At the risk of being redundant before I even complete my first sentence the senior Republican Senator from the now hopelessly MAGAed up state of Missouri is an absolute and thorough idiot.
If he is not an idiot for actually believing his recent misquotations attributing to Patrick Henry a desire to create a Christian nationalist republic despite all evidence to the contrary, which Hawley is too well educated not to know, but is simply trying to endear himself further to Trump’s MAGA base … in which case he is still an idiot for trying to ride that particular drunken tiger.
Conservatives love to cozy up to Henry, whose most famous words look so menacing crudely tatted onto a Gadsden Flag, and who, while being a prodigious speech-maker, did not bother to write much down for the record… they can mischaracterize him with relative impunity.
So, when Lord Haw Haw of the Ozarks either idiotically, or maliciously -I haven’t quite decide which- Tweeted out the following misattributed but purported Patrick Henry quote that he lifted from one right wing tract or another…
“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” “For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”
And then proceeded to guild that particular lie with his own a few days later when he uttered these words, which sound stylistically much the same as the half-a-Nazi misquoting Henry…
“There is not one square inch of all creation over which Jesus Christ is not Lord, the time for Christians to rise is now.”
Well, you just knew Professor Kruse wasn’t gonna let that lie fly.
“While Hawley’s proven to be especially inept at this game, this is a familiar routine by now,” wrote Kruse on his personal Substack. “Someone linked to the Religious Right claims that America really is, or should be, a ‘Christian nation’ and we’re off on a thrilling game of Quote/Counterquote as conservatives and liberals go on a scavenger hunt looking for lines from letters and speeches to justify their own position on the role of religion in American government. The wide range of opinions trotted out in these debates never leads to any consensus, which, of course, is why we play this dumb game over and over again.”
In reality, several founding fathers at all ends of the spectrum, from John Adams in the Treaty of Tripoli to Thomas Jefferson in the letter to the Danbury Baptists, made clear the laws of the country were not based on Christian theocracy and the law was entirely secular — but you don’t even have to look at them, Kruse said.
You can just go to the Constitution itself.“…
…”For the last two days, Senator Josh Hawley has been busy stepping on one rake after another, trying to find some quotation from the founding generation that supports a Christian nationalist vision of America,” wrote Kruse, concluding that there is no need to parse this or that quote to prove theocrats like Hawley wrong. “Show them the Constitution,” he said.
Quite right, Prof Cruse, and as we know all the MAGhats carry one in their pocket at all times.
Hawley is probably banking on their not being able to read it.