Merry Christmas, Hobby Lobby

I like
people of principle; in fact, I aspire to be one. David Green, founder of Hobby
, is one such person. He is battling the government to uphold my right to freedom of
religion, for which I am grateful. This week, he was accused of anti-Semitism,
which, if true, suggests that he doesn’t like me as much as I like him. Except,
of course, that truth had little to do with the entire kerfuffle. It used to be
that, “the squeaky wheel got the grease.” Today, the lone blogger who uses
certain incendiary words (anti-Semitism, homophobia, racism…) gets the

The entire
brouhaha was a tornado in a thimble. Assuming correct reporting, when a blogger
inquired if Green’s chain, Hobby Lobby, carried items for Hanuka, he was
told, “We don’t cater to you people here.” Chalk one up for a low on the totem
pole employee speaking foolishly. The provable reality is that Hobby Lobby,
for whatever reason, doesn’t carry Hanuka items. To their credit, even many
liberal Jewish spokespeople were uncomfortable with the claim that a store
could be forced to carry certain objects under threat of being accused of

Here’s where
I stand. If any of you are aspiring politicians, I have a proposal you might
make that will guarantee that you are never elected. You might even need to go
underground for a while to protect your safety. Nevertheless, I think it would
be a positive step forward for America. The proposal? It is time to retire the
civil rights legislation of the 1960’s. I’ll go further and say that just as
Richard Nixon was able to open relationships with China and Bill Clinton was
able to enact welfare reform, had Barack Obama made that proposal the signature
of his administration, he would have gone down in history as a great president.

There are
many times in our lives when an antidote is needed to solve a problem. None of
us would argue that because antibiotics are useful for clearing up an
infection, we should continue taking them forever. Yet we do the equivalent in
politics all the time. Unions came into being because of serious and real
problems in the labor force. As the pendulum swings, many of them now threaten
the well-being of workers. Similarly, the civil rights legislation of the
1960’s was a necessary and proper response to inequalities and iniquities that
plagued this country. However, the forces destroying the Black community are
completely different today, and arguably are strengthened by falsely
identifying race as the source of the problem. More seriously, the
phrases, “civil rights,” “discrimination,” and “bigotry” are applied with a
liberality that is undermining the Constitutional protections of religious
freedom and freedom of association that allowed this country to be great.

I think it
is time to allow organizations, businesses and private schools to discriminate
as they wish. If they want to put up signs saying that they don’t admit or
serve Jews, or people with an accent, or people carrying Bibles, or blondes,
good luck to them. I have faith that, given free choice, the American people
will overwhelmingly choose to embrace each other. However, the legal and holier-than-thou
moral cudgels that destroy free enterprise and that pit citizens against each
other will largely be silenced.  I
couldn’t care less if Hobby Lobby carries Hanuka items or doesn’t, nor
do I see any reason to jump to negative conclusions. I care greatly about a
government that is replacing freedom of religion with freedom of sexual
expression and the opportunity for creating wealth with the guarantee of
national poverty. To that end, David Green is one of my heroes—and his stores
don’t need to carry a single Hanuka item for me to acknowledge that he is
helping to keep America a blessed haven for all.  


6 thoughts on “Merry Christmas, Hobby Lobby”

  1. The difference between Civil Rights and Natural Rights is the crux of the issue.
    Natural Rights are those inalienable rights ordained by God, as in the laws of nature and nature’s God. Basically these are life, liberty and property (modified to pursuit of happiness as Jefferson flinched at human beings considered property). What is interesting is that an individual’s exercize of a natural right does not infringe on another person’s natural rights (the exception being slavery, which is why slavery is NOT a natural property right in the eyes of God).
    Civil rights, on the other hand, even when seemingly just, fair and even righteous, invaribly infringe on the natural rights of another. It is a common wile of the devil to lure us into doing wrong by wrapping evil in the cause of social justice.

  2. Susan, thank you for the injection of common sense into a world of words turned upside down. Coopting “bright” and “gay” are symptoms of the fact that Jew or Christian, the adversary is alive and roaming to and fro on earth. Fortunately we have yet to see (I hope) a Kosher or Halal establishment confronted because they don’t offer treyf. I smell lawyers looking for fees as a symptom of developing dybbuks, for which there may be a cure, let us pray something reaches past their fixation.

  3. Jean, I don’t know for a fact, but I think it is very possible that this accusation had nothing to do with Hobby Lobby’s stand on abortion. Jews, especially in the NY and NJ area are very quick to take offense. In general today, the idea of speaking politely and privately when a problem arises (and I do think the employee’s way of speaking was not how the company would recommend responding to a question)is disappearing and ‘going public’ is replacing courteous dialogue.

  4. The blogger’s report was taken at face value; did the media outlets repeating the allegation follow up with that particular Hobby Lobby to see if the employee in question was 1) reprimanded or 2) fired? I suspect that if the story is true, then that particular employee is now one of the unemployment statistics with good reason.
    As for Hobby Lobby not carrying Hanukah items, this could be a simple supply-demand equation. There aren’t large Jewish communities in Tennessee, which is where the chain is headquartered, and they may not be located in areas that have enough Jewish people (or observant Jewish people) to have more than one inquiry every blue moon. Hobby Lobby was obviously targeted because of the owner’s stance on same-sex marriage and Obamacare. I’ll bet that if I went shopping in Dearborn, Michigan and asked for Hanukah items, I would be met with infinitely more hostility and there would be NO reporting on that (Dearborn is predominantly Muslim and has been for nearly a century).

  5. Thank you for your common sense and honest approach to this subject. You have clearly articulated what has been in my mind for some time.
    I so appreciate your weekly Musings as well as the Thought Tools and Ask the Rabbi & Susan.
    You and your husband are a blessing to me and I look forward each week to seeing your email arrive in my inbox.

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