Often when I research a story it is like pealing back the layers of an onion and other stories result. This is one of those cases. I have to admit I had never heard of Hobby Lobby until last week when the Supreme Court agreed to hear Sebelius v Hobby Lobby. To the extent that I have influence over my readers’ spending, its founder and C.E.O. David Green will wish I never had.
Green owns Hobby Lobby, a chain of arts and crafts stores, and is also a very wealthy man; both of which are admirable. Green ranks 90th on the latest Forbes 400 list with a net worth of $5 billion. According to its own website Hobby Lobby has 578 locations nationwide. What is truly admirable about him is that he appears to have made it mainly on his own as opposed to being another member of the Lucky Sperm Cell Club. From the perspective of a progressive the problem with Green is what he does with his money.
Hobby Lobby is privately held and has a policy of giving half of its pre-tax profits to charity. Those profits are sizable and so are Green’s donations. He has given away over $100 million; much of it to Liberty University and Oral Roberts University. These are not exactly two of America’s premier post-secondary educational institutions and they certainly do not hold the views and values of progressive Americans!
Green and Hobby Lobby, like all businesses, derive their profits from sales. Therefore if progressives do not want to help fund institutions like Liberty and Oral Roberts they should not shop at Hobby Lobby. Like all Americans, Mr. Green is entitled to his political and religious views; I just don’t want to help finance them. I also feel strongly that he has absolutely no right as an employer to impose them on his employees, which is what he is attempting to do.
An interesting fact I ran across in my research is that Green’s son Mart is the CEO of Mardel Christian & Education which is headquartered in the same Oklahoma City building as Hobby Lobby. A big part of Mardel’s business is selling textbooks. I wonder just how scientifically accurate they are? I also wonder how many of David Green’s benefactors are Mardel customers?
If you or someone on your holiday shopping list needs a picture frame or some hobby supplies there are plenty of places to buy them. If you want a better America make sure that place is not Hobby Lobby.
For more on this topic see the November 30, 2013 posting: Will America Remain A Secular Nation?
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