Description: Viral quote
Circulating since: Oct. 2011 (variant)
Status: FALSE (see details below)
As shared via social media, Feb. 4, 2014:
"IF ENGLISH WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR JESUS WHEN HE WROTE THE BIBLE IT SHOULD BE GOOD ENOUGH FOR COKE"
FEB 3, 2014
Via TheWackyDeli.com, Oct. 5, 2011:
“If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for every child in America to speak.”
Analysis: I have performed the obligatory search for any transcript, recording, or video of a speech or media appearance in which Rep. Michele Bachmann uttered these words, and found none.
I did, however, find a spoof posted on a humor website in October 2011 which included this statement among its Top 10 Upcoming Michele Bachmann Gaffes: “If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for every child in America to speak.”
Like the other nine entries on the page, the quote was clearly fabricated (or borrowed from an earlier source — see historical note below) with satirical intent. It has been repeated many, many times since by people falsely claiming, knowingly or not, that Bachmann actually said it.
The most recent instance was occasioned by a Coca-Cola commercial that premiered during the 2014 Super Bowl featuring "America the Beautiful" sung in languages other than English. Within 24 hours of that showing, the fake quote had been resurrected, modified, and shared via social media for the purpose of lampooning the negative reaction to the Coke ad voiced by prominent U.S. conservatives (among whom, interestingly enough, Bachmann was not to be found).
More dubious quotes:
• Michelle Obama: "All This for a Damn Flag?"
• Kanye West: "I Am the Next Nelson Mandela"
• Sarah Palin: "Thanksgiving Is for Real Americans Not Indians"
• Mitt Romney: "Of Course I'll Win, I'm the White Guy"
Sources and further reading:
Ma Ferguson, the Apocryphal Know-Nothing
Language Log, 29 April 2006
Top 10 Upcoming Michele Bachmann Gaffes
The Wacky Deli (humor website), 5 October 2011
Coca-Cola's 'America the Beautiful' Super Bowl Commercial Angers Conservative Pundits
NY Daily News, 3 February 2014
Coca-Cola Super Bowl Ad: Can You Believe This Reaction?
USA Today, 4 February 2014
Last updated 02/05/14