by William Trollinger
In the previous post, “Every Child is a Gift . . . Except When They Aren’t,” Emily Hunter McGowin makes a very strong case for the argument that evangelicals treasure some children, and not others. I decided to apply her argument to Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis. Looking at one year’s worth of blog posts, what does Ham have to say about children, and is it true for him that every child is a gift, except when they aren’t?
In keeping with Emily’s argument about evangelicals in general, Ham definitely has had a lot to say about abortion, and he has also talked about adoption, euthanasia, procreation, and the sex trafficking/sexualizing of children.
Sex Trafficking/Sexualizing of Children
Now, it must be said that on his blog Ham spends more time attacking any and all threats to the male-female binary than anything else. Some of these posts explicitly or implicitly focus on how these threats are threats to children and youth:
In her post, Emily McGowin also points out that, for all their concern about children, most evangelicals are silent about the number of children (particularly, African-American children) who are killed in gun violence (often within the home). Most evangelicals are also silent about the rapidly expanding scandal of sexual abuse and harassment of children and youth in evangelical and fundamentalist churches. Most evangelicals have been silent about the horrific treatment of children at the southern border, including the separation of families and the keeping of toddlers and children in appalling conditions in cages.
Ken Ham fits this description perfectly. On his blog over the past year there has not been a word from him on these topics. For Ham and his fellow evangelicals, it would seem that devotion to the Second Amendment, pastoral authority, and the current President of the United States trumps care for children (particularly children of color).
But here’s the thing. White evangelicalism is shrinking rapidly and aging rapidly. Young evangelicals are heading for the doors. They get the silence, the hypocrisy, the absence of Jesus.
In his blog post, “Dear Church, Here’s Why People Are Leaving,” John Pavlovitz – who once served as a pastor in an evangelical church – says that “this attrition is likely irreversible.” Of course, nothing is inevitable. But if evangelicalism and its leaders continue to choose right-wing politics over the Gospels, it seems clear that the decline will continue apace.