EPA administrator Scott Pruitt disses evolution, espouses theocracy, doubts whether carbon dioxide causes global warming, asserts that God gave us the right to have all guns

March 4, 2018 • 1:00 pm

Politico has just revealed that Scott Pruitt, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), espoused some pretty bizarre and goddy views on an Oklahoma radio show in 2005. Granted, that’s 13 years ago, but have his views changed? Given his faith, probably not, and they were posted on his campaign website when he ran for Oklahoma attorney general in 2010. Nobody’s talking now, but Christian Congresspeople defend his craziness and even his right to infuse his policies with extremist Christian mores:

EPA would not say this week whether any of Pruitt’s positions have changed since 2005. Asked whether the administrator’s skepticism about a major foundation of modern science such as evolution could conflict with the agency’s mandate to make science-based decisions, spokesman Jahan Wilcox told POLITICO that “if you’re insinuating that a Christian should not serve in capacity as EPA administrator, that is offensive and a question that does not warrant any further attention.”

. . . Republicans in Congress defended Pruitt, saying his religious beliefs should factor into how he does his job.

“All of us are people of faith and obviously influenced by our faith and the role it played in our life … and continue[s] to play in our life on a daily basis,” said Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which oversees EPA. “It’s a part of who we are.”

Sen. Jim Inhofe, a fellow Oklahoman, said Pruitt’s faith does and should play a role in his work.

“He’s a believer. He is a Jesus guy. He believes in the principles,” Inhofe said. “I think it does [have an impact], and I think it has to. Anyone who denies that that has an impact isn’t being totally honest.”

He’s of course a Republican. Two of the radio show’s statements tweeted out by Politico:

That’s scary for someone running a science-based department! Politico adds this:

Two years earlier [than the show], Pruitt had supported an unsuccessful bill that would have required textbooks in Oklahoma to carry a disclaimer that evolution is a theory. The show hosts joked that Pruitt had been compared to Adolf Hitler and the Taliban for backing the measure.

“I’m a bit better-looking than them,” Pruitt quipped. “My wife tells me so anyway.”

Should I send this joker my book?

But wait! There’s more! He thinks a judicial monarchy consistently misinterprets the First Amendment and is out to get religion:

But wait! There’s still more! His views on global warming (remember, he’s the EPA administrator):

Even some issues that aren’t explicitly faith-based, such as global warming and fossil fuel production, have often split different groups of religious believers. Some polls show that less than 30 percent of white evangelical Protestants believe that human activity is the driving factor behind climate change.

And Pruitt has echoed that sentiment, telling CNBC last year that he did not believe carbon dioxide was a primary contributor to climate change. Last week, he told the Christian broadcaster CBN News that he supports developing the nation’s energy resources, a stance that he believes aligns with Scripture’s teachings.

But wait! With all of that, and the steak knives, and the potato peeler, you get this, too!:

In the 2005 recordings, Pruitt also backed a broad interpretation of the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms, saying it derives from a divine mandate and thus cannot be limited.

“If you can tell me what gun, type of gun, I can possess, then I didn’t really get that right to keep and bear arms from God,” he said. “It was not bequeathed to me, it was not unalienable, right?”

Yes, of course Pruitt has the right to be religious, and espouse his views in public. He just doesn’t have the right to impose them on others. And that’s the problem with evangelical Christian lawmakers like him.

Has Trump appointed one qualified person to any high post in government? Reader/cartoonist Pliny the in Between has the answer:


h/t: cesar

55 thoughts on “EPA administrator Scott Pruitt disses evolution, espouses theocracy, doubts whether carbon dioxide causes global warming, asserts that God gave us the right to have all guns

  1. Of course his views haven’t changed. Trump appointed him for the sole purpose of dismantling the EPA. Of course.

  2. Render unto Cesar the things that are Cesar’s and to Scott the things that are Scott’s.

  3. There is no God, he is wrong about anyone giving any person the right to have guns. If this is where his mind goes that he has “right”to have a gun then let his life also be taken by the gun..

      1. Although I assumed that all here may know some details that I left out, I decided to add them anyway, just in case.

        Pruitt now has at least 30 bodyguards working to protect him around the clock that the US citizens get to pay for at a cost of over $2M per year.

        When Pruett was the AG of Oklahoma he sued the EPA 14 times “while raising money from energy industry interests at the same time he submitted their comments to EPA, nearly word for word, on Attorney General letterhead”.

        Pruitt wants the EPA *GONE* and Trump has given him the ability to do just that from within.

  4. The answer to your last question there is no. He has not picked one qualified person that I am aware of in any post. And some of his selections for federal judge positions have been so bad and so embarrassing when questioned by congress, they soon pulled their name. I’ll have to go look it up as I might be mixing this clown up with another clown but didn’t he just use as an excuse for flying first class on our dime, that people in coach yelled at him.

    1. As appointees go, I’ve held that Mattis has been the Least Bad® for a while. He actually had a career in the field he was appointed to, doesn’t seem like an anti-intellectual and while I may disagree with his policies – is actually credentialed. I also know people from his hometown, where he resides and has been a long time board member of the local food bank and served jury duty the week he was appointed. That said, the bar is pretty fucking low.

      1. As clever as you think Mattis might be, his job is Secretary of Defense. Normally you do not select a retired military general to run the military. In this country, the idea is that the military is subordinate to civilian authority. So, take a look at past sec. of defense. You normally do not find a retired military guy running the place. So when you get down to the bottom of it, he is just another double dipper.

        1. Nearly 75% of Secretaries of Defense have served in the military, including one Five Star General (George Marshall). Others who rose to command positions before serving as Secretaries of Defense are Lovett (Navy Lt. Commander), Thomas Gates (Navy Lt. Commander), and Clifford (Navy Captain, served as naval aide to Truman). All the others attained lesser ranks.

          1. You be the math major BJ. Good for you. Doing some service in the military is what most people use to do at one time. Many of these guys were WWI and WWII and Vietnam vets. Not career military such as Mattis. There is a difference and I will stand by my comment. By the way – As example you mentioned Thomas Gates, Navy Lt. Commander, went into the navy in 1942, fought during WWII and got out after the war.

            1. One only has to look at the subsequent politics of, e.g., Bob Kerrey, John Kerry, Max Cleland, Tammy Duckworth, etc., to realize how different war vets can be from careerists.

              1. Yes, way back when I did my little term of service we referred to the career guys as lifers or worse. I won’t mention the others or worse.

        2. One of this nation’s most important principles is that the military operates under civilian control. I don’t think Mattis technically violates this principle, since he retired from the Marine Corps in 2013, although having a former four-star running the Pentagon makes me leery. There’s no denying, nonetheless, that he’s qualified and competent, and he’s done a good job keeping his distance from Trump.

          1. Yes, as long as one is no longer commanding or assisting in commanding the military, there is little reason for them to be kept from being Secretary of Defense. If they’re no longer military, there’s really no conflict of interest, and few things could provide experience to the job like that of being a General.

            1. In Russia, where they really know how to run things, there is no objection to the Prime Minister being a former President, or the President being a former Prime Minister and former President and Lt. Colonel in KGB.

              1. In Russia, party look for you (as Yakov Smirnoff used to say).

                There also seems to be no separation of state and oligarch and mafiya, either.

    2. By definition, a kakistocracy does not allow for using qualified people. And that is exactly what the Trump administration is running here.

  5. This is the numbnutz jockstrap for the oil & gas industry that Trump is likely to try to slide into the Justice Department (since Pruitt, as a sitting cabinet member, wouldn’t need to be re-confirmed by the Senate), once Trump gets around to shit-canning Attorney General Sessions, so he can corral or can special counsel Robert Mueller.

    Grab your own jocks, you guys, ’cause we’re heading for a constitutional crisis.

    1. Excuse me! And, what am I supposed to grab? (Don’t answer that.) I didn’t realize this was the Good ‘ol Boys Network here.

  6. To answer the (perhaps rhetorical) question posed in your envoi, Gen. James Mattis seems qualified and competent as Secretary of Defense.

  7. The only view of life that is even based on facts is the theory of evolution, and it is all that explains the facts behind comparative genomics and phylogenetic analysis.

    That said, I doubt that evolutionary theory matters a lot to the EPA. The anti-AGW stance is likely to matter a good deal more. The bad thinking on evolution does, however, typically go along with bad thinking on global warming.

    Glen Davidson

    1. I keep waffling as to how bad 4 years of Pruitt is going to be for our poor planet. On the one hand the business sector and state governments seem to be keeping to an abatement plan. This could allow a sane band of leaders to reverse the current death spiral. On the other hand we may be about to pass a tipping point so that little can be done in a future administration to save the world.

  8. Probably over half of elected Republican officials have exactly the same view.

    This was not a surprise at all.

  9. If gun ownership is an unalienable right bestowed upon us by our creator, then why do these rights only apply within the territorial boundaries of the United States and can be taken away (alienable?) by the government if one commits a felony? This suggests to me that there are no actual unalienable rights, or that governments have powers that god does not.

  10. The only right that the USAs founding documents say folks are given by their Creator isa life and liberty, which I would say the current reading of the the 2nd Amendment puts in great jeopardy.
    By contrast, the right to bear arms is attributed in our founding documents to “a well-regulated militia being necessary to the maintenance of a free state” which has nothing to do any God-given anything.
    (Not to mention that my first paragraph cites the Declaration of Independence which mentions a generic Creator a few times, but my second paragraph cites the Constitution a document completely devoid of any theistic implications at all.)

    People DO have a right to self-defense, and frankly limiting the circulation of guns is currently the people’s best self-defense.

    I’m fairly sanguine about some religion, but no religion which insists on believing things about the observable, natural world that go directly contrary to well-documented and well-researched observation and testing really deserves my respect, nor do any beliefs that endanger the public good.

    This is effectively postjudice, not prejudice. Conservative evangelicals have repeatedly demonstrated themselves to be willfully ignorant.

  11. Pruitt wasn’t appointed to the EPA because of his knowledge of environmental issues or science. His knowledge of relevant subjects didn’t matter because he was appointed to protect the interests of polluting industries like oil.

    I do think Mattis is an able and qualified choice for Secretary of Defense. He is by far the most qualified and likely best appointment Trump made, and I’m sure Trump didn’t come up with Mattis’ name on his own. One wonders if he came up with any of his appointees on his own (the answer is almost definitely “no”). I would also say Tillerson is qualified for his job, but I don’t know if that’s why he was chosen considering his previous association with Exxon.

    1. It’s kind of fascinating the degree to which Trump simultaneously takes all his orders from Republicans and basically does what they want him to do, and at the same time spouts off like a moron and proposes ideas that make Republicans apoplectic. Just this week he absent-mindedly proposed sweeping gun seizures without due process, and is on the verge of starting a trade war nobody wants, least of all business Republicans.

      Still, they more than deserve having to deal with the monster they created.

    2. Rexxon has a base level of competence at State, and he’s one of the few “adults in the room” in the Trump administration. (He’s also shown a flair for le mot juste by calling Trump “a fucking moron.”) But the State Department has been gutted on his watch. This is terrible for the US’s standing in the world, since the State Dept. is the salient for our nation’s exercise of soft power.

  12. “Radio archives from Oklahoma also show Scott Pruitt warning of ‘judicial monarchy’ and advocating constitutional amendments to ban abortion and gay marriage.”

    Thank goodness the Constitution requires 3/4 the of the States (now 38 out of 50) to ratify amendments, but given that Red states outnumber Blue, and they’ve cornered the market on voter-suppression schemes, I’m surprised amendments aren’t being proposed now.

    (Though it’s always possible the powers that be don’t want these issues to go away, given how reliable they are at rousing the Red base.)

  13. I have had ‘coversations’ with Christians who believe that not only are we morally obligated to use all the resources of this planet [as our mandate for stewardship] — but that we must deplete the coal/gas/oil as quickly as possible. The reasoning is that we were provided just enough non-renewable resources to last until the second coming. So any deliberate slow-down in exploitation is putting off the second coming, and so is against god’s plan. Not saying that Pruitt believes this, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

  14. “if you’re insinuating that a Christian should not serve in capacity as EPA administrator, that is offensive and a question that does not warrant any further attention.”
    Hmm… I wonder where I have heard the offense non-argument before… That’s right! SJWs!

    1. That’s typical shift-the-goalposts-and-take-offence tactics.

      They’re insinuating that a fundamentalist antiscience fuckwit should not serve as EPA administrator. The fact that this guy’s fuckwittery happens to be of the Xtian brand is almost irrelevant, the exact same objections would apply if he were a Muslim.

      “He’s a believer. He is a Jesus guy. He believes in the principles,” Inhofe said. “I think it does [have an impact], and I think it has to. Anyone who denies that that has an impact isn’t being totally honest.”
      – at least Inhofe is being honest.


  15. Also, what’s happening @ EPA is a tad closer to home for some of us since Betsy Southerland, who had a high-level position in an EPA water-quality division, was a fellow W&M Bio major (then DBA Betsy Vail). She retired in protest of what was happening there. Note in the embedded video herehow the craven bastards now at the top attempt to smear her as someone retiring for the dosh. She was 68! Most anyone else would have retired a few yrs earlier.

  16. But he promised he would staff his administration with “all of the best people” as he “knows all of the best people.”

    So far I would have to question his judgment if not his sanity on this.

  17. Mr Pruitt is one of the more despicable gnomes in Mr Trumps admin. Evil and ignorant, but not incompetent. His task is to destroy the EPA (note, an institution created under a Republican, Mr Nixon), he’s doing a pretty great job at that.
    The EPA has been one of the most respected US agencies world-wide, and many US-ians owe it their reasonably good health.
    If the Mr Trump admin will be a one term presidency, I wonder how long it would take to repair the damage.
    (A second term bears no contemplating, too nightmarish)

  18. Seems like every week another cabinet member is fired. A member that just the week before had Trumps fullest confidence. What’s that all about? Is Trump crazy, impulsive, incompetent, not good at surrounding himself with really “the best people”? Well, yes to all of that, but I have a theory.

    The 25th Amendment allows for the removal of a president who is unable to fulfill the duties of the office. To enact the 25th amendment the Vice President and a majority of the cabinet need to agree. Could Trump be avoiding his own removal by firing cabinet members as soon as they realize the full extent of his psychopathy?

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