Paul Wilson: Hobby Lobby Head’s ‘Biblical Principles’ Hypocritical

david-green-hobby-lobby-corp-officeI’m thankful for the Star’s religion writer Bill Tammeus

I read him – don’t know him – but he always gets me thinking. This morning he posted a piece that struck a chord concerning – my words – The Craft Store vs. SCOTUS.

David Green, the founder / owner of Hobby Lobby is fast becoming the face of the new martyrdom for Christians across America.

In his battle with the Supreme Court Green is quoted as saying, “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.

“But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government healthcare mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don’t cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception.”

Fine with me.

Hobby Lobby is a privately held company and I support its right to run it any way it sees fit, based on whatever moral or religious compass it chooses to follow.

However,  my quandary is this.

Hobby Lobby truly is the House that China Built.

If the company honestly has those convictions, wouldn’t it act in the same manner Jesus did when he was asked what it took to enter heaven? He answered, I was hungry and you fed me, clothed me, cared for me; what you have done for the least of these, you have done unto me.

Remember that little verse, Mr. Green?

If you have such deep concerns for mankind, why wouldn’t those same convictions extend to the oppressed peoples of China? People who are saddled with mandatory birth control and the selective killing of female babies. The same people who you crank out billions of dollars to for the products you import?

china_abusesWhat’s your responsibility there?

I would assume, if you followed your convictions to a logical conclusion, you would have no products from China to sell and there…but then there would be no Hobby Lobby, would there?

What’s also interesting is the “Christian” reaction in support of the Hobby Lobby.

There has been as much homage paid to the company as was the case with Chick-Fil-A a couple years ago when its president Dan Cathy responded to the Supreme Court striking a blow for gay marriage as “a sad day for our nation; founding fathers would be ashamed.”

I don’t mean to pick on Hobby Lobby but, we are awash with corproate offenders hawking sweatshop products; A&F, Nike, Gap, Payless, Adidas, New Balance, LL Bean, Kohl’s, Hanes, Timberland; the list is endless. But as a Facebook person responded to a question I posted this morning, this is situational ethics at its best as we disregard the effects of unfettered capitalism, and disregard Matthew 25.

Dan-Cathy1Matt Chambers, a Christian who serves as Director/Co-Founder of SafeWorld, argues that, “Hobby Lobby’s choice to do business with China goes against Christian principles due to China’s botched human rights record and sex-selective abortion practices.”

And, that doesn’t even touch the fact that China’s cheap labor conditions are such that no American would be willing to work in them (some even equate them with slavery). Or the fact that China greatly restricts religious liberty, the very issue Hobby Lobby claims is under attack here. Or the fact that its numbers on infanticide, orphans, and child-abandonment are abysmal.

If we truly want to tout Biblical principles, can we draw a line where that ends?

I don’t think so. And not to resurrect that old rubber bracelet, but just what WOULD Jesus do?

 

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37 Responses to Paul Wilson: Hobby Lobby Head’s ‘Biblical Principles’ Hypocritical

  1. Stomper says:

    Good piece Professor. Lots of gray involved and questionable bedfellows when you talk about the Church and the ACA. I’m a heathen liberal and therefore not credible but the law does not force Hobby Lobby to provide or pay for birth control. If a Hobby Lobby employee wants it, they contact the carrier directly and the carrier must offer it separate from HL’s cost or coverage. However I do respect and appreciate Green’s perspective. Guess I’m splitting hairs.

    Saw an interesting interview with Father Timothy Dolan a few days ago where he said that other than the ACA position on birth control, the Catholic Church would have been one of the biggest supporters of the law. In fact, he felt it did not go far enough and should have included illegal aliens. Pope Francis is stepping on some conservative toes here recently as well. The lines are getting blurred.

    I agree with you that Bill Tammeus puts out some thought provoking stuff. Glad to know you are a Star reader. It gives me some comfort after abuse they get from Dwight.

  2. BS says:

    More contraception equals less abortion. What is the goal?

  3. chuck says:

    Interesting article Paul. Good information.

    No sarcasm, but I wonder if the guy (David Green) is even aware of your points. It could be he is not a hypocrite, but lacking nuance. How many of us have met what we thought, were important, rich, successful and we thought brilliant captains of industry, only to find one dimensional one trick ponies, who made bank on that one trick?

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Chuck, I always wait for your comments..then sit back and smile. I talked to a girl (my wife) last night; totally opposed to my position on this, thinking some things are unavoidable…as in he couldn’t have a business without China.
      I get that, but in some pieces I take the contrarian position to force the human thought process.
      Look at our economy; China OWNS use. We are all “customers” of the factory. Whattaya do with that?

  4. Orphan of the Road says:

    Even if his/their moral convictions are true what does this mean IF religious dogma is used against health insurance?

    Does it mean a company owned by a Christian Scientist could withhold any insurance because of their belief in God healing all?

    Or a Seven Day Adventist not covering blood transfusions?

    The moral convictions of hospitals run by the Catholic Church already have them denying medical assistance to women who are miscarrying until there is no longer a fetal heart beat.

    Jesus would not be amongst these peoples crowd or in Perfect Village. You would find him East of Troost with the hookers and drug addicts and the poorest of the poor.

    Johnny in the belly of a billionaire
    Swallowed by the music he played
    Gonna have to ride that camel through the eye
    Of a phonograph needle some day

    • chuck says:

      I don’t know Orphan, Jesus was essentially the perp in a “Bar Fight” type incident in the Temple. How many times would he turn the other cheek during the “Knock Out Game”?

      Would he “Render Unto Ceasar” the diminishing wages of workers into a Government fund designed to transfer wealth against the will of those same workers, or would he emphasize the charitable aspects of the human heart to encourage and lift up those unable, not unwilling to work?

      Your points with respect to religious doctrine and treatment are dead on the money.

  5. Orphan of the Road says:

    Consider when Jesus said to turn the other cheek, he was saying to make the person hit you rather than slap your face back-handed.

    Look at the company he kept. Thieves, whores (though Mary M was probably labeled such by jealous disciples as she was his closest confidant) and, “gasp”, tax collectors.

    Something about it being easier for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven tells me he wouldn’t be a Tea Party member.

    He might be big on the redistribution of wealth and would certainly have a Temple moment with Joel Osteen, Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson and most “Christians”.

    Mostly though if Jesus came today and spoke as he did in his day, they’d stick a needle in his arm this time.

    This from a heathen and a pagan on the side of the rebel Jesus.

    We guard our world with locks and guns
    And we guard our fine possessions
    And once a year when Christmas comes
    We give to our relations
    And perhaps we give a little to the poor
    If the generosity should seize us
    But if any one of us should interfere
    In the business of why they are poor
    They get the same as the rebel Jesus

    • chuck says:

      🙂

      Maybe Orphan. I have read that many think Jesus was an Essene. He most certainly was not a Pharasees or Saducees. The Dead Sea Scrolls (Publications on the find are endlessly and relentlessy fascinating. The cover ups, the translations, the time line, who has possession, when they had it etc etc.) include of course, “The Copper Scroll” , which if translated correctly should lead to a number of treasures of unimaginable wealth. No doubt, we will find out, that this wealth was only days away from being redistributed when it was lost forever.

      For me, having spent a large portion of my life in the company of thieves and whores while working for the rich, I find, very little difference other than happenstance.

      🙂

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Careful there, Orphan, you’re sounding like one of them gay, Jewish atheists….

  6. Jack Springer says:

    Another anti-Christian rant from someone I suppose is either an atheist, Jew, or is gay.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      WOW, are you ever good! I was a Jew, but after I came out as gay, became an athiest! Amazing how you called that one. ( you should start wagering on games with Craig with those skills!)

  7. the dude says:

    Ha! I love when people like to trot out the bible when it conveniently fits their narrow world view. Marriage? Do you really want to go to the bible to define marriage?? The fact that Abraham had a few dozen wifes along with his slaves baring his children. The bible does a pretty crappy job of defining marriage when you really start scrutinizing it or anything else for that matter.

    We all know Jesus would be a gun-toting, tea-bagging, homophobic Obummer hater if he existed in this day, amirite?!?!?

    • Rich says:

      Probably so. The man, wearing his Yahweh hat, did after all commit and order genocides, mass rapes, infanticides, slavery, stealing from neighbors, and then created an eternal, unescapable torture chamber all for his own glory.

      “Homophobic teabagger”. Can a term be both redundant and oxymoronic?

  8. Stomper says:

    As usual Paul, your effort has flushed out lots of good comments and opinions.

    I’d just like to offer a small, semantical aside here that I hope is not too far off topic. I have seen variations of this phrase a few times here and quite often in the conservative media and think it has been highjacked to arose political emotions. And quite effectively too, I might add. The phrase is “redistribution of wealth” and it is used to broadly refer to what the more conservative side of the aisle feels is done by Obama and his socialist lackeys when government gives money to causes they do not support. The farmer in rural areas bristles when he hears the phrase yet sees no hypocrisy when he cashes his subsidy check. Every time we buy a fighter plane, every time a fireman or policeman cashes his/her paycheck, every time Brownback and the Ks. legislature gives a tax break to a company to try to attract them to the state, the government is redistibuting wealth. Redistributing wealth is what governments do. Not just in Washington, but at the state, county, and city level. Heck, my wife and kids have it down to an science. I understand and appreciate that conservatives want a small government and are angered when it directs assets to areas that they feel cross the line of what they see as appropriate but let’s not redefine the meaning of the words.

    I do compliment conservatives on the strategy. Check out the Lewis Powell memo of 1971.

    Just sayin’

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Small, semantical asides are sometimes the best, and when coming for you, always among the best of the best! I agree the use of the term. A while back I was shopping for an bought a farm down by Garnett, Kansas as a little get away. I ended up with 40 acres on the 780 lake the city uses for water supply. In looking for a piece of property I was blown away by what I could by with “X” number of years left on a CRP government payout that all but made the payments for the term of the program!
      Redistribution of wealth is a lot like PORK in a bill or program. Isnt it always true, if its MY pork brought home by MY GUY, its good pork and he’s a good guy. But one mans pork/redistribution, is another mans socialist rip off commie money grab, isnt it?
      Thanks, as always, for bringin the collective IQ up!

    • the dude says:

      Oh, Stomper, we ALL know it is not welfare if the handouts and subsidies are going to poor, pitiful me corporations.

    • chuck says:

      Is there a difference if the fireman actually pulls someone out of a burning house, or the cop gets shot arresting a perp, or the corporation actually produces a product, or the farm actually produces food as opposed to the folks who generation after generation expect set asides for existence?

      http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/welfare-can-make-more-sense-work

        • Stomper says:

          Chuck; On Dwight’s recent piece on education, I gave you a little flack for including links to overtly conservative websites (that they all openly admit by the way) like the Cato Institute, Washington Examiner, and American Renaissance to support your positions. You said you were willing to listen to less right wing rhetoric. I see you are back quoting those three sites again here. How about throwing caution to the wind for a few weeks and adding CNN.com, MSN.com and The Huffington Post to your list of favorites. You can subscribe to Huffington and they also have two other opinion pieces they will send you daily; Huff Post Hill and Huff Post Politics . On a pretty regular basis they will post pieces critical of Obama and his Marxist posse. Not all is directly from the Communist Manifesto. What do you say? I’ll go to your place and you go to mine. Sound like a deal?

          Hey, what did you think of Diane Ravitch’s position on issues relating to education. Have you had a chance to check her out yet?

    • expat says:

      You’re being overly deconstructive. There’s a qualitative difference between redistributing money between productive endeavors and unproductive ones, it’s the latter that gets people upset (although the former does too if it’s done unfairly). Not sure if you’re just being disingenuous on this or what.

      • Stomper says:

        productive and unproductive is opinion based.

        my point was more the inaccurate use of the phrase “redistribution of wealth”

        • expat says:

          Sorry but I think your pedantic argument on this point serves no purpose. The difference between charity and investment may well be ‘opinion’ but you have to acknowledge there are qualitative differences in types of opinion as well.

        • expat says:

          Since you know perfectly well what people mean by redistribution of wealth, what would you use in its place?

          • Stomper says:

            My point is that the phrase “redistribution of wealth” is a broad term. Can be good or bad depending on the specifics as well as the political perspective of the individual. Redistributing wealth is what governments do. As you seem to be saying above, a government “redistributing wealth” in the form of a paycheck going to a fireman who pulls a person from a burning building is a good thing. It’s a productive act. I agree completely. It’s an example of “redistribution of wealth” being a good thing, Is that a statement that you can agree with?

            I believe that conservatives want the phrase to only represent bad things, unfair things, things that are bad for America. Code for evil.

            Little bit of a read but look at this piece

            http://georgelakoff.com/2013/11/24/the-ny-times-uncovers-conservative-attacks-and-then-prints-one-both-are-on-the-front-page/

  9. expat says:

    New Balance are made in America, Paul. My shoes of choice (when I’m not wearing made in USA Red Wings) for that specific reason.

    http://m.newbalance.com/Made-in-the-USA/made_in_usa,default,pg.html

  10. Stomper says:

    Chuck; In the last day or so I gave you a little bit of flack in commenting on the piece by Dwight on education. I was critical of you for linking to overtly conservative websites ( which they all openly admit by the way) like Cato Institute, Washington Examiner, and American Renaissance. You wrote that you were willing listen to other points of view so I have a proposition for you. How about, for the next few weeks you add MSN.com / politics, CNN.com / politics, and the Huffington Post to your list of favorites. You can subscribe to Huffington and they will send you two other communications, Huff Post Hill and Huff Post Politics, daily. On a fairly regular basis, they publish articles critical of the O man and his Marxist posse so you’ll have that going for you. Not everything is straight from the Communist Manifesto. Sound like a deal? I always try to read the links you send. Try my world for a few weeks.

    By the way, did you get a chance to check out Diane Ravitch yet. If so, what do you think?

    • Stomper says:

      oops, went through twice, sorry.

    • chuck says:

      She is detailed in her commentary on subject matter, but it is California arcane. I liked the comments on Texas Charter Schools and will wait for a headline that grabs my attention.

      It is in committee.

      🙂

      • Stomper says:

        Thanks Chuck. We may be on opposite sides of the aisle but I think you listen, research, and maintain an open mind. I try to as well. Radical ideologues on both sides are tough to tolerate.

        🙂

  11. John Altevogt says:

    To criticize someone for being a hypocrite is weak. We’re all hypocrites. there’s not a person on this page that has set any standard in their life that can’t be denounced as a hypocrite.

    The only way you can avoid bein ga hypocrite is to set no standards for yourself whatsoever, but I would much rather be around people who set standards for themselves, even when they fail than someone who sets no standards.

    So he’s not good on where he get’s the stuff he sells in his store, so what? How does that diminish the fact that he is standing up to this government so we don’t become like China. Does he have to be perfect before he can speak out against an oppressive regime in this country?

    How about you? What do the labels say on the clothes you’re wearing? Nothing in your house from China? If so, aren’t you being a hypocrite and how then can you criticize him if hypocrites are to remain silent?

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      John, TOTALLY valid and great point. We are all hypocrites in some form or fashion. I see that side too, I person I use as a sounding board when I tacke issues like this pointed out something similar.
      I guess what troubles me most is he wants to oppose the insurance provision of things he’s spiritually opposed to, but makes his fortune spending millions with a country who is all that to a factor of 100.
      Yes, sin is sin, hypocrisy is hypocrisy; maybe I should just write it off at that?

      • John Altevogt says:

        There are many ways to have an impact. Here at home his best method may be through legal channels and in China it may be through his business practices. But even if he does nothing in China, why would we want him to remain silent to the tyranny he sees here. If only the perfect can protest, evil will indeed triumph.

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