I have never shared my political views on this blog because it never felt like the place to do so. Lately, though, I’ve become more aware of how I vote with my dollars. As an entrepreneur, I know the value of a dollar acutely. When I spend money on Kate Stepehen Jewelry rather than Charming Charlie’s, I know that money is funding a local artist’s passion and livelihood. And I know that I’m getting a ring or necklace made of superior quality metals, lovingly handmade. More and more, I’m carefully putting my money toward people and causes I care about, and keeping it out of the pockets of organizations that fund the opposition. And that is why I refuse to shop at Hobby Lobby.
I am pro gay marriage, pro gender equality, pro-choice, pro environment, and pro American-made. I am ecstatic that bans on gay marriage have been declared unconstitutional and I am pumped to be living in a time when we might (hopefully) stop obsessing over gender and sexual orientation, kick religion out of politics, let everyone have equal rights, and focus on things like student debt and global warming. You know, actual issues, not “problems” made up by intolerant people hiding behind religion.
Like Hobby Lobby. If you’ve been reading Poor & Pretty for a while, you know I’m all about crafting and encouraging creativity. But I will NEVER step foot or spend a penny in a Hobby Lobby. Why? Because founders David and Barbara Green have donated MILLIONS of dollars on anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-women policies through the National Christian Charitable Foundation. [Read more about this here, here, and here.]
You probably know all about the Supreme Court case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, but in case you don’t, it’s the case in which Hobby Lobby fought against the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that birth control be covered under the company’s health care plans. And they won. Because the Greens believe that using birth control is the same as getting an abortion (nevermind what science says). Essentially, Hobby Lobby is able to claim religion as a reason to exempt itself from federal law. I find Tyler Coulson’s reaction totally appropriate:
The Old Testament is a foundational document for those faiths that we call Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. And the language is clear – at the end of seven years, the Lord commands that creditors shall forgive the debts of their neighbors and brothers. It is called the Lord’s Release.
It is my sincerely held belief that this language applies directly to student loans guaranteed by the federal government. I believe this because, although the words “neighbor” and “brother” are a bit dodgy, the addition of what I call The Foreigner Clause in Deuteronomy makes clear the meaning: Creditors, including the federal government, must forgive all debts owed by debtors belonging to the same nation, tribe, or clan, or who are citizens of the same state.
What if a female Hobby Lobby employee is raped and can’t afford Plan B? Hobby Lobby isn’t paying for it. Looks like she’s going to have to have the child, and I’m sure they’re not going to help her with those bills, either. She might even end up on food stamps and taking government aid because she’s only paid $10/hour. It’s an extreme case — one that I hope would never happen — but you see where I’m going. Thankfully, however, Obama found a loophole to this whole fiasco — if the company won’t pay for birth control, health insurance will.
This isn’t a rant about religious intolerance. I consider myself “religion-free,” but I’m all about believing in whatever makes you happy, as long as it doesn’t tread on anyone else. That’s why you’ll never find me in a Hobby Lobby. I’ll buy my craft supplies elsewhere, thank you very much!
P.S. I’ve chosen to close comments on this post because I don’t want to get into a political debate. Please remember this blog is an expression of my viewpoints and lifestyle, and while I totally encourage independent thinking, this isn’t the place for a political discussion. Thanks!
P.P.S. Don’t worry. I won’t make a regular habit of blogging about politics. I just thought it was important how — as a penny-pincher — every cent counts. Vote with your money by supporting your local entrepreneurs and businesses who put their money towards employee welfare and the betterment of humankind. ♥