On Earth Day, Nancy Pelosi shared her favorite Old Testament verse with the nation: “To minister to the needs of God’s creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.” This is one of Pelosi’s favorite verses—according to Michelle Malkin, she has used it in official statements on global warming, the budget, Martin Luther King Day, Christmas, and why she’s a Democrat.
It’s hard not to notice that that quote doesn’t sound much like the Bible—it sounds more like something from the PETA charter. The Old Testament really doesn’t mention the environment much—even the endless lists of laws found in the Pentateuch don’t actually mention man’s relationship to the Earth (except for the “be fruitful and multiply” verse, but I don’t think that is what Pelosi was thinking of). This “verse” sounds suspiciously like something Nancy Pelosi just made up. A quick search of the Bible reveals that such suspicions are correct, and that this quote is nowhere to be found in the Bible.
During the last Presidential election in 2004, Howard Dean made much the same mistake. When discussing his religion with a reporter, Dean claimed his favorite New Testament book was Job which is in the Old Testament. (And I really doubt that Job is his favorite book—it is famous, but extremely hard to read and to comprehend. It’s not the first book that someone who rarely attends church, as Dean does, would read). Warming to his theme, Dean complained that he doesn’t like the ending of the book of Job, but that fortunately there is a more optimistic ending in “some of the books of the New Testament.” Apparently, he means that in some early translations of the book, there was an alternate “optimistic” ending, although it’s hard to imagine one more optimistic than the one that is actually in the book.
Going back two elections to 2000, Al Gore proclaimed in a debate with George Bush: “In my faith tradition, it's written in the book of Matthew, where your heart is, there is your treasure also. And I believe that we ought to recognize the value to our children and grandchildren of taking steps that preserve the environment in a way that's good for them." Except that is not in the Bible either. The actual quote is the inverse of Gore’s, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Anyone can make a mistake, but this is ridiculous. It seems that the Democrats have an election year tradition of having an extremely prominent Democrat make an incredibly dumb Bible-related gaffe. The misquotes by Pelosi, Dean, and Gore aren’t even explicable as some sort of misunderstanding—they make absolutely no sense, and this state of ignorance seems to pervade the highest echelons of the Democratic Party.
Why do Democrats make these elementary mistakes? Because they view quoting the Bible as a foreign language. Religion really isn’t friendly territory to liberals. Most prominent Catholic clergy, such as Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XV, oppose most key elements of the liberal platform. Democrats also do poorly among the more religious Protestants, whose leaders also speak out against the Democrat’s anti-family message.
This leaves Democrats to harvest those who attend church, but not really seriously. They come to church to feel like they are spiritual people, but really don’t want to hear anything stronger from the pulpit than condemnations of sins they wouldn’t commit anyway, like murder and racism. This strain of churchgoer really doesn’t want to hear Bible quotes—apart from that being sort of like fundamentalism, ideas like “everlasting fire” are a little scary.
Is it any wonder why Democrats commit so many stupid gaffes when condescending to quote Scripture to the “bitter” (in Barack Obama’s words) believers in flyover country? The Bible has few passages that support their message, and is a book that is completely unfamiliar to many Democrat politicians. It is no wonder that Democrats commit so many mistakes—in fact, such mistakes are inevitable.