Broun’s Crazy-Talk Just About “Religion,” Not Science or Politics

Faithful readers may recall that I lost it a bit last Friday in reaction to watching a video of Rep. Paul Broun, Jr. (R-GA) speaking to a Baptist Sportsmen’s group and deploring various scientific teachings as “lies from the pit of Hell.”

Now Broun’s office is telling the media they had no bidness publishing his crazy-talk, reports TPM’s Benjy Sarlin:

Now a spokeswoman for Broun, Meredith Griffanti tells CNN Broun will not comment on his remarks. But she added that they weren’t meant for public consumption and that Broun was “speaking off the record to a large church group about his personal beliefs regarding religious issues.” The church group posted a publicly available video of his full speech on YouTube after the event.

Aside from the incongruity of calling a speech “off the record” when its host put the whole unholy mess up on YouTube, I am not assuaged by Team Broun’s claims that this was a non-political address on his personal religious beliefs. For one thing, when your position is that the Bible (and your highly questionable interpretation of same) is a “manufacturer’s handbook for how to run all of public policy and everything in society,” any distinction between religion and politics has obviously been obliterated.

And for another, as I said originally, Broun’s views are highly offensive on religious grounds, not least to Christians who find his view of the Bible as a “manufacturer’s handbook” profoundly unspiritual and perhaps even sacrilegious. If Broun wants to divinize his reactionary social views, he should just construct an idol–maybe in his own self-righteous image. Leave the Bible out of it, and don’t pretend you’re not playing politics, either. You clearly don’t know the difference between religion and politics, Congressman.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.