Righting America

A forum for scholarly conversation about Christianity, culture, and politics in the US
Ken Ham and Tucker Carlson Agree: Leftists (i.e., Liberals and Democrats) are Satanic | Righting America

by William Trollinger

Screenshot from Ken Ham’s August 26, 2021 Facebook post.

Every time I think that Ken Ham cannot go any lower, he does. And he takes his followers with him.

On his Facebook page, Ham posted this image of a Daily Wire article entitled “’Satanic’: [Tucker] Carlson, [Jason] Whitlock Agree Left Driven by Ideas ‘In Direct Objection to God.’” 

In this article Carlson claims that the idea that “some races are morally superior to other races” is one of “the core ideas of the Democratic Party.” This is nonsensically dreadful on so many levels, including the fact that white supremacists absolutely love Tucker Carlson – he speaks their language

And in the end, so does Ken Ham, never mind all his assertions that he is against racism. If Ham were truly anti-racist, then one would expect him to speak out against white supremacist groups, to speak out against Carlson’s racist tropes, to have spoken out against the white nationalism and horrifying racism at the heart of the Insurrection, on and on and on. But Ham maintains a very convenient silence about all this, just as he maintains a very convenient silence about QAnon

As regards Whitlock, it is not surprising that white conservatives love having an African American speak their language. But Whitlock’s grasp of American history is appallingly flawed. From the article: 

I think a lot of what the Left supports is satanic. I’m just sorry. It’s in direct objection to God, in direct objection to the Judeo-Christian values that were at the foundation of this country . . . Yes, it was hard, but our Christian values compelled us to sacrifice our lives for the freedoms of other Americans, of slaves. And through the civil rights movement, our Christian values compelled us to take risks and fight for equality.

What? “Our”? “Us”? Does Whitlock not realize that millions of Bible-believing white evangelicals fought to preserve slavery? From Righting America:

In antebellum America millions of white Christians (in both the North and the South) held tight to a “plain-sense” reading of the Bible, one which, as Mark Noll has pointed out [in his brilliant The Civil War as a Theological Crisis], emphasized “the natural, commonsensical, ordinary meaning of the words” in order to construct a powerful argument justifying the enslavement of African Americans. These white Christians stood on their literal reading of the Word of God to issue forth a raft of proslavery polemics and to deliver an almost-infinite number of proslavery sermons; Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene Genovese observed that, in the South, “evangelicals, having cited chapter and verse, successfully enlisted the Bible to unify the overwhelming majority of slaveholders and nonslaveholders in defense of slavery as ordained of God.” These white Christians argued that opponents of slavery, who struggled mightily to combat the straightforward biblical arguments of the proslavery advocates, were undermining the authority of the Bible with their unbiblical antislavery arguments that depended more on Christian experience, humanitarianism, and morality than on the “literal” meaning of the text (186). 

And then, after the Civil War, millions of white Christians (in both the North and the South) used this literal reading of the Bible to make the case for segregation and a rigid racial hierarchy. And they did it again in the 1950s and 1960s against the civil rights movement. As Carolyn Renee Dupont points out in Mississippi Praying, Mississippi’s white evangelicals 

fought mightily against black equality, proclaiming that God himself ordained segregation, blessing the forces of resistance, silencing the advocates of racial equality within their own faith tradition, and protecting segregation in their churches (231).

But the bad history advanced by Whitlock is precisely the bad history advanced by Ken Ham. As part of his “color-blind” project, Ham suggests that – as of 1963, or so – we achieved racial equality in America, that whatever racism remains is the product of Darwinism, and that the real problem in America is that Christians are being persecuted by satanic secularists and leftists.

In introducing the “’Satanic’” article on Facebook, Ham – in true fundamentalist fashion – deposits Bible verses and parts of Bible verses that establish that true Christians in America are at war 

  • “against the spiritual forces of evil” 
  • against “the devil [who] prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour””
  • against Satan who “was a murderer from the beginning” and who “is a liar and the father of lies.” 

Ham’s acolytes definitely get the Great Leader’s message. A sample of the responses to his Facebook post:

  • “I absolutely agree that the left is Satanic.”
  • “The left is satanic.”
  • Obama and Biden “are traitors.”
  • “The Marxist, communist Dems are following Satan and they all lie like their father Satan.”

Once you convince people that folks who disagree with you are satanic, then no response is too extreme. 

Including violence. 

Of course Ham has had nothing to say about the Insurrection. It would seem that he is too busy doing his part to foment another one.