Hobby Lobby pro-life?

I already talked about the Hobby Lobby case in various corners of the internet, but I realize it’s something I should address here because I take an approach few critics are taking, and it has a lot to do with the topic of this blog.

If you haven’t already heard, the Supreme Court exempted Hobby Lobby from providing certain types of birth control believed to act as abortifacients (basically, birth control that keeps a fertilized egg from implanting on the uterine wall). While I’m ideologically pro-life, I think it’s better to regulate the market and make safe options available to women than to restrict more invasive types of birth control. But I’m not all that disturbed by the immediate repercussions of this particular case. What scares me is that the court had to argue that Hobby Lobby is protected under rights normally granted to individuals. Corporate personhood is a slippery slope!

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All that aside, Hobby Lobby represents a type of Christianity prevalent in America that so heavily favors capitalism it can’t see the plank in its eye (that’s a Bible reference! Matthew 7:5). I should know because I worked there for a year. Because I helped set up a local store, I got to see the first boxes of products arrive. I had a lot of time to read the labels and scrutinize the products. As it turns out, the majority of products are made in China. And this isn’t artisanal stuff; it’s sweatshop quality. Even the custom frames are shipped from China. It doesn’t take long to realize that Hobby Lobby, a company that plays Christian elevator music over its speaker system and donates to Texan homeschool organizations, is making profit – a lot of profit – on goods sourced from sweatshops.

There have been several articles that point out the hypocrisy of buying product from a country with a one child policy, but I don’t think this approach goes far enough. It’s not just about abortion! If you’re going to be pro-life, that should extend to everyone. Everyone deserves a chance at life, even poor people in China, even non-Christians, even people who don’t like Americans very much.

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What kills me about the Hobby Lobby case is that they had the resources to revitalize their production chain and provide better wages and better protections to the people who toil to make cheap shadow boxes and “handcrafted” garden statues, but instead they directed their time and money to the petty task of trying to prove a point about the shortcomings of universal health care.

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About Leah

I have a vintage clothing company called Platinum & Rust (.com). I'm also passionate about fair trade and sustainability issues; I work at a fair trade, organic coffee shop and blog about sustainable fashion at StyleWiseGuide.com.
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3 Responses to Hobby Lobby pro-life?

  1. Catherine says:

    This is a great post and a wonderful way to look at it.

  2. Sonya Mann says:

    I agree with Catherine. I hate the whole birth control debate though… so stressful 😦 I’m so grateful to live in a place where I have easy, safe access to medical care that protects my reproductive choices.

  3. I saw your comment on Catherine’s post & loved reading your ideas here as well. I actually mentioned your very comment about how anit-Christian their supply chain practices are when I was giving a really quick sum up of the case to my husband the other day. Corporate personhood definitely is a slippery slope indeed, and what frustrates me most about it is all of the rights and freedoms that seem to come with it don’t come to a “human personhood” to make up a term. While I’m just utterly confused about the IUD part (several friends of mine use it specifically because it’s hormone free and affects our bodies less than the pill, for example) I also agree it’s all the scary things that are yet to come from this, not the actual ruling.

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