By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
Washington (CNN) – A U.S. congressman is attracting attention and criticism for an online video that shows him blasting evolution and the Big Bang theory as “lies from the pit of hell” in a recent speech at a church event in his home state of Georgia.
“All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, the Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell,” U.S Rep. Paul Broun said in an address last month at a banquet organized by Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Georgia. “And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”
Broun, a medical doctor by training, serves on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
Speaking at Liberty Baptist Church’s Sportsman’s Banquet on September 27, he said that “a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth.”
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“I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old,” Broun said in the speech, which Liberty Baptist Church posted on its website via YouTube. “I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says."
Scientists say that the Earth is roughly 4.5 billion years old and that the universe dates back 13.7 billion years.
In his speech to the church group, Broun called the Bible the “the manufacturer’s handbook. … It teaches us how to run all of public policy and everything in our society.”
“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,” he said.
A spokeswoman for the congressman, Meredith Griffanti, said that Broun was not available for comment on Wednesday and that the video showed him “speaking off the record to a large church group about his personal beliefs regarding religious issues.”
The congressman’s remarks about science have drawn attention online, with critics taking aim at his role on the science committee.
Bill Nye, the popular science personality, told the Huffington Post in an e-mail that "Since the economic future of the United States depends on our tradition of technological innovation, Representative Broun's views are not in the national interest."
"For example, the Earth is simply not 9,000 years old," said Nye, a mechanical engineer and television personality best known for his program "Bill Nye the Science Guy." Broun "is, by any measure, unqualified to make decisions about science, space, and technology."
Talking Points Memo reported on the church video over the weekend after being tipped off by the Bridge Project, a progressive group that tracks conservative activity.
Most creationists believe in the account of the origins of the world as told in the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible.
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In the creation account, God creates Adam and Eve, the world and everything in it in six days.
For Christians who read the Genesis account literally, or authoritatively as they would say, the six days in the account are literal 24-hour periods and leave no room for evolution. Young Earth creationists use this construct and biblical genealogies to determine the age of the Earth and typically come up with 6,000 to 10,000 years.
The Gallup Poll has been tracking Americans' views on creation and evolution for 30 years. In June, it released its latest findings, which showed that 46% of Americans believed in creationism, 32% believed in evolution guided by God, and 15% believed in atheistic evolution.
– CNN's Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.
At first I thought: "ok, just another wingnut fundamentalist in congress, it is Georgia after all". But then I read:
Seriously?! No, really. Seriously?!
Hopefully he just serves coffee.
This guys is a doctor? I'd hate to be his patient. He may treat me with Snakes.
We really need to fix our Education System. We're apparently not teaching critical thinking.
Something happens every day that reminds me why I'm an Atheist...
Today, it was this moron.
My bad... must have signed in to the Onion...
How I wish it WAS an Onion story...
Thank you Teaparty soooo much for your meaningful addition to intelligent discourse in this country. Let us know the fall break went after we paid you to go an summer break.
He's right. The shame is that all you who scoff and think you know better are simply wrong. One day soon you will all find out just how wrong you are. Contrary to what people think, there is a God and none of us are smarter than Him. If we have technology to figure things out, it's because he allowed us to have it. You all need to get off your pedestals and stop mocking the man. He is not wrong. You are.
Fortunately the evidence says otherwise.
Could you please let the air out of your head? You're blocking the light.
LOL Are you for real? Your post seemed a little too long for a real poe or troll. But still, one can always hope that this guys brand of idiocy isn't too prevalent.
Are you trolling, or did you simply not read the article?
Speaking of people who "think they know better but are wrong" ...
I accept the existence of a Creator. There are too many moving parts for all of this to be occurring by chance & on its own. But couldn't the Creator have used Evolution & the many other things DISCOVERED by Science, not CREATED by Science as the means by which a Creator made all of this stuff called Life ?
Sorry Heather – Biblical literalism is a heresy – it's a form of idolatry. A good place to start to become educated about intelligent approaches to the Bible is Saint Augustine's "The Literal Meaning of Genesis". If a 4th century theolgian could competently argue against Biblical literalism, I suspect we, with all of our advancements in knowledge and technology ought to be able to come to the same conclusion.
Sticks and stones... there is no point in replying to me because it won't make you any more right or me any less wrong. Have a nice day all, and GOD BLESS YOU! ;)
Heather, you frighten me...your lack of interest in truth, or even facts frightens me – as you are in a large majority, i am frightened by your ilk. religion is not truth, not even faith: religion is church doctrine – dogma created by ancient madmen with a complete lack of integrity & just enough intelligence to twist reason into illogical ideas that somehow still linger in the minds of your kind after all these years. wake up! there is no magical fairytale kingdom awaiting you after-life. after-life is death – darkness & silence – the infinite void of nothing.
What you're saying is a type of argument from ignorance called an argument from incredulity/personal incredulity. "X is so amazing to you you cannot imagine how it could not be created by Y, therefore Y created it." It's circular, it's bad logic, and is evidence for absolutely nothing except your unwillingness to accept "we don't know yet" as an answer.
No, Sonny.. you either accept the Bible in its entirety or you reject what it is in its entirety. The Bible says God created the light, dark, heavens, earth, water, land, etc, etc and listed the days in which he did it. If you don't accept it as written, you don't accept the word of God. There is no room for interpretation.
Then why aren't you out killing gays, witches, apostates, etc. Will you be stoning any unruly or drunkard children you have? Do you have a house, food for more than a day, or any money at all?
For those who felt like commenting even when I said not to bother, let me pose a rather simple question.
If I, as an obviously conservative Christian woman, dared to come on your precious liberal media site to comment on an article that was obviously posted to draw ire from its intended crowd, do you really think I care who agrees with me or what those people think of me? Come on... even though you're liberal, you have to be smart enough to know the answer to that. Or maybe you're all just too smart for your own good, since you don't believe in God and all.... I support my fellow Christian.
o Your God doesn't think much of women, you know.
"Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die" Ecclesiasticus, 25:19
I'm suprised that you're so vociferous for a devoutly Christian woman given that God explicitly forbids women from preaching.
"Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says."
-1 Corinthians 14:34
"A woman should learn in quietness and full submission."
-1 Timothy 2:11
I Corinthians 14: 34, 35 "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."
Then why aren't you out killing gays, witches, apostates, etc. Will you be stoning any unruly or drunkard children you have? Do you have a house, food for more than a day, or any money at all?
Don't dodge the question because you know your answer, and the hypocricy you spouted when you said it's all or nothing with the bible.
Thanks for your comments. I don't take scripture out of context. However, I can see that you do and more power to you. You can judge me through God's eyes even though he's not judging me. Let me know how that works out. God bless you!!
Heather – it is scary that you don't realize that you yourself interpret the Bible (yes you – even though you deny it). You likely don't know Hebrew and Greek and Aramaic. You exist as a modern person with a whole set of personal and cultural biases and presuppositions – and yet you think you have the special capacity to "know" God separated from your biases and presuppositions? Before you read Saint Augustine (which I doubt you will bother to do), why not start with the Book of Job, chapters 38-42. Maybe that will help you speak a bit more humbly about what you currently assert with such confidence. As Charles Darwin said, "Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"
Hawaii - I will be more than happy to answer your questions. However, before I spend my time doing so, let me ask you this. Does it matter? Would you even believe me? Since the answer to both of those questions is "no", there is no reason to answer you. Feel free to resume attacking me now. Have a nice day and God bless you!
We are born, we live, and then we die. That's it. Accept that and take YOUR life back. Incidentally, if "Heaven" is filled with religious zealots, then leave me to my "hell". I find that vastly preferable to spending an eternity with the True Believers who are bent on intruding into my life, my womb and my bedroom. MY "soul" (or anyone else's) is none of your business. If you really believe in God, then he doesn't need your help to corral the "strays".
I myself do not interpret the Bible. The people who wrote the other versions did. While yes, there are many versions, it is always important, as you say, to go back to the original text to determine the actual word(s) used and those meanings in the original language. You are correct in stating that I do not know Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic. Lucky for me, some other people throughout the years have and have created nifty concordances! As far as my confident assertions, YES! I absolutely am confident. You would be too if you knew the Lord!! Humility has no place before man. You can do nothing for me or against me that really matters. My humility is reserved for my God, not for man who doesn't believe in God.
If you would've been happy to answer, why didn't you?
so ... believe or burn eh?
I actually did, but my answer didn't display. I figured before I spent time on another response, I'd check to see if you really wanted it. Since you do, it is my pleasure to provide it.
I do have a house. I actually bought it last year and got a really nice interest rate. It's a lovely two story in a nice subdivision with 4 bedrooms and 1 1/2 baths. I also bought a new car in February. The only downside to that is that it increased my insurance rates. Blah. I finished my Master's degree in June, right before my father passed away. Yes, before you ask, he's in heaven! I was glad I was able to graduate before he passed away so he could see it. Regarding the rest of your questions - let's just say I don't do those things because they are against the law. God commanded us to keep the law. Does that mean I favor the prevanlent social issues being spoken of? In most, if not all cases, probably not. Does that mean I hate the people whose lifestyles I don't agree with or that I judge them? Absolutely not. It is not my right to do that nor would God want me to. If I have no adequately answered your questions, please let me know how I have not and I will attempt again. :)
Hi I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV -
That's between you and God.
So you do not follow biblical law because you'd get into trouble? Also, I'm wondering if you know what I'm referring to with the house, food for more than a day, etc.
I follow God's laws in the manner God expects them to be followed. And when I don't, I ask for his forgiveness. As far as the house, the food for more than a day, and the money – yes, I know what you mean. It regards the impending financial collapse, the value of the dollar, and being able to survive. At least that's what I believe you mean. Could be wrong!
Didnt know how atheistic america has become. He is right, and so are you. On the Day of Judgement, when we all stand before God, nothing will be hidden. God bless you dear.
I'm talking about the sermon on the mount where Jesus says to not give a thought to tomorrow and let god provide everything. Also, by what authority do you claim to know what your god expects when it comes to his law other than what the bible says, which says that those I mentioned must be put to death.
Heather – even though you say there is nothing I can do for you that matters, I beg to differ. I CAN pray for you – I can pray that God through the Holy Spirit soften your heart and mind to consider reflecting His love for humankind in a way that is attractive and appealing, and to declare only those things that are important with confidence, namely God created the universe and mankind is sinful and in need of salvation through Jesus Christ. (and by the way, you DO interpret English TRANSLATIONS of the Bible – as soon as you read it – you interpret it – maybe you've exposed yourself to a little too much of Ken Ham theology, who is the only other person in the world with the self-professed special ability to not interpret while reading – you might need to step outside of your comfort zone – stop the confirmation bias that gives you so much confidence – and listen to some of the other passionate and dedicated Christian voices out there – you might find that some of them actually have some useful things to help you along on your journey).
Nice! We can agree on the first part. My heart is soft. I come here with no judgment and no hatred. The things I speak of are of God through the Holy Spirit that lives in me. I welcome you praying for me as I will for you. I don't know who Ken Ham is, and to the end that you just discussed, yes there is interpretation. However, the interpretation you spoke of in your first post is not what I'm seeing in your second post. Perhaps I simply needed the clarification you made in your second post. Thank you for that.
Thank you! God bless you too!
I don't think I need to add to your post or respond to it other than to say you basically already answered it yourself. God provides for me as He does for everyone. What you have and what I have is because God allowed us to have it. In the same manner, it can all be taken away. The only thing that cannot be taken from me is the salvation I have through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All else shall pass away eventually, but that will not. There is nothing else I need to know. I stay faithful to Him, and I know that He will take care of me. Relying on myself or someone else instead of God says that I place more faith in man than I place in God and that is the most severe error anyone can make. I will be taken care of. As far as putting people to death, that's an issue that cannot really be explained fully through a discussion board. It seems very important to you; however, it is of less import than many other things that could be discussed. In the end, God will have his judgment on those that don't believe. That's really the bottom line.
Well you're fairly decent at rationalization and non-answers. Better than most of the religious people here.
Maybe if you tell me what you'd like me to say, I can provide a response. I am not really sure what you're looking for me to say.
How about some honesty? You claim that every bit of the bible needs to be literal (which brings up a problem when you are faced with contradictory verses in the bible), yet do not actually follow calls for the death of many different people. You use the complete cop-out to the fact that you have made provisions for the future by arbitrarily giving god credit when it goes against a direct teaching from your bible. Do not use tangents, rationalizations, etc. Just admit your hypocrisy, get off your high horse, and perhaps if you can, actually think critically when it comes to the efficacy of the bible and the very contradiction between your concept of god, and the actions credited to your god in the bible.
I've tried to reply like 6 times now, but it's not showing up. It might be because my response is too long. I"m going to try breaking it up into smaller sections...
What contradiction are you speaking of? And I don't believe I ever mentioned the word "literal". That's not to say I do or don't believe it, but I'm quite sure those are your words not mine. The verses you are speaking of are Old Testament. In those times, the laws given were different than those given by Jesus when he walked on the earth. The laws given by God to follow also required a high priest through which atonement could be sought. Once Jesus died on the cross, that was no longer necessary. We each go straight to God through Jesus Christ. Those Old Testament laws were reflective of God's judgment on those that lived in sin, not those who are sinners which by nature we all are, but those who lived in sin. In the same vein, God is reserving his judgment for those who still live in sin and reject him.
As far as my provisions for the future, I have a 401k. I have a savings account. However, I don't count on that to get me by. Read Revelation if you feel so inclined. The content of that book is at the door, and I won't be around much longer to need that earthly crutch. Finally, I am not on a high horse. In fact, I think I've been very nice in answering the questions you've asked. Simply because we do not agree does not mean that I am acting in a manner that I have not been. The truth is I believe in God and you don't. My belief in God drives me actions and my lifestyle. I am proud of that.
Does "not a jot or tittle" ring a bell? Also, "No, Sonny.. you either accept the Bible in its entirety or you reject what it is in its entirety.". Are you saying accepting the bible in its entirety does not mean taking a literal interpretation? If you are able to reinterpret what it ways, all you're doing is trying to find a way around the things you don't want to take literally.
As for your 401k and savings, the fact that you don't rely completely on that is irrelevant. It is a thought for the future, and as such contradictory to a part of the sermon on the mount. Try to justify it in your mind all you want, but that doesn't change the reality. I don't see what Revelation has to do with anything at all.
Finally, you may not have realized it, but you've been giving non-answers until now, and even now you're trying to find something, anything, that you can use to justify not following everything in the bible.
Hawaii – I will leave it at this and say that the thread of literal interpretation, etc. was not what I had been discussing. Perhaps that word itself was misinterpreted. My dialogue was about immutibility, not interpretation. I wrote the word, but how it was understood by others was not how it was intended. The word immutible is what I had intended. In any case, I cannot make you believe as I do when clearly you do not want to. You have to make your own decisions. I gave answers to the best of my ability. I also seek no justification. If you see my words as having to justify myself, that is for you to make peace with, not me. My peace is made through my faith. I wish you the best, and I will pray for you. I will not return to this post to further respond or to view any of your further responses. I have said and responded as well as I am able. While it may not have reached you, there is nothing else I am capable of doing at this point. I must leave the rest to God. God bless you.
I normally don't go on this blog when I'm at home – too busy with the family and what not.
I appreciate your decorum while dealing with us heathens.
You mentioned that I was taking scripture out of context.
I am curious as to the context in which you believe these passages could be interpreted as something other than rampant misogyny.
Broun is a Genius! He should have contested for Presidency! He is solving so many problems with his notions. Now we do not have to worry about our declining position in Math and Science in the World. We don’t have to spend a dime on Science and Space exploration. We will solve the entire deficit problem with this. We can close all public schools because they teach all these hogwash and open private bible schools. We can stop education for Women, better yet, close down the entire Education system which Taliban believes too. We can fire all teachers, which will a budget surplus! Heck, we can give more tax cuts with that money. Without women education, we have solved our unemployment problem. We can believe that our earth is flat and sun revolves around us and America is center of earth. After all, Broun and Todd Akin serves on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
Religion should be and always stay a personal matter, and should not be mixed with politics. I have no tolerance for statements like "It (the bible) teaches us how to run all of public policy and everything in our society". There are enough examples in history and today (Iran, Saudi Arabia) when religion and ideology don't serve (most) people well. Everybody is allowed to practice any or no religion, but let's please stick with democracy when it comes to politics. Served us well for 200+ years.
Here we go..another religious fruitcake....
Apparently the congress man don,t know GOD as well as he thinks, because if he did he would know that evolution is GOD. GOD created everything, so the Big Bang Theory is how GOD did it. We have new forms of life even today. It took him 6 days one would say, well GOD days nobody knows how long they were or if his days are earth days. God is the creator and how he did it, well you will have to ask him yourself if it means that much to you.
This guy serves on the House Committee on Science?????????? OMG
I don't know which is scarier ..that this guy is a doctor or a politician...you see this is symptomatic of how bad things have gone..wing nuts like this guy in the old days had sense enough to keep their insane beliefs private and we as the public would have immediately dismissed him and he would never have been elected...but times have change and with the constant barrage of right wing insanity we have become desensitized and now the fringe wackos have been allowed to become mainstream...I remember watching Hannity who was angry because someone had the nerve to call Bush a liar after no WMDs were found ( and after hundreds of thousands of people were killed and billions of dollars spent on basically a lie) but now to call Obama a kenyan , socialist marxist, manchurian, not born in America foolish stupid and lazy ..well the right wing does not bat an eyelash...this is scary we need to keep Obama in
You actually watched Hannity? Know your enemy I guess.
This is who you want on the Science Committee?
No, no it's not. The fact that this man is an elected offical on the Science committee is scary.
Or the fact he's actually an elected official.
There should be an entrance exam to prove you are smart enough to run for congress...
The bible is a book of metaphors that should be used to help people lead better lives and shouldn't be taken literally. I mean seriously, do you really thing that Noah lived to be almost a thousand years old? And where did dinosaurs come from. Did God create the world with dinosaur fossils scattered throughout the world, or sea creature fossils in the middle of land hundreds of miles away from the ocean? There's room for evolution and creationism in your beliefs.
Police arrested the mother of a 16-month-old toddler girl after they found her living inside a trailer in Cleveland, Texas with c.o.ckroaches crawling all over her. After searching the property, police found a dead horse in the back yard along with other emaciated horses.
When police entered the home to confront the horses’ owners, they smelled what they believed to be rotting, decaying flesh and found a toddler with rashes and bug bites sitting among squalid conditions.
Ok – so I guess you don't like the fact that God gave people free will? And because this particular person used their free will in an unusual way, you are questioning the existence of God?
... and everyone wonders why we have a problem filling STEM jobs in the U.S.
I wonder how this story plays on Faux News?
I'm inspired that I am not the only one using the term "Faux News."
I would wager it get no play at all.
And this idjut sits on the science and technology committe?
He's projecting. Lies from Hell are when a supposed believer derides God's works because they do not fit within his particular scripture.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.