Jesus Was Born On The Fourth Of July

Hobby Lobby July 4 Ad

I’ve spent a good amount of my life in the retail sector.

My parents owned retail stores. I worked in them from the time I was old enough to make correct change. For many years I owned retail stores, a case of the apple not falling far from the tree. Or maybe I was just too lazy to learn another way of making a living. Whatever.

One thing I learned is that it’s bad business to discuss politics or religion with a customer. No matter if they hold the same beliefs as yourself or if they are diametrically opposed to your own beliefs, bringing up those subjects is a certain way to make sure their money never ends up putting food on your table.

I also learned never to congratulate a woman on her pregnancy till SHE mentioned it. That’s another story.

The point is that in retail you smile a lot, eat your personal feelings, and make the sale.

Which brings us to our topic for the day, Hobby Lobby and their insulting 4th of July advertisement.  

Now we all know Hobby Lobby is as Christian conservative as you can get. You have to be to take it all the way to the Supreme Court just to get out of paying for your female employees’ reproductive health care. But to state with such impunity that you believe the United States of America was founded to be a Christian nation and live under the dogma of the Protestant Christian Church, well that’s as meshuge as you can get.

As I have stated before I am an atheist. If you want to believe that is fine with me, but we both live in the land of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and nowhere in that sobriquet does it mention Jesus of Nazareth. Nor is he mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or any other of the founding documents. Do they mention god? Yes they do, especially that first amendment that says Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. As a matter of fact it’s the first sentence in the first amendment. And god or a creator or a divine being is not mentioned at all in the main body of the Constitution. I guess the founding fathers really had a thing about wanting to make sure that government and church were kept apart.

Hobby Lobby’s ad wasn’t even a plea for bringing god into political discourse. If it was I’d dismiss it as a waste of some true believer’s money. What it was was a declaration that this particular form of worship, and only this form, is the founding principle of the USA.

Representative government, the will of the people, the enshrinement of liberty and freedom as the cornerstone tenets of the nation, all that goes out the window. According to them, America was founded to be a playground for the true Christian believers. Not even the original believers are good enough; Catholics need not apply. And Jews? I’m sure Hobby Lobby would approve of the answer I once got from a bible thumper when I mentioned Jesus was born Jewish. “Well sure, but then he got smart and converted”.

As is typical of these kinds of propaganda even the quotes used in the ad were altered or taken out of context. Per Newsweek:

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.

Goebbels himself would have had no problem with that. Come to think of it, neither would Rupert Murdoch.

Even more insidious is that this isn’t the first time Hobby Lobby has taken out ads seeking America to “return to god”. They’ve been doing it since 1995 when their founder, David Greene, felt himself “commissioned by god” to start placing the ads. Ooh yeah, yet another billionaire who thinks god talks directly to him. Come on folks, a little less money and the family would be calling the mental hospital to come and pick him up. Even less money and he’d be walking the streets of downtown Oklahoma City with a long beard, an illegible sign, and a wild look in his eyes.

There are a lot of reasons this country came into being. If you want to be patriotic you can talk about freedom and the sanctity of the vote. If you want to be slightly more cynical you can talk about fear of Britain’s abolitionist movement, not wanting to pay high taxes, and the notion that white men gotta white men.

But this country was not founded to be a Christian theocracy. It was founded by brave, intelligent, thinking men of the Enlightenment who believed that the power of the government derived not from a god but from the consent of the governed. It is now the duty of Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Greek Orthodox, atheists, agnostics, and yes even Christians, all of the many peoples of many religions that make up this nation to make sure the founder’s vision continues.

I have the fortune of not living near a Hobby Lobby outlet so boycotting them isn’t a issue for me. Michael’s, as you would imagine, is my arts and crafts store of choice when I have need to get my artistic on. Now it may turn out that the owners of Michael’s are as right wing as the owners of Hobby Lobby. But at least they have the good sense to not put their fingerprints all over a paid advertisement advocating the replacement of a democratic sectarian government with a Christian theocratic state. For that reason alone I’ll be their customer.

One last thing. Can you imagine the outrage if the Halal Guys took out a full page ad that said America should be ruled by the teachings and writings of Mohammed? Fox News would be loosing their sh*t all day and half the night. Boycotts would be demanded and stores burned. Muslim leaders would be paraded out to denounce such a notion.

As for Jews, well we just make our ideal President stick it to the “Ignorant Tight Ass Club”

Shapiro Out