Arts and crafts giant Hobby Lobby faced a backlash after it ran a full-page advertisement on July 4 in several newspapers across the U.S. that appeared to call for a Christian-run government.
The advert, which Hobby Lobby ran in newspapers on Independence Day, was titled “One Nation Under God,” and included the Bible verse “Blessed is the Nation whose God is the lord,” as the company also posted about its campaign on its social media pages.
Hobby Lobby quoted former presidents who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 in its campaign, including George Washington, but the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) reported that the company had altered the quotes without providing the full context.
Included in the advert, Hobby Lobby claimed to quote former President John Adams saying: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.
“Our Constitution was made only for religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Although Adams did say those words, FFRF reported that Hobby Lobby altered the placement of the quotes to make the sentences look as if they followed one another, taking away the context that the former president used “religious” and “moral” as synonyms in the full speech.
FFRF, a non-profit organization that advocates for atheists, agnostics, and non-theists, also reported that Hobby Lobby altered the placement of quotes for Washington and claimed that it took portions of speeches out of context for former presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams.
The company has been placing similar advertisements on U.S. holidays since Hobby Lobby founder David Greene felt “commissioned” by God to make them in 1995.
“Before long, Hobby Lobby was placing beautiful full-page ads celebrating the real meaning of Christmas, Easter, and Independence Day in newspapers across the country. The impact and relevancy of these messages is ongoing,” the company wrote.
Hobby Lobby faced a backlash on social media after it tweeted about the advert on Sunday, and Twitter users shared the full-page ad in pictures taken of newspapers they were reading.
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