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FACTCHECK: Did Phil Robertson quote scripture?

Now that the dust has settled on the Duck Dynasty debacle, everyone has had a chance to take a deep breath and relax in the knowledge that nothing has really changed. It is worth examining one of the keystone claims under debate about the clash between Phil Robertson and A&E:

Was Phil Robertson suspended from A&E (temporarily) for quoting scripture?

The left, of course, claims that he was not. They claim that he was suspended (temporarily) for being crass, rude, insulting and offensive.

The right, on the other hand, claims that he was suspended (temporarily) for merely uttering the words of the Lord Almighty as transcribed in the Holy Bible (Amen).

Unfortunately, all that A&E said was that he was suspended for “offensive remarks”, without precisely spelling out which words were at issue. So we are left with something of a scavenger hunt: were any of the “offensive” things that Phil said actually Bible Verse?

Let us examine his actual words.

QUOTE:

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying?”

VERDICT

Probably not a Bible Verse. Despite performing a large number of searches for different combinations of key phrases such as “there’s more there!” and “know what I’m saying?” and “anus”, nothing even remotely like this seems to be in the Bible. Which is a shame, because more people would probably read the Bible if it talked more about the relative merits of anus and vagina.

Anus in the Bible

QUOTE:

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”

VERDICT

Probably not a Bible Verse. Although the last part does bear some similarity to the lyrics of the 1990’s dance song “Girls and Boys” by Blur. Someone should check into that. Otherwise, the Bible doesn’t discuss very many things using the term “morph out from there”.

 

QUOTE:

“From the beginning Jesus said, ‘It is a man and a woman.’ Adam was made and Eve was made for this reason. They left their fathers and mothers and be united to become one flesh, that’s what marriage is all about.”

VERDICT

ALMOST A BIBLE VERSE! This is very nearly Matthew 19:4-5, in which Jesus says: “Don’t you know that in the beginning the Creator made a man and a woman? That’s why a man leaves his father and mother and gets married. He becomes like one person with his wife.”

Awesome. However, the problem is that this was Jesus answering the Pharisees in Matthew 19:3, who asked, “Is it right for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”

So this quote is about the terrible sinfulness of divorce. It has nothing to do with homosexuality. Or at least: it didn’t when Jesus said it.

 

QUOTE:

“Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God.”

VERDICT

ALMOST A BIBLE VERSE! The quote that he was aiming for here was 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Unfortunately, this is a fairly tricky verse to deal with, because of the many different ways that it has been translated.

Let’s look at just a few examples of the key homo passage in 1 Corinthians 6:9.

New International Version
Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men

New Living Translation

Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality,

World English Bible
Don’t be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals,

English Standard Version
Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

NET Bible

Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals,

Jubilee Bible 2000

Do not err: neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor effeminate nor homosexuals

King James Bible
Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

King James 2000 Bible
Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

American King James Version
Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

Weymouth New Testament

Cherish no delusion here. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor any who are guilty of unnatural crime,

Young’s Literal Translation
be not led astray; neither whoremongers, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor sodomites,

Douay-Rheims Bible
Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers,

 


 

We can see immediately that there are some problems with the “inerrant word of the Lord” when we compare these side-by-side. Although the word “homosexual” appears in one form or another in most of these translations, it does not appear in all of them and it does not appear in any of the versions of the very famous “King James” translation.

Should we really assume that certain slangy phrases, like “abusers of themselves with mankind”, really do refer to homosexualism? Even if we do assume that, the last several translations on the list do not mention homosex at all in any form.

Some people argue that Young’s Literal Translation includes homosexuality in “sodomites”, but this is technically incorrect: “sodomy” simply refers to any act that is not penis-to-vagina intercourse, and therefore a heterosexual man who likes getting blowjobs is “sodomite” and a celibate gay person is not.

(Side Note: You gotta love the NET Bible, which calls out a specific sexual position. Apparently being gay is bad, but if you’re the one getting boinked then it’s REALLY bad. You get extra special sin points for being the “bottom”, and even more so if you like show tunes and fashionable outfits, it seems.)

 


 

The Final Verdict: MEH… CLOSE ENOUGH

None of the things that Phil Robertson were actually Bible quotes, but to of them were kind of close and the other two were stuff that Jesus was probably thinking and just never got around to writing down.

So, we might as well just give this a “Politifact Mostly True” rating and call it a day.

Mostly Bullshit

 
2 Comments  comments 

2 Responses

  1. Douay-Rheims Bible
    Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers,

    My best source liked Douay Rheims if I ever wanted to go back and study it.
    KJV, not so much.
    Making comparisons during the election was a hoot.

  2. ezra

    There are a good number of christians out there that don’t buy in to this radical conservative tea sipping nonsense. and it p*ss*s us off that they claim it is biblical at all …
    just sayin …

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