Ask Bobby Jindal About His Creationism
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is on Meet the Press this Sunday; David Gregory has a post on his blog asking for questions: The View From Here: I need YOUR thoughts on Jindal. (Hat tip: Cronus.)
Thinking about the interview with Governor Bobby Jindal Sunday. He’s thought to be a serious GOP contender for 2012. He was on the short list to be McCain’s veep last year. And he’s been chosen to give the response to President Obama Tuesday after the address to Congress. So what do you want to know about him that would help you determine whether he’s a serious contender for the White House.
I’m listening and hoping you will comment.
Here are some things I’d like to see Jindal address.
Everything the media tried to pin on Sarah Palin, Jindal actually did: he promoted and signed a creationism bill (with help from the Discovery Institute), he took part in an amateur exorcism and claimed it cured a woman of cancer, and possibly worst of all, he pals around with people on the extreme edges of fundamentalist Christianity, and at least one person who has associated with outright neo-Nazis: Bobby Jindal’s Creationism and Alliance with David Barton.
Who is David Barton?
In 1991 Barton addressed the Rocky Mountain Bible Retreat of Pastor Pete Peters’ Scriptures for America, a group that espouses the racist “Christian Identity” theology. Advocates of this bizarre dogma insist that white Anglo-Saxons are the “true” chosen people of the Bible and charge that today’s Jews are usurpers. Aside from being a virulent anti-Semite, Peters has advocated the death penalty for homosexuals. According to the Anti-Defamation League, other speakers at the event included white supremacist leader and 1992 presidential candidate James “Bo” Gritz, a leader of the radical and increasingly violent militia movement, and Malcolm Ross, a Holocaust denier from Canada. In November of that same year, Barton spoke at Kingdom Covenant College in Grants Pass, Oregon, another “Christian Identity” front group with ties to Peters.
Asked to explain these actions, Barton’s reply amounted to a not very creative “I didn’t know they were Nazis” dodge. In a July 1993 letter, Barton assistant Kit Marshall wrote, “At the time we were contacted by Pete Peters, we had absolutely no idea that he was ‘part of the Nazi movement.’ He contacted us for David to speak for Scriptures for America. The title is quite innocuous. In all the conversations that I personally had with Pete Peters, never once was there a hint that they were part of a Nazi movement. I would also like to point out that simply because David Barton gives a presentation to a group of people does not mean that he endorses all their beliefs.” An excuse like that might have washed one time, but it stretches the bounds of credulity to accept that Barton was twice duped by innocuous-sounding extremist organizations.
UPDATE at 2/21/09 8:40:59 am:
More details on that amateur exorcism:
UPDATE at 2/21/09 9:36:35 am:
More troubling connections to extreme fundamentalists; Jindal’s ‘Louisiana Commission on Marriage and Family’ is loaded with fundamentalists and creationists, including Tony Perkins and Gene Mills of the Family Research Council.
In 2001, Perkins addressed the Council of Conservative Citizens (successor organization to the anti-integration White Citizens Council) - a known racist group with an agenda of white supremacy.
The Nation claims that in 1996, Perkins paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,000 for use of his mailing list. At the time, Perkins was campaign manager for Louis E. “Woody” Jenkins, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Louisiana. The Federal Election Commission fined the Jenkins campaign $3,000 for attempting to hide the money paid to Duke. The Family Research Council says Blumenthal’s claims about Perkins’ connection to David Duke are false; FRC adds that Duke’s “connection was not known to Mr. Perkins until 1999. Mr. Perkins profoundly opposes the racial views of Mr. Duke and was profoundly grieved to learn that Duke was a party to the company that had done work for the 1996 campaign.”