Thus Spake the Profits

We do seem to live in the Age of Hypocrisy.

A Facebook friend posted a comment about Hobby Lobby, the craft store chain headquartered in Oklahoma. Like Chik-fil-A, the chain makes much of its Christian values, closing on Sundays and, most recently, suing the Obama Administration over the mandate to include contraceptive coverage as part of the health insurance offered to employees.

“Next time you hear someone defend Hobby Lobby’s extremist stance on birth control and health insurance law, try this little thought exercise. Go to a Hobby Lobby and make a small inventory of every item they sell that’s made in China. Yes, the same China that has MANDATORY FORCED ABORTIONS. Then ask a salesperson why Hobby Lobby’s commitment to Christianity extends to how their employees live their lives but not to where they get their inventory from.”

Seems like a reasonable question to me.


  1. Pingback: Corporate Religion
  2. I’m sorry – “the extreme stance on birth control and the health insurance law” through me for a loop. The owners of Hobby Lobby simply don’t want to include something in their health insurance coverage that violates the owners religious beliefs. Not only is that not an “extreme” position, that’s a position protected by the First Amendment. Government is required to accomodate religious beliefs in the laws it enacts. I know that at times the courts have cut out exceptions to this principle to mandate people do things in violation of their religious beliefs, but those exceptions have usually been pretty narrow.

  3. Paul, religions don’t get veto power over civil law. Remember that back in the day segregationists tried to invoke religion as an end around Civil Rights laws.

    Either way, Hobby Lobby’s concern about abortion doesn’t apply to Chinese women as long as they continue to produce cheap crap for their shelves.

  4. Also, since Hobby Lobby’s core function is not that of a church, this Freedom of Religion argument does not apply.

  5. Employers are not providing the health insurance. They are providing access to third-party-delivered insurance for their employees, and the employees are paying for the policy as part of their negotiated salary and benefits package. The employer gets to deduct the company’s portion of the cost of the insurance – an agreement between the employer and the employee – as an expense, as well as the employee’s salary and other benefits.

    If there is no employee, then there is no salary and no insurance policy. The policy and coverage are the employee’s, not the employer’s, and the employer ought not discriminate on a religious basis against employees who do not share the beliefs of the officers of that company.

    Further, it’s also not the CEO who is personally providing access. It’s the corporation. Corporations which are not churches have no “religious beliefs.” They’re entities created to shield the officers from personal liability. Until the CEO himself is no longer hidden behind the corporate veil, his beliefs ought to be irrelevant to his employee’s health care considerations. (Frankly, even if he were personally paying for the policies I don’t believe it’s any of his business what kind of health care his employees receive.)

  6. I am from a town of 10,000 people. We had one hospital in our entire county, and it was Catholic. Imagine if that hospital and all its employees could have determined healthcare choices for all its patients. Deny birth control/abortion/sterilization for all? Demand each patient (even the non-Christians) be baptized before any treatment? If they’re running a business, they are not entitled to run people’s lives. I think an owner of a company has every right to make his personal beliefs known, but not impose them on the employees he hires to help run his org.

  7. Hobby Lobby should run Hobby Lobby and provide health care for employees as requried by law and not attempt to control what coverage is provided by their offered health care policy. The insurance company should run the insurance company and not make religious decisions for Hobby Lobby owners any more than it should decide what products they sell or where they are manufactured. Birth control is provided by health care policies; it is not forced on anyone who opts for their medical care coverage. Why must everything become a major problem; and why do most of these major problems seem to be related to religious beliefs?

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