The foundation of our business has been, and will continue to be strong values, and honoring the Lord in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.When I shared this link, I got a number of responses ranging from people affirming their decision to purchase craft supplies online, to people highlighting alternative businesses to patron, to folks that say they get joy from buying products from a Christian store to use in their Pagan craft. Actually, a lot of people made similar comments to this, and this isn't the first time I've heard folks touting the idea of giving money to admittedly Christian businesses for specific Pagan usage. Even some Pagan books, when mentioning where to get altar supplies, recommend getting products from Christian book stores, as they have a wide array of things like bells and censers and other altar-related items.
And here is where I have my quandary...
What is it that we think we're accomplishing by giving money to Christian businesses? Because, obviously, it is the owners of said stores whose opinions shape the business practices, and so on, not the cashier who checked you out while you were rocking your pentacle...not the stock boy who checked on that wood burning kit that you made sure to tell him was to make witchy altar tiles...not even the management who you felt the need to casually mention to that you were deigning to shop in this Christian establishment with your Pagan money...
If that was a thing you did.
The story that came out regarding Hobby Lobby said that the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a business can absorb the religious beliefs held by its owners, and that it can mold its business practices thusly. Now, while the salacious headline makes it sound like a parroting of the 'Corporations Are People' bologna that the SCOTUS gave us some time ago, it isn't quite. But, they did hold that corporations can be considered to be religious persons under the RFRA - or Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
All of this, the court case, came about because Hobby Lobby's owners are one of a number of businesses challenging the Affordable Care Act's - Obamacare - requirement that employers provide insurance that also covers contraception without a co-pay. Because, you know, a woman's right to choose isn't 'honoring the Lord in a manner consistent with Biblical principles'. It should be noted that these same Christian businesses have no problem supplying medication for erectile dysfunction.
So, they are a business that is actively attempting to take rights away, given by the federal government, from its employees. Actually trying to make its employees lives a little harder, a little more complicated, and a little worse. We've heard stories coming from other famously Christian businesses such as Chick-Fil-A, which gives money to anti-marriage equality organizations. Though, I don't hear as many people saying they're buying chicken sandwiches to eat at their local Pride parade.
Also, one other thing to know about Hobby Lobby is that it isn't the only store owned by the private company. They also own a company called Mardel, which is a Christian-based homeschooling resource and bookstore. Their textbooks include such gems as 'Advanced Physics in Creation', which is a textbook from 'Apologia'. From the website:
Apologia resources are designed to give homeschooled students a scientific education that will help them make a reasoned defense of the Christian faith.Mardel obviously isn't as large or lucrative a business as Hobby Lobby, so the company helps Mardel stay afloat with extra money from its crown jewel: Hobby Lobby.
So...in other words...those craft supplies you're buying might be the extra pocket change that helps put 'Advanced Physics in Creation' and other balderdash in the hands of a tragically misinformed homeschool kid.
I ask you... What is it we think we're doing when we patronize activist Christian businesses for our own purposes. There are quite a number of businesses whose owners are famously Christian that don't attempt to take away the rights of its employees or give money to political organizations. There are even some quality Christian book stores whose owners seem to support a healthy live and let live philosophy. But, every now and then, you get a business that uses money from chicken sandwiches to try and take away the rights of GLBT citizens. A business that uses its resources to take away contraception from its employees and put utter lies about science into the hands of today's youth.
Do we really have no other options at this point? In 2013? You're reading a blog right now from some kind of smart device or computer. Can you not click on to a craft supply website? A giant online warehouse store like Amazon or even find a similar privately owned business website? Etsy is chock full of craft suppliers who make no bones about who they sell to.
I will leave you with the question: is the joke really on them, or are we laughing to make us feel better about giving money to people we know we shouldn't?
Love and Lyte,