Hobby Lobby Faces Backlash Over Newspaper Ad Calling for Christian-Run Government

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.

U.S. Army veteran David Weissman responded to the advert by saying "Shame on you @HobbyLobby," and added: "As an American Jew who served in the United States Army and took an oath to defend the Constitution; I find your statement of America should be lead by Christians to be asinine and unconstitutional."

As an American Jew who served in the United States Army and took an oath to defend the Constitution; I find your statement of America should be lead by Christians to be asinine and unconstitutional. Shame on you @HobbyLobby.

— David Weissman (@davidmweissman) July 4, 2021

Digimentors founder Sree Sreenivasan wrote: "The full-page ad by @HobbyLobby is an attack on freedom of religion & the rights of religious minorities," while author and pastor John Pavolvitz tweeted: "I've served as a pastor for over two decades.

"Organizations like@HobbyLobby are why so many people believe all Christians are hateful, intolerant bigots. The rest of us apologize for them."

I’ve served as a pastor for over two decades.

Organizations like @HobbyLobby are why so many people believe all Christians are hateful, intolerant bigots.

The rest of us apologize for them.

— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) July 4, 2021

In July 2020, Hobby Lobby faced calls for a boycott after a photo of a display in one of its stores reading "USA vote Trump" in decorative letters was shared on Twitter.

The photo sparked fresh calls to boycott Hobby Lobby, following a string of controversies that have already seen people vowing to never set foot inside the craft store again.

One controversy arose when the company passed a ruling in the Supreme Court in 2014 that allowed the company to deny access to birth control to employees through health insurance. Hobby Lobby said that allowing the access would have violated their religious beliefs.

It is currently unclear how many newspapers across America the advert ran in. Newsweek has contacted Hobby Lobby and FFRF for comment and confirmation.

Hobby Lobby July 4 ad
File photo of a Hobby lobby storefront in the Polaris area of Columbus, Ohio. Crafts store Hobby Lobby ran a full page advertisement on July 4 in several newspapers across the U.S. titled "One Nation Under God,” calling for a Christian-run government. Holly Hildreth / Contributor Holly Hildreth/Moment Mobile ED via Getty Images