Chisum Launches Attack On Evolution
Appropriations Chairman Should Focus on Budget, Not Culture Wars
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2007
The second most powerful member of the Texas House should refocus his efforts on passing a good state budget, not promoting fringe ideas that would embarrass the state and threaten the education of our schoolchildren, the president of the Texas Freedom Network said today.
“The House is in danger of becoming a breeding ground for fringe ideas instead of a body for serious lawmaking,” TFN President Kathy Miller said. “Does Rep. Chisum really believe that our children should learn that the earth stands still while the rest of the universe revolves around it? The fact that we are even discussing this should be alarming to all Texans.”
Extremists have targeted the theory of evolution in a number of states. Just yesterday, the Kansas Board of Education repealed curriculum guidelines that attacked the theory of evolution and promoted creationism in science classes. That action was in direct response to the rout anti-evolution extremists suffered at the polls last November. Ironically, we learned today that state Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, circulated a memo that would take Texas in the opposite direction. That memo, authored by Georgia lawmaker Ben Bridges, claims the theory of evolution is part of an anti-religious plot with roots in an ancient Jewish sect.
“That kind of nonsense will make our state a laughingstock and undermine the education of all our school kids,” Miller said. “I’m sure that all of the states that compete with Texas for high tech and research jobs would love to see Texas send our kids into the 21st century with a 19th century education.”
Chisum is chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. The memo he distributed links to a Web site (www.fixedearth.com) promoting the claim that the sun and rest of the universe revolve around a stationary Earth. The Web site’s diatribes against “Talmud/Kabbala-based Judaism” also play on anti-Semitic stereotypes:
“What kind of ‘Jewish physics’ is it that has garnered 26% of all the Nobel Prizes awarded to all the Physicists in the world when the total Jewish population is only ? of 1 percent of the world’s population?… The stated theological mission of Talmud/Kabbala-based Judaism is to destroy the credibility of Jesus and Bible-based Christianity.”
“By distributing this outrageous memo, Rep. Chisum provided a platform for claims that are at best ridiculous, and at worst, hateful,” Miller said.
The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of religious and community leaders who advance a mainstream agenda supporting public education, religious freedom and individual liberties.