Pharyngula

I keep telling people there is a deep dangerous strain of insanity running through this country, and here’s a perfect example: Bobby Jindal.

We’ve discovered that in an essay Jindal wrote in 1994 for the New Oxford Review, a serious right-wing Catholic journal, Jindal narrated a bizarre story of a personal encounter with a demon, in which he participated in an exorcism with a group of college friends. And not only did they cast out the supernatural spirit that had possessed his friend, Jindal wrote that he believes that their ritual may well have cured her cancer.

Reading the article leaves no doubt that Jindal — who graduated from Brown University in 1991, was a Rhodes Scholar, and had been accepted at Yale Law School and Harvard Medical School when he wrote the essay — was completely serious about the encounter. He even said the experience “reaffirmed” his faith.

Jindal is considered a serious contender for the vice presidential nomination…or at least, he’s one of the people the media thinks will appeal to a broad swathe of the country, boosting John McCain’s presidential aspirations. He’s also the governor of Louisiana. How could you people down there elect this goony bird?

Comments

  1. #1 Brownian, OM
    June 11, 2008

    How could you people down there elect this goony bird?

    Duh! He, like, fought a demon?!

    How could they not?

  2. #2 dogheaven
    June 11, 2008

    The part of me that trusts that there are good people that will be voting this year, wants McCain to pick him. He’s so easy to show as a nut.

    The part of me that thinks that the country has too many crazy voters (as evidenced by Bush’s reelection) does NOT want this guy as McCain’s runnning mate. Why? He’s cute and young. People will fall in love with him if he keeps his mouth shut.

  3. #3 The Science Pundit
    June 11, 2008

    Brownian, OM said:

    How could you people down there elect this goony bird?

    Duh! He, like, fought a demon?!

    How could they not?

    PZ,

    Sometimes I have to wonder about you.

    ;-D

  4. 1994 was a long time ago. Fourteen years is a long time for a person too grow and learn. Having had some apparently supernatural experiences myself I always try to keep an open mind when listening to someone else describe their experiences.

  5. #5 QrazyQat
    June 11, 2008

    “You people” up there elected the pro wrestler. How’d that work out?

    Maybe just sticking to pointing out that Jindal is a nutcase, yet a very typical Republican candidate, is the approach.

  6. #6 PatrickHenry
    June 11, 2008

    I’ve been trying to track the creationist tendencies of all the election people, and I’ve got this over at my place: McCain’s Possible VP Choices — Creationists?. Bottom line is that McCain isn’t much of a creationist, if at all. As for his possible VP choices, only Rommey is known to be sane on this issue.

  7. #7 Steve_C
    June 11, 2008

    Oh please please please pick him McCain!!!!
    I can see the MoveOn ad now…

    They could do a twist on Cheney being a demon and now the GOP wants a demon slayer? Why can’t they make up their minds…

  8. #8 Holbach
    June 11, 2008

    Uh oh, we are in deep doo doo if this loony with demons in his closet is considered as a vice-president. I still will maintain that we are in for some unexpected surprises if McCain is elected. Pete Stark, are you aware of this? So if McCain gets in we will be in Irag with the American deaths mounting for the duration of his term. And as a bonus we will have a Louisiana demon destroyer as vice president who no doubt will exercise his demon powers to effect the course of reason extermination. Wow, this has the potential to be downright scary.

  9. #9 Mooser, Bummertown
    June 11, 2008

    S.J. Perelman also went to Brown. If only he were here now!

  10. #10 ndt
    June 11, 2008

    “You people” up there elected the pro wrestler. How’d that work out?

    Quite well, actually. Our ludicrous car tax was reduced, roads got some funding for a change, and he refused to proclaim a state day of prayer.

  11. #11 Sili
    June 11, 2008

    Phew – for a second there I thought you were talking about Democratic veeps.

    I say do your best to get McBush to select him. Sounds like that campaign will do its best to help us.

  12. #12 Fred
    June 11, 2008

    Anyone know how the Biology program is at Brown? I’m always alarmed when a creationist gets honors from an undergrad Biology program.

  13. #13 Glen Davidson
    June 11, 2008

    He’s also in support of the “academic freedom” bill that passed the Louisiana House today:

    “I think the intent of the bill is to give assurance to teachers and students that academic inquiries are okay,” said Gene Mills of the Louisiana Family Forum. “It’s pro-science, pro-teachers and pro- local control.”

    Critics say that latitude already exists in the science classroom. They contend it’s an attempt to bring religion into the classroom and the ACLU says it is prepared to take action if the measure, which has the support of Governor Bobby Jindal, passes.

    http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/wwl061008tpcreationism.1d7302b5.html

    Which is not surprising to anyone who’s heard about him in the past.

    He may be the first governor to sign one of the bills coming out of the spate of recent DI attempts to subvert the Constitution by invoking “academic freedom”. A real dick.

    Glen Davidson
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  14. #14 Dallas
    June 11, 2008

    I’m still 17, I had no say…

    -Dallas from Louisiana

  15. #15 scooter
    June 11, 2008

    Jindal ran on the platform, “I’m they guy without the felonies” It’s Louisiana politics.

  16. #16 JJ
    June 11, 2008

    OT – but…

    Just a reminder, Ken Miller’s New book, “Only A Theory – Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul”
    will be available in stores tomorrow. For those of you with advance copies, I think you will agree, it is a must read.

    ISBN – 978-0-670-01883-3

    He will also be on The Colbert Report, June 16.

  17. #17 Leland
    June 11, 2008

    “‘You people’ up there elected the pro wrestler. How’d that work out?”

    Let’s see, worked for part of his life as an entertainer versus claims seriously to have fought a demon and cured cancer. Which one seems a worse idea to elect?

  18. #18 gex
    June 11, 2008

    Quite well, actually. Our ludicrous car tax was reduced, roads got some funding for a change, and he refused to proclaim a state day of prayer.

    AND he quite famously said religion is for the weak minded. Any other state elect a politician willing to state things that way?

    I disagreed with Jesse on a lot of things, but he doesn’t see invisible sky fairies, and he spoke his opinions honestly, not focus grouped to death. Two traits I like my politicians and leaders to have.

  19. #19 James F
    June 11, 2008

    Glen D @ 13

    He’s also in support of the “academic freedom” bill that passed the Louisiana House today:

    DAMMIT. Three guesses who’s already crowing about it, and the first two don’t count.

  20. #20 Geoffrey
    June 11, 2008

    Not to sound condescending but … why wouldn’t Republicans want this guy to be their Vice Presidential nominiee? Isn’t it sort of the M.O. of religious conservatives to believe ridiculous things about the universe? And wouldn’t most conservative evangelicals, members of the religious right, creationists, etc. think it a bonus that this guy believes this sort of stuff?

    It’s sad but I wouldn’t be surprised if Jindal gets a “bump” when this story gets out …

    (To be honest, I come from Connecticut, where, I think, most people would be shocked by someone’s belief in demons, but this could all be a “Blue State” delusion …)

  21. #21 James F
    June 11, 2008

    #10

    He didn’t even have time to bleed.

  22. #22 Patches
    June 11, 2008

    I feel like a complete geek that this was what the title of this post immediately made me think of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gAJesGKzi4

  23. #23 Zeno
    June 11, 2008

    The late John Paul II beefed up the ranks of exorcists in the Catholic church because he couldn’t tell the difference between psychosis and demon possession (heck, it’s not clear he could even tell the difference between dissent and demon possession). It’s a rich legacy that the current pontiff will surely not back away from, since church dogma teaches that demons are always tempting us to do naughty things (and being remarkably successful with members of the priesthood). It was only a natural development to discover that Catholic candidates for political office would eventually include a supernatural warrior in their ranks. If only Kerry had thought to splash holy water on George Bush during one of their debates and yelled “The power of Christ compels you!” That would have been good theater. And there’s at least a fifty percent chance Bush would have burst into flames and melted.

  24. #24 Michael
    June 11, 2008

    Quoting Jindal:

    “[L]et’s talk about intelligent design. I’m a biology major. That’s my degree. The reality is there are a lot of things that we don’t understand. There’s no theory in science that could explain how, contrary to the laws of entropy, you could create order out of chaos.”

    Let’s see…not even in a open system (the earth, with it’s atmosphere) fed by an consistent, outside energy source (the sun)?

    I guess being a biology major doesn’t qualify you to discuss basic physics.

    I was a math major in college, but in high school I learned the 2nd law of thermodynamics, which only applies to isolated or ‘closed’ systems.

  25. #25 matt
    June 11, 2008

    @#4

    Sleep paralysis is a much better explanation and it is NOT supernatural.

  26. #26 James F
    June 11, 2008

    #24

    “There’s no theory in science that could explain how, contrary to the laws of entropy, you could create order out of chaos.”

    Yes, that would require a giant outside source of energy….

  27. #27 SLC
    June 11, 2008

    I wonder if this schmuck ever took a biology course from Ken Miller?

  28. #28 Tommykey
    June 11, 2008

    What is it with these Catholic Indian-Americans being so right wing? Bobby Jindal. Dinesh D’Souza. I think Ramesh Ponnuru is Catholic too, but have to check on that.

  29. #29 Holbach
    June 11, 2008

    # 27 He took all his biology courses from Ken Hambone, and Brenda will be his theses instructor. Are they still doing all this crap by correspondence courses?

  30. #30 Holbach
    June 11, 2008

    # 28 Is Deepcrap Chopper a catholic? Of course you know who I mean. Whether right wing or bat wing they are all moronic shitheads.

  31. #31 decrepitoldfool
    June 11, 2008

    Jindal is charming, self-deprecating (when not claiming to be Gandolf), and has charisma. This scares the hell out of me because voters flock to likable candidates whether they make any sense or not.

  32. #32 Tony P
    June 11, 2008

    Oh my, he went to Brown? I worked at Brown and I’ll let you in on some secrets.

    First of all any University that does pass/fail should be fairly suspect.

    That said, the chemical experimentation in the area in the 80′s to mid 90′s was legendary. I can guarantee that Jindal’s demon was a bad acid trip.

  33. #33 James F
    June 11, 2008

    #28

    I’ll give D’Souza one thing, he realizes ID is a failure.

  34. #34 brokenSoldier, OM
    June 11, 2008

    …since church dogma teaches that demons are always tempting us to do naughty things (and being remarkably successful with members of the priesthood).

    Posted by: Zeno | June 11, 2008 8:02 PM

    And it seems as though their willingness to forgive has a distinct bias towards those priests, as well. As a matter of fact, their sins seem to be our fault…

    http://news.aol.com/newsbloggers/2008/04/17/pope-blames-society-for-pedophile-priests/4

  35. #35 Bob Carroll
    June 11, 2008

    Re # 26. Paraphrasing a comment from some time ago, “I pondered all night as to what such an energy source might be, and then it dawned on me.” I don’t recall the author.

    Re # 24. Not incidentally, the second law applies to all systems, open or closed/isolated. The specific requirement of the law in the case of closed systems requires, as we all know, that the entropy cannot decrease. For open systems, the law has a different form, involving the Gibbs free energy, but the law still holds. It wouldn’t be much of a law if it were so severely restricted.

    Bob

  36. #36 CalGeorge
    June 11, 2008

    Jindal:

    “I am 100 percent anti-abortion with no exceptions. I believe all life is precious.”

    Yeah, that’s what we need, another misogynistic penis telling women what to do with their bodies.

  37. #37 Holbach
    June 11, 2008

    James F @ 33 Oh I see, so this elevates him in the cause of denigrating all religious morons? He may realize ID is a failure, but this does not in any way alter my contempt and ongoing wish to see him smashed soundly by a debater who has the guts to ask him pointed questions, demand he answer the freaking questions, and insist he brings down his god to lend credence to his insane bullshit. He may also state that he does not believe in purgatory but heaven and hell only, but he is still up there with the pantheon of the religious insane and therefore on the same level no matter what he realizes does not mesh.

  38. #38 dave
    June 11, 2008

    Didn’t the physicist Maxwell have a demon? Seems that he won too.

  39. #39 CalGeorge
    June 11, 2008

    Jindal in a 2007 debate:

    “Sure, and let’s talk about intelligent design. I’m a biology major. That’s my degree. The reality is there are a lot of things that we don’t understand. There’s no theory in science that could explain how, contrary to the laws of entropy, you could create order out of chaos. There’s no scientific theory that explains how you can create organic life out of inorganic matter. I think we owe it to our children to teach them the best possible modern scientific facts and theories. Teach them what different theories are out there for the things that aren’t answerable by science, that aren’t answered by science. Let them decide for themselves. I don’t think we should be scared to do that. Personally, it certainly makes sense to me that when you look at creation, you would believe in a creator. Let’s not be afraid to teach our kids the very best science.”

    http://www.talk2action.org/story/2007/10/15/222041/63

    Yes, let the children decide! What an idiot.

  40. #40 Art
    June 11, 2008

    “”The power of Christ compels you!” That would have been good theater. And there’s at least a fifty percent chance Bush would have burst into flames and melted.”

    He would only melt if he was a witch. I think the effect would have been even more shocking, at least to the people who haven’t been following W’s career.

    W involuntarily bends at the waist, there is a ripping sound and Cheney climbs out of W’s rear. Like the empty husk of a mounting insect W is naught but a pile of skin wearing a smirk in a suit.

    But that isn’t the really dramatic effect. Lots of people had assumed that was the case.

    A second application of holy water and invocation of the power and Cheney bends involuntarily and there is a ripping sound, sound of distant thunder, the lights flicker, and the reanimated corpse of Richard Millhouse Nixon climbs out of Cheney’s rear and assumes the iconic double peace sign pose.

  41. #41 MAJeff, OM
    June 11, 2008

    Yeah, that’s what we need, another misogynistic penis telling women what to do with their bodies.

    Well, it wouldn’t be a presidential election without a Republican in the race, would it?

  42. #42 badger
    June 11, 2008

    Man, i told everyone i knew down here about his demon wrasslin’ long ago. It didn’t make the slightest dent.

    He already nearly blew all of his appointments since he took office as governor because he forgot to submit them to Senate approval, with only two weeks left before the deadline. He was ranked 432 out of 439 in Congressional power rankings when he was representing LA-01. The man’s a lightweight.

    Wait until you hear one his true believers relate the story about how he helped his wife deliver their third baby, because the ambulance didn’t arrive on time. They use this to defend his zealot anti-choice stance, as if being in a room when a woman gives birth qualifies him in medical science and ethics.

    I don’t believe for a moment that he’s a serious contender for VP, but the cult of personality that surrounds him here is powerful.

  43. #43 Glen Davidson
    June 11, 2008

    Yes, let the children decide! What an idiot.

    I’m waiting for the time when enlightened IDists will allow children to decide the fate of string theory.

    Hey, someone has to, don’t they? And apparently instead of learning at school, children are supposed to decide controversies.

    Of course they wouldn’t let children decide any matter that they think is important. Science to them is not, certainly, important.

    Glen Davidson
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  44. #44 QrazyQat
    June 11, 2008

    Let’s see, worked for part of his life as an entertainer versus claims seriously to have fought a demon and cured cancer. Which one seems a worse idea to elect?

    I’d prefer the entertainer/9-11 Truther if forced to choose between the two. But I wouldn’t consider it a wonderful choice. Seriously, do you?

    My point, at least what I attempted to do, was to gently suggest that the “you people elected” thingy is not so great an idea. It reminded me of the time I was in Green Bay in the 1980s and our host not so gently complained about “you people” (me, the California — at the time — based leftist) giving the country Ronald Reagan. I was more polite, and being the friend of the main guest and not wanting to knowingly insult anyone (which is hard for me, you know) did not point out that, unlike Wisconsin, Californians had at least once voted against Reagan when they kicked him out of the governor’s seat.

  45. #45 Holbach
    June 11, 2008

    Mooser @ # 9 My man Sidney Joseph! I’m not too sure how he felt about religion and it is difficult to pin him down on this, but I am sure he would have seen a lot of comedy in all this bullshit and expressed it as so much to laugh and guffaw over. Down to earth people are usually down on all instances of nonsense including religion. I’m hoping S J would not be wanting in this regard!

  46. #46 Rey Fox
    June 11, 2008

    “Personally, it certainly makes sense to me that when you look at creation, you would believe in a creator.”

    What is “Begging the question”, Alex?

    “Let’s not be afraid to teach our kids the very best science.”

    Yes, evolution. Ask the scientists (like maybe some of those biologists you might know), they’ll say evolution. End of debate.

  47. #47 Salt
    June 11, 2008

    Jindal in a 2007 debate: There’s no theory in science that could explain how, contrary to the laws of entropy, you could create order out of chaos. There’s no scientific theory that explains how you can create organic life out of inorganic matter.
    Posted by: CalGeorge | June 11, 2008 9:17 PM

    Is he wrong?

  48. #48 Zeno
    June 11, 2008

    Californians had at least once voted against Reagan when they kicked him out of the governor’s seat.

    We never kicked Reagan out of office. Californians voted for him over and over again, twice for governor and twice for president. We did, however, get in his face precisely once. In 1973, during Reagan’s second gubernatorial term, he put Proposition 1 on the general election ballot. It was a spending limitation measure that he wanted us to enact. Assembly Speaker Bob Moretti opposed it as a badly drafted and unworkable scheme and campaigned against Proposition 1. The voters agreed with Moretti and voted against Proposition 1, to Reagan’s great chagrin. A year later the voters chose a Democrat as his successor, which irritated Reagan even more. (It was Jerry Brown, who beat Moretti in the Democratic primary.) So maybe we got in his face twice.

  49. #49 CortxVortx
    June 11, 2008

    I left Louisiana in 2000. Good riddance.

  50. #50 Julian
    June 11, 2008

    I doubt you’ll see many religious conservatives voting this election cycle, and the r’s have better vp picks than the gov of Louisiana. One should also consider that most r’s, and southerners in general, consider Louisiana to be a hole. As a Texan, I don’t see much difference between it and East Texas, Alabama, or Florida, though.

  51. #51 Carlie
    June 11, 2008

    Wait, he said that he thinks all life is precious, but also that he cured cancer? What about the precious life of the cancer cells, huh? He killed them! They didn’t get the right to life!

  52. #52 Colugo
    June 11, 2008

    “Jindal narrated a bizarre story of a personal encounter with a demon, in which he participated in an exorcism”

    Was it a Golgothan shit demon?

  53. #53 CalGeorge
    June 11, 2008

    Jindal:

    “If Christianity is merely one of many equally valid religions, then the sacrifices I made, including the loss of my family’s peace, were senseless.”

    Got that right.

  54. #54 raven
    June 11, 2008

    Don’t laugh. In recent history, Americans have voted for the worst candidate possible. McCain is certainly a serious contender. Jindal is probably crazy and stupid enough but they can always get someone even more repellent.

    Some polls this year show McCain beating the democrats.

    If he does, just going to stockpile popcorn and wine and watch the US lemmings march off the cliff.

  55. #55 CalGeorge
    June 11, 2008

    Jindal:

    My investigation of Christianity might have remained at this theoretical level had it not been for a short black-and-white film. Though its depiction of the crucifixion was harsher than that of many similar movies, something about this film hit me very hard. For the first time, I actually imagined what it meant for the Son of God to be humiliated and even killed for my sake. Although the movie did not convince me that anything was true, it did force me to wonder if Christians were right. I realized that if the Gospel stories were true, if Christ really was the Son of God, it was arrogant of me to reject Him and question the gift of salvation.

    Oh, please let him be McCain’s VP!

  56. #56 Julian
    June 11, 2008

    Bah! This silly “order and chaos” entropy argument. If the folks who trot this canard out would just stop and think for a second they’d realize that entropy is a local phenomenon and that examples of entropy creating order are all around them.

    Example 1) You eat a hamburger. The hamburger is destroyed, but you convert it into simple chemicals and proteins which power and expand your body.

    Example 2) Any star. It has a set amount of hydrogen; once it burns all this hydrogen into sufficiently heavy elements (like Iron) it will no longer be able to sustain itself. But, in burning that hydrogen it creates greater complexity and order by fusing it into more complex elements, and when it explodes, those elements go shooting out into space, smashing into other elements to form other stars, planets, asteroids, and comets. Lots of order from a little entropy.

    Example 3) Death. You die. You get buried. You get rained on for 1000 years. There’s an earthquake. You get smooshed by the earth a bit. A few million years pass. Now you’re oil! Your decay can now run an internal combustion engine or create a few dozen plastic bags.

  57. #57 Ragutis
    June 11, 2008

    Well, you have to give the guy some points for casting off the shackles of childhood/cultural religious indoctrination. Many of us can attest that that is not an easy task.

    Of course, voluntarily incarcerating yourself in another, equally ridiculous, set of unsupportable beliefs means a deduction of many, many more.

    The idea is not to repeat our mistakes, Bobby.

  58. #58 Holbach
    June 11, 2008

    Off topic, or is it? Comcast.net news, about half an hour ago, tornado in western Iowa smashed into a Boy Scout camp; many injuries and some fatalities. You have to believe in a god for admittance to the scouts and are adamant in keeping out atheists. But that damn intelligent designed tornado had the nerve to countermand their god’s orders? No blaming atheists this time.

  59. #59 Phil A
    June 11, 2008

    I hear the name Kathleen Sebelius being bounced around as a good pick for Obama. She’s the governor for Kansas. Now, we know Kansas isn’t particularly the most atheist/evolution friendly. But what’s her stance on, you know, reality?

  60. #60 --PatF in Madison
    June 11, 2008

    Where you went to school makes little difference when it comes to politics. I am sure the Jindal knows that the second law has nothing to say against evolution. But running on a platform of evolution versus creationism does not seem to be a great way of getting elected in a close race. Therefore, evolution gets thrown under the bus and Bobby gets into office.

    Obligatory admissions:
    1) I was an undergraduate at Brown many years ago. (Mathematics, not Biology.)
    2) I don’t think you can blame this idiocy on the Rhodes scholar people either.
    3) I wouldn’t vote for this guy in a million years.

    By the way, when he ran for governor, I don’t think he mentioned Brown at all. He did go on at length about how he was an LSU football fan. (And I don’t think LSU is responsible for Jindal’s politics, either.)

  61. #61 Sadie Morrison
    June 11, 2008

    I am 100 percent anti-abortion with no exceptions. I believe all life is precious.”

    Apparently the lives of women endangered by their pregnancies are less “precious” than those of the fetuses they are carrying.

    I hear the name Kathleen Sebelius being bounced around as a good pick for Obama. She’s the governor for Kansas. Now, we know Kansas isn’t particularly the most atheist/evolution friendly. But what’s her stance on, you know, reality?

    As a liberal Kansan, I am quite pleased with Sebelius.

  62. #62 BT Murtagh
    June 11, 2008

    #52: You mean, an Excremental?

  63. #63 Patricia
    June 11, 2008

    My motto has always been, “no vote, no bitch”. And even harsher – no exceptions. This election looks like the first time in my adult life I will not be able to bitch about the president. If Homer Simpson, Odin or Bugs Bunny make it to Oregons ballot MAYBE I’ll have a dog in the hunt.

  64. #64 marcia
    June 11, 2008

    new NBC/WSJ poll has obama crushing mccain:
    Although it’s still very early in the campaign, the latest NBC/WSJ poll has Obama leading McCain 47 to 41. I believe this is the bump that we all expected after the primary wars finally finished. The last poll was in April, which had Obama 46-43, within the margin of error for the poll. What’s really interesting, though, are the ethnic and voter group breakdowns: Obama leads with African Americans 83-7 (7? – geez), Hispanics 62-28, women 52-33, Catholics 47-40, independents 41-36, all women 52-33, and blue collars 47-42. Among Hillary supporters, Obama leads 61-19. Among white men, as you can imagine, McCain leads 55-35 as he does with soccer moms at 44-38. Among the respondents, 54 to 30 say that they believe Obama will win the election.

    Another interesting fact is that if you add Hillary to the ticket, he picks up 3 additional points over McCain/Romney.

  65. #65 Anthony
    June 11, 2008

    This immediately reminded me of a childhood pastor of mine who described a visit from jesus which also included some trippy aspects which strangely resembled an experience fueled by hallucinogenic mushrooms; Which wouldn’t have been surprising considering it took place in Oregon.
    But hey, people on a societal level are afraid to not support someone who claims to have powers from God. i.e. the ability to banish demons. I would truly love it if was the vp on the ticket if only for the utter hilarity.

  66. #66 Patricia
    June 11, 2008

    #58 Holbach – Once again gawd ignores his followers. Just like Katrina, the tsunami, earth quakes, tornados, cyclones, 9/11…the current flooding in the midwest, the Sudan crisis…yet gawd loves us all, is omnipotent and all knowing. Allah is doing a real bang up job saving his chosen too. Yeah.
    I wonder what sin those poor children commited to deserve their deaths?
    No doubt Pat Robertson will tell us. Or if we get really lucky Bush or Walton will make a comment. /snark off/

  67. #67 ndt
    June 11, 2008
    Jindal in a 2007 debate: There’s no theory in science that could explain how, contrary to the laws of entropy, you could create order out of chaos. There’s no scientific theory that explains how you can create organic life out of inorganic matter.
    Posted by: CalGeorge | June 11, 2008 9:17 PM

    Is he wrong?
    Posted by: Salt | June 11, 2008 9:38 PM

    Yes.

  68. #68 Patricia
    June 11, 2008

    #47 – Salt – Is he wrong?
    Yes, he is.
    And don’t forget to ask if natural selection is random chance.

  69. #69 Kseniya
    June 11, 2008

    Patricia, Walton has already stated that he’d consider voting for Jindal – for president – in 2012 or 2016.

  70. #70 Patricia
    June 11, 2008

    Kseniya – holy shite, I missed that somehow.
    Brilliant.
    Well hell, maybe he’ll vote for me in 2012 for VP – I’ve actually seen gawd.
    How about it Walton?

  71. #71 Kseniya
    June 11, 2008

    Jindal in a 2007 debate: I’m either an ignorant fool or a career liar, pandering to ignorant fools for the purpose of furthering my personal ambitions and feeding my lust for power. Look at me! I’m so humble!

    There. Fixed.

  72. #72 No More Mr. Nice Guy!
    June 12, 2008

    “How could you people down there elect this goony bird?”

    Katrina. Ethnic cleansing. The majority of African-Americans driven out of the state.

    Now does everyone understand why the Bush regime took no action in response to Katrina?

  73. #73 Charles Minus
    June 12, 2008

    I’m a little late getting into this. but I take exception to the remark (#17) about electing a pro wrestler. Jess Ventura is a self-identified atheist. Check out this from 1999 when Jesse was in office:

    “Positive Atheism has teamed up with American Atheists in an effort to encourage each atheist to send Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura a letter of support for the atheophobic flack he has received for saying that organized religion is ‘a sham and a crutch’ and that it encourages people to ‘stick their noses in other people’s business.’”

    You can read about the whole flap at http://www.positiveatheism.org/mail/eml9631.htm.

    Do you know of any other elected official willing to describe him/herself as an atheist?

    So lighten up on Jesse or we’ll have to open up a can of whip ass on you.

  74. #74 undeadgoat
    June 12, 2008

    My friend Ketan (who is my only close Indian friend) claims that Bobby Jindal makes him ashamed to be Indian. Me, he just makes me wonder why I’m going to Tulane next year . . .

  75. #75 Kseniya
    June 12, 2008

    new NBC/WSJ poll has obama crushing mccain:

    Nice, I suppose.

    Kerry was leading Bush by a significant margin in the Summer of ’04, prior to the conventions.

    Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines. Let the swiftboating begin!

    p.s. – I didn’t realize Jesse was so cool. I used to chuckle over the impressions of Jesse on A Prairie Home Companion back when I was in H.S., and thought it was hilarious that a state like MN had elected a pro wrestler… but I didn’t know anything about him.

    I do remember reading somewhere that it was odd that he ran not as himself (James George Janos – hey, he’s a Slav!) but as his wrestling persona. (Of course, what politician really runs as himself anyway?)

  76. #76 travc
    June 12, 2008

    My bet is that Jindal (like most of the GOP ‘leaders’) is really just an Amoral Social Dominator. He probably doesn’t actually believe this stuff any more than Parsley actually believes the crap he spouts. It is about finding a nice group of gullible rubes and exploiting them.

    That said, I bet he got his rocks off participating. Seriously, if this ‘exorcism’ went down as described, it was torture. If you think I’m being extreme, just read it keeping in mind what we know about the effects of torture and how so-called ‘hypnosis’ works.

    TPM has more excerpts from Jindal’s essay

  77. #77 travc
    June 12, 2008

    I really hope McCain does not choose Jindal… he likes noting that he has a degree in Biology, which gives us actual Biologists a bad name.

  78. #78 Clayton
    June 12, 2008

    We need to start a grassroots movement. Our goal? Get a serious reporter to ask McCain whether he thinks Jindal is telling the truth. If he says he doesn’t believe he’s telling the truth, he’s shown himself to have terrible judgment insofar as he seems to be considering Jindal for the VP slot. If he says he does, he’s shown himself to be a lunatic. The only way this will happen is if everyone joins the facebook group ‘If Bobby Jindal can cure cancer and exorcise demons, he can run with McCain’. That is all.

  79. #79 travc
    June 12, 2008

    Somewhat OT, but I have a cunning plan (please not my best Baldric impersonation)

    On every one of these ‘academic freedom’ bills we should promote an amendment which ensures teachers are free to teach comprehensive sex-ed.

  80. #80 Sadie Morrison
    June 12, 2008

    James George Janos – hey, he’s a Slav

    Minor nitpick: Hungarian is not part of the Slavic branch (of either languages or ethnicities).

  81. #81 Autumn
    June 12, 2008

    Travc,
    It would have been torture if it had occured eight years ago. Now, not so much.
    Oh, wait, it was done for Jeebus?
    Then it’s fine no matter what.

  82. #82 Shawn Wilkinson
    June 12, 2008

    How could you people down there elect this goony bird?

    We didn’t have much of a choice. The other candidates were second-tier in comparison (eg. lack of name recognition). Jindal’s campaign got a pre-mature boost after Katrina with his supporters arguing things would’ve been different under his reign (doubtful, since the problems are sourced to primarily to FEMA and the Army Core).

    Plus, he’s Catholic. New Orleans, which comprises of the bulk of the state’s voting population, typically swings Democrat. Due to the Catholic vote from New Orleans being locked and his social conservatism wooing the back-country red necks, he was able to secure over 50% of the vote in the state primaries.

    *Note: Louisiana is weird. All governor candidates are voted on indepednet of part affiliation in a primary. The top two go in a run-off unless the top candidate secures a majority of the vote (over 50%).

    I didn’t like Jindal from his first gubernatorial run. And I opposed him being the speaker at my college graduation (since he was also the speaker at my high school graduation when he was in Congress). But that’s life.

  83. #83 mandrake
    June 12, 2008

    How could you people down there elect this goony bird?

    Having grown up in N’Awlins, and having a mother & sister still living there, I can say that frighteningly enough he might have been the best qualified candidate.

    When David Duke (KKK) ran for governer against Edwin Edwards (multiple indictments), a common bumper sticker read “Vote For the Crook.”

    Me, I turned 17 and fled for the Left Coast.

  84. #84 blf
    June 12, 2008

    Jindal is charming, self-deprecating (when not claiming to be Gandolf)…

    I think you mean Granddolt. I just made her up and imagines she fights nasty beasties and probably Teh Gays, and seems to fit this dolt to a tee. Or with some nails, to a tree.

    There’s also Gandalf, who really does fight nasty beasties, whilst screaming “You shall not pass!” Now that’s grand style…

  85. #85 IAmMarauder
    June 12, 2008

    I am not a lawyer, but isn’t restraining someone against their will a crime? Wouldn’t shoving a book in someone’s face constitute assault? They chase her and force her to the ground – that is battery isn’t it? And I would think that forcing someone to act against their will is somewhat illegal as well?

    So how is this an OK thing to do to someone? I cannot see any way to justify the acts carried out by Jindal and the others… Wonder if the police could have acted on his admission and arrested him without Susan coming forward (probably not, dangit).

    Then again, he would have probably got away with it anyways. Maybe use “God wanted me to do it” as a defence.

    Oh, as for this quote:
    “Whenever I concentrated long enough to begin prayer, I felt some type of physical force distracting me. It was as if something was pushing down on my chest, making it very hard for me to breathe. . . Though I could find no cause for my chest pains, I was very scared of what was happening to me and Susan. I began to think that the demon would only attack me if I tried to pray or fight back; thus, I resigned myself to leaving it alone in an attempt to find peace for myself.”

    I wonder if the “physical force” was possibly guilt? Could it be some part of him knew what he was doing is wrong? Shame he wrote it off as a demon attack and didn’t take a few minutes to think about what he was doing…

  86. #86 BobbyEarle
    June 12, 2008

    Jesse Ventura does have these three things going for him:

    1. Ex Navy SEAL.

    2. He doesn’t have time to bleed.

    3. He looks pretty damned sharp in a pink feather boa.

    Now who can argue with that?

  87. #87 Stephen Wells
    June 12, 2008

    Re: Salt’s silly question:

    The earth as a whole is not reducing its entropy. An energy flux from the sun arives in the form of a certain number of visible-light photons and leaves in the form of a larger number of infrared photons; the entropy of the universe increases, to an extent far outweighing small local gains in order in living things.

    When water freezes to ice, its entropy decreases. Oh shocking, a violation of SLoT! Or not.

  88. #88 Julie Stahlhut
    June 12, 2008

    If only Kerry had thought to splash holy water on George Bush during one of their debates and yelled “The power of Christ compels you!” That would have been good theater. And there’s at least a fifty percent chance Bush would have burst into flames and melted.

    My laptop is now thanking me for not having had a mouthful of coffee when I read this.

  89. #89 Walton
    June 12, 2008

    To Charles Minus at #73: Jesse Ventura later clarified that he’s not an atheist per se. He wrote the following in his memoirs, I Ain’t Got Time To Bleed:

    “I’d like to clarify [my comments published in Playboy] about religious people being weak-minded. I didn’t mean all religious people. I don’t have any problem with the vast majority of religious folks. I count myself among them, more or less. But I believe because it makes sense to me, not because I think it can be proven. There are lots of people out there who think they know the truth about God and religion, but does anybody really know for sure? That’s why the founding fathers built freedom of religious belief into the structure of this nation, so that everybody could make up their minds for themselves. But I do have a problem with the people who think they have some right to try to impose their beliefs on others. I hate what the fundamentalist fanatics are doing to our country. It seems as though, if everybody doesn’t accept their version of reality, that somehow invalidates it for them. Everybody must believe the same things they do. That’s what I find weak and destructive.”

  90. #90 Fernando Magyar
    June 12, 2008

    Horgum! Horgum! Margum Chi.
    Raqueshi! Raqueshi! Nearagui!
    Bargaf lackroft trapalull.
    Peefric graken zemafull.

    Hey,can I be a VP candidate now?
    Oh wait, I was born in Brazil they won’t let me.

    Slowly slinks away down a darkened alley while adjusting his Ten Gallon Stetson to hide the horns protruding from the sides of his head.

  91. #91 johannes
    June 12, 2008

    > James George Janos – hey, he’s a Slav!

    Ksenya,

    Hungarians are actually Finno-Ugrians, not Slavs. Ventura himself has often referred to himself as a Slovakian, and Slovakia has a sizeable Magyar minority, but I doubt the current Slovakian goverment – an unnatural and absurd coalition of postcommunists, catholic fundies, Chavez- or Huey Long-style populists and nazis – considers them true Slovakians. On the other side, the Hungarian right-wingers, who are just as batshit-crazy as their Slovakian counterparts, consider Slovakia to be still part of Hungary, and Bratislawa to be the legitimate seat of the Hungarian king.

    Whatever his ethnic roots are, Ventura wasn’t a bad governor at all, and I always had a lot of sympathy for him before he fell for this 9/11 truther crap.

  92. #92 Mark C
    June 12, 2008

    I used to work for Jindal’s uncle, who incidentally is a Hindu and a Democrat.

    I can tell you right now that he’s got the whole congenial young guy act down pat in person… and in power he’s everything you expect from a christian conservative who makes promises he can’t (never intended to) keep.

    He won the state because he lost to Blanco before Katrina, and then we all know what a bang-up job she did for Louisiana.

    If he leaves so soon after being elected and after making all the promises he has, he can kiss the respect (and we can only hope, votes) of half of the people who elected him in this state.

    But then again, this is Louisiana, and once you get 5 miles outside of New Orleans or Baton Rouge, you might as well be in Mississippi.

  93. #93 Kseniya
    June 12, 2008

    Sadie and Johannes

    Minor nitpick: Hungarian is not part of the Slavic branch (of either languages or ethnicities).

    Of course, you are correct! I thought he was Slovakian – but no, though his family came from Slovakia, they were ethnic Hungarian. Another “duh” moment for me. LOL. One in a series. Sigh. :-)

  94. #94 Aquaria
    June 12, 2008

    When David Duke (KKK) ran for governer against Edwin Edwards (multiple indictments), a common bumper sticker read “Vote For the Crook.”

    My favorite was “Better a Lizard than a Wizard.”

    Good ol’ Edwin. He could turn a phrase like no one else. He spoke the greatest political confidence statement of all time: “The only way I can lose this election is if I’m caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy.”

    You could hate everything else about the guy, but you had to laugh your ass off when he cranked out gems like that (and there was plenty more where that remark came from; the guy was a quote machine waiting to happen).

    Oh, and Edwin may have been a crook and a perv, but he publicly stated that he didn’t believe in the resurrection myth, and he didn’t expect to go to heaven, either. Hoo boy, did that cause a tempête dans un verre d’eau with the Shreveport set.

  95. #95 badger
    June 12, 2008

    “But then again, this is Louisiana, and once you get 5 miles outside of New Orleans or Baton Rouge, you might as well be in Mississippi.”

    Not quite true. The further one gets away from the swamps and coast, the food gets worse and the booze gets scarce.

  96. #96 TomJoe
    June 12, 2008

    That essay was written … 14 years ago. Is that the best/only thing you could dig up on the guy? Sheesh.

  97. #97 Draconiz
    June 12, 2008

    TomJoe

    Did you miss the part where just last year he supported intelligent design?

  98. #98 Paul W.
    June 12, 2008

    On every one of these ‘academic freedom’ bills we should promote an amendment which ensures teachers are free to teach comprehensive sex-ed.

    That’s a really interesting idea. It would certainly make it clearer that these folks are not really interested in academic freedom.

    It might backfire, though. Some moderates who oppose proselytizing in schools might vote for the bills anyway, just to get a saner sex ed policy.

  99. #99 JJR
    June 12, 2008

    Art @#40
    “Richard Millhouse Nixon climbs out of Cheney’s rear and assumes the iconic double peace sign pose”

    Funny, but historically inaccurate. Cheney and Rumsfeld in those days were part of the neocon band known as “Team B”, and actively worked to undermine Nixon/Kissenger’s policy of Détente with the USSR, ever pushing for a more aggressive posture, advocating “rollback” and ultimately paving the way for the eventual aggressive Reagan military buildup of the 1980s. See the BBC documentary THE POWER OF NIGHTMARES. Still probably on YouTube somewhere.

  100. #100 Dave D.
    June 12, 2008

    >Anyone know how the Biology program is at Brown?
    >I’m always alarmed when a creationist gets honors
    >from an undergrad Biology program.

    I graduated from Brown 25 years ago, majoring in applied mathematics and biology.

    My freshman biology professor was remarkable. His name is Ken Miller. In case you’ve been living in a cave, he is someone who has done more than his fair share of defending science.

    The biology program was then, and is now, outstanding.

    (pass/fail comments from someone who “worked at Brown” notwithstanding.)

    p.s. Any follow-up to this post pointing out that both Ken Miller and Bobby Jindal are Catholics, implying some defect in Brown’s biology program, will be defective itself.

  101. #101 Andrew
    June 12, 2008

    “He’s also the governor of Louisiana. How could you people down there elect this goony bird?”

    and

    “The Louisiana house of representatives has approved a bill that would allow science teachers to “supplement” classes with wackaloonery.”

    I think you may have answered your own question there PZ.

  102. #102 RG
    June 12, 2008

    “He’s also the governor of Louisiana. How could you people down there elct this goony bird?”

    It’s LOUISIANA. ‘Nuff said.

  103. #103 mandrake
    June 12, 2008

    @95
    There was also a joke that we sold a bunch of our polling machines to Mexico (actually, I think that part is true.)
    Then Mexico held a presidential election and Edwards won.

    Aquaria, are you a fellow escapee?

  104. #104 Longtime Lurker
    June 12, 2008

    I don’t think Jindal will be the Republican nominee for two reasons- his pigmentation, and his popery.

    Remember, McCain is not too popular with the party base, so he will probably choose a pasty-white Protestant fundamentalist as his running mate.

    Jindal may have participated in an exorcism, but he probably used an unacceptable rite. As someone raised in the “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic” church myself, I also doubt that his little exorcism would have passed muster with the Vatican.

  105. #105 Dennis N
    June 12, 2008

    Dave D., we like what Ken Miller does for science, and he’s an excellent speaker. We just point out that he must do some compartmentalizing to be both Catholic and a scientist.

  106. #106 Dave D.
    June 12, 2008

    Dennis N:

    I agree.

    I was asserting that this has nothing to do with the quality of the biology program at Brown.

  107. #107 ndt
    June 12, 2008

    Jindal may have participated in an exorcism, but he probably used an unacceptable rite. As someone raised in the “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic” church myself, I also doubt that his little exorcism would have passed muster with the Vatican.

    Posted by: Longtime Lurker | June 12, 2008 2:14 PM

    Yep. The Catholic Church saysy only qualified priests are supposed to perform exorcisms, not lay Catholics.

    I agree that he is both the wrong color and wrong denomination to be the Republican VP. I know a guy on another message board who made called Indians something like raghead terrorists. Upon being informed that the majority of Indians are Hindu, not Muslim, he responded that he didn’t care, they were all the same to him. This kind of ignorant wingnut is the Republican base; McCain can’t afford to alienate them.

  108. #108 Tim H
    June 12, 2008

    Given that the Dems in the La state gov vote for creationism, what do you expect from the Repubs? My guess it that is has to do with the fact that the reason people in La live below river level is because all the high ground is taken up by toxic waste dumps.

  109. #109 BruceJ
    June 12, 2008

    Jindal ran on the platform, “I’m they guy without the felonies” It’s Louisiana politics.

    Without the convicted felonies, at least. That description of exorcism includes assault, battery and kidnapping.

  110. #110 Longtime Lurker
    June 12, 2008

    In the off-chance that Jindal does get the nomination, political dirty tricksters can pronounce his name: HEEN-DOLL, make it sound Spanish.

    Remember, for wingnuts: Brown+Catholic= Mexican MEChA Aztaln reconquista Flag-hating gangster.

  111. #111 Bob Munck
    June 12, 2008

    Brown has an excellent Biology department, and it isn’t just Ken Miller. Back when he (and I) were undergrads, there was a truly amazing professor named Walter Quevedo. They’ve always had fantastic marine biologists and molecular biologists up the gazoo. (I was in Apple Math, with another amazing professor named Andy van Dam.)

    We’re discussing Jindal on the alumni mailing list; can’t figure him out. At least one participant knew him well, heard rumors of the exorcism at the time.

  112. #112 Ted
    June 12, 2008

    This is not rocket science.
    Palin as McCain’s Veep.

  113. #113 Kseniya
    June 13, 2008

    Jindal ran on the platform, “I’m they guy without the felonies” It’s Louisiana politics.

    Speaking of Brown, that kind of campaign slogan would be right at home there in Rhode Island.

  114. #114 Skwee
    June 13, 2008

    Possible campaign slogan:

    THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!!!!

  115. #115 Eric Saveau
    June 13, 2008

    Palin as McCain’s Veep.

    Impossible. Palin, like every other member of Monty Python save one, is British. And from everything I’ve heard him say, he would NOT be a McCain supporter.

    …wait, you do mean MICHAEL Palin, right..?
    :-D

  116. #116 Cassidy
    June 13, 2008

    This alleged demon possession was most likely a seizure or series of seizures. So Jindal and his fellow goons are not only guilty of restraining someone against her will, they are guilty of actively preventing someone with a serious medical condition from being diagnosed and treated.

    I have epilepsy, so some of the aspects of the seizure are quite familiar to me. For example, when a person has a tonic-chlonic (grand mal) seizure, or a series of them, it is physically exhausting. Subsequently being in and out of consciousness for hours is not uncommon. The first time one has a grand mal is particularly terrifying. You regain physical coordination before you can think. You don’t know who you are, you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you’re with, you can’t even recall your own name. Imagine your brain functioning well enough to know you are being set upon by people you do not recognize. No wonder she fought them.

    Instead of praying and restraining Susan for hours, Jindal and goons should have helped her to the floor to prevent her injuring herself during a fall, and called an ambulance. What utter imbeciles!

    On the other hand, in prehistory, there are indications that people apparently drilled holes in epileptics heads to release the evil spirits. Lucky thing those good Christians didn’t have any drills handy!

  117. #117 bullet
    June 13, 2008

    To be fair, he WAS in college. If I had been invited to an exorcism while in college I would most certainly have gone. I just would have dropped a hit beforehand.

    The reason he got elected is that everyone felt bad for dissing him in 2001 in favor of she who shall not be named, quite possibly the worst governor EVER, just because he’s brown. It was sound enough thinking at the time. In the interim he went to Congress and turned from a smart, capable guy into a first-class panderer. I don’t think he believes any of this shit. He’ll say whatever you want.

    I would love McCain to pick him so we can find ourselves a new one.

    Plus, Louisiana is full of world-class Christian nut jobs.

  118. #118 scrabcake
    June 13, 2008

    As a brown alumni, I apologize for my people.
    …hoever, a scary number of those so called “bastions of progressiveness” have a lot of dumb rich legacy kids and “poor persecuted protestant white males” which aren’t mutually exclusive.

  119. #119 scrabcake
    June 13, 2008

    hoever == however. >:P

  120. #120 Longtime Lurker
    June 13, 2008

    Scrabcake, the proper term is “Prestigious Bastion of Prestige”.

  121. #121 scrabcake
    June 13, 2008

    [polishes her prestige badge]

    There were a lot of kids, myself included that got in without the benefit of daddy’s money. I’m just saying, going to a prestigious bastion of prestige doesn’t imply intelligence. See above.

  122. #122 eddie
    August 29, 2008

    Palin, eh.
    Who’dathunkit?

  123. #123 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 29, 2008

    YEah interesting choice.

    Trying to dig to find out more about her.

    Alaska doesn’t home much sway vote wise so not that.

    She is supposedly Big Oil independent, but who knows how much truth in that.

    She is a woman so I’m sure that plays into the idiot Hillary supporters who are all boo hoo about Obama.

  124. #124 Nick Gotts
    August 29, 2008

    She’s apparently very keen on protecting fetuses (anti-choice), but equally keen on killing actual people (lifetime member of NRA, supporter of capital punishment). Hates gays (“marriage should be between a man and a woman”), anti-environmentalist and prepared to reject science for ideological reasons (uses the codeword “sound science”, “rejects global warming hysteria”, opposes listing the polar bear as endangered, supports drilling for oil in the ANWR).