Equally concerning, Farmer said, is that Broun sits on the House Science Committee, which has direct oversight over agencies including NASA, the National Weather Service and the National Science Foundation. There's no evidence that Broun has targeted scientists or institutions who do not share his beliefs.
Instead, Broun has used his influence to seek help from scientific organizations that support what the lawmaker dismissed as lies. In 2008, Broun asked the National Science Foundation — which hosts a website explaining Darwin's work — to help Augusta State University so it could award scholarships to students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics, according to a letter released under the Freedom of Information Act.
Still, Farmer said Broun should resign his committee seat or be removed if he dismisses the fundamental pillars of physics, geology and biology that tell us how the universe began, how old the Earth is and how the human race evolved over long periods of time.
"In this particular case, if you truly don't understand or accept the basic tenets of modern science, I find it difficult to see how you could be making basic judgments about science policy," Farmer said.
It's not the first time that Broun has made controversial political statements.
In 2008, Broun said he feared President-elect Barack Obama would establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist dictatorship. He greatly stretched the truth by claiming a proposed United Nations treaty on firearms could legally set the stage for gun confiscation in the United States. He sees the hand of God in his own life, for example, crediting Christ for election to Congress in 2007 in a special election to fill the unexpired term of Rep. Charlie Norwood, who died from cancer that year.
In his recent speech to the church banquet, Broun also credited God with helping him shoot a charging lion in the face during a big game hunt in Africa.
"Frankly, I believe God directed that bullet," he said. "Because if I missed, that lion would have been in the back of the truck with me. I would have been clawed up and hurt badly."
Bynum reported from Savannah. Follow Ray Henry at http://twitter.com/rhenryAP
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