By now you may have seen posts on Facebook describing the involvement of Hobby Lobby in a lawsuit fighting the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
The company's founder, David Green, publicly shared a letter in which he expressed that he doesn't want to pay for contraceptive coverage such as the morning after pill because he believes they can cause abortions. They don't. They prevent pregnancy, but his public letter states that they can cause abortion and it's another example of a public individual with his own agenda spreading misinformation to make his case.
He justifies his point by saying, "We're Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles....We believe that it is by God's grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees." So because he's a Christian man running a Christian business, he wants to be exempt from these provisions.
As Kerri, the blogger behind Damn You, Little Rock writes:
I take issue with a for-profit company claiming any religion. Are the stocks baptized? Do the bonds take communion? Are all employees screened with a religion test? How do they judge another person's heart? It's just absurd on its face.
A number of us feel as Kerri does. There's a group on Facebook calling for a boycott of Hobby Lobby.
However, I don't need to join a group to know that shopping in a store that works against the best interests of women hurts me and every woman I know.
David Green and Hobby Lobby can do as they want, and so can I. On Hobby Lobby's Facebook wall, I explained why I came to the decision to spend my money elsewhere:
I am an avid crafter and have been known to spend thousand of dollars a year on crafts, easily. I don't smoke, drink, or gamble -- instead, I put all that money into crafts.
For two years I used to drive 20 miles every week to a Hobby Lobby with my coupon in hand and make a pleasant morning of it shopping your store. When one opened up down the street from me, less than two miles away and a quarter of the distance from the nearest Jo-Ann's or Michael's or A.C. Moore, I was in heaven.
But those days are over.
I'm deeply saddened to see your involvement in a lawsuit attempting to block the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which offers 8 very important preventive care services to women, services which were recommended by the Institute of Medicine and which include domestic violence screening and breast feeding support.
And I'm not alone.
In the blogosphere you are taking a huge hit for your actions. Many of us understand why religious institutions and universities would beg off, but you are a private business and a for-profit entity. You have the right to act as you see fit, but I have the right to express my dismay by no longer shopping at your store.
I've stopped shopping at Walmart because their low prices are made off the backs of their underpaid, poorly treated workers; this was made clear to me after reading Barbara Ehrenreich's "Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America."
Sure, it pains me to pass up your lovely items, many of which are not carried by your competitors.
But it pains me more that you believe your own personal beliefs can dictate public policy for an entire nation. That smacks of hubris, and as someone who has family members from a variety of spiritual backgrounds including Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism and Judaism, I've learned that faith comes in diverse forms and the most respectful observance of faith does not dictate how others live but acknowledges that differences exist.
Unless there's a public about-face on Hobby Lobby's stance on the Affordable Care Act, contraception and LGBT rights, I am not going to shop at any of your stores ever again. You will lose thousands of dollars from me and millions of dollars judging from the outcry I'm seeing online, but the rest of us will gain self-respect.
My hobbies should not fund businesses that work at cross-purposes to my best interests and those of other women, especially the least-advantaged among us. And they no longer will.