I'm A Person Of Faith, And Hobby Lobby's Latest Stunt Fills Me With Rage

by Christine Organ
Scary Mommy and Joe Raedle/Getty

In case you haven’t been following along, Hobby Lobby is absolute trash. They’ve been trash for a while, but their latest antics should have every American calling out their undemocratic, hateful b.s. once and for all. I don’t care how much you love to decoupage or how plentiful their supply of scrapbooking tidbits, no glue gun or knitting yarn is worth selling your soul to this devil.

Michael’s and Jo-Ann Fabrics are just down the road — and word has it, they take the Lobby’s coupons too.

To catch you up…on July 4, Hobby Lobby ran a full-page ad in newspapers titled “One Nation Under God” in which it advocated for a Christian-run government. The ad included quotes from the Founding Fathers and the Bible to support its promotion of tossing out that little thing in the Bill of Rights known as “separation of church and state,” and instead invoking a Christian government. According to Newsweek, Freedom From Religion Foundation says that the company had altered the quotes without providing the full context. The company’s name appeared in the bottom right corner of the ad, and it was also shared by the company’s official social media accounts.

So here’s the deal, folks: grab your knitting needles and glue guns, because we’re flipping some sewing tables. Do not — I repeat, DO NOT — give one more penny to this repulsive company.

This is exactly the kind of Christian-centric bullshit that gives all religion and people of faith a bad name. And it makes my blood boil with a hellfire rage.

I consider myself a person of faith. I am active in my church. But I am not Christian. And after reading this ad, I am horrified and scared. I’m sad too. I understand why people despise organized religion. I believe that religion – when done right — can be a source of healing, strength, and community for many people (though, of course, not all people and that’s fine). But behavior like this is exactly why people are leaving religion in droves. This hypocrisy is why people distrust religion.

I also have long believed that Christianity should be separated into those who are “Christian” and those who are “followers of Jesus” — because they are not the same at all. Exhibit A: this toxic ad promoting a brand of Christianity that would make Jesus weep.

Since Hobby Lobby filled its ad with religious quotes, let me remind folks of a few other quotes from the Bible, words attributed to Jesus himself:

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” — Jesus (Matthew 7:15)

“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.” — Jesus (Matthew 6:1)

“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.” – Jesus (Matthew 6:5)

So don’t take it from me, take it from Jesus himself. He would not have been here for this sacrilegious garbage that the Lobby spews forth.

This ad isn’t just hypocritical sacrilege to all people of faith, it’s also a slap in the face to Americans who value the freedoms that our country loves to tout. Look, America has a messed up history built by a white supremacist patriarchy, but there are a few things that we as Americans hold dear for good reason. Things like freedom to practice our religion, to worship what we hold sacred, whether that is god or God, Allah or the Buddha, science or love, or some combination of all of those things.

What Hobby Lobby is advocating for is an end to all of that. It is suggesting that America should not be a democracy, but rather a theocracy, which is in direct violation of the separation of church and state. This isn’t just chills-down-your-spine terrifying, it’s also completely undemocratic.

The irony of the ad running on the 4th of July – the date we celebrate our independence from England because (among other less noble reasons) we wanted the freedom from state-mandated directives on whether or how to practice religion – is so thick it’s almost comical. It might read like satire if weren’t so damn terrifying, especially for people who practice a religion that isn’t Christianity or one that has been the victim of violence or marginalization.

I’m not just horrified and scared, I am filled with anger. A righteous anger. Because I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let hate win. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let some narcissistic version of “faith” dictate what faith means like for the rest of us. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let this toxic trash speak for the rest of us.

I’m gonna stand up and flip some tables – some craft tables, if you will – and I hope that you will too. Whether you are Christian or atheist, Muslim or Jew, Buddhist or Humanist: Don’t you dare give Hobby Lobby one more penny of your money. They don’t deserve it. And if this horror show isn’t stopped, you never know if your faith could be up next on the chopping block.

Besides, crafting is much more enjoyable when it doesn’t come with a side of religious bigotry. Spread the word.