During the past week, there have been several diaries about Rep. Paul Broun's recent ignorant remarks about science and evolution. But this diary is different in that I am urging you to sign a petition at change.org to have Paul Broun removed from the US House Science Committee (AKA House Committee on Science, Space and Technology).
Please sign the petition, and help remove this guy from the committee.
From the petition:
Rep. Paul Broun publically and vocally has stated that he does not agree with the most basic tenets of scientific process and critical thought. He is incompetent scientifically and damages the Committee and its purpose with his presence.
“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... And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”You can hear him say this at Poltico's website.
-Paul Broun, Republican Member of the House Science Committee
Georgia Rep. Paul Broun said in videotaped remarks that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory are "lies straight from the pit of hell" meant to convince people that they do not need a savior.Let me repeat that last sentence:
The Republican lawmaker made those comments during a speech Sept. 27 at a sportsman's banquet at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell. Broun, a medical doctor, is running for reelection in November unopposed by Democrats.
Broun, a medical doctor, is running for reelection in November unopposed by Democrats.
So, no matter what, this guy is returning to DC. But, let's see if we can remove him from a committee that he has no business being on.
And, let me add one more voice to this discussion by my favorite astronomer, Phil Plait, who writes a blog called Bad Astronomy.
The US Congress Anti-Science CommitteeBTW, if you really want to get hot and bothered, Rep. Ralph M. Hall (R-TX) is the Chairman of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and has served on the Committee since his first election in 1980.
Not too long ago, I (and pretty much the whole internet) wrote about the ridiculous and honestly offensive statements made by Representative Todd Akin (R-MO). His knowledge – or really, the profound lack thereof – of female anatomy made him the laughing stock of the planet. But I wasn’t laughing. I was, and still am, furious. And not just because of what he said, but also because he is a member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.
That anyone could spew such obvious and awful nonsense about biology and anatomy and yet sit on the US Congress’s science committee is, simply put, an outrage.
I also pointed out he’s not alone. In that article I devoted just one line to Representative Paul Broun (R-GA), saying how he was a creationist and also sits on that same science committee… but I think it’s time we take a second look at Congressman Broun.
In late September, Rep. Broun made a speech at the Liberty Baptist Church’s Sportsman’s banquet in Hartwell, Georgia. In this speech he said many, many things, including this:
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. And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior. 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. 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.
Sadly, that kind of antiscientific nonsense is de rigueur for a lot of folks these days, even ones who sit in Congress. But then, to close the deal, he goes on:
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 of 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.
Two points: one is that all Congresscritters, upon entering office, have to swear to uphold the Constitution, and the second is that this document is pretty clear about legislating religion. In fact, Supreme Court judge Hugo Black said about this topic, "Government must be neutral among religions and nonreligion: it cannot promote, endorse, or fund religion or religious institutions."
Rep. Broun’s words don’t sound terribly neutral to me.
You may disagree with me about the shaky ground (like Richter 10 shaky) Broun stands on Constitutionally, but there is no doubt – none – that he is 100% completely off the rails with his science. The Big Bang is "straight from the pit of hell"? It’s bad enough that anyone would actually believe something like that, let alone a Congressman, but I will remind you he sits on the House science committee!
These are the men whom the Republican majority placed on that committee. Men who think global warming is a fantasy. Men who think women have magic vaginas. Men who think the Earth is thousands, not billions, of years old.
So, I ask you again, please sign the petition at change.org, and help remove this guy from the committee.
One more thing: did you know that there are more Republicans on the committee than Democrats? 23 to 17? And, that the Democrats have three vacancies?
NOTE: When I published this diary, the petition had 15,156 supporters. I can't wait to see that number go much higher.