September 13, 2012

“The Powers That Be” — the Celebrity Quotes Edition


“The powers that be are ordained of God…Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” 
       Romans, 13:1-2
       This Biblical quote from Saint Paul’s “Epistle to the Romans” (usually just called Romans) is the origin of the English idiom “the powers that be,” a general term used to refer to the people or organizations who control something.
       “Powers that be” and many others familiar phrases from the Bible were coined by
William Tyndale (1494–1536). He was a feisty English Puritan who translated the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into English in the 1520s, a time when such a translation was considered heresy by the Catholic Church’s Powers That Be. The “Tyndale Bible” pre-dated and heavily influenced the King James Version created in 1611.


“The [Screen Actors] Guild was the healthiest, sanest and strongest guild in America, and now it’s run by complete loons and the opposition is made up of complete loons, so the Guild has destroyed itself, and in so doing, has achieved the Powers That Be’s greatest goal, which is to extract every illegal penny that they can from their own work force and deny them the ability of collective power.”  
       Richard Dreyfuss
       American actor
       In an interview on


“The powers that be in Washington, they've got it all wrong...We should not be working for our government. Our government should be working for us.”
Sarah Palin 
       Republican politician and commentator
a speech she gave in Wichita, Kansas on May 3, 2010  
       Providing a possible alternate explanation of why she resigned as Governor of Alaska


“The powers that be within it made a political calculation that we Democrats could raise corporate money and compete with the Republicans…The problem is, when you start taking those corporate checks, on the back is written the corporate agenda. So our party began speaking in different languages.” 
       Jim Hightower 
       Liberal political gadfly and former Democratic politician
an article about him in the Texas Tribune (April 16, 2010)


“Cable channels were built around the notion that as long as the male audience is drooling from one side of their mouth, then the other side of the body won't be able to work the remote. So, it is with a deep understanding of the powers that be, and the powers that eventually will be, that we celebrate cable’s newest ‘It’ girl, and PETA's latest pin-up, Olivia Munn.”  
       Reagan Alexander
       Online columnist and blogger
an article about Olivia Munn on

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