Jewish Journal

God and the jobs bill

by Brad A. Greenberg

November 5, 2011 | 1:28 pm

In a press conference this week, Obama press secretary Jay Carney made a common mistake. In talking about the job creation, President Obama had urged passage of a provision of the jobs bill by saying: “I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work.”

Carney later clarified: “I believe that the phrase from the Bible is, ‘The Lord helps those who help themselves.’”

Actually, neither are correct. As John Blake explained earlier this year, that phrase is nowhere near the pages of the Bible. (It is actually attributed to Benjamin Franklin.) It’s also bad theology.

The world helps those who help themselves, and it should. But there is nothing biblical about that proverb. God wants us to empower ourselves, but only those who subscribe to the prosperity gospel believe that there is promised return on investment.

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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