Broun Camp Stays Quiet After Evolution Remarks
By Cameron McWhirter
The office of U.S. Rep. Paul C. Broun (R., Ga.) wasn’t commenting Monday following the widespread dissemination late last week of the video in which Mr. Broun, a doctor, labeled evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory “lies straight from the pit of hell.”
Mr. Broun’s spokeswoman, Meredith Griffanti, didn’t return calls for comment. Mr. Broun’s office was closed for Columbus Day and its voicemail box was full. The video of Mr. Broun’s remarks has been removed from the Liberty Baptist Church website and the church’s pastor, Michael Griffin Sr., didn’t return calls for comment. The remarks, however, are now widely available across the web, including on YouTube.
Mr. Broun, a conservative Republican who is running unopposed this November, sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
He made his remarks at a hunter’s banquet at the Liberty Baptist Church of Hartwell, Ga., on Sept. 27. The remarks were then posted on the church’s website. Mr. Broun’s district, which covers the northeast portion of the state, is heavily conservative and evangelical, though it includes the liberal city of Athens, home to the University of Georgia.
“All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell,” he said at the banquet. “And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”
Mr. Broun went on to say that he believed the earth was about 9,000 years old, an age rejected by most scientists as far too young. Scientists put the age of the earth at about 4.5 billion to 5 billion years.
The comments received sharp criticism from various quarters. Bill Nye, a popular science educator, condemned the remarks on the Huffington Post and conservative radio talk show host Neal Boortz tweeted Monday that, “Voters in Paul Broun’s Congressional District (Ga. 10) should write in Charles Darwin on the ballot this year.”
UPDATE: Monday afternoon, Liberty Baptist Church, the church where Mr. Broun made his remarks, re-posted a video of the event on its website. Senior pastor Michael Griffin Sr., told the Wall Street Journal that they had received positive and negative emails and telephone calls since the story broke, so they initially decided to take the video down. They decided to repost it because they believe in a Biblical world view and Mr. Broun’s remarks supported that view, he said.