I wasn’t planning on commenting on the Hobby Lobby case, because it’s so polarizing. But I’ve read numerous articles reacting/reflecting on the situation, and I’m mostly surprised with the willingly blind people who are angry about it.
This is a harsh statement, but let me explain.
There was a “break up letter” on Huffington Post this morning that illuminated this issue the best:
“Dear Hobby Lobby,
I think it’s time I see other craft stores. I used to really like you despite some of your quirks (like not being open for business on Sundays). I thought, “Well, nobody’s perfect.” But after recent events, I’m afraid I just can’t do it anymore. It’s time for us to part ways, and I want you to know:
It’s not me. It’s you.”
and I’m just going to stop there, because this is incorrect….it’s not them, it is you.
Let me explain why.
Hobby Lobby has always been a Christian store. They support Christian values, they sell Christian products and they promote Christian education.
“Hobby Lobby’s owners, the Green family of Oklahoma, plan to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to create a Bible museum on land near the National Mall in Washington. It’s scheduled to open in 2017 and will display the family’s massive collection of biblical artifacts, including ancient texts.
Hobby Lobby President Steve Green is also spearheading the Green Scholars Initiative, which intends to place a Bible-based academic curriculum in the nation’s public schools.
His brother, Mart Green, spent about $70 million of the family fortune to rescue Oral Roberts University, the Pentecostal school in Oklahoma that was engulfed in a spending scandal and burdened with tens of millions of dollars in debt.” (http://www.oregonlive.com/today/index.ssf/2014/07/hobby_lobby_owners_have_plans.html)
On HobbyLobby.com, there is an entire page dedicated to Ministries they support:
1-888-NEEDHIM (1-888-633-3446) There is an answer to your search.
Affecting destiny around the world by providing God’s eternal Word to children and youth.
All of their Affiliated Companies are Christian companies:
An affiliated company of Hobby Lobby founded by David Green’s son, Mart, as an independent retailer of Christian materials, office supplies, and educational products.
“So, we’re over. Done. Finished. I’m changing my relationship status. I’m not going to be one of those people who keeps doing something just because it’s comfortable. I’ll get my puff paint and poster boards somewhere else — even if it’s further away or more expensive…
And I know the proper thing to say here is that I’ll still be there for you no matter what happens, that we can stay friends. But I don’t want to stay friends, Hobby Lobby. The fact is, I don’t understand you, I don’t respect you and I certainly don’t like you anymore…
Forever (not) yours,
A former customer
PS: I have some of your stuff. I’ll be setting it out on the curb — I don’t have a use for it anymore.”
This is the barb in the fishing hook: “I don’t understand you.”
A relationship begins with understanding.
You do have a relationship with a business you shop at when you shop there. You can call it “voting with your dollar,” but you are also establishing a relationship with them. Therefore, when a business acts in a way that goes against your ethics, you feel something. You react because your relationship with them has changed.
But…if you never understood them in the first place, then you had a very shallow relationship with them from the beginning. If I had a friend who sent me a break up letter because she just found out I was Christian, I would seriously wonder where she has been all this time…since I am so open about my faith, to everyone.
I think the author of this break up letter is suffering the result of her willing blindness, which is a harsh reality. She knew she was shopping at a Christian store, a Christian store who has Bible verses and Ministries all over their website and stores. A Christian business that supports Christian education, curriculum, universities and literature. A Christian business who is publicly making big changes to America through museums, education and Supreme Court rulings.
But she wanted to shop for crafts, and she made the decision…no one else made this decision for her…to shop there. And now she has baskets full of material from Hobby Lobby that is a reflection of her broken relationship with them, and she has to get rid of it in order to convince herself that she never supported them in the first place.
The consumers of Hobby Lobby who are angry about the Supreme Court’s decision supported Hobby Lobby until now. It was because of their purchases that Hobby Lobby could afford to take this issue to the Supreme Court. That’s the fact of the matter.
But if they never saw the vigorous Christian ministry that is Hobby Lobby until now, then their willing blindness was impenetrable.
The naïve belief that they weren’t making a difference by shopping there was perhaps careless.
And the anger that they feel now that Hobby Lobby has made a radical change in Health Care is very real.