Let me get this straight. The Hobby Lobby will allow for crass merchandising with Christmas ornaments stocked in July and trees in the store in August, but will not carry items for Jewish holidays.
On his blog Hopelessly Partisan, activist Ken Berwitz wrote about his friends’ recent experience at a new Hobby Lobby store in the town of Marlboro, New Jersey, which has a large Jewish population. He said that his friends, who were visiting the craft and home decor store, were told, “We don’t cater to you people” when they inquired about bar mitzvah cards. They also noted a glaring absence of Hanukkah-related crafts and decorations in the sea of Christmas-kitsch that dominates every Hobby Lobby after Labor Day. The New Jersey sales associate attributed the lack of Jewish merchandise to the company’s notorious fundamentalist CEO, David Green.
I guess it really comes down to this: Hobby Lobby really is a Christian company, and by that, they don’t just mean that they’re owned by a Christian. They mean that they only want Christian customers and that, if they were allowed, they would only have Christian employees. Their own mission statement requires that employees “honor the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.”
Well, I’m pretty sure Hobby Lobby’s employees and CEO are further removed from biblical principles than the customers they’re discriminating against. I have yet to meet a fundamentalist Christian who keeps kosher, and only a few who follow that “love thy neighbor” rule.
Yes, we live in a capitalist economy that gives Hobby Lobby the right to sell—or not sell—whatever they want. They’re also allowed to say that they want their employees to adhere to “biblical principles.” They’ve even been allowed to deny female employees the right to birth control. Luckily, that same economic structure also grants me the ability to say that they can kiss my feminist Jewish ass. If you’re not already boycotting Hobby Lobby for their misogyny, you might want to consider boycotting them for antisemitism. For me, it’s just one more reason to drive an extra mile and go to Michael’s instead.