When compared to other stores, or even other businesses, there is nothing like Hobby Lobby. Why? Because the company’s billionaire founder, David Green, believes his co-owner to be the heavenly head honcho himself (via Hobby Lobby), Forbes reports that Green owns 100% of this 900+ store chain.
Listen to Green discuss his thoughts on corporate ownership “All that I have was bestowed upon me by God, our Maker. So I’ve learned to tell God, “Here, take this. You can have it all. This is something I’m going to hand over to you.”
Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-Fil-A, would likely agree that there are difficulties for faith-based businesses despite the efforts of the chain’s management and employees to uphold Green’s strong Christian principles. Furthermore, the chain can only be as successful as its human management allows, and unfortunately,
Hobby Lobby has had some problems over the years. Its issues could be the result of bad timing, poor judgment, or the simple fact that it’s impossible to satisfy everyone 100% of the time and still make a profit.
Hobby Lobby Challenged The Affordable Care Act
When Hobby Lobby fought against a law that required it to offer employees access to low-cost health insurance, they sparked some debate. The argument advanced against the policy was that the Affordable Care Act’s “contraceptive mandate” meant that the company’s health insurance plan had to cover all forms of birth control, including those used to end pregnancies after they had begun. The owners of Hobby Lobby and other religiously motivated businesses saw this as an attempt to force them to condone abortion.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that corporations like Hobby Lobby were within their rights to violate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the basis of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. The ruling did not give those corporations the right to deny health care coverage or contraception outright, but it did establish a new channel through which contraception could be provided without their involvement. After five years,
Deseret News looked back at the Hobby Lobby decision and found that it had paved the way for other religious groups and individuals to assert claims they felt should be covered under RFRA, such as wedding vendors not wanting to serve same-sex couples. This has created a conundrum for civil rights advocates, who naturally dislike discrimination on the basis of religion but are less than enthusiastic about discrimination that can be rationalized on the basis of faith.
Hobby Lobby’s China Ties Create Controversy With Christians
However, not all Christians support the company’s stances. The method by which the craft supply chain obtains the products it sells appears to be the source of much discontent. Hobby Lobby, like many discount retailers, sources a significant amount of its merchandise from China, a nation with a sordid history of human rights violations.
Despite its claims to support religious freedom, Hobby Lobby imports billions of dollars’ worth of trinkets from a country that denies freedom of worship to 1.35 billion citizens, as Christian columnist and author Jonathan Merritt wrote in an editorial for The Week. The problem of abortion is another factor. Approximately 330 million abortions have taken place in China since the country’s one-child policy was implemented 40 years ago.
The Christian Post investigated the same topics, drawing parallels between Hobby Lobby’s ostensibly Christian business model and the company’s tacit approval (by patronizing China’s factories) of such practices. The Christian director of the non-governmental organization SafeWorld, Matt Chambers, was quoted as saying that if Hobby Lobby were truly Bible-based, they “would be extra careful to NEVER do business with the very people who go against everything they claim to fight for as Christians.”
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Hobby Lobby Bought A Stolen Ancient Artifact
A tablet from the 3,600-year-old Sumerian epic The Tale of Gilgamesh was purchased by Hobby Lobby for nearly $1.7 million in 2014. On the tablet was inscribed a particularly exciting scene. Since the Gilgamesh story may have heavily influenced several books of the Bible, the company wanted to display the world’s oldest poem in the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., which it owns.
The tablet, along with about 5,500 other ancient Mesopotamian artifacts, was later proven to have been looted from Iraq, and this caused problems for Hobby Lobby (via The Vintage News). The Gilgamesh Dream Tablet is currently en route to the Iraqi government, where it will join the other artifacts that were returned in 2017.
Hobby Lobby doesn’t feel resentful toward the Iraqis for keeping the artifacts, but it is still annoyed that it lost several million dollars. They have now filed a lawsuit against Christie’s, the auction house where they made the initial purchase, in an effort to recoup not only the initial purchase price but also the cost of the fines and legal fees they incurred as a result of purchasing stolen relics.
Hobby Lobby Came Back Strong After The Covid-19 Quarantine
Craft stores like Hobby Lobby were at first resistant to closing for the pandemic, despite state mandates. One worker even tweeted a letter purportedly written by David Green, in which he explained that he had a dream from God telling him to keep the stores open. However, the dream did foretell that cuts would need to be made, and that most of these would be felt by the company’s lower-level employees.
International Business Times reports that after law enforcement intervened and compelled Hobby Lobby to comply with state laws, the company was forced to shut down all of its stores. While this meant furloughs for hourly workers, salary employees also took a 10% pay cut for the months of April and May.
FAQs – People Also Ask
Is Hobby Lobby illegally re-opening stores?
In the end, Hobby Lobby complied with state orders and temporarily closed stores in certain regions, but that didn’t stop it from secretly and illegally re-opening several locations, leading to outspoken criticism from terrified workers.
What is the Hobby Lobby health care issue?
When Hobby Lobby contested a law requiring it to offer employees access to low-cost health insurance, the case generated some controversy.
What is the Hobby Lobby controversy all about?
The controversy represented a huge embarrassment for the Hobby Lobby chain, as its owners had to pay $3 million in fines to the U.S. government because of the smuggling. The laughably bizzare controversy has also left some shoppers questioning if they want to spend their money at a store known for purchasing pilfered artifacts.
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