THE HYPOCRITICAL HUBRIS OF HOBBY LOBBY
The Hobby Lobby, Hemispheres and Mardel Stores advertisement (Reporter-News, July 4) contained manufactured misinformation refuted by independent historians and scholars, major news media, numerous religious freedom organizations and even mainline churches. The misleading ad exploits those who choose not to critically think, question or fact-check. This brazen attempt to deceive readers must not go unchallenged.
The ad’s foremost fabricated falsehood is “Church of the Holy Trinity vs. U.S.,1892 (Unanimous Decision Declaring America a Christian Nation) ” Here is the factual, historical and lawful truth. Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States (143 U.S. 457, 1892) is a 125 year old over-ruled case involving a federal labor statute employment contract. It no longer has any lawful effect, was not a case involving religion, and did not represent any ruling on the religious or non-religious status of our nation. Justice David Brewer wrote a comment in the opinion about “unofficial declarations” that say this is a “Christian nation”. Those familiar with judicial opinions know this was only dictum – an observation without any legal effect and not a judicial decision or declaration.
Thereafter, those two words “Christian nation” were so malevolently misused by religious revisionists that Justice Brewer was compelled to write and publish “The United States a Christian Nation” (Winston Company, 1905) which explained his words were simply an observation many Americans tend to be Christians and not a judicial interpretation or ruling. He confirmed historic Constitution separation of church and state and concluded “IN FACT, THE GOVERNMENT AS A LEGAL ORGANIZATION IS INDEPENDENT OF ALL RELIGIONS ”.
The ad failed to truthfully disclose the other case referenced “Vidal v. Girard’s Executors, 1844” was overruled 70 years ago and is not the law. See McCollum v. Board of Education (333 U.S. 203, 1948) & Engel v. Vitale (370 U.S. 421, 1962).
The ad failed to truthfully disclose we were created as an independent nation with a secular government (not one based on religion) by the 1787 Constitution which was confirmed by the 1791 First Amendment and settled by the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli. The latter is a publicly recorded international legal document that declared to the world “…THE UNITED STATES IS NOT IN ANY SENSE FOUNDED ON THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION…”. It was negotiated during 1st President George Washington’s administration, unanimously ratified by the US Senate and signed by 2nd President John Adams. The American Consul to Algiers, Joel Barlow (Revolutionary War chaplain & Washington appointee), negotiated the treaty, co-authored the Arabic version signed abroad during Washington’s presidency and authored the English version ratified and signed during Adam’s presidency.
The ad failed to truthfully disclose “In God We Trust” and the pledge of allegiance “under God” were not originated by the Founders, but were phrases added during the anti-communism era of the 1950s, universal terms recognized by all religions, and not exclusive to any religion.
The ad failed to truthfully disclose the Preamble states 6 secular reasons our nation was created for “We The People” (with no mention of religion), the Constitution contains no religious deity references and commands “no religious test ” shall ever be required as a qualification to any public office or public trust, and history documents no public prayers were provided during the 116 days of the secular Constitutional Convention.
The ad failed to truthfully disclose the 1st Amendment provides, respectively, our historic trinity of religious freedoms: freedom from public religion; freedom of private religion provided it does violate the rights of others; and freedom to speak about religion.
The ad failed to truthfully disclose we became the first nation in history to create a Constitution that lawfully protects independent freedom of belief. Our visionary founders, by their actions, knew individual freedom of conscience could not exist without separation of government and religion. Consequently, our religious freedoms flourish in America notwithstanding the hypocritical hubris of the abhorrent ad piously promoting a specious sectarian version of religion reflecting primitive tribalism and clannish rivalry (“Our beliefs are better than your beliefs”).
Unqualified history deniers and revisionists with self-serving religious agendas intentionally ignore and dishonestly dispute the factual, historical and lawful truths. They are entitled to their ill-advised opinions, but never to their own facts, history, law and truth.
The very definition of a republic is a nation “…of laws and not of man. ” – 2nd President JOHN ADAMS (“Thoughts on Government ”, 1776).
“We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are and must remain separate,” – 40th President RONALD REAGAN (public speech, Valley Stream, New York, 1984).
4th generation Abilenian; retired Texas lawyer, US judge and Army airborne officer; Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam); area rancher