GOP Lawmaker Calls Evolution a Lie From “Pit of Hell”

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 6 2012 3:56 PM

Republican Lawmaker Says Evolution Is a Lie “Straight From the Pit of Hell”

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Rep. Paul Broun doesn't have a Democratic challenger for next month's election

Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Ovation

Rep. Paul Broun, who serves on the House Science Committee, told a church-sponsored banquet in his home state of Georgia that the theories of evolution and the big bang are “lies straight from the pit of hell.” Broun has long been known as one of the most conservative members of Congress, and an outspoken conservative Christian. He wanted to declare 2010 “the year of the Bible,” points out NBC News. Still, the comments from the medical doctor who also has a degree in chemistry are getting lots of attention after the Bridge Project, a progressive political watchdog group, began distributing video of the remarks. (Video is after the jump.)

Broun says “all that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang theory” was part of a ploy to hide how old the Earth really is, “to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”

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The House Science Committee had already come under scrutiny recently after Rep. Todd Akin, another one of its members, made the now-infamous remarks about “legitimate rape,” points out Talking Points Memo.

Broun plays off on his qualifications and degrees to add credence to his views:

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.
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.

His comments were greeted with applause at the Sept. 27 Sportsman’s Banquet at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Ga. Broun’s reelection is assured next month since he doesn’t even have a Democratic challenger, reports NBC.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.