Tennessee Governor’s Race: They’re All Creationists

THE last time we posted on this topic was Tennessee Governor’s Race: Incurable Creationism. The comments indicated some skepticism about whether all the candidates were, in fact, full-blown creationists.

We don’t like ambiguity in such matters. Either a politician is a creationist or he isn’t, and if he isn’t then we want him to be honest enough to say so, clearly, without trying to have it both ways. That’s why, when a politician gives a response which leaves the matter in doubt, we assume he’s a creationist — or at least he’s happy to pander to them — which is just as bad.

We now have evidence that the Democrat candidate in the Tennessee Governor’s race, Mike McWherter, is indeed of the Noah’s Ark persuasion. In the Nashville Scene, a weekly newspaper from Nashville, Tennessee we read While Republicans hardliners nip at Bill Haslam’s heels, Mike McWherter rolls over and plays dead.

At the start of the article they inform us that “early voting begins this week in their Republican gubernatorial primary.” That’s interesting. The actual date for the election is 05 August.

But what attracted us to the article is its discussion of the same debate about which we wrote a few days ago, and of what happened afterward. Here it is, with bold added by us:

The fireworks went off when the candidates were allowed to ask each other questions. It got so rough Wamp [GOP, U.S. Rep.] felt compelled to apologize a couple times. “The higher you go on the flagpole,” he told Haslam [GOP, Knoxville Mayor] at one point, “the harder the wind blows.”

An internet vulgarian would attempt a joke at this point, but your Curmudgeon is running a family-friendly blog so we’ll pass up that opportunity. This next excerpt is about the three Republicans who are trying to win their party’s nomination:

The morning after, Haslam went home, giving his rivals free rein to do it all over again during a debate on Nashville’s WTN right-wing radio. When they grew weary of bashing Haslam, Wamp and Ramsey turned on each other.

Standard stuff. It gets better as the article talks about McWherter, the lone Democrat candidate. He has fund-raising problems:

To be sure, not all of McWherter’s money troubles are his fault. Republicans are riding high in the year of the Tea Party, and Democrats are dispirited. But at the same time, he isn’t helping himself with tepid, fence-straddling answers like several of those he gave at the debate.

He conceded “there’s a place for talking about evolution in our schools” as long as it didn’t interfere too much with the teaching of intelligent design.

All clear now? According to the Nashville Scene, even the Dem is a creationist. Here’s how the article ends:

With a Democrat like this, why not vote for a Republican? Don’t think a lot of Tennessee Democrats aren’t starting to ask themselves the same question.

So this is where matters stand: The voters in Tennessee will choose one of three creationists to be the GOP candidate for Governor on 05 August; and the winner of that contest will run against a Democrat creationist in the general election on 02 November.

Hey, it’s Tennessee. Memories of William Jennings Bryan and the Scopes Trial are still strong.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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7 responses to “Tennessee Governor’s Race: They’re All Creationists

  1. Hi SC. Thanks for posting current events. I just registered and added a comment to that Nashville article. It might not stay up long!

    I suggest that if politicians actively sabotage the science education of American children in public schools, they should be tried for treason.

    There are probably legal issues with this ever happening, but it makes sense to me since when they do so they are hurting our country and humanity, and not bringing any honor to their religion either.

  2. The Bicycling Guitarist says:

    I suggest that if politicians actively sabotage the science education of American children in public schools, they should be tried for treason.

    But … but … the Founders were creationists!

  3. Gabriel Hanna

    He conceded “there’s a place for talking about evolution in our schools” as long as it didn’t interfere too much with the teaching of intelligent design.

    I would have to see the actual quote, not someone’s interpretation of it.

    The only quote I have been able to find so far is this

    “I think there’s a place to talk about evolution in our public schools, but I prefer a more traditional curriculum. We can blend science and religion in that regard. The two do not have to contradict each other,” he said.

    and this doesn’t MEAN anything.

    In April the four candidates had this to say:


    5) Do you accept evolution — the proposition that cumulative changes occur in a population over time — as scientific fact? Do you support or oppose efforts to introduce the teaching of theories such as intelligent design, which holds that some aspects of the universe and of living things are best explained by an “intelligent cause”?

    Haslam: “I believe that our children should master the tools of modern biology and that they should be encouraged to critically examine every theory. Personally, I view my Christian faith and understanding of science as complementary to each other and not in conflict.”

    Ramsey: “I believe intelligent design and evolution should both be taught in public schools. To choose one or the other would ignore the beliefs of large numbers of Tennesseans. Our young people are smart enough to come to their own conclusions if both sides are presented fairly.”

    Wamp: “I believe that God created the world we live in and crafted human beings in his own image, and I also believe in the scientific evolution of other species. However, most decisions on local school curriculum are best left to local school boards, educators and parents to debate and decide.”

    McWherter: “I believe that evolution is founded in science and should be taught in science classes at school. That does not preclude my belief and faith in God. I believe in God, and what I have learned in church has not only helped strengthen my faith, but my children’s faith as well.”

    I’d conclude from this that two of the Republican candidates are creationists, one is a weasel who won’t make it clear, and McWherter isn’t a creationist but isn’t going to buck his constituents on the issue.

  4. I actually have a transcript of that part of the debate and a link to an audio file:


  5. Thanks, John Pieret. But I can’t force myself to listen. You’ve heard their answers to the evolution question. Are they all creationists?

  6. Are they all creationists?

    I think they’re much, much worse … they’re politicians!

    Listening to the debate, I would have supposed that McWherter and Haslam probably weren’t but McWherter was willing to pander to them … as was Haslam, but a little less so.

    I would have guessed that Ramsey and Wamp certainly were, as Gabriel’s quotes above confirm.

  7. Much appreciated, John. Seeing the words in print sometimes doesn’t do the job — especially in the case of politicians who are skilled in deception. It also helps to listen as they speak. But even then one can’t trust them. I’m only satisfied if someone comes out and forthrightly says that evolution is science and creationism isn’t. None of the Tennessee crowd is honest.