Statement by Annie Laurie Gaylor
Freedom From Religion Foundation
It's almost too delicious. Just in time for the anniversary today of the birth of Charles Darwin, Wisconsin's own Governor Scott Walker, who was speaking Wednesday in London, "punted," as he put it — not on the Thames — but on evolution.
The presidential hopeful was asked by Justin Webb, a presenter for BBC Radio 4: "Are you comfortable with the idea of evolution, do you believe in it, do you accept it?"
"For me, I'm going to punt on that one," Walker said. Walker added that evolution is an issue "a politician shouldn't be involved with one way or the other."
This, said in country that commemorates the greatest scientist of all times, a product of their nation, on its ten-pound note? It wouldn't be so bad if Walker was an anomaly. But as we religiously point out at FFRF, the United States is already so embarrassingly dummy-downed. Polls and surveys consistently reveal that from 42 to over 50% of adult U.S. citizens embrace creationism, and reject evolution.
Our question to Scott Walker is: If it's inappropriate for a governor and presidential aspirant to "get involved" in evolution, why then is it appropriate for Walker in his official capacity as governor to so publicly espouse his faith? Walker can't have it both ways.
Walker, 47, the son of a Baptist preacher who grew up in Colorado Springs, Colo., a hotbed of fundamentalism, just held a super-religious inauguration last month, which FFRF took complaints over. Walker has made many a gratuitous remark as governor promoting god belief.
Matt Rothschild reported in The Progressive, about Walker's remarks in 2009 to the Madison Christian Businessmen's Committee. Walker told them that by the age of 13, he realized: "I'm going to trust in you Christ to tell me where to go. And to the best of my ability I'm going to obey where you lead me."
In painstaking detail, Walker listed that God dictated to him what jobs to take, who to marry (gee, how romantic), when to run for governor. Walker concluded that it's all about "trust and obey." Walker urged everyone "to turn your life over 100 percent to what Christ tells you what to do."
Matt was kind enough to quote me in that article:
"It is frightening that the highest executive in our state suffers from the delusion that God dictates his every move. Consider the personal and historic devastation inflicted by fanatics who think they are acting in the name of their deity."
Perhaps in a lame attempt at damage control, an aide emailed NBC News a subsequent statement from Walker:
"Both science and my faith dictate my belief that we are created by God," he said. "I believe faith and science are compatible, and go hand in hand."
A campaign spokesperson "punted" again when asked to clarify whether Walker's statement means he believes in evolution or creationism. But no punting's necessary.
As Freethought Today editor Bill Dunn, puts it: "Walker is proof that evolution is not fool-proof."