A leader of the Texas House of Representatives apologized Friday for circulating an appeal to ban the teaching of evolution as derived from “Rabbinic writings” and other Jewish texts, the New York Times published Saturday.
According to the report, Republican lawmaker Warren Chisum had no intention of offending anyone saying that he had received the memo from Ben Bridges, a Georgia legislator, and that he never took it very seriously.
Last week Chisum, 68, an 18-year veteran of the House and second in power only to the speaker, Tom Craddick, apparently sent a memorandum to all 149 state representatives in Texas, the report noted.
According the New York Times, the memo which came from Bridges declared that “tax-supported evolution science” was based on religion and therefore unlawful under the United States Constitution.
The memo also noted that “Indisputable evidence - long hidden but now available to everyone - demonstrates conclusively that so-called secular evolution science is the Big Bang 15-billion-year alternate ‘creation scenario’ of the Pharisee Religion.”
“This scenario,” the memorandum went on, “is derived concept-for-concept from rabbinic writings on the mystic ‘holy book’ kabala dating back at least two millennia.”
The memorandum was condemned by some Texas lawmakers and by the Anti-Defamation League. Mark L. Briskman, director of the league’s North Texas-Oklahoma regional office, said he was shocked and appalled Chisum would share this outrageous anti-Semitic material with his colleagues in the Texas House.
When questioned about his apparent endorsement of the memorandum, the reported noted, Chisum appeared to back away from it saying it did not reflect his opinion.
According to the New York Times, Chisum said he sincerely regretted not taking the time to carefully review the memo and to recognize that it may have hurt or offended some groups.