Today the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune published a nice profile (by David Dupont) of me and FIghting over the Founders, right on the front page. The Sent-Trib doesn’t publish on Sundays or holidays, so this is its “Independence Day Weekend Edition.”
And, right on cue, just as I point out that people use the founders for their political purposes, there’s a full-page Hobby Lobby ad—printed on the paper’s back page—enlisting the founders in Hobby Lobby’s efforts to proselytize and demonstrate the United States is a “Christian” nation (in quotations because Hobby’s Lobby’s Christianity is not necessarily everyone’s Christianity).
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The funniest irony is not the cherry-picking of quotations to “prove” that God is watching the United States, or that the nation is somehow righteous, or that we should all be Hobby-Lobby Christians. Or that the quotation of Thomas Jefferson is in relation to slavery, rather than whatever freedoms Hobby Lobby thinks it’s peddling. No, it’s that the ad refers to a Supreme Court ruling (Church of the Holy Trinity v. U.S., 1892), which it alleges “declare[d] America a Christian Nation.” As John Fea has pointed out, that case regarded immigration, rather than religion per se, and really only referred to the United State in an historical sense rather than a legal sense. No, the funniest irony is this: that the Supreme Court case most relevant to this is the abominable Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which effectively declared that closely-held corporations can have a religion. In other words, corporations are people, too—a finding that the founders Hobby Lobby quotes at liberty would have absolutely abhorred, as wary as they were of corporations.
Happy July 4!