics, and evangelicalism from a fundamentalist and highly moralistic perspective.

And there is so much for him to comment on these days. There’s an American president who paid off porn stars for their silence while the evangelical head of the Environmental Protection Agency is forced to resign amidst an ever-expanding set of scandals. There’s the ongoing drama of the U.S. government separating children from parents at the border and then “losing” the children in the vast government detention system. There’s the #MeToo phenomenon, which has now hit American evangelicalism full force, in the process bringing down both the founder of America’s most influential megachurch and a Southern Baptist fundamentalist luminary and seminary president.

But while all these topics seem tailor-made for an outspoken Christian commentator who claims to stand “unashamedly” on the authority of the Bible, Ken Ham has written nary a blog post on any of these topics. Not a word on sexual amorality or financial corruption in the executive branch. Not a word on this administration’s inhumane family separation policy. Not a word on sexual harassment scandals within white evangelicalism.

So what does Ham write about? What topic requires the critical attention of this prominent Christian Right leader?

Why, the LGBT threat, of course.

In the past two years Ham has written at least 48 posts on the menace posed by the gay rights movement and government agencies and church leaders in its thrall. Here are the most recent examples:

  • Fulminating against LGBT activists who complained when the CEO of Twitter tweeted about eating at Chick-fil-A, Ham reminded his followers to remember that it is expected for people to “hate us for our biblical beliefs,” given that they “hated Christ first.”
  • Attacking the Canadian Supreme Court’s decision not to accredit Trinity Western University’s law school for its requirement that its students sign an anti-homosexual “community covenant” statement, Ham pronounced this court ruling as further evidence that “God [is] withdrawing the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit and turning people over to their depraved natures.”
  • Blasting a Newfoundland and Labrador judge for agreeing that three parents could be listed on a child’s birth certificate, Ham proclaimed this to be yet another example of a society “clearly in rebellion against God.”
  • Lamenting that a group of Filipino Christians joined a LGBT pride parade as part of an effort to apologize for the ways in which Christians have used the Bible to harm the LGBT community, Ham sniffed that “we should not and do not need to apologize for what Scripture says about homosexual behavior” and suggested that what is really needed is “a parade for many Christians to apologize to God for the way they’ve compromised his Word, particularly in Genesis.”

There is much evidence that the evangelical hard line on gay rights and gay marriage is pushing young people out of the church. And as Rebecca Barrett-Fox noted recently, fueling this disillusionment among the young is the conviction that their pastors and other evangelical leaders are hypocrites: obsessed with homosexuality, they are silent about a host of social and political sins.

Ken Ham writes frequently and worriedly about young people leaving the church. It might be salutary for him and other Christian Right leaders to consider the degree to which their words and their silences contribute mightily to driving youth away from evangelicalism and from religion.