Sunday, November 9, 2014

Shopping at Hobby Lobby

I seem to write a lot of reactionary articles these days, mostly following negative comments and attention. That’s probably because I get more new negative material than positive. Not saying that there aren’t a lot of positive, art related things, but I can only tell you guys so many stories of adorable children saving coins to buy a charm so many times before it gets old.

I think it’s fair to assume that most of us artists and crafters know about the whole birth control controversy involving Hobby Lobby that happened a while back. Here’s a quick summary for you guys. Hobby Lobby, a family owned company with Christian values, wanted the health insurance they provided their employees to exclude birth control. After a long fight through a lot of courts, the company won.

Why is this important?

Well it’s certainly caused backlash, because I know a lot of artists and crafters have since boycotted buying supplies from them. Even I’m sitting here like, it’s a pretty big middle finger to employees to say, well we run this corporation with our religious values, so you’re going to have to deal with it. It’s not the company’s business what kind of medical procedures, prescriptions, and details the employees use.
So you probably agree with me up until here. But how about this: if you don’t like it, get a job elsewhere.
Sounds pretty douchy, yeah? Well that’s tough luck. In the end, HL is a privately owned, family run company, no matter how large the chain is. They get to make those determinations. And even though I’m anti-religion, if the owner is religious, they can run their business with as much religion as they want, and it’s up to consumers to decide whether or not they still want to shop there. Separation of church and state only applies to government (even though we all know it doesn’t), so private companies can still “close on Sundays for worship”, “provide Christian-ized health insurance”, and set aside break times for prayer. 

It’s unfortunate that employees can’t get unbiased health care, but freedom goes both ways. HL says they won’t pay for the birth control, not that they won’t allow employees to use it. This is passive. Consumers and employees can shop elsewhere and find jobs elsewhere. This is also passive. But for people to demand a company to compromise their values because the company and the people don’t see eye to eye, that’s pretentious. 

So here’s what’s up. I still shop at Hobby Lobby. Not often, but I don’t have any problem walking in those doors to pick up supplies. When someone asks me where to start with their jewelry business or polymer clay charms, I’ll say Hobby Lobby. Not because I’m so totally rooting for them to use Christianity to dominate the art world, but they’re easy to locate and have what you need.
The story behind this article:

Several weeks ago, a woman approached me and started asking where she could find the specific powder I use for shimmering my charms. I told her it’s available online but it’s cheaper to buy it at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon. If you saw her reaction, you would’ve thought I asked her to sacrifice a baby and a puppy to a fire god. The string of epithets that came from her mouth included words like bigot and homophobe. She stormed off, proclaiming she would never want advice from someone who supported such an evil company.

You guys, that’s so dumb. I shop at Hobby Lobby, I don’t worship Satan. And even if I did worship Satan, it doesn’t make me any more or less than the person you were talking to ten seconds ago before you knew that.

So if you feel strongly one way or the other, please remember that there are normal people on both sides of the debate. And if you’re stuck in the middle, it’s not as big of a deal as some people make it out to be. Nothing is ever as dramatically important as it seems. Well, nothing like this anyway.

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