In the week after 9/11/2001, then-president George Bush Jr attempted to roust world support with his declaration "you're either with us, or you're with the terrorists." At the time, the statement was instantly attacked for proposing a black and white view of the world. Arundhati Roy responded "the entire world of experience lies between those two poles." What was less obvious, however, is that the statement mirrors the Bible's Matthew 12:30 "He who is not with Me is against Me". Bush was not only dividing the world, but speaking in code to his religious following.
In the future, it will be useful to trace political statements back to their religious origins. Therefore, I propose, and have constructed a prototype of, a Religious Speech Sensor.
Suspicious statements in news reports like the one above can be highlighted while web browsing and pasted into the sensor. The Religious Speech Sensor (RSSense) compares the statement with the entire Bible to find the most likely verse of origin. For example, here are the best matches for the above statement "We will never back down, never give in and never accept anything less than complete victory":
The Bible in text form can be download here. It is of course necessary to run the program.
I would also like to see some automation, so that all political speech is sourced as it is published.
I would also like to see more intelligent search algorithms used. For example, input like "pharisees" should also match "pharisee" and "destroying" should match "destroy." "Victory" should match "win" and "succeed." I would also like to see statement ranking improve with similar word order to the original statement.