Nancy Pelosi quotes some “scripture” on Earth Day:
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.’
Huh? Where exactly in the Old Testament would that be? Biblical scholars are equally puzzled:
John J. Collins, the Holmes professor of Old Testament criticism and interpretation at Yale Divinity School, said he is totally unfamiliar with Pelosi’s quotation.
“(It’s) not one that I recognize,” Collins told Cybercast News Service. “I assume that she means this is a paraphrase. But it wouldn’t be a close paraphrase to anything I know of.”
Claude Mariottini, a professor of Old Testament at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, told Cybercast News Service the passage not only doesn’t exist – it’s “fictional.”
“It is not in the Bible,” Mariottini said. “There is nothing that even approximates that.”
In fact, one hardly has to be a Bible scholar to recognize Pelosi’s quote as unlikely. Although the Bible definitely suggests that we should be good stewards of creation, to call doing so “an act of worship” sounds awfully close to idolatry.
Mark Goodwin, an associate professor of theology at the University of Dallas, said Pelosi’s quote only reflects a partial Scriptural truth, at best.
“‘To minister to the needs of creation is an act of worship’ doesn’t sound right to my ears,” Goodwin said. “To minister to the needs of creation’- yes, but not as an act of worship. I’m not sure what she meant by that, and if I were there, I would have raised my hand and asked her to clarify that.”
Mariottini doesn’t mince words:
“People try to use the Bible to give authority to what they are trying to say,” he said. “(This) is one of those texts that you fabricate in order to support what you want to say.”