No, Hobby Lobby, that quote on your website is NOT from Thomas Jefferson! And, furthermore, the document it comes from -- which was written by James Madison -- is a list of some of the best arguments AGAINST that Supreme Court ruling that you and your fellow Christian supremacists are currently gloating about.
This is from current homepage of the Hobby Lobby website:
The quote that Hobby Lobby wrongly attributes to Jefferson actually comes from James Madison's Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, written in opposition to Patrick Henry's proposed "Bill establishing a provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion." This is the document written and presented to the Virginia legislature by Madison in 1785 on behalf of the citizens of Virginia who were AGAINST any mixing of religion and government.
Hobby Lobby not only wrongly attributes the Madison quote to Jefferson, but also chops off the end of Madison's sentence. Here is the COMPLETE sentence (emphasis added):
"Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign. We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion, no man's right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance."
And, since Hobby Lobby wants to invoke him, what were Thomas Jefferson's thoughts on Patrick Henry's attempt to get a foot in the door for Christianity to be re-entangled with the laws of Virginia? Well, while this battle was going on, Jefferson, who was following the goings on in his home state from France, jokingly wrote to Madison: "What we have to do I think is devoutly to pray for his [Henry's] death."
And, just like the obvious consequence of the Hobby Lobby ruling being that it sets a dangerous precedent that opens the door to unimaginably odious future rulings, James Madison saw the defeat of Patrick Henry's theocratic religious assessment bill as necessary not only to prevent the object of that one particular bill, but as crucial to preventing the consequences of that bill setting a precedent, as he made clear in his third reason that the bill had to be defeated:
"Because, it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens, and one of [the] noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle."
Fortunately for the people of Virginia, who had James Madison to lead the fight against the encroachment of religion into their laws, Patrick Henry's bill was defeated. Unfortunately for us, we have Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Anthony Kennedy calling the shots.
UPDATE: Hobby Lobby has changed its website to say that the quote is from James Madison, so they're at least now properly identifying which founding father they're taking out of context:
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