Obama or God:  Who Said It?

Survey Shows More U.S. Adults Attribute Bible Verse to President Obama Than The Good Book

Americans are confusing President Barack Obama's messages of hope with quotes from the Bible. A survey released today found 54 percent of U.S. adults attributed a Bible verse about caring for the poor and oppressed to celebrities, politicians, and others including Oprah, Bono and Angelina Jolie rather than the Bible. Obama received the highest percentage of attributions.

The survey found a quarter of U.S. adults attributed the Old Testament verse "You must defend those who are helpless and have no hope. Be fair and give justice to the poor and homeless" to either President Obama or the Dalai Lama. Only 13 percent correctly identified the source as the Bible.

The survey—conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of the American Bible Society to coincide with the release of its new Poverty and Justice Bible—also found that:

Although 80 percent of adults claimed to be familiar with the Bible—the best-selling book in history—46 percent think the Bible offers the most teachings on heaven, hell, adultery, pride or jealousy. In fact, there are more teachings on poverty than on any of those topics.
Approximately one in four men (23 percent) do not think it is their responsibility to help the poor.

"The survey illustrates the reason we created The Poverty and Justice Bible—to highlight God's concern for the poor, marginalized and oppressed," said Lamar Vest, president of American Bible Society. 

"The Poverty and Justice Bible seeks to challenge the notion that the Bible is outdated and proves that God - not politicians, celebrities or even our greatest activists - was the first to speak out on today's most pressing issues of poverty and injustice," said Richard Stearns, president and CEO of World Vision, an international relief organization and collaborator on the Bible project.

Not a new translation, The Poverty and Justice Bible is the first to highlight the more than 2,000 verses that refer to poverty and justice.  The integrated study guide offers practical ideas for helping with local issues including homelessness, healthcare, literacy, wages, immigrants, abuse and even toilets. 

The Poverty and Justice Bible is available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Bibles.com, ChristianBooks.com, LifeWay and Family Christian stores, and in Manhattan at the American Bible Society bookstore. For more information visit JusticeBible.org

1 The survey was conducted by telephone among 1,001 U.S. adults (ages 18+) November 6-9, 2009.  For complete methodology, contact Jeff Johnson or Amy Anderson.

2 Proverbs 31:8

Poll Your Audience

What topic do you think the Bible offers the most teaching on?
__Heaven     __Hell     __Adultery     __Poverty

Do you believe the Bible champions the cause of the poor?
Who Said It? survey like the above Harris Interactive Poll
Do you believe it is or is not your responsibility to help the poor and oppressed?

INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES

  • R. Lamar Vest, president of the American Bible Society
  • Richard Stearns, president and CEO of World Vision, a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and collaborator on the Bible project

 

QUOTES

  • Bono, lead singer, U2
    "It's not coincidence that in the Scriptures, poverty is mentioned more than 2,100 times . . . that's a lot of airtime." Bono
  • Rick Warren, author of Purpose Driven Life which has sold more copies than any book in American history except the Bible and pastor of Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, Calif.
    "I went to Bible College, two seminaries and I got a doctorate.  How did I miss this [how much God has to say about poverty and justice]?"
  • R. Lamar Vest, president of American Bible Society
    "The survey illustrates the reason we created The Poverty and Justice Bible-to highlight God's concern for the poor, marginalized and oppressed."
  • Richard Stearns, president and CEO of World Vision
    "The Poverty and Justice Bible seeks to challenge the notion that the Bible is outdated and proves that God—not politicians, celebrities or even our greatest activists - was the first to speak out on today's most pressing issues of poverty and injustice."

 

STATISTICS ABOUT POVERTY AND JUSTICE IN AMERICA:

  • 3.5 million Americans are likely to experience homelessness in a given year. (National Coalition for the Homeless, 2009)
  • 40 percent of homeless men are veterans.  On any given night, 200,000 veterans are homeless. (Now on PBS, 2009)
  • Nearly half of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point during their childhood. (Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, USAToday.com, 2009)
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About The American Bible Society  
Headquartered in New York City, the 193-year-old American Bible Society exists to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so that all people may experience its life-changing message.

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