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Congressman Mark Souder says his highlight of the year was being on Ben Stein’s “Expelled.”

Posted by Andy D. on December 27, 2008

Sylvia Smith interviewed Congressman Mark Souder for the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette in which Souder states his “personal highlight of the year.”  The highlight is none other than being in Ben Stein’s anti-evolution propaganda movie, “Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed.”

You appeared on the big screen this year. What was that experience like?
The biggest single moment was (that) the movie “Expelled” came out on intelligent design. (The documentary about intelligent design – also called creationism – hosted by Ben Stein describes how some educational professionals have been blacklisted from universities and journals because they disagree with the theory of evolution.)

Rep. Souder just admitted that intelligent design is creationism.  The Supreme Court decision in Edwards v. Aguillard concluded creation science is religion and not science! Intelligent design is the latest failed evolution of trying to get religion into the science classroom starting with outright religion, creation science, intelligent design; and now it is academic freedom.  Intelligent Design was shown to be religion in Kitzmiller v. Dover in 2004.  The Discovery Institute which is the Seattle based ID think-tank tries not to mention who this mysterious intelligent “agent” designer is to avoid entanglement with the First Amendment.  Ben Stein walks all over that premise that ID isn’t really religion in “Expelled.”

Rep. Souder doesn’t say anything about the movie’s deceitful logical fallacy in which the movie attempted to blame evolutionary science for the Holocaust. I watched the movie “Valkyrie” starring Tom Cruise last night in which the opening contained the written oath swearing under God one’s support of Hitler. The people committing those horrible killings were mostly religious.  There is a big difference between artificial selection which was around long before the theory of natural selection.  Note, I am not saying religion caused the Holocaust.  Religion was the original source of the division and the extension of Martin Luther’s anti-Semitic zeitgeist; moreover, there was extreme hyperinflation, unemployment, WWI repercussions, shame due to false propaganda, extreme nationalism, rapid industrialization, anti-communism, secret police, and many more variables to make the times uncertain.  Religious and scientific institutions are used in these types of totalitarian movements and are manipulated.  In fact, the Anti-defamation League released a statement against Expelled’s premise.  Moreover, it is a non sequitur to say: if evolutionary theory caused the Holocaust (which it didn’t),  it disproves the authenticity of natural selection and common ancestry of all life.  Ben Stein and/or his producers blatantly quote-mined Darwin, not unlike the negative politics Joseph Goebbels used.

How did your role come about?
Ben Stein’s producer contacted our office about being in a movie off of the subcommittee report we had done on a researcher we believed had been persecuted and pushed around at the Smithsonian Institution because of his views on intelligent design.
He lost his office. He lost his keys. He lost his sponsorship. We were able, over a period of years, to get the e-mails behind this. This was a three-year fight.

First of all, Richard Sternberg was not a paid employee of the Smithsonian and he purposefully abused the scientific peer review process .  He waited until he was leaving the position of editor to release a pro-ID paper by the Discovery Institute’s own Stephen C. Meyer.  The paper was later unpublished and one may see why it wasn’t actual science here.
The lost keys and office are much to do about nothing, as it was part of a pre-planned event at the Smithsonian for bureaucratic reasons in which many people switched keys and offices including Sternberg.  For more on Souder, Sternberg, and the others involved go here and here.  Worst of all, most of this information is in the appendix of Souder’s own report!!!  Souder should know better and is most likely playing politics, as you will soon see.  See NCSE’s Expelled Exposed to see the complete story on all the manufactured “expelled-IDers.”

Was it the highlight of your year?
I personally believe that there is no issue more important to our society than intelligent design. I believe that if there wasn’t a purpose in designing you – regardless of who you view the designer as being – then, from my perspective, you can’t be fallen from that design. If you can’t be fallen from that design, there’s no point to evangelism.

Do you see Rep. Souder squirm on “who” the designer is?  Here Souder admits his religious biases.  His personal beliefs should be private and not be involved in science or politics.  It is a simple as that.  Souder needs to represent people of all faiths and those of no faith in his district.  This is extremely disturbing.  If he had his way, he would help turn America into a theocracy.

As an evangelical Christian, I believe the premise of a fall being at the core of reforming lives. I believe the concept of grace and forgiveness comes from having fallen from something.

Again, Mark Souder’s religious beliefs are off limits due to the “no religious test” in Article 6 of the constitution.  However, I am waiting to see if a non-religious person can take his place some day.  It seems there is a religious test for office.  Grace and forgiveness are not only evangelical ideals. They are ideals for everyone including secularists.  We should all appreciate honesty and full scientific inquiry free from meddling of religiously motivated politicians.  The scientific marketplace of ideas has spoken on intelligent design.  Scientific knowledge has to go through testing, hypothesis, must be falsifiable, peer reviewed, and repeatable with more testing before it gets anywhere near science school text books.  Telling students there is scientific alternative to the evolutionary theory is an outright lie.

Now, how that occurred – whether you believe in the young earth theory, gradual evolution, or whatever – is disputed. Those become religious. But whether there was a fundamental designer who developed a complex DNA molecular structure is critical. Since I view that as the most important thing in the world, yes, being in a movie that advanced that cause was the personal highlight of the year.

Rep. Souder thinks that young earth creation or old earth creationism is up to religious belief.  I somewhat agree.  One is entitled to his or her beliefs; however, one is not entitled to their own scientific facts.  The facts are the earth is close to 4.6 billions years old with roughly 4 billion years of evolution and common descent.  There are many religions that have accepted evolution and made their peace with it and one does not have to be an atheist to appreciate it.  Scientists state openly they don’t know how life was originally started and we may never know.  However,  science is much stronger here then Souder or Stein could even try to understand.  See the evolution of RNA into DNA.  Abiogenesis , the study of how the first life began, is technically not part of The Theory of Evolution by natural selection.  Mountains of evidence have been pouring in for a 150 years from many scientific disciplines.  The theory has never been stronger and a scientific theory is not a hunch, but it is the highest form of scientific knowledge.

Why didn’t you call more attention to being in a movie?
I thought this might be the hottest issue in my (re-election) race and that I would be so attacked, and it would bring out the social conservative base in ways we’d never seen.
From the time 2008 started, we could tell this was going to be a difficult political year. We went through a huge immigration debate. Then you moved to the $4 gas debate. Then the economy’s collapsing.

Mark Souder was counting on a culture war backlash to muster up support. The Republican ticket had the political winds against them;  Souder, therefore, was manufacturing a controversy to be reelected.  This is Machiavellian ugliness that Karl Rove played, and I think Americans are sick of it.   It turns out there was a very effective response to Stein’s propaganda film by NCSE and it was so effective there was no social conservative base backlash.  Souder won without it.  Most likely, the reason was he ran a better campaign against someone with little experience; and more likely this is just a Republican stronghold.  FreeThought Fort Wayne is the only group in Fort Wayne that has said anything about Souder’s involvement in Expelled and we are nobody compared to Souder’s influence.  The movie wasn’t very big either and it received horrible reviews by everyone who is not Rush Limbaugh or has a religious political agenda.  Of course, Souder was at the Sarah Palin rally in Fort Wayne that was all about anti-intellectualism and Souder sure knows his base.  “Expelled” is circulating in church basements as I write.  I am getting very sick of religion in politics.  I am pretty sure that this Jesus fellow who everyone keeps talking about would feel the same.

It is disappointing that Souder didn’t stick with helping the Veteran’s Hospital as the interview started with as his highlight of the year.  I congratulate him and want the best for our veterans, too.  Souder’s priorities are out of whack for bringing up his contribution to the tired culture war as his highlight of 2008,  the year that Republican became a dirty word.

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8 Responses to “Congressman Mark Souder says his highlight of the year was being on Ben Stein’s “Expelled.””

  1. Andy W. said

    Bravo! Well done, sir. You’re writing about a great interview, in that it really shows Souder displaying his true colors. What a smug, ignorant small-minded man, who not only revels in his ignorance, but tried to weasel out of the consequences of appearing in a documentary of this sort by sweeping it under the rug for his next campaign.

    I’m glad you took the time to cover this.

  2. agnohumanist said

    Excellent, Andy. Hard to believe that someone who holds such anti-intellectual views as Souder can hold on to a very influential position. It’s the 21st century, for crying out loud! It boggles the mind to contemplate his sheer unwillingness to examine the evidence, especially since he and his colleagues make vital decisions for our country based, supposedly, on evidence. Keep up the good work, Andy!

  3. Anthony said

    So political. Makes you wonder if he’s that way from true belief or it’s his political side winning votes of the churches. Dial him up Andy and Ask if he would like to do an interview. 😎

  4. littlejohn said

    I’ve only lived in Indiana for about 5 years, but I’m astonished that the Democrats have been unable to offer a serious challenge to this obvious chowderhead. And to think that he originally ran on an offer to serve only two terms.

    I wonder if he actually is so stupid he believes this crap or whether he’s sufficiently crafty that he’s pandering to, let’s face it, an unsophisticated electorate. (I’m allowed to say that: I’m from West Virginia. We handle snakes.)

    I suppose we can get some satisfaction from the critical and financial failure of “Expelled.” It’s already on DVD.

  5. Boomcoach said

    Well, I have to admit that I can’t think of anything Souder did that was any more worthwhile than his movie appearance. Unfortunately, this lack of substance did not stop him from being reelected.

  6. DuckPhup said

    In 2004 (and 2005), ‘dominionist’ congressmen made their first overt move, introducing the “Constitution Restoration Act of 2004” (HR 3799 IH). Souder was one of its sponsors…

    “The following proposed law will be added to Sec. 1260 of Title 28, Chapter 81 of the U.S. Code: ‘Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the SUPREME COURT SHALL NOT HAVE JURISDICTION to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against AN ELEMENT of Federal, State, or local government, or against AN OFFICER of Federal, State, or local government (WHETHER OR NOT ACTING IN OFFICIAL PERSONAL CAPACITY), by reason of that element’s or officer’s ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF GOD AS THE SOVEREIGN SOURCE OF LAW, LIBERTY, OR GOVERNMENT’.”

     
    Implications: Because the judiciary is ‘an element’ of the federal, state and local governments, this wording (if it were to become law) would allow any judge to institute biblical punishments without being subject to review by the Supreme Court or the federal court system.

    Presumably, this law would also give legal cover to a county judge or city magistrate who imposed the death penalty on somebody for working on the sabbath… or even shield off-duty cops who might decide to organize and deputize a mob for purposes of the stoning-to-death of a wayward wife (Leviticus 20:10), or somebody’s disobedient son or a promiscuous daughter (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).

    See…

    http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/6541

    http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/ConstitutionRestorationAct.htm

    The sponsors of this abomination are FAR greater threats to the USA than any terrorist…

  7. agnohumanist said

    DuckPhup–Thanks for the info and links on the Constitution Restoration Act. Wow…scary stuff. I don’t think it would fly, but just the idea that several members of Congress would sponsor such a bill infuriates me. Hey, everybody, check out the links and see for yourself.

  8. […] Congressman Mark Souder says his highlight of the year was being on Ben Stein’s “Ex… […]

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