Neil deGrasse Tyson: Faux-quote raider

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Faux-quote raider

[W]e now have another blatantly false quote peddled by Tyson. He has peddled this quote for years (including at a presentation on Sunday night at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle).

According to Tyson, in the days following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Bush uttered the phrase, “Our God is the God who named the stars.” According to Tyson, the president made that claim as a way of segregating radical Islam from religions like Christianity or Judaism. …

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s story has three central claims: 1) Bush uttered that precise phrase, 2) in the days immediately after 9/11, 3) in order to distance American religion from that practiced by radical Muslims.

As you have probably already guessed, every single claim is false. …

First off, Bush never uttered the quote attributed to him by Tyson. He did, however, include a separate but similar phrase in a February 2003 speech immediately following the Columbia space shuttle disaster:

In the skies today we saw destruction and tragedy. Yet farther than we can see, there is comfort and hope. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, “Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls them each by name. Because of His great power, and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.”

The same Creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today. The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to Earth; yet we can pray that all are safely home.

I don’t have a Ph.D. in physics, but I’m pretty sure February 2003 did not happen in the week after 9/11.

Tyson butchered the quote. He butchered the date. He butchered the context. He butchered the implication. And he butchered the biblical allusion…

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