FACT CHECK: Did Pastor John Piper say that women who wax their bikini lines are hurting God’s work?
Claim: Pastor John Piper said that women who “groom their private parts” are hurting God’s work.
Origins: On 8 July 2015, the Newslo web site published an article titled “Pastor John Piper: “Women Who Wax Their Private Parts Are Hurting God’s Work” that quoted Piper, the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, as having said:
“God knit us together in our mother’s womb, he really made our basic structures and there’s some of you [who] are just not going to change — the kinds of hair you’ve got, the kind of nose you’ve got, the kind of hips you’ve got, the kind of height you’ve got and kind of complexion you’ve got. These are things that are just given with our God-given genetics and therefore it really is a matter of trust, isn’t it?” he asked. “God doesn’t make mistakes, so let’s all present our bodies with all the pluses and minuses as a living sacrifice acceptable to God.”
The chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary went even further, saying that women who “groom their private parts are no less sinful than those undergoing plastic surgery procedures.”
As it turns out, the first portion of the quote attributed to Pastor Piper appeared in a 24 June 2015 Christian Post article about the topic of whether plastic surgery is a sin, which included a statement asserting that the pastor “somewhat agrees that cosmetic surgery is a sin because as he once put it during an online sermon, ‘God doesn’t make mistakes.'” However, the second portion of the quote (regarding women’s “private parts”) is clearly false, as the site Newslo itself indicates.
Unlike most fake news sites, Newslo articles combine real-life quotes or events with additional, spurious details. Each article on the site features a boxes at the top by which readers can “Show Facts” or “Hide Facts”:
Selecting “Show Facts” for the article excerpted above reveals that the portion pertaining to waxing was an embellishment. (It should also be noted that all of the sites articles display in “Hide Facts” mode by default, making it likely that some or many of its visitors remain unaware of its “hybrid” nature.)
In addition to the “Show Facts/Hide Facts” feature, Newslo also provides a disclaimer informing readers that not all of their articles are entirely factual:
Newslo is the first hybrid News/Satire platform on the web. Readers come to us for a unique brand of entertainment and information that is enhanced by features like our fact-button, which allows readers to find what is fact and what is satire.
Originally published: 10 July 2015
Last updated: 10 July 2015