Marco Rubio vs. “The Journalists”

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In a recent interview, Senator Marco Rubio, effectively the Republican front-runner for 2016, was asked, “How old do you think the Earth is?”

Rubio’s answer was excellent: “I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States.”

Good answer. But unfortunately, liberals responded with knee-jerk condemnation. An editor for the New York Times—that flagship of faith and reason—judged Rubio’s response “ludicrous.” A writer at Slate, who no doubt Googled first, claimed authoritatively: “Our planet was formed 4.54 billion years ago. If Rubio suggested otherwise, it’s because he’s uninformed or stupid.”

Ah, yes. Everyone at Slate knows the Earth is 4.54 billion years old.

As for myself, I couldn’t answer that question off-the-cuff. I’ve been a scientist, an agnostic/borderline atheist, a Protestant and Catholic. I’ve taught Sunday School, Religious Ed, lectured at colleges, collected data at top research labs. I’ve published in scientific and political journals. I only know, as Rubio does, that theologians dispute this question.

In fact, anyone with a serious, sincere interest in this question knows that. But, of course, the question wasn’t asked to Rubio out of sincere interest.

Marco Rubio needs to understand that these aren’t earnest questions; they are political booby-traps set by political partisans working as journalists. Rubio should stand strong and not let them get away with it. He should tell them: “Look, be honest. We know what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to trip me up. I’m not a theologian. I’m not a minister. I don’t want to be one, and the American public doesn’t want me to be one. Let’s stick to issues that concern people. Oh, and one more thing: Are you asking this question to any Democrats? Are you?”

Rubio should say it calmly, gently, and with a smile.

Be strong. Be truthful. And don’t fall for their traps, Senator Rubio.

For Catholic Exchange dot com and Ave Maria Radio, I’m Paul Kengor.

Dr. Paul Kengor


Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values. His books include “The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism” and “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.”

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  • Elsie

    That’s hilarious. It’s OK for Obama not to know when human life begins and yet to approve of abortion at any stage. But it’s certainly not OK for Marco Rubio not to know how old the earth is in spite of the fact that it has absolutely nothing to do with his role as a senator.
    Will anything ever be done about the flagrant media bias in this country? Wake up, America. Or is it too late for that?

  • Greg

    It’s too late for that.

  • Lee

    It is never too late for anything! American people may be slow in their response, but they are not stupid. The Holy Spirit works through all of us in good due time. Why, even those evil journalists are going to change! We human beings know right from wrong. So, come on lets keep moving forward and for heaven sake keep those prayers in the fore-front!

  • Jeff

    I’m sad to say it but the majority of Americans are, in fact, stupid.

  • Peter Nyikos

    It’s amusing how someone actually thinks the age of the earth is known to within the accuracy claimed by that figure of 4.54 billion years. If I had seen that Slate post, I would have asked, “Is that before or after the Mars-sized planet tore a big chunk out of it?” [This is in reference to the prevailing theory that the moon was formed from a big chunk of the earth in that way.]

  • Nov. 29th: I agree. When will Republicans learn to stop falling into these traps, trying to be nice…it doesn’t work!!! Obama’s people lied outrageously about Mitt Romney and when they were found out, they kept repeating the lies anyway…Republicans should not lie but they should stop bending to the game plans of the liberals…

  • grace

    Jesus was not a republican nor a democrat…

  • Grace

    Do we really know right from wrong, or do conveniently go along party lines…

  • grace

    Although I’m Catholic, I’m not a Republican and I find these types of articles biased. If we are pro-life advocates than we must defend the sanctity of life at all levels, like stand against the death penalty and choose peace vs war!

  • RayC55

    YOUR COMMENT, “Let’s stick to issues that concern people. Oh, and one more thing: Are you asking this question to any Democrats? Are you?”, SHOULD BE A STANDARD RESPONSE FOR ALL REPUBLICAN/CONSERVATIVE POLITICIANS WHEN INTERVIEWED BY THE LEFT-LEANING PRESS.

  • rakeys

    Grace, this article had nothing to do with Catholic church teaching. it only points out that the media attempts to trip up Republican candidates and give a pass to Democratic candidates.In that it is not biased. I also am not a Republican

    Yes, we should oppose the death penalty, and choose peace vs war. I find it interesting that you then vote Democratic when it is Obama sent more troops into Afghanistan in the surge and is proud that he killed Osama bin laden, not too mention the 1.2 millions babies killed in abortion every year.

  • RufusChoate

    So as to be clear, we can assume that you belong to the party that supports the extra-juridical murder of innocent children by the simple fiat of an irresponsible woman, the dehumanization of the poor to merely consumers of government services, the destruction of the critical role of families in society, the diminution of faith in the social order, view homosexuality as a viable alternative to normative sexuality, the redefinition of marriage to accommodate unnatural sexual expression, the mass murder and torture of innocents by Islamic terrorists and the usurpation of Christianity and Western Civilization by Islam?

    It is very important to protect criminals the death penalty after all it would take only 9 months of applying the death penalty to all Criminals at the same rate as abortion to eradicate all criminals in all of the prisons in the land. But some might be innocent when all aborted children are innocent.

    Don’t forget that the Democrat Party is the historical party of slavery, Jim Crow, abandoning millions to mass murder and enslavement in Eastern Europe, Miscegenation Laws, Poll taxes and the Klan but… they oppose wars?

  • RufusChoate

    No but we are very certain he didn’t desire the of murder of an innocent child based on inconvenience.

  • RufusChoate

    Why don’t you tell us? You seem to find only a limited number of issues abhorrent and conveniently for you nothing you’re actually responsible for.