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Pandering is a tool of devilish politicians

Posted: October 9, 2012 - 11:03pm

About once a week, I get an email from a group that purports to be in direct contact with God. Nothing unusual there; a great many people, me included, believe they have regular conversations with their Creator.

What makes these missives different is that they claim God is telling them the United States is about to be destroyed by terrorist cells planted in the country.

The pieces go into great detail, including supposedly quoting God at great length – complete with lots of “yea, verilies,” which I’m pretty sure even God finds dated. And I’m certain they’re as phony as the radio preacher who last year claimed the world was about to be destroyed. Twice. (It wasn’t.)

Most of us probably laugh that sort of thing off as a product of the overzealous fringe. But how do we take bizarre comments from our own congressman?

A video of U.S. Rep. Paul Broun’s speech to the 2012 Sportsman’s Banquet at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Ga., recently picked up news coverage. Among other comments, Broun – a medical doctor – called evolution, embryology and the “big bang” theory “lies straight from the pit of hell.”

He went on to espouse “young earth” theory, which claims the planet is less than 10,000 years old despite all evidence to the contrary.

Now, our community is full of smart people, including a great many physicians and researchers with far more substantial medical and scientific experience than Broun. Most of those people are probably groaning in dismay to hear their congressman make such scientifically absurd (and, in some cases, even biblically suspect) claims.

“Dr. Broun was speaking off the record to a large church group about his personal beliefs regarding religious issues,” his spokesman responded via email to a question from a reporter.

Let me translate: “Dr. Broun never expected his comments to leave the room.”

Heck, I’ll go even further: Either Broun earned his medical degree by mail-order, or he doesn’t believe a single word he said.

I’m pretty sure he has a legitimate degree – he did, after all, spend time right here at the Medical College of Georgia – so I’m going with the latter explanation.

Simply put: Broun is pandering, saying what that audience wanted to hear.

Is this what we’ve come to? We’re OK with disingenuous politicians as long as they mouth the right words? If so, why should we be surprised to hear that John Barrow cuts pro-Obama ads for use in the black community, and pro-Republican ads for white audiences?

I sure do miss Charlie Norwood. He said what he meant and he meant what he said. He was a physician, too – and I’m pretty sure he never dismissed all that science and book learnin’ as just a tool of the devil.

God help us.

(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. Email barry.paschal@newstimes online.com, or call 706-863-6165, extension 106. Follow at twitter.com/

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Comments (8)


Dr. Broun is a politician.

A fact. Enough said. When you choose to become a part of this elite group of American citizens you leave you "true faith" at the door. Faith is about the intangible and hope. Faith is personal. After all, religion is not a criteria for public service. Why then would any ethical behavior be a criteria.

Politics is about controlling people. Today this is done with show over substance.

Pres. Carter by all of his "fruits" is a Communist. But he teaches Sunday School in a Baptist Church.

Pres Obama ridiculed rural Americans for holding on to their guns and religion. While at the same time arming Arabs so they could hold on to their guns and defend their religion.

Mitt Romney has not offered to be "baptized by proxy" for all those who vote for him. But he could.

JFK believed that Roman Catholic artifacts actually "secreted human blood" at certain times of the year.

Reception is the key. If we personally like a politician, then all he says is gold. Kind of how we pick friends.

If one was a true disciple, and his Master said that His Kingdom was not of this present world system, why would one become involved in an evil world system? Why would one do more than provide for his family, pay taxes, pray for those in authority and tell others about the saving grace of Jesus Christ?



Barry, it may have been better journalism on your behalf to have investigated the Intelligent Design theory a little more before making such a condensending, dismissive statement. People who do have for more education than you and I in these scientific areas hold this theory to be more credible given the evidence than what you hold to be as irrefutable truth. Even many evolutionists are now backing away from Darwinism because the evidence is proving to be contrary to what he theorized.

As for the response from his staff about him expressing his religious beliefs they were simply stating that he was not speaking from his elected position but instead "his personal beliefs". Maybe it has nothing to do with what you state as truth of his "his comments never leaving the room".

To me it sounds like you were expressing "your personal beliefs" by condemning Broun's.

Carefully consinder Barry you may be guilty of the very thing you accuse him of, pandering to your audience.


Yes and Yes

Is this what we’ve come to? We’re OK with disingenuous politicians as long as they mouth the right words? If so, why should we be surprised to hear that John Barrow cuts pro-Obama ads for use in the black community, and pro-Republican ads for white audiences?

And it did not just start in the 21 century. Ads in FL for Obama are much different that in the CSRA. TV programing and we suspect news articles are demographically different all over the country. Site specific. Who is the target audience? Local news is the same. Journalism be damned.

Whatever it takes to get votes. That is why politics is a dirty game and those who get involved get dirty.

Hey, we are OK with disingenuous ministers in the pulpit. Which is more important.

Little Lamb

Nobody Knows

Let's face it, Paul Broun does not know how old the earth is. But then, neither does Stephen Hawking. In fact, absolutely no one in the world knows how old the world is; or the universe for that matter. There is simply no way to measure events that pre-date human consciousness.


Pledge of Allegiance

I wonder if he said the Pledge of Allegiance, too, in his special way?

Barry Paschal

No pandering from me, Appling Born

Appling Born: A pandering politician is one who says or does something not because he believes in it, but because he wants to curry favor with a particular group. I don't pander. I say what I mean, and I mean what I say. Like it or not, take it or leave it.

And what I said - very clearly, I believe - is that I don't think for one minute Broun believed a word he said. He was simply saying what he thought that particular audience wanted to hear, and undoubtedly thought it wouldn't leave the room. THAT'S what I believe.

Feel free to believe whatever you want.

Local Interests

ID Is Not A Theory

ID is an fundamental non-scientific interpretation of some biblical writings of unknown origin. There is nothing scientific about it. It is in no way a required belief for monotheism.

Evolution is virtually universally accepted by the scientific community. In fact, it is the complete basis of biological study.

There is NO trend away from evolution. In fact, recent discoveries in the area of genetics only strengthens the theory (which is used in the strictest scientific meaning. Gravity is also considered a theory).

I certainly hope Broun is not a typical example of the people to whom MCG bestows an M.D.

For those who are interested in an actual education, I recommend reading "Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul" by Kenneth R. Miller.


George Wallace and Pandering

George Wallace, early in his career, lost to a staunch segregationist. After that election he said no one would ever out (racial epithet) him again.

Paul Broun is saying, "Ain't nobody going to out 'young earth' me."