The Freedom From Religion Foundation is calling a boycott (and “girlcott”) of Hobby Lobby, a national retail craft-store chain. Hobby Lobby characterizes itself as a Christian company, with 561 stores nationwide and revenues of more than $2.28 billion per year. It also employs 21,000 people.
Hobby Lobby’s website notes it is committed to: “Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.”
FFRF is calling the consumer boycott in response to Hobby Lobby's religiously-motivated role in challenging Obamacare's contraceptive mandate. The mandate ensures that contraception must be fully covered by health insurance plans as a form of preventive medicine. The Supreme Court on Nov. 26 accepted a case involving Hobby Lobby’s opposition to contraceptive coverage based on the religious views of its founder David Green, a preacher’s son.
“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,” a statement on the Hobby Lobby website reads, adding that it closes on Sundays.
“These abortion-causing drugs go against our faiths,” he told NPR.
Hobby Lobby’s founder objects to Plan B (the “morning after pill”) and ella (the week-after pill), and two types of intrauterine devices. Major medical groups submitted a brief on behalf of the government in the Hobby Lobby case, noting that the morning-after pill is not an abortion, and cannot stop pregnancy after fertilization takes place, instead preventing ovulation.
Hobby Lobby is not only wrong about the science of contraception, it’s 100 percent wrong to seek to impose its “biblical values” on all women. Corporations do not have rights of conscience, women do. Women employees’ rights of conscience cannot be denied by fanatical employers who want to choose which contraceptives they may use! This is religious interference at its most pernicious.
Currently, more than 70 lawsuits have been filed by religious employers, including Roman Catholic dioceses, seeking to deny women workers contraceptive coverage. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear two such appeals, including the Hobby Lobby case. Speak up for a right to contraception that has been settled law for more than half a century.
“We ask other secular and feminist organizations to join us in speaking out against religious control of women's bodies,” said FFRF Co-President Barker. “Hobby Lobby needs to find a different hobby than imposing ‘biblical values’ upon women employees.
“Exercise your freedom . . . and shop somewhere else!”
Boycott Hobby Lobby and tell them why!
Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
7707 S.W. 44th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73179
This is also a timely topic for a letter to your local editor.
Here are photos of the unique display placed by FFRF/FFRF Metropolitan Chicago Chapter taken on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, at Daley Plaza, Chicago. (The famous Picasso sculpture is in the background.) Many thanks to Evan Kane for his photographs, and "Happy Birthday" to his daughter, Alexa, who witnessed the display going up on her 14th birthday.
The “A is for Atheism” 8-foot light display features the distinctive cursive “A” adopted by the Richard Dawkins Foundation as part of Dawkins’ “out” campaign. The red lights make it shine at night. Beside it is a sturdy sign explaining the display.
Above left: Chapter members with banner. Above right: Chicago chapter leaders Tom Cara and Evan Kane and FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker
The irreverent banner depicts a different kind of nativity scene: the birth of the Bill of Rights, whose anniversary is Dec. 15. Standing or kneeling in adoration: constitutional framers Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, plus the Statue of Liberty. A copy of the Bill of Rights, which was adopted in 1791, is in the manger.
“We thank FFRF Metropolitan Chicago Chapter director Tom Cara for making this happen, chapter vice president Evan Kane, and all the hardworking volunteers who housed, transported or assembled this complicated display in the cold Tuesday, as well as FFRF members who came to lend moral support,” said FFRF Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, who were in attendance.
Tom Cara added: “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to FFRF staff attorney Patrick Elliott, who worked so hard to make sure FFRF was able to secure a spot in the Plaza for this year. Thank you, Patrick, for all your efforts.”
The freethought display went up along Dearborn Street near the menorah and where the crèche is going. (See Press Release about the Chicago chapter placing the displays.)
Above: Alexa Kane, 14, and her dad, Evan. Happy Birthday, Alexa (who turned 14 that day).
Below: FFRF member Kathy lending moral support