A full-page ad set to run July 4 celebrating ‘our godless Constitution’ by the national Freedom From Religion Foundation was censored by the Daily Oklahoman, apparently to avoid offending the Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby.
The craft megastore, which is based out of Oklahoma City, has placed full-page ads every July 4 since 2008 in hundreds of dailies around the country with a theme of “In God We Trust.”
“We’re shocked that our ad, featuring bonafide quotes from early founders and presidents, would be censored, while Hobby Lobby’s disinformation runs without balance,” said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.
“Hobby Lobby’s ads falsely portray the United States as a Christian nation with a government founded on a god, and nothing can be further from the truth,” Gaylor added.
FFRF is a Madison, Wis.-based state/church watchdog with over 19,000 nonreligious members including over 150 in Oklahoma. The nonprofit educational association was able to place full-page ads in 24 other newspapers around the country on July 4, including many newspapers in the bible belt.
“We even played in Peoria,” Gaylor said. “We were amused to see that our ad ran back to back with Hobby Lobby’s ad in the Peoria Journal Star,” Gaylor said. (See photo above with Gaylor holding FFRF’s ad and FFRF Bookkeeper/Executive Assistant Katie Daniel giving a thumbs down to the flip side containing the Hobby Lobby ad.)
FFRF’s ad ran in a variety of newspapers including The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Seattle Times, Arizona Republic, Albuquerque Journal, Denver Post and five area suburban newspapers, Los Angeles Times, Huntsville Times, Orange County Register, San Diego Union Tribune, Colorado Springs Gazette, Orlando Sentinel, Indianapolis Star, Louisville Courier Journal, Jackson Clarion Ledger (Miss.), Charlotte Observer (N.C.), Columbus Dispatch, and Nashville’s Tennessean.
“Why can’t Oklahoma City readers be permitted to read a view challenging Hobby Lobby’s disinformation and our message of ‘In Reason We Trust’?” Gaylor added.
The quotations and historic citations in FFRF’s ad are fully cited at ffrf.org/in-reason-we-trust. FFRF even provides links to photographs of many of the original letters or manuscripts.
As a result of the holiday ad, FFRF’s office is happily processing hundreds of new members as well as hundreds of inquiries for more information. FFRF knows it has hit a nerve, also receiving a lot of mailed crank responses. (See photos below.)
FFRF members wishing counter Hobby Lobby’s theocratic ads are encouraged to contact FFRF for more information on underwriting a ‘godless’ ad in their community.