Recently, I posted a link on my Facebook page in which David Green, owner of the Hobby Lobby stores, explained his position on his lawsuit against Obamacare – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. As expected, I received many positive and negative comments regarding a secular, for-profit business’s right to provide health care benefits based on the religious principles of the owners. We had a lively discussion.
In his open letter (see the letter and news clip here), Green says that federal health care mandates that his “family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance” which Hobby Lobby has not previously paid for in its self-funded insurance program. Hobby Lobby faces significant fines starting on January 1, 2013, if it does not comply with the contraception and abortion elements contained in PPACA.
While I’m not here to debate the bill itself, or even to spend much time fighting about a private business’s right to discriminate against its employees because of the owners’ religious principles, Mr. Green’s position does bring me to today’s question of ethics. I would very much like to boycott Hobby Lobby for its owners’ stance on certain kinds of contraception and abortion for its employees, yet I found myself in the awkward position of having nowhere else to buy the bread bags we use for our Christmas baking every year.
Over the years we have tried many different options, but found the over-sized bags at Hobby Lobby to be just right for our banana bread on steroids. Image my disappointment when, after driving all over town yesterday, I had to go back to Hobby Lobby to get the bags.
So — today’s question remains. The Hobby Lobby issue is currently percolating up in my social conscience, but I’m sure if I were to research other stores’ ethical practices, there wouldn’t be a single place I could shop. At least Hobby Lobby’s Green family HAS ethics, even if they don’t match up with my own sense of the word. We all make tiny sacrifices every day, and sometimes make larger ones that eat away at our soul. While not buying thirteen dollars worth of bread bags won’t do much to break David Green’s $3 billion business, it did break my spirit just a little to have to give him even that much.
Between now and next Christmas, I’ll be researching where we can buy our Kraft Sacks without going to Hobby Lobby. Or maybe I’ll be able to shop at Hobby Lobby again when David Green is forced to comply with the civil rights laws of the United States. I certainly hope so.