Hawley's Use of Fake Patrick Henry Quote a Revealing ErrorBreaking News
tags: Josh Hawley, Christian Nationalism, Patrick Henry
While a number of prominent Republicans have been caught peddling fake historical quotes, on Capitol Hill, Sen. Rand Paul tends to be in a league of his own. The Kentucky Republican has, after all, been caught pushing fake quotes from Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Patrick Henry, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington.
But Paul is not without competition. HuffPost highlighted a related senatorial misstep from yesterday:
Sen Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is coming under fire for a Fourth of July tweet that managed to include both a false claim and a false quote at the same time. Hawley tweeted a quote he claimed to be from Founding Father Patrick Henry saying the United States was founded “on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Just one problem: Henry ― a slave owner perhaps best remembered for his “give me liberty or give me death” quote ― never said it.
It was late in the afternoon on the Fourth of July holiday when the Missouri Republican published this tweet — which, as of this morning, has not been taken down — with a purported quote from Patrick Henry, a prominent figure from late-18th century Virginia.
“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,” the quote read. “For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”
What Hawley should’ve realized before promoting the quote is that Henry didn’t say it. The line was reportedly published instead by a white nationalist publication in 1956 — more than a century and a half after the founding father’s death.
On the surface, it’s obviously unfortunate to see a senator — a graduate of Stanford and Yale — make a mistake like this, especially as so many other Republicans also fall for fake quotes.
But let’s not brush past the underlying point the Missouri Republican was trying to make by way of a made-up line: Hawley seems certain that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, with members of one faith tradition — his own — enjoying exalted status over others.