Just when I think I had become jaded to the sublime and the ridiculous on the right, the absurdities go up a notch.
In the most unbelievable claims category, another conservative, a Republican congressman from Georgia, Paul Broun, reportedly said that evolution and The Big Bang theory were all lies straight from the bowels of hell.
Speaking at the 2012 Sportsman Banquet at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell on Sept. 27, Broun had this to say, “God’s word is true. I have come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about Evolution and Embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies from the pit of hell. It’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a Savior.”
Rep. Broun, who is also an M.D., continued to malign science for his religious beliefs, adding, “You see there is a lot of scientific data that I have found out as a scientist, that actually show that this is really a young earth. I don’t believe that the earth’s but about 9,000 years old—I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.”
(Read more from the Greenfield Daily Reporter here or click on the above video to take a listen: Ga. Rep. Paul Broun calls evolution, embryology, Big Bang theory lies 'from the pit of hell').
I have heard this kind of rhetoric regurgitated from “fire and brimstone” pastors on church pulpits since I was a little girl marching mandatorily to the beat of my parents’ religion, but to hear it from an elected official who sits on the science committee is breathtaking in its irony.
This kind of thinking in our elected officials can be dangerous when applied to legislation that can affect our children. People like Broun and others who subscribe to the “creationist theory,” would love to see this as a subject taught in schools and some are actively trying to get this taught as part of the our public schools’ curriculum.
As I mentioned earlier, Broun is also a medical doctor, so science is not alien to him, yet his statement sounds like it came from a Neanderthal. Alas, he is not the only high-ranking Republican to publicly and proudly express similar shocking views. Texas governor and former presidential candidate Rick Perry said as much while out on the campaign trail.
The widely broadcasted statements made by fellow Republican Senate nominee from Missouri, Rep. Todd Akin, who also sits on the House Science Committee, stunned many and falls in this category of what I like to call “the extreme and crazy conservative world view.”
Who could forget Akin controversial claims on rape, when he told a local television that women’s bodies can prevent pregnancies “during legitimate rape?” The firestorm that erupted after that had many Republicans distancing themselves from him, even clamoring for him to drop out of fighting for his Senate seat, which is up for re-election. Why the mad stampede in the opposite direction? Akin is not the only one in the Grand Ole Party who believes in classifying rape into different categories of seriousness and not so serious.
(Read more on Atkin “legitimate rape” claims here: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/12813468-legitimate-rape-doesnt-lead-to-pregnancy-says-gop-senate-nominee-video).
Vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan co-sponsored the “No Taxation for Abortion Act” in 2011, with Akin, Chris Smith (R-NJ) and other House Republicans with “forcible rape” as part and parcel of the language of the legislation—which was aimed at cutting federal funds to Planned Parenthood--ostensibly to prevent said funds from being used for abortions. Mind you, PP does not use government financial aid for abortions but that hasn’t stopped the dogged conservative crusade to cripple the agency that helps women all over the U.S. with critical medical services like mammograms, gynecological, STDs, including HIV testing, that they would normally be unable to afford elsewhere.
Even former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee used the phrase “forcible rape” when he was shockingly, singing the praises of some “extraordinary people” who were born as a result of “forcible rape.” (Read more here: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/12814429-the-stunning-republican-rhetoric-on-rape-rolls-on-as-mike-huckabee-weighs-in-on-the-extraordinary-people-resulting-from-rape).
The politicizing of women’s health to satisfy religious ideologies has reached alarming heights and last Wednesday’s presidential debate in Denver failed to address any issues pertaining to women. While President Obama checked out and nominee Romney bulldozed over moderator Lehrer’s questions, we were completely blacked out.
I think they forgot women make up a huge percentage of the voting public.
Intellectual or critical thinking seem to exit the room when some religious ideologues speak on evolution, global warming, abortion and a woman’s right to choose, birth control and again, a woman’s right to her reproductive life, equal pay between the sexes; marriage equality—but strangely, they never call on their religious or biblical teachings when it comes to excessive money in the hands of a concentrated few or helping the less fortunate among us through social programs.
The “it’s easier for a camel to go through the eyes of a needle than for a rich man to enter the gates of heaven;” “judge not lest you be judged;” “let he who has no sins cast the first stone;” and all those other biblical verses that advocate love, tolerance, empathy and selflessness, are conveniently buried or ignored.
Every time I hear one of these anti-evolution, anti-global warming, anti-women's rights folks spew, this quote comes to mind, “If only closed minds came with closed mouths.”
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