In the Post-Dispatch July 4 edition, there ran a full-page ad purporting to show how the United States is a Christian nation. For those of us non-Christians, this ad is not just offensive, but alarming and threatening. It is also dead wrong.
Hobby Lobby, the company that paid for the ad — which has made news for its un-American positions challenging the rights of women and same sex couples — elected to cherry-pick quotations from selected Christians, while ignoring the protection the Founding Fathers built into the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”
Our Founders recognized the dangers of establishing a state religion, a position Hobby Lobby would now have us abandon. John Adams made his position clear: “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, atheists, agnostics and a host of other believers and non-believers rely upon this principle. All of us, Christians and non-Christians alike, must stand up and protest every time Christianists, such as the owners of Hobby Lobby, attempt to impose Christianity, or any other religion, on Americans. Freedom of religion means freedom from religion. It’s our right, and we must protect it.
Alan Freed • St. Louis