Wednesday, October 17, 2012

THE WHOLE WORLD IS LAUGHING AT WALTON COUNTY



October 17, 2012

Faith is one thing, government another. Tell that to the Muslim religious extremists taking over Middle East and Asian countries. The babbling rabble dressed in sheets and sometimes comical headgear who aim to spread their most brutal rituals throughout the rest of the world.
Chopping off limbs, stoning to death, executing the adulterous woman while excusing her seducer, castrating young girls to deny them the enjoyment of sex...
The human rights violations are plentiful. This month in Pakistan, Taliban cowards gunned down 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai whose “crime” was a call for girls to receive an education.
We don’t go for the barbaric stuff, but blinkered faith is not confined to Muslim fanatics. Some of us think in a similar way.
When you let the dogmatic doctrinists run the show you invite bloodshed. And for what? My way to Heaven is better than yours therefore you’re the enemy. In Northern Ireland two branches of Christianity blew each other up for three decades leaving 3,600 dead (granted, there was also a social element involved). Two Islamist faiths, the Shia and the Sunni do the same today.
In Washington right now we have one of these religious extremists, our very own Paul Broun who claims the earth was created only nine thousand years ago and literally in six days. And who describes the Big Bang theory, embryology and evolution as “lies from the pit of hell.”
Local lawyer Larry Pruden beat me and most everyone else to the pen with his succinct condemnation is last week’s (Oct 10) Tribune. He is absolutely on the money: how can we keep electing such a man to Congress!
Today, Broun’s fundamentalist pronouncements to an audience at the Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell are all over the Internet and in the worldwide media. Yet the subject of global ridicule isn’t just Broun, it’s also: “what sort of people would choose a person like that to represent them!”.
That’s us and we have only ourselves to blame. Back in July we had the chance to replace this embarrassment – even without a Democratic or Independent challenger. Fellow Republican Stephen Simpson, a retired army lieutenant-colonel, a measured, decent family man looking to calm down the rhetoric... Instead, by two votes to one we gave it to Broun: what does that say about us?
Broun’s a medical doctor whose practice revolves solely around house calls; given his medieval religious beliefs does he still bleed his patients with leeches? Displaying his BSc in chemistry, he projects himself as a scientist - but his whole being is anti-science.
He called man-made climate change “one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated out of the scientific community.” Shortly thereafter, we and the rest of the world endured unprecedented floods and drought. Global warming right there.
There have been countless other signs our congressman isn’t quite, er, with the program. This is clear from his many off-the-wall outbursts, a number of them listed in my Walton Tribune article of a year ago (October 5, 2011). 
Compassion? Forget it. The Great White Hunter brags about shooting lions and a bear he got in the chest with a .375 magnum that took 15 minutes to die. He's not the macho hero he'd have us believe, just another despicable, heartless trophy hunter. And in July, he was one of only three who opposed a bill passed by the other 416 in Congress to restrict the sale of sick videos showing little animals being crushed to death. Broun's no animal lover.
But he loves God.
Since he takes the Bible literally he must also believe Methuselah really did live to be 969, that Lot’s wife was turned into an actual pillar of salt and that seven lean cows ate seven fat ones, for real. If he doesn’t, then he’s picking and choosing and that would make him a fraud. Which is what I'm sure he is.
Here’s what Broun said: “I hold the Holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington DC." Coming from anyone with a commonsense take on religion this might be a harmless statement.
The scariest aspect of this man’s presence in Congress, however, is his membership of the House Science Committee, making government decisions on space and technology. Here he sits, with equally nonsensical congressman Todd Akin (R: Missouri) – the guy who unveiled the magic vagina that shuts itself down when raped. These two kooks help decide the direction of America’s techno-future. Real scientists are appalled.
Bill Nye The Science Guy is only one of them. He said: "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." And he added that Broun is “by any measure, unqualified to make decisions about science, space, and technology."
Thomas Jefferson was correct, we have to separate faith from government. If we don't, we’re the western equivalent of Iran’s ayatollahs.
As an aside, note the enormous damage former Georgia State Secretary Karen Handel did by forcing her religious dogma onto the Susan G. Komen breast cancer organization. It still hasn’t recovered.
Broun already holds the dubious honor of being labeled the Dumbest Guy In Congress. Now the entire world is also laughing at us, the people who placed this unscientific scientist into our government.
But it’s no laughing matter

ENDIT
 
However, I must add that this article flushed out several of the people who go along with Paul Broun's extreme theology. These locals were outraged enough that they posted comments condemning the Walton Tribune for publishing this article. One was smugly certain I hadn't interviewed every person in the world about Broun. True enough - I missed some. One falsely claimed I said the world is "laughing at Christians".  Another twisted the truth also, alleging Broun was being "persecuted because he is a Christian".
If these individuals can distort the clear meaning of an article, imagine what they are able to do the the Bible.
To re-state the point: Broun, who insists his Washington activities are guided by his faith,  is bringing his anti-scientific ideas onto the House Science Committee on which he sits. He is thereby hindering this country's advances in science and should be removed from that position.
The comments may be read at: http://www.waltontribune.com/opinion/columns/fred_wehner/article_900c8d52-17d3-11e2-86d9-0019bb2963f4.html


© 2012 Fred Wehner is a journalist formerly with the Daily Mail in London, who then founded and ran the New York News Agency before settling in Monroe 21 years ago.