To the editor:
I was troubled by the way the full page ad, placed by Hobby Lobby in the July 4 Journal-World, cherry-picked history to support its beliefs about how fellow citizens ought to believe and act.
It quoted from, among other sources, the Bible, the Founding Fathers and the Supreme Court, “Declaring that America Is a Christian Nation.” It cited this last from an 1892 ruling by the Supreme Court, but it quoted nothing from the majority opinion of the 1964 Supreme Court ruling outlawing Christian prayer in public schools.
It quoted Thomas Jefferson that “liberties are a gift from God,” and Benjamin Franklin that “God governs the affairs of men.” But it neglected to mention that Jefferson didn’t believe in Jesus Christ as his personal lord and saviour or that he had a running battle in the papers with the Philadelphia clergy, who accused him of being an infidel. Or that it was Franklin who suggested to Jefferson that he change the phrase in his draft of the Declaration of Independence from “We hold these truths to be Divine” to “We hold these truths to be self evident.” Both the American Revolution and the Bible are made up from differing sources, and fundamentalists delude themselves when they quote passages from the Bible or history that they have selected in the first place and then imply that their ideas come from God or history, not from themselves.