The Digital Tarrasque and the Curse of Ham
I’m going to try and keep things succinct here. There probably won’t be anywhere near the craziness of my first entry, but at the same time I’m not promising anything. We’ll just wait and see what kind of dinner the guard outside brings to my padded room. I hope it’s burrito night.
I read through the account of the Curse of Ham (Gen 9) today and thought of it in a whole new light. Typically, the main reaction is: why should Canaan (and his whole bloodline) be punished for his father’s sin? I can’t give a complete answer to that, but I can say this: Ham blew it big time.
God had just cleansed the entire planet of wickedness and had graciously spared them among everyone alive. Humanity was, in a sense, given a second chance to do things right. It’s the Biblical claim that every human being since then has had some genetic tie to these eight individuals. So what does humanity do in light of an amazing opportunity? We hock a loogie into the gene pool.
Notice the above complaint was that Canaan, instead of his father, was punished. I think it’s important to realize that the other three “uncursed” sons left terrifically bad legacies and fathered some of history’s worst villains. This further tells me: Ham blew it big time.
Every opportunity given to us comes with an option of failure and an option of success. Ham had no idea how to lead a family, and his progeny clearly shows that. Opportunity…Failure.
In the Industrial Revolution, the British (and everyone who was not British) were posed with a problem: they were now producing an unheard of number of goods but had no way to transport them to possible sellers across their landscape. So there was a little man named Horatio who checked the clipboards:
Does the modern railway system exist yet?
Horatio checked no. He went home to a hungry family. The family dog “Albert” was also starving and died that night with an empty stomach. The next morning they barbecued up some ribs.
So they had an opportunity… and came out with a smashing success. Commerce could now reach areas much more efficiently by increasing the number of navigable waterways. They’ve always had rivers for transport, but the idea of simply “building” more allowed Britain to sharply ascend economically (and not be crushed under her own weight). Opportunity…Success!
Today we’ve been given a grand opportunity with the technological boom. I will quickly admit (on many levels) that we have completely blown it.
The power that the eight on the Ark had was over genetic code. The results were a mixed bag. Ham certainly blew it. The massive power handed to us by God is over digital code. And that beautiful, innocent landscape has been utterly ruined by us all.
The Internet has produced multiple generations of spiteful, bigoted, and foolish rebels with no legitimate cause and certainly no backbone. Porn has exploded with (and influenced) the rise of it, now making more money than the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball combined. There is very little sense of relational connection between people anymore outside of the Internet, as we have become so socially deadened (and addicted) to technology.
I’m not advocating you click that link. I will tell you it’s a Justin Bieber music video so it itself is work safe. (But not quite brain safe).
The viewer responses are a great testament to what a nasty place the Internet has become. Kids (and grown up kids) just simply like to hate each other. That’s how they show their interest. How perfectly Satanic is that?
I would be surprised if it doesn’t get worse.
I’m not saying that because that one YouTube page attracts such hostile people (or even all of YouTube) that the whole Internet is the Mos Eisley I’m making it about to be. I will give you two more, but I certainly don’t expect you to believe simply on the testimony of these three links. Honestly look around, you’ll find it too!
That’s a forum I sometimes visit. On the Escapist forums, you’ll find a fierce rejection of the Gospel and a general lack of good manners, cordiality, and accuracy in spelling. The general principle of the Internet is this: because I can’t be held accountable, I can say whatever I want. On the Escapist, people do precisely that. The convenience of stealth reveals a broken hearted people that desperately need Jesus but will never admit it. But I am pleased that there are some polite atheists there. Some.
I will not link to the worse sites. But they are much, much worse. The above link is simply teeball in comparison. In the worse sites, there’s a sense of pornography in words themselves. People want to communicate and try… but they have no clue how to do so. Words, if you could call them something so pure as that, are just blurted out (usually misspelled) and repeated by the next user as primal form of communication (like baboons hooting at each other). Eventually they all get together and do something frightening. Anonymous are a great example. And of course there’s the actual pornography that runs rampant in these communities, corrupting little boys’ souls all for the chance of a buck in the bank.
And all of it, every last negative aspect of the Internet runs on a selfish, ungodly sense of pride.
In its most polite form, you have people desperate to display themselves to the world through services like Facebook. Status updates about what the crap kind of burrito we had last night have nothing to do with its spiciness or consistency of various meats, and everything to do with the wicked tendency of the human soul to proclaim how beautiful and perfect it is without the grace of God.
In a lower form, information generally spreads like wildfire by way of the Internet and the entire media that flourished in the tech boom over the past several decades. Once we have that opportunity: we usually ruin it. “Person X thirteen states away is running for mayor but cheated on his wife!” And we all turn our noses up as if we could never do that. As if we’re somehow separate from the Fall. We would do worse if given the chance!
I don’t expect you to stop taking advantage of the technological boom. I certainly won’t. But I saw a frightening parallel between us and Ham. We thought we were so superior to our fathers when we saw their drunkenness. And yet we have failed so miserably. God help us!