There are days I despair for the human race. This is certainly one of them. Last month, Rep. Paul Broun (R-Moron) gave a speech denouncing science as Satan’s work to undermine Christianity. Seriously.
“All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell,” Broun said. “And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”
According to Broun, the scientific plot was primarily concerned with hiding the true age of the Earth. Broun serves on the House Science Committee, which came under scrutiny recently after another one of its Republican members, Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), suggested that victims of “legitimate rape” have unnamed biological defenses against pregnancy.
“You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth,” he said. “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.” (Emphasis mine)
This man sits on the House Science Committee. That’s like letting a 5-year-old write the budget. Or Paul Ryan. Such profound, and deliberate, ignorance of basic education should disqualify Broun from having anything to do with policy making, much less science policy. This isn’t controversial stuff like “When does a fertilized egg become a person?” There’s a debate to be had there. This isn’t a question about something fundamentally unanswerable like what happens after we die. This is hard, proven and not that difficult to understand facts that Broun is childishly rejecting because he (mistakenly) thinks that it means he can’t worship Jesus.
Broun is a fundamentalist fanatic and, while there is no constitutional grounds on which to remove him, there are certainly common sense grounds. Anyone willing to supplant reality with a literal interpretation of a religious text written 6000 years ago is a mentally disturbed person. They are engulfed by a cult-like mentality and are a danger to themselves and those around them. If you find this idea startling, ask yourself if you would be comfortable having a member of the Taliban in a seat of power in the United States. If the answer is “no” but you’re fine with Broun, you are letting your familiarity with Christianity blind you. There is precious little difference between Broun and the people we went to war with Afghanistan over. What separates him from the violence exhibited by fundamentalists in the Middle East is that rule of law in the United States restrains Broun. For now, at least.
Make no mistake, anyone that insists that science is “lies straight from the pit of Hell” does not have the best interest of the country at heart. That person wants a populace of fearful sheep, bullied into submission or whipped into a killing frenzy as the situation dictates. It’s time we stop giving them a pass because we’re afraid of being accused of “attacking Christianity.” Christianity has nothing to do with Broun’s delusions. Broun and his ilk seek to inflict their sick and warped vision of the world on to the rest of us and the only way that happens is if we allow it.