Televangelist Pastor John Hagee likes to tweet Bible verses and interpretations of Bible verses, often doing so several times per day. He also often attracts critics due to his not-infrequent antisemitic and Islamophobic statements, including saying that all Jewish people are going to hell, and his support of Donald Trump. Recently, however, he basically did all the work for his critics by seeming to invalidate the entire Bible and possibly all religion with one tweet:
If you are not an eyewitness, you are a false witness (Exodus 20:16). If you didn’t see it, you shouldn’t be gossipping about it. - @PastorJohnHagee— Pastor John Hagee (@PastorJohnHagee) January 12, 2020
In most versions of the Bible, Exodus 20:16 reads something like: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” It doesn’t get into what counts as false witness and certainly doesn’t mention gossip, so this appears to be Hagee’s interpretation. It may also have been a defense of Donald Trump leading up to the Senate impeachment trial, as both Trump and his supporters have tried to claim that because the most important witnesses aren’t direct witnesses, all of their testimony is mere “hearsay.”
Unfortunately for Hagee, that would also make the entire Bible “hearsay,” as multiple Twitter users pointed out.
That eliminates the Gospels themselves! Thanks!
— The Free Thought Prophet⚛☘🥃🤟 (@TheFTProphet) January 12, 2020
So the entirely of Christianity is just “gossiping”. Because none of you are eyewitnesses.
— Maki N. (@MakiN47550299) January 14, 2020
Not just the bible alone, but the bible by itself, through his submission, discredits all religions and their beliefs in entirety.— Ben Israel (@benisraeltesley) January 14, 2020
Really??? Ironic, isn’t it “pastor”
Kinda pissing on the whole religion thing there
— savageape (@savag3ap3) January 12, 2020
None of the authors of the Bible were eyewitnesses. #micdrop
— Keith Walter (@kwalter827) January 12, 2020
The setup and comeback were so perfect that they ended up on the notorious Reddit forum r/MurderedByWords and quickly gained over 50,000 upvotes. The comments there are even better, particularly the one that says: “Couldn’t find the honey for my morning oats. Guess this pastor’s lack of self-awareness will have to do.”
There was, indeed, an attempt. Next time, maybe Pastor Hagee could avoid calling his entire religion a lie.