The Freedom From Religion Foundation is drawing attention to the harm of theocratic propaganda put out every July Fourth by Hobby Lobby, a for-profit corporation that is assiduously working to undermine America’s secular heritage and impose a Christian nationalist agenda.
FFRF is renewing its call, first issued in 2013, for a boycott of the national retail craft store chain, which characterizes itself as a Christian company. Hobby Lobby has about 900 stores operating in 47 states, 43,000 employees and revenues of more than $5.3 billion a year. Hobby Lobby’s website notes that it is committed to “Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.” Hobby Lobby has been instrumental in underwriting the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., and its website hypes Oral Roberts University. Hobby Lobby has also promoted devotional bible courses in public schools, which FFRF has opposed and exposed.
FFRF’s consumer boycott call is in response to Hobby Lobby’s religiously motivated role in challenging the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate. In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court, shockingly, sided with Hobby Lobby by ruling that closely held corporations could discriminate against female employees by denying them insurance access to any contraception Hobby Lobby or other such employers objected to.
“We cannot overlook Hobby Lobby’s insidious influence and disinformation,” notes FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. The multibillion-dollar enterprise run by the Green family has the wherewithal to run literally hundreds of full-page advertisements every Fourth of July that distort the secular nature of the formation of the United States and its godless Constitution.
FFRF has created an interactive site, “In Hobby Lobby We DON’T Trust,” listing quotes typically cited by Hobby Lobby in its July Fourth ads. Click on each quote for a careful and documented analysis on the veracity and context of each quote.
In the past, FFRF has countered the July Fourth propaganda with an ad campaign. FFRF’s ad quotes the actual views on religion or separation of state and church by the first four presidents, Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison, plus views by revolutionaries and abolitionists Thomas Paine and Ben Franklin. Adams, for example, signed the Treaty of Tripoli in 1797, which proclaimed, “The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”
A version of FFRF’s rejoinder ad will run this Sunday, July 4, in the Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, Wis., and it will be “playing in Peoria.” Thanks to FFRF State Representatives Ken and Cheryl Hofbauer, who have underwritten the costs, a similar full-page ad is running in the Community Word in Peoria, Ill.
The ad in the Wisconsin State Journal notes, “On this Independence Day, we honor our nation's independence from religion in government, and our nation's original, inclusive motto, ‘E Pluribus Unum,' (meaning ‘From Many, [Come] One’]."
FFRF recognizes that many Founders, including Washington, Jefferson and Madison, while espousing liberty, were notorious enslavers. Their views were those of the entitled white, male rulers of the era.
“But they got some other core principles right,” notes FFRF Co-President Dan Barker. “They were not only first in history to wisely separate religion from government, but in adopting a constitution with an aspirational preamble.”
Hobby Lobby believes in a theocracy, not a free nation of “We the People," and it is working against the achievement of a “more perfect union” by actively trying to sabotage true religious liberty.