Monday, September 17, 2012

Lobbying for Hobby Lobby


This is not a political blog, nor do I intend to make it one. That being said, I do want to mention some news from last week that I feel will go unnoticed by most conservative, creative folks out there. The company Hobby Lobby, based in Oklahoma City, OK has come under fire for their stance against the White House’s HHS mandate (Health & Human Services). Hobby Lobby’s CEO and founder David Green is a Christian. Last week he said in a statement, "We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate”, and “With great reluctance” followed with a federal lawsuit challenging the mandate. So what is the big deal about this healthcare mandate? Part of the White House’s recent heath care law requires employers to provide coverage for the morning-after pill and similar drugs that may cause the end of a life. Green also states, “It goes against the biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one. If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million per day in government fines.” This will begin January 2013 when the insurance year starts.

As you can probably imagine, this has stirred debate about Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice, with some mentioning boycotts of Hobby Lobby. I have read some articles and comments concerning boycotts and am quite surprised at some of the viewpoints. Here is one example. I also find it disconcerting, that in the quest for Pro-Choice laws and regulations, many of these commenters don’t seem to realize that this healthcare mandate is being forced upon some U.S. citizens who do not wish to participate. Can you really justify a boycott because Hobby Lobby doesn’t want to participate in buying some of these drugs that go against their values? On a much less important note, it seems that several of the boycott comments are rather partisan, and simply showing irritation toward “selfish” conservatives. I would submit to those individuals David Green’s statement. He mentions that Hobby Lobby has been adding jobs during this weak economy, starts full-time employees 80% above minimum wage, and is closed on Sundays so workers can spend time with family. With all of these things considered, I think that Hobby Lobby would be one of the last places that U.S. citizens would wish to boycott.

The 40 year history of Hobby Lobby is a pretty amazing story, and David Green is quick to praise the Lord for the store’s success. I hope you will take the time to read his statement concerning Hobby Lobby’s actions. It’s only a few paragraphs. The links for this and other articles I have referenced are at the bottom of this post.

I never knew that Hobby Lobby was owned by a Christian until a few years back. When strolling through the aisles, I recognized the music coming from the speakers. It was classical guitarist Christopher Parkening who is a Christian. I was able to hear Parkening play in concert as well as hear his testimony when I was In college. Truly amazing music! (Parkening is a world renowned guitarist, and actually just retired this summer. Check out his website here.) Anyway, hearing a Christian artist in the store surprised me, and since then I have been a huge fan of Hobby Lobby.

So to those that are Christian creatives, I would ask that you make it a point to add Hobby Lobby to your next shopping list. Not only is it a really cool place to find art stuff, it is also a company that is run on biblical principals. To be honest, Hobby Lobby’s stance on the White House’s Health and Human Services mandate is ancillary. I will conclude with one more quote from David Green’s statement which will summarize why I am “Lobbying for Hobby Lobby”.
“We're Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I've always said that the first two goals of our business are 1) to run our business in harmony with God's laws, and 2) to focus on people more than money.” - David Green

Hobby Lobby Boycott info & Links:

Here is a link to another interesting article

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