By now you have probably heard of Georgia Rep. Paul Broun’s ridiculous comments that evolution and the Big Bang are “all lies straight from the pit of Hell.”
Broun’s office has followed up after the public outrage surrounding the comments. The argument use by Broun’s office is that none of these words should have gone public. They were off the record. Apparently under the impression that a Congressmember has the right to pick and choose what he says should be reported, Broun needs to reeducate himself on the First Amendment. He also needs to refresh himself with a fifth-grade science class too.
“Dr. Broun was speaking off the record to a large church group about his personal beliefs regarding religious issues,” Broun spokewoman Meredith Griffanti said.
That is an interesting way to spin it. Broun was speaking of his personal beliefs to a private group and that isn’t relevant to his being a member of Congress.
Contrary to Broun’s spokeswoman, Broun talking about his personal beliefs and how they shape public policy is very relevant. Contrary to Broun’s thinking, most Americans are interested in knowing the personal beliefs of their elected officials. What does he think are the purpose of elections? Personality contests on who has the best smile?
Just to clear up any of Broun’s intentions on how his personal beliefs affect public policy and all of America, here is the original transcript from his words before the church group.
“God’s word is true. I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. It’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior. There’s a lot of scientific data that I found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I believe that the Earth is about 9,000 years old. I believe that it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says. And what I’ve come to learn is that it’s the manufacturer’s handbook, is what I call it. It teaches us how to run our lives individually. How to run our families, how to run our churches. But it teaches us how to run all our public policy and everything in society. And that’s the reason, as your congressman, I hold the Holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C., and I’ll continue to do that.”
Right there Broun states that the Bible “teaches us how to run all our public policy and everything in society.” That is relevant whether off the record or not.
That Broun wants to live his life according to the Bible is his right. Yet there isn’t one interpretation to the Bible, as Broun appears to believe. If there was, then Christianity would not be fractured into multiple denominations. Those who are not Christian, even Jews and Muslims who follow parts of the Bible, would not be pleased if Broun was to dictate how they should live from his personal religious views.
Broun’s views are also relevant because he is a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. That is difficult to believe but true. One of the major Congressional committees on science includes a Congressman who believes that Satan is a wicked scientist trying to corrupt the world by making people believe that humans are distant cousins to monkeys and apes.
Too bad Broun hasn’t explained why DNA has not proven Darwin’s theory. If humans were created from thin air and not evolved from other primates, then why is it that the decoding of the DNA has shown other primates to be our closest living relatives? That should have closed any doubt about evolution’s validity. Instead that fact is conveniently ignored by people like Broun. There can only be two explanation: Either it is true or God like to play jokes on people like Darwin.
But there is a likely explanation for that from Broun’s perspective. It is probably just another plot from the pit of hell.
Broun has a long history of saying outrageous things. He once said that he wasn’t sure if Barack Obama was a U.S. citizen or a Christian, while suggesting that Obama was a socialist.
Broun’s words on science are not just outrageous. They are dangerous. Bill Nye explains why.
“Since the economic future of the United States depends on our tradition of technological innovation, Representative Broun’s views are not in the national interest. For example, the Earth is simply not 9,000 years old. He is, by any measure, unqualified to make decisions about science, space, and technology.”
Better to speak from the pit of hell than the pit of ignorance. Broun’s ignorance is more at home with the Iranian mullahs or the Taliban. Science has created a great standard of living for many in the world. Only by applying science are the problems of the world going to be solved.
Unfortunately, Broun’s ignorance is not going to lead to his defeat this election. That is because he is running unopposed in November. That means we have at least two more years of Broun’s craziness in the House. Hopefully, he is forced into retirement before he attains enough seniority to be chair of the Science, Space and Technology Committee.