Josh Hawley rings in July 4 with fake quote with anti-Semitic, white nationalist roots. KC Star Slams 'Sloppy' Hawley In Scathing Editorial After


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Maybe it’s time for Josh Hawley to get out of the history business.

Missouri’s senior senator on Tuesday decided to celebrate July 4 with another bit of online trolling. He took to Twitter to celebrate that great American patriot Patrick Henry. His tweet took the form of a quote.

Hawley wrote: “Patrick Henry: ‘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.’”

The problem? Henry never said that. The quote is false. Made up.

Instead — as Hawley’s readers pointed out in a fact-checking Community Note appended to his tweet — the line is from a 1956 piece in a magazine, The Virginian, that was about Patrick Henry. Not by him. It appeared in another magazine, The American Mercury, as a Henry quote later that year and apparently took off from there.

The kicker? As historian Seth Cotlar of Willamette University pointed out, The Virginian was “virulently antisemitic (and) white nationalist magazine.” The American Mercury, for that matter, was also an “antisemitic rag.”

“It’s so easy to be normal and nice,” the Kansas City Star editorial board wrote. “Hawley picked a different path.”
“The problem, we suspect, is that in both cases Hawley was less interested in truly celebrating freedom — the ostensible reason we celebrate Juneteenth and Independence Day in the first place — and instead wanted to make a spectacle of himself with right-wing tweets he knew would attract attention. He was peacocking.”