House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., shared a Bible verse at a conference of presidents of Christian colleges — but it’s nowhere to be found in the Good Book, theological experts say.
Thanking the evangelical community for its leadership on immigration and refugee policy reform, the lawmaker said she wanted to pass along a favorite bit of Bible wisdom, Slate reported.
“And I can’t find it in the Bible, but I quote it all the time and I keep reading and reading the Bible,” Pelosi said.
“I know it’s there someplace. It’s supposed to be in Isaiah. But I heard a bishop say, ‘To minister to the needs of God’s creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God made us.’ It’s there somewhere in some words or another, but certainly the spirit of it is there. ‘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.’”
Slate clarified: It is not “there someplace.”
“The Pelosi passage is not in the Bible,” Will Kynes, an associate professor of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at Whitworth University, told Slate.
The closest he could find was Proverbs 14:31, which switches the order of the two main ideas and focuses specifically on the poor: “Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but those who are kind to the needy honor him.”
She was absolutely correct on one point: she does “quote it all the time.”
Slate reported the earliest example it could find was from from the Congressional Record in 2002, in a speech honoring a Catholic priest in San Francisco who had died.
A more recent illustration came in an April, 21, 2018, Earth Day news release from the California lawmaker, the Daily Caller reported.
“Pelosi’s hemming and hawing in her speech … suggests that she’s aware by now that she has it wrong,” Slate’s Ruth Graham wrote.
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