Fact Check: Nancy Pelosi Did NOT Rip Up Bible In Bold Anti-Trump Statement

Hoax Alert

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fact Check: Nancy Pelosi Did NOT Rip Up Bible In Bold Anti-Trump Statement Satire

Did Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rip up a bible in a bold anti-Trump statement? No, that's not true: the story originated on a well-known Christian-themed satire website but was mistaken by many people for real news.

The satirical article making the claim was published published by The Babylon Bee on June 3, 2020 under the headline "In Bold Anti-Trump Statement, Pelosi Rips Up Bible" (archived here) which opened:

WASHINGTON, D.C.--In a bold, powerful statement to oppose Trump, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi solemnly tore up the Bible after Trump was seen holding one up in front of a church.

At a press conference, the Speaker of the House held up a Bible and then ripped it in two, declaring that she was against anything Trump was associated with.

A version of the story with just the headline also went viral on Instagram:

Lead Stories found several instances of Facebook posts where the number of "Angry" reactions dramatically outnumbered the "Haha" ones, indicating many people did not realize the post was meant to be a joke:

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According to Google Trends there also was a marked uptick in searches related to Nancy Pelosi ripping up the bible, further indicating many people were unsure if the story was real or not:

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However the article was just a piece of satire mocking Pelosi's own "bible moment":

Which came in response to President Trump holding up a bible earlier in the week during a photo-op for which protesters were forcefully displaced first:

The Babylon Bee is a satire site with following disclaimer on the 'about' page:

What is The Babylon Bee?

The Babylon Bee is the world's best satire site, totally inerrant in all its truth claims. We write satire about Christian stuff, political stuff, and everyday life.

The Babylon Bee was created ex nihilo on the eighth day of the creation week, exactly 6,000 years ago. We have been the premier news source through every major world event, from the Tower of Babel and the Exodus to the Reformation and the War of 1812. We focus on just the facts, leaving spin and bias to other news sites like CNN and Fox News.

If you would like to complain about something on our site, take it up with God.

Unlike other satire sites, everything we post is 100% verified by Snopes.com.

At Lead Stories we are big fans of satire but in accordance with our Satire Policy we sometimes fact check satirical content if it seems there are many people who don't get the joke (or if the joke gets stolen by Macedonian fake news sites and is then presented as "news"). To quote from our Satire Policy:

Sometimes jokes need to be fact checked. Not for you, because you are smart and you get the joke. But for the crazy uncle who thinks it is real. Or for the foreign journalist who doesn't know what The Onion is. Or for the people who missed the disclaimer and the hints. Or because the disclaimer and the hints were hidden on purpose.

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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