I saw a posting on The Other Side of Kim about San Francisco Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s Earth Day statement. The Patriot Post says the biblical quote in her statement, or anything resembling the quote, doesn’t actually appear in the Bible.
Despite my self-professed atheism, I do have a Bible. It doesn’t even burn when I touch it! Whenever a biblical quotation appears in a book, movie, or television show, I look it up. Typically, the quotes are the result of creative editing. It’s interesting to see what the writer has left out as well as the context.
Pelosi doesn’t offer a citation in her press release so I resorted to the web to search for the quote she used. I found nothing. Perhaps she paraphrased liberally? I asked:
From: “Rick Pali” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2008 13:02:06 -0400
Subject: Regarding your Earth Day statement
I came across discussion of your statement celebrating Earth Day, and in particular, this passage:
“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’ve been unable to locate this passage. Perhaps you’ve paraphrased, or taken it from an edition of the Bible I’m not familiar with. Could you please provide a citation? I’m interested in seeing the context of the quote.
I noticed an interesting notice on her site’s contact page. It says:
Please note that the rules of Congressional courtesy prevent Rep. Pelosi from replying to e-mails if she cannot determine that you are a constituent, so remember to include your full name, address, and zip code.
The emphasis is not mine.
So I shouldn’t expect an answer, I suppose. I can understand that a congressperson doesn’t want to be bothered with questions about how she’s handling issues affecting her constituents if the question is from someone other than her constituents. On the other hand, she issues statements to the public and should be responsible for what she says because her words can indeed have an effect outside her constituency. What it boils down to is the politician not having a moment for anyone who isn’t able to vote for/against them.
For example, during the English leadership debate for the 2005 Federal election, Liberal leader Paul Martin said Toronto’s mayor said stolen legal guns were killing people. I quoted Martin in my January 10, 2006 entry. Wanting to find out the details, I wrote Mayor David Miller and received a form letter response directing me to the Toronto Police. I wrote the Toronto police and they didn’t see fit to respond. Certainly Toronto’s mayor and police don’t feel beholden to me, but in this case what they said does affect me.
In Pelosi’s case, I’m forced to assume she’s not being truthful. If she’s okay with this, who am I to argue?