AUSTIN — The second most powerful member of the Texas House has circulated a Georgia lawmaker’s call for a broad assault on teaching of evolution.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, used House operations Tuesday to deliver a memo from Georgia state Rep. Ben Bridges.
The memo assails what it calls “the evolution monopoly in the schools.”
Mr. Bridges’ memo claims that teaching evolution amounts to indoctrinating students in an ancient Jewish sect’s beliefs.
“Indisputable evidence — long hidden but now available to everyone — demonstrates conclusively that so-called ‘secular evolution science’ is the Big Bang, 15-billion-year, alternate ‘creation scenario’ of the Pharisee Religion,” writes Mr. Bridges, a Republican from Cleveland, Ga. He has argued against teaching of evolution in Georgia schools for several years.
He then refers to a Web site, www.fixedearth.com, that contains a model bill for state Legislatures to pass to attack instruction on evolution as an unconstitutional establishment of religion.
Mr. Bridges also supplies a link to a document that describes scientists Carl Sagan and Albert Einstein as “Kabbalists” and laments “Hollywood’s unrelenting role in flooding the movie theaters with explicit or implicit endorsement of evolutionism.”
Mr. Chisum said he knows Mr. Bridges from their joint service on a committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“That is a courtesy to a member of the Georgia legislature, is all that is,” said Mr. Chisum, a social conservative who opposes abortion rights and wants the state to prefer heterosexuals over gays and lesbians in recruiting foster parents. He authored the 2005 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
Mr. Chisum was asked if Mr. Bridges’ memo reflects his own views.
“No, absolutely, although I’m a Christian, and I believe in creation,” he said. Creation science is the idea that the Earth was created in six days some 6,000 years ago.
“You ought to teach creation as well as the fact of evolution,” Mr. Chisum said, though he said “all of those kinds of sciences have holes in them. … But I’m not about teaching religion in schools.”