Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Lobby of the Lord

I never heard of Hobby Lobby before moving to Tennessee, and when I did I assumed it was a large crafts store, which it is. But it seems that the true concern of Hobby Lobby is not to lobby for your hobby but to lobby for Jesus and a Christian America. Hence its full-page ad entitled In God We Trust in the July 4th issue of USA Today.

The ad is an anthology of quotes from past presidents, founding fathers, Supreme Court justices, Congress, and others making the case that America is more than a nation of Christians, but a Christian nation. Maybe this shouldn’t upset me. It is just that I love being an American, and I find the Fourth of July truly inspiring. I think we should assemble on the Fourth to read and debate the meaning of the Declaration and the Bill of Rights. I think the Fourth of July should be for Americans what Yom Kippur is for Jews and Easter is for Christians—the day when we consider the deepest truths of who we are.

So when I find an ad that violates the very genius and spirit of America and does so in the name of America, I get upset. No, not upset—sad. Sad and worried. And then a bit more sad.

In addition to being sad, I also find this ad to be a fine example of false advertising. Hobby Lobby does not trust in God. If it did it would relax and let God take care of things. HL wants to impose JC on the rest of us. And if HL can’t turn all Americans into believing Christians, it wants to make sure all are forced to live by Christian values (as they define them) and do away with science, contraception, and homosexuals.

If they really trusted God, they would simply leave these things up to God. If God is willing to allow us to imagine and teach that humans and apes share a family tree, why should HL take offense? And if God created people so that people might create condoms, who are they to interfere? And if God created everything, then God created homosexuals and who is HL to condemn God’s creation?

What bugs me about HL is their hubris. They sift through the teachings of Jesus, focus on what he has to say about homosexuality, stem cell research, evolution, and contraception, and ignore all the rest. (Note: For those who have not read the Gospels, Jesus says nothing about any of these things.) Their Jesus is created in their image, not God’s. He is their son, not His. They did the same with this ad. America was not and is not a Christian nation, and because it isn’t, Christianity flourishes here unlike anywhere else on the planet.

So I call upon America (notice how I assume America reads this blog) to trust in God but not in Hobby Lobby. I, for one, will no longer shop at Hobby Lobby. (OK I never have before, either.) I will not shop at Hobby Lobby not because I have no hobbies (which, sadly, is true) but because I can’t support their lobby. And I hope you won’t either. I am calling for a boycott of Hobby Lobby. Or, if you just have to buy stuff there, buy some stuff to make a sign that tells others not to buy there.

Happy Fourth. And God bless you (or damn you as the case may be).


Shadowspun said...

I went into Hobby Lobby precisely once in Nashville. Given that I was a transplanted Yankee, I kept my mouth shut about the fact that the music blaring over the speakers was only Gospel. I actually like some Gospel music. I found what I wanted to buy (they were the only store that carried it in Nashville) and never walked in it again. I was able to find what I needed at a Pagan store in Murfreesboro after that.

labradorlvr1234 said...

Sorry, but I actually find your blog rather sad. This country was founded on religious principles and I applaud Hobby Lobbby for being one of the ONLY retailers to stand up for the principles set forth by their founder.

FriarFred said...

Amen to you Rabbi Shapiro. As a gay Catholic, I come up against this hubris all the time.
As for Hobby Lobby, I always wondered if, since they close on Sundays for "our employees to enjoy time for Family and Worship" do they also allow any Jewish employees to have off on Friday evenings and Saturdays for the same reason? If they do - good for them, if they don't - shame on them.

gwojtowy said...

And on which Christianity does labradorivr1234 thinks America was founded? The King James Version that the Puritans were trying to leave, or the one that Roger Williams had to protect in Rhode Island from the Puritans?

Was it the Quaker version that William Penn protected from persecution by founding Pennsylvania, or the Mormon version, which required a journey to Utah to protect it from violence? Or maybe it was the Christianity that condemned slavery as opposed to the one that enshrined it?

Which Christianity labradorivr1234?