Hobby Lobby drew applause and criticism on the Fourth of July for a holiday-themed newspaper advertisement that cited a Bible verse and said the United States was “One Nation Under God.”
The full-page advertisement ran in newspapers nationwide but also was available on the company’s website. Hobby Lobby, which was founded by a Christian family, has run holiday-themed ads since 1996 and Independence Day ads since 2006.
The 2021 ad showed an American flag alongside the phrase “One Nation Under God” and a verse from Psalm 33:12, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”
The bottom of the bad included 20 quotes from Founding Fathers, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court and others on the subject of religion.
A quote from George Washington read, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”
A quote from John Adams read, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Hobby Lobby has run a similar advertisement in the past. In fact, the 2020 ad included the same quotes and the same Bible verse.
Still, this year’s ad sparked a back-and-forth among supporters and critics on social media. “Hobby Lobby” trended in the Top 5 on Twitter for much of Independence Day.
“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,” one person tweeted. “Shame on you”
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
But the Hobby Lobby ad had plenty of supporters. The company also posted the ad on its social media accounts.
“Thank you Hobby Lobby for the encouraging WORD that you have tweeted,” one person wrote. “May the Lord bless you and all your employees and their families and cause you to prosper and continue to be a bright light in this dark community.”
Thank you Hobby Lobby for the encouraging WORD that you have tweeted. May the Lord bless you and all your employees and their families and cause you to prosper and continue to be a bright light in this dark community. And GOD BLESS AMERICA!— Chaplain Catherine (@Imashutngstr) July 5, 2021
Hobby Lobby founder David Green came up with the idea for the ads during the 1995 Christmas season.
“Green was reading the Christmas advertisements, including those for his own store, and he felt commissioned by God to do something different,” Hobby Lobby’s website says. “Hobby Lobby was selling all kinds of crafts that customers used to celebrate Christmas, yet David Green was struck by the lack of any testimony in newspapers regarding the meaning of the holiday.
“... 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, so we post them here for your enjoyment.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Joe Raedle/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.