To the editor:
I’d like to thank Hobby Lobby for getting my favorite holiday, Independence Day, off to an insulting and un-American start with their full-page ad entitled “In God We Trust.” Faithfully regurgitating cherry-picked, out-of-context and largely irrelevant quotations spread by the Christian dominionist propaganda machine Wallbuilders and its pseudo-historian founder David Barton, they have besmirched with the usual bigotry of the religious right a day we should all have equal claim to, regardless of metaphysical speculations.
In fact, the principal founders of the nation were mostly deists, believers in an impersonal creator quite unlike the one Hobby Lobby sells, and a full, fair reading of their writings reveals this. Many were even derisively critical of core Christian beliefs, but the founders’ personal religion is irrelevant to understanding the kind of government they sought to establish, a secular one in a nation of free-thinking citizens.
Many attempts were made to put God and Jesus into the Constitution, but all were shot down, and the debate is well-documented. I can’t afford a full-page ad, so here’s the tip of an inconvenient iceberg that would cool Christian nationalists’ zeal, if they’d get their fingers out of their ears:
“Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must approve the homage of reason rather than of blind-folded fear.” — Thomas Jefferson