House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is Catholic, loves to quote her favorite passage from the Bible. She's been doing it for more than a decade, and she did so most recently when she addressed Christian educators at the end of January. But there's just one problem: the verse doesn't exist.
The Speaker, who made the infamous line about Obamacare, "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it," has been known to make a gaffe here or there, but this is not the case.
Years ago, to support a push for global warming legislation, she said in an Earth Day press release: "The Bible tells us in the Old Testament, '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.'"
I can’t find it in the Bible but I quote it all the time.
Pelosi has quoted the false passage at least 11 times from the House floor since 2002, according to the Congressional Record.
Slate reported that she has used it to recognize genocide in Darfur, support the Endangered Species Act, and twice to honor Catholic schools. She was publicly criticized in 2008 but seems to acknowledge that, of the thousands of Bible verses to choose from, she can't pinpoint exactly where it is.
“I can’t find it in the Bible but I quote it all the time, and I keep reading and reading the Bible. I know it is there someplace," Pelosi told the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities conference last Wednesday. “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 who made us.”
“It’s in there somewhere in some words or another, but certainly the spirit of it is there,” Pelosi said. “And that we all have a responsibility to act upon our beliefs and the dignity and worth of every person.”
While she's used the verse for many different causes, last week she pivoted to comprehensive immigration reform.
Claude Mariottini, a professor of Old Testament at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary called it "fictional," saying: "It is not in the Bible. There is nothing that even approximates that."
Pelosi's admission comes as President Trump recently celebrated numerous states introducing "Bible literacy" classes in public schools.