Hobby Lobby: Check your Judaism at the door
by Barry Friedman
For the love of Christ. And, apparently, just for the love of Christ.
“Because Mr. Green is the owner of the company, he’s a Christian, and those are his values."That was the answer given when a customer called Hobby Lobby and asked why there were no items for sale at the store for Hanukkah.
The Hobby Lobby Hanukkah controversy began when Berwitz learned that on a recent shopping trip his wife’s friends could not find anything related to Hanukkah at their local Hobby Lobby store in Marlboro, N.J., though it was stocked with Christmas items.Nice, huh?
According to Berwitz, one of the women asked about bar mitzvah cards, and a Hobby Lobby salesperson replied: “We don’t cater to you people.”
In response, the company was shocked--just shocked--there was Anti-Semitism going on.
“Alleged comments made by employees are currently being investigated and will be addressed accordingly. These comments are in no way indicative of Hobby Lobby culture, the owners and the operators.”Well ... yes and no.
Berwitz told Religion News Service that he then called Hobby Lobby’s corporate headquarters in Oklahoma City, and the company confirmed that it does not stock items for Hanukkah, and did not give a reason. When he asked whether the company carries Passover merchandise, he was again told no.No Passover merchandise? Even when you consider there is more than enough evidence that indicates the Last Supper was a Seder?
“Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. is currently working with our buyers over our merchandise selection. Our customers have brought this to our attention and we are currently evaluating our Holiday items and what we will carry in the future.”Really? This needs to be brought to your attention? Jews have just come to your attention? Hanukkah predates Christmas by about 165 years and Jews didn't just land here from Mars. We're in the Bible. In fact, we were in the Bible before you were in the Bible. And how is it nobody had to bring to your attention the need to stock merchandise for Halloween? Halloween--that's about Satan and paganism, right?
So, for Beelzebub, you'll take--you should pardon the expression--a leap of faith, but not for Jews? You'll stock jack-o-lanterns, but not dreidels?
David Green, CEO of Hobby Lobby, is presently fighting the Obama Administration over the Affordable Care Act, asserting that requiring him to provide insurance that might offset the cost of drugs that physicians prescribe to female employees that might interfere with procreation (even if it's for endometriosis) is an affront to his Christianity and thwarts God's marketing plan for the store.
Green has said he believes his company’s success has endured “by God’s grace and provision.”And now you want him to stock picture books about the Maccabees?
Like Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby wants it both ways. It says it welcomes all faiths, all lifestyles into its stores--just don't make a stink about how the companies operate, what restrictions they put on their employees, or what products they stock.
Speaking of, Hobby Lobby is selling the following items this Christmas: Christmas trees, Christmas light sets, Christmas cards, Christmas floral arrangements, and decorative snowmen--all of which have as much to do with Christ as I do with the 2014 Bassmaster Classic.
And Jesus said, "Ceramic Santas ... Now 40% off!"
But it's a private company--I can hear you say--so it can do what it wants.
Yeah, and not too long ago African Americans couldn't get a tuna melt at privately owned luncheonettes.
"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."But that could never happen here. Besides, this is just about gays who want to file a joint return, women who want Depo-Provera, Jews who want Menorahs.
It's about store owners who believe and just want to serve God.