Commentary Magazine


Jay Carney, Biblical Illiterate

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, at his daily briefing, was asked about President Obama invoking God in a pitch for his jobs bill at the Key Bridge in Washington, D.C. In response, Carney said, “Well, I believe the phrase in the Bible is, the Lord helps those who help themselves.”

Actually, there is no such phrase in the Bible. What Carney (and Obama) may have had in mind is a line from President Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, in which Kennedy said, “With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

I realize JFK is something of a sainted figure within Democratic circles (I happen to admire much about Kennedy as well). But his Inaugural Address, as good as it was, was not written on stone tablets. And Kennedy, whatever his strengths were, was not the incarnation of God.

We already knew Carney was a mediocre press secretary; he also turns out to be something of a biblical illiterate as well.