Last week, we got a friendly reminder of the power of that special, enlightened voting bloc that likes to look at facts and say “no, thank you.” We got that reminder in the form of Georgia Rep. Paul Broun (R-Eden), who took the stage to make sure everybody knew that just because he went to college doesn’t mean he believes in crazy things like evolution and embryology, because they are “lies straight from the pit of hell.”
Science has tricked people, you know, in a clever ploy to make them think they don’t need Jesus.
We the pitiable, atheistic masses finally got a response yesterday from Meredith Griffanti, Broun’s no-doubt exasperated spokeswoman (who thinks LGBT folks look “interesting”).
No, the clarification does not make anything any better.
She told CNN Broun was “speaking off the record to a large church group about his personal beliefs regarding religious issues,” which raises serious questions about what questions CNN asked her in the first place, but also about the definitions of both “off the record” and “religious issues.”
First problem: Broun’s camp appears to believe “off the record” not only means “we did not expect people who disagree to find out about it,” but also, somehow, that it doesn’t count. We are supposed, it seems, to pretend we don’t know that a member of the House Science Committee (and a doctor of medicine) has chosen to discount hundreds of years of provable scientific findings in favor of a story that revolves around how humanity owes everything to this one Middle Eastern guy who hung out with 12 dudes and a hooker.
(Also: Who gets their annual check-ups from Broun? Are they still living? Has he healed them with snakes?)
A little context: Broun is on the committee that oversees the National Science Foundation and also sincerely believes “the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old.” He says he has evidence for that, and it must be pretty awesome evidence if it refutes 4,499,991,000 years of the Earth’s 4,500,000,000-year history. Potential explanation: A 13th apostle, Camcorder.
This leads us to the second assertion from Griffanti, which is that Broun was speaking about “his personal beliefs regarding religious issues.” Religious issues, of course, have somehow moved past “this wine is actually blood that you should drink” and become “the study of fetal development is the work of the devil, and my invisible friend should dictate all public policy decisions.”
A guy that we have put in charge of real things is standing up and saying that true things are not true. That’s not a “religious issue,” that’s a learning disability.
It’s like saying the Moon is made of cheese and calling it a “dairy issue” — evidence that the Moon is made of Moon and not of gouda might be inconvenient for gouda enthusiasts, but that doesn’t mean we’re being rude to the goudists by pointing out they’re being dumb.
It doesn’t matter though, because this is a democracy, which means if you can get enough goudists into one congressional district, it doesn’t matter what the Moon is made of — the government says it’s cheese, and that Broun is so good at his job. [CNN]