Virginia GOP Chair Insults Darwin on his Birthday
February 20, 2009
Virginia GOP Chair Jeff Frederick delivered a special message to the Virginia House of Delegates on Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday (February 12, which coincides with Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday). As seen in a video posted on People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch , Frederick used the occasion to bash Darwin, "best known for the theory of evolution, arguing that men are not only, quote, are only, not, not created, but they are not equal, as some are more evolved . . . Darwin’s theory was used by atheists to explain away the belief in God"—and to contrast him with Lincoln, "best know [sic], as you all well know, for freeing the slaves by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation affirming in his Gettyburg (sic) Address in 19, I’m sorry, 1863 . . ."
Confused? Me too. But not as much as Frederick. As reported in a recent NY Times article commemorating Darwin’s bicentennial, the great biologist came from a family of ardent abolitionists, condemned slavery, and was revolted by what he saw in slave countries: “Near Rio de Janeiro I lived opposite to an old lady, who kept screws to crush the fingers of her female slaves. I have stayed in a house where a young household mulatto, daily and hourly, was reviled, beaten and persecuted enough to break the spirit of the lowest animal . . . It makes one’s blood boil, yet heart tremble, to think that we Englishmen and our American descendants, with their boastful cry of liberty, have been and are so guilty."
Apparently this is not the first time Frederick has fudged the facts to suit his odd worldview. During the 2008 election, TIME Magazine reporter Karen Tumulty caught Frederick feeding McCain campaign volunteers with some odd talking points to use in door-to-door canvassing — "for instance, the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden: ‘Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon,’ [Frederick] said. ‘That is scary.’ It is also not exactly true." It does have the ring of Truthiness , which seems to be all that anti-evolutionists require.
Thanks to Josh Glasstetter of People for the American Way for this story.