Republican says evolution, Big Bang theory 'lies straight from the pit of hell'

A Republican lawmaker is raising eyebrows for leaked comments in which he says evolution and the Big Bang theory are "lies straight from the pit of hell."

ADVERTISEMENT
Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), 66, was speaking to a church audience when he said scientific explanations for the Earth's origins are lies to keep people from accepting Christianity.

He also professed his belief in Young Earth creationism, saying the planet is "about 9,000 years old" and "was created in six days as we know them."

Broun represents a district based in Athens, Ga. He is a physician, a member of the House Committee on Science and Technology, and is running opposed for reelection. 

Another Republican on the House Science Committee, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), caused a national firestorm in August when he said that victims of "legitimate" rape have a biological defense against pregnancy. Akin has since apologized.

Broun's "pit of hell" remarks were made Sept. 27 at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Ga. They  surfaced online in a short video provided to Talking Points Memo by a progressive watchdog group, The Bridge Project.

Broun's spokeswoman responded to the clip with a brief statement to a local Georgia paper.

"Dr. Broun was speaking off the record to a large church group about his personal beliefs regarding religious issues," Meredith Griffanti told the Athens Banner-Herald.

A request for further comment from Griffanti was not immediately returned.

In the video, Broun stands in front of a wall hung entirely with hunting trophies, speaking of his belief in the literal truth of the Bible.

"God's word is true," Broun told the audience at the Liberty Baptist Sportsman's Banquet.

"I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, the Big Bang theory — all of that is lies straight from the pit of hell. And it’s lies to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior," he said.

Broun, who studied chemistry as an undergraduate, added that "as a scientist," he has found "a lot of scientific data … that actually showed that this really is a young Earth."

The congressman also praised the Bible as a source for "how to run public policy and everything in society."

"And that's the reason," he added, "as your congressman, I hold the Holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C."