Arts and crafts giant Hobby Lobby faced a backlash after it ran a full-page advertisement on July 4 in several newspapers across the United States that appeared to call for a Christian-led government.
The ad, which Hobby Lobby ran in newspapers on Independence Day, was titled “A Nation Under God” and included the Bible verse “Blessed is the Nation of which God is Lord”, as the company also published. his campaign on his social network. media pages.
Hobby Lobby cited former presidents who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 in their campaign, including George Washington, but the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) reported that the company changed the quotes without providing full context .
Included in the ad, Hobby Lobby claimed to have quoted former President John Adams as saying, âWe do not have a government armed with power capable of combating human passions unbridled by morality and religion.
“Our Constitution was made only for religious and legal persons. It is totally inadequate for the government of any other.”
Although Adams uttered the words, FFRF reported that Hobby Lobby changed the placement of the quotes to make the sentences appear in succession, removing the context that the former president used “religious” and “moral” as synonyms in full speech.
The FFRF, a nonprofit that advocates for atheists, agnostics and non-theists, also reported that Hobby Lobby changed the placement of citations for Washington and claimed it took out portions of speeches from former presidents. Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy. Adams.
The company has placed similar advertisements on public holidays in the United States since Hobby Lobby founder David Greene felt âcommissionedâ by God to do them in 1995.
âBefore long, Hobby Lobby was placing beautiful full-page ads celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, Easter and Independence Day in newspapers across the country. The impact and relevance of these messages is ongoing, âthe company wrote.
Hobby Lobby faced backlash on social media after tweeting about the announcement on Sunday, and Twitter users shared the full-page announcement in photos taken from newspapers they were reading.
US Army veteran David Weissman responded to the ad saying “Shame on you @HobbyLobby”, and added: “As an American Jew who served in the United States military and was sworn in to defend the Constitution; I find your declaration of America should be led by Christians to be stupid and unconstitutional. “
Digimentors founder Sree Sreenivasan wrote: “@HobbyLobby’s full-page ad is an attack on religious freedom and the rights of religious minorities,” while author and pastor John Pavolvitz tweeted: “I have been a pastor for over two decades. .
“Organizations like @HobbyLobby are the reason why so many people think all Christians are hateful and intolerant fanatics. The rest of us apologize for them.”
In July 2020, Hobby Lobby faced calls for a boycott after a photo of an exhibit in one of its stores showing “USA votes Trump” in decorative letters was shared on Twitter.
The photo sparked new calls to boycott Hobby Lobby, following a string of controversies that have already seen people swear to never set foot in the craft store again.
Controversy erupted when the company issued a Supreme Court ruling in 2014 allowing the company to deny employees access to birth control through health insurance. Hobby Lobby said allowing access would violate their religious beliefs.
It is currently not known in how many newspapers across America the ad ran. News week contacted Hobby Lobby and FFRF for comment and confirmation.