Today at The Week, I published a column titled, “Stop calling Hobby Lobby a Christian business” in which I discuss the ethical implications of their business dealings with China.
“Every time you buy a decorative platter from Hobby Lobby with a Bible verse stamped across it, you have funded the company’s fight against the HHS contraception mandate,” I wrote. “But you’re also sending a chunk of change to a country that forces people to abort their children, flouts basic standards of workplace dignity, and denies more than a billion people the right to worship.”
Setting aside whether a business can be accurately called “Christian” (only individuals are given the title in the Bible), we should all agree that an organization who takes the title should be held to high standards. The same is true for Christian individuals. [tweetable]The decision to follow Jesus is not a call to perfection, but a call to a moral posture.[/tweetable]
Sometimes consumers don’t have much choice with their purchases. But when given the choice, Christians should always opt for the most ethical option. I never buy coffee unless it is certified fair trade, for example. It may cost me more money, but I don’t want my purchases to keep 12-year-old Costa Rican children in poverty. Hobby Lobby has a choice in where they purchase the goods they sell, but in my opinion, they are not opting for a more ethical choice. Because they’ve chosen to label their business as “Christian,” I think it is wholly fair to raise this issue.
But as my dad used to say to me growing up, “It’s a mighty thin pancake that has only one side.” Others do not view Hobby Lobby’s business practices the same way I do. One such person is Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and a vocal supporter of Hobby Lobby’s fight against the HHS contraception mandate. He is a first-rate thinker whose opinions I respect even when we disagree. I invited Dr. Moore to provide his perspective on the matter, and I’ve published his comments in full. I encourage readers to consider both my column and his response below…