Tags: Barack Obama | Immigration | bible | chaucer | verses

Obama Quotes Bible – Or Maybe Chaucer

By    |   Wednesday, 10 December 2014 06:53 PM

President Barack Obama made an appearance in Nashville on Wednesday, and while talking about immigration made a reference he said was in the Bible.

"The Good Book says don't throw stones in glass houses. Or make sure we're looking at the log in our eye before we are pointing out the mote in other folks' eyes," Obama said.

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The president was half right. The line about the "log in your eye" is from the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:1-3. Speaking about hypocrisy, Jesus makes the remark about taking the log out of one's own eye before trying to take a speck of sawdust (or a mote) out of someone else's.

But the line about casting stones in glass houses —  not so much.

The Washington Post notes that the proverb, "People who live in glass houses shouldn't cast stones," is an old saying of unknown origin.

Geoffrey Chaucer used something similar in "Troilus and Criseyde," in the 1380s, the Post notes: "And for-thy, who that hath an heed of verre, Fro cast of stones war him in the werre!" It translates that someone with a glass head should beware casting stones.

The Bible does mention something about casting stones. In John 8:7, Jesus told a group of men who wanted to stone a woman to death for adultery, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

But it was the glass houses line that drew criticism. Twitchy collected a series of tweets from those who took issue. A typical tweet to be found online:

Conservatives were also unhappy with another biblical allusion: Mary, Joseph and the birth of Jesus.

"It’s worth considering the Good Book when you’re thinking about immigration," Obama said. "This Christmas season there’s a whole story about a young, soon-to-be-mother and her husband of modest means looking for a place to house themselves for the night, and there’s no room at the inn.

"And as I said the day that I announced these executive actions, we were once strangers too. And part of what my faith teaches me is to look upon the stranger as part of myself. And during this Christmas season, that’s a good place to start."

Joseph and Mary weren't "illegal immigrants," when they traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem, some conservatives, including talk show host Rush Limbaugh, noted. They were actually following the law and paying their taxes, not breaking an immigration law, critics noted.

"They were not strangers, by the way, either," Limbaugh said on Wednesday's show. "They were not strangers in a strange land. Joseph was born in Bethlehem. Did you know that? That's why he had to go back there to pay his taxes."

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President Barack Obama made an appearance in Nashville on Wednesday, and while talking about immigration made a reference he said was in the Bible.
bible, chaucer, verses
Wednesday, 10 December 2014 06:53 PM
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