Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ham vs. Ham

Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis has written an article denying that his creation museum mentions the Curse of Ham.
The so-called “curse of Ham” is not even mentioned in the museum (and it’s certainly not in the Bible). In the museum, we simply acknowledge the names of Noah’s three sons, including the descendants of his son Ham, some of whom settled in North Africa.
I'll give it to Ken Ham that he does not teach The Curse of Ham. I kind of believe him on that. However, he claimed that it is not in The Bible. Well, Ken Ham? Yes, it is the freak in there.
And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. Genesis 9:20-27
You can argue the metaphors of these verses all you want, but nothing changes the fact that these verses were used to condone slavery for thousands of years. Slave owners here in the south claimed that they had the right to enslave black people because blacks are the descendants of Ham. I was even taught this in church, even though it was over a hundred years ago when slaves were owned.

Ken Ham even now claims that black people are descended from Ham. Even though, there is no historical proof of it. To his credit, he stops there. However, there is racism in the roots of creationism and fundamentalism. Ken Ham will deny it forever, but The Curse of Ham is still in The Bible and is in the beginings of fundamentalism.


GCT said...

It's another case of re-interpreting the Bible to match the secular morality of today. He still believes in all of it, but the part about the racist curse and slavery is jettisoned (whether in private or not, it must be in public) and ignored from the Bible. Then, Ham and others will have the gall to turn around and claim that we get our morals from the Bible.

cl said...

You said, "..nothing changes the fact that these verses were used to condone slavery for thousands of years."

Nothing changes the fact that Pekka-Eric Auvinen used evolution to condone his school shooting spree, either, so what's your point?

Robert Madewell said...

Tu quoque, CL. Is that all you can come up with?

Auvinen was one mentally ill person. Entire organizations (including the SBC) are guilty of condoning slavery.

Barbie Bacon said...

Similarly to how large groups of evangelical atheists help lost folks to go straight to Hell. You feel we condone slavery (which we don't), and we feel you condone eternal damnation.

Robert Madewell said...

"Similarly to how large groups of evangelical atheists help lost folks to go straight to Hell."

Evangelical what? I had never heard that term before. I'm already on record as saying that it doesn't matter whether you are an atheist or not. Critical thinking can be done by a christian as easily as by an atheist.

" You feel we condone slavery (which we don't) ..."

No, current christianity does not condone slavery. However, many of the denominations that are in existance now, did condone slavery 150 years ago. As a matter of fact, the SBC split from the american baptists because the American Baptists did not condone slavery. Guess what bible verses the newborn SBC used to condone slavery?

The SBC is now on record as not condoning slavery.

"... we feel you condone eternal damnation."

I don't believe in Hell, so how does what you said make sense? As a matter of fact, If there happened to be a God that would punish someone forever for minor defects, I'd call that God an ass. I would not want to worship that kind of God. Might does not make right.

GCT said...

I do not condone eternal torture or torture of any kind. In fact, I think that if your god exists and commits acts of torture (eternal or not) then your god is a monster. On the contrary, Xians are the ones who apologize for their god's actions and are condoning torture.

Anonymous said...

Or perhaps we should consider that the translation of these verses, in which the Bible was used to condone slavery based upon race, was wrong.

Has the Bible been distorted by man to achieve evil ends? Yes. Does that invalidate the message of the Bible? No.

Unless you think there is a direct correlation... if so then please show it...

Also, CL's argument is valid from a perspective of applied logic. Not that his statement invalidates your consideration of the Hebrew Bible, however if he meant to point out a hypocrisy in your own view to scoff at obvious occurences of interpretation of your belief system resulting in evil behavior, while at the same time invalidating other beliefs based upon the same criterea, then he is right on.

Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous: Except Darwin wasn't God. Compared to the posited God's 3-O's, the only "O" Darwin had was Omni-Darwinness. And the SBC wasn't wrong. They were only wrong later, once slavery wasn't economically feasible anymore. The thing about, say, the guidance of the Holy Spirit is that it's remarkably supportive. It's win-win for God when He's supporting both sides.

Anonymous said...

You do understand that nowhere does God commend someone for taking slaves. He simply acknowledged that the situation existed and commanded Christians who happened to be slaves to treat their earthly masters with respect, and to be meek. Same command he gave everyone with respect to everyone else. God commanded me to treat whomever is over me with respect. That doesn't mean he condones that I work for a ridiculously inhuman boss. He simply wants me to act Christlike despite the persecution, same as he did with the slaves.

GCT said...

"You do understand that nowhere does God commend someone for taking slaves."


At best, your argument boils down to a god that is indifferent to slavery. He doesn't seem to care about it. Yet, he cares about murder and condemns it because it is bad. He cares about eating unclean animals and condemns that. He cares about children sassing their parents and he condemns that.

IOW, the Bible is supposed to be a book that informs us on god's morals, and he's laid out a whole long list of things not to do. Slavery (and rape) does not appear on that list. What does that tell you? Why would god say don't do X, Y, or Z, and then turn around and be indifferent to slavery? This makes no sense. And, if god were trying to give us a moral code, why wouldn't he speak out and say, "Slavery is wrong?"

Anonymous said...

Is indentured servitude wrong? Even if agreed upon by both parties ahead of time?

Modusoperandi said...

It's iffy, and prone to abuse.
Also, voluntary indentured servitude isn't what we're talking about. Slavery is. You know, where a person is your property (and their kids. And their kids). Try Exodus21 or Lev25:44-46, among other places.

gsw said...

In all the uncounted (by me) pages of the bible, there is but a single sentence worth while:
"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."
The rest is just distorted history and bragging. A boring waste of paper.